Yankees v. Orioles and the Redneck
Looks like Randy Johnson is back in typical mad, red-*ss form. He just went 8 innings, giving up only 3 hits, 1 walk, and 1 run while striking out 5. C’mon, 5 strikeouts, that’s it? And all of those 3 hits were off Tejada. There were "whispers" that Randy’s back was in trouble, despite the fact that neither the Yankees nor the Horse himself had revealed as much. So either Johnson is even crazier than any of us thought, or his back is fine. And I have to bring this up because I still think it’s one of the funniest things of all time. Recall that, in 2004, Randy Johnson was still pitching for the AA Arizona Diamondbacks who went 51-111 that year. Here are Randy’s stats for that year:
245 IP (35 starts), 2.60 ERA, 290 K’s, 44 walks, and 4 complete games, including one perfect game.
If you look at that line, you’re thinking, I dunno, 24, 25 wins at least. He averaged 7 innings a game, so there probably weren’t a lot of no-decisions in there. So you’re thinking that he probably went say, 24-6 or something wild like that. Here’s the thing – that would mean he won half of the Diamondbacks’ games, and while that would be cool, it’s also highly unlikely. See, Randy was only able to pull 16 wins. And 14 losses. Despite the fact that he had the 2nd best ERA in the league, he had the 9th most losses. At the end of the season, Johnson had the following game log:
8IP, 15K’s, 1 ER, and a no decision. This was directly on the heels of him going 8IP, 11K’s, allowing 2ER, and getting a loss. That, in turn, was on the heels of going 7.2IP, 14K’s, 1ER, and getting a loss. So lets recap those three games: Johnson went 23.2 innings, racked up 40K’s, 4ER, and walked just 5 guys. His record? 0-2. Imagine if he had been on a good team – he might’ve recorded one of the best pitching years since the 60’s.
The Yankees just beat the Orioles. I was only able to watch the last inning, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t funny. See, Gary Sheffield was chasing down a foul when he ran straight into the foul wall. I mean, he didn’t slow down, and he didn’t rotate his body or anything, (not that it would’ve been a good move, with his bum shoulder and all.) In any case, he acted like he didn’t even know the wall was there. I’ve never played Right Field in Yankee Stadium, and I know right where that wall is. So quite frankly, that was a dumb thing to do. It became about 7 times dumber when he walked away with a, "Uh, I think I just kicked a toe" limp. He was hopping all around, and the crowd was pissed, and it was generally a bad scene. What made it even worse was that it looked clear – to me at least – that Sheff wasn’t in any actual pain. I can’t explain that, but he just looked like he wasn’t hurting – yet he wouldn’t give up the jig, and kept limping around. Strange because Sheff is obviously one of the craziest and baddest guys in the game. He has a gunshot wound in his left shoulder that came from thwarting an attempted carjacking when he was 26, and he also produced one of my favorite quotes of all time. When he was hitting only .265 with just 3 HR’s in the first 44 games of the 2004 season, he had something of a pep talk behind closed doors with Joe Torre. When he came out of the office he said, "They ain’t seen me hit yet, but I’m about to get started. It’s time to put all the women and children to bed." Put all the women and children to bed? Priceless. So anyway, the trainer heads out to right, and you know he’s pissed. ‘C’mon Gary, man up. You’re making me run about 300 feet for no good reason.’ Just livid, straight-up pissed. Then Bernie Williams comes out of the dugout, apparently to replace the now-wimpy Sheffield. But wait! Now Sheff is fine. He waves Bernie off, and the trainer heads back. Bernie smiles, aborts, and heads back to the dugout. He even got a standing ovation. Good job Bernie, you played a good game today. Also, note that the picture to your above-left is of Derek Jeter and has nothing to do with anything previously discussed – but how sweet is it? Look at those hops!
"Roy Halladay is fine; will not make next scheduled start" …???
