And That Happened

Diamondbacks 9, Padres 6: Whenever you see a game this long — 18 innings in case you missed it — there are always some fun stat lines that shake out. An 0-6 (Giles); a 1-8 with five strikeouts (Headley). Then there’s the “so long, suckers” line, which belongs to David Eckstein. Herr Scrappy sits on his kiester for nearly nine full innings, then comes in and, on the very first pitch he sees, hits the pinch hit home run that sends this thing on to its second nine, during all of which he sat on his kiester. At some point over the last, oh, three hours of this game you have to think that there were even some Padres who wished he hadn’t done that. Especially if he was back in the clubhouse playing Wii or taking a nap or having a schvitz or something. In other news, sources say that the Dbacks and Padres were going to petition to have this game partitioned so that they could simply apply the second half of it to a future rainout, thus saving everyone time and money. The plan was scrapped, however, when someone remembered that it doesn’t rain in Phoenix or San Diego.

Cubs 6, Reds 3: In yet another long game, Dusty Baker shows that he’s a more experienced manager than either A.J. Hinch or Bud Black. Knowing that anything beyond 14 innings could kill his pitching staff for the next week, Dusty decides to cut his losses and calls Mike Lincoln into the game to give up the three deciding runs. I mean, I assume that’s what Dusty was doing anyway, because it’s not like Mike Lincoln has any other uses.

Braves 8, Brewers 7: My comrade tHeMARksMiTh watched Tommy Hanson’s inauspicious debut and is somewhat less worried about the young man than those of us who only saw the line score are. Take it away, Mark:

I was very impressed. Adrenaline was obviously present at the start. He hit 97 several times at the beginning but sat around 93-94 for most of the game . . . he was hitting his spots pretty well, especially with his breaking pitches . . .

. . . For the troubling part, he threw too many fastballs . . . With an 0-2 count on Braun and just after Braun chased a slider. Hanson throws a high fastball that Braun deposits out of the park. Then 1-2 on Fielder, high fastball laced for a single. Then 0-1 on Cameron after just getting a fastball fouled back, fastball for a home run . . . fastballs made no sense in any of those situations, especially because Hanson had been throwing his breaking balls very well. There may be games that Hanson needs to go to his fastball, but today was not it. Not in a game against a bunch of good fastball hitters. Not against a good lineup. Not against a powerful lineup. If the breaking pitches are there, you have to use them. He, or [David] Ross, didn’t, and he gave up some runs.

I’m not particularly worried. For one thing, since everyone’s talking about Tom Glavine lately, let us all remember Tom Glavine’s first big league line (3.2 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 5 BB, 1K). For another, you can handle a woofer of an outing like this when Chipper Jones has your back (4-4, 2 HR, 3B, 5 RBI).

Tigers 9, Angels 6: Clete Thomas hits the first grand slam by a man named “Clete” since August 29, 1967. Oh, come on. It’s not like the little stat factoids they run on SportsCenter are any less random.

Yankees 4, Rays 3: Hideki Matsui beat out a potential double-play grounder, transforming it into a fielder’s choice for the game-winning run. Based on how he has hobbled around every time I’ve seen him play this year I can only assume that the grounder was to deep left field or something.

Blue Jays 4, Royals 0: Roy Halladay shuts out the Royals on 97 pitches. Rany wants Jeff Francoeur to come to Kansas City. Based on the offensive game plan these guys employ , Frenchy would fit in just find with the Royals.

Rangers 6, Red Sox 3: The Rangers win their first series at Fenway since 1997. David Ortiz looked like this then. I might have given the 1997 David Ortiz the steal sign. I would not have given the 2009 version the steal sign, and I’m not sure why Terry Francona did yesterday either, but he did and he was predictably nailed. Maybe it’s just been so long since Ortiz was on base that no one knew what the signs were supposed to be.

Mets 7, Nationals 0: Guys with worse ERAs than Livan Hernandez: Jake Peavy, Aaron Harang, Ryan Dempster, and Cole Hamels.

Indians 8, White Sox 4: Ozzie Guillen after the game “Maybe if I go crazy with the media and [rip] my team . . . I might wake them up. But it’s wasting my time.” Wait, if it might wake them up, how would that be a waste of his time? They’re in slumberland right now. This ain’t the Hum-Baby Giants. It’s the Ozzie Guillen-led White Sox. If Ozzie’s going to refuse to bring the crazy during a losing streak, what’s the point of having him around?

Astros 6, Pirates 4: Russ Ortiz throws four and a third innings of scoreless relief after Felipe Paulino hurt his groin slipping on the mound in the second. The game story then runs with this whole “this strong outing should get Russ Ortiz out of long-relief land and back into the rotation” angle. And I guess if Paulino is really hurt it might. But really, didn’t Ortiz just do what a good long man is supposed to do? Come in, pitch long, and pitch well? Indeed, he’s pitching better out of the bullpen then he had for the past several years as a starter. The guy’s probably finally found his freakin’ niche in life, and here the AP writer and Ortiz want him to be something he’s not. This is how liberal arts majors wind up in law school. Why can’t we just let people be who they are?

