by Ben Margot - AP View full size photo uploaded September 6, 2009 It took Derek Jeter about 6,350 at-bats to reach 2,000 career hits. Pete Rose nearly amassed 6,500[...]
Read The Full Article:
Well isn't this a nice pick me up? Brian McTaggart tells us that Cecil Cooper has convinced Ed Wade to go against his philosophy towards September call ups, and that we should expect a surprise from the minors on Tuesday:
"I will say this, I think you'll be surprised," Cooper said. "That's all I'll say. That will give you something to chew on."
We already know 28 year old relief pitcher Billy Sadler is going to make the jump to the majors, but whom will join him? The article lists a handful of players, but if it were up to you, TCB public, which farm hand would be packing his bags for Houston?
More photos » by David Zalubowski - AP
Ten feet tall, made of radiation.
About this time last week, nobody was in particularly good spirits, as the Giants' come-from-behind win, featuring an Edgar Renteria grand slam (sorry for the memories, go ahead and repress them again) had secured a three-game sweep for them and a tie in the wild card. While not exactly panic, let's just say that the sentiment around here wasn't one of sunshine and roses.
Well, as we've learned all year, a week can make all kinds of difference, and that anything can happen in the wild, wild West (and the wild, wild card). Not that this week seemed to be making one. We were locked in tango with the Giants; after a lone misstep on their part allowed us to claim a one-game lead, that was how matters remained. We won, they won. We lost, they lost. We all stopped thinking that it was going to be easy when that comfy-looking four -game lead vanished quicker than you can say, "Seth Smith is a sexy beast," and unless something drastically unforeseen takes place in the last few weeks of the regular season, the race is going to come down to the wire. Anybody up for another play-in game.....?
Gentlemen, start your defibrillators.
Join me after the jump as we take a look at the factors fueling a 5-1 (thus far) homestand, and our return to a two-game lead in the Wild Card (thanks to our 13-5 beatdown of the Snakes today, and Prince Fielder hitting a walk-off homer to beat the Giants in 12).
First and foremost, the Rockies are benefiting from a massive Midas touch when it comes to plugging in bit parts and role players. Jose Contreras, possessing a 5-13/5.42 mark with the White Sox, came in and threw 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball against the Dbacks in the second game of the series. Jason Giambi has two late-inning, tie-breaking hits already, providing the winning margin in both those games. Franklin Morales, taking the closer's job from the injured Huston Street, continues to look like a beast, and the horrible horde of Rincon-Flores-Peralta-Herges has been, thankfully, relegated to the part of the bullpen that's brought in to do mop-up duty, instead of the one pitching the important innings. Rafael Betancourt has been a solid enough setup man to make us all (almost) forget about the Lemur, and once Street comes back (hopefully soon, and hopefully strong) we still have Frankie to use as his left-handed counterpart. Frankie has been blossoming in the pen (you have less chances to balk and consequently come to pieces when you're only pitching one inning) and his velocity, hovering in the low nineties only a year or so ago, has now gotten ramped up as high as 98. He profiles quite well as an interim closer, and he'd be the closer on a number of other teams. This is the kind of depth that playoff-caliber teams need to have. Check.
The other thing that playoff-caliber teams need to have is a bona fide ace. Well, if there was any doubt, Ubaldo Jimenez has seemingly arrived to claim the crown. Now, I'll knock on wood, as U-ball still isn't immune to the occasional hiccup, but it's starting to look like he can produce eight-inning, two-run, seven-K efforts in his sleep. He's gone six innings or more in 24 straight outings, and like Mariano Rivera with his cutter, you know what's coming with him and you still can't hit it. According to the Denver Post, Inside Edge tracked 2,825 of the 3,041 pitches U-ball has thrown this season. 1,893 of those 2,825 were fastballs. The percentage of well-hit balls? 17%. This isn't even counting his slider (.125 BAA) and changeup (.206 BAA).
He ranks fifth in innings pitched, sixth in wins, seventh in strikeouts. What's more, he doesn't have to do it alone. Of the six pitchers leading the NL in wins, three are Cardinals (Wainwright, Carpenter, Pineiro) and three are Rockies (Marquis, JDLR, and Jimenez). JDLR weebled and wobbled all over the damn place today, walking six, but managed to limit the damage to one run in five innings. As is oft repeated, winners find a way to win even without their best stuff, and JDLR did that today, recording a 20th straight decision. He's 14-3 since starting 0-6. Admittedly, Oy George is as much a threat to show up as Yay George, but at least when he does, he's no longer quite as prone (knock on wood) to nuclear innings.
Of course, a pitcher(s), no matter how good, can't do it alone. That's why it's time to give some love to our madmen atop the lineup, Carlos "Gangsta" Gonzalez and Seth "Holy Sh!t!" Smith. (This isn't to forget my favorite quote from an opposing manager in some time. Jerry Manuel on Tulo):
"Their shortstop. He's a player. He's gangster," Manuel said. "He's not just on the gangster bus. He's driving it wherever he wants to go."
