Tuesday, September 9, 2008

And That Happened

Red Sox 3, Rays 0: It was reported yesterday that Lance Armstrong might make a comeback in next year's Tour de France. I know jack about cycling, but back when he was winning it every year, I would always marvel at how he could be behind after all of those early stages yet still win the thing with ease. I'd read the cycling guy ESPN.com dusted off every year explain how it was so obviously Armstrong's race to win, and that he'd take over once they got to the time trials and mountain stages and everything, and I would have a hard time wrapping my brain around it. "But he's so many minutes behind," I'd think. "How could he possibly close that gap?" And the answer was simply that the race was long. Some guys don't know the course as well as he did. Some guys were great sprinters but didn't have the stamina. Some guys got hurt along the way. Armstrong? Steady as she goes, always with his eyes and mind on the prize. Simply expecting to win, and making us all feel silly for thinking in the middle stages that he might not.

Orioles 14, Indians 3: Aubrey Huff and Adam Jones are a two-man wrecking crew, each going 3-5 with a homer and 4 RBI. They are not to be confused with the Minnesota Wrecking Crew, which consisted of Ole and Gene Anderson. OK, I'll give you Lars, but he was really the Shemp of that team. Arn? Curly Joe DeRita at best.

Phillies 8, Marlins 6
: Blanton beats Florida tonight. It's Kendrick tomorrow. If Philly can beat a Marlins team that has given them trouble this year with their two weakest starters, they'll have to feel pretty darn good about themselves.

Tigers 14, A's 8: It's not every day that you give up eight runs on eleven hits in four innings and don't get hung with a loss, but then again, it's not every day you face one Gio Gonzales either (1.2 IP, 5 H, 9 R). How, though, does Curtis Granderson -- a guy whose praises I sung a mere 24 hours ago -- pull an 0-6 with strikeouts in a game like this? Oh, and congratulations to Gary Sheffield for hitting baseball's 250,000th home run.

Reds 5, Brewers 4: We haven't been talking about it much lately, but those problems with Milwaukee's bullpen that were all the rage back in the early summer haven't gone anywhere. Witness a ninth inning in which Salomon Torres was handed a 4-2 lead and blew it by loading up the bases and then giving up an RBI single to Corey Patterson of all people, followed by a double to the rarely dangerous Jeff Keppinger. Here's a proposal: have CC close the four games a week he's not starting, and have Sheets close CC's starts. OK, I'll admit that's silly. Yost would never yank Sabathia out of a game he started.

Astros 3, Pirates 2: Houston wins their 12th of 15 and continues to make all of us who wrote them off as a disaster back in the spring look foolish. As do most other teams, by the way, which is kind of why I avoid writing formal predictions in March and April.

Angels 12, Yankees 1: In an embarrassing inning of an embarrassing loss the Yankees choose to officially signal the unraveling of their season in the form of a bench-clearing ball. Appropriately, the fight was characterized by Pudge Rodriguez taking a mighty swing . . . and missing.

Giants 6, Diamondbacks 2; Padres 4, Dodgers 0: Tim Lincecum dominates the Dbacks (8.1 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 9K) and Cha Seung Baek (and a couple of relievers) dominate the Dodgers, who were shut out on four hits. These games were brought to you by the Commission To Remind You That Despite the Dodgers Recent Winning Streak, The NL West Is Still A Wasteland Of Mediocrity.

Blue Jays at White Sox: Postponed: All other districts are on a two-hour delay.


Levi Stahl said...

Hang in there, save your energy, don't make major mistakes, then explode when the time comes: that's how I always think of the late-90s Bulls, too.

And, not to start a political discussion, it's how I've understood Barack Obama's campaign approach since he won Iowa. Save your energy to deploy when it will be most effective.

Even so, I'll admit to being astonished that the Red Sox are so close to pulling this off.

Jason @ IIATMS said...

With all due respect, it was Torii Hunter giving Pudge a hard two-handed shove --in the back-- to Pudge, before Pudge retaliated.

What necessitated the shove? A dismissive elbow (as in "stop touching me, or I'll tell Mom").

Just sayin'

Brian said...

I can't believe you called Arn Anderson Curly Joe. I've been willing to give you a pass on being a Braves fan. But I'm not sure I can stand for this.

Craig Calcaterra said...

Sorry, Brian, but while I think Arn Anderson's service to the Four Horseman was both of high quality and underrated, I just can't abide a so-called member of the Minnesota Wrecking Crew having such a pronounced Georgia accent.

Anonymous said...


Tim Lincecum goes 127 pitches. Freak or not, he and Sabathia are being abused by their teams. Two differnces, Sabathia is older and his body more mature, and he's playing for something.

Would Lincecum's Cy Young hopes be any less if he'd stopped at 105 pitches or thereabouts?

Daniel said...

Uhhh Jason, going to have to disagree with that. On the replays I saw, Pudge clearly shoved back at him with his glove and was saying something to him as he did so (probably because Hunter had just stolen two bases off of him, but that's just speculation). Hunter definitely shoved him harder, but Pudge was also the one who took a huge swing at Hunter when the melee started.

It didn't look like it was just a "dismissive elbow," and the jawing that accompanied it probably wasn't complimenting Hunter on his baserunning technique.

Just sayin'

Taran said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Daniel said...

Sorry Jason, that came off a bit more contentious than I intended. My point is just that if Pudge doesn't give him the elbow or whatever, nothing happens and Hunter walks back to the dugout. Of course, they both then took turns escalating the situation, so neither one is without blame, but in the words of any self-respecting second grader, "He started it!"

rob said...

Don't discount the fact that Hunter stole second and third while his team was up 6-1 late in the game. I'm not saying that it's wrong to keep playing hard, but you can understand the frustration of a player whose team is currently getting it handed to them.

Daniel said...

Rob, I think that's why Pudge was frustrated, and it's certainly understandable, but on the other hand, how many 5-run deficits have the Yankees overcome in the last few years? I just hope this doesn't escalate into a beanball where where the Yankees have very little to lose compared to the Angels.