Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)
FROM THE BILL CHUCK FILES…
By Baseball Newstalgist, Bill Chuck
NINE TO KNOW
May 7, 2009 – Here are nine things you need to know in order to talk baseball today.
1. The record-breaking streak is now 13 – The Dodgers beat the Nationals last night (yes, it still counts) 10-3 enabling the Dodgers to set the major league record for most consecutive wins at home to start a season. The Dodgers broke the previous record of 12 by the 1911 Detroit Tigers at Bennett Park (the predecessor to Tiger Stadium). Their 13-game winning streak at Dodger Stadium is the club’s longest at any point in a season since a 13-game streak from May 4 – June 5, 1993. Talk about: Los Angeles also is 31-7 at home since Manny B Manny became a Dodger.
2. Just like last year, only different – The Blue Jays beat up the Angels, 13-1 for their 20th win of the season. Just like last year, Roy Halladay was the pitcher on the mound the night the Jays won their 20th game. The Jays are now 20-10 unlike last year when they were 20-22. Talk about: Roy Halliday is 6-1 with a 3.29 ERA and with 15 more hits last night, the Jays are hitting .297 as a team.
3. If I had to win one game… – I would have Roy Halladay on the mound from the AL and Johan Santana from the NL. Santana and the Mets last night defeated the Phillies, 1-0. Santana is now 4-1 with a 0.91 ERA. The Mets have their first three-game winning streak of the season. Talk about: Francisco Rodriguez picked up the save for the Mets and K-Rod now is 8 for 8 in save opportunities and has held opponents to a .152 batting average.
4. Power and speed, a winning combo – Carlos Pena’s homer in the top of the 10th inning off the Yankees’ Phil Coke gave the Rays a 4-3 victory in New York. It was the fourth straight loss for the New Yorkers. It was Pena’s MLB-leading 12th home run of the season. Talk about: Carl Crawford stole a base for the ninth straight game and now is perfect in 20 attempts this season.
5. Look who’s in first – The Texas Rangers won their fifth straight game by defeating the Oakland A’s, 3-2. They have won nine of 12 to move into first in the AL West. Now I don’t want to brag, but I did pick the Rangers to finish first. It was in 2007, but it just shows how prescient I am. Talk about: The A’s didn’t homer which means their team total of 13 leads Carlos Pena by one.
6. Brews Bash Reds – It seems like just yesterday when I was writing about the Reds picking up their sixth shutout of the season and it seems like just today when I’m writing how Milwaukee defeated Cincy, 15-3. The Reds’ NL leading ERA entering the game was 3.61, it ended the night at 3.99. The Reds most recently led the majors in ERA with a 3.05 mark in 1940. Ryan Braun drove home six for the brawny Brewers. Talk about: Reds shortstop Paul Janish who became the first Reds position player to pitch since Lenny Harris on June 1, 1998, against San Francisco. Janish topped 90 MPH on the radar gun but it is unclear whether it was out of his hand or off the Milwaukee bats; the Brewers knocked him for five 9th inning runs including a Prince Fielder homer.
7. The Big Ubaldo – Okay, I doubt that Ubaldo Jimenez will ever be compared to Randy Johnson but last night he resembled the Big Unit more than RaJo did. Led by a Todd Helton homer, the Rockies did a number on the Giants, 11-1. Randy Johnson failed to win his 298th career game, and allowed seven earned runs in 5.2 innings. He didn’t strike out a batter in a game for the first time since Aug. 4, 2006. Talk about: Jimenez didn’t allow a home run and set a franchise record for most consecutive starts without allowing multiple homers (27).
8. Hitting and pitching from an unlikely source – The Kansas City Royals may be for real if Sidney Ponson pitches like he did last night. Ponson (1-4) allowed one run in 7.1 innings as the Royals won their fifth straight by defeating the Mariners, 9-1. The Royals have won seven of eight and lead the AL Central. Talk about: Mark Teahen had three hits of the Royals 17 hits, their sixth straight game with 10 or more hits.
9. UNABASHED SELF PROMOTION: After all if I don’t do it, who will?
I’ll be on the air (and web) with good buddy Justin Hull, host of “The Home Stretch”, AM 1570/FM 95.3 The Score WSCO Radio in Appleton Wisconsin, 5:30 Eastern time. You can find it at www.am1570thescore.com
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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