Thursday, April 17th

Chipper Jones carried the biggest stick last night going 4 for 4 with 3 Runs, a Double, 2 HRs, and 3 RBI.  Manny Ramirez also went yard twice.  Chris Coste went 4 for 5 with a Run, a Double, a HR, and 3 RBI.  Ryan Ludwick and Reed Johnson also collected 4 hits.  The Liar Miguel Tejada, Craig Counsell, Ian Kinsler, David Murphy, Jose Lopez, Raul Ibanez, Willy Taveras, and Matt Holliday each had three hits.  Joey Votto drove in 5 runs.

Jake Peavy was a monster with 8 shutout innings with 11 K’s.  He took a no-decision since they took 22 innings to sort out a winner.  Wilfredo Ledezma worked 5 scorless innings of relief and Kip Wells provided 4 of his own for the victory.  Brett Myers pitched 7 innings of five-hit, 1 run ball.  He struck out 8 batters in earning his 2nd victory.  Kyle Lohse went 7 innings allowing 2 runs for a no-decision.  He added two runs with his bat. Seth McClung pitched three scoreless innings of relief.  Edison Volquez allowed run 1  run in 5 innings while striking out 7.  Gavin Floyd allowed 2 runs on 2 hits in 6 innings.  Fausto Carmona went 6-2/3 innings allowing 1 run to improve to 2-1 with a 1.96 ERA.  Vincente Padilla went 7 innings allowing 1 run to improve to 2-1 with a 3.12 ERA.  Roy Halladay pitched his second straight complete game, although he took the loss.  John Smoltz struck out 10 batters in 5 shutout innings to improve to 3-0 with a 0.56 ERA.  John Lannan, the Working Class Hero, struck out 11 in 6 innings as he allowed 1 run on 3 hits in a pitchers’ duel with Nelson Figueroa (7 innings, 2 runs, 3 hits, 7 Ks).  Jon Garland went 6 innings allowing 2 runs for his 2nd victory.  Carlos Silva went 7 innings allowing 1 run on 4 hits to improve to 3-0 with a 2.79 ERA.

Photos courtesy of Icon SMI.

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Friday Tidbits 4/18/08

18 April 2008

Jason Kidd notched his 100th career triple-double.  Carmelo got popped for a DUI.  Nice distraction as your team is battling for the final playoff spot.  The Wolves won back-to-back games.  The Sonics won what is most likely their last home game.  Indiana and Golden State lost to eliminate their playoff chances.   Ramon Sessions had 20 points to go along with his 24 assists.  The Lakers took top seed in the West. LeBron won the scoring title.  Boston finished with 66 wins.  The Bulls showed Jim Boylan the door.  Milwaukee did the same for Larry Krystkowiak.

Chris Chelios played in his 248th playoff game, which set an NHL record.  Pittsburgh (over Ottawa) and the Rangers (over the Devils)  jumped out to 2-0 series leads.  Minnesota even their series with a win over Colorado.  Washington took Game 1 against Philly.  Robert Nilsson signed a three-year deal with Edmonton.  Detroit (Nashville) Dallas(Anaheim), and Montreal (Boston) jumped out to 2-0 leads.  Martin Biron and the Flyers blanked Washington to even the series at 1-1.  Boston (Montreal) and New Jersey (Rangers) showed some life by taking game 3.  Calgary stormed back from a 3-0 deficit to take a 2-1 series lead.  Unlike the NBA, the NHL can make rule changes when they want to.  Sean Avery’s stick in Brodeur’s face to distract him was deemed unsportsmanlike.  Instead of waiting until the end of the year to address it, the NHL decided it’s against the rules.  I like it.  Pittsburgh beat Ottawa 4-1 to take a 3-0 series lead.  Nashville scored 3 in the third to take Game 3.  Minnesota used OT (yet again) to take a 2-1 lead over Colorado.  Montreal’s Carey Price shutout Boston 1-0 to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the series.  Philadelphia took Game 3 of their series with Washington for a 2-1 lead.  Anaheim fought back with a 4-2 victory Dallas, who leads 2-1.  San Jose evened their series at 2 with a 3-2 win over Calgary.  Colorado blasted Minnesota 5-1 to even their series at 2 apiece.  Carolina signed Sergei Samsonov to a three-year deal worth $7.6 million.  Vancouver fired GM Dave Nonis.  Pittsburgh swept Ottawa away.  The Rangers buried the Devils to take a 3-1 series lead.  Nashville knocked off Detroit to even their series at 2.  Boston peppered Montreal 5-1 to stay alive.  Montreal has a 3-2 lead.  Philly beat Washington in Double OT to take a 3-1 series lead.  Dallas beat Anaheim in Game 4 to take a 3-1 lead.  Colorado beat Minnesota in Game 5 to take a 3-2 series lead.  San Jose took game 5 and a 3-2 series lead over Calgary.

