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Sunday, July 31, 2005

Minor League Scorebook

2005-07-31: Salt Lake 9, Round Rock 6
Callaspo, A: 0-5
Kotchman: 2-4
Pride: 3-5, 2 HR, 6 RBI
Mathis: 0-4
Gordon: 3-4, 1 RBI
Thomas: (W, 4-2), 5.1 IP, 6 ER, 7 H, 3 K, 2 BB, 7.33 ERA
Pride of the Angels: Even at 37, he's still a pretty formidable player against AAA pitching. Guess Kotchman's absence in yesterday's game was just a day off.
2005-07-31: Arkansas 14, Wichita 1
Willits, R: 1-5, 2 RBI
Aybar, E: 3-5, 2 RBI
Kendrick, H: 1-5
Morales, K: 2-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Murphy: 3-5, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Eylward: 3-4, 2 HR, 6 RBI
Weaver: (W, 1-0), 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 6 K, 2 BB, 2.70 ERA
This was Weaver's first home start, and a big step forward from his shaky AA debut against Springfield. A 9.00 K/9 rate (in one game) is pretty good, even in AA. The scouting beef against Weaver is that while he has the Mark Prior numbers, he doesn't have his stuff. That's why we have the minor leagues.

It appears I screwed up the other day when I gave out the tentative list of Weaver's starts for the balance of the year. Here's the corrected list:

Date            Opponent
Sat. 8/6    vs. Springfield
Fri. 8/12   @ Round Rock
Thu. 8/18   vs. Round Rock
Wed. 8/24   vs. Wichita
Mon. 8/29   @ Tulsa
Sat. 9/3    @ Springfield

I'm going to have to get going on that full parser for the game data so I can gain access to game-by-game numbers. Kendry Morales is on fire in the last few games, hitting not only for power again, but for average. He and RF Tommy Murphy blasted back-to-back jacks, helping the Travs take first place in the Texas League East Division by themselves for the first time since May 4.

They say that doubles are often a better predictor of who's going to hit for power in the majors than home runs, and so Mike Eylward might actually have a chance at a career. At 25, I wonder that he's not a little old for his league, yet he's third on the team with doubles (20).

Update 8/1: Eylward is the Texas League Player of the Week for 7/24-7/31. He hit .538 with five homers, 14 RBIs, and a 1.192 SLG over that time.

2005-07-31: Rancho Cucamonga 6, Inland Empire 4
Wood, B: 1-2, 2 BB
Pali: 1-3, 3 RBI
Day: 2-3
Edwards: (W, 6-5), 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 10 H, 7 K, 4 BB, 4.23 ERA
Zimmermann: 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 K, 0 BB, 3.22 ERA
2005-07-31: Dayton 0, Cedar Rapids 5
Casilla: 2-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Sandoval, F: 3-5, 1 RBI
Collins: 1-4
Madrigal: 0-4
Sutton: 1-2, 2 BB
Renz: 0-2, 2 BB
Green: (W, 1-2), 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 2 K, 0 BB, 3.94 ERA
Alexi Casilla is a Dominican free agent signed in 2003. He came up quickly in 2004 to Cedar Rapids, and actually was promoted all the way up to Salt Lake before bouncing back down to Cedar Rapids again. Give the guy this: he makes contact. He has almost as many walks (23) as strikeouts (25) for Cedar Rapids, in 241 ABs. Tonight's power display appears to be an anomaly, as only 12 of his 80 hits were for extra bases.
2005-07-31: AZL Angels 8, AZL Padres 3
Phillips: 2-5, 1 RBI
Ryan: 1-3, 2 BB, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Edwards: 3-3, 1 RBI
Jepsen: 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 K, 0 BB, 9.45 ERA
Mendoza: (W, 2-0) (in relief), 3.2 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 6 K, 1 BB, 1.29 ERA
Aldridge: 1.1 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 4 K, 0 BB, 3.86 ERA
Update 8/1: Damn these guys took a long time to get their scores in. I wonder, at this level, if they actually draw anybody into the stands besides the scouts; they certainly didn't provide attendance for this game. Dallas McPherson made a rehab start here, and I'm surprised they started him at such a low level; but maybe not after looking at his results, 0-3 with three strikeouts. Ouch.
2005-07-31: Orem did not play
2005-07-31: Oklahoma 8, Las Vegas 7
Stanley: 0-3, 2 BB
Schrager: 2-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Young, D: 1-4, 1 RBI
Grabowski: 2-4, 1 RBI
Aybar: 0-4, 1 RBI
Chen: 1-3, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Rose: 1-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Nall: (L, 5-4), 5.0 IP, 7 ER, 7 H, 3 K, 4 BB, 7.12 ERA
2005-07-31: Mobile 6, Jacksonville 0
Abreu, T: 0-4
LaRoche, A: 1-4
Loney: 1-3
Martin, R: 0-3
Guzman, J: 0-3
Billingsley: (L, 8-5), 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 9 H, 3 K, 1 BB, 4.40 ERA
Perez: 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 6 K, 0 BB, 0.96 ERA
A brutal outing for Billingsley.
2005-07-31: Lakeland 3, Vero Beach 4
Paul: 1-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Hu: 3-4
Kemp: 0-4
Raglani: 2-3
Ellis: 2-4, 2 RBI
Pilkington: (W, 5-7), 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 4 K, 1 BB, 3.39 ERA
Alexander: 1.2 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 5 K, 0 BB, 1.89 ERA
Man, look at that line by Mark Alexander, making all his outs by strikeouts! He's got a nice little line, too, with a 76/20 K/BB ratio, and a 13.50 K/9. That'll keep you in tight games for sure. Eric Gagné, Jr.?
2005-07-31: Columbus 2, Greenville 3
Dewitt: 2-4
Weeden: (L, 2-8), 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 7 K, 4 BB, 5.30 ERA
No earned runs, but one unearned.
2005-07-31: GCL Dodgers did not play
2005-07-31: Ogden did not play

Cardinals 7, Dodgers 5

Blah blah blah Dodgers blah blah blah Cardinals blah blah blah comeback blah blah blah pitching blah blah blah bullpen blah blah blah 7-5 loss.


Regarding Alfred E. Stoneman

Alfred E. Stoneman

By way of responding to Richard's call for trades, I would ask, well, who do you get that's better? The Dodgers simply refused to do anything at the trade deadline, and face worse problems in their bullpen than the Angels. My question would be, who do you get and for what? Relief is clearly an issue, but the kind of pitchers the Angels need aren't available on any team. That's something DePodesta -- IMO in the class of GMs "smarter than Bill Stoneman" -- recognized and therefore held off on.

Second, Bill Stoneman doesn't seem to make trades because he's not successful at it. The call, therefore, to have him execute a trade to improve the team is a non-sequitur. The only one he's made that has been successful that I can remember is the Mo Vaughn for Kevin Appier trade. He certainly has done a bad enough job with his offseason free agent signings; Orlando Cabrera, until today (when he actually went 3-4 with a double) has been an offensive black hole the likes of which the team hasn't seen since Alfredo Amezaga who could have been had for free. I think Stoneman would make a great director of scouting, but he's a weak GM.

