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Monday, August 17, 2009
And That HappenedRoyals 3, Tigers 2: A lot of people experience anxiety about taking a day off work. They check their email a lot, allow themselves to be preoccupied, and generally feel as though the office can't get by without them. This is baloney, of course. The world goes on fine without you. No one is so damn important that they can't take a day off. Well, no one except Brandon Inge. That dude is freakin' essential, it seems.
Mets 3, Giants 2: At this point, any game the Mets don't forfeit due to a lack of warm bodies has to be considered a victory. This one, however, was a bona fide win, with Daniel Murphy singling in Jeff Francoeur to win it in the ninth. After the game, however, all of the questions were about David Wright. Jerry Manuel: "Nobody wants to ask me about Murphy's game-winning hit? You guys are really bad." Look Jerry, David Wight is practically the last major league-quality hitter the Mets had left, so his health is big news. When a couple of out-machines luck into hits in what will certainly turn out to be a meaningless game, there's really nothing that can be said about it besides some variation of "blind hogs find acorns." Cut the press boys some slack.
Cardinals 7, Padres 5: The Cards are as hot as anyone right now, having won eight of ten and continuing to maintain a five game lead over the Cubs despite Chicago's recent spurt. Yadier Molina and Colby Rasmus were the heroes in the ninth, capping off a come-from-behind win with an RBI single and a home run, respectively. Actual quote from Heath Bell after the game: "I was surprised how big it was when I took my pants off." Context, my friends, is everything.
Angels 17, Orioles 8: Nothing like a tight extra-innings affair. The nine runs scored by LAA in the 13th were the most scored in a single extra inning in 14 years.
Nationals 5, Reds 4: Josh Willingham hit a massive home run, doubled, had three RBI, and scored the winning run from third on a heads up play when Drew Sutton lollygagged a throw in from shallow right in the eighth inning. You know what that makes Sutton, don't you?
Rays 5, Blue Jays 2: Cast in an unlikely role for which he is usually ill-equipped to act, Gregg "Z-Game" Zaun launched a pinch-hit home run in the eighth to break a 1-1 tie. Approaches the unreal, really.
Rangers 4, Red Sox 3: And the Rangers take the series and the wild card lead. I presume that this will be reported in most quarters in terms of Boston's continuing struggles as opposed to the Rangers staying hot, because it's impossible to report on anything in which the Red Sox are involved without casting them in the lead role.
Marlins 10, Rockies 3, Rockies 7, Marlins 3: The class of 1993 splits a doubleheader as they battle for the NL wild card. The Class of 1993 -- San Francisco and Atlanta -- follow close behind.
Indians 7, Twins 3: Cleveland scored six in the third inning, with the first three of those runs coming on eight pitches. The Indians are playing spoiler. Says Grady Sizemore: "Guys are playing loose and having fun. We had kind of fallen back and now we've got nothing to lose. So now we can go out there and just relax and play, and sometimes you get your best baseball when you're playing that way." That's swell, but this happened to the Indians last year too. Perhaps it means that Eric Wedge inspires nervous, sloppy, and all around chokey play when it matters, and can only inspire a relaxed vibe when there is absolutely nothin' on the line. Guys like that often become ex-managers.
Astros 8, Brewers 5: Geoff Blum drove in four as the Astros rallied in the eighth inning to come from behind. In other news, the Astros box score made my mind wander again -- my lord, that team fails to interest me for some reason -- and it wandered into the paintings of Edward Hopper, who just so happens to be my favorite artist. I go back and forth (and forth) between Early Sunday Morning, Office at Night, and Automat as my favorites, though there are no small number of his paintings which stun and enthrall me. Strange to me, though, is the fact that a guy who lived in New York and spent so much time painting modern American life in the middle of the 20th century never touched on baseball. At least not that I know of. Maybe it just didn't speak to him. Maybe every game he ever saw struck him like Astros games strike me.
Athletics 3, White Sox 2: Mark Ellis hits the game-winning home run off of Bobby Jenks in the bottom of the ninth. Oh, and I think these throwbacks looked sweet. Bob Geren even went all Connie Mack before the game, wearing a suit, tie and hat to exchange the lineup cards before changing into his uniform. According to the game story, someone gave him hell from the stands, however, because Connie Mack wore a straw hat. That, my friends, is some good, informed heckling.
Mariners 10, Yankees 3: Chamberlain, Aceves and Gaudin do their part to make Sergio Mitre's seat in the Yankees' rotation feel less hot. Derek Jeter passed Luis Aparicio for the most hits ever by a shortstop. Omar Vizquel is still playing, however, and is only five hits behind Jeter. If you think that Omar isn't sitting in his secret Antarctic lair, watching dozens of video monitors, stroking an exotic cat, and contemplating some devious sort of attack on Jeter in order to incapacitate him and claim the record for himself, well, then you just don't know the capacity for evil and cunning that resides inside the mind of Omar Vizquel.
Philles 4, Braves 1: Atlanta blows a chance to make a real race out of it in the east by dropping two of three. Looks like it'll be more important for fans like me to watch the Marlins, Rockies and Giants' scores than the Phillies scores. Two homers for Ryan Howard. J.A. Happ walks six but gets away with it because the Braves squandered a couple of chances.
Dodgers 9, Diamondbacks 3: Randy Wolf was 3-4 with a homer and three RBI and struck out ten over 7.2 IP. He's the Wolf. He solves problems.
