Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Day in Sports: September 20, 2005

Yesterday was awful. Having two of the three athletes I despise the most in all of sports come up HUGE against both of the local teams is not fun. But it’s a new day, and it’s time to let the bean fest begin -- if only Daniel Cabrera was pitching for the O’s.

Also, the Orioles feel-good story of the year, Brian Roberts, is done for the year after dislocating his elbow last night. On a bunt up the first-base line from Bubba Crosby, Roberts covered first and stretched to reach B.J. Surhoff’s throw, and Crosby ran into his arm, bending it backwards. Roberts was batting .314 with 18 homers, 73 RBIs, 27 stolen bases, a .387 on-base percentage and a .903 OPS. A career year in all respects. Congrats on the season B-Rob. It sucks that it ended this way.

Enough sadness and bitterness. On to the recaps...

MLB: New York Yankees 12, Orioles 9

Just kidding. More bitterness!

Allow me to repeat myself: YOUR LITTLE SISTER COULD WIN 20 GAMES WITH THAT KIND OF RUN SUPPORT! Aaron Small (9-0) is not good. I’m tired of the constant praise on him. He’s given up 13 runs in the last 18 innings. Don’t get out your calculator; I did the work. That’s a 6.50 ERA. But, of course, he’s 3-0 in that span because the Yankees have averaged a shade under 10 runs a game in those three starts. Someone give me a Yankees uniform; it’s time to collect my 9-0 record and a big league paycheck. I think I’m fourth in the rotation – behind your little sister.

So the Yankees won, 12-9, in a game that was never as close as that score indicates. John Maine (2-2) gave up four runs in the first inning, and every Orioles run after that was just for show. The O’s bats managed to produce three runs in the top of the second to make it 4-3, only to watch a grand slam by Gary “my season is when I get paid/if I’m unhappy you don’t want me on your team/you should get a full-season suspension for using steroids even though I, myself, used steroids” Sheffield. (OK, so that last one isn’t a direct quote.) That made it 9-3.

The O’s cut it to 10-7 by scoring in the sixth, seventh and eight innings, but the Yanks extended the lead to 12-7 in the eighth by beating up on who else but Jorge Julio. The O’s added a couple of meaningless runs in the ninth to make it 12-9, but the game was long since over, despite not seeming like it on the scoreboard. We’ll call it a “moral blowout.”

On a (small) bright note, Jay Gibbons hit a two-run homer in the seventh, so he now has 99 career home runs. Miguel Tejada was one of three O’s in the starting lineup to not get an RBI, so he’s still stuck on 92 for the year.

Also, Sam Perlozzo was ejected after flipping out at an umpire for not calling Crosby out on the play that ended Roberts’ season. Perlozzo argued that Crosby should have been called out for running inside the baseline on the bunt.

Tonight at 7:05 it’s Rodrigo Lopez (14-10, 4.86 ERA, RHP) going for his 15th win against Randy Johnson (14-8, 4.01 ERA, LHP), also going for his 15th win.

Johnson only lasted 1.2 innings in his last outing, when he gave up three runs on three hits, two walks and a homer to Toronto.

MLB: San Francisco Giants 4, Nationals 3

Good job, Nats fans. You booed loudly and brought signs. Some had paper asterisks, one sign said “Barry BALCO,” another said, “It’s ‘Clear’ Barry Can’t ‘Cream’ The Nats.” One clever group even covered a 10 seat, three row area with a sign declaring it the “Roid Rage Blast Zone.” Hilarious. Good job Nats fans.

Too bad Barry and his 40-pound head (literally and figuratively) still won.

Bonds’ solo homer in the fourth inning tied the game at one, but it was Moises Alou’s three-run bomb in the top of the ninth after a semi-intentional walk to Bonds that really made the difference. The Nats were up, 2-1, and the Giants had men on first and second when Alou launched Livan Hernandez’ (15-8) pitch over the left field fence. 4-2 Giants.

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, the Nats had scored a run and threatened for more, but a Brad Wilkerson liner was caught on a very nice play by Bonds’ replacement, Todd Linden, in left field.

Jack Taschner (2-0) worked the eighth and took the win, and Yankee-puncher Armando Benitez (barely) earned his 17th save.

The Post’s Thomas Boswell wrote an interesting column on the drama, although I don’t really agree with his take that “this was perhaps the best game of the entire season.” How can a loss be the best game of the season? I remember going to play hockey and people would tell me to “have fun.” I would invariably tell them, “I’ll have fun if I win.” I don’t know; maybe that’s not the best way to look at sports. But I’m hyper-competitive, and that’s part of the fun.

The Nats are now five games behind Houston in the Wild Card Standings with just 11 games left. It’s insurmountable. So what’s the point in telling you that tonight will be John Patterson (9-5, 2.65 ERA, RHP) against Barry Bonds and Brad Hennessey (4-8, 5.25 ERA, RHP)? Oh well. I just did.

If you’ve got tickets, go boo Barry some more. In the meantime, I’ll try to think of some clever/outrageous signs. How about this one:

Does your roid rage lead you to beat your wife and kids? And by “wife and kids,” I mean boyfriend.

Actually, how about everyone go out and by a bunch of cheap, CVS brand Tylenol knock-off pills, then shower Barry with them as he goes to the batters box. It would look freakin’ sweet.


Anonymous said...

Hi, that was my buddy and I with the "Roid Rage Blast Zone" banner... we're trying to find someone that got a picture of it. Thanks if you can help...

C. Stone said...

I haven't seen a picture anywhere. Great idea for a sign, though. Nats fans are really stepping it up with the originality.