A little while back, we wrote A.J. Burnett a letter of apology. Basically for calling him a waste of $55 million. In the letter was a well-hidden clause, stating that "a reversion back to your early-season form will result in immediate rescindment of this letter." A.J. left his very next start with a sore shoulder. And now he’s on the DL. In all fairness to A.J., this DL stint might not be 100% his fault. Itmight be the guy that threw him out for 118, 103, 103, 125, 117, and
130 pitches in his previous 6 starts. Way to go, Gibbons. But the dude is still looking to compete, and we can’t knock him for that. First place finish too, clearly.
Hey guys, sorry about the lack of material lately. We had finals and then straight into some summer classes so this is the first chance I’ve had to really sit down and punch out some good material. I hope. We’re going to try to cover a variety of topics in the next couple days. We’ll start with this.
Who cursed the Blue Jays?
If you live in Toronto and you see a dark-haired man of average build, a shade under 6 ft, with a goofy smile and even goofier glasses, look out, because Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi has got to be homicidal at this point. The Jays finished a strong 2nd in the AL East last year, as I predicted. This year, they were looking to improve on that. Everything was falling into place for them. A healthy A.J. Burnett who wasn’t missing his first 10 starts of the season. A strong Cy Young candidate in Roy Halladay. A closer in B.J. Ryan who was automatic last year – a 1.37 ERA and 38 saves. They brought in the aging Frank Thomas, who defied everything we know about time and had a pretty decent year in Oakland in 2006. Reed Johnson and Alex Rios were both coming off career years. Victor Zambrano, Tomo Ohka, and John Thompson were brought in to shore up the back end of the rotation – a risky move at best, but cheap. And on top of all this, the Yankees looked like it was their year to fall, with a struggling pitching rotation.
And then it started… and quickly turned into a cascading disaster. The Jays now have 9 players on the DL, 7 of them key members of the team. LF Reed Johnson – out until at least July with a whacked up back. B.J. Ryan; Tommy John, out for the remainder. SP John Thompson; tendinitis, no return date set. RP Brandon League is on the DL for throwing too slow – literally. SP Gustavo Chacin; sore shoulder. SP Victor Zambrano; sore forearm. Starting catcher Gregg Zaun; non-displaced fracture in his pitching hand. No one knows why reliever Davis Romero is on the 60-day DL, and Roy Halladay is out for about 6 weeks after an emergency appendectomy. These are all serious injuries. Why go through the trouble of listing all of them?
Because the majority of these have not been freak accidents. Sure, you can’t prevent Roy Halladay’s burst appendix or Gregg Zaun fouling a ball hard enough off his hand to break it. But you can prevent the various forms of tendinitis and soreness, which accounts for Romero, Thomson, League, Zambrano, and Chacin. Johnson and Ryan may have just gotten unlucky and it may have only been a matter of time for them. But when the Jays signed Zambrano and Thomson, they knew they were getting injury-prone pitchers that, even if they were healthy, wouldn’t contribute a whole lot to the team. The question is, did the Jays make this move out of desperation because they had no one else to fill up the rotation? Or did they really think these guys would help them win? Either way, they needed to prepare for the likelihood that someone else would have to be pitching. Now the Jays are stuck with 4 injured starters and 3 injured relievers. I’ve seen this point made by other general managers – namely Jim Leyland – that you must have the capacity to fill up holes in the rotation from inside the organization. Take notes, J.P.. This means that, at the start of your season, you should be able to throw out the names of at least two pitchers that you’re confident you can bring up from AAA to fill in, because that’s the reality you are going to face at some point in the season. Very, very rarely will you not need a spot starter all year. The key to this is that these guys have to be ready, or close to it, because you’re going to pay about 5 times what you should if you try to acquire a decent pitcher mid-season. And of course, it doesn’t make sense to bring up a guy if he’s only going to kill his confidence.
Additionally, it seems like someone has to be keeping a closer eye on the pitching staff. There are numerous ways to prevent tendinitis and soreness. Sometimes you’re going to get sore because you push yourself too hard – but it’s the trainers and coaching staff’s job to make sure you don’t.
Alright guys… I have some things in mind for a post in the next day or two. Stay tuned and leave some comments, as always.
