And That Happened

A pinch is a device which creates, like, a cardiac arrest for any broadband electrical circuitry. Better yet, a pinch is a bomb – now, but without the bomb. See, when a nuclear weapon detonates, it unleashes an electromagnetic pulse which shuts down any power source within its blast radius. Now that tends not to matter in most cases, because the nuclear weapon usually destroys anything you might need power for anyway. But see, a pinch creates a similar electromagnetic pulse, but without the fuss of mass destruction and death. So instead of Hiroshima, you’d be getting the 1960s with Koufax on the mound.

I think one of those things was set off last night, as there were all manner of pathetic offensive/excellent pitching performances, characterized by multiple 1-0 games. Many of these games can be broken down into three categories: the pitcher who pitched great and won; the pitcher who pitched great and got boned; and the blind pig of a batter who managed to find the one stinkin’ truffle of a run that made the difference. Oh, and there’s a nice Monty Python bit down in the Yankees-Mariners recap and some totally uncalled for Canada bashing down in the Blue Jays-Rays item. Enjoy!

Dodgers 1, Rockies 0: Won: Ramon Troncoso, but he was a reliever. Clayton Kershaw started but couldn’t hang around for the win because he walked too many guys and threw 97 pitches in five innings. Boned: Jason Hammell (8 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 5K), who pitched way better than Kershaw but had no blind pig on his side. Blind Pig: Rafael Furcal with an RBI single.

Reds 1, Diamondbacks 0: Won: Johnny Cueto (6 IP, 1 H, 0 ER 8K); Boned: Jon Garland (6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER); Blind Pig: Joey Votto with an RBI single.

Mets 1, Brewers 0: Won: Mike Pelfrey (7.2 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 6K). Boned: Yovani Gallardo (7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 12K). Blind Pig: Ryan Church, RBI single.

OK, so it was only three, but I don’t recall any days in the past couple of years with even that many 1-0 games. Anyway:

Yankees 4, Mariners 2: Bring out your dead! Bring out your dead!

Buster Olney: Here’s one
Cart-master: Ninepence.
Alex Rodriguez: (feebly) I’m not dead!
Cart-master: (surprised) What?
Buster Olney: Nothing! Here’s your ninepence….
Alex Rodriguez: I’m not dead!
Cart-master: ‘Ere! ‘E says ‘e’s not dead!
Buster Olney: Yes he is.
Alex Rodriguez: I’m not!
Cart-master: ‘E isn’t?
Buster Olney: Well… he will be soon– he’s very ill…
Alex Rodriguez: I’m getting better!
Buster Olney: No you’re not, you’ll be stone dead in a moment.
Alex Rodriguez: I feel happy! I feel happy! (2-4, HR, 2 RBI)

Red Sox 6, Orioles 5: Back atcha, Baltimore! The O’s blow a 5-1 lead in the ninth and woof it away in the 11th. “I thought today was a great opportunity for our bullpen to come show the league what we’re really made of,” Papelbon said after the game. “I think we answered that with flying colors.” And that answer is that the bullpen is made out of mixed metaphors until the cows come home to roost.

Braves 11, Phillies 1: Following up on yesterday’s comment, I did tell Bill at Crashburn Alley that the Braves would lose the Hamels-Jurrjens game, so I was technically wrong. Still, I predicted Atlanta winning two of three, so they can vindicate me with a loss tomorrow. Jair Jurrjens pitched better than the guys up in the 1-0 games (7 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 6K) and the Braves actually got some offense for a damn change.

Cubs 4, Pirates 1: That’s three straight wins for Randy Wells (7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER). Some other good news: Aramis Ramirez is ready to rehab, and now the Cubs get to see how he plays in Peoria.

White Sox 6, Indians 2: Oh come on cut the rah rah sh*t Taylor! Year after this I go free agent. Plus me and my agent got a couple of plans for life after baseball. So I am not about to risk major injury or displace this property for a collection of stiffs!

Athletics 5, Tigers 1: This is kind of how the A’s drew it up in the offseason: Bombs from Giambi and Cust, a solid start from Dallas Braden and a nice win at home. Two facts from the game story: (1) “The 38-year-old Giambi, who has been dealing with sore legs . . .”; and (2) “[Giambi] was in a 2-for-28 stretch before the homer after striking out in his first two at-bats.” How in the hell are his legs getting sore? Turning on his heel and walking back to the bench too hard?

Twins 5, Royals 1: Joe Mauer was 3 for 3, knucklebaler R.A. Dickey was perfect for an inning and a third, the Twins won, and Justin Morneau experienced tightness in his groin. Only one of these facts is truly significant in the grand scheme of things, but good for Mauer and the Twins and bad news for Morneau all the same.

Marlins 5, Nationals 3: From the game story: “Asked to explain Florida’s baffling mastery of the Washington Nationals, Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez offered the simplest explanation. ‘We’ve been lucky,’ he said.” Wait. Since when did beating the Nationals on a regular basis constitute “baffling mastery” as opposed to “utter inevitability?”

