THT Daily: AL 6, NL 2

Major League News for June 23

Yesterday’s Results
Today’s Games
Standings
Game of the Day
Yesterday’s Home Runs
Player News
Stats


Yesterday’s Results
Interleague
CHA     1  STL     0    (Recap and Boxscore) See below
KC     15  PIT     7    (Recap and Boxscore) KC: 15 R on 13 H, 7 BB
MIN     4  HOU     2    (Recap and Boxscore) Liriano beats Clemens
TB      4  ARI     1    (Recap and Boxscore) Kazmir: 7.2 IP, 8 K, 1 R
TEX     5  SD      3    (Recap and Boxscore) Rheinecker: 5.1 IP, 11 H, 2 R
TOR     3  ATL     2    (Recap and Boxscore) ATL: 10th straight loss
FLA     8  BAL     5    (Recap and Boxscore) 10 innings, Crazy comeback
LAN     4  SEA     2    (Recap and Boxscore) Lowe: 9 IP, 2 R

National League
NYN     6  CIN     2    (Recap and Boxscore) Wright: 2 HR; Pedro: 6 IP, 2 R


Today’s Games
Visitors                       Home                            Time
CIN - Harang A. (7-5, 3.92)    CLE - Westbrook J. (6-3, 4.35)  7:05
PHI - Madson R. (7-4, 5.79)    BOS - Beckett J. (8-3, 5.09)    7:05
FLA - Moehler B. (5-5, 6.29)   NYY - Wang C. (7-3, 4.07)       7:05
WAS - Patterson J. (1-0, 3.86) BAL - Lopez R. (4-8, 6.85)      7:05
STL - Carpenter C. (6-3, 2.46) DET - Verlander J. (8-4, 3.21)  7:05
NYM - Glavine T.* (10-2, 3.48) TOR - Janssen C. (5-5, 4.50)    7:07
ATL - Smoltz J. (4-5, 3.78)    TB - Fossum C.* (2-3, 5.45)     7:15
CHC - Marmol C. (1-1, 2.81)    MIN - Santana J.* (7-4, 2.87)   8:10
MIL - Bush D. (4-6, 4.81)      KC - Keppel B. (0-3, 3.64)      8:10
HOU - Pettitte A.* (6-7, 5.44) CWS - Contreras J. (7-0, 2.96)  8:35
TEX - Koronka J.* (5-4, 5.00)  COL - Francis J.* (5-6, 4.13)   9:05
LAA - Santana E. (7-3, 4.10)   ARI - Gonzalez E. (2-0, 3.67)   9:40
SEA - Meche G. (7-4, 4.10)     SD - Peavy J. (4-8, 4.81)      10:05
OAK - Blanton J. (7-6, 4.79)   SF - Schmidt J. (6-3, 2.84)    10:15
PIT - Perez O.* (2-9, 6.10)    LAD - Tomko B. (5-6, 5.45)     10:40


Standings

The graphics next to each team are called “sparklines.” They depict each team’s performance over the last month. Each “up” bar is a victory and a “down” bar is a loss. There are horizontal lines for home games and gray bars represent games decided by two runs or less. Other team graphs and stats can be found on our Team Page.

American League East
BOS     42  28 .600  0.0    
NYA     40  30 .571  2.0    
TOR     40  32 .556  3.0    
BAL     33  41 .446 11.0    
TB      32  41 .438 11.5    
American League Central
DET     48  25 .658  0.0    
CHA     47  25 .653  0.5    
MIN     36  35 .507 11.0    
CLE     32  39 .451 15.0    
KC      22  49 .310 25.0    
American League West
OAK     39  33 .542  0.0    
TEX     39  34 .534  0.5    
SEA     36  38 .486  4.0    
LAA     32  40 .444  7.0    

National League East
NYN     45  27 .625  0.0    
PHI     35  37 .486 10.0    
FLA     31  38 .449 12.5    
WAS     32  42 .432 14.0    
ATL     30  43 .411 15.5    
National League Central
STL     42  29 .592  0.0    
CIN     39  34 .534  4.0    
HOU     37  36 .507  6.0    
MIL     36  37 .493  7.0    
CHN     28  43 .394 14.0    
PIT     26  48 .351 17.5    
National League West
SD      38  34 .528  0.0    
LAN     37  35 .514  1.0    
SF      36  36 .500  2.0    
COL     36  36 .500  2.0    
ARI     36  37 .493  2.5    


Game of the Day

There were several excellent games yesterday, such as Clemens’ return to Houston and Florida’s amazing comeback against the Orioles, but yesterday’s Game of the Day is the one I went to. It was one of the best games I have ever personally witnessed.

