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Baseball is like church. Many attend, few understand.
--Wes Westrum

So who had a good day yesterday? We have to start with the man who didn't go anywhere. A.J. Burnett pitched a three-hit shutout over Arizona...

... and Jose Contreras blanked his old Yankee mates for 7 innings, in the White Sox 2-1 victory.

Dustin McGowan wasn't the only celebrated prospect winning his first major league game last night. The Mariners 19 year old phenom, Felix Hernandez, made a memorable home debut - 8 shutout innings, just 5 hits, no walks, and 6 Ks. Eddie Guardado worked the ninth in the 1-0 victory.

Jeff Francouer went 4-4 with an RBI in the Braves win over the Giants. Of course, he has yet to draw his first major league walk, so his OBP is "only" .439. But he has 8 2B and 8 HR in 81 at bats, for a nifty .827 slugging percentage. He's 21 years old! Has anybody, ever, burst onto the major leagues like this?

Chan Ho Park fanned 8 Mets in 5.2 IP, which is not bad. Even better, Park led off the third ining with a single against Pedro Martinez, and later scored the first run of a three-run inning, after which the Padres never looked back. It's possible - possible - that the Padres have finally righted the ship. They're above .500!

Vlad Guerrero hit a third inning grand slam off Rich Harden, and round one of the AL West showdown went to the Angels. This is a little reminiscent of last week, when the Braves and Nationals spent sveral days atop the NL East with identical records, and then played each other three times. The charging Braves swept the sagging Nats and took command of the division. But Oakland has been the hottest team in the AL, and the'll send the hottest pitcher in the league out tomorrow... that Zito fellow.

The day's games:

Chicago (Garcia 11-5, 3.83) at New York (Small 3-0, 3.15) 1:05
Texas (Rogers 11-4, 2.77) at Boston (Arroyo 9-7, 4.24) 7:05
Tampa Bay (Fossum 6-8, 3.89) at Baltimore (Lopez 10-6, 4.74) 7:05
Detroit (Robertson 5-10, 4.11) at Toronto (Chacin 11-6, 3.36) 7:07
Cleveland (Sabathia 7-9, 5.27) at Kanss City (Greinke 3-13, 6.02) 8:10
Los Angeles (Santana 6-5, 4.91) at Oakland (Zito 11-8, 3.65) 10:05
Minnesota (Radke 7-10, 3.71) at Seattle (Pineiro 4-7, 5.89) 10:05

St.Louis (Suppan 10-8, 4.34) at Milwaukee (Sheets 8-7, 3.10) 2:05
Cincinnati (Milton 5-12, 6.75) at Chicago (Hill 0-1, 7.00) 2:20
San Francisco (Correia 1-3, 4.75) at Atlanta (Smoltz 12-6, 2.83) 7:05
Arizona (Halsey 8-7, 3.70) at Florida (Vargas 2-0, 2.55) 7:05
Washington (Hernandez 13-4, 3.37) at Houston (Rodriguez 6-5, 6.11) 8:05
Pittsburgh (Redman 5-12, 4.61) at Colorado (Cook 0-1, 6.97) 9:05
New York (Benson 7-4, 3.72) at San Diego (Lawrence 6-11, 4.43) 10:05
Philadelphia (Myers 10-5, 3.32) at Los Angeles (Penny 5-7, 3.49) 10:10

This Day In Baseball: 10 August 2005 | 24 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Wednesday, August 10 2005 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#125129) #
Bill James did a piece in the original Historical Abstract on top September cups of coffee- names like Bob Nieman, Walt Bond and Jim Greengrass, as well as Lou Gehrig, popped up. Here are Francoeur's statistics for the year in double A and the majors. If you hit .275/.322/.487 in double A in 335 ABs and .432/.439/.827 in the majors in 81 ABs with 0 walks and 16 strikeouts, the likelihood is that the major league line is a complete fluke. If his slugging percentage is over .550 on September 10, I'll be surprised. Still, it's been an amazing run.
Mick Doherty - Wednesday, August 10 2005 @ 12:36 PM EDT (#125136) #
Am I remembering right that a young Blue Jay named Delgado came up as a catcher, hit about 10 homers in his first two weeks, then was back in the minors for a couple of years rather quickly?
Brett - Wednesday, August 10 2005 @ 12:51 PM EDT (#125142) #
Willie McCovey was also 21 when he did his thing in 1959 - he was called up on July 31, went 4-for-4 in his first game, hit .500 his first week, had a 22-game hitting streak and was a unanimous Rookie of the Year winner.

