And That Happened

Red Sox 4, Yankees 1: Everyone will be talking about this one today because of Ellsbury stealing home. And I suppose it was a pretty neat trick. Just worth noting, though, that 11 guys did it twice in a game, that the single season record — held by Ty Cobb — is 8, and the career record, also held by Cobb, is 54. More recently, Eric Young stole second, third and home in the same inning in what had to be a perfect storm for a fast guy: the glacial-to-the-pate Hideo Nomo pitching to the rubber-armed Mike Piazza. I don’t offer any of this to take away from Ellsbury as such. I simply hope that today’s hype of Ellsbury’s theft is commensurate with the true significance of the feat.

Cubs 10, Cardinals 3: Fukodome continues his tear, going 3-5 with a homer and 5 RBI to bring him up to .371/.481/.661 on the season. Oh, and it was his birthday so, like, free breakfast at Denny’s. The Cubs played hack-a-Shaq on Pujols, walking him three times and beaning him once.

Angels 8, Mariners 0: Five days ago I mentioned that Jarrod Washburn wasn’t a 1.71 ERA pitcher. He definitely proved it yesterday (5.1 IP, 8 H, 6 ER). Unfortunately, I don’t think he’s a 3.42 ERA pitcher either, which means he’s probably due for a couple more of these.

Astros 3, Brewers 2: Houston wins on the backs of Ivan Rodriguez and Russ Ortiz. Which would be something to build on if it were 1999.

Reds 8, Braves 2: The promise of Micah Owings realized: seven innings and allowed one run, six hits, with three walks and six strikeouts while going 2-for-3 at the plate. Not they needed his bat as Jay Bruce homered twice and Joey Votto had a three-run double. I went to Saturday’s game — more about that later this morning — and witnessed some of the worst defense I’ve had the good fortune to see in some time. Two errors on one play by Edwin Encarnacion and a comedy of errors — none of which was actually scored an error — by Chris Dickerson in left. None of that nonsense yesterday, as Willie Taveras had a nice diving catch, Encarnacion acquitted himself nicely at third, Jay Bruce had an outfield assist, and Chris Dickerson was limited to pinch hitting.

Nationals 8, Mets 1: There are those who say there’s no hope in Washington. To them I say See, Zimmermann, Jordan. The rookie gives up one run in five and a third to the Mets, who have looked pretty frickin’ terrible as of late.

Phillies 13, Marlins 2: I tend to believe everything I read in The Onion, but I’m starting to think that they got this one wrong. The Marlins have now lost six in a row, and this one was a total joke. Rightfielder Cody Ross pitched in the ninth inning and it was the only scoreless ninth by any Marlin pitcher in the series. Overall, Florida walked 11 guys (none by Ross) and gave up 12 hits. Jamie Moyer, who is almost certainly older than several of the Marlins’ fathers, improves to 12-1 lifetime against the fish.

Tigers 3, Royals 2: Sidney Ponson, one of my favorite punching bags, was actually really good (8 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 7K, 0 BB), but Armando Galarraga was better (6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 7K, 5 BB). Actually, that line isn’t really any better, so maybe Armando was just luckier. Brandon Inge stays hot, hitting a homer. He has now reached base in all 18 Tigers’ games this year.

Blue Jays 4, White Sox 3: Jose Contreras unexpectedly hangs tough with Roy Halladay, but the bullpen betrays him in the eighth. The Jays just keep humming along, winning every series so far this year, and putting themselves in a position to be able to trade blows with the other teams in the AL East once they start playing one another, as opposed to have to make up ground.

Orioles 8, Rangers 5: The Rangers continue to hit home runs at a league-leading pace — Chris Davis hit his third homer in four games — but it was Adam Jones, who ripped a three-run homer when the O’s were down 5-4, that hit the one that made the biggest difference. The top three in Baltimore’s lineup — Brian Roberts, Adam Jones and Nick Markakis — went 9-for-12 with two home runs and six RBIs. Too bad that’s basically all this team has. At the Major League level, anyway.

Indians 4, Twins 2: I was switching back and forth between this one and the Reds-Braves. Key moment came in the 7th when the wheels were about to fall off for Cleveland. Aaron Laffey loaded the bases and was relieved by Jensen Lewis. Lewis promptly gave up a single and a walk, leaving the bases loaded again, and the Tribe’s 4-0 lead cut to 4-2. Enter rookie Tony Sipp, who struck out Justin Morneau and Jason Kubel and looked to have some pretty electric stuff. After that the Twins didn’t really challenge. I’m looking forward to seeing Sipp again.

Diamondbacks 5, Giants 4: Matt Cain gets boned by his own offense again, giving up only one run in seven innings while getting staked to the same. San Francisco then put three quick ones up in the eighth courtesy of a Pablo Sandoval home run, only to see Brian Wilson get bombed in the bottom of the ninth, with the tying runs coming on a laser beam from Justin Upton. In other news, I’m pretty sure these teams have played each other 126 times already this season.

