Friday, May 9, 2008

And That Happened

Diamondbacks 8, Phillies 3: At the risk of offending the sample size gods, allow me to point out the following:

In 1990, Bob Welch won 27 games; He was 4-2 through his first eight starts;

In 1972, Steve Carlton won 27 games; He was 5-3 through his first eight starts;

In 1968, Denny McLain won 31 games; He was 5-1 through his first eight starts.

These examples don't necessarily mean anything of course. As the game recaps note, John Garland was 8-0 through his first eight starts, and he ended up going 10-10 the rest of the year. Still, it's fun to talk about, no?

Marlins 7, Brewers 2: That's six straight losses for Milwaukee. Next up is a four game series against the division-leading Cardinals. Given how they're playing right now, it's entirely possible that the Brewers will be seven or eight back by Monday night. Don't you pretty much have to fire Ned Yost at that point? I mean, this team was supposed to contend this year, and it's looking up at Houston for cryin' out loud.

Red Sox 5, Tigers 1: Justin Verlander has started eight games and seven have been stink bombs, and now the Tigers have dropped six of seven. The Detroit lineup failed to draw a single walk in the game. Miguel Cabrera has an OPS of .772.

Braves 5, Padres 4: Atlanta's starter had to leave with a blister early, and then the guy who replaced him had to leave after colliding with a baserunner. As a result, the Braves had to go through seven pitchers. They also had a guy batting leadoff -- Omar Infante -- with a career OBP of .298. In other words, the Braves were making things hard on themselves. Didn't matter though, because the Padres couldn't hit yo momma. In other news, Shawn Estes threw his first pitch in a game that counts in over two years.

Rockies 9, Cardinals 3: The Cardinals are starting to get what they're paying for out of Kyle Loshe (4 IP, 8 H, 5 BB, 7 ER).

Yankees 6, Indians 3: Travis Hafner rides the pine again. The previous night's heroics from David Dellucci notwithstanding, the Indians are a team with way, way, way too many holes in the lineup to consider themselves contenders.

Rays 8, Blue Jays 3: Man, when Troy Percival decides to blow a save, he really blows a save. This one was a three-run-lead-in-the-ninth variety, wasting eight shutout innings from starter Edwin "Jekyll and Hyde" Jackson (Seriously: in four of his starts he has given up a total of two runs; in the other three has has given up 17). Dioner Navarro saves everybody's bacon with a 13th inning salami though, so the long flight back home was probably a happy one.

Orioles 4, Royals 1: Daniel Cabrera (CG, 1 ER, 7K 1BB) mowed 'em down.

Rangers 5, Mariners 0: Fisticuffsmanship! I've watched the reply several times right now, and I'm not sure what's more pathetic: that Gabbard couldn't hit a target as big as Sexson, or that Sexson charged the mound after a pitch that was essentially over the plate. Sexson might strike out 150 times this year and he'll swing at worse pitches than Gabbard's. In any event, for all of the drama, baseball players once again show that they don't know how to fight.


Mr. Thursday said...

I believe, though, if B-Webb immediately reverts back to the standard of play he's had the past few years, winning roughly the same percentage of games, he wins 20 games, still.

It's one thing for barely average John Garland to go 8-0. It's a whole 'nother for perennial Cy Young candidate Brandon Webb to do it.

Peter said...

I'm a big Indians fan and I've gotta agree.

Unfortunately, I just don't see how they fix the lineup in the near-term. With CC walking you can't deal Adam Miller, and I'm not sure Laffey or Sowers would bring the kind of bat the Tribe needs.

Getting basically nothing out of the draft since CC Sabathia (yeah, that's right...basically nothing out of the draft for nine years now) is really coming back to bite us in the arse.

There is one solution, though...and the good news is that he's a free agent right now and is only looking for a one-year commitment. It will never happen, but I'd love to see Barry Bonds in Cleveland.

Pete Toms said...

I watched the Indians game yesterday and their lineup looked really weak. A healthy Martinez and a productive Hafner would go a long way to fixing that.

