Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Here's What Happened - 4/14/2009


1. Denard Span. Don't look now, but when nobody was paying attention Span turned into the perfect leadoff hitter, or at least a pretty damn good one. He started the game with a ten pitch at bat (that ended in a groundout), then got the team's first hit and scored the first run, and later got an infield hit and stole a base. I'm just completely enamored with him right now. A .324 average, with 7 walks (to just 4 Ks) to bump his OBP to .439, with just a little bit of power and enough speed to beat out infield hits and steal bases (3 steals on 3 attempts). He's everything I ever wanted in a leadoff hitter and I just can't get enough of him. I could have gone with Crede for getting the game-winning hit to snap the world's longest losing streak, but I can't get over Span. I think I'm developing a serious crush.

2. Kansas Jayhawks. Ok, this actually happened on Monday, but I'm just now getting to it - both Sherron Collins and Cole Aldrich of the Jayhawks said they are coming back to school for another season. I have seen in a couple places where Kansas is now considered the favorite to win the National Title this year, and why not? Collins and Aldrich were one of the top inside/outside combos last year, and will probably be the best this season with another year of experience. They went 14-2 in conference last year, and are losing nothing but end of the bench, Kevin Payton types. Soon-to-be-sophomores Tyshawn Taylor, Marcus Morris, Travis Releford, and Markieff Morris - all top 100 incoming freshmen last year - will only continue to get better, and the Jayhawks have two newcomers for next season who rank in the top 30 freshmen. Even without Aldrich and Collins, the cupboard wasn't going to be bare, but with them it looks like Kelly Clarkson's secret junkfood drawer at fat camp.

3. Nick Swisher. I wrote about Swishy pants in my weekend review this week, about how he's tearing up pitchers like he tears up the broads. Then on Monday, he hit another home run, his third of the year, not to mention pitching a shut out inning in relief, but I figured I probably shouldn't write about him two days in a row, at least as long as he refuses to grow back his sexy locks. Then yesterday, he hits another bomb and adds a double, raising his average to .458 and a league-leading slugging percentage of 1.208. Leading the league in slugging and sporting a 0.00 ERA? Could Swisher be the reincarnation of Babe Ruth? I think it's pretty obvious.


1. Marco Scutaro. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "Marco Scutaro has always sucked. Why is this news, assface?" Well jerk, in case you missed it Scutaro actually started out the season hot, going 10-23 and adding in a couple of home runs, and everybody suddenly decided he was the sleeper of the year at shortstop. Well guess what morons? He's a career .262 hitter with a career OPS+ of 88 and a highs of .273 and 96. Do you really think he's going to suddenly become the next Cal Ripken? Welcome back to earth Mr. Scutaro, who after going 0-4 last night is now in an 0-11 slide, bringing his average back to a normal, though still too high, .294. And no matter what Dawger says, Ripken is one of the greatest players ever - Scutaro not so much.

2. Rays Bullpen. Remember last year, how the Rays pen was so good with Balfour (that one hurts), JP Howell, and Danny Wheeler? Not so much last night, with both Howell and Wheeler blowing up to lose the game for Tampa against the Yankees. Howell, who was nearly unhittable last season with a 1.13 WHIP and 2.22 ERA, picked up the loss last night giving up two hits and a run in his inning of work and has been less than impressive this year, racking up a WHIP of 1.88 and ERA of 4.91 in his four appearances. Wheeler had been fine this season up until yesterday, when he got rocked for four hits and four runs to run his season ERA to 12.00. I wouldn't exactly panic or anything just yet, but if those two (and Balfour whose ERA is over 20 right now) continue to struggle, it's going to be a real problem.

3. Cleveland Indians. Sitting at 1-7, it's suddenly looking like the Tribe's problems are not all Cliff Lee's fault. They lost last night to the perky Royals 9-3 despite a decent outing from human disabled list Carl Pavano (longer at least than the one inning he lasted in his previous start), mainly thanks previously unhittable reliever Rafael Perez giving up three walks and four runs in just over an inning pitched. There are plenty of reasons the Indians suck this year, and Sizemore's .176 average doesn't help, but it's pretty hard to look past a league worst team ERA of 8.46 - that is not a misprint - and a team WHIP of 1.8. Think about it, that's almost two opposing runners on base in EVERY SINGLE INNING. It's early still, but it's awfully hard to think they can turn it around without a single pitcher who can throw a good game and a suddenly shaky bullpen.

Tonight I will be in attendance at the Twins' win over Toronto in Scott Baker's triumphant return. Or to see him throw 1.1 innings and leave in pain, then see Phil Humber get knocked around the yard. In any case, the daily post probably won't be up until the afternoon tomorrow, so you'll have to find some other way to get through the morning at your dead-end job. Try this article, sent to me by Snacks this morning.


snacks said...

I'm not sure how Denard Span can be in the awesome list when his two hits were a blooper to the outfield and a lucky top of the bat spinning infield hit. Don't know how Glen Perkins didn't make the cut instead. Evidently all you care about is wins and because Perkins is 0-1 his two outstanding outings (including shutting down the highest scoring team in the league last night) don't mean squat.

And I'm thinking there's a good chance Baker gives up 4 or more homers tonight. I like him, but a fly ball pitcher against a team that's been crushing the ball out of the park is not a good combination.

WWWWWW said...

Perkins definitely could have made it, but I guess I never really watched Span this season so far. Just his overall approach really impressed me. Who was the last good leadoff hitter the Twins had? Knoblauch?

The Todd said...

Two questions:

1) Will there be free beer Saturday?

2) What's the list for food that will be available?

WWWWWW said...

It will be beer and tacos.

Anonymous said...

WWWWW, I would like to see Jason Marquis added to the who's hot list(not in that wierd, Wendy Hatchner kind of hot, but on the baseball diamond hot).

He is my only saving grace right now pitching wise for the Rockies. He dominated the Phillies and is making the Cubs his bitch as I type. That and he is batting better than that hack Todd Helton and has just as many RBI's. Seriuolsy, Hurdle, just move Atkins to first and put Ian Stewart at 3rd, but shit who wants a bat like Stewarts when you can get warning track power all day long from "the guy Peyton Manning replaced at UT." We get it, that was 15 years ago and you are still a fag.

WWWWWW said...


BJ Upton said...

If you would have talked to me prior to your fantasy drafts you would have known how good Span is. Like Snacks said, You need to watch some players once in a while to know if they are good not just read your nerd stat books. Bogart gets it.

The Sidler said...

What would you have said about your brother? He's sucked so far.

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