And That Happened

Pirates 6, Tigers 3: The Pirates ain’t the walkingest team you’re ever going to see — in fact they’re one of the worst — so it’s not like Dontrelle Willis was simply outworked by the opposition in giving up eight walks in three and two-thirds. Pittsburgh Penguin forward Bill Guerin threw out the first pitch and had better command than Dontrelle did. The Tigers are three up on Minnesota in the Central. That’s great, but they don’t have any room to experiment with Willis any longer. He simply can’t be allowed to pitch for this team any more this season. In other news, the 1909 throwback uniforms these guys wore were sweet as hell.

Yankees 15, Mets 0: Johan Santana was terrible. His fastball was at 89-90, and he couldn’t locate anything anywhere close to where he wanted it. Jerry Manuel continued to impress too. When David Wright was livid over a called third-strike in the sixth, it took Manuel a minute to get out there, and when he finally did, it seemed like he was arguing out of a sense of obligation as opposed to passion or pique. How he got ejected during such a low-wattage argument I’ll never know, but I’d like to think he pulled one of those “Psst — throw me out. Really, I need to be run in this game or I’m going to lose my team. C’mon, do me a solid, OK?” things.

Orioles 11, Braves 2: Brad Bergesen has only given up six runs in his last 32 innings. Not that he needed to be that good against the Braves on Sunday, as Ty Wigginton hit two home runs and Robert Andino drove in three runs and freakin’ stole home. The steal was on a botched rundown play so it was not some feat of derring-do. That botch caused Bobby Cox to pull Yunel Escobar from the game. I can’t recall Jeff Francoeur ever getting pulled out of a game for doing something stupid (and it’s certainly not for a lack of opportunity) so why Escobar had to go I have no idea. I can only guess that Francoeur has Bobby Cox’s grandchildren locked in a tower someplace and vows not to release them unless he’s given 160 starts a year.

Phillies 11, Red Sox 6: Dustin Pedroia, Jason Varitek, J.D. Drew and David Ortiz all sat, but this loss isn’t attributable to a lack of bats for Boston. Josh Beckett just came undone in the seventh, and got no real relief from Daniel Bard, as everyone except Greg Dobbs smacked the ball around for the Phillies.

Indians 3, Cardinals 0: St. Louis must have had an early flight out of Cleveland. Cliff Lee takes a no-hitter into the eighth — broken up by Molina Unit No. 1249BHG5 — and this one was brought home in a cool one hour, fifty-eight minutes. Lee finished with a three-hit shutout, getting the job done on a mere 93 pitches. Oh, and since I mentioned throwback uniforms above, allow me to offer a few more words on the subject: on Saturday, Cleveland and St. Louis wore some of the weakest throwbacks you’ll ever see. Each team was wearing pullovers as opposed to their usual button-downs, which appeared to come from the mid-to-late 80s. Except they kind of didn’t. The Indians wore the specific pullover they sported on Saturday from 1978-1985, when they switched to a button-down model. Except they never wore the Wahoo cap like they wore on Saturday during those years; they only had the block C, meaning that this wasn’t really a throwback as much as it was a mishmosh. The Cardinals were a little better — their gray road pullover was actually worn by the club between 1971 and 1975, and again from 1985-1991. But if they’re going to go with unfashionable 1970s and 80s throwbacks, why not go with the powder blues? Sure, they looked terrible on the Cardinals, but it least it was interesting.

Marlins 11, Blue Jays 3: Yet another game in which one team scores at least 11 runs. Ronny Paulino went 4 for 5 with a couple of homers and three RBI and the fish rapped out 18 hits. Between the sweep and Halladay’s groin, the Jays couldn’t have imagined a worse series than this.

Angels 6, Padres 0: Jered Weaver was fantastic, pitching his first career shutout. Juan Rivera was pretty spiffy himself, hitting two homers.

Dodgers 6, Rangers 3: For those who care about such things, Andruw Jones went 3-8 with a couple of homers against the Dodgers over the weekend. Those who don’t should just know that Chad Billingsley gave up three runs — only two of them earned — over seven innings to notch his ninth victory on the season.

Royals 7, Reds 1: Johnny Cueto’s line shows zero earned runs and five unearned, and the game story talks about how Jerry Hairston’s errors led to all of that unearnedage, but the fact remains that after the first inning error, Cueto still had to give up a run scoring double to Migiel Olivo, and after the third inning error, Cueto still had to give up a walk, a triple and a single for those runs to score, so it’s not like he was totally boned by his defense. Sometimes you gotta suck it up and pitch through an error or two, and Cueto didn’t necessarily do that.

