Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)
FROM THE BILL CHUCK FILES…
By Baseball Newstalgist, Bill Chuck
NINE TO KNOW
May 20, 2009 – Here are nine things you need to know in order to talk baseball today.
1. The Detroit Three – The Red Wings win, the Tigers win, and somebody bought a Chevy. Dontrelle Willis resembled the “D-Train” of old last night as the Tigers shutout Texas, 4-0. Willis surrendered a 1st inning double to Michael Young and a walk to Andruw Jones before a walk in the 7th ended his night. In between he retired 17 in a row. Four Tiger relievers completed the one-hit shutout. The Tigers have won four straight and have six shutouts on the season. The last time Texas was shutout in Detroit was August 30, 1999, however the Rangers have lost nine straight at Comerica. Talk about: Dontrelle’s last win of any kind was Sept. 25, 2007 when he was pitching for the Marlins against the Cubs.
2. The New York Three – I’m afraid were going to have to get used to the same story on a regular basis: Mark Teixeira and A-Rod each homered again and CC Sabathia picked up his first win in the New Stadium, as the Yanks topped the O’s, 9-1. The Yanks have won seven straight as A-Rod homered in his fourth straight game and Teixeira has four homers in four games. Talk about: The Orioles have just nine runs in their last four games and 193 on the season; they’ve given up 234, the largest negative differential in the AL.
3. The Philly Three – The Phillies are the defending World Champs because of their big three: Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard, and Jimmy Rollins, and each had a role in Philadelphia’s 4-3 win over Cincy yesterday. Hamels picked up the win, Howard homered and Rollins doubled, scored once and drove one home. The fourth Musketeer Chase Utley also had an RBI. Talk about: The Phillies have won five straight matching their longest streak of the season; their longest winning streak last year was seven straight in September.
4. The Milwaukee Three – The Brewers are indeed playing team baseball as each night somebody else grabs the spotlight. Last night the trio of Dave Bush J.J. Hardy, and Trevor Hoffman were the Brew Crew as Milwaukee beat Houston, 4-2. Bush (3-0) allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings, Hoffman moved to 10 for 10 in save chances, and Hardy drove home a pair. The Brewers have now won seven straight and 13 of 15. Talk about: The Astros Kaz Matsui stole home making it four foreclosures on the season.
5. Not the usual Boston Three – The Red Sox dropped the Blue Jays 2-1 last night behind Tim Wakefield, Jeff Bailey, and George Kottaras (who even threw out a base runner attempting to steal). Wake held Toronto to five hits over eight innings and got all the support he needed from Bailey and Kottaras who each drove home one. Jonathan Paplebon is now 11 for 11 in save opps. The game was completed in 133 minutes. Talk about: The weekend off did no help for David Ortiz, who went 0 for 3 and is now hitting .203. Youk returns tonight.
6. The St. Louis Three – The Cardinals formula last night was score three runs, hold the opponents to three hits, and end a three game losing streak. Joel Pineiro joined Pat Hentgen as the only right-handed Cardinals pitcher to shut out the Cubs on three hits or less in the last 35 years. It was Pinata’s first shutout since 2003 and first complete game since May 1, 2006. The game lasted just 125 minutes.Talk about: The Cubs are 0-13 when scoring fewer than four runs.
7. The Amazing Race – The Braves defeated the Rockies last night, 8-1. Colorado is now 15-23. The Royals defeated the Indians last night, 6-5.Talk about: Who will be the next to join me and Bob Melvin not working, will it be the Rockies skipper Clint Hurdle or the Tribe’s boss, Eric Wedge?
8. The Amazing Race II – The Nationals lost again last night to the Pirates 8-5 in 10 innings. The Nats have now lost six straight and scored at least five times in each of their losses. In fact, they have scored at least five runs in 10 straight games and are 1-9. The Generals 11-27 record leaves them one game behind the 1962 Mets (who finished with 40 wins) who were 12-26 and were amidst a 17-game losing streak.Talk about: Hopefully, we’ll have stories about the 2009 Nationals in the same way we have stories about the 1962 Mets. For example, Clarence Coleman may not be a recognizable name to you, but if I mentioned the back-up catcher for the 1962 Mets, you might recognize the name Choo-Choo Coleman. Choo-Choo was not much of a player, he hit .197 over four seasonsand had 19 extrab-base hits in about 500 plate appearances, but he was always good for some laughs. One time he was on the Mets post-game show (Kiner’s Korner) and the host Ralph Kiner asked Choo-Choo what his wife’s name was and what was he like. He responded, “Mrs. Coleman and she likes me very much.” Another manager Casey Stengel was instructing his team and held up a baseball, Choo Choo said “Wait…you’re going too fast.” Toward the end of that 1962 seanon, teammate Duke Snider was sitting next to Choo Choo in the dugout and Snider asked Coleman if he knew who he (Snider) was and Choo Choo said “Yes, you’re No. 4”.
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