Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Unknown, Pus-Throwing Lefty: Orioles 3, Angels 0Shut out by lefty Chris Waters, making his major league debut, the Angels obliged and did what they usually do against unknown lefties, i.e. lose. The amazing part was why Mike Scioscia decided it was time to put offensive zeros Robb Quinlan and Gary Matthews, Jr. in the lineup at the same time.
Shane Loux made his first major league appearance since 2003, and pitched two scoreless innings. The last time that happened in a major league setting was on August 1, 2003, in relief of the horrible Jeremy Bonderman; Bonderman had already given up eight runs over 2.1 innings in a game the Twins went on to win 10-4. As it turned out, that was Loux's best outing all year, as he gave up one or more runs in every outing after.
Jon Garland pitched reasonably well, considering how tough Baltimore's offense is, but took a tough-luck loss for a seven-inning quality start plus.
Stick Tease: Cardinals 6, Dodgers 4 (11 Innings)Chad Billingsley went five innings and was on the hook for the loss after giving up an earned run. Three relievers, Brian Falkenborg, Joe Beimel, and Chan Ho Park, each gave up a run to make it 4-0, but then the Dodgers offense mysteriously awoke after being exposed to the pitching vagaries of Ron Villone, Jason Isringhausen, and Ryan Franklin. The mystery deepened: why Torre chose to bring in Andruw Jones to bat against Villone I'll never know, but it worked, as he picked up a solo homer to lead off the ninth and make it a save situation. That brought in Isringhausen, and should probably have been enough to get Villone DFA'd by itself. Regardless, the Dodgers continued their onslaught against the Cards' shaky closer. Of course, Izzy took the bat out of Manny Ramirez' hands with an intentional/unintentional walk when given the chance, but James Loney then improbably got a bases-loaded scoring infield single, and Jeff Kent followed it up with a little dunker to right that scored Russell Martin from third. Ryan Franklin came in at this point and gave up a sac fly to Casey Blake, tying the game and giving the aura that a win might be possible.
Joe Torre made one more inexplicable substitution when he had the wholly useless Mark Sweeney pinch-hit for Angel Berroa. It very nearly succeeded when he hit a hard liner down the first base line, but it wasn't tall enough to evade Albert Pujols' glove, and that ended the frame.
The Dodgers had a good shot in the 10th with men on the corners and one out. Martin struck out, an intentional walk to Manny loaded the bases, and Loney snuffed out the rally by lining out to left.
Torre's last inexplicable move was bringing Jason Johnson in to face the team's 2-3-4 batters in the bottom of the 11th. He gave up a single to Kennedy, but got Pujols to pop out; Ryan Ludwick dumped one into the centerfield batter's eye for a walkoff homer on a fat pitch over the middle of the plate and just under belt high. If there were a clearer way of throwing up the white flag, I don't know what it is.
Quinlan kills pus throwing lefties. The six pitchers he's faced most often in his career are Zito, Buehrle, Washburn, Cliff Lee, Moyer, and Maroth. Against those six guys, he has a career line of 325/341/612 with 10 homers in 135 plate appearances, and that includes a career 143/143/190 line against Lee, the only one he's struggled against. These are exactly the types of pitchers he should be facing.
Sorry about the multiple deletions.