Tuesday, July 8, 2008

And That Happened

Red Sox 1, Twins 0: This was one of those games which people who don't really like baseball simply don't get. I had it on as Mrs. Shyster messed with her laptop, moving money to offshore accounts or IMing firemen or whatever the hell it is she does when I'm watching baseball. She'd look up occasionally, notice that no one has scored yet, and wonder aloud how I could devote so much mental energy to such a boring game (she did mention that Scott Baker looked like he was 14 years-old once, and that almost passes for analysis). Of course I was digging it because I like pitching and good defense and bunts and timely hitting and all of the good fundamentals which were on display here.

Royals 7, Rays 4: Give Carl Crawford a point for honesty, but not before deducting ten for lollygagging:
Carl Crawford started in center for the first time since June 18, 2006, and his lack of hustle helped the Royals take a 3-2 edge when Gload singled up the middle in the third. Crawford failed to charge the ball and Teahen scored from first, never slowing down en route to the plate.

"I think I got a little lackadaisical," Crawford said. "I didn't think he was running. Then I looked up ... and it was too late by then. It was just a bad effort on my part. I probably could have gotten to the ball a little quicker. I was doing my normal thing that I do in left, and forgot I was in center. You've got to be a little more aggressive in center."
In other news, Mark Grudzielanek sat out due to "body soreness." Call me crazy, but I get the feeling that these wraparound series lend themselves to flat play and less-than-optimal motivation. After a whole career of thinking of Sunday as the end of a series, these Monday conclusions have to feel to the players like they were held over at an airport overnight.

Pirates 10, Astros 7: The things you do the day after a 17-inning game: Runelvys Hernandez: 4 IP, 13 H, 10 ER.

Mets 10, Phillies 9: The Mets' bullpen (3.2 IP, 7 H, 7 R) did everything it could to blow the first decent Pedro Martinez start in nearly a month, but it seems that they have failed at failing as well.

Angels 9, Rangers 6: Josh Hamilton's OPS by month: April (.982); May (.977); June (.813); July (.703). What's up? If I had to guess I'd say fatigue. After his famous exile from baseball, Hamilton had 50 at bats in 2006 and 238 in 2007 (both in the Majors and in AAA). We're not yet to the break in 2008, and he already has 350, a bit less than half of which have come in the furnace that is the Ballpark at Arlington. Simply put, the man hasn't been worked this hard -- in this kind of heat -- since he was a teenager in the Sally League, and his body might need a break.

Rockies 4, Brewers 3: Wait, I thought the Brewers weren't going to lose anymore now that they have traded for Sabathia. Have I been misled?

Dodgers 3, Braves 0: Hiroki Kuroda comes one Mark Teixeira double away from a perfecto. The game story -- and a few Braves sites I've seen this morning -- want to blame the fact that Atlanta played 17 innings yesterday and then hopped a cross-country flight, but the Braves players quoted said that Kuroda was simply dealing.

A's 4 Mariners 3

Marlins 3, Padres 1

Sorry for the short shrift on the last two, but I got squeezed by my kids this morning, who don't realize that there will one day come a time when people won't let them sleep as late as they want to.


Pete Toms said...

My wife is equally as disdainful of baseball ( although I like to chide her that when we courted she used to "take me" to Montreal for my birthday to watch baseball. Marriage + 2 kids later, I'm takin the kids to the ballgame in Toronto this Sunday while she roams the city not watching baseball but I digress ).

Anyway, I recall many years ago during a World Series game ( I believe the Marlins' first WS championship ) her calling to me from the adjacent room, asking me in a confused, skeptical tone if "they were talking about amenorrhea". After asking her what amenorrhea is I concluded that she had misheard the commentators discussing Renteria. To this day I continue to think of Edgar Renteria as Edgar Amenorrhea. IIRC the commentators were Uecker, Morgan & Costas ( I am likely wrong ). I've always thought that a conversation amongst that trio on the aforementioned subject would be unintentionally funny.

Pete Toms said...

Forgot about the Red Sox / Twins game. Yes it was very entertaining. 3 things.

1. NESN didn't question Gardenhire's decision to pitch to Ramirez in the 8th with the score tied, 1 out and Pedroia at 3rd. I second guessed instantly.

2. Is your mid relief pretty thin when you need to use Brian Bass in the 8th inning of a tie game? A game in which the lead for the wild card spot is up for grabs ( ok, it's July, I know but still an important series )

3. I love to watch Carlos Gomez. What a talent, great, great arm and great, great speed.

Greg P said...

Gomez does always look like he's enjoying himself in center field, doesn't he?

Denard Span is quite good in the field as well. He made a nice grab out of the right field stands last night.

To echo what Craig and Pete have said, my wife was nearby while my two boys (10 and 12) watched the Twins/Sox game. She's a marginal fan and when we loudly exclaim about some excellent play or other, she might actually watch the replay.

As for the dynamic in the house, I am 48 and been a Royals fan (in Central Maine) since 1969. My oldest son is a Yankee loving, Derek Jeter fan, while my younger has recently converted to the Red Sox.

As an interesting (or not) aside, he was a Texas Rangers fan for the first 8 years of his life, because I bought him a Rangers hat because it has his first initial on it (Tony).

David said...

Great game last night until Gardy decided Brian Bass -- the mop up guy -- would be perfect for a scoreless game in Fenway with Manny due up.

Anonymous said...


I love how Seattle is trying to talk up Washburn's trade value. Last night, staked to a 3-0 lead in the first, he transformed the game to 4-3 by the end of 5. Had his opposition been the Red Sox we might all say in unison "trade him while he's on top". But he surrendered the lead to the beloved, but hardly intimidating, A's, a team that started 5 rookies and a second year guy.

Daniel said...

Craig, I hope you didn't admit to liking bunts at the SABR conference. They would called security and had you forcibly removed.

My wife, bless her heart, tries her best to like baseball. She enjoys attending games and she'll watch the game with me sometimes (although usually she's got a magazine or something). She fully supports my love of the game, though. The problem is that until 8 pm when my 2 year old goes to bed, I don't get to watch much, which means any east coast/midwest games are lost to me. I'm sorry I missed this one.

Craig Calcaterra said...

You can admit to liking bunts at SABR, Daniel. You can't, however, suggest that they are a good idea. In this it's a lot like pullover polyester jerseys. Lots of SABR guys are traditionalists who, for some reason, love to wear 1970s jerseys.

And I know how it's like with the kid. I have a two year-old as well (almost three) and I almost always miss the first inning or two of 7pm starts.