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”


Kansas City Hands Baltimore Their First Inter-Division Series Loss

sabesAugust 25: Kansas City 3, Baltimore 2 (10 innings)

Starters Bret Saberhagen and Jack Powell both gave up two runs in the first inning and then settled into eight straight innings of swapping zeroes. With Powell still pitching, the Royals finally broke the stalemate in the top of the 10th on singles by Willie Wilson, John Mayberry, and Mike Sweeney. Greg Holland took over for Saberhagen in the bottom of the 10th and had runners on the corners with just one out but struck out the next two batters.

                    R  H BB
KC  200 000 000 1 - 3 11  2
BAL 200 000 000 0 - 2  8  6

HR: G. Sisler (7)

starters        IP  R ER HR BB SO
B. Saberhagen  9.0  2  2  1  5  3  
J. Powell     10.0  3  3  0  2  4 

KC 65-63, BAL 68-59

August 26: Kansas City 9, Baltimore 8

The next day’s starters both got walloped for six runs apiece, and both bullpens coughed up some more runs. A Brooks Robinson error in the top of the ninth helped the Royals go up by two runs, and Wade Davis was barely able to make it hold up in the bottom of the frame. George Brett led the way for the victors with a single, double, and triple. It was his third straight game with a three-bagger.

This was Baltimore’s ninth inter-division series, and the first one that they didn’t win.

                  R  H BB
KC  000 301 302 - 9 11  7
BAL 000 420 011 - 8 14  5
HR: none

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
D. Jackson  4.2  6  6  0  2  0  
H. Howell   6.1  6  6  0  3  1 

KC 66-63, BAL 68-60

August 27: Baltimore 10, Kansas City 6

A couple of lefty starters got blasted in the finale. Bud Black gave up five runs right out of the gate, three of which came on an Adam Jones dinger. Lefty Stewart made his Rhubarb debut as the Orioles try to find a starter to take over for Urban Shocker, who has had a miserable season. Stewart’s fielders made it tough and wildly threw and punted the ball around the field on the way to five unearned runs scoring against him. But those same position players also backed Stewart with a 10-run offensive barrage to make up for it.

Baltimore claimed four of six from KC this season.

                   R  H BB
KC  002 301 000 -  6 10  7
BAL 500 221 00x - 10 12  6
HR: A. Jones (13)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
B. Black    3.0  7  7  1  5  0  
L. Stewart  5.2  6  1  0  4  1 

KC 66-64, BAL 69-60

New-Look Kansas City Wins Series v. Texas

Brett George 2401.81 NBL

August 22: Kansas City 10, Texas 5

KC entered the series in second place in the Expansion Division, but Seattle has been widening their lead lately. Manager Ned Yost decided it was time to make a couple of changes to try to jolt a little more life into the Royals’ pursuit of the division title, and made the tough decision to replace Frank White at second base with Jose Offerman. “Frank is such a big part of this team, I hate to take him off the field. But we’ve got to find a way to score some more runs, and we think Jose can help us do that,” explained Yost before the game.

White has been a defensive whiz at second as expected, but he’s also been by far the worst every-day hitter in the league. His wOBA sits at .223. The second worst wOBA in the league by a qualified hitter is Sherm Lollar of Chicago’s .261. Offerman should provide more offense than White, but has poor range in the field.

Yost also made a change in the rotation and installed Bud Black in what had been a struggling Mark Gubicza’s spot. Both moves looked brilliant in the series opener. Black allowed just one earned run in 5.2 innings, and Offerman drilled an RBI single in his first plate appearance of the season. Offerman added a double and another single later in the game and handled several chances at second with no problems.

The Royals put on a rare display of power, crushing six doubles and three homers. George Brett had his best day of the season with a single, two doubles, and a dinger.

                   R  H BB
TEX 100 001 021 -  5 10  4
KC  400 120 21x - 10 17  3
HR: M. Hargrove (9), R. Palmeiro (21),
J. Mayberry (20), G. Brett (6), D. Tartabull (22)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
F. Jenkins  4.0  6  6  1  2  1  
B. Black    5.2  2  1  0  4  2 

TEX 57-68, KC 63-62

August 23: Texas 4, Kansas City 3

Runs were harder to come by in the second game for both teams. KC starter Jose Rosado handed a 3-2 lead to the bullpen. The flip-side of the Royals new second baseman reared its head in the top of the eighth when a Josh Hamilton groundball that White would have scooped scooted past Offerman for a single. Darrell Porter compounded the fielding problems with an error two batters later that allowed Julio Franco to reach. A-Rod and Rafael Palmeiro drove in Hamilton and Franco to take the lead for good.

George Brett tripled in his first plate appearance of the game, giving him the meaningless but rare distinction of hitting for the cycle over five consecutive plate appearances bridging two games.

