Wacky Wednesday

Some of the wackiest stats from the past week and in the history of this week (May 21-27) include:

May 21, 2000
MLB has its first six grand slam day! Garret Anderson, J.T. Snow, Brian Hunter, Jason Giambi, Adrian Beltre and Shawn Green contribute to this historic day.

May 24, 2000
A really wacky day in the annals of baseball. Mark McGwire hits his 20th home run in 35 games – the quickest ever to record 20 home runs. Pitcher Shawn Estes hits a grand slam in his victory. 16 Dodgers and three of their coaches go into the stands Ron Artest style at Wrigley Field. The suspensions total 60 games for the players and 24 for the coaches, the harshest ruling ever by MLB.

May 25, 2009
Cleveland Indians come back from a 10-0 deficit, scoring seven in the bottom of the ninth for the 11-10 victory. It’s the first time a team came back from 10-0 in 15 years.

Mr. T singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and making an appearance in the announcing booth in the bottom of the seventh.

The Houston Astros give up eight unearned runs.

Bill Hall gets his third walk off holiday hit, this time on Memorial Day.

Syracuse Lacrosse comes back from a three goal deficit against Cornell in the final four minutes of the national championship game. They tie the game at 9-9 with four seconds left after a steal and a chain of events they may never be able to be duplicated again. The player who makes the steal lobs the ball up behind his shoulder, the next player flings it toward the final player, who catches the ball after being deflected and puts it in the net with the goalie inexplicably charging. The Orange went on to win in overtime.

May 25, 2002
Shawn Green becomes the first MLB player to hit seven home runs in three games.

May 26, 2009
Rangers and Yankees play while sprinklers go off in the grass area behind the outfield fence.

May 26, 2000
Another interesting event involving the Yankees, this time at the old demolished Yankee Stadium. A fan fell from the upper deck of the stadium onto the net behind home plate and remained motionless for a couple of minutes. He suddenly sat up and waved both arms saying he was okay, but he did get arrested…

May 27, 2009

Finally, let this video do the talking for itself on this truly Wacky Wednesday for Carlos Zambrano.

Tuesday Tennis

It’s a special edition of Tuesday Tennis, after 62 of 64 first round matches at the second major of the season have been completed. Only Dmitry Tursunov against Frenchman Arnaud Clement, and Christophe Rochus vs. another Frenchman, Fabrice Santoro still remain. Continue reading

Sober Rankings

1. Los Angeles Dodgers (30-15) – The Dodgers love them some home cooking! The Dodgers are 18-5 at home this season, the best in the MLB. The Dodgers lead baseball team batting average (.286) and ERA (3.74). They also lead the NL in hits, RBI and runs scored. Orlando Hudson may be the best free agent signing any team made this off season. Hudson continues to play a gold glove caliber second base, while leading the team with a .372 BA and .410 OBP.

2. Boston Red Sox (26-18) – The Red Sox finally move into first place in the AL East for the first time this season. They did it by sweeping the Blue Jays at home. The Sox know how to get on base better than anyone. They lead the AL with a 3.60 team OBP, and Kevin Youkilis leads the pack. He has .496 OBP in his 31 games this year. Absolutely ridiculous! This means he’s getting on base just about every other time he comes to the plate.

3. New York Yankees (25-19) – While the Sox are excelling at OBP, the Yankees excel at OPS (on base plus slugging). The Yankees lead the league with .826 OPS. Every single Yankee who has played at least 40 games has more than an .814 OPS… quite impressive. Mark Texiera raised his BA 55 points the last 10 games by batting .462 (18-39). Texiera has also smashed 6 home runs and 15 RBI in that period.

