December 7, 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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Monday, June 24, 2013
Mets 8, Phillies 0: Matt Harvey blanks the Phillies on two hits for six innings and David Wright went 4 for 5 with two doubles, a triple and a homer. I know the Mets have problems, but man, when it goes right for them it's really pretty. Something about the purity of an ace and a superstar doing what they're supposed to do that makes a win all the more satisfying to see.
Rays 3, Yankees 1: Chris Archer gave up one run over six innings and James Loney hit a two-run single in the seventh. The two runs allowed in the seventh really were a team effort. Both of the runners who scored -- Desmond Jennings and Ben Zobrist -- reached when Ivan Nova hit them with pitches. Then Shawn Kelley walked Evan Longoria to move the runners up, then Boone Logan came in to give up the single. There's no "I" in team. There's no "I" in "meltdown" either.
Tigers 7, Red Sox 5: Kind of a mess of a game, with the Tigers down late and Justin Verlander not looking all that hot. But then Boston got sloppy, with Andrews Miller and Bailey combining to let a run in the seventh -- with said run scoring on a hit-by-pitch -- and then Miller and Daniel Nava got all errory in the eighth as three Tigers runs scored.
Blue Jays 13, Orioles 5: Call it 11 in a row for the Jays as Edwin Encarnacion drove in four and Jose Bautista knocked in three. The Jays now have a seven-game road trip which takes them through Tampa Bay and Boston. They begin the trip only five games back. The AL East is wild, man. Wild.
Twins 5, Indians 3: Emergency starter Pedro Hernandez -- which is a lot like a name off-brand video games use when they don't have the right to use actual ballplayers' names -- gave up two runs over five innings as the Twinkies avoid the sweep. Nick Swisher came back for the Indians and dropped an 0 for 5.
Rockies 7, Nationals 6: Michael Cuddyer homered and went 3 for 4 overall to extend his hitting streak to 21 games. He's reached base in 40 straight games overall. The Rockies were staked to a 7-0 lead and held on.
Braves 7, Brewers 4: A first inning grand slam for Brian McCann wasn't all the Braves would need to win, but it was all they needed to not lose. Does that make sense? I sorta feel like it makes sense. Then again, as I'm writing this it's Sunday afternoon and it's hot and my brain doesn't function nearly as well when it's hot as it does when it's cooler. Anyway, we delivered the bomb.
Cubs 14, Astros 6: Ryan Sweeney drove in six, Anthony Rizzo drove in four and that was more run support than Jeff Samardzija truly needed. 20 runs and 29 hits in this one and it lasted three hours and fifteen minutes. I feel like that's fast for a game with this much carnage.
Royals 7, White Sox 6: Kinda like the Tigers-Red Sox game as relief pitcher fecklessness/bad defense gave this to the other team. All three of the runs Jesse Crain allowed in the eighth were unearned -- keeping his streak of innings without allowing any earned runs intact -- but since Crain's own error led the them being unearned he's sorta, kinda definitely responsible.
Marlins 7, Giants 2: Two homers for Justin Ruggiano as the Marlins win their tenth in eleven games at AT&T Park. As the defending world champs -- who have been better at home than on the road -- drop three of four to the freakin' fish. What is this world?
Dodgers 3, Padres 1: Back-to-back homers by Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez in the ninth break a 1-1 tie and then put the Dodgers up 3-1.
Reds 4, Diamondbacks 2: Mat Latos struck out 13 and allowed a run on six hits with one walk in seven and two-thirds, breaking the Dbacks' four-game winning streak.
Mariners 6, Athletics 3: Kendrys Morales with a walkoff three-run homer in the 10th and he didn't get hurt celebrating. Raul Ibanez had two homers of his own. Oakland has lost four of five.
Pirates 10, Angels 9: Oh man, Angels. Three in the ninth, four in the tenth for the Buccos in what can only be described as bullpencrapapalooza. Homers in four straight games for Pedro Alvarez.
Rangers 2, Cardinals 1: A three hour rain delay on a Sunday night because the unbalanced schedule makes it nearly impossible for teams to make up games when they don't see each other in a given city any more. Just dumb. The Rangers are probably OK with it, though, as they get the sweep. It's the first time anyone has swept the Cardinals this year.
Twenty years ago today, baseball had one of its most unexpected power surges. Or, to be more precise, a strange and unexpected power surge continued for a second straight day.
On June 24, 1993, Giants second baseman Robby Thompson belted two home runs in one game. That’s nice, but two-homer games happen all the time. True, but making it a bit more special, this was the second straight day Thompson had two homers in a game. Okay, that’s a bit more interesting. Still, that’s hardly terribly unusual. More than a few players have enjoyed consecutive multi-home games. Again, true, but there is an extra factor here.
You see, prior to June 23-24, 1993, the 31-year-old Robby Thompson never had a multi-home run game. Not in the major leagues. Not in the minor leagues. Not in college. Not in high school. Not in Little League. Not ever in this lifetime.
And then he did it two days in a row. Yeah, that’s notable.
The fun began on June 23, 1993, when Thompson and his Giants teammates hosted the Padres. In the first inning, Thompson went deep against San Diego’s Greg Harris for his first homer in over a month. Six innings later, Harris was still on the mound when Thompson led off the seventh with his second homer of the game. Thus, in the 1,045th game of his career, Thompson finally had a multi-home run game. Surely he was happy with that.
So you can only imagine how happy he was after June 24, 1993. New in San Francisco were the visiting Colorado Rockies. Thompson had probably the best game of his life, going 5-for-5 with four runs in a 17-2 Giants (and giant) whumping of the expansion team from Colorado. But no swings were bigger than Thompson’s fourth-inning homer against Willie Blair and his eighth-inning shot against Mark Grant.
While Thompson was never much of a power hitter, it’s surprising he never had any kind of multi-home run game until this time. In his late 20s, he developed some ‘tweener power, peaking with 19 homers in 1991 (a total he’d match in 1993, thanks to his June power surge).
In fact, he’d enjoy another two-homer game in September and a final one in 1995. But nothing ever will be more memorable than the time the man who never homered more than once a game did it twice two days in a row, and that happened 20 years ago today.
Aside from that, many other baseball events today celebrate their anniversary or “day-versary” (which is something that happened X-thousand days ago). Here they are, with the better ones in bold if you’d rather just skim.
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