The Slump of the Week
We’ve got a winner, the slump of the week goes to the Philadelphia Phillies who visited New York and forgot to score. Last night, Mike Pelfrey (7-1) and the New York Mets bullpen shut out Philadelphia for the third straight game handing them a 3-0 loss. Philadelphia totaled 20 hits in the series.
Pelfrey allowed three hits in seven innings, walked five while striking out five. Francisco Rodriguez pitched a perfect 9th for his ninth save in 11 tries.
It marked the first time since 1983 that Philadelphia was blanked three days in a row. The Mets, winners of five straight, held the Phils to four singles as the Mets threw back-to-back-to-back blankings for the first time since 1988. It was the Mets first three-game sweep over the Phillies since 2006, and their first at home against the Phils since 1997.
When Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched his near no-hitter last weekend, I truly felt that hell had frozen over. In his first appearance since the near-no-no, hell thawed. Boston’s five-game winning streak came to an end as the Kansas City Royals edged the Sawx, 4-3.
Matsuzaka (3-2) walked a season-high eight, hit a batter and sent in a run compliments of a wild pitch, while allowing three runs over 4.2 innings. Dice-K threw 112 pitches, only 60 for strikes.
Brian Bannister (4-3) was the winner giving up three runs on nine hits and striking out four in six innings while winning his third straight. Joakim Soria pitched a perfect ninth for his 12th save.
Ted Lilly pitched seven scoreless innings as the Chicago Cubs beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 1-0 on a Tyler Colvin double in the 8th. The Cubs have won 8 of 11.
Sean Marshall (5-1) picked up the win as Lilly moved to 0-4 in his six times on the mound. John Ely (3-2) was the hard-luck loser holding the Cubs to one run and four hits in 7.1 innings.
Certain names fascinate me. I keep imagining other uses for them. For example, Jason Kubel of the Minnesota Twins. I mean there is no reason why we use Google instead of Kubel, is there?
It turns out there was a German vehicle known as the Kubelwagen. It was the equivalent of the American Jeep during WWII and was designed by Dr. Ferdinand Porsche and by his son Ferry as a “buggy” for fun. With the onset of WW II, Volkswagen manufactured it as a military vehicle.
Meanwhile, Jason Kubel hit two home runs and drove home five as the Twins topped the Yankees, 8-2.
Nick Blackburn (6-1) gave up two runs and nine hits in seven innings for the win. Javier Vazquez (3-5) allowed five runs and eight hits in 5 2/3 innings and took the loss.
By the way, the Minnesota fans shout “Koooob!” in the same fashion that Boston fans shout “Yooook!”
Former lead singer of Creedence Clearwater Revival John Fogarty turns 65 today. And why is that mentioned in a baseball column? Because our good friends at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum will honor the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame musician and his classic, “Centerfield,” during the 2010 National Baseball Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies in Cooperstown on July 25.
“For decades, fans at our annual Induction Ceremony have sung along with ’Centerfield‘ as Hall of Famers take to the stage in a pastoral setting over the central New York landscape,” said Jeff Idelson, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “Because of the lasting contributions to baseball and Americana made by John Fogerty, we are thrilled to pay homage to him and the song, as we celebrate the silver anniversary with his live performance in Cooperstown. The song captures the spirit and energy of those of us who have dreamed of being a baseball star and playing center field, like Robin Yount, Duke Snider or Willie Mays.”
In 1993, Fogerty was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and he is a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
This marks the first time the National Baseball Hall of Fame has immortalized a musician or song as part of the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. It is with that in mind that I have suggested on Billy-Ball.com, that following the lead of Cooperstown, it feels like it’s the right time to honor Songwriters Hall of Fame musician Neil Diamond and his 8th inning song, Sweet Caroline into the Red Sox Hall of Fame. No Fenway experience is complete without the singing of “Caroline” and the Hall feels as if it is lacking without its inclusion.
Contact, Red Sox Vice President/Team Historian Dick Bresciani and tell him that want “Caroline” in the Hall.
Also happy birthday to Kirk Gibson. Kirk Gibson walkoff
Yeah, that’s the ticket!
Comedian Jon Lovitz and others are being sued by the Los Angeles Dodgers over claims they failed to pay nearly $100,000 for season tickets for the 2010 baseball season. The lawsuit claims Lovitz and 100 other individuals entered into a written agreement in March 2008 to buy three dugout club seats for all baseball games played at Dodger Stadium in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
The lawsuit alleges the group refused to pay $95,400 for the 2010 season.
Lovitz in his 1985 SNL response said:
“Hello, my name is Tommy Flanagan, and I’m a member of Pathological Liars Anonymous. In fact, I’m the president of the organization!
I didn’t always lie. No, when I was a kid, I told the truth. But then one day, I got caught stealing money out of my mother’s purse. I lied. I told her it was homework – that my teacher told me to do it. And she got fired! Yeah, that’s what happened!
After that, lying was easy for me. I lied about my age and joined the army. I was thirteen at the time. Yeah. I went to Vietnam, and I was injured catching a mortar shell in my teeth. And they made me a three-star general! And then I got a job in journalism, writing for the National Enquire.. er, Geographic! Yeah, I was making twenty thousand a ye.. month! In fact, I won the Pulitzer Prize that year! Yeah, that’s the ticket.
And then my cousin died – Joe Louis – and I took it hard. Maybe too hard – I tried to kill myself. Yeah, I did kill myself! Sure! I was medically dead for a week and a half! It was a woman that brought me out of it – Indira Gandhi! Yeah, right. And she told me about Pathological Liars Anonymous.
