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Sunday, April 7, 2013
Baseball Notes for April 7, 2013
surprisingly, the first week of the 2013 major league season got off to a
roaring start, teasing fans with the promise of the exciting action to come. Players
and teams are already making their marks, indicating that they are forces to be
reckoned with. Conversely, there are others also off to alarming starts. What
it all means for fans is an overload of story lines and exciting game action
that will run its course over the next six months. Some of the most interesting
stories from last week include:
Rangers’ pitcher Yu Darvish lost a bid for a perfect
game in the second contest of the season, when he allowed a clean single up the
middle to his 27th and final batter of the night, Marwin Gonzalez of
the Houston Astros. The Japanese right-hander had been in complete control,
striking out 14 though 8.2 innings until giving up the hit that knocked him
from the game.
was destined to be Darvish’s last batter of the game anyways, as Texas manager
Ron Washington claimed he had already decided to remove him
from the game regardless of the outcome of that at-bat.
Washington publically proclaimed his intention to remove Darvish because of his
rising pitch count, it’s doubtful he would have actually followed through on it
if Gonzalez had only walked. No-hitters and perfect games are rare occurrences,
and Darvish finished with only 111 total pitches, so it’s not like he was in a
slugger Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles got off to a blistering start by hitting four
home runs and driving in 16 runs in his first four games. By doing so, he
joined Willie Mays, Mark McGwire and Nelson Cruz as the only players to homer
in the first four games of a season.
is picking up exactly where he left off last season. In his final seven regular
season games of 2012 and his first four games of 2013, he combined for 11 home
runs and 29 RBI. By comparison, the Miami Marlins scored a total of just 20
runs as a team during that same 11-game stretch.
star outfielder Josh Hamilton received a less than welcoming reception upon playing
his first game in Arlington, Texas as a member of the Los Angeles Angels.
spent the previous five seasons with the Rangers, making the All-Star team each
year and winning an MVP award in 2010. Fans were disappointed to not only lose
him, but to see him sign with the divisional rival Angels.
heckling of the fans got so bad that Hamilton’s wife had to reach out to ballpark security. It’s a shame
to see fans so disgracefully. While losing a popular player can be a tough
blow, there is never any excuse for behaving in a threatening and inappropriate
manner. Those who do only confirm to their target that choosing another team
was the right decision.
players are just snake bitten when it comes to injuries. Pitching against the
Toronto Blue Jays in his first game since 2011, Boston Red Sox right-hander
John Lackey was making an impressive return from Tommy John surgery when he had
to be removed after completing his 76th pitch of the day and walked
off the mound clutching his throwing arm in
had pitched well leading up to his removal, allowing five hits and two runs in
4.1 innings, while striking out eight and walking just one. After the game, the
team announced the right-hander had suffered a biceps strain but would be
headed back to Boston for tests. After the initial scare, Lackey seemed relieved that it was
likely not something too serious, but was awaiting further word.
Lackey is out for an extended period of time, it will be a shame. After being much-maligned during the first
few years in Boston, he returned from his surgery in fantastic shape and ready to hold
a spot in the back of the Red Sox’s rotation. Alfredo Aceves will likely replace
Lackey in the immediate future. Hopefully Lackey will return before long, but
if not, a prospect like Allen Webster may be brought up from the minors to take
the starting role and push Aceves back to the bullpen.
Braves’ first baseman Freddie Freeman is hopping mad over being recently
placed on the 15-day disabled list for a strained oblique muscle. The young
slugger, who hit a scorching .417 with seven RBI during his first five games,
believes his upcoming imposed inactivity was unnecessary and wishes the team
had consulted him first. He had some choice words when asked about his thoughts
on how the matter was handled, exclaiming, “They didn’t give me a choice.”
rare for such matters to publically come to light, and making an up-and-coming
star like Freeman unhappy is never a good sign. It appears that the Braves were
being cautious and trying to avoid losing one of their best players for an
extended period of time down the road, but this situation bears watching.