Sunday, April 14, 2013

Review MLB/MiLB: Week 2

Sunday April 7th 2013 celebrated the second week of MLB.

Rangers go past the Angels 7-3 thanks to Kinsler's great night. Darvish had to leave to a blister and LAA's Weaver had to leave with an injury to his left arm.
Yankees avoid being swept by Detroit.

American League
Boston 13  Toronto 0    
N.Y. Yankees 7  Detroit 0    
Minnesota 4  Baltimore 3    
Cleveland 13  Tampa Bay 0    
Oakland 9  Houston 3    
Chi. White Sox 4  Seattle 3   (10th inning)  
Texas 7  L.A. Angels 3    

National League
N.Y. Mets 4  Miami 3    
Cincinnati 6  Washington 3    
Atlanta 5  Chi. Cubs 1    
Arizona 8  Milwaukee 7  (11th inning)  
St. Louis 14  San Francisco 3    
Colorado 9  San Diego 1    
L.A. Dodgers 6  Pittsburgh 2  

Kansas City 9  Philadelphia 8

Rangers win 5-4 past the Blue Jays thanks to a blown call by home plate umpire in the ninth inning. He called a strikeout on the third batter even if it was clear to everyone else in the ballpark, including close Joe Nathan who got his 300 th save – that it was a ball on a three-two count, which meant a walk. The Rangers were up for about seven innings, reaching a score 5-1. The bullpen, more specifically Kirkman, decided that the fans were not getting the show they paid for so they gave up runs, walks and everything else a pitcher shouldn’t give up. The ninth inning started with a 5-4 score which held until the end.
Newspapers broke the news that Indians managers got lost before the home opener; he lives a couple of blocks from the ballpark. That says a lot about Cleveland’s management. Yankees were lifted by Cano (2HRs). Brave’s Justin Upton goes 4-for-4 and Maholm throws a seven inning shutout. Cincinnati scores nine runs (!) in the ninth inning during Cardinal’s home opener.

American League
Boston 3  Baltimore 1    
N.Y. Yankees 11  Cleveland 6    
Kansas City 3  Minnesota 1    
Texas 5  Tampa Bay 4    
Seattle 3  Houston 0    

National League
Milwaukee 7  Chi. Cubs 4    
Cincinnati 13  St. Louis 4    
N.Y. Mets 7  Philadelphia 2    
Atlanta 2  Miami 0    
Pittsburgh 5  Arizona 3    
San Francisco 4  Colorado 2

Angels' Weaver will be out four weeks with a broken elbow. He tried to avoid a line drive during his game with the Rangers (Darvish) landing on  his gloved hand. Rangers were made fun for it, but they got it right. Rookie pitcher Tepesch was quite impressive in his major league debut. He had some troubles in the second inning (bases loaded) he was able to remain calm and handle the situation. He gave up one run in seven innings, but only a couple of balls reached the outfield. Good job Mr. Tepesch. According to USA Today Giant’s Lincecum remains a big headache. He gave up six runs in six innings and walked the opposite pitcher twice. Not bad for a Cy Young Award… Mariners get destroyed by Astros, which is quite significant…

American League
Detroit 7  Toronto 3    
N.Y. Yankees 14  Cleveland 1    
Texas 6  Tampa Bay 1    
Kansas City 7  Minnesota 4    
Oakland 9  L.A. Angels 5    
Houston 16  Seattle 9
National League
San Diego 9  L.A. Dodgers 3    
Philadelphia 8  N.Y. Mets 3    
Atlanta 3  Miami 2    
Chi. Cubs 6  Milwaukee 3    
St. Louis 5  Cincinnati 1    
Pittsburgh 6  Arizona 5    
San Francisco 9  Colorado 6
Washington 8  Chi. White Sox 7

