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Tuesday, September 01, 2009
Reds 4, Pirates 3; Reds 6, Pirates 3: Darnell McDonald scored on a wild pitch by Jesse Chavez with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to win the first game of the doubleheader. There was no one there. Like, 2000 people. Which is a crime considering how nice a day it was in Ohio yesterday. Sure, it was just a makeup game and sure it was the Pirates, but if there aren't at least a couple thousand more office drones, college students, and other assorted knuckleheads that can make it to a walkable ballpark on a glorious afternoon then our civilization is circling the damn drain.
Diamondbacks 5, Dodgers 3: It had to be kind of hard to play this game while this is looming beyond left field. Arizona managed, however, getting two runs off of James McDonald in the 10th. The Dodgers finish August with a record of 14-15, but hey, they've got reinforcements now. You excited Jim Thome? "I just want to be honest with you. I'd love to come. I want to help you guys any way I can. But playing first base is not something I'm going to be able to do -- maybe in an emergency situation, perhaps." Fear the Dodgers.
Braves 5, Marlins 2: Life comes at you fast. Josh Johnson didn't give up a hit until Matt Diaz singled in the 6th, but he wouldn't survive the seventh inning following a couple of hits from Chipper Jones and Yunel Escobar followed by an Omar Infante triple and a David Ross RBI single.
Blue Jays 18, Rangers 10: Toronto led this game 11-0 at one point but thought it wasn't sporting to embarrass their host in their very home and thus allowed them to make a go of it, watching the lead shrink down to a single run before scoring seven in the ninth. Adam Lind had eight (8) (VIII) RBI in this game. I'm assuming Nolan Ryan had people killed after it was over.
Yankees 5, Orioles 1: Without looking, I'm going to assume that this was Andy Pettitte's best start of the year (8 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 8K) [time passes] OK, I looked, and yes it was his best start of the year. In fact, if you go by game score, it was Pettitte's best start since June 30, 2002, when he threw a three-hit shutout against the Mets.
Rays 11, Tigers 7: If the best trade deadline pickup was Cliff Lee or Adam LaRoche, then the worst is no doubt Jarrod Washburn (5.2 IP, 9 H, 8 ER). Harkins says it best: "Tigers fans must feel like they got hoodwinked."
Twins 4, White Sox 1: The White Sox: sinking like whale fall. Not only did Joe Mauer hit a homer, but he stole a base. What's more, as he slid into second, he caught the errant throw after it deflected off of Jayson Nix's glove. Mauer doesn't always drink beer, when he does, he prefers Dos Equis.
Astros 5, Cubs 3: Carlos Lee was 2-4 with a homer and 4 RBI. Rich Harden, who had a busy day of not being traded and everything, gave up five runs on five hits and walked six in five innings.
Angels 10, Mariners 0: Two homers for Vlad, who went 3 for 4 with 4 RBI. Joe Saunders and Trevor Bell allow only three hits which, after what happened to against Zack Greinke on Sunday, was a veritable breakout performance by the M's bats.
Padres 3, Nationals 1: Livan Hernandez does what he was hired to do: pitch a bunch of innings, save the bullpen, and still lose so as not to mess up the whole Bryce Harper thing. OK, maybe that's not the real intention -- Hernandez actually pitched well last night -- but it's a nice little byproduct of his Livanness, no?
Athletics 8, Royals 5: Oakland trailed 4-0 after two innings, but scored five runs in the third and then added three more in the sixth. One of those runs came after when Luke Hochevar allowed Rajai Davis to advance to third while Hochevar was wiping his brow, mistakenly believing that play was dead. Oops.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 5:46am
Jason, did one of your kids step on Blanks' foot or somethin'?
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 8:55am
I had no idea:
Why all the baseball? Don't blame me. Blame the Vikings, who introduced the concept of a "pitch count" for their expensive and risky new quarterback addition after his Minnesota preseason debut Aug. 21 vs. Kansas City.
