And That Happened

Brewers 1, Cardinals 0: This is the sort of game I hope I’m watching just before I die in my easy chair at, oh, 108 years-old. Can’t help it, I’m just a pitching guy, and I get all giddy when two aces match up against one another like this. Chris Carpenter was perfect into the seventh. Gallardo had a no-hitter through five. Both starters went eight scoreless innings, and no one could scratch out a run in regulation. It’s a shame someone had to lose this thing.

Indians 11, Rays 10: The Rays do their Indians’ impression and collapse in spectacular fashion. They led this game 10-0 in the fourth, and just barfed it away. Ryan Garko had a couple of homers and Victor Martinez had the big hit, but the Indians’ hero was probably Jeremy Sowers, who came in and pitched five scoreless innings to get the win. Lost in all of this ugliness is the fact that David Price was making his season debut. Staked to that 10-0 lead, he couldn’t even get out of the fourth inning due to what appears to be an osmium-hard pitch count. But hey, if he wanted to stay later he shouldn’t have walked five dudes and gone deep in so many counts. I didn’t watch the whole game, but I was watching the fourth inning, and I can tell you, it was not an unjustified yanking. He had just given up a dinger and was starting to overthrow and get the ball way up in the zone.

Giants 8, Braves 2: Close until the seventh when Buddy Carlyle was summoned to do that thing he does (i.e. get torched). He’s a short reliever who hasn’t come in and put up a zero in six appearances. Are you telling me that there’s no one in Gwinnett who can’t do better? Isn’t it even worth a try? Speaking of the minors, it’s high time that Jordan Schafer head back there. He went 0-4 with four strikeouts, lowering his line to .205/.324/.301 and shows absolutely no sign of being ready for the Major Leagues. Between him and Francoeur, one wonders where the Braves would be if they even had a slightly below average outfield. For years Terrance Moore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution would alternate “the Braves should bring back Brian Jordan” columns with “the Braves should trade for Ken Griffey” columns. Everyone would make fun of him. Know what? I’d take Jordan and Griffey in a second right now.

Padres 9, Diamondbacks 7: I wish I hadn’t used that Susan Sarandon narration from “Bull Durham” last week because it fits the Padres way more than it fit the Yankees. Ten in a row for San Diego. But I have to ask: where the hell was this bullpen last year when Greg Maddux was repeatedly boned out of win #350? I think Cla Meredith alone blew somewhere between 17 and 136 games for Maddux last season, yet they have been lights out over the course of this winning streak. Not that it’s all bad: with the Padres passing the Giants in the standings, it makes it all the more likely that Brian Sabean will do something stupid and desperate, and nothing feeds ShysterBall blog posts like Brian Sabean doing stupid things.

Athletics 6, Mariners 1: Who wound up Adam Kennedy? Dude is 20 for has last 37, getting on base five times yesterday. Guy couldn’t hit at Durham a month ago, and now he’s raking in the bigs. He’s got so much greatness oozing out of him lately that he’s even helping out the opposition. In this case, breaking Kenji “.250/.275/.386″ Johjima’s toe in a play at the plate, which will knock the Mariners’ catcher out for a couple of weeks, which should help Seattle out immeasurably.

Dodgers 16, Rockies 6: OK, remember that note above about the kind of game I’d like to see moments before I die? This is the exact opposite of it. Twenty-two runs, 15 walks, a rain delay and a four-hour run time. I’m sure Dodgers fans don’t mind, but it was just a brutal-looking game for the non-partisan fan. BTW: of all of the teams donning red hats for Memorial Day, the Dodgers looked the worst. With all due respect to the troops, there should be laws against defiling L.A.’s uniform in such a fashion.

Red Sox 6, Twins 5: According to the game story, Brad Penny was vomiting between innings. I can only assume that it was nerves brought on by the prospect that at any moment, Joe Mauer could be inserted into the game to pinch hit. Which he finally did in the ninth, hitting a two-run home run.

Tigers 13, Royals 1: Only the Dodgers have a bigger lead in their division than the Tigers have in the AL Central, which was supposed to be wide open this year. Miguel Cabrera (4-6, 2 2B, 3 RBI) has to to be the top non-Twins MVP candidate at this point too, doesn’t he?

