As part of our full service preview for the 2009 season here at Diamond Hoggers, we provide you with some things that will happen (or possibly could) during the course of the 2009 Regular Season. Feel free to add your own in the comments.
April 5: On Opening Night, Jeff Francoeur spoils the Phillies World Championship honeymoon with a seeing eye single up the middle to break a 3-3 tie. The Braves explode for several runs in the top of the 9th and win handily, 8-4.
April 6: The Cincinnati Reds get 7 strong innings from Aaron Harang, only to be bested by Johan Santana who throws a 2-hit shutout on Opening Day as the Mets win 2-0 in Cincinnati.
April 7: In their season opener, Prince Fielder hits two home runs to power the Brewers to a one run victory over the San Francisco Giants. Fielder touches up Giants ace Tim Lincecum twice to hang the loss on him. Thing is, it will be Lincecum’s only loss until mid-July.
April 10: Ben Sheets leaves a game in the 3rd inning against the Tigers in Detroit because he “is feeling tired”. Sheets is diagnosed with a common cold and misses the rest of the season.
April 13: In the series opener in Kansas City between the Royals and Indians, Zach Greinke hits Grady Sizemore in the head with a pitch to begin the game. Rumor has it Sizemore might miss the season. Indians fans continue to say that Cleveland is a cursed sport city and fear that Sizemore is never the same. Greinke enrolls back in therapy and goes on the DL immediately. Sizemore will be back in 20 days while ironically, Greinke misses the season.
April 16: Andy LaRoche hits for the cycle against the Houston Astros in their afternoon matinee. The Astros still win the game 9-3.
April 17: A.J. Burnett wins the Yankees their first victory at their new stadium in the second game played there. A 4-1 victory over the Indians that sees Mark Teixeira hit the first homer after Cody Ransom gets the first hit in the stadium a day earlier.
May 1: David Price goes 6 strong innings allowing only 2 runs in his first start of the year, striking out 6 and walking 3 to defeat the Boston Red Sox 6-3 at the Trop.
May 6: The Marlins are sitting at 10-17 when Hanley Ramirez marches into manager Fredi Gonzalez’s office with cornrows and more bling than Mr. T before their 7:10 game with the Atlanta Braves. Ramirez goes 4 for 5 with two home runs and Chris Volstad shuts out Atlanta, starting an 8 game winning streak for Florida.
May 8: Matt Wieters makes his big league debut batting 3rd in the lineup at home for the Orioles against the New York Yankees. Wieters draws C.C. Sabathia and goes 1 for 4 and the Orioles lose 4-1.
May 12: Arizona DiamondBacks Pitcher Doug Davis throws a no hitter against the Cincinnati Reds, the first and only of the big league season.
May 22-May 24: Jay Bruce explodes on Memorial Day weekend against the Cleveland Indians depleted pitching staff. Bruce hits 4 home runs in the series, including a grand slam, a three run homer, a two run homer, and a solo shot. The Reds sweep their in state rivals to sit Cleveland 10 games under .500 and Bruce wins NL player of the week for his efforts.
June 1: The Toronto Blue Jays call an off-day press conference and fire their manager Cito Gaston. The Blue Jays are 20-33 and just off of a 3 game sweet at home by the Boston Red Sox.
June 2: Alex Rodriguez makes his triumphant return from injury. Cody Ransom heads to the bench hitting .298 with 10 homers and 32 RBI. Rodriguez homers in his first at bat against the Rangers, then precedes to go hitless for the rest of the homestand.
June 9: A-Rod breaks out of his 1 for 32 slump by going 4 for 5 with a walk-off home run against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. In a post game interview A-Rod says that he’d like to be traded due to the scrutiny of the Yankee fan base. Alex hints that he’d eventually like to re-unite with Joe Torre.
June 18: Manny Ramirez homers twice, the second being a game winning home run off A’s reliever Jerry Blevins to win the game for the Dodgers. James Loney collects 3 hits and is hitting .389 for the season. The Dodgers have a surprisingly explosive offense and Billingsley is pitching well but have a fight on their hands with the Giants who are just 4 games back.
June 23: In their first meeting since the World Series, the Phillies defeat the Rays in a 22-20 slugfest that sees 48 hits and 11 home runs. Evan Longoria and Shane Victorino have 2 a piece.
July 4: Barry Zito wins his 9th game of the year over the Houston Astros to improve to 9-2. The win puts the Giants in first place by 5 games.
July 12: Johan Santana strikes out 19 hitters against the Reds at Citi Field in New York in a 9-0 victory. Manager Jerry Manuel doesn’t allow Santana to participate in the All-Star game.
July 13: All-star weekend 2009 welcomes newcomers Jay Bruce, Johnny Cueto, and surprising names like Barry Zito and Justin Verlander; who start for their respective teams. The AL wins the game.
July 14: FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal breaks a story that Alex Rodriguez has been reportedly sleeping with Paris Hilton. How the mighty have fallen. The relationship does cause Rodriguez to quiet his stance about leaving New York; until he finds out that Derek Jeter beat him to the punch.
