Billy-Ball Daily: 2007-4-27

4/27/2007
Billy-Ball Daily
Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Top of the 1st
REPORTS FROM THE CABINET
Periodically here on Billy-Ball we like to have a meeting of our Cabinet to enable all of the department heads to report. Here are just the facts, m’aam:

From the Don’t Count Your Chickens department: On May 6, 2005, the Yankees were 11-19 and tied for last place, nine games behind the first-place Orioles and 61/2 behind the Red Sox.

Power Outage Dept. – Mets cleanup batter Carlos Delgado homered this week and now is hitting .193 with one homer, 12 RBI an on-base percentage of .261 and a slugging average of .277. The Mets may be in first but Delgado is making Fantasy owners nauseous.

Slow Starting Department – The Nationals defeated the Phils last night, 4-2. The Nats did not score in the 1st inning extending their NL record streak to start the season to 22 games.

From the I’m Leaving Early to Take a Nap Department – Braves manager Bobby Cox has been ejected from 127 games in his career, including twice this season. He is four behind all-time leader John McGraw.

From the Debutante Department – Three starting pitchers have made their major league debuts for the Yankees in the first 20 games of the season. Phil Hughes last night, Kei Igawa and Chase Wright. The last time a team had three starters debut so early was 1955, when the St. Louis Cardinals had three pitchers (Larry Jackson (fifth game of season), Luis Arroyo (eighth game) and Floyd Woolridge (13th)) debut in the first 13 games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Thievery Department – The Texas Rangers’ Kenny Lofton, who turns age 40 next month, leads the AL in steals with 9.

Where Do You Want Me Now Department reports that Josh Hamilton played center field, left field and right field in the Reds’ 10-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday.

No Place Like Home Department – Kansas City lost to the Twins in Minnesota last night, 1-0. The Royal’s Mark Teahen, went 1-for-4 with a walk, and is now batting only .132 (5-for-38) on the road this year. He’s hitting .412 (14-for-34) at home. In addition, after the Angels defeated the D-Rays, 11-3, for the fourth time during its 6-1 homestand the Angels gave its starting pitcher a lead of seven or more runs to work with before the other team got on the board.

From the You Don’t Write, You Don’t Call department, forty-one years after he retired from baseball, Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax was the final player chosen in the draft to stock the six teams for the inaugural season of the Israel Baseball League.
Koufax, 71, was picked by the Modi’in Miracle in the draft conducted by former major league general manager Dan Duquette, who heads baseball operations for the league.
Ex-Red Sox Department reports that yesterday, Tony Clark had a pair of home runs to help Livan Hernandez and the Diamondbacks to a 7-4 victory over the Padres. Trot Nixon’s two-run homer, was his first for Cleveland. Yesterday was Nomar Garciaparra Bobblehead Day at Dodger Stadium, in that game Dave Roberts drove home the first Giants run in their victory. Wily Mo Pena hit a grand-slam. Oh, he’s still with the team. Sorry wishful thinking.

“Godzilla” vs. “The Monster” Dept. – The New York Post shares this, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Matsui have not faced each other in nearly five years. Matsui describes their last encounter, “I went 3-for-3,” Matsui said through interpreter Roger Kahlon, “but those three were strikeouts.”

Finally, from the Shout Out Department, a shout out to FOB_B Albie Shapiro’s daughter who’s daughter is the starting shortstop for the Needham H.S Varsity Softball team. Yesterday, she got the game wining hit as they won their first game since the 2004 season (when they won only one game) against our own Brookline H.S.

Top of the 2nd
GIANT WIN
Earlier this season the Giants were swept by the Dodgers and last night the Giants swept Los Angeles winning 5-4 giving them eight wins in a row. The Giants won eight straight for the first time since taking 10 in a row in May 2004. Ray Durham doubled home the go-ahead run in the 8th inning as San Fran moved into first place in the NL West.

Top of the 3rd
S*SA TIME
The Texas Rangers keep losing, but it was Sammy S*sa time last night as he hit a pair at the Jake in Cleveland’s 9-4 win. S*sa set a major-league record by homering in 44th major league ballpark breaking the tie he held with Ken Griffey Jr., and Fred McGriff who homered in 43 ballparks. The only stadiums currently in use where Sammy has not hit a homer are RFK Stadium in Washington and the new Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

Top of the 4th
WHY WE LIKE LANCE BERKMAN
In case you are not paying attention, and that should include most of you not named Smizik, the Pittsburgh Pirates just completed a sweep of the Houston Astros…again. Jason Bay’s two-run single off Wandy Rodriguez gave the Pirates a 5-3 victory for their second three-game sweep of the Astros this season.

