Record: 10-8. Change on last season: +3
For an encore, I believe Alex Cintron is going to go to the Middle East, kick-start the peace process there, then solve world hunger and find a cure for cancer. And he probably still won't get a place in Melvin's everyday line-up...
Yep, no question: this was a good day for our utility infielder, almost half our hits (three of seven) and all our RBIs, including a glorious two-out first-pitch single in the ninth innings that brought Tracy round to score. Cintron and Green had two hits, but the rest had nothing at all. This includes Counsell, who is 5-for-36 since the start of the home series against the Rockies, and now has more walks than hits on the season (15-14). Glaus got the day off - hence Cintron's start at third - and Chad Tracy was promoted to cleanup, but went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
I must be getting good at this prediction lark. In the preview, I said, "It doesn't look like this will be a high-scoring game," and lo, it came to pass. Mind you, us being involved in a low-scoring game is about as unexpected as Angelina Jolie being involved in a Hollywood breakup. That's now 13 games since we scored more than five runs, but we've still gone 8-5 over that period, despite being outscored 43-49.
Tonight's other hero was Brandon Webb, whose sinker was filthy (at least going by the box score, since the game wasn't on TV). 18 ground balls, and one fly-ball out? Lethal. "Maybe we could have put everybody in the infield and made sure nothing got through," said Webb. Well, his very last pitch, to end the eighth, was his only fly-ball, and was clearly why Bob Melvin immediately replaced him...
Webb's five hits and a walk over eight innings basically took Jake Peavy - every bit as good, four hits and a walk over seven - out of the equation, and made the game a case o which bullpen blinked first. Koplove had another good innings; Otsuka didn't, and we're back up to just 2 1/2 games behind the Dodgers, with an 8-3 home record. Thanks to Otacon, frienetic and Ryan for stopping by.
[Speaking of the standings, let's pause to mock the Yankees, dead last in the AL East, with a pitching staff that is rapidly unravelling at the seams. Ha-ha-ha! But actually, let's also give credit to teams like Baltimore, who are defying all pre-season expectations and giving a convincing impression of a team that actually wants to compete.]
Finally, "Rumors have it that the Chicago Cubs have an interest in obtaining Cintron," according to a story on mlb.com. Hang on, didn't I say that a couple of days ago? :-)