First and foremost, I apologize for the lack of an update yesterday. I have come to the realization that sometimes, when I have too much schoolwork, I simply don’t have time to write.
The reality is, weekday at least through the beginning of May are probably going to just be Short Hops. I’ll do my best to write full columns when I can, but the next couple of weeks are going to be rough and I think for the best of my grades and the best of my writing, Short Hops are the way to go. So, without further adieu…
Short hops: The reality is, the Pirates might still be the Pirates. After coming into this week at 7-5 and in second place, they lost their first two games to the Brewers, 8-1 and 8-0. As if two losses weren’t enough to diminish a potential Earth Day matinee crowd, PNC couldn’t have been housing more than about 100 Milwaukee fans by the end of the Brewers’ 20-0 victory on Thursday. The Pirates couldn’t have gone back under .500 in grander fashion, being outscored 36-1 and now have a -57 run differential, including being outscored 85-13 in losses. The fewest runs the Pirates have lost by is 6 (they lost 9-3 and 6-0 to the Giants). … The reality is, you have to win series if you want to want to get anywhere. The Mets finally won their first series of the year yesterday when they beat the Cubbies 5-2 to take three out of four. The win finally got Francisco Rodriguez his first save in only his second opportunity (on April 22nd) and tied with Mike Pelfrey for the team lead (Big Pelf saved the 20-inning game after K-Rod blew it in the 19th). The Mets also scored a run for Johan Santana for the first time since the sixth inning of Opening Day. … Also in Mets news, a headline on mets.com reads “Reyes may be headed to third in lineup.” I don’t care anymore – Reyes had been “heading to third in lineup” since Spring Training 2009, and then “especially” in Spring Training 2010 before his thyroid issue, and then Jerry Manuel was “planning on it” for the Cubs series to try to get his lineup going. But it didn’t happen then, and it hasn’t happened since. The reality is, every time Jerry is blowing smoke every time he says Reyes will bat third, and it’s counterintuitive to keep writing about the possibility until the headline of the article can read, “Reyes bats third in Mets’ lineup.” … Also in Cubs news, I love Lou Piniella. I think he’s one of the best managers in baseball because his entire managing style revolves around brutal reality (he is quite the subpar TV commentator, though). Piniella announced Wednesday that Opening Day starter Carlos Zambrano got beaten by the Mets, lowering his record to 1-2 with a 7.45 ERA, Big Z would be moving to the bullpen. The Cubs, in need of any bullpen help they can get, now have a $91M setup man. The reality is, if you don’t produce for Sweet Lou, you’re going to lose your job. Ted Lilly will take Zambrano’s rotation spot once he is activated off the DL. The only question mark about the move is the timing: despite losing on Tuesday, Zambrano had a “quality start” and struck out 9, and if you factor out his Opening Day start, his record is 1-1 with a 4.00 ERA. Still, the move is a bold one, and perhaps it will send the Mets a message about how to treat Oliver Perez. … Unsurprisingly, the Rockies’ Ubaldo Jimenez did not pull a Johnny Vander Meer all over the Nationals yesterday, but he did follow up his no-hitter with 7.1 scoreless innings to earn the win. Apparently, when asked about Vander Meer’s feat of throwing back-to-back no-hitters, Jimenez had never heard of him. Luckily, Jimenez is a level-headed, respectable guy, as my response would’ve been more along the lines of “calm the !@#$ down, guys. I’m just trying to win. Obviously. The reality is, no one ever tried to throw a no-hitter; I wasn’t even planning on throwing one last time either.” … The Yankees turned the most embarrassing triple play to hit into – the 5-4-3 – yesterday against the Oakland A’s. The reality is, triple play or no triple play, the Yankees couldn’t recover from a first-inning three-run homer by Kurt Suzuki, the guy who hit into the triple play as the A’s won 4-2. … The Rays shellacked the White Sox 10-2 at U.S. Cellular Field yesterday to cap off a 9-1 road trip. The 12-4 Rays stayed in first place, .5 ahead of the Yankees. However, as the 2008 Rays know, the reality is that you also have to win at home if you want to win a divison title. … Red Sox left fielder Jacoby Ellsbury has been on the DL since Tuesday after a collision with Adrian Beltre last week and has been curiously slow to recover. The reality is, as Ellsbury discovered Thursday, he has a hairline fracture on four of his left ribs. … Also in Red Sox news, Tim Wakefield will be relegated to the bullpen after his Saturday start with the expected return of Daisuke Matsuzaka. Wakefield hasn’t pitched out of the ‘pen since the 2004 postseason, but the reality is Dice-K brings more to the table and the Rangers did steal nine bases in under five innings against him earlier this week.
See you tomorrow with what should be a full update!
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