Well, this wasn’t the summer I was expecting. I don’t mean to complain – because, certainly, there are worse things that could happen to people – but I’ve been working too much. 50 hours in seven days. Which is exactly why we haven’t been seeing all-star caliber writing on here of late. I apologize. Anyway, I caught the last 5 innings or so of the Red Sox at Blue Jays tonight, after I got home from work and a nice BBQ. Anyway, some thoughts on that game – Roy Halladay didn’t get the win, but he deserved it. He went 7 innings, giving up only 3 runs (all on 2 HR,) and left the game 6-3. Then the bullpen came in and blew it for him, only to come back and win the game 7-6. So, technicalities aside, Halladay would have his 7th win right now. See, I’ve never liked that rule. I feel like, if the pitcher leaves the game – especially in the 7th inning – with a 3-run lead, and his team still wins the game, he should get the win. Especially when the opposing team only ties the game, instead of taking the lead and giving it back up. For this, I’m suggesting a new statistical category – Starter Wins. Call it whatever you want. But whenever a pitcher leaves the game in the 6th inning or later with the lead, he earns a starter win, regardless of the outcome of the game. Of course, if a pitcher leaves the game 6-5, with three runners on, and they score, he doesn’t earn the Starter Win because those were his runners. Well, that’s just what I think.
Remember when the Reds were good? There was that brief period earlier in the year when they were considered the surprise team of the NL. Then they went out and starting losing games again. Bronson Arroyo stopped pitching 7 innings and giving up one run. He stopped hitting Home Runs. Brandon Phillips cooled off. The list goes on. Either way, it resulted in some more losses. Since getting swept by Philly on May 12, the Reds are a typical Red-like 5-11. What, you didn’t see it coming? They’re now 5 games back of the Albert Pujol’s and just 2 games up of the Brewers.
What do you think of SI’s "2nd best team" getting beat by the Royals? That’s right, one of my beefs with SI – besides the fact that, despite the address change I delivered to them, I’m still (apparently) receiving my issues at school, where, since it’s summer, I no longer reside – is that they called the A’s the 2nd best team in baseball in their annual baseball preview edition. They called the Reds the 3rd worst team, and that’s another problem I had at the time. Anyway, they A’s lost 7 in a row, beat the Rangers 6-3, lost again to the Rangers, and then lost to the Royals tonight. Certainly not a way for alleged the 2nd best team in the league to go about acquiring their championship. They’re now 23-28. But, good news, they’re still in the AL West, and only 4 games back of Texas, the division leader. Somehow, don’t ask me how. Weird.
Alright, I’ll be heading to the Yankees game tonight (Tuesday) and tomorrow. I’ll be taking pictures and writing detailed gameday-style accounts. Now, I need to be up for work at 6.50am tomorrow – see you all tomorrow night.
Didn’t have the time to punch out a post last night and so tonight, with a light day in baseball, we’re going to cover two nights at once. Lucky treat. On the slate from last night: Scott Kazmir learns to throw – kinda, the Tigers have the best record in MLB, the Cubs are getting balls thrown at them, and Barry Bonds is forced to dodge bullets at the plate. As for tonight: Chris "The Liar" Duffy is bent that the Pirates sent him down to Triple-A. Meanwhile, the Reds are back to their old M.O. – losing games, a minor leaguer attempted to convince an umpire that he was hit by a pitch, while the Angels hand the Blue Jays a game.
Scott Kazmir learns to aim – well, at least he’s better at getting away with not doing so.
Now, Scott Kazmir of the Devil Rays has always – since his 2004 MLB Debut – had ‘good stuff.’ One problem, he can’t exactly tell that good stuff where to go. So he walks guys, a lot. In his first full season last year, he walked 100 batters while striking out 174 batters in 186 innings. He also had a 3.77 ERA and went 10-9 on a Devil Rays team. Anyway, Kazmir had a hot start last year, but he started off slow this year – and now he’s back. He’s 6-2 with a 2.73 ERA, 56 K’s and 20 BB’s. Despite the fact that he has given up 20 walks – still 3/5 off the pace he was running last year – his WHIP is a respectable 1.375. Not amazing, but pretty good. Especially when Randall is trotting out his shiny 2.00 WHIP in the last seven games or something.