A’s 7, Rays 1: The other Upton is not doing as well, as he has now gone hitless in his last 16 at bats. Oakland had no such trouble, and finally showed some offensive life for once.

Pirates 8, Padres 3: Two home runs and four RBIs from Adam LaRoche, one off of Jake Peavy, one off of something called Luis Perdomo. An easy win for the Pirates despite the fact that Ryan Doumit, Nate McLouth and Jack Wilson are all hurt, and Freddy Sanchez was given the day off. Adrian Gonzalez dinger in the first inning is thought to be the longest home run in Petco Park’s history, measuring 458 feet to right-center. That’s within spittin’ distance of my brother’s house.

Rockies 10, Dodgers 4: Just a trainwreck of a start for Clayton Kershaw (4.2 IP, 8 H, 9 ER, 4 BB). Despite the offensive explosion, Troy Tulowitzki is still lost. He went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts, and he is now hitting .167 with 17 strikeouts in 54 at-bats.

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  1. David said...

    Chris – Aaron Hill stole home off of Pettitte in that game. In the post-game, Hill mentioned that the Blue Jays had noticed how much Pettitte ignored runners at 3b and had planned to try and steal home if the situation arose.

    So there’s that.

  2. Bill said...

    “Too bad that’s basically all this team [Baltimore] has. At the Major League level, anyway.”

    You’ve overlooked the tremendous shutdown pitching performance by Danys Baez, who came into a breaking-levee situation (no outs, two on, three runs already in) and stopped it cold (10 batters, 9 outs plus a ROE).  The O’s are still a long way from being a good team, but at least this year they have middle relief (Baez and Bass). Now they just need a rotation……

  3. Doug said...

    Apparently Craig, you can only taunt Micah Owings for so long before he takes action.  Reds fans everywhere are applauding your efforts.

  4. Will said...

    Ah, I remember the days when Eric Young played for the Rockies. He was fast, fast, fast.
    And the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, EY Jr. is playing for the Sky Sox:
    “Triple-A Colorado Springs second baseman Eric Young Jr. has 11 stolen bases in 12 games. The Sky Sox record for stolen bases in a single season was set by Wayne Kirby in 1992 with 51.”

  5. APBA Guy said...

    Beautiful day for baseball Sunday in Oakland, and the A’s finally found a pitcher they could lay in to. They beat Garza Saturday, but only had a few hits against him. The A’s got 10 hits and two walks aaginst Sonnenstine in 4 innings, and managed to win the series against the struggling Rays 2 games to 1.

    The A’s just don’t look that talented. There are a bunch of guys you pull for, a bunch of guys who used to be great, and maybe one or two who might scare you once in a while. But for the most part, they are a team of gamers who play the right way but there is nobody who will hit 40 HR’s or bat .330. Including the non-Coors Holliday.

    The Rays, on the other hand, have a couple of guys who could put up numbers like that. They just didn’t look hungry this series. The A’s won two games with lefty starters, Braden and Eveland, both of whom are capable but inconsistent. The Rays right handed power, Longoria and Upton, both looked out of sync, and did no serious damage to the two A’s lefthanders.

    But you figure those two to come around with more reps. The rotation is what looked shaky, especially Sonnanstine, leaving everything up and lacking a killer fastball. The middle relief failed to impress as well. It’s not hard to see why they are in last place in the AL East, though it is hard to imagine they will be there in September.

  6. KR said...

    Good for Ty Cobb, I guess. Of course, Cobb also twice had a season batting average of over .400, but hopefully that doesn’t mean that if someone did it today you would not find it impressive.

  7. Craig Calcaterra said...

    Of course I’d find it impressive. It hasn’t happened for nearly 70 years.  If it had happened several times in recent years as it had when Cobb was doing it, then no, I wouldn’t have been impressed.

    None of which is to say that I wasn’t impressed with Ellsbury’s feat. Just fearful—and rightfully fearful as the today’s news has demonstrated—that the feat would get more hype than it probably deserved.

  8. Bill B said...

    Eric Young my have stolen 2B, 3B and Home in the same inning but that was 13 years ago!

    Baseball players weren’t even juiced back then. 

    How many times have other players done a straight steal of home without any other baserunner in play in the past 5 years?

  9. Craig Calcaterra said...

    I have no idea, Bill. And don’t get me wrong: amazing stuff. I just have this feeling that there will be a lot of “Ellsbury is teh Jackie Robinson!!!!” talk today, and wanted to be a preemptive wet blanket.

  10. BillyBeaneismyHero said...

    This will certainly be overhyped, but I have to admit that I almost shat my pants watching it happen.  It’s still the most exciting play in baseball.

  11. Mark Shapiro is Lord. said...

    Craig, share your excitement over Sipp.

    Just can’t get over how violent his motion is—I’m afraid he won’t last.

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