Monday, July 6, 2009

Hampton's Houston Hex

Hey, all ya gotta do is point Mike Hampton to the mound, and the ballgame's over for Pittsburgh. He beat the Bucs for the tenth straight time, 4-1. The last streak against the Pirates of that proportion belonged to the Phil's Robin Roberts, who won 15 in a row between 1951-53.

The difference is that Roberts was dominating the NL during the fifties; Hampton is 5-5 with a 4.16 ERA. He has one win against a team other than Pittsburgh.

Two plays in the first inning probably decided the game. With the first two runners on, Andy LaRoche hit a screamer up the middle. Hampton snagged it, although it almost knocked him over, and got a DP. With two outs and two on in the bottom half, Garrett Jones crashed into the wall to make a tough catch - and had the ball pop out of his glove on impact. 2-0 'Stros, game, set, match.

-- Byron Kerr of says GM Rizzo should get the interim tag removed from his title after the NyMo/Burney deal:
"The acquisition of outfielder Nyjer Morgan and relief pitcher Sean Burnett was a perfect Rizzo deal. Morgan has already paid huge dividends with his energy, defense and scrappy attitude to get on base. Morgan makes catches in center the center fielder is supposed to make. He makes catches you think he shouldn't be able to make. Even when he drops a ball that he dove for, he gets up quickly and fires to 2nd to gun down the runner anyway. Burnett had that hiccup versus the Marlins in his debut, but still has some good numbers in his last 6 appearances, allowing just 1 earned run."
-- 27 year-old SS Jhonny Peralta is supposed to be on the meat market. Let's see...he has a little pop with the bat, is a Cleveland Indian product, and the Bucs may be looking for a shortstop soon. Just wonderin'...

-- Eric Hinske will make his first start for the Bronx Bombers tonight in RF, according to Brian Hoch of Seems like nothin' but lefties have taken the hill since the Bucs dealt him; the Yankees plan to use him in a platoon role.

-- Ian Browne of on 42-year-old Tim Wakefield's first All-Star selection:
"Wakefield became the oldest player to make the All-Star team for the first time since Satchel Paige. After years of dominance in the Negro Leagues, Paige went to his first major league All-Star game in 1952 at the age of 46. Jamie Moyer (40 in 2003) and Connie Marrero (40 in 1951) are the only other players to become All-Stars for the first time at age 40 or older."
-- Ian Snell threw another shutout for Indy yesterday, giving up six hits and striking out six in a complete game (seven innings) win. Too bad he can't match that kind of performance at PNC.

-- LHP Rudy Owens (10-1, 1.79) keeps mowing 'em down at West Virginia. The 21 year-old threw five goose eggs and allowed two hits, with 3 Ks and a walk.

-- Mike Whiteford of the West Virginia Gazette has the story of first round selection Tony Sanchez's long, strange journey from Boston College to Charleston.


WilliamJPellas said...

Peralta is definitely an intriguing possibility, for all the reasons you mention, Ron. That said, he's having a bad season, and he also looks like he's gained some weight recently, and his glovework was never in Jack Wilson's neighborhood even when he was playing well. As you know, Cleveland switched Peralta to third base this year, which might mean he ate himself out of the shortstop position, and definitely means the Indians were not happy with his defense.

However, as a "buy low" guy in the scratch-n-dent bin, sure, I'd take a look at him. But it would be more than a little risky to send Jack packing and then hand the shortstop job to Peralta.

Ron Ieraci said...

Right again, Will. I was just thinking of a placeholder until somebody - Brian Friday, Jarek Cunningham, Jordy Mercer, Angel Sano (maybe), or someone not on the roster yet is ready for prime time; big emphasis on low-cost and minimally competent.