Monday, May 16, 2011

This Week in 2001 (Week 6)

Well, last week in 2001, really. Blogger went down last week at the time that I usually write this thing. Pretend it's Friday morning, except that you still have to work for four more days after this one.

Sunday, May 7: Making his first start of the season after missing the first month-plus with an injury, the Marlins' A.J. Burnett puts together an awfully nice debut against the Dodgers, allowing just three hits and one run while striking out seven (but walking five) in six innings. The great Kevin Brown does him one better, though, shutting out the Marlins for eight innings (two hits, two walks, 10 strikeouts). Jeff Shaw finishes the 1-0 win.

Monday, May 8: Randy Johnson sets a career high and ties a record with 20 strikeouts in his nine innings, walking none, surrendering one run on three hits to the Reds. The Diamondbacks' offense can't manage any more than that against Chris Reitsma and Dennys Reyes, though, so Johnson is stuck with a no-decision (it finally ends in the D-Backs' favor in the 11th, when Danny Graves walks in the winning run).

Tuesday, May 9: Mike Hampton, signed by the Rockies to a huge 8-year, $121 million contract in the offseason, throws a seven-hit shutout at home as the Rockies beat his old team, the Mets, 6-0. Hampton also goes 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI. In his first seven starts, he's 5-0 (and the Rockies are 6-1) with a 2.34 ERA, and is also hitting .238 with a homer, four RBI and three runs scored. Looking like a great deal so far! Elsewhere, the Mariners beat the Red Sox 10-5 and now sit at 24-9, nine games up on the second-place Angels.

Wednesday, May 10: With Barry Bonds on the bench, the Giants nevertheless beat the Expos 13-0 at Pac Bell. on 18 hits and 10 walks (but no home runs), beating up on pitchers with names like Britt Reames, Scott Stewart and Anthony Telford. In Milwaukee, the Brewers beat the Cubs 11-1, powered by three homers by Jeromy Burnitz. This is already the sixth three-homer game of 2001; by contrast, the first one of 2011 came on May 12.

Thursday, May 11: Rick Ankiel, who was baseball's top prospect entering last season and backed it up with a 3.50 ERA (134 ERA+) in 175 MLB innings as a 20 year old, is sent down to the minors after starting 2001 with a 7.13 ERA and 25 walks in as many innings. Sad story. (Read a lot more about it here.) On the field, five extra-inning games all end well for the home team, including walk-off home runs in Minnesota (by Matt Lawton) and Detroit (by Bobby Higginson).

Friday, May 12: Remember A.J. Burnett from a couple inches above? Now he's making his second start of the year, and it's a no-hitter, lifting the Marlins over the Padres 3-0. I wrote quite a lot about that one a couple weeks ago.

Saturday, May 13: Albert Pujols, the 21 year old who doesn't really have a position and entered the year as Baseball America's #42 prospect, goes 2-for-2 with a homer, three walks, three runs and three RBI as the Cardinals beat the Cubs 13-4. After his first 36 career games, he's hitting .370/.443/.533 with 13 homers and 42 RBI. Worth noting: 25 year old Cardinal J.D. Drew is off to a start that's almost equally great, clubbing his 14th homer and now hitting .309/.426/.727.


RickG said...

I've been enjoying this series, hope you keep it up. But I have to say...I'm a White Sox fan. We're six weeks in, and I don't think the Sox have been mentioned once.

Well, that'll happen when Jose Canseco is your primary DH, Sandy Alomar and his 64 OPS+ your catcher, and Harold Baines somehow gets 94 PA with an OPS+ of -8.

Oh, and Rocky Biddle made 21 starts(!).

Not the best year on the South Side.

Bill said...

Well, the name Rocky Biddle itself is worth a mention.