Rangers lost 2-0 in their last game of the series with Tampa Bay. Game was delayed for more than an hour due to rain. Holland has been very inconsistent; he has to improve quickly or he will be the real problem of the Rangers' lineup. Nolan Ryan's soap opera ended today with a statement in which the Rangers say that he is the CEO and will remain so.
Several games delayed our postponed due to rain with one exception. Washington was delayed because umpires were struck in traffic! The power of Bryce Harper” could be a good title for an action movie. Certainly in Washington they are rejoicing about his fourth homerun of the season with following victory for 5-2. Idiot minor leaguer prospect Jorge Soler (Cubs) was ejected after… charging the dugout with a bat. I guess he will be suspended for a few games. A goat’s head has been found at Wrigley Field… no one is really worried as this happened before. I guess everything is fine as long as the staff doesn’t find a horse head in the bed.
Minor League Baseball: Olt error on a grounder makes Iowa score the 3-2 run, with former major leaguer Tateyama on the mound. Olt, which in my opinion is a good player but overrated made two errors in the forth inning.

American League
Toronto 8  Detroit 6
Tampa Bay 2  Texas 0
N.Y. Yankees  at  Cleveland - PPD
Baltimore 8  Boston 5
Kansas City 3  Minnesota 0
Oakland 11  L.A. Angels 5
Houston 8  Seattle 3

National League
St. Louis 10  Cincinnati 0
Arizona 10  Pittsburgh 2
San Francisco 10  Colorado 0
Philadelphia 7  N.Y. Mets 3
Atlanta 8  Miami 0
Milwaukee  at  Chi. Cubs -PPD
L.A. Dodgers 4  San Diego 3

Washington 5  Chi. White Sox 2  

Certainly this day will be remembered more because of the San Diego Padres vs. LA Dodgers brawl than for baseball reasons. Kemp, the very expensive pitcher, ended up with a broken collarbone, and police had to separate him and Quentin after the game. See this, this , this and the video here.

Someone said "Love one another". Picture taken from SBNation (ref. USA Today).
 Rangers were able to win with replacement (Harrison is in 15-day DL) pitcher Grimm. He didn't play very well but a win is a win. The good news is reliever Ortiz, he was very good.

American League
Detroit 11  Toronto 1 
N.Y. Yankees  at  Cleveland - PPD
Baltimore 3  Boston 2 
Oakland 8  L.A. Angels 1 
Texas 4  Seattle 3 
National League
San Francisco 7  Chi. Cubs 6 
L.A. Dodgers 3  San Diego 2 

Washington 7  Chi. White Sox 4  

New York Yankees4-6-5-6-5-3-4 triple play left everyone astounded. Braves go from 2-4 to 6-4 with Washington. Texas' Darvish looks way different than the almost-perfect game one. Blue Jays' all-star shortstop Reyes ends up with broken ankle while trying to steal second. Astros win again vs. Angels (!). New York Mets dominate with Bucks' grand slam.

American League
N.Y. Yankees 5  Baltimore 2
Cleveland 1  Chi. White Sox 0
Tampa Bay  at  Boston - Postponed
Toronto 8  Kansas City 4 
 Houston 5  L.A. Angels 0
Oakland 4  Detroit 3   12
Seattle 3  Texas 1 
National League
 Chi. Cubs 4  San Francisco 3
Atlanta 6  Washington 4   10
Pittsburgh 6  Cincinnati 5 
  Philadelphia 3  Miami 1   10
 St. Louis 2  Milwaukee 0
Arizona 3  L.A. Dodgers 0
Colorado 7  San Diego 5 

 N.Y. Mets 16  Minnesota 5

Reyes will be out for at least three months with a sprained ankle. Ball boy catches a valid popfly for KC Royals. Mets' RHP Harvey goes seven innings without a hit. Red Sox go past Rays in extra innings (Victorino single & RBI). Rangers' Garcia (2B) amazing play with gloved ball to first while running.

