Absolute Zero

7/3/14 in MLB   |   pigskinfan   |   65 respect

When it happened on Sunday, I was amazed on Monday.  You might also remember that I said that, while it had never happened to me before that both of my teams failed to score any runs, I wouldn't say that it would never happen again.  Of course, I didn't expect that next time would come just a couple of days later.  I guess it really shouldn't have been a surprise that it did though.  The Reds were the Reds.  As often happens with that team, they just really didn't seem interested yesterday.  It was a solid single, a broken bat duck snort, a walk and a dying quail that should have been caught to end the Padres' 1st inning that did Cincy and Cueto in.  From that point on, the Reds just seemed more interested in getting done with the whole thing so they could get on a plane and head home.

It was kind of the same thing for the Phils.  Cole Hamels wasn't sharp to be sure, but when the Phils put 2 men on in scoring position in the top of the 1st and failed to score with an Utley strikeout, a Byrd strikeout and a Howard weak little roller to the 2nd baseman, you could just see that the Phils had decided to concede the game.  It's always the same thing with Philly year after year.  Lots of talent.  Guys that have had really impressive stats offensively.  But they just never seem to really put all that together.  No chemistry.

Heck!  Even the Cardinals game was a shut out.  At least I was on the right side of that.  You didn't have to see that game to know that Waino was incredible, and if you just saw the boxscore this morning, you might have been somewhat incredulous that he had only 1 strikeout in his 7 2/3 innings, but that's why it was a classic Wainwright game.  What you did miss, if you didn't see the game, was a very little thing that I don't think many who did see the game noticed.

As a once highly accomplished player, my eyes have been trained over the years to pick up on little things in the game like when a pitcher might be tipping his pitcher, a hitter changes his stance or chokes up on the bat a little, and yes, even stealing signs.  But what Wainwright did last night is something I've never seen before.  As usual, he was changing speeds and varying the sight lines of the hitters like the master he is, but he was also changing his windup prior to delivering.  Sometimes he would go with a full, hands over head windup.  Other times, it was the hands tucked, just move the feet rotation.  And he even had variations on those.  There were pauses in his motion like we see with all the Japanese pitchers.  There were even a couple of times where he would start his motion, stop and then restart from the beginning.  I thought that was pretty amazing.  Here's a guy that is about as good as it gets in this game, and even he is still trying new things to get better.  That's pro!  And it sure worked last night.

THE SHOW  (3-3 yesterday and 9-11 so far for the week)

BUTTA  (1-2 yesterday and 3-5 so far for the week)
1.  GIANTS (BUMGARNER -145) over Cardinals (Martinez) - The Redbirds may have won as expected last night behind Waino's strong performance, but the stark reality is that this team is leaking oil every bit as badly as the Giants are.  While Wainwright was the right man at the right time last night, MadBum is the right man at the right time for the Gigantes today, and I wouldn't be surprised to see a 3rd shutout in as many games in this series.
2.  TIGERS (SCHERZER -190) over Rays (Bedard) - With some teams, a series sweep like the Tigers just completed yesterday against the A's would mean a short respite would be in order, and they might come out flat tonight for what could be seen as a "lesser" opponent.  Don't count on it with Mad Max on the bump though.  After getting bombed by the Royals a couple of starts ago, Scherzer has returned to his Cy Young form and dominated.  The Rays are coming off a big series sweep on the road against the hated Yanks, but they don't have much length in that lineup.  Max should cut through them fairly easily, and Bedard and his 13-38 lifetime mark against teams with winning records in the 2nd half of the season shouldn't be much of a mystery to the Tigers hitters.

1.  Phillies (Kendrick +105) over MARLINS (HAND) - Normally, you would like to have a guy like Kendrick and his 11-3 lifetime record against the Fish going in a BROOMOLOGY scenario, but Kendrick, like the rest of his team, is an incredible underachiever.
2.  PIRATES (WORLEY -145) over D-Backs (McCarthy) - The Snakes must not have much pitching in their farm system.  That's the only explanation I can come up with for why they keep sending McCarthy out there every 5th day.  He's certainly the last guy you'd want to have out there in a situation where you're about to be swept on the road, but Worley's career track record isn't all that great either.  It's certainly not good enough to actually back him fiscally.  Another thing is that, while the Bucs are clearly the better team, the Snakes are 13-6 over the last 2 seasons In road games after 3 or more straight losses.
3.  ANGELS (SHOEMAKER -165) over Astros (Oberholtzer) - Remember how the 'Stros had the Halos number last year?  Well, not so much this season.  They've still beaten the Angels 4 times in 10 games, but the Halos are monsters at home, and I don't think soft tosser Oberholtzer will be the answer for a Houston team that's really in a funk right now.

 RUN LINES  (6-9 ATS/8-7 SU & TOTALS yesterday and 25-30/30-23/29-26 so far for the week)
Rangers Cardinals (+1 1/2, U6 1/2)
ORIOLES (-1 1/2, O7 1/2) GIANTS
Rays (+1 1/2, U8) Phillies (+1 1/2, O8)
Yankees D-Backs
TWINS (+1 1/2, O7) PIRATES (-1 1/2, U7 1/2)
Blue Jays Dodgers (-1 1/2, O10 1/2)
A'S (-1 1/2, O7 1/2) ROCKIES
ANGELS (-1 1/2, U8 1/2)  

---It'll be Darvish going for the hapless Rangers tonight in Baltimore as Texas tries to avoid being swept in a 4-game series.
---Mr. Tanaka continues his 2nd time through the A.L. with a game against the Twinks and former Yank Phil Hughes in Minnesota.  So far, that 2nd time being seen scenario for Tanaka hasn't gone that well.

BROOMOLOGY  (2-6 ATS & 1-7 SU yesterday and 6-8 & 4-10 so far for the week)

Road Dogs  (3-2 & 2-3 so far for the week)
Phillies (+1 1/2) at MARLINS
D-Backs (+1 1/2) at PIRATES

Road Favorite  (0-1 ATS & SU so far for the week)
Rangers (-1 1/2) over ORIOLES

Big holiday tomorrow.  The biggest of them all!  And it just happens to coincide with a weekend, so I'm sure many of you are fudging things a little bit and taking an extra day today.  Have a great day, but be careful out there.  I'll talk to you tomorrow.
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