New York Takes A Sometimes Ugly Series In Boston

July 22: Boston 3, New York 2

Tris Speaker and Carl Yastrzemski combined for seven of Boston’s 10 hits. The Yankees made the Sox nervous in the eighth and ninth. New York loaded the bases around two outs in the eighth, at which point Jonathan Papelbon relieved starter Smoky Joe Wood and got Derek Jeter to ground out. Then in the ninth, Charlie Keller and Bill Dickey both doubled and Babe Ruth singled to get the Yankees within a run and put runners on second and third with two outs. Papelbon got out of the jam again, this time with a fly out by Robinson Cano.

                  R  H BB
NY  000 000 101 - 2  8  6
BOS 100 001 10x - 3 10  2

HR: none

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
R. Caldwell  7.0  3  3  0  2  3  
S.J. Wood    7.2  1  1  0  6  2 

NY 50-44, BOS 59-35


July 23: New York 8, Boston 6

There were three big swings of the score in this battle of Clemens v. Clemens. First the Yankees beat up on the far-superior-on-paper Boston Clemens for four runs in the first two innings.

New York Clemens looked sharp for three innings until suddenly looking like a little leaguer in the fourth. Six straight Red Sox reached, including a Ted Williams triple and Jimmie Foxx bomb. Clemens got yanked in favor of Herb Pennock. The BoSox had taken a 5-4 lead, and they tacked on another run in the fifth to make it 6-4.

A Lou Gehrig homer in the seventh cut Boston’s lead back to one, and Derek Lowe took the hill in the eighth trying to protect the narrow lead, but allowed four straight baserunners and was pulled without recording an out after he hit Jeter with the bases loaded to tie the game. Papelbon came in again to try to get out of Lowe’s mess, but two more of Lowe’s runners came around to score to claim the final lead change of the game for New York.

Don Mattingly made his Rhubarb debut. I didn’t even have a Mattingly card made prior to this series, but Joe DiMaggio was due for a rest in this game, which typically has meant Bernie Williams would slide in as the DH. But Williams is pretty average against righties, and, I thought to myself, surely the Yankees have a better option somewhere on their eligible roster. After poking around a little bit, it looked like Mattingly was the best option, so I whipped up a card for him. (Dave Righetti was dropped from the 25-man to make room.) Mattingly is a defensive improvement over Gehrig at first, so for the first time all season, someone besides Larrupin’ Lou manned the initial sack for New York and Gehrig took the DH spot. Mattingly was 2-for-4 with a walk and a double, and Gehrig didn’t seem to mind not playing defense as he went 2-for-4 with a walk and a dong.

                  R  H BB
NY  130 000 130 - 8 11  6
BOS 000 510 000 - 6 13  4

HR: L. Gehrig (25), R. Cano (10), J. Foxx (12)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
R. Clemens  3.1  5  5  1  3  2  
R. Clemens  7.0  5  5  2  3  7 

51-44, BOS 59-36

July 24: New York 11, Boston 7

This one was just kind of a nightmare. The great Pedro Martinez was terrible in the top of the first, and Gehrig and Ruth went yard back-to-back. The first six Yankees reached safely before Martinez found a modicum of command and got out of the inning. Pedro then reeled off four shutout innings as his teammates piled up runs against Bob Shawkey (and his errant fielders) to take a 7-4 lead.

The top of the the fifth started normally enough for Pedro as he got two quick ground outs. Then A-Rod drew a walk and Derek Jeter singled, but no problem because the next batter, Mickey Mantle, rolled a grounder to first baseman Jimmie Foxx…but Foxx was flummoxed and couldn’t get a grip on the ball. A-Rod scored to make it a 7-5 Boston lead. Still quite workable for Pedro and Boston. But that Foxx error seemed to cause a rip in the space-time continuum, and suddenly Pedro was useless. Charlie Keller singled, Gehrig singled, Ruth walked, Bill Dickey singled, and the Yanks were up 9-7 and Pedro was out of the game. Before the inning was over, seven unearned runs had been charged to Pedro.

DiMaggio was available to return to the Yankee lineup in this one, but as much as he has struggled this season (.301 wOBA), and as good as Mattingly and the whole lineup looked the day before, DiMaggio stayed on the bench and Mattingly got another start at first and smacked a couple singles. Manager Joe McCarthy wouldn’t commit to anything, but don’t be surprised if Mattingly keeps taking away playing time from DiMaggio against righty starters.

Boston leads the season series against New York 7-4.