And that brings up my last point: who do you get to replace him? I suspect Sandy Alderson, former A's GM and now working in the Padres' front office as President, would be a good choice, but I expect that technically GM would represent a downshift from his current responsibilities. Maybe J.P. Ricciardi, if he gets fired from Toronto... but here I dream.

Update: Another thought: You could be stuck with a blowhard like Jim Bowden. He makes lots of trades...

Trade Deadline Moves

To be updated throughout the day, which may not be immediately as I have non-baseball things to worry about:

Seventy Nine Pitches: Yankees 8, Angels 7

That's all Bootcheck had thrown by the end of the sixth inning. So naturally, Scioscia calls in the bullpen.

Technically, Shields Gregg will get this loss. But it's really Scioscia's.

Update: Let's count the number of times this game was lost:

  1. Scioscia pulls Bootcheck at 79 pitches after the sixth. Let us give him a break for the moment; perhaps Bootcheck has a history of imploding in the seventh inning. After all, his 4.72 ERA record with Salt Lake didn't come out of nowhere.
  2. Darin Erstad allows a screaming ground ball to go through his legs in the bottom of the eighth. He looked, on that one play, like Jason Giambi. God help me.
  3. Scioscia allows Shields to throw in the 8th after he gave up a walk to Posada. Posada had been ineffective in the previous two games. I'm not sure I buy this, but I expect you'll hear a lot of guys complaining about it; but really, who else do you go to?
  4. Orlando Cabrera fails to field a routine ground ball. Yup, this was the killer. Stoneman's $32 million dollar boy botches a routine ground ball.
What an embarrassing game. What an embarrassing week. And here come the A's. Season, it was nice knowing you.


Will Carroll Interviews DePodesta

Will Carroll interviews Paul DePodesta on Baseball Prospectus Radio. The interview starts at 11:55.

F___ D____ B____

See, this is why I'm opposed to using the name of a particular person in the name of my blog. Via the Times:
Dusty Baker would like to return to Los Angeles to manage the Dodgers, according to a person close to the Chicago Cub manager.

Baker, who played eight seasons for the Dodgers, is unhappy in Chicago, where he has managed the Cubs for 2 1/2 years, the source said. Baker has 1 1/2 years left on a contract that coincides with current Dodger manager Jim Tracy's, though Tracy could opt out of his contract after this season.

According to the source, "Dusty wants desperately to manage the Dodgers … and [supporters] would love to get a buzz going about Dusty in case the Dodgers were thinking of letting Tracy go at the end of the season.

"He would love the Dodgers to come calling and then hope the Cubs would let him go."

That would be a departure from Baker's previous feelings about the Dodgers.

When he left the organization for San Francisco after the 1983 season, Baker believed he had been betrayed by rumors of drug involvement and once vowed to never work for the Dodgers again.

Presumably, Tracy will manage the Dodgers for at least another season.

While there are signs that Tracy and General Manager Paul DePodesta don't always share common baseball philosophies (Hee-Seop Choi's participation, for one), DePodesta appears satisfied with Tracy's work.

The body of evidence, so far, says Tracy stays through 2006, the end of his two-year extension.

Baker managed the San Francisco Giants for 10 seasons that included three postseason appearances and one World Series.

After the 2002 season, he signed a four-year, $15-million contract to manage the Cubs, and came within a win of the World Series in his first season in Chicago.

Those who know Baker often have put his final job in Arizona, where he would work for Jeff Moorad, his longtime friend and agent who now is a general partner there.

Unfortunately, Steve, it looks like somebody's already beaten you to the punch on the name...

Update: More reaction at Bleed Cubbie Blue.

Update 2: Steve weeps.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Minor League Scorebook

2005-07-30: Salt Lake 1, Round Rock 3
Callaspo, A: 2-4
Gorneault: 1-4, 1 RBI
Mathis: 0-4
Hunter: 5.1 IP, 1 ER, 1.69 ERA
Rouwenhorst: (L, 3-3) (in relief), 2.2 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, 1 K, 2 BB, 5.33 ERA
An emergency start from Chris Hunter, called up from single-A Rancho. Not a bad job, considering; eight innings of one-run ball with only two walks.

Update: Will Carroll notes the absence of Casey Kotchman in last night's lineup, frequently presaging a trade.

2005-07-30: Arkansas 15, Wichita 3
Willits, R: 1-6
Aybar, E: 1-5
Kendrick, H: 2-3, 1 RBI
Murphy: 3-5, 3 RBI
Morales, K: 2-5, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Eylward: 3-5, 1 RBI
Reyes: 2-5, 1 HR, 5 RBI
Davidson: (W, 10-5), 9.0 IP, 2 ER, 10 H, 2 K, 1 BB, 4.34 ERA
I seem to recall John Sickels put the words "prospect-laden" in sneer quotes for his Friday post about last Thursday's game. I wonder if today's romp will change his mind? Maybe. He's got only one picture up, a solo shot of Travs starter Dan Davidson, thanks to a busted memory card. "He is the personification of finesse lefty, as his best fastball this evening was 84 MPH."

About Morales, Sickels wrote, "Morales has superb bat speed and raw power, but is not very refined and will lunge at pitches outside the strike zone." Yeah, we figured that out looking at his BB/K ratio.

My, my, look at all those RBIs, and a complete game on three runs. Too bad we don't know the pitch count, as they don't seem to record it.

2005-07-30: Rancho Cucamonga 6, Inland Empire 0
Leahy: 2-3, 2 BB, 2 RBI
Wood, B: 2-5, 1 RBI
Pali: 2-4, 1 RBI
Day: 2-4
Fuller: 3-4
Smith: (W, 6-6), 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 6 K, 0 BB, 4.53 ERA
Zimmermann: 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 2 K, 2 BB, 3.30 ERA
The Quakes used four pitchers to get to this result, totalling nine strikeouts, three walks, and five hits.
2005-07-30: Dayton 7, Cedar Rapids 11
Casilla: 5-5, 1 RBI
Sandoval, F: 2-5, 1 RBI
Collins: 1-3, 3 RBI
Toussaint: 0-4, 1 RBI
Leblanc: 2-5, 1 RBI
Madrigal: 3-5, 2 RBI
Renz: 1-3, 2 BB, 1 RBI
Rodriguez, S: 1-2, 2 BB
Gelinas: (W, 7-6), 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 6 K, 0 BB, 3.74 ERA
2005-07-30: AZL Angels vs. AZL Royals: Postponed: Rain
2005-07-30: Orem 2, Ogden 6
Trumbo: 0-4
Wipke: 2-4
Rosario: 2-3, 1 RBI
Mosebach: (L, 2-2), 5.0 IP, 6 ER, 5 H, 4 K, 1 BB, 4.09 ERA
2005-07-30: Oklahoma 6, Las Vegas 1
Young, D: 1-4
Valentin: 1-2
Aybar: 1-4
Stults: (L, 1-3), 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 10 H, 6 K, 1 BB, 5.71 ERA
Osoria: 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 K, 0 BB, 2.25 ERA
2005-07-30: Mobile 9, Jacksonville 4
Donovan, T: 2-5, 4 RBI
Weber, J: 0-2, 2 BB
LaRoche, A: 0-4
Loney: 0-4
Martin, R: 1-4
Guzman, J: 1-3
Juarez: (L, 4-4), 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 H, 7 K, 2 BB, 4.32 ERA
Olson: 2.0 IP, 4 ER, 3 H, 4 K, 1 BB, 5.95 ERA
Rodriguez: 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 2 K, 1 BB, 3.86 ERA
2005-07-30: Lakeland 2, Vero Beach 4
Hu: 0-4
Kemp: 1-4
Dunlap: 1-4
Bruce: 1-1, 2 BB
Raglani: 1-3, 3 RBI
Rohan: 2-3
Merricks: 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 5 K, 1 BB, 3.97 ERA
Miller: (W, 1-0) (in relief), 2.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 H, 1 K, 2 BB, 1.17 ERA
2005-07-30: Columbus 3, Greenville 2
Carter, B: 2-4, 2 RBI
Dewitt: 0-4
Gutierrez: 3-4
Reina: 4.0 IP, 1 ER, 3.48 ERA
Akin: 3.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 4 K, 0 BB, 3.88 ERA
Wright: (BS, 2)(W, 1-4) (in relief), 1.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 4 K, 1 BB, 2.15 ERA
2005-07-30: GCL Mets 4, GCL Dodgers 6
De Jesus: 4-4, 3 RBI
Paris: 2.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 H, 4 K, 3 BB, 6.05 ERA
Castillo: 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 4 K, 3 BB, 4.66 ERA
Norrito: (W, 1-0) (in relief), 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 3 K, 1 BB, 3.27 ERA
Knock, knock.

