Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)
FROM THE BILL CHUCK FILES…
By Baseball Newstalgist, Bill Chuck
NINE TO KNOW
April 17, 2009 – Here are nine things you need to know in order to talk baseball today.
1. Bronx Bombers bullpen get bombed in new home opener – The Cleveland Indians scored nine times as soon as CC (that’s Sabathia) left to make a 10-2 winner out of CL (that’s Cliff Lee). The 10 runs scored by the Tribe is the most they’ve scored against the Yankees since July 4, 2006 (19-1) and the most runs they’ve scored in New York since they beat the Yankees on August 31, 2004, 22-0.
2. The Marlins are this year’s Marlins – Here are the numbers, you figure them out: 6-2, 8-1, 21-7. Give up? Okay, the Marlins beat the Braves 6-2 to go 8-1 on the season and they swept Atlanta outscoring them 21-7 in the series.
3. Are the Rays the “other team” in Florida? – White Sox beat the Rays, 3-2 sending Tampa to third straight defeat. TB is 4-6 thus far and the last time they were three under .500 was April 20 of last year.
4. They lead the AL – So far, the team with the best record in the AL is the Toronto Blue Jays, also known as “the other team in the AL East.” Yesterday, the Jays topped the Twins, 9-2 behind the pitching of Roy Halladay and a Kevin Millar grand slam. The Jays lead the majors with a .317 average
5. The Cardinals streaks continue – St. Louis disposed of their rival Cubs, 7-3 with Adam Wainwright (2-0) getting the win; his last loss came June 2, 2008, against the Pirates. The Cards bats stayed hot with the team garnering a dozen hits making it three straight games with 11 or more hits including one by Ryan Ludwick who has hit in 19 straight.
6. The Mariners are the only team in the AL West above .500 – Yes, the Seattle Mariners. Even with their loss yesterday to the Halos, 5-1, Seattle is 7-3 while everyone else is 4-5.
7. Starting to get ugly for the Giants – The Dodgers defeated Barry Zito and the Giants, 7-2. The Giants are 0-6 on the road for the first time since 1947.
8. Forget the Maine – Jake Peavey out-pitched John Maine and the Padres took the first series against the Mets at the new Citi Field, two games to one, winning last evening, 6-5. Chase Headley had four hits for the winners.
9. The Nationals get off the schneid – Washington improved their record to 1-7 by beating the Phillies, 8-2. Wow, the next thing you’re going to tell me is that Norm Coleman conceded.
FROM THE BILL CHUCK FILES…
By Baseball Newstalgist, Bill Chuck
April 17, 2009
1. Justin Morneau has twice led the league in categories that has cost him no at bats. Last year he led the AL in intentional walks with 16 and in 2006, he tied for the league lead in sac flies with 11.
2. It’s hard to believe that this is the first time that Roy Halladay has won his first three starts of the season.
3. Take Two- Dustin Pedroia followed his Rookie of the Year season with the MVP and if his start is any indication, Evan Longoria may be following in his footsteps hitting .441 with five homers and 12 RBI.
4. Randy Johnson gave up a homer to Yovani Gallardo of the Brewers, the first homer he has given up to an opposing pitcher. On Sept. 19, 2003, Johnson hit the one homer of his career off of the Brewers’ Doug Davis.
5. Jason Giambi has 187 homers as a member of the A’s, 10th all-time on their franchise list (Mark McGw*re leads with 363); he ended his Yankees career with 209, 10th all-time on their franchise list (Babe Ruth leads with 659).
6. Last season Troy Tulowitzki hit his third homer of the season on July 2, this season he hit it on April 11.
7. This is the first month of Jeff Francouer’s career in which he has hit more than one triple.
8. Concern is growing amongst Cubs fans about Derrek Lee and here’s why: compared to 2007, in 2008 he had one more hit (181), scored two more runs (93), two fewer doubles (41), two fewer homers (20), five more strikeouts (119) and the exact same number of walks (71). The trouble? He had 56 more at bats in 2008.
9. From Sep 25, 1998 to Apr 5, 2000, David Ortiz played 13 major league games with the Twins garnering two singles in 31 at bats, his longest streak without an extra-base hit.
10. Last April was the Mariners best month of the season (12-15) and they were never more than one game over .500.
11. In his career, Barry Zito is 13-25 in the first month of the season with a 5.21 ERA.
12. An indication of his fatigue? Dice-K was averaging 22.6 pitches per innings pitched this season, compared to 17.3 last year before being placed on the DL.
13. Frankie Frisch, Orlando Cabrera, Dixie Walker, Randy Winn, Bob Boone, Eric Hinske all have hit 105 career homers.
14. Still free agent Mark Grudzielanek has played 626 games at short, just in case the Red Sox were curious.
15. Mr. .500, Ubaldo Jimenez was 0-0 in his rookie season, 4-4 in 2007, 12-12 in 2008 and starts 2009, 1-1.
16. Last season, Jody Gerut homered to start games against Bronson Arroyo and Pedro Martinez, and this year he christened Citi Field with a leadoff shot against Mike Pelfrey.
17. As a centerfielder Ken Griffey has about a .290 batting average and its abut 40 points less when he’s a DH.
18. In the seven consecutive games played from Sep 22, 2007 to Apr 13, 2009, Alex Gonzalez, who was out injured in 2008, has gone 0 for 18.
19. Jeff Suppan has gone 0-5 with a 9.62 ERA in his last seven appearances then again from May 21, 1998 to Apr 24, 1999 in 13 consecutive appearances for Arizona and Kansas City, he went 0-6 with a 5.16 ERA.
20. ANOTHER TYPO ON MY PART – April 6, 1993 (not 1999), starting for the Pittsburgh Pirates, was the last and only time Tim Wakefield pitched on Opening Day.
Bill Chuck is the creator of Billy-Ball.com (www.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, published by ACTA Sports, and available worldwide.
Bill Chuck is available for radio appearances, and writing for print or the web: Bill@billy-ball.com or 617-566-2784.
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