                   R  H BB
NY  400 007 000 - 11 14  5
BOS 223 000 000 -  7 10  4

HR: L. Gehrig (26), B. Ruth (22)

starters      IP   R ER HR BB SO
B. Shawkey   3.0   7  3  0  2  0  
P. Martinez  5.2  11  4  2  4  3 

NY 52-44, BOS 59-37

Alou Crushes Four Homers In Houston Series Win In Kansas City

alouJuly 22: Houston 6, Kansas City 4

Moises Alou was very rude to Mark Gubicza, blasting a two-run homer in the first inning and a three-run job in the second inning.

Willie Wilson tried to carry the Royals on his back with his finest day of a fine season. He singled thrice, stole second thrice, and collected his first four-bagger of the year on an inside-the-park sprint around the bases as the ball rattled around the expansive Kauffman Stadium outfield walls. He was involved in all four KC runs, scoring three and driving in two. Wilson leads the lead in singles and stolen bases, and leads the Expansion Division with a .315 batting average.

Roy Oswalt contained the rest of KC’s lineup enough to make Alou’s five RBI stand up.

                  R H BB
HOU 231 000 000 - 6 8  4
KC  101 200 000 - 4 9  2

HR: M. Alou-2 (18), W. Wilson (1)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
R. Oswalt   8.0  4  4  1  2  9  
M. Gubicza  7.0  6  5  2  4  5 

HOU 43-51, KC 49-46

July 23: Houston 13, Kansas City 3

Bud Black made a spot start to rest Jose Rosado’s arm, and it did not go well. Cesar Cedeno and Jeff Bagwell both took him deep as the Astros abused him for seven runs in 3.2 innings. Things got worse in the sixth inning when John Mayberry and Wilson both made errors and Alou crushed another dinger.

Alex Gordon smacked two doubles and a homer in KC’s losing effort.

                   R  H BB
HOU 020 515 000 - 13 14  6
KC  001 100 001 -  3  9  2

HR: J. Bagwell (20), M. Alou (19), C. Cedeno (11),
A. Gordon (5), D. Porter (8)

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
M. Scott   7.0  2  2  2  1  3  
B. Black   3.2  7  7  2  3  2

HOU 44-51, KC 49-47

July 24: Kansas City 11, Houston 5

Seven different hurlers pitched in this game, and every one of them gave up at least one earned run. Both starters were actually pretty good–J.R. Richard was decent for Houston, and Kevin Appier was on top of his game, and it was a low scoring and close affair through six innings.

Once the bullpens entered the game, things got a bit out of hand. Alou homered again, his fourth of the series, and a string of three Houston relievers had a devilish time trying to get out of the eighth inning as 11 Royals came to the plate and scored seven. George Brett crushed a grand slam and Darrell Porter a three-run homer in the inning.

                   R  H BB
HOU 010 000 013 -  5 13  1
KC  001 000 37x - 11 13  9

HR: M. Alou (20), G. Brett (5), D. Porter (9)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
J.R. Richard  6.1  3  3  0  5  3  
K. Appier     7.0  1  1  0  0  3 

HOU 44-52, KC 50-47

Minnesota Storms Back Late In Rubber Match To Take Series In Baltimore

walterJuly 22: Minnesota 7, Baltimore 0

Lest anyone was worried about Walter Johnson after he made his shortest outing of the year last time out, he got back to being Walter Johnson and shut out the strong Baltimore offense. All the Orioles not named Ken Singleton went 1-for-28 with zero walks. Singleton was scorching hot all series, and was perfect against Johnson with two walks, a single, and a double, but never could get around to score since his mates were all getting shut down.

Joe Cronin slapped two triples, and Mickey Vernon walked twice, singled, and homered.

                  R  H BB
MN  002 300 200 - 7 14  3
BAL 000 000 000 - 0  3  2

HR: M. Vernon (8)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
W. Johnson  9.0  0  0  0  2  5  
U. Shocker  6.2  7  4  1  3  1 

MN 51-43, BAL 52-42

July 23: Baltimore 6, Minnesota 4

The Twins’ first five batters of the fourth inning all reached safely, which brought an end to starter Johnny Niggeling’s day and gave Minnesota a 4-1 lead. After Niggeling’s short day, a string of four Orioles relievers (Hoyt Wilhelm, Stu Miller, Darren O’Day, and Zach Britton) were aces and kept the Twins off the scoreboard the rest of the way.

