Billy-Ball Daily: 2009-5-18

5/18/2009
Billy-Ball Daily
Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)

FROM THE BILL CHUCK FILES…
By Baseball Newstalgist, Bill Chuck

NINE TO KNOW

May 18, 2009 – Here are nine things you need to know in order to talk baseball today.

1. Walkoff, walkoff, walkoff – If you weren’t watching the Twins/Yankees series this weekend at the new Stadium, you only missed three, count `em three, walkoffs by the new Yankees. On Friday, it was Melky Cabrera’s two-out, two-run single off Joe Nathan giving the Yankees a 5-4 win. Saturday, Alex Rodriguez hit a two-run homer for a 6-4, 11-inning victory. And Sunday, Johnny Damon hit a game-winning homer in the 10th for a 3-2 victory. Talk about: Yesterday was the 7th anniversary of Ron Gardenhire’s first game as Twins manager at Yankee Stadium. On May 17, 2002, the Twins were up by three in the 14th before Jason Giambi hit a walkoff ultimate grand slam.

2. Balk, balk, balk – Matt Cain threw six shutout innings and singled home a run in the Giants 2-0 win over the Mets, but the story was losing pitcher Mike Pelfrey’s three balks, the first two of which set up the Giants runs runs. Talk about: Bob Shaw holds the NL record with five balks for the Milwaukee Braves against the Cubs on May 4, 1963.

3. Win, win, win – The Tampa Bay Rays took the last three games of their series with the Cleveland Indians winning yesterday 7-5 in a game highlighted by winning pitcher Andy Sonnanstine hitting third. Due to a lineup card snafu, the Rays lost their DH and were forced to have their pitcher hit (kind of like real baseball). The last time a pitcher was in the initial batting order in an all AL game was Sept. 23, 1976, when the White Sox’ Ken Brett hit eighth against the Twins. Sonnanstine (2-4) went 1-for-3, including an RBI double. Talk about: Tampa Bay has at least one stolen base in 19 straight games, which ties the longest streak in the AL since the 1914 New York Yankees.

4. Win, win, win – Scott Feldman and three Texas relievers combined to shutout the Angels 3-0 and complete a three-game sweep. It was the first time the Angels have been shut out this season. Talk about: The Rangers have won seven straight and 13 of 15. The Rangers have their longest streak since winning nine straight from May 20-31, 2005.

5. Win, win, win – The Tigers completed a three-game sweep of the A’s winning yesterday, 11-7. The Athletics blew a 6-0 lead. Talk about: The Tigers outscored Oakland 34-9 in the three games.

6. Win, win, win – Roy Halladay became baseball’s first eight-game winner and won his fifth straight start as Toronto won its third straight over the White Sox, 8-2. Alex Rios and Aaron Hill each hit solo homers and Adam Lind hit a three-run shot for the victors. The two teams meet again today in a Victoria Day matinee (and I forgot to get Jerry Howarth a Victoria’s Day present). Talk about: The White Sox lost their fourth in a row and have lost 11 of 14.

7. Win, win, win, win – The Phils and the Nats met up for a four game series this weekend and sparing you the details, the Phillies have now won their four straight and 10 of 12 overall while the Generals have lost four straight and seven of eight. Talk about: Washington is 11-25 and trail the 1962 NY Mets, arguably baseball’s worst team ever, who were 12-24.

8. In the beer battles – Milwaukee has taken the first two games of this weekend wrap-around series against St. Louis (Friday’s game was postponed), winning yesterday 8-2. Milwaukee has won five straight and 15 of 19. Prince Fielder hit his ninth dinger of the season and has four homers and 10 RBI in his last five games. Talk about: The Brewers are 7-0-2 in their last nine series after losing the first four.

9. UNABASHED SELF PROMOTION: After all if I don’t do it, who will?

Walk-Offs, Last Licks, and Final Outs – Baseball’s Grand (and not so Grand) Finales, is a great Father’s Day present and is available on Amazon.com. Read an excerpt on