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The Marlins Need Some Work: The Weekend’s Scores That Matter [WMQ]
Jun 28th, 2010 by Dan

Ian's Bachelor Party 047

The Fish were involved in a sweep again and it definitely wasn’t the good time. I know the Padres are really strong this year, but this is pathetic. Someone needs to fix this. Maybe Bobby V?

25 June

NPB
Hiroshima Carp (1) at Chunichi Dragons (3). An off day from Maeda denies him his first 10-game win season of the year by another start (hopefully). It’s uncharacteristic for Kenta Maeda to allow even three runs, so let’s hope this was an aberration.

Softbank Hawks (6) at Rakuten Eagles (2). This one went into the tenth thanks to a strong start by Iwakuma, but the Golden Eagles blew it in the tenth, allowing four runs.

MLB
Washington Nationals (6) at Baltimore Orioles (7). This weekend didn’t go very well for Washington either. Tyler Clippard blows the hold/save/win and gives away the game to the Orioles on their home turf.

San Diego Padres (3) at Florida Marlins (0). The one all NL series of the weekend starts bad and gets worse. Volstad doesn’t have a terrible start at all, but where are the Marlins bats?!

Arizona Diamondbacks (1) at Tampa Bay Rays (0). ANOTHER EMBARRASSING NO-HITTER THROWN AGAINST A FLORIDA TEAM. Congrats Edwin Jackson, but I’m angry about your success.

26 June

NPB
Hawks (2) at Eagles (1). Everything about this weekend is frustrating for me. Seriously, I think I may only have one win among the teams I actually care about. Satoshi Nagai only gives up two, but the Eagles can’t make up for it and they go down yet again.

Carp (0) at Dragons (1). An optimist would be proud of Giancarlo Alvorado for pitching eight innings and only giving up one. Everyone else in the world is wondering when Kenta Kurihara will be back to get these bats swinging.

MLB
Nationals (5) at Orioles (6). Washington may have blown this one in the late stages, yet again, but the real question is how this game was so close when Baltimore outhit Washington by seven hits to fourteen.

Diamondbacks (3) at Rays (5). This one ends as it should for Arizona, one of the worst in the league, thanks to David Price’s fantastic pitching. Justin Upton did get to notch one against his brother’s team, but still lost.

Padres (2) at Marlins (1). Surely Josh Johnson can stop the bleeding? No? All it takes are a few mistakes and JJ’s sleeping offense can’t compensate.

27 June

NPB
Hawks (1) at Eagles (1). Rakuten takes its second tie of the season, but, would you believe it, their struggles have put them behind the god-awful Fighters with their 32-37-2 record. Shameful.

Carp (6) at Dragons (4). The Carp finally remember how to score runs and it’s thanks to Kurihara’s replacement, Justin Huber, remembering that he’s supposed to hit for power again. Those two runs prove to be pretty decisive as the Carp record improves to 27-39-2, still a long ways away from third.

MLB
Padres (4) at Marlins (2). The Fish aren’t playing terribly, but they’re not playing particularly spectacularly either. This game was lost by the bullpen (shocker), but it could have gone either way. Florida ends the weekend 35-40, still far from third too. We need something to change and quick. Maybe Bobby V will help?

Nationals (3) at Orioles (4). Clippard’s slipping a little. The guy wasn’t giving up anything at the start of the season, but it looks like the law of averages is catching up to him. Washington slips to 33-43 while Baltimore is looking good at 23-52.

Diamondbacks (2) at Rays (1). Another well pitched game by Wade Davis, but the inconsistent Rays bats can’t buoy him up. Tampa Bay ends the weekend in third with their 44-31 record. Time to turn the jets back on and catch up to the other AL powerhouses. The deficit is only three games at this point.

I Saw A Game At Wrigley: The Weekend’s Scores That Matter [WMQ]
Jun 21st, 2010 by Dan

The Chicago Bean

I wasn't at the Bean, but it's also in Chicago. My photos aren't uploaded yet.

Lots of action this weekend, including a game I attended in the Friendly Confines that will not be mentioned because I don’t cover the Cubs or the Angels.

18 June

NPB
Yakult Swallows at Hiroshima Carp. Rain delayed.