Be that as it most certainly may be, I think that CarGo should be renamed BusGo, and Seth Smith, for the moment, has hijacked the driver's seat of the gangster bus. He has caused the type of torment to the Dbacks that, I imagine, has led to them wishing to various entities that he would just go the heck away. Fortunately for us, he hasn't. He's hitting .542 in his past six games, racked up five RBIs today with a two-run shot and a three-run shot, and overall has five doubles, four homers, 10 RBIs and 10 runs scored to add to his resume for NL Player of the Week. If Smith isn't getting hisself a Swiss watch in a few days, somebody done the boy wrong. Combined with Dexter Fowler's imminent return and the continuation of Brad Hawpe's prolonged second-half slide, Smith may have played himself into a starting role for the time being. Anybody else like the taste of a Smith/Fowler/CarGo outfield? Mmmm-hmmm.
There are glimmers that Stewart may be starting to wake up too (2 for 2, 2 RBI, 3 runs scored, 3 walks today. I credit the procreation effect; much congrats to Ian and Susan Stewart on the birth of their daughter Ellsi) and Yorvit Torrealba, of all people, is providing a jolt from the catcher's spot. He's still completely useless when it comes to throwing out baserunners, but he did collect a pair of doubles today and is hitting (hold onto your chairs) a tidy .285 on the season. I know, that's not something you ever saw Yorvit doing, but since Iannetta is also slumping recently, Torrealba has officially supplanted him as the starting catcher. I can't fault the move for the time being. It's nice to have a catcher hitting something besides lazy fly balls and weak grounders (and yes, until recently, that was Yorvit's specialty. Weird season indeed).
It'll be another roller coaster of a week ahead. The Giants return home to take on the not-so-fearsome Padres, and we'll also be at home playing the Reds for four. While the Reds have been pitifully inept for most of the season, they're showing signs of a pulse, winning seven straight and 8 of 12. It'll be our job to return them to the obscurity to which they're normally accustomed, and we've got the right man on the mound for the (strangely) afternoon-game opener tomorrow: Ubaldo Jimenez. And if we've learned anything thus far, it's that it'll be cause for yet another week of various hair-raising adventures.
Hopefully we're not the one with the levitating follicles.
Joseph Jaccom from MVN's The Bronx Block was lucky enough to get into the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre clubhouse and speak with Yankees prospect Austin Jackson. Here's the interview, check it out.
In another interesting post from around the Yankees blogosphere, Steve Lombardi from Was Watching compares the careers of Joe DiMaggio and Derek Jeter. It's an interesting look at the two (one future) Hall of Famers.
The Orioles bats came through on Sunday, and Jeremy Guthrie delivered on the mound throwing seven shutout innings to defeat the Rangers, 7-0. With the 'B' team on the field in yesterday's game, Chad Moeller came through with a 2-for-4 say with two RBIs, and Ty Wigginton had three hits. Recent callup Jeff Fiorentino had two RBIs as well as Brian Roberts.
Guthrie earned his 10th win on the year and struck out six while allowing six hits. Matt Albers and Kam Mickolio helped complete the combined shutout. The Baltimore Orioles are 56-81 and avoided clinching their 12th losing season -- at least for a day.
The Orioles head up to Boston, and then onto New York for the weekend for a tough five game stretch.
Click Here for the Picture Set: Link
Kevin Kouzmanoff drove in San Diego's first three runs and Adrian Gonzalez homered, leading the Padres to a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday night. Tim Stauffer (4-6) won his third straight start, allowing three runs and seven hits in 6 2-3 innings after departing with a 4-1 lead.
Read The Full Article:
by David Zalubowski - AP
Too bad this guy was pigeon-holed as too valuable off the bench to start.
The usual suspects gave Rockies fans little doubt that they would complete the sweep, with the aid of Arizona wildness. After Jorge de la Rosa wriggled off a wild hook in the first inning, Seth Smith hit a two run home run in the bottom half of the inning. Ian Stewart followed minutes later with his own two run dinger, his third home run in four games.
Yorvit Torrealba surpassed Joe Girardi for the Rockies franchise record for a hitting streak for a catcher, extending MLB's longest current streak to 15 with two doubles, driving in three. Carlos Gonzalez hit a home run for the second straight game, adding a single and a walk, but Seth Smith was the real hero.
Smith hit a second home run in the fifth, helping him to finish 2-for-4 with 5 RBI, 2 runs and a walk. In the series, he went 9-for-13 with three homers. The series helps make Smith a favorite for NL Player of the Week. He finished the week going 13-for-24 with 4 HR, 10 runs, 11 RBI and 4 BBs.
Aided by ten walks (three by Stewart and two by Jason Giambi), the Rockies managed to pound out 13 runs on just 10 hits. Seven ot those ten hits went for extra bases.
Jorge de la Rosa continued with a current theme of overcoming adversity. He allowed just 2 hits and 1 run in five innings, but he also walked six. It was good enough to earn his 12th game in his last 14 starts.
