Double roundup: Games notes from Wednesday/Thursday
Couldn’t get around on the High Heat yesterday, so let’s play a little catch-up.
Rockies 17, Giants 8: Colorado set a new Coors Field mark for runs in a game without hitting a home run.
- Pinch-hitter Eric Young led off the 5th with a bunt single, then stole second. He later capped the 7-run inning with an RBI triple.
- In searchable MLB history, that’s just the 2nd known instance of the 3B/SB combo in a PH-only appearance. It’s the 26th instance of 2 hits as a PH-only.
- CO’s 11 extra-base hits is the 3rd-highest total ever without a HR. The record is 13, all doubles, in this 1931 game; there was one game with 12 XBH and now three with 11.
- For the first time ever, Tim Lincecum (2.1 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, no decision) failed to last 3 innings.
- Just once in five prior seasons was Lincecum winless after two starts. That year worked out just fine for him.
A’s 5, Royals 4 (11): A night to forget for Jonathan Broxton. Asked to protect a 1-run lead in the last of the 12th, he first loaded the bases with a pair of 1-out walks. After a groundout tied the game, Broxton hit the next two batters, each with the first pitch, to force in the winning run.
- It was the 54th game-ending HBP since 1948 (not counting 3 HBP that were the last event before a game was called). The only pitcher who ever did it twice was Billie Jean King’s little brother.
Tough racket: Fernando Rodney has faced just 8 batters, but has 3 saves and a win. There have been two 1-batter saves so far this year, both by Rodney. (Fernando’s perfect performance to date rebukes our recent criticism. But if I had to do the same again, I would, my friend….)
Yankees 6, Orioles 4 (10): After getting swept in Tampa, the Bombers retreated to the ground that treats them best: Camden Yards. Since 1998, the Yanks have played at a .656 clip in Baltimore (80-42), but just .644 (728-403) in their so-called home. Their overall mark against the O’s is .674 in that span (163-79).
- Comfortable, cocky, or cuckoo? Joe Girardi dialed up another of his unconventional intentional walks in the bottom of the 9th, pushing the winning run to 3rd to face cleanup man Adam Jones. I wouldn’t make that move myself, but I’ll refrain from joining the critics’ chorus this time. Two numbers in his defense: (1) In prior bases-loaded chances against a RHB, Rafael Soriano had retired the man 23 of 27 times (.148 OBP). (2) Soriano’s last wild pitch was almost 4 years ago; he’s never thrown one that let in or even contributed to a run, and his WP rate per inning is 7th-lowest among active pitchers with at least 300 IP.
- Anyway, it worked: Jones struck out (now 0-7 against Soriano), and the Yanks won it with a 2-out rally in the 10th, the classic “bloop-and-a-blast.” Nick Swisher is now 4-11 with 2 HRs and a double against Kevin Gregg.
Phillies 7, Marlins 1: The Phils had their first inning of more than 2 runs, jabbing Josh Johnson for 5 runs on 6 hits in the 3rd, then knocking him out in the 4th with 3 more bingles.
- The 11 hits Johnson allowed set a new career high. He’s yielded 10+ hits in both starts this year, after allowing that many just once in 113 prior starts.
- In 3 seasons with the Phils, Roy Halladay has allowed a total of 3 ER in 44 IP in his first two starts of the year, producing a 5-0 record for himself and 6-0 for the team.
White Sox 10, Indians 6: A.J. Pierzynski, the hitter most likely to put the ball in play over the past two seasons, followed an IBB to Paul Konerko with an outbreak of left-on-left violence, a 3-run blast off Rafael Perez.
- Platoon this: Pierzynski’s career HR rate is a smidge higher against LHPs than RHPs, while Perez’s HR rate and OPS allowed are just a tad lower vs. LHBs.
- Earlier in that inning, Dan Wheeler gave up a HR. Wheeler has allowed more relief HRs than anyone since 2008, and his rate of 1.44 HR/9 IP is the 4th-highest of any active pitcher with 200+ IP in that span.
