Tagged: Ballgames


How the $&@(!$ does any team give up THIRTY unanswered, earned runs in one game?
(And on the day their manager’s contract was extended?)

Had it been the WBC, the mercy rule would have been invoked long before.

Then to add insult to injury, they had to play another game right afterwards. (They lost 9-7).


Winners and Losers

Congrats to the Twins for clinching a playoff birth. Whether they will win the AL Central or be the AL Wild Card has yet to be determined.

The Diamondbacks FINALLY beat Jason Schmidt. The final score was 7-1. The Giants’ ace had been 11-0 in his last 16 starts against the Snakes and the Giants had won all 16 games.

As for the Oakland A’s and the St. Louis Cardinals, they have yet to clinch. Uh, guys? This is a really bad time to go on a losing streak.


The End — Part 1

Tombstone_1The Arizona Diamondbacks were eliminated from the NL West race yesterday by losing to the LA Dodgers 5-1. The NL West will now be decided between the Dodgers and the Padres.

Nomar_1When MLB.TV has a commercial break, it sometimes displays a little dialogue from the computer that says "Know what my favorite play is? The two-out walk-off grand slam. I know it’s kind of obvious. But I’m not changing it. Keep watching, you might see one."

Well, those were watching that game–not me, I was at work–saw precisely that, from Nomar Garciaparra. To center, over the head of Eric Byrnes. That’s now Nomar’s second walk-off homer this week. (Who does he think he is? David Ortiz?)

This is now at least the third walk-off hit sent beyond Byrnes’ reach. I saw the Mets get two walk-off hits (not homers) at Shea. With a runner on third, the outfielders were playing shallow to try to make a play at the plate on a single. The Mets’ balls were hit near the warning track. This time, Garciaparra hit the ball to the fans.

Housefly_51Thanks again, D’Backs bullpen. This time, it was Luis Vizcaino who gave up multiple runs in the 9th.

Byrnes bageled again with one K. I swear it’s like he’s forgotten how to hit.

Hourglass_1Kéllia "STILL waiting for XBH No. 63" Ramares
Oakland, CA

What’s With You, Dodgers Fans?

Or should I say, where are you? I put on the Dodgers-D’Backs game to catch a couple of innings before I go to work and what do I see? Tons o’ empty seats!

Your guys are fighting for both the division crown in the NL West and the NL Wild Card. It’s the last home game of the regular season. It’s a nice day. Eighty-four degrees is a bit warm for my taste, but you are used to it in SoCal.  And the D’Backs haven’t exactly been pushovers for the Dodgers this season. Yet there’s tons o’ empty seats!

If ever there was a time for a sell out, it should be today. Where are you, Dodgers Fans?


True Elation 23: A Good Night for Byrnes AND a Win for Batista

Sun18_53Eric Byrnes, leading off, went 4-6 with 2 RBI in tonight’s 9- 3 over the Dodgers. The 4-hit night lifted his batting average to .274.

After singling in the first inning, Byrnes stole second. That’s stolen base No. 23. That gives him 23 homers and 23 stolen bases. This exceeds the output of the D’Backs only other 20/20 man, Devon White, who went 22/22 in 1998.

In the 9th inning, Byrnesie singled with the bases loaded, driving in two runs. That makes 73 on the year, which ties his 2004 total, so far his career best.

Miguel Batista won the game! That’s his 11th win. It’s nice to see him win because he gets stuck with so many no decisions. He gave up three runs in the first–what is it about the first inning that D’Backs pitchers give up runs like there is some sort of law that says they have to?–but then he settled down and pitched well. Jose Valverde closed it out.

Housefly_50Batista struck out four times, including twice with two out and a runners in scoring position. Hey BoMel! Batista can bunt; why no attempt at a squeeze when Stephen Drew was on third?

Byrnesie is in singles mode. All four hits tonight were singles, as was the one hit he got last night. That’s good for the average, but not good for the slugging percentage, the XBH/H and the TBs. But what bothers us most about tonight is that he was not driven in any of the 4 times he was on base, even though the stolen base put him on 2nd, and in a subsequent inning he got as far as third.

Byrnes also struck out once today. He’s been striking out regularly and we would like to see him stop that before he ends the season with 90+. That would still be an improvement over 2004, but we remember that earlier this year, he went 58 PA’s without a K. It would be nice if he could close out the season with a long no-K streak.

