Babe Hits For Cycle – Again!, Oakland Amazes, and Full Action From Around The League For Aug. 28-30

New York Wins 2 of 3 in Minnesota
August 28: New York 8, Minnesota 4
August 29: New Yor 20, Minnesota 3
August 30: Minnesota 2, New York 1

The Yanks won the first two games of the set on the strength of mammoth hitting. In game one, Minnesota starter George Mogridge made his Rhubarb debut and performed admirably for his seven innings of work and handed the bullpen a 4-3 lead. Joe Nathan quickly coughed up the lead in the top of the eighth on a two-run Derek Jeter jack, and Joe DiMaggio added a three-run dagger to the seats in the ninth. Lou Gehrig tacked on three more hits and a walk to his ludicrous season totals. Dellin Betances made an appearance from the New York bullpen to become the first player in the Rhubarb to take the field with 2017 stats factored into his card.

In game two, the biggest offense in the league had their biggest offensive game of the season as a string of Minnesota hurlers got bashed. Gehrig reached four times again and knocked his 33rd dong, and Babe Ruth collected his and the league’s second cycle of the season. The Babe first pulled the trick on May 13th in Seattle. Ruth singled in the first against Dutch Leonard, flew out in the third against Leonard, launched a three-run homer in the fourth against Firpo Marberry, drove in two with a double in the fifth against Marberry, drew a walk in the seventh off Al Worthington, and collected his sixth RBI of the game with a triple off Rick Aguilera in the eighth.

The finale could not have been much different. Minny starter Camilo Pascual managed to hold the NY bats to one run in seven innings, and Eddie Guardado nailed down two shutout innings to make the Twins’ two runs hold up.

Oakland’s Amazing Run Gains Momentum With Suffocating Sweep of Detroit
August 28: Oakland 3, Detroit 2 (16 inn.)
August 29: Oakland 3, Detroit 0
August 30: Oakland 7, Detroit 0

The Swingin’ A’s won their fifth straight series and are on a 17-4 roll that has them within two games of the division-leading Red Sox.

Detroit started the series in good shape, taking a 2-0 lead into the top of the eighth inning in game one. Starter Schoolboy Rowe made his season debut for the Tigers and did not allow an earned run in seven innings. But center gardener Al Kaline erred on a Bert Campaneris fliner to start the eighth, and the Tigers were doomed for the rest of the series. The two runs Detroit plated in the second inning of game one were the first and last they would score in the whole three-game, 34-inning series.

But game one was far from over after Campaneris reached in the eighth. Campy came around to score, and the A’s tied it up in the top of the ninth on the strength of a Jason Giambi walk and singles by Home Run Baker and Mickey Cochrane. The two bullpens dug in from there and it took seven extra innings to decide the competition. Oakland starter Chief Bender was strong for eight innings, and then Huston StreetDennis Eckersley, Rube Walberg, and Eddie Rommel came out of the Oakland pen for eight shut-down frames.

Dizzy Trout mowed down Oakland in the 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, and 15th and was still going in the 16th when Cochrane started it off with a single and Campaneris frozen-roped a triple to finally break the stalemate. In the bottom of the 16th, the Tigers got runners on the corners with just one out against Walberg, who was pulled in favor of Rommel. Rommel whiffed Hank Greenberg and grounded out Travis Fryman to end the saga.

Detroit looked dejected and done with their disappointing season in the next two games. Barry Zito twirled a shutout for the A’s in the middle game and Rube Waddell turned the same trick in game three. Jimmie Foxx provided fireworks on offense for Oakland with a homer in game two and three hits that included two doubles in game three.  Continue reading “Babe Hits For Cycle – Again!, Oakland Amazes, and Full Action From Around The League For Aug. 28-30”


Detroit Takes Series In Houston

August 25: Detroit 10, Houston 5

Lance Berkman, singled, launched two dingers, drove in three, and scored three, but Tigers starter George Uhle tamed the rest of the Houston lineup. Every Detroit hitter reached safely at least twice in the game. Norm Cash walked thrice and homered.

