December 12, 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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Tuesday, September 04, 2012
Orioles 4, Blues Jays 0; Rays 4, Yankees 3: As mentioned yesterday, this combo brings the Yankees' lead over the O's down to one game in the AL East, with the Rays only two and a half back. I don't suppose we're so lucky to have a Yankees collapse come a year after the Red Sox collapse, but it's a possibility I suppose.
Mariners 4, Red Sox 1: The United States Postal Service lost $5.2 billion in the second quarter of 2012. The Red Sox are mailing it in so thoroughly these days, however, that the third quarter will likely have the USPS turning a profit. Seven straight losses for Boston, outscored 58-16 in that span.
Nationals 2, Cubs 1: Washington clinches its first winning season. With that mission accomplished, Mike Rizzo shut down the whole roster.
Indians 3, Tigers 2: I'm not gonna say this game was boring, but my girlfriend -- big Tigers fan -- is here and was trying to watch this game yesterday. Not just watching it, she was watching the Tigers feed and playing the Rod Allen drinking game. And even with all of that incentive to stay tuned in she was bored out of her gourd. She ended up taking a nap, and that was before she even had a chance to finish more than half a beer.
White Sox 4, Twins 2: Hector Santiago -- normally a relief pitcher -- actually started this one. And won. And just like that the White Sox are back in first place by a game.
Cardinals 5, Mets 4: The Robot Umps would have gotten this one right. Apparently Carlos Beltran was the guy who told Mike Matheny to appeal the play. I'm sure Mets fans are happy to see Carlos Beltran contributing like that. Wondering why he never did that when he was in New York.
Giants 9, Diamondbacks 8: From the game story, describing the scene after Marco Scutaro's game-winning hit:
Marco Scutaro had just rounded first base when the portly Pablo Sandoval caught him by surprise, tugged on his jersey and bear-hugged the second baseman ...
It's a long season even for the AP beat writers.
Astros 5, Pirates 1: Brett Wallace had three hits including a three run homer. The Pirates have lost 10 of 13. They're lucky to only be two and a half back in the Wild Card race.
Marlins 7, Brewers 3: Jose Reyes: run producer. He's hitting in the three spot now and drove in three. Coincidence? Yeah, probably, but it's something to do as the Marlins play out the string.
Angels 8, Athletics 3: The A's lose, ending their nine-game winning streak. Vernon Wells drew two walks and reached base four times in all. So obviously some sorcery was at work.
Phillies 4, Reds 2: Look at that lazy Jimmy Rollins, barely even running the bases. Oh, wait. He hit a three-run homer and that was a trot. Carry on then.
Rangers 8, Royals 4: Yu Darvish retired the first 17 batters he faced. Should have been 18, but what should have been strike three to Johnny Giavotella with two out in the fifth ended up being called ball four, which extended the inning and led to the Royals scoring thrice. The Rangers didn't get too fazed by it all, though. They hit five homers. One of them led to Nelson Cruz being plunked on the hiney, after which Michael Young hit another homer. That's the best way to deal with that garbage, really.
Braves 6, Rockies 1: Kris Medlen is en fuego.
Dodgers 4, Padres 3: Two walkoff wins in a row, this one courtesy of an A.J. Ellis single in the 11th. And he got his jersey shredded for his troubles. That's ... an interesting tradition they have going there.
Ten years ago today was one of the most famous regular season games of the 21st century. It was such a wild and improbable game that you’d think it came out of Hollywood script. Instead, not only did it happen but it ended up in a Hollywood script. It was the Moneyball game.
The A’s had just won 19 consecutive games—the last two on walk-off hits—to tie the record for the longest winning streak in American League history. All they had to do was defeat the lowly Kansas City Royals.
Sept. 4, 2002 got off to an incredibly good start for Oakland. The A's jumped all over KC’s Paul Byrd in the first inning for six runs. They scored four runs before the first out. The A’s kept up the pace in the early going, and after three innings the Royals trailed 11-0. With A’s stud Tim Hudson pitching, that was a seemingly insurmountable lead. Seemingly.
We all know what happened next, right? In the fourth inning the Royals turned four singles, a double, and an error by A’s shortstop (and eventual AL MVP) Miguel Tejada into five runs. Well, 11-5 is still a nice lead.
The A’s cruised into the eighth still up by that score when the wheels began falling off. Reliever Chad Bradford faced four batters in the eighth, and retired none. To be fair, one was a bad defensive decision as Tejada went for a bases loaded fielder’s choice play and all runners were safe. Later in the inning, Royals first baseman Mike Sweeney belted a home run to make it 11-10. Oakland still led, but that once mighty lead was rather slender.
In the top of the ninth, sure enough the Royals tied it up against Oakland closer Billy Koch on a two-out RBI single to left. The score was 11-11. For a moment it looked like the Royals would get the lead outright. The A’s looked completely unglued as potential winning run Luis Alicea advanced from first base to second on a wild pitch by Koch. But immediately after the wild pitch, Koch picked off Alicea to end the frame. That play got cut out of the movie; it would make what happened next seem a little less heroically climactic.
What happened next was the A’s calling on normal first basemanScott Hatteberg to pinch-hit. In the movie, this was the moment Art Howe finally learned to trust Hatteburg. In reality, Hatteberg played in 136 games that year—two-thirds at first and the rest at DH. But that’s not our main concern here.
Instead, with one out Hatteberg took the first pitch for a ball, and then swung hard on an offering from Royals reliever Jason Grimsley.
It was a pinch-hit home run for the walk-off, AL record-setting 20th consecutive win. The A’s would lose their next one, but they can never take away what happened exactly 10 years ago today.
Aside from that, many events today celebrate their anniversary or “day-versary” (which is something that occurred X-thousand days ago). Here they are, with the better ones in bold if you’d prefer to just skim through things.
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