December 9, 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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Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Since it now trickles throughout the length of the season, MLB has seemingly dropped its big marketing push for interleague play. Either way, baseball’s schedule is still taking a break this week, expanding interleague from one series per day to all 15, with a big focus on cross-town or nearby interleague rivalries. The Yankees are playing the Mets. The Cubs are playing the White Sox. The Giants are playing the A’s.
I don’t really have strong feelings toward the idea of interleague play one way or the other, but I do think that these cross-town rivalry games can certainly be fun. The fan bases usually get into it, and even though interleague is more common now than ever before, there’s still a certain amount of rarity in seeing Washington play Baltimore.
Now, naturally, since these teams don't often see each other, some of these rivalries are tepid at best. But as you might imagine, a handful of the cross-town series can get rather heated, especially if the two teams share a metropolitan area and actively compete with each other for fans.
San Francisco and Oakland are this way, and it’s only been exacerbated by the A’s and their centuries-long stadium search, compounded by the Giants claiming territorial rights to San Jose. Which makes it baffling to see what CBS Sports columnist Jon Heyman tweeted Tuesday night.
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Mets 2, Yankees 1: Yesterday I cracked that Mariano Rivera, who was asked to throw out the first pitch by the Mets, would likely throw the last pitch in the "Yankees likely victory over the Mets." Shows ya what I know. The greatest closer in the history of baseball came into the ninth with a one-run lead and promptly gave up a ground rule double and two singles. Those, along with a Brett Gardner error, gave the Mets the 2-1 walkoff win. Matt Harvey gets the no-decision, but he struck out 10 in eight shutout innings.
Braves 7, Blue Jays 6: The Braves are representative of the disturbing, destabilizing growing inequality between rich and poor in this great nation. Except instead of money, they have catchers. Two homers for Brian McCann, one for Evan Gattis.
Nationals 9, Orioles 3: Two homers for players developed by the Braves are the new inefficiency. Adam LaRoche goes yard twice and drove in four. Roger Bernadina and Tyler Moore went deep too. Davey Johnson said he wouldn't shave until the bats woke up. Now, despite the Nats' biggest offensive day in a month and a half, he's saying he won't shave because he doesn't want to jinx it. OK.
Rockies 2, Astros 1: Jose Veras, like Mariano Rivera, couldn't stop the opposition in the ninth. That's the first and last time anyone makes even the vaguest comparison between Veras and Rivera. Michael Cuddyer had three hits, including an RBI single in the ninth, driving in Troy Tulowitzki, who had doubled just before.
Reds 8, Indians 2: If this was the NBA or NFL some commentator would say the Indians are being "exposed" in recent days. Thankfully the baseball season is so long and varied that such analysis is poppycock. Eh, who am I kidding someone is going to say it anyway, even if it's just a rough patch for Cleveland. The Reds rapped ten hits off Zach McCallister. Xander Paul was 3 for 4 with a couple driven in.
Pirates 1, Tigers 0: We're blacked out of Pirates game here in Cbus, so the girlfriend couldn't watch this. As we were going to bed she checked the score online and found that it was still 0-0 in the tenth inning. I said "wow, who's pitching?" She said "Jose Ortega, so they're probably going to lose soon." It came one inning later on a Neil Walker bomb. Now, if someone would just explain to me why Pirates games are blacked out here in Cbus. Rick Porcello, like Matt Harvey, got a no-decision despite eight impressive shutout innings.
Twins 6, Brewers 5: A long day at work, but a good one for Aaron Hicks in this 14 inning affair. He scored the winning run on a sac fly, doubled and homered in this one. Earlier he made a leaping grab at the center field wall to rob Carlos Gomez of a home run. And what did you do yesterday? Play 15 games of minesweeper, have lottery fantasies and read baseball blogs? Well, heck, if so you actually had a pretty good day too. It's how I spent the bulk of the years 2001-2009.
Phillies 3, Red Sox 1: Cliff Lee had thrown just 95 pitches in tying up Red Sox bats and he probably coulda finished the game, but Charlie Manuel brought in Jonathan Papelbon to close out out. Why?
"Kind of wanted to see it, if you want to know the truth," Manuel said after the former Red Sox closer finished off the 3-1 victory over Boston on Tuesday night. "Pap likes drama. Might as well like it with him."
Charlie Manuel: master troll. In other news, Terry Francona comes to Boston with the Indians the other day and gets cheered. Papelbon comes to Boston with the Phillies and gets booed. Whatever, Sox fans.
Dodgers 3, Angels 0: Hyun-Jin Ryu with a two-hit shutout in this brisk, two hour, eleven minute affair.
Rays 7, Marlins 6: The Rays were down four, but no lead is safe for the Marlins. Desmond Jennings drove in the winning run with a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth to hand Miami its seventh straight loss. Our friend Old Gator informs us that the Marlins own the worst record in professional baseball in all of North America at this time, including Mexico and the minors. He further informs us that the 1962 Mets were 15-37 through 52 games. The Marlins are 13-39.
Cardinals 4, Royals 1: The 1oth straight home loss for Kansas City. The Cards are now 20-9 on the road. Carlos Beltran with a two-run homer.
Athletics 6, Giants 3: Five in a row for the A's and 10 of 11. Giants starter Michael Kickham was tattooed. "Michael Kickham" would also be an excellent name for the lead character in a straight-to-video martial arts movie from the late 80s.
Padres 6, Mariners 1: Eric Wedge is flat wrong in saying that sabermetrics ruined Dustin Ackley. Sabermetricians hate Edinson Volquez and he ruined the M's bats last night. So QED or whatever. Who ruined Brandon Maurer last night? I'm gonna say some combination of anarchists and the environmentalist movement.
Cubs vs. White Sox: POSTPONED: You must be somewhere in London. You must be lovin' your life in the rain. You must be somewhere in London walking Abbey Lane.