SHAWN CHACON Makes Houston’s Rotation!
“Chacon pitched five innings, allowing three hits and one run with four strikeouts in Houston’s 8-7 win over Atlanta.
“Astros general manager Cecil Cooper said after the game that the right-hander has ‘got to be 1 of the guys’ who will join ace Roy Oswalt in the rotation.” KLTV 7 (East Texas) 3-20-08“Chacon’s work in win over Braves earns spot in Astros’ rotation” (AP) http://www.kltv.com/Global/story.asp?S=8044019&nav=1TjF
“‘Chacon retired nine of his first 10 batters before allowing three hits in the fourth, and overall, he held the Braves to one run. After giving up five runs over three innings in his previous outing and rating it ‘G,’ for ‘garbage,’ the right-hander was considerably happier with this showing.
“‘That’s a lot better,’ Chacon said. ‘I just pounded the strike zone from the first inning. That’s the difference. I had a good changeup tonight, threw the breaking ball for strikes. I didn’t get as many ground balls as I’d like, but I’m not complaining at all.'” “Chacon throws himself into the rotation: Cooper says righty practically a lock after Wednesday’s outing” by Allyson Footer, MLB.com 3-19- 08 http://houston.astros.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080319&content_id=2445882&vkey=spt2008news&fext=.jsp&c_id=hou
ZACK GREINKE Is Back, Shuts Down White Sox A-Team!
“The Royals…built leads of 5-1 and 6-2 behind Zack Greinke, who limited the White Sox to two runs and four hits in six innings. Greinke struck out six and walked one…
Greinke got stronger in each of his five spring starts. In all, he gave up 12 runs and 18 hits in 20 innings but just three runs and seven hits in his last 11 innings.
“‘I was a little worried at the start of spring training,’ he said. ‘I started off way worse than I ever imagined. The first game was horrible. I had no idea where anything was going or what it was going to do. I just felt lost out there.'”
“‘The last two outings, I’ve been really happy with how they’ve been.'” “Royals’ Day in Camp” by Bob Dutton 3-23-2008 http://www.kansascity.com/baseball/story/543682.html
SHAWN ESTES Wins in Relief!
- 2 scoreless hitless innings of 10, ending 3-2 over KC on 3-22!
Lefty tosses two scoreless, hitless innings with two K’s by Alan Esquew Special to MLB.com March 22, 2007 http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080322&content_id=2452369&vkey=spt2008news&fext=.jsp&c_id=sd
- + 2 SO’s and 3 groundball outs! one walk.
- Was in Minors last year from 2006 Tommy John surgery
- “‘I’m getting more comfortable on the mound,’ Estes said. ‘I felt like I was going in the right direction today. My breaking ball was coming around. It’s hard to gauge after two innings, but I felt like I was throwing the ball a little bit better today.
“‘That was the hope all spring that I gradually got better. I didn’t feel like I would struggle this bad with my command, but I’m improving, making progress.'”
- “Padres manager Buddy Black liked what he saw of Estes against the Royals.
“‘Shawn threw well,’ Black said. ‘I liked Shawn’s sink on the fastball. He had some good running action and got some grounders. He ran it in on some lefties and away from righties. He looked good.’
“Black noted Estes hasn’t missed his turn in a game or throwing bullpen sessions. ‘So that’s a great sign for Shawn that he’s coming around physically,’ Black said.”
“‘It’s just a matter of fine-tuning some things, finding my release point more consistently, being more consistent with my mechanics, being more fluid,’ Estes said. ‘Now that I’m full strength, it’s like the first time I’ve picked up a baseball. When I get on the mound, I feel great at 80 to 85 percent, but when I get that extra 10 to 15 percent effort, things have been falling out of whack a little bit.
“I’t’s a matter of being able to throw and compete at full-strength again, mentally knowing that everything is fine, now throwing strikes. It’s just been different. It’s been difficult.'”
Miguel Cairo, who was released last week to make room for the newbies, has been picked up by the Cardinals. He is reporting to AAA Memphis, according to Sports Illustrated.
We will miss him. This may come back to bite us, too. A more loyal, willing player does not exist. Bad karma.
Miggy, I am sorry. At least you are on a good team. Did you like them the first time ’round?
It makes perfect sense. Peace in the Middle East may be within sight. A US Ambassador to Israel retires to become Israel’s Baseball Commissioner! First task : Raise funds for a Palestinian Baseball League. Be fruitful and multiply, right? That’s what I would do. Diplomacy, manners, the significance of small symbolic gestures — these constitute the language of the game.
However, I’d feel more confident about the survival of Israeli baseball – and any peace our great sport can broker – if Dan Kurtzner hadn’t been Ambassador during the second Bush administration. Not exactly the peace that passeth understanding. Then again, maybe he kept it from getting much, much worse.
World Series? Feh. How about the 7-Day War? And it will be played every year, so there’s no "winner." There’s some revisionist history for you. Hey, that’s even better than Yankees vs. Red Sox. (Hmm, Varitek vs. A-Rod, Pedro vs. Zimmer. That’s hard to beat.)
