Games To Watch Mon 7-31-06

n.

Paul Byrd, RHP (7-6, 4.71)
Indians (45-58)
  @  David Wells, LHP (0-1, 8.64)
Red Sox (62-40)

Indians 8          Red Sox 9

W: K. Snyder (3-2, 6.00); L: F. Carmona (1-5, 4.82)

David Wells typically gave up an early solo homerun — I never worry about those with him — and then had some trouble with his signature curveball, but his team was hitting behind him, and his delivery improved through the 4th, when he looked so good that he came out for the 5th despite his high pitch count.  Unfortunately, the optimism cost him a 3-run homerun and the win, which predictably came about by hand of a homerun by David Ortiz at the  bottom of the 9th, went to the reliever Kyle Snyder, who completed the remaining 4.1 innings and did not allow the runner he inheirited from Wells to score, nor his own baserunners, for that matter.  All 8 runs, sadly, Wells earned, perhaps out of ego, pitching an inning longer than he had simulated in advance (Boston decided to skip a rehab start).  For Cleveland, starting the 5th after Paul Byrd was pulled, Jason Davis held Boston scoreless allowing just 2 baserunners over his 2.2 innings. Rafael Betancourt kept them from scoring when he closed out the 7th, and he allowed no runs or hits during the and he pitched a clean 8th.  The rookie closer is a converted starter who could probably use another year in the minors to learn the role.  I think he may have gotten spooked by the frenzy of the crowd, because he blew the save and lost the game to the now cliched bottom 9th game winning homerun by He’s Not My Papi.

Jose Contreras, RHP (9-3, 3.52)

White Sox (61-42)

  @ 

Runelvys Hernandez, RHP (2-5, 6.80)

Royals (37-66)

White Sox 8          Royals 4

W: J. Contreras (10-3, 3.54); L: R. Hernandez (2-6, 7.88)

Poor Runelvys.  He got 2 balk calls in the first inning.  It was that kind of night.  It’s been that kind of year for him, ever since he started out ill.  I hope this year finishes out with promise, and that next year will be a fine one.  Contreras, thank goodness he is not a Yankee, and I am glad he helped the White Sox win again. 

Dan Haren, RHP (7-9, 3.89)
Athletics (55-50)

 

Ervin Santana, RHP (11-4, 4.25)

Angels (53-50)

W: D. Haren (8-9, 3.72); L: E. Santana (11-5, 4.20)

Chris Capuano, LHP (10-6, 3.74)

Brewers (50-55)

  @ 

Aaron Cook, RHP (6-9, 3.88)

Rockies (50-54)

W: A. Cook (7-9, 3.79); L: C. Capuano (10-7, 3.78); SV: B. Fuentes (20)

Much as I like Chris Capuano, I am becoming a Rockies’ fan.  Listening to their KOA radio broadcasters and the way they describe the crowd, the way players describe improvements they discern and are encouraged by even in loss, I am heartened.  And, I remember that this is where Shawn Chacon came from.

Pedro Astacio, RHP (1-1, 5.06)

Nationals (46-59)

  @ 

Noah Lowry, LHP (5-6, 4.16)
Giants (51-54)

Nationals 10          Giants 7

W: P. Astacio (2-1, 5.23); L: N. Lowry (5-7, 4.50); SV: C. Cordero (18)

Go Pedro!!  ASTACIO, that is.  A renaissance he is having, and it is a good thing for us to witness, especially the skeptics among us.  I agree with Fkay (see comment below) about Lowry being under the radar and better than his numbers.  Strange it was to root for Stanton against the Nationals yet not for his team and overall be rooting for the Nationals, whom I saw with Marc Marc last season at Shea and celebrated all the former Yankees on both sides, no matter what the crowd said.  Loaiza was pitching.  You’ve read about that.  That opened up some dialogue that in some ways helped October 28 and New Years Day happen the way they did.  That’s baseball, right Mark? (Gremse, that is.  Gremse whom I met when Marc took me to his baseball shrine of an apartment on East 4th Street to watch a Yankee game.)  Now Stanton is playing for Gremse, once the greatest living New York Giants fan, now the platonic form of New York Giants fan.  God, I hope he really did see the World Series before he died.  Marc, you said you talked with him about it?

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