Monday, April 21, 2008

And That Happened

The Braves and Yankees are both at .500 and both won yesterday despite each losing a future Hall of Fame third baseman to a quadriceps injury. Coincidence? Actually, yes it is.

Reds 4, Brewers 3: Ned Yost trots Eric Gagne out for the fourth day in a row, and he promptly gives up back to back home runs to the immortal Edwin Encarnacion and Paul Bako in the bottom of the 10th. Word is that Yost hits on 19 if the dealer is showing a face card too. BTW: Votto still hasn't walked yet.

Braves 6, Dodgers 1: According to Jair Jurrjens' Wikipedia page, Jair is "known for his fun-loving demeanor and devil-may-care attitude." As of right now, he's also the best baseball player from Curacao, as he struck out countryman Andruw Jones three straight times and gave up one earned in seven as the Braves swept the Dodgers.

Blue Jays 5, Tigers 3: The Tigers -- with a team ERA of 6.22 entering play yesterday -- could use a young flamethrower with a fun-loving demeanor and devil-may-care attitude about now. Too bad they traded him to Atlanta over the winter. As for the Jays, benching and then releasing Frank Thomas may or may not have been inspired by cheapness, but starting a guy with a career .288 OBP in his place at DH is downright insulting. To his credit, Thomas was a total pro when interviewed about it all last night. I doubt I would have been.

Phillies 5, Mets 4: When last we saw Eric Bruntlett on national TV vs. the Mets, he was busy booting two balls in one six-run inning, helping the Phillies lose the game. Last night he saved theday in the ninth with a nifty play on a hot shot up the middle. Given how badly he was booed earlier, he'd better either (a) do that a couple of times a game; or (b) start hitting some more as he takes over short for the disabled Jimmy Rollins, lest he get run out of town on a rail. Of course if Chase Utley continues like this (3-4, 2 HR, 4 RBI) maybe no one will notice.

Yankees 7, Orioles 1: One of the two effective members of the Yankees' rotation goes seven innings without giving up a run. Pettitte and Wang and trade for Harang?

Marlins 6, Nats 1: Hanley Ramirez hits two 400+ foot homers from the leadoff slot and Scott Olsen (7 IP, 1 ER) turns in another strong outing. In other news, my Ryan Zimmerman man-crush is quickly turning into a source of embarrassment (he's at .215/.244/.342 now). Look, it was opening day. I was a little drunk. These things happen.

Cubs 13, Pirates 6: The Cubs had 18 hits, 7 walks, and a dude reached on an error. If anything, they probably should have scored more than 13 runs.

A's 7, Royals 1: And thus endeth the Royals brief era-of-good feelings. In case any of you "this could be just like 2003" optimists are still clinging to hope, Kansas City was 16-3 nineteen games in that year. In 2008 they are 9-10.

Giants 8, Cardinals 2: I'm as guilty as the next guy for perpetuating the jokes about San Francisco's offense. But really, the wisecracks are getting old and the whole meme is getting tired. How about looking at the positive for once? How about trying to find something nice to say for a change? Look, the G-Men laid 8 runs on the NL's hottest team yesterday! How about that?! Oh . . . really? Well, yes, I suppose it is worth noting that they're still last in runs scored in all of baseball. Sigh.

Padres 9, Diamondbacks 4: The line (5.2 IP, 6H, 4ER) suggests that the Big Unit doesn't have it anymore, but the bigger story here seems to be the pitch count. He was cruising until the 6th inning and then ran out of gas and got smacked around. Query: why is Bob Melvin letting Johnson throw 104 pitches as he's still trying to shed the rust from his injury and rehab? The D-backs are playing really well, are getting great pitching from everyone else, and already have a decent lead in their division, Why not let Johnson ease into things with 75-80 pitches and leave the game on a high? That extra inning or two from him is going to be much more valuable in September than it is now.

White Sox 6, Rays 0: Evan Longoria is 1-10 with 1 RBI since Friday. It's always the same with these guys. The minute they sign that big deal they lose that edge and hunger that served them so well early in their careers.


Chris H. said...

Y'know, you can take all the shots at Yost you want -- I mean it, go ahead -- but don't you have to fault Doug Melvin for actually going out and acquiring Gagne?

Did ANYBODY other than Melvin or Gagne think that would not be a disaster?

Chris H. said...

I should add that, as a Cub fan, I couldn't be happier.

Pete Toms said...

C, I like the Longoria wisecrack.

Thomas. The surprise of the release was the timing. There was much speculation all spring that the Jays would release him before he reached the 376 PAs required to vest his 09 option. At the time of his release he was still 304 PAs away. Why not just release him after the 07 season? Same thing really.

So the Jays are off the hook for 09 but are still on the hook for the 08 money ( $8 million total, approx $6.7 remaining to be paid out ). So JP ( who will tell you that you have to spend more wisely to compete with the evil empires ) blows approx $20 million for 1 season of Thomas. Bad, very bad.

There was speculation on BTF yesterday that they released him now to avoid a nasty grievance if they released him closer to the magical # of PAs. The argument being that it's against the rules to release a guy simply to avoid paying him. He's off to a crap start so his argument in a potential grievance would be weak(er)at this point.

Anyway, eating 6 or 8 million is not a good thing.

Burnett is next to go. He can opt out of his deal after 08 and will easily get a bigger deal elsewhere. ( Remember how widely ridiculed Ricciardi was for overpaying Burnett? Looks like peanuts now ).

Alex said...

This also happened:
After the great stop and throw by Bruntlett to save the game, Lidge is seen walking off the mound saying "F*ck yeah!" Joe Morgan comments, "And there we see Lidge saying 'Great play!'" Haha, wrong again Joe.

Anonymous said...


I have tickets to see the immortal Joey Votto play the Giants this Friday at AT & T. The return of Dusty Baker to SF will provide added thrills. Right now that is a scheduled Harang v Sanchez matchup, so I doubt SF will materially add to their anemic run total for the year.

Long piece in the Chronicle this Saturday about the Pygmies new 3rd baseman, praising his bat and attitude. Mr Castillo is currently hitting .246/.297/.674. This constitues praisworthy offense in SF these days. There is no statstical measure of his attitude.

Los Pequenos are at .653 OPS and the league average is .732 (interestingly the NL and AL are almost identical in average OPS at this moment.) Only the Nats (.634) and San Diego (.633) have more anemic offenses.

Diesel said...

Best part of last night's game:

Miller: "I see here that Chris Coste wrote a book in the offseason about his career in baseball. You read it, Joe?"

Morgan: "Of course I haven't read the book. Why would I read the book? That book's not going to teach me anything about baseball."

Anonymous said...

More Morgan:

Miller [on Jose Reyes]: He plays the game with a certain... joie de vivre.

Morgan: I don't know what that means.