Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Hey, Look! Six Runs! Angels 6, Rays 1I was busy listening to the Dodgers game for the most part because of the historicity of it — Greg Maddux, the sixth oldest player in the majors with 350 wins, and Clayton Kershaw, the youngest player active in the majors — and figured Jered Weaver a 50-50 shot for a wobbly outing. Imagine my surprise when, forced to leave work early because of an unannounced server upgrade, I tuned in the game on the car radio to discover the Angels up 6-0 in the top of the sixth.
James Shields had a bad game early, and the Angels capitalized, with GA homering, and Vlad, Howie, and Mathis all driving in runs besides, Vlad's on a two-run jack in the fifth. Weaver was magnificent; outside of the seventh inning solo homer to Gabe Gross (on a belt-high cookie), the Rays never got a baserunner to third base. Scot Shields finished the game with a 1-2-3 frame, striking out two.
I'm a little nervous saying it, because Vlad has had a way of fooling me before, but he's really starting to look like he might be getting it together. Maybe more importantly, so is Howie. In fact, the offense as a whole was looking pretty sharp from what I did eventually see, despite the zero frames at the end of the game. The last time the Angels put up six or more runs in one game was their 10-2 shellacking of the Dodgers on May 18. It's been a while.
Dancing Bears In Padres Uniforms: Dodgers 7, Padres 2Billed as youth vs. age, the Dodgers did virtually nothing against Greg Maddux, save for a first inning run, though uncharacteristically he walked three Dodgers. (By the by, not only was it youth versus age, but as the AP writeup informs us, it was also the biggest disparity in win totals since San Francisco's Warren Spahn (361 wins) faced the Mets' Darryl Sutherland (one) on August 25, 1965, though Baseball-Reference gives it as August 27, with Spahn getting the win.) The Pads were a little better against Clayton Kershaw, who walked four but struck out six; he held San Diego to one run through five and a third, but left men on second and third. Scott Proctor allowed one of those inherited runners to score on the very first pitch he threw in the game, a wild pitch to Michael Barrett. Proctor allowed Barrett to reach on essentially a line drive that he almost caught but was ruled an error for some reason.
It was an odd scoring choice, because the ball was a bullet. Nevertheless, Proctor managed to weasel his way out of the frame, leading to the Dodgers' top of the seventh. Maddux being a six-inning pitcher these days, that brought on the Padres' relief staff, and a cavalcade of relievers it was. The Padres needed four pitchers to get out of the seventh, and by the time they were done, the Dodgers were ahead 5-2 thanks to some very dubious scoring that let the home team off the hook for what should have been some rather egregious errors.
The Dodgers picked up two more in the ninth on an infield single in which Russell Martin scored from second thanks to an Adrian Gonzalez error; it was a brilliant mad dash, and the second time in the game Martin had scored from second on an infield hit. What a game! Too bad Clayton will have to wait for his first win.