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Tuesday, April 28, 2009
And That HappenedMets 7, Marlins 1: Gary Sheffield played left field and immediately dropped a fly ball, so apparently it's the position, not the player. Other than that, things were just fine for New York, as John Maine pitched well for once. And, as you know, you can't stop Omir Santos, you can only hope to contain him. Not so good for the fish: Hanley Ramirez got plunked in the hand and had to leave. X-Rays were negative, which paradoxically, means good news.
Astros 4, Reds 1: Great starts from both Oswalt (7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER) and Cueto (7 IP, 7 H, 1 ER), though neither figured in the decision. Francisco Cordero had only given up one earned run in his first seven innings, but got beat up in the ninth. Chris Dickerson had 12 strikeouts in his last 19 at-bats entering this game and finally hit something. Unfortunately it was Miguel Tejada's head with his own, and he had to leave the game with a concussion.
Red Sox 3, Indians 1: Must have been some bad starting pitcher juju floating around Ohio last night, because this is the second game here in which the starters were spectacular yet had nothing to show for it. Wakefield (7 IP, 1 H, 0 ER) trumps Lee (8 IP, 5 H, 0 ER) in the bad luck department, however, because as a knuckleballer he is entitled to better treatment. Great Moments in Passive-Aggressive Game Stories: The AP story had this note at the end: "OF Matt LaPorta, acquired by the Indians from Milwaukee in the deal for CC Sabathia last summer, is batting .400 at Triple-A Columbus. He batted .520 and was the International League's top player last week." It said that because AP editors wouldn't allow the beat reporter to write "man, the Indians leftfielders suck this year, don't they?"
Tigers 4, Yankees 2: The game story said "Sabathia (1-2) gave up four runs on six hits in another disappointing performance for the pitcher the Yankees gave a $161 million, seven-year contract last winter." Reader RobRob opines: "Let's see: Complete game, check. Six hits allowed, check. No walks, check. Seven strikeouts, check. 99 pitches, check. Four runs? Not terrible, considering two were on a fly ball that could have been an out. Disappointing? Only in New York." My sentiments exactly. It was a good start. He lost. It happens. No need to call it disappointing and to point out the size of the contract.
Phillies 13, Nationals 11: Nick Johnson and Adam Dunn homered in the top of the eighth to put Washington up 11-7, but then Raul Ibanez hit a grand slam in the bottom of the eighth, after a couple of other runs, to fling the Phillies to the 13-11 victory. The names of the relief pitchers involved were changed to protect the innocent.
Cardinals 3, Braves 2: I watched this one -- well, kinda; I was flipping back and forth between it and "Star Trek: TNG" episodes -- but from what I saw, I was amazed that the Cardinals left more guys on base than did the Braves, who were afflicted with some sort of tachyon-based anti-clutch force field. Oh, and while I'm geeking out, I'm going to go on record and note that the Star Trek people made a big mistake in not killing off Worf and making Suzie Plakson's K'Ehleyr the regular token Klingon circa season 2. Small sample size, sure, but definitely the potential for a much better character.
Royals 7, Blue Jays 1: I guess the only remaining question is whether Brian Bannister (7 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2K, 6 BB) will get a second round of national media love before his inevitable shellackings commence.
Rays 7, Twins 1: Well, at least Scott Baker didn't give up any home runs.
Rangers 6, Orioles 4: I hate these wraparound series. They make me feel like the week hasn't really started. Like every day is Sunday. Come, Armageddon! Come! Um, sorry about that. Habit. Anyway, announced attendance was 10,621, which is the second-smallest crowd in Camden Yards history. They're going to break 10,000 pretty soon, which should be fun.
Brewers 10, Pirates 5: A textbook case of mutual bullpen betrayal, as the Brewers blew a two-run lead in the top of the eighth, then scored five in the bottom half to beat the Pirates. This was Pittsburgh's 16th straight defeat at Miller Park. Trevor Hoffman makes his Milwaukee debut, but it wasn't a save situation. Do they still play "Hells Bells"? Does a closer with his own music bring it with him when he changes teams? I'm guessing Hoffman did, but I'm not sure.
Rockies 12, Padres 7: San Diego, as I predicted, is beginning to find their true level after a quick start, and that level isn't all that high.
Giants 5, Dodgers 4: What began as a excellent start by Zito -- shutout through six -- kind of fell apart in the seventh as the Dodgers scored four times to take the lead, but the Giants rallied in the eighth. Brian Wilson, apparently much better rested now that he's home from the road trip, nailed it down in the ninth. Pfun Pfact: History's greatest monster, Barry Bonds, was in the house, sitting between Giants CEO William Neukom and president Larry Baer in the front row next to the Giants’ dugout. Later he made a guest spot on the Giants broadcast, breaking down a Manny Ramirez at bat against Zito. There were no reported injuries, no one fainted or even swooned, and no children were corrupted in the process.