The Orioles drilled solo homers against Bert Blyleven in the third, fourth, and fifth to get within a run of Minnesota. Eddie Guardado, the Twins shutdown southpaw reliever, was on in the sixth and did not have his good stuff. Ken Williams made it four straight innings with a home run for Baltimore, but this time it was a three run jobbie to give Baltimore the winning runs.

                  R  H BB
MN  000 400 000 - 4  8  5
BAL 001 113 00x - 6 11  5

HR: K. Singleton (8), F. Robinson (19),
K. Williams (7), C. Ripken (7)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
B. Blyleven   5.1  3  3  3  2  4  
J. Niggeling  3.0  4  3  0  3  2 

MN 51-44, BAL 53-42

July 24: Minnesota 7, Baltimore 5

Minnesota’s Dutch Leonard got another start in what had been Jim Shaw’s spot in the rotation most of the year and it was rough going for Leonard this time out. The Orioles jumped him for five quick runs and Leonard was out after recording only six outs. Frank Robinson drove in four of the five against Leonard on two home runs.

Shaw himself came on in long relief and, wouldn’t you know it, was aces. Sort of. He somehow didn’t allow any runs in six innings of work, despite placing birds on bases with abandon. Shaw stranded 11 Orioles in his six innings, including leaving the bases loaded in three frames.

Jim Palmer was dandy for eight innings and handed over a 5-3 lead to Darren O’Day in the top of the ninth, but O’Day ran into a bunch of Minnesota hits and coughed up the lead. Mickey Vernon, Kirby Puckett, Joe Cronin, Joe Mauer, and Cecil Travis all roughed up O’Day with base hits and all of a sudden the Twins had won the series. Kirby Puckett had a big day with three doubles.

It wasn’t a good series for Baltimore, but it certainly wasn’t Ken Williams’ fault. He reached safely 11 times in 14 plate appearances, including two doubles a dinger. He rocketed up the leader boards to second in wOBA and runs created.

                  R  H BB
MN  011 000 104 - 7 11  0
BAL 212 000 000 - 5 13  6

HR: G. Goslin (2), F. Robinson-2 (21)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
D. Leonard  2.0  5  5  2  0  0  
J. Palmer   8.0  3  3  1  0  3 

MN 52-44, BAL 53-43

Oakland Sweeps Cleveland, Gets Complete Games From Southpaws Zito, Waddell, & Grove

July 19: Oakland 4, Cleveland 1

Less than three weeks ago, A’s starter Barry Zito was struggling along with a 6.27 ERA before he shocked the league with the only no-hitter thrown so far. He’s now made two starts since the no-hitter, and they’ve both gone extremely well, including this one run complete game against the Naps. His ERA has nose-dived to a much more palatable 4.87.

                  R H BB
OAK 030 100 000 - 4 6  4
CLE 000 100 000 - 1 6  5

HR: A. Simmons (14), J. Giambi (12)

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
B. Zito    9.0  1  1  0  5  4  
C. Kluber  7.0  4  4  2  4  7 

OAK 47-44, CLE 45-46

rubeJuly 20: Oakland 3, Cleveland 1

Rube Waddell has been solid as a rock all year in the Oakland rotation and made his fourth straight nine-inning start in this one. Vean Gregg also went the distance for Cleveland.

                  R H BB
OAK 011 000 001 - 3 7  2
CLE 000 000 010 - 1 5  2

HR: none

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
R. Waddell  9.0  1  1  0  2  7  
V. Gregg    9.0  3  3  0  2  6 

OAK 48-44, CLE 45-47

July 21: Oakland 6, Cleveland 2

Lefty Grove closed out the sweep with yet another complete game to keep the shaky Oakland bullpen completely out of the series. Jason Giambi clubbed just the third home run given up by Addie Joss all year.

Cleveland sputtered their way to only four runs in the three games and find themselves just a game out of the cellar.

                  R H BB
OAK 001 102 200 - 6 7  6
CLE 000 200 000 - 2 5  5

HR: J. Giambi (13)

starters   IP  R ER HR BB SO
L. Grove  9.0  2  2  0  5  3  
A. Joss   7.0  6  4  1  6  1 

OAK 49-44, CLE 45-48

Toronto Tries To Get Back On Track With Series Win In Texas

020210-Roberto-Alomar-11July 19: Toronto 4, Texas 2 (10 innings)

With Roy Halladay’s innings count creeping a little too high, Shaun Marcum made a spot start in his stead. Marcum drew a tough opponent in a particularly nasty Yu Darvish who recorded a season high 13 strikeouts, but Marcum traded zeroes with Darvish for the first six and a half innings. Texas finally opened the scoring in the bottom of the seventh on hits from A-Rod, I-Rod, and Mike Hargrove (M-Har?).