                   R  H BB
DET 102 112 210 - 10 13 12
HOU 202 000 001 -  5 10  3
HR: C. Gehringer (7), N. Cash (17),
A. Trammell (11), L. Berkman-2 (28)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
G. Uhle       9.0  5  3  2  3  4  
J.R. Richard  5.1  7  5  2  8  1 

DET 61-66, HOU 56-70

August 26: Houston 11, Detroit 3

The Astros launched six rockets in this one, three of them off the bat of Jim Wynn.

                   R  H BB
DET 012 000 000 -  3 12  3
HOU 012 101 33x - 11 14  2

HR: J. Morgan (2), L. Berkman (29), 
J. Wynn-3 (10), D. Thon (6)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
T. Bridges  5.0  5  5  4  1  1  
M. Cuellar  7.0  3  3  0  3  7 

DET 61-67, HOU 57-70

August 27: Detroit 7, Houston 5heilimann

The Tigers took the rubber match in part thanks to Harry Heilmann’s RBI triple in the first inning and solo jack in the ninth.

Lance Berkman had a bonkers series that launched him up to second most runs created in the league.

Detroit claimed four of the six meetings with Houston for the year.

                  R H BB
DET 100 301 011 - 7 9  5
HOU 000 031 001 - 5 9  5

HR: H. Heilmann (13)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
B. Donovan   6.0  4  4  0  4  0  
N. Ryan      6.0  5  4  0  3  6 

DET 62-67, HOU 57-71

Houston Shocks Minnesota With Sweep

August 22: Houston 6, Minnesota 2

Houston did not let Walter Johnson intimidate them and they put up six runs against him. Lance Berkman tagged one that was just the Big Train’s second home run given up all season.

Meanwhile, Nolan Ryan handled the Minnesotan offense. He pitched around seven walks by striking out eight and running into some good fortune when Harmon Killebrew lined into a triple play in the seventh.

                  R H BB
MN  000 020 000 - 2 5  7
HOU 020 010 03x - 6 9  3

HR: J. Cronin (4), L. Berkman (25)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
W. Johnson   7.0  6  4  1  3  6  
N. Ryan      8.0  2  2  1  7  8 

MN 68-56, HOU 54-69

August 23: Houston 9, Minnesota 0

Houston won even more handily the next day as the Houston bombers assaulted Bert Blyleven. Jeff Bagwell took him deep in the first, then the bottom of the third started with four straight hits for the ‘Stros and out came Blyleven. Moises Alou, Berkman, Bob Watson, Cesar Cedeno, Morgan Ensberg, and Johnny Edwards all had multi-hit games. Edwards was perfect with a walk and three hits in his four plate appearances.

Roy Oswalt painted the black and did not walk a soul in his seven innings.

                  R  H BB
MN  000 000 000 - 0  8  0
HOU 114 111 00x - 9 18  3
HR: J. Bagwell (24), M. Alou (25), L. Berkman (26)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
B. Blyleven  2.0  6  6  1  1  1  
R. Oswalt    7.0  0  0  0  0  4 

MN 68-57, HOU 55-69

scottAugust 24: Houston 6, Minnesota 2

It was more of the same in the finale. Craig Biggio had a three-hit day at the top of Houston’s lineup. Mike Scott walked zippo and went the distance on the hill in one of his finest performances of the year.

Houston took four of six from Minny this year.

                  R H BB
MN  000 020 000 - 2 7  0
HOU 003 102 00x - 6 8  5
HR: none

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Shaw    6.0  6  6  0  5  3  
M. Scott   9.0  2  2  0  0  4 

MN 68-58, HOU 56-69

Seattle Adds To Division Lead With Series Win Over Houston, Unit Records 200th K

unitAugust 19: Seattle 2, Houston 0

Starters Mike Scott and Randy Johnson were both wicked.

Houston back-up Adam Everett is one of the best fielding shortstops in the league, but he made a back-breaking error in the bottom of the third, after which Edgar Martinez drove in the only two runs of the game.

Johnson pitched his second shutout of the year, and gave up just three hits, all singles. And his 11 strikeouts, par for the course with Johnson, made him the first pitcher to reach 200 strikeouts on the season. The gem also boosted him to the ninth best ERA in the league.

