Monday, July 28, 2008

And That Happened

Red Sox 9, Yankees 2: L'enfant terrible goes 3-5 with a couple of doubles and a couple of RBI. While I suppose the events of the past few days constitute some new low in Red Sox-Manny relations, it's a difference of degree, not kind. The parties have been through this before. The Sox are going to explore their options, but will soon realize that they're better off playing the rest of the season with Ramirez in left than they are trying to cobble together an outfield in the middle of a three-way pennant race. For his part, Manny will get distracted by a laser pointer or a pinwheel or something soon and forget whatever it is he's pouting about. If I had to place money on it, I'd have the Red Sox trading punches with the Yankees and Rays for the next two months in an effective enough manner to where they'll end up on top, after which they'll slog their way to the World Series once again. Sometime in hour four of Game Five of the ALCS, McCarver will remind us all about this little fracas and say something about how that was "a long, long time ago."

Diamondbacks 7, Giants 2: Randy Johnson wins his fourth in a row, which brings him up to 292 on his career. The Diamondbacks have 58 games left, which means that, assuming he stays healthy, The Big Unit could get 10-11 starts. That makes the odds of him getting to 300 this year pretty darn slim, but I am openly rooting for him to do it anyway. Not because I like him all that much or anything. I just want to read the columns from the guys who just last season said that Tom Glavine would be the last pitcher to ever win 300. Sure, even if he doesn't make it this year Johnson will hang on for one more season to get there, but if we get one more intervening winter, enough time will have elapsed for the dummy columnists to figure out what excuses to make. If it happens the very next season after Glavine, they'll have to write about how just how wrong they were, won't they?

Dodgers 2, Nats 0: My buddy Ethan went to the Nats-Giants game on Thursday. Like this one, it was also a short game in which Washington was shut out. I had said something nice about Matt Cain's performance after that game, but Ethan said "It was definitely a 'failure of hitting' more than a 'triumph of pitching' sort of game." I think recent results bear this out, as the Nats have now scored two runs in the last 36 innings, having been shut out three of four times. Yeah, Matt Cain is good, and Clayton Kershaw is gonna be pretty good, and Derek Lowe's nothin' to sneeze at either, but at some point you just look at an offense like Washington's and say, man, they really really stink.

A's 6, Rangers 5: A's reliever Brad Ziegler has started his career with 27 consecutive scoreless innings, which is a new record. Sources report that Billy Beane is now desperately trying to trade the 28 year-old rookie before he gets too expensive. Milwaukee has offered Oakland its second, fourth, fifth, and ninth ranked prospects plus an undisclosed amount of cash.

Royals 6, Rays 1: After looking at some ink blots, doing a bit of word association, and talking about their mothers, the Royals go out and beat the first place Rays. But it's not the winning that made them sleep better last night. It was the inner peace that came from knowing that they're working on a better them.

Cubs 9, Marlins 6: The Cubs won this one, but have really been struggling lately, having lost seven of their previous ten. All of that will be forgotten, however, if they can take three from Milwaukee over the next four games. And now that I think about it, actually, all of that will be forgotten if Milwaukee cleans their clock too, as the Brewers will be given credit for derailing the Cubs' season, not the Diamondbacks and Marlins.

Astros 11, Brewers 6: It's the return of the Killer Bs, as Blum (2-4, 2 HR 4RBI) and, um, Brad (4-4 2 RBI) put the hurt on Jeff Suppan and a Brewers team that may have been thinking more about the upcoming series against Chicago than this quaint Sunday afternoon affair.

Orioles 5, Angels 2: Sometimes I worry that I give Baltimore short-shrift. I probably know fewer Orioles players than guys on most teams, and I often struggle to find anything all that insightful to say about them. I'm not the only one, however, as for what seems like the umpteenth time this year, the guy responsible for doing the AP game story mentions the Orioles' record on Sundays. As if a one-day-of-the-week streak matters for anything.

Padres 3, Pirates 1: Pittsburgh is swept by the worst team in the majors immediately after completing their annual WTF Trade. Some day there will be a reunion of players who were inexplicably traded by or to the Pirates. They'll all meet in banquet room somewhere and talk about the time their careers intersected with Pittsburgh, not unlike the way alien abductees talk about their experiences. Confusion will rule the day, but there will be serious efforts made by those in attendance to make sense of it all. Guys like Matt Morris and Raul Mondesi will wonder how they every got to Pittsburgh and guys like Xavier Nady, Jason Schmidt, and Aramis Ramirez will wonder why they were shipped out.