Randy Johnson’s 285 victory was blown by his relievers.  Hey, at least he was back and pitched well.  The Yankees drew first blood on the Red Sox behind Chien-Ming Wang’s two-hitter.  Carlos Pena, Raul Ibanez, and Jeremy Hermedia hit a pair of HRs last Friday.  Dontrelle Willis hyperextended his knee.  Jeff Francoeur smashed 2 HRs on Saturday.  Roy Halladay fired a complete game.  Dave Roberts had knee surgery and will be out a few months.  Barry Bonds’ last HR ball sold for $370K,  The problem is, there is still a chance someone picks him up to DH later this year or next, making that ball virtually worthless.  Tom Glavine hurt his hamstring in the first inning of his start vs. Washington on Sunday.  Paul Konerko and Joe Crede cranked Grand Slams in the same game. Zack Greinke threw a complete game on Monday to improve to 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA.  Joe Borowski and Eric Bedard landed on the DL.  Ken Griffey, Jr. hit HRs #595 &596.  A-Rod tied and passed Ted Williams and Willie McCovey on the all-time HR list.  Alfonso Soriano landed on the DL.  Edgar Renteria cracked a Grand Slam.  Carlos Zambrano had three hits in a game.  C.C. Sabathia got rocked..again.  Miguel Tejada not only lied about steroids, evidently he lied about his age.  Manny Ramirez and Chipper Jones each smacked a pair of HRs.  Colorado beat San Diego in 22 innings.

Steve McNair is retiring.  It was a good run.  Chad Johnson has demanded a trade.  Housh said Cincy should trade him.Darrell Jackson and Samie Parker signed with the Denver Broncos.  Deuce McAllister reworked his deal to remain a Saint.  Cato June had his DUI charges dropped.  The Chargers will be without LB Stephen Cooper for 4 games due to a substance abuse violation.  Duane Starks signed with the Raiders.  Arizona NT Gabe Watson broke his kneecap when he fell off a treadmill.  Guess he won’t be getting any “Dancing with the Stars” invites.  Jared Allen will visit Minnesota and Tampa Bay, who are speculated to be suitors via trade.  Terrell Suggs showed up for minicamp.  The G-Men are still waiting to hear what Strahan decides.  The Packers will retire Brett Favre’s #4 in the season opener with Minnesota.

Michael Beasley is turning pro.  Derrick Rose will join him.  They figure to be the top two picks in the draft.  Florida F Jonathan Mitchell will transfer.  Tyler Hansbrough won the Wooden Award.  Kentucky G Jodie Meeks had a sports hernia surgery.  Former Duke F Taylor King is transfering to Villanova.  Tennessee Guard J.P. Prince had shoulder surgery.  John Calipari signed an extension with Memphis.  Butler’s Brad Stevens signed a seven-year deal, but I would guess if he continued his success, he’d be moving on.  Gonzaga’s Jeremy Pargo is turning pro.  Kansas State Coach Frank Martin signed a five-year extension.  Psst.  He doesn’t have Beasley anymore.  Kevin Love is turning pro…mistake.  Kansas’ Brandon Rush and Darrell Arthur will turn pro.

Penn State suspended DT Phil Taylor.  Teammate Sean Lee (LB) will miss the year with a torn knee.  Duke suspended OT Cameron Goldberg for a rule violation.

Trevor Immelman earned the Green Jacket by winning the Masters.  What a failure for Tiger Woods as he finished second.  To get sympathy (kidding), he underwent knee surgery, which means he’ll likely miss The Players Championship.  So much for that Grand Slam. 

Jimmie Johnson won the NASCAR Sprint Cup Subway Fresh Fit 500 after his crew chief  gambled on his fuel.

That concludes the Tidbits. As always feel free to add any stories you liked this week in sports or discuss any of the stories I mentioned.

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Wednesday, April 16th

We’ll call it a tie in Motown as Miguel Cabrera (4 for 6, 2 runs, HR, 5 RBI) and Edgar Renteria (3 for 4, 1 run, Grand Slam, 5 RBI) tore apart Cleveland.  I guess Minnesota gave them the confidence they needed.  Joe Mauer, Derrek Lee, Carlos Zambrano, Manny Ramirez, Chad Moeller, Frank Catalanotto, Alex Rios, Joey Gaithwright, Mark Teahen, and Raul Ibanez each had three hits.  Joey Hamilton had 4 hits in Texas’ 14 inning affair with Toronto.  Garrett Atkins and Rafael Furcal also collected four hits.