Rakuten Eagles at Chiba Lotte Marines. Rain delayed.

MLB
Chicago White Sox (2) at Washington Nationals (1). Strasburg went out for his second home outing and pitched another stellar game, allowing only one over seven innings and striking out another 10. This kid is insane. The game is lost on a bad throw in the 11th, and Strasburg gets his first no decision.

Tampa Bay Rays (4) at Florida Marlins (7). I turn off my Rays switch again to root for another great Marlins game. I’m super bummed I missed it, but this game had Mike Stanton’s first home run and boy was it a doozy. First homers don’t get any better than grand slams.

Baltimore Orioles (2) at San Diego Padres (3). The Padres are the biggest surprise this year. The Orioles, not so much.

19 June

NPB
Swallows (1) at Carp (5). The Carp have to wait a day to kick off non-interleague play, but they come out with a bang. It’s no surprise Yakult’s score is so low, it was a Kenta Maeda start. That guy is a monster.

Eagles (3) at Marines (0). Iwakuma returns to form against the PL as he blanks the hard-hitting Marines.

MLB
White Sox (1) at Nationals (0). Jake Peavy throws an incredible game and the Nats just keep on losing and sliding down.

Rays (9) at Marlins (8). A wild game that went into extras was blown by Jorge Sosa walking in two in the 11th. The Marlins came within one, but couldn’t tack that final one down.

Orioles (5) at Padres (4). Stop the presses, Kevin Milwood FINALLY got his first win of the season. Congrats, buddy, you didn’t deserve to go this long without one.

20 June

NPB
Eagles (1) at Marines (3). Rakuten went through with its plan to separate Tanaka and Iwakuma, but that means they won’t be winning back-to-back almost every Saturday and Sunday. Rakuten closes the weekend in fifth with a 30-34-1 record.

Swallows (4) at Carp (2). I hate losing to the Swallows. A lot. It’s especially bad when it’s all thanks to the bullpen. The Carp are now 26-35-2 in fourth

MLB
Rays (1) at Marlins (4). Price vs. Johnson was one of the best matchups of the weekend, but David was no match for the Fish while the Rays struggled against the Marlins ace. Way to go Florida, you’re now 33-36 in fourth while Tampa drops to 42-27, tied with Boston for second.

White Sox (6) at Nationals (3). The losing streak continues. It’s starting to get really ugly in Washington again. They are now 31-39 in last. Do they have any other rookie phenoms to call up?

Orioles (4) at Padres (9). 19-50. Yikes. Enough said.

Abe Is My Homeboy: Yesterday’s Scores That Matter [WMQ]
Jun 10th, 2010 by Dan

Abe and I at Nationals Park

"Honest" Abe and I fist bumping

For some reason Abe has become my favorite of the racing presidents. Maybe it’s his arrogant stride or maybe it’s the way he’s a sore loser when he doesn’t win, but I just love everything about the persona they’ve crafted for #16.

09 June

NPB
Chunichi Dragons (1) at Rakuten Eagles (4). Satoshi Nagai hurls eight innings of eight hit ball, miraculously only giving up one run. Nice work, Nagai. Rakuten’s record improves to 29-30-1, tied for fourth.

Hiroshima Carp (2) at Chiba Lotte Marines (2). Kenta Maeda battled the Marines to a tie over nine and his bullpen held on for him to secure Hiroshima’s second tie in like a week. The tie allows Hiroshima to edge forward to 22-34-2 in fourth.

MLB
New York Yankees (4) at Baltimore Orioles (2). I watched the Orioles blow a bases-loaded opportunity against Sabathia in the 7th (I believe). Such a disappointing team. 16-43.

Florida Marlins at Philadelphia Phillies. The much vaunted Johnson vs Halladay rematch was postponed due to rain.

Pittsburgh Pirates (5) at Washington Nationals (7). Washington proves that it can win without Strasburg. Can they sweep the Bucs? Their record improves to 29-31, putting them in fourth.

Toronto Blue Jays (1) at Tampa Bay Rays (10). David Price has just been unbelievable of late. Very nice work. Tampa retains its two game lead with its 39-20 record.