4. Toronto Blue Jays (27-20) – The Blue Jays are in an unfamiliar position for the first time this season, looking up at the Red Sox. The Jays have lost six games in a row, and it’s because the bats that carried them thus far, are starting to let them down. In the six game losing streak, the Jays only scored 10 runs. That’s scoring less than two runs a game during that span, the rest of the season the Jays scored more than six runs a game. (234 runs in 37 games)

5. Texas Rangers (26-17) – The Rangers are starting to show they’re a contender. They still lead the league in home runs (73), but it’s the pitching that has gotten decidedly better in recent weeks. The Rangers team ERA of 4.41 is the 15th best, but they were just 29th a couple of weeks ago. Kevin Millwood and Vicente Padilla have led the charge. Padilla threw two one hitters in a row, cutting his ERA from 10.00 after his first two games this season, all the way in half to 4.71. Millwood has a 3.12 ERA. Continue reading

French Open Preview

rolandNadal’s Quarter

Winner: Rafael Nadal – as if anyone else has a chance. Nadal is completely dominant on clay, and now he has something to motivate him even more – a loss to Roger Federer on his beloved dirt just last week.

Contenders: Fernando Verdasco – Can he repeat his performance at the first grand slam of the year, and push Nadal to another level again? It’ll be a lot harder on clay. Verdasco is 0-9 against Nadal, you’d have to think his luck is going to change eventually… or maybe not…

Stanislas Wawrinka – Okay, he’s not much of a sleeper considering he’s the 17 seed, but he’s the type of guy who can beat everyone in the rankings below him, but no one ahead of him. He made the semis of Monte Carlo, where he lost to Novak Djokovic. He should be able to pull off the upset of Nikolay Davydenko, but does he have what it takes to beat Verdasco?

Sam Querrey – An American and the word: sleeper don’t go together on dirt, right? This time around, I’m arguing they do. Querrey can beat Ernests Gulbis in the first round, and then has to beat Nicolas Almagro, a clay specialist. Almagro’s had a very poor year, however, and Querrey actually owns a victory against him this year.

Early Exit: Ivo Karlovic – Of course the dirt is his worst surface, and Lleyton Hewitt may be just the man to defeat him in the opening round.
Nikolay Davydenko – Who knows what’s going on when it comes to Davydenko? He may not be healthy, he may not be in the right frame of mind, he also may just not come prepared.

Best potential match:
Nadal vs. Verdasco – rematch of the epic five-setter at the Australian Open.
Davydenko vs. Wawrinka – two men who can pretty much beat everyone in the rankings below them, but no one ahead of them. This match should be a marathon if Davydenko is healthy. Continue reading

Wacky Wednesday

Some of the wackiest stats from the past week and in the history of this week (May 14-20) include:

May 14, 2009 – The Mets set a franchise record of seven steals in one game… without Jose Reyes!
May 14, 2006 – Bill Hall hits a walk off home run with a pink bat on Mother’s Day.

May 16, 2006 – Yankees overcome a nine run deficit against the Rangers on Jorge Posada’s walk off shot.

May 17, 2009 – The Mets make five errors in a single game against the Dodgers.

May 18, 2004 – Randy Johnson becomes the oldest pitcher to throw a perfect game.

May 19, 2009 – I go to my fourth baseball game of the season. The home team is 4-0 in games I go to this season. It now seems obvious that every team should invite me as their honorary fan, so they can get a guaranteed victory…

Tuesday Tennis

FedererNadalMadridAFP_608x3 Don’t look now, but the impossible happened this weekend. Roger Federer beat Rafael Nadal… on clay… in Nadal’s home country 6-4, 6-4! Continue reading

Sober Rankings

1. Toronto Blue Jays (26-14) – Roy Halladay now has an MLB best 8 wins. He’s gone 8-1 this year and a ridiculous 19-6 with a 2.62 ERA his last 25 starts. Halladay has contributed to the AL’s second best team ERA of 3.90, while the bats up north also remain on fire. The Jays lead the majors in hits (418), runs (231) and RBI (219).

2. Boston Red Sox (22-16) – David Ortiz went 0-7 with 12 men left on base on Thursday, and was actually benched against the Mariners. The Red Sox lead the league in an ugly category, grounding out into double plays 43 times this season. With all this said, the Sox remain near the top of every offensive statistic, and lead the AL with 166 BB.

3. Los Angeles Dodgers (26-13) – The Dodgers know how to get out on top early. The Dodgers lead the league with 40 first inning runs in just 39 games. Juan Pierre is filling in quite admirably. He’s gone 20-43 since Manny Ramirez’s suspension, stole 6 bases and 9 RBI. Everybody likes to make jokes about the $10 million dollar man, who has “insane power, power like Barry Bonds+Mark McGwire+Manny Ramirez all wrapped in one”, but if Pierre can continue batting .419, Joe Torre may have a problem figuring out who the fourth outfielder is once Ramirez gets back.

