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Wednesday, August 26, 2009
And That HappenedRockies 5, Dodgers 4: If you encounter a team in the Dodgers' position, lean them forward slightly and stand behind him or her. Make a fist with one hand. Put your arms around the person and grasp your fist with your other hand in the midline just below the ribs. Make a quick, hard movement inward and upward in an attempt to assist the person in dislodging the object that is obstructing the airway. This maneuver should be repeated until the person is able to breathe or loses consciousness.
Marlins 2, Mets 1: Yesterday, in the wake of the Johan Santana news, I wrote "Rest now, Mets fans. There really is nothing else that can hurt you this year." Almost immediately thereafter readers wrote in with ways this nightmare of a season could get worse. Things like a Phillies-Yankees World Series or Jeff Francoeur getting a five year deal. With each passing day the latter seems like a possibility. As one of the only real major leaguers left on the roster (I use that term to describe tenure more than merit), Frenchy will stick out. Especially if he does things like hit a couple of doubles a night like he did here. And no, it doesn't matter that one of the doubles was a total misplay on the part of the defense. It still counts!
Pirates 6, Phillies 4: At this rate does Brad Lidge even make the postseason roster? Brought in to protect a one-run lead in the ninth, Lidge blows his ninth save of the year and sees his ERA go up to 7.33. He had some help from Jayson Werth, who came in late in the game, supposedly to provide defense, but who let a run score on an error.
Reds 8, Brewers 6: The Reds blow a five run lead in the ninth, but Joey Votto and Laynce Nix homer in the 13th to make it all better. The dingers came off of former Red Todd Coffey. The Reds hitters had the psychological advantage in that situation: they knew that Coffey sucks, whereas Coffey probably still labors under delusions that he does not. It's called clarity of thought, people. Therein lies the advantage.
Twins 7, Orioles 6: Delmon Young goes 4-5 and hits a walkoff single in the ninth.
Red Sox 6, White Sox 3: Chicago loses its third straight and falls to .500. Jacoby Ellsbury steals his 55th base, breaking the tie with Tommy Harper for the most steals in a single season in Red Sox history.
Tigers 5, Angels 3: Detroit takes advantage of the Chicago loss, extending their lead to four and a half games. John Lackey was beat up for the second straight outing. Miguel Cabrera (3-5, 2B, HR, 2 RBI) is on pace for having one of the quietest .340 35 HR 100 RBI seasons in recent memory.
Cardinals 1, Astros 0: Wandy Rodriguez and Adam Wainwright throw bullets all night -- each only gave up three hits -- but a quick single from Brendan Ryan followed by a Pujols double in the first inning put Rodriguez in a "hole" he could never get out of. This game took 2:10, which is roughly the length of your average AL East inning.
Rays 7, Blue Jays 3: Carlos Pena continues his Dave Kingmanesque season, hitting his 36th and 7th home run, while still maintaining that .223 average. Wait, that's not fair. Pena leads the league in walks and he can play some defense, so Kingman's not a good comp. How about his Russell Branyan season?
Royals 6, Indians 2: Zack Greinke mows down the Indians with 15 strikeouts. With this outing, with Halladay's recent swoon, and with the guys with the high win totals posting considerably higher ERAs, Greinke probably just catapulted himself back into "favorite" status for the Cy Young award, didn't he?
Padres 2, Braves 1: Adam LaRoche knocked in pinch runner Reid Gorecki with two outs in the ninth (after Gorecki stole second) to stave off defeat, but then David Eckstein won it for the Pads with an RBI double in the 12th. The Braves' 1-2-3 hitters combined to go 0-16.
Rangers 10, Yankees 9: Let's hear it for all of that extra rest Joba Chamberlain got (4 IP, 9 H, 7 ER). Let's also hear it for a valiant, yet utterly unsuccessful ninth inning rally by the Yankees.
Nationals 15, Cubs 6: Huge nights for Josh Willingham (4-4, 2 HR, 6 RBI) and Elijah Dukes (2-3, 2B, HR 5 RBI) provide a not-so-friendly welcome back for Carlos Zambrano, who was making his first start since August 1st. Zambrano did hit a homer, though.
Mariners 4, Athletics 2: Ryan Langerhans, in as a defense replacement (AHEM, Jayson Werth) wins the game with a 10th inning homer. Even in the loss, Oakland Rookie Brett Anderson was sharp, giving up one run on six hits with eight strikeouts in seven innings.
Giants 5, Diamondbacks 4: Travis Ishikawa's three-run shot in a tie game in the eighth inning proves to be the winner after the Giants had their hearts ripped out by the Rockies the night before. At this point, seeing someone come back from a killer loss to the Rockies like this might be the only ray of sunshine in Dodgerland.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 5:43am
Bill B. said...
I’m flummoxed with the Brad Lidge debate right now. I’ve been harping for Ryan Madson as the closer since mid-May. However, at this point in the season with their seven-game lead and a lax remaining schedule, is it worth ruffling feathers by changing everybody’s role in the bullpen?
I’m not an intangibles guy, but I can’t help but think that demoting Lidge at this point would affect the team’s chemistry substantially. We’ve seen Jamie Moyer moping and sitting by himself in the bullpen, but he’s a good soldier and is just going to bite the bullet. Not sure Lidge would do that, to be quite honest.