American League
Boston 2  Tampa Bay 1   (10 innings)
Detroit 7  Oakland 3
Baltimore 5  N.Y. Yankees 3
Cleveland 9  Chi. White Sox 4
Toronto 3  Kansas City 2
L.A. Angels 5  Houston 4
Texas 3  Seattle 1 
National League
San Francisco 3  Chi. Cubs 2
Atlanta 3  Washington 1
St. Louis 8  Milwaukee 0
Pittsburgh 3  Cincinnati 1
Miami 2  Philadelphia 1
L.A. Dodgers 7  Arizona 5
Colorado 9  San Diego 5 
N.Y. Mets 4  Minnesota 2 

College: Went with the kids, wife and a friend to watch (NCAA) UT Arlington vs. San Jose State University. Final score was 9-4 for UTA. Kids got a ball signed by Matt Shortall which is in my opinion the only player from UTA that can get close to the Minors and develop into a better than average player. First inning: Shortall singled but went on triple thanks to a fielding error.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Jurassic Park 3D

Today we went to watch Jurassic Park 3D. There isn't much to review other than saying that we loved it. Judging by the applause at the end everyone else in the theater was quite satisfied.
My wife and I always loved Jurassic Park. I still remember when I went to watch the original release a long time ago when I was just a bit older than what my oldest kid is now.
One VERY positive note is that the production resisted in committing Star Wars' ugly sin of adding CGI or external elements to the movie. The UNIX graphic that looked so cool in the 1990s in the scene in which the girl browses the compound security files is still the same (although today it looks sluggish and quite primitive).
Strongly suggested. We might go watch it again.

Review MLB/MiLB - Opening week

Spring is officially here and we all know that of course because on Sunday, March 31st 2013 baseball season started when Matt Harrison (TEX) pitched the first ball of the year. The pitch was ruled a ball that eerily predicted the ending of the game: Harrison was smashed by the Astros offense and the Rangers lost 8-2.

4/1/2013 Opening Day:
Brice Harper hits two homers on opening day, Kershaw (LAD) is able to pitch a shutout and hit a homer, NYY just sucked with their weak lineup, while Josh Hamilton hit the winning HR in 13th inning. NYM smash SD. Andrus signs a long and pricey contract with the Texas Rangers.

American League
Boston 8 N.Y. Yankees 2
Chi. White Sox 1 Kansas City 0
Detroit 4 Minnesota 2
Seattle 2 Oakland 0

National League
Washington 2 Miami 0
N.Y. Mets 11 San Diego 2
Chicago Cubs 3 Pittsburgh 1
Milwaukee 5 Colorado 4 [10 innings]
L.A. Dodgers 4 San Francisco 0
Atlanta 7 Philadelphia 5
Arizona 6 St. Louis 2

L.A. Angels 3 Cincinnati 1 [13 innings]

Big disappointment on Tuesday night when Rangers’ Yu Darvish came one out close to his first no-hitter and perfect game. It would’ve been nice, but Astros’ Gonzalez hit the last pitch strong enough to reach first base. Darvish was quite amazing and can’t be faulted for anything. Nevertheless, the Rangers were able to score seven runs and get the win. Darvish pitched for 8.2 innings, with only one hit and a monstrous 14 SO for a 0.00 ERA. Another interesting result for the AL was Seattle’s hammering of the Athletics for a 7-1 final result. In the National League the Giants were able to defeat the Dodgers and the korean pitcher Ryu at his first MLB outing. He pitched for 6.1 innings, with 10 hits, and one run for a final ERA of 1.42. Keith Olbermann believes the Nationals will win the World Series. I agree.  

American League
 Baltimore 7 Tampa Bay 4
Cleveland 4 Toronto 1
Texas 7 Houston 0
Seattle 7 Oakland 1  
National League
Colorado 8 Milwaukee 4
St. Louis 6 Arizona 1
San Francisco 3 L.A. Dodgers 0

Minor League and Prospects According to latest "Baseball America" (4/3/2013) Virginia Tech's Chad Pinder might earn a first round draft pick and should be closely observed.  

4 /3/2013
Diamondbacks beat the Cardinals after 16 innings, which translated in 5 hours and 32 minutes of play, thanks to Chris Pennington's walkoff homerun. Another walkoff (single RBI) authored by Votto allowed the Reds to go past the Angels. Another walkoff was hammered by Tampa Bay's Joyce allowing his team to win past Baltimore. Rangers' Ogando was surprisingly good, with 10SO in 6.1 innings and just 4H. Yankees lost the second game of the opening series with the Red Sox, going down 4-7. This is the first tune since 1999 that the Red Sox are 2-0 after two games. Lincecum lost control of his pitch, allowing 7 walks but the Dodgers are unable to use that to their own advantage. It was a good day for prospect Jose Fernandez; due to a series of injuries to Marlins' rotation they made the stunning decision of calling up prospect Fernandez straight from Double-A. According to USA today the Astros are on the road to beat am awful record, that for most strikeouts. ( )  

