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).
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.
When 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.
Byrnes bageled again with one K. I swear it’s like he’s forgotten how to hit.
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?
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.
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.
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
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!
Kéllia "Still waiting for XBH No. 63" Ramares
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.