Filling in for Craig Biggio, Mark Loretta went 4-for-4 with a walk. Lance Berkman went 2-3 with a sac fly to raise his anemic batting average up to .233. But last week reporters asked Berkman if he was worried about his average…

“What am I concerned about? The poverty level of some nations in the world, growing national debt and dependence on foreign oil. Those are things to be concerned about.”

Top of the 5th
BILLY-BALL-BRAIN-BUSTER
How many pitches in an at-bat can a batter see without swinging?
Here’s a hint: the answer is not 6

You can find the answer in top of the 9th

Top of the 6th
CONTINUING EDUCATION FOR HUGHES
For those of you who were waiting for Phil Hughes to stop the Yankees losing streak last night, you might consider speaking to your physician about premature congratulations. But the Yankees can only hope that their prized prospect, who made his major league debut, learned from the Jays’ AJ Burnett who gave a teaching lesson to the 20-year old.

Burnett pitched seven innings of four hit shutout ball as the Toronto cruised to a 6-0 victory and the Yankees stumbled to their sixth straight loss. Hughes pitched 4.1 giving up four runs for the loss.

Top of the 7th
PROBABLE PITCHERS
Chris Capuano hopes to go 4-0 against Roy Oswalt in the game of the night.
Eric Milton and Anthony Reyes hope to avoid going 0-4.
Dice-K hopes to improve against the Yanks, while Andy Pettitte hopes to be a stopper

Away Home Time (ET) Away Probable Home Probable
Orioles Indians 7:05 p.m. Trachsel (1-1) Westbrook (0-2)
Red Sox Yankees 7:05 p.m. Matsuzaka (2-2) Pettitte (1-0)
Reds Pirates 7:05 p.m. Milton (0-3) Snell (1-1)
Marlins Phillies 7:05 p.m. Sanchez (2-0) Garcia (1-1)
Twins Tigers 7:05 p.m. Ortiz (3-1) Robertson (2-1)
Mets Nationals 7:05 p.m. Perez (2-1) Chico (1-2)
Rangers Blue Jays 7:07 p.m. Tejeda (2-1) Towers (1-2)
Brewers Astros 8:05 p.m. Capuano (3-0) Oswalt (3-1)
Cubs Cardinals 8:10 p.m. Marquis (2-1) Reyes (0-3)
Angels White Sox 8:11 p.m. Santana (2-2) Contreras (1-2)
Braves Rockies 9:05 p.m. James (2-2) Francis (1-2)
Giants D-Backs 9:40 p.m. Zito (2-2) Davis (1-2)
Royals Mariners 10:05 p.m. De La Rosa (2-1) Ramirez (1-1)
Dodgers Padres 10:05 p.m. Hendrickson (1-0) Hensley (1-3)
Devil Rays Athletics 10:05 p.m. Shields (1-0) Gaudin (1-0)

Top of the 8th
DID YOU KNOW?
Last Sunday night’s 7-6 Red Sox (Dice-K) win at Fenway was the most-watched Sunday night baseball game in ESPN history, averaging more than 3.9 million households. That beat the previous Sunday mark of more than 3.8 million, set during the Sox/Yanks telecast of July 25, 2004 (the game following the memorable Alex Rodriguez/ Jason Varitek fight). It was also the most-watched regular-season game on ESPN since the Cardinals/Cubs matchup of Sept. 7, 1998, when Mark McGwire broke the single-season home run record.

Top of the 9th
HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND
Thank you all for your readership, friendship, and good ship lollipops.

And a special thank you to the readers who supported Maxie’s walk tomorrow on Team Harriet. You can still make a tax-deductible contribution at http://www.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR?px=1663118&pg=personal&fr_id=2140

Looking forward to seeing you on Monday and I hope I’ve added to your fun as much as you’ve added to mine.

Have a great weekend.

BILLY-BALL-BRAIN-BUSTER-ANSWER
How many pitches in an at-bat can a batter see without swinging?
Here’s a hint: the answer is not 6

The answer is 11 – if there are two outs and a full count (5 pitches), and the pitcher picks off a baserunner, the inning is over and the batter will continue the same at-bat in the following inning. At that point, the at-bat will be reset to 0 balls and 0 strikes. Then, the batter has up to 6 pitches in which to strike out or walk.

Bottom of the 9th
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Have a great day!

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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.