Thursday, June 5, 2008

And That Happened

Marlins 6, Braves 4: As a Braves fan, I am devastated by the end of John Smoltz's season and possibly his career. They say there are stages of grief. I may still technically be in denial, so take this for what it's worth: I'd much rather have had a surgery-needing John Smoltz pitching the ninth inning yesterday than Manny Acosta (.1 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, blown save). But with Soriano and (maybe) Gonzales around, the bullpen will probably be OK. That is if Atlanta can find someone -- anyone -- who can pitch deep into a game for a change. The five guys that make up the rotation right now (Hudson, Glavine, Jurrjens, Reyes, Campillo) are averaging 5.2 innings a start, and that's just gonna kill the Braves' bullpen as they make their way through the hot Atlanta summer.

Padres 2, Cubs 1: Greg Maddux isn't Greg Maddux anymore, but last night against his old team he did what your ex-girlfriend does when she knows she's going to be at the same party as you. No, he didn't exactly wear a slutty dress and hang on your friends while making taunting eye-contact with Chicago, but 7 innings of one run ball is the sort of thing that makes someone have to try hard to remember why they dumped somebody in the first place. After the game you can imagine all of the Cubs' buddies saying "man, Greg sure looked good tonight," to which the Cubs could only reply "I KNOW, now will you shut up about it?" The Cubs' current rotation could only stand around feeling awkward and vaguely jealous.

Mets 5, Giants 3: The Giants went into this season thinking that Lincecum and Cain could carry them to respectability. They were half right. Cain goes five, gives up five, walks four and finds himself with an ERA of 4.67. In other news, reports of Jose Reyes' death have been greatly exaggerated (3-4, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, SB). If he can rip off a stretch of games like that for a week or two everyone will forget how bad things got in May.

A's 10, Tigers 2: Detroit was actually in this one until the seventh when Casey Fossum and Freddy Dolsi combined for 0.1 IP, 4 H, 5 ER and a walk. In other news, the 1000-run Tigers are on pace for 757.

Angels 5, Mariners 4: It wasn't pretty -- 6 IP, 10 H, and a walk -- but Jered Weaver got the job done. Of course you can get away with a lot against the Mariners, who stranded runners like the S.S. Minnow. To tell you how bad it's been for Richie Sexson, the big man goes 1-4 with no walks and actually raises his batting average and OBP.

Rockies 2, Dodgers 1: The Dodgers are stymied by Rockies' pitching for the second night in a row as Aaron Cook goes eight, giving up only a single run on six hits. Big Blue has only scored 28 runs in their last ten games, 17 of which came in two games.

Brewers 10, Diamondbacks 1: That was a whuppin'. It's only eight games, but so far Russell Branyan is hitting .321/.441/.821. And guess what? Milwaukee has won six of those games, BILL HALL. Overall they've won six in a row and nine of ten. The Cubs and any other NL team that thinks they're getting the wild card had best pay attention.

Reds 2, Phillies 0: Brett Myers was good (7.1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER), but he walked six guys, one of whom came around to score on the only hit he allowed. Ed Volquez was better (7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 8K). Joey Votto would like to remind you that Jay Bruce isn't the only young slugger of note on the Reds (2-3, 2 2B, 2 RBI, BB).

Yankees 5, Blue Jays 1: Mike Mussina (6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER) made his Major League debut before Joba started kindergarten, but even then Chamberlain was hyped more.

Red Sox 5, Rays 1: Order restored in the AL East, as the Sox regain first place. I know I look at Rays' box scores every day, but for some reason it seems like Edwin Jackson is always listed as the starter. I haven't checked, but how many games has pitched this year? 52? 53?

Pirates 5, Astros 2: The hitting hero for Pittsburgh was backup catcher Raul Chavez, who drove in three. Raul was called up to fill in for the injured Ryan Doumit. What made him ready for the callup? "I worked hard in Indianapolis with (hitting coach Hensley Meulens)," he said. That's former Columbus Clipper Hensley "Bam Bam" Meulens to you and me. Well, maybe to just me.

Twins 7, Orioles 5: Two homers in three games for Joe Mauer. Of course, that's two homers in 53 games for him too, so let's not get too excited.

Indians 15, Rangers 9: We're going to need a war crimes tribunal or a truth and reconciliation committee or something by the time this Indians-Rangers series is over, because the crimes against baseball which have occurred in Arlington for the past three nights have been nothing short of atrocious. 65 runs have been scored in three games. Can't we send a peacekeeping force in to stop the fourth?

White Sox 6, Royals 4: The AP game story noted that "After Olivo was hit in the side by a Dotel pitch in the 13th, he slammed his bat to the ground and was escorted to first base by coach Rusty Kuntz and Hillman." That had nothing to do with the game outcome. The writer just wanted to say "Rusty Kuntz."

Cardinals at Nationals: Postponed. 100% true story, I swear: I have a friend who lives in the DC suburbs. Yesterday, as a vicious and, sadly, deadly storm rushed through the area, a tree fell on her house, slamming through the roof in her bedroom. The insurance company sends a crew out, supposedly to remove the tree and put a tarp over the hole in the roof until it can be repaired. The crew gets out there, gives the place a general once-over and says "OK, we'll be back to start repairs tomorrow." In other words, it's going to take an unacceptably long time to get the tarp on the place. I told her she should call Kyle Lohse to jaw at them about it, but she didn't find this funny.


Ed said...

As a Pirates fan and a former resident of Columbus, I'm right there with you on Hensley Meulens. One of the great moments of my young life was suddenly receiving an autographed Hensley Meulens card when I was about 10. It's the little things, I guess.

Also, my buddy's uncle felt it necessary to pay for box seats at Cooper Stadium every year, which gave us an opportunity to go to the annual Yankees/Clippers game in the late-90s. His seats were right next to the away on-deck circle, so we sat there in awe about six fee from "THE Wade Boggs" (as we called him), Jeter, etc., not to mention hometown boy Paul O'Neill.

Columbus Clippers, ring your bell.

themarksmith said...

Some of the Braves' starters problems lately have been blisters. Campillo, Reyes and Jurrjens have all had those problems recently. However, I agree that the Braves need a No. 2 that eats some innings, but I think when and if the blister problems go away, they will pitch longer.

Drew said...

When talking about "How bad things got in May" for the Mets, it's important to realize that Jose Reyes actually had a very strong month of May, so tying him into the whole thing isn't really fair.

Jose in May: .310/.379/.534, 5 HR, 11 SB.

So while he may need to make everyone forget how the TEAM did in May, he's certainly got nothing to be ashamed about that month. Well, except maybe his fielding.

John Peterson said...

Maybe Craig meant March/April: .250/.307/.413.

Daniel said...

No no no, Drew. Don't you understand? When the Mets have a bad month, you are required to blame one of their stars, whether or not they are actually at fault. David Wright, for example, was responsible for their September collapse, even though his OPS during the month was somewhere around 1.000. But he just wasn't good ENOUGH. Same with Reyes in May.

Craig Calcaterra said...

For what it's worth, I was referring to forgetting the team's bad May. Or, more to the point, the public and media perception of the team's May.

Drew said...

I figured that's what you meant, Craig, I just wanted to make sure we weren't doing exactly what Daniel referred to, and misappropriating blame, as is so often done when talking about the Mets.