What a day–there was something crazy in virtually every game.
Adam Wainwright went 7 innings, gave up 3 runs, and took the loss.
-It was the first time all season he took a loss at home.
–He has a career 2.45 ERA in over 450 innings at Busch Stadium.
Wainwright was outdueled by Randy Wolf, who gave up 1 run over 8.1 (and that one was charged to him after he left)
-Wolf led the NL in earned runs allowed coming into the day.
New closer John Axford relieved Wolf and couldn’t get it done (mostly because his defense decided to go to sleep behind him), so Trevor Hoffman (and his 6.75 ERA) came in with the bases loaded and two outs.
-He struck out the only batter he faced on three pitches.
Joe Mauer hit a home run. This year, that’s unpredictable in itself–it was only his 8th of the year.
-It was his first home run at Target Field.
–Andruw Jones took Francisco Liriano deep. It was the first home run Liriano gave up since May 20th, over 95 innings ago.
Tampa and Texas scored runs in 9 of the last 10 half innings of their game.
The Yankees used seven pitchers and went 2-10 with RISP.
-They scored 9 runs and won.
–Ramiro Pena tripled–he was hitting .208/.239/.217 (for a Herculean OPS+ of 27) with one extra base hit (a double) coming into the day.
—Miguel Cabrera and Ramon Santiago were charged with errors on the same play.
Casey Kotchman went 1-4 with an RBI single.
-He saw four pitches all night.
–Ladies and Gentlemen, your Opening Day #3 hitter. There is a reason Seattle’s offense is the worst in the Majors.
—Shockingly, Seattle scored 6 runs and won. This was only the 19th time they have scored 6 runs. The Yankees (the league’s best offense) have done that 55 times.
The Red Sox are now 9-0 against the Angels.
-The Angels led early, but the Red Sox tied the game on a wild pitch, and took the lead on a bases loaded HBP.
Yuniesky Betancourt leads the Royals in home runs.
-Well, active Royals anyway. Jose Guillen still hit 16 before being DFAed.
–Betancourt now has as many home runs as walks (12).
Matt Cain gave up 5 runs in 6 innings and took a loss. Only two of the runs were earned, dropping him to 9-10 with a stellar 3.11 ERA.
–Pitching well with nothing to show for it in the W/L record is nothing new for Cain. He now has a 3.46 ERA for his whole career (of over 1000 innings). That’s better than Tom Glavine, CC Sabathia, and Zack Greinke. His career record? 53-61. One day, people will say his biggest problem was that he “just wasn’t a winner.” We cite them here a lot precisely because they are so unpredictable, but wins and losses is a terrible, terrible, way to evaluate pitchers.
Ross Ohlendorf would agree with that assessment of wins and losses. He held the Marlins to 3 runs over 8 innings. That isn’t good enough when facing Josh Johnson, and Ohlendorf dropped to 1-10 on the year.
-His ERA is a respectable-and-certainly-better-than-1-10-would-suggest 3.90
–In his last 6 starts, he has a 2.26 ERA. He is 0-3
—Ryan Doumit and Andrew McCutchen both took Josh Johnson deep, making the Pirates the first team to hit two homers off him in the same game. That’s right, the Pirates.
Jose Molina was charged with his fourth passed ball of the year.
-Jorge Posada has four passed balls.
–Victor Martinez has three. There is undoubtedly some subjective scoring here, but Posada and Martinez are not known for their gloves.
The Arizona bullpen blowing a game isn’t really a surprise anymore, but tonight was impressive even for them. Arizona led 7-3 going into the 8th. Cincy tied the game in the 8th and took the lead on a suicide squeeze in the 9th. Then they tacked on more runs. All told, the Reds scored 8 runs in the final two frames. It was the 25th loss charged to the Diamondbacks pen.
RA Dickey of the Mets, fresh off a 1-hit shutout in his last start, was on the mound in the 9th going for his second straight CG (as if that itself weren’t unpredictable enough) when Geoff Blum took him deep with 1 out in the 9th.
-Geoff Blum has a career OPS+ of 81, and 78 this year.
–This was his 71st appearance and he has had nearly 200 PAs–he has been getting playing time this year.
—Nonetheless, it was Blum’s first home run since August 16th of last year.
With the game tied, it went into extras. The Mets used newly minted closer Hisanori Takahashi, as well as backup Bobby Parnell. When they finally took a lead in the 14th on an Ike Davis sac fly, they turned to Manny Acosta to close it out.
-He retired the side on 5 pitches.
When the Dodger bullpen decides to melt down, they don’t cheat you. In the tenth inning of what was a good, tight pitcher’s duel (Carlos Gonzalez had to leave the game after faceplanting against the wall while making a spectacular catch)…well, I can’t do it justice. Here is the sequence:
Octavio Dotel came in (after Broxton and Kuo pitched scoreless innings in relief of an effective Kuroda) and struck out Olivo. Then he walked Melvin Mora, who stole second base when Eric Young, Jr. struck out. Mora then moved to third on a wild pitch to Fowler, who eventually walked. Jason Giambi stepped in to pinch hit, and Dotel uncorked another wild pitch, giving Colorado the lead. He then intentionally walked Giambi to get to Troy Tulowitzki (go figure). Dotel then threw another wild pitch, putting runners on second and third. Tulo grounded out to end it, marking the first time in the inning (after they had scored the go-ahead run, mind you) that a Rockies hitter put a ball in play. Dotel became the first pitcher since 1950 to throw three wild pitches in one extra inning of work.