A pinch is a device which creates, like, a cardiac arrest for any broadband electrical circuitry. Better yet, a pinch is a bomb – now, but without the bomb. See, when a nuclear weapon detonates, it unleashes an electromagnetic pulse which shuts down any power source within its blast radius. Now that tends not to matter in most cases, because the nuclear weapon usually destroys anything you might need power for anyway. But see, a pinch creates a similar electromagnetic pulse, but without the fuss of mass destruction and death. So instead of Hiroshima, you’d be getting the 1960s with Koufax on the mound.
I think one of those things was set off last night, as there were all manner of pathetic offensive/excellent pitching performances, characterized by multiple 1-0 games. Many of these games can be broken down into three categories: the pitcher who pitched great and won; the pitcher who pitched great and got boned; and the blind pig of a batter who managed to find the one stinkin’ truffle of a run that made the difference. Oh, and there’s a nice Monty Python bit down in the Yankees-Mariners recap and some totally uncalled for Canada bashing down in the Blue Jays-Rays item. Enjoy!
Dodgers 1, Rockies 0: Won: Ramon Troncoso, but he was a reliever. Clayton Kershaw started but couldn’t hang around for the win because he walked too many guys and threw 97 pitches in five innings. Boned: Jason Hammell (8 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 5K), who pitched way better than Kershaw but had no blind pig on his side. Blind Pig: Rafael Furcal with an RBI single.
Reds 1, Diamondbacks 0: Won: Johnny Cueto (6 IP, 1 H, 0 ER 8K); Boned: Jon Garland (6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER); Blind Pig: Joey Votto with an RBI single.
Mets 1, Brewers 0: Won: Mike Pelfrey (7.2 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 6K). Boned: Yovani Gallardo (7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 12K). Blind Pig: Ryan Church, RBI single.
OK, so it was only three, but I don’t recall any days in the past couple of years with even that many 1-0 games. Anyway:
Yankees 4, Mariners 2: Bring out your dead! Bring out your dead!
Buster Olney: Here’s one–
Alex Rodriguez: (feebly) I’m not dead!
Cart-master: (surprised) What?
Buster Olney: Nothing! Here’s your ninepence….
Alex Rodriguez: I’m not dead!
Cart-master: ‘Ere! ‘E says ‘e’s not dead!
Buster Olney: Yes he is.
Alex Rodriguez: I’m not!
Cart-master: ‘E isn’t?
Buster Olney: Well… he will be soon– he’s very ill…
Alex Rodriguez: I’m getting better!
Buster Olney: No you’re not, you’ll be stone dead in a moment.
Alex Rodriguez: I feel happy! I feel happy! (2-4, HR, 2 RBI)
Red Sox 6, Orioles 5: Back atcha, Baltimore! The O’s blow a 5-1 lead in the ninth and woof it away in the 11th. “I thought today was a great opportunity for our bullpen to come show the league what we’re really made of,” Papelbon said after the game. “I think we answered that with flying colors.” And that answer is that the bullpen is made out of mixed metaphors until the cows come home to roost.
Braves 11, Phillies 1: Following up on yesterday’s comment, I did tell Bill at Crashburn Alley that the Braves would lose the Hamels-Jurrjens game, so I was technically wrong. Still, I predicted Atlanta winning two of three, so they can vindicate me with a loss tomorrow. Jair Jurrjens pitched better than the guys up in the 1-0 games (7 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 6K) and the Braves actually got some offense for a damn change.
Cubs 4, Pirates 1: That’s three straight wins for Randy Wells (7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER). Some other good news: Aramis Ramirez is ready to rehab, and now the Cubs get to see how he plays in Peoria.
White Sox 6, Indians 2: Oh come on cut the rah rah sh*t Taylor! Year after this I go free agent. Plus me and my agent got a couple of plans for life after baseball. So I am not about to risk major injury or displace this property for a collection of stiffs!
Athletics 5, Tigers 1: This is kind of how the A’s drew it up in the offseason: Bombs from Giambi and Cust, a solid start from Dallas Braden and a nice win at home. Two facts from the game story: (1) “The 38-year-old Giambi, who has been dealing with sore legs . . .”; and (2) “[Giambi] was in a 2-for-28 stretch before the homer after striking out in his first two at-bats.” How in the hell are his legs getting sore? Turning on his heel and walking back to the bench too hard?
Twins 5, Royals 1: Joe Mauer was 3 for 3, knucklebaler R.A. Dickey was perfect for an inning and a third, the Twins won, and Justin Morneau experienced tightness in his groin. Only one of these facts is truly significant in the grand scheme of things, but good for Mauer and the Twins and bad news for Morneau all the same.
Marlins 5, Nationals 3: From the game story: “Asked to explain Florida’s baffling mastery of the Washington Nationals, Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez offered the simplest explanation. ‘We’ve been lucky,’ he said.” Wait. Since when did beating the Nationals on a regular basis constitute “baffling mastery” as opposed to “utter inevitability?”
Cardinals 2, Giants 1: Both Adam Wainwright (9 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 12K) and Matt Cain (7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER) were kinda boned in what I’m choosing to call Game 3 of “Molina Fest.” Worth noting in light of my little anti-La Russa bit on Tuesday, that this is exactly the kind of game where an extra bat or two off the bench — as opposed to three or four pitchers you have no intention of using down in the bullpen — might come in handy once in a while. And for the record, I had this on in the background and found Sutcliffe somewhat less annoying than he was when I ranted about him last week. I can only assume that I either missed all of the obnoxious parts or else the pod people got hold of him the other day and replaced him with a less-assaulting replica.
Rangers 9, Angels 7: This looked like a wild one, at least from the box score. How wild? Jarrod Saltalamacchia struck out yet still scored in the sixth inning.
Astros 7, Padres 1: Not much interesting here, but this is interesting “The Padres say Friday night’s game against Manny Ramirez and the Los Angeles Dodgers is a sellout.” But . . . but . . . Bill Plaschke said we shouldn’t approve of Manny Ramirez’s vile and wicked ways!
Blue Jays 5, Rays 0: Ricky Romero (8 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 7K) can join the 1-0 All-Stars along with Jurrjens. Oh, and yesterday was Canada Day, too. For those of you who don’t know, Canada Day celebrates the anniversary of the 1 July 1867 enactment of the British North America Act, which defiantly declared Canada’s independence from the evil British and promised that blood will be shed in the interests of Canadian freedom if necessary. Wait . . .what’s that? Oh, I’m sorry, I got that wrong. The Act actually declared that Canada was requesting to form a federation, with said request being gradually granted by British fiat over multiple ensuing decades. All while being overseen by Canada’s Governor General, who, to this very day, remains in place as a viceregal representative of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, who still goes by the title The Queen in Right of Canada. Inspiring, when you think about it.*
*Before Jonah Keri, Pete Toms and the ghost of John Brattain come after me for this gratuitous anti-Canadian rant, please know that both of my maternal grandparents hailed from the Great White North. Maybe that’s a weak (and in and of itself offensive) defense for my thinly-veiled American exceptionalism, but I’m hoping that this, combined with my general tolerance/occasional enjoyment of Rush, my love of Tim Hortons Timbits, and the fact that my family hosted a visiting table tennis player during the 1984 Canusa Games will get me off the hook. Though, in the interests of full disclosure, I feel obligated to say that we all hated that table tennis kid and were happy when he went back home to Hamilton.