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The big lineup news today is the presence of Reed Johnson in the leadoff spot. Against a righty, Frank Catalanotto usually plays LF, but perhaps Carlos Tosca has run out of patience with his slump, and the skipper obviously has confidence in the Sparkplug against any kind of pitching. Mike Bordick, who is more dangerous against southpaws, remains in the 2-hole -- Eric Hinske is hitting seventh. Bordick's on an 11-game hit streak, batting well over .400 for that stretch, so while he's hot, it's not a bad idea.

Kelvim Escobar, no longer distracted by trade rumours but still pitching for his next contract, should have a good afternoon in Anaheim. He's 4-3, 2.73 with five saves in his career against the Angels. His opposite number, RH Scot Shields, makes just his third start of the season but has been brilliant in most of his 30 relief appearances. Stamina will be the big question as he takes over the rotation spot of the costliest release in baseball history, Kevin Appier.
Game 111: Sparky Puts Cat Out | 8 comments | Create New Account
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_Spicol - Sunday, August 03 2003 @ 06:19 PM EDT (#19582) #
I missed something...why was Phelps pulled for Cat?
Coach - Sunday, August 03 2003 @ 06:37 PM EDT (#19583) #
With runners in scoring position and a narrow 2-0 lead, the belief was that Cat would have a better chance than Josh against the nasty K-Rod slider. It didn't matter, as Hudson came through with the big 2-run single.

What a day for Johnson! 3-for-3, including another of his textbook push bunts (there wasn't anyone within 30 feet of first base) and a walk. Bordick kept the hit streak alive, and Kielty delivered a huge RBI double. Collectively, the hitters provided excellent support for Kelvim, who needed lots of help from his outfielders and a couple of timely double plays. He's at 107 pitches and probably wants to complete the shutout, but he really hasn't been awesome and they should have the bullpen ready.
_Shane - Sunday, August 03 2003 @ 06:42 PM EDT (#19584) #
I think it's been noted before that Candiotti will alternate between calling Escobar either "Kelvim" or "Kelvin". Well, today -- if i've been hearing correctly -- Tom isn't even trying, it's been a constant "Kelvin" all day long. Sure it's not the end of the world, this little detail, but couldn't somebody point this out to the "duck fart" artist?
Coach - Sunday, August 03 2003 @ 06:47 PM EDT (#19585) #
This has been a very good game -- Shields was impressive -- but in Oakland, there was a classic. Andy Pettitte threw a 1-hit shutout for eight innings, and Mark Mulder was on the hook to lose 1-0, when the A's rallied for two in the ninth. Shades of his heroics last August -- Tejada doubled off Rivera to give Oakland the game and the series.
Coach - Sunday, August 03 2003 @ 07:03 PM EDT (#19586) #
After Escobar (I think Candiotti calls him "Calvin") put two guys on, Tosca got the desired results from his bullpen. Miller got his lefty to fly out harmlessly to CF, and Politte overpowered his righty for his first save in ages and a boost to his confidence.

Perhaps the D-Rays have used up all their luck for one year and the Jays will build some momentum...
_Mark - Sunday, August 03 2003 @ 07:38 PM EDT (#19587) #
Just to join in the all-too-easy Faulds-bashing, he said during the post-game comments that Escobar allowed "only 4 walks in 8 1/3 innings" . Only??? That's 4.32 walks/9 innings. Odd thing to say, since there are only 8 qualified (1 inning per team GP) pitchers in MLB with a worse walk rate, and only one of those (Victor Zambrano) is in the AL.
_Shane - Sunday, August 03 2003 @ 08:36 PM EDT (#19588) #
Now that Josh Phelps is back on Tosca's radar - sort of - I guess it's someone else's turn to take the shaft that comes with Tosca's man-love for "Sparky" Johnson.

"On Saturday night, after the Blue Jays' 6-1 win over the Angels, a reporter suggested to manager Carlos Tosca that "Good things happen when Reed Johnson gets on base."

To which Tosca responded, "Good things happen when Johnson is in the lineup period."

Now, that's amore.
_George - Sunday, August 03 2003 @ 09:28 PM EDT (#19589) #
Not that there's anything wrong with that, or course, Shane.
Game 111: Sparky Puts Cat Out | 8 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.