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Around the Horn: August 30, 2006

Nothing unique or extremely interesting happened in the MLB world today, so this is the first post (of probably many to come in the future) in which I’ll go around the ballparks to discuss the important events in today’s games.  Be prepared, this baby is long!  Or, to save yourself some time, just use the “Find” function (CTRL+F) to find your team.

Pirates 10 Cubs 9 (11 innings)

Freddy Sanchez got the game-winning knock in this hit-fest

This game was basically a hit-fest between two teams with no playoff aspirations, and therefore, nothing to lose.  The Cubs and Pirates each managed 20 hits, with Ryan Theriot leading the way for the Cubs with 5, and Jose Castillo leading the Bucs with 4.  The Pirates won the game on a 2-run single by Freddy Sanchez (the NL’s leader in batting average with a .347) in the 11th inning, handing the loss to Ryan Dempster.  Marty McLeary earned the win for Pittsburgh.  In total, 13 pitchers made appearances in this game, and just 5 of them did not allow a run.  Player of the game: Freddy Sanchez

Yankees 2 Tigers 0 — Game 1 of Doubleheader

Chien Ming Wang pitched 7.2 flawless frames for his MLB-leading 16th win

It’s quite possible that Chien Ming Wang has been the best pitcher in baseball since the All Star Break — compiling a 7-1 record.  Today, he beat the potent Tigers lineup to earn his MLB-leading 16th victory, with 7.2 scoreless innings.  The Yankees offense managed just two runs off Detroit starter Nate Robertson, but that was plenty for the Wang-Proctor-Rivera trio to give the Bronx Bombers the victory. Player of the game: Chien Ming Wang

Tigers 5 Yankees 3 — Game 2 of Doubleheader

Craig Monroe’s 23rd homerun of the season gave the Tigers the victory

Wilfredo Ledezma and Jaret Wright pitched about evenly, each surrendering 2 runs, leaving this game to the bullpens, and late inning offensive heroics.  The runs Ledezma surrendered were both scored in the 6th inning by the Yankees, who added another in that frame, charged to reliever Fernando Rodney.  Joe Torre curiously gave Scott Proctor the ball in the 9th inning (Proctor pitched well in game 1, but it’s rare for a reliever to pitch in both ends of a DH), and Proctor allowed a game-winning, 3-run blast to Craig Monroe.  That controversial decision contributed to the Tigers’ win.  Player of the Game: Craig Monroe

Athletics 7 Red Sox 2

Mark Ellis finished a single short of the cycle in the A’s rout of Boston

In an outing that he’d rather forget, Curt Schilling struck-out the 3000th batter of his great career.  He also allowed 6 runs in 5.1 innings to the A’s lineup, which is suddenly looking potent, and at the right time.  Meanwhile, the BoSox lineup was as dead as it has been on the better part of this roadtrip, from which the Sox will return to Boston with a 2-7 record, and all but eliminated from the playoff picture.  Barry Zito pitched 6.1 innings for Oakland, allowing 1 run, and Mark Ellis was 3-for-4 for Oakland, finishing a single (yes, the easiest part) short of the cycle.  Player of the game: Mark Ellis

Padres 4 Diamondbacks 1

4 hits and 2 stolen bases is all Dave Roberts gave the Padres today

Dave Roberts did just about everything he could to help the Friars beat the Snakes today.  He had 3 singles and a double, and 2 stolen bases, earning 4 of the Padres nine hits.  Brad Thompson pitched well for San Diego, and the Meredith-Linebrink-Hoffman trio of relievers finished off the Diamondbacks, who had just 6 hits (all singles) in the game.  Player of the game: Dave Roberts

Phillies 5 Nationals 1

Cole Hamels showed why he’s one of the NL’s best young lefties today

Despite a rough start in his last outing, Phillies’ rookie Cole Hamels dominated the Washington Nationals today.  The only run he surrendered was on Alfonso Soriano’s 43rd homerun of the season, in the 8th inning.  The Nationals again had defensive troubles committing two errors, and Ramon Ortiz took the loss for the Nats, who are now almost certainly out of playoff contention.  The offenses were led by Ryan Howard (1-for-4 with a 2RBI double) for Philadelphia, and Soriano (1-for-4 with a solo homerun) for Washington.  Player of the Game: Cole Hamels

Cleveland 3 Toronto 2 (10 innings) 

Jhonny Peralta’s walk-off homerun led the Tribe to it’s 16th win in 21 games

Rookies Shaun Marcum and Jeremy Sowers each pitched well for Toronto and Cleveland, respectively, but the bats could not get the job done for Marcum’s team.  He left with a 2-1 lead with 1 out in the 7th, but Jeremy Accardo blew the lead in the 8th, as Travis Hafner pushed the game to extra innings with his 2nd homerun of the day.  In the 10th inning, Jhonny Peralta hit a walkoff solo homerun to give the Indians their 16th victory in 21 games; a hot streak that still leaves the Tribe well out of postseason contention.  Player(s) of the Game: Jhonny Peralta and Travis Hafner — it didn’t seem fair to choose.

