Billy-Ball Daily: 2008-4-21

4/21/2008
Billy-Ball Daily
Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Top of the 1st
MARATHON DAY
This is always a strange day here in Boston. Those people whose businesses are open, and can get to work, are working. The rest are either watching the Sox (who start at 11 am), watching the Keyans run, or are trapped in their homes because traffic is blocked off (as in the words of Todd Rungren, “Hello, it’s me”).

Rather than bore you with a rant about the marathon, I just thought I would fill you on some details about the marathon game that took place last week between the Rockies and the Padres won by Colorado, 2-1 at San Diego’s Petco Park.

Here are 26 facts (one for each marathon mile):

1. The game started on Thursday night and ended 1:21 a.m Friday morning.
2. There’s no curfew in the NL.
3. It was six hours and sixteen minutes long; the longest Padres game took six hours and seventeen minutes.
4. It was the longest game by innings for the Padres.
5. It was the longest game in Rockies history.
6. It was the longest game in the five-year history of Petco Park.
7. It was the longest game in the majors since Aug. 31, 1993, when Minnesota beat Cleveland 5-4 in 22 innings.
8. There was a 7th inning stretch, a 14th inning stretch and a 21st inning stretch.
9. National League Cy Young Award winner Jake Peavy was the starter for San Diego and pitched eight scoreless innings.
10. Jeff Francis kept the Padres scoreless for seven innings while allowing three hits, striking out seven and walking one.
11. The teams used a combined 15 pitchers.
12. Colorado’s Yorvit Torrealba and San Diego’s Josh Bard caught all 22 innings.
13. Padres pitchers tied a team record with 20 strikeouts.
14. Rockies pitchers set a team record with 17 K’s.
15. Neither team scored for the first 13 innings, the most in the big leagues since July 20, 2004, at Oakland, when the A’s beat Toronto 1-0 in 14
16. The Rockies went ahead 1-0 in the top of the 14th inning when Brad Hawpe drew a bases-loaded walk off Kevin Cameron.
17. The Padres tied it in the bottom of the 14th when Bard’s bases-loaded single off Manny Corpas brought in Kevin Kouzmanoff.
18. There were 658 pitches thrown.
19. Eight pinch-hitters were used going 2-7.
20. Willy Taveras set a Rockies record for at-bats in going 3-for-10; he scored both Rockies runs.
21. In the 22nd, Taveres reached on an error by shortstop Khalil Greene. Taveras stole second and advanced on Bard’s throwing error.
22. Troy Tulowitzki’s RBI double drove home the eventual winning run.
23. Winning pitcher Kip Wells the eighth Rockies pitcher, pitched four innings (BTW: today’s his birthday).
24. Losing pitcher Glendon Rusch took a called third strike to end the game.
25. Only a fraction of the crowd of 25,984 was around to see the final out.
26. The longest game ever was 26 innings, a 1-1 tie between the Brooklyn Dodgers and Boston Braves on May 1, 1920, at Boston. That game took only 3 hours, 50 minutes.

Top of the 2nd
GOOD COMPANY DAY
The White Sox’ Jim Thome homered yesterday passing Mel Ott and tying Eddie Mathews and Ernie Banks for 19th place on the all time HR list, with 512.

Top of the 3rd
OH HAPPY DAY
One of the best stories of the season is St. Louis rookie infielder Rico Washington. He made it to the majors after 11 seasons and 1,134 games in the minors. Drafted in 1997 by the Pirates, he had played in 12 cities for four organizations. Washington, who will turn 30 next month, wept when Tony La Russa told him he had made the team. “I didn’t know what to say. It took me a minute for it to sink in,” Washington said. “The day finally came and my dream finally came true. I was going to be in the big leagues for the first time.”

So far Washington has appeared in 14 games going 3-19 with a pair of doubles and 3 RBI. He has played third base, second base, left field and right field.

Top of the 4th
INDEPENDENCE DAY
Here are the opening dates for the eight independent leagues currently scheduled to operate in 2008:
Atlantic League – April 25
American Association – May 7 (Sioux City @ Wichita only); full schedule begins May 8
United League Baseball – May 13
Northern League – May 15
Frontier League – May 18 (Washington @ Chillicothe only); full schedule begins May 21
Canadian-American League – May 22 – Let’s go Brockton Rox! Tickets are on sale NOW.
Golden Baseball League – May 22
Continental Baseball League – May 23

Top of the 5th
ON THIS DAY
On April 21, 1926, the Cubs opened their home season at Wrigley Field. What’s the big deal you ask? The park had been known as Cubs Park from 1920-25 and this was the first game ever at the newly renamed ballpark. Grover Alexander pitched the Cubs to a 4-2 victory over the Reds.

Top of the 6th
BILLY-BALL-SITE-OF-THE-DAY
I have always been a fan of Ken Rosenthal’s and I’m truly happy for his new found success at Fox. Our Site-of-the-Day has a listing of his insightful pieces:
http://msn.foxsports.com/writer/archive?authorId=162

Top of the 7th
PROBABLE PITCHERS TODAY
AL
Rangers (Kason Gabbard) at Red Sox (Clay Buchholz), 11:05 AM
Tigers (Armando Galarraga) at Blue Jays (Shaun Marcum) 12:37

NL
Nationals (Matt Chico) at Braves (Tim Hudson), 7:00
Mets (John Maine) at Cubs (Carlos Zambrano), 7:05
Marlins (Mark Hendrickson) at Pirates (Matt Morris), 7:05
Dodgers (Brad Penny) at Reds (Matt Belisle), 7:10
Cardinals (Adam Wainwright) at Brewers (Carlos Villanueva), 8:05
Padres (Justin Germano) at Astros (Roy Oswalt), 8:05
Phillies (Kyle Kendrick) at Rockies (Mark Redman), 8:35
Giants (Kevin Correia) at Diamondbacks (Micah Owings), 9:40

Top of the 8th
DID YOU KNOW – OFF DAY?
The Yankees are off today. “So what?” you say? The Yanks have played 20 straight days prior to today and starting tomorrow they play 13 straight days. This means, for those of you bad in math, that they will have played 33 games in 34 days to start the season. This means that by May 4, 20% of their season will be in the books. It also means that with 18 games played on the road, 22% of their road schedule will be complete. The season is whizzing by.

Top of the 9th
TEXAS RANGERS WORLD SERIES RING DAY
When David Murphy and Kason Gabbard returned to Fenway Park on Friday for the first time since Boston traded the duo to the Texas Rangers along with prospect Engel Beltre for Eric Gagne last July, they had something really cool awaiting them.

The Red Sox presented both players with World Series rings commemorating their small roles in Boston’s 2007 world championship. Murphy played three games for the Red Sox last season, and Gabbard pitched in seven games. Both also received money from the Red Sox player’s pool of postseason bonus money. Gabbard received a half share, approximately $150,000, and Murphy received $1,000.

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.

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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.