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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Pickoff Moves

Homer-Happy: Angels 6, Tigers 3

The Angels' three homers last night only served to move them into a second-to-last-place tie with Kansas City with 33 apiece, as the Royals last night put the screws on Cleveland 4-3, partly on a two-run Mike Sweeney dinger. One of the Angels' longballs came off the bat of Mike Napoli, and he's very quietly started to regain a good bit of his value in May, hitting .326/.388/.651 on the month, bringing his overall season line up to a very respectable .253/.327/.474. Three of his four homers have come this month, and he extended his hitting streak (yes, he actually has one of those) to ten games.

John Lackey pitched a sloppy game, walking more (4) than he struck out (3), and worked around trouble in the second. Having loaded the bases on three walks, with two out, he got Brandon Inge to hit a sinking liner to center, whereupon Gary Matthews, Jr. made a brilliant inning-ending catch to save the day.

It was just one in a string of defensive gems for the Halos, who picked up their sixth straight win in a May that's seen them go 13-7 in an AL West where they are the only team with a winning record. Consider:

Probably my only real criticism of this game was the decision to let Darren Oliver stay in for a second inning; one is plenty of work for him. But his status as lefty specialist is relatively secure; he shouldn't be used for more than that. The important thing: more of that ball-over-the-fence thing, guys. It works.

RecapYahoo Box

The Name Of Offense Is Russell Martin: Dodgers 3, Brewers 2

... after the Dodgers forced us to be open-minded about so many uninspiring vets, now it's their turn to be open-minded about the youth.
A game I watched as picture-in-picture, mostly, because my father-in-law is in town and the Cubs are playing in the same timezone, so not surprisingly I missed some of the action.
People worry too much about batting order. All the talk about whether Russell Martin should bat higher in the lineup and Juan Pierre should bat lower is just a smokescreen. It hardly matters. What's important is that the right guys play. Martin can bat eighth in my lineup if the guy batting second deserves to be in the game.
Russ Martin was involved in every run-scoring play in this game. Every one.

Saito's smile after his masterful save brightened my day, and my father-in-law's, too, because the Cubs also lost yesterday, 6-1 to the Padres, Rich Hill taking a drubbing at the hands of Jake Peavy.

RecapYahoo Box

OT: Six Months

The last I'll say about this for a while: our vet guesstimates Foley's got six months to live before some minor infection in his sinuses gets into his brain. As for Hannah, she's got maybe a couple years, but even that's iffy.

Veterinary oncology differs from human oncology in its goals. Most animals live such short lives compared to humans that pain management is all that makes sense. As our vet explained, you can't tell a dog "you'll be miserable for a year but it'll be worth it" regarding chemotherapy. The goal with dogs is to slow the growth of tumors, not to knock them out, and to keep the dog's quality of life as high as possible while he's alive.

Really, that's the name of the game whether or not you know your dog has cancer.

Six months is a lot less time than I thought we'd get; Foley's about ten years old, and I figured he had another good five years in him. Unlike Hannah, who is arthritic and visibly aging, he still chases squirrels in the trees and bounds around the back yard with abandon. He seemed — seems — really healthy.

It's going to be weepy around here at times.

I'm going for a walk with my dog now. Good boy, Foley!

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Make it the best six months of Foley's life!

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