December 11, 2013
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Friday, June 29, 2012
Pirates 5, Phillies 4: All of you who predicted that A.J. Burnett was going to rattle off eight straight wins at some point this year, please cut it out because you're lying. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go piss off a bunch of Yankees fans by suggesting that Brian Cashman should trade for Burnett to shore up the depleted pitching staff.
Rangers 7, Athletics 6: Because you want to play an almost four-hour nine-inning game in steamy hot Arlington, Texas, the ten pitchers these teams trotted out there combined to throw 345 pitches.
Rockies 11, Nationals 10: This one was probably fun for no one either. The Rockies jumped out to a 7-0 lead, totally squandered it when Josh Outman couldn't live up to his name, then finally pulled it out on a Marco Scutaro RBI single in the 11th. Jim Tracy said after the game "we made it a lot harder on ourselves than we needed to." That describes most of the 19 years of Colorado Rockies baseball, no?
Padres 7, Astros 3: Kind of a wild one. Andrew Cashner had a no-hitter going into the seventh inning but left that inning poised to be the loser. Then San Diego rallied for six runs in the ninth, capped by an Alexi Amarista grand slam.
Diamondbacks 3, Braves 2: Trevor Bauer made his big league debut, but wasn't efficient and didn't figure in the decision. Chris Young hit a ninth inning homer to win it.
Tigers 5, Rays 2: Four straight losses for the Rays. Weird stat line: James Shields allowed 14 hits, but still pitched seven and two-thirds innings. How often do pitchers who get knocked around like that go almost eight?
Angels 9, Blue Jays 7: The Jays loaded the bases against Ernesto Frieri in the ninth, but he slipped out of it. Two run homers each for Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo. We've been calling their numbers all year.
White Sox 4, Yankees 3: Any team can have a closer blow a two-run lead in the ninth, but it takes a special team to have three relievers more or less combine to do it. Cody Eppley and Clay Rapada each put a runner on base in the ninth -- Rapada thanks to his own throwing error which should have resulted in a double play -- and then David Robertson gave up a three-run homer to Dayan Viciedo.
Indians 7, Orioles 2: The Tribe snap a five-game losing streak. How did they do it? Likely some sort of Faustian bargain. How else to explain a Johnny Damon three-run home run off a lefty?
Giants 5, Reds 0: Madison Bumgarner: one-hitter complete game. That's four straight shutouts for San Francisco pitching. Eventually, I presume, a team will score a run against the Giants. I'm just not sure when.
Mariners 1, Red Sox 0: Wow, another awesome pitching performance out west. Living in the eastern time zone sucks, dudes. I saw the ugly games last night and missed the gems. Felix Hernandez: CG SHO 13K.
Mets 3, Dodgers 2: L.A. is reeling, but hey, at least they ended their 33-inning scoreless streak. David Wright hit a solo homer and RBI double. Fifth straight loss for the Dodgers.
Sixty years ago today, the Cubs staged one of the most incredible comebacks in baseball history. It was a game they by all rights should’ve lost, but damned if they didn’t come away with a win.
On June 29, 1952, in the first game of a doubleheader against the Reds in Crosley Field, the Reds pulled out to a lead and kept pulling away. At the end of the eighth inning, Cincinnati led 8-2. Yeah, 99 times in 100, the team with the lead notches an easy win. Today would not be one of those 99 days.
At first it looked like it would be a routine ending. The first Cubs out in the top of the ninth made outs. Now the Cubs were down to their last out with no one on and trailing by six runs. The odds of winning that game are pretty damn slim, to put it mildly.
Oh, and the bottom of the order was coming up. As if things didn’t look bleak enough, right?
Third baseman Bill Serena came up representing the last Cub hope, and he doubled. Then came shortstop Roy Smalley, who walked.
The pitcher was due up next, so manager Phil Cavarretta went to his bench and had Gene Hermanski pinch-hit. His single scored Serena, making it, 8-3. Well, at least the Cubs weren’t giving up too easily.