Who's there?

Ivan DeJesus.

Ivan DeJesus who?

Ivan DeJesus who can hit da ball! Nice outing, kid.

2005-07-30: Orem 2, Ogden 6
Locke: 2-3, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Rivera: 0-2
Pujols: 1-3, 1 HR, 4 RBI
Pfeiffer: (W, 4-2), 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 6 K, 1 BB, 6.31 ERA
Meloan: 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 5 K, 0 BB, 3.00 ERA

Pickoff Moves

Going crazy trying to keep up, especially with company over. Maybe I should take a hiatus like Jon... anyway...

Yankees 8, Angels 7

Aside from the obvious connection to the horrid game Thursday against the Blue Jays, this game was lost the moment Scioscia called in Frankie for five outs. I would have stayed with Peralta or even Woods, simply because Frankie was obviously tired. He threw thirty six pitches, only 15 of which landed for strikes. This game was winnable, Mike. This game was winnable.

By the way: about this: homers may not be a cure-all, but they sure as hell beat grounding out weakly to the second baseman:

Cabrera entered Saturday's game hitting .243 and was hitting .212 since June 15, but Scioscia is looking for that one trigger to get his offense back in line, and is hopeful this latest tinkering with the batting order will affect change.
No, because Cabrera is on an early slide that he is not going to recover from. Sorry, the "changing leagues" nonsense doesn't apply simply because he isn't.

Speaking of bad hitting, Vlad looked awful again, particularly against Chacon. One of these days, probably in late August after all hope has evaporated, they'll finally admit to his shoulder injury and that he needs rest for several months to recuperate.

Big Angel thanks to Alan Embree and Felix Rodriguez, both of whom are not exactly answers in the pen. When Josh Paul doubles and Juan Rivera homer, you know something's wrong. As the Rev put it, this game was gift-wrapped for the Angels; they just refused to accept it.


Cardinals 9, Dodgers 3

Ah, now that's the Dodgers I know and despise! Lowe leaving early, giving up a ton of earned runs, Carrara imploding, Broxton maintaining his 9.00 ERA... can we take that DFA of Erickson back now? The top three batters in the lineup going 1-12... great day, guys, great day.


Roster Notes

Night Of The Living Rookies, Part 2: Dodgers 7, Cardinals 5

There seems to be a misapprehension about my opinion of the Dodgers farm system. It may be my fault for failing to explain it adequately, but in short, until the minor leaguers come up and have sustained success, calling the Dodgers minors "loaded" is premature at best and mendacious at worst. But don't think I'm not hoping for some good players to come out of it; you're reading the blog of a man who owns an Edwin Jackson desktop image. But looking the results square in the face so far, the results at best can be described as mixed. All right, you say; Jackson wasn't part of the 2002 and forward drafts. Very well. I'll come to that in a moment.

We were up in the cheap seats, again, in the thin air amongst a bunch of Cardinals fans and Mormons, which is to say, very nice people. Well, nice save for one very skanky looking guy in a Giants jersey two rows behind us and one section over, who turned his back to the field during the national anthem. I'm not sure what to take from it, but it certainly was odd.

We got to the park fairly early, so we were able to catch the Cards' batting practice. As a result, we got to see an example of the kinds of things Albert Pujols can do, namely, hit a ball to the far end of the home bullpen. That's power, the exhibition of which Dodger fans haven't seen much lately. It was, I thought at the time, a foreboding about the Dodgers' chances. Even without Scott Rolen (shoulder), Reggie Sanders (broken leg), and Larry Walker (neck injury) all on the DL, the Cards still have an arguable Hall of Fame candidate manning center in Jim Edmonds, and another one at first base in Albert Pujols. The odds did not look good.

The Dodgers certainly did nothing to disabuse me of that notion in the early going. In the very first inning, Jeff Kent made a mental mistake failing to cover second and an error at second base allowing Grudzielanek to get to first, allowing Albert Pujols to score from third. When Taguchi grounded out to Kent after 23 pitches, I knew it was going to be a long game. That feeling grew even worse when Izturis opened the Dodgers' half of the first by failing to leg out a bouncer to first that looked borderline foul.

Somehow, the Dodgers persisted, and Morris choked in a big way, surrendering three consecutive hits and a home run to Ricky Ledee. The Dodgers -- for the first time in what seemed like forever -- had a little breathing room, but just barely.

It didn't last long. That doomful feeling came right back in the top of the second when Phillips mangled a Mahoney pop fly, allowing the catcher to reach first on the error. Morris sac bunted him over, but mercifully, Penny was able to get out of this jamlet, though not at substantial cost. By the end of the second, he had tossed forty-four pitches.

And yet -- somehow the Dodgers settled down in the third. Edwards made a beautiful running catch on an Edmonds flyball to left. Then Dodgers caught a break: Bradley got aboard on catcher's interference. Kent singled him over to second, Rickey Ledee flied out deep to right -- the whole crowd was almost certain it was another home run -- and advanced Bradley to third. Phillips then singled in a run. Less-than-perfect smallball, to be sure, but the Dodgers were nevertheless up 5-2.

The Cards tried to correct their situation with a suicide squeeze in the fourth, reacting with their own smallball. With men on first and second with Eckstein at the plate, David Eckstein hit into a 6-4-3 double play, advancing Mahoney to third. Penny, laboring throughout the game, got Nuñez to ground out to end the threat, the Dodgers up by one, 5-4.

