Friday, September 12, 2008

And That Happened

Astros 6, Pirates 0: Roy Oswalt has been stupid-good lately. He hasn't given up a run in 32.1 innings. Because the Brewers lost, Houston is now only three games off the Wild Card pace. I hate to say that having a couple of games canceled because of potentially disastrous hurricane is a blessing, but isn't it possible now that, in light of the days off, Oswalt will get an extra start or two before this is all said and done? Can Houston actually pull this thing off? If they do, the line for the apologies from sportswriters who wrote them off before and during this season forms on the left. I'll have to be in it myself.

Royals 3, Twins 2
: Fransisco Liriano continues to pitch excellently (8 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 6K 0 BB), but he was matched by Brandon Duckworth and the Royals bullpen before Kansas City broke through in the tenth. Not long after their RNC-inspired hiatus, Minnesota now goes on the road again for another ten days. All of the late travelling could be the difference between facing the AL East champ and sitting at home come October.

Phillies 6, Brewers 3: Sheets gets beat, and now Milwaukee is up by only three in the Wild Card to both Philly and Houston. Their legs must feel like they're in concrete. They're still moving, but they're slowing down. Can they hold off their pursuers much longer?

Orioles 6, Indians 3: Yesterday I put the kibosh on talk of Halladay's Cy Young, and today I'll announce the end to the insurgent "Sizemore for MVP" campaign. I love me some Grady, but he's 0 for his last 23 now. Sure, the Indians aren't playing for anything, but just because you're an MVP candidate from a losing team doesn't give you the right to woof it down the stretch any more than anyone else, does it?

Braves 8, Rockies 4: I've said before that this team is the 1987 Braves redux. If so, Jair Jurrjens is Zane Smith. Oh, and given that they're both 2-4 with a 5.54 ERA, 2008 Tom Glavine is 1987 Tom Glavine. As Aristotle once said, order and symmetry are the chief forms of beauty. That's about as nice as I can be about this team.

Blue Jays 6, White Sox 4: Speaking of symmetry, this game had it in spades through seven, as both Shaun Marcum and Gavin Floyd were shutting out the opposition. Then the roof caved in, with ten runs being scored in the 8th. It wasn't an even split, however, so the Jays walk away with the win, leaving us with as close a race in the AL Central as we could have had given the Twins loss.

Cubs 3, Cardinals 2: The Cubs get a win, and now they get a two-game break thanks to Ike.

Rangers 6, A's 1: The box score lists attendance at 31,000. it now lists a bit over 10,000, but that's still baloney. I refuse to believe this is possible for a game like this absent it being Free Money Night at McAfee.

Padres 11, Giants 3: Four RBI for Adrian Gonzales, as he leads the surging Padres a half game ahead of the ever-dangerous Nats for the second to worst record in baseball.

Angels 7, Mariners 4: K-Rod ties the saves record. I'm wondering, however, if his setting the record isn't a blessing in disguise for those of us who are relatively unimpressed with closers. All of that arms-in-the-air business for all of these easy, three-run saves. The growing disconnect between what he probably wants in free agency and what he's going to get. The fact that the Angels have not been challenged all year, rendering this more a curiosity than some triumph. Is it possible that he's creating something of a self-parody of the big-time, big-money closer role here? So much so that people are actually going to discount it come this offseason?


Statistics Born said...

On the saves record, I'd expect the opposite of what you're imagining. Bobby Thigpen's name in the record books was one of the great discredits to the save all these years. Now that an actual famous guy has the record, it will be easier for people to treat it as an accomplishment.

Alex said...

Good point about K-Rod. The way he celebrates every save really does seem like a parody.

tHeMARksMiTh said...

As for the Braves being from 1987, that means they'll be good in like 4 years, right? Isn't that worth it for 14 more years of winning divisions? Okay, so maybe it doesn't work like that.

As for K-Rod, there are plenty of people who will still pay him the money, but the people who are in it for him (Tigers, Cardinals, and Mets) don't exactly have the $15 million to spend. They'll still love the fact that he has all those saves, and if anything it would be a good PR move to grab a 27-year old closer for the next five seasons. I agree that saves are overrated, but closers aren't, to a certain extent. You need a good one, and getting one that young is hard to find. However, is he worth $15 million, heck no.