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Thursday, September 17, 2009
And That HappenedTigers 4, Royals 3:
The crowd began to rise, and clap, waiting for Michigan’s most iconic sports broadcaster to walk out to home plate to say good-bye. Slowly, the applause floated out onto the field, peaking as Harwell strode out from the tunnel behind home plate, walked past the gates and out onto the grass.
Rockies 4, Giants 3: I'll leave this one to Neyer, who got to watch this one from the press box: ". . . in the Hierarchy of Horribles, if you're a Giants fan, losing to Jorge de la Rosa -- being practically shut out by Jorge de la Rosa, then coming oh so close in the ninth inning -- and having to play that schedule, and having a lineup full of struggling hitters ... well, that's gotta be pretty close to the top."
Orioles 4, Rays 2: Losing all of these games isn't ugly enough for you Rays fans? How about a nice shouting match between your left fielder and DH in the clubhouse before the game? And lo, Matt Wieters hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to win the game, making it clear now that the last four months have merely been a test of our faith. I never doubted you, Matt! And I'd like to remind you, that as a trusted Internet personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in your underground sugar caves.
Athletics 4, Rangers 0: This is the way the Rangers' playoff hopes end. This is the way the Rangers' playoff hopes end. This is the way the Rangers' playoff hopes end. Not with a bang but a whimper (sorry, T.S.).
Yankees 5, Blue Jays 4: One HBP -- Shawn Camp on
Phillies 6, Nationals 1: Ryan Howard stole second base on the front end of a double steal in which Chase Utley stole home. As for Howard: Whoa. Nice wheels, big guy. As for Utley: There should probably be some sort of fielder's choice kind of scoring decision for that kind of thing, because that's just really not a steal of home as far as I'm concerned. Jayson Werth hit a grand slam. The Phillies actually allowed a run.
Dodgers 3, Pirates 1: Man, Pittsburgh will cure what ailes you, won't they? Ronnie Belliard was 3 for 3 with a homer and two runs scored for cryin' out loud. A Wednesday day-game sellout for L.A. FYI: it wasn't the Pirates that spiked the fan interest.
Red Sox 9, Angels 8: The Angels led by one entering the ninth. Boston loads the bases and Nick Green comes in to pinch hit for Casey Kotchman. Fuentes gets two strikes on him, and then Green checks his swing on what would have been strike three. At least the umps say he did -- Mike Scioscia disagreed. Fuentes and Green battle until the count is full. The payoff: low, ball four, tying run walks in. Adam Kilgore at the Globe said "If it really was low, it was low by half a millimeter. Scioscia is enraged." Alex Gonzalez comes up, hits a bloop single to win the game.
Reds 6, Astros 5: How on Earth can you give up eleven hits, five of which were home runs, and not lose the game? Ask Justin Lehr. I imagine he'd start by telling you to only walk one dude. His next idea would be to tell you to make sure you've got a good bullpen like the Reds have so they can bail your tater givin' up butt with four innings of shutout relief. Hal McCoy was honored before the game, which was a nice move by the Reds.
Padres 6, Diamondbacks 5: Luis Durango, who was making his first big league start, hit an infield single to lead off the 10th inning, then stole second, and then beat the throw home on a single to win it. In other news, "Luis Durango" is a fabulous ballplayer name.
Brewers 9, Cubs 5: Alcides Escobar went 4 for 5 with three RBI. Brewers fans may want to turn their attention to the Packers these days, but watching this guy come up and work to figure it out is the kind of thing that they should really take the time to savor in the waning days of 2009.
Marlins 5, Cardinals 2: Josh Johnson gave up nine hits but allowed just one run and struck out nine in six innings. The Marlins somehow continue to hang around, sitting four back of Colorado.
Twins 7, Indians 3: The Twins win, they're four and a half back, and they face a Tigers team this weekend that can be had. Really early in the season I talked about how the Twins always seem to hang around. This is what I meant.
Mariners 4, White Sox 1: Mike Carp hit his first major league home run. Then: "When the game ended, Carp was given a beer shower and had an ice cream pie shoved in his face by a couple of the veterans." Ice cream? Original, I guess. Question: why is that there are always pie plates hanging around major league clubhouses? Are they seriously making pie part of the standard post game spread? These are the kind of things that keep me up all night obsessing.
Braves 6, Mets 5: The Braves come from behind and win the game on a Daniel "I have no business playing any defensive position" Murphy error in the ninth. That's six straight. Derek Lowe left the game with a blister on his finger after playing the 18th take of "Helter Skelter."
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 5:36am
Craig, I’ve been around for all the Angels’ losses against Boston in the playoffs, even 1986. And yeah, the sting of those have worn off, so this is probably just heat of the moment type reaction. I have never felt more frustrated after an Angels game. I literally yelled at the television on ball four, waking my kids up.
The Angels blew that game in a lot of different ways, but that only makes it worse considering they actually won the game - twice. Green should have been called out a few pitches earlier on a check swing where he went around. The Sox had scored a couple runs earlier after a botched call where Aybar lost the ball on a glove to hand transfer at second base that the umpire missed. And then to miss that strike…I’m still livid.
Posted 09/17 at 07:34 AM
I actually think Daniel Murphy plays a pretty credible first base. You should change his name to Daniel “I have no business as a Major League starter because I can’t hit” Murphy.
Posted 09/17 at 07:49 AM
I thought the replay showed that the check-swing was borderline, but certainly the ball four call to Green was not a good one.
