THT Daily: Sign of the apocalypse

Player News
Yesterday’s Results
Today’s Games
Standings
Game of the Day
Yesterday’s Home Runs
Top Minor League Performances

You can always find the most recent THT Daily at http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/content/thtdaily/ and an archive at http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/thtdaily_index/

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It’s hard to argue with the Rays’ mascot. (Icon/SMI)


Player News

Player Headlines are courtesy of Rotoworld

Roy Halladay pitched his 10th career shutout Monday night against the Mariners. Halladay limited baseball’s worst team to four hits in his sixth complete game of the season. His 10th shutout ties him with Mark Mulder for 10th place among active pitchers. Tim Hudson, at 11, is the only guy ahead of him still in his prime, so there’s a good chance Halladay will spend considerable time in the second half of his career as the active leader.

Mariners placed RHP Felix Hernandez on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to June 24, with a sprained left ankle. Ryan Rowland-Smith is scheduled to start in Hernandez’s place Tuesday and the hope is that King Felix can return from the DL when eligible on July 9.

Chad Cordero will undergo surgery to repair a labrum tear and miss the rest of the season. Cordero was hoping to return this month from a torn shoulder muscle, but there was more going on in there than the Nationals were previously willing to admit. Given the way he was throwing before he went on the DL, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise. With Cordero out of the picture, the Nats are more likely to keep Jon Rauch for the rest of the season. They don’t have a clear fallback in the closer’s role, though Joel Hanrahan could ascend to the position if he continues to improve.

Dodgers placed outfielder Juan Pierre on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained MCL in his left knee. The Dodgers will likely give most of Pierre’s playing time to Delwyn Young for now. Once Andruw Jones comes back, they’ll be able to use their best outfield, with Andre Ethier in left and Matt Kemp in right. Pierre will go right back into the starting lineup when he returns, but the Dodgers don’t lose much without him.

Troy Percival isn’t sure whether he’ll require another DL stint after aggravating his left hamstring on Monday night. “It’s not something that I want to think about until tomorrow, to be honest with you,” he said. “There’s been nights when I’ve gotten through my inning no problem and come in here and said there’s no way I’m going to be able to go tomorrow and then I come back the next day and it’s not as bad. So I don’t want to jump the gun on any of that, because it might be OK.” Dan Wheeler would be the heavy favorite for saves if Percival has to shut it down through the break.

Roy Oswalt is day-to-day after coming out of Monday’s game with a strained hip. “We’ll have to wait and see how he is,” manager Cecil Cooper said. “Right now, I’ll say he’s fine and he’ll take his next start. We’ll just have to wait and see.” Oswalt picked up a win tonight after allowing one run in six innings against the Dodgers.

Eric Byrnes left Monday’s game with a strained left hamstring. Byrnes just returned from injuries to both hamstrings a week ago, and he’s never been right at any point of the season. He reinjured himself tonight trying to steal third base, and there’s a good chance he’ll land back on the disabled list. Putting Conor Jackson back in left field and using Chad Tracy at first base against right-handers would give the Diamondbacks’ offense a boost.

David Ortiz (wrist) ruled himself out of the All-Star Game on Monday. “I’m going to the All-Star Game but I’m not going to be able to play,” he said. “But I’ve got to bring myself out there and show respect to the fans. There’s a reason why they vote for you and you’ve got to respect that. I wish I could be in the Dominican at the beach for those days but the fans vote you to be there.” Ortiz has been hitting off a tee as he attempts to return from a torn tendon sheath, and although he’s yet to have a setback, it’s clear he’s not nearly at full strength yet. “I’m not going to tell you when I (think I will be) 100-percent because that’s something I don’t know,” he said. “The human body’s healing process is not something you can control.”


Yesterday’s Results

Game recaps provided by Craig Calcaterra of Shysterball.

Tigers 5, Twins 4: Recent-day irresistible force meets recent-day immovable object. Not sure which is which, actually, but the team with the fuzzy kitty cat mascot won. Joel Zumaya gets an old school save — nearly two innings — in only his fifth start back following his shoulder injury. Just three days earlier, Leyland said that he “wasn’t right.” Hurm.

