December 11, 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, May 30, 2013
Players who hit multiple home runs in a game are the new inefficiency. Teams should definitely stock up on those guys while they're undervalued.
Cubs 9, White Sox 3: Backup catcher Dioner Navarro smacked three homers—a solo, a two-run and a three-run jack—to pace the Cubbies. A Cubbies team that happen to have a +1 run differential despite a record of 21-30. That doesn't mean a ton in a mere 51 games and I doubt it will be sustainable, but it is an "aw, neat" kind of thing.
Orioles 9, Nationals 6: Three homers for Ryan Zimmerman, too. Unfortunately not enough for the Nats, as his partner in Zimmermanness—Jordangot rocked for seven runs in six innings. Chris Davis had two homers of his own and the O's pen tossed four and a third shutout innings in relief of Chris Tillman.
Phillies 4, Red Sox 3: Dom Brown hit two homers to add to his great month of May. A weird month of May too. He has 10 home runs this month but no walks. Maybe pitchers ought to stop throwing him strikes? Just a suggestion! Ryan Howard also went yard, breaking an extremely long home run drought for him.
Indians 5, Reds 2: Mark Reynolds and Jason Giambi each hit homers and Justin Masterson allowed only one run in six innings for his eighth win of the year. The Indians snap a five game losing streak.
Pirates 5, Tigers 3: Anibal Sanchez almost no-hit the Twins his last time out. This time he was far more mortal as the Pirates plated five runs off him in six and two thirds. Wait, one can't be "more mortal." One is either mortal or immortal. Being "more mortal" is like being "more pregnant."
Mets 9, Yankees 4:Ruben Tejada and Ike Davis were called into a meeting the other day and were told they could be sent down to Las Vegas. It's even being reported that, had the Mets not rallied against Mariano Rivera on Tuesday night, the demotions would've happened. Now, I have no idea what difference the rally against Rivera made—how can a weird fluke like that determine personnel decisions?—but it did get them a reprieve. And last night Tejada led off the game with a hit and scored and Davis drove in two in the first inning. David Phelps recorded only one out before he was yanked. Ivan Nova later pitched five solid innings in relief. Let's pretend they were flip-flopped and this was a bullpen implosion. Makes for better copy. That's four losses in a row for the Yankees. Maybe they've reached the limits of what no-names can do for them.
Blue Jays 3, Braves 0: The Jays went with a committee approach to pitching in this game, starting a reliever and having no one go more than three and a third innings, and it friggin' worked to the tune of a four-hit shutout. Braves starter Kris Medlen left the game after being hit on the calf with a comebacker but he's expected to make his next start. Of course, given that there's a chance he goes to the pen when Brandon Beachy comes back, I'm gonna call this yet another bullpen injury for Atlanta.
Rays 3, Marlins 1: Eight straight losses for the Marlins. Thank god they got rid of all of those players who made them stink last year. Fauxsto Carmona allowed but an unearned run in eight and two-thirds. There should be someone keeping track of how many Marlins game stories talk about the opposing pitchers seemingly figuring something out or taking a strong step forward with little or no acknowledgment that facing these minor league bats is the most relevant factor.
Twins 4, Brewers 1: Aaron Hicks hit a homer and had a nice, home run-saving catch. I feel like I've written that before very recently.
Angels 4, Dodgers 3: Jered Weaver returns and pitches six one-run innings. Well, one one-run inning and five in which he allowed no runs. Six one-run innings would be dreadful.
Cardinals 5, Royals 3: Remember when the Royals won spring training and started pretty good and some people were all like "hey, here come the Royals?" Hahaha, that was awesome. Aaron Crow was rocked for four runs in a nightmare eighth inning. Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran each homered for the second straight game.
Astros 6, Rockies 3: Tyler Chatwood struck out 10 guys in six innings but Erik Bedard matched him in the more important runs allowed column and the Astros got to the Colorado pen. A homer and a safety squeeze helped Houston in its three-run ninth.