And while we were elated to see him get some RBI’s with the bases loaded, greedy DTLFL is still waiting to see Eric Byrnes get something more than a single with the bags full.

Note_42The next RBI and the next XBH will set new personal bests for Byrnes in each category.

The D’Backs got 17 hits tonight.

Trevor Hoffman of the San Diego Padres got save No. 478 tonight. That ties him with Lee Smith for the all-time number of saves.

Kéllia "Still waiting for XBH No. 63" Ramares
Oakland, CA

The Perils of Patience and Lack Thereof

Housefly_42 Housefly_45


Going into tonight’s game Eric Byrnes had great numbers against Dodger starter Derek Lowe and Dodger closer Takashi Saito. Looking at him in tonight’s 2-0 loss, you would have thought he was seeing them for the very first time.

He took most of the pitches he saw from them tonight. When forced to protect the plate in his first time up, he GIDP. And only the highness of the chopper to third and his speed saved his second grounder from also being a double play; the Boys in Blue settled for a fielder’s choice that got the lead runner.

Eric singled his third time up but was thrown out stealing on a pitchout. He ran on the first pitch. This is now the 2nd time in the last three attempts that he has been thrown out and both times were on pitchouts. (He drew a lot of throws when he was on with the fielder’s choice). Opposition teams have recognized him as a base-stealing threat and have made the adjustment. He now has to make the counter-adjustment.

Byrnes was his usual hustling self in the outfield, but at the plate he seemed lethargic. He has days when he seems unsure of himself at the plate and he ends up checking his swing and looking at things he should swing at. This was one of those days; it ought not to have been, given his prior successes against the pitchers he faced tonight. But there he was against Saito in the 8th, two out with runners on 2nd and 3rd and he was caught looking at a fast ball.

So Byrnes tonight had a DP, an FC that was almost a DP, a CS, a K and he had 4 LOB, three in scoring position. He came up with the game on the line in the 8th and served as a negative reminder of why Albert Pujols and David Ortiz are so special.

To sum up the night: YUCK!

Housefly_47 Housefly_48


Kéllia "Still waiting for XBH No. 63" Ramares
Oakland, CA

True Elation 22: D’Backs 8-Padres 2

The Eric Byrnes line for the night was 2-4 with 2 RBI (with 2 out), 2 R, 1 BB with No K’s, and 1 SB. His batting average is now .272. And he has 71 RBI.

In the one-sided slugfest that was tonight’s game–the D’Backs got 18 hits–Byrnesie was the difference-maker in terms of getting the win. Batting 4th against David Wells, he drew a walk, went to second on a Conor Jackson single, stole third and scored on Johnny Estrada’s ground out. That was the D’Backs’ first run.

Byrnesie batted in the next two runs with a two-out single that scored Hudson from second and Gonzo from first. So when the Padres entered the bottom of the ninth, the last thing I wanted was for the D’Backs’ bullpen to mess with Byrnesie’s status as the difference-maker. They managed not to do that, but it was a little scary at first. They let a run score in the 8th, and the 9th was not 1-2-3.

My one quibble was that Byrnes’ hits were both singles. He still needs an XBH of any kind to set a new personal best for aggregate XBHs in a season, and 4 more doubles to set a new personal best in that category. Still, I will call this a quibble and not a fly in the ointment. I am elated that he batted in two of the three two-out RISP he had.

Thanks to a reader from Arizona, I got one of those Byrnes Dirty-T-Shirts. It fits great and I wore it to work tonight. I will be appropriately superstitious and wear it again to work tomorrow, since Byrnesie had such a good time today. (One of the nice things about being a radio tech is no dress code).

Welcome back to the game to Ryan Klesko of the Padres, who had a serious shoulder injury. He entered as a pinch hitter and walked.

And good luck to Jason Isringhausen of the St. Louis Cardinals. The 34-year-old closer is undergoing hip surgery.


An Exception

A Big One.

Usually we Bay Area types do not root for the Dodgers. "Beat LA" is one of our regular cheers. We have even seen "Beat LA" signs at "Whatever They’re Calling It This Year" Park in S.F. when the Dodgers weren’t playing there.

But tonight was an exception. DTLFL wanted the Dodgers to soften up the Padres a bit before the Friars went back to San Diego, where they are only one game above .500, to play the D’Backs against whom they are only 5-7 this year.

