There is almost nothing better than when you get a doubleheader of a team you really want to watch. The Angels and White Sox were rained out last night and baseball did everyone a solid by starting game one at 5:05 ET, with game two getting underway at 8:40 ET, basically right now.
It was one of those weird things where you aren’t sure why these teams didn’t play in the afternoon for game one and then at night for game two, with plenty of rest in between. But we’re not complaining, it’s 18 innings of Mike Trout and the surging Angels. Trout didn’t disappoint, getting Anaheim off and running with a three-run home run that tied the game at three after Jose Abreu hit his 26th. Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols added their own solo shots, and Garrett Richards improved to 9-2, going eight innings and striking out nine.
I would say more, but the Angels hot bats have a date with Scott Carroll. Shit could get out of hand. There’s nothing better than a full day of baseball in a city like Chicago with the holiday weekend looming. Life is good.
UPDATE (Wednesday): Video of the Trout homer, and box scores from game one and game two. The Angels swept the doubleheader, and enter play today at 47-35.
This really is why we watch and why we love baseball.
Mike Trout provided us with what go down as the signature moment of the 2014 season. It was definitely the signature moment of the season thus far. Trout had an absolutely un-human at-bat against Chris Sale, working a full count. He then hits a change-up out of the park for a grand slam that tied the game. This moment will live on in Angels-lore for quite some time.
The Angels would of course go on to win the game 6-5 (you don’t lose a game after your team does something like this), scoring all six runs in the bottom of the eighth inning.
And tonight, I’m glad I didn’t go to sleep on Mike Trout.
Danny Salazar was an unorganized, shitty mess tonight in Chicago.
Salazar became the first pitcher since 1900 with 10 strikeouts in fewer than four innings pitched; going an inefficient 3 and 2/3 innings, allowing five runs and losing the ballgame.
Only wearing a Cleveland Indians uniform can a pitcher manage to be so dominant with his stuff except not really be at all. I don’t know whether this feat is an admission of Salazar’s talent or an admission that Cleveland is terribly cursed barren wasteland in sports.
Of the 30 active teams in Major League baseball, the Chicago White Sox are one of 12 teams to have a franchise record above .500 (8,855-8,672). But, considering recent history, the South Side pale-hosers have been back and forth between an above .500 and a losing team since the won the World Series in 2005. Culminating in a crap-tastic 63-99 record last season. They may have one of the best pitchers in baseball in Chris Sale, but when you only manage to outscore the Miami Marlins, you can’t expect to win many baseball games.
So, how do you address a putrid offense? You add pieces to that offense. The White Sox traded Hector Santiago over the offseason in a three-team trade with the Diamondbacks and Angels, netting them the scrappy Adam Eaton. They signed Cuban defector, Jose Abreu, and handed him the keys to the job at first base. They limited the aging Paul Konerko (and his off-the-charts will-to-win stat) to the DH role and, for the love of God, you platoon Adam Dunn. Continue reading →
Last night, Old Man Balls Giambi hit one of the biggest home runs in recent Cleveland sports history, a walk-off job that bailed out Chris Perez and kept the Indians in sole possession of that precious second Wildcard spot in the American League. I also want to add that our resident Indians homer (Justin) told me via phone call that the shot went off the facing of the upper deck. That’s amazing because when I watched the replay of what I’m sure is the same home run, it landed in the bullpen in right. Perhaps he was just a little excited.
Here is the text exchange from our golden boy last evening:
You gotta love the guy. It was emotional for him. He almost cried. It’s a special year. He was hunting during the birth of two of his three children – I have never seen him cry – but Jason Giambi brings out his sensitive side.
In all seriousness, the Indians are a great story and I hope they hang on this weekend. I don’t want to be on suicide watch for my friend just yet.
This one’s for my buddy Justin – my friend who served as the best man in my wedding. My friend who; inevitably every year calls me during my workday to tell me that ‘the Indians are going to the World Series this year’ when they’re hot, and doesn’t watch them because he’s in his deer stand or some shit when they’re losing.
This is the same friend of mine who dead serious walked out of Cleveland Browns Stadium crying in his beer feeling sorry for himself mumbling about how “his football team sucks (Browns), his baseball team sucks (Indians), and his driver (Dale Jr.) sucks”. He thought the world owed him a pat on the back after the Browns screwed up a fake field goal that made all of our heads spin.
