|Paul Byrd, RHP (7-6, 4.71)
|@||David Wells, LHP (0-1, 8.64)
Red Sox (62-40)
Indians 8 Red Sox 9
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.
White Sox (61-42)
White Sox 8 Royals 4
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.
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.
Nationals 10 Giants 7
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?
"He’s the best .233 hitter I’ve ever seen."
About whom did WCBS radio’s John Sterling say this? He said it today, Sat. 7-29-06 during the Yankees-Devil Rays game. The same player had completed 11/12 stolen bases at that point.
Answer: Miguel Cairo
Article Link: Notes: Wells Making Progress: Simulated Game Next After Successful Side Sessions. (by Mike Petraglia, Special to MLB.com, 07/17/2006)
Almost sounds as enthusiastic as Joe Torre used to, doesn’t he? That’s Terry Francona, David Wells‘ manager on the Red Sox. Part of me says it serves him right, crossing over like he did. The other part says poor guy, always loved the Babe, who could blame him, after the Yankees wouldn’t offer him more than a minor league deal after 2003, and nothing after 2004 on the Padres as far as I know.
So this is the love he gets at 43, after a summer of serious right knee trouble, after being Pavano-ed by a comebacker to the same bad knee in a start early this season, after fighting back to throw 49 pitches, a lot of them good, in a second side session yesterday:
His loving manager says "…obviously we’ll check on him [Tuesday] morning, because that’s the thing to do."
Who loves ya better babe? Come home. Take whatever George will give you. Take long relief. Partner with Chacon. Whatever. Take it easy. But take it.
Yesterday, 7-15-05, was a great day for pitching match-ups. David Wells (video highlight) starting for the Red Sox against the team he loves most still agitates the achiest spot in my breaky baseball heart. I couldn’t bear to write it, and, without that one topping the list, there were no Games To Watch.
Today’s much easier, and hardly less exciting.
Yankees @ Red Sox 1:20
Randy Johnson LHP (9-6, 4.16) @ Matt Clement (10-2, 3.45)
Johnson can handle the hostility at Fenway Park, and I think he can feed off it. Dare I suggest that he’s not afraid to hit a batter? I still hold that the Yankees lost to Boston so often last year in part because they didn’t know how to channel revenge through their inherent good manners.
Watching Clement pitch for the Cubs at Wrigley years ago, I remember picking up a funny feeling from him. He was solid but uneven, and the unevenness has stayed with him. Despite his grand improvements, this all-star can crack.
White Sox @ Indians 1:20
Mark Buehrle, LHP (10-3, 2.58) @ Jake Westbrook RHP (6-11, 4.57)
In a late switch, all-star Mark Buehrle will start for the first place White Sox in place of John Garland. Hard to argue with that.
Even Westbrook’s high-ish ERA shows that he has been better than his Win-Loss record indicates. Lately, he’s allowed an unusual amount of runs to score for this season, which has been a fairly successful one for him.
Astros @Cardinals 4:15
Roy Oswalt, RHP (12-7, 2.39) @ Jason Marquis, RHP (8-6, 3.89)
After a promising few pitches in the All-Star game, Oswalt lost some luck and let go of his cool. His record speaks for itself, however. Marquis may well be up to the challenge. I’ve always liked his chances, though he didn’t look too good in the postseason last year.
Nationals @ Brewers 7:05
Esteban Loaiza RHP (5-5, 3.57) @ Chris Capuano (10-6, 3.63)
Now that the Nationals are hitting behind him, Loaiza — who seemed to rely on his own run-support for awhile — should be able to relax back into the sophisticated and tough pitcher he is. I look forward to seeing his opponent for the first time.
Braves @ Mets 7:10
Tim Hudson, RHP (6-5, 3.78) @ Victor Zambrano, RHP (4-7, 3.58)
Floraine Kay always says to be wary when the Braves are willing to give up on one of their pitchers. A corollary: Note well when Atlanta picks up a pitcher who has been written off as finished. Everyone had something to say when Oakland kept only one of their dominating triumvirate of Hudson-Mulder-Zito. Leo Mazzone, Atlanta’s longtime pitching coach, seems to be having the last word.
When Mets pitching coach Rick Peterson said he needed only a few minutes with Zambrano to “fix” him, I was instinctively skeptical. I still am, but I must cite the complicity of the Mets’ bats in constructing his failing Win-Loss record.
Angels @ Twins 7:10
Bartolo Colon, RHP (11-5, 3.42) @ Johan Santana, LHP (7-5, 3.98)
Colon is another all-star pitcher who started well and ended up unlucky in Tuesday’s game. He deserved better. If you ask the Yankees, Santana is much more dangerous than his record appears. This should be fun to watch.
The Yankees have won their nearly-annual July 4th contest against the Orioles. Mariano Rivera gets the save. His third in 3 days.
Now, you know that John Sterling is beside himself. The more he anguishes that Mo doesn’t get to pitch, the more likely it seems that Mo will pitch. In consecutive games, no less. To “Suzy’s” credit [Was that a slip, or have John and Suzyn Waldman been bumping knees beneath the mikes?], she asserted on air today that even the great need to rest. Did she read yesterday’s blog? No, of course not. It’s just that obvious. It’s so obvious that no one talks about it. Right?
I love Sturtze. Floraine Kay calls his zone “The Tanyon Canyon.” As in, here it comes, strike, another one down the Tanyon Canyon. Sturtze was game, as he should be, to be a starter for the day. Joe Torre is sometimes too quick to plant people in the bullpen before their range has been explored. I’ll never quite forgive him for demoting Esteban Loaiza last year. The bullpen is not a demotion for pitchers who carve out a place for themselves there. Aaron Heilman, for example, may be considered a bullpen success for the Mets, though I think it’s still too early to label him, especially since his record this season does not adequately reflect the circumstances that compromised it. Same with Ramiro Mendoza, who started for the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium in the last game in which I could in good conscience support a Boston win. He beat us good, much like David Wells did earlier this year, also at the Stadium. We deserved it. We let them go, and they were YANKEES. They loved nothing so much as this team, and they dug-in their best for those W’s. Remember when Mendoza said “I want to die as a Yankee”? We had already screwballed Wells once by then, in exchange for Clemens, who never did his best work with the Yanks. Then we sent Mendoza to the Red Sox, redeemed ourselves with Wells, then sent him to Boston too, albeit the long way, with an incentive-and-insult-ridden minor league offer of $300,000 at the end of the 2003 season. Now that Mendoza is allegedly back with us, let’s hope we do things right by him, though our second dispatch of Mike Stanton doesn’t bode well for our karma.
Stanton and Paul Quantrill are entitled to bolt down a round of scotch shots on Steinbrenner’s tab for each run given up by Scott Proctor and Jason Anderson in long relief for the sole long reliever we have left. But if revenge is sweeter than cognac, I hope our veterans prefer vodka. Since they were dropped, Flash Gordon has stepped up, and our fair closer has risked his arm for games we didn’t have a fly ball’s chance of winning.
I’ve got to track down Torre’s spring 2003 quotation. It went something like this: “There’s such a thing as too many pitchers.”