Tuesday, April 15, 2008

And That Happened

Red Sox 6, Indians 4: What do you do when you're head-to-head with the World Champs and you're clinging to a one-run lead entering the ninth inning? You call in your shutdown closer, that's what you do. Unfortunately Cleveland doesn't have one of those, so they let Joe Borowski pitch (.2 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, game losing homer with two out in the ninth to Manny Ramirez). Adding insult to injury, Manny tells the AP reporter that he couldn't tell if the pitch he ripped was a fastball or a changeup, which has long been the signature of your better closers.

Royals 5, Mariners 1: The Royals' starters continue the domination we all expected of them before the season started (Greinke: CG, 5 H, 1 ER). Um, we did all expect this, right?

A's 2, White Sox 1: Something called Greg Smith gives up 1 run over 7 innings to win a pitchers' duel over Mark Buehrle. The backup catcher on my Diamond Mind sim league team goes 4-4, making me wish it was a fantasy team instead.

Yankees 8, Rays 7: Ian Kennedy allows ten base runners in six innings, but only gives up three runs in what passes for the best start of the season from New York's young duo. Having A-Rod (4-5, HR), Damon (2-3, HR, 3 RBI), and Cano (1-1, PH homer to put the Bombers ahead to stay) in your corner helps an awful lot. Al Reyes (.2 IP, gave up Cano homer and hung with the loss) continues to have an utterly forgettable week.

Tigers 11, Twins 9: Detroit finds themselves down 5-0 in the 6th inning, but thankfully encounters a bullpen more wretched than their own (2.1 IP, 8 H, 6 ER) to pull off the come from behind victory in what, based on the box score anyway, looks like it was a profoundly ugly game.

Pirates 6, Dodgers 4: There are blown saves, and then there are BLOWN SAVES. Takashi Saito experiences the latter (1 IP, 4 H, 3ER, gives up game winning homer with 2 out in the bottom of the ninth). Wait, Saito is on my Diamond Mind team too, so I guess I'm cool with it being a sim instead of a roto thing. In other news, Andruw Jones (.114, 0 HR, 2 RBI) has picked up where he left off last season.

Giants 5, Diamondbacks 4: Randy Johnson makes his first start since last June. He wasn't the Big Unit we all know and, well, admire with detachment, but he did strikeout 7 over 5 innings in a losing effort.


Alex said...

I have mixed feelings about Randy Johnson. Some say he's a jerk, but he was hilarious in the Simpsons. More than anything, I'm counting on him to register the 60 or so K's he needs to pass Clemens on the all time list. I do not have mixed feelings about Roger Clemens.

Jay said...

Not to nitpick, but the best start by either Hughes or Kennedy was by Hughes in Toronto on April 3rd. 6IP, 4H, 2R, 4K, 1BB.

I agree that they are underachieving at this point, but I think if 7 out of every 10 starts by those two is a quality start, the Yankees are satisfied. As of now its 2 out of 5, not counting Kennedy's relief appearance in KC.

Craig Calcaterra said...

Actually, please do nitpick these things. I totally forgot about that April 3rd start. There's enough hyperbole, both bad and good, surrounding Hughes and Kennedy that I don't need to be adding to it with misinformation.

Pete Toms said...

I admit I had to look up Greg Smith when he started against the Jays earlier this season. He was acquired in the Haren deal I discovered. Pitched well against Toronto also ( well, according to his line, I didn't see his start ).

Jake said...

So what kind of prep do you do before writing these? Do you actually watch (some/any of) the games? Watch Sportscenter highlights? Or just read the boxscores?

I'm just saying, it's sometimes tough to get an accurate feeling of the game from just the boxscores (or just SC for that matter...)

Craig Calcaterra said...

Not much prep actually. At most I'll watch one game the night before (Tribe or Reds if there's nothing national on; the national game on ESPN or TBS if there is one). And I usually don't catch BBTN or SportsCenter (if at all) until I'm at the gym, which is an hour or two after I've written this up.

So yeah, for the most part it's box scores and, if something doesn't compute, I'll read the recap. You're right: it's hard to get the feel. That's why, so far at least, I've tried to stick with odd stats or trendlines as opposed to game feel.

If this were my fulltime gig (i.e. I didn't have to post madly between 5:30 and 6:30 AM before my kids woke up) I'd (a) have Extra Innings and flip between more games; and (b) spend an hour or two reading the recaps from team-specific bloggers who know WAY more about what's going on with their teams than anyone.

For now? These are mostly just riffs.

Anonymous said...


I'm no baseballgirl, but the beloved A's (who, like Shyster's Braves replaced his Tigers, have replaced the Orioles of my youth)have gotten 4 quality starts from Smith and Eveland, which is 3 more than Hughes and Kennedy have delivered (small sample size alert.)

As for the lesser known Suzuki (the Suzukis were 6-8 last night), what jumps out at you is the way his pitchers love the guy. Everything from the the body language in the dugout, the way the pitchers pick up his gear after a pop foul, how they never shake him off,etc. He's not Brad Ausmus or Mike Matheny yet (still has footwork issues on throws), but he's really young (24) for a starting catcher. A lot of if's, but he could be pretty good as he reaches his catching peak around 30years old. Like I commented yesterday, right now the A's are buying into playing within themselves. Or maybe they are just a cold weather team. It was horrible again last night, this time in Chicago. But they are 6-7 on this road trip so far.