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Wednesday, April 22, 2009
And That HappenedIndians 8, Royals 7: Sidney Ponson does pretty much what you'd expect him to, and that's get blown up (3.1 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 4 BB). And you can tell his attitude is just as good as ever. I watched this game, and as soon as he gave up the homer to Sizemore, he gets annoyed and starts working quickly and angrily which causes him to throw the ball around even more randomly than he had been. So he walks Mark DeRosa on four pitches, and Bob McClure comes out to talk to him. I can't read lips, but during the mound visit, Ponson has the same attitude as Bender from the Breakfast Club when Vernon was piling the additional Saturdays on him. McClure sits down, Ponson gives up a single to Victor Martinez and then is yanked from the game. The Royals would rally off of Joe Smith and then throw a big scare into Kerry Wood to turn it into a one-run game, but Sir Sidney sealed the Royals' fate last night.
Orioles 10, White Sox 3: the Major League debut of Brad Bergesen goes swimmingly (5.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER), ending in a win. Debuts have to be so hard to for ballplayers, because not only do they have to play, but they have to do so after spending all morning in HR filling out forms, reviewing the employee handbook, getting trained on the voice mail and everything else. Then there's that awkward lunch with their new coworkers which just blows a hole in any hope they had of being productive on Day One. In light of all of this, how a guy like Bergesen doesn't just chalk it up as a lost day is beyond me.
Yankees 5, Athletics 3: Only one home run, this one by Johnny Damon, so maybe we'll all shut up about the ballpark now. I mean, if three or four games was enough to cause us all to say it was a bandbox, I guess one is enough to say it isn't. Kurt Suzuki went 4 for 4, but no one else did anything to help him out, which is pretty much par for the course for this punchless bunch these days.
Rangers 5, Blue Jays 4: The Rangers are the only team against whom Roy Halladay has an ERA over 5.00, and he didn't do anything to change that in this game, giving up five runs in eight innings. Scary moment: Home plate umpire Kerwin Danley was gets taken off the field on a stretcher by paramedics after he was hit by the head of Hank Blalock's bat, which had broken off on a popup. The latest article I saw before the bulldog went to press said that Danley was in the hospital for "observation" and that the extent of his injuries are unknown.
Pirates 3, Marlins 2: According to this article, Freddy Sanchez had severe foot problems as a baby, and a diagnosis that he might never walk. And he never really has walked (only 115 times in over 2,500 plate appearances) but that's not as important when you're batting .360 and hitting game-winning home runs like Sanchez did last night. Disclaimer: I read that article quickly, so I may not have gotten the gist of it. Anyway, the Pirates lead the league in ERA and have won four of their last five games, which probably means that the world is going to end here pretty soon.
Nationals 4, Braves 3: Atlanta jumps out to a three run lead and then gives it back to Washington with some bad defense from Chipper Jones and Matt Diaz and, I can only assume, lack of focus due to two straight days of awful rain delays. One thing back in focus, apparently, are Brian McCann's eyes. After missing some games with blurred vision he got some new contacts and drew two walks last night. So either the eye is good or he was just guessing.
Cardinals 6, Mets 4: Anytime I say that Oliver Perez is a bad pitcher, someone comes out of the Mets' woodwork to tell me that I'm wrong -- that he's really two pitchers: one good, one bad, and you never know which one you're going to get. Well, so far we're running 3-1 on the bad to good board, with last night's stinker throwing things decidedly towards bad (4.2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 5 BB). Should have been worse, actually, given how many base runners he allowed. As it was, Perez's last act was to walk in a run to make it 4-3 Mets, and then to watch as Casey Fossum walked in another one immediately thereafter. Bad night for J.J. Putz, too, as he gave up the two runs that decided the game in the eighth.
Phillies 11, Brewers 4: Milwaukee got nothin' from Manny Parra and Jorge Julio, who combined to allow ten runs on nine hits in less than five innings. After that Philadelphia only needed to wait out a long rain delay. All Philly regulars except Ryan Howard got a hit, and all bur Howard and Jimmy Rollins batted in at least one run.
Cubs 7, Reds 2: Micah Owings neither hit nor pitched well in this one, giving up five runs in four and two-thirds innings and going 0-2 at the plate. It occurs to me that rather than this should he pitch or should he hit stuff, that maybe he should think about business school or something.
Astros 8, Dodgers 5: The Dodgers send out an offense that has been clicking and Clayton Kershaw and his 1.50 ERA against Russ Ortiz. Thank goodness for Astros' fans that they don't play the games on paper. Kershaw was rocked (4.1 IP, 8 H 6 ER), Ortiz was, well, kind of bad too but better than Kershaw, which is all that matters, because this is a head-to-head league.
Angels 4, Tigers 3: Nothin' like some home cookin' after a 1-5 road trip. A decent start from someone -- Jered Weaver -- helped.
Mariners 4, Rays 2: Among the many things going right for Seattle, excellence from Jarrod Washburn (7 IP, 5 H 2 ER, 9K) is perhaps the least expected. His ERA for the season now sits at 1.71. Fun stuff: Ken Griffey laid down a bunt in the first inning in an effort to thwart a significant shift. It ended up working, but only because of a bad throw by Any Sonnanstine. Second rate color commentators all over the country saw this, stood up and said "Finally!"
