And That Happened

Giants 5, Nationals 1: 300. My first memory of The Big Unit was watching him on TV as he pitched against the Braves on May 7, 1989. He was gangley and ineffective that afternoon, going four innings and giving up six runs and walking six guys on the second worst offense in the National League. There was nothing about him that made me think the guy would be in baseball in a year, let alone winning his 300th 20 years later. When he was traded to the Mariners the following month I thought “they gave up Mark Langston for THAT guy?” Mark Langston was an All-Star who could strike guys out. Why on Earth would Seattle give that up for this tall drink of water? Shows you what I know. Congratulations to Randy Johnson, one of the most unique and impressive talents to ever play the game.

Yankees 8, Rangers 6: Is everyone cool with Hughes to the pen and Wang to the rotation? Because I’m not sure I am, and I don’t even much care about the Yankees. Wang gave up five runs on seven hits in four and two-thirds. On the bright side he only gave up one home run and struck out five, so this could just be rust which, according to conventional wisdom, is particularly hard on sinkerballers. I don’t know if the CW is true in this regard, but at least Hughes is around in case Wang simply can’t find it again. Compensating for Wang was Melky Cabrera, who provided late-game heroics once again, this time in the form of a two-run homer in the eighth that proved to be the game winner.

Red Sox 6, Tigers 3: Reports of Dontrelle Willis’ return to form were slightly exaggerated. D-Train was cruising along fine until he was derailed in the third, when he went HBP-walk-K-walk-walk-walk. Leyland pulled him at that point — getting himself ejected during the pitching change, which is a nice trick — and then Zach Miner let eveyone Willis put on score and then some. To top off this craptacular series for Detroit, Miguel Cabrera hurt his hamstring running the bases and had to leave the game.

Marlins 4, Brewers 3: Josh Johnson does it all. He hits! (three-run homer!) He pitches! (7.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 8K). He’ll slice your onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and make mounds of Julienne fries!

Twins 11, Indians 3: After watching Fausto Carmona performance yesterday, Rob Neyer said “every time Carmona pitches he just embarrasses himself and the rest of the organization.” Ouch. True, but ouch. Jason Kubel played a big hand in the embarrassment, smacking two three-run homers off of Carmona.

Angels 6, Blue Jays 5: Not that every recent Neyer subject plays to form. As Rob notes, Howie Kendrick has been terrible, but after the Angels’ bullpen blew the lead in the eighth, Kendrick dropped a bunt single when he noticed Jose Bautista playing behind the bag a third, advanced to third on a Chone Figgins single, and then scored on a grounder to second that may have frozen a lot of guys at third base. He’s still playing terrible baseball overall, but at least for one inning he did something right.

Pirates 11, Mets 6: Welcome Andrew McCutchen! The Pirates’ new centerfielder went 2-4 with a walk, a stolen base, scored three runs and drove in another. But really everyone hit for Pittsburgh. Ramon Vazquez went 4 for 4 and Andy LaRoche had a couple of RBIs as well. The Mets hit too, but Mike Pelfrey had the worst day of his life, and there really wasn’t any recovering from the nine runs he had given up by the time he left in the fourth.

Athletics 7, White Sox 0: Young Brett Anderson pitched a gem (7 IP, 6 H, 0 ER) and for once the A’s bats responded. Everyone had a hit except Orlando Cabrera and Adam Kennedy. Even Aaron “.158/.200/.158″ Cunningham, who hit a homer. The other day Ozzie Guilled said “if we have Beckham here, we’re in trouble.” Well, he’s here, and he debuted with an 0-3.

Cardinals 3, Reds 1: Overheard during Chris Carpenter’s 2007-2008 surgery and rehab: “Chris Carpenter: pitcher. A man whose arm is barely alive. Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world’s first bionic starting pitcher. Chris Carpenter will be that man. Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster.” If you have a better explanation for 4-0 with a 0.71 ERA, I’d really like to hear it.

Rays 3, Royals 2: The Royals have dropped seven games in a row. The Rays are back to .500.

Rockies 10, Astros 3: It was going to happen eventually, so why not last night: Wandy Rodriguez was shelled (5 IP, 10 H, 7 ER). Garrett Atkins had a couple of homers for the Rockies, but really everyone got in on the hit parade.

Giants 4, Nationals 1: Matt Cain gets a rain-shortened win in the second, afterthoughty and rainy half of the doubleheader. I can only assume that there were about six people there by the time the rain started coming down in earnest.

Phillies 3, Dodgers 0: Cole Hamels spins the pitching performance of the night (CG, SHO, 5 H, 5K). The Phillies have won seven straight.

