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Monday, June 01, 2009
I know this has happened a lot lately, but today is yet another day where genuine shystering takes precedence over ShysterBalling, and I'm going to be in court all morning and possibly into the afternoon. I give it 80% odds that my whole day is going to shot, so this may be the last you hear of me until tomorrow.
Sorry, but like anyone else, I gots to pay the bills.
Red Sox 8, Blue Jays 2: The game story headlines give credit for the win to the Sox shaking up their lineup -- Pedroia hit leadoff and Ellsbury dropped to eighth -- but Ellsbury actually got on base more than Pedroia did in this game and wasn't on base for either of Kevin Youkilis' home runs. Hey, why don't we give Kevin Youkilis the credit for the win? Or maybe Jon Lester (6 IP 3 H, 1 ER, 12K)? The lineup shakeup seems fairly insignificant to me here.
Mets 3, Marlins 2: John Maine pitches six shutout innings and then left the game because he was barfing. Pansy. He shoulda just rubbed some dirt on it and toughed it out. No I don't know where she should have rubbed the dirt. My mom once taught me that there is a pressure point related to nausea is on the back of your hand, right at the webbing between your thumb and your index finger, so maybe that would have helped. I tried that once, but that treatment must not be rated for hangover-related nausea.
Phillies 4, Nationals 2: Jamie Moyer wins his 250th. Guys who don't have as many career wins as Jamie Moyer: Juan Marichal, Three-Finger Brown, Whitey Ford, Luis Tiant, Jim Bunning, Catfish Hunter, Curt Schilling, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Sandy Koufax. If you look at it from one direction, it's proof positive that win-totals aren't all that important when it comes to rating a pitcher, because Moyer isn't as good as any of those guys were. But it's not meaningless, and Moyer has certainly been a lot more useful in his career than anyone ever would have thought he'd be. Hall of Fame discussions are always something of a chore. Moyer is a lock for the Hall of Very Good, though, and in many ways I like HoVG players more than Hall of Famers.
Twins 3, Rays 2: Matt Garza says hello to his old team for the first time since the trade. And he pitched well (7 IP, 7 H, 3 ER), but Nick Blackburn pitched a little better (6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER). Twins' reliever Jose Mijares caught a ball that smacked off of one of those catwalks up near the roof in Tropicana. Fun and all, but I have no idea how we ever allowed that stadium into Major League Baseball. Given that no one in St. Pete seems to want the Rays to build a new one anyplace, can we commission a study to see whether that can't simply take a can opener to that joint and retrofit it with some sort of retractable roof? A new park would cost hundreds of millions. Could some unique fix to the old one really be that expensive?
Astros 2, Pirates 1: Mike Hampton wins. The AP game story says this: "[Hampton] became only the second pitcher to win eight in a row against the Pirates since 1954, improving to 12-3 lifetime against Pittsburgh." Which is pretty meaningless considering that before the two starts he's had against Pittsburgh this season, he hadn't faced them since 2003. And to get to that eight-win total, you have to count two wins in 2000, when the Pirates were giving nearly 200 at bats to Luis Sojo, and Mike Hampton still had some of his original ligaments. It's kind of like saying that I haven't lost at four square since 1985 after teaching my daughter how to play it over the weekend. Technically true, but utterly meaningless.
Tigers 3, Orioles 0: I promised some Baltimore fans that I'd start saying more nice things about the Orioles. Maybe I'll start tomorrow, because Edwin Jackson (8 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 7K) didn't do much to showcase their charms yesterday. The Matt Wieters debut weekend ends thusly: 2-11, 2B, 3B and three strikeouts. The extra base hits are nice, but he's not exactly bringing his "Z Game" yet.
White Sox 7, Royals 4: Greinke's outing wasn't bad for mere mortals (7 IP, 8 H, 4R, 3 ER, 7K, 0 BB), but compared to the way he's been pitching it was a shellacking. He still shoulda gotten the win, however, some suspect defense, hibernating bats and three runs from the bullpen killed it for him. The Royals have dropped 16 of 21 games, which means it's pretty safe to say that the little Cinderella story they were trying to put together is, for all intents and purposes, over.
Brewers 5, Reds 2: What a letdown: Yovani Gallardo vs. Micah Owings, and neither of them go deep. Look guys: you two represent the best chance at us getting rid of the DH. You have to hit, and hit with authority if we're going to convince anyone that pitchers batting is fun to watch. Trevor Hoffman is 13 for 13 in save opportunities. And while this one was a three-run affair, six of those saves came in one-run games and another three in two run games, there haven't been a ton of cheapies here.
A's 5, Rangers 4: Adam Kennedy hit two homers, including what ended up being the game winner in the ninth. After not making the Rays out of spring training and then starting the year in Sacramento, Kennedy is at .390/.462/.622 in 93 plate appearances. I'd say he's in the running along with Juan Pierre and Andruw Jones for comeback player of the year award, but whereas those other two at least once arguably rocked their peers and put suckas in fear, Kennedy was never any good in the first place. So no, I won't call it a comeback.
Padres 5, Rockies 2: 20 homers for Adrian Gonzales. Fifteen of them have come on the road. There's been talk about the Padres needing to trade Gonzales. And I can totally see that. The biggest problem is that most of the contenders this year have no need for a first baseman. Sure, maybe the Sox could use him to replace David Ortiz, but beyond that the contender who could use him the most is the Rangers. My guess is that San Diego keeps Gonzales, but man, could you imagine him hitting in Texas? UPDATE: When I wrote this last night I (a) had forgotten that AG had once been with Texas; and (b) hadn't seen that Posnanski had asked the same damn question about the current version of Gonzales hitting in the Ballpark at Arlington. So, like, whatevers.
Giants 5, Cardinals 3: Rich Aurilia hit a homer in the 7th to put the Giants ahead to stay. In other news, Rich Aurilia is still alive. From the game story: "La Russa batted his pitcher eighth in all three games of the series and has done so every game since May 18. The team is 8-5 during that stretch." On a related note, I haven't had oatmeal for breakfast since early February, and I have not been hit by a bus during that stretch.
Indians 5, Yankees 4: Pavano deserved the win, but didn't get it thanks to the always-reliable Cleveland bullpen. The Tribe will take the win, though. They're probably less satisfied with having to put Grady Sizemore on the DL before the game and the fact that Victor Martinez whacked the hell out of his knee on Saturday night keeping him out of the lineup.
Braves 9, Diamondbacks 3: The Braves lineup, which has been on a saltpeter diet recently, sprung to life against Max Scherzer, rattling out fifteen hits. Chipper Jones was 3-4 with 4 RBI and he and Johnson and Escobar combined to go 9-15, scoring seven of the Braves' nine runs. Also, Kris Medlen offered his first effective start of the season, giving up one run and striking out nine over six innings.
Angels 9, Mariners 8: Seattle had leads of 6-0 and 8-1 before woofing this one away. Which was only fair, seeing as the Angels did the same favor for them on Saturday night. Ichiro has now hit in 24 straight and has his average up to .354.
Dodgers 8, Cubs 2: Sean Marshall was as hittable last night as Eric Milton was a couple of years ago (4.1 IP, 8 H. 8 R), and Eric Milton was pretty decent once again (5.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER). I watched this one on TV, and though I know how much some people hate night games in Wrigley, the park looks absolutely gorgeous as the sun is going down and the day fades into night.