This set the stage for Johnathan Broxton's first major league mound appearance. Called in to replace the exhausted Penny (105 pitches in five innings, only 65 of which were strikes), he immediately gave up consecutive singles to Eckstein and Nuñez. (At least his first pitch in the majors was a strike.) The good news -- an omen of good things to come? -- was that his major league strikeout was against Albert Pujols. However, he still ended up surrendering the tying run when recent callup John Rodriguez sac-flied one home.

Broxton's pitching mainly consisted of mid-90's heat; the hardest I saw him throw was 96 on the gun, pretty compelling all things considered; but as we know, speed kills, especially in the absence of location and variation. Broxton wasn't fooling much in the way of your catalog major-league hitter last night. He spent 25 pitches getting out of the inning, of which 16 were strikes.

The Dodgers went ahead again in the seventh on a groundout from Bradley and a Kent double. In the eighth, Schmoll did a good job against the top of the order, inducing a double play from Albert Pujols. And though it was pointless, there was a nice bit of baserunning from Ricky Ledee in the eighth: with Ledee on second, Olmedo Saenz came up to pinch hit. Fouling out to shallow left, Ricky Ledee then tagged up and got to third when he noticed Pujols running away from the play at high speed. Not that it mattered, but smart baserunning deserves notice, especially on a team as power-starved as this one.

Brazoban nailed down the game in the ninth, and best of all, got a one-pitch, one-out from Edmonds. At one point -- and unfortunately I don't remember what play it was, but I suspect it was Ricky Ledee's double in the eighth -- Edmonds badly misjudged a flyball to center. Now, I don't know whether it was from the lights or age, but it seems to me the last few times I've seen him play he's gotten bad reads on balls. Helen says he never does but he uses his prodigious speed to compensate. If he's aging, playing as shallow as he usually does in center is going to bite him very squarely on the ass presently.

At last, something about Dioner Navarro: I didn't notice anything terrible about him defensively, and couldn't have, not at our elevation. Offensively, he did okay for himself, getting a single, a walk, and grounding out and striking out. Good outing for the kid, but hardly the "catcher of the future" yet.

ESPN BoxRecap

Night Of The Living Rookies, Part 1: Angels 4, Yankees 1

Ervin Santana throws from the mound

Ervin Santana

Last night's win was Santana's first road win on the year, and so we tip our caps to the young Señor from the Dominican. He wouldn't have done it without some wonderful plays in the outfield behind him, and yet neither was he dazzlingly brilliant, plunking two batters, walking two, and surrendering six hits; but that win feels good, no less for it being in the hallowed of halloweds, Yankee Stadium.

As always, any power displays by the Angels are welcome, and two dingers in one night qualified for sure. Vlad's 2-4 night was his second multi-hit game in a week, but only the third one this month; it's a positive sign, though. As I said yesterday, the day/night splits gave the Angels a chance. Thank Heaven.

Before I finish, I wanted to bring up one point here, an itch I couldn't quite remember to scratch. Some days ago, Stephen Smith made a plausible explanation for Orlando Cabrera's signing:

... Some blame Cabrera for the Angels' supposed offense woes, but Cabrera wasn't hired for his bat. He was hired for his glove. Cabrera is a major upgrade defensively at shortstop for the Angels.

Quite frankly, I think Cabrera deserves some credit for the overall excellent performance by the Angels' pitching staff. Although it's a misleading stat, Cabrera leads AL shortstops in fielding percentage at .987. He's second in Zone Rating at .857, which is defined as "The percentage of balls fielded by a player in his typical defensive 'zone,' as measured by STATS, Inc." Compare those numbers with David Eckstein at St. Louis, who has a .975 fielding percentage and .795 Zone Rating.

Cabrera, who hit second in last night's game, is a superior fielder to Eckstein, it's true. But let's look at several alternatives here (Rate2 and EqA from 2005, except for Amezaga, for whom I use 2004):

David Eckstein91.248$10.25M/3 years
Maicer Izturis99.264League minimum ($325k)
Orlando Cabrera107.231$32M/4 years
Alfredo Amezaga110.158Minor leagues, below league minimum

Okay, so here's the question: if you're hiring based on the glove, which of these three guys do you choose? The answer has to be Amezaga; he's better than any of the other two guys on this list and he's practically free. The reality, of course, is that he also can't hit, and hence he's playing for the Indianapolis Indians and not hitting very much there either. I find it very hard to believe that Bill Stoneman didn't consider the offensive output these three players would likely generate as a (if not the) overriding factor in the decision on who to pick up in the offseason. Unfortunately, he made a grievously wrong choice.

Update: The Angels now have prepended the sobriquet "stinkin'" in Yankeeland. Hee!

ESPN BoxRecap

Minor League Scorebook

2005-07-29: Salt Lake 6, Albuquerque 3
Prieto: 2-3
Callaspo, A: 4-5, 3 RBI
Kotchman: 0-3, 2 BB
Gorneault: 0-4
Mathis: 1-4
Allen: 1-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Pavkovich: 2-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Andrews: 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5.56 ERA
Borbon: (BS, 1), 0.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 0.00 ERA
Jones: (W, 1-1) (in relief), 1.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 2.51 ERA
Pedro Borbon Jr. hit Isotope Matt Padgett with the bases loaded to drive in the tying run and blow the save. Casey Kotchman had his ten-game hitting streak snapped; Curtis Pride drove in the winning run with an RBI single.
2005-07-29: Arkansas 4, Wichita 9 (Completed Early: Doubleheader)
Willits, R: 0-4
Aybar, E: 0-3
Kendrick, H: 0-3
Napoli, M: 1-1, 2 BB, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Morales, K: 1-2
Collazo: (L, 1-3), 5.0 IP, 8 ER, 7 H, 1 K, 2 BB, 4.57 ERA
My projected starter was wrong (I thought it would be Daniel Davidson), but the results were not. Willie Collazo is about interchangeable with any of a dozen minor league starters.

Kevin Lynch, who had been at AAA Salt Lake after skipping up from Orem (!!), gave up an earned run.