Giants 7, A’s 1: San Francisco Sweeps Oakland, allowing only three runs all weekend. Matt Cain (CG, 4 H, 1 ER, 9K) was impressive: He allowed no hits after the third inning, and retired 19 of the last 20 he faced. Nate Schierholtz hit an inside the park home that bounced high off the base of the wall and forced Jack Cust to wait for it come back down forever. This is what I was talking about a couple of weeks ago when I said that triples are more exciting than inside the park homers. Sure, this was neat, but it was essentially a function of some quirk (i.e. the high bounce), whereas triples are more often just flat out speed. There was no play at the plate on Schierholtz here, so really, how exciting could this really be?

Rays 5, Nats 4: If the rumors are to be believed, this was Manny Acta’s last game as the Nationals’ manager. Acta didn’t always get as much out of his teams as he could have, and a change is probably needed, but it’s not like the manager was the difference between winning and losing in Washington. Acta is by all accounts a good guy, so here’s hoping he latches on someplace else quickly and gets another, better shot to manage again someday.

Rockies 7, Mariners 1: I guess Colorado isn’t going to lose again. Too bad they dug such a hole for themselves beforehand, because L.A. is just too far ahead and there are at least five other teams hanging around Wild Card land.

White Sox 5, Brewers 4: Mark Buehrle hit a home run (and Josh Beckett did in the Sox-Phils game). See, I told you it was fun to watch pitchers bat.

Cubs 3, Twins 2: Clearly firing hitting coach Gerald Perry is what led to this offensive outburst on the part of the Cubs. The new hitting coach is named Von Joshua, which I’m pretty sure was the name of a bad guy in one of the Lethal Weapon movies.

Astros 8, Diamondbacks 3: My arguments against interleague play are somewhat undercut by the fact that this matchup — the only intralegaue matchup — was by far the least interesting of the entire weekend’s slate. Sometimes it’s hard to be a purist.

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Comments

  1. DGL said...

    I had a 1973 Topps Von Joshua baseball card when I was a kid, and thought it was one of the coolest names in my collection.

  2. lar said...

    The Brewers lost the game when AJ Pierzynski hit a grounder up the middle off a “fastball” that Trevor Hoffman grooved down the middle on 3-0 because he couldn’t get his change-up over the plate. It was the first run Hoffman has given up as a Brewer (it was tied when he came in, though, so no blown save). There were a few too many White Sox fans in Miller Park yesterday for my liking, but they weren’t too bad.

    The Brewers play the Indians tonight in Cleveland. Everyone might not know this, but, in “Major League”, Milwaukee County Stadium was used as a stand-in for Cleveland Municpal Stadium. And with Bob Uecker as the Indians’ broadcaster, the Cleveland-Milwaukee ties in the movie are pretty strong. Because of that, fans at tonight’s game will get a Ricky Vaughn “Wild Thing” bobblehead. I’m incredibly jealous.

  3. Kevin said...

    There was no play at the plate on Schierholtz here, so really, how exciting could this really be?

    The bounce you mentioned came down in plenty of time to make a play on Schierholtz, but Cust didn’t manage to get to the ball at that point—he was still lurching around in right it when it hit the ground and rattled around in the archway, so he ultimately had to retrieve it from the ground. All of which is only to say that it wasn’t immediately obvious that a play on Schierholtz wasn’t possible, so that particular inside-the-parker was in fact exciting to watch as it happened.

    Especially for Giants’ fans who have logged at least 10,000 innings over the last decade of watching ancient players advance no more than one base at a time, Schierholtz circling the bases on a ball in play in less than 15 seconds was like a bolt of electricity.

  4. themarksmith said...

    I think Escobar’s benching was the result of a bunch of mental errors finally coming to roost. Over the past few weeks, he’s made several baserunning errors and several fielding errors. Today, he made a lazy throw to first on a double-play, and why he decided to throw home (the guy scored standing) is a mystery. Bobby just wanted to get his attention.

    Interesting note: After the game, the reporter asked Bobby if he was going to give Escobar a talking to, and Bobby replied, “I’ve been doing that since he came up.” In addition to this, there were reports last week about a mystery Braves shortstop being involved in trade talks with Boston. Is this Escobar? Bobby’s been pretty clear about not liking him since he’s been up, and this is just another piece of evidence. Escobar for Lowrie and another pretty good minor-leaguer?

  5. Nick Whitman said...

    Call me crazy, but I don’t think the Giants being in the Wild Card lead in the middle of June erases all of the absolutely atrocious things Brian Sabean has done as general manager.

  6. Scarf said...

    I think the Indians choice of throwbacks on Saturday served one purpose: to allow many people, myself included, to regale their guests with their extensive knowledge of Major League quotes.

    That is, when we weren’t saluting Our Pujols, Who Art In Heaven/getting pissed that no one could get on base in front of him.

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