Cubs-Braves: Postponed. They’ll have to schedule a doubleheader to make this one up, most likely. Doubleheaders can be hard on a pitching staff. Helps to have an extra starter hanging around for those things you know. Some guy — maybe a wily vet — who can just bear down and give you some innings to save the rest of your staff. Too bad the Braves don’t have anyone like that. AAAAARRRGGH!

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  1. tadthebad said...


    Didn’t see it, but the radio guys made it seem like Leyland was protecting Willis from getting tossed for arguing balls and strikes…which is strange since Willis was being lifted anyway.

  2. Bon said...

    I *hear* there is a youtube video displaying Leyland’s ejection taken by a fan, but of course I’d never personally promote looking at videos of the game that did not have expressed written approval by the MLB.

    But hey, if I’m Leyland and you’re Willis and I know you’ve been having oodles of mental issues and undoubtedly lacking heaps of confidence, I’m going to go show you my support, show you that I think you’re pitching well enough to warrant me getting thrown out of the game, even if maybe I don’t totally believe that myself.

    As per the title of a ShysterBall post the other day, Leyland is pretty wise himself, and I’ll bet he’s using every ounce of it to get his youngster back to pre-2007 form.

  3. Kevin S. said...

    Regarding Hughes/Wang… they screwed up by rushing Wang back to be the emergency long man for somebody, don’t even remember who.  He only threw 75 pitches in his last rehab start.  The Yankees have this down pat – yanking somebody up to help the club out short term, then realizing “Oh crap, now we need to finish his development in the Bronx.”  See: Joba Chamberlain, circa 2008.  That said, given that he was rushed back, he needs to start or be given up on.  The latter option seems silly, given his history as a worm-burning control freak.  Here’s to hoping Girardi uses Hughes in multi-inning appearances so that he remains somewhat stretched out.  Word is that once Bruney’s back, if Hughes isn’t plugging a hole in the rotation, he’s heading back to SWB to get his work in.

  4. James said...

    I doubt the Braves-Cubs game will result in a doubleheader seeing how the Cubs won’t be visiting Atlanta again this season.  The Braves and Cubs will probably just lose an off day at some point.

  5. Ron said...

    Do you really doubt that Glavine won’t end up in Kansas City?

    As long as Dayton Moore is there, no Brave ever need retire. And it would still be the best transaction Moore has made in the last 3 years.

  6. MJ said...

    It makes more sense for Wang to start for two reasons:

    1.  Both Chamberlain and Hughes are going to be on strict pitch counts due to the Verducci Effect.  If they both remained as starters, they’d hit their limits sometime in August leaving them unable to pitch much in Sept and, hopefully, Oct.

    2.  The guy is a two time 19 game winner.  While his first few starts were atrocious, his done well in relief (rehab + last few outings).  You need to see if he’s capable of starting due to the above problem since he can eat a lot of innings a la Sabathia.

    Did the Yanks rush him too soon from the DL?  Yes.  If you want some more insight, the guys at RAB have been talking about this problem for the past week or so.

  7. Wooden U. Lykteneau said...

    Re: Carpenter. Started against offenses ranked #16, #13, #12, #10, #9 and #5.  Thirty-six day layoff between third and fourth starts = limited scouting opportunities. Also, see “Sample Size, Small”

  8. Craig Calcaterra said...

    Andy: An experiment. To be honest, I’m not sure I like leaving the box scores off myself. It’s like there’s something missing.  Maybe I’ll revert back to them on Monday.

    Wooden: Good points all, but they’re far less interesting than my bionics hypothesis. I presume we’ll never know unless Carpenter dies of anything other than natural causes and thus an autopsy is required.  If that happens one day and no cyborg components are found, well then, I will buy you a Pepsi and admit that your theory was correct.

  9. Wooden U. Lykteneau said...

    Craig – I’m a newspaperman by training (insert unemployed joke here), so I can totally get behind not letting the facts get in the way of a good story. Besides, I hate Pepsi.

  10. Craig Calcaterra said...

    Me too. I avoided Coke though because it’s usually reserved for “jinx” situations.

  11. J.W. said...

    On a recent trip to his hidden glacial serenity spot, Albert Pujols discovered that Chris Carpenter is also from a planet with a red sun, and he is now helping him discover his powers.

    On another note, did anyone watch the Tigers game? How did Leyland get tossed during the pitching change? Was it something boring, like he was out there complaining to the ump about the strike zone at the same time that he was removing Willis, or were there shenanigans of some nature?

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