- “Why are we here, now?” The last three games of Cleveland’s opening homestand drew an average of 9,866 customers. In last year’s season-starting homestand, the five games after Opening Day averaged 9,544. Apparently, Clevelanders don’t want to go to outdoor ballgames in early April, for some reason.
- The Jays are 4-2 despite Jose Bautista‘s 4-for-23 start.
- It’s the first career loss for Lester when allowing 3 hits or less; he had been 22-0 with 7 no-decisions in such games.
- Boston’s left fielders are 4 for 23 with no RBI and 2 GIDP.
- After blowing his first two tries, new Jays closer Sergio Santos got his first save, retiring Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz with the tying runs on base.
- Carlos Mármol got his first two strikeouts after getting none in his first three games.
- Thirteen of the game’s last 15 outs came on whiffs.
- Francisco Rodriguez managed to use 29 pitches in a hitless, scoreless inning, with 3 Ks and 2 walks (including a 9-pitch pass to Alfonso Soriano).
Twins 10, Angels 9: Minnesota collected 20 hits for the first time since 2010. They were the second team to get 20+ hits this month; last year there were none before May 10.
- For the second day in a row, reliever Jeff Gray came in, retired the only man he faced, and wound up a winner. The last man to do that was Scott Dohmann in April 2008; two weeks later he was sent to the minors, never to return.
- Josh Willingham, Minnesota’s cost-efficient replacement for Michael Cuddyer, homered for the third straight day. He has 4 of the Twins’ 6 HRs to date.
- After sitting out two games, LAA’s Mark Trumbo got his first HR and RBI of the year. He still has more errors (3) than RBI (2).
- What does Chris Parmelee have in common with Albert Pujols? They’re the only active hitters with 100+ PA and an OPS of at least 1.000.
Cubs 8, Brewers 0: Zack Greinke allowed 8 runs (exceeding his 2011 high) and 9 hits (matching). Matt Garza’s pitch count and his his own error with two out in the 9th cost him a chance to complete the shutout. (From the last replay in that video, it looks like Garza accidentally aimed his throw at the runner instead of first base.)
Tigers 7, Rays 2: Second-year pro Drew Smyly threw 90 pitches in just 4 innings in his MLB debut, but he escaped a bases-full, no-out jam in the 1st with a couple of strikeouts and held the Rays to just 1 run.
- Alex Avila had a triple and a steal. In the expansion era, catcher-games with a 3B and SB have come about once a year; the last was by J.P. Arencibia in 2011.
- Brennan Boesch celebrated his 27th birthday with a pair of 2-out, 2-run singles. The 11 birthday boys so far this year have a combined slash line of .378/.405/.811, with 12 RBI in 11 games. Nine of the ten who started on their birthday had at least 1 hit, and 9 of 11 overall had at least 1 Run or RBI. The two birthday pitchers so far have not allowed a run; Jeremy Hellickson blanked the Yanks for 8.2 IP. (If you’re looking for a hot fantasy tip … look elsewhere. The only regulars with birthdays this weekend are Hunter Pence, (Friday) and Kyle Farnsworth (Saturday). Pence 0-7 in two prior birthday games and has poor career marks against the Mets. Farnsworth got a win on his last birthday, but has often been rocked on his day.)
Nationals 3, Reds 2: On the day that injured closer Drew Storen underwent elbow surgery, Brad Lidge blew a save for the first time since August 2010. But the Nats still won their 3rd straight and grabbed sole possession of the NL East leadership, thanks to a wild pitch by Alfredo Simón with two out in the 10th.
- Lidge’s blowup took the win away from Gio González, who left for a PH after tossing 7 scoreless frames on 2 hits and no walks. González did not have a walk-free game all last year.
- Jason Giambi (age 41) had a pinch-single in Colorado’s 9th-inning rally, becoming the oldest player to get a hit this year. Three older players (Jamie Moyer, Omar Vizquel and Jim Thome) are a combined 0 for 10 so far.
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