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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pickoff Moves

The Occasionally Thrilling, Come-From-Behind Win: Angels 4, Rockies 3

Lordy, I tried listening to this one on the way home; I had to stop at Fry's for some hardware, and after I got back into the car, Colorado had rallied to make it 3-2 on a Troy Tulowitzki two-run jack, i.e. Sean O'Sullivan wasn't especially sharp, leaving the game after a lot of frustratingly high pitch counts. That, by the way, isn't a criticism; he's barely been hauled up from double-A, so his failings on the mound get an immediate pass from these quarters. In fact, considering the opponent, it counts as a very positive development.

Luckily, I got home just in time to see the Angels mount a big comeback, loading the bases against a Ubaldo Jimenez who wasn't exactly tiring, but twice didn't quite seem to make the plays on bunts. Bobby Abreu then came up with a big clutch RBI single to push across the winning run, and while nobody else was able to extend the rally (figures), Brian Fuentes picked up another nervous save against his former team. It was a nice tonic after this weekend's losses to the Dodgers, and with it, the Angels haul themselves into a tie for first place in the AL West.

Yahoo boxAngels recap

Dodgers Cruise Behind Kuroda: Dodgers 5, White Sox 2

Hiroki Kuroda cruised through eight and two-thirds, nearly collecting his first complete game in the majors. His offense gave him an early 3-0 lead after an inning and a half, and he never let go. More good news: another James Loney homer, a two-run blast in the second.

Yahoo boxDodgers recap

Kelvim Escobar Has Another Setback, Return Date Unknown

"It doesn't feel right, and I don't want to push through it; it's still sore," he said. "I expected to feel a lot better with all the exercises I'm doing and treatment I'm getting and the long break. But it's still inflamed, and if I keep throwing, it's going to get worse."

Escobar, who was examined by team physician Lewis Yocum on Tuesday night, said there is "no doubt in my mind" he will pitch again this season, "but I don't know how long it's going to take," he said. "Do I have doubts? Yes, I'm human. But I have to stay positive and keep working hard."

Rudy Seanez is said to be close to returning to the mound at AAA Salt Lake.

Plaschke On Manny's Minor League Rehab

I guess he doesn't read Jon.
When negotiating the drug policy three years ago, baseball officials felt they had to allow for minor league rehab assignments in order to get union agreement on a 50-game suspension total. The union was claiming that, otherwise, with the player needing to get back in shape, the suspensions actually would amount to more than 60 games.

Officials were also receiving pressure from their clubs to allow the players to do rehab assignments during the suspensions, instead of later, so the teams did not have to pay the players while they were in the minor leagues.

In the end, the baseball bosses were so desperate for any sort of penalty, they caved in to everybody. And perhaps they hoped that everyone would be so happy the druggies were finally being punished, nobody would notice.

Well, today, we all notice.

Well, so what?

Now that Jay Mariotti is no longer writing for the Chicago Sun-Times, it seems to me that Plaschke wins the ring for stupidest sports columnist in a major daily newspaper.

Dodgers Attendance Down 6%

In a Times piece mooting a midseason trade (i.e. the usual fare for this time of year) comes the revelation that the Dodgers' attendance is down 6% versus the same time last year.

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Jiminez was fine on the bunts. He got screwed by Ian Stewart, who couldn't decide where to the throw it the first time, then couldn't find the base on the Figgins bunt.

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