By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
Tracy, who had microfracture surgery on his right knee on Sept. 20,
experienced a blood clot in the calf area last week. He is currently
taking blood thinners to help alleviate the problem and will stay away
from working with the leg for a week or so.
The entire Steve Gilbert article is here.
Get Well Soon, Chad!
What do you think of one someone says to you a one-run game? I’ll bet you usually think of a pitcher’s duel, of a score no higher than 3-2. But a 9-8 slugfest is also a one-run game. And that’s what the Diamondbacks and the Cardinals had tonight, with the Diamondbacks emerging victorious. It was a typical "Anybody Anytime" game, and to run down the scoring for the Snakes would take all night. So I’m not even going to try. I’ll just say that when I left work after the bottom of the second, I expected I would miss at least three innings even with a friend driving me home. She drove me home, after I took some time to gather my things and close down my computer at work. We talked for a few minutes in the car outside my apartment. When I got into the apartment, I started up the computer and it always takes a long time. (I run Windows XP home edition). And then there is the usual sign in rigmarole to go through to get on MLB.tv. So imagine my surprise and dismay when I saw the last out at the top of the third inning. The Cardinals had scored seven runs.
With the score 7-3, it looked like another disaster was brewing for the Diamondbacks. But then things started to turn around, and guess who talked Big Mo into coming back to the Diamondbacks dugout? That’s right… Eric Byrnes! He doubled in the third and then stole third base. The catcher’s throw looked like it hit him; it went bounding into left field. Eric got up and dashed home, his belt undone. Color analyst Joe Garragiola, Sr. then predicted that some day Eric will lose his pants while running. He won’t care and neither will I if he scores. That was the only run they got that inning, but it was enough to get things going, and after the Cardinals failed to score in their half of the fourth, the Diamondbacks hung a five spot on the Red Birds in the bottom of the inning. They did not lose the lead although the Cardinals made it close by getting a run back in the fifth and by spoiling a budding Diamondbacks rally in the eighth.
The real drama came in the ninth, when closer José Valverde, who leads the major leagues in saves, faced Albert Pujols in the top of the inning, with the Cardinals down a run and Pujols needing only a homer for the cycle. Valverde’s best pitch is a fastball and Pujols is a fastball hitter. But Valverde gave him only split-fingered fastballs and the slugger grounded out. In fact, it was 1-2-3 for Valverde, who picked up his 44th save. Stephen Drew hit a three-run homer that tied the game.
But, of course, for me, it was Eric Byrnes who provided the fireworks. He went 2-3 and a walk, with three runs scored and a stolen base. He now has 93 runs scored, a new personal best. I look forward to him scoring 100. He has 28 doubles, so 30 will not be too much to ask before the month is over. Tonight’s extra-base hit gives him 57, meaning that he needs 10 more for a personal best in total extra-base hits. He now has 164 total base hits and his batting average is back up to .297. And that was stolen base number 43. He currently has the major leagues’ longest string of stolen bases without getting caught.
The one bit of bad news tonight’s game was word that Orlando Hudson will have surgery on his thumb on Monday and will be out for the rest of the season. The torn ligament actually came off the bone. He will return to the dugout as soon as he is able to lend his not inconsiderable support and clubhouse presence to the team down the stretch. But his Gold Glove and .294 batting average will be missed.
"That’s the game right there. The bases were loaded. I was going to do whatever it took to make the play."
— Eric Byrnes, on his catch of a windswept flyball near the Nats bullpen in the third inning.
(photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Eric Byrnes singled, stole second and eventually scored the first of three first- inning runs the Diamondbacks scored on their way to their first-ever victory at RFK Stadium. Byrnes also had 2 walks, which brought his K/BB ratio to 1.00, and he won his battle with the elements to make a runs-saving catch in the third inning.
Edgar Gonzalez got the win; Jose Valverde got the save; Orlando Hudson hit a homer, his first of the year.
Scott Hairston fouled a ball off his knee in the first and went down in great pain. Robbie Hammock took his place. X-Rays showed nothing and he expects to be as soon as today. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s held out, though. The weather in the District–the windchill got down to 28 during yesterday’s game, can’t be good for running on a bruised knee.
Second baseman Orlando Hudson will wear No. 42 to honor Jackie Robinson on April 15. He also plans to wear throwback shoes and high socks with baggy pants the way Robinson did.