Felix Hernandez
was the top ace yesterday firing a complete game allowing 1 earned run with 8 K’s.  Brandon Webb not only pitched a gem (8 innings, 3 hits, 1 run, 5 Ks), he also drove in a pair of runs to improve to 4-0 with a 1.86 ERA.  Jose Contreras was solid going 7 allowing 1 run on 4 hits with 6 Ks.  Armando Galarraga went 6-2/3 giving up 2 runs on 1 hit with 6 Ks.  Roy Oswalt offered some relief to his fantasy owners by going 7 innings allowing 1 run on 5 hits with 4 Ks for his first win of the year.  He outdueled Kyle Kendrick who allowed 2 runs in 7 innings on 4 hits with 5 Ks.  John Maine went 6-2/3 innings allowing 2 run while striking out 4.  You saw Zambrano listed in the hot batters, but he pitched a quality game as well going 7 innings allowing 2 runs while striking out 5.  Adam Wainwright worked 7 innings of 1 run ball picking up 6 K’s.   Gil Meche went 6 allowing 2 runs for his first victory.  Brad Penney allowed 1 unearned run in 5-2/3 innings of work with 4 K’s.

Photos courtesy of Icon SMI.

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Besides being Tax Day and my nephew’s birthday (Happy Birthday Justin), there was some baseball played last night.  Jackie Robinson was honored all over the league with #42′s being donned by today’s players. 

Tuesday, April 15th
David Wright & Jose Reyes
We’ll call it a tie in Queens as Jose Reyes (4 for 5, 1 Run, Double, Triple) and David Wright (3 for 4, 2 Runs, 2 Doubles, HR, 5 RBI)  each pounded Washington pitching.  Michael Young, Mark Grudzielanek, Kenji Johjima, David Eckstein, Dustin Pedroia, Julio Lugo, Victor Martinez, Pedro Feliz, Derek Jeter, Derrek Lee, Adam Kennedy, and Kevin Kouzmanoff each had three hits.  Jose Lopez drove in 4 runs.

Randy Wolf was top dog on Tuesday throwing 7 one-hit shutout innings while racking up 9 Ks.  Shawn Chacon went 8 shutout innings allowing 4 hits while striking out 5.  Danks pitched 7-2/3 shutout innings allowing 5 hits while striking out 4 for the win.  Mike Pelfrey threw 7 shutout innings allowing 5 hits and striking out 4.  Scott Olsen fired 7 shutout innings allowing 5 hits and striking out 3.  Micah Owings gave up 1 run on 3 hits with 6 Ks in 6 innings to improve to 3-0 on the year with a 2.29 ERA.  Shaun Marcum went 6-2/3 innings allowing 2 runs to improve to 2-0 with a 2.61 ERA.  Tim Wakefield went 6 innings allowing 2 runs.  Odalis went 6 innings allowing 2 runs in defeat.  Braden Looper went 5 innings allowing just 1 run.  Esteban Loiza pitched 5 innings of relief allowing 1 run on 3 hits.

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.

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Monday, April 14th
Alex Rodriguez
Alex Rodriguez tied Ted Williams and Willie McCovey with  his 521st career Home Run.  He went 4 for 5 in the game. Kurt Suzuki also had 4 hits for Oakland.  Delmon Young, Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Guillen, Kevin  Youkilis, Victor Martinez, Milton Bradley, Miguel Olivo, and Freddy Sanchez each had three hits.

Zack Greinke fired a complete game five-hitter allowing 1 run while striking out 4.  On the season he’s 3-0 with a 0.75 ERA.  Jake Westbrook got a no-decision when Joe Borowski blew his save, but he went 6 innings allowing 1 earned run with 5 Ks.  Ervin Santana threw 7 innings allowing 3 runs.  He struck out 6 as he moved to 2-0.  Greg Smith (7 innings, 1 run, 4 Ks for the win) outdueled Mark Buehrle (7 innings, 2 runs, 4 Ks).  Randy Johnson returned.  He went 5 innings allowing 3 uneared runs and striking out 7.  Unfortunately his 285th victory was blown by his relievers.

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A look back at the past week in baseball to bring you the surprising stars. 

