Wednesday, July 9, 2008

And That Happened

Cubs 7, Reds 3: You wanna know how to win the NL Central? They pull a knife, you pull a gun. They send one of yours to the hospital, you send one of theirs to the morgue! That's the Chicago way!

Brewers 7, Rockies 3: CC makes his debut in a Brewers' uniform. He wasn't on top of his game (five hits and five walks in six innings) but it was enough for the win, and that's why he's there. Well, that and to stand next to Prince Fielder to make him seem skinny.

Mets 7, Giants 0: Mike Pelfrey (7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER) and Carlos Beltran (3-4, HR, 4 RBI) lead the Mets in a romp over San Francisco, and the Mets are now 1.5 back. That's five better than they were the day Willie was fired and six better than their low point this season.

Cardinals 2, Phillies 0: If it weren't for playing the Braves, the Phillies would be in third place right now.

Diamondbacks 2, Nationals 0: Sensing a pattern here? Did any team who lost last night not get shutout? The Nats placed Elijah Dukes on the DL. This interests me greatly, because that means there's a decent chance he'll get a rehab start here in Columbus some time towards the end of this month, and Columbus could use a little shakin' up.

Yankees 5, Rays 0: Yet another shutout, eight innings of which were authored by Andy Pettitte (8 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 5K). Quick -- somebody read this game story and tell me if I'm crazy for thinking that it was written by a Yankee blogger. From the Jeter love, to Pettitte's "determined" effort, to even the mention of this as the Yankees' "90th game" -- a counting convention many Yankees' blogs employ -- I got the feeling that I was reading an advocacy document instead of a reporting one.

Tigers 9, Indians 2: It's worth remembering that even as they've shaved five games off of their deficit, the Tigers still haven't gotten much from Miguel Cabrera this year. Last night he went 4-4 with a couple of homers and 3 RBI. If that's a sign that he's on the verge of asploding, the White Sox and Twins had better watch out. As for Cleveland, last night would have been CC Sabathia's turn in the rotation. The replacement -- Jeremy Sowers and his seven runs on ten hits in five and two-thirds -- did not exactly make Tribe fans forget the big guys' absence.

Blue Jays 7, Orioles 6: The game ended when Freddie Bynum couldn't corral a grounder to short in the bottom of the ninth. Freddie Bynum had entered the game that inning as a defensive replacement. It's like a black fly in your chardonnay.

Red Sox 6, Twins 5: Manny plays hero for the second night in a row, this time tying the game up in the eighth with a two-run bomb.

Rangers 3, Angels 2: According to the game story, Joe Saunders (8 IP, 6 H, 3 ER) pitched this game as his wife was back home in California, three days overdue for the birth of their first child. In contrast, Mrs. Shyster would not let me go out to the yard without two cell phones, a walkie-talkie, and a SkyPager within six weeks of the birth of ShysterDaughter.

White Sox 8, Royals 7: I'll turn this one over to Ozzie Guillen: "The only good thing about this game is we win. That's a pretty bad, a real bad game. Mistakes, bad pitching. For both sides, it was real poor game-playing."

Padres 10, Marlins 1: Why are none of these runs available when Greg Maddux is pitching?

Braves 9, Dodgers 3: Two Brian McCann homers and three RBI from Yunel Escobar help the Braves wash the bad taste of the previous night's one-hitter out of their mouths. Sign that I'm not following the Braves as closely as I used to: I hadn't noticed that they had signed Julian Tavarez for the pen. Sign that I don't particularly care that I'm not following the Braves as closely as I used to: I can't work up what would normally be the proper level of indignation at the signing of Julian Tavarez.

A's 2, Mariners 0: Harden? We ain't got no Harden. We don't need no Harden. I don't have to show you any stinkin' Harden. Justin Duchscherer (CG, 2 H, SHO) helps calm A's Nation after a most curious trade. Look, I don't like the trade on paper, but remember back when Beane traded Jeremy Giambi -- who believe it or not, people thought was gonna be real good, myself included -- for John Mabry? I'm pretty sure they're still rebuilding after the post-trade riots for that one. The point is that Beane was right. He knew something -- that Giambi was an overrated, drug-addled, head case of a player who had already reached his ceiling. Obviously Harden is a different deal, but one has to think that Beane again knows something we don't -- likely to do with Harden's health, which may make the Mulder trade the better analog -- that will make this trade look good for Oakland eventually. At the very least Beane has earned the benefit of the doubt here, hasn't he?