Last time I was at a baseball game with him, I was calling Giambi old and telling everyone about his old man balls. Justin took it serious and started getting hot under the collar about it. He’s sensitive about criticism to his Indians. For some reason, he loves Giambi – I assume because he does not realize you cannot build long-term around a player like Jason Giambi. It’s alright. We will let him have his dream for now. A pitch or two on that day, Giambi hit a monster home run off the hitter’s backdrop in Cincinnati and Justin began to gloat like he was Giambi’s nephew. He rubbed it in my face until Joey Votto hit a walk-off home run that day, and then Justin did not talk for the two hour car ride home.
But tonight, Justin is surprisingly nowhere to be heard from. This is mildly concerning because; normally I would have received nothing short of a dozen texts or voxers from Justin until I responded back with “your Indians are good” or “Giambi is a star” text back to him that met his approval. It would allow him to sleep soundly while still having his dream. He’s probably shooting his bow at fake deer or killing something.
Justin if you’re out there, I’m happy for you and your old man balls favorite player Giambles. I’m just happy you’re still interested in baseball season in nearly August and not already calling me up telling me how good the Buckeyes are going to be this year (he’s had them winning the national title for the past twenty years, you are not allowed to present argument).
UPDATE (11:06 AM ET) (He’s Fine):
LOL, look at those cocky responses. This is perfect.
Cows come, and cows go. But the Big Donkey lives on forever.
You would never figure a guy hitting in the .180′s would be the Hard Hittin’ Mark Whiten Memorial Player of the Week. But I need you to consider that in the past week this man raised his average from .165 to the staggering .183 it sits at today.
Dunn went 8 for 25 for the week with four home runs with 8 RBI. The last time we wrote about him, we were sticking a fork in him. But this past week, Adam Dunn went and danced with the girl who brought him to the dance. The long ball. It’s his one redeeming quality. It’s what has kept his career afloat through all the late nights, and the broads, and the booze, and the booing fans. The son of a gun knows how to hit it where a play can’t be made on it.
His career home run log is a lot of fun to read through. He’s up to 424 career blasts now. If there are such a thing as baseball gods, he’ll reach 500 so we have something to talk about forever with Dunn. And we always predicted he would get to 500 on his career.
We love the guy. It would be nice to see him really break out the rest of the way and hit .220. My goodness, read that last sentence and then someone slap me.
And look what I found because I have no life, and I am addicted to watching baseball’s past. If you’ve got two hours to waste, here is our award’s namesake hitting those four homers at Old Riverfront.
The two sides of Liriano – celebrating a no hitter and biting his jersey in the dugout
Mevs had a brilliant idea of recognizing a batter each week who goes off for that week, maybe out of no where. We couldn’t ignore the pitchers for long though. After much deliberation (with myself), we’d like to introduce the Francisco Liriano IcyHot Award. Let me explain why we chose this name. First of all, it’s gives maximum flexibility. Francisco Liriano has had only 2 starts in his 2013 season after returning from injury. His numbers? 16 K in 11 innings, 1.64 ERA, and 2 wins. This is the hot side of Liriano. The icy side? It’s ugly. A 5 game stretch in April 2011 back in Minnesota. Going 1-4 and compiling a 9.13 ERA in the process. Yikes. Naming the award this allows us to bestow it upon anyone we want (unless they went 1-1 with a 3.50ERA…that’s lukewarm man). It could go to a guy getting a no hitter, it could go to a complete disaster…it’s a grab bag.
IcyHot is our unofficial sponsor for reasons most people who played sports will know. It can work wonders on some sore muscles, but get it in the wrong spot and you will not be happy. Let’s start with our very first winner: Chris Sale
A great look at the funky yet extremely effective delivery of Chris Sale
Chris did the deed to the LA Angels this week. He first went out and tossed a complete game shut out while striking at 7 at home to win 3-0. He then went across the country five days later and shut down the Angels again. He pitched intot he 8th inning while striking out an incredible 12 hitters. Chris Sale dominated this week. Congrats on winning the inaugural Francisco Liriano IcyHot Award. Check out his stats below.
Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com
Note: IcyHot in no way actually sponsors anything on DiamondHoggers. (But if you’re interested let us know)
If you look back through the archives of this blog, you’ll read a lot of good times for us provided by The Big Donkey Adam Dunn. He was the original Godfather of Diamond Hoggers. He was a key cog on our fantasy teams from about 2002 until 2008. He probably gave us anywhere from 250 to 300 fantasy home runs, and was the reason we won the home run title every year.