                  R H BB
HOU 000 000 000 - 0 3  5
SEA 002 000 00x - 2 5  3
HR: none

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
M. Scott    6.2  2  0  0  3  6  
R. Johnson  9.0  0  0  0  5 11 

HOU 52-68, SEA 65-55

August 20: Houston 7, Seattle 6

After neither team managed an extra-base hit in the first game, the Houston bats exploded for five doubles, a Lance Berkman triple, and two homers.

                  R  H BB
HOU 200 021 200 - 7 12  6
SEA 030 100 020 - 6  9  3

HR: M. Alou (24), B. Watson (14)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
J.R. Richard  7.0  6  4  0  3  4  
E. Hanson     6.0  5  5  1  4  6 

HOU 53-68, SEA 65-56

August 21: Seattle 12, Houston 3

After two close games, the rubber match turned into a blow-out for the Mariners. Houston’s fielding was pernicious. They committed three errors in the first two innings that helped Seattle to five unearned runs, and some poor range piled on some more runs for Seattle later.

Edgar Martinez, Alvin Davis, and Phil Bradley all had three hits. Bradley was just a double short of the cycle when he came to the plate in the ninth, but he struck out.

Seattle’s lead in the Expansion Division grew to 4.5 games.

                   R  H BB
HOU 110 000 100 -  3  8  5
SEA 230 010 60X - 12 14  2

HR: K. Griffey, Jr. (24), P. Bradley (4)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
M. Cuellar   6.0  7  2  2  1  4  
F. Garcia    7.0  3  3  0  4  5 

HOU 53-69, SEA 66-56

A-Rod Homers in Each Game, Texas Sweeps Houston

arodAugust 16: Texas 4, Houston 0

Texas’s Nolan Ryan is in some kind of a zone and followed up his first shutout of the year with his second. He gave up just three hits, two walks, and struck out 10. Over his last seven starts he’s yielded a 1.29 ERA. A-Rod and Rafael Palmeiro took trips to Dongtown to back up Ryan’s masterpiece. Ryan’s 3.34 ERA for the season is third best in the Expansion Division.

                  R H BB
HOU 000 000 000 - 0 3  2
TEX 100 201 00x - 4 9  0

HR: A. Rodriguez (29), R. Palmeiro (20)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
M. Cuellar  6.0  4  4  2  0  8  
N. Ryan     9.0  0  0  0  2 10 

HOU 52-65

August 17: Texas 4, Houston 1

Houston’s Nolan Ryan was not nearly as effective as the Texas version, and Ferguson Jenkins took a turn as Houston bat-whisperer. A Bob Watson solo shot was the only thing that stood between Jenkins and a shutout. A-Rod homered again to tie Lou Gehrig at 30 atop the homerun leaders.

                  R H BB
HOU 000 100 000 - 1 6  4
TEX 000 200 20x - 4 8  3
HR: B. Watson (13), A. Rodriguez (30)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
N. Ryan     6.1  4  4  1  1  4  
F. Jenkins  9.0  1  1  1  4  6 

HOU 52-66, TEX 54-66

August 18: Texas 3, Houston 2

An Adrian Beltre error in the top of the sixth preceded a Craig Biggio walk and Jeff Bagwell double that drove in two unearned runs for Houston and tied the game. That was it for Houston scoring, meaning they totaled three runs in the series, and only one of them was earned.

Roy Oswalt was sharp on the mound for the ‘Stros to keep the game tied. Larry Anderson had relieved him and was pitching in the bottom of the ninth with A-Rod leading off for Texas. Anderson caught a little too much of the plate against the suddenly scalding hot Rodriguez, who launched the ball into the bleachers. It was his 11th dinger in the last 22 games. And as if walking off a sweep with a moonshot wasn’t dramatic enough on its own, the homer also put Rodriguez alone in first in the home run race.

Texas has owned Houston all season and is 15-5 against them. Luckily for Houston, they only meet for three more games.

                  R H BB
HOU 000 002 000 - 2 3  3
TEX 000 110 001 - 3 9  1

HR: A. Rodriguez (31), A. Beltre (12)

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
R. Oswalt  7.0  2  2  1  1  6  
C. Hough   7.1  2  0  0  3  4 

HOU 52-67, TEX 55-66

Kansas City Makes Quick Work of Houston

gordoAugust 14: Kansas City 5, Houston 2

Alex Gordon has been a valuable commodity as the fourth outfielder for Kansas City manager Ned Yost. “I never hesitate to put Gordo in the lineup if anybody needs a day off. He’s been incredibly sharp despite not getting in there on a consistent basis.”

