Saturday, April 19, 2008

Some Stuff Happened Thursday

It's quite late and I'm very tired. I was at the O's-Yanks game (go O's, 8-2 win!) and I don't want to write anything about it today. Since I went through most of the games from Thursday last night, I'll go ahead and finish that now. Here we go:

PHI-10, HOU-2
Miguel Tejeda doesn't seem affected by his age controversy, as he homered against the Phillies. So did Carlos Lee. Too bad the Phillies had some power too, with home runs by the big three, Chase Utley, Pat Burrell, and Ryan Howard. Chris Coste got into the act as well, and Brett Myers had another stellar start (7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 8 K) as Philadelphia got back to .500 at 8-8. Houston is 6-10; I wonder how long this team will be kept together. If they're out of the race (say, 10 games back) in a couple months, will we see a major fire-sale? They definitely have some movable pieces (Oswalt, Berkman, Tejada if he's still playing OK).

MIL-5, STL-3
It took 10 innings, but Prince Fielder's two run home run but the Brewers ahead of the Cardinals to stay. The homer was Fielder's first of the year - he hit 50 of them last year (the youngest player to do that). Eric Gagne gave up a couple of baserunners, but pitched a scoreless 10th for his fourth save. The win pulls Milwaukee to within 1.5 games of St. Louis in the Central.

CIN-9, CHC-2
Edison Volquez pitched well (5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 7 K) and Ted Lilly didn't (6 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 3 BB, 6 K). Volquez moved to 2-0, and Lilly dropped to 0-3 with a 9.16 ERA. He has not been pitching well, and may end up getting moved to the bullpen sooner or later. For the Reds, Joey Votto continued hitting well (2-4 with a double, a homer, and 5 RBI) and Ryan Freel, Ken Griffey Jr., Jeff Keppinger, and Edwin Encarnacion added multi-hit days of their own.

BOS-7, NYY-5
In what may be classified as a pitcher's duel between these two teams, Joch Beckett (8 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 5 K) beat Mike Mussina (3 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 0 BB, 1 K). After giving up a home run to Manny Ramirez in a crucial spot in his last game, Mussina gave up two more to the Boston slugger. Ramirez is trying to prove to the Red Sox that he can still hit in an effort to get them to pick up his $20 million option for 2009. So far he's hitting .343 with an OPS over 1.000, and 5 HR and 18 RBI. He says he wants to play till he's 41 or 42 (which I doubt a bit) but, at least for now, Manny is still one of the premier hitters in the game.

CLE-11, DET-1
Fausto Carmona gave the Indians exactly what they needed - a quality start. He went 6 2/3 giving up a run on 7 hits. Most importantly, even though he K'ed just 2, he only walked 1. Justin Verlander's bad 2008 continued, as he gave up 5 runs on 7 hits and 4 walks in 5 IP. That he only struck out 1 may be worrying, as he has only 14 K's in 24 IP so far this year, to go along with an 0-3 record and a 7.03 ERA. He's given up at least 4 runs in every start this year. I though that Verlander what contend for the Cy Young this year (and he still can, maybe) and I have no idea what cold be causing the issues, but if he can't get back on track then the Tigers are in a lot of trouble. Anyway, every Cleveland starter had at least one hit; 8 guys scored a run; 6 guys walked (once each); and 6 drove in a run. The Indians move back to a game ahead of Detroit at 6-10.

TEX-4, TOR-1
Texas got another quality start from Vincente Padilla (7 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 2 K) and CJ Wilson pitched another scoreless ninth for his fifth save. Roy Halliday went all nine innings for the Blue Jays, giving up the 4 runs on 11 hits and a walk - he also K'ed 6.

NYM-3, WSH-2
In the bottom of the 14th inning, with Damian Easley on third, Joel Hanrahan uncorked a wild pitch to end the game. Easley came in to score, ruining a fantastic start by Nationals' starter John Lannan (6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 11 K). Nelson Figueroa had another good start for the Mets (7 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 7 K) and the bullpen gave up no runs on 3 hits and 3 walks in the last 7 innings.

ATL-8, FLA-0
John Smoltz missed his first start of the year, but age hasn't caught up with him yet. Smoltzy went to 3-0 with a fantastic (if somewhat short) start (5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 10 K). With a 8-0 lead there wasn't much reason to leave him out there, and the pen 4 no-hit innings, striking out 6. Smoltz has half of the team's wins at this point - hopefully that won't continue. Larry (Chipper Jones) went 4-4 with a pair of home runs, 3 runs, and 3 RBI. He's hitting a tidy .443 on the year. Mark Teixeira, Brian McCann, and Kelly Johnson also homered for Atlanta.

TBR-7, MIN-3
Not much to say about this game other than that Boof Bonser has a funny name and that he didn't pitch very well (4 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 2 BB, 0 K).

LAA-5, KCR-3
K-Rod (Fransisco Rodriguez) had a tough ninth (a run on 3 hits) but struck out 2 and picked up his 6th save of the year. The Angels lead the West, with the A's and M's tied for second, and Texas in fourth. That's the way I think it'll end up. The loss keeps the Royals a half game behind Chicago for first in the Central - that's not the way I think it'll end up.

SEA-8, OAK-1
Carlos Silva went to 3-0 with a good star (7 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K), and the M's continued to show good plate discipline with 6 walks to 2 K's. Seattle has scored 85 runs this year, while their OBP and SLG imply that they should have scored only about 75 (small sample size warning). Also, their team ERA is 4.32, while thier fielding independent ERA is 4.57 - and they have a bad defense so their ERA should actually be higher than the FIP one. They are 9-8, but are pretty much playing like a .500 team (which is about where they should be).

COL-2, SDP-1
It was the fourth extra-inning game of the day, it it was also the longest by almost a full game. It had been about 15 years since a game went 22 innings. Jeff Francis had a fantastic start for the Rockies (7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K) but didn't even pitch a third of the game. Jake Peavy was great as well for the Padres (8 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 11 K). The game was scoreless through 13, when Brad Hawpe picked up a two out bases loaded walk to give the Rockies a 1-0 lead. They could score no more, however, and that was a problem in the bottom of the 14th. Josh Bard came up with the bases loaded and singled in a run to tie the game at 1-1. The Padres also couldn't plate another runner, and so the game went on. Seven scoreless innings later, Willy Tavares, who had gotten on via error, scored on a Troy Tulowitzki double to make it 2-1. Kip Wells tried to keep it going in the bottom of the 22nd by hitting a batter and walking another, but it was not to be. So the game finally ended with 15 pitchers used and 658 pitches thrown - 321 by the Rockies and 337 by the Padres (including 80 by Wil Ledezma in relief). There were 147 at bat, with only 25 hits - a .170 average. The teams struck out a total of 37 times. All things considering, a 6 hour 16 minute game is pretty good. If the Yankees and Red Sox went 22, it would go on for days. The game allowed the Rockies to drop their team ERA over a half point, form 4.65 to 4.00. The Padres went form 3.47 to 3.10, which is a big reason that the team is 8-8 with their poor offense.

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