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Thursday, July 30, 2009
And That HappenedYankees 6, Rays 2: Via Facebook, I leaned that Jason from IIATMS and I made the almost simultaneous observation about Joba last night: that he clearly watched Mark Buehrle pitch last week and decided that he was going to be a fast worker too. He was pretty clunky looking at such a pace, but you can't argue with the results: (8 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, and most importantly, only 101 pitches). And you'll be shocked to hear that Rick Sutcliffe was being stupid again. He spent, like, an hour talking about the glorious code of honor surrounding beanings and retaliation, and then said "but you kids at home, don't do that; only professionals do; you should never throw at anyone." Oy. Oh, and apparently in Sutcliffe's world, batters only go out and try hard once they see their pitcher is "gonna protect them" by throwing at the other team. Otherwise they just mail it in. Oh, and Joe Maddon is a "competitor." Sometimes I wish Sutcliffe would simply identify for me the guys who aren't "competitors." It would save some time.
Mariners 3, Blue Jays 2: Ryan Rowland-Smith was dealing. J.P. Ricciardi wasn't, which is why Halladay pitched. I know the popular sentiment right now is that they should trade him and that every day that passes, his value goes lower, but can anyone point me to an actual deal that everyone has confirmed was on the table for him? You wouldn't have given him up for what Lee brought, right, and by all accounts Philly was saying no to the better prospects. Isn't it possible that no one is truly offering sufficient value for Halladay? And does he not provide value in a Blue Jays uniform for a season and a half? I think people get deal-happy this time of the season.
Giants 1, Pirates 0: Cain (9 IP, 3 H, 0 ER) and Duke (7 IP, 6 H, 0 ER) were both on freakin' point, but no one could give them a run, and each ended up with a no-decision. Etiquette question: Freddy Sanchez was traded to San Francisco right after this game. Presumably, then, he could walk right over to the home clubhouse to drop off his personal stuff, right? There were probably still some Giants hanging around after the game. Does Sanchez high five them on the win? How long must his post-game moroseness last? Wait, bad example -- he's being set free from Pittsburgh, so the moroseness ended the moment the "d" came out in "you've been traded." But I'm still interested in the question on a hypothetical basis.
Angels 9, Indians 3: Who pays for the airfare when someone is traded, the team shipping the guy out, or the team bringing the guy in? I ask because the Phillies are in Phoenix, which is a short hop from Orange County. The other day the Indians sent Garko to the Giants, who were just a short flight up the coast. Part of me -- the absurd part -- wants to believe that these deals were in place for days, but that Cleveland waited until they were closer to their players' ultimate destinations. And that they asked Lee and Garko if they'd drive before reluctantly coughing up the airfare.
Cubs 12, Astros 0: Evidence that time travel is impossible: if it existed, some Astros fan from the future would have zapped into Wrigley Field and told the team just to forfeit the game after Derek Lee's sac fly in the first, so as to save everyone a lot of hassle on a miserable afternoon. Wait, that's not right; if Astros fans could travel in time there's way better things they could do, such as sterilize Ed Wade's parents and such.
Padres 7, Reds 1: Aaron Harang's outing -- coming as it does at time when the Reds are talking about trying to move him -- was the equivalent of your Camaro dropping a transmission in the driveway of the guy you to whom you were about to sell it.
Marlins 6, Braves 3: I can't recall a season, going all the way back to 1993, when the Braves didn't have a nice chunk of their season torn asunder during a trip to Miami. They could be on a 10-0 streak during which they've outscored the opposition 150-0, and they'd drop an ugly three-game series to the Marlins. Friggin' clockwork, as was Bobby Cox's ejection for arguing balls and strikes.
Athletics 8, Red Sox 3: Remember when the Sox were gonna deal Brad Penny? Yeah, not so much (5 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 4 BB). Boston is now 3.5 games out and are only one up on Texas for the wild card, at least in the loss column.
Twins 3, White Sox 2: Alexi Casilla was 2-3 with two big hits. Alexei Ramirez hurt his ankle and had to leave the game in the seventh. Alexi Laiho is a Finnish singer, composer and guitarist. Alexei Nikolaevich was the heir the Czar, and was murdered along with him at Ekaterinburg in 1918. Alexei Nemov is a gymnast who competed at the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympics, and who, according to this Geocities fan page, lists his hobbies as "cars, girls, going to the disco, and girls." I hope you were writing all of that down, because I don't want to have to go over it again.
Tigers 13, Rangers 5: Scott Feldman gave up six runs on ten hits in two and a third and basically kept the Rangers out of this one. Marty Feldman was a British comedian who made a career out of having Graves' disease. Corey Feldman . . .
Orioles 7, Royals 3: Zack Greinke has had better nights, but unfortunately, his bullpen was just as terrible as it usually is. Adam Jones and Nick Markakis each drove in three for the superior last place team in this wretched series. SABR people were probably at this game. Hello SABR people!
