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Thursday, April 04, 2013

Primer Dugout (and link of the day) 4-4-2013

Pittsburgh Gazette Times, April 4, 2013:

Unusual complications are possible under the new ownership of the Grand Rapids Central League Club. Both President W.E. Essick and Manager Ed Smith of the club are pitchers and expect to take their turn in the box. Some day the president may be yielding too many hits to suit the manager. Then Smith will order Essick to the bench. Will the president submit, or will he hand Smith his release?

The 1913 Grand Rapids club was known as the Bill-Eds, presumably after the owner and manager. That just might be my favorite minor league team nickname of all time.

The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 06:12 AM | 6 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: bill essick, dugout, history

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   1. The Robby Hammock District (Dan Lee) Posted: April 04, 2013 at 06:19 AM (#4403953)
Excellent position players, two World Series-winning managers, a commissioner, and absolutely no pitching on today's Birthday Team:

C/Manager: Gil Hodges
1B: Mike Epstein
2B: Tommy Herr
3B: Scott Rolen
SS: Jim Fregosi
LF: Joe Vosmik
CF: Tris Speaker
RF: John Hummel

SP: Eddie Watt
SP: Willie Ramsdell
SP: Carlos Reyes
SP: Bill Upham
SP: Matt Wagner
RP: 1950s Frank Smith

Failed prospects: Brad Komminsk, Casey Daigle
Commissioner: Bart Giamatti
   2. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:29 AM (#4404023)
   3. BDC Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:31 AM (#4404026)
Rangers' 2013 season K/W ratio: 43/4. Awesome, unless you're an Astros fan :)
   4. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:34 AM (#4404032)
Domestic minor league opening day.
   5. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: April 04, 2013 at 09:45 AM (#4404041)
Yeesterday's ARI-STL game featured six occassions when the trailing team came back to tie or take the lead. That NEVER happened all 2012.
   6. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: April 04, 2013 at 06:28 PM (#4404779)
Yesterday was quite a good day of baseball. In the early and middle games, there were three ninth-inning walkoffs, including one of the come-from-behind variety and one in which the road team had just tied the game in the top of the inning. There was also an 11-inning affair that featured a game-tying homer in the ninth. I was looking forward to seeing which game graded out as the best one.

What a delightful anticlimax.

Game of the day (yesterday): D'Backs 10, Cardinals 9 (16).

The starting pitching matchup was Lance Lynn and Brandon McCarthy. McCarthy shut the Cards down in the first, so it was up to Lynn to get the fireworks started; he obliged by serving up a leadoff homer to Gerardo Parra. Arizona also picked up a walk and a single in the inning, but no further runs. Allen Craig started the second with a double, but ended the inning stranded at third; Lynn walked McCarthy in the bottom of the inning, but kept him from advancing.

Daniel Descalso led off the top of the third with a single. Lynn bunted him to second, and Jon Jay bounced a grounder up the middle; Cliff Pennington reached it and threw wildly in his attempt to get Jay at first, allowing Descalso to score the tying run. McCarthy struck out Matt Carpenter, but then hit Matt Holliday with a pitch; Craig followed with his second double of the game to put St. Louis in front, and Yadier Molina tacked on a two-run single to stretch the margin to 4-1.

Lynn preserved the lead for two innings; the tying run did come to the plate in the fourth, but it was McCarthy hitting, and he struck out. The fifth was a different story, however. Parra led off with a triple, and scored on a wild pitch. Martin Prado singled, and Aaron Hill followed with a ground-rule double that put the tying run in scoring position. Lynn was pulled from the game, and Miguel Montero greeted Randy Choate with a sacrifice fly, which also moved Hill to third. Joe Kelly replaced Choate, and Paul Goldschmidt added a run-scoring fly of his own - but his went over the wall, giving Arizona a 5-4 lead.

This advantage proved to be temporary in the extreme. McCarthy allowed a single to Matt Adams and a double to Pete Kozma, and was quickly pulled. Tony Sipp fared little better, allowing a two-run double to Descalso that put the Cards back in front. A sacrifice, a strikeout, and a walk later, Holliday singled against Brad Ziegler, making the score 7-5.

Kelly remained in the game for the bottom of the sixth, and history promptly repeated itself; after an Eric Chavez single, Prado homered to tie the game, the second two-run jack in as many innings for the Snakes. Molina then pushed the Cards back into the lead in the seventh with a homer of his own to lead off the inning. In the bottom of the seventh, Edward Mujica provided that rarest of feats on this day - a scoreless inning, working around a two-out walk. David Hernandez matched his accomplishment with a perfect eighth.

Trevor Rosenthal came on for the bottom of the eighth. After retiring Chavez, he allowed consecutive hits to Parra, Prado, and Hill, the third of which brought home yet another tying run. The potential go-ahead tallies were left at second and third.

And then the scoring ended, at least for a while. JJ Putz circumnagivated a leadoff walk in the top of the ninth, and Rosenthal left a man on in the bottom. Matt Reynolds and Mark Rzepczynski (who serves as Spring Training for my memory of name spellings) were both spotless in the tenth, and allowed only a single between them in the eleventh.

The twelfth brought the bats back. Josh Collmenter walked Molina with one out, then allowed a single to Adams, which somehow moved Yadi to third. Kozma added a hit of his own to put the Cards in front, and Mitchell Boggs came in from the pen for the save opportunity.

It was not to be; Pennington singled, Chavez was hit by a pitch, Parra bunted them both over, and Prado's sac fly sent Pennington home with the sixth tying run of the game. The exchange of goose eggs resumed from there; Collmenter put two on in the thirteenth and one in the fourteenth, while Boggs kept the bases clear in the former inning and Fernando Salas allowed a hit and a steal in the latter. Collmenter and Salas then traded 1-2-3's in the fifteenth, and after Collmenter added another in the sixteenth, Salas walked Jason Kubel, allowed a sac bunt to pinch hitter Ian Kennedy (which is always fun), and then saw Pennington end the game with an RBI single.

Sixteen innings and six comebacks; it goes without saying that this is the most dramatic game of the nascent season, and probably will be for a while. Comparing it to the full seasons of data I have available, it would have ranked 6th in both 2011 and 2012, which is in no way shabby.

Beyond that, you have Gerardo Parra coming a double short of the cycle, Martin Prado doing his best to make the Justin Upton trade look all right with 3 hits, a homer, and 3 RBI, Daniel Descalso with a 4/7 day... really, the leaderboards are now peppered with Diamondbacks and Cardinals. In particular, they occupy the top 10 spots on the to-date plate appearances list.

It bears repeating: This was the third day of the season, the first full slate of the year. It's probably not an omen... but here's hoping.

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