Sunday, May 6, 2012

Diamond Notes

2012 just has a weird feel to it, doesn't it? Albert Pujols has one home run (he finally hit it today), the Orioles just swept the Red Sox at Fenway in a game won by Chris Davis (the infielder) in which he struck out Adrian Gonzalez (the all-star), Mariano Rivera tore his ACL shagging fly balls, Derek Jeter is hitting .900... Is the end of the world upon us? I mean what's the deal? Anyhow, here's some notes from around the league:

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Today started with Chris Davis as the Orioles designated hitter. Somehow, he managed to go 0 for 8 with 5 strikeouts, ground into a double play, and still be the hero. Davis pitched 2 scoreless innings - albeit thanks to a tremendous relay throw from J.J. Hardy to cut down Marlon Byrd at the plate in the bottom of the 16th - and the Orioles got a 3-run home run from Adam Jones to defeat Boston 9-6 in 17 innings. Boston's DH, outfielder Darnell McDonald, took the loss on the mound for Boston. Davis struck out Jarrod Saltalamacchia AND Adrian Gonzalez and induced a game-ending double play off the bat of McDonald for the improbable win. Gonzalez, like Davis, went 0 for 8 only he didn't get to be the hero. A total of fourteen relievers were used by both teams prior to Davis and McDonald taking the mound. They combined to throw 23 innings allowing just one earned run and striking out 25. Boston has now dropped 5 in a row and they were swept by the Orioles at Fenway for the first time since 1994.

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How often do former opening day starters face off against one another... in AAA? That was the site today when John Lannan (Nationals, 2009/10) and Scott Elarton (Royals, 2006) went head-to-head as the Lehigh Valley IronPigs hosted the Syracuse Chiefs in International League Action. The 36 year old Elarton, whom the Houston Astros were once so high on that they actually refused to include him in a deal for Roger Clemens, won this round as he threw 6 scoreless innings in Lehigh Valley's 11-2 win. Elarton is now 3-1 on the year with a 2.84 ERA as he attempts to return to the majors for the first time since 2008. Lannan falls to 2-3 with the loss.

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Speaking of AAA, after a nightmarish four game stretch with Boston, Mark Melancon appears to be finding himself down on the farm with the PawSox. The 27 year old former-Astro has tossed 7 2/3 scoreless innings since his demotion walking none and striking out 12.

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Albert Pujols FINALLY connected for his first home run as an Angel, a 385 foot shot off Toronto rookie Drew Hutchinson, finally putting his 2012 homerless streak to an end. But despite the homer, Pujols is hitting just .196 on the year with 7 runs batted in. And here's a list of 20 guys who still have more home runs than he does:

Howie Kendrick
Jed Lowrie
Dexter Fowler
Kyle Seager
Lucas Duda
Travis Hafner
Cody Ransom
Jason Bay
Colby Rasmus
Nate Schierholtz
Dayan Viciedo
Clint Barmes
Travis Ishikawa
Jack Hannahan
Joe Mather
Jemile Weeks
Gordon Beckham
Logan Morrison
Andy Dirks
Zack Cozart

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