Nice little graph of the Green call here:
Posted 09/17 at 08:29 AM
Just to quell your obession - they don’t use pie plates for the shaving cream and/or ice cream pies. They just fill up a towel with the cream and shove it in their faces. It’s not the traditional pie plate so you don’t have to wonder where they’re stored in the clubhouse.
Posted 09/17 at 08:55 AM
Sure the Phillies gave up a run, in the 9th inning off the dregs of the bullpen - with a six run lead against the NAt’s, Charlie Manuel would have to be a doddering fool to do anything different…..on second thought, ignore this post.
Posted 09/17 at 08:58 AM
Craig Calcaterra said...
Thanks, Fritz. I had this mental image of a whole table full of pies just sitting there, not unlike those seen in old Three Stooges shorts. The ones that always just so happen to be set up at parties full of old dowagers and plutocrats upon which the boys stumble.
Posted 09/17 at 08:59 AM
For an Angels team that is supposedly loaded with players who approach the game the right way—I know this because ESPN announcers swear by it—Juan Rivera’s lack of effort on Victor Martinez’s fly ball was nearly as big a culprit as the blown strike calls.
Posted 09/17 at 09:16 AM
Daniel said, “Green should have been called out a few pitches earlier on a check swing where he went around.”
Daniel is quite correct. Green clearly went around. Any doubts were resolved by the look of agony and angusih on Green’s face as he checked the swing - he knew damn well he went around. But he was saved by the 1B ump, and then saved by the HP ump, and then the Sox won.
I have no rooting interest here except to be in favor of hig drama, which last night was. But the Angels got hosed.
Posted 09/17 at 09:35 AM
A slight correction, Ben:
“But he was saved by the 1B ump, and then saved by the HP ump, and then the Sox won.”
Besides that, Craig, I love the references today. I’m not sure you’ve reached Kent Brockman level of fame, though. I think you need to keep striving for that one…
Posted 09/17 at 09:56 AM
So the AP guy got his lead wrong in the Marlins - Cardinals game, and it’s been an interesting lesson in Internet journalism for me to see how far and wide the mistake has been repeated.
Yesterday the AP story (since been corrected) claimed: “Johnson struck out nine in six effective innings to lead the Florida Marlins to a 5-2 victory over the Cardinals.” The problem is that he only struck out 5 (according to every box score and play-by-play I’ve been able to find).
But then my fantasy baseball service boldly plagiarized it an hour later, barely changing the sentence (saying “Josh Johnson struck out nine in six effective innings to help the Marlins beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-2 on Wednesday.”) And I was amused that you used the same 9K figure… near as I can tell the only place it appeared organically was the first erroneous AP report, but it’s since shown up in a lot of different places.
I almost wonder if it’s the AP’s version of a mapmaker putting fake roads in their maps!
Posted 09/17 at 10:00 AM
Jason B said...
THAT’S SAWX MAGICK DOOOD!!!1
SAY CHOWDA! - Freddy Quimby
Posted 09/17 at 10:06 AM
Oh, and we can’t forget: “I’ve got blisters on me fingers!!”
Posted 09/17 at 10:06 AM
Posted 09/17 at 10:13 AM
Craig Calcaterra said...
Nice catch, Brett. I admit, when I can’t think of anything to say about a game I’ll tend to parrot the AP game story summary of the best pitcher’s performance or something.
Nice red dye test on behalf of the AP, even if it’s unintentional.
Posted 09/17 at 10:14 AM
Jason - Aybar lost control of the ball when he reached in with his hand. There was no bobble. It entered his glove and only fell out when he pulled the glove back to make the throw to first. It was clearly a transfer call.
The check swing was borderline but replays showed that he went. Green himself grimaced because he KNEW he had gone around.
Yeah, Rivera should have gone after that ball harder. But given that the Angels had won the game TWICE before that play, it’s irrelevant.
Posted 09/17 at 10:17 AM
To Jason and Daniel:
At some point, it began to seem to me that Scioscia stopped doing his team any favors with the incessant barking at the ump. By arguing every close strike and screaming at every close call, he is basically telling his team that the players have nothing to do with the outcome of the game and that it is all in the hands of the umps. It may be why Rivera did such a half-baked job of chasing down Gonzalez’s bloop.
Posted 09/17 at 10:26 AM
Jeff Polman said...
I saw the Sawx game too, and yeah, Green should’ve been toast on three pitches like he normally is, but the Halos have this habit of playing their unfundamental worst against Boston, and they never should have been in that position in the 9th anyway. The Sox scored five runs earlier on an inning of squandered infield play, and despite his save total, Fuentes looks about as confident out there as a 5th grader with A.D.D. at a spelling bee.
Posted 09/17 at 10:29 AM
To Daniel: Actually it isn’t irrelevant because the Angels in fact had not won the game at all. I know this b/c the Red Sox won. If the Highlander franchise has taught me anything, it that, “There can be only one.”
Posted 09/17 at 10:30 AM
If you get strike three on a batter with two outs in the ninth, doesn’t that mean you win the game? Every time but last night.
On the Aybar play - when shortstops are coming across the bag to make a transfer on the double play, they almost never completely close their glove on the ball. They take the ball into their glove and immediately move it back toward their hand for purposes of getting a fast relay to first base. This doesn’t mean he didn’t have control and it certainly doesn’t mean that it wasn’t lost on the transfer. The ball was in his glove and dropped out when he went to grab it. It was a bad call.
Posted 09/17 at 10:35 AM
Please show me where Nick Green was ever given strike three by an Ump of the game*. My point was that he can’t use the non-call as an excuse not to hustle.
*of course he should have been, but that doesn’t mean he was.
Posted 09/17 at 10:40 AM
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