Billy-Ball Daily: 2008-4-14

4/14/2008
Billy-Ball Daily
Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Top of the 1st
LIGHTNING AND THUNDER
Thanks to the beneficent Alex Box, Mrs. Ball and I were at Fenway on Saturday and sat through the 2 hour and 11 minute rain delay.

I’ll have more on this tomorrow but I just wanted to tell Vito LaFrancesca and others that for the first forty minutes or so of the delay, Fenway blasted songs about rain as we waited for the lightning of Jonathan Paplebon to face the thunder of Alex Rodriguez with the tying and go-ahead runs on base with two down in the 8th.

Just to let you know something you should always remember, lightning is always more dangerous than thunder. A-Rod went down on three pitches. Paplebon struck out the next two hitters as well and for those of you who missed it because FOX switched to NASCAR, Robinson Cano grounded out to second to end the game.

Boo on you, FOX-TV – much more tomorrow on all this.

Top of the 2nd
CHIP OFF THE OLD MOYNIHAN
Billy-Ball reader Chip Moynihan almost always has something interesting to toss my way – check this out:

Has any team had as many players as the Red Sox with last names the same as the names of cities and towns in the state the team plays in?

Some obscure but you’ll recognize almost all:

Mike Lowell
Tim Wakefield
Carl Everett
Fred Lynn
Bill Lee
Wes Gardner
Terry Adams
Tom Bolton
Chad Bradford
Walter Carlisle
Lu Clinton
Josh Hancock
Erik Hanson
Reggie Jefferson
Chick Maynard
Mike Paxton
Jeff Plympton
Tubby Spencer
Lenny Webster

I probably missed some but you get the idea.

Chip Moynihan

Top of the 3rd
A GIANT AMONG GIANTS
John Bowker, the Giants rookie sensation, yesterday hit a home run and drove home four to help the Giants defeat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-4 at AT&T Park. In doing so, Bowker became the first San Francisco player to hit a home run in each of his first two major league games. The right fielder’s two-day totals: 4 for 6, two home runs, seven RBIs.

“Definitely a dream,” said Bowker, 24, “Definitely crazy right now.”

Top of the 4th
STILL PUTZING AROUND
Saturday, injured Mariners closer J.J. Putz threw for about 10 minutes without discomfort. He long-tossed from about 180 feet and also threw 20 pitches on flat ground, calling it “a very good session.”

“There’s only one way to find out how you really feel, and that’s just to let it go,” he said. “After you let it go a couple of times and there’s nothing there, you gain confidence with it in every throw.”

Putz was placed on the 15-day disabled list on April 2 with inflammation where cartilage attaches to a rib. There is still no timetable for Putz’s return.

Top of the 5th
OPEN MIKE
Okay, I’ll admit I’m a fan of Mike Celizic, the lead baseball writer for MSNBC.com. I’m a fan and now I’m an appreciative fan:
In his always entertaining blog today he writes:

Buy this Book:
Got a book in the mail the other day that no baseball fan’s library is complete without. It’s called “Walkoffs, Last Licks, and Final Outs” (ACTA Sports, $14.95), and it’s the work of Bill Chuck and Jim Kaplan.

Kaplan is a former Sports Illustrated writer, and Bill Chuck is the author of the entertaining and eccentric Billy-Ball e-mail newsletter. He’s a contributor to MLB.com and NBCSports.com. And he loves baseball.

It shows in the book, as eclectic of a collection of neat stories and the trivia of last things as you’ll ever find. I’m a sucker for a book like this, because it fits well in the smallest room in your house, where it can be read in bite-sized segments. It’s also chock full of interesting things about this most interesting of games that I didn’t know.

An example: I’ve long known that Joe Sewell went nearly 600 at-bats in 1929 and struck out just four times. (That’s a record that will never be broken.) What Chuck and Kaplan told me that I didn’t know is that Sewell went 115 games between strikeouts. That’s incredible.

How about the only man to hit into a triple play without being charged with a time at bat? It was Goose Goselin, but you’ll have to get the book to find out how.

The 2007 Mets collapse is in here along with the 1964 Phillies. So are pitcher Greg Minton, who went 269 innings between home runs allowed; Bill Fischer, who pitched 84 innings – many of them badly – without issuing a walk; every perfect game ever pitched; the last games in old ballparks.
http://openmike.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/04/12/882980.aspx

Check out his work on MSNBC.com. and thank you again for your support, Mike.

Top of the 6th
SITE OF THE DAY
A new feature of Billy-Ball begins today in which the Billy-Ball community gives a seasl of approval to a blog or website.

The first one is a natural: Check out his Mike Celizic’s blog at http://openmike.msnbc.msn.com/

Send your suggestions for a site to be recognized to bill@billy-ball.com with the subject SOTD.

Thanks.

Top of the 7th
PROBABLE PITCHERS
AL
Boston Red Sox at Cleveland Indians, 7:05 pm
(L) Jon Lester (1-2) vs. (R) Jake Westbrook (1-1)
Minnesota Twins at Detroit Tigers, 7:05 pm
(R) Nick Blackburn (0-1) vs. (R) Jeremy Bonderman (1-1)
Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles, 7:05 pm
(R) Dustin McGowan (0-0) vs. (R) Matt Albers (1-0)
New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays, 7:10 pm
(R) Ian Kennedy (0-1) vs. (R) Andy Sonnanstine (1-1)
LA Angels of Anaheim at Texas Rangers, 8:05 pm
(R) Ervin Santana (1-0) vs. (R) Jason Jennings (0-2)
Oakland Athletics at Chicago White Sox, 8:11 pm
(L) Greg Smith (0-0) vs. (L) Mark Buehrle (1-0)
Kansas City Royals at Seattle Mariners, 10:10 pm
(R) Zack Greinke (2-0) vs. (L) Jarrod Washburn (1-1)
NL
Pittsburgh Pirates at Los Angeles Dodgers, 10:10 pm
(L) Zach Duke (0-0) vs. (R) Hiroki Kuroda (1-1)
Arizona Diamondbacks at San Francisco Giants, 10:15 pm
(L) Randy Johnson (0-0) vs. (L) Jonathan Sanchez (0-1)

Randy Johnson makes his debut tonight in SF

Top of the 8th
DID YOU KNOW?
Tommy Glavine now has 349 career wins, five behind Roger Cl*mens. Yesterday was the 90th time he’s won a start in which he allowed no runs, the same as Clemens.
That’s tied for second-most in the past 50 years behind Nolan Ryan’s 97.

Top of the 9th
JOSE OUT
New York Yankees catcher Jose Molina injured his hamstring last night, forcing sore-armed Jorge Posada to take over and making the addition of another catcher likely. “I’m not sure what’s going to happen with Molina now,” Girardi said. “He hurt his [left] hamstring. That’s why we took him out. … It was pretty bad.”

Bottom of the 9th
BUY THE BOOK
Bill Chuck is the creator of Billy-Ball.com and, with Jim Kaplan, is the author of the book, “Walk-Offs, Last Licks, and Final Outs – Baseball’s Grand (and not so Grand) Finales,” with a Foreword by Jon Miller available now from ACTA Sports.

Autographed first editions are available by contacting, Bill@billy-ball.com or order directly from Acta Sports, http://www.actasports.com/detail.html?&id=3427 or from your favorite bookstore worldwide.

* Support Billy-Ball via PayPal (WWW.BILLY-BALL.COM) or Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/paypage/PBANN9XCMMFSH.

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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.