And I mentioned previously that the Jays are gonna have to come up with a good reason for why Roy Halladay pitched only 5 innings and 80-some pitches Saturday against the Red Sox. Well, I was half right. Turns out Halladay is fine. So he’ll make his next scheduled start, right? Wrong. They’re gonna give him an additional day off. Yet, he’s fine. See, that’s just not right. That’s Larry Rothschild-esque. He’s obviously not fine if he got pulled early from an otherwise successful start and is being given an extra day of rest, despite the fact that he missed his last start entirely. Halladay can throw 130 pitches a game, week after week after week when he’s healthy. So if he’s making 80 pitches in two and a half weeks, he’s not "fine." Thanks for the lies, Gibbons.
Tigers v. Mariners
I’m currently watching the Tigers v. Mariners. And it’s Verlander v. Hernandez. Now, the Tigers have won 4 straight going into this game. That’s a big deal for this team. A 5-game and 4-game-in-progress winning streak just 3 weeks into the season? We were lucky to put together that lengthy of a streak all season in the last few years. I like Verlander, and I like Hernandez. They’re both young and they both need to learn how to pitch instead of just throwing. Cliche and overused, but I’m saying it anyway. That said, Verlander will light you up at 101mph. I said before that the fastball alone is an easy pitch to hit, but the difficulty increases exponentially as the speed increases. Once Verlander learns how to pitch and integrate his other pitches, he’ll be an amazing pitcher. Also, why is there an FSN Detroit commercial that has Ben Wallace (of the Pistons) asking me who my Tiger is? Isn’t that a weird little juxtaposition? Ben has
nothing in common with anyone on the Detroit Tigers. …Hernandez just tried a leaping barehand catch with his right hand. He’s walking around the mound ******* on his finger and waving the trainers away. Yesterday, Halladay almost tried a kick-save on a comebacker before thinking better of it. Hernandez is back, and Shelton is up to bat and took a huge swing at the first pitch. I mean, huge. He was so off balance that he tumbled 6 or 7 feet out of the box – forward. So weird. Anyway, now we’re in the top of the fifth and Vance Wilson just got a hit. Wilson – the backup catcher – now has exactly two more hits on the year than I do. Anyway, the Tigers are up 3-0 in the middle of the 5th, but I have to close this post out sometime. I’ll update with a final or in-game progress. One thing I did not realize until now was that Verlander just (2 outs, bottom of the 5th,) allowed his first hit. Good job, guys in the booth. Keep me in the dark about the no-hitter, because that’s what I want.
Update, end of 5th, 3-1.
Lopez just hit one down the Left field line, knocking in one run. Ichiro decided he’d turn on the wheels and head home from first as well. Well, apparently Craig Monroe is not only adept at stealing belts, he’s also got a cannon. Who knew? He guns the ball to Vance Wilson, and Ichiro just tumbles into him. Out! Good job, Vance.
Update, top of 8th, 6-1.
Craig Monroe just hit a 3-run home run to bust the game open, 6-1 in the top of the 8th. The booth went wild. I thought there was a no cheering rule in the press box? "Huge! That’s huge! Sometimes you just gotta throw that batting average out the window! Gimme someone who’s in scoring position when they step up to the plate, any day!" There’s no way you just said that, not if you’ve ever really seen a Tigers game. And the feed was from the Tiger’s team as well. Let’s get something straight. Monroe is one of the worst clutch hitters on the team. He’s the definition of a rally-kiler. It’s possible that he leaves more men on base than anyone else in the league, at least thats how it seems. On top of that, Monroe is the anti-"scoring position when he steps up to the plate." He’s not as bad as Vance Wilson, who is less likely to make contact than he is to blast off on a trip to the moon right out of the box. But he’s bad. Last year Monroe had 20 homers, a .277 average, a .446 slugging percentage, and 95 K’s. Yet he somehow managed to knock in 89 runs, which is insane, because it’s good for 39th overall in MLB.
As for the comments – I mean, comment. I know it’s the weekend, and that’s why I’m giving you guys those days off. Anyway, Steven Peters noted that I filed in the entire US on my Visitors List map – but have I actually gotten hits from each state? Of the 4,000-some stateside hits, I can only hope that each of the 50 states of the Union managed a shot. However, my hit counter code just stopped working. The hits are being recorded but the details are not – does anyone using the statcounter.com have the same problem? It started around 9am today.