Gallardo Becomes First Pitcher To Homer Against Randy Johnson
Randy Johnson had allowed 393 homers in 596 games coming into last night’s game with the Brewers. However he had never given up a home run to a pitcher before Yovanni Gallardo connected for a three run homer in the fifth inning of the Brewers 4-2 defeat of the Giants. Gallardo not only hit the game winning homer but also had a stellar performance on the mound allowing two runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings.
Gallardo has hit three homers in 51 at bats for an average of a homer every 17 at bats. Compare that to Juan Pierre who has hit only thirteen homers in 5154 at bats who has homered every 396 at bats.
MLB Network Hits A Home Run With Their Coverage
Last night was a prime example of the great coverage of baseball games in progress by the new MLB Network. To me the best part of a baseball game is when the winning runs are on base and a closer is battling to save the win for his team and we saw a lot of games like that last night that had exciting endings.
The best thing about this coverage is that even if a team is not being telecast locally they are able to see their hometown team play at the most crucial part of the game.
When the pennant race heats up in September and October we will be able to experience baseball games that could decide whether a team advances to the playoffs or is relegated to waiting to finish the season so they can watch the playoffs on television.
I salute the MLB Network for bringing baseball fans the best baseball coverage we have ever had in the television era. It is also a chance to hear broadcasters like Vince Scully who has been broadcasting baseball games on television since 1950 and is now 81.
The MLB network has taken television coverage of baseball to a new level and tonight Bob Costas will be doing the play by play of the Milwaukee Brewers and San Francisco Giants game at 7PM ET tonight as they show the first Thursday night game of the 2009 season telecast by the MLB Network.
Congratulations to the MLB Network for taking baseball telecasting to a new level.
Looking At The Standings
The Orioles and Rangers are the only unbeaten teams left in the American League with both teams having 2-0 records. The Yankees and Indians are the only AL teams to not record a win with both teams being 0-2 this season. The Blue Jays lead in runs scored with 18 while the Royals and White Sox have the fewest runs scored with four each.
The Tigers have allowed the most runs allowing their opponents to cross the plate 18 times while the White Sox and Royals have allowed the fewest with both teams having given up four runs.
The best team in the National League has been the Marlins with a 3-0 record. The Mets have the next best record with a 2-0 record. The Nationals who have started the season 0-3 and the Reds who are 0-2 are the only NL teams to not have won this season.
Florida lead the NL in runs scored with 26 in three games. The Padres have the fewest runs scored with 7. The Nationals have allowed the most runs to score with 26 while the Dodgers lead in least runs allowed with only seven runs scored against them in three games.
Yesterday’s Hitting Stars
Nick Markakis was 3 for 3 raising his average to .714 and drove in three runs in the Orioles 7-5 defeat of the Yankees.
Miguel Cabrera homered twice and was 3 for 4 and is hitting .700 in the Tigers 5-1 win over the Blue Jays.
Nelson Cruz homered twice for the Rangers in their 8-5 victory over the Indians.
Ryan Sweeney, Kurt Suzuki and Mark Ellis had three hits each in the A’s 15 hit attack as the A’s defeated the Angels 6-4.
Brian McCann and Matt Diaz drove in three runs for the Braves while Raul Ibanez drove in three for the Phillies in their 12-10 win over the Braves.
Mike Fontenot and Aramis Ramirez drive in four runs each and Kosuke Fukudome was 4 for 5 and hitting .444 in Cubs 11-6 defeat of the Astros.
Manny Ramirez drives in three runs in Dodgers 5-2 win over the Padres.
Yesterday’s Pitching Stars
Koji Uehara pitched the Orioles to a 7-5 win over the Yankees allowing one run in five innings.
Zach Miner took the win in a 5-1 Tigers victory over the Blue Jays giving up only one run in 5 2/3 innings.
Scott Kazmir pitched six innings of one run baseball as the Rays defeated the Red Sox 7-2.
Zack Greinke who had been 0-6 at Cellular Field in Chicago before last night pitched six scoreless innings of three hit baseball in the Royals 2-0 win over the White Sox.
Nick Adenhart pitched six scoreless innings before the Angels bullpen allowed six runs in three innings to the A’s who won the game 6-4.
Chris Volstad allowed one earned run in five innings as the Marlins defeated the Nationals 6-4.
Franklin Morales had a bittersweet day after defeating the Diamondbacks 9-2 and allowing one run in six innings but was sent to minors after the game.
Zach Duke allowed one earned run in 6 1/3 innings to take a 7-4 win for the Pirates over the Cardinals.
Chad Billingsley gave up two runs in six innings as the Dodgers defeated the Padres 5-2.
Yovani Gallardo pitched and hit the Brewers to a 4-2 win over the Giants driving in three runs with a homer off of Randy Johnson and pitching 6 2/3 innings while allowing two runs to score.
Player From The Past: Jungle Jim Rivera
Manuel Joseph “Jungle Jim” Rivera
Born July 22, 1922 in New York, N.Y.
Major League Debut: April 15, 1952
Final Game: September 30, 1961
Jungle Jim Rivera is one of the more familar names of the White Sox players I followed back in the 50’s. He was sent to prison for four years and this website gives more details of why he was arrested and also gives a lot of background of how he got started playing professional baseball at a later age than most players.
Rivera was 29 when he made his major league debut with the St. Louis Browns. He would play ten seasons for the White Sox and was the AL stolen base leader in 1955 with 25 stolen bases. He only hit .256 during his career while hitting 83 homers and driving in 422 runs.
His hustling on the field made him a fan favorite and he was part of the 1959 White Sox that would clinch the AL pennant.
He picked up the Jungle Jim monicker from a Chicago Sun-Times sportswriter because of his belly first slides into the bases.
When I came up, guys like “Jungle” Jim Rivera took the time to help me. He wasn’t afraid of losing his job. That’s the way we were and it showed in those big, tough games. – Jim Landis
Jungle Jim Rivera may not have played long but he made the most of his career by being a good baserunner and a great outfielder who had 22 assists in 1955.
Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby Pictured With Jungle Jim Rivera
There may have been better players than Jungle Jim Rivera but no player ever played the game with more passion than Rivera. Mickey Owen who was in a fight with Rivera after Rivera ran through Owen’s stop sign at third base during a Puerto Rican winter league game said forty years later that he got along fine with Rivera after the incident and says that Rivera came ready to play baseball.