Padres 3, Mariners 2: Eric Stultz was dominant for eight innings, striking out 12, but the Padres bats couldn't make anything happen against Joe Saunders. Will Venable hit a walkoff single in the tenth, however. Very little offense on a cool night in San Diego. Who woulda thunk it?
Athletics 9, Giants 6: The A's are on fire, winners of six straight. This one wasn't easy, though: it was a seesaw affair that lasted nearly four hours. As for the Giants, Bruce Bochy said this:
"We pretty much covered all facets of the game tonight as far as not playing well."
At least they were thorough?
Diamondbacks vs. Rangers: POSTPONED: In the twilight glow I see them. Blue eyes cryin' in the rain. When we kissed goodbye and parted. I knew we'd never meet again. Love is like a dyin' ember. Only memories remain. Through the ages I'll remember. Blue eyes cryin' in the rain. Some day when we meet up yonder. We'll stroll hand in hand again. In a land that knows no partin'. Blue eyes cryin' in the rain. Now my hair has turned to silver. All my life I've loved in vain. I can see her star in heaven. Blue eyes crying in the rain.
100 years ago today, a bit of baseball history was made. Red Sox outfielder Harry Hooper hit a home run leading off the game against the Senators. Twice.
In a Boston-Washington doubleheader, Harry Hooper made history by smashing lead off home runs in both games. That was something no one else had ever done before. And it would be quite some time until it was ever done again. Not until 1993, a full 80 years later, would any other.
July 5, 1993, Rickey Henderson did it. In other words, a baby born the day Harry Hooper performed this feat was likely dead by the time it happened again.
It’s amazing anyone would do this in 1913. The entire AL combined for 159 homers. Last year, 10 AL teams had more than 159 homers. The 1912 AL averaged 20 homers per team, with only one man in the league cracking double-digits.
And if someone were going to hit home runs leading off both ends of a doubleheader, you wouldn’t expect it to be Hooper. Even by the standards of the day, Hooper wasn’t much of a power threat. He belted two homers the year before, and would launch just one the next year. In 1914, he had all of four—half of which came leading off this doubleheader. Prior to today, Hooper had just nine homers in four-plus seasons; but seven of those homers were inside the park shots. Both his leadoff homers left the yard, doubling his career outside-the-park home run total.
At least it came against the right opposing team. Washington’s pitching staff surrendered a leading-worst 35 homers on the year. Even there, however, it’s odd. Sure that’s the club most likely to allow this unlikely achievement—but a league leading 35 homers allowed is still just 35 homers. It’s not even a homer every fourth game. Washington played 155 games that year, but surrendered three leadoff home runs, two by Hooper on that day.
An unlikely hitter achieving an unlikely feat in a seemingly impossible era. You’d never expect something like this to happen. You could never dream that Harry Hooper would belt lead off homers in both ends of a doubleheader at the height of the deadball era. But it happened—and it happened 100 years ago today.
Aside from that, many other baseball events today celebrate their anniversary or “day-versary” (which is something happening X-thousand days ago). Here they are, with the better ones in bold if you’d prefer to just skim.
Click for more...
Today, Kyle Lohse attempts to join a very select group of baseball pitchers.
Wait—Kyle Lohse? Making history? Select group of pitchers? Are we talking about the same Kyle Lohse here?
Yup. The former Twins-Cardinals-Reds-Phillies and current Brewers pitcher has a chance to do something that only 12 other men have done before: notch a win against all 30 franchises. To date, Lohse has defeated 29. Tonight he leads the Brewers against the Twins, and if Minnesota falls before him, that will complete the set.
No, he isn’t the most prestigious pitcher out there, with a 119-114 record and middling ERA. However, the guys who’ve defeated all 30 teams form an interesting mix of legends and Lohses. Here are the members of the club Kyle Lohse hopes to join: Al Leiter, Kevin Brown, Terry Mulholland, Curt Schilling, Woody Williams, Jamie Moyer, Randy Johnson, Barry Zito, Javier Vazquez, Vicente Padilla, Derek Lowe and A.J. Burnett.