December 13, 2013
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Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Rangers 8, Orioles 2: Adrian Beltre hit two homers on a 4 for 4, 5 RBI night. He has an 11 game hitting streak and is 21 for his last 43. Wrecking crew. He's not a member of the All-Star team despite a line of .319/.362/.551. Thank you, Jim Leyland, though, for giving us five middle relievers to choose from in that Final Vote thing. THIS TIME IT COUNTS.
Royals 3, Yankees 1: Third loss in a row for the Yankees. This time they were tied up by James Shields for seven innings. CC Sabathia went the distance but gave up homers to Butler and Lough.
Phillies 4, Nationals 2: Cole Hamels allowed one run and six hits in eight innings, winning his second straight. The Phillies are now 6-2 in July, having taken series from the Pirates and Braves and now having beaten the Nationals twice in a row.
Rays 4, Twins 1: That's six straight for the Rays. Granted, they've come against the Twins, White Sox and Astros, but wins against bad teams count just as much in the standings as wins against good ones.
Athletics 2, Pirates 1: Dan Straily allowed one run in six and a third and was then optioned to Sacramento because that's how life works when you're a fifth starter around the All-Star break. Oakland maintains its half-game lead over the Rangers.
Braves 6, Marlins 4: Justin Upton had been doing a pretty good B.J. Upton imitation for the past couple of months, but last night he doubled twice, homered and drove in two.
Cubs 7, Angels 2: Two homers for Alfonso Soriano. Five in all for the Cubbies. Four straight wins for the Cubs.
Indians 3, Blue Jays 0: Ubaldo Jimenez and three relievers combine for the shutout. Took only two hours and 16 minutes to get this one in the can.
Brewers 2, Reds 0: Wily Peralta with a three-hit shutout overshadowed Tony Cingrani's 10-strikeout performance. Peralta's complete game was the Brewers' first in 407 starts, which is pretty amazing.
While Sox 11, Tigers 4: A 6 for 6 night for Alex Rios. Adam Dunn after the game: "That takes people like me two, maybe three weeks to get six." Dunn did, however, hit a two-run homer off Justin Verlander in the eighth to put the Sox ahead for good as Chicago scored 10 runs in the final two frames. Twenty-three hits in all for the Chisox.
Cardinals 9, Astros 5: Seven scoreless innings gives Adam Wainwright his 12th win, tying him for the NL lead. He's now 13-1 in 15 career starts against Houston with a 1.56 ERA.
Red Sox 11, Mariners 8: Jackie Bradley Jr. flew into Seattle after being called up and hit the tie-breaking homer. Five homers in all for the Sox. David Ortiz stole a base. Weird things happen after I go to sleep.
Dodgers 6, Diamondbacks 1: Ricky Nolasco made his Dodgers debut and allowed only one run in seven. The Dodgers have played eight straight against NL West opponents and have won six of them. They're still not back to .500, but they're only 2.5 out of the division lead.
Padres 2, Rockies 1: The Padres finally win a friggin' ballgame. A complete game for Eric Stults. Bud Black visited the mound to take him out in the ninth but left him in, saying afterward that he remembered what it was like to be in that position when he pitched. Which reminded me that Bud Black was once a starting pitcher. I had somehow forgotten that, having his identity morph in my head into a manager only at some point. That has happened with Mike Scioscia at times too. Not Kirk Gibson yet. Some ex-players always feel like ex-players to me. Some make that jump. I dunno.
Mets 10, Giants 6: A Marlon Byrd grand slam gave the Mets breathing room as they put up five runs in the eighth. The Giants, by the way, have a worse record than the Cubs.
Question: Of all the times a starting pitcher has gotten the hook before recording a single out, what is the most runs he’s allowed before marching to the showers? Answer: eight runs.
Five times a starter has faced eight batters, seen them all get on base and score, and left the game with nary an out to his credit. Incredibly, two of five games happened to the same starter—one-time Mets prospect
It wasn’t the first time it happened to anyone. In 1984, A’s hurler Bill Krueger created the club, and Bobby Jones of the Mets joined it in 1997, followed by KC’s Blake Stein in 1998.