Jim Thome broke up Anthony Reyes’s no-hitter with a home run in the seventh, and the White Sox beat the Cardinals 1-0. Reyes pitched all eight innings for the Cards, and the only other batter to reach base against the rookie was Jermaine Dye, who wound up on third when he hit a ball that almost cleared the fence. So Taguchi got his glove on the ball but dropped it when he ran into the wall, and the the official scorer ruled it an error.

The game featured several outstanding fielding plays, including a tremendous catch by Dye on a Hector Luna flyball, and Bobby Jenks finished the game with 100 mile per hour heat. I thought Freddy Garcia actually pitched a better game than Reyes; Reyes was tagged for several hard-hit line drives and flyballs (Paul Konerko hit two very hard smashes) but every one was an “at em” ball.

Albert Pujols also returned to the Cardinals for the first time since being injured, an unexpected occurrence. An audible “gasp” ran through the stands when his name was announced in the starting lineup. Sadly for Cardinal fans, Prince Albert got good wood on the ball only once, a flyout to the warning track in left in his first at bat.

As for me, I actually caught one of those shirts they throw into the stands and gave it to my wife for attending the game with me. I’m such a romantic…

ST LOUIS (0) VS CHI WHITE SOX (1) - FINAL

ST LOUIS               ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
D Eckstein ss           4  0  1  0   0  0   1  .317
S Taguchi cf            4  0  0  0   0  1   1  .279
A Pujols 1b             4  0  0  0   0  0   1  .302
S Rolen 3b              4  0  1  0   0  0   0  .335
J Encarnacion rf        4  0  1  0   0  2   1  .288
T Perez dh              3  0  0  0   0  0   2  .278
H Luna lf               2  0  0  0   1  0   1  .314
Y Molina c              3  0  0  0   0  0   2  .207
A Miles 2b              3  0  1  0   0  0   0  .275

Totals                 31  0  4  0   1  3   9

BATTING: 2B - D Eckstein (11, F Garcia). Runners left in scoring position, 2 
out - A Pujols 1, S Taguchi 1, Y Molina 1, H Luna 1. Team LOB - 5. 
 
BASERUNNING: SB - J Encarnacion (2, 2nd base off F Garcia/A Pierzynski). 
 
FIELDING: E - S Taguchi (4, fly ball). 

CHI WHITE SOX          ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
S Podsednik lf          3  0  0  0   0  2   0  .249
T Iguchi 2b             3  0  0  0   0  0   0  .292
J Thome dh              3  1  1  1   0  1   0  .288
P Konerko 1b            3  0  0  0   0  0   0  .321
J Dye rf                3  0  0  0   0  1   0  .301
A Pierzynski c          3  0  0  0   0  0   1  .322
J Crede 3b              3  0  0  0   0  0   1  .303
R Mackowiak cf          3  0  0  0   0  0   0  .278
J Uribe ss              2  0  0  0   0  2   0  .225

Totals                 26  1  1  1   0  6   2

BATTING: HR - J Thome (24, 7th inning off An Reyes 0 on, 1 Out). RBI - J Thome 
(60). Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - J Crede 1. Team LOB - 1. 
 
FIELDING: E - F Garcia (1, throw). 

----------------------------------------------------
    ST LOUIS        - 000 000 000   --   0
    CHI WHITE SOX   - 000 000 10x   --   1
----------------------------------------------------

ST LOUIS                     ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
An Reyes (L, 1-1)             8       1   1   1   0   6   1   1.80

CHI WHITE SOX                ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
F Garcia (W, 9-4)             8       4   0   0   1   2   0   4.66
B Jenks (S, 21)               1       0   0   0   0   1   0   2.84

Pitches-strikes: An Reyes 90-67; F Garcia 99-69; B Jenks 10-7. Ground 
balls-fly balls: An Reyes 6-12; F Garcia 10-12; B Jenks 2-0. Batters faced: An 
Reyes 26; F Garcia 29; B Jenks 3. 
 
UMPIRES: HP--Larry Young. 1B--Chad  Fairchild. 2B--Mike Everitt. 3B--Alfonso 
Marquez. 

T--2:00. Att--39,509. 
Weather: 77 degrees, partly cloudy. Wind: 10 mph, in from center.

The following graph tracks the game’s Win Probability, courtesy of Fan Graphs.

image


Yesterday’s Home Runs

The following stats are provided by Hit Tracker, which logs the projected distance of each home run (if it were to land uninterrupted at field level) and its “standard” distance, which is corrected for weather conditions.

