December 5, 2013
Get It Now!Hardball Times Annual is now available. It's got 300 pages of articles, commentary and even a crossword puzzle. You can buy the Annual at Amazon, for your Kindle or on our own page (which helps us the most financially). However you buy it, enjoy!
And here's the full roster.
THT's latest e-bookThird Base: The Crossroads is THT's new e-book, available for $3.99 from the Kindle store. The good news is that anyone can read a Kindle book, even on a PC. So enjoy the best from THT in a new format.
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Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Rangers 2, Yankees 0: Yu Darvish finally arrives. Eight and a third innings, ten strikeouts and a big goose egg in the runs column against the best offense in baseball.
Rays 5, Angels 0: David Price: five-hit shutout. Albert Pujols: 0 for 4. He has the lowest slugging percentage of anyone in last night's Angels lineup with the exception of Peter Bourjos.
Mariners 7, Tigers 4: Sometimes Max Scherzer is good, sometimes he's bad and rarely is he anything in between. This was a bad night: five runs on ten hits in five innings. Michael Saunders had a couple of RBI doubles for the M's. Meanwhile, while the box score shows no errors for Brandon Inge, Kurt from SB Nation felt it necessary to depict his play at second base thusly. Which says a lot about how the Tigers blogosphere feels about Brandon Inge.
Orioles 2, Blue Jays 1: Matt Wieters hit a homer that was made possible thanks to the glove of outfielder Eric Thames. As in, the ball bounced off Thames' glove and over the fence. Thames hit his own homer the inning before, so I suppose this made it even.
Reds 9, Giants 2: Matt Cain proves somewhat mortal, but what put this game out of reach was the bullpen "help" from Dan Otero, who gave up six runs on six hits in an inning and two-thirds. Meanwhile, Matt Latos shuts San Francisco out over the course of seven innings. Three RBI for Brandon Phillips.
Pirates 5, Rockies 4: When Jim Tracy's Rockies meet Clint Hurdle's Pirates, I like to pretend that the two of them -- each of whom once managed for the other team -- were traded for one another. Straight-up challenge trade, like, in the middle of the season. Manager had to fly in before game time, get his new jersey and just get out there. In other news, Jamie Moyer -- whose first ever appearance against the Pirates came when the now nearly 63 year-old Rick Reuchel was on the team -- left with a 2-1 lead after six strong innings but the pen couldn't hold it.
Mets 2, Marlins 1: Jose Reyes returns to New York and goes 0 for 4. So much for that drama. More important here were the performances of Johan Santana and Josh Johnson, each of whom are trying to show the world that they're truly healthy and an be aces again. On this night they were: Santana struck out 11 in six and two thirds while giving up only one and Johnson struck out nine and gave up one over the same distance.
Indians 4, Royals 3: Derek Lowe: one run on eight hits over six innings. Jonathan Sanchez: 115 pitches and he couldn't even go five. Uglyville, U.S.A. as the Royals drop their 12th straight.
Red Sox 11, Twins 2: The Sox break out the bats. Six guys in the lineup had at least two hits. David Ortiz drove in three. Mike Aviles went 4 for 5 with a homer. Josh Beckett allowed two runs over six.
Cubs 3, Cardinals 2: The second 3-2 loss in a row for St. Louis. Alfonso Soriano drove in the winning run with an RBI single in the 10th. It maybe shouldn't have happened, though, as Tony Campana -- who scored the winning run -- maybe shoulda been called out at second when he stole it earlier in the inning. Silver lining for the Cardinals: Adam Wainwright finally pitched well (6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 7K).
Brewers 9, Astros 6: A five-run sixth inning capped by a Rickie Weeks homer. Corey Hart, Travis Ishikawa and Carlos Gomez also homered. Milwaukee has beat Houston 11 straight times.
Phillies 8, Diamondbacks 5: I guess Hunter Pence's shoulder is OK: he hit a two-run homer, sparking the Philly offense to its best day in over a week.
Athletics 2, White Sox 0: Tommy Milone shut the Chisox out over eight innings, besting Gavin Floyd in a pitcher's duel and stopping the Sox' winning streak at four.
Braves 4, Dodgers 3: Martin Prado only had one hit, but it was a biggie: an RBI triple in the ninth to break a 3-3 tie. He drove in another earlier in the game on a groundout. Atlanta also scored on a wild pitch. Chipper Jones had a homer too. On his 40th birthday. He always hits on his birthday: for his career his is 21 for 49 on April 24th and the Braves are 11-2.
Nationals 3, Padres 1: So far the Gio Gonzalez deal is feeling pretty good for Washington. He allowed only two hits in six shutout innings, running his scoreless innings streak to 20.
