Wednesday, June 4, 2008

And That Happened

Blue Jays 9, Yankees 3: How should a Yankee fan feel the morning after Joba Chamberlain walked four guys and couldn't make it out of the third inning in his much hyped debut? On the one hand, Henry Ward Beecher once said "one's best success comes after their greatest disappointments," so perhaps optimism is in order. On the other hand, Thomas Hardy once said "the sudden disappointment of a hope leaves a scar which the ultimate fulfillment of that hope never entirely removes." I love Hardy and respect Beecher, but I'm going to have to go with the Post for philosophical guidance on this one: "Joba is stopped for Jay-Walking."

Mets 9, Giants 6: Pedro has always been good on 62 days rest. 6 IP, 3 H, 3 ER is about as much as could be expected from him, so the Mets have to be pleased. The 2-3 with an RBI single was just gravy. Barry Zito (4.1 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 5 BB, 1 K, zero velocity) continues to be the world's most expensive batting practice pitcher.

Phillies 3, Reds 2: Someone found Jay Bruce's kryptonite. Well, relatively speaking, anyway: he only got on base in half of his plate appearances, sending that OBP plummeting from .667 to .649 and lowering his slugging percentage to triple digits. So, yeah, I guess the league has figured him out. In other news, Dusty sat Griffey again. One suspects that he'll play sparingly between now and the end of the current road trip in order to maximize the possibility that he'll hit #600 at home. That seems silly to me. I mean, there are six games left on this road trip. Given how things have gone for him so far this season, Griffey is going to need at least 15-20 more games in order to hit that dinger, so there's no need to worry.

Astros 2, Pirates 0: I haven't thought much about the Astros this season, so I spent a few minutes looking at their roster and stats. Quite the catching combination they have going there at the moment. J.R. Towles: .145/.270/.282; Brad Ausmus: .178/.187/.260. They have to be on pace to become least productive catching duo in baseball history, right?

Red Sox 7, Rays 4: The Sox begin the Ortizless portion of their season with the uber-D alignment: outfield of Drew, Crisp, and Ellsbury, with Manny at DH. I think that's how I'd do it to. At least until I thought Manny was becoming even more distracted than he usually is as a result of all the down time, then I'd send him out to left and let Casey DH once or twice.

Brewers 7, Diamondbacks 1: The day after moaning about playing time and (maybe) demanding a trade, Bill Hall gets the start at third base. Not that anyone cared about his complaining -- it was simply a matter of a lefty on the hill. Seth McClung beat Randy Johnson. McClung is better suited than most to overcome the intimidation that accompanies facing the Big Unit. Like me, McClung is from the great state of West Virginia. He spent his entire childhood beating dudes with mullets.

Braves 5, Marlins 4: Maybe Atlanta has turned a corner or something, because this is the kind of game that they've lost just about every time this year. Down by a run after coughing up an early lead and going into what Mac Thomason calls "hibernation mode" for six innings, I would have bet my son's teddy bear that the Braves were going to lose it. Eighth inning rolls around, however, and its single-double-double-lead, with Soriano sending the Fish out 1-2-3 in the ninth. Wait -- I'm going to check and see that the team names weren't reversed in the box score. I'll be damned.

White Sox 9, Royals 5: Yesterday Neyer sarcastically mused that maybe Guillen's tirade was calculated. He immediately dismissed that notion, and was probably right to do so. But you know, maybe we should give it a bit more thought. After all, Guillen knew that he was going back to his home park to face the team playing the worst baseball in the league right now. He knew that, after giving
his 15 HR-hitting, 50 RBI-driving in left fielder Sunday off, he'd be returning Quentin to the lineup last night. Maybe he knew a win was around the corner and he wanted to make himself look like a motivational genius? Yeah, calling out Kenny Williams like that was probably a bridge too far, but I actually like Guillen for some absurd reason, and I think everybody is being too hard on him. By the way: Kenny didn't do anything and apart from starting Quentin, it was nothing but some minor flip flops.

Rangers 12, Indians 7: That's the second crisp and clean game between these two finely-honed blades in as many nights. Coming in at a brisk 3:48 and featuring 31 hits and eight walks, this is one to tape and play back at the little league clinic next spring. One of those walks, by the way, was an intentional one to Josh Hamilton in the bottom of the second inning. Amazingly, that's the first intentional walk he's received all season.

A's 5, Tigers 4: Dontrelle Willis returns to the rotation. The good: 4 IP, 2 H, 0 ER. The bad: 5 BB. The ugly: Pitchers for both teams combined for 22 walks.

Angels 5, Mariners 4: Joe Saunders ups his record to 9-2, exceeding his career-high win total on June 3rd. The Angels have a 3.5 game lead over Oakland. The Cubs and Diamondbacks have the same lead on their nearest opponents, but really, doesn't the Angels' lead seem safer to you than the others? In other news,
Richie Sexson's new stance doesn't change a thing (0-4, 2K).

Rockies 3, Dodgers 0: Fisticuffsmanship! Well, more like a turgid wrestling match, as Matt Kemp starts shoving Yorvit Torrealba, who shoved back and, well, you know how those things go. Double ejections and some video that will dominate SportsCenter while no attention is paid to Jeff Francis' 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER performance.

Cubs 9, Padres 6: It's June. No swoon?

Orioles 5, Twins 3: Radhames Liz makes his first start of the year. I don't know much about him and have never seen him, but from what I've read, this guy is supposed to be a beast. Raw, to be sure, but with high 90s gas (he was "only" at 94 or so last night) you can get away with a lot. Fun fact from his Wikipedia page: "Early in his professional career, Liz received attention because of a clicking sound which is sometimes loud enough to be heard in the stands and occurs whenever he throws a pitch. Some have thought it to be his thumb clicking against his index finger. Oriole's head athletic trainer Richie Bancells discovered that Liz's scapula caused the clicking." Will Carroll has been asked to carry his cell phone with him and remain on alert at all times during Liz's starts this year.

Cardinals 6, Nats 1: The rain delays lasted longer (2:40) than the actual time it took to play the game (2:27). The Cards weren't happy with how long it took the DC crew to get the field covered and uncovered after the dealys. Kyle Lohse: "I don't want to get down on the grounds crew, but maybe they could tighten up a little bit next time." Oh, snap!


Mark Johnson said...

In re: Griffey's 600, the swirling rumor on Reds blogs and message boards is that his at-bats will be limited until the Reds get to Florida. Apparently, Junior may or may not recently have said he wants to hit No. 600 in Florida. Homer-tastic Reds press corps in full cover-up mode, which means it's probably true.

Anonymous said...

RE Cards/Nats rain delay: Kyle Lohse: "I don't want to get down on the grounds crew, but maybe they could tighten up a little bit next time."

Paging Archie Bell!