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Monday, August 25, 2008

Pickoff Moves

Phils Sweep As LOBsters Eat Dodgers: Phillies 5, Dodgers 0

The Dodgers stranded fourteen baserunners in this game, nine of them in scoring position with two outs; you're just not going to win if you keep doing that. The Dodgers got 13 hits without scoring a run, tying a major league record, and something that has happened only 12 times in the Retrosheet era, the last time being August 31, 2005, when the Royals beat the Twins 1-0.

Manny Ramirez hasn't had an RBI in his last seven games, and while that's concerning, it does remind me that (a) he's human, and (b) no one player was going to fix all this team's manifold faults. Lucky for the Dodgers that the sad-sack Padres beat the Snakes 4-2 in San Diego so the Dodgers didn't fall further behind in the division. And did I mention this loss sends the Dodgers under .500 again (65-66)? No? Great team you've got there, Ned...

Yahoo boxdodgers.com recap

What Home Field Advantage? A's 2, Angels 1

The Angels once again aren't taking home field advantage that seriously, resting Vlad the whole Oakland series according to the radio announcers, in part because he's hitting a woeful .256 against lefties this year. Also, Garret Anderson didn't make the start, and so the lineup was a bit weak, to say the least.

Jered Weaver pitched well and not well; well because he made a quality start plus and struck out eight while only walking two, but poorly because, hey, it's the A's (fewest runs scored in the league with 510), and he wild pitched home the go-ahead run. Reminds me of his start against the Dodgers earlier in the year which he lost despite not giving up an earned run.

Full credit to Dallas Braden, who pitched a good game, and the two relievers who followed him, Joey Devine and Brad Ziegler, the latter having one of those years where you go to the kitchen so you can find a spatula and scrape your jaw off the floor.

Update: I should mention something that headlined the Times recap, namely the three baserunners who erased themselves. That may well have proven to be the critical difference in this game. Braden has a first-rate pickoff move, and while the Angels haven't stolen quite as many bags as usual — they're tied for second in the league in swipes, with Boston of all teams — they're also mediocre in their success rate (73%, good for sixth overall).

Yahoo boxAngels recap

USA Takes Olympic Bronze: USA 8, Japan 4

Late, and so what: Team USA took the Olympic Bronze in baseball, defeating Japan in the final round. Kevin Jepsen pitched the last two innings in relief, scoreless both, and Terry Tiffee went 0-for-5.

Rangers Send Eddie Guardado To Minnesota, Name Frank Francisco New Closer

The Rangers have named Frank Francisco as their new closer now that Eddie Guardado has been traded to the Twins for 21-year-old RHP Mark Hamburger. (Cue Wimpy jokes on 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...) The Rangers called up RHP Bill White from AAA Oklahoma. The Twins designated OF Mike Lamb for assignment despite being owed most of $6.6M on a two-year contract.

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love the "cue wimpy jokes" line. nice!

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