Blown Perfect Game: Yesterday’s Scores That Matter [WMQ]
Jun 3rd, 2010 by Dan

Disagreeing with the Umpire

The biggest story in baseball today is the blown call by Jim Joyce in the Tigers game last night. Umpires make mistakes, it’s a fact of baseball, but it’s rarely a mistake this huge that costs a man history. Armando Gallaraga, for his part, is taking it in stride. He says he knows he did it, so he doesn’t care, but I’m more concerned with the fact that: 1. The history books will say he didn’t, and 2. Something needs to change. Bad umpiring has been a story in baseball since last year’s World Series and it’s not getting any better. I think that MLB needs to do something to increase the accountability of its umpires. I kind of understand why it is that they try and keep umpire disciplining on the down low (votes of confidence and all that), but that needs to change. In this case, it doesn’t really matter anyway. Diehards will remember Jim Joyce long after this game is done. He will probably be booed every time he shows his face in Detroit. I would feel worse for the guy if he hadn’t made such a terrible call, but I just can’t feel sympathy for him yet. Not this close to botched history.

2 June

NPB
Hiroshima Carp (2) at Nippon-Ham Fighters (2). With Maeda on the mound, you know you’re getting something good and he didn’t disappoint. He gave up only two over the 8 innings that he pitched and neither pitcher (or the subsequent relievers) yielded, keeping the score deadlocked into the 12th for a tie. Hiroshima’s record is now 21-31-1 in fifth.

Hanshin Tigers (7) at Rakuten Eagles (3). The Tigers win it in the 9th thanks to a bullpen implosion by Tsuyoshi Kawagishi, who gave up five in the ninth. Their record falls to 25-29-1, dropping them back into fifth.

MLB
Baltimore Orioles (1) at New York Yankees (9). Why do I even bother with Orioles scores? Dave Trembley is going to lose his job soon. It’s sad. 15-38.

Tampa Bay Rays (7) at Toronto Blue Jays (3). Price gives up two unearned over eight for yet another dominant win. This was the pitcher Tampa Bay signed up for. The Rays are up to 36-18.

Miwaukee Brewers (7) at Florida Marlins (4). Volstad only gave up one this game, but, in Marlins fashion, the team imploded on his night and the bullpen blew game wide open. The Fish are now in third with a 27-27 record.

Washington Nationals (1) at Houston Astros (5). An anemic offensive effort by Washington saddles them with the ‘L’ against one of the worst teams in baseball. The Nats are now two games under 0.500 with their 26-28 record.

Maeda Does It Again: Yesterday’s Scores That Matter [WMQ]
May 28th, 2010 by Dan

Hiroshima Carp Calbee

I don't have any pictues of Kenta Maeda to put up, so this is the next best thing.

I don’t know why I’m surprised to see Maeda pitched when I see the Carp played a shutout. He really is the best pitcher in the Central League so far.

27 May

NPB
Chiba Lotte Marines (0) at Hiroshima Carp (3). Maeda scatters four hits over 8 while Yokoyama notches the save. This brings Hiroshima’s record up to 20-29-0 in fifth.

Rakuten Eagles (3) at Yakult Swallows (3). Both teams battle into a tie in the 12th, unable to break the deadlock. Rakuten’s record kind of rises to 22-28-1, tying them with the Fighters in fifth.

MLB
Washington Nationals (4) at San Francisco Giants (5). The Nats lose the game in a disastrous 7th inning pitched by Stammen, Burnett, and Walker. Their 24-24 record ties them for fourth with Florida.

Oakland Athletics (7) at Baltimore Orioles (5). Mark Hendrickson blows this game in the eighth by giving up three. It’s no wonder the Marlins got rid of him. Baltimore’s record falls to 15-33 on the year in last.

Atlanta Braves (8) at Florida Marlins (3). Ricky Nolasco has a mediocre start cut short at four innings by a rain delay and the Marlins relief corp couldn’t hold on. Their bats couldn’t contribute either, so the Fish went down, yet again, to the accursed Braves. They are now playing 0.500 ball again at 24-24

Chicago White Sox (1) at Tampa Bay Rays (5). It’s important to establish dominance yet again after the embarrassing sweep the Rays just suffered. Not to mention the fact that Jeff Niemann is the last remaining lossless starter in the American League. He holds on to that title, improving to 5-0 while the Rays increase to 33-15.

