Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)
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Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Top of the 1st
STREAKS COME AND GO
Baseball is a game of streaks it’s just amazing how many appear on a given night. here is just a sampling from last night:
Corey Koskie doubled in the go-ahead run off Trevor Hoffman with two outs in the 10th inning and the Milwaukee Brewers beat San Diego 5-4 to end their 9-game winning streak, the fifth-longest winning streak in Padres history. The Padres longest winning streak was in 1999 when they won 14 straight and yet finished the season with a record of 74-88. In 1978, when they had a 10-game winning streak, they were 84-78. In the two 11-game wining streaks the Padres had in 1998 and 1982, they finished the regular seasons 96-64 (1998) and 82-80 (1982).
Pinch-hitter David Dellucci hit a two-out triple in the 9th and then scored on pitcher Aaron Heilman’s wild throw down the first-base line on a Bobby Abreu grounder to give Philadelphia its ninth straight victory, 5-4 over the New York Mets. The last time Philadelphia won nine in a row was a 13-game streak in 1991.
The Cubs lost 6-1 to the Giants for their 8th straight loss and their 10th loss in their last 11 games. The Cubs are 5-13 since Derrek Lee went on the disabled list with a broken wrist, hitting .219 without Lee and averaging only 2.4 runs per game. The Cubs are only the third team in the last 33 years to score as few as 12 runs in a 10-game stretch, joining the 2004 Montreal Expos, who did it twice that season. The Cubs came into yesterday’s game ranked last in the National League in runs, second to last in home runs, hits, walks, slugging percentage and on-base percentage and grounding into double plays, and 14th in batting average.
The Marlins lost 10-2 to the Braves last night which means that the team has now lost 11 straight at home. Starter Brian Moehler’s losing streak, which dates back to last July 26, is at 10 and spans 22 appearances (14 starts). The Marlins have lost four straight and in those games have allowed 33 runs (31 earned) on 48 hits. Their team ERA has risen from 4.61 to 5.04 while their winning percentage is a National league worst .267.
The New York Mets established the NL record of 15 consecutive home losses in 2002.
Atlanta’s Edgar Renteria extended his hitting streak to start the season to 23 games. Renteria, who came into the game leading the NL in batting, finished 2-for-5 to hike his average to .354.
The Braves’ Jeff Francoeur had 135 plate appearances this season without a walk. That streak ended last night when Moehler walked on four straight pitches.
Josh Towers winless streak continued, the Toronto starter is now 0-7 after seven starts after the Oakland Athletics beat the Blue Jays, 6-5. Towers ERA fell from 10.59 to 10.09.
In Oakland’s victory Adam Melhuse homered in the 4th off Towers, who has lost all seven of his starts this season. Melhuse was playing in place of the suspended Jason Kendall who has not homered since July 27, 2004, a streak approaching 900 at bats. Kendall’s 601 at bats without a homer seta an A’s record.
After winning just five of their first 25 games, the Royals have taken four of six, rapping out a season-high 17 hits and coming from behind three times to beat the Cleveland Indians, 10-7.
Baltimore ended a five-game losing streak with a 7-6 win over Detroit.
Mike Lowell doubled twice against the Yankees, and is now 8-for-20 over his last five games, with all eight of those hits being doubles.
Michael Cuddyer extended his hitting streak to 10 games in Minnesota’s 15-5 shellacking of the Rangers.
Tadahito Iguchi streteched his hitting streak to 9 games as the the White Sox defeated the Angels, 9-1. The Angels have lost 10 of their last 12 games. They have only three runs and 11 hits in their last three games, all losses. The Angels have been held to one run in each of their last three games (May 7-8-9). The last time that they were held to fewer than two runs in each of three consecutive games was last year … on May 7-8-9.
Pittsburgh defeated Arizona, 3-0. Arizona lost its second in a row after winning seven straight. Jeromy Burnitz ended an 0-for-19 slide with a double in the 6th.
Arizona rookie Conor Jackson did not play at Pittsburgh, keeping intact his streak of having hit at least one double in each of his last six games.
Top of the 2nd
The topic for discussion in New York today will be who looked more pathetic Randy Johnson individually or the Yankees as a team? The Patriots defeated the Jets, 14-3 last night at Yankee Stadium (and when I say the Patriots, I’m referring to the Red Sox and when I say the Jets, I’m proving that I’m just rambling).
This sums up the background needed for the debate- Randy Johnson lasted just 3 2/3 innings — throwing 92 pitches — and gave up five hits and seven runs, and threw two critical wild pitches. HOWEVER, because just two of the runs were earned thanks to errors by Alex Rodriguez and Melky Cabrera, he lowered his ERA from 5.02 to 5.01.
