Monday, April 22, 2013

Monday Recap: Sweeps, Neil Diamond, and Matt Harvey is kinda good...

Quote of the Day: 

"I don’t think [anyone’s] invincible if you’re not performing.  It’s not about what we think can happen three or four years from now. It’s time to perform on a consistent basis."

-- Dale Sveum (we're talking about YOU Starlin Castro/Anthony Rizzo) 

Rizzo responded by hitting his sixth homer, scoring Castro in yesterday's loss to the Brewers.  

Happy Monday baseball fans.  Now that we have a full staff on deck again, now that tax season is over, we can finally not do our work bring you consistent baseball coverage on the most godforsaken, boring day of the year.  We'll try to make Monday Morning Recaps a consistent feature.  (DISCLAIMER: "But probably not.")  

Today, we've got Neil Diamond singing, "Sweet Caroline" as baseball is back in Boston, Ryan Braun hates being good, teams like sweeps, and Matt Harvey is the next Stephen Strasburg?  

This and more, let's get started.  

●   Matt Harvey is kind of good, we guess.  In a match-up of future NL East aces, Harvey out-dueled fellow phenom Stephen Strasburg in a 7-1 Mets win.  Harvey didn't allow a hit until Strasburg, ironically, laced a double in the 5th.  

Strasburg took the loss and also gave up two home runs in the 6th inning...the only time he's ever been tagged twice in one inning.  I'll take that.  But Harvey was just better on Friday, allowing one run on four hits in seven innings with seven K's also.  He's been so good, his ERA actually went up.  

Enjoy him now Mets fans.  Before you screw up something nice again, like you always do.  The, "HARVEY'S BETTER" chant was epic by the way, though.  

●  Baseball is back in Beantown! After a lockdown during a manhunt that ended in the capture of the one the suspects in the tragic marathon bombing, the Red Sox resumed scheduled play by taking on the Royals in an emotional return. We touched in the whole tragedy earlier last week here, but it was great to see

With the emblem "Boston" engraved on the front rather than the normal "Red Sox", we watched Big Papi return from the DL to drive in a run and Daniel Nava hit a three-run blast in the eighth to win it. Oh, and this happened right before Nava's blast. 

 Apparently, Daniel Nava's a fan.  Good time's never seemed so good, indeed.
Welcome back Boston, we're happy when you're happy this week.


Okay, six teams got swept this weekend which means fans of six teams were plastered last night celebrating and fans of six other teams were also plastered, panicking about April results. I was one of them. Can you guess why? Bust out the brooms, we're going over all of them. 

● It only took Buster Posey until April 21st to hit his first home run as the Giant swept the really, really, really awful Padres. Hey, it took Albert Pujols until May 6th last year.

I'm sure more will be coming.  The Giants are now in second place in the NL West and need to catch...Colorado?  Who saw that coming?  In other news, San Diego 3B Chase Headley finally was activated from the DL. That's about all the news we'll have on the Padres all year. Or at least until Carlos Quentin faces Zack Greinke again. 


● The Brew Crew swept border rival Chicago. And man, were those some ugly-ass uniforms on Sunday. I mean....

Do you really like the gold unis? Can you sincerely be a Brewers fan and like that better than the Navy Blue classic? Did you buy one yesterday?

I'll tell you what, if you're a Brewers fan that attended Sunday's game against the Cubs and bought one, pleasepleasepleaseplease e-mail us and explain why. Not because we want to make fun of you, I just really want to know the thought process. 

Ryan Braun loves hitting baseball but apparently not as much as he doesn't love striking out.  He nailed his fifth home run of the season yesterday.  His next at-bat he struck out.  He then tossed his bat and got ejected.  Do not make Ryan Braun mad.  Ryan Braun will toss bat.  Ryan Braun will get ejected.  Ryan Braun will also hit home runs.  Oh, and the Cubs are really bad right now.  Enjoy it now NL Central, the Theo-Jedstein project is a year away.  


