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Thursday, August 27, 2009
Dodgers 6, Rockies 1: Randy Wolf (7.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER) and Andre Either (3-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI) put this one away pretty early, thereby preventing me from being able to use the second in a series of choke jokes I had prepared. There's still a lot of time left in the season, however, and I'm sure the occasion will present itself again.
Phillies 4, Pirates 1: All day yesterday people were saying "Forget Lidge, bring in Ryan Madson! Madson can get the job done!" Guess not, as Madson's blown save cost Cole Hamels his first win in a month despite pitching eight shutout innings. Best part: Madson gets the W! Which means that he's a winner. QED. At least that's what Joe Morgan taught me. Anyway, Ryan Howard saves everyone's bacon with a three-run homer in the 10th. Mmmm . . . bacon.
Marlins 5, Mets 3: This Mets team is so depleted that the very concept of depletion is insulted by being associated with them. The latest DL resident is Oliver Perez, who was sidelined with a season-ending knee injury. While is absence would seem like just what the doctor ordered, the Mets were still somehow lost this one.
Red Sox 3, White Sox 2: A walkoff homer for Big Papi, who homered earlier in the game as well. In fact four of the game's five runs came on solo home runs. Tim Wakefield made his first start since the All-Star break, and pitched well despite not getting the win (7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER). Victor Martinez did his best to catch the knuckler, though the first pitch of the game did get away from him. The late Senator Edward Kennedy was honored before the game with a solemn ceremony and "Taps" and all of that. With all due respect to the recently departed, however, don't you think he would much rather have been honored by the allowance of beer sales past the seventh inning?
Padres 12, Braves 5: This is basically the Braves we've been living with for the past four years: Awful play out of the gate, a nice little run to give you hope, and then an inexplicable swoon in games a contending team has no business losing. Mac calls the 6th-9th innings "the worst four innings that the Braves have played this year . . . probably the worst anyone has played." Another tragic thing about this game, courtesy of reader Melissa D: Jerry Springer sang "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." Melissa does point out one ray of light: the Turner Field organist continues to dazzle, playing "Papa Don't Preach" each time Tony Gwynn, Jr. came to bat. I'm guessing it's only a matter of time before this organist is punched out cold by an angry player. Which I hope is something he would view as a very, very worthy goal.
Cardinals 3, Astros 2: The scary thing about all of this is that the guy who is 13-9 with a 3.11 ERA is only this Cardinal team's third best starter. Pineiro gave up two runs over eight innings pitched, and without looking, I'm going to guess that the Cardinals have won more close, low-scoring games than any team in baseball this year. Seriously, I've recapped around 100 Cardinals games this year, and I'm pretty sure that 92% of them finished 3-2.
Orioles 5, Twins 1: His team lost, but Alexi Casilla made a humdinger of a play, ranging right, diving to snag the ball, and then flipping it out of his glove to Orlando Cabrera covering second for the out as Casilla face planted. Also, I was not aware that the Twins have a pitcher named Jeff Manship, which is perhaps the coolest last name in the world. I'd lose the "Jeff" though, and go with something like "Jack" or "Brock" or "Pud." Seriously, tell me that "Pud Manship" wouldn't be your favorite player. See, now I know you're lying.
Blue Jays 3, Rays 2: Rod Barajas ties it up with a ninth inning homer off of J.P. Howell. Howell was apparently the only relief pitcher the Rays brought with them on this road trip, as he was allowed to stay in to issue three straight walks and then a wild pitch which allowed Marco Scutaro to score the winning run. Bad day for the home plate umpires, as first Jerry Crawford was knocked out of the game in the third after he was hit by a foul ball to the face, and then his replacement, Tom Hallion, left in the sixth inning after taking one off the chest. Hallion manshipped up, however, and stayed in the game over at third base following a delay in play, with Brian O'Nora moving behind the plate. Sadly, O'Nora was stampeded by wild buffalo in the eighth, but by then I think everyone knew it was coming.
Cubs 9, Nationals 4: Livan Hernadez made his first start on his second tour of duty with the Nats, but the final score wasn't his doing. He actually pitched pretty well (6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER). It was the bullpen -- mostly Jorge "how in the hell do I still have a job in baseball" Sosa -- that did Washington in. Milton Bradley had three RBI, but make no mistake: he still feels your hatred.
Yankees 9, Rangers 2: The Yankees win this one easily behind a nice outing from Pettitte and a three-run homer from Posada. The Rangers are now two and a half behind Boston for the wild card, which kind of bums me out, because I think they'd be fun to watch in the playoffs, whereas Boston is the opposite of fun to watch.