Proving that he is showing his age, having “senior moments” on and off the mound, Johnson said, “I can’t remember the last time I pitched a good ballgame.”
Top of the 3rd
THE NEW MAGIC NUMBER IS 50
Tampa Bay prospect Delmon Young was suspended for 50 games without pay by the International League for throwing a bat that hit a replacement umpire in the chest.
IL president Randy Mobley said he believed the suspension was the longest in the league’s 123-year history. There was no record of the most severe suspension in the minors for an on-field incident.
“Fifty is a fair amount, and I’m going to serve it and then I’ll be back on the ballfield,” Young said at the Devil Rays’ minor league complex.
Fifty is also the same number that first time steroid users are banned.
Top of the 4th
TIME IS ON MY SIDE
Roy Halladay threw a complete-game four-hitter in Toronto’s 5-1 win over the Angels on Monday night. The game took only 1 hour, 59 minutes, tying for the fastest in the majors this season. Over the past five seasons (2002-06), the average time of a nine-inning game started by Halladay is 2:36, the second-fastest for any pitcher in the major leagues (min: 100 starts). No. 1 on that list is Mark Buehrle at 2:34.
Top of the 5th
Oakland Athletics catcher Jason Kendall ripped Major League Baseball after dropping his appeal of a four-game suspension. “Major League Baseball has turned into a badminton league. They told me I didn’t have any shot of getting my suspension knocked out,” Kendall said.
“It’s not like I went out and picked a fight. Nothing would have happened if he wouldn’t have said anything to me, if he wouldn’t have taken three steps hard at me.”
This won’t be Kendall’s first suspension –
May 9-12, 2006 — Suspended four games for charging the mound vs. Angels on May 2 (John Lackey was pitching)
July 21-24, 1998 — Suspended three games for fighting with Dodgers’ Gary Sheffield on June 28
Sept. 19, 2001 — Suspended one game for arguing call at first base on July 24
July 29-Aug. 1, 2003 — Suspended three games for fighting with Devil Rays’ Marlon Anderson on June 14
Sept. 18-19 (DH), 2004 — Suspended three games for charging the mound vs. Rockies on Aug. 15 (current A’s teammate Joe Kennedy was pitching)
Top of the 6th
Albert Pujols provided the winning runs with his 17th home run of the season in the Cardinals’ 4-2 win over the Rockies. That’s 17 homers in 34 St. Louis games.
The last major-leaguer to reach 17 home runs in so few team games was Frank Howard, who hit his 17th in the Washington Senators’ 33rd game back in 1968. Barry Bonds hit his 17th home run in the Giants’ 35th game in 1996 (note no asterisk in 1996).
Top of the 7th
BILLY-BALL-A-GRAM – 5/10/2006
This original New York Met, celebrating his birthday today, was the first member of the franchise to hit for the cycle (8/7/63).
NICK HIM JAM
BILLY-BALL-TRIVIA – 5/10/2006
How many inside the park homers did Hank Aaron hit?
Send your answers to Bill@billy-ball.com
Bottom of the 7th
BILLY-BALL-A-GRAM ANSWER – 5/10/06
Happy birthday to this Hall of Fame Manager who returned to the dugout on this date in 1944 after missing much of spring training (and the early season) due to illness.
MARCH JET COY – Joe McCarthy
BILLY-BALL-TRIVIA-ANSWER – 5/10/06
In 1932, the Phillies had three players who drove home over 100 runs, name those three players.
Don Hurst (143), Chuck Klein (137), and Pinky Whitney (124).
Top of the 8th
DID YOU KNOW?
Omar Vizquel of the Giants has now passed played Cal Ripken Jr.’s 2,302 game at shortstop, moving into third most at the position behind Hall of Famers Luis Aparicio (2,581) and Ozzie Smith (2,511).
Top of the 9th
WIN “GAME OF SHADOWS”
“Game of Shadows”, by Mark Fainaru-Wada and Lance Williams is the report of the most important story in sports in recent memory. I have a pristine, steroids-free copy of the book that I want one of my readers to have.
Here’s all you have to do – write 73 words, no more – no less, about Barry. Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and the best written will be the winner.
We have a number of excellent attempts thus far, so please get your 73 words in by the Friday deadline.
Bottom of the 9th
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Information provided in Billy-Ball has been gathered from A.P. reports, espn.com, sportsline.com, mlb.com and numerous other e-sources. Opinions expressed in Billy-Ball are obviously solely the opinions of the author of Billy-Ball and do not reflect those of source material no matter how off the wall they may be.