Posted 08/26 at 06:19 AM
Lidge’s problem is demonstrated on the graph showing his FB velocity over the last 3 years (click my name for the chart). His FB is down, and it seems to have passed some critical threshhold under which he cannot effectively pitch.
He will be replaced soon.
Posted 08/26 at 08:12 AM
Here’s the link to that chart.
Posted 08/26 at 08:13 AM
You’re right, Craig, about Cabrera. He’s having a monster year and no one is noticing. If the Tigers make the playoffs, especially if they do so by being, say, more than 2 or 3 games better than the Twins, isn’t Cabrera a more worthy MVP candidate than Joe Mauer?
Posted 08/26 at 08:35 AM
Kevin S. said...
Of course he is! It’s totally Joe Mauer’s fault that Kevin Slowey is going to miss the rest of the season, or that Nick Punto is, well, Nick Punto. Miggy should get all the credit for the Edwin Jackson deal, or Justin Verlander’s revival, or the Tigers’ newfound commitment to defense. You’d think these things would be the work of the front office or the coaching staff, but nope, it was all Big Fat Miguel Cabrera, which puts him over Mauer for the MVP, even though Mauer has vastly outplayed him on the field.
Wait, what’s that you say? The teams they have around them aren’t controlled by Mauer and Cabrera? Wait, so why then do we consider team success?
Posted 08/26 at 08:56 AM
Alex K said...
Ben2009- No. Cabrera is probably a better candidate than Teixeira, but Mauer blows everyone out of the water. He is a cather playing good defense while hitting for average and power. It is not even close. The only person who can even throw his name in the ring with Mauer is Jeter, and he’s still not all that close. (this doesn’t mean that Mauer WILL win, just that he should be just as easy a choice as Pujols in the NL)
Posted 08/26 at 09:18 AM
Kevin S. said...
If you believe the numbers, Ben Zobrist is in the conversation, too, but voters don’t even know who he is.
Posted 08/26 at 09:27 AM
The Rabbit said...
I must be having a blonde day because I can’t follow the logic of ML managers.
Posted 08/26 at 09:52 AM
Kevin, you can disagree with Ben, but you don’t have to be a d*ck about it.
Alex, I can go along with Mauer as MVP, but as a Yankee fan, I have to pull for Tex or Jeter.
Posted 08/26 at 10:18 AM
Kevin S. said...
We can disagree about whether or not I was being a dick, but I’ve found that when people believe team success matters for this award, being over the top is the best way to get through that it doesn’t. Otherwise, we likely would have gone through several iterations (but he makes his team better!) that really, nobody needs to read again.
Posted 08/26 at 10:26 AM
Alex K said...
Kevin, You’re right about Zobrist, he slipped my mind as well. Do you know anything about his defense at any of the positions he plays?
I’m not sure I could put him over Mauer or Jeter though.
Posted 08/26 at 10:39 AM
Kevin S. said...
We have guesses, but he doesn’t have enough innings to make any of the defensive numbers reliable. Part of the reason his WAR is so high is he’s off the charts at 2B, but that could be a fluke. Appears to be a below-average SS for his career, though he’s only played 13 games there this year. UZR has him as a plus defender at 2nd and RF, where he’s gotten most of his PT this year. Take that for what it’s worth.
Posted 08/26 at 10:50 AM
Brad Lidge exists solely to make Mets fans feel better. They don’t have much to enjoy this year, but they can say “at least Lidge sucks” with smiles on their faces.
Posted 08/26 at 10:52 AM
“How about his Russell Branyan season?”
Posted 08/26 at 10:58 AM
I am feeling much better about the Astros trading Lidge away. Bourn is not doing too shabby himself, which helps considerably.
Posted 08/26 at 11:23 AM
Jason F said...
No matter what Greinke does the rest of the year, you know that C.C. Sabathia will win the Cy Young.
Posted 08/26 at 11:24 AM
Jason B said...
Halladay was at least in the discussion, too, but he’s scuffled a bit lately, and the early-season contending Jays have fallen off the map, which won’t help his cause (not that the Jays being in contention or not would likely have any more or less impact than it would on Greinke, whose Royals have been out of the race since roughly May 15).
I think Wainwright may have (for the moment) overtaken Lincecum on the NL side. Some of that (unfortunately) may hinge on whether the Giants make it to the postseason (never mind that the Giants would be left far in the rearview without the excellent efforts of Lincecum and Cain to date).
Posted 08/26 at 11:49 AM
I’m still confused? Is the MVP for the best player in the league, or is it for the most valuable?
You know, not the guy with the best year, but the guy that did the most to give his team a chance to win because of the year he had?
Can anyone answer that?
Because when I looked up the definition of ‘valuable’, it didn’t say ‘best’.
Posted 08/26 at 11:52 AM
The best player in the league does not provide the most value to his team?
Posted 08/26 at 12:00 PM
@The Rabbit: As a Rockies fan I wasn’t heartbroken over seeing McDonald over Sherrill or esp. Broxton. However, to be fair, McDonald’s numbers as a reliever (that is, w/o those April starts) look much better than the overall stats.
Posted 08/26 at 12:21 PM