July 25: Sitting 24 games below .500 for the season, Royals manager Trey Hillman laces into a profanity ridden tirade on his ballclub. The tirade becomes an argument and Hillman ends up throwing closer Joakim Soria through a buffet table. Soria says he will never play for the Royals again and requests to be traded immediately, leaving the Royals with zero real big leaguers.
July 30: Matt Holliday is pulled in the 3rd inning of a game at Fenway Park. Holliday is informed he has been traded, to the team in the other dugout; the Boston Red Sox. Billy Beane acquires 3 minor leaguers and a player to be named.
July 31: The Yankees acquire Joakim Soria from the Royals for 3 butterscotch candies and a subscription to “Healthy Living”. The Yankees don’t currently have a big league spot for Soria but plan to keep him so no one else can have him.
August 7: Before a home game with the Cubs, Rockies manager Clint Hurdle is nowhere to be found. When the owner calls Hurdle’s cell phone Hurdle responds tha
t he is at a gentlemans club and won’t be making the game for that evening. When Hurdle is presented with an ultimatum, Hurdle fires himself and hangs up.
August 14: Steve Bartman makes a surprise return to Wrigley Field in a low profile friday night affair against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Security surrounds Bartman as he throws out the first pitch, but something is different. He is now sporting a long beard and hair longer then Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler. He is still wearing AM walkman headphones.
August 16: Joe Mauer anounces that he has begun to learn the sport of hockey and says that he will try out for the NHL’s minor leagues in the offseason, as a goalie.
August 20: Josh Hamilton becomes the first player since Fernando Tatis to hit two grand slams in an inning when he gives the Rangers an 8-0 lead against Scott Baker and the Minnesota Twins in Texas. Frank Francisco throws a chair at Hamilton from the dugout as he touched home plate the second time around.
August 21: Travis Hafner anounces that he will retire after the season.
August 26: Karma strikes White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, as God gives him a canker sore that will land him on the 15 day DL. The canker sore from hell.
August 30: Bronson Arroyo records the line of the year against the LA Dodgers. In a 17-2 loss, Arroyo goes 1/3 of an inning, walks 4, gives up 13 hits, and 11 runs. All earned.
September 3: Ozzie Guillen is involved in a 15 car interstate pile up on the White Sox off day. The wreck kills everyone involved in the crash, but Guillen crawls from the wreckage with merely a scratch or two. He has both middle fingers high in the air as the smoke clears.
September 12: Bartolo Colon swallows a child whole in the bullpen during a game against the Angels. Colon shits after the game and a dinosaur comes out. Don’t ask.
September 18: In the series opener on a friday night against the San Diego Padres, the Pittsburgh Pirates draw a record low attendance for a game in franchise history. 112 faithful fans show up to the ballpark to see the Pirates win a meaningless 3-2 game between last place teams.
September 21: Travis Snider hits his 26th homer of the year for the Toronto Blue Jays who have won 6 straight ballgames. The Blue Jays trail the Yankees and Red Sox by 5 games but sit 5 ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays.
September 22: The Giants sweep the Dodgers in a 3-game series in San Francisco. This puts the Dodgers 2 games back with an unlucky 13 left to play.
September 23: Brian Fuentes saves his league leading 49th game of the year for the Angels against the New York Yankees. Thing is, if Fuentes hadn’t missed 5 weeks earlier in the year with a pulled hamstring he’d be on pace to break K-Rod’s saves record from last season.
September 27: Joba Chamberlain has a no hitter going into the 8th inning at home against the Boston Red Sox. Chamberlain is pulled in favor of Mariano Rivera because he is approaching his 180 innings limit for the season. The Red Sox lose the game and important ground on the Yankees in a race that looks like it’s headed down to the wire.
September 29: Jay Bruce hits a line drive into the right field visitors bullpen at Great American Ballpark off Jason Motte of the St. Louis Cardinals. As the Reds gather for their customary celebration at home plate, the Cardinals are eliminated from playoff contention. The win for the Reds is bittersweet as it also clinches a division title for the Cubs.
September 30: Ken Griffey Jr. homers at Safeco field, his 24th and final home run of the season. Griffey finishes the year with 635 career home runs.
October 1: Freddy Lewis steals home plate in the bottom of the 9th in a shutout 1-0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. The win sends the Giants to the playoffs with a division title, and gives Tim Lincecum his 18th win of the year.
October 2: Albert Pujols hits his league leading 48th home run of the season and drives in 3 to give him a total of 136. The Cardinals win eliminates the Brewers from the NL Central chase.
October 4: Adam Dunn homers in Atlanta in his final at-bat of the season. He finishes with 40 homers and 100 RBI and the Nationals finish 19 games out of first place in the NL East.
October 4: Dodger James Loney wins the National League batting title, hitting .348 for the season.
October 4: A.J. Burnett wins his 22nd game of the season for the Yankees on 3 days rest. The Yankees clinch the division by a game over the Red Sox.