When you have 4 wins in your last 19 games, people are gonna chuck stuff at you
Turns out, Life Without Lee is just as impossible as Cub fans thought it would be. That is, they can’t score runs, and their pitching is still unruly. But on Tuesday, things reached a new low. The Cubs won, 4-0, but that didn’t stop a "drunk woman" at Wrigley from slinging a ball at the struggling – I mean, bad – Jacque Jones. The ball missed and Jones escaped without harm. Here’s the thing, though. Jones is acting like it’s an isolated incident, and he "won’t let one incident ruin what I came here to do." But understand this – maybe most of Chicago won’t throw a baseball at your head. But most of Chicago is pissed that, while the team’s offense, pitching, defense, and baserunning are all in the tank, you’re being paid $16 million over three years for harming the team in three of those areas. You have a .264 avg, a .967 fielding percentage, and you just got doubled off that night and couldn’t even think of a post-game excuse for why. Here’s the deal; the Cubs are just bad this year. Again. We’ve talked about why, most recently on Tuesday.
Turns out, cheating doesn’t win you any friends.
Barry Bonds got nailed on Tuesday night, as we all know by now. I’ll forget, for a second, that it took Russ Springer five tries until he finally was able to hit Bonds. As I said last night, you might not like the guy, but that doesn’t mean you can cheer when a
pitcher intentionally hits him. The pitch that ended up hitting Bonds
was not that far from his head – see above for video. I’m the
last guy to stick up for Bonds, and fans can boo him if they don’t like
him. But it is not ok for a player to throw at Barry Bonds because he doesn’t like him, for whatever reason. Especially when you know – as Russ no doubt did – how it would be interpreted by the fans. That
is, with cheers. Retaliation is ok, to a point. But to throw a baseball at a guy because you don’t
like him – that’s assault, not sport.
The Tigers have the best record in MLB
Alright, if I’ve said it once I’ve said it 500 times – I knew the Tigers would be good, but I didn’t think they’d be this good. 27-13? The best record in MLB, 40 games into the season? 4, maybe. But 40? How? Well, tomorrow is my day off, so we’ll be taking an in-depth look at what’s going right for the Tigers. And then I’ll be attending the Tigers-Reds game tonight with Soifer and Kevin. But, for a look at a team where everything is going wrong…
Chris Duffy thinks his .194 average is too good for AAA
Well, besides the fact that .200 is the Mendoza Line which, by definition, is when it becomes not ok to be in the Major Leagues, Duffy might just be in the right here. But the Pirates disagree, and placed him in the Restricted List after Duffy decided not to report to AAA ball upon his demotion. Recall that Duffy single-handedly lost a game for the Pirates earlier this year, and not accidentally. That is to say, he told a fib, and he got in trouble for it. Of course, the kicker will come if Duffy announces that he is commencing Operation Shutdown because, hey, he’s never had to compete for an MLB job before, and if there’s competition, someone better let him know. If there’s competition, they should just eliminate him right now because he ain’t never hit in April or May and he never will. Next to the Royals and Cubs, no team has ever made losing this much fun. Ever.
Good, someone found the real Reds.
I was getting worried there for a moment. I thought the Reds might have been a legit good team. I still maintain that they’re not the "3rd worst team in baseball" as SI claims; far from it. The Reds might still be 4-6 in their last 10, just 2 games back of first, and have a 24-17 record – but the writing is on the wall. Well, let me have Bronson Arroyo, who lost to the aforementioned Pirates 7-2 last night, explain it to you:
I felt like I was embarrassed to get behind 4-1 early
in a game like that. It’s not a secret. They don’t
have a bunch of All-Stars in that lineup… I was embarrassed to be beaten by
those guys. That’s not to say you can’t be beat on any given day, but I
thought it was a horse (****) outing, especially against a team like
that. I mean, they are one of the weakest teams in baseball… This can’t
happen, period. If I can’t stand on the mound and feel comfortable
against that lineup, then something’s wrong with me.