Royals 6, Orioles 5: Who mixed up the scripts? I thought Kansas City was supposed to blow a four run lead in the ninth and then blow it all in the 11th. Greinke has been saving his teammates’ bacon all year, so it was nice to see them save his for once (5 IP, 7 H, 5 ER).

White Sox 9, Indians 7: Nick Swisher‘s two dingers — one of which was a granny — trumps Jhonny Peralta‘s 5-5, 3 RBI performance as the Tribe loses again. That, combined with the Royals win discussed supra (Get me! I’m using my legal training!) means that the Tribe is now in the cellar in the AL Central. Trade. Sabathia. Now.

Rays 5, Red Sox 4: You get the feeling from the box score that Joe Maddon was managing this one like it was game seven of the World Series, as the Rays use six pitchers in a game in which they never trailed. Un-Soxlike stat of the game: Boston drew only two walks.

Reds 4, Pirates 3: Griffey hits a game winning home run in the bottom of the ninth. Not bad for an old man who can’t hit lefties. No, I’m not being mean. That’s what little Darren Baker told Griffey before the game when he asked why he was left out of the lineup. From the mouths of babes.

Cardinals 7, Mets 1: It was nice of the Mets to roll over so easily, because by doing so they allowed La Russa to pitch Mark Mulder in the ninth inning in what amounted to a glorified rehab start. How helpful! Speaking of helpful, a long time ago the band Yo La Tengo had these t-shirts with Mr. Met on them. Anyone got a lead on where a brother could find one now?

Rangers 2, Yankees 1: The Bombers’ first three hitters combined for a sweet 0-11, and the other six had only four hits among them, this against the worst staff in baseball.

Marlins 6, Nationals 5: Didja Know? Jon Rauch is the tallest pitcher to ever give up two home runs against the Marlins to blow a game!

Astros 4, Dodgers 1: Most useless thing I learned at SABR: Jose Valverde — who chalked up save number 22 in this game — was given the nickname of “Big Potato” by the Diamondbacks’ TV analyst Jim Traber. Seems he was trying to call him “Big Daddy” in Spanish, but said “Papa Grande” instead. Why yes, alcohol had been consumed prior to that gem being introduced to the roundtable. In other news, the Astros are 4-1 following violent outbursts by disgruntled swingmen this year.

Padres 15, Rockies 8: I view this outburst as a big “F-You” to Jake Peavy, who complained Sunday about not being able to give up three and still get a win.

Blue Jays 2, Mariners 0: Halladay (CG SHO, 4 H, 6K) was one of the few starters who bothered to show up last night. It’s a shame he had to beat a knuckleballer, though. I worry that if R.A. Dickey doesn’t become a success, the weirdness quotient of Major League Baseball may be diminished.

A’s 6, Angels 1: Greg Smith is another one who showed up (CG, 4 H, 1 ER). The Angels made it easy for him, though, by only looking at 100 pitches the whole game. It’s hard to go from first to third on a single (as I understand ONLY the Angels are allowed to do by law) when you never see first.

Diamondbacks 6, Brewers 3: The Dbacks avoid sinking below .500. Not that it matters much in that division, which is starting to look like the 1994 AL West. Eric Byrnes left the game with a pulled hamstring — the other one this time — and is heading back to the DL. That could be good news for Arizona, actually.

Cubs 9, Giants 2: Nothin’ like facing Barry Zito to stop a losing streak. He may as well have greeted the Cubs at SFO with a basket of baked goods. I think he met DeRosa with a big sloppy kiss (3-6, 6 RBI).

You can download a compact version of yesterday’s boxscores from Heater Magazine.

