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Tuesday, August 18, 2009
And That HappenedBraves 9, Diamondbacks 4: Max Scherzer's arm is probably going to fall off after starting two games in this series. Oh wait, the first game was back in May and this was a makeup? Forget I said anything. Also forget the fact that only three of Scherzer's nine runs allowed in this one were "earned." Six unearned runs in the third inning resulted from his own throwing error. For Atlanta, Tommy Hanson pitched six innings, struck out seven, walked no one, and otherwise kept out of trouble.
Giants 10, Mets 1: Giving up ten runs on eighteen hits to the Giants is a very special feat indeed, but with Livan, all things are possible.
Angels 8, Orioles 5: Vlad Guerrero hit two homers and drove in five. And because I know you were all wondering, Cesar edged Maicer in the battle of the Izturises, three hits to two, though one of Maicer's was a home run so we probably have to call it a draw.
Pirates 9, Brewers 5: An offensive outburst for a team that has been playing pretty offensively as of late. And it was a fairly democratic outburst at that, with nine different Pirates getting hits, seven scoring runs and seven driving in at least one. The game story notes that the Brewers have fallen seven games back of the Rockies in the wild card race. Given that there are five teams ahead of the Brewers in that particular race, however, the implication that they're a contender is charitable at best. I mean, no one noted that, with this win, the Pirates have climbed to within 17.5 of the wild card. And by my reckoning, the Brewers are just as out of it as the Pirates are.
Cardinals 3, Dodgers 2: The important thing here is that even though he lost, knuckleballer Charlie Haeger (7 IP, 5 H, 3 ER) earned another start out of this. Not his fault that Chris Carpenter is a stud (8 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 8K). Sure, the HBP followed by the Rick Ankiel homer was regrettable, but there's no shame in the fact that Pujols hit a home run off of him. Game story: "Pujols led off the fourth with a high shot to left field." A couple of Dodgers fans in the stands were arguing about that one. "Too high . . . too high" said the first guy. "'Too high?' What does that even mean, 'too high?'"
Padres 4, Cubs 1: 1-0 entering the bottom of the ninth and in comes Kevin Gregg, who quickly allows four runs on a walk, a double, an intentional walk and a walkoff dinger to Kyle Blanks. Lou Piniella: "I think we are going to make some changes as far as what we're going to do late innings." On the bright side, Kevin Gregg, Iowa can be very beautiful in late summer. The Padres signed first round draft pick Donovan Tate. I hadn't realized that he's former Bucs running back Lars Tate's son. I suddenly feel very, very old.
Athletics 3, Yankees 0: Brett Tomko was released by the Yankees a month ago, turned around and threw five shutout innings against them last night. Joe Girardi, speaking in oddly declarative sentences: "We're surprised we got shut out. We have a good offensive team."
White Sox 8, Royals 7: Mark Buehrle continues to be profoundly unimpressive in the wake of his perfect game, getting knocked around by a particularly feeble Royals' lineup, but Brian Bannister was roughed up even more, and ultimately Buehrle's teammates bailed him out.
Rangers 8, Twins 5: Tommy Hunter is now 6-2 with a 2.64 ERA in ten starts, and the Rangers have won five of six. Francisco Liriano should investigate a malpractice suit against the guy who did his surgery (2 IP, 7 H, 7 ER).
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 5:56am
With Wakefield in the twilight of his pitching career there is the potential that baseball will be without a quality knuckleballer, which I believe would be a sad development as watching big leaguers struggle with hitting a fluttering 70 mph pitch is just fun to watch. I actively root for any knuckleballer as I think baseball is better having several quality pitchers capable of taming one of the most unmasterable pitches of all time.
I will now add Charlie Haeger to my list of must follow pitchers in hopes that he will be able to establish himself as a consistent starter in the Dodgers rotation. Hopefully Charlie Zink and RA Dickey can tame the beast consistently enough to secure a permanent spot in a rotation as Wakefield was able to do.
Posted 08/18 at 09:23 AM
Levi Stahl said...
What a pleasure it was to watch Haeger and Carpenter last night. Such different styles, but both so quick, efficient, and effective. (And with lovely Dodger Stadium in the background . . . sigh.)
My favorite part, though, was when Ludwick got hit by a pitch and barely seemed to notice it. 74 mph—that’ll barely bruise! (Not that I want to try it, mind you.)
Posted 08/18 at 09:51 AM
Who gives a ####, it’s gone.