Hitter                     Pitcher                  True Dist Stnd Dist   HR#
Buck, John           KC    Maholm, Paul       PIT        441       440     5
Thome, Jim           CWS   Reyes, Anthony     STL        428       440    24
Morneau, Justin      MIN   Springer, Russ     HOU        439       436    18
Ibanez, Raul         SEA   Lowe, Derek        LAD        410       402    14
Hernandez, Ramon     BAL   Olsen, Scott       FLA        412       398    12
Wright, David        NYM   Milton, Eric       CIN        408       395    16
Helms, Wes           FLA   Ray, Chris         BAL        398       385     5
Wright, David        NYM   Milton, Eric       CIN        379       385    17
Huff, Aubrey         TB    Gonzalez, Edgar G  ARI        380       379     4
Betancourt, Yuniesky SEA   Lowe, Derek        LAD        386       379     4
Estrada, Johnny      ARI   Kazmir, Scott      TB         365       364     6
Borchard, Joe        FLA   Ray, Chris         BAL        371       363     6
Lane, Jason          HOU   Liriano, Francisco MIN        357       355    11
Hernandez, Ramon     BAL   Olsen, Scott       FLA        357       341    11


Player News

The following player news items are provided by CBS SportsLine.com.

Former Red Sox pitcher Paxton Crawford said he used steroids during his professional years and that his drug use was well known in the clubhourse. Crawford also said that numerous players in the Boston system used performance-enhancing drugs in 2000 and 2001. “It was just everywhere,” he told the Boston Globe. Crawford’s story will be told in this week’s ESPN the Magazine.

Roger Clemens was upstaged by a rookie almost half his age. Francisco Liriano, Minnesota’s 22-year-old phenom, pitched seven scoreless innings to lead the Twins to a 4-2 win over the Houston Astros in Clemens’ much-anticipated debut. Liriano (7-1) gave up just four hits in eight innings and didn’t allow a run until Jason Lane’s two-run homer in the eighth, helping the Twins to their ninth win in 10 games and their fourth straight series victory.

Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki went hitless in four at-bats on Thursday vs. the Dodgers to end his 20-game hitting streak. He entered with eight hits in 17 lifetime at-bats against Derek Lowe

Cesar Izturis got three hits and scored twice in his first start since last August.

Thanks to another bullpen meltdown, the Atlanta Braves have lost 10 consecutive games for the first time in 18 years. Horacio Ramirez held Toronto to one run in 6 2/3 innings, but the bullpen blew an eighth-inning lead as Toronto rallied for a 3-2 win Thursday night. Ramirez made his first start since June 11, when he was hit on his head by Lance Berkman’s line drive, knocking the left-hander out of the game. Toronto, which leads the major leagues with its .331 batting average against left-handers, managed only seven hits off Ramirez. He walked six batters and had five strikeouts.

Toronto welcomed back starter A.J. Burnett, who was pitching for the first time since April 21. He gave up only five hits and two runs in six innings at Atlanta. Burnett, who struck out seven, showed no signs of the soreness in his right elbow that caused him to go on the disabled list on April 22.

The Marlins trailed 5-1 in the ninth Thursday before coming back against Baltimore closer Chris Ray, who was 18-for-18 in save situations this season. Ray allowed two runs on two hits in only 2/3 of an inning. Ray came in with one out and runners on the corners in the ninth. After Josh Willingham hit a sacrifice fly, Joe Borchard hit a two-run pinch-hit home run and Wes Helms tied it with a pinch-hit homer.

Refusing to be walked, Miguel Cabrera reached across the plate and hit an intentional ball from Todd Williams for a 10th-inning RBI single, helping the Marlins rally past the Baltimore Orioles 8-5. With the score tied at 5 in the 10th, Hanley Ramirez led off with an infield hit against Williams (1-3). Ramirez took second on a groundout, bringing Cabrera to the plate. With catcher Ramon Hernandez standing upright and calling for an intentional walk, Cabrera stepped into the soft, outside pitch and drove it to center, scoring Ramirez with the go-ahead run on a swing more likely to be seen in the movies than the major leagues.

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Jon Lieber allowed one run over three innings Thursday night in his first minor league rehabilitation start since being sidelined last month by a strained left groin.

To make room for Albert Pujols, the Cardinals sent Chris Duncan to Triple-A Memphis. The Cardinals also put struggling left-hander Mark Mulder on the 15-day disabled list with a shoulder strain.

Chicago White Sox pitcher David Riske was suspended three games by the commissioner’s office for intentionally throwing at St. Louis’ Chris Duncan this week. Riske’s suspension was scheduled to start with Thursday night’s home game against the Cardinals, unless the reliever appeals.

David Wright hit a pair of two-run homers as the New York Mets beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-2 Thursday. Wright’s two homers gave him 202 RBI for his career, 60 this season.

