Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)
FROM THE BILL CHUCK FILES…
By Baseball Newstalgist, Bill Chuck
NINE TO KNOW
May 5, 2009 – Here are nine things you need to know in order to talk baseball today.
1. He wasn’t April foolin’ – Zack Greinke picked up in May what he started in April…the start of a Cy Young season. Greinke led his Royals to a six-hit 6-0 shutout of the White Sox. The Zack-man is now 6-0 and his ERA is 0.40 and (as if you needed more) he leads the majors in strikeouts with 54. The Royals have won 5 of 6. Talk about: Greinke’s nine straight wins and third complete game and second shutout of the season. His WHIP is 0.84.
2. 11-0 – The Dodgers are making sure their fans leave the ballpark smiling. Last night, they defeated the Diamondbacks, 7-2 for their 11th straight win at home, the best start in National League history. The 1911 Tigers went 12-0. In the 1st Manny B Manny and Andre Ethier went back-to-back, pitch-by-pitch, each hitting their sixth homers of the season.Talk about: The Arizona Diamondbacks pulled off the second triple play in team history as Josh Wilson grabbed a Casey Blake liner with the runners moving. The Diamondbacks’ only other TP was on May 31, 2000, against St. Louis and the first the Dodgers have hit into one since Aug. 4, 1991, at Houston.
3. It took a while, 14 innings to be exact – The Marlins defeated the Reds, 3-2 on a walkoff error by Cincy shortstopPaul Janish. The Marlins are now 4-1 in extra innings and 5-1 in one-run games. Talk about: Regin Philbin threw out the first pitch (and no it wasn’t to Kelly Ripa). After the ceremony Reege played catch with Hanley Ramirez and caught a bullet from the Han-Man. ”He tried to kill me,” Philbin said.
4. It took a while, 12 innings to be exact – The Indians topped the Blue Jays 9-7 in 12 after each team blew saves in the 9th. The Tribe scored three in the 12th and the Jays came back with one but fell short. Talk about: Despite the loss, Cito Gaston’s record as manager since he took over the ballclub on an interim basis last season is now 69-47.
5. It took a while, 2 hours, 17 minutes to be exact – Before the Red Sox even had a chance to beat the Yankees last night, 6-4, the fans had to wait through a rain delay of 137 minutes. You figure with all the money the new Stadium cost it would be water-repellent. Talk about: The game itself took 3:48 and ended at 1:10 AM when Jonathan Paplebon struck out Robinson Cano with the sacks filled.
6. Angels have won 5 of 7 – Good pitching from Joe Saunders, continued good hitting from Mike Napoli, and playing the Oakland A’s all resulted in a 5-2 Angels victory. Saunders (4-1) pitched six and gave up six hits and the two runs. Napoli had four hits, two RBI and has reached base 13 times in his last 14 plate appearances. Talk about: The A’s simply can’t hit. As a team they are hitting .237 with 12 homers and 93 RBI. By himself, the Rays’ Carlos Pena has 11 homers.
7. Trip deuces, a winning hand – Three twos doesn’t win a lot of poker games by three two-run homers wins baseball games. Carlos Beltran hit two and David Wright one and the NY Mets defeated the Braves in Atlanta, 6-4. Talk about: Braves pitchers have now allowed 14 dingers the fewest in the majors; Orioles pitchers have given up 45.
8. Rangers have won 7 of 10 – Chris Davis and Michael Young each homered to give Texas a major league-leading 46 homers on the year and a 6-5 victory over the Mariners. M’s starter Felix Hernandez picked up his first loss of the season and Kevin Millwod got his first win over the Mariners sinc July 23, 2007. Frank Francisco now has 8 saves and hasn’t allowed an earned run since last Aug. 18. Talk about: Ken Griffey Jr. was out of the lineup with diverticulitis.
9. Cinco De Mayo special: Here are baseball’s #5’s whose numbers have been retired:
Jeff Bagwell Astros Astros career leader in homers and RBI
Carl Barger Marlins First president of the Marlins
Johnny Bench Reds Hall of Fame catcher
Lou Boudreau Indians Hall of Fame shortstop
George Brett Royals Hall of Fame third sacker
Joe DiMaggio Yankees Hall of Fame outfielder
Hank Greenberg Tigers Hall of Fame outfielder
Willard Hershberger Reds Only player to commit suicide during the season
Brooks Robinson Orioles Hall of Fame third sacker
Check my Tweet for #10 – http://twitter.com/BillyBall
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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