In this game, regular outfielders Willie Wilson and Hal McRae were both due for a rest, so Carlos Beltran made a rare appearance as the team’s center-fielder and Gordon took over in left. Beltran contributed with two singles, a stolen base, and a RBI, and Gordon changed the whole complexion of the game with a three-run bomb in the third inning. Gordon also laced a single and swiped second to raise his wOBA to .343.

                  R H BB
KC  014 000 000 - 5 9  3
HOU 000 001 100 - 2 8  3

HR: A. Gordon (6)

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
K. Appier  6.2  2  2  0  2  4  
M. Scott   7.0  5  5  1  3  7 

KC 60-57, HOU 52-63

August 15: Kansas City 12, Houston 1

The pitching for the two sides couldn’t have been much different, as Bret Saberhagen and Dan Quisenberry mastered the strike zone and the Houston hitters. A Danny Tartabull error contributed to the only run the Astros scored.

A string of Houston hurlers couldn’t locate the strike zone all afternoon and walked or hit 10. Four of those free passes came with the bases loaded.

In the top of the sixth, the Royals had already taken four walks and a HBP in the inning before Larry Anderson managed to find the strike zone and grooved one in to Alcides Escobar, who punched a grand slam on just his second dinger of the year.

                   R H BB
KC  000 017 103 - 12 9 10
HOU 000 100 000 -  1 5  2

HR: A. Escobar (2)

starters        IP  R ER HR BB SO
B. Saberhagen  7.0  1  0  0  2  6  
J.R. Richard   5.0  5  5  0  3  3 

KC 61-57, HOU 52-64


Houston Wins Toronto Series With A Blowout and a Squeaker

thonAugust 10: Houston 13, Toronto 0

The opener was a laugher with Houston’s starter Mike Cuellar walking just one, allowing no extra base hits, and no runs in eight innings. The Houston batters were also on point. Alan Ashby reached safely thrice and the other eight Astros reached twice each. Lance Berkman homered for a third straight game.

                   R  H BB
HOU 220 230 130 - 13 16  3
TOR 000 000 000 -  0  7  1
HR: M. Alou (23), L. Berkman (24),
D. Thon (5)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
M. Cuellar   8.0  0  0  0  1  7  
R. Halladay  3.1  6  6  1  1  1 

HOU 51-61, TOR 49-63

August 11: Toronto 6, Houston 5

After that blowout, the teams went back-and-forth in this one. Jeff Bagwell tied it up with a solo dong in the top of the ninth before Shawn Green ended things with a solo dong in the bottom of the inning.

                  R  H BB
HOU 000 021 101 - 5 12  5
TOR 001 031 001 - 6  8  8

HR: J. Bagwell (23), C. Cedeno (12), S. Green (19)

starters   IP  R ER HR BB SO
N. Ryan   6.0  5  5  0  8  8  
J. Key    6.0  4  4  1  3  1 

HOU 51-62, TOR 50-63

August 12: Houston 5, Toronto 4

In another tight contest, Toronto left-fielder Shannon Stewart’s error on what could have been the third out in the fourth inning loomed large when Cesar Cedeno followed it with a two-RBI double.

Edwin Encarnacion slammed a pinch-hit dinger in the bottom of the ninth to get Toronto within a run, but Octavio Dotel pitched around it to complete the series win for Houston.

Houston’s glove-first shortstop Lil’ Dickie Thon has the ninth-lowest wOBA among qualified batters but busted out with the bat in this series, taking one walk and going 7-for-12 with three doubles and a homerun.

                  R H BB
HOU 000 230 000 - 5 9  4
TOR 030 000 001 - 4 8  4

HR: R. Mulliniks (6), E. Encarnacion (9)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
R. Oswalt     7.0  3  3  1  3  6  
D. Alexander  8.0  5  3  0  4  6 

HOU 52-62, TOR 50-64