Chris Young had the best game of the year for Arizona, hitting three solo home runs off three different pitchers and Mark Reynolds hit his 41st home run. Justin Upton thought he hit a HR to center in the third inning, so he posed and walked to first, only to see the ball bounce off the warning track. A quick CarGo throw held him to a single, and manager AJ Hinch responded by pulling Upton for the gaffe.
The game lasted 4 hours and 40 minutes and included 22 walks on both sides.
The Giants lost on a walkoff HR by Prince Fielder, so Colorado now leads the Wild Card by two games. The Marlins and Braves, the next two in line, also lost. Los Angeles plays the Padres tonight at 6 MDT.
77 - 60
2 Game Lead
Pyth W-L: 78-59
He’s on pace for 300 runs, 300 RBI’s, 120 HR’s, 150 2B’s based on the last week :)
Join after the jump for the fangraph and the row call.
Ian Stewart (.148) - 2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, 3 R, 3 BB
Seth Smith (.130) - 2-for-4, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 R, BB
Jorge de la Rosa (.103) - 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 6 BB, 1 HR. 0-for-2, 2 K.
Yorvit Torrealba (.094) - 2-for-4, 2 2B, 3 RBI, R
Mr.Clean, The Lodo Magic Man, controlled_slide, MissR, Foxhole Atheist, SDcat09, Cargo's Ball Sack5, Mondogarage, Maris6161, jcn7vc, BittenAnkles, amoeba, Kumquat, ddavis539, Teekalong, Shoemaker, LACK, GoRoxInNSB,FL, GoRockies!!, nodakroxfan, MohrPlease, fantasyfencing, Rox Girl, theshiva, rockies31, RockiesMagicNumber, 303chiefs, Poseidon's Fist, Angélique C. Murray, Kumar_98, Silverblood, Squeaky, free7694, Duncan1800, BroJB, DeepPurple, mkorpal, dederk16, KindredSprites, CM85, Hollidayrain, jrockies, djmbluemoon, Rock Oax, Redhawk, lockeitup, TuLoRocks2008, WalkInRight, RdRnnr, WolfMarauder, befizzle, dds_dave
1324 comments, 52 Rowbots
by John Amis - AP
Martin Prado practices some moves he saw in a sticky book at Uncle Tom's Sex Cabin. (AP Photo/John Amis)
Micah Owings. Even though Micah cannot possibly be a starter [reasons for this pending], he stepped up with two shutout innings of relief, then got the win by being hit in the head to drive in the winning run. We hope that he's okay. Johnny Cueto also pitched six innings of one run ball and struck out nine. Drew Stubbs went 3-5 with a home run.
INSIDER: A very nasty loss for the Yankees today in Toronto as they fell by the score of 14-8. Officially they were only given four errors butthere was plenty of mental mistakes and bad overall pitching.
Boston won so the lead in the division will drop to 7.5 and the magic number will remain at 19. The Angels also won, so that lead drops to 5 games. A 5-2 road trip isn't bad though.
ON THE MOUND:
Sergio Mitre didn't pitch nearly as bad as his line looks. He was abandoned by his defense several times and it led to most of his earned runs. Had he not had to work so much harder working around his defense, he may have actually thrown a good game. When it was all said and done Mitre threw 4.1 innings and allowed 11 runs (9 earned) on 11 hits, walked 2, and struck out 5. But again, he didn't pitch as bad as the line looks.
Neither Mark Melancon -- walked in two runs -- or Josh Towers -- hit Randy Ruiz in the face to force in a run -- pitched well in relief. Melancon had no control, and looked lost. In 0.1 innings he allowed a run on one hit, and walked two with the bases loaded. After hitting Ruiz and then allowed two more runs in the sixth, Towers settled down and held Toronto off the board over the final two innings.
Through four and a half the Yankees had a 5-4 lead, but the Jays answered with a eight runs in the bottom half and another two in the bottom of the sixth to put the game away. The eight-run fifth was created by several of the Yankees miscues.
The Yankee offense pounded out 8 runs on 13 hits. Derek Jeter picked up three singles to pull to within three of Gehrig's record. Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui and Nick Swisher had two hits apiece, and Swisher and Melky Cabrera both homered.
THE BOX SCORE:
It's not that I think the Rockies (who crushed Arizona 13-5 earlier in the day) are really seriously in contention for the division lead — but if the Dodgers keep hitting like this, they might. Fangraphs blames new acquisition Ronnie Belliard, who grounded into a double play in the fourth; kind of ironic given this David Ely MLB.com story on Belliard in which the Dodgers are reputed to be getting a lot out of him. Well: Padres starter Tim Stauffer certainly had a good outing.
The guys in the TV booth were going after Manny Ramirez, and who can blame them? 22 RBIs in the second half, and only seven home runs. In between stupid Steve Phillips cracks about Manny's hair keeping him from hitting (funny, it wasn't a problem before his suspension), you do wonder whether he's getting close to being done.
Hiroki Kuroda wasn't terrible in his return from the DL, giving up all four runs in five innings of work. The Dodgers bullpen posted zeroes the rest of the way.
And the Dodgers are still 3.5 games up on the Rocks.
Yahoo box • Dodgers recap
Read The Full Article: