Billy-Ball Daily: 2009-5-19

5/19/2009
Billy-Ball Daily
Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)

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

NINE TO KNOW

May 1, 2009 – Here are nine things you need to know in order to talk baseball today.

1. I’m still tired from my Victoria’s Day celebration – The Blue Jays completed their four game sweep of the White Sox yesterday, 3-2. The ChiSox have lost five straight and have lost 10 straight in Toronto. Jim Thome was the Sox bright spot hitting his seventh homer of the season and the 548th of his career tying him withMike Schmidt for 13th on the all-time list. Talk about: The Blue Jays (27-14) have the best record in the AL and head to Boston for three starting tonight. The last time the Jays were 13 games over .500 was in 1999.

2. He’s the real thing – The first three games of the Twins/Yankees series ended in walkoffs. Last night, the new Yankees had a “hold-on”. The Yanks scored six times in the 1st and held on for a 7-6 victory. Mark Teixeira and A-Rod went back-to-back for the first time and then Tex homered again from the other side of the plate with the run that provided the difference. The Yanks have won six straight.Talk about: Phil Coke struggled but picked up his first major league save as Mo had the night off. Last season, Edwar Ramirez, Kyle Farnsworth, and Brian Bruney were the only Yankee relievers to pick up a save besides Rivera.

3. Bartlett is a peach – The Tampa Bay Rays beat up the Oakland A’s yesterday, 13-4, for their fourth straight win and have climbed to the .500 mark. Jason Bartlett went 3 for 3 with 5 RBI and is now hitting .384 to go along with his great fielding prowess. Jason Isringhausen made his first appearance after elbow surgery last September. Talk about: Tampa Bay streak of one stolen base in 19 straight games ended after Rays built their huge early lead and didn’t attempt one. The Rays stole 43 bases during their streak and lead the majors with 67.

4. Not in the Cards – Braden Looper was the latest Brewer to add to the success of Milwaukee as his team completed a three-game sweep of the Cardinals, 8-4. Mat Gamel hit his first career homer in his first career start. The third baseman hit a three-run homer in the Milwaukee 3rd. The Brewers have won 12 of 14 overall and 10 of 11 over the Cardinals the last two seasons. Talk about: Jason Kendall became the eighth full-time catcher to reach 2,000 hits. Pudge Rodriguez leads all catchers with 2,637 hits.

5. The errors of their ways – The Mets dropped a 3-2 decision to the Dodgers in 11 last night after committing five miscues on the field. The Dodgers have won five of their last six and are a major league-best 27-13. Talk about: On top of everything else the Mets did wrong, Ryan Church missed third base as he was scoring in the top of the 11th and was called out on the appeal, costing the team at least one run.

6. Injuries mounting – Carlos Delgado needs right hip surgery that will sideline him indefinitely. The Mets also lost reserve infielder Alex Cora with a torn ligament in his right thumb. Jose Reyes already is hurting with tendonitis in his knee. The rumor mill to replace Delgado is already churning with the Orioles’ Aubrey Huff, the Mariners’ Russell Branyan and the Nationals’ Nick Johnson being bandied about. Don’t be surprised to hear those same names heading to Boston if David Ortiz continues to struggle. Talk about: Ricky Weeks will miss the rest of the season for the Brewers because of a tear of the sheath in his left wrist. Weeks was hitting .272 with nine home runs and 24 RBIs.

7. Some very good news – Weeknight games in the World Series and AL Championship Series will begin at 7:57 p.m. EDT, more than a half-hour before last year’s first-pitch times, Fox said yesterday. The start of Saturday night games could be even earlier, and Sunday games will continue to begin following the conclusion of the network’s NFL coverage. Last year’s World Series had scheduled starts from 8:29 p.m. to 8:35 p.m. ET. This earlier start will enable young fans to make it to almost the 5th inning. Talk about: Fox did not announce which World Series game the next American Idol Adam Lambert will sing the National Anthem.

8. Pittsburgh tops Washington – The Generals made four more errors and STOP! I simply cannot bring myself to talk about this series. Talk about: Washington is 11-26 and trail the 1962 NY Mets, arguably baseball’s worst team ever, who were 12-25.

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 and a terrific graduation present and is available on Amazon.com. Read an excerpt on