Brewers 7, Nationals 5: Casey McGehee hit a two-run pinch-hit home run in the sixth, allowing the Brewers to finally take one from the Nats.
Cardinals 3, Dodgers 2: Clayton Kershaw holds the Cards scoreless through eight, and it's a tight 1-0 game into the bottom of the ninth. Broxton retires Pujols and then Holliday -- you know, the hard parts -- but let's St. Louis tie it up on a Ryan Ludwick single, a wild pitch, and a Colby Rasmus single. How aggravating! Six innings later Albert Pujols isn't retired and he singles in Julio Lugo to end it. This one lasted nearly five hours.
Diamondbacks 4, Phillies 0: Yusmeiro Petit baffled the Phillies for some reason, allowing four hits in six innings, walking one and striking out eight. Maybe they were still shell-shocked over the Lee deal.
Mets vs. Rockies: Postponed: If there was a terrible storm outside, but somehow this dog lived through the storm, and he showed up at your door when the storm was finally over, I think a good name for him would be Carl.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 5:34am
Sara K said...
I was frustrated when LaRussa had Ludwick (.335 OBP)sac bunt in the seventh with Stavinoha (.241 OBP) on deck, but the people I was chatting with said, “oh, late innings of a close game, blahblahblah.” Someone please tell me I am not crazy to think that ordering your 5-hitter to make an out is silly…please?
Posted 07/30 at 07:37 AM
You missed the most important part of O’s/Royals: Chris Tillman made his ML debut. He gave up three homers in less than five innings (to the Royals), which is obviously not good (especially to the Royals), but hopefully it’s the start of a long and productive career.
Posted 07/30 at 07:41 AM
Detroit Michael said...
You missed my favorite Feldman, whatdyaknow.
Posted 07/30 at 09:04 AM
Posted 07/30 at 09:08 AM
Geoff Young said...
Not only did Aaron Harang pitch badly, but Padres rookie Mat Latos spun a gem, and his fellow rookies Everth Cabrera and Kyle Blanks had big days. Well, I suppose every day is a big day for Blanks, but the 451-foot home run he hit in the first was impressive.
Posted 07/30 at 09:37 AM
Sara - You may be crazy but not for your reasoning on the sac bunt in that situation.
Posted 07/30 at 09:41 AM
Casey McGehee got his pinch-hit home run (the Brewers’ first PH HR this season) on a night when his son, who has cerebral palsy, threw out the first pitch. It was an emotional night for the McGehee family - in a good way.
Here’s the question the Brewers should be asking: they have 4 players who can split three positions (Lopez, Hardy, McGehee, and Counsell) and three of those players are having very solid years - why, then, is the 1 player whose playing poorly (Hardy) the only one guaranteed to play every night? Can’t they play Lopez at 2B, Counsell at SS, and McGehee at 3B? Each of those guys is hitting .300 or better and OBPing in the .360s while Hardy is at .235/.299. How is this not happening? And it’s not exactly defensive reasons, since Counsell is the best defender of the group and would be taking JJ’s spot.
I say you play that lineup until one of them starts struggling (probably Counsell) and fill JJ in as needed. What’s Macha thinking?
Posted 07/30 at 09:57 AM
I had the whole day off and thought, “Hey, it’s time to catch an afternoon at Wrigley.”
And after the first inning, I was like, “Okay, I’m psyched for the win, but what do I do with the next three hours?”
And thankssomuch, Dodgers, for crapping a big one in Archtown.
Posted 07/30 at 10:32 AM
Richard Dansky said...
Sara K - TLR has the same sort of unholy fascination with Nick Stavinoha that your average Lovecraft protagonist does with the Necronomicon. No good can come of it, there’s a lot of consonants involved, and in the end, everyone’s reduced to a sort of mindless gibbering.
Posted 07/30 at 10:36 AM
Regarding Sutcliffe: his sing-song voice renders the content even more offensive. I mean, if Orel Hershisher had spewed the same nonsense about brushback pitches, I might have simply shaken my head; with Sutcliffe, I found myself cursing at my TV….
Posted 07/30 at 10:48 AM
Tim Kelly said...
Apparently, Evan Longoria is easily intimidated. At least that’s what you’d think if you got your baseball knowledge from Sutcliffe. Joba threw one that was up around Longoria’s head and ended the at bat by popping out. You could’ve said the pop-out was evidence that he was fooled, or that he just missed it or whatever but to Sutcliffe it was evidence that Longoria was rattled by the pitch up and in.
In fact, in the ninth they were still talking about it, and Longoria launched a deep HR to left. Guess that was just garbage you were spewing all night, eh Sut?
If you really were a good analyst, and you really thought you had a good point about intimidation and Longoria, you would show evidence of him stepping in the bucket or flinching on curve balls or some such thing, right? Not Sutcliffe.
