revenge can be sweet I admit. Wait, revenge? Justice? Ah let’s just have some fun!
The Cardinals current series in Oakland sure has been exciting thus far – and it ain’t over yet! (game-time today 4:05 EST)
Everybody knows the Athletics are good. The second-lowest team-ERA in the majors (after the Padres) means they are likely to shut down the opposing team’s hitting game, even if they themselves aren’t a high-scoring team. One run difference is all it takes (speaking of the Padres, take their ninth-inning home run against Zambrano yesterday on a 3-2 count with 1 out for a 1-0 win over the Chicago Cubs – in total only a 4-hit game! Oh and p.s. Soriano is a primadonna).
But these haven’t been one-run games, coming from two of the lower-scoring teams in the league right now! And other exciting factors have trickled in:
the opening game saw what looked like an aggressive offensive Cardinals lineup scoring against a pitcher with the lowest ERA, Dan Haren, a previous Cardinal himself. Haren entered the game at 1.58 and the Cardinals scored 3 runs off of him in the first three innings; this guy thus far had only allowed 10 runs in the first three innings all year! He now holds a 1.64 ERA.
but after those 3 runs the Cardinals wouldn’t score again and in fact the A’s rebounded with multiple 6-run innings, and closed out with a 14-3 victory. Ouch!
Perhaps because of those excessive numbers, or perhaps to give his bullpen some relief, or perhaps just for the sheer novelty of it, Tony La Russa put in Scott Spiezio to pitch the bottom of the 8th! Yes, Spiezio! La Russa of course won a world series ring with the A’s in 1989 and Scott Spiezio broke into the majors in 1996 with the A’s, so the fans were loving it! And for those that don’t know, Spiezio is NOT a pitcher – he’s a field position player! So this was exciting!
Spiezio opened with a strike and pitched a no-hit inning, walking one. During his warm-up he was all smiles, and left to a standing ovation! Ahh the spectacle of baseball!
Here’ see for yourself:
[UPDATE: unfortunately Major League Baseball had YouTube delete my video. Sorry everybody. That thing had over 1,300 views in three days too, dagnabbit!]
[UPDATE 2: for those still coming round these parts, I put a Quicktime mov file online of Scott Spiezio pitching. I’ll leave it online for a month or so. Grab it now while you can. SPIEZIO QUICKTIME MOV – (right click ‘save file as’)]
The following evening though our Cardinals would enact their revenge: Taguchi had four hits, Encarnacion drove in 3 runs (and now has a sixteen-game hit-streak, best for the Cardinals this year), and Duncan had a pinch-hit grand slam in the fifth, the first of his career, and part of a 10-run – yes, 10-run! – inning that would propel the Cardinals to a then 15-3 score! The A’s would bounce back with a 3-run home run the bottom of the same inning, and while both teams would be scoreless the rest of the game it was a rollercoaster – the A’s had 14 hits but only 6 runs, that tells you how many LOBs they had. Final 15-6. WOW!
Interleague play continues!
ALSO, Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there!
Duncan hits a ton. He’s really shaping up to be our big bat, which is great since Edmonds and Rolen are aging. Anyway, that blow out was ridiculous, and it was great to see us strike back, but I think the real story is how the Cardinals traded anyway a young Danny Haren two years ago. I objected at the time, because he was clearly the best young pitcher in the major leagues (I think he was 22 or 23 at the time.. younger than us), even though we got the venerable Mulder out of the deal. Now Danny Haren is almost certainly the best pitcher out there this year, and is almost certain to walk into a Cy Young, with numbers rivaled by the likes of Clemens early in his career. It’s hard to say whether or not he’ll be the greatest, but he would certainly be a valuable asset, in a way that a consistently injured Mark Mulder is not in the least. I was peeved at the time because I thought it was short-sighted on the Cardinals part, and I was right. In summation, I should be the new Cardinals GM.
all in favor of Josh as new Cardinals GM?
(loud cheers and rumble of feet stomping briefly)