Posted 08/18 at 09:54 AM
“To high…” generally uses as both an invocation (if the opponent is hitting) or as a fearful predictive (if its your own slumping left-fielder at bat) commenting about the trajectory of the recently batted ball and its deviation above the ideal 45 degrees.
Posted 08/18 at 09:58 AM
Sigh…I’m just glad I wasn’t awake to see Gregg blow another game in the 9th. For the second time in a couple of weeks, he retired the first two batters and had the third down to his final strike before imploding. The same thing happened at Florida a couple of weeks ago. Is Billy Wagner healthy yet?
Posted 08/18 at 10:23 AM
Chris H. said...
Major League references FTW.
I never thought Gregg would be an effective closer, and at the start of the season I was calling for Marmol to fulfill the role.
Of course, that was before it became clear that the current Carlos Marmol isn’t the original, but in fact an imperfect clone made from a strange hammock that Jim Hendry found out in a field somewhere.
Posted 08/18 at 10:27 AM
Bob Sanchez said...
Donovan Tate is also young enough to be named after Tate Donovan. How old were you when Space Camp came out?
Jinx and Max…friends…foreverrrrr
Posted 08/18 at 10:32 AM
Jason @ IIATMS said...
Parsing Girardi thru the translator:
“How the %^&* did we lose to Brett %^&*(#$% Tomko?!?”
Posted 08/18 at 10:40 AM
Jorge Says No! said...
Brett Tomko for 2009 Cy Young.
Posted 08/18 at 10:54 AM
Re: MIN-TEX: I cannot recommend anyone make an assessment of either Hunter or Liriano from this outing. On one hand, the Ranger’s bats seemed to have awoken and made a huge dent in Liriano’s ERA (I believe he threw 60 pitches to get his first six outs), but Hunter was throwing like a drunk puppet in the first two innings too, so it was an underwhelming display on several accounts. All of this was neutralized by home plate ump Mike DiMuro. I was following a few blogs during the game, and the unanimous opinion was that this was the worst called games any of us have seen all year. His strike zone was bizarre and inconsistent. It had to have played a significant role in what those guys were throwing and how. I’m good with a Rangers win, but the box score just doesn’t tell the whole story on this one. Whatever was up with DiMuro, I hope he feels better or it clears up before he gets behind the plate again.
Posted 08/18 at 11:19 AM
When I was in cleveland in April, my girlfriend and I were walking around downtown when some guy offered us bleacher tickets to the game for free. It was late, so the game was already in the 7th or something. After exploring the concourse, we took our seats in the LF bleachers.
One of the very first at-bats we saw was a towering pop fly to centerfield. The first thing out of my mouth was “Too high. Too high.” Without missing a beat, my girlfriend said “What do you mean, ‘too high’?!”
Yeah, she’s a keeper.
Posted 08/18 at 11:41 AM
Richard in Dallas said...
lar - does she have a sister?
Posted 08/18 at 12:00 PM
The Rabbit said...
Gotta love some of this managerial strategy.
Posted 08/18 at 01:07 PM
APBA Guy said...
Interesting game with Tomko on the mound last night. The Yankees’ first three balls in play were all smoked, but two were right at people (Jeter, Damon), whereas Burnett was dominating.
The Yankees kept pounding, but the cool air put the brakes on the fly balls that would have been out in New Yankee Stadium. Also, the A’s kept making terrific plays all over the infield (Mark Ellis doesn’t have a Gold Glove yet, c’mon.)
Suddenly, it looked like the Yanks lost patience with their approach. Brett Tomko? Really? They started flailing like, well like the A’s. As soon as that happened Geren, in a rare stroke of managerial genius, pulled Tomko and put in some real pitchers: Breslow, Ziegler, Bailey. Result: 4 relief innings, two hits, shutout.
Meanwhile Burnett goes 8 and gives up 3, one by his own bizarre balk (he executed a complete windup and arm movement to the plate, but held onto the ball). The A’s got the first run on a single by Suzuki through the drawn-in infield, then the balk, then the only hard base hit of the night for the A’s, a double by Ellis (player of the week last week and leading MLB in RBI for August).
That was it. Nobody expects a repeat tonight with Mazzaro on the hill. But I had confidently predicted 9 runs for the Yankees off Tomko before the game.
Genuinely a fun game for the A’s fans. Even the announcers were more amped for this one.
Posted 08/18 at 01:38 PM
I believe the plural of Izturis is “Iztures”.
Posted 08/18 at 05:35 PM