Monday, June 2, 2008

And That Happened

Red Sox 9, Orioles 4: J.D. Drew goes 2-3 with a homer and three RBI after missing a couple of games for vertigo, of all things. Does vertigo just clear up like that? My daughter's current cold has lasted longer than Drew's vertigo did. Part of me wants to believe that he's in the middle of some elaborate game of injury bingo or a scavenger hunt or something and wanted to say he had something exotic. It'd almost be laughable if I still didn't have Nick Esasky's career-ending bought with it in mind some 18 years after the fact.

Reds 6, Braves 2: Per their usual routine, the Braves go on the road and play like utter garbage, dropping 5 of 6 to Milwaukee and the Cincinnati Jays. How they find themselves only 3.5 off the pace is beyond me. They now have seven games against Florida and Philly -- the two teams ahead of them -- and a six game trudge through Wrigley and Anaheim. I hate to be dramatic before Flag Day, but I feel quite strongly that the next thirteen games will make or break the Braves season.

A's 13, Rangers 8: Texas starter Scott Feldman didn't have the best outing a guy could have. He gave up four runs -- three of them earned -- on four hits in six innings, but he hit the showers after the sixth with his team up 7-4, and that's not half bad. Jamey Wright comes in for the top of the seventh and does this: single-walk-double-walk-gone, and the Rangers lead has been cut to 7-5. So then Robinson Tejeda gets the call and does this: walk-double-single, and its now 10-7, still with nobody out. Enough is enough. Call in Frank Francisco: homer-out-homer-out-out. Inning over, Rangers now down 13-7. The Rangers then hopped a plane to Cleveland, and I'm guessing it wasn't a cheery flight.

Tigers 7, Mariners 5: Curtis Granderson was telling reporters after the game not to count the Tigers out, and the AP recap called the win "the Tigers' third win in four games on their nine-game trip along the West Coast." That's one way to put it. Another way to put it is that in six games on the road trip, three of which came against a good team (the Angels) and three of which came against the worst team in baseball (the Mariners), the Tigers went 3-3. Isn't that about what you'd expect a decidedly mediocre club to do? So go ahead and get excited after blasting Putz for four runs in the ninth -- that's no easy trick -- but spare me the "here come the Tigers!" rhetoric until they actually string a few series wins together.

Royals 6, Indians 1: For as bad as the Royals have been lately, their May (11-19) wasn't all that much worse than the Indians' was (12-16).

Cubs 5, Rockies 3: Don't be alarmed! The corpse isn't really alive. You see, even after death, random nerve impulses occasionally cause muscle twitching, and the hair and fingernails continue to grow for some time post-mortem. It may be unsettling, sure, but don't you worry: The body is still quite dead. In related news, Jim Edmonds goes 2-3, 2B, 3B, 2 RBI.

Rays 4, White Sox 3: Tampa Bay wins 20 games in May. Unprecedented? Nope. They went 20-6 in June 2004.

Giants 4, Padres 3: Tim Lincecum pitches wonderfully once again (7 IP, 4 H, 1 R) but gets the no-decision because his first baseman hits like a backup catcher (.245/.314/.396) and his shortstop (.188/.264/.234) is channeling Ray Oyler. By the way, they should have given Brian Sabean some sort of award when Vizquel broke Aparicio's record for most games played at shortstop the other night. After all, if it wasn't for his fine efforts at managing the rebuilding in San Francisco, Vizquel would likely be out of baseball right now, his slot filled by someone who could actually help the Giants win games, and Aparicio's record would still stand. Yes, I know the Giants won. I just haven't said anything bad about them for a while and I was feeling the itch, ya know?

Mets 6, Dodgers 1: Looks like it's time for the tabloids to shift focus to the Yankees.


Ron Rollins said...

A Nick Esasky and a Ray Oyler reference in one posting. You've outdone yourself today.

Cooker said...

For the "God I Love Baseball" ongoing series...

Friday nights Sox/Orioles game, home plate umpire gives the full, dramatic strike three call against Coco Crisp. The only problem is that it is only strike 2, leaving the umpire with a little egg on his face. Coco almost gets run when he tells the umpire... "and it still wasn't a strike". Commentators Gary Thorne and Jim Palmer reference the classic Enrico Palazzo umpiring scene in "The Naked Gun" to describe the call the ump made. God I love baseball.

Rob said...

The (Devil) Rays won 20 games in June, 2004? Context rears its head once again. On May 31, 2004, Tampa Bay was sitting at 18-31. They then went 20-7 in June to pull one game over .500. How'd they finish?


Anonymous said...


Texas pitching finally asserted itself as the A's bats find horsehide in Sunday's game.

No amount of excitement about the A's potential young outfield of Buck, Gonzalez, and R Sweeney can overcome the reality that none of them looks to be half the player Josh Hamilton is.

At 26, it'll be hard for Texas to realize that they will have to rest him. The energy sapping heat in Texas takes a year to get used to, and as hard as Hamilton plays, he'll need the occassional day off, maybe more.

The A's caliber of ball is so good that they may finish above .500 despite their youth. But both Smith and Eveland had rough outings in Arlington, which happens to young starters, especially against good hitting teams like Texas.

Still, the reality is that the A's were 2-4 on this road trip, while the Angels were 4-2 over the same period. That 3.5 games gap in the standings will gradually expand as the summer wears on. I expect we'll be back to where we were in the late '90's at the beginning of the Giambi/Tejada era, when you could walk up to the Mausoleum and get 3rd row seats behind the dugout, and enjoy an afternoon with 14,000 of the most knowledgeable fans in baseball.

Craig Calcaterra said...

APBA Guy: I know that's terrible for Oakland's bottom line, but man, I love that kind of atmosphere. Crazy, I know, but I like mostly empty stadiums like I like mostly empty airplanes. I know it's not sustainable, but man, the room to spread out is nice.

BTW: thanks for the A's update you frequently provide. Being in Ohio, I tend to give the late games short shrift from time to time (hmmm, I wonder where the east coast bias comes from?), so if you ever see me totally whiff on these, feel free to shoot me a writeup of the A's game and I'll put in a post update or something.