On July 10, 2003, Reds starter Paul Wilson had a day from hell.
Facing off against a talented Houston Astros club, Wilson didn't begin the day too badly, given what was in store. Leadoff hitter Craig Biggio grounded a routine one to shortstop Ray Olmedo. However, Olmedo botched it, and Biggio was safe on an error. It would be the only error committed behind Wilson, but he would continue to be snake-bit in this outing.
Up next was Geoff Blum. On a 2-1 count, he singled to left, sending Biggio scurrying to third. Now came the really dangerous part of the Astros batting order—Jeff Bagwell followed by Lance Berkman, Richard Hidalgo and Morgan Ensberg. Bagwell and Berkman were two of the best sluggers in the game. Hidalgo, three years removed from a 44-homer campaign, would hit .309 with 28 homers in 2003. Ensberg, in his first full season, would hit .291 with 25 homers. That was the fun part of the order.
Wilson didn’t want to give Bagwell anything too good to hit, but also didn’t want to concede the at-bat. He threw a first pitch ball, then got a called strike. After another ball, Bagwell swung and miss to even the count, 2-2. After another ball for a full count, Bagwell swung on Wilson’s best offering—and laced an RBI single to right.
Berkman now came up with runners on first and second. Wilson either was willing to pitch around him or didn’t have any control. The first three pitches were all balls. Wilson rallied, and got a called strike and foul to bring it to a full count, but then issued ball four to load the bases. Four batters, 18 pitches—and it was 1-0 with three on and no outs.
Hidalgo came up next and in a change of pace, Wilson got ahead of the hitter;Hidalgo fouled off each of the first three pitches. Then Wilson tried to get cute, aiming for the corners, and Hidalgo evened the count, 2-2. Then he swung again and made good contact. His sharply hit liner down the left field line went for a double that brought everyone home. The game was now 4-0 and rapidly getting out of hand.
Please note Wilson really wasn’t pitching terribly here. He just wasn’t quite able to close anyone out. He’d gotten two strikes on three straight hitters, but they all reached base.
Now came Ensberg in what had to be the most frustrating at bat of the inning for Wilson. He really needed an out here. He got a called strike followed by a ball to make it a 1-1 count. When Ensberg fouled off the next offering, Wilson was just one strike from finally, mercifully getting his first out and then facing the weaker bottom of the order.
But Ensberg fouled off the next pitch. And the next one. And the next one. He took the next pitch to even the count, 2-2, and then fouled off yet another. The ninth pitch of the at bat went for a ball to bring things to a full count, and then, once again, Wilson couldn’t seal the deal. Ensberg singled to right, with Hidalgo holding up at third. Six batters up, six batters on, 34 pitches, and Wilson was still looking for his first out.
Up next was catcher Brad Ausmus, who owed his career to his work behind the plate, not at the plate. He was hitting barely over .200 on the year; maybe Wilson could get him for the first out. Or not. Ausmus singled to center, scoring Hidalgo. By now the Reds had pitcher John Riedling warming up as fast as he could in the bullpen.
Defensive stud shortstop Adam Everett came up next. Again Wilson got two strikes. Again it made no difference. First Wilson threw a wild pitch that sent Ensberg from second to third, and then Everett hit a liner to left for yet another single.
That was it. Wilson was done. For a 43-pitch, out-less outing, it wasn’t so bad. Wilson got to two strikes several times, but that doesn’t mean anything. There was an error and they were singles he allowed, not homers. But almost all the singles were line drives, and everyone reached base.
The fun continued when Riedling came in. Though he struck out opposing pitcher Ron Villone, the next two batters hit seeing-eye grounders, letting the inherited runners score, giving Wilson his eight runs allowed. (Riedling walked in another run moments later for good measure).
Wilson allowed eight runs, seven earned, on six hits and a walk. Others have had worse starts, but no one can top eight runs and no outs (though Wilson later tied this feat two years later). Thus 10 years ago today was one of the most unfortunate starts ever.
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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