And That Happened

Warning: I’m just not feeling the gravity of the baseball season this morning, so there’s gonna be a lot of randomness in today’s installment.

Phillies 1, Giants 0: Philadelphia was cruising before Cole Hamels woke up. Now they’re positively terrifying. Two hitter. Nine Ks. Dear God.

Braves 4 Marlins 3: Tim Hudson is back, pitched well, etc. etc. OK, with that out of the way, let’s get down to brass tax. This from reader Matt H.:

The SportSouth broadcast of the Braves-Marlins tonight showed the jumbotron at Landshark Stadium while Omar Infante was at bat. In the foreground was the obligatory head shot, with his name and number. In the background was–I kid you not–a picture of the General Lee in mid-jump. Yes, that General Lee. I am as big a Braves fan as there is, and I have no idea why the Marlins put that graphic up. Is slick and sophisticated Miami poking fun at backwoods Georgia? That doesn’t make sense, since any linkage of the General Lee with the Braves is a net win for the Braves.

Seriously. Was that supposed to be a slam? Why don’t you just call the Braves handsome and give them some free pie while you’re at it, because there is nothing cooler than being associated with The General Lee. Maybe the Bandit’s Trans-Am. Maybe.

Tigers 8, Indians 5: Aubrey Huff was 2-2 with 3 RBI. Sadly, David Huff did not pitch for the Tribe or else I’d be forced to go Groucho for the second time this year. Cleveland gave up 13 hits and walked six guys and that lead to the loss. A child of five would understand this. Quick, send someone to fetch a child of five. Carlos Carrasco was called up from my hometown of Columbus to pitch in this disaster. You’re a brave man, Carlos. And remember, while you were out there risking your life and limb through shot and shell, we were all in here thinking what a sucker you are. Oh crap, I did it again.

Twins 4, White Sox 3: The White Sox lose. They were probably discombobulated from having the team’s average age plummet by eight years since Monday night’s trades. Jeff Manship gave up one run over five innings. He didn’t figure in the decision, but boy howdy do I like to say “Manship.”

Cardinals 7, Brewers 6: Joel Pineiro is the only dude in baseball who can get away with striking out no one. St. Louis is 30-4 since July 1st in starts by Wainwright, Carpenter and Pineiro. I predict one awesome NLCS, assuming we can dispose of L.A. and whoever wins the wild card quickly enough.

Rangers 5, Blue Jays 2; Rangers 5, Blue Jays 2: Fill my eyes with that double vision. No disguise for that double vision.

Cubs 4, Astros 1: In the fifth, Jeff Baker hit what appeared to be an inning-ending double play, but Miguel Tejada made an errant throw to second, allowing Soriano to advance to third. I had no idea that Baker was from the Dominican Republic.

Red Sox 8, Rays 4: The return of Andy Sonnanstine was less than fabulous (4 IP, 8 H, 5 R), and I think it’s gettin’ time to bid adieu to the Rays in 2009. Papelbon pulled a Gossage and pitched a two-inning save. Then he grew a ridiculous mustache and went on a rant about pitchers today are wusses.

Reds 11, Pirates 5: Game story: “Pittsburgh is four defeats shy of becoming the first major American professional team to string together 17 straight losing seasons.” What happens first: the Pirates break .500, or Sid Bream dies of old age?

Rockies 8, Mets 3: Lance Broadway pitches two scoreless innings in relief for the Mets. In other news, “Lance Broadway” was the name I used on vacations to Las Vegas between the years 1996 and 2002.

Yankees 9, Orioles 6: Two homers for Posada and another shaky performance from Burnett that is likely to fly under the radar. According to the game story, Posada lost track of the count twice. The second time he hit a homer after mistakenly thinking he struck out. You’d think that a catcher of all people wouldn’t lose track of the count.

Dodgers 4, Diamondbacks 3: Matt Kemp homered for the fourth straight game. The last Dodger to do that was Hee Seop Choi so, you know, heady company. A spectacular catch by Andre Ethier in the eighth inning followed his bases-loaded walk in the seventh which brought in the winning run.

Royals 4, Athletics 3: The A’s had their chances, but they stranded 11, going 1 for 10 with men in scoring position.

Padres 4, Nationals 1: I’m guessing no one outside of Padre or National Nation knew this, but apparently the Padres have owned the Nationals over the years, having gone 30-9 against them since they ceased to be the Expos.

Mariners 2, Angels 1: A week or so ago Ken Griffey, being interviewed by a Cincinnati magazine, said that he was going to make it so that music from “The Nutcracker” played when Adrian Beltre returned from his injured testicle stint on the DL. I thought that was harsh and I didn’t think he’d actually do it, but I’ll be damned if he didn’t in this game. I think something about that should make up the final line on his Hall of Fame plaque.