                  R  H BB
TEX 010 001 020 - 4  6  3
KC  100 200 000 - 3 10  1

HR: A. Oliver (5), J. Hamilton (16)

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
C. Hough   7.0  3  3  0  1  1  
J. Rosado  6.0  2  2  2  1  4 

TEX 58-68, KC 63-63

August 24: Kansas City 2, Texas 1

Then the runs really dried up in the finale as Yu Darvish and Kevin Appier dueled. The Royals managed just three hits in the game, but in the bottom of the second, Danny Tartabull led off with a walk, Alex Gordon followed with a double, and Willie Wilson drove them both in with his 128th single.

                  R H BB
TEX 010 000 000 - 1 6  3
KC  020 000 00x - 2 3  2

HR: none

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
Y. Darvish   7.0  2  2  0  2  6  
K. Appier    7.0  1  1  0  3  5 

TEX 58-69, KC 64-63

Kansas City Falls To .500 After Dropping Series In Toronto

delgadoAugust 19: Toronto 9, Kansas City 3

John Mayberry launched a first-inning homer and the Royals had a 2-0 lead before the Blue Jays offense exploded in the third, fourth, and fifth innings against Kevin Appier and Dan Quisenberry. In just those three innings, Toronto collected four walks, five singles, three doubles, and a Carlos Delgado dinger.

                  R  H BB
KC  101 000 001 - 3  7  4
TOR 002 340 00x - 9 12  8
HR: J. Mayberry (19), C. Delgado (24)

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
K. Appier  3.2  5  5  1  6  4  
D. Stieb   8.0  3  2  1  4  6 

KC 61-61, TOR 51-69

August 20: Toronto 6, Kansas City 4

A Mike Sweeney two-run blast helped KC to a 4-1 lead after six innings. Starter Bret Saberhagen got in trouble in the bottom of the seventh when the first three Blue Jays got hits and they scored one run. Greg Holland came in and saved Sabes’s bacon by not allowing either of the two inherited runners to score.

Wade Davis took over in the eighth inning to protect KC’s 4-2 lead, but Delgado homered and Shawn Green and Tony Fernandez both doubled to tie it up against Davis in the frame.

Jeff Montgomery took over the bottom of the ninth and it went bad quickly. Jose Bautista led off with a double, and the next two Blue Jays walked to load the bases with no outs. After a Delgado strikeout, Green smacked a walk-off single, his third hit of the day.

                  R  H BB
KC  000 220 000 - 4  9  3
TOR 000 100 122 - 6 10  5
HR: M. Sweeney (10), C. Delgado (25)

starters        IP  R ER HR BB SO
B. Saberhagen  6.0  2  2  0  3  6  
J. Guzman      7.0  4  4  1  2  4 

KC 61-62, TOR 52-69

August 21: Kansas City 1, Toronto 0

Danny Jackson gave the Royals the start they needed to salvage the finale. He was lights-out and recorded his second shut-out of the year. He needed to be almost perfect since the KC offense could only scrape together one run, plated on singles by George Brett, Hal McRae, and Danny Tartabull in the seventh.

The Royals are still in second place, but have fallen to .500 and are five games back from Seattle.

                  R H BB
KC  000 000 100 - 1 6  0
TOR 000 000 000 - 0 5  2
HR: none

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
D. Jackson    9.0  0  0  0  2  5  
R. Halladay   7.0  1  1  0  0  5 

KC 62-62, TOR 52-70



Glaus Drops Bombs, Anaheim Win Streak Hits 7 With Sweep In Kansas City


August 16: Anaheim 9, Kansas City 5

Jered Weaver wasn’t in top form, but he didn’t need to be thanks to the support he got from his offense. Tim Salmon led the charge with three singles and a walk, and Brian Downing, Rod Carew, and Jim Fregosi all reached safely thrice. John Mayberry did what he could for KC with two walks, a single, and a double, but his ‘mates didn’t make much noise outside of a Danny Tartabull solo job.

                  R  H BB
ANA 002 010 150 - 9 14  6
KC  010 001 300 - 5  9  3
HR: T. Glaus (19), D. Tartabull (21)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Weaver   6.1  4  4  1  3  2  
D. Jackson  7.0  4  1  0  6  4 

ANA 48-71, KC 61-58

August 17: Anaheim 5, Kansas City 4

KC starter Mark Gubicza had a bad fourth inning that started with back-to-back walks, a single, and a wild pitch. Troy Glaus knocked him out of the game in the fifth inning with a homer that gave Anaheim a one-run lead. The Royals couldn’t answer as Kelvim Escobar, Bryan Harvey, and Troy Percival shut them down from there.

