Wednesday game notes
- Hey, I remember this guy!
- And if he had run right after he hit the ball instead of posing for newswire photos — “HANLEY HOMERS ON FIRST PITCH FOR L.A.” — he just might have legged out the HR he thought he had hit over the wall. Ah, leopards…. You’ll think me harsh, but truly, I’ve been giving him the benefit of the doubt and hoping that a change would do him good. But now, Dodgers fans, good luck with this pooch for the next 2-1/2 years and $40 million or so. Yeah, I know he tied the game with a 2-out hit in the 6th. But if he can’t bust it on his first time out for you, what’ll he be like when things aren’t going his way? He never did get moving at top speed on this play, or if he did, he’s a lot more limited now than I had realized. No, I never would have thought that one AB could say so much, but just look how he takes that long turn past 3rd base, “for display only” — yeah, Hanley, you’re gonna break for home now. Riiight. ’Course, you weren’t stealing any bags when you got on to start the 12th but never moved past 1st base.
- The Cards have allowed 5 runs or less for 20 straight games, matching the MLB season high, with a 2.26 team ERA in that stretch.
- I’d like to draw your attention to Mike Matheny’s bullpen usage in this 12-inning game. After getting 7 from the SP, he goes to setup man Mitchell Boggs for an inning. When his team gets the leadoff man on to start the 8th, Boggs leaves for a PH. That threat dies on an LDP, but closer Jason Motte still comes on for the 9th — and stays for the 10th. Why not, he’s well rested. Motte leaves for a PH in the home 10th, so Fernando Salas pitches the 11th – and the 12th, leaving only for a PH in what turns into the winning rally. OK, Matheny really has only the 2 good relievers, so he’s more likely to stretch his closer for a 2nd inning. And a lot of things went right for him; the Dodgers never really threatened from the 8th onward, and the timing of ABs for the pitcher’s spot worked out just so. And this game “only” went 12 innings, so his conservation was moot. But still — how many times have you seen your manager just churn through the bullpen an inning at a time, and run out of relievers by the 14th?
Athletics 16, @Jays 0: Nine-oh in the 2nd (when J.P. Arencibia left with a broken hand), then just waiting for all precincts to report. Biggest shutout loss margin in Toronto history, and a tie for the Oakland A’s shutout victory margin. The A’s had just 14 hits and 3 HRs, and left only 5 on base; the Jays left 8. Every starter scored (2nd time for OAK this year, 9th in MLB), and 8 had at least 1 H/R/RBI (ties MLB high this year, done also in Seattle’s 21-8 win at Texas).
- Didn’t I just go through this with another A’s hurler? A.J. Griffin has begun his career with 6 straight starts of 6+ IP/3 runs or less. Jered Weaver did 9 in 2006, and Blake Beavan did 6 last year. All other career-starting streaks of 6 or more date to 1994 and before.
- Ricky Romero (8 ER, 6 BB in 1.1 IP) lost his 6th straight start, but at least he made it irrelevant that Toronto was blanked for the 4th straight of those. He’s allowed 33 ER in 28.1 IP during his slump, and tonight became the 2nd pitcher this year to yield 8+ runs 3 times.
- That’s 7 straight (their longest in 3 seasons) and 16 of 18, and the A’s are officially feelin’ it. It’s their first shutout since June 25, but they have a 2.52 ERA in their last 34 games, 311 IP.
@Pirates 3, Cubs 2: He doesn’t walk or hit lefties, but Garrett Jones is slugging .500, 2nd-best among Bucs regulars. Today he doubled home the tiebreaking run with 2 out in the 6th, and the bullpen — Jared Hughes (1.90 ERA), Jason Grilli (1.91) and Joel Hanrahan (2.06) – did the rest.
- Did we ever get an answer to Grilli’s spiked K rate? It’s up to 13.9 SO/9 this year (58 Ks in 37.2 IP), and he has a 2.17 ERA since coming to Steeltown last year. Meanwhile, Hughes is doing it less breezily — his BAbip is .225. Just win, baby.
- Kevin Correia has won 5 straight starts — during which his ERA went up, from 4.03 to 4.24. He had a 5-start losing streak earlier.
- Getaway day: The teams combined for 10 hits and 2 walks.
- Midweek day game at PNC Park drew almost 34,000, and the Monday-Wednesday set drew over 90K. They’re buying in!
- What a difference a year makes: In 2011, Anthony Rizzo fanned in 30% of his PAs (46/153). This year, 11% (11/98).
Braves 7, @Marlins 1: There are many paths to an 11-5 record with a 4.39 ERA; here’s one: Tommy Hanson‘s best games have come when his team scored 3-5 runs (4-0, 2.10 ERA in 5 games). His worst games have come when they scored 6+ runs (7-0, 5.68 ERA in 10 starts) and 0-2 runs (0-5, 4.72 in 6 starts). See, you can bang your head against the wall trying to win 1-0 – they’ve scored exactly 1 run in 4 of his starts – or you can just let go….
- Hanson logged the first win with 7+ walks since last September, and the first in just 5 IP since 2009-08-06 (“Remember the Joba!”).
- With Hanley gone and Giancarlo out, the biggest name left is Jose. I like Jose, but … that’s not a good role for him. Today, scoreless game, no outs in the 3rd, Jose walked, stole 2nd, then got PO/CS going for 3rd. No, no, no, no, NO! Bad Jose! The inning continued with 2 more walks, a whiff, and an RBI double, with El Caballo thrown out at the plate to end matters. And I do mean end them — Miami got no hits the rest of the way.