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Comments

  1. Steve said...

    Using classical music to rib a player would be pretty highbrow…if it didn’t relate to a testicle injury.

    Probably my favourite story in some time, though.

  2. Daniel said...

    Why would L.A. versus Philly or St. Louis be a bad NLCS?  I’m no Dodger fan, but that’s a good team (Kemp, Manny, Billingsley, Kershaw, etc.).

  3. Craig Calcaterra said...

    Not saying LA vs. whoever would be bad. I just like good pitching better than good hitting, and as I was writing that recap, it struck me that a matchup between the Cards and Phillies would push more of my happy buttons.

  4. Rob in CT said...

    The funny thing about the Posada incidents, to me, is that it made me remember a Bernie Williams at-bat from the late 90s, wherein he believed he’d worked a bases-loaded walk on a 2-2 pitch.  He gets called back, clearly very embarrassed.  The next pitch was a meatball down the middle and Bernie crushed it.  Grand Slam. 

    So Jorge takes the 2-1 pitch for a strike and goes to walk to the dugout, and I turn to my wife and say “watch him pull a Bernie.”  I’m explaining what I meant as Jorge knocks one out.  Good times.

  5. Jacob said...

    I heard that the call to the bullpen in the Tigers/Indians game went something like this, “Send help at once!  If you can’t send help, send two more women!”

  6. Chris H. said...

    You know, Craig, I think I like your irreverent days.  Not only a Foreigner reference, but a Hee Seop Choi sighting!

    And props to Junior for using The Nutcracker.  You may think it harsh, but I think it’s funny, and I’m pretty sure I would even if it was my toolbag in question.

  7. Simon DelMonte said...

    Burnett is under the NY sports news radar because the radar is either busy with how good the Yankees are or how bad the Mets are (with side trips to the US Open and the football training camps).  As much as AJ can thank the sluggers for carrying him on nights like yesterday, he can thank Omar and friends for keeping attention in Flushing.

  8. APBA Guy said...

    THe only good thing about last night’s KC/A’s game was that the A’s broadcast was “behind the scenes” all evening. The camera went into the production truck, locker room, etc, with long explanations of what goes on there and interviews.

    Much more interesting than the game, where Geren was in full “playing to lose” mode.

    Example, bottom of the ninth, men on 1st and second, no outs, need 1 to tie. Kurt Suzuki at the plate. Kurt hasn’t done much for a week (5-25), is swinging out of his shoes and losing his balance after every swing. Soria on the mound, pretty good movement and velocity this outing.

    Does Suzuki bunt? No

    Does Suzuki make contact? No

    Suzuki goes 0-5 for the night , the A’s don’t advance the runners, let alone score.

    Almost exactly the same official attendance (10,300) for both games of the KC series so far, but I swear there were more people in the A’s production truck than in the stands.

  9. Julian said...

    A couple things:

    1. Kit from Nightrider? The Batmobile?

    2. I posit that Junior’s use of the Nutcracker is the best (and funniest) example of bathos in baseball history.

  10. Gilbert said...

    Assign the player who gets the fictional car as their backdrop:
    1-Batmobile
    2-Gen Lee
    3-Bandit’s Trans-Am
    4-Kit from Nightrider
    5-Old Bond Aston-Martin
    6-Mach 5 from Speed Racer
    7-Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
    8-Herbie the Love Bug

    Albert Pujols
    Chipper Jones
    Lance Berkman
    Manny Ramirez
    Derek Jeter
    Ichiro Suzuki
    Ken Griffey, Jr
    Dustin Pedroia

  11. Jeff Mathews said...

    Cards vs Phils would push more of my happy buttons too, assuming a blimp crashes into the stadium, killing all the players on both teams.  That would be the best baseball I’ve seen in years.  Of course, I’m a Mets fan.

  12. lar said...

    That’s the funniest thing in the world, Gilbert. I agree with most everything. Not sure I like Berkman & Manny with Bandit & Kit… there might be better choices for them, but I’m not sure…

  13. Jason B said...

    Craig—

    Two or three months ago, who thought that the Phillies of all teams would push your happy buttons with “good pitching”??  Hamels was scuffling a bit, Cliff Lee hadn’t come on the scene yet, Blanton was mediocrity personified, Happ was still something of an unknown quantity, and Moyer was lobbing stink bombs every five days…my, how things can change quickly!

    (Of course my beloved Jays were also racing out to a 40-21 start and leading the AL East…and then they, you know, had to start playing good teams in their own division. And the party was over.)

