Walkoffs, Kudos and Streaks

I Love Walkoffs

Jonathan Papelbon last night in NY

Let’s recap what happened in last night’s Yankee/Red Sox game for those of you who missed the national and international broadcast on ESPN. I will do this in less than the 3:47 it took to complete this game:

  • Red Sox starter Daisuke Matsuzaka gave up five runs in the 1st inning.
  • Despite the Yankees having their best starter, Phil Hughes, on the mound, a 6-1 lead after two innings proved to be insufficient.
  • The resurrected David Ortiz homered.
  • Victor Martinez, whose season long batting slump became more apparent once Ortiz and J.D. Drew started hitting, hit two homers.
  • Drew hit a three-run shot.
  • Kevin Youkilis homered.
  • Tim Wakefield, who lost his spot in the starting rotation to Dice-K, worked 2.1 scoreless innings and was looking at his first win of the season.
  • Javy Vasquez (2-4), who Joe Girardi has been afraid to start against the Sox came in to get the final out in the top of the 9th because David Robertson, Joba Chamberlain were not available after they, and Mariano Rivera, melted down against the Twins on Sunday. Javy struck out Youk with runners on the corners.
  • The Red Sox led 9-7 lead going into the bottom of the 9th.
  • Sox came closer Jonathan Papelbon gave up a two-run, game-tying home run to Alex Rodriguez after Brett Gardner doubled.
  • Papelbon (1-3) hit Francisco Cervelli with a pitch with two outs.
  • Marcus Thames got a walkoff pie in the face

    Marcus Thames, in the game because both Nick Swisher and Jorge Posada are out with nagging injuries, hit a walkoff two-out two-run homer and the functional Yankees defeated the dysfunctional Red Sox, 11-9.

  • It was the first walkoff allowed by Papelbon.
  • It was the first time Papelbon had allowed four earned runs in one game.
  • It was the first time in his 282 relief appearances that Papelbon allowed two home runs. He happened once before, in his major league debut in 2005, when he started.
  • Papelbon hadn’t blown a regular-season save since July 30, 2009. His career-best streak of 22 straight came to an end as he reminded us of why Dennis Eckersley coined the phrase, he slowly walked off the mound as the Yankees celebrated.

Worst Starting Pitcher of the Day

We have numerous candidates to choose from in last night’s action:

  • Ryan Rowland-Smith of the Seattle Mariners went 2.2 innings against the Oakland A’s and gave up 10 hits, including two homers and three doubles, good for seven Oakland runs. The A’s beat the Mariners, 8-4.
  • Matsuzaka allowed seven runs and nine hits in 4.2 innings, walking three and striking out three but did not get the loss.
  • Hughes didn’t do much better allowing five runs in five innings.
  • Pittsburgh starter Charlie Morton (1-7) gave up six runs and six hits in four innings. Ryan Howard hit a grand slam and Jayson Werth hit a three-runner in the Phils 12-2 win over the Bucs.

Kudos

  • Edwin Jackson struck out a career-high 12 in eight shutout innings to lead the Diamondbacks to a 5-1 victory over the Florida Marlins.
  • Johnny Cueto pitched seven innings, gave up seven hits, struck out seven, and gave up one run and one walk in the Cincy win.

Budos

Last night, Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez made an effort on a short line drive to left field. The ball dropped in front of him before he accidentally kicked the ball 100 feet away from him and allowing two runners to score on the error. Ramirez jogged to the ball allowing the batter to reach third base on the play. Ramirez was removed from the game the next inning due to a lack of effort, according to manager Fredi Gonzalez. Gonzalez was unsure if Ramirez would be back in the starting lineup today.

Revenge is Sweet

Darren Oliver pitched two perfect innings of relief and Vladimir Guerrero had two hits and the two former LA Angels helped the Texas Rangers beat the Los Angeles, 4-3. Oliver has allowed one earned run over his last 12 appearances to lower his ERA from 3.86 to 1.74. Guerrero leads the Rangers with 31 RBI.

Streaking

  • The Los Angeles Dodgers extended their winning streak to eight games with a 6-2 win over Houston. The Dodgers have won 13 of 16.
  • The Nationals have lost seven in a row at Busch Stadium.
  • Clayton Richard and two relievers combined on a four-hitter and the Padres defeated the Giants, 3-1. The Padres haven’t trailed against the Giants once this season and have defeated SF seven straight times.
  • Justin Morneau hit two homers and has hit safely in 10 straight games. The Twins topped the Jays, 8-3.
  • David Wright struck out once and has now struck out in a career-worst 14 straight games. The Mets beat the Braves, 3-2.
  • Jason Bay has an 11-game hitting streak.
  • The Reds beat the Milwaukee Brewers 6-3 and have now been in first place in the NL Central two straight days. They’ve won 8 of 9.
  • The Brewers lost their season-high seventh straight.
  • Orlando Cabrera extended his hitting streak to 10 games.

Out of Order

  • Albert Pujols moved from his usual No. 3 spot last night into the clean-up slot and had three hits and a walk. Pujols batted fourth for the first time since May 30, 2003. The Cardinals defeated Washington, 6-2.
  • Victor Martinez moved from his usual No. 3 spot last night against the Yankees was dropped to fifth. He responded with two solo homers, one from each side of the plate.

Coming up today and tonight

AL

Twins (Carl Pavano) at Blue Jays (Shaun Marcum), 12:37

White Sox (Freddy Garcia) at Tigers (Rick Porcello), 1:05

Indians (David Huff) at Rays (David Price), 1:10

Royals (Zack Greinke) at Orioles (Kevin Millwood), 7:05

Red Sox (Josh Beckett) at Yankees (C.C. Sabathia), 7:05

Angels (Jered Weaver) at Rangers (C.J. Wilson), 8:05

Mariners (Felix Hernandez) at A’s (Ben Sheets), 10:05

NL

Brewers (Manny Parra) at Reds (Homer Bailey), 12:35

Diamondbacks (Billy Buckner) at Marlins (Josh Johnson), 1:10

Pirates (Zach Duke) at Phillies (Roy Halladay), 7:05

Mets (Johan Santana) at Braves (Kris Medlen), 7:10

Rockies (Jhoulys Chacin) at Cubs (Carlos Silva), 8:05

Nationals (Chris Lannan) at Cardinals (Chris Carpenter), 8:15

Giants (Jonathan Sanchez) at Padres (Mat Latos), 10:05

Astros (Bud Norris) at Dodgers (Hiroki Kuroda), 10:10

Happy birthday to:

  • Brooks Robinson who is 73.
  • Reggie Jackson who is 64.

On This Date:

In 2004, Randy Johnson became the oldest pitcher in major league history to throw a perfect game; the 40-year-old led the Arizona Diamondbacks over the Atlanta Braves 2-0.

I Love Walkoffs

There have been a wide variety of walkoffs this season, but I believe that this is the first walkoff sacrifice bunt. John Jaso of the Tampa Bay Rays started the rally with one out in the 11th with a disputed infield single. Indians manager Manny Acta left the dugout to argue with the first base umpire but he had just as much of a chance winning an argument with a wife as he did in winning that one.

Jason Bartlett had a walkoff sac bunt

Jaso went to third on a Gabe Kapler hit-and-run single against Jamey Wright (1-2). Then Jason Bartlett laid down a bunt on the first base side of the mound that Wright fielded and made a desperation toss from his glove hand toward the plate but Jaso scored as the ball went wild. It was scored a sacrifice bunt and gave Andy Sonnanstine (1-0) the sixth Tampa Bay reliever the win.