2005-07-29: Arkansas 2, Wichita 0 (Completed Early: Doubleheader)
Willits, R: 3-4
Kendrick, H: 0-3, 1 RBI
Morales, K: 0-2
Olenberger: (W, 6-5), 6.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 3.78 ERA
Save for Napoli's twentieth homer -- he now leads the Texas League in dingers -- a completely forgettable game for the Travs, who were held down by Ryan Baerlocher to three earned runs on four hits, with two walks and four strikeouts.
2005-07-29: Inland Empire 13, Rancho Cucamonga 3
Wood, B: 0-5
Pali: 2-4
Lopez: 1-3
Balkcom: 4-4, 2 RBI
Rodriguez, R: (L, 8-4), 5.1 IP, 7 ER, 7 H, 1 K, 5 BB, 4.28 ERA
Thompson: 1.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 2 K, 0 BB, 5.15 ERA
Mumba Rivera, a guy whose name sounds like a minor villain from a straight-to-video Lion King sequel, held the Quakes to one run over six innings, striking out six. He was a 21st round draft pick in 2004.
2005-07-29: Dayton 2, Cedar Rapids 1
Casilla: 2-3
Leblanc: 3-4, 1 RBI
Collins: 0-4
Toussaint: 1-4
Madrigal: 1-4
Rodriguez, S: 0-3
Cordova: 6.1 IP, 1 ER, 3.31 ERA
Gonzalez: (L, 1-4) (in relief), 1.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 3 K, 1 BB, 5.83 ERA
2005-07-29: AZL Angels did not play
2005-07-29: Orem 7, Ogden 11
Morris: 2-2
Reilly: 2-4, 1 HR, 4 RBI
Smith: 2-4, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Sullivan: 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 7.71 ERA
Whittington: (L, 1-1) (in relief), 1.1 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 1 K, 1 BB, 3.60 ERA
2005-07-29: New Orleans 9, Las Vegas 3
Flores: 3-4
Valentin: 2-3, 1 RBI
Aybar: 0-4
Hull: (L, 0-1), 4.1 IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 2 K, 3 BB, 7.88 ERA
2005-07-29: Mobile 1, Jacksonville 6
LaRoche, A: 1-3
Loney: 2-3, 1 RBI
Martin, R: 1-3, 1 RBI
Guzman, J: 3-4, 1 HR, 4 RBI
Orenduff, J: (W, 4-1), 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 8 K, 2 BB, 4.18 ERA
Kuo: 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 3 K, 0 BB, 1.26 ERA
Very good performance by Orenduff. Beltran Perez, called up from Vero on 7/19, pitched an inning of scoreless relief. Great night for Guzman, too.
2005-07-29: Lakeland 4, Vero Beach 5
Hoffmann: 2-4, 1 RBI
Hu: 0-3
Kemp: 0-4, 1 RBI
Dunlap: 1-4
Raglani: 2-3
Paul: 2-4, 1 RBI
Rohan: 2-3, 2 RBI
Muegge: 7.0 IP, 1 ER, 3.27 ERA
Alexander: (BS, 1)(W, 4-1) (in relief), 1.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 2 K, 1 BB, 1.95 ERA
On his second year in the Dodgers system, Anthony Raglani made strides in power. A fifth-rounder from George Washington U., he had a .322/.450/.572 with George Washington University. He's come back to post a .281/.380/.445 line so far at Vero; his 48/76 BB/K ratio isn't bad, either.
2005-07-29: Columbus 1, Rome 7
Denker, T: 2-3
Dewitt: 1-4
Russ: 2-4
Westervelt: 2-3
Malone: (L, 8-5), 5.1 IP, 3 ER, 7 H, 3 K, 2 BB, 3.89 ERA
Johnson, B: 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 3.17 ERA
John Thomson on a rehab assignment pitched four scoreless innings, and Johnathan Venters got the win over the five remaining.
2005-07-29: GCL Dodgers 4, GCL Mets 12
Medero-Stullz: 3-3
Perez: 4-5, 1 RBI
Sanfler: (L, 2-3), 2.1 IP, 5 ER, 4 H, 0 K, 3 BB, 4.33 ERA
2005-07-29: Orem 7, Ogden 11
Crist: 2-5, 3 RBI
Sutherland: 3-5, 2 RBI
Richmond: 2-5
McDonald: 2-4, 1 RBI
Justis: 3-4
Rivera: 0-4, 1 RBI
Wade: 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4.32 ERA
Hochgesang: 2.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 2 K, 0 BB, 4.30 ERA
Hayes: (W, 2-1) (in relief), 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 1 K, 0 BB, 8.22 ERA
I love Hochgesang's name; he sounds like a cuckoo clock maker.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Okay, Who's The Wise Guy?

Gag headline: 'Rueter aims to maintain dominance of Brewers'

Gag headline that appears to have snuck out of the wire services. I know Rueter's bad, but...

Broxton Called Up To The Dodgers

Johnathan Broxton, in a Suns uniform

Johnathan Broxton

Thanks to Dodger Thoughts commenter b1ued0dger for the news that Johnathan Broxton has been called up to the big club. He apparently has recently lit up the gun at 101 on several outings. No word yet on who's going down to make room. Broxton was 4-3 with a 3.36 ERA and 99 strikeouts with the Suns. Sustained success, that's what I'm after.

A Lowe Blow(job)

Derek Lowe and "friend"

Being that I run this blog, I get all the comments that pour in, including some on very old stories -- like this one about Derek Lowe tomcattin' around on his less-than-fashion-sensible wife, Trinka. I didn't think anything of it until this LA Observed piece with some rather interesting corroboration:
Anchor-reporter Carolyn Hughes has been taken off Dodger coverage at Fox Sports West during an investigation of her relationship with pitcher Derek Lowe, the pay site Ron Fineman's On the Record reports. Neither Lowe nor Hughes would comment to Fineman, but Lowe's wife Trinka had plenty to say. She told Fineman that she tipped Fox about her husband having an affair with Hughes and staying overnight at her place in Manhattan Beach. Both Lowe and Hughes insist to her they are just friends, but Trinka says "he wanted me gone when he came back from the next road trip." The Lowes have sold their Beverly Hills home and Trinka has moved back to Florida. Fineman runs a series of uncredited (and unexplained) photographs he says show Lowe and Hughes together on Wednesday. Hughes hosts the Dodgers pregame show, "Dodgers Dugout."
Get the big contract and the World Series ring, and look out below. At least it gives us a reason for why he's been so distracted on the mound lately. (And yes, relevant to the discussion in the comments above, Hughes is from Texas.)

Thanks to reader Joal Ryan for the tip.

Update: A whole long thread about this at Big Blue Wrecking Crew.

Pickoff Moves

Yard Work Moves

The new URL is http://www.yard-work.org. Please make a note of it.

Incidentally, did anyone else see this extremely weird "Seymour Hersch" piece about Autry wrecking the game?

Jered Weaver Schedule

Jered Weaver's remaining starts for Arkansas should be:

Date            Opponent
Sun. 7/31   @ Wichita
Sat. 8/6    vs. Springfield
Fri. 8/12   @ Round Rock
Thu. 8/18   vs. Round Rock
Wed. 8/24   vs. Wichita
Mon. 8/29   @ Tulsa
Sat. 9/3    @ Springfield

After his most recent work for the Travs, I don't expect a callup to the big club, not unless he dominates from here on out.

BTW did anybody else who got the Angels calendar notice that July 31st is missing?

Update 7/31: corrected. One of these days I'll have to learn how to count.

Roster Notes

Eat This, Frank Robinson

The Braves smacked down the Nationals, sweeping them in Atlanta. Rookie Jeff Francoeur homered twice in last night's 5-4 win. Francoeur is 21, and emblemic of a minor league system that really knows what its doing. Now, as the Nats crawl back to the cellar, a fond adieu mixed in with a bunch of snickers.

Caveat Sucker

Ben Jacobs looks at the worst offseason signings in baseball, and guess what? Cabrera and Finley both show up on that list. So, for that matter, does Troy Percival (Tigers), Armando Benitez (Giants), and Russ Ortiz (Diamondbacks). Letting Percy go proves that while Stoneman has some brains, he's not consistent in their usage. I would have made the Finley mistake, too, which shows that I probably shouldn't be entrusted to run a major league ballclub.