The Dodgers were kind enough to oblige in an exceptional game they have just won 11-10 in 10 innings. They were down 4 runs before their first ups, but by the third they had tied the score. But they were down again 4 runs going into the bottom of the ninth and a lot of the Angelenos were headed to the parking lot. The Dodgers’ performance looked familiar to people who have been watching the Diamondbacks all year.

Then something that no team had done since 1964 happened. The Dodgers hit four consecutive home runs! (Two of them yielded by Trevor Hoffman). And the score was tied again. The Angelenos in the parking lot stayed put.

But the Padres refused to surrender. They scored a run in the top of the tenth.

In the bottom of the tenth, Padre reliever Rudy Seanez could not find the plate and walked Kenny Lofton. And then he gave up a gopher ball to Nomar and that was all she wrote.

So thank you, Dodgers, for taking some wind out of the sails of the team from Navytown.

And Padre pitchers, remember that Eric Byrnes loves those high strikes we saw from you tonight. Similar pitches to him over the course of this upcoming series will be most appreciated.

The next XBH of any sort for Byrnesie sets a new personal best in aggregate XBHs. He needs two homers to reach 25, which is the DTLFL HR benchmark for him this year. He needs four doubles to set a new personal best in two-baggers. Two homers and four doubles over the next three games would be really nice. And a lot less than you gave up to the Dodgers in this one game, San Diego. So it’s not like DTLFL is being really greedy or anything when we say we would love to see Byrnesie achieve these milestones in this next series you have with Arizona.

We are not even suggesting you should lose. Just that if, perchance, you generally shut down the D’Backs, please make an exception for Eric Byrnes.

Kéllia "hoping Padres pitching will be a blessing to Byrnes" Ramares
Oakland, CA

Technical Elation: D’Backs 7 Rox 6 in 16

Eric Byrnes met our definition of True Elation last night by getting two hits and one RBI. (He also scored a run). But it is hard for us to be happy, much less elated, with his performance last night. He went 2-8. Both hits were singles. He struck out twice. (The K’s are starting to pile up). He had 8 LOB, and left 4 two- out RISP.

The game went extras because Jose Valverde blew the save by allowing a walk, a triple and a wild pitch.

The D’Backs managed to manufacture a run in the 16th to give them the victory. Chris Young singled. Chad Tracy, who had homered earlier in the game, sacrificed him to second. Young stole third while Johnny Estrada was batting. Estrada was then IBB’s. Pinch Hitter Chris Synder, batting for Jorge Julio, then hit a sac fly to right that scored Young. Nicely done. Too bad it took 16 innings.


True Elation 20: D’Backs Outslug Cards 9-7

It isn’t very often that the D’Backs (or anyone else for that matter) win when they give up 7 runs, but the Snakes slithered past the Redbirds today 9-7, to take 3 of 4 from the NL Central leaders. As is unfortunately typical of the D’Backs, they had to come from behind, as their pitchers blew a 4-1 lead. The Redbirds built up a 7-4 lead, but the D’Backs got the lead for good in the 8th inning with back-to-back homers by Tony Clark and (Ta-Da!) Eric Byrnes!

The Eric Byrnes line for the day was 2-5 with 1 RBI. His batting average, which had dipped below .270 during the game, finished at .271. The homer was No. 23. That was RBI No. 68. Eric needs to reach 74 for a new personal best. He also scored three runs, which brings that total to 75, and he stole base no. 21. He needs just 2 more stolen bases to surpass the accomplishments of Devon White, the Diamondbacks’ other 20/20 man, who hit 22 homers and stole 22 bases in 1998.

Beside the homer, Byrnes hit a single.  His doubles production has fallen off. It seems that Byrnes either hits a homer or a single these days. We really would like to see some more doubles. (Would-be homers that don’t quite clear the wall? Line drives down either line? Something over the head of the CF? We aren’t fussy). He’s been sitting at 34 for a while and needs 40 for a new personal best. Time’s a wastin’, Byrnesie!

But really we are elated! Byrnesie had been serving up a lot of bagels lately, so he needed the 2-5. We hope it’s the start of a big hitting streak. Rollins ended last year with a hitting streak; we don’t see any reason why Byrnesie can’t have one also. And it’s been an unnecessarily stressful day at work, so news of the homer was particularly welcome. We know we should not get ahead of ourselves here. But with 23 under Byrnesie’s belt, and without any slight to the even two-dozen, we have a feeling we are going to get a chance to write about No. 25 before all is said and done this year.