Monday, August 11, 2008

And That Happened

Cubs 6, Cardinals 2: Losing the game was bad enough, but the Cardinals losing Chris Carpenter to a strained triceps in the sixth inning has to be demoralizing, especially considering how much they were counting on him. It's unclear as the bulldog goes to press how bad the injury is, but you have to figure that even if it's a minor thing, Carpenter will require way more time to come back from it than someone who isn't still easing his way back in from Tommy John surgery, right? Too much room for weird compensation-type injuries, isn't there? Then again, maybe that's what led to the triceps strain itself. Some say Mark Mulder was rushed back, and we see how that turned out. Others have suggested Carpenter was rushed too. No matter how bad the injury turns out, you have to figure that it's gonna be a lot to talk about in Cardinals Nation over the next couple of days.

Phillies 6, Pirates 3: The Obama field offices in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia had a little contest brewing last week:
This week, August 4-9, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia will compete on the baseball diamond, the football field, and in voter registration drives around both cities. The Steelers and the Eagles go at it on Friday in Pittsburgh and the next day the Phillies host the Pirates in Philadelphia. All week long the Campaign for Change Neighborhood Teams in both cities will be registering new voters to see which city can register the most voters by the end of Sunday.
The final scores for what the campaign called "Rivalry Week" : Steelers 16, Eagles 10; Phillies 2 games, Pirates 1; Philly Obamaites 913 new voters, Pittsburgh 324. Now all that's left is for someone to tell the campaign that neither the Phillies-Pirates nor Eagles-Steelers are particularly major rivalries.

Angels 4, Yankees 3: This series sweep was a double f-you to the Yankees, with the Angels essentially saying "you ain't gonna make the playoffs, but even if you do, you ain't gonna beat us, so you may as well give up." Alex Rodriguez, more literally: "Today's game was devastating."

White Sox 6, Red Sox 5: Winning two of three is a less forceful message from Chicago to Boston, but a clear one all the same. With injuries mounting, could Boston and New York be home this October? And would anyone not a fan of those teams nor employed by Fox be all that sad about it?

Rays 11, Mariners 3: Most folks who talk about this game will mention that this win officially makes this the best Rays' season of all time. I'd also like to point out that one really ugly streak by Seattle will put them within striking distance of the worst Mariners' season of all time. Even playing at their current level will make it one of their four worst years, and that's saying an awful lot for this franchise.

Padres 16, Rockies 7
: Livan Hernandez (2.2 IP, 7 H, 9 R, 4 BB) has gone from battering the Twins' otherwise strong playoff chances to killing the Rockies' weak ones.

Royals 5, Twins 4: After going 0 for his previous 17, Tona Pena, Jr. came into this one late and went 2-2, including the game winning RBI in the bottom of the 12th. Trey Hillman on Pena's last at-bat: "I think he might have half-expected I was going to pinch hit for him." Sure, it ended up turning out OK for the Royals here, but I think anyone with half a brain might have expected that Hillman would pinch hit for Pena (.157/.178/.204) with two on and one out in the bottom of the 12th.

Brewers 5, Nationals 4: Milwaukee is certainly taking advantage of the easy part of their schedule. Since that debacle against the Cubs, they have gone 7-2 against Atlanta, Cincinnati, and Washington. They have one more against the Nats today, followed by three against San Diego.

Astros 13, Reds 4: Aaron Harang came of the DL and got shelled (4 IP, 9 H, 8 ER). He's clearly not the same pitcher he's been the past few years, and probably isn't healthy. Cincinnati -- who controls him for three more years at reasonable prices after 2008 -- should realize that there is no point in running him out there anymore in what is the dictionary definition of a lost season. They need to shut him down.

Rangers 15, Orioles 7: It wasn't 30-3, but it wasn't pretty for the Orioles either. I wish the Rangers would have kept Jamey Wright in relief for one more inning so that he, like Wes Littleton last year, could get a save in a game that required no saving whatsoever.

Marlins 8, Mets 2: As a Braves fans I can't root for anyone else in the NL East no matter how out of it my Bravos are, but I was happy to see the Marlins win this one. Why? Because it keeps the Mets, Marlins, and Phillies packed nice and tight, and as a baseball fan, I'd really like to see those three bash each others' brains in until the last weekend. The wild card is coming out of the Central, so there is a live or die dynamic to this race that I truly want to see shared by three teams for as long as possible.

Diamondbacks 6, Braves 1: Brandon Webb goes to 17-4. He's behind Peavy, Lincecum, and Santana in NL ERA, but not by much, and has way more wins than any of them. Basically, it's his Cy Young to lose, isn't it?

Indians 4, Blues Jays 0: Like Webb in the NL, Cliff Lee has to be the Cy Young winner in the AL, right? He's leading in wins and ERA, and none of the three guys trailing him in the latter category are playing for winning teams, ensuring that only Lee truly has a shot at both titles.

Giants 5, Dodgers 4: Los Angeles dropped two of three to the Cardinals and then dropped two of three to the Giants. Now they have four games against two really good teams -- the Phillies and the Brewers -- while Arizona gets series against the Rockies, Astros, and then the Padres. Upshot: the Dodgers better step it up lest they find themselves in a hole before September rolls around.

Tigers 6, A's 1: For years, the A's organization has been preaching the value of the walk. Walks lead to runs, which lead to victories. It doesn't matter if you look like a Greek god or can run like the wind, as long as there are walks in your statline, the A's are going to be happy with you. Only problem here is that someone forgot to tell the A's pitchers -- who walked ten Tigers' hitters yesterday -- that that advice isn't meant for them.


Chris Heer said...

OK, someone in the Rockies front office looks at Livan's performance for the Great State of Minnesota and says, "Well, maybe that will look better in Coors Field."


themarksmith said...

And to think that more teams put in a claim on Hernandez. I wonder how much they're sighing with relief thinking, "Man, we really dodged a bullet didn't we?"

Ron Rollins said...

I've been wrong all this time. Hillman really is a genius. Because no other manager in the history of the game would have let Pena bat in that situation.

But no, we have Trey "thinking outside the box" Hillman at the reins in KC.

With those kind of decisions being made, can a pennat be far off?

Levi Stahl said...

Carpenter's loss, if extended, is surely the season. The Cardinals were kind of up against it already given their shambles of a bullpen, and it's hard to see how they'd overcome this.

Up to the point when Carpenter left, that game had been baseball at its best. Dempster was strong, though inefficient, while Carpenter was just getting easy out after easy out, at 62 pitches with one out in the 6th. It was a beautiful thing.

Anonymous said...


The beloved A's have now lost 21 of their last 24. Think about that.

And for the first time in quite a while the MSM is questioning Beane's approach and execution.

That's probably premature, as the team is extremely young, and a reliance on rookie pitchers has not served any team well (Yankees, Red Sox, etc) this year.

Across the Bay, we all enjoy watching Tim Lincecum pitch superbly in his second year, but is their any excuse for the completely out-of-it Giants to run him out for 117 pitches in his last start?

Mark said...

Hey, I am a Red Sox fan, and still a teensy little part of me is rooting for Tampa, and for both Boston and New York to stay home this year.