I love that in football it's the old guys like Favre and McNabb who are placed on a count instead of the young dudes.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 8:58am
I often accuse ballplayers of being kinda dumb. It's not meant as a slam, really. At least not a harsh one. Ballplayers are what they are, and what they usually are are guys who didn't go to college and spend a lot more time thinking about where they're going to build the tree stand this November than how the world works. Hell, the dude who is often referred to as the smartest guy in the game -- and my favorite player of all time -- likes to pee on other guys' feet in the shower and giggle when he passes gas and stuff. And I'm cool with that. Football players spend at least three years in college and look at all the really dumb things they do. Really, don't change my ballplayers. I don't want them to be any different than they are.
Still, it's interesting to hear about the outliers:
[Ross Ohlendorf] wrote his senior thesis on the investment in and rate of return of baseball draft picks and will spend part of this offseason as an intern at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, doing research on Longhorn cattle.
Lots of interesting stuff about smart dudes in the game in that article, and of course, the usual Doug Glanville anecdotes ("You become the locker room problem-solver. It becomes who you are, just like Randy Myers was the guy with live grenades in his locker").
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 9:50am
From Rick Morrissey:
And while we're asking questions, since when did Trader Kenny become Traitor Kenny?
Oy vey. I love Jim Thome and Jose Contreras just as much as the next guy, but Thome is going to, maybe, pretend to be Mickey Stanley for a month in Los Angeles. Contreras has one good start in the entire second half and that came against the Royals. To hear Morrissey (and others) tell it, you'd think that the Sox gave up the cornerstones of the franchise.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 3:20pm
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Warning: I'm just not feeling the gravity of the baseball season this morning, so there's gonna be a lot of randomness in today's installment.
Phillies 1, Giants 0: Philadelphia was cruising before Cole Hamels woke up. Now they're positively terrifying. Two hitter. Nine Ks. Dear God.
Braves 4 Marlins 3: Tim Hudson is back, pitched well, etc. etc. OK, with that out of the way, let's get down to brass tax. This from reader Matt H.:
The SportSouth broadcast of the Braves-Marlins tonight showed the jumbotron at Landshark Stadium while Omar Infante was at bat. In the foreground was the obligatory head shot, with his name and number. In the background was--I kid you not--a picture of the General Lee in mid-jump. Yes, that General Lee. I am as big a Braves fan as there is, and I have no idea why the Marlins put that graphic up. Is slick and sophisticated Miami poking fun at backwoods Georgia? That doesn't make sense, since any linkage of the General Lee with the Braves is a net win for the Braves.
Seriously. Was that supposed to be a slam? Why don't you just call the Braves handsome and give them some free pie while you're at it, because there is nothing cooler than being associated with The General Lee. Maybe the Bandit's Trans-Am. Maybe.
Tigers 8, Indians 5: Aubrey Huff was 2-2 with 3 RBI. Sadly, David Huff did not pitch for the Tribe or else I'd be forced to go Groucho for the second time this year. Cleveland gave up 13 hits and walked six guys and that lead to the loss. A child of five would understand this. Quick, send someone to fetch a child of five. Carlos Carrasco was called up from my hometown of Columbus to pitch in this disaster. You're a brave man, Carlos. And remember, while you were out there risking your life and limb through shot and shell, we were all in here thinking what a sucker you are. Oh crap, I did it again.
Twins 4, White Sox 3: The White Sox lose. They were probably discombobulated from having the team's average age plummet by eight years since Monday night's trades. Jeff Manship gave up one run over five innings. He didn't figure in the decision, but boy howdy do I like to say "Manship."
Cardinals 7, Brewers 6: Joel Pineiro is the only dude in baseball who can get away with striking out no one. St. Louis is 30-4 since July 1st in starts by Wainwright, Carpenter and Pineiro. I predict one awesome NLCS, assuming we can dispose of L.A. and whoever wins the wild card quickly enough.
Rangers 5, Blue Jays 2; Rangers 5, Blue Jays 2: Fill my eyes with that double vision. No disguise for that double vision.
Cubs 4, Astros 1: In the fifth, Jeff Baker hit what appeared to be an inning-ending double play, but Miguel Tejada made an errant throw to second, allowing Soriano to advance to third. I had no idea that Baker was from the Dominican Republic.