American League
Texas 4 Houston 0 Chi.
White Sox 5 Kansas City
Minnesota 3 Detroit 2
Boston 7 N.Y. Yankees 4
Cleveland 3 Toronto 2 (11 innings)
Tampa Bay 8 Baltimore 7
Oakland 6 Seattle 2

National League Washington 3 Miami 0
Pittsburgh 3 Chi. Cubs 0
Atlanta 9 Philadelphia 2
N.Y. Mets 8 San Diego 4
Colorado 7 Milwaukee 3
Arizona 10 St. Louis 9 (16 innings)
San Francisco 5 L.A. Dodgers  

Interleague Cincinnati 5 L.A. Angels 4

Yankees are able to avoid being swept by the Red Sox. Phillies' Cliff Lee got his first win of the year. American League
Minnesota 8  Detroit 2    

Kansas City 3  Chi. White Sox 1    

Baltimore 6  Tampa Bay 3 

Oakland 8  Seattle 2 

N.Y. Yankees 4  Boston 2    

Toronto 10  Cleveland 8 

National League
Chi. Cubs 3  Pittsburgh 2    

San Diego 2  N.Y. Mets 1    

Washington 6  Miami 1    

Philadelphia 2  Atlanta 0 

Cincinnati 5  L.A. Angels 4 

Minor League Baseball starts today. Prospect Profar hits twice for three at bats with one run and Round Rock Express (Rangers AAA affiliated) goes 3 to 1 past Omaha Storm Chasers (AAA KC affiliated)
Games on MiLB TV: Rochester Red Wings - Buffalo Bisons Fort Wayne TinCaps -Great Lakes Loons Binghamton Mets - Akron Aeros Toledo Mud Hens - Louisville Bats Dayton Dragons -West Michigan Whitecaps Bowie Baysox - Harrisburg Senators Midland RockHounds - Northwest Arkansas Naturals Charleston RiverDogs - Greenville Drive Charlotte Knights - Gwinnett Braves Columbus Clippers - Indianapolis Indians Jackson Generals - Jacksonville Suns Durham Bulls - Norfolk Tides Pawtucket Red Sox - Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders Tennessee Smokies - Pensacola Blue Wahoos Springfield Cardinals - Corpus Christi Hooks Oklahoma City RedHawks - Memphis Redbirds New Orleans Zephyrs - Nashville Sounds Omaha Storm Chasers - Round Rock Express Tulsa Drillers - San Antonio Missions Frisco RoughRiders - Arkansas Travelers Iowa Cubs - Albuquerque Isotopes Reno Aces - Colorado Springs Sky Sox Tucson Padres - Salt Lake Bees Tacoma Rainiers - Fresno Grizzlies Las Vegas 51s - Sacramento River Cats

Home opening day for Rangers, Giants, Tigers. Yankees are humiliated by Detroit, while the Rangers are able to go past the Angels in a dramatic game which saw the return on Josh Hamilton in Arlington. Obviously Hamilton, who went 0 for 4, was booed. Speaking of humiliations, Kansas City destroyed Philadelphia the same day Cincinnati slammed Washington. I did not expect the Nationals to lose so badly and even worse I did not expect them to give up six homeruns!

American League
Detroit 8  N.Y. Yankees 3     

Texas 3  L.A. Angels 2     

Baltimore 9  Minnesota 5  

Boston 6  Toronto 4     

Tampa Bay 4  Cleveland 0     

Oakland 8  Houston 3  

Seattle 8  Chicago White Sox 7 (10th Inning)

National League
Colorado 5  San Diego 2     

San Francisco 1  St. Louis 0     

Miami 7  N.Y. Mets 5  

Cincinnati 15  Washington 0     

Atlanta 4  Chi. Cubs 1  

Arizona 3  Milwaukee 1     

L.A. Dodgers 3  Pittsburgh 0     

Kansas City 13  Philadelphia 4 

Minor League Baseball:  Prospect Billy Hamilton stole three bases (!) for Louisville. Amazing!
Omaha Storm Chasers - Round Rock Express 1-3
Toledo 4 - Louisville 6

