Billy-Ball Daily: 2008-8-8

8/8/2008
Billy-Ball Daily
Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)

Billy-Ball – From the diamond to your desktop…
By Baseball Newstalgist, Bill Chuck

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The only spin here is on my screwball

Top of the 1st
SPEAKING OF BASEBALL…
By Baseball Newstalgist, Bill Chuck

Here’s a 25-fact roster for you.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Speaking of baseball…
1. Nobody would question the statement that Dustin Pedroia has been a super addition for the Red Sox. In fact “Super Addition” is an anagram of his name.
2. Rickie Weeks has hit 9 home runs this season, all of which have come on the road, making him the first player to hit his first 9 home runs of the season on the road since the Yankees’ Bernie Williams in 2003. The last player to hit his first 10 home runs on the road was the Twins’ Jacque Jones in 2002.
3. Draft selections are more important than ever before and the Angels realize that in their pick-up of Mark Teixeira. If he and K-Rod (Francisco Rodriguez) leave as free agents, the Angels would get four picks as compensation. In three of the last four years, the Angels lost picks by signing Torii Hunter, Gary Matthews Jr. and Orlando Cabrera.
4. The White Sox are the first team in baseball history to feature a member of both the 500 and 600-home run clubs on the same team. Junior Griffey ranks sixth all-time with 608 home runs, and Jim Thome is 16th with 529.
5. When Manny Ramirez hit his first major league homer, playing for the Cleveland Indians in 1993, the first baseman he passed as he circled the bases was his current batting coach for the Dodgers, Yankee Don Mattingly.
6. San Diego went 19 games without a stolen base, tying a team record, before Scott Hairston stole second on Wednesday. Tadahito Iguchi leads the club with eight thefts and pitcher Greg Maddux is tied for the sixth on the team with one theft. The Friars have stolen 27 as a team, the fewest in MLB which is more than double that of the Washington Senators in 1957 who set the modern baseball record for fewest stolen bases in one season with 13. Julio Becquer led that team with a trio of thefts.
7. The Florida Marlins are looking to become the first NL team to have an infield with each player recording 20 or more home runs (min. 75 games at each position): Dan Uggla (26 homers), Hanley Ramirez (25), Mike Jacobs (23) and Jorge Cantu (19). The 2004 and 2005 Texas Rangers were the AL team to accomplish the feat (the numbers in 2005, Teixeira-43, Soriano-36, Young-24, Blalock-25). The Marlins can also become the first team in MLB history to have all four infielders with 25 homers in the same season.
8. Alex Rodriguez is hitting .372 in Yankee wins this season and .240 in Yankee losses. (This does not include Thursday’s game)
9. The Rays are having a terrific year despite the fact that since June 28 their ace, Scott Kazmir, has one win.
10. Ichiro extended his hitting streak to a season high 13 games. Ichiro, who has had over 200 hits in each of his seven big league seasons, now has 146 on the year.
11. Jon Lester is 10-3 and has not lost since May 25 winning seven times and has four no-decisions. Boston is 13-0 in Lester’s 13 career seven-plus innings starts tying him with Jerry Casale for most consecutive team wins in starts of at least seven innings to begin his Red Sox career.
12. Not counting the strike year of 1994, the last year the Yanks were not in the post-season was 1993.
13. The Giants’ Brian Wilson leads the NL in saves with 32. Wilson owns a poor 1.43 WHIP, and his ERA isn’t great at 4.17, but he has blown only two saves all season.
14. Prior to yesterday, King Felix Hernandez had not lasted past the 6th inning in any of his last six starts, but he has 36 strikeouts over that span of 32 innings. He pitched 8 innings against the Rays last night and struck out only five.
15. The Angels are just 4-12 in the postseason since winning the 2002 World Series.
16. Vlad Guerrero and Derek Lee lead the majors with each having hit into 22 double plays.
17. Since last August 7, Jason Varitek has appeared in 134 games and had 434 at bats. He’s had 97 hits of which he’s had 21 doubles, 16 homers, 41 runs scored, 52 RBI and is hitting .224, which is 40 points below his career batting average.
18. The last time the Phillies played without Ryan Howard in the lineup was May 24, 2007. His consecutive games-played streak of 228 (223 starts) is currently the longest in the major leagues.
19. The Texas Rangers lead the majors in errors with 102.
20. The Cardinals lead the majors in Total Chances but have made only 55 errors. (This does not include Thursday’s game)
21. Walkoffs – Carlos Pena is the only active player to deliver walkoff homer for four different teams the A’s, Tigers, Red Sox, and his current team, the Rays. Pena has also played for the Rangers.
22. The Dodgers have scored more runs in the 1st inning than in any other inning (91 compared to 63 in the 5th inning) this season. They are now 39-16 when they score first.
23. Emil Brown is the only current major leaguer whose last name is a color, and whose first name when spelled backward, is also a color.
24. With Shea Stadium set to be demolished after this season, fans and collectors can buy seats from the 44-year-old ballpark for $869 per pair; annoying airplane noise is extra.
25. Even though the Royals have assigned reliever Yasuhiko (Shake, Shake, Shake. Shake…)Yabuta to Triple-A Omaha, we’ll keep dancing all weekend long.