  14. RoyceTheBaseballHack said...

    Rangers Topics:

    1) Levi- three people have approached me in the building today and, in the course of our standard post-game recaps, assured my that Omar is bound for the HoF.  I have a note to spend a few minutes this evening rowing around to see how his lifetime numbers stack up.

    2) The Two-Fer sweep was nice, but we lost Young to a hamstring injury, which, like your first dislocation, is a sign of problems for a while. Michael isn’t the only talented guy on the team, but he’s been the only consistent element to their offense all season.  If he’s out for longer than a week, I think all this talk of Playoffs in Arlington is moot.

  15. Aarcraft said...

    Lar, I didn’t take it that Gilbert was assigning the players their cars, but rather asking us to. I’d give Manny Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – from wikipedia – “At first, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is just a sports car, but as the book progresses, the car surprises the family by beginning to exhibit independent actions.” That sounds about right, doesn’t it?

  16. lar said...

    Aarcraft,

    That’s what I thought at first, too, but they all seemed to line-up just right (Chipper = General Lee, Ichiro = Mach 5, etc). Maybe that’s just my projecting, though… Pedroia = Herbie the Love Bug sealed it for me.

  17. MJ said...

    @ RoyceTheBaseballHack

    1) Levi- three people have approached me in the building today and, in the course of our standard post-game recaps, assured my that Omar is bound for the HoF.  I have a note to spend a few minutes this evening rowing around to see how his lifetime numbers stack up.

    According to Baseball-reference.com, here’s his info with the Bill James HoF monitor:

    Gray Ink Batting – 25 (885), Average HOFer ≈ 144
    Hall of Fame Monitor Batting – 104 (141), Likely HOFer ≈ 100
    Hall of Fame Standards Batting – 35 (187), Average HOFer ≈ 50

    He’s a career 83 OPS+ hitter only breaking 100 twice in his career.  It’ll come down to how much the writers overvalue his Gold Gloves and how many of them are willing to take his defense into account.

  18. RoyceTheBaseballHack said...

    @MJ: Thanks, for the update on those. Now, I guess the next question becomes, “How many guys with that many Gold Gloves aren’t in the HoF”?  He has eleven…Ozzie Smith earned 13 – all consecutive years and Omar’s aren’t, but I believe Omar’s offense is stronger than Ozzie’s. Add to that he’s the all-time leader in double-plays as a shortstop, and playing pretty damned well for a 42 year-old, I’d say his odds are better than good. I’m kind of ho-hum about who is or isn’t in Cooperstown, but it will be interesting to see what happens.

  19. Todd said...

    “Joel Pineiro is the only dude in baseball who can get away with striking out no one. St. Louis is 30-4 since July 1st in starts by Wainwright, Carpenter and Pineiro. I predict one awesome NLCS, assuming we can dispose of L.A. and whoever wins the wild card quickly enough.”

    Hear hear!

    To be fair, Piniero didn’t actually have his A-game, although he wasn’t bad, either.

    Anyway, I think whoever gets homefield in that series could make a HUGE difference. And right now… the Cards and Phillies are actually tied! It’s hard to train myself out of looking at the Cubs’ scores, but it’s really the Phillies that need paying attention to.

  20. Richard Gadsden said...

    there is nothing cooler than being associated with The General Lee

    Have you forgotten the flying DeLorean from Back to the Future?

  21. Levi Stahl said...

    Watching highlights on the MLB Network last night, two things stood out:

    1. Hawk Harrelson (and the MLB TV guys) raving about a great sprawing catch that Podsednik made, how it showed fantastic range . . . only you could see at the start of the clip, plain as day, that he failed to recognize where the ball was going initially and got a very, very slow start.

    But that wasn’t as bad as

    2. Over a clip of an impressive double play turned by Omar Vizquel, a Rangers (?) announcer saying, “Another amazing one by the Hall of Famer Vizquel.” Gah. I know this comes up every once in a while, but at least all of us here can surely agree that Vizquel’s not a HOFer, right?

  22. Dennis Koziel said...

    Good thing Matt Holliday was “protecting” Albert Pujols last night.  Unfortunately, the Brewers didn’t know about this bit of common wisdom and they walked Albert intentionally.

  23. lar said...

    In honor of your irreverence today:

    Did you know that today is the 94th birthday of the guy who played the coroner in Wizard of Oz? Do you think that anyone ever hired him to dress in full munchkin garb at a funeral and sing “As coroner, I must aver, I’ve thoroughly examined her. And she’s not only merely dead, she’s really most sincerely dead!”

    Cause that would’ve been pretty awesome…

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