Yankees lose again. I would say they are in big trouble and clearly one of the reasons is the absence of Jeter and A-Rod. Texas Rangers lose badly in Arlington vs. the Angels with Pujols who hits not one but two homeruns. Matt Harrison was unconvincing for the second time in a raw and this could by troubling new for the Rangers. Nationals are back winning and the good news is that Bryce Harper hit the third homerun of the year. Red Sox's RHP Lackey suffered a bicep strain while pitching vs. Blue Jays. Upton brothers homers in the ninth inning. TB Rays David Price got the Cy Young Award.

American League
Toronto 5  Boston 0     

Chicago White Sox 4  Seattle 3     

L.A. Angels 8  Texas 4      

Detroit 8  N.Y. Yankees 4      

Minnesota 6  Baltimore 5      

Tampa Bay 6  Cleveland 0      

Oakland 6  Houston 3      

National League
N.Y. Mets 7  Miami 3      

Washington 7  Cincinnati 6   (11th inning)    

St. Louis 6  San Francisco 3      

Atlanta 6  Chicago Cubs 5      

Arizona 9  Milwaukee 2      

Colorado 6  San Diego 3     

L.A. Dodgers 1  Pittsburgh 0 

Philadelphia 4  Kansas City 3 

I believe it's too early to analyze the standings...
MLB Standings after Week 1 (From ESPN):
American League



Tampa Bay32.600-


NY Yankees14.2002



Chicago Sox32.600-



Kansas City23.4001





LA Angels23.4001.5


National League



NY Mets32.6001





Chicago Cubs23.4001

St. Louis23.4001






San Francisco32.6001

LA Dodgers32.6001

San Diego14.2003

Minor League Baseball:  Frisco RoughRiders lose 4-3 at Arkansas Travelers in the 10th inning.

College Baseball: I went with the wife, kids and two kid's friends to see CSU Bakersfield at UT Arlington, played at Clay Gould Ballpark. UTA won with two runs in the ninth for a final score of CSUB 2 - UTA 3.

UT Arlington - Clay Gould Ballpark - Play Ball!

In the bottom of the seventh UTA's Derek Miller (LF) was hit by a pitch straight to the helmet, it was quite scary at first. I was behind plate so I heard the loud pop from Miller's helmet. Gladly, after a couple of minutes on the ground he walked away without any problem.

UT Arlington - Derek Miller (LF) after being hit by pitch (head). He walked away fine.

UT Arlington - Clay Gould  Ballpark - Panoramic View

Monday, April 1, 2013

Review: Moneyball

One thing should be clarified as soon as possible: if you liked 'Moneyball', the movie with Brad Pitt, there are good chances that you might not like 'Moneyball' the book written by Micheal Lewis.

The movie is mostly based on Billy Beane and it is a semi-fictional story of his plan to fight big league baseball teams with just a handful of dollars. The movie is a mandatory viewing even for those that do not like baseball. Directed by Bennet Miller and written by Aaron Sorkin it casts Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill at their best. It should be noted that the character portrayed by Jonah Hill (Peter Brand) does not exist in reality and therefore is not mentioned in the book.
The book is quite different than the movie. Still loosely based on Beane, it's not his story but that of an idea that would revolutionize baseball, economics and other fields. Beane is just the implementer of such idea, or the person that understands that even with a minimal amount of weapons a worthy war can be fought against the most powerful of the enemies.

Lewis' work shows the methods, the battles and the circumstances that allowed a sucky team like the Oakland A's to obtain surprising results. It's a non-conclusive analysis of what developed from the ideas of Bill James' a guy that in his free time started analyzing baseball - and its stats - in order to make it less subjective and more objective.
Reading it was a true pleasure and I confirm that it should be read by any baseball fan. While in some instances it is a bit technical it is never boringly dressed of statistics or math so that even a vaguely interested person might find benefit in reading it. 10 stars!