Oh, you’d be surprised how many famous people belong. In fact, at one of the meetings I met my wife – Morgan Fairchild! Yes, I’m a changed man now, and all because of Pathological Liars Anonymous. Why, I – I even have my picture on the cover of Newsweek magazine. Yeah. Every day! Yeah, that’s the ticket! Yeah, you betcha!”
7. Buffaloes to stage American Night
The festivities will include a special U.S.-themed concession stand menu throughout the game and “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” will be performed during the 7th inning.
In an indication of being unclear on the concept, Canadian Academy students will sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” before the game.
T-shirts will be given to the first 3,000 fans, but in typical American style, XL will be the only size available.
Bob Ford, the public address announcer for the Houston Astros, will handle the same duties for this game, presumably announcing a loss.
I Love Walkoffs
I even love walkoff walks. Rickie Weeks walked with the bases loaded to force in the winning run in the 10th inning to give the Brewers a comeback 4-3 victory over the Astros.
Casey McGehee led off with a single off Matt Lindstrom (1-1), who had converted 22 straight save opportunities dating to last season, including his first 10 in 2010. After a fly out, George Kottaras walked and Alcides Escobar lined a single to left to load the bases. Pinch-hitter Randy Wolf struck out and then Weeks walked on a 3-2 pitch.
Trailing 3-2, the Brewers tied the game at 3 in the 9th off Lindstrom, who walked three and allowed four hits. Coming in, Lindstrom had walked only four batters in 19 games.
A’s 7, Orioles 5 – Oakland is now 7-14 on the road
Royals 4, Red Sox 3
Rays 5, White Sox 1 – Jeff Niemann is now 5-0.
Twins 8, Yankees 2
Brewers 4, Astros 3 (10)
Cubs 1, Dodgers 0
Rockies 8, Diamondbacks 2 – Rockies sweep
Giants 5, Nationals 4 – Waiting for Strasburg, but he’s inventing iPad apps
Cardinals 8, Padres 3 – Albert hits his first home run and drives in his first runs in 12 games
Reds 8, Pirates 2 – Scott Rolen went deep meaning Cincinnati has homered in its last 16 games
Mets 3, Phillies 0
Indians (17-28) @ Yankees (28-19), 7:05pm
CLE: Fausto Carmona (26, RHP, 4-2, 3.45) NYY: Phil Hughes (24, RHP, 5-1, 2.72)
Athletics (25-23) @ Tigers (25-21), 7:05pm
OAK: Ben Sheets (31, RHP, 2-3, 5.04) DET: Dontrelle Willis (28, LHP, 1-2, 4.97)
Orioles (15-33) @ Blue Jays (27-22), 7:07pm
BAL: Kevin Millwood (35, RHP, 0-4, 3.71) TOR: Shaun Marcum (28, RHP, 4-1, 2.82)
White Sox (20-27) @ Rays (33-15), 7:10pm
CHW: Freddy Garcia (35, RHP, 3-3, 5.68) TBR: David Price (24, LHP, 7-1, 2.41)
Royals (20-28) @ Red Sox (27-22), 7:10pm
KCR: Kyle Davies (26, RHP, 3-3, 4.53) BOS: Tim Wakefield (43, RHP, 1-2, 4.44)
Rangers (26-21) @ Twins (27-20), 8:10pm
TEX: Colby Lewis (30, RHP, 4-2, 3.45) MIN: Kevin Slowey (26, RHP, 5-3, 4.53)
Mariners (18-28) @ Angels (23-26), 10:05pm
SEA: Cliff Lee (31, LHP, 2-2, 3.44) LAA: Scott Kazmir (26, LHP, 3-4, 6.09)
Cardinals (27-21) @ Cubs (23-25), 2:20pm
STL: Chris Carpenter (35, RHP, 5-1, 3.09) CHC: Randy Wells (27, RHP, 3-2, 3.99)
Astros (16-31) @ Reds (28-20), 7:10pm
HOU: Wandy Rodriguez (31, LHP, 2-6, 4.33) CIN: (2010, RHP, 0-0, undef)
Phillies (26-20) @ Marlins (24-24), 7:10pm
PHI: Kyle Kendrick (25, RHP, 2-2, 5.66) FLA: Chris Volstad (23, RHP, 3-5, 4.31)
Pirates (20-28) @ Braves (25-22), 7:35pm
PIT: Zach Duke (27, LHP, 3-4, 4.47) ATL: Derek Lowe (37, RHP, 6-4, 5.30)
Mets (25-23) @ Brewers (19-28), 8:10pm
NYM: Johan Santana (31, LHP, 4-2, 3.41) MIL: Yovani Gallardo (24, RHP, 4-2, 3.20)
Diamondbacks (20-28) @ Giants (24-22), 10:15pm
ARI: Edwin Jackson (26, RHP, 3-5, 6.28) SFG: Matt Cain (25, RHP, 2-4, 2.88)
Nationals (24-24) @ Padres (28-19), 10:05pm
WSN: John Lannan (25, LHP, 1-2, 5.55) SDP: Clayton Richard (26, LHP, 4-2, 2.73)
Dodgers (26-21) @ Rockies (25-22), 9:10pm
LAD: Carlos Monasterios (24, RHP, 1-0, 1.90) COL: Jeff Francis (29, LHP, 1-0, 0.68)
Holiday Publishing Schedule
Billy-Ball won’t be e-mailed on Monday because it is Memorial Day in the U.S. and Spring Bank Holiday in the UK. However, Billy-Ball.com will be updated with news and stories as warranted. I will be back in your in box Tuesday morning to catch you up after what I hope is a pleasant holiday weekend for all.