●   Boom! You just got "Harang'ed!"  Which means you were the Rangers and got to face journeyman pitcher Aaron Harang.  Getting "Harang'ed" is not a bad thing.  It means you'll probably score a boat-ton of runs on the way to a sweep of the Mariners.  The Rangers got "Harang'ed" on Sunday as they knocked in eight runs off the starter in 4 2/3 innings.  It clinched a dominant sweep for the Rangers who outscored the hapless Mariners 23-3 over the weekend series.  


●   Mark Trumbo hit a walk-off home run in extra innings yesterday as the Angels finally got the pitching they needed to sweep Detroit.  The Tiger's suddenly-anemic offense may have played a major role in making the Halo's pitching staff actually look good for a change as Detroit's offense has only managed five runs the last five games and have fans panicking all over the web.  Normally a team hitting slump in April wouldn't be a reason for major concern, but it's apparently a major reason for concern among a lot of fans.  I hate the Internet.  

SWEEP #5  

●   Minnesota swept the Chicago White Sox in a matchup of AL Central rivals.  With the sweep the Twins move to 8-7 on the year and hopefully that means they'll at least be competitive enough that we can hate the Twins again without feeling bad.  The Royals will move on top of the AL Central, with the Twinkies second and struggling Tigers third.  It should be an exciting race for mediocrity in this trash division.  Yikes.  


●  In St. Petersburg, the pitcher formerly known as Fausto Carmona won his first game since he was known by that name.  The real Roberto Hernandez pitched six innings of one-run baseball against Oakland  to become the first Rays starter over thirty years old to win a game in almost five years. 
With the sweep, the Rays climb out of the AL East cellar, a division like the AL Central but with good teams and should be tight all year.

ALMOST SWEEPS #1, #2 and #3

The Dodgers avoided getting swept by the Orioles on Sunday as Matt Kemp went 3-5 after being dropped to the cleanup spot in the order.  Kemp is in a bit of a early season funk but look for him to heat up with the weather.  The man is too talented not to be good, as simple as that statement may seem.  Oh, and the Dodger's pitching is terrible.  $216 million doesn't buy what it used to.  

In other NL West action, the Diamondbacks rallied against the Rockies to avoid the sweep and also ended Colorado's eight game winning streak.  In a cruel twist of irony, Eric Young Jr. ended up being the last out of the game with the tying run on third on his dad's bobblehead day.  And for all the fans joking on Twitter that "Eric Young Jr not as good as dad #disappointed ", keep it in perspective.  I'd be thrilled with a son that makes the last out of a major league baseball game rather than a underemployed blogger, drowning in student loan debt and remember that you can also be Tony Gwinn Jr.  

Toronto avoids getting swept by New York in the other near sweep of the week, while hot J.P. Arencibia hits three home runs during the week while Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista had one combined.  Baseball's a funny game.  The Blue Jays are last in the AL East by the way.  


After a hot start, the Braves hit a wall after losing three of four from the Pirates so Yahoo Sports digs for some answers (since it's like, totally rational to panic and over-analyze a three game bump in April).  BJ Upton has a potty mouth.  Joey Votto is kinda good at baseball...and walking (take notes White Sox).  A dude writes about Roy Halladay's decline here, and of course Doc goes out and stymies the Cardinals.  Erik Bedard starts for the Astros while the four Astros fans debate if a rookie should replace him.  Ubaldo Jimenez has a sucky start, and then a still-sucky-but-not-as-sucky start. Chad Billingsley hits the DL again.  Major League Baseball is taking kids to see "42".  

And because I found it funny...

I think the moral of the story is either:

A. If you're going to date someone, date a Cubs girl (or at least a girl with a Cubs fan as a dad)
Or B. Alway wear a baseball hat when sneaking into houses.
Or possibly, C. Don't date girls that aren't baseball fans.  
 Probably: All three.  

Am I right Tommy?  

I'm out baseball freaks, until next time, here's Kate again...