Bronson… you do know that pitchers have to bat in the NL, correct? Strap on the elbow protector next time you step up to the plate against the Pirates next time. But the fun doesn’t stop here. Last night, the Reds finally went over on the Pirates to snap their 5-game losing streak. But, it didn’t start well. The Pirates jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the bottom of the first, (sound familiar, Texas? Minnesota?) only to watch the Reds slowly chip away at that lead as the game wore on. Final score, 9-8, Reds. The AP’s Alan Robinson had this to say about the win: "The Cincinnati Reds seemed out of this one early… Then maybe they realized who they were playing." Basically, if you lose to the Pirates, someone is going to get after you for it.
You have to see this – "Unbelievable!"
Your team is down one run, in the third inning. You don’t know how else to get on base, so you think that maybe getting hit by a pitch is your best bet. Problem is, the ball has to actually hit you before you get that free base. And if the ump tells you that it didn’t hit you – while the fans confirm as much – you don’t have the right to threaten him. You’ve got to love College Baseball. It doesn’t look like Mr. Walker has much of anything under control here. Maybe the Cubs will draft him in the first round.
The Angels just handed a game to the Jays
The Angels had this game won. Bottom of the 9th, no outs, 4-4, Chone Figgins on 3rd base. You can’t lose, can you? Actually, you can, and they did. The Angels managed to get themselves out of that inning without scoring a run, and then the Jays came back to score 3 in the top of the 10th to pretty much seal the victory. I’m not going to watch the rest of the game, but I’m assuming the Jays will win. Of course, that’s what happens when you miss two chances with speedy guys on 3rd and less than 2 outs in the late innings. That also happens when you give the opposing team 5 outs in one inning, which happened when, A) the Angels 1B forgot to pick up the ball when he went to toss it to the pitcher covering the bag, who then collided with him and nearly knocked him down, and B) Vlad catches a routine pop up, but not really, as it rolls out of his glove. The entire night, the Angels gave the Jays every chance they could to win the game. You can’t do that if you want to win baseball games. Then again, the Angels haven’t been doing much of that lately, so it looks like we’re straight. UPDATE: Another ball just flew by Vlad in right field, allowing another run to score for the Jays, 8-4.
Thanks for reading. Sorry about the posting mix up last night. Devin – it’s good to see that you’ve finally got a blog. You’re one of the more frequent readers here on BHGM so that’s always a nice thing to see. I’ll check it out tomorrow. Your comment is reasonable – that Posada isn’t exactly over performing as he isn’t putting up mind-blowing numbers. I’m just saying that he won’t be able to keep that pace up for a whole year, because he hasn’t done so in the past, and he’s only gotten older. He won’t go into a major slump for the rest of the year, he just won’t produce at the level he’s doing so now. See you guys tomorrow.
Well it’s the weekend, which typically means a short post. Tonight is no different. It’s good to see that the Chatbox on your left has gotten some positive run, but don’t let it replace comments. I still want to see those comments on and about the posts; the chatbox can be a sort of secondary means of communication between all the readers and myself. That said… do whatever you want.
Roy Halladay is, in fact, still very good.
And still my pick for the AL Cy Young. Made that prediction about two months ago. Of course, I also made it about a year ago, and I would’ve been right had Halladay not been felled by a freak line drive to the leg that was, obviously, not his fault. Check out his stats before his 2005 season ended. I’ll admit – I was a little frightened when Halladay was skipping starts earlier in the season, but now we’re good. How is that, you ask? On Monday, May 8th, Halladay pitched a complete game, 4-hitter against the Angels. I then proclaimed that, despite the fact that the Angels had been struggling, Halladay was back. And it’s true. Tonight, he 3-hit the Devil Rays, striking out three and walking one while allowing one run in his 9 innings. So, 18 innings, 2 wins, 9 K’s, 2 BB’s, 7 hits. Good job, Roy. Now, I know it was the Devil Rays and Angels – two of the most anemic offenses in the AL – but, as I’ve said here time and time again, bad pitchers can’t – but in the rarest of cases – look amazing just because they’re facing bad hitters. In fact, usually when a pitcher is going to have a good outing, it doesn’t matter who he’s facing. For example, Don Larsen’s Perfect Game in the 1956 World Series. Do you think the Brooklyn Dodgers – Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Gil Hodges – were just ‘bad hitters?’ Obviously not. Don Larson was on his game that night, and he was gonna throw a perfect game, whether he was facing a virtual All-Legends, Worldburning team or not. Same thing with Halladay. Maybe he isn’t as dominating if he faces the Yankees, but you get the point. He’s not going out and making 80 pitches and bailing like he was earlier in the year.
