I was visited by my future self this morning. Not far in the future - actually, just after tonight's game, where Jake Peavy takes on Orlando Hernandez. "How'd it go?", I asked myself, more in hope than expectation. I shook my head at me sadly. "It wasn't pretty. There were crowd members faking epileptic fits to escape the stadium. Here. Have this." I handed over a photograph taken during proceedings, before disappearing in a puff of temporal logic. You may not believe this tale, but below is the picture from the game - handily annotated for your convenience.
Yes, the last time I saw a bigger mismatch, I did at least get a very nice pair of fur gloves out of it. Tonight is less a case of expectation management than damage limitation; I may simply go out for dinner, to a restaurant without TV, and pretend this isn't happening. For even though we slapped Peavy around handily last time we faced him, word is, he's sorted himself out - the results since them seem to indicate that is so. In those three starts, he's allowed three earned runs in 21 innings: last time, it was seven shutout innings of two-hit ball, with 13 K's.
In contrast, Hernandez has been depressingly bad of late; in May, he's given up 18 hits, six walks and 14 earned runs in only 9.1 innings. As the story mentioned by VIII in the last set of comments suggests, El Ma?ati Pequeno [Chris just showed me how to type that ?!] seems to be bearable only for about 90 pitches, then implodes. It may be that by the time hitters get a third look at him, they've seen everything he has to offer, and can tee off. So look for Melvin to have a quick hook tonight, and our Man of Iron, Jason Grimsley, to be warming up from the third inning on. But will it be quick enough? Somehow, I doubt it.
In case you've been wondering, Russ Ortiz makes a rehab start in Tucson tonight. Says Melvin, "He'll have several starts on the fifth day. There are some mechanical changes we're looking at. We just want to get him out there now that he's healthy and try to take some of these things that we think are going to help him and take it to a level where he back to the Russ Ortiz that we signed." The bad news is, MLB rules say pitchers may be assigned to the minors for injury rehabilitation for a maximum of 30 days. So we'll see him back here in mid-June; pity, I had hopes of Ortiz sitting for the rest of his contract in Tucson.
And, also in the "Where are they now?" category, the Baltimore Orioles designated Luis Terrero for assignmemt - he went 0-for-14 with them. Wherever he goes, Luis will always have a special place in our hearts, albeit in a "remember that idiot who fell for the hidden ball trick?" kind of way.
Finally, over at Gaslamp Ball, they have been lucky enough to get an advert for The Beerbelly. It's a fake, realistic stomach, you wear, allowing you to smuggle the alcoholic beverage of your choice into a stadium - thereby saving you $9/mediocre serving. Not sure if it comes with a cooling system, to ensure you avoid the perils of warm beer. I imagine not, since it might arouse suspicion if your stomach started humming as you went through security. "Yes, it's just pleased to be here, officer, but doesn't know the words..."