Curiouser And CuriouserBy Phil Janowicz
Yes, that’s right. Kevin Millwood, a cog in the Phillies machine, threw a no-hitter on Sunday to spotlight the wackiest day of baseball this season. To start off, Millwood struck out 10 and allowed three walks in his no hitter against the San Francisco Giants. When asked whether he was nervous at all, he replied, “[After the final out] I saw Jim Thome running toward me and that made me nervous.” Congratulations, Kevin. That one was well deserved.
Another headline of Sunday’s match-ups was the 20-inning marathon game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Florida Marlins. The Cardinals scored three runs in the top of the ninth to increase their lead to 6-1, but their bullpen gave up three home runs in the bottom half of the inning to tie it up 6-6. Then, the fun began. Both teams emptied their bullpens, and Florida even used Carl Pavano, their scheduled starter for the game the next day.
A total of 622 pitches were thrown in the contest which took a little over six hours to complete. Fernando Vina got the game-winning RBI in the top of the 20th to make him 1 for 10. Alex Gonzalez choked thrice with the bases loaded, and Florida left 13 guys on base during extra innings alone. If the little over 10,000 fans who attended were looking for an extra treat, it began to rain in the 19th.
Another piece of wacky news from Sunday’s games came from Brian Daubach, who, in the offseason, changed his sock color from red to white. In the second inning, Carlos Lee broke for second with Daubach on third. After Tony Graffanino was called out on strikes, A.J. Pierzynski threw to second to try to get Lee out. Right when Pierzynski threw the ball, Daubach took off for home and reached safely, marking only the fifth stolen base of his career. Bill Corbett, Professor of Writing and Humanistic Studies, remarked, “He’d have to take off on Tuesday if he wanted to score on Thursday.”
On Tuesday, the Toronto Blue Jays actually sold out a game. How did this happen, you ask? Owner Rogers Communications (a company name, not a person’s name) bought all the tickets for the game and resold them all for just $1 Canadian to show the world that SARS isn’t as big of a threat in Toronto as the world thought. 48,097 fans showed up to watch an offensive showdown as the Texas Rangers defeated the Jays 16-11.
One more fun tidbit from the past week was the awesome pitching performance by Gil “Ga” Meche of the Seattle Mariners. He came into Yankee Stadium and blanked the Bronx Bombers. Is there anything better than watching the Yankees lose? Actually, watching Roger Clemens be denied his 298th win and the Yankees lose is better.
Why is it that all the people to go on the disabled list last weekend are on my fantasy team? Tony Armas, Jr. has a strained right rotator cuff. Dave Roberts strained his right hamstring and is listed as day-to-day. Milton Bradley also strained his right hamstring passing Go. Paul Shuey sprained his right knee. Brandon Phillips bruised his right hand while trying to break up a double play. All of this happened in a matter of hours.
I know some of you are wondering why losing these guys for two weeks will be a problem because some of you claim they are all sub-par anyway. In the meantime, I had to pick up Braden Looper, Joe Borowski, Eric Byrnes, Ramon Hernandez, and Corey Patterson to fill the spots temporarily. Why doesn’t Soriano or A-Rod or Ra-Jo get injured again?
I’d also like to send out a personal note of hatred to Scott Rolen. Scott, I hate you. The past week and a half you did nothing but crap. Your average was below .100, and you produced only singles the few times you made contact with the ball. This freak in my league who has some sick obsession with you traded me Albert Pujols and Jason Kendall for you, so I was much obliged. Suddenly, the first day after the trade takes place, you go two for five, score two runs, knock in four, and steal a base. Scott and Kevin, I hate you.
Batting: Carlos Delgado of the Toronto Blue Jays. This past week, Delgado’s been on a tear, batting .526, scoring seven runs, hitting three home runs, and knocking home nine. All of these stats came from just five games the past week, and he’s looking to improve his numbers even more. Honorable mention: Carlos Beltran of the Kansas City Royals for his inside-the-park home run Tuesday night at Fenway.
Pitching: Kevin Millwood of the Philadelphia Phillies. What more can I say that hasn’t been said already. Stellar work. Honorable Mention: Lance Carter of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
Utility: Brian Anderson and Carl Sadler of the Cleveland Indians. During the beginning part of the Indians’ losing streak, Anderson and Sadler were sitting in a bar after a loss when they noticed a woman’s purse get stolen. They immediately looked at each other and took off after the thief. Jumping between cars and over trash cans, Anderson and Sadler finally caught up to the thief and retrieved the purse. Hey, Brian, don’t you have a pulled hamstring? Honorable Mention: Nomar Garciaparra of the Boston Red Sox.
Boner of the Week: Miguel Tejada of the Oakland Athletics. With the worst average in the majors of everyday players, Tejada is just playing awfully. Everywhere the A’s go nowadays, Tejada strikes out amid sarcastic cheers of “MVP” from opposing fans. You’ll pick it up soon, or else you’ll pick it up in AAA. Honorable Mention: Armando Benitez of the New York Mets. I keep trying to find someone else to win this award, but you keep sucking so much that you deserve it every week.