Reds 8, Astros 5: Two hour rain delay, and Aaron Harang pitches both sides of it. After the game he said “I think I threw a complete game with all the work I did inside” during the delay. So, 93-pitches in the game, plus enough work to keep warm over the course of two hours. Whaddaya figure? 150, 160 pitches? Sure, Harang is a horse so it ain’t exactly like Mark Prior circa 2003 here, but on what planet is this not ill-advised?

Yankees 11, Rangers 1: A-Rod (5-5, 2 2B 4 RBI) raises his average 70 points in one game and is suddenly sitting with a very spiffy .259/.411/.672 line. If he keeps raking, and the Yankees win the division, I suppose you have to add him to the Mauer-Morneau-Cabrera-Hunter MVP discussion. Given his month off, his candidacy would not rely as much on pure merit as it would on timing (i.e. the Yankees started winning when he came back). I don’t know about you, but I don’t think if I’m ready for A-Rod to be the team-leader/spark plug/intangibles MVP candidate. Such a thing would cause rhetorical whiplash, wouldn’t it?

Orioles 4, Blue Jays 1: The Jays’ freefall continues, as Jeremy Guthrie (7 IP, 7 H, 1 ER) and some tough weather stymied Toronto. In the interests of time I usually just read the AP game stories, but there’s always a lot of fun stuff you don’t realize until you go and click the local paper’s game story. Stuff like the fact that Guthrie is the last man standing from the O’s opening day rotation. Adam Eaton was canned the other day, Mark Hendrickson sent to the pen, Alfredo Simon had season-ending elbow surgery, Koji Uehara may be out for a while with a bad hamstring.

Marlins 5, Phillies 3: A couple of homers from Ryan Howard are not enough as Jamie Moyer — while certainly pitching better than he had been — continues to lose. Apparently Phillies fans booed Wes Helms mercilessly, which seems like a lot of effort for such small change. Sure, the guy wasted hundreds of plate appearances for my team too, but he just doesn’t seem like someone that should occupy anyone’s consciousness in a large enough way to justify booing. Booing him is like booing humidity or periodic ennui. Miserable? Sure, in a way, but really, you just gotta move on, don’t you?

Mets 5, Nationals 2: I’d guess for every 100 aging veterans who claim that they simply need to play every day in order to get on track, 99 of them are full of it. Gary Sheffield may just well be that odd one who really meant it, as he goes 2-3 with a homer and 3 RBI, and has raised his line to .277/.417/.494 now that he’s getting more PT.

Pirates 10, Cubs 8: Hey, the Cubs they scored some runs! And at least Milton Bradley didn’t appear to get squeezed last night. Also: as I noted, Mr. T was in the house, and that has to make everyone feel good, right? Freddy Sanchez was 6 for 6, hitting a two-run homer, doubling once and singling four times.

White Sox 17, Angels 3: Bright side: if Ervin Santana is on a pitch count, he came nowhere near it last night.

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  1. Adam said...

    Pop Quiz: Which was uglier?
    a. Yankees in red hats
    b. Watching Kris Benson try to get out major league hitters with the slop he throws.

  2. Grant said...

    Jeff V. – I hope they don’t trade Guthrie in some misguided attempt to make some room. The guy can already get ML hitters out. It’s tough to find five guys in the minors, even top guys, who can do that. I’m not a huge Guthrie believer, long-term (based on his track record and age), but he’s the best they got and I doubt he’s worth trading without a bananas offer.

  3. Joseph P. said...

    “I suppose you have to add him to the Mauer-Morneau-Cabrera-Hunter MVP discussion”

    Youkilis? Anyone?

  4. Ron said...

    With all due respect to the sanctity of the Yankees/Dodgers uniforms, tough.

    It was for the veterans. If the pink bats used for breast cancer don’t clash with their uniforms, then neither do the red hats.

    Helping a veteran who’s lost a limb or needs a place to live isn’t going to destroy the tradition of the Yankees/Dodgers myth.

    What ever that is.

    Baseball has always gone out its way to support the military. Why is it that fans from the two cities that pay the highest ticket price per average are complainig about someone raising money for veterans?