Can Johan Santana go back to not being good again?
Call me crazy, but I’m not a Johan fan. This is 100% due to the fact that Johan takes away votes from Roy in the Cy Young voting. But, I have to give credit where credit is due. After all, Santana has killed 40 batters on strikeouts in his last four games. In those four games, he’s dropped his ERA a full 1.5 points, from 4.81 – very un-Santanian – to a more earthly 3.38. Better than Halladay’s 2.74? No. But we can’t all be the best, can we? Note that Halladay, despite missing one start, is still 5-1. Johan is 4-3, but this is largely due to the fact that the Twins were not doing so hot earlier in the year, and that Johan was allowing runs to plate at the rate of about four per 5-inning outing for awhile. Either way, Johan is your man for strikeouts. Halladay is your man for just about everything else. He can strike out plenty (but not lately – give him a couple more starts to get more strength back,) but he’ll also walk very few batters and give you at least 7 innings every night with 4 or 5 complete games a year. Heck, dude doesn’t even make many wild pitches. He’s really good. And we’ll continue to follow point-counterpoint between Halladay and Johan throughout the year. You’ll probably see me compare the two at least once a week till the hardware is handed out.
Tanyon, do not even try it.
Tanyon Sturtze has pulled a Hideo Nomo on us. I won’t be fooled. You will recall that Hideo was last seen trying to make the Yankees as a long reliever this year, but pretty much never had a chance. Anyway, in 2004, Nomo was really bad. There’s really no way to describe it, other than saying that he was 4-11 with an 8.25 ERA. Yet, the Dodgers – who we just mentioned yesterday, do not have amazingly fine management tactics – kept sending him out there for 18 starts. Finally, the medical staff grew "increasingly suspicious" that something was wrong, and threw him on the DL. They hunted down a cause, and found a shoulder joint that looked a little inflamed. Of course, this was likely the result of a recent surgery Nomo had to clear up the joint. In other words, Nomo was placed on the DL because he was too bad to play on the team. And that’s what Sturtze is doing right now. "Look Joe, I need some time off, think you can tell the guys my shoulder is hurting?" "Dude, that’s a win-win. You bet."
Can we get enough Jeff Kent?
Well, some of us can. In my Roto 5×5 fantasy league, someone dropped him. I got him off waivers this morning, which was amazing. Yesterday I detailed the return of Jeff Kent, although he was never really gone. Today, he hit another home run, over the head of one ‘Barry Bonds’, no less. That makes four since Tuesday. Keep it up, Jeff, and stay off those motorcycles.
Royals Live-Blogging? Anything better?
Tiffany over at "Party like it’s 1982" is looking for a live-blogging partner for an upcoming Cardinals series. She mentioned that the Cards play the Royals soon, and, quite frankly, I can’t think of a game I’d rather watch. I’ve done a few brief live-blogs on here, (Yankees v. Jays, Tigers v. Mariners,) but this would be real. I can’t think of anything I’d rather do than talk about Mark’s War for an entire game. And who better to do it against than the St. Louis Albert Pujols… count on seeing that soon.
Thanks for reading. Remember, we’re still looking for comments – although for those of you without MLB accounts, Chatbox comments will suffice – from all you regular readers out there. Especially whoever’s hitting the site from Rutgers… who are you? Also, just for fun really, I bought up the domain name http://www.bihgm.com, as http://www.bhgm.com was already taken. Anyway, if you go to http://www.bihgm.com, you’ll be automatically redirected to here. In case you don’t like bookmarking things, (press control D if you do…) that’s an easier site to remember. See you all again tomorrow, and Happy Moms Day.