First Inning’s Major and Minor League Daily Reports:
{embed=”pageblocks/FirstInning_Team_Lookup”}


Today’s Games
National League
 ---------------
 Washington Nationals at Florida Marlins, 7:10 PM
  (R) Collin Balester (0-0) vs. (L) Mark Hendrickson (7-6)
 Pittsburgh Pirates at Cincinnati Reds, 7:10 PM
  (L) Zach Duke (4-5) vs. (R) Edinson Volquez (10-3)
 Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves, 7:10 PM
  (R) Kyle Kendrick (7-3) vs. (R) Charlie Morton (1-1)
 Los Angeles Dodgers at Houston Astros, 8:05 PM
  (L) Clayton Kershaw (0-2) vs. (L) Wandy Rodriguez (3-3)
 New York Mets at St. Louis Cardinals, 8:15 PM
  (R) Tony Armas (0-0) vs. (R) Todd Wellemeyer (7-2)
 San Diego Padres at Colorado Rockies, 9:05 PM
  (R) Josh Banks (2-2) vs. (R) Aaron Cook (10-5)
 Milwaukee Brewers at Arizona Diamondbacks, 9:40 PM
  (R) Jeff Suppan (4-6) vs. (L) Randy Johnson (4-6)
 Chicago Cubs at San Francisco Giants, 10:15 PM
  (R) Jason Marquis (6-4) vs. (R) Matt Cain (4-6)
 
 American League
 ---------------
 Kansas City Royals at Baltimore Orioles, 7:05 PM
  (R) Luke Hochevar (5-5) vs. (R) Radhames Liz (2-0)
 Texas Rangers at New York Yankees, 7:05 PM
  (R) Kevin Millwood (5-4) vs. (R) Joba Chamberlain (2-2)
 Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays, 7:10 PM
  (R) Tim Wakefield (5-5) vs. (R) Matt Garza (6-4)
 Detroit Tigers at Minnesota Twins, 8:10 PM
  (L) Nate Robertson (6-6) vs. (R) Scott Baker (4-2)
 Cleveland Indians at Chicago White Sox, 8:11 PM
  (L) Cliff Lee (11-1) vs. (L) John Danks (5-4)
 Oakland Athletics at LA Angels of Anaheim, 10:05 PM
  (R) Rich Harden (5-0) vs. (R) Ervin Santana (9-3)
 Toronto Blue Jays at Seattle Mariners, 10:10 PM
  (R) Jesse Litsch (8-4) vs. (L) Ryan Rowland-Smith (2-1)


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 red bars represent games decided by two runs or less. “PWins” is short for Projected Wins, based on each team’s Run Differential, and is often a better measure of a team’s true strength. Other team graphs and stats can be found on our Team Page.

American League East        Pwins  Diff
TB      50  32 .610    0.0   47     3    sparkline graph
BOS     50  35 .588    1.5   50     0    sparkline graph
NYA     44  39 .530    6.5   44     0    sparkline graph
BAL     41  40 .506    8.5   41     0    sparkline graph
TOR     41  43 .488   10.0   45    -4    sparkline graph
American League Central     
CHA     47  35 .573    0.0   51    -4    sparkline graph
MIN     45  38 .542    2.5   42     3    sparkline graph
DET     42  40 .512    5.0   41     1    sparkline graph
KC      38  45 .458    9.5   37     1    sparkline graph
CLE     37  46 .446   10.5   42    -5    sparkline graph
American League West        
LAA     49  34 .590    0.0   42     7    sparkline graph
OAK     45  37 .549    3.5   48    -3    sparkline graph
TEX     43  41 .512    6.5   41     2    sparkline graph
SEA     31  51 .378   17.5   35    -4    sparkline graph


National League East        Pwins  Diff
PHI     44  39 .530    0.0   49    -5    sparkline graph
FLA     43  39 .524    0.5   39     4    sparkline graph
NYN     40  42 .488    3.5   40     0    sparkline graph
ATL     40  43 .482    4.0   46    -6    sparkline graph
WAS     33  51 .393   11.5   30     3    sparkline graph
National League Central     
CHN     50  33 .602    0.0   51    -1    sparkline graph
STL     48  36 .571    2.5   46     2    sparkline graph
MIL     44  38 .537    5.5   40     4    sparkline graph
HOU     40  43 .482   10.0   38     2    sparkline graph
CIN     39  45 .464   11.5   36     3    sparkline graph
PIT     38  44 .463   11.5   36     2    sparkline graph
National League West        
ARI     42  41 .506    0.0   43    -1    sparkline graph
LAN     38  44 .463    3.5   41    -3    sparkline graph
SF      36  47 .434    6.0   37    -1    sparkline graph
SD      33  51 .393    9.5   33     0    sparkline graph
COL     32  51 .386   10.0   33    -1    sparkline graph


Game of the Day
Royals 6, Orioles 5 - FINAL

KANSAS CITY            ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
M Aviles ss             6  1  2  1   0  2   1  .319
M Grudzielanek 2b       4  0  1  0   1  0   2  .307
A Gordon 3b             4  0  1  1   2  2   0  .260
J Guillen lf-rf         6  1  2  1   0  0   4  .281
M Teahen rf             4  0  1  0   0  1   1  .257
 va-M Olivo ph          1  1  1  1   0  0   0  .261
 E German lf            1  0  0  0   0  0   2  .169
B Butler dh             5  0  3  0   0  1   1  .271
R Gload 1b              4  1  1  0   1  0   2  .263
J Buck c                5  1  2  1   0  1   3  .250
J Gathright cf          3  1  0  0   2  0   1  .243

Totals                 43  6 14  5   6  7  17   ###

BALTIMORE              ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
B Roberts 2b            5  0  2  0   0  2   2  .295
N Markakis rf           5  1  1  1   0  1   2  .287
A Huff dh               5  1  1  1   0  1   0  .274
K Millar 1b             4  0  1  1   1  1   0  .241
L Scott lf              3  0  1  0   1  0   1  .281
 J Payton pr-lf         1  0  0  0   0  0   0  .255
M Mora 3b               4  0  0  0   1  2   1  .229
R Hernandez c           5  1  1  1   0  0   3  .239
A Jones cf              5  1  1  0   0  1   0  .272
A Cintron ss            3  1  2  1   0  0   0  .275
 B Fahey pr-ss          1  0  0  0   0  1   0  .207

Totals                 41  5 10  5   3  9   9   ###

----------------------------------------------------
    KANSAS CITY     - 001 002 101 01  --   6 14 0
    BALTIMORE       - 001 040 000 00  --   5 10 1
----------------------------------------------------

va-homered to left center for M Teahen in the 9th.

BATTING: 2B - A Gordon (20, B Burres); R Gload (10, R Bukvich); B Roberts (30, 
Z Greinke); A Cintron (3, Z Greinke); A Huff (24, Z Greinke); L Scott (15, R 
Ramirez). 3B - A Jones (3, Z Greinke). HR - R Hernandez (7, 3rd inning off Z 
Greinke 0 on, 0 Out), M Olivo (9, 9th inning off G Sherrill 0 on, 2 Out). S - M 
Grudzielanek. RBI - A Gordon (40), J Buck (23), M Aviles (15), M Olivo (28), J 
Guillen (61), R Hernandez (29), A Cintron (7), N Markakis (40), A Huff (46), K 
Millar (44). 2-out RBI - A Gordon, J Buck, M Aviles, M Olivo, N Markakis, A 
Huff, K Millar. Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - M Grudzielanek 1, J 
Guillen 3, J Buck 1, N Markakis 1. GIDP - B Butler, E German, B Roberts, R 
Hernandez. Team LOB - KANSAS CITY 11, BALTIMORE 6. BASERUNNING: SB - J 
Gathright (18, 2nd base off B Burres/R Hernandez). CS - J Gathright (4, 2nd 
base by C Bradford/R Hernandez). FIELDING: E - R Hernandez (7, throw). DP:  (R 
Ramirez-M Aviles-R Gload, M Aviles-M Grudzielanek-R Gload, M Mora-B Roberts-K 
Millar, B Fahey-B Roberts-K Millar). 

KANSAS CITY                  ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
Z Greinke                     5       7   5   5   1   5   1   3.65
H Ramirez                     1       1   0   0   0   0   0   2.45
R Ramirez                     2       1   0   0   2   1   0   2.68
R Mahay (W, 4-0)              2       1   0   0   0   1   0   2.13
J Soria (S, 22)               1       0   0   0   0   2   0   1.25

BALTIMORE                    ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
B Burres                      5       5   1   1   3   3   0   5.09
R Bukvich                     1       3   2   2   1   0   0   7.71
D Sarfate (H, 2)                2/3   2   1   1   1   2   0   2.97
J Johnson (H, 13)             1 1/3   0   0   0   0   1   0   1.17
G Sherrill (B, 5)             1       1   1   1   0   1   1   3.68
C Bradford (L, 3-3)           2       3   1   1   1   0   0   2.64

B Burres pitched to 1 batter in the 6th.
H Ramirez pitched to 1 batter in the 7th.

IBB - A Gordon (by C Bradford), M Mora (by R Ramirez). BALK - D Sarfate. 
Pitches-strikes: Z Greinke 86-57; H Ramirez 12-8; R Ramirez 34-17; R Mahay 
24-18; J Soria 12-10; B Burres 95-52; R Bukvich 25-14; D Sarfate 19-12; J 
Johnson 19-14; G Sherrill 18-11; C Bradford 23-15. Ground balls-fly balls: Z 
Greinke 5-5; H Ramirez 1-2; R Ramirez 5-0; R Mahay 1-4; J Soria 1-0; B Burres 
6-6; R Bukvich 3-0; D Sarfate 0-0; J Johnson 2-1; G Sherrill 0-2; C Bradford 
5-0. Batters faced: Z Greinke 23; H Ramirez 4; R Ramirez 7; R Mahay 7; J Soria 
3; B Burres 23; R Bukvich 6; D Sarfate 5; J Johnson 4; G Sherrill 4; C Bradford 
8. UMPIRES: HP--Mike Estabrook. 1B--Larry Vanover. 2B--Mike Everitt. 3B--Mike 
Dimuro.   T--3:43. (Plus rain delay totaling 31 minutes in the 1st). 
Att--15,289. Weather: 86 degrees, rain. Wind: 3 mph, out to center.

The following graph tracks the game’s Win Probability, courtesy of Fan Graphs. You can also view live WPA graphs at Fangraphs during any ballgame all season long.

image


Yesterday’s Home Runs

The following stats are provided by Hit Tracker, which logs the projected “true” distance of each home run (if it were to land uninterrupted at field level) and its “standard” distance, which is corrected for weather conditions. Each homer is also categorized into one of three types: Just Enough (JE) for homers that cleared the fence by ten feet or less, Plenty (PL) for those that were sure home runs but not “blasts,” and No Doubt (ND) for true “blasts”—homers that cleared the fence by at least 20 feet and landed at least 50 feet beyond the fence.

Hitter                Team    Pitcher              Team   True   Stnd   # Type
Lance Berkman         HOU     Eric Stults          LAD     386    385  22  ND
Mark DeRosa           CHC     Barry Zito           SF      428    396  10  PL
Mark DeRosa           CHC     Billy Sadler         SF      404    367   9  JE/L
J.D. Drew             BOS     James Shields        TB      409    408  16  ND
Elijah Dukes          WAS     Ryan Tucker          FLA     342    338   3  JE/L
Chris Duncan          STL     Carlos Muniz         NYM     355    350   5  PL
Jody Gerut            SD      Luis Vizcaino        COL     401    346   4  PL/L
Joey Gerut            SD      Luis Vizcaino        COL     403    348   1  PL
Edgar Gonzalez        SD      Jorge De La Rosa     COL     439    372   3  PL/L
Edgar Gonzalez        SD      Luis Vizcaino        COL     428    382   2  PL
Ken Griffey           CIN     Matt Capps           PIT     427    415  10  PL
Gabe Gross            TB      Justin Masterson     BOS     406    405   6  ND
Jerry Hairston        CIN     Paul Maholm          PIT     361    351   2  PL
Brad Hawpe            COL     Greg Maddux          SD      482    414  11  ND
Ramon Hernandez       BAL     Zack Greinke         KC      384    376   7  JE/L
Kevin Kouzmanoff      SD      Jorge De La Rosa     COL     438    366  12  PL
Kevin Kouzmanoff      SD      Jorge De La Rosa     COL     445    373  11  PL
Adam LaRoche          PIT     Aaron Harang         CIN     413    409   8  PL
Mike Napoli           LAA     Greg Smith           OAK     407    390  12  PL/L
Miguel Olivo          KC      George Sherrill      BAL     402    388   8  PL
Jhonny Peralta        CLE     Gavin Floyd          CWS     397    395  12  JE
Hanley Ramirez        FLA     Jon Rauch            WAS     447    441  19  ND
Mark Reynolds         ARI     Carlos Villanueva    MIL     398    391  17  PL
Alex Rodriguez        NYY     Scott Feldman        TEX     468    458  16  ND
Nick Swisher          CWS     Jeremy Sowers        CLE     344    342  11  JE
Nick Swisher          CWS     Tom Mastny           CLE     405    402  10  JE
Marcus Thames         DET     Glen Perkins         MIN     408    402  15  PL
Jim Thome             CWS     Jeremy Sowers        CLE     412    410  16  PL
B.J. Upton            TB      Justin Masterson     BOS     429    428   6  PL
Josh Willingham       FLA     Tim Redding          WAS     389    385   8  PL
Josh Willingham       FLA     Jon Rauch            WAS     376    372   7  JE/L
Dmitri Young          WAS     Ryan Tucker          FLA     404    403   4  PL


Top Minor League Games

The following list, provided by First Inning, includes the top minor league batting (based on Runs Created) and pitching (based on Game Score) performances from yesterday, with a focus on each team’s top prospects.

ORG LVL PLAYER            AB  H 2B 3B HR BB SO  Notes
STL AAA Bryan Anderson.... 4  3  2  1  0  1  0  
TEX AA  Jose Vallejo...... 3  2  1  0  1  2  0  3 R
CIN AAA Adam Rosales...... 5  3  2  1  0  0  1  3 R
ATL AA  Kala Kaaihue...... 3  2  0  0  2  1  1  
MIL AA  Cole Gillespie.... 4  3  2  0  0  1  0  
CHC A   Marquez Smith..... 4  3  0  0  1  2  0  4 R
COL A   Everth Cabrera.... 5  3  1  1  0  0  1  3 R
CLE A-  L. Chisenhall..... 5  3  2  0  0  0  1  3 LD
KC  A+  Jeffrey Bianchi... 4  3  2  0  0  0  0  
ATL A+  Tyler Flowers..... 4  3  2  0  0  0  0  
TEX A   M. Moreland....... 6  3  2  0  0  0  1  3 R
OAK A   Corey Brown....... 6  3  0  0  1  0  1  

ORG LVL PLAYER            IP  H  R ER SO BB HR  Notes
OAK AAA Dallas Braden..... 8  5  1  1 10  0  1  
MIN AAA F. Liriano........ 7  4  0  0  9  1  0  
ARI AAA Billy Buckner..... 8  4  0  0  6  1  0  
NYY A   Jairo Heredia..... 7  2  1  0  6  2  0  
TOR A   Marc Rzepczynski.. 7  3  0  0  7  3  0  
NYM AA  Bobby Parnell..... 7  4  2  2  5  1  0  
TB  A-  Nick Barnese...... 4  5  1  1  9  2  0  
NYY AAA Daniel McCutchen.. 6  6  1  1  5  1  0  
LA  A+  James Adkins...... 7  8  1  1  4  0  0  13 GB
TOR AA  Brett Cecil....... 5  5  0  0  5  1  0  
BAL A   Zachary Britton... 6  3  1  1  3  0  1  
OAK AA  Ryan Webb......... 4  6  1  1  4  0  0  11 GB

Access THT’s stats here…

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