Brian Bannister - Back-to-back Royal Pitchers in the Weekly Wonders.  As a baseball fan, I am happy to see Kansas City relevant again.  I truly am.  In two starts Banniser went 2-0 with 14 innings pitched, allowed 8 hits, 2 earned runs (3 total), 5 walks, with 9 Ks, a 1.29 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP.  He beat the Yankees and the Twins. 

Jeff Mathis – Jeff didn’t let his measly 10 at bats slow him down last week.  All he did was collect four Hits (.400 average), 4 Runs, a Double, 2 HR, and 3 RBI.

Corner Infielder
Casey Kotchman – If you’ve been following my Fantasy Baseball Players of the Day, you would know Kotchman has been collecting some multi-hit games this week.  He hit .455 (10 for 22) with 4 Runs, 2 Doubles, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 Walks and even a Stolen Base. 

I couldn’t choose just one here so we’ll call it a tie with Mark Reynolds. Last week Reynolds hit the stuffing out of the ball going 7 for 24 (.292) with 7 Runs, a Double, 3 HRs, 3 Walks, 9 RBI.  Like Kotchman, Reynolds also stole a base.

Middle Infielder
Cristian Guzman - Guzman has been red hot lately.  He also had a pair of 3 hit games last week.  He went 10 for 25 (.400) with 5 Runs, a Double, 2 Triples, 1 HR, 1 Walk, and 4 RBI.

Ryan Ludwick – Ryan was Cardinals Red Hot last week going 6 for 16 (.375) with 3 Runs, 1 Double, 3 HR, 2 Walks, and 7 RBI.  He’s homered in three straight games.

 | Posted by | Categories: MLB | Tagged: Fantasy Baseball Weekly Wonders |

Sunday, April 13th
Paul Konerko
went 2 for 5 a Grand Slam (5 RBIs total).  Joe Crede also hit a Grand Slam.  with Corey Hart went 4 for 5.  Gabe Kapler, Brian Schneider, Chipper Jones, Lastings Milledge, Derrek Lee, Cody Ross, Howie Kendrick, Casey Kotchman, Jeff Mathis, Clint Barnes (4 RBI),  Garrett Atkins, Matt Holliday, Stephen Drew, and Chris Snyder each had three hits.  

Brian Bannister threw a complete game three-hitter, allowing 1 run, to improve to 3-0 with a 0.86 ERA.  Cliff Lee pitched 8 innings giving up 1 hit while striking out 8.  He improved to 2-0 on the season with a 0.61 ERA.  Tom Gorzelanny threw 6-1/3 innings giving up 1 run and picking up the victory.  Jeff Nieman went 6 innings with 5 K’s allowing just 1 run to earn a victory.  Javier Vazquez threw 7 shutout innings with 9 Ks.  Wandy Rodriguez pitched 7 strong innings allowing 1 run and striking out 7 for his first victory of the year.  Tim Lincecum went 6 innings allowing 2 runs to earn his second victory.  He struck out 11.  Greg Maddux (5 shutout innings) won the pitchers’ duel with Chad Billingsley (5 innings, 1 run, 8 Ks).

Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.

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Saturday, April 12th
Jeff Francoeur
decided Saturday was a night for fighting as he bashed Washington pitching with 3 hits, 2 HR & 7 RBI.  Brian McCann, Cristian Guzman, Justin Upton (4 RBI), Chris Duncan, Fred Lewis, Mark Loretta, James Loney, Andre Ethier, Casey Kotchman, Howie Kendrick, and Matt Stairs each had three hits. 

Roy Halladay
threw a complete game six-hitter.  He allowed 1 run and struck out 6.  Chicago White Sox’s Gavin Floyd gave up 1 hit in 7-1/3 shutout innings.  He struck out 4 Tigers.  John Smoltz allowed 1 run in 6 innings while striking out 5.  Dan Haren gave up 1 run in 6 innings while striking out 7.  Brandon Backe pitched 5 shutout innings.  Cole Hamels pitched 7 innings of one-hit ball without allowing a run and picking up 5 Ks.  Boof Bosner pitched 6 scoreless innings stiking out 4 batters.  Daniel Cabrera (6 innings, 1 run ) and Jason Hammel (7 innings, 2 runs, 6 Ks) were involved in a pitchers’ duel.  Derek Lowe threw 8 innings of 4 hit/1 run baseball picking up 6 K’s along the way.  Carlos Silva churned out 8 more innings allowing 3 runs to pick up his 2nd victory.

Photos courtesy of Icon SMI.

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Photo courtesy of TSN Archives/Icon SMI

Wiltfongjr, a friend of mine from Sporting News, wanted me to profile John Franco.  Here are my findings. 