As good as Francoeur has been, Willie's debut was probably better. It would be nice to see Jeff draw a walk, though I guess it is tough to take pitches when you are hitting the crap out of everything.

Delgado hit eight homers in his first 13 games, then only one more in 1994

He was 26 years old so is not really comparable, but Hurricane Bob Hazle's run in August-September of 1957 is also fun to check out.

GreenMonster - Wednesday, August 10 2005 @ 12:57 PM EDT (#125144) #
Ted Cox was a September call-up for the 1977 Red Sox who hit like Francoeur, only with less power ( If he could have bottled that month, and his September 1981 with the Blue Jays, he would have been something. It was the rest of his baseball career that kept him from his baseball career.

Fred Lynn had a nice run as a September call-up in 1974 ( and kept it up until he ran into one outfield wall too many.
Jim - Wednesday, August 10 2005 @ 01:08 PM EDT (#125148) #
Shane Spencer
373/411/910 in ~60 PA
Magpie - Wednesday, August 10 2005 @ 01:16 PM EDT (#125150) #
a young Blue Jay named Delgado

It was the spring of 1994, and Delgado was hitting so well in Florida that the Jays figured they had to get that bat in the lineup. Alas, Delgado was a catcher, and despite being willing and having caught several hundred games in the minors, he wasn't a very good one. Borders was still there, Molitor was the DH, John Olerud had just hit .363 (not that Delgado had ever played first base at that time) - but Rob Butler was the default left fielder and having a lousy spring. So towards the end of March, they handed Delgado an outfielder's glove and said "give it a try."

In his first 13 games that year, Delgado hit .271, but with 8 HR and 18 RBI. He stopped hitting, was sent back to Syracuse, where he caught and played a little first base. He then spent 1995 learing to play first base at AAA, and came back to Toronto in 1996.

I remember the Bill James piece , and it was limited to September call-ups. The Francouer story might be more like Willie McCovey's 1959 season. He made his debut on July 30, and hit .354 with 13 HR, 38 RBI over the final 52 games. But I think he went to the minors briefly the following season...

Magpie - Wednesday, August 10 2005 @ 01:20 PM EDT (#125152) #
See, that's what happens when I read the first two comments and write something. Brett, as he so often is, was right on the case. Thinking my very thoughts. Hmmm...
Willy - Wednesday, August 10 2005 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#125155) #
Hey, Magpie, I like some of the quotes you've used recently as 'headnotes'. Where are they from? Is there a new book out there I can buy, a new website I can visit?
Magpie - Wednesday, August 10 2005 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#125161) #
I used to have a fabulous little Signet paperback collection of baseball quotes, but I can't seem to find it anymore. I remember lots of good stuff from it, though, and can always google it if my memory is fuzzy. Sometimes I just do searches on the net for baseball quotes and browse what pops up. Sometimes I dig into my little library...

Mostly, because it's quick and easy, I've been going to Baseball Almanac, although I think I've used most of the stuff there I really liked.

Alas, some of my all-time favourites - Leo Durocher describing Willie Mays' first home run, or Ted Williams talking to himself in the batting cage - aren't really suitable for family entertainment.

Magpie - Wednesday, August 10 2005 @ 02:00 PM EDT (#125162) #
Richard Griffin has a nice little story about Rondell White and John McDonald, but he really needs to have a word with whoever attached the headline:

The passionate tale of two Tigers

Mick Doherty - Wednesday, August 10 2005 @ 02:47 PM EDT (#125169) #
Hey, when did Aaron Small stop being Doug Linton and turn into Doug Drabek?
Willy - Wednesday, August 10 2005 @ 02:58 PM EDT (#125170) #
O.K., thanks. Now I have another matter for your consideration--one that you will perhaps thinks as inappropriate just after your being so helpful. But it simply cannot be helped: once a pedagogue, always a pedagogue.

In my capacity as your unofficial proof-reader, it pains me to point out that you were guilty of a solecism recently (sort of like a solenoid, only worse–-especially for someone like yourself, who sits a lot.) “Spawns”–and in a headline, too–is the culprit here. No need for the “s” at the end, as spawn is a collective noun. (If it helps as a mnemonic, think of “Spahn [with the New Yaawk pronunciation of "spawn'] and Sain and pray for rain” next time you’re tempted. Only one Spahnie.)

