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”


Toronto Continues Success Against Original Division With Wins v. Cleveland

August 25: Cleveland 15, Toronto 5

The Naps bats were explosive in the opener, led by Joe Jackson’s three singles, Al Rosen’s four hits that included a double and a triple, and Tris Speaker’s walk and four hits that included a double and a triple.

                   R  H BB
CLE 004 051 041 - 15 19  9
TOR 000 000 401 -  5  9  2

HR: J. Romano (13)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
V. Gregg    9.0  5  1  0  2  2  
S. Marcum   4.1  8  8  0  6  7 

CLE 61-66, TOR 53-73

August 26: Toronto 6, Cleveland 4

Nap Lajoie got to Roy Halladay for a single, double, and homer, but the rest of the Cleveland lineup was held mostly in check. The Naps were clinging to a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the seventh but started it off with back-to-back errors by Jim Thome and Manny Ramirez. Both runners came around to score the tying and winning runs. Toronto catcher Ernie Whitt had a reach on error, two singles, and a homer.

                  R  H BB
CLE 000 021 100 - 4  8  3
TOR 110 001 21x - 6 10  1

HR: N. Lajoie (4), E. Whitt (8)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
A. Joss      7.1  6  4  1  1  1  
R. Halladay  7.0  4  4  1  3  4 

CLE 61-67, TOR 54-73

August 27: Toronto 8, Cleveland 6

Cleveland starter Sam McDowell was cruising along through five shutout innings when Toronto ambushed him. The Jays loaded the bases on a Roberto Alomar hit and two walks, and Shawn Green followed them up with a grand slam. The Jays weren’t done in the sixth either – Kelly Gruber added a two-run shot a few batters later and McDowell got the hook.

The Naps stormed back to get within a run, and in the top of the ninth Lajoie led off with a single and stolen base, and Joe Jackson knocked him in with a single to tie it up. Jackson then got nailed on a steal attempt by usually weak-armed catcher Gregg Zaun and Henke got out of the inning with the game still tied.

Cleveland’s sloppy fielding came back to bite them again in the bottom of the ninth when Tris Speaker misplayed a ball in center field that allowed Shannon Stewart to get all the way to second base. Carlos Delgado walked-off the series winner with a double.

The teams split their six games together. The Blue Jays are a remarkable 17-16 against Original Division opponents, compared to 38-57 in their own division.

                  R  H BB
CLE 001 001 301 - 6 12  4
TOR 000 006 002 - 8  9  4

HR: S. Green (20), K. Gruber (7)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
S. McDowell  5.2  6  6  2  3  7  
J. Key       6.0  4  4  0  1  3 

CLE 61-68, TOR 55-73

Seattle Keeps The Wins Coming Against Toronto

August 22: Seattle 4, Toronto 3

Starters Jimmy Key and Felix Hernandez both had better than usual days and kept it close. Alvin Davis drilled a three-run bomb for Seattle, and then Edgar Martinez drove in Kenji Johjima on a double-play ground ball for the winner.

                  R H BB
TOR 000 201 000 - 3 4  3
SEA 003 000 10x - 4 9  1
HR: C. Delgado (26), A. Davis (11)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Key        6.0  4  4  1  1  7  
F. Hernandez  7.0  3  3  2  3  5 

TOR 52-71, SEA 67-56


August 23: Seattle 10, Toronto 2

Doyle Alexander could not keep it close for Toronto the next day and got pounded for seven runs. Ichiro Suzuki slapped three singles, Martinez and Alex Rodriguez both reached safely four times, and Kyle Seager dropped two bombs on Alexander. Seager racked up seven RBI. Mark Langston was sharp in a spot start.

                   R  H BB
TOR 100 000 100 -  2  4  8
SEA 000 253 00x - 10 10  8

HR: K. Gruber (6), K. Seager-2 (16)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
D. Alexander  4.2  7  7  2  4  3  
M. Langston   7.0  2  2  1  6  6 

TOR 52-72, SEA 68-56

August 24: Toronto 6, Seattle 2

Seattle liked their chances for a sweep with Randy Johnson, coming into the game with a 3.36 ERA, facing Dave Stieb and his 5.62 ERA, but the pitchers regressed in opposite directions and Stieb ended up leading the birds to a victory. Devon White, Tony Fernandez, Kelly Gruber, and Ernie Whitt made up the last four hitters in Toronto’s lineup but provided most of the offense.

The victory kept the Blue Jays from falling into last place. It’s been a dramatic fall for the team that was tied for first at the All-Star break. They are 13-31 since then as their lack of pitching and defense has caught up with them. Seattle has the exact opposite record since the break, 31-13, to grab control of the Expansion Division.