Have a great weekend everyone.

Top of the 2nd
WALKOFFS
Raul Ibanez lined a hanging pitch from Dan Wheeler for Seattle’s first game-ending home run this season, and the Mariners beat AL East-leading Tampa Bay, 2-1. It was Ibanez’s fourth career walkoff home run. The Rays, who began a season-long 10-game road trip, lost for just the second time in nine games, trimming its division lead to 2 1/2 games over idle Boston and 5 1/2 over the New York Yankees who beat the Rangers, 3-0.

David Wright hit a two-out, two-run walkoff homer to give the Mets a 5-3 win over the San Diego Padres 5-3. It was Wright’s first career walkoff homer but seventh walkoff RBI, tying him with Rusty Staub for second best in Mets’ history. Kevin McReynolds leads with eight. Johan Santana got a no-decision as Mets bullpen blew a potential win for the sixth time in 24 starts this season. Santana has eight no-decisions, and in seven of those he allowed two runs or fewer. Santana gave up two runs and four hits in seven-plus innings and has a 9-7 record to go along with a sparkling 2.85 ERA.

The Padres are now 4-16 in “rubber-game” match-ups of series.

The Mets rookie pheenom, David Murphy, was 2-for-4 with an RBI. He’s 7-for-15 in his first five games with the Mets.

Top of the 3rd
MOOSE
Mike Mussina pitched seven scoreless innings for his 15th win, and the Yankees beat the Texas Rangers, 3-0. Mussina (15-7) matched Cleveland’s Cliff Lee for most wins in the American League and got his fifth victory in seven starts. The 39-year-old right-hander gave up eight hits, struck out six and stayed unbeaten in his last seven road outings. Mussina has never won 20 games in a season.

Alex Rodriguez went hitless for the fourth straight night and finished the series 0-for-14 against his former team.

Mariano Rivera pitched a perfect ninth for his career-best 28th consecutive save this season. Derek Jeter had three hits and drove in two runs, including a solo homer.

Top of the 4th
SOMETHING FISHY IN PHILLY
Chris Volstad threw six shutout innings and combined with four relievers on a four-hitter, leading the Florida Marlins to a 3-0 win over the Philadelphia Phillies. It was the Marlins seventh shutout of season and the seventh time the Phils been blanked this year. The Phillies were shut out only six times combined in 2006 and 2007.

The 21-year-old Volstad (3-2) gave up three hits and walked four in his fifth career start and is now 3-0 on the road. Volstad came up in July after going 4-4 with a 3.36 ERA at Double-A Carolina and hasn’t allowed a homer this season in 124 2/3 innings in the minors and majors.

Cole Hamels (9-8, 3.35 ERA) was the loser allowing just three runs (two earned) and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings, striking out seven. He hasn’t won since July 3 which represents six straight starts. He’s allowed three runs or less eight times without getting a win, including losses of 1-0 and 2-0. Hamels is 0-4 with four no-decisions in those starts. He has a 3.19 ERA in his last six losses.

Philadelphia has scored three runs or less in 39.5 percent of its games, going 9-36.

The Marlins took two of three from the NL East-leading Phillies to move within 1