Monday, July 17, 2006

Belated end to the All Star Break

A slow start after the All Star break by the 2 Neils (look out for a 2 theme throughout the post...). Some observations to get me started again -
  • The Red Sox enigma continues... 14 games over .500 against the NL, 4 games over .500 against the AL... but it really was an ugly series against the A's. Poor pitching, poor hitting, poor fielding... perhaps we shouldn't have gotten so high after the inter league series...
  • the Sox lost two games in a row in extra innings to bookmark the ASB - and should have won both.
    • In the White Sox game you can live with Papelbon blowing the save in the 9th, these things happen, but when you score two runs in extra innings, your bullpen has to be good enough to hold that.
    • In the Athletics game... Loretta has to make that play, and 99 times out of 100, he will - why did that one time have to be then...
  • Why are the Athletics such pi$$y whiners? They were upset in '02, in '03 Varitek upset them enough that they forgot how to run the bases in the playoffs and Lowe upset them inGame 5 with his "inappropriate celebration", in '04 the fans threw bottles at the field from the top deck at the NAC to complain about umpiring decisions (that were both correct) during a labor day game against the Sox (as I hid my head in the bottom deck), and then yesterday they took offense as Curt hit Swisher the inning after the A's tried so hard to hit Varitek they almost missed behing him... what did they expect...
  • But it was good to see that Milton Bradley has his anger management issues under control... and really good to see anyone on the Athletics bench trying to cool him down...
  • How good is the AL Central really? The Sox took 2 of 3 from the Tigers, the Yankees took 3 of 4 (and from memory should have swept the Tigers - didn't Farnsworth blow the game that was lost...?); The Sox took 2 of 3 against the White Sox (and should have swept them), while the Yankees just finished a sweep of the reigning World Champs... I realize they both get to play another 9 or so against the Royals, but one of these teams is going to fall away in the second half... aren' they?

Well if the 6th inning of tonight's early ESPN Sunday night game doesn't make you want to write about baseball, nothing will!

The abbreviated play by play...
  1. Woodward flied out (1st out)
  2. Beltran ground out, safe on error by 2b Walker
  3. Delgado singled to center
  4. Wright singled to right
  5. Floyd homered to left (grand slam) (described as deep left on Gameday, but if the 'basket' wasn't there it would have stayed in the park)
  6. Nady walked (pitching change)
  7. Castro ground into fielders choice, safe on error by 2b Walker
  8. Chavez singled to right
  9. Valentin singled to SS
  10. Woodward ground into fielders choice (2nd out)
  11. Beltran homered to left (grand slam)
  12. Delgado doubled to left
  13. Wright homered to right (pitching change)
  14. Floyd walked
  15. Nady walked
  16. Castro flied out to center...
So in summary... Woodward made 2 outs, there were 2 pitching changes, 2b Todd Walker made 2 errors, the Mets hit 2 Grand Slams as well as a 2 run HR... why could this not have happened in the 2nd inning...

But 16 batters and 41 minutes later, ESPN's head of programming was seen taking 2 Advil to account for the ESPY's starting a lot later than planned...

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