I shouldn’t make light of 2 unwanted peoples’ fight for safe borders. Seriously, if any sport can bring people together in a temporary symbolic oasis in the desert, it is baseball. Maybe Mr. Kurtzner can make this more than a field of dreams.
Here a couple tips for you, Commish: National League rules – we can’t have pitchers throwing at batters’ heads with impunity. (Look how many brawls Pedro and Clemens avoided with the Mets and Astros.) And NO MLB UMPIRES!
Great day for baseball. Some suggestions below.
Check out the ERA’s in the first 2 games. Indeed, Redding (Nat’ls) is the man who surrendered 6 runs to Boston in 1 inning for the Yanks back in 2005. He has a more interesting history than that, however. Now, about this Saunders fellow (Angels)….
Times – ET
12.10 Nationals @ Mets
Probables: Redding (1-2, 2.92) @ Hernandez (6-4, 3.14)
03.55 Tigers @ Angels
Probables: Miller (5-3, 3.78) @ Saunders (4-0, 2.89)
03.55 Padres @ Houston
Probables: Maddux (7-7, 4.19) @ Oswalt (9-6, 3.80)
07.10 Yankees @ Orioles Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know.
It’s Clemens, & he’s been great, mostly & lately. Yawn.
Probables: Clemens (3-4, 3.72) @ Burres (4-4, 4.33)
07.10 Blue Jays @ Right Sox Now THIS is a match-up.
Probables: Halladay (11-4, 4.15) @ Buehrle (7-6, 3.23)
07.10 Cubs @ Reds 2 oddball teams w/ interesting pitchers
Probables: Marshall (4-4, 3.25) @ Harang (10-2, 3.45)
09.10 Marlins @ Giants 2 good pitchers having off-years?
Probables: Willis (7-10, 5.15) @ Cain (3-12, 4.02)
David Wells Loses His Win Again 6IP, 1ER. June 26, 2007
San Diego beat the Giants 2-1, but a blown save by, of all people, the very reliever whose retention he had championed offseason (Scott Linebrink) took away his W. A tightly-pitched game overall, though Wells gave up an unusually high number of walks (3), for him. Maybe it is more accurate to describe it as a tightly-managed pitching game, at least by the Padres, who used 6 pitchers to keep the Giants from scoring more than 1 run in 10 innings The 6th was Trevor Hoffman, who earned his 20th save. Only Zito — who went 8 innings — and Meredith pitched for the Giants, and they kept the Pads to 2 runs in 10. Not bad, eh?
Ever wonder what it’s like being Doug Balsley, the pitching coach for Padres’ manager Bud Black? As pitching coach for the Angels in his previous job, he looked intense and hands-on, if you know what I mean.
**SPECIAL NOTE** I have a bad feeling that Andy Pettitte is going to win the YEAH, YEAH, YEAH Award of the year. Today fit the bill, and I haven’t the heart to explain. If you can stand it, listen to the game, bad umpire calls and all. Calls that favored the Yankees, mind you.
And, yes, I was a little startled at Bruney’s performance, but I trust him for the future. Do we know what went wrong?
Wow. What a Weekend. Well, at least it’s the Right Sox tonight. A breather, even if they do win, which is how it’s looking right now. Roger the Rocket looked pretty fat at Pinstripes on the Park last Thursday. Hate to but I must tell you that the audience — just like at the Stadium the Saturday prior — was definitely not swayed by his charms or promise. His promises, on the other hand, were inspiring. He said we’d take the Series this weekend, and we did. We could use a cheerleader from Texas. One who’s on OUR payroll.
I hear from Floraine Kay that we might take Runyldys Hernandez off the hands of the Red Sox. We might have saved some money and the risk of a double agent (ala Ramiro Mendoza working for us in in their clubhouse in 2003 — and then back with us in the minors last year — where is he now?) had someone LISTENED TO ME and bought him straight from Kansas City. It’s hardly a secret that I have a soft spot for oversized lefties like David Wells (San Diego — HELLO, anybody LISTENING?), CC Sabathia (Cleveland), and, yes, Runyldys, who definitely needed some guidance while he was with the Royals. It will be interesting to see where he is.
So we need a fielder who doesn’t have to hit, eh? Um, anybody look at our bench? MIGUEL CAIRO? And, does anyone remember that he makes things happen? Why hasn’t he been working? He worked in April during some shortages, then NOTHING. Even a DH needs SOME time on the field, and he is a good fielder when he gets a chance to play.
Besides Miggy, there’s Super Joe McEwing, former Met, beloved by fans in Kansas City, and now somewhere else, I will have to check. I loved watching him field. Like David Dellucci as a Yankee, Super Joe was everywhere before you knew where to look. Then, there’s Jeff Keppinger, another former Met, though he may have found a home, as I know Ty Wigginton has as a Devil Ray. Wiggington is a bat more than a fielder, anyway. I’ll always remember the story Floraine told me about how, when he was playing 3rd base for the Mets, knowing he was prone to errors, he wrote E-5 on the inside of his visor.
More on umpires, especially regarding this last weekend, to come.