And That Happened

Tigers 5, Rangers 3: Justin Verlander threw 41 pitches in the fifth inning, yet somehow the Rangers only scored one run off of him. I’m assuming someone has come up with some runs-per-pitch metric that can show us how lame a performance that was by Texas. And the Rangers turned a triple play. Am I alone, though, in thinking that the idea of triple plays are better than the reality? Usually, as was the case here, they’re freaky things caused by either bad or at least aggressive base running and lucky line drives. It’s only once in a great while do you see a truly spectacular one in which a the infielders turn two quick-as-lightning relays and get force outs at third, second and first. I saw the Tigers do that once about 25 years ago and it was awesome. Usually, though, I’d rather see a slick double play. They’re just more aesthetically pleasing.

Athletics 7, Rays 6: Scott Kazmir owners and fans are now advised to set their phasers to “self-immolate.” The thing about that 7.69 ERA is that it’s not some function of a 12-run shellacking that he just can’t recover from. He simply goes out and gives up six or seven runs every start.

White Sox 7, Twins 4: Francisco Liriano should probably team up with Kazmir to find out who’s responsible for their struggles. It could be like some 1980s buddy cop show called “Kaz and Frank” or something like that. One of them would be a bad boy who lives on a house boat. The other is a Vietnam veteran with scores to settle. Old scores. Maybe they both dated the same woman once years ago, but put aside their differences in service of the mission. Oooh! And the woman would be their boss! Quick — someone get me Stepfanie Kramer’s phone number!

Astros 6, Brewers 4: Rule 6:07: learn it, live it, love it. Cecil Cooper didn’t, and by changing his lineup after he already gave the card to the umps, Michael Bourn hit out of turn in the first inning costing his team an out. In other news, thank the maker that the Astros don’t play the Rays this year. If they did, the official scorer would have to wear a helmet.

Reds 5, Phillies 1: Cincinnati snaps a four game losing streak behind seven solid innings from Aaron Harang and continued excellent work from the business end of the bullpen. Charlie Manuel after the game: “We didn’t handle nothing about him. He carved up two or three of our hitters, he really carved ‘em up.” Sometimes I get the feeling that Manuel was affected by some strange temporal anomaly that caused him to be sent to our time, and when he’s not managing the Phillies, he’s searching for a way to return to his home in 1939.

Red Sox 8, Blue Jays 3: The stories this morning will all be about David Ortiz finally hitting a home run. I think the fact that Jacoby Ellsbury tied a major league record with 12 putouts by an outfielder in a nine-inning game is way cooler.

Pirates 2, Nationals 1: Is it worse to lose when one of your relievers gives up a backbreaking hit late in the game, or is it worse to lose when one of your relievers bounces one in the dirt in the ninth allowing the winning run to score? Wait — don’t answer that. The Nats’ bullpen will likely show us at least a half dozen other ways to blow a game before it’s all said and done this year, so let’s not start the voting prematurely.

Braves 12, Rockies 4: After walking a couple of guys, Rockies’ pitcher Jorge De La Rosa hit Jeff Francoeur in the fourth to load the bases. Given how deluded the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s coverage of Francoeur has been all year, I full expect the headline this morning to be “Francoeur hit spurs Braves’ rally!”

Cardinals 2, Cubs 1: Chris Carpenter comes back with effectiveness intact: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER. The Cubs’ bats, however, continue to sleep.

Yankees 11, Orioles 4: Eight straight for the Yanks, this one led by Robinson Cano, who went 3-4 with a homer and a couple of RBI. Decent enough start from Phil Hughes too, as he struck out nine in five innings. If he remains effective and if Wang comes back healthy and effective as well, the Yankees will have an interesting choice to make.

Marlins 8, Diamondbacks 6; Diamondbacks 11, Marlins 9: I can only imagine that in light of the horrible news about Scott Schoeneweis’ wife that the Dbacks would have rather been at home hugging their loved ones rather than playing two in Miami.

Indians 6, Royals 5: Kerry Wood gets right back on the horse after being bucked off on Tuesday, and this time lands the save. It wasn’t pretty though: Wood walked the bases loaded before striking out Teahen and DeJesus to end it.

