December 10, 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!
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Thursday, August 23, 2012
Rangers 12, Orioles 3: Five years ago last night Texas laid 30 runs on the Orioles. Not so bad last night, but still pretty ugly. Adrian Beltre smacked three dingers and drove in five. Sadly, Tommy Hunter was only allowed to give up a solo homer, two-run homer and a grand slam, falling just short of the cycle of homers allowed.
Braves 5, Nationals 1: Kris Medlen was once again fantastic, throwing seven shutout innings and striking out seven. All the Braves do when Medlen pitches is win. And Craig Kimbrel was actually used. In a non-save situation! See, it can be done!
Mariners 3, Indians 1: Seattle is on fire. Eight in a row for the M's. A two-run double by Eric Thames broke a 1-1 tie in the eighth.
Diamondbacks 3, Marlins 2, Diamondbacks 3, Marlins 0: Young pitching was featured in both games. In the first, Jacob Turner made his first start for the Marlins. Meanwhile, Tyler Skaggs made his major league debut for Arizona. Skaggs got the win, allowing two runs in six and two-thirds, even while walking five. Turner: three runs on four hits over six. Although one was a two-run bomb. And Ozzie Guillen got ejected either arguing what he thought was a balk or throwing water on umpire Angel Campos. Depends on who you believe. In the nightcap rookie Wade Miley threw eight shutout innings.
Brewers 3, Cubs 2: Ryan Braun hit his league-leading 34th homer. John Axford, newly re-installed as the Brewers closer, got the save.
Padres 4, Pirates 2: San Diego got three quick runs off James McDonald to start the game and that was all the Padres really needed. McDonald has an ERA of 7.30 since the All-Star break. Pittsburgh has lost four of five.
Athletics 5, Twins 1: Coco Crisp homered, hit an RBI double and scored three times. I'm gonna assume that this was merely a case of the A's rallying following Bartolo Colon's positive drug test. Which someone will claim with a straight face today. Just you wait.
Rays 5, Royals 3: James Shields was strong and the Rays are 16-5 in their last 21 games. The Royals scored five runs in the three-game series.
Reds 3, Phillies 2: Bronson Arroyo came out on fire, retiring the first 14 Phillies he faced before Domonic Brown hit a solo homer in the fifth. That's all the Phillies would get until the ninth, though, when Aroldis Chapman allowed an inherited runner to score. But too little, too late.
Tigers 3, Blue Jays 2: The good Anibal Sanchez showed up. Helped that he faced the recently reeling Jays offense. Sanchez pitched six and two thirds, giving up one earned run.
Rockies 5, Mets 2: Matt Harvey pitched six strong and left with the game tied, but then the bullpen happened. Dexter Fowler left the game with a sprained ankle, though x-rays were negative. Like totally negative. HIS ANKLE IS COMPLETELY MISSING. Someone call Jim Rockford!
Angels 7, Red Sox 3: Jered Weaver rebounds from his shellacking by the Rays to tame the Sox (7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER). Clay Buchholz? Not so much (5.1 IP, 12 H, 7 ER). Bad news, though: Albert Pujols left the game early with tightness in his calf.
White Sox 2, Yankees 1: Chris Sale was a beast, striking out 13 in seven and two-thirds as the Sox sweep the Yankees, dropping New York's division lead to three games. The Yankees had best take advantage of their upcoming series against the Indians and Blue Jays, because then they have Tampa Bay in the now suddenly interesting AL East race.
Cardinals 4, Astros 2: Kyle Lohse outduels Bud Norris. That's six losses in a row for Houston. So I guess that managerial change hasn't helped much yet, huh?
Giants 8, Dodgers 4: The sweep. Clearly rallying around Melky or something. Matt Cain allowing one run over seven had a lot to do with it too. As did Joaquin Arias driving in five via a homer and two RBI doubles.
30 years ago today, it finally happened. The Man finally caught Gaylord Perry.
On Aug. 23, 1982, Perry was the starting pitcher for the Seattle Mariners against the Boston Red Sox. In all that time, two things were true about Perry: 1) he’d long been known as a spitball pitcher; and 2) he’d never been caught red-handed.
It really wasn’t a question of if Perry threw it. His willingness to throw it was widely known. Heck, Perry practically waged a national PR campaign to let people know he did it. When he co-wrote his autobiography in the 1970s, he titled it Me and the Spitter.
But he’d always play coy during games. Umpire Ron Luciano once said that when you approached Perry on the mound to pat him down for throwing a spitter, Perry would always joke something like, “Now whatever you do Ron, don’t search my right arm? Got it—not my right arm.”
For Perry, the spitter was a two-fold weapon. First, it was an effective pitch that would move weirdly away from batters. Second, the threat of the spitball was a psychological weapon he could use against batters. He’d do a little routine on the mound where he’d touch his cap brim, or his eyebrows or whatever else—it was all designed to make the batter wonder if he was loading up on the ball. Thus Perry could throw a perfectly clean pitch and still take advantage from the spitter because it was such a threat. Guys never knew what was coming.
And Perry had quite a successful career doing it. When he stood on the mound on Aug. 23, 1982, Perry was already a 300 game winner, with a career record of 304-250 for his career. This was his 655th start and 742nd appearance, yet he’d never been caught.
For much of the day, things went as usual. Perry generally got guys out, but trailed 1-0 in the top of the seventh. Then, with Rick Miller at the plate for Boston, the umpires finally caught him. Boston demanded Perry be investigated for throwing the spitter, and sure enough the umpires found Perry holding a ball covered in Vaseline. After 5,128.2 IP and 20,993 batters faced, Gaylord Perry was caught for throwing the spitball.
Technically speaking, he wasn’t ejected for throwing a spitball. He was technically ejected for being the pitcher on the mound when a scuffed ball was in play. They couldn’t officially prove the scuffing came before or after the most recent pitch. Not that it makes any difference. When the ump ran Perry, the veteran pitcher departed without a protest. It ain’t like any umpire was going to un-eject him, anyway.
After the game a crunch of reporters waited for home plate umpire Dave Phillips. It turns out this was the first ejection for loading up on the ball since the 1940s. It would not be the last. In a few years, Rick Honeycutt would be found with a thumbtack in his glove, Joe Niekro with an emery board in his back pocket, and other pitchers also did the Ejection Walk of Shame to the showers.
But no ejected name was bigger than Gaylord Perry, and he earned his ejection 30 years ago today.
Aside from that, many other events today celebrate their anniversary or “day-versary” (which is an event that occurred 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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