The LaRoche Brothers

Here's a nice little Register article on the LaRoche brothers. Excerpt:
[Adam] was known as a pitcher in high school, in suburban Kansas City, and was the MVP of the national junior college tournament in 2000. But he wanted to hit for a living, or at least convince himself that he couldn't. He politely told all the major-league scouts. Only Atlanta's believed him.

"I finally got a little fed up and told one scout, 'Look, here's a guy who is going to accept less money and get drafted lower just because he wants something so badly,'" Dave recalled. "'Wouldn't you die for 25 guys like that?' The guy finally said he saw my point. The Braves just wanted him. And because of that, they were able to get him in the 29th round.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Minor League Scorebook

2005-07-28: Salt Lake 5, Albuquerque 2
Callaspo, A: 0-5
Kotchman: 3-5, 2 HR
Gorneault: 0-4
Pride: 2-3, 2 BB
Gordon: 2-3
Saunders: (W, 2-1), 8.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 K, 4 BB, 2.49 ERA
Theoretical conversation:
Kotchman: But with my batting helmet on backwards, I can't see the pitcher. How'm I supposed to hit?

Obi Wan Kenobi: Your eyes can deceive you. Don't trust them.

So I guess he finally had enough of reading about how his career was tanking and decided to do something about it. Curtis Pride doubled for good measure. Not an especially good outing for Saunders despite the absence of earned runs, as he only got three K's but walked four and gave up six hits. Dusty Bergman got the save, his sixth.
2005-07-28: Arkansas 2, Wichita 13
Willits, R: 1-4
Aybar, E: 2-3
Kendrick, H: 0-4
Morales, K: 1-4, 1 HR
James: (L, 3-4), 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 1 K, 1 BB, 5.58 ERA
Pullin: 2.2 IP, 5 ER, 1 K, 2 BB, 5.73 ERA
Delvin James, so far as I can tell, is a failed AAAA guy from the Tampa Bay organization signed by the Angels as a minor league free agent over the 2003/2004 offseason. He's never been impressive anywhere over any extended period of time; in his only major league stint (2002), he racked up an 0-3 record with a 6.55 ERA. He's roster filler, with predictable results.

Brian Bass, the opposition pitcher, went eight innings and struck out five. Bass was ranked by Baseball America as the Royals' 19th best prospect. Even taking into account the fact that he's pitching in the Texas League, he doesn't have a good record (10-4, 5.56 ERA), but he's on the comeback trail from shoulder surgery, so some allowances must be made.

Interesting to note here that Morales has now had 140 at bats at AA (or so -- they take a while to update player stats), but only 90 at single-A Rancho; it's taken him about 50% longer to get the same number of home runs as he got at Rancho. He's still nowhere near repeating his average, and his plate discipline has completely fallen apart (8 walks, 24 strikeouts). His complete line is .243/.284/.371.

Update 7/29: John Sickels was in Wichita and took pictures, though only one of them turned out good. It sounds like he'll be there again tonight for the Friday game, with Daniel Davidson on the mound for the Travs.

2005-07-28: Lake Elsinore 6, Rancho Cucamonga 8
Wood, B: 1-3
Pali: 2-3
Brown: 2-4, 3 RBI
Lopez: 1-4, 3 RBI
Wilson: 3-3, 1 HR
Holcomb: 2.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 K, 3 BB, 5.64 ERA
DeLoizaga-Carney: (W, 1-1) (in relief), 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 K, 1 BB, 6.91 ERA
Buckley: 2.2 IP, 0 ER, 3 K, 1 BB, 4.80 ERA
Zimmermann: 1.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 K, 0 BB, 3.38 ERA
2005-07-28: Cedar Rapids 0, Fort Wayne 2
Casilla: 2-4
Collins: 2-4
Toussaint: 0-4
Rodriguez, S: 0-2
Rodriguez, F: (L, 6-6), 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 K, 1 BB, 4.57 ERA
2005-07-28: AZL Angels did not play
2005-07-28: Orem 5, Ogden 6
Boyer: 2-5
Martinez: 2-4
Trumbo: 2-4
Dini: 2-5
Hawkins: 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 3 K, 3 BB, 5.33 ERA
Romero: (L, 0-1) (in relief), 1.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 K, 0 BB, 4.35 ERA
Zephyrs logo
2005-07-28: New Orleans 8, Las Vegas 11
Valentin: 1-4, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Flores: 2-4
Aybar: 3-5, 3 RBI
Grabowski: 0-2, 2 BB
Ross: 0-2, 2 BB
Schrager: 1-3, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Nixon: 1-1, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Eckert: 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 2 K, 2 BB, 5.19 ERA
Osoria: (BS, 3)(W, 5-2) (in relief), 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 K, 1 BB, 2.30 ERA
Jose Valentin played left in this game. Willy Aybar's having a good time, isn't he, hitting .296/.362/.435; two of his hits were triples. By the way, what the heck is a Zephyr? It looks like a nutria, which I believe is Cajun for "rat".

Update: In this Las Vegas Sun article, it appears Valentin also got an outfield assist throwing a runner out at the plate. Sweet!

2005-07-28: Jacksonville did not play
2005-07-28: Lakeland 13, Vero Beach 7
Abreu, T: 1-2
Hu: 2-5
Kemp: 1-4
Dunlap: 1-4
Paul: 2-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Rohan: 2-4
Tiffany: (L, 9-6), 2.1 IP, 7 ER, 4 K, 1 BB, 3.86 ERA
Bott: 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 K, 0 BB, 6.75 ERA
Just when you start to think the Dodger system is going to produce a good pitcher, too: Chuck Tiffany gets shelled. What a letdown from his last start on Saturday, a dominating 11-K one-run outing in six innings. A good game for Paul, who really needed it.
2005-07-28: Columbus 5, Rome 4
Pedroza: 3-5, 1 HR
Denker, T: 3-4
Dewitt: 3-5
Gutierrez: 2-5
Plummer: (W, 2-2), 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 K, 2 BB, 3.15 ERA
Castillo, A: 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 K, 2 BB, 2.81 ERA
Two of Dewitt's hits were doubles.
2005-07-28: GCL Marlins 5, GCL Dodgers 3
Robinson: 3-5, 1 HR
De Jesus: 2-3
Carlyle: 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 3.00 ERA
Johnson: 1.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 K, 0 BB, 7.88 ERA
Diaz: (L, 0-2) (in relief), 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 K, 1 BB, 2.93 ERA
Ramirez: 2.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 K, 0 BB, 2.16 ERA
Your own personal DeJesus: Kid's a singles machine (.333/.375/.378) with not so much plate discipline (6/19 BB/K).
2005-07-28: Orem 5, Ogden 6
Soto: 0-2, 2 BB
Richmond: 3-4, 1 HR
Apodaca: 2-4, 1 HR
Rivera: 2-3
Arias, M: 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5.14 ERA
Pratt: 1.1 IP, 2 ER, 2 K, 0 BB, 3.18 ERA
Troncoso: (W, 3-1) (in relief), 1.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 K, 1 BB, 3.00 ERA

Reds Alert: Reds 6, Dodgers 1

Houlton didn't do too bad for a rookie, the Dodger bats were stymied again, and what else is new?