Image courtesy of Icon SMI

The Numbers
.508 Winning %
2.89 ERA (League ERA 3.96)
975 Strikeouts
1119 Games
424 Saves (4th All-time)
774 Games Finished (2nd All-time)

Playoffs: 15 Games, 2-0, 1 Save, 1.88 ERA, 14-1/3 Innings, 10 Ks

1988 & 1990 Rolaids Relief Awards
2001 Lou Gehrig Memorial Award
4 All-Star Appearances
Cy Young Votes in 1 Seasons
MVP Votes in 2 Seasons

Top Ten Finishes
Winning % – Once
Games – Four times
Saves – Twelve times (Led league in 1988, 1990, 1994)
Games Finished – Nine times (Led league in 1987 & 1988)
Starts – Eight times
Innings – Five times (Led league in 1982 & 1984)

When I first thought of Franco, I figured he was a lock.  He’s 4th all-time in Saves, and 2nd in Games Finished.  He had eight 30 Save seasons, but never a 40.  That made me think maybe he wasn’t quite worthy.  His Adjusted ERA (ERA compared to the league), though, brings him back in the conversastion.  He has the 19th best adjusted ERA of all-time.  Not among closers, among all pitchers.  The guys behind him are Bruce Sutter, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Cy Young, Lee Smith, Sandy Koufax, Goose Gossage, and countless others.  I’m kind of on the fence here.  I say until Lee Smith gets in, I don’t even want to hear his name.  However, if forced to choose now, I’d say no.  He only made four All-Star teams and only led the league in Saves three times.  To me, he was always one of the best closers in the game, but not quite one of the very best.

Baseball Reference

Past Chronicles
Bert Byleven
Andre Dawson
Dale Murphy
Mark McGwire
Bobby Matthews
Tommy John
Buck O’Neill & Minnie Minoso
Jim Rice
Ted Simmons
Lee Smith
Jack Morris
Al Oliver
Steve Garvey
Jim Kaat
Pete Ro$e
Shoeless Joe Jackson
Dave Concepcion
Lou Whitaker
Alan Trammell
Ron Santo
Ron Guidry
Gil Hodges
Dave Parker
Tony Mullane
Keith Hernandez
Don Mattingly
Dwight Evans
Ralph Houk (Manager)
Jimmie Dykes (Player/Manager)
Charlie Grimm (Player/Manager)
Billy Martin (Player/Manager)
Harold Baines
Gene Mauch (Manager)
Whitey Herzog (Manager)
Tom Kelly (Manager)
Joe Carter
Rusty Staub
Gary Gaetti
Jimmy Ryan
George Van Haltren
Roger Maris
Lance Parrish
Mo Vaughn
Mark Grace
Dennis Martinez
Chuck Finley
Fred McGriff
Wes Parker
Steve Finley
Orlando Cepeda
Albert Belle
Willie Randolph
Graig Nettles
Luis Gonzalez
Lefty O’Doul
Rocky Colavito
Boog Powell
Jerry Koosman
Mike Cuellar
Edgar Martinez
Brooks Robinson
Roberto Alomar
Dave Stieb

 | Posted by | Categories: Cooperstown Chronicles, MLB |

Friday, April 11th
Carlos Pena
brought the pain Friday night with 2 HR & 6 RBI.  Bobby Crosby, B.J. Upton, Nathan Haynes, Vernon Wells, Mike Jacobs, Matt Tolbert, Raul Ibanez (including a pair of HRs), Kevin Kouzmanoff, Rafael Furcal, Juan Pierre, and Skip Schumaker each had three hits.  Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols each drove in 4 runs.  Jeremy Hermedia hit a pair of HRs.

Chien-Ming Wang
threwa complete game two-hitter.  He allowed just 1 run while striking out 3.  Clay Buchholz pitched well allowing 1 run in 6 innings.  Nelson Figueroa allowed 2 runs in 6 inning while collecting 6 Ks.  Neither factored into the decision, but Cincy’s Edison Volquez (5 innings) and Paul Maholm (5-1/3) kept the scoreboard blank in their duty.  Tim Hudson fired 8 shutout innings allowing just 3 hits with 5 Ks.  Matt Chico did his best to match (8 innings, 1 run, 3 Ks), but came up short.  Livan Hernandez improved to 3-0 following 7 shutout innings for the Twins.  Brandon Webb went 8 innings allowing 2 runs on 4 hits with 6 Ks.

Photos courtesy of Icon SMI.

 | Posted by | Categories: MLB |

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