4. New York Mets (21-16) – The Mets are 7-3 their last 10 games and have done it with excellent hitting. The Mets lead the league in team BA at .292. Carlos Beltran is second in the NL with a 3.78 ERA and leads the NL with a 4.73 OBP. Johan Santana carries the pitching staff with his NL best 1.36 ERA. And watch out, because he finally got a little bit of run support in his last start. If that keeps happening, Santana wins 20 easily.

5. Texas Rangers (23-14) – The Rangers are playing very well. They’ve won seven straight including the sweep of the Angels. We always knew the Rangers were going to put up scary offensive numbers (62 home runs, .829 OPS and .494 SLG) all good for first in the majors, but how about their recent pitching streak. The team has a 2.63 ERA during this winning streak, and if that holds up, the AL West domination of the Angels may come to an end this season. Continue reading

Fantasy Friday

Who’s Hot

Hanley Ramirez had multiple hits in six consecutive game this week, and continues his overall hitting streak of 11 games. Ramirez has gone 22-42 during his hitting streak with 14 runs, 4 home runs, 7 RBI and 3 SB.

Wandy Rodriguez stuck out 18 batters in his last two starts, and didn’t walk a single hitter in his 15 innings pitched. All of these stats have also contributed to two victories for the Astros.

Trevor Hoffman is now 8 for 8 in save opportunities this year. He has recorded four saves since last Friday.

Joe Mauer not only has a seven game hitting streak, but also has a seven game RBI streak to go along. Mauer has 11 RBI in those seven games with three home runs.

Who’s Not

David Ortiz’s 3 for 25 doesn’t cut it anywhere, let alone Boston. And leaving 12 men on base in his last game left him saying: “Papi stinks”. Papi still has 0 home runs.

Brad Lidge has given up earned runs in each of his last five appearances. His ERA is now 8.59.

Andre Eithier
was 2 for 23 this week with no RBI. We thought no Manny would hurt him to some extent, but we didn’t know it would make this big of a difference.

Bobby Abreu is 4 for his last 30 with no home runs or RBI since April 28.

Wacky Wednesday

Some of the wackiest stats from the past week and in the history of this week (May 7-13) include:

seaver 25th anniversary of the 25 inning, 8 hour 6 minute thriller between the Chicago White Sox and the Milwaukee Brewers (back when the Brewers played in the AL!) The game was spread out over two days, May 8 and 9, and Tom Seaver ended up picking up two wins in one day since he was the scheduled starter for the May 9 game, but had to finish the May 8 game when his team had no available pitchers left! The game was tied 1-1 for 8 innings. Then Milwaukee got two in the ninth, but the White Sox came back to tie it at 3 apiece. The teams played until the 17th inning, and then the game was suspended until the next day. The next day, May 9, the Brewers and the White Sox both scored three runs in the 21st inning! So the marathon continued. Finally, Harold Baines ended the longest game in AL history with a walk off home run after batting 1-9 the previous 24 innings! 7-6 White Sox the final.

146 games played the first 10 days in May is the most ever during any 10 game period in the month of May.

A.J. Burnett threw a no hitter May 12 against the Padres at Qualcomm Stadium. The Padres no longer play there, and believe it or not, Burnett walked 9 hitters during the no-no, tying the the Marlins’ team record for walks in a game too!

Just last year, May 11, a 13-minute delay occurred in the ninth inning of a Met-Red game when David Ross accidentally hit out of order in Corey Patterson’s place. The umps eventually made Ross bat again, which was actually the correct call, believe it or not. So Ross approached the plate again, this time with one out, and Patterson never had the chance to get his at bat.

Tuesday Tennis

murray0020607_468x835 After three minor tournaments last week, all the big guns will come out for the Masters Series Madrid this week. Andy Murray takes over the #3 ranking for the first time ever, also the highest ranking for a British player ever. Murray has an outside chance at becoming the second ranked player if he plays exceptionally well, and Roger Federer has an epic failure at Madrid this week. Continue reading