Red Sox 8, Rays 4: The return of Andy Sonnanstine was less than fabulous (4 IP, 8 H, 5 R), and I think it's gettin' time to bid adieu to the Rays in 2009. Papelbon pulled a Gossage and pitched a two-inning save. Then he grew a ridiculous mustache and went on a rant about pitchers today are wusses.
Reds 11, Pirates 5: Game story: "Pittsburgh is four defeats shy of becoming the first major American professional team to string together 17 straight losing seasons." What happens first: the Pirates break .500, or Sid Bream dies of old age?
Rockies 8, Mets 3: Lance Broadway pitches two scoreless innings in relief for the Mets. In other news, "Lance Broadway" was the name I used on vacations to Las Vegas between the years 1996 and 2002.
Yankees 9, Orioles 6: Two homers for Posada and another shaky performance from Burnett that is likely to fly under the radar. According to the game story, Posada lost track of the count twice. The second time he hit a homer after mistakenly thinking he struck out. You'd think that a catcher of all people wouldn't lose track of the count.
Dodgers 4, Diamondbacks 3: Matt Kemp homered for the fourth straight game. The last Dodger to do that was Hee Seop Choi so, you know, heady company. A spectacular catch by Andre Ethier in the eighth inning followed his bases-loaded walk in the seventh which brought in the winning run.
Royals 4, Athletics 3: The A's had their chances, but they stranded 11, going 1 for 10 with men in scoring position.
Padres 4, Nationals 1: I'm guessing no one outside of Padre or National Nation knew this, but apparently the Padres have owned the Nationals over the years, having gone 30-9 against them since they ceased to be the Expos.
Mariners 2, Angels 1: A week or so ago Ken Griffey, being interviewed by a Cincinnati magazine, said that he was going to make it so that music from "The Nutcracker" played when Adrian Beltre returned from his injured testicle stint on the DL. I thought that was harsh and I didn't think he'd actually do it, but I'll be damned if he didn't in this game. I think something about that should make up the final line on his Hall of Fame plaque.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 5:29am
I'm going to take a quickie trip to California in a couple of weeks for a friend's wedding. The beautiful Bay Area! The wonderful wine of Napa! The first chance at a romantic, kid-free getaway in years for Mrs. Shyster and me! So what did I do this morning? Sat bummed after realizing that the Giants are going to be out of town and that the A's are hosting the Indians, the one team I can see every single day of the season anyway. Sigh. Probably for the best though. If I steered the trip towards the East Bay for baseball and away from vineyards and beautiful Pacific vistas, Mrs. Shyster would probably leave me for good. Anyway:
Let's see . . . according to Google Maps, the Coliseum is 65. 9 miles from St. Helena . . . it's a 1:05 PM start . . . if it lasts less than three hours, I can still make the wedding if I don't hit too much traffic. . . hmmmm
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 12:51pm
Ned Colletti wants to come back to L.A. next year:
A day removed from acquiring the final pieces of the team the Dodgers could field in October, General Manager Ned Colletti briefly turned his attention to free agency on Tuesday.
Unless I'm totally misunderstanding the mechanics of all of this, isn't it just as accurate to say that you or I have a mutual option to be the GM of the Dodgers next year? The Dodgers have to agree to hire us, you or I have to agree to take the job. Isn't that the basis of almost everyone's employment?
As for Colletti, eh. His first act as Dodgers' GM (Pierre, Jones, Schmidt) was pretty disastrous, but he's done a decent enough job working on the (relative) cheap since the middle of last year. There are worse things in the world than having a guy who does good work when given boundaries, self-imposed or otherwise. Dodgers fans have much stronger feelings about him, I'd imagine.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 2:44pm
I would have guessed that they'd languish on the market forever, but Tom Hicks apparently has a half dozen offers for that stake -- probably a controlling stake -- of the Rangers he's been peddling.
Well, it is Texas, and rich Texans are different than rich people from other places, so guess I shouldn't be too terribly surprised that the Rangers can be sold in this market. As for the bidders, I'm picturing (read: desperately hoping for) older men with bolo ties and a tall cowboy hats who say things like "well butter my butt and call me a biscuit! That Pe-Rez feller can throw him some fire!"