Well, BHGM returns. You thought we were dead? I know, me too. But I’m finally done with what they call ‘higher education’ and I’m back to the real world. At least until next August. Now don’t get me wrong, college is great. I love it. But when it’s the end of the school year and you’ve got chemistry, psych, bio, and calc finals – you just want to go home. Anyway, this will be the last post that fails to focus on much baseball, because starting now I’ll be able to watch games again and make those nightly posts. Actually, I’m watching the Jays – A’s game now. But before I dig in, there are a few questions I have. There’s someone who visits the site multiple times a day from Rutgers University, but they never leave comments. Dude – get an MLB account, sign in, and leave a comment – just so I know how you are. Same goes for the people from ‘Ames, Iowa’, ‘Corinth, Mississippi’, Uruguay, Spain, a bunch of you New Yorkers, and ‘Reston, Virginia’. Actually, I’d like if everyone who’s a regular reader could comment on this post, even if it’s just a "yo, I’m the dude from Rutgers," just so we can actually see who you are. Just do it. Thanks.
Biology: Ecology, Evolution, Biodiversity – Calculus I
So, how do we tie this into baseball? It’s another weak link, really. I’m starting to think that this wasn’t such a good idea after all. But here. If solving baseball calculus problems is your thing, check this out. As for the biology portion, there a few quick hits. By the way, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, or ALS, is not primarily a genetically inherited condition. That is to say, an inherited genetic defect accounts for only 5-10% of cases of Familial ALS. For more information on ALS, check here. Well, that concludes our finals edition. It will be a lot more exciting in December, when we’ll be doing Organic Chemistry, Intro to Theater, Research Design and Analysis, and Developmental Psychology. What can I say, I’m a slacker.
Red Sox v. Yankees, (Wednesday Night)
Well, this game was basically the only contact I had with baseball all day, as I was moving back home and all. So I caught everything until the bottom of the 5th, when we busted it open. That is to say that I saw Alex jerk Curt way out of the yard. Anyway, between the fact that I was about to fall asleep and the game was being carried on ESPN, (albeit ESPNHD,) it wasn’t a terribly exciting game. I mean, it was pretty predictable. ESPN blabs about how awesome Curt is and how the Yankees can’t touch him, and then the Yankees touch him up for a few deep bombs. And that’s that.
Blue Jays v. A’s, (Thursday Afternoon)
Nothing like waking up to find a baseball game already starting. Being as the Jays/A’s were "the only game in town," that’s what I was watching. And really, they’re both two of my favorite teams. And a short memo – the Jay’s announcers, (radio and TV,) are some of the best. They’re not annoying and they don’t digress so far that you think you’re just listening to two people talk about baseball, as ESPN does. Anyway, the game. The Jays basically made the A’s look like the Washington Generals. That is, the Jays would keep going up on the A’s, leaving them with this impressive look of, ‘wow, I just got burned.’ And although the Box Score says that Glaus only had two home runs, I’m pretty sure I watched him leave the building about five times. Zaun also had a solo shot. Swisher went deep twice for the A’s with two solo shots. For those of you tracking RBI’s for the Jays: Glaus – 4. Adams, Johnson, Zaun, and Catalanotto – 1. Glaus might be a lock to finish the year below .260, (he’s only finished higher once, in 2000 with the Angels,) but he’s got some pop. And Alex Rios, breakaway star, is currently batting in the 3-hole for the Jays. For those of you who don’t know Alex’s story, it goes like this. In 2004 and 2005, he hit .286 and .262, respectivly. He now leads the league with a .379 average. He’s also on both of my fantasy teams. Despite the fact that Rios’ average is so high, his all-important OBP is an average .389. Alright, that’s on the high end of average, but not really, considering that it’s only 10 points higher than his batting average – that’s what happens when you walk four times. But it’s good for #41 in the league. Meanwhile, Giambi is walking around with a .531 OBP, while everyone’s favorite player – Barry Bonds – shows off his .495. Albert Pujols follows with a .466. Take away all the intentional walks Barry gets, and Giambi’s OBP is 65 points higher than the league’s #2 man. He’s back, people.
What’d you do with the Royals, and who are these people?