From the Reds to the Redbirds, the bottom to the top in 24 hours. Tomorrow, I'll be at the park watching the Dodgers get crushed. Say a prayer that I don't go after Mike Edwards with a blunt instrument.


Futility: Blue Jays 2, Angels 1

I couldn't be a major league manager. During games like this one, the temptation would be to simply start clubbing the nonperformers to death, as a warning to the others.

Yes, the pitching was great. Lackey delivered his best performance of the year, squandered by -- of all people! -- Frankie. And the Angels just unloaded every single reliever worth a damn, so now if they need relief in tomorrow's game -- and they will with Santana on the mound -- the only guy who can go for them is Gregg.

Update: On the other hand, look at these splits:

                D a y     N i g h t
Pitcher       W-L   ERA   W-L   ERA
Santana       0-3  17.69  5-1  2.93
Mussina       3-1   2.58  7-4  4.34

So maybe a ghost of a chance. On the other hand, Santana's never had a major league road win.

Anderson needs to be taken over somebody's knee and spanked repeatedly. That goes twice for Finley, who I've just given up on. There's going to be talk of the Angels picking up Manny Ramirez, which is not a good idea. He's only a DH, and starting next year, Steve Finley will only be able to DH, and the year after that, Anderson. Ditto for Mike Sweeney from Kansas City (whom I can overhear Mark Gubicza in the next room blabbing about). "Smallball" is a crock, people, a fool's game.

Something is wrong with Vlad. Sore? Betcha a donut it's not his leg that's the trouble.

Jose Molina needs to be reminded that he is a goddamn catcher and cannot run out a bunt. Popping up to third was even more embarrassing, and I hope he remembers that.

This was the equivalent of a double header. What a crock.

Update 2: Of course, the game is broadcast in HD on INHD... so naturally it's blacked out here. Hope you had a good time with this one, Sean.

ESPN BoxRecap

Pickoff Moves, Lunchtime Edition

Roster Notes

If It Is Broke, Fix It

Via BTF, the Dallas-Fort Worth Star has a good article on the troubles the Rangers are encountering in their pitching hell. It seems the problem is now being blamed on the Crown Royal Club being installed high up in the park, closing off other avenues for winds to chase through, and forcing all of it down and towards the stands, thus manufacturing a wind tunnel effect that carries balls -- lots of them -- out of the park. There's only one little problem with that: Baseball-Reference says their park went hard to the hitters starting in 2002, not 2000. If the Crown Royal Club is causing these troubles, it sure took a long time for that to make any changes felt...

Thiel On Fixing The M's

Again via BTF, Art Thiel in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer openly wonders what's wrong with the Mariners. In some ways I think he's too harsh on ownership; after all, they got Richie Sexson and Adrian Beltre, neither of whom were expected to be busts. Both have significant risks attached, Sexson due to injury and Beltre due to his one-year surge that now looks like a single-season spike rather than a jump to a new level of performance. The real problem is more likely Bavasi and their scouting and player development. The Mariners farm isn't well regarded; outside of white-hot Felix Hernandez, the system doesn't have much of what you'd call impact talent, and that which is there isn't really near the top. It's unclear whether Bavasi will be any better in Seattle than he was in Anaheim. That they were able to sign USC catcher Jeff Clement is a good use of money for the club, and perhaps a sign of resurgence.

Adam Dunn Scouting Expedition: Reds 7, Dodgers 6

So, what was the purpose of your expedition to Dodger Stadium?

To gather as much scouting data as possible on Reds left fielder Adam Dunn, a widely speculated-upon acquisition target for the Dodgers. Also, to meet with Dodger Thoughts commenters for the first time ever.

How would you describe the Dodgers' play?

Scrappy. Bad Reds fielding early on opened the game up -- or seemed to -- when an error by shortstop Felipe Lopez allowed the scrappy Oscar Robles to take first. Milton "Scrappy" Bradley then made a productive out by advancing the runner, and Jeff Kent doubled him home. Olmedo Saenz then hit a very scrappy homer to bring the Dodgers up 3-0. In the second, Jason Repko scrappily doubled, Weaver would single to make a productive hit, and Izturis knocked Repko home on a super-scrapalicious flyball to deep center. Aside from two more scrappy runs scored in the seventh, that was the scrappy end of the Dodgers scrappy play, the rest being merely scrappy minus the "s".

So, the Dodgers only scored four runs against Ortiz?

Yes. Ortiz, something of a gascan who's either been on or off throughout his career, got the boot from the Angels rotation last year, and yet the Dodgers basically didn't hit him much last night. Subtracting the three runs in the first -- all of which were unearned because they came on a second out that would have become a third out with Bradley's groundout -- Ortiz pitched his best game of the season with the Reds, giving up only one earned run in six innings of work. Kent clearly did his job, but Bradley still looked a tad lost at the plate, grounding out three times and only hitting a single, that against the Reds' bullpen.

So why did Tracy allow Weaver to stay in after it was clear he was running out of gas?

Well... given the results with the bullpen, wasn't it obvious?

Is the Reds bullpen worse than the Dodgers?

Oh, my heavens, yes. The Reds relief corps' collective ERA is 4.96, fourteenth in the National League, versus the Dodgers' 4.41 and ninth. But as we discovered, Ghame Over has more than one meaning. We must consider the epistemological consequences.

Did Our Lord And Savior Hee Seop Choi make a consequential contribution to the proceedings?

Of course -- are you mad? When not on the field providing a mighty single and scoring a run, Hee interceded with the Creator on behalf of the Dodgers to induce poor play, offline throws, and other mishaps against the Dodgers implacable foes. In fact, we attributed the Dodgers late collapse to Choi's absence on the field; perhaps he was in the bathroom.

It couldn't have been too effective: Ryan Freel stole five bases against the Dodgers! Where was Choi then?

We're not sure, but we do know that Choi does not answer all prayers.

Well, what of Adam Dunn, then?

Not so much. Two strikeouts and a groundout, but he did effect a single and score a run.

Pity. So, the night's efforts were a waste?

No, we got to meet each other for the first time. That was an unqualified success.

Adam Dunn scouting team

Left-to-right: Marty, Vishal, yours truly, Icaros, Clay Landon (aka Suffering Bruin), Julian (?) , Jim Hitchcock, Brian (bigCPA), Don Burns (d e burns), and Roy (ddger).

Update: By the way, Roy, I have your sunglasses.