(thanks to Royce the Baseball Hack, a dedicated Rangers fan if there ever was one, for the link)
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 3:43pm
Thursday, September 03, 2009
Giants 4, Phillies 0: See a Penny, pick it up, and all the day you'll have good luck (8 IP, 5 H, 0 ER).
Padres 7, Nationals 0: The Nats hit two first-inning singles off Kevin Correia, but then he set down 19 in a row. This awful stretch the Nats are in has likely stomped on whatever budding sentiment there was to give Jim Riggleman the full time gig.
Tigers 4, Indians 2; White Sox 4, Twins 2: There's a thin line between a race and the lack of one. A bunch of Indians errors -- two on Jhonny Peralta on one play -- in the Tigers-Indians game and a rare, rare, rare Joe Nathan implosion in the Twins-White Sox game was the difference between a doable-sounding 2.5 game deficit and a depressing-sounding 4.5 game hole. The Nathan thing was just brutal. Two outs in the ninth, two strikes on the batter and a two run lead, and he can't lock it down.
Cubs 2, Astros 0: Seeing Aaron Boone play in a real major league baseball game had to outweigh whatever doldrums an otherwise uninspiring loss to the Cubs caused.
Mariners 3, Angels 0: Scott Kazmir strikes out eight and only gives up two runs -- one earned -- in six and third in his Angels debut. Unfortunately for him, Felix Hernandez Felix Hernandez gave up bupkis. Bill Hall had an RBI double, then stole third and scored himself when Mike Napoli threw the ball away.
Rangers 6, Blue Jays 4: With the Angels loss and this win, the Rangers are only 3.5 back of Anaheim now. Interesting. It'd be more interesting if they hadn't just lost Michael Young for at least two weeks, but man, it would be neat to see that one come down to the wire.
Marlins 8, Braves 7: This one hurt. The Braves were down 7-3 at one point, tied it in the ninth, and then loss on a WES HELMS home run. Wes frickin' Helms. Wes .234/.287/.423 in nearly 500 PAs for the Braves Helms. Ugh.
Rays 8, Red Sox 5: The Rays led 5-1, the Sox came back, and then Pat Burrell and Evan Longoria put the Rays up to stay in the eighth against a Red Sox pen that was, for last night anyway, Papelbon and Wagner-free.
Reds 5, Pirates 3: Another good start for Homer Bailey, who allowed three runs and struck out eight in six and a third innings. Another terrible performance by Pittsburgh, who has now lost seven straight. John Russell after the game: "We'll be all right. We play good at home. Turn the page." I was going to mock that, but he's actually right: the Pirates are 35-29 at home, which is rather surprising to me.
Athletics 10, Royals 4: A's backup catcher Landon Powell hit a grand slam in the second inning that effectively put this one away. Brian Bannister left the game early with what is being called shoulder fatigue.
Yankees 10, Orioles 2: Sabathia, as he tends to do, is getting stronger as the season comes to a close (7 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 9K). A-Rod hit two, two-run singles and was 3-5 overall, collecting his 2,500th career hit along the way. Because he pitched a third of an inning before the Yankees exploded for seven in the ninth, Phil Hughes gets a "save." A save in a 10-2 game. Yeah, that makes sense.
Cardinals 10, Brewers 3: Chris Carpenter makes it ten straight, though he didn't exactly cruise in this one. Skip Schumaker was 4 for 4 with two RBI. The Cards have a 10.5 game lead now.
Rockies 5, Mets 2: Welcome Jason Giambi! One of the NL West's two pinch-hit only former superstars hits a two-run pinch hit single in the eighth which broke the tie and put Colorado in the lead to stay.
Diamondbacks 4, Dodgers 1: Chad Billingsley loses his third in a row. Doug Mientkiewicz made his return after being out since April. He had a pinch it single, so I guess that means that he and Thome will be battling for the pinch hitter slot? Does LA have a 28 man roster or something? UPDATE: OK, that was stupid. I had forgotten that we're past September 1. So yes, they have all the roster space they need. I hafta stop writing these things at 5:30 in the morning.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 5:52am