And That Happened

Braves 7, Reds 0: Tommy Hanson shuts out the Reds over six innings. Not that he was brilliant or anything. He threw a lot of pitches, got into jams and all of the kind of stuff you see young kids do. But it’s all good, because even when he’s been getting lit up like a pinball machine, he has continued to play this game with fear and ignorance. No wait, arrogance.

Padres 4, Mariners 3: The Padres jump on Adrian Gonzalez’s back (4-4, 2B, HR, 2 RBI) and finally win an interleague game. Don Wakamatsu on pitching to Gonzalez: “He ends up hitting a home run and a double when we are trying to pitch around him. That is the most frustrating part.” Chris Jakubauskas on pitching to Gonzalez: “I wasn’t trying to pitch around him.” OK, someone’s lying and no one is leaving this room until we find out who it is.

Rockies 4, Rays 3: Jim Tracy on Ubaldo Jiminez: “Ubaldo is a guy who is beginning to find his niche. I still believe there’s still another step on the ladder that he aspires to take and that is to become a bona fide ace-stopper type starting pitcher in the Rockies rotation.” That was his real postgame quote? It sounds like a book blurb or a marketing statement or something. I think the “in the Rockies’ rotation” is what sealed it. It just sounds weird. Does Tracy really talk like that?

Astros 5, Rangers 3: I was trying to make a funny yesterday when I said that the loser of this series wins the State of Texas. I guess it wasn’t too funny, though, because someone emailed me to tell me that I was being both ignorant and disrespectful. That’s nothing new, but at least the emailer educated me a bit. The winner of this series wins “The Silver Boot.” It’s a a 30-inch tall, size-15 cowboy boot cast in silver, complete with a custom, hand-made spur. How very college football of them. I wonder if the Rangers, who once again won the Silver Boot, came running out of the dugout after the game, grabbed the boot and started whooping it up like Wisconsin does with that axe after they beat Minnesota and vice-versa.

Tigers 6, Cardinals 3: Magglio rode the pine, and will continue to do so “indefinitely” according to Jim Leyland. His replacement, Ryan Rayburn, was 0-3 and struck out twice. Game story: “Albert Pujols grounded out as a pinch hitter for hot-hitting rookie Colby Rasmus in the seventh and played first base the rest of the game and flied out in the ninth. La Russa wanted to get him a day off, plus he has a sore ankle.” Two at bats and a couple of innings in the field doesn’t sound like much of a day off to me, but then again, I’m not a genius like Tony La Russa.

Twins 5, Pirates 1: Nick Blackburn (CG, 6 H, 1 ER) was the man, as he basically has been in the Twins rotation all year. After the game, pitching coach Rick Anderson said “He’s basically been the stabilizer.” So, is Blackburn’s new nickname “gelatin” or “carrageenan?” That’s a little food additive humor for ya. Additives — NOT preservatives.

Nationals 3, Yankees 0: A five and a half hour rain delay? Really? Waiting around for this game to start lasted longer than the travel and suit-up time a makeup game would have taken. This is fun too “about 10,000 people were sprinkled around the ballpark for the first pitch. When the Yankees announced fans could move down, there was a stampede toward the $2,625 seats in the front row. By the end, the upper deck and bleachers were virtually empty.” Part of me hopes that the peasants ransacked the manor houses while their owners were away.

Blue Jays 8, Phillies 7: Rod Barajas hits the game winning home run in the ninth. Apparently Barajas is hated in Philly despite having played there for only one season and despite being Rod Barajas. Anyone care to educate me as to the reason for the ire? Because from where I’m sitting, this is the equivalent of Braves fans hating Paul Bako or Charlie O’Brien or someone. How can the response to a guy like Barajas — who played all of 48 games for the Phillies — be anything other than slightly peeved indifference?

Orioles 5, Mets 4: Francisco Rodriguez and his tired act came into the game to lock things down in the ninth, except they didn’t get locked down. Matt Wieters doubled to kick things off. Dave Trembley then sent in a pinch runner for him, and was amazingly allowed to live. The pinch runner scored, so maybe it was all willed by Wieters that way to begin with. In any event, an Adam Jones bases-loaded walk followed by an Aubrey Huff liner ended the proceedings.

Cubs 6, White Sox 5: A wild come from behind win by the Cubbies. Down 5-1 in the eighth, Derek Lee hit a three-run homer followed by a solo shot from Geovany Soto to tie things up. In the ninth it was Alfonso Soriano with an RBI single. If he didn’t get that, I wouldn’t have been surprised to see Piniella give him the Magglio Ordonez treatment.

Marlins 2, Red Sox 1: They called this one early due to rain. Because it was the Red Sox, however, the game still took three hours and twenty-six minutes.

Diamondbacks 12, Royals 5: After two great starts following his second callup, Luke Hochevar reverted to May form, giving up seven runs on nine hits in four innings. Danny Haren, meanwhile, held the Royals to two runs on seven hits, struck out six and didn’t issue a walk in seven innings.