But then Darvish faltered in the top of the eighth when Jose Bautista and Fred McGriff drew back-to-back walks. Jon Wetteland relieved Darvish, and proceeded to walk the next two batters as well to force in Toronto’s first run. An RBI groundout by Shannon Stewart then tied the game, and Toronto put across the winning runs in the top of the 10th against Francisco Cordero. Carlos Delgado started things with a HBP, Lloyd Moseby doubled, and Roberto Alomar drove them both in with a single.

                    R H BB
TOR 000 000 020 2 - 4 7 10
TEX 000 000 200 0 - 2 6  2

HR: none

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
S. Marcum   6.2  2  2  0  2  2  
Y. Darvish  7.1  2  2  0  5 13 

TOR 41-51, TEX 40-52

July 20: Toronto 5, Texas 1

Jimmy Key was wheelin’ and dealin’, allowing just a solo homer in seven strong innings. Gerald Perry on the other hand had a hard time locating the strike zone. Two of the six batters he walked came around to score, and Jose Bautista took him to the seats.

                  R  H BB
TOR 002 020 100 - 5 11  6
TEX 001 000 000 - 1  5  2

HR: J. Bautista (15), F. Howard (13)

starters   IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Key    7.0  1  1  1  2  4  
G. Perry  7.0  5  3  1  6  0 

TOR 42-51, TEX 40-53

July 21: Texas 7, Toronto 3

The veteran version of Nolan Ryan that pitches for Texas seems to only get better as the season goes on. This was his first start of the year without allowing a walk, and there’s just not much stopping Ryan if he’s not handing out free passes. Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre also stepped up with big games to avoid a sweep. Hamilton sliced four singles, two RBI, two runs, and two stolen bases, and Beltre collected two singles and a dinger.

Doyle Alexander’s magical season finally hit a serious bump in the road as Texas slapped him around for seven runs in less than five innings. Seven earned runs was a season worst for Doyle.

Toronto had lost their last five series, going 3-13 in that stretch, before taking this set from Texas.

                  R  H BB
TOR 000 100 101 - 3  6  1
TEX 102 130 00x - 7 18  1

HR: A. Beltre (10)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
D. Alexander  4.2  7  7  1  0  0  
N. Ryan       6.0  1  1  0  0  8 

TOR 42-52, TEX 41-53

Chicago Keeps Cooking In New York, Has Won 18 of 21

July 19: New York 8, Chicago 0

Chris Sale’s great first half was thanks in large part to allowing few homers, and he seems to be regressing hard in that category lately, having given up six over his last three starts including two in this one.

NY starter Bob Shawkey regressed in the opposite direction after a miserable first half. He sliced and diced through the White Sox lineup in this one to record his first shutout of the season. Joe DiMaggio similarly had a monster game after a terrible season to date, smacking two singles, a triple, and a dinger.

                  R  H BB
CHI 000 000 000 - 0  4  3
NY  000 034 01X - 8 12  6

HR: J. Dimaggio (7), Y. Berra (6)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
C. Sale     5.2  7  7  2  4  3  
B. Shawkey  9.0  0  0  0  3  1 

CHI 48-43, NY 50-41


July 20: Chicago 9, New York 7

Waite Hoyt, New York’s only starter having a respectable season so far, had a good day on the mound and the Yanks took a 7-3 lead into the top of the ninth. Babe Ruth led the NY offense against a sub-par Eddie Cicotte with three base knocks.

But the White Sox stunned Ruth’s house with an out-of-nowhere comeback in the ninth. The four run lead was put in Goose Gossage’s care to start the ninth, but the Goose loaded the bases without recording an out. In came Mariano Rivera, who settled things down a bit with a shallow fly ball from Sherm Lollar to get the first out and keep the score 7-3. But Eddie Collins singled in two runs to make it 7-5, and then Minnie Minoso clutched super hard with a three run bomb to give the White Sox the go-ahead runs.

Mariano has one of the better looking pitcher cards, but is fighting it to the tune of a 4.23 ERA so far.

                  R  H BB
CHI 011 001 006 - 9 11  5
NY  010 003 300 - 7 10  5

HR: M. Minoso (3)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
E. Cicotte  6.2  6  6  0  4  3  
W. Hoyt     7.0  3  2  0  2  0 

CHI 49-43, NY 50-42

July 21: Chicago 5, New York 0

The Yankees looked like they were still stunned the next day as Ed Walsh hypnotized them into a shutout.

