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Sunday, July 06, 2008

Pickoff Moves

All-Star Rosters Announced: Saunders, Santana, K-Rod, And Martin Heading To The Bronx

A franchise record seven Cubs were named to start in the 2008 All-Star Game, with the Boston Red Sox naming an equal number. The starting players are

American LeagueNational League
CJoe MauerGeovany Soto*
1BKevin YoukilisLance Berkman
2BDustin PedroiaChase Utley
SSDerek JeterHanley Ramirez
3BAlex RodriguezChipper Jones
OFJosh HamiltonAlfonso Soriano
OFIchiro SuzukiKosuke Fukudome
OFManny RamirezRyan Braun

*Soto will be the first rookie catcher to start in NL All-Star history.

The Angels will send Joe Saunders, Ervin Santana, and Francisco Rodriguez, while the Dodgers will send Russell Martin for the second time.

Just Because A Bad Move Worked Doesn't Mean You're Off The Hook, Joe: Dodgers 5, Giants 3

Eric Stults only made it through four innings, but why on earth did Joe Torre resort to Brian Falkenborg again with the game on the line? If the tying run comes to the plate and Falkenborg is the answer, it must be an awfully silly question.

Okay, so a win's a win. And a heck of an offensive game by James Loney. But ...

Yahoo BoxMLB.com recap

You Had Your Chance Saturday, Joe: Diamondbacks 3, Padres 2

The Padres tried to come back late after getting what-for from starter Randy Johnson, but one run was all they got in the bottom of the ninth, and the Snakes held on for the win. Joe Torre's hopes for advancing will have to wait until another series; conveniently, the Dodgers next meeting with Arizona is next weekend's road series. Now that should be interesting.

Yahoo box

Get Down, Get Down: White Sox 4, Oakland 3

The A's split the four-game series with the White Sox, and I wasn't surprised they lost; I listened to the early part of this game on the way to the park, and Rich Harden was all over the place, walking in the first Chisox run in the first with the bases loaded. He apparently settled down some, since it wasn't a blowout, but he only threw 55 pitches of the 95 in the game for strikes, and gave up considerable (for him) base runners. Scott Linebrink got his first save of the season after Bobby Jenks was unable to make the call with elbow soreness.

With this loss and today's Angels victory, the Halos are now six games atop the division. Interestingly enough, every team in the AL West except the woebegotten Mariners (about whom, more presently) have a winning record.

Yahoo box

Fun With Non-Pitchers Pitching: Tigers 2, Mariners 1 (15 Innings)

Nate Robertson pitched nine innings and got a no-decision for a four-hit, one-run effort, while Ryan Rowland-Smith, converted to the rotation lately, went five innings with only one run surrendered. That set in motion a ransacking of the bullpens, with the M's using five relievers, and then, oddly enough, calling on catcher Jamie Burke to pitch the 15th. Apparently Ichiro Suzuki offered his services, but manager Jim Riggleman had already made up his mind. Facing Miguel Cabrera, Burke gave up a leadoff double; Cabrera eventually scored on a wild pitch and Marcus Thames' sacrifice fly.

Update: The last non-pitcher I can find with a decision of any kind was Brent Mayne, who won a game for the Rockies on August 22, 2000 against the visiting Braves. Mayne, principally a reserve catcher throughout his career, successfully negotiated a scoreless top of the 12th. Mayne was also on the 2004 Dodgers roster in his last season in the majors.

Yahoo box

Brewers Near Trade For C.C. Sabathia

I really truly didn't see this one coming: apparently the Brewers are close to a deal for C.C. Sabathia for Matt LaPorta and three other minor leaguers, according to an article in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. That could really change the balance of things in the NL Central, especially with the Cubs' rotation a thing of patchwork struggles lately.

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