- As a ball fan, not necessarily a scientist, we know (without even looking) that, after Miami’s short-circuited 3rd, Atlanta went ahead with 3 two-out runs in the very next half. Gone.
- Fish stole 7 bases (MLB season high), but none figured in scoring. They were caught once, and it helped kill a rally. Be careful out there.
- 3 hits, 3 doubles, 3rd time this year in the majors. (No higher hit totals with H=2B since 2011-07-09.)
- Maybe it’s the Mets fan in me, but does it feel like the dog days caught an early train? There are some teams with one foot in the tank and the other one on the lever.
- Anything you can do, I can do
betteralso: Through 20 starts, Scherzer and Justin Verlander both have 142 Ks, 2nd to King Felix.
@White Sox 8, Twins 2: Got any Doublemint gum? Chicago scored 2 runs in each inning from the 2nd through 5th, and Jake Peavy labored productively (6 IP, 2 runs, 121 pitches) for his first Quality Start since before the Break. The Sox remain in a flat tie with Detroit for the Central.
- Dayan Viciedo nudged his HRs past his walks again (16-15), which just seems right. His 2-out, 2-run single on a 2-strike pitch in the 2nd gave Chicago the lead for good. He also doubled in the 5th, but came up dry in two shots at the team’s first cycle since 2000. There have been 54 cycles since the last by a ChiSox, but so what — at least they’ve done it more recently than the Cubs.
- Jesus Guzman had his first multi-HR game, connecting off Lincecum and off Brad For-god’s-sake-who-do-they-think-they’re-fooling? Penny. (As the Beatles sang, “It won’t be long [YEAH - YEAH - YEAH] ’til you’ll be D.F.A.’d!”) Guzman went homerless in his first 48 games/149 PAs this year, but has 6 taters in his last 78 PAs.
- Leche‘s latest hit streak stopped at 11 games.
@Phillies 7, Brewers 6 (10): The details of this series tumble over and into one another. Which were the games that Francisco Rodriguez blew the save & lost? One and three. The ones where Erik Kratz had a big hit in the winning rally? Two and three. The ones where Carlos Gomez homered? One and two. Which one did the Brewers lead 6-2 early? One. How ’bout 6-1, late? Two. Those where J-Roll had the walk-off hit? Three, and … um … oh, yeah, the game before this series. Those where the reliever walked a guy who wasn’t the tying or winning run, and Milwaukee wound up losing 7-6? Yup — all three.
- First time Milwaukee has ever lost 3 straight games when scoring 6+ runs. Phillies last won 3 straight allowing 6+ runs in 1949.
- Only other team this year to win 3 straight allowing 6+ runs was Cleveland. Last team to lose 3 straight scoring 6+: 2010 White Sox.
- Last time it happened in one series: 2006, KC over Detroit at year’s end.
- Too bad the comic relief couldn’t come after the game for Crew fans.
@Angels 11, Royals 6: Can he count one towards yesterday? After having his 15-game scoring streak halted Tuesday, Mike Trout reached thrice and scored each time, including a HR (in tandem with OF mate Torii Hunter), a double, and a HBP that got Luke Hochevar sent to the penalty box. The Angels scored 6 in their first 2 chances and never looked back, even with Albert out nursing his elbow.
- Hunter had 4 of the 17 Halo safeties, and Alberto Callaspo 3 with a pair of doubles.
- I’m told that ours is a game of regression to the mean, so it’s no surprise that Ernesto Frieri was scored upon for the 2nd time in his last 4 games, and Scott Downs for the 3rd in 5 games. But don’t be sad; we still have Aroldis!
- Jered Weaver won his 7th straight start, matching the mark set from his 2006 debut, but with his shortest outing since the one that sent him to the DL back on May 28. The stars, i.e., the bats, are aligning for Weaver (13-1, 2.26) to be on the Cy Young short-list once again; he placed 2nd last year to the unanimous Verlander. Weaver might have drawn more CYA support last year — his ERA was virtually the same as Verlander’s — with a little more run support. They scored 3.71 R/G for him, 55th among 62 AL starters (and a full run below Verlander), which left him with a mere 18 wins. Their September fade didn’t help, either. This year, Weaver is A-number-one in run support at 6.8 R/G, getting 5+ in 14/18 starts and 11/13 wins. And the club seems better equipped to stay in the playoff picture.
Reds 5, @Astros 3: Didn’t we vu this one deja, too? For the 2nd night in a row, Francisco Cordero couldn’t close out his former club, and it was Drew Stubbs that sunk him once again. Stubbs didn’t quite get all of it this time, but this 2-run blow came with two outs and put the Reds in front again.
- And all that happened after the ‘Stros scored 3 in the 8th, forging ahead on this comedy of boo-boos.
- That inning kept Homer Bailey from extending his career-best 4-start win streak, but he did put up 7 zeroes for his 5th straight Quality Start, also a personal best.
- These last two nights have been by far the biggest hits for Stubbs, who had never before had a hit in the 9th or later that turned a deficit into a lead.
- It’s the 2nd time in his career that Cordero has allowed 3+ runs in consecutive games, both pairs coming since July 1. It’s the first time since becoming a closer that he was removed after blowing the save in back-to-back games.
- Aroldis Chapman closed it out, but 3 straight men put the ball in play, including his first extra-base hit since June. Now I’m really bummed….
FYI, I will be on a week’s vacation starting Saturday and won’t be blogging. Have fun, and keep an eye peeled for the next Joe Shlabotnick!
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