Pirates 4, Astros 3: Lotsa rain delays pushed this one late into the night. I'm not a big Astros fan, but I feel pretty bad for these guys. They played for 17 innings -- with a rain delay as well -- on Sunday, they took their necessary beating due to a lack of bullpen on Monday, and then they had a marathon of misery resulting in a loss last night. They have to be looking at the All-Star break like a drowning man looks at a life preserver right now.


Chris H. said...

Untouchables FTW!

Peter said...

Completely agree on the Harden trade. No Pie, no Hill, no Vitters, and the Cubs ended up with Harden? Really?

Beane's gotta know something we don't...

Rob said...

A gun? That might be the Chicago way, but in this case the gun has two bullets and will need to be disassembled and cleaned after every shot or else it will break apart from the recoil.

Sara K said...

I read a Derrick Goold column yesterday about how the NL Central is now a powerhouse. At the top were pictures of Carlos Zambrano, CC Sabathia...and Mark Mulder. Powerhouse indeed!

Mac said...

The Braves just signed Tavarez yesterday afternoon. He is terrible; there's a reason two teams released him. Gonzalez had to bail him out -- with a six-run lead.

Alex said...

I think you should call your daughter Li'l Shysterette.

David said...

I don't think Beane knows something the Cubs don't, but he does know Harden has averaged 70 innings a year over the last four.

Can someone please explain to me why Ron Gardenhire refuses to pitch Joe Nathan in the 8th inning? Shouldn't a $15 million a year closer be able to pitch two innings from time to time in tight games?

Anonymous said...


My girlfriend, a delight, who only started watching baseball when she started in with me, made two comments yesterday I thought worth repeating here:

RE: the Twins v. Boston, and echoing David's comment-why wasn't Nathan in the game in the 8th, and what the hell was Francona doing letting 24 yr old Jon Lester go into the 8th and throw 117 pitches?

Apart from those excellent questions, her comment on the whole affaire Harden: "the A's are dead to me."

This is a sentiment widely held by the not-so-casual baseball fan here. Tickets are more expensive at the Mausoleum than beautiful AT & T Park. You really don't want to be walking around the 'hood after an Oakland game, unlike downtown SF. And the only A's players left with any name recognition are Ellis (probably gone after this year) and Duchscherer, who everyone calls Duke for obvious reasons.

The team plays good ball. But they are a AAA offense with MLB pitching. Somehow they are in 2nd in the West, but we all know they won't win the Division and most likely can't make the Wild Card.

So Beane is doing the right thing, as Harden's player option next year is like a time bomb for the financially strapped A's.

But you have to wonder: the Rays eliminated parking fees around the Trop, an even worse ball park than the Mausoleum. Shouldn't the A's make a similar cost reduction gesture to lure fans? They are well on their way to anticipating an average attendance around 16,000 in 2009, just like they did in 1997. And that Fremont stadium/pipe-dream is still far from approved.

Time will tell if the Harden trade is Mulder for something or Hudson for nothing. But the clock has run out on fan patience. Only the hard-core are left. Everyone else is eating garlic fries and shivering at AT&T.

christopher said...

I disagree w/ anonymous. I live 4 blocks away from phone company-du-jour park, but, as a real fan of neither team, i'd still rather go to an A's game. The A's have tons of promotions, day games, 2 dollar tickets, field a competitive team, it's warmer, and most of the tickets are cheaper. And A's fans can be pretty obnoxious, but they really care. Who else would cheer that hard for emil brown?

The other thing is that the A's are a well-run ballclub. It is absolutely impossible to have any faith in brian sabean. Though i don't like it, i'll deal with beane trading away most of his stars, because it usually works out.