Rockies 9, Diamondbacks 6: This game lasted 3:32 and featured 13 pitchers. I'm guessing this is the kind of game that really calls into question MLB Network's decision to keep the highlight show running until the last game ends.
Giants 8, Padres 3: Yesterday I mentioned Matt Cain's poor run support, especially against the Padres. It's nice to know that Edgar Renteria (3-5, GS 5 RBI) was reading.
Twins vs. Red Sox: Postponed. And rescheduled as a double header for today. Several rain dances were also canceled in the Boston area yesterday and will likewise be rescheduled for today, weather permitting.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 5:45am
Travis M. Nelson said...
I got to watch the Yankee game on Channel 9 last night. The homer was given up by Andrew Bailey, a rookie who throws 98 mph gas, a 93 mph cutter and a sharp curve at about 80 mph. Should be really, really good.
Al Leiter was pontificating about how essential it is to keep hitters honest by having “a good cutter like that one” describing the 91 mph pitch that Damon hit over the right center field wall. I love irony.
Posted 04/22 at 08:13 AM
Levi Stahl said...
Did you happen to see the cat get onto the field at Wrigley last night? I remember seeing the skunks at Jack Murpy back in the ‘80s, and I once saw a bunny on the field at a Davenport Swing game, but this was the first cat I’d ever seen. He appeared in the outfield, then waddled over to the low brick wall along third, a grounds crew guy following.
The poor groundsman had to pick him up with very not-cat-proof gloves, and you could tell on TV that he was getting a lot of tooth-and-claw-based love; he dropped the cat, then, to my gape-mouthed surprise, picked it up by the tail and dumped it over the wall into the seats! There was an employee there who seemed to be somewhat ready to take it, but still—I envisioned the wave breaking out as people leaped out of their seats trying to get away from a feral cat.
I hope the Cubs adopt it for their clubhouse.
Posted 04/22 at 08:56 AM
Jorge Julio is still around?
The National League: Where bad Orioles relievers go to die.
Posted 04/22 at 09:09 AM
Man, Craig, you got my hopes up that you were throwing in a Futurama reference when you said “Bender”, but I didn’t remember them ever doing a Breakfast Club parody. And then I realized who you were talking about and I felt dumb.
I do think we need more references to drinking, smoking, gambling, and carousing robots from the future, though.
Posted 04/22 at 09:22 AM
The two Atlanta errors were different. Chipper had one smoked at him, took a bad hop, and hit him in the chest. He looked like it hurt him, and he didn’t go after the ball. It was an error in the pure sense, but it was a tough play. Diaz just “lost the ball in the lights”, which I am convinced is an excuse to put his bat in the lineup because he is just a horrible outfielder. He was right on it until the end, when he missed it.
Posted 04/22 at 09:30 AM
Love the Breakfast Club reference and the head-to-head league comment. Good stuff, as usual.
Posted 04/22 at 09:40 AM
APBA Guy said...
The damp weather had something to do with the ball not carrying in NY yesterday. In the first Giambi smoked a Pettitte fastball to center. It’s deep, but not terribly so, and Gardner tracked it down for a “web-gem” over the shoulder, leaping running catch at the warning track. Very nice, but in warmer air that ball leaves.
However, your point about the A’s “punchless” offense is well taken. A quick scan of their numbers at this stage is pretty depressing. They look very left handed, and very unintimidating.
Posted 04/22 at 10:43 AM
Pete Toms said...
Travis, I saw Bailey pitch recently vs Toronto and thought he was impressive also.
Topic change; is Nelson Cruz the next 4A slugger to make a big impact in MLB? A la Pena (Carlos, not Wily Mo) and Ludwick? Is there a trend here?
Posted 04/22 at 10:58 AM
The cat at Wrigley followed by a Bartman-esque plan one minute later and I officially broke out a 2003 calendar and burned it.
(Wouldn’t that be sick if I actually had a 2003 calendar?)
The Cardinals scored their runs in the 8th thanks to Daniel Murphy falling down and trying valiently to pilates his way to a catch. And Carlos Beltran decided not to slide in the top of the 8th and was called out.
These are things that should be in box scores.
Posted 04/22 at 11:21 AM
Craig Calcaterra said...
Kelly—they’re definitely the kinds of things that this little box score distillation exercise misses from time to time. I think that if I were to post this feature at, say, 9am instead of 5:45 and had the luxury of reading full game stories the recaps would definitely be richer (you sometimes see this in the Monday ATH because I have more time on Sunday to read stuff). But so many people like having it available when they wake up or get to work that I probably won’t ever mess with it.
Posted 04/22 at 11:26 AM
Craig—Oh, I know. I’m just thinking that after the line of AB R H RBI there should be a “VTTCTBWFD” category for Daniel—Valiently Tried To Catch The Ball While Falling Down.
You do a great job and it must be available first thing. I was just adding information, I promise.
Posted 04/23 at 10:29 AM