Then came the moment the Reds really would like to have back. Leadoff hitter Eddie Miksis tried to bunt his way on, but instead laid down what should’ve been the game-ending out. Should’ve been. Instead, Reds third baseman Eddie Kazak—who had entered the game as a defensive replacement an inning earlier—muffed it. Kazak was safe, Hermanski made it to second, and Smalley scored to make the score 8-4.
Time for a new pitcher. Starter Bubba Smith took a seat and relief specialist Frank Smith was called on to finish it. Instead, he hit the first batter he faced and then allowed a bases-loaded single. The score was now 8-6 and the tying run on base. It soon got even worse as Cubs slugger Hank Sauer smashed a double. Another run was in to make it 8-7. The tying run was 90 feet from the plate, and the winning run in scoring position.
So long, Mr. Smith. Cincinnati now turned to veteran Ken Raffensberger to hold the fort. He intentionally walked the first batter he faced to set up the force at every base.
So now it was as clutch as it gets. A one-run lead with the bases loaded and two outs in the ninth. The Cubs went with another pinch hitter, Johnny Pramesa. He came through, singling in a pair of runs for a shocking 9-8 Cubs win. Down to their last out, nine consecutive Cubs had reached base.
Finally, the Reds got the last out when Serena came up again and popped up.
The Reds weren’t done yet. They were coming up to the plate in the bottom of the ninth. Though the first guy got on with a walk, the next three made outs, ending the game. If it was any consolation, the Reds won the second game of the day handily, 9-1, but the most memorable part of the day was still Cincinnati’s inning from hell against the Cubs.
Aside from that, many other events today celebrate their anniversary or “day-versary” (which is something that occurred X-thousand days ago) today. Here they are, with the better ones in bold if you would prefer to skim over everything.
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Thursday, June 28, 2012
Giants 3, Dodgers 0: The season nadir for the Dodgers who got swept by their arch rivals in three straight shutouts and lost their lead in the division. And, to add insult to injury, Andre Ethier got hurt. Wait, that's adding injury to insult I suppose. Ah, you know what I mean. Oh, and Timmay is apparently back (7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 8K). It's a brand new race in the NL West. And the Dodgers have two broken legs.
Mets 17, Cubs 1: Wow, that wind was really blowing out at Wrigley, eh? At least in the top half of the middle innings anyway. David Wright, drove in five while Ike Davis, Scott Hairston and Daniel Murphy each drove in four. That's bloody efficient, yes?
Athletics 2, Mariners 1: Jarrod Parker pitched a gem while Kevin Millwood went down with a groin injury. Oh, and the A's sported an infield with three Brandons in it: Moss, Hicks and Inge. When I saw Matthew's headline to that effect there were a few seconds before I remembered who the Brandons would have been. My first thought: a bunch of 20-22 year-old rookies, all of whom were named by parents who were big fans of the "Beverly Hills 90210." Sadly, all of these three are too old for that.
Brewers 8, Reds 4: Milwaukee breaks its four-game losing streak. If they turn their season around from this point, perhaps they'll have Nyjer Morgan getting into it with some random Cincinnatian to credit.
Royals 5, Rays 4: Billy Butler hit what proved to be the game-winning homer in the eighth. And thank God, because it was hotter than, well, if we're thanking God we can't say it was hotter than Hell I suppose, but it was pretty darn hot. And Bill Butler knew it:
"It was really, really hot out there," said Butler, who greeted reliever Burke Badenhop with his 15th home run. "It was over 100 degrees. Guys were starting to get dehydrated. It was not a good day to go extra innings."
We all love day baseball, I realize, but I wonder if it's at all possible to make some sort of flexible scheduling thing for places like Kansas City or Texas or wherever, allowing the games to be moved into the evening when the forecast calls for triple digits. Because no one can enjoy that except the swells in the luxury boxes.
Red Sox 10, Blues Jays 4: That's the ninth win in the past 11 games for Boston and five straight series wins too. The Sox scored five off Ricky Romero in the first inning, who was all over the place. Four starters down, one wild as all get-out. One gets the sense that the Jays season is spiraling out of control.