Minor League Scorebook

2005-07-27: Salt Lake 14, Albuquerque 7
Prieto: 3-4
Callaspo, A: 4-6
Kotchman: 2-5, 3 RBI
Gorneault: 4-6, 1 HR, 5 RBI
Allen: 5-6
Mathis: 1-6
Gordon: 2-5
Cyr: 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 2 K, 2 BB, 5.45 ERA
Schneider: 1.1 IP, 2 ER, 0 K, 1 BB, 8.04 ERA
Bergman, D: (W, 7-3) (in relief), 0.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 K, 1 BB, 2.36 ERA
Borbon: 0.2 IP, 0 ER, 1 K, 0 BB, 0.00 ERA
Jones: 1.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 K, 0 BB, 2.77 ERA
A real party for the Stingers' offense, the Isotopes went through seven pitchers to try to put an end to their nightmare. One of Kotchman's two hits was a double, but he also walked, getting on base three of six times. Gorneault's home run, his eighteenth, is second on the team only to Luke Allen's 19. Matt F*cking Perisho gave up two runs on three hits while making only one out.
2005-07-27: Arkansas 7, Springfield 3
Willits, R: 0-4
Aybar, E: 3-5
Kendrick, H: 1-4
Napoli, M: 0-3, 2 BB
Morales, K: 2-5, 4 RBI
Porter: 1-5, 1 HR
Eylward: 3-5, 1 HR
Shell: 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 6 K, 2 BB, 4.36 ERA
Austen: (W, 3-1) (in relief), 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 K, 1 BB, 3.97 ERA
A bases-clearing double and an RBI single highlighted Kendry Morales' night, as he led the team to a 7-3 romp against the Springfield Cardinals. Steven Shell had a quality start with three earned over seven innings.
2005-07-27: Lake Elsinore 1, Rancho Cucamonga 11
Sugden: 3-6
Leahy: 2-5
Wood, B: 3-5
Pali: 2-5
Lopez: 2-5
Johnson: 2-5
Fuller: 4-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Dowdy: 3.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 K, 2 BB, 4.79 ERA
Smith: (W, 5-6) (in relief), 3.1 IP, 0 ER, 4 K, 1 BB, 4.74 ERA
Zimmermann: 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 K, 0 BB, 3.48 ERA
This does not happen to 48th rounders: 48th rounder goes to low-A rookie ball. 48th rounder hits .210/.375/.355 in 62 AB. 48th rounder gets promoted and turns in a 4-4, 3 RBI night including a home run. Good thing for him, too because he was hitting .143/.200/.214 before the night started. Needless to say, Brandon Wood's come out of his little slump; two of his hits were doubles.

Update: FutureAngels points to this Orange County Register article about Wood. Money quote:

"We knew he had power," said Tony Reagins, the club's director of player development, "but we didn't think it would show up this quick."
2005-07-27: Cedar Rapids 4, Fort Wayne 3 (Completed Early: Doubleheader)
Casilla: 2-4
Rodriguez, S: 0-3
Collins: 2-4
Toussaint: 0-3
Madrigal: 2-3
Renz: 2-3
Ray: (W, 4-3), 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 K, 4 BB, 4.37 ERA
Waters: 2.0 IP, 2 ER, 1 K, 3 BB, 4.53 ERA
2005-07-27: Cedar Rapids 10, Fort Wayne 6
Casilla: 2-3, 2 BB
Collins: 3-3
Toussaint: 2-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Sandoval, F: 2-4
Madrigal: 1-5
Rodriguez, S: 1-5
Abreu: 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 4.50 ERA
Mutter: 2.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 K, 2 BB, 3.94 ERA
Simard: (W, 6-7) (in relief), 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 K, 1 BB, 6.34 ERA
Collins had one heck of a day, going 5-7 (all singles) and walking once over the doubleheader.
2005-07-27: AZL Angels 12, AZL Royals 13
Mount: 2-5
Ryan: 3-5
Johnson: 1-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Edwards: 2-4
Rivera: 2-5
Maldonado: 2-4
Espinoza: 5.1 IP, 7 ER, 8 K, 1 BB, 2.86 ERA
Diaz: (BS, 2)(L, 3-2) (in relief), 0.2 IP, 4 ER, 2 K, 0 BB, 4.08 ERA
West: 2.0 IP, 2 ER, 1 K, 2 BB, 3.72 ERA
Update: Thanks for the nice words, Chronicler. I should have said something about this lousy game by Espinoza, especially after cooing over him earlier in the week. He's a kid. He'll learn. (I hope.) Also, gametime temps were 107 degrees.
2005-07-27: Orem 12, Casper 3
Boyer: 4-6, 1 HR
Trumbo: 1-4, 2 BB
Wipke: 2-4, 1 HR
Hughes: 0-2, 2 BB
Silva: 2-4, 1 HR, 4 RBI
Arredondo: (W, 4-0), 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 1 K, 2 BB, 5.81 ERA
Didjurgis: 2.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 K, 1 BB, 3.16 ERA
2005-07-27: New Orleans 4, Las Vegas 6
Valentin: 0-2, 2 BB
Aybar: 1-3
Grabowski: 2-3
Nakamura: 1-4, 1 HR
Myrow: 2-3
Navarro, D: 1-4
Neu: 5.0 IP, 3 ER, 4.59 ERA
Mahomes: 2.0 IP, 1 ER, 3 K, 0 BB, 5.05 ERA
Osoria: (W, 4-2) (in relief), 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 K, 1 BB, 2.35 ERA
2005-07-27: Tennessee 8, Jacksonville 2
Martin, R: 0-1
Weber, J: 3-4, 1 HR
LaRoche, A: 0-3
Young, D: 0-1
Loney: 2-4
Guzman, J: 1-4
Meadows: 2-3
Jackson: (L, 3-4), 5.0 IP, 5 ER, 6 K, 1 BB, 4.72 ERA
Olson: 2.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 K, 1 BB, 5.57 ERA
Alvarez, C: 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 K, 1 BB, 3.60 ERA
Uh. Oh. I guess Jackson can have more of those lousy outings; he's rapidly heading towards a 9.00 ERA even in AA ball. Is another demotion coming up?
2005-07-27: Vero Beach 6, Fort Myers 3
Abreu, T: 1-5
Hu: 2-4
Dunlap: 2-4
Bruce: 2-5
Bellorin, E: 2-5
Hoffmann: 2-4
Paul: 0-2
Miller: 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 K, 0 BB, 0.00 ERA
Ojeda: (W, 4-1) (in relief), 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 K, 2 BB, 2.93 ERA
Alexander: 2.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 K, 1 BB, 1.63 ERA
I guess they're babying Miller, which is the only explanation I can think of for keeping the kid down to two innings.
2005-07-27: Columbus 5, Rome 0
Denker, T: 2-5
Dewitt: 1-3, 2 BB
Westervelt: 2-3
Carter, R: 2-4
Elbert: (W, 6-5), 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 K, 4 BB, 3.00 ERA
Wright: 3.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 K, 1 BB, 2.22 ERA
Man, look at Wright's line here: 0-4, 2.22 ERA over 26 games, 52.2 IP and a 56/28 K/BB. A more effective version of Kaz Ishii?
2005-07-27: GCL Dodgers 1, GCL Marlins 3
De Jesus: 2-3
Gutierrez: 2-3
Wall: (L, 1-3), 3.0 IP, 2 ER, 0 K, 2 BB, 4.15 ERA
Dasni: 3.1 IP, 1 ER, 4 K, 2 BB, 6.33 ERA
2005-07-27: Ogden 3, Idaho Falls 6
Godwin: 2-5
Mooneyham: 1-2, 2 BB
Richmond: 2-4
Leach: 5.2 IP, 2 ER, 3.47 ERA
Pratt: (L, 2-2) (in relief), 1.1 IP, 3 ER, 3 K, 2 BB, 2.53 ERA

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