                  R H BB
TOR 000 130 200 - 6 9  5
SEA 000 000 020 - 2 8  2

HR: A. Rodriguez (24)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
D. Stieb    7.2  2  2  1  2  0  
R. Johnson  6.0  4  4  0  3  5 

TOR 53-72, SEA 68-57

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



Seattle Smacks Toronto In 2 Game Set

August 16: Seattle 11, Toronto 7

The Seattle bats came out with a vengeance over the first five innings, during which they recorded all of their 11 runs and 13 of their 14 hits in the game. Jays starter Jimmy Key was lifted after yielding four runs in three innings, but things only got worse when his replacement Kelvim Escobar got pounded for seven runs in 1.1.

Roberto Alomar had a day, drawing a walk and knocking two singles and a dong.

                   R  H BB
SEA 112 340 000 - 11 14  5
TOR 003 101 101 -  7 11  7
HR: L. Moseby (11), R. Alomar (3)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
F. Hernandez  7.0  6  6  2  5  6  
J. Key        3.0  4  4  1  0  4 

SEA 63-55, TOR 50-68

August 17: Seattle 9, Toronto 1

The Doyle Alexander magic of the first half is long gone, and he pitched poorly and in front of poor defense, a combination that led to nine runs rung up against him (four earned).

Jamie Moyer’s magic shows no signs of slowing down. This was his 10th straight start in which he’s allowed three earned runs or less. His 3.09 ERA is best in the Expansion Division.

Ken Griffey, Jr. led the way for the M’s offense with a single, double, homer, and stolen base.

                  R  H BB
SEA 200 034 000 - 9 11  3
TOR 100 000 000 - 1  7  0

HR: K. Griffey, Jr. (23), C. Delgado (23)

starters       IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Moyer      7.0  1  1  1  0  3  
D. Alexander  5.1  9  4  1  3  3 

SEA 64-55, TOR 50-69

Anaheim On Little Roll With Sweep of Toronto

tananaAugust 13: Anaheim 8, Toronto 0

Frank Tanana had his finest day of the year and collected his first shutout. Tanana was back and forth from the rotation to bullpen for much of the year but has locked down a spot in the rotation for now on the strength of a 3.84 ERA in 80 innings. Brian Downing was the biggest bat for Anaheim with a walk, double, and dinger.

                  R  H BB
TOR 000 000 000 - 0  5  1
ANA 502 001 00x - 8 11  2

HR: B. Downing (11), V. Guerrero (9)

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
D. Stieb   2.2  7  7  1  2  2  
F. Tanana  9.0  0  0  0  1  2 

TOR 50-65, ANA 45-71

August 14: Anaheim 8, Toronto 6

Andy Messersmith was nearly as good for the Angels the next day and enjoyed an 8-1 lead after eight innings. Toronto starter Juan Guzman was wild, and Angels hitters Troy Glaus and Tim Salmon drew three walks each, Mike Trout knocked four singles, and Jim Fregosi singled, doubled, and homered.

Anaheim manager Mike Scioscia threw Nolan Ryan a bone and asked him to finish off the game in the top of the ninth, but the wildest pitcher in the league just about coughed up the huge lead. He faced eight, struck out two, walked three, allowed three hits, and yielded five runs. Ryan got pulled for Bryan Harvey who gave up a single to bring the go-ahead run to the plate in the person of Roberto Alomar. Alomar drove a deep flyball to rightfield that Tim Salmon reached to put an end to the game.

Anaheim’s Ryan now rates as the worst pitcher of the season with -29 runs saved above average and might not find himself on a big league mound for the remainder of the schedule.

                  R  H BB
TOR 010 000 005 - 6  9  6
ANA 020 200 13x - 8 11  9
HR: J. Fregosi (10)

starters         IP  R ER HR BB SO
J. Guzman       6.0  5  4  1  7  6  
A. Messersmith  8.0  1  1  0  3  8 

TOR 50-66, ANA 46-71

August 15: Anaheim 5, Toronto 3

The Angels got to Roy Halladay early with Chone Figgins, Downing, and Trout all getting hits in the first inning ahead of a Jim Edmonds three-run yak. Halladay settled in after giving up another run in the second inning, but Angels hurlers Dean Chance, Francisco Rodriguez, and Troy Percival made the early lead hold up with strong pitching against a usually heavy-hitting Toronto lineup.

The Angels matched their season-high win streak of four games and have won three consecutive series for the first time all year. The Blue Jays continue their free-fall towards the cellar and are 11-25 since being tied for first place at the all-star break.

                  R H BB
TOR 003 000 000 - 3 8  4
ANA 410 000 00x - 5 9  2
HR: J. Edmonds (10)

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
R. Halladay  7.0  5  5  1  2  7  
D. Chance    7.0  3  3  0  3  5 

TOR 50-67, ANA 47-71


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