It may be, of course, that you were making some obscure witticism in using “Spawns”. But I can’t see one (if the allusion or reference is after-–oh, say, 1963-–I won’t catch it anyway. So please excuse me if I am mistaken about your intentions.

I would have apprised you of this startling occurence earlier but I've been out of town, and I long ago removed Internet Explorer from my laptop, and goofy Geeklog won’t let me log on using Netscape 7.1. And...well, you can imagine my consternation.

Hey, glad to be of service. I enjoy your writing–so any slips give me heartburn. I’m sure that Nietzsche would approve. Wittgenstein, too. Even Hobbes. Cheers.
Named For Hank - Wednesday, August 10 2005 @ 03:11 PM EDT (#125171) #
Hey Mick, is Small eligible for rookie of the year?

According to the YES guys (via Sportsnet, hooray for lunchtime baseball!), Small will be the guy heading down when Wright is back. That seems insane to me.
Magpie - Wednesday, August 10 2005 @ 03:24 PM EDT (#125174) #
I blame... I blame Hollywood. Bad movies confuse me.

Yeah, that's the ticket.
King Ryan - Wednesday, August 10 2005 @ 04:34 PM EDT (#125182) #
Small might have been eligible for ROY in 1997...;)

I wonder if Franceour will win in the NL. I mean he's only had <100 AB's, but there really isn't anyone else that comes to mind. All the good rookies are over here.
Named For Hank - Wednesday, August 10 2005 @ 05:15 PM EDT (#125184) #
i know, KR, but isn't this the first time he's stuck somewhere?
Leigh - Wednesday, August 10 2005 @ 05:21 PM EDT (#125185) #
For what it's worth, here are the top ten rookie VORPs (BP) in each league:

NL: Duke 20.6, Barmes 20.5, Francoeur 20.3, Tejeda 18.8, Church 16.7, Weeks 14.6, Betemit 14.3, Majewski 13.2, Niekro 12.0, Halsey 11.3.

AL: Chacin 30.8, Mauer 27.1, Street 25.8, Shelton 24.8, Johnson 24.2, Iguchi 21.7, Adams 20.6, Sisco 20.3, Kazmir 18.0, Gomes 17.0.
AWeb - Wednesday, August 10 2005 @ 05:37 PM EDT (#125188) #
About the ROY, if Jeff Francis can win 3-4 (11 now) more games and get his ERA under 5 (currently 5.37), he might make it back-to-back Canadians with the award. If win totals can get you Cy Young votes, surely they can get ROY votes too.

I hadn't looked at his numbers in a while: 3.59 ERA at home, 7.24 on the road. What? I'd heard the split was out of whack, but damn... I'm going way out a limb here, but I assume no Colorado pitcher has ever had a road ERA twice as high as a home ERA. Small sample size, but still...weird. And it might work against him in the voting; if the ERAs were reversed, a lot of people would attribute it to the Coors effect and give him more credit.
Rob - Wednesday, August 10 2005 @ 05:42 PM EDT (#125189) #
Small pitched 96.2 innings in 1997. That would easily be the end to his rookie-ness.

Wow, that 1997 Oakland team sure was something.
Mick Doherty - Wednesday, August 10 2005 @ 05:48 PM EDT (#125190) #
I think Zach Duke has to be the odds-on to win the NL Award, by a wide margin, not just because he's been freaking Pete Alexander so far, but because he has the "Heralded Rookie Prospect" hype going for him.
Jefftown - Thursday, August 11 2005 @ 01:11 AM EDT (#125214) #
I know Shelton's not a rookie, and don't think Mauer is either.
Jefftown - Thursday, August 11 2005 @ 01:17 AM EDT (#125216) #
The way many New Yorkers see it, Cano's the clear RotY choice. In my opinion, he's at most the 5th best. The way he plays, other Yankees would confuse him with Tony Womack, that is, if Cano weren't much slower than him.
Craig B - Thursday, August 11 2005 @ 11:39 AM EDT (#125238) #
Shelton's apparently not a rookie qualifier because of his roster time last year, but I thought September roster time didn't count towards that. If so, I think he's eligible, I don't know.
VBF - Thursday, August 11 2005 @ 12:08 PM EDT (#125244) #
Yesterday (Wednesday), 61 years ago, Red Barrett threw a complete game, 57 pitch, two hitter against the Cincinnati Reds, the lowest complete game pitch count ever.

That works out to about two pitches per batter.

This Day In Baseball: 10 August 2005 | 24 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.