Diamondbacks 7, Cubs 2: Danny Haren gave up a leadoff homer to Soriano and then settled down to retire 22 of the next 23 he faced. His line: CG, 3 H, 2 ER, 10K, 0 BB.
Mariners at White Sox: Postponed: According to the AP story, the game will be made up today as part of a doubleheader beginning at 4:05 p.m. Does that mean it's a true, old-fashioned two-for-one doubleheader, or will they kick everyone from the first game out at 7PM or whenever it ends so that they can get a second paying crowd out of the deal? I suppose it would have to be the latter due to the logistics of it all -- two people could have tickets to the same seat -- but I really have taken a shine to the old style doubleheaders ever since my mom told me that she went to this one -- and sat through both games less than two weeks before giving birth to me. Kinda makes me feel like I have doubleheaders in my DNA, ya know?
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 5:36am
I can confirm that Hoffman did come out to Hell’s Bells. That would’ve been one ticked off crowd if he hadn’t.
Posted 04/28 at 08:40 AM
“man, the Indians leftfielders suck this year, don’t they?”
This year? I’m sure you’re aware that they’ve sucked the past, like, 4 years.
I’m a Mark Shapiro fan, but the inability to fill this hole (and it used to be both corner outfield spots until Choo came back and suddenly started OPS+ing 145) has been pretty pathetic.
The last time the team’s regular right and left fielder each put up an OPS+ of 100 was 2003 (Matt Lawton and Jody Gerut). Brutal.
Posted 04/28 at 08:40 AM
Connecticut Mike said...
I actually caught Barry Bonds in the booth on one of those look-ins from the MLB network. I was kind of surprised, and while I only saw it briefly, I kind of liked it.
I have wondered for a while if there will be some tipping point where Barry Bonds goes from ultimate-PED-villain to ultimate-PED-persecuted-guy, and if Bonds will be redeemed to some extent in the public eye.
I really think that would be one of the first steps in coming to grips with and putting the PED era behind us, although it probably won’t happen.
Posted 04/28 at 08:44 AM
Another fun fact from last night’s Brewer game:
In the bottom of the eighth, Grabow intentionally walked Braun after falling behind 2-0. The second intentional ball (the fourth ball overall) missed its mark and ended up just about right down the middle of the plate. Braun looked back at the umpire to ask if he was going to call it a strike; he didn’t.
Posted 04/28 at 08:45 AM
Levi Stahl said...
Your mom’s doubleheader story reminds me of one my Grandpa Bill told me recently: when my grandmother was at the hospital in labor with their first child, the doctor told Grandpa Bill that it would be a few hours at least—so Grandpa Bill decided to go to a baseball game. He didn’t realize it was a doubleheader until he got there . . . and after the first game finished quickly, he figured he might as well stay for the second.
Which, as you can imagine, got him in trouble.
Posted 04/28 at 08:55 AM
Did anyone else think Barry’s hat size might have shrunk to the mid-two figures?
Posted 04/28 at 09:37 AM
“Chris Dickerson had 12 strikeouts in his last 19 at-bats entering this game and finally hit something. Unfortunately it was Miguel Tejada’s head with his own, and he had to leave the game with a concussion.”
Posted 04/28 at 09:56 AM
Kelly F. said...
I saw most of the part of the game while Bonds was in the TV booth with Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow. Having listened to that duo for several years, it’s no surprise that they didn’t ask Barry any tough questions (that I saw). They, rightly so, have never (again, that I know of) offered an opinion on Barry’s alleged PED use, because there’s no hard evidence that says he used. However, their tone over the years is unmistakeably pro-Barry and boils down to, “Barry’s a great player and person, and this witchhunt is a travesty.” Homers are homers. No surprise and no big deal, really.
The point, though, is that Barry was very good in the booth. He could have a future there if he wanted, but I doubt it will happen. Perhaps it was only because of the friendly atmosphere, but I was impressed. His gave a nice insight about Manny’s batting approach. After that, he was asked if he would produce an instructional video/DVD on hitting. He said he’s been approached about it and he’s interested, but he wants to make sure it’s done right. I have to think that anyone seriously interested in batting better or teaching batting would love to hear what Barry has to say.
Posted 04/28 at 10:08 AM
what is the psignificance of spelling “pfun pfact” like that? I am, alas, missing the cultural allusion.
Posted 04/28 at 02:10 PM
Craig Calcaterra said...
No significance, Jake. I started doing that with a couple of Phillies posts to play on the PH thing, but decided I liked the look of it so now I’ll use it anywhere. Not sure why. Just silly, I suppose.
Posted 04/28 at 02:12 PM
Bob Timmermann said...
That Tigers-Orioles doubleheader in 1973 took only two minutes longer than the Red Sox and Yankees took to play 9 innings Saturday.
There would have been a 20 minute break between games in 1973.
Posted 04/28 at 02:43 PM
Craig Calcaterra said...
Yeah, I saw that. Here’s hoping that the Sox and Yankees aren’t rained out anytime soon or else the ensuing doubleheader will resemble long-form cricket matches.
Posted 04/28 at 02:50 PM