Friday, May 2, 2008

And That Happened

Rays 4, Orioles 2: I know it's early and no one is expecting this to last, but the Rays -- long the doormat of the American League -- are 16-12. In May of 1991, the Atlanta Braves -- long the doormat of the National League -- were 16-12. No one expected that to last either.

Rangers 2, Royals 1: If you would have told me in 2006 that one day in 2008 Zack Greinke (7 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 9K) and Sidney Ponson (8 IP, 6 H, 1 ER) would engage in a closely fought pitchers' duel I would have called ya crazy. It makes me happy to see that someone who has struggled with mental illness like Greinke has come back and be effective. Less so with Ponson and donuts, but kudos to him too.

Dodgers 5, Marlins 3: The Dodgers have won six straight, and Juan Pierre (2-3, 2B, 2 RBI) may find himself an everyday player again soon (Jones rode pine). It looks like no one really wants to win the NL East.

Brewers 4, Cubs 3: Despite all of the early-season pub, and despite last night's blowout, I'm fairly certain that the Brewers aren't going to go away all season. Kerry Wood blew yet another save -- this one of those two-run-lead-in-the-ninth varieties -- wasting a strong performance from Carlos Zambrano (6.1 IP, 1 ER). In other news, the Alfonso Soriano-in-the-leadoff-spot gambit didn't work, as he went 0-4. The guy I would put there -- Fukudome -- was 4-4. The guys batting second and third -- Theroit and Lee -- were a combined 4-8 with zero RBI. Something tells me that the Cubs would have had an extra run or two if the batting order were filp-flopped. After a pretty miserable start, Ryan Braun (3-5, 2B, HR, 3 RBI) has been heating up lately.

Phillies 3, Padres 2: I realize that it's early and playing the whole "Player X is on pace to do Y" thing was played out ten minutes after ESPN.com started putting season projections up several years ago, but it's probably worth noting that Ryan Howard is on pace to put up a pretty good Three True Outcomes season (34 HR, 101 BB, 218 K or a TTO% of 52.6). Sure, there are guys who have had better TTO seasons recently, but none of them made $10M to do it.

Blue Jays 3, Red Sox 0: The Sawx have lost six of eight and have only scored 17 runs during that stretch.

Tigers 8, Yankees 4: So if Phil Hughes has a broken rib, what's Ian Kennedy's excuse? (4.2 IP, 5 H, 3 BB, 4 ER). Rickets?

Nationals 3, Pirates 2: From the looks of it, this was a well-pitched, basically well-played game. It lasted 2:04. How many dozens of stink bombs will each of these teams turn in over the course of the year that will last 3+ hours?

Indians 3, Mariners 2: Paul Byrd pitches a beaut (7.2 IP, 4 H, 0 ER), but watches Rafael Betancourt blow up for the second outing in a row before Cleveland came back to win it in 11. Richie Sexson hit his 300th career home run. Does that seem right to you? I just looked at the list of all-time home run leaders, and I was actually surprised to see that he was in the same dinger territory as guys like Greg Luzinski and Kent Hrbek. Those guys just sort of loom larger in my consciousness as home run hitters than Sexson ever has. I suppose it has to with the fact that back when they played 35 homers was a big frickin' deal.

A's 15, Angels 8: Welcome to the big leagues Nick Adenhart: 2 IP, 3 H, 5 BB, 0K 5 ER. As others have pointed out, the Angels decided to make Adenhart make his debut on three days rest. I'm guessing they'd like that decision back. By the way, Jack Cust (4-4, HR, 2 BB) is on pace for a bigger TTO season than Ryan Howard (61.5%). That is, if he gets a full season. His error in left field opened the floodgates for the Angels' big second inning and, let's face it, DH on this club is taken.

5 comments:

Chris Needham said...

How many dozens of stink bombs will each of these teams turn in over the course of the year that will last 3+ hours?

With as crappy as this offense is, not as many as you'd expect!

I used to like the DH. Then I realized how many other things I could be doing with my life in those extra 60 minutes. Napping, mainly.

Pete Toms said...

Nobody retracting any snide comments from yesterday concerning the Yanks lying about Hughes' health?

Craig Calcaterra said...

Neyer did. I'm waitin' for the X-Ray. ;-)

Anonymous said...

APBA Guy-

Adenhart looked a lot like the West Coast Phil Hughes:

- straight fastball 90-94
- limited command of breaking stuff
- lots of nerves

I remember being on the field watching Russ Ortiz warm up 10 years ago. Great velocity (90-94) but laser straight. A couple of scouts in the seats next to me were talking about that later. If he didn't have pinpoint control, major league hitters would catch up. Results for Russ Ortiz:110-82, 4.42 ERA. Not terrible, not HOF.

We'll need to see him a few more times. It's possible the strightness was due to 3 days rest. But the A's leadoff guys did a great job conveying to their team what pitches Adenhart had, and how to approach him.

Pat said...

Luzinski and Hrbek had the advantage of playing on winning teams. Sexson's peak was for teams that, at best, pulled a .451 winning percentage.

Sexson played his best years ( 2000-2003 ) in Milwaukee. He got traded from Cleveland in '00 and effing exploded upon reaching Milwaukee. He has turned in two good/great years in Seattle, but he hasn't cracked 40 hrs there. Thanks cavernous safeco.

And they were both a bit phenom-y. Having big seasons around or before age 21. Sexson didn't become an MVP candidate until he was 25.