                  R H BB
ANA 000 320 000 - 5 9  5
KC  030 100 000 - 4 8  3

HR: T. Glaus (20)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
K. Escobar  7.0  4  4  0  3  1  
M. Gubicza  4.1  5  5  1  4  2 

ANA 49-71, KC 61-59

August 18: Anaheim 7, Kansas City 1

The Angels made it seven straight wins and 10 victories in their last 12 games with a no-drama finale. Frank Tanana followed up a shutout last time out with a complete game, one-run performance. Tanana has yielded two runs in his last 30.2 innings pitched.

Troy Glaus made it four homers and seven hits for the series with a two-dong, one single day. The third baseman is third in the league and leads the Expansion Division with a Ruthian .242 ISO. (It is literally similar to Ruth’s .245.)

The Angels surge has come too late for them to dream about competing for the division title, but they are suddenly in a tight group of teams between third and sixth places after they had looked like a mortal lock to finish a distant last for most of the season. Anaheim has now won nine of their last 10 games against KC, and actually has a slightly better run differential for the season despite somehow being 11 games behind the Royals.

                  R  H BB
ANA 010 210 210 - 7 11  2
KC  000 000 010 - 1  7  2

HR: T. Hunter (10), T. Glaus-2 (22),
J. Fregosi (11), F. White (4)

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
F. Tanana  9.0  1  1  1  2  4  
B. Black   4.0  4  4  3  0  0 

ANA 50-71, KC 61-60


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


New York Wins First Two, Kansas City Pulls Out Incredible Finale

August 10: New York 9, Kansas City 2

Waite Hoyt matched his best line of the season in a strong complete game. Things really blew up in the top of the eighth when Bernie Williams crushed a grand slam against Kelvin Herrera.

                 R  H BB
NY 210 000 060 - 9 10  2
KC 000 001 001 - 2  7  1

HR: J. DiMaggio (9), B. Williams (8), A. Rodriguez (16)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
W. Hoyt     9.0  2  2  0  1  1  
D. Jackson  7.0  3  3  1  0  4 

NY 58-54, KC 58-56

August 11: New York 6, Kansas City 1

Lefty Gomez then matched his best line of the year with a strong complete game and the Yanks bats found the going fairly easy against Mark Gubicza.

                 R H BB
NY 130 002 000 - 6 8  3
KC 000 000 010 - 1 5  1

HR: D. Jeter (6)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
L. Gomez    9.0  1  1  0  1  4  
M. Gubicza  5.0  6  5  1  3  2 

NY 59-54, KC 58-57

August 12: Kansas City 4, New York 3 (15 innings)

After those two yawners, the teams played an instant classic in the finale. A Tony Lazzeri error in the third helped KC to a 1-0 lead, and Jose Rosado had a no-hitter going after five innings. Lou Gehrig led off the top of the sixth by reaching on a Frank White error, and Babe Ruth followed it up with a dinger to give New York a 2-1 lead on their first hit of the day.

Pitching for both sides was great, and the score was still tied 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth with starter Ray Caldwell still going when Hal McRae led it off with a walk. Kevin Seitzer followed that with a single that pushed McRae to third, and Caldwell got yanked for Mariano Rivera, who got the first out with a strikeout of Alex Gordon. Then Darrell Porter came up huge with a slow fielder’s choice that allowed McRae to race home to tie the game.

The bullpens were both filthy as the game went on and on. The KC bullpen never did allow an earned run in their 7.2 innings. The stalemate finally broke in the top of the 15th in a supremely disappointing way–Willie Wilson and McRae both made errors to help Lou Gehrig come around to put the Yanks up 3-2.

Sparky Lyle had pitched scoreless frames in the 13th and 14th, and came back out to try to end things in the bottom of the 15th. Alcides Escobar led off with a single, and then came up huge with a gutsy steal of second against Yogi Berra on a 1-15 chance. Freddie Patek then rolled into what would have been a double-play ball had Escobar not stolen but instead was just the first out of the inning. Wilson followed with a walk, and John Mayberry followed with a flyout to make it two on and two out, Yanks still up 3-2. Luckily for KC, George Brett stood in the batter’s box, and he brought the house down by slashing an RBI single to tie it up. McRae then atoned for his error in the top of the inning with a walk-off single.

Lou Gehrig was awfully quiet in the series, including an 0-for-7 in the finale, and shaved eight points off his wOBA. Chicago’s Joe Jackson is now just .008 behind Gehrig’s league-leading .420 wOBA. (Thanks to the Iron Horse’s durability, his lead in total runs created is still massive.)

                         R  H BB
NY 000 002 000 000 001 - 3  7  6
KC 001 000 001 000 002 - 4 11  5
HR: B. Ruth (26)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
R. Caldwell  8.0  2  1  0  4  3  
J. Rosado    7.1  2  1  1  3  2 

NY 59-55, KC 59-57