White Sox 12, Twins 5: The Sox rattled off 21 hits. Chris Sale cruised through seven, never having to face more than four batters in an inning. Adam Dunn had three hits including a homer and drove in four. He was 0 for his last 24 coming in to the game.
Yankees 5, Indians 4: A win that felt like a loss for the Yankees, what with Andy Pettitte going down for six weeks after breaking his leg on a comebacker. Old Timers Day is coming up in New York pretty soon. The team may assign extra scouts when Ron Guidry and Whitey Ford take the mound.
Angels 13, Orioles 1: That's a whuppin' right there. And in addition to going 4 for 6, Mike Trout did this. Watch through to the slo-mo. That's some serious air.
Astros 1, Padres 0: A six-hit shutout for Lucas Harrell. Clayton Richard didn't do much worse. The whole affair was over in 1:58.
Marlins 5, Cardinals 3: John Buck and Logan Morrison went back-to-back in the seventh and the Cards' win streak is snapped.
Braves 6, Diamondbacks 4: Jason Heyward stays hot, hitting a homer and Chipper Jones went long too. I suppose that will mean four days on the bench with ice packs on his knees, but it's worth it. Craig Kimbrel has 47 strikeouts in 28 innings, by the way.
Rangers 13, Tigers 9: David Murphy went 4-for-5 with two home runs. Roy Oswalt got the W, because he apparently just knows how to win, never mind the five runs on 13 hits.
Nationals 11, Rockies 5: Washington jumped out to an 8-0 lead by the third inning and everything else was pretty much academic after that. The 75-pitch limit for Rockies starters in that new four-man rotation is working out swell. Evereth Cabrera only threw 65 pitches. They came in two and a third innings, but the standards were adhered to!
Pirates 11, Phillies 7: Nice debut for Chase Utley -- a homer in his first at bat and three hits overall -- but the Pirates went crazy against the Phillies pen, which pitched the whole game as a bullpen special. Homers from Michael McKenry, Andrew McCutchen and Casey McGehee.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Reds 4, Brewers 3: Bronson Arroyo had a no-hitter through seven and then ended up with a no-decision. Guess that happens when you ask a starter who usually throws less than seven innings a start to go eight, eh? Still a nice game until that eighth, and a win for the Redlegs.
Giants 2, Dodgers 0: Two games against the their division-leading rivals, two shutouts by the Giants. This one was led by Ryan Vogelsong, who blanked L.A. for seven innings, out-pitching Clayton Kershaw. This is NOT the Dodgers team we saw in April and May. They have dropped seven of eight, being outscored 35-13 during that time.
Cubs 5, Mets 3: Anthony Rizzo's Cubs debut: 2 for 4 with an RBI, with said RBI putting the Cubs ahead to stay in the fourth inning.
Cardinals 5, Marlins 2: Carlos Zambrano has blown up in the past when a fielder makes an error which leads to a big inning. Last night Zambrano made a throwing error in the first that led to five unearned runs. No word on whether he yelled at himself. In other news, Miami is in freefall mode, losers of 17 of its last 20.
Red Sox 5, Blues Jays 1: Aaron Laffey, pressed into service as a starter after spending the last couple of years in the pen, pitched really well, shutting out the Sox over six innings. Then the Jays pen came in and the Sox rallied for five runs in the seventh and eighth innings. That came against the backdrop of an effective Daisuke Matsuzaka start (5.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 5K).
Rangers 7, Tigers 5: Yu Darvish struck out 10 Tigers in seven innings and won his 10th game. Josh Hamilton homered for the second straight night, so maybe his recent swoon is ending.
Braves 8, Diamondbacks 1: Hudson beats Hudson. Tim over Daniel, to be precise. The former cruised for eight innings, giving up a single run. The latter was beaten up for five in an inning and two-thirds before leaving with forearm tightness as the Braves racked up 17 hits against D-backs pitching.
Angels 7, Orioles 3: Anaheim had 17 hits of its own last night -- four of them homers -- with everyone in the lineup reaching at least once and six guys having multiple hit nights. Brian Matusz gave up 13 of them in his five innings. The Angels have won 12 of 16 overall and 12 of their last 13 on the road.
