Conventional Wisdom Had the Night Off
A quick one today because I was up way too late last night watching the Red Sox lose to the Tampa Bay Rays in 13 innings, but here is some of what happened last night around Major League Baseball:
Yusmeiro Petit, he of the 5.88 ERA and 8 career wins coming into last night's game in Pittsburgh, took a no-hitter into the 8th inning, finished the 8th and ended up leading the Diamondbacks to a 6-0 victory.
I don't know where to start with the Red Sox and Rays. Between the 8th and 11th innings, the Rays left 10 men on base, twice failing to push the winning run across the plate with the bases loaded and nobody out in the 9th and 10th. The Red Sox also left them loaded in the 10th, and their shiny new set-up man Daniel Bard, seemingly untouchable over his last 10+ appearances, was roughed up in the eighth for a home run, two walks and an error.
Mariano Rivera gave up three hits and allowed two inherited runners to score in one of his shakiest outings of the season. He still managed to notch a save as the Yanks beat Toronto 5-3.
Yovani Gallardo, lights out in his previous two outings, gave up four runs in the first inning against the Dodgers, a team that had won 3 of its last 8, scoring under four runs a game over that stretch.
Fly-ball pitcher Jarrod Washburn, making his Tigers debut in spacious Comerica Park, gave up 2 home runs and six earned runs in 5.1 innings, losing to fellow lefty Brian Matusz, who was making his Major League debut for the suddenly interesting Baltimore Orioles.
Jason Hammel gave up 5 earned runs, failing to make it out of the 2nd inning last time he took the mound against the Mets. So what did he do facing the NL's best lineup in Philadelphia? Why he led the Rockies to an important win of course, striking out 6 in 6.2 innings of work.
Trailing 4-0 against the Marlins' Josh Johnson in the 8th, laughingstock Washington reeled off 6 runs and won the game 6-4.
Lest anyone question baseball's awesomeness, I would point you to the evening of August 4th, 2009. Baseball is fun and unpredictable, and I think it's safe to say that we are in for one hell of a stretch run over these last two months.