Mariners 1, Angels 0: Did the west coast undergo some offense-sapping electromagnetic attack last night or something? Here there was a run-scoring single by Junior in the first and then nothin’ doin’ after that. Chris Jakubauskas on what he did differently than Felix Hernandez the night before: “”I was watching them run all over the place. The easiest way to control that is to not let anyone on.” I can’t decide if that was a cocky comment or not. I kind of want it to be, but really, I’m not sure.

Dodgers 2, Mets 1: If terrorists broke into your home, took you and your family hostage, and said that everyone dies unless Livan Hernandez and Jeff Weaver could combine to give up only two runs in twelve innings, you’d pretty much have to resign yourself to tragedy, wouldn’t you? I mean, you’d never consider such a thing possible in a thousand years, right? Baseball. Heh.

Padres 2, Giants 1: o-fers for everyone in the Padres lineup except for Kevin Kouzmanoff and Chris Burke, yet they still win. Baseball. Double Heh.

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  1. tadthebad said...

    Sara,  I thought it was proven long ago that diving into first was actually slower than running through the bag?

  2. Ron said...

    Tad, its not. That’s an old wives tale (or whatever the PC equivalent is now) to try and keep players from diving in.

    The hand will get there faster than the foot, which is why Rickey Henderson did it, but not enough to at first base to risk the injury.

  3. Kelly said...

    I can’t decide if giving Papi a curtain call was the lamest or most supportive thing possible.

    And every morning after a sleep-filled Cubs game, I just read Kerry Wood’s line and feel a little better that while we may get our guts ripped out this year, it will not be by Wood or Prior anymore.  2003 is finally over.

  4. Eric Cioe said...

    Justin Verlander threw 41 pitches in the 5th but the Texas Rangers only scored one run because Justin Verlander hates the Texas Rangers.  And the Texas Rangers fear Comerica Park.

  5. michael standish said...

    As to Ortiz’ home run…

    You should probably know that a dimbulb calling himself Tony Massarotti, in this morning’s Boston Globe, offered up this:

    “Even in the immediate aftermath of his first home run this season, whether Ortiz resurrects himself remains up for debate.”

    As opposed to waiting to see what happens, I guess.

  6. Alan said...

    I’ve been at Kazmir’s past two starts, and he looks like a guy who needs to go to the minors and figure out what the hell he’s doing. That’s assuming he’s not hurt, and I’ll give the Rays benefit of the doubt on that; I don’t think they’d keep running him out there if they had any concern about his health. But whatever the problem is—mechanics, fitness, psyche—if it isn’t fixed, their season is toast.

  7. lar said...

    I saw the Papi curtain call this morning. It seemed a little much. I’m sure it was genuine on the fans’ part, but that doesn’t mean it’s what you’re hoping for as a player.

    They say that Lou Gehrig knew it was time to hang ‘em up when he was given praise (an ovation from the stands? cheers from his teammates? I don’t remember) for making a routine play. And then there’s Charlie Brown’s hero, Joe Shlabotnik, who was famous for making “a spectacular play on a routine fly ball”. The Papi curtain call was creeping super close to that same territory…

  8. Loren said...

    “the official scorer would have to wear a helmet.”
    I am a firm believer in making all sorts of silly little jokes because you just never know when one will hit just right. This one did for me. Thanks Craig.

  9. APBA Guy said...

    The A’s win yesterday was all about Ryan Sweeney, who the A’s are calling “Vitamin” because of his one a day spectacular catches.

    Last night he had three of them, including the spectacular diving full speed, long run variety against BJ Upton.

    The Rays look flat in this series, but they have so much talent that even a flat Tampa requires spectacular acts from the A’s to win.

  10. MJ said...

    If he [Hughes] remains effective and if Wang comes back healthy and effective as well, the Yankees will have an interesting choice to make.

    With all the talk of putting Joba back in the pen, shouldn’t the Yanks consider putting Hughes in the ‘pen?  If it’s merely he isn’t pitching enough send him back to AAA.  If it’s a confidence issue bringing in a guy with a + fball and + curve wouldn’t be a bad thing.

  11. Sara K said...

    Last night was the third time this year I’ve had a chance to see Schumacher in a game, and every time, he has done a head-first slide into first base.  Um, do correct me if I’m wrong about this, but isn’t any negligible advantage in quickness to the base (if there is any at all) offset by the possibility of injuring a finger/hand?  Why does TLR allow this?  And Duncan is *still* catching one-handed?  Ah, well…at least Carpenter didn’t hurt himself divig for a ball in foul territory.  grin

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