Here’s a tough one. The Royals just swept the Indians. On Monday, it was 4-3, Royals. Tuesday, it was 10-7, Royals. Wednesday, it was 10-8, Royals. I mean, keep in mind that they came away with the slimmest margin ever, 1, 2, and 3 runs. But the Royals are now 10-22, which means that they’ve gone 5-2 after we chewed them out bigtime. Are you kidding me? Not only is it beyond our comprehension for the Royals to have won 5 of 7, but it seems that we’ve got some freaky curse/blessing going on here. First, we had the Padres. The Padres scored 6 runs in 2 innings to get a miracle win over the Dodgers, and we wrote a whole post about it. And then what? The Padres win 9 straight games, with win #1 being the previously mentioned. I don’t think I can take credit for the Tigers getting off to a great start after I said they would about 700 times, that was just too big. Then there was the Santana-Halladay matchup in the beginning of the season where I said, ‘Halladay, your future Cy Young winner, will out-duel Santana.’ Just in case you doubt that those blanks really did mean ‘Roy Halladay,’ know that I’ve been calling him our Cy Young winner since February. How about when, on April 26th, I talked about Dusty Baker being crazy. Then, the Cubs have gone 3-11 since that post. That’s about all I can come up with for now. But how crazy is that?
And that’s gonna close us out for now, but we will be back tonight, which will start us off on our nightly post routine again. Plus a few during the day when we have a chance. Basically, we’ll be back in our prime. As for the comments, thanks Rob. I did know that David had been in the tank for awhile, but I didn’t know about what the divers were really doing down there. Thanks for being an alert reader. (Check out Rob at http://robpage.mlblogs.com/.) Lucky Leftie, good to see you here from the BPS. And Jason, your excuse is understood and accepted. If there is one person who will understand the ‘no free time’ argument, it’s got to be me, lately. Anyway, remember – I want to see one comment from every regular reader, to this post or the one that follows tonight. That’s all of you. If you don’t have an MLB account, get one. It’s not a big deal, and they’re not going to bother you with junk mail as long as you uncheck that small box at the bottom. In the two years I’ve had my MLB account, I haven’t gotten one spam e-mail on that address. Plus, after you sign up for an MLB account, you can just sign up for your own team email. Since you’re not gonna tell any of your friends to email you at "email@example.com," you don’t really have to worry about getting any unwanted email, since you won’t even need to check that address. Have a good rest of the day, folks.
Alright, so I’ve been watching the whole game but as I start this, we’re tied 1-1 in the bottom of the fifth. On back to back plays, Bernie screwed up. First, he missed a ball bouncing off the wall and allowed Alex Rios to score. But really, Rios might’ve scored anyway. But still, you can’t play a ball of the wall if you let it bounce past you. This resulted in a Frank Catalanotto RBI double. Next pitch is out to right field, (where Bernie is in for Sheffield,) and Bernie throws it to third in an attempt to hold Frank at 2nd. But Frank knows what he’s doing and makes a run for 3rd, and Bernie’s throw is seriously about 10 feet off. Again, even if it was perfectly on, it might not have made a difference. Bernie’s a great Yankee. I’m just saying, he’s getting old and it isn’t pretty. But would you rather have Bernie’s throw miss the bag by 10 feet, or Bubba Crosby overshoot the bag by 10 feet? Tough call. Recall when Bernie played a 20-second game the other night.
Ok. Bases juiced, 2 outs, A-Rod up. Now, some background information on the strike zone today – it’s pretty much non-existent. As I’ve said before, I’m a baseball fan before I’m a Yankee fan, (but not by much.) So I’ve got to be fair here. The truth is that this strike zone has been all over the place, even the broadcasters are admitting as much. Now, this isn’t a case of a couple bad calls. This has turned into the kind of game where you can’t really tell if a pitch is gonna be a ball or a strike until the ump calls it. Anyway, Chacin ends up walking A-Rod, which forces Damon home. And Jays manager John Gibbons just goes nuts. Not fair, he says. And of course, he gets thrown out, which followed Torre’s ejection just a couple innings earlier. In any case, it’s 2-1 Yankees.
Update: Bottom of the 6th, 2-1.
