Friday, December 17, 2010

Plunking Cano is a No-no. Team Torto Rolls In Cleveland

Nick and I again met up after work in our private booth at the Crown Plaza hotel bar. And Nick again took the helm of Matt's 'all-lefties-all-the-time' team for our second and final series of the season, with similar results.

Game 1: M.Garza @ D.Price
Solid starting pitching got this one rolling thru the first 3, with 12 K's between Price and Garza early.  My squad broke thru in the 4th though, on a leadoff single by Cano, followed by back-to-back doubles from Beltre and Godzilla.  Up 2-zip, Garza cruised for 7 and 2/3rds before tiring, giving the ball up to Octavio "No-Tell" Dotel to sidearm him out of the jam.  My boys picked up 2 more insurance runs along the way on a pair of Maggs Ordonez RBI-hits in the 7th and 9th. Matt's bats were ice cold in this one, and with Aardsma in for the 9th in a non-save situation, the shutout was preserved.  Garza's performance left some in the Cleveland crowd quite perturbed though, as he plunked Howie Kendrick, Carlos Pena, and Nelson Cruz during his innings.  Price retaliated once hitting G-Money Laird.  Hit batters would become a recurring theme this series...
Torto wins 4-0
WP - M.Garza (13 Ks in 7.2)
LP - D.Price
HR - None

Cano appeals to the ump after being plunked by Rowland-Smith.
When Yankees talk, umpires listen. Can you say ejection?
 Game 2: R.Halladay @ R.Rowland-Smith
After getting Game 1 with my #5 starter in convincing fashion, I felt real good with Halladay now toeing the rubber, coming off 18 straight scoreless innings.  Something had to give on that streak though, and so it did.  Halladay was rocky early, giving up 5 hits in the first (including 3 2Bs) that amounted in 3 runs.  Lucky to get out of the first, Halladay did then settle in for a few innings.  Ryan Rowland-Smith made it his business to carry retaliation into game 2.  He beaned Godzilla in the top of the 1st, and then in the 2nd (after issuing a leadoff walk to Jason Bartlett) he plunked the affable and always likeable Robbie Cano.  The ump had enough, and immediately tossed Rowland-Smith and his lame hyphenated name (later to be suspended for 7 games).  Cano shrugged off the pitch without injury, and both he and Bartlett were subsequently scored by back-to-back singles by Maggs and Beltre.  Now down only one, my squad tied it up in the next frame, on a Cano RBI-single.  Tempers cooled from there, as Halladay kept his composure and worked scoreless 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings.  Matt got a go-ahead run in the 5th (Billy Butler RBI single), and tacked another 3 on Halladay (gave up 7 ERs!) in the 7th.  My bats went cold the rest of the way, as Matt held it together with the Twins entire middle relief corps (Breslow, Gurrier, and Mijares).
Matt wins 7-3
WP - C.Breslow
LP - R.Halladay
HR - None
Game 3:  J.Verlander @ S.Kazmir
Verlander dominated this match in our last series, going the distance and fanning 16.  It appeared that Matt's hitters learned nothing from that outing.  The fireballer was on his game again, striking out the side in the bottom of the first.  Around the 4th, Nick made the observation that, "hey, there's been no home runs in this series yet".  As if on cue, Robbie Cano then belted a 2-run shot.  Things got a little chippy in this game again though, when Kazmir plunked Adrian Beltre in the 5th.    Not to be outdone at by Kazmir, Jose "He Ain't Heavy, He's" Mijares tried to double the damage by nailing Magglio Ordonez in the shin. By now, Verlander had seen enough, and retaliated the next inning by planting a 99 MPH fastball in Nelson Cruz's back.  Benches nearly cleared, but cooler heads prevailed, despite the home team being down 6-1 at this point.  Justin Morneau put an exclamation point on the game with a 7th inning 2-run blast. A fired up Verlander again went the distance, but this time only whiffing 13.  
Torto wins 8-1
WP - J.Verlander (CG, 13Ks)
LP - S.Kazmir
HR -  R.Cano, J.Morneau
Torto takes the series 2-1.
***Record Alert*** 9 hit batsment in this series, friends. 5 of my guys hit, and 4 of Matt's - and 1 ejection/suspension (R.Rowland-Smith for 7 games)
A fun, chippy series - with my squad left a little bewildered whenever Matt/Nick rolled out one of the rare RHPs in his 'pen.  Bewildered or no, they hit the lefties well enough to take 2 of 3.


  1. ....and look at Torto with the best record in the league!

  2. I'm assuming it will be short lived - of my 9 games remaining, 6 are against Butler, and 3 versus Fish. I'll be happy to get outta there 4-5. I think 2-7, 3-6 more likely...


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