Cardinals 2, Giants 1: Both Adam Wainwright (9 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 12K) and Matt Cain (7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER) were kinda boned in what I’m choosing to call Game 3 of “Molina Fest.” Worth noting in light of my little anti-La Russa bit on Tuesday, that this is exactly the kind of game where an extra bat or two off the bench — as opposed to three or four pitchers you have no intention of using down in the bullpen — might come in handy once in a while. And for the record, I had this on in the background and found Sutcliffe somewhat less annoying than he was when I ranted about him last week. I can only assume that I either missed all of the obnoxious parts or else the pod people got hold of him the other day and replaced him with a less-assaulting replica.

A Hardball Times Update
Goodbye for now.

Rangers 9, Angels 7: This looked like a wild one, at least from the box score. How wild? Jarrod Saltalamacchia struck out yet still scored in the sixth inning.

Astros 7, Padres 1: Not much interesting here, but this is interesting “The Padres say Friday night’s game against Manny Ramirez and the Los Angeles Dodgers is a sellout.” But . . . but . . . Bill Plaschke said we shouldn’t approve of Manny Ramirez’s vile and wicked ways!

Blue Jays 5, Rays 0: Ricky Romero (8 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 7K) can join the 1-0 All-Stars along with Jurrjens. Oh, and yesterday was Canada Day, too. For those of you who don’t know, Canada Day celebrates the anniversary of the 1 July 1867 enactment of the British North America Act, which defiantly declared Canada’s independence from the evil British and promised that blood will be shed in the interests of Canadian freedom if necessary. Wait . . .what’s that? Oh, I’m sorry, I got that wrong. The Act actually declared that Canada was requesting to form a federation, with said request being gradually granted by British fiat over multiple ensuing decades. All while being overseen by Canada’s Governor General, who, to this very day, remains in place as a viceregal representative of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, who still goes by the title The Queen in Right of Canada. Inspiring, when you think about it.*

*Before Jonah Keri, Pete Toms and the ghost of John Brattain come after me for this gratuitous anti-Canadian rant, please know that both of my maternal grandparents hailed from the Great White North. Maybe that’s a weak (and in and of itself offensive) defense for my thinly-veiled American exceptionalism, but I’m hoping that this, combined with my general tolerance/occasional enjoyment of Rush, my love of Tim Hortons Timbits, and the fact that my family hosted a visiting table tennis player during the 1984 Canusa Games will get me off the hook. Though, in the interests of full disclosure, I feel obligated to say that we all hated that table tennis kid and were happy when he went back home to Hamilton.

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Dennis Koziel
14 years ago

How many times has anyone seen a batter, during the same plate appearance, get “credit” for a strikeout and a “caught stealing?”  It happened last night during the St. Louis/San Francisco game.

14 years ago

Why is Buster Olney allowed to write articles for ESPN?

I really do think the guys that hire ESPN baseball analysts/commentators/columnists are just playing one big practical joke.

“Jesus, what more do you think we can do to them? I mean we shove Morgan down their throats, put Kruk on BBTN constantly, what else can they take?”

“How about pair Phillips with Morgan in the both?”

“C’mon. No way they will watch, impossible. People cannot love baseball enough to put up with Morgan and Phillips in a booth together.”

“I bet you 500K they watch…”

“Screw it, you’re on.”

14 years ago

No offense, Indians fans, but I want them to lose enough so Craig finally just has to write *throws roster on the ground and pisses on it* in the Cleveland boxscore.

Love that movie.  My parents let me watch it at way too young an age.

Chris Simonds
14 years ago

Craig –
How have you insulted Canada? You simply point out that the Canadians settled their differences with the British peacefully, through negotiation, over time, while the loud-mouthed Yanks had to throw a snit-fit. By the way, 60 to 70 per cent of the American forces deserted that fight. But of course, they were all heroes afterwards. American belligerence didn’t defeat England – the logistics did. Of course, the Brits got a little snippy themselves around 1812. Sore losers.
See, now that’s how you go about insulting whole nations.

Craig Calcaterra
14 years ago

while the loud-mouthed Yanks had to throw a snit-fit. By the way, 60 to 70 per cent of the American forces deserted that fight. But of course, they were all heroes afterwards. American belligerence didn’t defeat England – the logistics did.

You’re assuming that we take being called belligerent, loud-mouthed and violent as insults.  We wear that sh*t proudly, my brother. Or at least we should. That and the whole taking credit for favorable park effects thing pretty much defines America.

And we wouldn’t have it any other way. wink

14 years ago

You’re right about the number of 1-0 games, Craig.  According to Elias, that’s the most in one day since September 14, 2004, when there were also three.

LOVED the Python bit; that’s one of my favorite all time movies.  I want a shrubbery!!!

