Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Three Stars (and one guy who should have taken the weekend off, flown back to Muskoka and gotten hammered)

Last night's studs:

1. PAUL BYRD – Cleveland’s Paul Byrd tossed a four-hit, complete game shutout to beat Minnesota 4-0. The Byrd Man needed just 99 pitches to dispatch the Twins. In celebration, Byrd chewed up some worms he found behind the stadium and dropped them into his teammates’ mouths.

2. DETROIT TIGER FANS – Detroit, losers of five straight, snapped the streak with a four-run seventh inning against Tampa Bay, with a little help from its fans. The 6-4 rally was capped off by a fly ball that landed between B.J. Upton and Carl Crawford. Rays manager Joe Maddon speculated the crowd was so loud that Upton and Crawford mixed signals and let the ball drop. Maybe. Or maybe it’s because they play for Tampa Bay.

3. THE FIFTH-INNING ST. LOUIS CARDINALS – The Cards tied an MLB record after lacing 10 consecutive hits in the fifth-inning. The 10-run frame included a pair of hits by pitcher Brian Looper and homers by Scott Rolen and Ryan Ludwick. The win pushes their record to a woefully underwhelming 51-58. We’d like to use this as an opportunity to reflect on the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals. Remember when they became arguably the worst World Series winner in Major League history? That was fun. Now let us never speak of it again.

AND ONE GUY WHO SHOULD HAVE TAKEN THE WEEKEND OFF, FLOWN BACK TO MUSKOKA AND GOTTEN HAMMERED: JUSTIN MORNEAU – We hate coming down on the Canadian slugger, but he’s mired in an 0-17 slump that’s having a ripple effect on the rest of the lineup. Minny’s No. 4-6 hitters went 1-10 yesterday in a 4-0 loss to Cleveland, and were 3-31 in the series against the Indians. Morneau’s time would have been better spent relaxing with the Staal brothers in cottage country this weekend, sampling weak Jello shooters and burning furniture they stole from neighbours’ deck. Plus, if his struggles continued, he could blame it on the really bad sunburn he picked up when he passed out in the canoe at two in the afternoon.

1 comment:

malcolm said...

I still don't really see how the '06 Cards were that bad of a champion. They were undisputably the best team in the NL throughout the mid-2000s, and caught the tail end of a dominant stretch -- definitely not the team of '04 or '05, but still nothing to scoff at.

They were solid throughout the '06 season, too, save for a slump at the end of the regular season, and that's not unique when Detroit did the same thing. The only bad baseball the Cards played all year was in those couple weeks. Plus, unlike the Tigers, I'm not sure they relinquished their division lead once in the second half of the season.

Stud champion? Absolutely not. But definitely not a historic fluke.