May 21, 2013
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Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Angels 15, Rangers 8: Kendrys Morales hit homers from each side of the plate in the sixth inning -- one of which was a grand slam -- and drove in six runs overall as the Angels make mincemeat out of the Rangers. Roy Oswalt got tattooed. Between that, Cliff Lee trade rumors and Roy Halladay's recent meh outings, it's not been the best year for the Four Aces.
Cubs 14, Pirates 4: Quite a night for the Cubs. They put up a bunch of crooked numbers against Pittsburgh and unloaded a bunch of players in deadline deals too. Three RBIs a piece for Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo, so the future is in good shape at least. Four for Darwin Barney. Not sure where he fits.
Braves 8, Marlins 2: That's six straight wins and -- for the first time all year -- a Monday win for Atlanta. Indeed, it was the first Monday win since August 22, 2011. Even with this win, the Braves are way back in dead last place in the all-important Monday wins column, which should probably make them Monday sellers at today's Monday trade deadline.
Red Sox 7, Tigers 3: Dustin Pedroia hit a homer and drove in three. With a ten-game homestand just starting, it's not unreasonable to say that it's do or die time for Boston.
Orioles 5, Yankees 4: Nick Markakis went 3 for 4 and drove in a couple. Mark Teixeira left the game after hurting himself diving for a ball, so that's no good. Eric Chavez and Ichiro went back to back in the seventh inning, but it wasn't enough. Nice to see the O's win this one, honestly. Joe Blanton deserves to be on a winning team.
Padres 11, Reds 5: Mike Leake and Alfredo Simon each giving up five runs early put to rest any hope that the Reds would extend that win streak beyond ten games. Will Venable's bases-clearing triple in the third really blew it open. Edinson Volquez beats his former team, even if he was pretty ineffective himself in doing so.
Brewers 8, Astros 4: Houston had a 3-0 lead and then, for once, the Brewers got to experience what it felt like on the good side of a bullpen collapse. How novel.
Mets 8, Giants 7: Scott Hairston hit two homers and both were big. One to tie it in the eighth and one to give the Mets a lead in extra innings. There's been talk of the Mets dealing him by today's deadline, but no obvious takes yet. If he goes today, let's pretend that GMs are impressed by shiny things like two home run-games.
Mariners 4, Blue Jays 1: Hisashi Iwakuma struck out 13 while giving up one run over eight innings. Much needed on a night when the M's bullpen was depleted due to trades of Brandon League and Steve Delabar.
Diamondbacks 7, Dodgers 2: Welcome to the Diamondbacks, Chris Johnson. The newest snake hit a grand slam. And he was also surprised at playoff talk:
"One of the guys on the bench said, 'Anybody know what the Giants did tonight?' And that kind of shocked me, because I'm not really used to that," Johnson said.
That's the cutest thing ever.
Athletics 4, Rays 3: Strikeouts are boring. Besides, they're fascist. And they're not even a guarantee of winning. The Rays struck out 21 A's batters, but still lost when Jemile Weeks -- who was 0-for-7 with two strikeouts at the time -- ended the game with a sac fly in the bottom of the 15th. OK, just to be clear: if you strike out 21, you usually win that game.
Twins 7, White Sox 6: Break up the Twins! Four straight wins. Next up: former mate Francisco Liriano debuts against them tonight. That should be fun.
40 years ago today, a White Sox slugger did something very rare—and then did it for a second time in the same game.
On July 31, 1972, Dick Allen twice raced around the bases for an of inside the park home run.
The fun began in the top of the first inning of that game against the Twins. After a walk and single led off the game, Dick Allen came to the plate against 21-year-old future Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven with two on and two out. He lashed one to center, and proceeded to gallop around the bases for a homer and an early 3-0 White Sox lead.
It was Allen’s sixth career inside the park home run, but his first in years. Six years minus one day to be exact, as Allen had hit a special inside-the-park homer on Aug. 1, 1966: an inside the park walk-off shot. So while Allen was a quality base runner, you wouldn’t expect him to do it a second time that day.
Allen fanned in his next plate appearance, but in the fifth inning he got the better of Minnesota’s pitching and defense once again. With a runner on first, Allen again shot one to center and dashed around the bases for his second insider the park home run of his day. The Sox had a 6-0 lead, and would go on to win, 8-1.
Allen came to the plate once more, reached on error, and was then pulled for a pinch runner. He’d already done his job on the day.
1972 would prove to be the best season of Allen’s career. He led the league in homers and RBIs, and until mid-September also topped the AL in batting average. It’s the latest in the season anyone has led the league in all the triple crown categories. Allen had to settle for winning the sabermetric triple crown—home runs, RBIs, and OBP.
As great as he was in 1972, this might have been his best day with two homers and five RBIs. It was really part of an incredible streak for Allen. Four days earlier on July 27 he’d had another two home run game—only that time he had a typical two over-the-fence homers. Allen had yet another two homers game on July 22. In all, in nine games from July 22 to 31, he batted 13-for-27 with a double and eight homers for an OPS of 1981. As a general rule of thumb, when your OPS is approaching 2000, you’re doing pretty good for yourself.
Oh, one note before moving on. While two inside the park home runs in one game is certainly rare, it has happened since then. To be exact, it’s happened once since then—on Oct. 4, 1986. That was also a White Sox-Twins game, only this time a Twin hit the pair of inside the park home runs: infielder Greg Gagne. The winning pitcher that day was 35-year-old Bert Blyleven, the same man who allowed Allen’s pair blasts.
While Blyleven undoubtedly preferred Gagne’s game, the Allen game is the only one celebrating its anniversary—40 years ago today.
Aside from that, plenty of other events today celebrate their anniversary or “day-versary” (which is something occurring X-thousand days ago). Here they are, with the better ones in bold if you’d prefer to just skim over things.
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