Jack Marshall
14 years ago

Gee, Craig, I would think that when the Red Sox follow up the biggest blown lead by a first place team against a last place team in ML history with their biggest 9th inning road comeback in 70 years, it would be worthy of a little more notice, maybe a riff on “The Greatest Story Ever Told” or something similarly appropriate…

Craig Calcaterra
14 years ago

“their biggest 9th inning road comeback in 70 years”

Meh.  When you have to go to three qualifiers to make an event significant, it ain’t that significant.

14 years ago

Sportscenter said this was the 4th day in MLB history that there had been 3 1-0 games, so it has not, indeed, happened a lot recently.

14 years ago

4 others, sorry.

Jack Marshall
14 years ago

I like that rule, Craig. It would wipe out about 60% of all the commentary in televised baseball games.

14 years ago


It should be for $1, think Trading Spaces

14 years ago

You must not have been paying attention to the Giants/Cardinals game. Sutcliffe spent the entire broadcast raving about the Molina brothers, though Bengie threw a ball into right field and both brothers let pitches get past them. Sut was laying it on so thick. I’m sure that at least one of the Molina brothers got laid last night.

You must have also missed his weird football analogy when Molina threw the ball into right field. I have no idea who was the quarterback, who was the receiver, and who wasn’t sticking to the qb’s game plan.

Sometime around the seventh inning, Sut made an Indy Car analogy. Something like Cain finally being mature enough to use his slower pitches through turns one, two, and three, but then being able to throw 95 on the back straightaway when he needed to. As if Indy Car drivers are dogging it around the track, then finally speed up at the end? More nonsense.

14 years ago

To be fair, Buster said in his chat on Monday, that he never said Rodriguez could be finished. He just REPORTED that someone said Rodriguez could be finished. Way to squirm out of that one……….

Craig Calcaterra
14 years ago

That’s totally weak.  According to those commercials, Olney is “the game’s best behind the scenes reporter.”  He should know BS when he’s being fed it, and since he fancies himself a blogger/opinion writer too, he should have the stones to say so.

Thinking of it differently, if A-Rod had gone on the 60 day DL the day after he wrote that, is there any doubt that he wouldn’t have crowed about how he got it right?

Jack Marshall
14 years ago

Olney clearly jumped the gun, but it’s also a little premature to pronounce A-Rod the Once and Future Superstar the Yankees contracted for, no? If he ends the season with, say, 35 homers and an average under .280—not an unreasonable scenario—and then has to have the full hip operation that now has Mike Lowell wondering when his hip’s going to stop hurting, OK: Alex is not washed up, but he’s sure a big question mark. I’m no fan of Olney’s, but this is far from his worst.

The Rabbit
14 years ago

Actually, I pictured it more like this:  grin
Olney:“Look, you stupid b*stard, you’ve got no arms left!”
2-4 Rod: “‘Tis but a flesh wound.” “You’ll get what’s coming to you! I’ll bite your legs off!”

14 years ago

Giambi has sore legs. You won’t believe this, but the explanation in the Chron was “he’s had to run a lot.” You know, in tnter-league. Those two hits he got. Is anyyone buying this?

He used to DH at NY, and now he’s almost daily at 1B. I guess after 5 years of DH, it’s tough on the old guy.

His and Cust’s HR’s were on identical pitches, off-speed from Verlander low and in the middle of the plate. Verlander’s curve and fastball were working great. After the first HR to Cust, I wondered why he’d throw Giambi that pitch? Giambi can’t hit anything at 88 mph or faster, and these change ups both floated in at 84.

Richard Dansky
14 years ago

“Whose stadium is this?”
  “It is the stadium of my master, J.P. De La Wombat”
“Well, tell him that if he gives us a luxury box for the night, he can join us in our search for a third baseman.”
    “I’ll tell him , but I don’t think he’ll be very keen. You see, we already got one.”
“You’ve already got one?”
    “Oh yes. Scott Rolen, he’s verra nice.”

14 years ago

Don’t let the Canucks get to you!  I haven’t trusted a Canadian since 1998 when one of them told me in all seriousness that the United States were “future provinces of Canada.”  You think they’re a friendly bunch, but they’re all just plotting away up there! 

By the way, did you rip a quote from Oceans Eleven in the first paragraph—minus the Sandy Koufax reference?

Craig Calcaterra
14 years ago

That I did, sir.

14 years ago

You must not have been paying that close of attention to Sutcliffe because I watched the whole game and was pulling my hair out by the end.

14 years ago

Craig, I know you have to write about him because he’s very talented, but please, don’t ever quote Papsmear again.  He is such a jackass, and he makes absolutely no sense.  And yes, I would still feel that way if I wasn’t a Yankee fan.

Loved the Python.  How do you know so much about swallows???

Craig Calcaterra
14 years ago

I’ll admit that I had the sound down pretty low and was working on three other things at the time.

Richard Dansky
14 years ago

“He must be a Scott Boras client.”
    “How can you tell?”
“He hasn’t got s*** all over him.”

14 years ago

Dansky, that was hilarious.  Thanks for the morning laugh.

Jonah Keri
14 years ago

Happy July 4 weekend! See, we Canucks are very forgiving.

…ya hosers.