As for Bonds, count my Jays amongst struggling AL teams that could use him @ DH. Instead, evidently they are about to sign Wilkerson. The Jays choked in the 10th. Rios leadoff triple, Stewart ( who was to be an offensive upgrade over Johnson ) k'd, Rolen ( who looks healthy, running the bases, in the box and playing defense ) was intentionally walked, Stairs k'd ( I thought he'd win it ), Wells unintentionally / intentionally walked, Barajas k'd. Ugh, thank goodness I fell asleep before the 13th.

It's still only May 09 everybody.

Peter said...

The Hafner of last year would help, but I think it's unrealistic to expect much more than that type of production at this point. PECOTA and some of the other projections I've seen are not too kind to him.

It sure is funny how guys like Frank Thomas and Brad Wilkerson can find DH jobs but Barry Bonds cannot...I'd love to see someone stick it to Selig and sign him. Maybe the Tigers will do it if Sheffield can play LF most of the time.

Jason said...

Sample size alert, part deux: Chien Ming Wang won 19 games last year, but none until the first week of May. He has 6 wins by the first week of May this year.

Does that me he's hitting 25 W's this year, too?

Pete Toms said...

Neyer linked to somebody this week who is claiming that players of Hafner's type ( big, big body, power hitter ), don't age well at all. ( IIRC, I didn't read it in detail or even click through to the article ). Again IIRC I think Neyer was a bit skeptical, pointing to Thome and somebody else as examples that didn't fit the model.

Hafner is awful this season obviously and without looking for the stats I think he pretty much stank last year too? This is part of what makes sports fun, humans are unpredictable.

As for Bonds & collusion, we all know that Lofton, Piazza et al don't have offers either. Interesting to see where the PA goes with this. Ironic that Bonds opted out of the PA's licensing deal and now wants their help. Is there anybody that he hasn't alienated? Greatest hitter of my generation though.

Craig Calcaterra said...

Pete -- For as much fun as the Bonds parlor games are, greivances and allegations of collusion will (and should) go nowhere. That's not to say that it has never happened, of course, only that proving such a case is damn nigh impossible because there are so many plausible reasons to avoid Bonds, even if they're ones those of us around here would overlook.

I'm paraphrasing someone else (I think from BTF, but I can't remember who) who said, it would be one thing if Bonds was simply old, it would be one thing if he was simply old and couldn't play defense, it would be one thing if he was simply old, couldn't play defense and wanted a lot of money, it would be one thing if he was simply old, couldn't play defense, wanted a lot of money, and wouldn't alienate a large portion of the fan base, it would be one thing if he was simply old, couldn't play defense, wanted a lot of money, wouldn't alienate a large portion of the fan base and was under federal indictment, but he's ALL of those things.

Add in the fact that, as each day goes by, he's another day rustier, and there are a zillion legitimte resons for any GM to pass on him, again, even if the REAL reason is some conspiracy.

Pete Toms said...

C, I agree. I don't think there is a Bonds conspiracy per se. I just don't think anybody wants the pain in the ass that accompanies him. The indictment is a red herring I think. I'll defer to you but the opinions I read indicate that there is little to no chance that he'll be in court before season's end.

As for the larger collusion case, Lofton, Piazza, Lohse....I don't think this is going anywhere either. Again, I don't think there is collusion per se. I think there is a realization amongst management that it makes more sense to pay a AAAA type player peanuts than pay Lofton & Piazza what they want. The vets are probably more productive players but management simply isn't willing to pay them what they want to be role players.

I share the other Peter's frustration though. Bonds would be a huge upgrade over Stewart & Wilkerson ( if the rumors are accurate ). I even think the freak show element would boost attendance in Toronto ( and elsewhere for that matter ) even if team performance didn't improve. He's still a huge star.

Peter said...

Oh I agree that the grievances are going nowhere. There's no way Selig & Co. were stupid enough to leave the type of paper trail it would take to prove collusion, and there are plenty of plausible reasons a team wouldn't want Bonds.