Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Somebody Do A Slumpbuster

Short post today because I'm still absolutely snowed under with work and getting to the point where I wake up in the morning feeling just as tired as when I went to sleep. Unfortunately, my habit of staying up to watch my teams on the West Coast may have something to do with this, but what hey! Baseball above mental function! What the hell.

Here are the three scores from my teams last night: 3-2, 2-1, 2-1. Everybody appears to be having the exact same problem, and I really mean the exact same: Their starting pitching shines for six or seven innings, permitting barely any runs or even hits and walks, but the offense goes dead in the water and can't help them out. Even the high-octane Rockies "Purple Pitcher Eaters" are a little lackadaisical on the job. Somebody needs to track down a slumpbuster, carefully avoid telling any wives in question, and get with the program -- this stellar starting pitching isn't going to last forever. Besides, every one of my teams has what I like to call the "ulp-factor" guy, someone who makes you cover your eyes whenever he comes in close and late because you're pretty much dead certain that he's going to give up the ghost.

It's worth noting that the Cards (3-2) and the A's (2-1) actually won their games. The Cards tied it up on a two-run ninth inning single from Scott Spiezio, who wasn't even playing the previous day to a case of food poisoning, and won it on a shallow sac fly from Skip Schumaker in the twelfth, benefiting from suspect defense from Jason Bay. Interestingly, the exact same thing happened with the A's, except they didn't go into extras; they tied and won it in the ninth when Mark Ellis's game-winning single bonked Scott Podsednik on the head. (I've got to find a video of that). I'm starting to wonder if these guys are symbiotically bonded or something. It makes you wonder.

The Rox almost got no-hit by Brett Tomko, of all people (Holliday doubled to avoid such ignominy) and tied it up in the seventh, but squandered a golden opportunity in the eighth, when, with the bases loaded, Holliday grounded into a double play on the first pitch. It is worth noting that he was substantially ticked afterwards, and that for a sweet, nice, down-home country boy, Matt has a surprisingly hot temper. He was giving the ump in San Diego an earful after he was clearly safe on a ninth-inning ground ball and got called out, in a game the Rox later lost, but he needs to shift that anger into helping the offense pick it up. The Rockies' starting rotation has been the biggest surprise of the season to date, but it won't be that way forever. Even Rodrigo Lopez turned in a second consecutive quality start, and the offense has been anemic as the pitching has been good. That won't last forever, however, so the trick is getting the timing of the trade-offs to coincide.

As a final note, my beloved Adam goes trying to nail down a sweep of the Buccos today. If they succeed, they will have recovered nicely from being swept by the Mets -- they won two of three against the Astros and will have done so against the Pirates even if they lose today. I am hoping they won't. Naturally.

Ta-ta for now. The grim prospect of a philosophy research paper awaits.

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