The White Sox did not drive an extra base hit all day, nor did they need to thanks to Lefty Gomez having trouble with his command. Gomez walked the first four batters of the game and was lucky to escape the first only two runs down. But another walk turned into a run the fifth, and the Sox singled their way to a couple of more late runs to take the series.

Chicago caught New York and Minnesota in a three-way tie for third place. The three teams are all scoring about as much as they are allowing on the season, though Minnesota is playing the lowest scoring games in the league, Chicago is right at average on runs scored and allowed, and New York is playing the highest scoring games around.

                  R  H BB
CHI 200 010 011 - 5 10  5
NY  000 000 000 - 0  6  1

HR: none

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
E. Walsh   9.0  0  0  0  1  3  
L. Gomez   7.1  4  4  0  5  1 

CHI 50-43, NY 50-43

Seattle Slugs Houston

arodJuly 19: Seattle 5, Houston 4

Seattle’s Felix Hernandez has had a maddening season after being expected to be the #1 starter. Luckily for Seattle, Randy Johnson, Jamie Moyer, and Freddy Garcia have all stepped up and been better than expected and pitching has been a strong suit for Seattle overall. But Hernandez has scuffled along to a 5.45 ERA coming into this game, when it looked like he was finally going to put together his first great game of the season.

Seattle’s offense backed up Hernandez with five runs, including a walk and two doubles by Edgar Martinez, plus a solo homer from Ken Griffey in the top of the ninth that looked pretty meaningless since it only stretched the Seattle lead from 4-0 to 5-0.

Hernandez took the hill in the bottom of the ninth with his first complete game and first shutout in his sights, but once again things didn’t come easily for Felix. Moises Alou and Lance Berkman started the bottom of the ninth with back-to-back singles. Bob Watson then grounded out, but Alou came home to spoil Hernandez’s shutout. Then Jim Wynn spoiled things even more with a two-run bomb, and all of a sudden Houston was within two runs with just one out.

Out came Felix, in came Arthur Rhodes, and it looked like even the victory was going to be spoiled for Felix. Art Howe singled, Dickie Thon grounded out for the second out, Morgan Ensberg walked, and Craig Biggio drove in Thon to get Houston within a run with runners on the corners. (Griffey’s homer did not look meaningless any longer.) Out came Rhodes, in came Michael Jackson, and Seattle breathed a sigh of relief with a fly-out from Jeff Bagwell. The win brought Seattle’s record to a game over .500.

                  R  H BB
SEA 001 010 201 - 5 12  6
HOU 000 000 004 - 4  8  3

HR: K. Griffey (18), J. Wynn (5)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
F. Hernandez  8.1  3  3  1  2  6  
J.R. Richard  6.2  4  3  0  5  4 

SEA 47-46, HOU 42-49

July 20: Seattle 4, Houston 2

It was lefty-on-lefty action with Randy Johnson and Mike Cuellar facing off. The Big Unit increased his already huge league lead in strikeouts by recording 10 more Ks–his ninth start reaching double digit strikeouts. He also walked six, including three in the seventh inning that loaded the bases and earned Johnson the hook though he was yet to allow a run. Two of those runs came around and were charged to Johnson, but the Seattle hitters were slugging against Cuellar. Ichiro Suzuki scored after leading off the game with a triple, and Alex Rodriguez drove a two-run bomb for the winning runs in the sixth.

                  R H BB
SEA 110 002 000 - 4 6  5
HOU 000 000 200 - 2 5  7
HR: A. Rodriguez (20)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
R. Johnson  6.2  2  2  0  6 10  
M. Cuellar  6.0  4  4  1  3  3 

SEA 48-46, HOU 42-50

July 21: Seattle 5, Houston 3

Then the Mariners really brought out the lumber in the finale. Martinez, Griffey, and A-Rod all took Nolan Ryan deep in the first five innings. Jamie Moyer’s charmed season continued on the hill for Seattle as well. The M’s are on a 16-4 run that has them nipping at the heels of the division leading Royals.

                  R H BB
SEA 021 020 000 - 5 6  7
HOU 001 001 010 - 3 9  0
HR: E. Martinez (9), K. Griffey (19),
A. Rodriguez (21), J. Bagwell (19)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Moyer    7.0  2  2  1  0  3  
N. Ryan     4.1  5  5  3  4  5 

SEA 49-46, HOU 42-51