Sunday, April 24, 2005

Weekend Catch-Up. Sox Avoid Sweep But Not Controversy. Trivia Answers.

Weekend Catch-Up
In order to avoid the repetitive posting of stories that matter, I urge you go to my links list and click on This weekend was a particularly hot one at his site, and you will find stories about some of the issues I've covered in previous posts, done by the master himself.
Among these topics:
* The new pope being a perfect Bush boy.
* MORE Halliburton thievery and incompetence.
* Secretary of State Condalezza Rice and her figure-fudging about terror attacks.
* What a lying bastard Henry Hyde was and still is.
* General Wesley Clark and his importance to Campaign 2008.

Sox Avoid Sweep Amid Hit Batsmen And Ejections

The Red Sox avoided being swept by the Devil Rays with an 11-3 victory this afternoon at Tropicana Field. Starter Bronson Arroyo pitched six innings to earn the victory, but started a back-and-forth battle of hit batsmen, and near-hit batsmen that led to a LONG seventh inning.

In the bottom of the sixth, with the score 4-2 Sox, Arroyo hit Aubrey Huff (who has a .700 lifetime batting average against Arroyo) in the lower leg. Arroyo then managed to escape any futher damage. In top of the seventh, Devil Ray reliever Lance Carter threw a ball behind Manny Ramirez. The home plate ump, sensing trouble, warned both benches. Play resumed, and Manny crushed the next pitch deep into the left field stands for a homer. David Ortiz followed and was immediately dropped by a pitch near his head. He tried to get to the mound, and the benches emptied, during which time Trot Nixon, attempting to get at Carter, got into it with Dewon Brazelton instead, or at least got into it as much as two men surrounded by 50 or so other men in a giant scrum could get into it.

When order was restored, Carter, Brazleton and manager Lou Piniella were ejected, as was Nixon. Seth McClung took over on the mound for the Rays and got out of the inning with no further damage. Score 5-2 Sox.

Bottom of the seventh. Arroyo hits leadoff batter Chris Singleton. Now this was probably Arroyo's last inning, but why hit the leadoff batter in a 5-2 game? Why not try to get the first two men out, then retaliate? Anyway, Matt Mantei comes in and walked a man. Then Mike Myers came in and got a strikeout before Mike Timlin came in and surrendered a hit and a run before getting the final out of the frame. 5-3 Sox.

The top of the eigthth inning saw McClung get wild and give way to Trever Miller, and the extremely hittable Rob Bell. Bell, inheritor of a bases loaded situation, gave up a grand slam to Jay Payton, playing in place of the ejected Nixon. Two batters later, David Ortiz hit a mammoth homer, his third of the series. By the time the dust settled, it was 11-3 Sox, which is how the game ended.

Quick impressions: Edgar Renteria and Mark Bellhorn are looking smooth together as they have turned quite a few double plays. Matt Clement and David Wells look pretty good right now, and get a second crack at the Orioles who come to Fenway Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Trot Nixon has adapted well to the number two spot in the batting order. Always a patient batter, Trot walked twice today, and now has 15 walks and only 9 strikeouts. Manny and Ortiz are mashing the ball. Alan Embree has been hittable lately. I hope he gets straightened out as he is a legitimate power lefty. Matt Mantei has thrown hard, but has been wild, and must harness the heat he brings.

Trivia Answers

Here are the answers to last weeks trivia questions:

1. Name the only major league player to lead his league in stolen bases and number of times having grounded into a double play in the same season. Answer: Jackie Jensen who stole an American League-leading 22 bases and grounded into a league-leading 32 double plays for the Red Sox in 1954.

2. Name the only player to lead his league in batting average and strikeouts in the same season. Answer: George Herman "Babe" Ruth who led the American League with a .378 batting average while striking out a league-leading 81 times for the Yankees in 1924.

3. Name the player with the most strikeouts in a season in which he lead his league in batting average (NOT the same as number 2). Answer: Dave Parker who led the National League with a .338 batting average while striking out 107 times in 1977 as a member of the Pirates. Greg Luzinski of the Phillies led the NL in strikeouts that season with 140.

Here are this week's baseball brain-teasers:

1. Name the only player to play for the Braves in Boston, Milwaukee and Atlanta.

2. What team had the lowest winning percentage of any league champion?

3. Seven outfielders have won Gold Gloves while playing for the Red Sox. Who are they?

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