  5. Jeff V. said...

    Grant- It would take a solid offer I am sure to move him.  He is fairly effective, under team control for three more years and affordable, I think he might bring a decent return. 

    The O’s need a SS, 1B and 3B long term.  Now it is possible that Snyder could be ready next year to take over 1B or 3B but that is the only realistic impact position player the O’s have in the system for ‘10.  If a team wants to thow a ready in ‘10 shortstop prospect and other pieces I think the O’s have to consider it.

  6. Rob² said...

    @Ron – Don’t kid yourself;  Those hats are there on the field to be sold.  If anything, that’s more offensive than the color-clash.

    If MLB wants to support our veterans, that’s fine and good.  There’s no reason they need a marketing tie-in to do it.

  7. Jason B said...

    “I suppose you have to add him to the Mauer-Morneau-Cabrera-Hunter MVP discussion”

    In addition to Youk (already mentioned) we should probably add Jay Bay into the mix (voters like big counting stats).  And Longoria has to be in the discussion, too.  Sure the Rays don’t appear to be headed anywhere fast, but neither do the Twins.  Whether they are or not, Longoria has been stupid good.

  8. Matt Mitchell said...

    Yeah, pitch counts are annoying, but let’s face this face this fact for David Price: if you throw 100 pitches in 3 1/3 IP, chances are you’re not coming back for the 5th, even if you finish the 4th.

    Still, I agree that the hard pitch-count limit is a bit ridiculous. You could probably bug Josh Kalk about it. Based on what I’ve heard, I would think he has some sort of say in those decisions down there now.

  9. Will said...

    What Rob said, double. The Yankees and the Dodgers could raise money just as well with blue or black caps. It’s MLB’s corny marketing machine that drives these stupid gimmics.
    And don’t get me started on the pink and blue bats. Where’s the brown Colo-Rectal cancer bat? How about the tarry, black Lung Cancer bat?

  10. APBA Guy said...

    Is it Adam Kennedy (who is also playing very well defensively) or is it Giambi hotting career HR’s 400 aqnd 401 this weekend?

    Or is it some weak opposition for a change? The A’s have won 3 of 4 lately, and tehre were even some people at the Mausoleum yesterday to see it.

    Ok, the weather was beautiful, and it was Memorial Day, but still.

  11. Jeremy said...

    Craig, my partner and I were watching the Giants-Braves game on TV and thought of you when Francouer came up.

    Partner: “Is that guy a good hitter?”

    Me: “Think of Pedro Feliz, only drunk.”

    Sure enough, he struck out swinging on a hanging slider over the plate.

  12. Craig Calcaterra said...

    “Pedro Feliz, only drunk” is probably the best insult I’ve heard in a long, long time.

    I shudder to think what you guys would call Jordan Schafer . . .

  13. Ron said...

    I’m not calling out Craig, I read similar comments on other blogs and made the same initial comment on each of them.

    The main response about my comment was about the commercialization of the caps. I agree completely. They should just donate the money.

    But my initial response was not based on someone’s complaint about the commercialization of the issue. We can all agree on that. It was based on mulitple posts on multiple blogs that the hats destroyed the purity of some particular team’s uniform.

    That was what I commented on. I think the tradition and history of any team can survive this cap, if it raises money for disable veterans.

    I don’t know if I’m right or wrong, or if anyone else is. I don’t care either. I’m just exercising my right to Freedom of Speech. Something brought to you by veterans.

    Did you know that active duty military are denied the very basic constitutional rights they have sworn to defend with their lives, and choose to do so anyhow.

    But lets not defile a uniform. That would be overstepping the bounds of common decency.

  14. Jeff V. said...

    The revamping of the O’s rotation is indeed moving faster then expected.  It was a given that Hendrickson and Eaton would not make it through the season, it was also expected that Koji would end up hurt at some point given his recent history, he might end up in the bullpen next season. 

    I would not be shocked to see Guthrie go in a trade some point this summer, the O’s really do have that much young pitching knocking on the door.

  15. MooseinOhio said...

    Hopefully Papelbon, after giving up two 2 run homers and one costing a game, will realize that throwing the occasional curveball is not a bad thing.  I think he has fallen in love with his fastball and more often than not it works but mix a few other pitches in just to keep hitter honest.

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