Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Yesterday's recap: Duke sprains ankle; Astros get shut out behind Clemens again; Padilla continues to not suck; Freddy loses one-hitter

Yesterday I worked on a creative baseball-related project, but it's not quite done yet. I also had softball practice again, and it's sounding like I'll be playing second base from here on in, since I'm decent at picking up grounders, but I throw like a girl.

Anyway, the Pirates ended up winning yesterday's game in a landslide 10-0 victory over the Cardinals. Zach Duke apparently sprained his left ankle. Whew. It sounds promising, as in he might only miss a start or two, with no broken bones or anything. I hope that's the case.

I like the opening of the article Taguchi hits cleanup:

So Taguchi stands 5-foot-10. He weights 163 pounds. He has all of 13 Major League home runs on his resume. He only managed 67 homers in 4,094 at-bats in the Japanese League.

So when St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa informed his usual No. 7 hitter that he would be batting cleanup Tuesday night against the Pirates, protecting perhaps the game's greatest slugger in the lineup, one might see why Taguchi did not know whether to take his manager seriously.

Taguchi was called into cleanup due to the injuries of his other teammates, and then he got his hand hit with a pitch too. Ugh.

Anyway, I tagged a bunch of games yesterday as being interesting, and sure enough, they almost all were:

1) San Diego 2, Houston 0, Peavy vs. Clemens -- Both pitchers pitched complete games, and Clemens ran into another hard-luck loss, the eighth time this year the Astros have been shut out with Clemens on the mound. Former Pirate Brian Giles knocked in both runs for the Padres, one following former Red Sox Dave Roberts's triple and the other a solo home run. Former Mariner Miguel Olivo has been hitless the last two games but still has a solid .274/.318/.548 line for San Diego.

The odd part here is, twice in the last week or two have the Phillies been a half game behind Houston in the Wild Card, and I've said "Crap, the Phillies need to win tonight because Clemens is on the mound for Houston," and then Clemens lost and the Phillies won anyway.

2) Boston 5, Kansas City 2, as Zach Greinke falls further into Royal Ruins (that 3-15 record is looking positively Franklinesque), against David Wells, who is twice his size and almost twice his age. John Olerud is hitting .412/.444/.471 since getting off the DL a week or two ago, for a season line of .308/.345/.452. Sigh.

3) Minnesota 1, White Sox 0. Holy pitching duel, Batman. Freddy Garcia had a no-hitter for seven innings until Jacque Jones blasted a home run to lead off the eighth, so he pitched a one-hitter and lost. I actually feel pretty bad for him. Johan Santana matched Freddy all the way, only giving up three hits, two to Pablo Ozuna. The pitching box looks like something straight off a Bat-Girl t-shirt: Santana/Nathan, (W 13-6, S 32)

4) Angels 7, Orioles 6, as Washburn gets run support for once, but then K-Gregg and K-Rod attempt to lose the game for him anyway, giving up 4 runs to the Orioles in the ninth inning. But, W is for Washburn once more, however narrow it may be.

5) Phillies 10, Giants 2. Between Brett Myers's complete game on Saturday, Lieber's 7-inning torture yesterday, and Vicente Padilla coming through with another fantastic start (8.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 HR, 94 pitches), the bullpen may finally be recovered from last Thursday's doubleheader debacle in Washington. The Phillies bats exploded for 16 hits and 10 runs, with Ryan Howard and Pat Burrell leading the way. Howard was 4-for-5 with a double and a homer, knocking in 3 runs, and Burrell was 3-for-4 with a double, knocking in 2 runs. No Phillies batter went hitless, including Padilla himself, who was 1-for-4 with an RBI. Odd thing about this game is that the Giants only managed 3 hits off Padilla, but they were all doubles.

6) Rangers 6, Mariners 4. Bleh.

Standings:
Despite winning last night, San Diego is still one game below .500 and leading the NL West. They'd be at the absolute dead bottom of the NL East.
Cleveland won their 6th straight last night and have caught the Yankees for the AL Wild Card. On an unrelated note, Indians closer Bob Wickman and Yankees closer Mariano Rivera are tied for the AL lead in saves with 33.
The Phillies are once more up a half game on Houston in the NL Wild Card. Oh, the suspense!
The Mariners are now 5 games behind Texas again. If we could win our next two against them that'd narrow that to 3, but somehow I don't see that happening.

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