Indians 4, Royals 2: I have mornings when I can't find anything interesting to talk about in a given game. AP game story writers have nights like those too: "Most of the game was nondescript, as might be expected of two teams with little left to play for and a crowd that hardly seemed there . . . Lots of lazy popups, routine grounders, a few strikeouts, the occasional grounder through the infield. Boring? Maybe a little, especially after what Greinke did the night before, but it worked."
Angels 4, Tigers 2: Vladimir Guerrero got his 1,000th hit as an Angel. Seven other guys have done that: Garret Anderson, Tim Salmon, Brian Downing, Darin Erstad, Jim Fregosi, Bobby Grich and Chone Figgins. Before looking that up I tried to guess the other seven. I got five right, forgetting Fregosi for some reason that probably has to do with me being too young to remember him as a player, and Figgins, who for some reason I still tell myself is, like, 24 and just got called up a year ago, even though I know better.
Reds 4, Brewers 3: You don't hear nearly as much about Ryan Braun's defensive deficiencies these days as you used to, but once in a while we do get a reminder that, for all of his merits as a ballplayer, he can be a liability out in left. Such a reminder came when Pinch-hitter Darnell McDonald hit a liner over Braun's head in the 10th inning which he misjudged, allowing Craig Tatum to score. It's a testament to the Reds' season by the way, that I had not heard of either McDonald nor Tatum before this morning. A greater testament, however, comes in connection with the Brewers' season: 19 of the their 22 losses since the break have come to teams that are currently under .500.
Giants 4, Diamondbacks 3: Benjie Molina hit a pinch hit three-run home run in the eighth. Good game for Jonathan Sanchez, who went seven innings giving up three runs and six hits while striking out nine.
Mariners 5, Athletics 3: Seattle sweeps Oakland despite not having Ichiro available. Surprisingly, they're 9-2 without him this year so, like, they should totally trade him to Atlanta for cash considerations or something.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
The Indians team bus was in a minor accident on the way to Kauffman Stadium this afternoon. No injuries to anyone on the team, minor injury to the driver of the other car. That's not the WTF part, however. This is:
It's the second time the Indians were involved in a bus incident in Kansas City. In 2004, rookie pitcher Kyle Denney was struck in the calf when someone shot at the bus. He avoided serious injury thanks to go-go boots he was wearing as part of a hazing ritual.
I love the "hey, didn't you all know this already" randomness of that. It kind of reminds me of the original WKRP opening that has the guy switching the radio dial and coming across the newscaster saying " . . . but the Senator, while insisting he was not intoxicated, could not explain his nudity."
Trevor Hoffman has been placed on waivers. If you're Philly, wouldn't you rather have him closing games for you than Brad Lidge?
. . . but so too was the seizing of the list in the first place:
A federal appeals court has ruled that investigators were wrong to seize a list of 104 Major League Baseball players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs during the 2003 season. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that federal authorities had the right to take only the results of the 10 players listed on their search warrant. Federal agents took the larger list players during 2004 raids in connection with their probe of the Bay Area Laboratory Co-Operative, later found to be at the center of a steroids distribution ring.
It was already ridiculous and ignorant for people to call for "all the names to be released." Now it's even more ridiculous.
For what seems like the umpteenth time in the past two weeks old lady law is whuppin' my behind again today. Government work wasn't supposed to be like this, but whaddaya gonna do?
Unlike other recent awful days, however, I expect that I will actually have some posts up later today, so do check back. In the meantime, maybe someone can help me understand why I take so much joy in tweaking the Pete Rose apologists.
Rockies 5, Dodgers 4: If you encounter a team in the Dodgers' position, lean them forward slightly and stand behind him or her. Make a fist with one hand. Put your arms around the person and grasp your fist with your other hand in the midline just below the ribs. Make a quick, hard movement inward and upward in an attempt to assist the person in dislodging the object that is obstructing the airway. This maneuver should be repeated until the person is able to breathe or loses consciousness.
Marlins 2, Mets 1: Yesterday, in the wake of the Johan Santana news, I wrote "Rest now, Mets fans. There really is nothing else that can hurt you this year." Almost immediately thereafter readers wrote in with ways this nightmare of a season could get worse. Things like a Phillies-Yankees World Series or Jeff Francoeur getting a five year deal. With each passing day the latter seems like a possibility. As one of the only real major leaguers left on the roster (I use that term to describe tenure more than merit), Frenchy will stick out. Especially if he does things like hit a couple of doubles a night like he did here. And no, it doesn't matter that one of the doubles was a total misplay on the part of the defense. It still counts!
Pirates 6, Phillies 4: At this rate does Brad Lidge even make the postseason roster? Brought in to protect a one-run lead in the ninth, Lidge blows his ninth save of the year and sees his ERA go up to 7.33. He had some help from Jayson Werth, who came in late in the game, supposedly to provide defense, but who let a run score on an error.
Reds 8, Brewers 6: The Reds blow a five run lead in the ninth, but Joey Votto and Laynce Nix homer in the 13th to make it all better. The dingers came off of former Red Todd Coffey. The Reds hitters had the psychological advantage in that situation: they knew that Coffey sucks, whereas Coffey probably still labors under delusions that he does not. It's called clarity of thought, people. Therein lies the advantage.
Twins 7, Orioles 6: Delmon Young goes 4-5 and hits a walkoff single in the ninth.
Red Sox 6, White Sox 3: Chicago loses its third straight and falls to .500. Jacoby Ellsbury steals his 55th base, breaking the tie with Tommy Harper for the most steals in a single season in Red Sox history.
Tigers 5, Angels 3: Detroit takes advantage of the Chicago loss, extending their lead to four and a half games. John Lackey was beat up for the second straight outing. Miguel Cabrera (3-5, 2B, HR, 2 RBI) is on pace for having one of the quietest .340 35 HR 100 RBI seasons in recent memory.
Cardinals 1, Astros 0: Wandy Rodriguez and Adam Wainwright throw bullets all night -- each only gave up three hits -- but a quick single from Brendan Ryan followed by a Pujols double in the first inning put Rodriguez in a "hole" he could never get out of. This game took 2:10, which is roughly the length of your average AL East inning.
Rays 7, Blue Jays 3: Carlos Pena continues his Dave Kingmanesque season, hitting his 36th and 7th home run, while still maintaining that .223 average. Wait, that's not fair. Pena leads the league in walks and he can play some defense, so Kingman's not a good comp. How about his Russell Branyan season?
Royals 6, Indians 2: Zack Greinke mows down the Indians with 15 strikeouts. With this outing, with Halladay's recent swoon, and with the guys with the high win totals posting considerably higher ERAs, Greinke probably just catapulted himself back into "favorite" status for the Cy Young award, didn't he?
Padres 2, Braves 1: Adam LaRoche knocked in pinch runner Reid Gorecki with two outs in the ninth (after Gorecki stole second) to stave off defeat, but then David Eckstein won it for the Pads with an RBI double in the 12th. The Braves' 1-2-3 hitters combined to go 0-16.
Rangers 10, Yankees 9: Let's hear it for all of that extra rest Joba Chamberlain got (4 IP, 9 H, 7 ER). Let's also hear it for a valiant, yet utterly unsuccessful ninth inning rally by the Yankees.
Nationals 15, Cubs 6: Huge nights for Josh Willingham (4-4, 2 HR, 6 RBI) and Elijah Dukes (2-3, 2B, HR 5 RBI) provide a not-so-friendly welcome back for Carlos Zambrano, who was making his first start since August 1st. Zambrano did hit a homer, though.
Mariners 4, Athletics 2: Ryan Langerhans, in as a defense replacement (AHEM, Jayson Werth) wins the game with a 10th inning homer. Even in the loss, Oakland Rookie Brett Anderson was sharp, giving up one run on six hits with eight strikeouts in seven innings.
Giants 5, Diamondbacks 4: Travis Ishikawa's three-run shot in a tie game in the eighth inning proves to be the winner after the Giants had their hearts ripped out by the Rockies the night before. At this point, seeing someone come back from a killer loss to the Rockies like this might be the only ray of sunshine in Dodgerland.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Johan. Bone chips. Surgery. See you next spring.
Rest now, Mets fans. There really is nothing else that can hurt you this year.
Some days I wonder why I even bother trying to get posts up quickly:
The Mets agreed to send Wagner to the Red Sox on Tuesday after the pitcher approved the trade, according to his agent, Bean Stringfellow. The talks were dead as of late Monday night due to Wagner’s refusal to waive his no-trade clause. But Wagner reconsidered at the last minute, lured by the pull of a pennant race.
Or else he did a quick analysis, realized that the Sox are a flawed team that won't be making the postseason and thus he doesn't have to worry about throwing any more pitches in Boston than he would have in Queens.
Sharur at Viva El Birdos has confirmed ESPN's east coast bias, and it has nothing to do with the Yankees and Red Sox.
Rob and Keith -- I'm guessing you could somehow use this glitch to your advantage with the payroll department, but I need to put more thought to it.
I would like to take this opportunity to once again apologize for the "I Walk the Line" reference in this morning's recaps which, in addition to being totally lame, didn't even fit the proper rhythm of the song. Which is a crime, because a jumpy rhythm makes you feel so fine. It'll shake all the trouble from your worried mind:
Hmmm, now I'm wondering whether the lyric "shoeshine boy" is racist. I mean, it's possible that the character in the song really was a "boy" in the sense that he was 11 years-old or something, but it was recorded in Memphis in the mid 50s . . .damn, I like that song too.