Friday, September 29, 2006

Slow Country 21 (3:01:25 AM): i'm pretty into greg norton | TheTV17NewsTeam (3:01:31 AM): he comes back every two years or so!

Tonight's big theme seemed to be rain. The start of two of today's most crucial games were delayed in excess of three hours. The Bucs and Astros got underway shortly after four p.m. EST after a scheduled start time of 12:35. Tom Gorzelanny was the good soldier for our guys, taking the loss despite allowing just six baserunners in seven innings. He probably deserved a better fate, but there was no way the Pirates were about to actually try to get hits against Roy Oswalt. It was clear neither team really wanted to be there, and the game was played in a brisk 2:15.

Meanwhile, Tony's boys continued to watch their season slip dangerously out of control, getting reamed by the Brewers 9-4 at Busch II. Jason Marquis allowed 6 earned runs in 2 innings, his ERA climbing above the 6.00 mark. I really can't believe a self-proclaimed genius like Tony La Russa has let that guy make 33 starts this season. Marquis has approached Shawn Chacon levels of awfulness which is even more impressive given that Marquis has pitched about 80 more innings than the Alaskan Wonder.

This leaves the Astros just a half game behind the Cardinals. I've never been so happy to get swept by Houston in my life.

If being at PNC Park at the scheduled game time was an awful experience, the Phillies and Nats had to wait nearly four and a half hours to start playing baseball. The Phillies, however, were a little too eager to get the hell out of Washington, as they forgot to actually to win the game, falling meekly to Mike O'Connor, Jon Rauch, Nook Logan, and company, 3-1. This game, like the "day game" in Pittsburgh, was in the books within two and a half hours of the first pitch.

To make up for this speed baseball, the Dodgers and Rockies took literally all afternoon to single-handedly disprove the humidor theory, scoring a combined total of 30 runs on 33 base hits, 18 walks, 2 errors, 2 wild pitches, a hit batsman, a passed ball, and I'll refrain from making a cheesy "12 Days of Christmas" joke. Dodgers first baseman James Loney drove in nine runs in five at-bats on the day, one more than he'd had all season coming into that game in 93 at-bats. There were many fun facts to be unearthed from this mess of a box score, but one nugget outshone all the others. I learned that Mike Venafro, Instant Messenger Hero, is somehow still pitching in the Major Leagues, four years after being labelled as "finished" in Moneyball. Take that, Billy Beane.

As a result of all of that nonsense, the Phillies find themselves two games behind Los Angeles in the race for the National League Wild Card with three games to go. It's not looking good for Philadelphians, but then again, it's never really looking good for them; they live in Philadelphia.

There were some games played in the American League too, I think. The Toronto Blue Jays continued their quest for second place in the American League East by beating the Tigers, 8-6 in ESPN's "Day Game." The Blue Jays are now a full game up on the Red Sox, who are simply not very good. Not that the city of Boston is aware of this or anything, as most are still convinced the team has had a playoff spot locked up since mid-July. What a shock they will get when they turn on their TVs at the start of the postseason and wonder why the Red Sox are all of a sudden playing their home games at the Metrodome.

What they'll really be seeing are the Twins playing host to the Oakland A's, since the Twins appear poised to take the division crown from the struggling Tigers after tying Detroit for the division lead by toying with the Royals for 8 innings before tying the game in the 9th and winning in the 10th. This will consign the Tigers to opening the postseason in New York.

The only other A.L. game of note was one that really had no right to be nationally televised. As it happened, I was duped into watching two full innings of Yankees/Orioles, only to see Daniel Cabrera not pitch a no-hitter. In a way, that's karma. That's what the assholes at ESPN get for deciding to air a completely meaningless game during the last week of the season.

Nothing else in the American League was relevant at all, although I did happen to notice that Greg Norton hit his 16th home run for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Somehow, Greg Norton has accumulated 283 at-bats for the Rays this season, tying his career high in home runs and slugging percentage and setting new career marks in batting average and on-base percentage at the age of 34. I don't know why. Dave Littlefield doesn't know why, either, but that won't stop him from unveiling Mr. Norton as our big offseason acquisition.

Finally, the biggest off-the-field news in the world of Major League Baseball was the Mets announcing that Pedro Martinez is all kinds of messed up (torn calf) and will miss the entire postseason. The Mets postseason rotation is now two 40-year-olds, Steve Trachsel, and John Maine. I have to think (and Chris may disagree with me) that this really evens the odds between the Mets and the rest of the N.L. playoff field. Which, from my point of view makes the N.L. playoffs much more exciting since it looks to be much more of a crapshoot.

1 comment:

Medicine said...

Dave Littlefield doesn't know why, either, but that won't stop him from unveiling Mr. Norton as our big offseason acquisition.