I’m With Teddy: The Weekend Scores That Matter [WMQ]
May 17th, 2010 by Dan

Me and Teddy at Nationals Park

Let Teddy Win!

No, I didn’t go see the Nats this weekend, but I did finally upload this picture.

14 May

NPB
Rakuten Eagles (8) at Hiroshima Carp (7). Knowing how badly the Eagles have been so far this season makes this worse. I want the Carp to win!

MLB
Cleveland Indians (1) at Baltimore Orioles (8). My friend went to this game to see the fireworks and watch with an out-of-town friend of his. I’m glad he saw a win.

New York Mets (2) at Florida Marlins (7). I watched every game in this series. Spoiler alert: it ends well for me.

Seattle Mariners (4) at Tampa Bay Rays (3). I was shocked by this, but I guess you can’t sweep all your opponents.

15 May

NPB
Nippon-Ham Fighters (0) at Carp (1). I knew this was a Maeda game the second I started writing the score. It’s great that Hiroshima’s got such a solid part of the rotation, but they need a lot more arms.

Eagles (2) at Hanshin Tigers (3). Not too surprised that one of the top teams in the CL could beat the Eagles. I’ll be surprised if Rakuten splits the series.

MLB
Washington Nationals (2) at Colorado Rockies (6). Inclement weather has ruined the past two series for Colorado, but still allowed them to rack up wins. They notch one in this first part of the doubleheader.

Mariners (2) at Rays (3). Now that’s more like it. Nothing puts a bigger smile on my face than a walk-off jack. Willy Aybar earns himself the job with one swing of the bat, sending Pat Burrell down for assignment. Good riddance, Pat. Never buy a player from Philly again, Tampa Bay.

Indians (8) at Orioles (2). Now that my friend’s not in the ballpark, we can resume the usual win schedule.

Mets (5) at Marlins (7). This game should not have been this close, but the Marlins bullpen likes to make things interesting. Note that this series has seen remarkable hitting from both Chris Coghlan and Gaby Sanchez so far. Dan Uggla has done well for himself, too.

Nationals (3) at Rockies (4). The doubleheader just doesn’t go in Washington’s favor. Tough break for the previously surging Nats.

16 May

NPB
Fighters (6) at Carp (2). Knowing how terrible the Fighters are makes this a thousand times worse. The Carp close the first weekend of interleague play out with their record standing at 16-25-0, good for fifth in the Central League.

Eagles (7) at Tigers (3). A fair split for Rakuten allows them to end the weekend on a high note with only one loss in interleagues so far. Their record at the end of the weekend: 19-24-0, good for FOURTH!

MLB
Mets (8) at Marlins (10). Another game that should not have been this close. Ricky Nolasco almost watched his bullpen lose him a game again, but they managed to pull together at the last minute to secure the series sweep. It was the first time Florida ever swept the Mets at home in a four-game series in the team’s existence. That’s good enough to raise the Marlins record to 20-18, putting them four games back, tied for second with the Nats.

Indians (5) at Orioles (1). The losing ways continue. Baltimore falls to 12-26 in last. My friend’s got a bet going that the Orioles record will be better than the Pirates, but they’ve got to start performing if he wants his money.

Mariners (1) at Rays (2). A pitching duel between Cliff Lee and Matt Garza decided in late innings. Way to go TB. The Rays now have a 26-11 record good for first.

Nationals (1) at Rockies (2). An ugly sweep, but at least Washington seemed to be making a real contest of it. They close the weekend at 20-18 in second place with the Marlins.

Lopsided Victory: Yesterday’s Scores That Matter [WMQ]
May 6th, 2010 by Dan

Seibu Lions snack

The Lions went and slaughtered my precious Golden Eagles, leaving them with something to think about over the next two off days. It was not a great day for my favorite baseball teams.

05 May

NPB
Rakuten Eagles (3) at Seibu Lions (19)! The Lions really dished out some punishment. Rakuten is still miraculously in fourth place with its 16-21-0 record, but that’s no real consolation since there’s a three-way tie for first 6.5 games up.

Hiroshima Carp (4) at Yokohama BayStars (5). Tough losses to the ‘Stars push Hiroshima back two games. Why can’t Maeda start every day? The Carp are now 14-20-0 in fifth.

