Tagged: ballgames

Some Favorites Make Good!

SHAWN CHACON Makes Houston’s Rotation!

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…

    ARMS RACE

    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 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.'”

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080322&content_id=2452369&vkey=spt2008news&fext=.jsp&c_id=sd

It’s Sad for Us, But It Could Be Worse for Miggy

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?

Condoleeza To Throw Out First Pitch…in Israel!

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 MLBtv Mosaic

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)

The Overdue Return of the Yeah, Yeah, Yeah Awards

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. 

At Least It’s the Right Sox Tonight

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.

Youkilis Charged the Mound and Didn’t Get Thrown Out?

You are pitching with a 9-3 lead in the bottom of the 9th.  You just got 2 outs in a row.  You are 2-2.  If you get this out, your team wins.

  • DO YOU HIT THE BATTER?   I DON’T THINK SO!

  • Pitchers weren’t warned despite 4 previous hit batsmen (3 hit by Red Sox, of course) and yet Yankee Scott Proctor — who has every reason to avoid another suspension — is thrown out of the game?  Was he more likely to be guilty because he has a "record"?  Even Joe Torre, who took an unusual position earlier in the game and got himself thrown out on behalf of a bad call against Bobby Abreu, would not back up Scott Proctor, who swears he didn’t mean to hit Youkilis.  I believe him, and Joe’s job is to believe what his players say, at least publically.  Instead his position is that he understands why Proctor was thrown out, because the ball could so easily have hit the head of Youkilis.  In my opinion, that is all the more reason to believe Proctor, who would not want to take a risk like that.  He’s no Roger Clemens, who didn’t get  punished for those Mike Piazza incidents, by the way.  And remember Pedro as a Red Sock?  No umpire dared throw him out, despite his history, which always went unpunished.  Clearly his hit batters were purposeful — he stopped hitting batters when he switched leagues and started batting, for the Mets.  By the way, John Sterling and Susan Waldman were critical of Proctor, too.  I am disappointed, especially because earlier in the game, they sounded as if they were finally speaking out straightforwardly about the bad calls that the Yankees have been receiving these last weeks.  Susan even said she was going to start keeping a list.  Yet, they made no comment on how Youkilis – screaming – came at the mound. 

  • Youkilis — the hit batter — came at Proctor screaming.  I think that’s why the benches cleared for a brawl.  WHY DOESN’T YOUKILIS GET THROWN OUT?
    • OK, it turns out Youkilis was scared.  Weee Weee Weee.  (Kudos to Posada for calming him down.)  Regardless, a big guy is charging the Yankees’ pitcher Proctor, who — several pitches into the at-bat, at 2-outs in the 8th with a score of 9-3– hits him up and inside.  It just doesn’t sound like an intentional hit.
    • Shame on the umpire, Torre, and Sterling/Waldman for not backing Proctor, or at least  supporting the possibility that he did not hit Youkilis on purpose, especially after he went straight to Torre’s office to say so.

Except Jeff Nelson (the umpire, that is)

Today before the game Joe Torre took the line-up cards tothe chief umpire himself.  Since when does Joe take the line-up card
out himself, except during the World Series?   He went on to shake the
hand of every umpire.  Except Jeff Nelson.

2718

When I turned on the radio this afternoon, before the Yankee-Angels
game at Yankee Stadium, Suzyn Waldmann, WCBS Radio color commentator,
was telling that story.

NOTE:  If the NY DAILY NEWS (or anyone else) covers this story, they should credit Suzyn Waldmann for the idea. Anthony McCarron, who was a guest of WCBS Radio booth during the "DAILY NEWS 5th" inning, said he had not noticed when Ms. Waldmann mentioned the line-up card and hand-shaking routine.  They discussed yesterday’s post-game report with John Sterling, who calls play-by-play during the game.  He said he had been struck by how intensely Mr. Torre repeated the sequence of events that led to the game-ending call by Jeff Nelson.   

I enjoyed the game at Yankee Stadium yesterday, my first of the season.  We lost to the Angels, but Wang kept us in the game, and Mo closed us out beautifully, 1-2-3.  Our bats q up about halfway through, and the slumping players got on base by hit or walk — Cano, Melky, Abreu.  A-Rod hit a single and fielded well.  Mank…witc (However you spell it — first baseman, #11) got on base and made an incredible stop.  Damon pinch-hit a single in the 9th.

Early in the game I joked to Floraine Kay — who got me these 2 tickets for my birthday a long while ago —  that John Sterling must be appreciating the home plate umpire, who was calling the pitches expeditiously.  (Mr. Sterling can be eloquent and very funny filling time while waiting for the more deliberate umpires to signal  "strike" or "ball.")  We didn’t know his name at the time, but that home plate umpire was Jeff Nelson.

 

Throughout the game, we noticed a number of questionable calls which could have affected the score of the game.  Having forgotten to bring my radio, we were cut off from what was apparently a lively discussion, particularly at the end of the game.

Photo courtesy of mlb.com.

OKAY…what ELSE is going on here?

For the

5th TIME EVER IN BASEBALL HISTORY,

4 CONSECUTIVE HR’s  were hit
(by Boston, off Chase Wright).        

WHAT ARE THE ODDS
that Boston could figure the Yankee pitcher out so fast?

  • SCORELESS before the 4 consecutive HR’s.     (3-0 Yankees).
  • 1963:  Last time 4 consecutive HR’s occured in the AL.