By Jason Wojciechowski on April 14, 2006 at 2:40 AM
We've got thirteen games yesterday, since the A's are taken care of and Houston-San Francisco got rained out (yes, again - things are going absolutely nuts with the weather out in the Bay, aren't they?).
- The Yankees got back to even with a 12-5 win over the Royals. Shawn Chacon gave up all five runs in six innings, but the bullpen did its job and the offense picked him up by scoring in six out of eight innings against Jeremy Affeldt and a variety of relievers. The Yankee offense was led by Gary Sheffield, DHing, who hit a three-run homer and two singles, ending up with four RBI. Notably, Bernie Williams started in right field. Baseball Cube says he hasn't appeared out there since 1992. Here's a post that has the lineup the last time Bernie started in right field. That's neat. I didn't know that guy from NYPD Blue played for the Yanks. In the former A's watch, Jason Giambi was thrown out at home by Emil Brown, Angel Berroa (who I'll count despite not getting out of the minors with the A's) made his third error of the year, Mark Teahen (see Berroa) went 0-3 and was replaced at third by Esteban German, and Matt Stairs walked twice, but is hitless so far on the year.
- The White Sox beat Detroit again, winning 4-3 despite Chris Shelton's two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth. That was Shelton's sixth bomb of the year. I think he's got Barry Bonds in his mind at this point. He's on pace for about 120 bombs, which would best Bonds's record by a few. Jim Thome kept pace, though, hitting his fifth homer of the year for the Sox. Somehow, the Tigers couldn't come up with a better DH than Omar Infante. That's ridiculous, and is a direct result of carrying twelve pitchers.
- The Blue Jays jumped all over David Wells, smacking three homers en route to seven runs in just four innings. That was enough for Gustavo Chacin and assorted Toronto relievers to cruise on home for an 8-4 win. Dustan Mohr, just up from the minors, and Wily Mo Pena, getting a start in right against the lefty Chacin, both hit their first homers of the year. Pena's was a line shot to straight away center field. He is an enormous, imposing man, isn't he? Forget "man," he's still just 24. I see no former A's in either lineup or pitching line, but I do see the Greek God of Walks hitting leadoff for the Sox, which is a welcome surprise. Unfortunately, the results might discourage repeated use, as the man they call "Youk" went 0-5 with three whiffs.
- Seattle beat Cleveland in a wild 11-9 game. Travis Hafner blasted his sixth homer of the year (the AL is just full of guys smoking the ball early, isn't it? Chavez, Hafner, Thome, Shelton ...), but the Mariner bullpen just managed to hold on to things. Ichiro! and Adrian Beltre each stole their third bases of the year. Beltre stole eighteen bases in his first full year with the Dodgers, and stole 25 with Vero Beach in 1997, but he's not exactly a guy you think of as a speedster.
- Tampa Bay scored six runs over the last two innings (seventh and eighth) to pull one out against the Orioles. Baltimore's Sendy Rleal (say that ten times fast) gave up four runs in just a third of an inning out of the 'pen, and former Athletic John Halama contributed a two-run Ty Wigginton two-run homer. Kevin Millar popped a couple of homers as the Baltimore DH, but he couldn't overcome Daniel Cabrera's bizarro day: five innings, three hits, one run, nine walks, and ten strikeouts. He threw fewer than 50% of his 117 pitches for strikes. When we add the bullpen's walks, and Tampa Bays as well, seventeen free passes were issued in this game. Maybe more than anything else, that might be emblematic of why these two teams aren't going to be very good this year. The Orioles Think Tank calls Daniel Cabrera the most intriguing talent in the AL East, and also wonders why Sam Perlozzo let him throw so many pitches when it's only April (and moreover, when it had to be clear he had no command).
- Texas beat the Angels 11-3 to help keep Anaheim from getting past the A's in the standings. John Koronka (six innings, two runs) out-pitched Kelvim Escobar (4 1/3 and eight), which isn't supposed to happen. But that's why they play the game. Orlando Cabrera made his third error of the year, and the Angels' long quest for a first baseman do not appear to be at an end just yet: Robb Quinlan and Edgardo Alfonzo each appeared there in this game. Adam Morris mentions the reason that Ian Kinsler hasn't been in the lineup for the Rangers, which is that he dislocated his thumb. That's tough for the rookie, and it's tough for the Rangers. They've got a solid fill in available in D'Angelo Jimenez, but if I'm a Rangers fan, I'd rather have Kinsler. Luckily, I'm not a Rangers fan. This followup says he'll be out three weeks, which is a fortunately small amount of time. Apparently, though, Mark DeRosa is going to start at second against righties, which I don't think is the right approach.