A’s 3, Orioles 0: I’ve got underwear older than most of the A’s starters, but these guys have won six in a row, and that’s more exciting than anything my underwear has been involved with recently.

Rockies 7, Cardinals 2: Albert Pujols is such a badass that he hit a two-run sac fly in the first inning, no doubt because the outfielders were gripped by fear. I fully expect Pujols to go 5 for 3 tomorrow night. Apart from Pujols, though, it was the Ubaldo Jimenez show (8 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 9K).

Mariners 4, Twins 2: Ichiro’s hitting streak was snapped on Friday night, but he bounced back to go 5 for 8 on Saturday and Sunday, and is now hitting .356 on the season. I’ve been predicting that he would crater for a couple of years now, but I think I should get out of that end of the predictions business altogether because he’s clearly the kind of guy who’s gonna hit .300 until he’s about 42 or so. There’s one of those guys every generation or so, and he’s ours.

Giants 3, Marlins 2: Tim Lincecum held a shutout into the eighth, though he walked as many as he struck out (4), so it’s not like he had his best stuff working.

Phillies 7, Dodgers 2: My first thought was that no one would be paying attention to the Dodgers given that the Finals are going on, but then I remembered that Los Angeles is a town that accommodates disparate interests. There are skinny pretty people crawling all over the city, yet seemingly every corner has a donut shop or a joint that sells comically large fattening hamburgers. I suppose they can make room for the Lakers and the Dodgers at the same time.

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  1. DGL said...

    Keep your namby-pamby triples and your “inside-the-park-home-runs” that should be ruled errors—the two-run sac fly is THE most exciting play in baseball.

  2. Adam Ash said...

    I know that there are many, many players who are more valuable offensive players, but there’s nobody I love to watch hit more than Ichiro.  If it were 1895, he’d have Wee Willie on his back (although that might depress jersey sales a bit).

  3. J.W. said...

    Clicking through to the picture of Ortiz, I’m struck by two things. 1: the name on the card is David Arias, which shows a fairly significant misunderstanding of Latin American naming customs, and 2: he’s listed as 1B/OF. It sure would be something to see him out on left or right nowadays. Oh and a bonus third thing: even though Papi’s body is significantly trimmer back then his head was already the enormous globe it is today. Shame he was repressing his equally enormous smile though.

  4. Jeff said...

    On the picture of Ortiz, it looks like someone photoshopped his massive dome onto some other player’s body.  I do remember him being considerably more trim than he is today, but the round face/head definitely gives a clue to how the rest of his physique would be in 10+ years.

  5. Kevin said...

    The legend of Pujols continues:
    6/7/09: 2-run sac fly
    5/6/08: Scored GW run from second on a groundout
    4/30/07: Walked on 3 pitches

  6. Ralph Kramden said...

    “Maybe it’s just been so long since Ortiz was on base that no one knew what the signs were supposed to be.”

    That comment might make more sense if Ortiz wasn’t in the middle of a 6-game hitting streak.

    Just sayin’.

  7. themarksmith said...

    Random note on Chipper. During his penultimate at-bat, the Brewers brought in a *righty* to turn him around to hit *left-handed*. He had hit 2 HR right-handed along with his “triple” that was probably closer to a 3-base error on Cameron (the ball was scorched, though), but that’s the first time I have ever seen that happen to him.

  8. Mark said...

    “I’ve got underwear older than most of the A’s starters, but these guys have won six in a row, and that’s more exciting than anything my underwear has been involved with recently.”

    Solid gold, Craig.

  9. Daniel said...

    I will say this for neither the first nor last time this season:

    The Angels bullpen makes me want to punch kittens.

  10. berselius said...

    The other big story in the Cubs game was Randy Wells being denied his first win YET AGAIN. He has a 1.69 ERA and a 2.70 FIP in six starts this season. Goes to show you how useless the win stat is.

  11. Kevin S. said...

    When I clicked on the link in the Royals’ blurb, it was the first time I dove into a Rany blog post.  Good lord, the man’s long winded!  I couldn’t make it all the way through without coming up for air.

  12. Kevin S. said...

    I didn’t mean that as an insult to Rany; the post was very well written, as one would expect given his reputation.  But damn was it long.

  13. Melody said...

    Best part of that 18-inning number by the D-backs and Padres… apparently the D-backs had an “extra inning no-hitter.”  Nine innings of no-hit ball, from inning 10 to inning 18.  I have this feeling we might see a brief mention of this in Jayson Stark’s next column.

  14. puck said...

    For more on the 2-run sac fly, see the link on this post.  It’s Tango’s comments on the catch Carlos Gonzalez made on Pujols’s sac fly.  Despite the two runs scoring, CG likely saved .87-.88 runs.

  15. Sara K said...

    Kyle McClellan would be the Cards’ sure-fire extra innings preventer, provided the non-Pujols part of the offense could score enough runs to tie the game in the first place. 


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