Gary Matthews Jr. finished 2-for-4 Thursday against the Padres and is hitting .422 (38-for-90) over the past 20 games. John Rheinecker (3-1) allowed 11 hits over 5 1/3 innings, but the Padres managed only two runs against him in a win on Thursday vs. San Diego.

Arizona’s Edgar Gonzalez, recalled from Triple-A Tucson before Thursday’s game at Tampa Bay, allowed four runs and nine hits in six innings in the loss. He struck out six and walked none. The Diamondbacks optioned RHP Casey Daigle to Tucson.

The Rangers’ Michael Young got the go-ahead hit and the Texas Rangers beat the San Diego Padres 5-3 to avoid a series sweep and a losing homestand. Young finished 2-for-4 with two RBI in the game.

The Marlins activated OF Josh Willingham off the 15-day DL and optioned OF Chris Aguila to Triple-A Albuquerque.

Brewers RHP Allan Simpson has cleared waivers and been assigned outright to Triple-A Nashville. The Blue Jays optioned RHP Francisco Rosario to Triple-A Syracuse of the IL.

Reds RHP Todd Coffey, anointed the closer two weeks ago by manager Jerry Narron, will be part of a closer’s committee in Cincinnati, possibly appearing in the seventh or the eighth inning as he was doing in April and pitching so well. That means some games will be finished by Kent Mercker, Chris Hammond or David Weathers. “To get Coffey more work, I’m going to mix and match with those four guys,” Narron said. “Coffey pitched so well for us early in the season coming into games in the seventh and eighth innings, and those innings are just as important as far as putting up zeros as is the ninth. Games are won and lost in the seventh or eighth, too.”

Nationals RHP Ramon Ortiz was given permission to leave the club because of an illness in his family. Ortiz is scheduled to start Saturday against the Orioles, but LHP Mike O’Connor has been instructed to prepare in case he’s needed. O’Connor, who would be going on regular rest, would look forward to pitching at Camden Yards since he grew up in suburban Baltimore and was an Orioles fan as a child.

Mets INF Julio Franco is tied with Philadelphia OF David Dellucci for the major league lead with 11 pinch hits.

Mets LF Cliff Floyd is eligible to come off the disabled list Thursday, but GM Omar Minaya doesn’t believe his sprained left ankle will be healed enough to let him be reinstated. “The chances are not good,” Minaya said.

San Diego right-hander Woody Williams began his rehabilitation assignment without allowing a hit in three innings of a Single-A game and is on target to rejoin the Padres by July 1. Williams, on the disabled list since May 13 because of a strained left calf, struck out five and walked one for Lake Elsinore against Rancho Cucamonga in a California League game Wednesday night. “He said the calf felt good. There’s a little stiffness in the elbow,” Padres manager Bruce Bochy said Thursday.

Braves manager Bobby Cox has moved Jorge Sosa to the bullpen, making him Atlanta’s closer for the time being. Kenny Ray, who was in the role for a short time, will now work in middle relief. Chris Reitsma (hand) will also work in middle relief. He is currently on the 15-day DL.

The Mariners are the first team ever to win their first eight interleague games in a season.


THT’s Stats

Batters like to hit line drives, because they fall for hits 75% of the time. Easier said than done, of course, but here’s a list of the twenty major league players who have hit the greatest proportion of line drives (as a percent of all their batted balls). The major league average is 19%. I’ve also included each batter’s Batting Average on Balls in Play (not including strikeouts or home runs) for comparison. You can see, for instance, that Aaron Boone seems to be getting much less out of his line drives than most other batters.

Last         First    Team       LD%    BABIP
Sullivan     Cory     COL        30%     .343
Sanchez      Freddy   PIT        30%     .371
Boone        Aaron    CLE        27%     .307
Loretta      Mark     BOS        27%     .333
Mauer        Joe      MIN        27%     .407
Youkilis     Kevin E  BOS        27%     .380
Garciaparra  Nomar    LAN        26%     .355
Michaels     Jason    CLE        26%     .330
Abreu        Bobby    PHI        26%     .349
Johnson      Nick     WAS        26%     .328
Pierzynski   A.J.     CHA        26%     .354
Kennedy      Adam     LAA        25%     .313
Granderson   Curtis   DET        25%     .374
Roberts      Brian    BAL        25%     .353
Lowell       Mike     BOS        25%     .317
Rowand       Aaron    PHI        25%     .304
Jeter        Derek    NYA        24%     .399
Clark        Brady    MIL        24%     .314
Young        Michael  TEX        24%     .361
Atkins       Garrett  COL        24%     .326

Access all of THT’s stats here…

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