Mariners 5, Blue Jays 1: Two of the rarest things in Seattle baseball -- A Mariners win and a decent performance from Jose Vidro -- and Dave Niehaus has to miss it. What a shame.

Tigers 6, White Sox 4: A win here is nice, but Detroit dropped two of three to the White Sox. There's still time to catch up, but people have been saying that all year, and eventually it will cease to be a true statement.

Phillies 12, Braves 10: If this one were any uglier it would've required two bags. The Braves blew a 5-0 lead, then nearly came back from a 12-5 deficit only to fall short, and got their best active player knocked out of the game with a concussion to boot. I have spent the past three or four years complaining about the decline and eventual disappearance of Braves' games from TBS, but you know what? I've actually become pretty cool with it.

Twins 4, Indians 2: Cubs-Brewers is not the only major battle in the Upper Midwest this week. The Twins -- fresh off taking two of three from the Tribe -- now face the White Sox in the dome for four.

Rockies 11, Reds 0: When most teams go on a really hot streak that brings them up to ten games under .500, we call that regression to the mean. When an NL West team does it, we call it a surge. Really, I love how the Rockies can take three from the Reds, still end the series with a record two games behind that of Cincinnati, yet they're still spoken of as a frisky contender. In a just world, any team worse than the Reds would be disqualified from experiencing hope. This is not a just world, however. If it were, the NL West would not exist.

Mets 9, Cardinals 1: Johan Santana (CG, 6 H, 1 ER, 5K) must have read Neyer's post last week about how he never goes long in games and came out yesterday hellbent on shutting him up. Having dropped two of three, the Cardinals Road Trip of Doom continues. They may get well this week, however, as they take a trip to Atlanta where everyone who is good is hurt.


John Peterson said...

How was that not a good trade for the Pirates?

Craig Calcaterra said...

The trade hinges on how good Tabata is, and there are multiple reasons to believe that Tabata will never amount to anything. He has regressed since he came to notice as a prospect, and many believe that he will never realize his potential.

Even if you assume that Tabata will amount to something, I still don't understand how that rates both Nady AND Marte (the others thrown in the deal aren't considered much of anything).

Basically, the Pirates did not get nearly the kind of return to justify giving up a hitter as good as Nady and a lefty reliever as good as Marte.

oasiserfede said...

I still say this deal isn't close to the Morris-deal on the WTF-scale.

Pete Toms said...

Bucs WTF deal.

McCarver & Buck dumped all over it on Saturday.

When prospects are involved I always defer to BA. Their take on it was that the Pirates got a decent return.

Wasn't Huntingdon the darling of the baseball blogosphere at one point this offseason?

Matt said...

While you can argue that the Pirates should have held out for more, I think it's obvious that this year's equivalent of the Matt Morris deal took place in another NL Central city last week when the Astros traded for Randy Wolf.

I suspect fans and the media esteem Nady more highly than do other MLB teams. Hopefully most teams have now realized that a sample size of three months is a lot less reliable than one of his entire career to date.

When trades are made I always defer to Buck and McCarver. If they dumped all over it I'll assume it's a good deal.

Speaking of the pairing, I always for bad for Ken Rosenthal when he has to answer McCarever's inane questions. I feel the same way for Gammons on Sunday Night Baseball.

Dre said...

I think Pitt did pretty well in the trade. 4 players with 6 years of control in exchange for 2 players with 2 months of control. Nady is probably only going to be a Type B FA and they weren't going to pick up Marte's option.

If Tabata pans out, its a great trade. Either way, its a solid trade for a team that isn't going to compete this year or likely anytime soon.

Chipmaker said...

Mediots were proclaiming the "we'll never see another 300 game winner" meme in 1990 when Ryan reached that milestone, and this when Clemens was on the mound, frequently dominating, and owner of two rather fresh BBWAA-bestowed Cy Young Awards.

It's just another cliche they are required to trot out as necessary.

Ron Rollins said...

Why is it that every time I read an article about the Royals, the lights get really bright and I hear voices in my head.

I'm ready to climb to the top of the Royals scoreboard. Only because we don't have any suitable towers in town.

Its now become official. We are the laughingstock of baseball.

jake said...

That's crazy talk... I thought being an MSM sports writer means never having to say you were wrong!