Forty years ago today, one of the greatest pitchers of all-time, in the midst of having one of the greatest seasons of all time, threw the greatest game of his career.
The pitcher was Steve Carlton, a career 300-game winner. In 1972, he would win 27 games for a last-place team that won just 59. He also would lead the league in strikeouts (310), ERA (1.97), starts (41), complete games (30), and innings pitched (346.1). Like I said, it was one of the greatest seasons of all-time.
But the crowning achievement in Carlton’s wondrous year came early, when he took the hill on April 25, 1972 against the San Francisco Giants. The Giants weren’t a great team, but they had some talent in their lineup.
Their starting pitcher was Hall of Famer Juan Marichal. They had experienced veterans like Bobby Bonds, Ken Henderson and Tito Fuentes. They had some youngsters with lengthy futures in front of them named Dave Kingman and Chris Speier. Finally, making his major league debut on the day was a center fielder who would later spend many years backing up Carlton with Philadelphia: Garry Maddox.
They had talent, but Carlton was far too much for them. The first part of the day would be the worst for Carlton. In the first inning, he surrendered a leadoff single to Speier. That was it. Carlton wouldn’t let another man get a hit off of him the rest of the way. Oh, and Speier didn’t get to enjoy his good fortune for very long. Philadelphia catcher Tim McCarver threw Speier out trying to steal moments later. That and two groundouts made up the Giants' opening frame.
Beginning with the second inning, Carlton pitched like a man possessed. He struck out the side. In the third, he fanned a pair, and allowed a meek groundout to short for the other out. In the fourth inning, he struck out the side again—and he got Speier looking.
In the fifth inning, Kingman led off with a weak pop up to the catcher, and then Carlton struck out the next two batters. Carlton fanned the leadoff man in the sixth before finally walking Chris Arnold, the number eight hitter. Before then, Carlton had fanned 11 of the previous 13 batters. Only one man in that time had even pushed the ball past the pitcher. That’s dominance.
Carlton got the next two batters out easily, including one by the first flyout of the game. Carlton faced 18 batters before he ever needed to use his outfielders.
The last few innings weren’t as overwhelming, but Carlton still managed to retire every batter he faced. He ended the game by fanning the last two batters. The first was the legendary Willie Mays, who entered as a pinch-hitter, and the last batter was the man who got the hit, Speier.
Carlton didn’t get the no-hitter—and in fact he never had one in his career—but he pitched a far better game than most no-hitters. He allowed one hit, one walk, while fanning 14. His Game Score of 98 would be the best of his career. Carlton would have 709 starts in his career, but none topped this one.
Oh, and Carlton also laced a single himself and scored one of Philadelphia’s three runs. Yeah, that was a nice game Steve Carlton had 40 years ago today, on April 25, 1972.
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As a rookie third baseman for the Cardinals in 1984, Terry Pendleton made a distinct impression on National League pitching. He batted .324 for St. Louis and finished seventh in the league’s Rookie of the Year balloting.
Somehow, Pendleton didn’t completely register with the folks at Donruss. One variation of his 1985 Donruss card identifies him as “Jeff Pendleton.” So, I must ask, who in the wide, wide world of sports is Jeff Pendleton?
There have been three players with the last name of Pendleton in the major leagues. The late Jim Pendleton was a versatile 1950s-era utility man who could play the infield and outfield. He played for the Braves, Pirates, Reds and Colt .45s, but not the Cardinals. Lance Pendleton is a still-active pitcher who debuted out of the Yankee bullpen in 2011. And, of course, there is Terry Pendleton himself, a standout third baseman for the Cardinals and Braves throughout much of the '80s and early 1990s. None of those players had “Jeff” as either a first or a middle name.
That avenue exhausted, I looked at other players on the 1984 Cardinals roster. Perhaps one of the production people at Donruss transposed another Cardinal player’s name with Pendleton’s. Only one player on the ‘84 Cardinals was named Jeff, and that was a relief pitcher named Jeff Lahti. He looked nothing like Terry Pendleton, so again, I’m not sure why Donruss would have confused his name in such a way.
I performed a Google search for Jeff Pendleton. I turned up some wonderful people on Facebook and MySpace, and even a guitarist in California, but no one from the sports world or the world of general celebrity.
Well, all I can say is that Terry Pendleton deserves better. He was an excellent defensive third baseman who emerged as an offensive force after being traded to the Braves in the early 1990s. In 1991, he led the National League in batting on the way to winning the league’s MVP Award. The following year, he paced the NL with 199 hits and collected a career-high 105 RBIs. He remained an effective offense player through the 1993 season, before injuries and age took their toll.
So as baseball fans, we should know all about Terry Pendleton. But who exactly was this Jeff Pendleton fellow? And from where did Donruss conjure him in 1985?