Dodgers 3, A’s 2: Randy Wolf pitched well but got another no-decision. Pfun Pfact: Vin Mazzaro is the first A’s pitcher with two sacrifices in one game since Ken Holtzman on Aug. 27, 1972. I hate the DH.

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Comments

  1. Pete Toms said...

    Has anybody read why Gaston didn’t double switch in the bottom of the 8th when Frasor came in to the game (the 9th spot was due to lead off the top of the 9th, Chavez made the last out in the top of 8th)?  So, instead of Frasor pitching the 9th, Ryan (ugh) was handed the ball and thankfully Accardo eventually got the job done.  If his team hadn’t won he would be lookin real bad on that one.

    Mayberry’s throw to home to get Wells was one of the best I’ve seen this year.

  2. Kelly said...

    I couldn’t catch the Cubs game yesterday but I got to a computer IMMEDIATELY following and logged into mlb.tv.  I clicked the highlights and saw that “Lee’s 3-run shot in the 8th” was available.  And I swear, my first thought was, “Did we get Carlos Lee at some point?”  Derrek Lee – Missing since 2005.

    Which also brings me to this point, which I wanted to share with people who know baseball and my dad who loves his Ryan Theriot-scrappy-players more than anything….He goes on and on about DeRosa being gone and how we didn’t get Peavy and I said, “Yeah, that’s too bad.  I wonder if we could make an offer with the same guys and throw in Derrek and get Adrian Gonzalez.  That’d solve Jim Hendry’s inexplicable obsession with lefties AND, y’know, put power back at a power position.”

    I could also offer that we get Castro and Hitler uniforms and get the same response.

    But tell me that wouldn’t be a massive upgrade.

  3. Slugger O'Toole said...

    A big thanks to the Phils fans for the Barajas info. I was all ready to conclude that their hatred came from the lack of anything resembling “slightly peeved indifference” in their emotional range. That’s pretty good reasoning though.

    Craig, it was like three or four days since the last Bull Durham reference, are you feeling alright?

  4. Craig Calcaterra said...

    Seriously, Slugger; I was starting to get cold sweats. I almost forced a “don’t think, it can only hurt the ballclub” quote in yesterday, but thought better of it.  Now I just have to get through the weekend . . . wink

  5. Adam said...

    Today’s pop quiz involves numbers for June:
    .438/.675/.325
    .309/.291./.145

    Hint: These are not hourly rainfall numbers for last night’s game at the Stadium.

    Hint: The next time one of them pops up at home with men on base, the booing is going to make Rod Barajas’ reception in Philly sound like 40,000 girls at a Jonas Brothers concert.

    Hint: After being a fixture in his lineup for years, the struggles of one has forced the manager to move him down in the batting order, while the other bats in his traditional place.

    Hint: Neither of them really misses Manny.

    Anyone want to guess?

  6. Splint Chesthair said...

    Barajas did have an uphill battle against fan favorite Coste, but it wasn’t anything he couldn’t have played his way out of.  He nancied-up at the plate and he couldn’t play his way out of that.

  7. RoyceTheBaseballHack said...

    Re: The Silver Boot.  Add this lifelong Texan, who has spent his 48 years split equally between Houston and the DFW area, as one who was not at all offended by your comments, yesterday. Most of us here have a pretty good sense of humor, Shyster.  Not all of them are as dark or whacked as mine, but that’s another topic. 
    BTW – The boot itself is pretty damed cool. I had never seen it up close before, but they had on display at the stadium this week.

  8. King Rat said...

    Gaston didn’t double switch because Cito Gaston is the worst tactical manager in the major leagues. He has undeniable and significant strengths as a skipper, and is a good one, I think, generally, but he’s an utter disaster when it comes to the stuff that everyone can see during the game. Jays fans have two choices when it comes to Cito-either accept the baffling tactical moves (and non-moves-it’s the non-moves that can be really frustrating) as the price you pay for the good stuff, or complain endlessly about them. Jays fandom is roughly split on the question.

  9. mike in brooklyn said...

    That didn’t sound like an apology to me, Craig.  Therefore the great state of Texas will execute someone (preferably an innocent someone) every hour until you do so.  WOOHOO!
    P.S.  Thanks for continuing to write about the Mets since I refuse to watch or read anything else about them after Castillo’s drop.

  10. Bob Timmermann said...

    Jim Tracy talks like that. He also likes rhetorical questions. Why does he like rhetorical questions? That’s something you need to ask Jim Tracy.

    Tracy also likes to talk about putting his players “in a position to have some success.”

  11. Ron said...

    Wow. Cito Gaston is worse than Trey Hillman? Unbelievable.

    Of course, Trey Hillman is an All-Star game coach this year, so that means an automatic extension of the Royals sucking.

  12. Ron said...

    If Hillman does to the American League what he’s done to the Royals, then we’re guaranteed that the Cardinals will get home field advantage in the Series.

    And since Wakamatsu is the other All-Star coach, this can only mean a Willie Bloomquist appearance on the roster as a replacement for just about anyone.

