Friday, August 3, 2007

Crazy 8's!

No, it wasn't televised locally or on WGN (the Chicago superstation), so not many of us out in Southern California got to see what happened in the Bronx yesterday... Thankfully, if we can't see a game on TV, these days we can follow the games pitch by pitch via various sites - FYI, I prefer either CBS Sportsline or Yahoo's Gamecast. The game yesterday at Yankee Stadium between the Yankees and the White Sox started innocently enough, with only Bobby Abreu of the home team getting a hit in the first inning.

Then came the second inning... and what a second inning it was!!! With a future Hall of Famer (Roger Clemens), and a man who won 18 games each of the past two years (Jon Garland) facing each other, we had no idea about the fireworks that were in store for us. Clemens gave up a leadoff single to Paul Konerko. A.J. Pierzynski would single. Then, Jermaine Dye would double in Konerko to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead. And with that the floodgates opened... Six more hits and an error would result in SEVEN more runs coming in for the White Sox, knocking Clemens out of the game, leaving the Yankees down 8-0.

With an eight run cushion, you probably would have figured a veteran like Garland would just cruise to an easy victory. Such was not the case though as Hideki Matsui led off the bottom of the frame with a single. Jorge Posada then doubled. Robinson Cano then singled to score Matsui and it was now an 8-1 game. Newly acquired Wilson Betemit then tagged his first home run for the Yankees to make it an 8-4 score. Garland would allow four more hits, along with getting a strikeout of Johnny Damon before being removed for Brooke Logan. By then, two more runs had scored and it was now an 8-6 game... Logan proceeded to strike Matsui out, but he then allowed a double to Posada, scoring two more runs. Suddenly, the game was tied 8-8! Cano was then retired by Logan on a ground out, and the inning was FINALLY over! It took exactly an hour for that one inning to be played! Five different pitchers were used and a total of 90 pitches were thrown. 16 runs, 18 hits, a walk and an error... all in ONE inning! It's not something you see every day!

The final seven innings of the game were much more "normal," with the White Sox outscoring the Yankees by a 5-1 margin for a 13-9 win. As for A-Rod, well he's STILL stuck on 499 homers... Incidentally, the other eight innings of the game clocked in at 2 hours and 59 minutes, making the total game time 3 hours and 59 minutes.


Well, there were other games played yesterday, and believe it or not the Yanks/White Sox game was not the highest scoring one. That honor would go to the Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves, who would go 14 innings before Houston prevailed by a 12-11 score. It's hard to pick out just one star here, but Mike Lamb definitely had the key hit in regulation, tying the game in the top of the eighth inning with a grand slam off of Braves set-up man Rafael Soriano. Mark McLemore would single in Jason Lane in the top of the 14th inning to drive in what turn out to be the winning run for the Astros. Willie Harris and Jeff Francoeur each had three hits, and Mark Teixeira homered for the second straight game with his new team. The Braves have tallied double digit runs in four consecutive games.

Having the aforementioned Clemens on one of my important fantasy teams was quite disheartening yesterday, but thankfully I also have San Diego ace Jake Peavy on that same team - and Peavy thankfully undid a lot of the Rocket's damage!! In seven innings the 2007 Cy Young Award candidate shut out the Arizona Dimondbacks, striking out 10, while only allowing three hits and a walk. Newly acquired Morgan Ensburg homered twice for the Padres as Peavy cruised to his 11th win of the year in the Padres 11-0 decision.

In Oakland, the appropriate word for the night at least for Vladimir Guerrero would probably be one that Natalie Gulbis can relate to: FINALLY! For those of you that missed it, Gulbis finally noticed her first LPGA win last weekend... Meanwhile, Guerrero had not hit a home run since June 23rd - a span of 125 at bats, and the longest drought of his career. Last night, "Vlad The Impaler" finally lived up to his nickname, launching two homers in leading the Angels to a 6-4 win over the Oakland A's. Despite not his power outage, Guerrero's still been doing his main job - driving in runs. His four RBI's give him 87 on the year, good for fourth in the American League. Down the coast in L.A., the "Barry watch" will now have to head further south. The Dodgers held Barry Bonds to a single and two walks last night, though his San Francisco Giants did end up defeating the Blue Crew by a 4-2 tally. Bonds and the rest of the "Barry watch" contingent will now travels to San Diego as the Giants take on the Padres this weekend. The Dodgers welcome the division leading Arizona Diamondbacks into Chavez Ravine to begin a crucial three game series.

Break up the Nats??? For the second straight game, Manny Acta's team put up seven runs on the Cincinnati Reds. Mike Bacsik pitched a very strong seven innings for the home team, only allowing three runs and three hits, walking none and striking out six as the Nationals swept their three game series with the Reds. For the Nats, it was their first home series sweep this year since taking three games from the Florida Marlins 2 1/2 months ago. The Nats are now 13-8 since Miss DC Day at the Nationals... Hey, I have to give credit where credit is due after all!


There was also a baseball game that was postponed yesterday - the Minnesota Twins were supposed to play the final game of their four game series against the Kansas City Royals at the Metrodome. As most of you know, the I-35W bridge collapsed near the Metrodome on Wednesday. So far at least five people have been confirmed dead, with others still missing. Things like this really put sports in their proper perspective. While the games still must go on, please remember to keep the families and friends of these people who tragically lost their lives in your thoughts and prayers.


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