Monday, April 14, 2008

And That Happened

Cubs 6, Phillies 5: I started watching this one but I fell asleep on the couch. Not because it was a boring game or anything, but because I didn't get much sleep on Saturday night what with going to the Hank Williams Jr./Lynyrd Skynyrd concert here in Columbus. That's right, wanna make something of it? And I'm not gonna lie to you: Bocephus was pretty awesome. I used to hate his rebop back when I was forced to listen to it on the junior high school bus every morning down in West-by-God, but it was a nice little nostalgia trip the other night, even if the impulse to go in the first place was an ironic one.

Skynyrd? A study in necrophilia, really, with the lineup and the aesthetics of it all making it feel like a show put on by a cut-rate tribute band, which to be fair is what they are these days. Awkward moment: after they closed the main set with "What's Your Name" and left the stage, people started clapping and chanting and flicking their Bics. If it were any other band, I would have taken a swig of my Budweiser, reared back, and offered an ironic call for "Freebird." Knowing that was exactly what was coming, however, I was at an utter loss. Yes, the triple guitar attack was as enjoyable as it was inevitable, but I couldn't help but walk away feeling like I was ripped off somehow.

Red Sox 8, Yankees 5, game time 3:55: I turned this one on at 8pm. The first inning ended at 8:44, and the rest of the game wasn't all that lickety split either. Dice K walked 6 and threw 116 pitches in 5 innings. That's good enough to get the win, though, given Phil Hughes' 2 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, and 3 BB. His ERA is now up to 9.00. You just can't count on young pitching.

Nationals 5, Braves 4: Everyone knew going in that the health and age of the rotation was going to be an issue. Now you can add Glavine's hamstring to Smoltz's shoulder and Mike Hampton's osteogenesis imperfecta. You just can't count on old pitching.

Brewers 9, Mets 7: This time last year, Gabe Kapler was managing in the Sally League . Yesterday? 3-4, 3 RBI, 2 2B, HR.

Indians 7, A's 1: Cliff Lee (8 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 8 K) gave the Tribe so much nothin' last season that it's easy to forget that he won 18 games a few years ago. The season, she is young, but so far Lee is 2-0, 0.61 ERA with 12 Ks in 14 IP. Even a league average season from him will be a marked improvement for Cleveland.

White Sox 11, Tigers 0: Probably the low point so far, or at least the Tigers hope so. Javier Vazquez (7 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 9 K) would normally get more props from me in this space, but c'mon, it's Detroit we're talking about here. The Tigers, by the way, have been outscored 32-11 since their big breakthrough win against the Red Sox on Wednesday. “I feel like everybody’s laughing right now,” Tigers third baseman Miguel Cabrera said. Laughing? I'd say we passed that point a couple of days ago. This is like watching a horrific car accident.

Royals 5, Twins 1: It may hurt a lot now, but someday Margo Posnanski is going to get lots of laughs at cocktail parties when she tells the story of how her husband left her for a 27 year-old pitcher from Scottsdale (9 IP, 0ER, 3H).

Pirates 9, Reds 1: Johnny Cueto is human after all (6 IP, 5 H, 5 ER). Hard to say how he's going to progress this season. On the one hand, he's given up four dingers in his first three starts, and seems to have some focus problems with men on base. On the other hand, brother still has a 24-1 K/BB ratio in his first 19 IP.

Giants 7, Cardinals 4: Joel Pineiro gave up 10 hits and 6 runs and didn't strike anyone out in less than 4 innings. Question: were the Giants batters just locked in, or is Pineiro's shoulder still bothering him? Answer: As soon as Pineiro left the game, Cardinals relievers gave up only 2 hits and a single run over 4.1 IP. Not that it mattered in this game, as Lincecum struck out 11 over six innings to pick up the W.

Padres 1, Dodgers 0: Mid-90s on the thermometer, mid-40s on the odometer, and mid-80s on the Jugs gun are why Maddux only went five innings, but oh what a nice five innings they were (5 IP, 2 H, 0 ER).


Joey said...

Can't count on old pitching, can't count on young pitching. What's that saying? Something about the only 3 certain things in life: death, taxes, and lost data. Someone help me out, I think thats it

cobweb said...

Wow, has anyone done what Gabe Kapler has done and with the kind of success that Kapler has seen so far? He's not exactly ancient...early 30's I think. But still, the fact the he was managing last year! Probably the best story at this early point of the season.

Anonymous said...


This segment is rapidly becoming my favorite on the site- a real "must read" first thing in the morning.

Lost in your Cliff Lee praise was the fact that he snapped a 5 game road winning streak by the frozen A's. The A's had adjusted their offense very nicely to their 2008reality, staying withing themselves, hitting for gap power, etc, and winning as a result.

Lee just throttled them. Lots of heat well placed on the corners. If he keeps that up, even when hitters aren't paralyzed by frostbite and 20 layers of Under Armor, he'll have a great year.

Pete Toms said...

Craig you have pleasantly surprised me! Hank Williams II!!! You white collar redneck!

As for Maddux, I saw in the boxscore that he threw 70 some pitches. Is that where he maxes out now?

Craig Calcaterra said...

APBA -- thanks, man. I've really enjoyed doing these. They make me feel more like a baseball writer than a mere snarkmeister, even if these are filled with more snark than a lot of the other stuff I write. Go figure.

Pete -- You can take the boy out of West Virginia, but . . .

As for Maddux, I think it was 95 degrees in San Diego yesterday, so I'm guessing he was gassed after those 70 pitches. That said, he's not exactly Mr. CG these days. Neat stat I saw somewhere this morning: Maddux has more exactly 5IP victories than anyone in the history of baseball.

Pete Toms said...

Is the WWVA Jamboree out of Wheeling still goin?