Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Streaking

When you post an article every day, it becomes tougher and tougher to come up with witty, or even mildly amusing titles, so for that, I apologize.  The only true streaking occurred weeks ago at Citifield.  Authorities are still trying to figure out who that mysterious streaker might have been.  Initial evidence points to a rehabbing Billy Wagner, on serious pain killers and excited by the high outfield fences.

Yesterday was a pretty entertaining day of baseball, all the same.  First, there are few things better than baseball running from 1pm through the late evening on a day off.  If you argue with that, you are no friend of mine.  Second, we had all kinds of record-nearing occurrences that made every game worth watching until the last pitch was thrown.

The Cleveland Indians, yes, those very same Indians that have been getting clobbered all season long, scored 7 runs in the 9th inning to beat the Tampa Bay Rays 11-10!  Is this the start of a 35-game winning streak that catapults Cleveland within a few games of first place in the AL Central?  Probably not.  But, it was still a great win for a piss-poor team.

Chris Carpenter and Yovani Gallardo dueled to a scoreless tie after 8 full innings, Carpenter taking a perfect game into the 7th.  Milwaukee won it in the 10th in a Bill Hall walkoff base hit to the right-centerfield gap.  

The Houston Astros gave up 8 unearned runs, and lost 8-5.  You do the math.

The White Sox beat the Angels 17-3.  Ervin Santana went 1+ and allowed 7 of those 17.  The Angels pen surrendered the other 10.  Every Angels pitcher gave up at least 1 run, and 5 Sox batters had multiple-RBI games.

The San Diego Padres came from 6 back to beat the D'backs in extra inning and extend their winning streak to 10 games!  The Dodgers scored 7 and 8 runs in two separate innings, and bludgeoned the Rockies 16-6.  It's pretty clear, this Memorial Day we must also mourn the bullpens of the Diamondbacks, Rockies, and Rays.  Yikes.

And the Cubbies.  Oh, the Cubbies.  Another day, another pathetic loss, this time at home at the hands of the mighty Pittsburgh Pirates.  The Cubs finally scored a few runs, so at least there was a microthin silver lining, but this defeat makes 8 in a row, and suddenly the pre-season favorite to win the NL Central is 1 game under .500, and in 4th place.  Is this the year?

From a fantasy perspective, you might have thought there'd be more to cover, but we're starting to hit that point in the season where new players aren't emerging on a daily basis.  Here are two key notes from a jam-packed Memorial Day:

MATT CAPPS - Capps was struck by a line drive on his pitching elbow, and had to come out of the game.  If you recall, earlier this season we tried to pick up a replacement closer for the Pirates, but learned a valuable lesson: the Pirates don't win games, so they don't need a closer.  Don't waste a roster spot trying to guess on which awful setup man might get 2 save opportunities, and focus instead on shoring up other sections of your team.

CHRIS CARPENTER - The world mustn't forget that this guy was a Cy Young Award winner when he was healthy.  Unfortunately, health only seems to last for 1-2 weeks at a time for Carpenter, but hey, if you can get 10-15 scoreless innings in those 1-2 weeks, it's worth it.  Carpenter is almost surely already on someone else's team, but you might as well take 2 minutes and check to make sure before you just assume he's gone.

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