Wednesday, May 14, 2008

And That Happened

Indians 4, A's 0: The Indians' pitching staff has had enough. Enough of Hafner overthinking every at bat. Enough of Jhonny Peralta's hacktasticness. Enough of Franklin Gutierrez, Casey Blake, and Ryan Garko pretending to be Major League hitters. They have gotten to the point where they simply can't stand to lose any more games because their lineup has gone from second, to sixth, to ninth in runs per game over the past three years. Their solution? Never give up another goddamn run again. They haven't since Friday, now. At least the starters haven't, and even on Friday it was Sabathia giving up a single run. The Indians' starters' collective line for those five games: 39.1 IP, 29 H, 1 ER, 26 K, 9 BB. Maybe it's not sustainable, but the 1995 Braves won a World Series title this way.

Phillies 5, Braves 4: Death by a thousand Werths (3-4, 4 RBI, all on singles). The Braves' run differential now stands at 185-142, yet there they sit at .500, looking up at everyone except the Nats.

Mets 6, Nats 3: Ryan Church (2-4, 2B, HR, 4 RBI) and Brian Schneider (3-4, 2B, RBI) are makin' the trade for Lastings Milledge (0-4, 3K, error) look pretty good for the Mets at the moment. I bet those stupid bloggers are eating their words now!

Orioles 5, Red Sox 4/Rays 2, Yankees 1: and with that, the Rays are your leaders in the AL East, and they do it by getting three hits and a run -- an honest to goodness run -- off of Mariano Rivera.

Reds 5, Marlins 3: I've been hearing some rumblings from the blogosphere about Dusty Baker abusing Ed Volquez like he was Mark Prior's stepchild or something, but let's come down from the ledge on that one, shall we? In 2003, Prior was 22, and was trotted out for 120-130 pitch outings on multiple occasions. Volquez is two years older, and has yet to have even one 120 pitch game. Moreover, if I remember correctly, Prior was rode pretty hard down the stretch in college, whereas Volquez has had a relatively light load shuttling back and forth between the majors and minors over the past couple of years. Different stories altogether, I think, and I think it represents an instance in which people probably need to give Baker the benefit of the doubt. Especially considering that there are so many legitimate things about which to criticize him.

Royals 3, Tigers 2: How many different lineups have the Tigers used this year? 35? Too bad they still haven't found one that has worked. I don't want to make constant reference to Zack Greinke's psychological struggles over the past couple of years, but something tells me that the 2005 Zack Greinke would have crumbled and burned if he had an outing in which he gave up nine hits and couldn't strike anyone out. As it stood last night, he didn't have his best stuff, but he gutted it out for six innings and gave his team a chance to win. Joakim Soria, by the way (0.00 ERA in 16 appearances), laughs at Mariano Rivera's relative ineffectiveness.

Brewers 5, Dodgers 3: Ryan Braun's May entering last night: .326/.380/.804, and he goes 2-4 with a double and a triple on top of that. Maybe the Brewers had the right idea waiting to call him up late last year? As for the Dodgers, man, talk about a yo-yo team. They rode an eight game winning streak into May, and now have dropped five in a row.

Angels 2, White Sox 0: Is it just me, or has there been an unusually large number of excellent pitching performances lately? Add Jered Weaver to the list, as he shuts the White Sox out over seven while giving up only one hit. Doesn't get the win, though, as his offense decides not to score any runs until after he's gone. Nick Swisher (.206/.331/.316) and Jim Thome (.209/.350/.419) are killing Chicago right now.

Giants 4, Astros 2: The Giants intentionally walked Lance Berkman in the first freaking inning with two out and one on. Don't tell Posnanski.


Mr. Thursday said...

A fun note on Greinke, in regards to his strikeouts.

He has 8 starts this year. In six of them, he's pitched 7 or more innings. He has one outing of 5 innings, and one of 6. His strikeout rate, though, seems to be frequently, and surprisingly, low.

Strikesouts by start: 3, 2, 4, 6, 4, 9, 8, 2.

In the five starts in which Greinke has struck out 4 or fewer guys (for a total of 15 Ks), he's pitched 37 innings, walked 8, and allowed a miserly 5 runs. Earned or otherwise, just five runs.

I cannot explain it, and I've only watched a couple of his starts this year. His groundball rate isn't extraordinary. He gives up a fair number of liners. Is the Royal defense just really good behind him, or is he getting a field-able balls.

Either way, he's worth keeping an eye right now, as he might be the best non-Cliff Lee pitcher in the AL so far this season.

Anonymous said...


Late comment today, as I actually had to work this morning!

Matt Cain hit his second HR last night, a solid shot to left, putting him on a pace for 6 this year.

The really remarkable thing is that he he hit it out to left. Almost no homeruns have been hit to left at AT & T yet this year because of the distance, cold and wind(it is starting to warm up finally in SF).

After the blast, it looked like he had another 3 inches sideways on his two seamer, and enough in his arm to get through 8.