Posted 07/30 at 10:55 AM
The “competitor” thing is so stupid, but it brings to mind several other things that sportscasters say.
One is “clutch”. These guys are the best of the best, and they wouldn’t have made it this far if they weren’t “clutch” during at least their minor league careers. There are plenty of good players that screw up in the minors that have plenty of talent, so maybe they are “unclutch”. These guys thrive on the moment and have for their entire careers. Why do they screw up in key moments? Because someone has to, but mainly luck.
The other is often used, especially in that Syracuse-Georgetown game in March, in reference to basketball players, but I’ve heard it used in reference to baseball players as well. It is “courageous”. How is it courageous that an athlete goes out there and does his job? What exactly causes fear about being out on a field or a court? A pitcher isn’t “courageous” because he pitches late in the game. His life isn’t in peril.
Sorry about that. I saw a story about Billy Packer this morning, and seeing him has caused me great pain. I am courageous for dealing with it.
Posted 07/30 at 11:01 AM
Jack Marshall said...
Craig, after years of complaining about Sutcliffe, to such an extent that I was shunned by friends and family and forced to move into the tool shed, I can’t begin to tell you how wonderful it is to have someone like you doing it for me. Are there really viewers who appreciate his idiotic, obtrusive comments and his obnoxious delivery of them?
Posted 07/30 at 11:10 AM
APBA Guy said...
I have been in a near coma the last two days watching a team in the uniform of the beloved A’s actually win games in Fenway. Who are these strangers? From what faraway world do they originate?
Adam Kennedy 5 for 7 Tuesday, then a leadoff HR last night (thanks TLR, for throwing him our way. We still remember you in Jack London Square).
The Boston bullpen, with no ER in 25 innings since the all-star break, surrendering 7 (6 earned) to these fake- A’s on Tuesday, then allowing two inherited base runners to score last night, plus one of their own.
After 31 hits by the Fake-A’s the last two nights, do you think Theo is on the phone to Ricciardi, saying something like “Pick any 3”?
Probably not. But in the highly unlikely event that Lester is ignited tonight, then JP’s cell phone starts ringing in earnest around 10:00 pm ET.
And for the record, Kurt Suzuki is making Varitek look old, tired , and expensive in this series.
Posted 07/30 at 11:38 AM
Jack Marshall said...
APBA Guy—-Right on re Varitek. I was thinking the same thing last night. The tidal wave of stolen bases lately, plus the fact that Jason is beginning to look like his 2008 version again, has to be giving some urgency to those Victor Martinez discussions. I’ll be shocked if the Sox really go after Doc.
Posted 07/30 at 11:45 AM
Varitek doesn’t need any help in looking old and tired - he is doing that quite well all by himself. Jason has meant a lot to the Red Sox over the past decade but it is very obvious that he is done as an everyday ballplayer. All he has left is his ability to manage the pitching staff and that will no longer make up for his inability to hit or throw a runner out (not sure if he could get any of the Molinas brothers out).
Wondering how/if Scott Boras will be able to spin anything out of an essentially spent ballplayer?
Posted 07/30 at 11:50 AM
Levi Stahl said...
I didn’t turn the Cardinals radio broadcast on until the 9th last night, then ended up staying up to an ungodly hour. Those were some exciting extra innings: both teams scoring, Manny thrown out at the plate, lots of baserunners. Worth being zonked all day today.
God, I love baseball on the (online) radio.
Posted 07/30 at 12:01 PM
Jack Marshall said...
Moose—-he also can’t catch the knuckleball. Would the Red Sox have the guts to release their Captain mid-season? I sure doubt it.
Posted 07/30 at 12:05 PM
Jack - Will be very curious to see what happens if the Red Sox do trade for Victor Martinex - who get’s let go to make room? On paper - Varitek makes a lot of sense as Kottaras hitting about the same, throws a few more baserunners and can catch Wakefield (who should pitch another 10 or so games).
If you keep Varitek and dump Kottaras, then I hope V-Mart can catch the knuckleball.
If you keep both, does Lowell go and Youk get third fulltime? Maybe.
What about Big Papi and his amenic bat? Doubtful.
The resently acquired LaRoche? More than likley.
However dumping Varitek may make he most baseball sense but the fallout could potentially be disastrous.
Posted 07/30 at 12:24 PM
Jack Marshall said...
Moose: V-Mart can’t catch the knuckleball. Ortiz’s bat can’t be called anemic yet, based on the two months since he emerged from his swoon. Lowell’s going nowhere. The fans would support dumping Tek, and the players would suck it up—-they want to win. Second best option is to go with one less bullpen pitcher. The Sox really don’t need all of them, heresy though that is, with Lester and Beckett generally going deep. The roster still doesn’t fit—-they are short in the outfield. I’d dump Tek.
Posted 07/30 at 01:18 PM
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