Wild Thursday For MLB
Thursday was one of the most eventful days so far this season both on and off the field. It started with the revelation that Manny Ramirez had been suspended for fifty days for taking human chorionic gonadotropin, a female fertility drug also known as HCG.
Jose Canseco had been charged with bringing HCG into the United States from Mexico last November and is under unsupervised probation for twelve months for that offense.
HCG was added to the banned substance list last year by MLB. Canseco said the drug is used when coming off of steroids cold turkey and is used to boost testosterone levels.
A-Rod To Return Today
The Yankees ironically announced that Alex Rodriguez will return to the Yankee lineup Friday on the same day that Manny Ramirez was suspended.
The 13-15 Yankees are desperately in need of some offense from the third base position after Cody Ransom, Angel Berroa and Ramiro Pena combined for no homers and ten runs batted in over the first twenty eight games of the season.
Other Noteworthy Events Yesterday
The Arizona Diamondbacks announced the firing of manager Bob Melvin yesterday. A.J. Hinch will reportedly be named the manager today.
The Red Sox had twelve consecutive batters reach base in the sixth inning of their 13-3 win against the Indians to set an AL record and scored twelve runs before the first out.
Jason Bay doubled in a run and hit a three run homer in the wild inning. After Bay’s homer the Red Sox made three straight outs to end the inning.
The Rays defeated the Yankees 8-6 in a wild game that saw eight home runs clear the fences in the new homer haven Yankee Stadium. Carlos Pena hit his major league leading 13th homer of the season while Evan Longoria hit his 9th and 10th homers of the season among six homers by the Rays.
Andy Pettitte had given up one homer in 33 innings before giving up four homers in six innings last night. Even more shocking was when Mariano Rivera gave up back to back homers to Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria in the ninth inning. The two homers were the margin of victory for the Rays.
The Athletics scored a season high nine runs in their 9-4 win over the first place Rangers in AL West action. The win moved the Athletics to within four games of the Rangers.
Mark Buehrle 5-0 may be the most ignored pitcher in baseball by the media since all he does is take care of business and win baseball games. Buehrle held the Tigers to one hit in eight innings in a 6-0 win. The pitching duel between Buehrle and Armando Galarraga didn’t materialize when the White Sox scored five times in the first inning.
Mike Pelfrey 4-0 pitched the Mets to a 7-5 win over the Phillies and Francisco Rodriguez closed out the win with the tying run at the plate. Pelfrey and Johan Santana are a combined 8-1 this season.
The four other starters who have started for the Mets this season are 5-6. Pelfrey has walked 14 while striking out only six this season in 28 innings.
Jamie Moyer 3-2 pitched on 2 1/3 innings while giving up three homers to take the loss for the Phillies. His performance accented the shortcomings of the Phillies starting rotation.
The starters have recorded only six of the fourteen wins by the Phillies with the starters having a 6-9 record with Cole Hamels and Chan Ho Park failing to record a win this season.
The ERA’s of the Phillies pitchers show how ineffective the starters have been: Cole Hamels 7.27, Jamie Moyer 7.26, Joe Blanton 6.84, Chan Ho Park 6.67 and Bret Myers 5.35.
The Phillies bullpen is 8-3 even with Brad Lidge having an ERA of 6.75. Tonight the Phillies send Hamels to the mound against Jo-Jo Reyes of the Braves who hasn’t won in his last fifteen starts. The Phillies despite their starting pitching problems are a half game ahead of the Mets and Marlins in the NL East.
The Dodgers scored six times in the first inning but still lost to the Nationals 11-9 in the first game without Manny Ramirez. Randy Wolf left the game with a 6-1 lead.
Then the middle relief pitchers for the Dodgers erased that lead by giving up nine runs in the next inning and a third to give the Nationals a 10-6 lead and take an eventual 11-9 win.
Juan Pierre was two for four at the plate in his first game since the Ramirez suspension. He had some success on the basepaths stealing a base and some failures being caught stealing and was picked off of first base. Matt Kemp doing his part to make up for the loss of Ramirez hit a grand slam and drove in five runs.
Alfonso Soriano hit two homers in the Cubs 8-5 win over the Astros with Ted Lilly 4-2 taking the win.
Micah Hoffpauir playing first base for the injured Derrek Lee was two for four and drove in a run. Lee better get back soon or he may be known as Derrek Pipp if Hoffpauir takes his place the way Lou Gehrig replaced Wally Pipp and Pipp never was a regular again.
It was an eventful day Thursday but it may be even more eventful today when Alex Rodriguez takes the field in Camden Yards in Baltimore tonight. C.C. Sabathia 1-3 will be on the mound hoping that he can stop his two game losing streak.
Chad Billingsley will try for his sixth win tonight in Los Angeles as the Dodgers hope Barry Zito won’t be as effective as he was in his last start when he pitched seven scoreless innings against the Rockies. The Dodgers have a much better offense than the Rockies even without Manny Ramirez so it will be real test for Zito.