Pirates-Cubs: Postponed: It's really gonna suck for the Pirates to have to end the season at Cincinnati, jog back up to Chicago to make this game up, and then head back to Pittsburgh to host Game one of the division series.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 5:31am
“...because it’s impossible to report on anything in which the Red Sox are involved without casting them in the lead role,”
For ATH as well.
Posted 08/17 at 05:51 AM
Wooden U. Lykteneau said...
Counting it as the 7th game recapped on ATH, sure.
And, Craig, that makes Sutton a lollygagger.
Posted 08/17 at 07:36 AM
Don Mynack said...
Wow, how did the Angels score 9 runs in extra innings? Did someone hit a nine-run walk off homer? That has to be some kind of record!
Posted 08/17 at 08:09 AM
Craig Calcaterra said...
There’s two halfs of an inning, Don. Even in extras.
Posted 08/17 at 08:42 AM
Craig Calcaterra said...
Posted 08/17 at 08:43 AM
Omar-vandias, eh? I like it.
Posted 08/17 at 09:00 AM
That should be Omar-mandias. It’s still cool.
Posted 08/17 at 09:13 AM
Richard in Dallas said...
Regardless of what happens the rest of the way, will somebody second my nomination of Jon Daniels as executive of the year?
Posted 08/17 at 09:53 AM
Re: BOS-TEX. “...it’s impossible to report on anything in which the Red Sox are involved without casting them in the lead role.”
Not from the vantage point of Dallas and Tarrant County, it isn’t!
Posted 08/17 at 09:54 AM
Pete Toms said...
@ Richard in Dallas - shouldn’t Andrus be in the hunt for Rookie of the year also?
@ everybody - check out Zaun’s website, wow what vanity! I only surfed around it briefly but….“The Duality of Z”????, huh, WTF!? Plus, he’s into Rush, you can listen to Limelight on his site. I think he has too much time on his hands since he went sober.
Posted 08/17 at 09:59 AM
Richard in Dallas said...
@Pete Toms - ABSOLUTELY! He is a small part of the reason for my nomination! Add to that list: Neftali Feliz, Derek Holland, Omar Vizquel, Andruw Jones, Josh Hamilton (as long as he keeps his shirt on), David Murphy, and more. All of these are low-dollar, high output, up and coming stars that Daniels is responsible for.
Posted 08/17 at 10:14 AM
As the anti-Inge, I just returned from a week of vacation in which I did not check messages or emails and just spent most of the morning cleaning our both boxes and came to the realization that more than half of my messages were basically chatter and nothing of real value to my work or life. Now that I’ve cleaned up that bit of my world I can get back to things that truly matter - baseball chatter.
I agree with Craig’s assessment of Wedge’s managerial abilities and as I read the Sizemore quote I had a vision of Buck Showalter wearing an Indians uniform next year. Buck is tremendous at developing young talent and establishing a great foundation for a winning team (Yankee pre WS titles, Diamondbacks pre WS title) and may be just what the very young Tribe will be needing to position themselves well for a run at the AL Central title for several years.
Agree that Joe Daniels should be considered Executive of the Year and am pleasantly surprised with how the Rangers have done with Nolan Ryan at the helm. It is often a hard transition to go from being a great player to a great executive as the qualities that often made you successful as a player do always translate to being an executive but Ryan seems to have done it rather well.
Lastly - if any folks out there in Shyterland live in the Asheville NC area I am jealous as I could easily see myself living there and enjoying the heck out of life.
Posted 08/17 at 10:42 AM
Wooden U. Lykteneau said...
Moose - I sure hope you caught a game at McCormick Field, if not Fluor Field in Greenville.
Posted 08/17 at 10:49 AM
APBA Guy said...
More informed than Karl Ravech on BBTN calling Geren’s fedora a “bowler”. I guess Karl’s been watching too much BBC America.
Anyway, after yielding 16 runs the previous 2 days it was the unlikely Trevor Cahill who held the White Sox to 2 runs. And Ellis’ HR was with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th, and barely got over the fence on a line exactly above the 331’ marker, whereas AJ had just missed an HR by 2 feet of fence at the 388’ line in the top of the 7th inning off Cahill.
BTW, loved the Hopper links, and the Rush reference.
Posted 08/17 at 11:03 AM
As an Astros fan, I really should yell at you for not giving the Astros any respect, and explain what you are missing. But, you’re not missing anything. This current Astros team is old and mediocre, filled with retreads. I can’t blame you for skipping over them. At least we have Bud Norris starts to look forward to.
Posted 08/17 at 11:29 AM
Wooden - Unfortunately we didn’t make it to a game as I had wanted and the wife was on-board but the vacation played havoc with our daughter’s sleep schedule and she would have been a bear to have at the game and I would have probably made some highlight show climbing up a light pole after her.
For my little angel - no naps equals very manic behavior starting in the early evening and ending with me having a drink to settle my nerves after she finally crashes back to earth.
Posted 08/17 at 11:34 AM
Travis M. Nelson said...
Straw hats like this one?
Posted 08/17 at 12:11 PM
Craig Calcaterra said...
D’oh. Nice find, Travis. Still, I think Geren was wearing a fedora or something.
Posted 08/17 at 12:17 PM
I believe the straw hat Connie Mack used to wear was call a ‘boater’, which is specific brand/type of hat, and not just any hat made of straw.
Posted 08/17 at 12:58 PM
Richard Dansky said...
Moose - seconded on Asheville. The wife and I were married up there, and we go back as often as we can. Any town with a combination antiquarian bookstore/wine bar is made of pure win, as far as I’m concerned.
Posted 08/17 at 02:10 PM
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