  13. Jack Marshall said...

    I really have nothing to contribute here, Craig, but I just wanted to get on a thread where nobody would call me “sanctimonious.” <Whew!> OK, break over—-back to the war…

  14. Craig Calcaterra said...

    Your appearance is noted, Jack.  And though you and I disagree on a number of things, I greatly appreciate your contributions to the threads around here.  Yes, you can be a challenge sometimes, but people need more challenges, on the whole.

  15. Michael said...

    Craig,
    Enjoy your work.  Longtime Dodgers fan, so I can say from experience that Jim Tracy gives the worst postgame interview/quotes.  Many times he decides to ask the questions himself, thereby circumventing the writers in front of him.  Like this:  “Is Ubaldo Jimenez a good pitch?  No doubt about it.  Does he have the potential to be an ace in the Rockies rotation?  He sure does.  Does he have more rungs to climb?  It would appear so.”

  16. Rob² said...

    You can argue whether or not Gaston should have been so determined to bring in Ryan for the 9th, but if he was always going to do that, what’s the point of the double-switch?

    Maybe he preferred to leave Chavez in the game defensively and stick with a pinch hitter.

  17. Pete Toms said...

    Re. Gaston, I agree with King Rat.

    @ Rob squared – Gaston was quoted sometime before yesterdays game and sometime after Downs injury about his options at closer.  He didn’t mention Ryan (which got the attention of at least some of the Toronto baseball writers), he did mention Frasor.  Anyway, that leads me to believe that he just brain cramped on the double switch, which also makes me wonder what the hell the rest of the coaching staff were thinking.  Plus, he pinch hit Barajas to lead off the 9th anyway, which is exactly what he would have accomplished with the double switch.  Also, with extra innings looming, why use Frasor for only two hitters when he had only 2 relivers (Ryan & Accardo) remaining?

    I’m sure the Jays boards are full of chatter about it but I can’t be bothered.  Why he would want Ryan on the mound in the 9th in a tie game (and remember, the game was tied when he opted not to double switch) or with the lead is beyond me.  Ryan has been AWFUL this year.

  18. Splint Chesthair said...

    You know why Barajas gets booed in Philly?  There was a close game against the Marlins he was catching and it was late innings.  There was a play at the plate and Barajas specifically avoided contact rather than block the plate and the run scored.

    Say what you will about Philly fans but that’s awesome.  Still booing a dude who lollygagged it 2 years ago during a regular season game.

  19. YankeesfanLen said...

    From now on, Mets recaps will be ghost written by Brian Bruney as well as cake served in NYS but not Bethpage fade to Black.

  20. Rob² said...

    See you’ve got it wrong Craig.  LaRussa gave Pujols a day off just you or me might take.  Wake up late, play a round of golf, a late lunch lingered over coffee,  maybe catch a matinee and a light dinner, then kick back and watch a few innings of baseball.

  21. chattanooga said...

    Craig, I totally found the “texas” comment yesterday to be humorous.  I personally don’t see how it was disrespectful or ignorant; unless “texan” has become its own ethnicity.  maybe someone can explain it to me.

  22. TC said...

    Splint Chesthair is dead-on, re: Barajas.  I might add, though, that Phils fans had it in for him to begin with.  He was signed to replace Chris Coste, who had just come off an excellent (and equally unlikely) rookie season.  The replacement was deemed by fans to be unnecessary and stupid, and so Rod was unappreciated even before he sissied up against the Marlins.

  23. Craig Calcaterra said...

    Splint and TC—thank you much for the Barajas context.  My admiration for Phillies fans is much higher today for knowing that. It’s cheap and easy to get worked up over someone because of contract stuff or some media-driven P.R. thing, but there is something really really great about fans knowing and caring so much that they hold on to a moment like that.  It’s so very baseball.

    Chattanooga: the criticism from the reader over the Texas thing was really tongue and cheek, so no worries and I took it in good spirits. The reader’s real point was to shoot me the link to the Silver Boot thing, and for that I was grateful.

  24. bigcatasroma said...

    RE: Barajas

    Just to third what Splint said, that’s dead on.  And what TC said is true, too.  But, I don’t think it’s just because he replaced Coste, who (for Invincible like reasons, no more) is loved in Philadelphia.  It’s that they got someone who wasn’t really identifiably better than Coste.  If they went out and signed a Pudge or Posada type, no matter what they did the fans would not have cared if he replaced Coste; it would have shown that the management was trying to win.  Remember, up until before last season, there was always a perception in Philadelphia (right or wrong) that the management was never going that next step to win.  And Barajas signing was the perfect example.

  25. J.W. said...

    I heard MLB rules mandate that Wieters be removed from the game if he reaches base in close-and-late situations as he is so fast he could steal home from first faster than a humming bird flaps its wings. Also, he’s so alluring that the opposing team finds it impossible to even attempt to throw him out, as all they can do is softly smile and wish him well as he breezes by.

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