Friday, June 24, 2011

This Week in 2001 (Weeks 9-12)

By Bill

The "This Week in 2001" series, and my "10 years ago today" tweets, have fallen on hard times. Unfortunately, my life doesn't easily lend itself to observing regular routines right now. But I'll see what I can do about picking it up on a regular schedule again next week.

For now, instead of running through each of the last four weeks day by day (which you don't want to read, and I certainly don't want to write), here's a look at two or three highlights from each of the four weeks:

Week 9
Monday, May 28: Facing Colorado and Pedro Astacio at Dodger Stadium, catcher and leadoff hitter Paul Lo Duca singles in the first, third, and fifth, hits a three-run homer in the sixth, and then singles again in the eighth and eleventh. His final line: 6-for-6 with the homer and four total RBI. After his sixth single, he comes around to score the winning run on a Sean Green walkoff single, as the Dodgers win 11-10. It's the first time since 1949, and only the fifth time since 1919, that a catcher has had six hits in a game.

Tuesday, May 29: For 17 innings, the Diamondbacks and Giants combine for 17 hits and 0 runs at Pac Bell. Finally, in the 18th, Steve Finley walks and then scores from first on a double by (one of my all-time favorites) Erubiel Durazo. The Giants are able to load the bases in the bottom of the 18th, but fail to score, Arizona winning 1-0. Oddly enough, the winning and losing pitcher in the game are two guys you might have seen on TV or read about in the news this week: the D-Backs' winner was Miguel Batista (who was just released a couple days ago by the Cardinals), while the man who lost the game for the Giants was Ryan Vogelsong (who, on Wednesday, just won a game for the Giants). Long games are fun: Batista actually entered the game on offense, pinch-hitting and striking out for Byung-Hyun Kim in the 14th.

Friday, June 1: Glenallen Hill is released by the Angels, never to play again, after a .136/.136/.182 start in just 16 games (66 plate appearances) as exclusively a DH. Noteworthy because (a) Hill was an interesting player -- I'd like to show you an awesome video where he hits a mammoth home run at Wrigley and then gets really angry at it, but MLBAM's fun-killers have zapped it from YouTube -- and (b) it's one of the fastest total collapses you'll ever see. He'd hit .300/.353/.581 (134 OPS+) in 99 games with the Cubs in 1999, then .293/.336/.600 in 103 between the Cubs and Yankees in 2000, and went straight from that to the 16 games you see above, then straight out of organized baseball.

Week 10
Monday, June 4: Alex Rodriguez hits his first home run in Seattle that comes in the top of an inning, clubbing his 19th homer of the season in the third inning off of John Halama. The Rangers go on to lose 11-6 to the Mariners, dropping Texas' record to 20-36 and bringing the Mariners to an almost grotesque 44-12.

Wednesday, June 6: in Montreal, John Burkett (7.2 IP, 2 H, 1 BB, 7 K), Mike Remlinger and John Rocker   combine on a three-hit shutout, lifting the Braves over the Expos 2-0. On the other side, Hideki Irabu has a nice performance himself (6 IP, 7 H, 1 BB, 9 K), but is done in by a Brian Jordan single and Rico Brogna home run.

Friday, June 8: Damion Easley hits for the cycle against the Brewers, groundout-double-homer-single-triple (why does it seem like the triple always comes last?), as the Tigers win 9-4. He's the second player ever to hit for the cycle in interleague play (Dante Bichette had done it in 1998).

Week 11
Tuesday, June 12: Brad Radke throws a very tidy shutout at home against Houston, permitting four hits, walking none and striking out seven, as hitters 4-9 in the Astros' lineup (not scrubs: Berkman, Alou, Hidalgo, Ward, Castilla and Austmus) combine to go 0-for-19 and the Twins win 7-0. Torii Hunter and Doug Mientkiewicz each hit their tenth homers; Mientkiewicz is now hitting .312/.390/.528, and appears on the verge of becoming a big star in Minnesota.

Saturday, June 16: John Olerud very quickly becomes the third player ever to hit for the cycle during interleague play, leading those unstoppable Mariners over the Padres 9-2. He's also just the second person to have hit for the cycle in both leagues (Bob Horner did it before him).

Week 12
Monday, June 18: Juan Pierre hits his first Major League home run, going 2-for-5 and raising his batting average to .311 (but with just a .743 OPS). He has fourteen more of those in store over the next ten years! Jeff Bagwell, who's been there before, hits a three-run homer of his own, and the Astros beat the Rockies 13-5.

Tuesday, June 19: Deja vu: the Giants play another monster game and finally fall a run short, this time going 15 innings and losing 4-3 to the Padres in San Diego. Barry Bonds goes three-for-five and hits his 37th home run in the fifth; he's now hitting .327/.491/.918 and, going by team games, is on pace for 86 homers. Ryan Vogelsong again takes the tough loss, surrendering an unearned run in two and two-thirds.

Sunday, June 24: I marry the kindest, loveliest, funniest woman in the world in a large and beautiful but non-air-conditioned church in southern California. It is the greatest day of my career life, a title that would be challenged only twice, with the births of children one and two.


Minerva said...

I love you!!

The Common Man said...

Somewhat uncoincidentally, 10 years ago this weekend, The Common Man met The Uncommon Wife. So...awesome.