30 Baseball Thoughts for August 30

  1. MLB is investigating whether Yankee pitcher Ivan Nova and pitcher Wilkin De La Rosa injected each other with B-12 or something else last season at Double-A. After watching Nova pitch and defeat the White Sox yesterday, 2-1, I suggest whatever it was they injected themselves with, the Red Sox should order a double for John Lackey.
  2. John Lackey?

    Speaking of Guy Smiley, after losing last night to Tampa Bay, 5-3, the Red Sox hurler leads the AL in hits allowed with 201.

  3. Depth is why the Yankees are so tough this season. In the month of August, fill-in DH/outfielder/PH Marcus Thames is hitting .377 with 6 homers and 11 RBI in 53 at bats.

    Thames

  4. Nova also reflects the Yankees depth in the rotation because with the way Javier Vasquez and A.J. Burnett have been pitching the Yanks could be in deep doo-doo. Burnett has given up 27 earned runs in 30 innings he has pitched for the Yankees this month. And Vasquez has a 6.86 ERA.
  5. Seattle beat Carl Pavano and the Twins yesterday, 2-1. Seattle has scored two runs or fewer 58 times in 130 games.
  6. Ichiro went 0-for-4 yesterday. He needs 35 hits in the Mariners last 32 games to reach 200 for the 10th straight season.
  7. The Mariners have Chone Figgins (118), Jose Lopez (117), Franklin Gutierrez (116), and Ichiro (165), each with 100+ hits, the Indians only have Shin-Soo Choo (127).
  8. Speaking of the Indians, they lost again yesterday to the Royals, 6-2, in a series that had no meaning at any point in the season. However it should be noted that they had 19,725 fans in the stands which is only 3,713 fewer fans than they had in Tampa Bay last for, arguably, the Rays most important game of the season.

    Get Comfy with the Rays

  9. The Tigers topped the Blue Jays, 10-4 and Miguel Cabrera went 2-for-4 with a double giving him 301 total bases this season, making him the fourth player in Tigers history to record 300 or more total bases in three straight seasons.
  10. Josh Hamilton leads all of baseball with 315 total bases. Albert Pujols leads the NL with 292.
  11. The Cardinals are struggling. Adam Wainwright and the Cardinals lost again, falling yesterday to the Nationals, 4-2. The Cardinals are 2-5, against the Pitiful Pirates and Woeful Washingtonians on their current 10-game road trip. In August, St. Louis is 5-10 against teams with records under .500. You got to have faith, right Tony?
  12. Albert Pujols went 1-for-4 yesterday and is now hitting .320, with 35 homers and 95 RBI. His Triple Crown playmate, Joey Votto is hitting .325, with 32 homers and 93 RBI. Very exciting stuff.
  13. The Reds beat the Cubs yesterday, 7-5 and increased their NL Central lead to five games, their biggest edge since early in the 2002 season.
  14. Overall, the Reds have won 11 of 15 and won 12 of its 16 games against Chicago this season. The Reds are 75-55. Last year on this date they were 56-73.
  15. The Padres, last year on this date were 56-76, even after being swept by the Phillies, they are 76-53. The Padres hadn’t lost four straight games since Aug. 13-16, 2009.
  16. "What's the deal with the Phillies?"

    What is the deal with the Phillies? This isn’t a Jerry Seinfeld question but really, what is the deal? They get swept in a four-gamer against the Horrid Houstonians and then they go to Sunny SoCal and take three from the Friars, what’s the deal? While you are thinking about that, what about Grape Nuts? You open it up, No Grapes, no nuts! What’s the deal?

  17. Cole Hamels (8-10) won for the first time since July 11 against Cincinnati. He had gone 0-3 despite a 2.83 ERA in his previous eight starts.
  18. After the sweep, the Phillies are 1.5 games ahead of San Francisco in the wild card race and two games behind Atlanta in the NL East. Philadelphia is now 14-2 against the NL West.
  19. Meanwhile, the Braves trailed the Marlins 6-1 going to the 8th. Atlanta scored three times in both the 8th and 9th to pick up another walkoff win. It was the Braves 23rd win  in their final at-bat, which leads the majors, and their 11th walkoff.
  20. This was an MLB first because Brian McCann hit the walkoff homer and was only credited with it after a video review. This is proof that the replay system is working, particularly since it took only 86 seconds to make the call.
  21. Dan Le Batard has a great piece in the Miami Herald about their being something fishy with the Marlins expenses and how Marlin president, David Samson, is an unlikable carp.
  22. On to something that doesn’t smell so bad; it was very moving to see the Big Hurt shed a few tears as the White Sox retired his #35. Frank Thomas hit .307 with 448 home runs of his 521 career home runs with the White Sox from 1990-2005. Thomas will also get a life-size bronze statue on the outfield concourse to be unveiled in 2011.
  23. I do not expect Manny Ramirez getting a statue anywhere, unless he builds one for himself in his backyard, but the ManRam is heading to the White Sox. I am really hoping for a windy day to see the dreadlocks blowing in the wind. This gives Manny the opportunity to not make the postseason in either league this season as the ChiSox are 4.5 out.
  24. BTW: That was a great pick-up by the Twins in acquiring Brian Fuentes from the Angels. Fuentes earned his keep on Saturday when he struck out the only threat on the Mariners, Russell Branyan, to preserve a 1-0 win.
  25. If you check your milk cartons and see the face of Nationals broadcaster Rob Dibble, it is because he seems to be persona non grata after making negative comments about Stephen Strasburg on his Sirius XM Radio morning show when the pitcher came out of a start last weekend with an injury. The Nationals should realize that any sports fan is listening to Mike and Mike on ESPN radio during that time and not paying attention to anything Dibs might have said.
  26. R.A. Dickey (9-5) picked up the 5-1 win for the Mets yesterday against the Astros. He lowered his ERA to 2.57. He also had a pair of singles and a pair of RBI. You wonder if next year he will be the only knuckleballer in baseball. I simply can not imagine Tim Wakefield returning to the Red Sox this season after the way he has been treated.
  27. I still wonder if what Wakefield, David Ortiz, and Jason Varitek said to Johnny Damon negatively affected his decision not to return to Boston. Then again it may have simply been payback to Larry Lucchino and his warmth when Damon left Boston to join the Yankees. Or, maybe it was the fans response to Johnny. It may have been a combination of all three. I just hope Johnny gets to return to Detroit next season as he genuinely seems to like it there and they seem to like him as well.
  28. All-time saves leader, Trevor Hoffman, earned his 599th yesterday as the Milwaukee Brewers completed a three-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates with an 8-4 win. I hope he gets #600 and I hope he retires after this season.
  29. Charlie Morton took the loss for the Pirates yesterday to fall to 1-10. He joins Zach Duke (6-12), Paul Maholm (7-12), Ross Ohlendorf (1-11) and Jeff Karstens (2-10) as the Pirates pitchers with double-digit losses. I have ready many times that you have to be a good pitcher to lose 20 games, but they never say that about pitchers who lose between 10 and 19 games.
  30. The Pirates are now 43-87 and while they have not been an over .500 team since 1992, the only time they have lost 100+ games in that stretch was when they dropped exactly 100 in 2001.

It is my birthday today and I will be spending my day trying to find my birth certificate to see if I was born in Kenya.