Nationals 12, Rockies 5: Pfft, 17 hits? How about 21? Well, 21 may translate to something less than 17 after adjusting for Coors, but it was still quite an offensive eruption for the Nats, especially considering that 11 of them were for extra bases. Including Adam LaRoche, who hit two homers. Ian Desmond added a 4 for 5.
Yankees 6, Indians 4: Phil Hughes is something of an adventure. He pitched eight shutout innings last night after a start in which he gave up six to the Braves last Wednesday. Also an adventure: Cory Wade, who allowed four runs to the Tribe in the ninth before Rafael Soriano had to be summoned on a night that didn't figure to require a save before the ninth inning.
Phillies 5, Pirates 4: Carlos Ruiz had three hits and a homer to raise his average to .361. Man, where would Philly be without him?
Royals 8, Rays 2: A couple of errors by Sean Rodriguez put Chris Archer in the danger zone in the third inning, but Brandon Gomes allowing four runs in a third of an inning later on doomed any chance Tampa Bay had. Bruce Chen, meanwhile, pitched seven effective innings and Jeff Francoeur hit a three-run bomb to put the game out of reach. The Rays have dropped five of seven games.
White Sox 3, Twins 2: Chicago took a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth behind Gavin Floyd's seven shutout innings and Matt Thornton's one, but then Addison Reed allowed two runs on two hits and a walk. He held on, though. Just wanted to make sure everyone was awake, you know.
Astros 5, Padres 1: Kip Wells got a spot start -- his first big league action in years -- and, not surprisingly, didn't do well (5 IP, 7 H, 5 ER and a run-scoring wild pitch).
Mariners 3, Athletics 2: Brendan Ryan hit a tiebreaking single in the eighth. I searched all over this this box score for something else interesting and I swear I couldn't find anything.
Twenty-five years ago today, one of the game’s greatest sluggers had perhaps the greatest games of his career. Just 23 years old, rookie first baseman Mark McGwire had a tremendous day at the plate.
On June 27, 1987, the A’s played a terrible Indians team before barely 13,000 fans in Cleveland. The Indians had won barely one-third of their games on the year so far, and the way they couldn’t contain McGwire showed why Cleveland was off to such a rotten start.
In the first inning, the A’s rookie came up with Jose Canseco on first and promptly belted a home run for an early 2-0 Oakland lead.
In the third, McGwire came up again and had his worst at-bat of the day. He lifted a fly ball to right that looked like it was going to be a routine out, only for outfielder Cory Snyder to muff it. By the time he corralled the ball, McGwire had motored all the way to third base. Well, at least it wasn’t a hit. He scored a few minutes later on a Carney Lansford home run.
Two innings later, McGwire led off and smashed his second home run of the game. The game was already out of reach, with Oakland up, 8-1.
In the seventh, McGwire once again led off the inning with a hit, but this time it was just a single. Cleveland could consider that a moral victory. Moments later, McGwire scored when aging DH Reggie Jackson went deep for his 557th career home run.
By the ninth inning, Oakland led 10-3, and McGwire came up one final time. With no outs and Jose Canseco on first, Mark McGwire smashed yet another home run on the day. That was it for him, as the A’s ended up with a 13-3 victory.
In all, McGwire hadn’t made a single out all day. In five trips to the plate, he had three home runs, a single, and a reached on error. He scored five runs and drove in five as well.
In the rest of his career, McGwire would have four more three-homer games, but this was the only one with four hits. His 13 total bases on the day would be his personal best. He had more than five RBIs in several other games, but this would be his only game scoring five times. His four hits also tied his personal high.
Making it even more special, McGwire kept up the barrage the next day, smashing a pair of homers. With five homers in two days, McGwire tied a major league record.
Aside from that, many other events today celebrate their anniversary or “day-versary” (which is something that happened X-thousand days ago). Here they are, with the better ones in bold if you’d prefer to just skim over things.
Click for more...