Former pitching coach Verne Ruhle of the Cincinnati Reds died Saturday of complications from a donor stem cell transplant for the treatment of multiple myeloma. He was 5 days short of his 56th birthday.
Ruhle pitched in the majors for 13 seasons with 4 teams, compiling a 67-88 record with a 3.17 ERA.
Our condolences to the Ruhle family and to the Cincinnati Reds.
It’s definitely a better one than last year, when Eric Byrnes had just gotten non-tendered by the Baltimore Orioles and I was literally sick about it. As grim as the weather that day. This year, it’s colder than last and it is actually raining as opposed to threatening last year. But Byrnes knows he has a place to play next year, and although he’s going to arbitration with the D’Backs, he has some sort of nice raise coming to him after the fine 2006. So I am in a much better mood.
Here is some other really good news. Boston Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester goes for his last chemotherapy today. So let’s hope that from now on, the things beginning with C that he has to focus on are Curves, Changeups and Contention for Championships.
The time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is my heaviest work period at KPFA. I am one of those people who helps keep the news department running while others take holidays and vacations, i.e. as a part-timer with no paid holidays or paid vacations, I pick up as many subbing hours as I can. So I haven’t had time to write as often as I did before. However, I intend to give my opinion on some of the off-season signings. Maybe Zito will have picked a team by the time I do that. I will be a little delayed in giving myself a Solstice present., But that present, results of which I will share with you, will be the time to fully analyze the fine 2006 Eric Byrnes turned in and to write up what I think he needs to do to make 2007 even better.
I also want to write an article about the cost of baseball tickets. I’m going to put my journalistic research skills behind this one, so it probably won’t get done until sometime in March, given everything else I have to do. Whether it ends up here or someplace else won’t be determined for a while yet, but it is something that I want to do and I’d love to have your help. If you have written about ticket prices in your area, please point it out, I might want to quote you. If you haven’t written a piece, but have opinions on the subject, you can leave a comment on this blog or send me an email at kellia[at]rise4news.net. If you do that latter, let me know if you are willing to be quoted by name, (just a first name and city is fine). I generally figure people who email me when they could leave a comment on the blog want to be incognito.
The basic contention of my article is that despite the increase in attendance, the experience of live baseball is being taken away from many fans because tickets are so expensive. Maybe more people can go because they have been able to become season’s ticket holders, but others, the walk-up types, like me, who can’t afford that are being more and more left out. Have you reduced your baseball attendance because of ticket expense? If you go as part of a family, has the family reduced its attendance, or split up games so that part of the family goes some times and the other part of the family goes the other times? Are you a young person whose allowance can’t keep up with rising ticket prices? Do you depend on a program sponsored by a player or by your local team, or a community organization in order to get tickets? Are you an adult who now has to put tickets on a credit card when you used to be able to pay cash? How has the success or lack thereof of your local team impacted ticket prices? Etc, Etc. Let me know what you think.
If you don’t want to give details about your experience, you can at least vote in my poll about money in baseball. Are high player contracts to blame for high ticket prices or would it be possible to pay players market rate and still bring ticket prices down? Do you attend games of other sports that have salary caps? Haven’t those prices gone up, too?
Speaking of money in baseball, the Giants and Barry Bonds are hammering out the details of a one-year, $16 million deal. I’ll give you the results of my Barry Bonds poll as soon as I can find them. They’re around here somewhere…
Johnson, the first baseman of the Washington Nationals, broke his right femur, a bone of the lower leg, in a freak collision with teammate Austin Kearns when the two were going for a pop fly in a game in New York against the Mets. Kearns was taken out of the game, but he was not seriously injured.
During the surgery, performed in New York, a titantium rod was inserted into Johnson’s leg. Surgery was successful; Johnson is expected to make a full recovery and be ready for Spring Training in ’07.
In other surgical news, KC Royals manager Buddy Bell had a tonsilectomy that also removed a growth in his throat. He had a staff meeting by phone in which he reported he was fine.
Hall of Fame broadcaster Peter Gammons is back with ESPN three months after surgery for a brain aneurysm. The ESPN baseball analyst was at Fenway Park two days ago. ESPN says he is not back full time, but will be scheduled depending on how he feels.
The 61-year-old Gammons was reported to be sounding like his old self in filing reports for Sports Center and Baseball Tonight.