This season, we took an unexpected late round flier on Dunn to provide some power. And at this time of year with guys dropping like flies and pitchers that need to be streamed, tough decisions needed to be made. Dunn went 0 for 3 with a measly hit-by-pitch tonight in Toronto, dropping his season average down to .128 with just two home runs.
We added Brandon Moss. It’s kind of like that scene in Goodfellas when Pauly hands Henry $300 after all they’ve been through together. Three Ben Franklins for a lifetime of service. For all Adam Dunn has done for us, the guy we drop him for for the final time is Brandon Moss.
We’ll never own Adam Dunn again in fantasy baseball. It’s over. It’s the end of an era. It looks like twilight is settling in on an incredible power hitter’s career. It’s become painful to watch him swing and we’re moving on.
And if the ride ends soon, what a ride it’s been. We’re not sure there’s been a bigger Adam Dunn fan on the planet than us – this is just business. Like a cowboy riding off into the sunset for the last time; we tip our cap to you, big Texan. Hit those 92 more dingers and hang them up.
When you look at Harper, he doesn’t look like a guy who has the type of power to hit these tape measure shots. Although long ago we all learned that he swings a bat of part ash, part thunderbolt. When tested by mediocre peasants like Floyd, he parties in the cheap seats.
You see, I remember when Adam Dunn was still a kid and actually had some speed. I’ve been at a game when he’s accomplished the feat. Back in 2002 he actually stole 19. It’s true, look it up.
But in Las Vegas, the over/under for ’2013 Adam Dunn stolen bases’ would probably be set at one. Dunn needs just one more in the remainder of the season for you believers in his wheels to cash in.
The Sox announcers actually compliment done on his decent speed. They’re clearly full of shit at this juncture. He isn’t fast anymore. We still admire him for being a wiley cuss that will rob you when you aren’t looking.
The White Sox are always a peculiar team to me. They rarely come into a season with fanfare, but seem to ride a mix of veterans and mildly known young guys to a good enough record to not be horrible, but also not make the playoffs. the last time they made the playoffs was 2008 and since they’ve finished either 2nd or 3rd in the AL Central. How long can the White Sox continue to flounder in the middle. Probably for a while if they want to. The White Sox are in a hard spot that many teams find themselves in. They have enough talent to maybe go for it, but they might be better off to start over and get some prospects to rebuild. Their attendance has been slowly declining since 2006 and settled in at just over 24k last year. Unlike that other Chicago team, the White Sox don’t enjoy sellouts every game just because drunk people like to drink. Could they flip Paul Konerko or Adam Dunn for some mid-level prospects? Maybe, but I don’t know how many teams are knocking down the door to get these guys.
What the the Sox do this off season and does it tell us which direction they are leaning.
Major Off-Season Moves:
Signed Jeff Keppinger to a 3 yr/$12M deal
It looks like the White Sox don’t even know what they wanted to do. They didn’t really play in the free agent market except to replace the departed Kevin Youkilis at 3rd base. Keppinger has bounced around a bit, but is a versatile player with a decent bat and is stats should improve simply from playing 81 games in US Cellular Field. I don’t think this is a “going for it” move – just a needed replacement. Later we’ll see some moves that suggest they want to move on to younger players.
Adam Dunn has long been one of our favorite athletes of all-time. Nothing can ever change that, not time nor space or argument from opposing fan about him being wortless defensively or a beer league softball player. He is spoken of as icon status on this blog, do you understand?
Matthew McConaughey has a new movie coming out this summer called “Dallas Buyer’s Club” that, according to IMDB, tells “the true-life tale of Ron Woodroof, a drug taking, women loving, homophobic man who, in 1986 was diagnosed with full blown HIV/AIDS and given thirty days to live.”
Dallas Buyer’s Club sounds like an unbelievable movie in the mold of Boogie Nights or something close. I would want to see it even if Dunn’s part was played by Casey Affleck or someone else who can’t act. To get Dunn is just a bonus. Hopefully he’s one of Ron Woodroof’s skirt-chasing, hard drinking sidekicks. This would be a natural role for Dunn that he played well in his years in Cincinnati before he settled down (it happens to us all around age 30).