Braves 5 Giants 3 

  

Adam LaRoche crushed Giants pitching for 3 doubles and a triple

After going on a hot streak, the Giants seem to have cooled-off at Turner Field.  The Braves took game 2 of the series, led by a solid outing from rookie Chuck James, and fine hitting from Adam LaRoche.  LaRoche went 4-for-4 with 3 doubles and a triple and 3RBI’s, though remarkably, he managed to score just once.  He did plenty however, as Atlanta’s pitching held off the Giants.  Player of the Game: Adam LaRoche

Astros 1 Brewers 0

Roger Clemens’ team won a terrific pitchers’ duel

It was a pitchers’ duel that put rookie Dave Bush on the mound for Milwaukee, to do his best to keep the Brewers in the game, as they faced the Rocket.  Bush was right with Clemens for 7 innings, as the Astros and Brewers were held scoreless by the two hurlers.  The difference was that Clemens’ relievers (Dan Wheeler and Brad Lidge) held the Brewers scoreless the rest of the way, while Bush’s back-up (Jose Capellan) surrendered the game’s only run.  You don’t often see it, but the Astros won on a walk-off groundout by Aubrey Huff.  Player(s) of the Game: Roger Clemens and Dave Bush — there’s no way I could pick one and not the other

White Sox 5 Devil Rays 4

Tadahito Iguchi tied the game with an 8th-inning homerun

The White Sox’ bats were held quite silent by Rays’ rookie starter Tim Corcoran, but as so often happens to Tampa Bay, the bullpen pitches in a “devilish” way.  Delmon Young had a spectacular MLB debut going 2-for-3 with a double and 2RBI, but Tadahito Iguchi’s 8th inning blast kept the ChiSox in the game.  Brian Meadows was the guilty party on that homerun for the Rays, and they have him (and 3 defensive errors) to blame for taking the loss in this one.  Jim Thome came through again for the Southsiders, with an RBI single later in the 8th off Seth McClung.  Jon Garland earned his MLB-leading 16th win with an 8-inning, 4-run performance, and Bobby Jenks got his 38th save of the season.  Player of the Game: Tadahito Iguchi

Royals 4 Twins 3

Ryan Shealy (now with KC) led the way for the Royals with a 2-for-4 day

I told you the Royals would be this season’s spoilers (See: Royal Spolers).  They took the 2nd game of their series against the Mini Twinkies in Minnesota, led by a solid outing from Luke Hudson, and a good offensive game from Ryan Shealy and Andres Blanco.  The Twins were led by 2 homeruns by Michael Cuddyer, who went 3-for-3 with 3RBI’s, but it wasn’t enough to down the suddenly hot Royals.  The Twinkies lost a game in the AL Wildcard race, as the ChiSox won (see that part of this post above).  Player of the Game: Ryan Shealy

Mets 11 Rockies 3

 

David Wright broke a 28-game power outage to help the Mets

Two players broke out of major slumps for the Mets today; David Wright homered for the first time in a month, and Jose Valentin had a 2HR game for the first time in two years.  Wright also had 5RBI’s in the Mets’ demolition of Colorado pitching.  Josh Fogg took the loss for the Rox allowing 8 runs in 1.1 innings of awful work, while Dave Williams earned the win for the Metropolitans with a good outing.  Todd Helton and Garrett Atkins both had 2 hits for the Rockies in the losing effort.  Player of the Game: David Wright

Orioles 7 Rangers 4 (10 innings)

Jay Gibbons had 2 doubles to pace the O’s offense

The difference in this game was pitching.  The O’s got a solid start from Kris Benson, while the Rangers’ got a sub-par outing from Robinson Tejeda.  That wasn’t the pitching that mattered however; I’m talking about the bullpens.  The Orioles bullpen was the first to falter, when Todd Williams allowed 2 runs while recording just 1 out in the 8th (the runs scored on a double by Carlos Lee that was actually surrendered by Chris Ray — his 3rd blown save).  The Orioles were able to keep the game tied however, and they won it with 3 runs in their 10th inning of Texas reliever Ron Mahay.  Jay Gibbons led the offense with 2 doubles, but David Newhan and new-Oriole Danny Ardoin contributed the finishing touches in the 10th.  Player of the Game: Jay Gibbons

As of this writing, 3 games are still on in the MLB world. 

  • Cardinals 13 Marlins 6
  • Angels 5 Mariners 3
  • Dodgers 5 Reds 2

Now you know everything important that happened in the MLB today.  You’ve also read (assuming you didn’t use my shortcut) one of the longest articles you’ll probably ever read on Baseballistic. 

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