Another Sad Day For Baseball
Monday was another sad day for baseball. Starting with the senseless murder of Nick Adenhart on Friday we have lost an active player, a retired player and a Hall of Fame broadcaster in the last four days.
Yesterday I heard that Harry Kalas had passed out in the Phillies broadcasting booth in Washington. It was shortly after that the word came he had died. Kalas was a broadcasting icon. He broadcast his first major league game in 1963 for the Houston Astros. I was already in the Army at the time so I didn’t hear him till 1966 when our local radio station was broadcasting the Astros games. It was fitting that he got to call the World Series clinching game last fall.
A couple of hours later we learned about the apparent accidental death of Mark “Bird” Fidrych. Fidrych brought a lot of joy to baseball fans in his incredible 1976 season when won 19 games for the Detroit Tigers. It was sad that he encountered arm problems and would never be the same pitcher he was during the magical 1976 season
He tried several years to come back to the level of the 1976 season but it wasn’t meant to be. Who can ever forget him talking to the baseball and doctoring the mound to his specifications? He filled stadiums wherever he pitched because baseball fans loved to see him pitch. His exuberance on the mound will never be forgotten.
I was watching him pitching in a Monday Night Baseball game that was rebroadcast on the MLB Network last week and a few days later he has died in what seems to be a tragic accident.
The MLB Network interviewed Fidrych on March 9th and he explains what it was like to play for the Detroit Tigers back in the 1970’s.
Ted Lilly Pitches Cubs To 4-0 Shutout Win
Ted Lilly pitched a masterpiece of a game on Monday afternoon in historic Wrigley Field. Lilly allowed only one hit in 6 2/3 innings while striking out eight. He had retired the first two batters in the seventh inning before Garrett Atkins hit a single that broke up his no-hitter.
The bullpen pitched well for the Cubs with Angel Guzman, Aaron Heilman and Kevin Gregg allowing no hits in the last 2 1/3 innings to the Rockies. The win was the third in the row for the Cubs as they remained within a half game of the first place Cardinals in the NL Central.
Dye, Konerko Hit Back To Back 300th Homers
Jermaine Dye and Paul Konerko hit their 300th homers in back to back plate appearances. Carlos Quentin hit his first two homers of the season. Konerko and Quentin both drove in four runs in the 16 hit attack by the White Sox in their 10-6 victory over the Tigers.
Gavin Floyd 2-0 didn’t have his best stuff giving up six runs, five hits and seven walks in five innings but it didn’t matter with the White Sox offense providing the firepower needed for the win. The White Sox bullpen held the Tigers scoreless over the last four innings. The win ties the White Sox with the Royals for the AL Central lead.
Chien-Ming Wang Hammered By Rays:
Swisher Pitches Scoreless Ninth Inning
Chien Ming Wang 0-2, 28.93 ERA had a disastrous outing yesterday as he gave up 8 runs, 6 hits, 3 walks in one inning and was pulled out of the game after loading the bases in the second inning. Reliever Jonathan Albalejejo replaced him and gave up a grand slam to Carlos Pena. Pena also doubled twice in the contest and drove in six runs.
The Rays eventually won the game 15-5 but not before Nick Swisher pitched a scoreless ninth for the Yankees. Swisher was the only Yankee pitcher of the five pitchers who pitched to not give up a run. Swisher not only pitched well but hit his third homer of the season. Scott Kazmir 2-0 took the win for the Rays.
It was an ugly win by Edinson Volquez 1-1 giving up six runs, seven hits and four walks but he still was the winning pitcher in the Reds 7-6 defeat of the Brewers. The Reds were trailing the Brewers 5-1 after two innings but the Reds scored six times in the third inning with the highlight being a grand slam by Edwin Encarnacion who picked up his first four runs batted in of the season….Andruw Jones was 2 for 3 for the Rangers while hitting his first homer of the season and driving in three runs. He is now hitting .625 this season. His hitting was in vain though as the Orioles came back to win the game 10-9….The Royals moved into a first place tie with the White Sox who won their game earlier in the day. Zack Greinke 2-0, 0.00 ERA pitched five scoreless innings to defeat the Indians 4-2.
Travis Snyder homered twice as the Blue Jays overcame a 6-3 deficit to defeat the Twins 8-6 behind a 19 hit barrage….Dallas Braden 1-1 outpitched Jon Lester 0-2 as the A’s outslugged the Red Sox 8-2. Jason Giambi and Matt Holliday both drove in two runs….Zach Duke 2-0 0.59 ERA pitched the Pirates to a 7-0 complete game win over the struggling Astros….Jamie Moyer didn’t pitch that well but still registered his first win of the season as the Phillies defeated the 0-7 Nationals 9-8.
The Dodgers pummeled the Giants 11-1 as Chad Billingsley 2-0 struck out eleven while walking none. Andre Ethier homered twice for the Dodgers and drove in four runs. Randy Johnson 0-2 pitched 3 2/3 innings to take the loss for the Giants while giving up seven runs, eight hits, three walks and two homers as his ERA rose to 11.42. Matt Cain with a 1.29 ERA is the only Giants starter with an ERA lower than 7.56. After seven games Cain has the only win among the Giants starters…. The Mets lost their first game in their new stadium to the Padres 6-5….Albert Pujols hit his fourth homer and Todd Wellemeyer 1-1 pitched seven innings of one run baseball as the Cardinals edged the Diamondbacks 2-1 as the Cardinals won their fifth game in a row.
Looking At Stats
Major League Leaders
Hits – Cristian Guzman 17
Doubles – Ryan Church, Freddy Sanchez 6
Triples – Jeff Francoeur, Orlando Hudson 2
Home Runs – Evan Longoria 5
Runs Batted In – Adam Lind, Evan Longoria 12
Total Bases – Evan Longoria 33
Walks – Manny Ramirez, Adam Dunn 11
Strikeouts – Grady Sizemore 12
Stolen Bases – Chone Figgins 5
On Base Percentage (At least 20 At Bats) – Adam Dunn .576
Slugging Percentage – Nick Swisher 1.150
Batting Average – Kevin Youkilis .519
OPS – (At least 20 plate appearances) – Nick Swisher 1.692
Extra Base Hits – Evan Longoria 9
Wins – 2 (12 way tie)
Losses -2 (12 way tie)
Saves – Heath Bell, Joakim Soria 4
Hits – Kevin Slowey 22 in 11 innings
Earned Runs – Chien-Ming Wang 15
Home Runs – Brett Myers 6 in 13 innings
Walks – Gavin Floyd, Ubaldo Jiminez, David Purcey 9
Strikeouts – Johan Santana 20 in 12 innings
Lowest Batting Average Allowed (At least 20 plate appearances) – Chris Carpenter .042