- I won't write another essay about how much I love these teams tonight, but the Padres beat the Marlins 7-2. Florida fell to 1-6 despite three errors by San Diego, including one by Jesse Barfield that's labeled as "pop up" in the ESPN box score. Major leaguers don't drop pop ups, do they? Chris Young, who as you'll recall I pimped a little bit this winter when San Diego traded for him, threw six innings of one hit ball, striking out six and giving up no runs. He did walk three and hit one batter, but that's still a nice outing for Young, especially for a guy making half a million bucks (remember that the Rangers had to give him a bigger-than-normal contract to keep him in baseball after he was wooed by the NBA). The Baby Fish didn't have a great day. They went 2-15 with two walks while Jeremy Hermida got the day off. One of the two hits was a Miguel Cabrera homer, though. Also, Mike Jacobs embarassed Mike Piazza by stealing two bases, including third once. Jacobs is listed at 6'2", 180, but I refuse to believe he's that light. Either way, first baseman not named Darin Erstad (who's not even a first baseman anymore, of course) oughtn't be stealing third base against major league catchers. Apparently, Hermida is dealing with a sore hip flexor. I'm not sure what that is. Go ask Will Carroll or something.
- Greg Maddux, Scott Eyre, and Ryan Dempster held the Reds to one run to help the Cubs move to 5-2. There's a lot of ugliness in this box score. The Reds made five errors, three of those by Edwin Encarnacion (pushing him to five on the year). Greg Maddux gave up two stolen bases, including Ryan Freel's sixth of the year, and Brandon Claussen gave up four, two to Juan Pierre and two to Derrek Lee. On the other hand, Lee was caught stealing twice, once of third base and once of home (!) - that looks suspicious, though, so I'm checking the play-by-play. In the first inning, Pierre and Lee pulled off a double steal (and then each runner moved up one extra base on Javier Valentin's throwing error). In the third, Pierre and Lee did the double theft again. Following an Encarnacion error that allowed Pierre to score, Lee to move to third, and Michael Barrett to reach first, Lee was caught stealing home. Since the play went "pitcher to first to second to catcher," it looks like Barrett got picked off of first and Lee tried to take advantage of the rundown to score from third. That's technically a "caught stealing," I suppose, but it's not really one. Lee's caught stealing of third, though, which came in the seventh inning, looks legitimate from the play-by-play. It's not every day you see a first baseman steal twice and get caught stealing twice, with the latter two coming off third and home.
- The Mets moved to 6-1 behind Pedro Martinez's strong seven-inning, one-run outing. Martinez only struck out three, which is worrisome for Mets fans, but the Nats couldn't take advantage, recording just three hits against him. Nobody got hit by a pitch, so it looks like the game stayed ugly-free, which is nice to see. Good job keeping it to baseball, fellas. Apparently, Pedro became a citizen this off-season. Maybe that's why he didn't strike anyone out. Strikeouts are fascist, after all.
- Pittsburgh sent the Dodgers below .500 with a 9-5 win. The difference in this game was in the bullpen: the Los Angeles pen gave up four runs in three innings while the Pirates allowed nothing in 3 1/3. Craig Wilson made me look good with a two homer day, and Jack Wilson looks like a homer machine out there as he popped his third already. The Pirates also stole four bases against Sandy Alomar's ghost, which ghost also made a throwing error.
- Philly won its second game of the year with a 7-5 victory over the Braves. Wilson Betemit had three doubles for the Braves, but nothing else really jumps at me from this box.
- The Cards dominated the Brewers 8-3, beating up David Bush for all eight runs in six innings while Jason Marquis threw the definition of a quality start and was followed by three shutout innings from the bullpen. Geoff Jenkins and Rickie Weeks each made their third errors of the year for Milwaukee, and Beaneball fave Prince Fielder hit his first double of the year.
- Arizona beat Colorado to even their record at fours. Conor Jackson homered against Jeff Francis in a matchup of good young players, but Large Human Ray King coughing (up the lead) fit in the seventh was the critical event. Luis Gonzalez had a good day for a guy with a bad wing, throwing out Danny Ardoin on the bases twice.