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Friday, September 25, 2009
And That HappenedMariners 5, Blue Jays 4: King Felix struck out 11 in eight innings to notch his 17th win. I was out of town and without a computer when people started up that "the Mariners can't sign Felix so the Red Sox are gonna get him" talk a few days ago. You know what? That's crazy. Hernandez is one of the top two or three pitchers in baseball. The Mariners have an entire corner of the country to themselves. They have Adrian Beltre, Miguel Batista, Jarrod Washburn, and Erik Bedard coming off the books next year. They can afford him and if they're serious about ever winning anything, they will sign him. This smells like wishful thinking on behalf of Red Sox fanboys.
Reds 4, Pirates 1: The Pirates have won only three more games than you this month, and you're not even trying. And if you were, I'd bet that more people would show up to watch you than watched this game too.
Dodgers 7, Nationals 6: The Nats lose number 100. They're the first team to do so in back to back seasons since the mid-70s Padres. Without looking I'm going to guess that the 1930s-40s Phillies have the record here with five or six if I remember correctly. The Nats won't match that. In fact, I think they're going to look really good in a few years and all of this will be a distant memory. In the meantime, though, ugh.
Tigers 6, Indians 5: In nine or ten days someone is going to have to wake up Eric Wedge and tell him he's been fired. But let him rest now. He looks so peaceful.
Athletics 12, Rangers 3: Brett Anderson got a lot of run support and the A's beat the Rangers in what seems like the 187th time they've played in the past month.
Red Sox 10, Royals, 3: I guess Clay Buhholz pitched well, but I'm gonna be honest and tell you all that I wasn't impressed. Really, he reminds me of a right-handed Roger Moret. Which is more fun: the fact that the Royals committed five errors, or the fact that Zack Greinke was ejected from the game even though he wasn't playing?
Phillies 9, Brewers 4: Happ struck out seven over five and two thirds. Charlie Manuel: "There's a chance he could wind up in the back end of the bullpen if we don't get something straightened out."
Padres 5, Rockies 4: The Padres have been a total pain the butt to just about every contending team this past month. The Rockies have lost seven of 11 and the Braves are now three and a half back, which seems way more doable than four for some reason. Especially considering that Colorado hosts St. Louis this weekend. Go Cards.
Cubs 3, Giants 2: Jeff Baker's two-out, two-run homer in the top of the ninth to win the game is going to haunt San Francisco for a couple of days. San Francisco's failure to take advantage of the Rockies' recent skid is going to haunt them all winter. The Cubs win means that the Cardinals have to lug their champagne to Colorado.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 5:35am
Going to The Big E today-wearing my Yankees cap- Since it’s in western Massachusetts, this isn’t as dangerous as it sounds and sometimes I have the multitude with me. Might gather 8 of them and beat the Pirates.
Posted 09/25 at 06:24 AM
Wooden U. Lykteneau said...
Indeed. Most of the Yankee fans in WMass come from the hilltowns that didn’t (or don’t) have cable TV, which explains their presence at a six-state fair that’s turned into a giant live infomercial. In fact, you may have more teeth than the other eight combined.
Posted 09/25 at 07:20 AM
Funny, a popular (local) talk radio host was broadcasting from the BigE just yesterday. Never been…any good?
Posted 09/25 at 07:37 AM
Wooden U. Lykteneau said...
Not since the early 1980s.
Posted 09/25 at 07:41 AM
The Indians couldn’t even steal one from the Tigers. It’s like the entire AL Central has decided to roll over and play dead and make the 4-game Twins/Tigers series decide the whole thing.
Which is kinda cool, unless you’re a Twins fan, in which case, um, Go Sox?
And totally pulling for the Braves to just sneak in there. That’d be unbelievable.
Posted 09/25 at 09:10 AM
Matt in Toledo said...
The Tigers lost 106 in 2002 and 119 in 2003. So maybe the Nats are the first NL team to go triple digits in back-to-back seasons?
Posted 09/25 at 09:22 AM
This Red Sox fanboy hopes the Braves sign King Felix so that Craig will ease his general bitterness toward the Fenway faithful.
Posted 09/25 at 09:38 AM
Now, Craig…you didn’t do your research! The Nats aren’t the first team to lost 100 in back to back seasons since the ‘70s. The Royals lost 104 in 2004, 106 in 2005, and 100 in 2006.
Maybe the first team in the National League?
Posted 09/25 at 10:10 AM
Craig Calcaterra said...
Matt and ECP: My bad. This is what I get for farming out my research to the Associated Press.
Posted 09/25 at 10:13 AM
APBA Guy said...
No A’s TV yesterday, so I watched the Gigantes instead.
Brad Penny maintains his resurgence is due to better pitch calling by Molina (left unsaid: better than Varitek), ie, more curves earlier in the count. To me, it looks more like his mistakes don’t get launched into the stratosphere like they did in the AL East. I saw a lot of foul balls on high heat, the kind of thing that Longoria, A-Rod, even Aaron Hill would have, did in fact, propel with regularity.
Brian Wilson was not so lucky. Throwing 98 with occasional glimpses of the strike zone, the Cubs hitters ignored his slider (Whiteside in for Molina: no Posey in sight) which were ending up closer to Half Moon Bay than the the strike zone.
Of course, this being the NL, after Lee walked, the next two guys popped up on the first pitch. Finally Jeff Baker waited until Wilson left one up over the plate, which wasn’t a long wait.
It’s really hard to get around on a 97 MPH high fastball, unless that’s exactly what you are looking for. To deposit one many rows up in left center at AT&T on a chilly night is even harder, and tells you that a smaller player (don’t believe the height/weight claims for Jeff Baker in ESPN’s website) like Baker really was looking for exactly the pitch he got.
And there was no doubt when it left the bat that his two-run, put the Cubs ahead blast was gone.
Wilson has been much improved this year. But he remains a high-heat thrower with too frequent lapses of command. Tonight he really had no idea where the ball would end up when it left his hand. It’s his 7th blown save against 36 conversions. By way of comparison, here are a few others:
Bailey (Oak) 4/25
The Giants biggest problem is their anemic offense, basically 8 guys and a Panda. But in a tight race for the last playoff spot, further improvement at the back of the bullpen is needed.
Posted 09/25 at 01:18 PM
Chris Simonds said...
It’s still an open question whether Buchholz will have any longevity in the major leagues, but I don’t see many similarities with Moret, who I saw at Fenway twice way back when. Moret was more talented but tragically unstable. Buchholz seems pretty normal. Spindly hard throwing starters are always suspect. They look like they don’t have much physical endurance, and that those whip-like arms will break down quickly. But for the moment at least, I think Clay is doing well. Last night he was pitching with a raging head cold, courtesy of Jason Bay and Bay’s little daughter. If he shows he can hold up over a full season next year he’ll be a very good pitcher.
Posted 09/25 at 03:55 PM
@Chris Simonds - Craig’s comparison of Buchholz to Moret was not serious. Jim Rice compared Zack Greinke to Moret (check the link) - I think Craig was just poking fun at idiocy.
Posted 09/25 at 04:49 PM
ECP, you didn’t complete your research. From Chico in wapo today:
Three teams—the 2001 Devil Rays; the 2002 Tigers; the 2004 Royals—have rebounded from 100-loss seasons by actually getting worse.
There was actually a nice little chart in the “dead-tree edition” this morning.
Posted 09/25 at 04:52 PM