Well Moose has been lighting it up lately. Over 6 innings, he’s allowed 7 hits and struck out 7 while only walking 1. His seasons ERA is now sitting at a solid 2.31. Doin good, Moose. So good that I just picked him up in my 5×5, 7-team Roto league in exchange for the struggling Jake Westbrook. I’ve always thought Westbrook was just lucky to get the wins he got. I’m last place in ERA and WHIP, and Westbrook is doing all he can to keep me there. Another thing, this game has been exceptionally hard to follow without being totally focused. This is because MLB.TV is broadcasting the YES feed, but without the graphics, and using the radiomen as the audio feed. So there’s no scoreboard, nothing. What would I do without Gameday?
Update: Top of the 7th, 2-1.
Mussina just got pulled for my man Kyle Farnsworth. You can read that post right there for more info. And by the way, the 2nd most popular search that leads people to this site, (behind the "Manny cutoff throw" of course,) is "Kyle Farnsworth fight." Now, Posada just gunned down Alex Rios. And then we’re waiting for about 5 seconds before we get a call. And of course, by ‘call’ I mean Rios just leaves the field. Apparently the ump said something, like, "you’re out." And then Blue Jays replacement manager comes out to make a scene but thought better of it. And Farnsworth just struck out Frank The Cat. Vernon Wells up, 2 outs, bases empty. And Wells is down on 3 straight strikes. Yikes.
Some quick notes during the commercial break: the Tigers just beat the Twins, 6-0. Kenny Rogers, first-half star, pitched 8 innings, giving up 2 hits and 1 walk. How nuts would that be if Rogers threw another Perfect Game, and for the Tigers? Anyone who has seen "For the Love of the Game" knows what I’m talking about. But in any case, can you imagine throwing two Perfect Games in one career? Nuts. Of course, the best part is that we just swept the Twins, and outscored them 33-1. That’s really, really bad if you’re the Twins. We all know that their pitching is struggling, and we all know that they’ve never been famous for their offense. But 33-1? No way.
Update: Bottom of the 7th, 4-1.
Jeter doubles, and while the broadcasters are talking about Giambi being 0-12 against Jay’s reliever Pete Walker, Giambi takes him deep for a huge 2-run shot. And I mean deep. Walker left a pitch way over and Jason deposited it in the right field bleachers. Good job.
Update: Top of the 8th, 4-1.
Farnsworth just struck Troy Glaus again. Now he’s got 3 K’s in 1.2IP. And now they’re bring in Mo. Mo’s doing the old 1.1IP thing again, which reminds me that I forgot to ask you guys about why B.J. Ryan has been pitching 2IP every game. Why? Anyone have an answer for me? Thanks. And Greg just told me that, "Guess how long a pencil can draw, one line. Guess. 35 miles. One pencil, 400,000-some thousand. Think about how many miles you’ve written in your lifetime." I don’t use pencils though, I hate them. And Rivera just got Zaun to fly out to Phillips at first. Here comes the bottom of the 8th.
Update: Bottom of the 8th, 4-1.
So Matsui just got caught in a rundown, out between 3rd and 2nd. But he got Posada to 2nd, so it was ok. In any case, we’re still up by 3.
Update: Top of the 9th, 4-1.
So Rivera is doing his thing. And the Yankees win, thhaaaaaaa Yankees win! Alright, I hate hearing that. And the Red Sox just lost to – who else – the Devil Rays. Which means that we’re even on the standings now, finally. It wasn’t enough to better in nearly ever statistical category, we had to have to be better in W-L too, because, of course, that’s all that really matters.
Thanks for the comments Mike. Everyone should check out Mike’s Tiger’s podcast at www.dailyfungo.com. Again, this is similar to what Kevin and I hope to have up in a couple weeks. I know it seems like it’s always been a "couple weeks," but it’s always been "sometime after May 10th," because that’s when I’m done with school.
Anyway, as you all know, yesterday (April 29th,) was BHGM’s birthday. I plan on making a post sometime in the future that will be a little smattering of all the good posts we’ve seen. And I want your suggestions. So, if you had a favorite post or topic, email me or leave a comment at this post and I’ll try to include it. You can ask for Manny’s Greatest Play of All Time, but I’m already including it. You can jog your memory by clicking on the Classic Posts link on the left sidebar. Anyway, you don’t need to give me a post, just give me a topic.