Monday, May 19, 2008

And That Happened

Angels 10, Dodgers 2: Most of us have heard that old saw about sinker ballers maybe being a bit better off going on short rest. I've never heard a satisfying explanation as to why people think that, nor have I seen any statistical studies giving any credence to the theory. Joe Torre believes it, however. Remember when he started Wang on short rest in Game Four of the ALDS last year? Before that game he was quoted thusly: “The fact is he’s a sinkerball pitcher,” Torre said, “and sometimes being a little tired isn’t all that bad. Probably better than being too strong.” Despite the fact that Wang got rocked by the Tribe (1 IP, 5 H, 4 ER), Torre did it again yesterday with sinkerballer Derek Lowe. Didn't work out for him either (5 IP, 10 H, 7 ER).

Cubs 4, Pirates 3: Soriano didn't hit a homer in this game, but he's been on fire lately, jacking seven out in the past week. Funny thing, though: five of those came with nobody on, as have seven of the ten he's hit all year. Imagine the damage he and the Cubs would be doing if he were batting behind Fukudome (.416 OBP), Aramis Ramirez (.402), or Geovany Soto (.429).

Reds 6, Indians 4: Cliff Lee turns back into a pumpkin, at least for one game (5.2 IP, 10 H, 6 R, ERA skyrockets up to 1.37). Adam Dunn has homered in four straight games, and is 5-13 with seven RBIs. This sort of thing drives the Brennamans crazy because it doesn't fit into their "Adam Dunn is the font of all evil" world view.

Royals 9, Marlins 3: They're not going to make anything approaching real noise this year, but it's worth noting that the Royals are hovering around .500 way later than they have in the recent past. In 2007, they were 16-27 at this point. In the three years before that they were 10-33; 12-31; and 15-28. Are things perfect? Of course not, but give Trey Hillman some credit for a job better done.

Red Sox 11, Brewers 7: As is usually the case on Sunday afternoons, I watched this one while chasing kids. The score had changed every time I looked up from a tea party, some spilled milk, or a diaper change, and the game seemed just as sloppy as whatever it was I was doing. The inning I watched the closest was the fourth, when Carlos Villanueva struggled mightily. I've never understood why some guys slow the hell down when they're struggling and find themselves in jams. Villanueva was psyching himself out before each pitch. Catch ball/get sign/throw ball. Don't think. It can only hurt the ballclub.

Astros 5, Rangers 4: It's rare that I run down every single game in this feature. Time is a factor to some degree, but as much as I hate to admit it, interest is too, and I'm simply not that interested in the Rangers. It's for this reason that I hadn't noticed that the Rangers are 12-5 in May and playing some pretty decent baseball. Not that Rangers fans should get too excited, as most of their games have been against Seattle and a cooling, offensively-challenged Oakland squad. All the wins count though, so good for the Rangers.

Braves 5, A's 2: Yunel Escobar (3-4, 2 RBI) is having a nice season at the plate (.308/.385/.428). The A's had 11 hits and 3 walks but only scored 2 runs. That's the kind of thing the Braves usually do on Sunday afternoons.

Blue Jays 6, Phillies 5: Another reason to hate interleague play. With this being the only time the Jays will be in Philly this year, they had to endure nearly three hours of rain delays in order to get this one in. As a result, you get funky stuff like Roy Halladay coming in to pitch two and a third innings after getting the start on Thursday.

Nationals 2, Orioles 1: Elijah Dukes is 1-24 this year as he and the rest of the Reclamation Squad (Dimitri Young and Lastings Milledge) go a combined 0-9. OK, Milledge isn't a reclamation project, but I am obligated by the Baseball Writers' Code to lump him together with Dukes when discussing the Nationals' "problem" players.

Cardinals 5, Rays 4: You're simply not going to win a lot of games when you walk 10 guys, which is what the Rays' pitchers did.

Mariners 3, Padres 2: I'm struggling to think of two teams I'd be less interested to watch play right now.

Rockies 6, Twins 2: A good game for Todd Helton (2-4, HR, 3 RBI). He needed it, as he has continued his descent into Doug Mientkiewicz land (.274/.383/.402). I hate the parlor games as much as anyone, but is there a player whose power fell off as precipitously as Helton's has over the past few years? Yes, he's getting older, but a guy who slugged in the high .600s should be declining through the .500s right now, not struggling to stay above .400.

White Sox 13, Giants 8: San Francisco drops their 5th straight, this time with Matt Cain on the hill. Brian Sabean still thinks they can contend this year, though.

Diamondbacks 4, Tigers 0: Randy Johnson pitches seven innings of shutout baseball to pick up win number 288. Jim Leyland's creative lineups continue, this time with Ivan Rodriguez (.302 OBP) leading off. It can't get any uglier for Detroit, can it?

Mets 11, Yankees 2: A pretty pathetic display by the Bombers, as they only put on five base runners the whole game. Taking two of two from the Yankees following last week's ugliness puts the Randolph death watch on temporary hiatus. Woof the next four in Atlanta, however, and we're right back where we started.


tadthebad said...

Can we ask Jason why the left field foul pole at Yankee Stadium is not entirely yellow? Apparently, that black section is not as fair than the rest of the pole, at least according to the umpires.

Joe Morgan still doesn't want instant replay for those situations? What will it take?

Craig Calcaterra said...

That's a good question. There are a lot of Yankee fans around here. Osmodious? Jason? Anyone?

Joe Morgan against something progressive? Shocking.

Anonymous said...


An ugly day for Bay Area teams yesterday, as the beloved A's 2-7 road trip concluded with a punchless loss in Atlanta. The A's 1-2 series embarrassment contributed to a closer-than-normal interleague 22-19 advantage for the AL.

Of greater concern was Matt Cain being pummeled at AT & T by the White Sox. Evidently the American league guests did not read the handbook distrubuted by the Giants before facing Cain, encouraging players to swing often, swing wildly, something his NL foes do with great elan. Cain is a real talent, and hopefully this experience will hasten his transformation from thrower to pitcher.

I saw Barry Zito Saturday. Even though his line said "2 ER" his WHIP said 2.8. I think the White Sox hitters were lulled to sleep by so many off-speed (or no speed) pitches out of the zone. So was the crowd. Beautiful AT & T lost a lot of us by the 6th inning. There's just too much else to do at night in San Francisco to sit through too much of that kind of performance. Bill Neukom should include that in his deliberations in the next 90 days before he becomes managing partner officially.

Anonymous said...

I loved Joe's attempt at a distinction between "reporter" and "journalist," the difference being the guy they showed interviewing the fan sitting by the foul pole was "out there digging up the information." Who did Joe blow to get the job, again?