MLB
Baltimore Orioles (5) at New York Yankees (7). They came so close to winning this, but it just wasn’t enough. The Orioles record is such a joke at 7-21 that I almost don’t want to mention it any more. Suffice it to say that they’re in last.

Atlanta Braves (7) at Washington Nationals (6). Matt Capps notches his first loss in extras (still no blown saves) in a hard fought game against Atlanta. Washington’s 14-13 record is good enough for third.

San Francisco Giants (3) at Florida Marlins (2). Barry Zito pitches himself a great game and the Marlins just don’t have the bats to win. When Hanley goes 0-4, what can you expect?

Tampa Bay Rays (8) at Seattle Mariners (2). A pitchers duel that somehow ends with Cliff Lee getting tagged for four just goes to show how potent the Rays offense is. Tampa had to win to maintain their lead with their 20-7 record.

Jackie Robinson Day: Yesterday’s Scores That Matter [WMQ]
Apr 16th, 2010 by Dan

Brooklyn - Crown Heights: P.S. 375 Jackie Robinson School - Mural

Yesterday was the anniversary of the day that Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier and made his MLB debut. Per usual and in honor of the event, baseball had every player taking the field adopt Jackie Robinson’s uniform number for the day, 42. It makes for confusing baseball if you don’t recognize the faces of the players, but it’s a great gesture that always brings a smile to my face.

It should be noted that the number 42 is not retired in Japanese baseball, which can be jarring for MLB fans who are not used to seeing players wearing the famous number out there. At least it was for me.

Yesterday was also tax day, but that’s way less cool.

15 April

NPB
Yakult Swallows (2) at Hiroshima Carp (1). Maeda had himself another fine start where he held the Swallows to only two runs, but the Carp couldn’t provide significant run support. Hiroshima falls to 6-11-0 and are still only a tiny, half-game out of fifth.

Rakuten Eagles (3) at Seibu Lions (7). Killed by the Lions. Brutal. 7-13-0 and in fifth.

MLB
Washington Nationals (7) at Philadelphia Phillies (5). The Nats finally notch another win against the Phillies and will hopefully get a chance to win some games now that they won’t be playing the NL Champions in six of their last nine. Washington is 4-5 and still not in last.

Cincinnati Reds (2) at Florida Marlins (10). Josh Johnson finally came out looking like the ace that he is and served up six strong innings with 10 strikeouts. The Marlins are now 6-4 and 1.5 games out of first.

Baltimore Orioles (2) at Oakland Athletics (6). I wasn’t up late enough to catch this west coast game, but it looks like it was a pretty ugly one for the Orange Birds. Oakland is surprising a lot of people with their start this year. Baltimore’s 1-9 start is too, but not in the way they might have hoped.

Notched Another Win: Yesterday’s Scores That Matter [WMQ]
Apr 9th, 2010 by Dan

They may not be able to get the president to toss the first pitch out in Japan, but I don't think they mind.

8 April 2010

NPB
Hiroshima Carp (4) at Yakult Swallows (0). Another fine start for Kenta Maeda who is proving to be their best pitcher. Also their first shut out of an opposing team. The Carp rise to 3-8-0 and actually have some hope of getting out of last for once if they can take their upcoming series against the Baystars.

Rakuten Eagles (4) at Nippon Ham Fighters (8). Can’t always beat the Fighters. The Eagles are now 5-9-0 and are 2.5 games away from fourth.

MLB
Florida Marlins (3) at New York Mets (1). A better pitched game by the Florida bullpen. This is what I like to see. They head home to face the Dodgers for their home opener tonight. Florida is 2-1 and tied for first.

Baltimore Orioles (5) at Tampa Bay Rays (4). History almost repeated itself thrice, but the Rays couldn’t capitalize on their bases-loaded situation in the bottom of the 9th this time. Tampa Bay faces the Yankees at home tonight. The Rays fall to 2-1 and are tied for first.

Philadelphia Phillies (5) at Washington Nationals (6). A real nailbiter that the Nats managed to hold on to for the win. Way to go Nats! This win puts them at 1-2 and tied for last with the Mets. Tonight they face the Mets at Citi Field and hope to get in as many wins as they can before they have to face Johan.

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