Friday, May 6, 2011

This Week in 2001 (Week 5)

So, readers, I have a confession to make. I was traveling and doing other things this week, and I kind of let the "10 years ago" tweets slide, for the most part. It won't happen again until the next time it happens. But here's a kind of abbreviated rundown of what happened this week, a decade ago:

Monday, April 30: wow, Mondays were dead back then. Only four games. Brad Radke goes the distance against the Yankees (and Andy Pettitte tosses an 8-inning CG in the loss), a 4th-inning home run by Tino Martinez doing the only damage as Doug Mientkiewicz drives in both runs in the 2-1 win. This was back when the Twins were (a) that team that had been terrible for almost a decade and should probably be contracted and (b) able to occasionally beat the Yankees.

Tuesday, May 1: Remember how Deion Sanders used to play baseball? He'd gotten into 85 games with the Reds and Giants in 1995, then 115 with the Reds in 1997, then he was a full-time football guy from age 30 on. Until, that is, today: playing a real sport for the first time in over three years, Neon Deion goes 3-for-3 with a home run and basically wins the game in the Reds' 7-6 win over the Dodgers. From tomorrow through the end of his career (which comes on June 14), Sanders will go .139/.205/.167 in 79 plate appearances.

Wednesday, May 2: Greg Maddux throws a shutout to beat the Brewers 1-0. Maddux strikes out a career-high 14, but still gets through the game in just 109 pitches, because he's just that awesome (two hits and just one walk), and puts up a game score of 96. The only run comes by way of a B.J. Surhoff home run off something named Paul Rigdon, who throws an awfully good game in his own right.

Thursday, May 3: The A's and Blue Jays go 15 innings before the A's finally win, 3-2. Jose Cruz Jr., Tony Batista, Johnny Damon and Miguel Tejada each go 0-for-6, and the teams combine to go 16-for-95 (.168). The teams combine to use 15 pitchers, and Chad Bradford ultimately "earns" the win with one-third of an inning (a seven-pitch strikeout of Jeff Frye).

Friday, May 4: The Cubs beat the Dodgers, 4-0. I love this game for a bunch of incongruous reasons. The only extra-base hit was a double by the losing pitcher, Chan-Ho Park. The pitchers used in the game were a weird mix of pitchers who it feels like must have retired decades ago -- Kevin Tapani (who threw 7.2 shutout innings for the win), Gregg Olson, Jeff Fassero -- and others who have pitched in the majors in the current nascent decade -- Kyle Farnsworth and Park. Two of the runs scored on sacrifice flies (by Ron Coomer and Todd Hundley), and a third scored after Matt Stairs was intentionally walked to face Damon Buford, who then singled in the run.

Saturday, May 5: Sorry to do two Cubs-Dodgers contests in a row, but in this one, the Cubs win 20-1. It's fun to point out that the Dodgers' starting pitcher is Darren Dreifort, who'd been handed an immediately-obviously-awful $55 million contract in the offseason. But Dreifort isn't really as bad as all that: 6 IP, 6 H, 4 BB, 8 K, 2 HR, 4 ER. It's not until Terry Adams comes in, facing seven batters and recording no outs, that things really got out of hand. The Cubbies scored 8 in the 7th and another 8 in the 8th to make a laugher out of it. Hundley, Julio Zuleta and Sammy Sosa all homered. It was Sosa's 10th.

Sunday, May 6: Chris Carpenter and the Blue Jays crush John Halama and the Mariners, 11-3. Between the two teams, eight balls leave Safeco (five by the Jays; two each from Jays catcher Darrin Fletcher and M's second baseman Bret Boone). More than anything else, it's noteworthy because it's just the Mariners' 8th loss; at 23-8, they're on pace for 120 wins, which of course is just out-of-this-world ridiculous.

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