Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Power of 10

Garrett Anderson has always been a steady but seldom-heard-of producer for the Angels over on the West Coast for the past 14 seasons ('94-Present) with 2,164 hits, 249 homeruns, and 1,178 rbi over his career. Not too long ago he regularly posted 100+ rbi a year (2000-2003, 96 rbi in '05), but his production has recently declined due to various injuries. However, last night against the hated Yankees he went Yahtzee and knocked in 10 runs. Yes, 10 rbi in 1 game...that's crazy!

Here's a list of MLB batters with 100+ at bats this season that Garrett out-produced in one game (at bats/rbi): Alberto Callaspo (126/5), Robert Fick (142/5), Travis Metcalf (100/6), Norris Hopper (210/6), Rajai Davis (112/6), Michael Bourn (109/6), Paul Bako (140/7), Todd Linden (136/7), Luis Rodriguez (108/7), Alexi Casilla (115/7), Chris Woodward (117/8), Rod Barajas (117/9), Cesar Izturis (249/9), Tony Gwynn (113/9), Jerry Owens (225/9), and Tony Abreu (118/9).


Thursday, August 16, 2007

In A Pinch

I peruse the box scores for every MLB game every day (I know I'm pathetically obsessed). In doing so I often come across funny names (Buck Coats of the Cubs in '06), same names (Ryan Braun's of Brewers and Royals), or unique occurrences (Ranger's pitcher Bryan Corey and Scott Feldman pitching in the same game).

Recently I have been following the pinch-hitting heroics of Mark Sweeney, who is now in 2nd place on the all-time pinch-hits list behind Sir Lenny Harris (who has 212). Sweeney started this season with the San Francisco Giants and has since moved on to the Los Angeles Dodgers, but no matter where he goes he's always good in a pinch. His pinch-hitting line thus far this season is 54 ab, 10 r, 18 h, 6 dbl, 2 hr, 9 rbi, 10 bb, .333 avg, and an outstanding 1.002 OPS. At 37 years old, I'm sure he can probably hang around into his 40's in the NL if he can continuing posting numbers similar to those.


Saturday, August 11, 2007

Story Time

Round up your friends and gather around the computer because it's story time, and this story has drama, intrigue, comedy, and joy...The Rick Ankiel Story. This story started before the turn of the century, back in 1999, when a 19 year old Ankiel made his MLB debut for the St. Louis Cardinals. He did well in his late season call-up posting a 3.27 era in 33 innings pitched. Ankiel's real impact came in the new millennium, when he racked up 11 wins for the Cards in his rookie season of 2000 as a 20 year old pitching sensation and helped guide them to some October baseball. His stats were suggestive of future greatness- 3.50 era in 175 ip with 194 k's...Doc Gooden even says "DAMN!". What happens next is sickening, has been the butt of many "wild thing" jokes, and talked about for years since...Rick was pitching on the big stage of the playoffs and completely lost "it". "It" being his mind, control, and dignity. In 3 post-season games he suffered through 4 innings with 11 walks, 5 hits, a 15.75 era, and numerous wild pitches. He was never the same man again, he went from the "next big thing" to "the washed-up barely-was" was sad to witness as a baseball fan. After his post-season debacle, he tried to comeback in 2001 and prove to the world it didn't bother him, but it obviously did, as he had a 7.13 era in only 24 innings pitched (3 hit batters and 5 wild pitches) looks to be over. Ankiel doesn't give up easily though, he toiled in the minors and fought back for another chance on the mound, and in 2004 he climbed the MLB hill once again for St. Louis and pitched 10 innings with mildly better results (5.40 era). However, this time Rick had enough of the pitching gig, and announced he was through with pitching and was turning his desire and goals towards becoming an outfielder. He was already becoming a joke around baseball, and now he added his own punchline...seriously how the hell is this dude going to become a MLB outfielder?! Well, in 2005, his first season in the minors focusing on hitting he managed to hit 21 homeruns and play decent defense...maybe he can do this after all. Then in 2006 Ankiel gets hurt and is forced to miss the entire season due to can't catch a break. Still not giving up, determined to persevere he comes back for the 2007 season and the Cards put him in Triple A Memphis where he went absolutely berserk with the stick- .270 avg, 31 hr, 86 rbi and now the big league call-up yet again, but this time as an outfielder. He made the successful transition! Through 3 games in August so far, he has hit 2 homeruns and is showing the world that he's a helluva athlete. Without trying to be too sappy, this is a truly inspiring story and gives you goosebumps. Thanks for showing us you could do it Rick, I hope you have a great rest of your career.


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Same Name Syndrome

You can stop holding your breath now, More Hardball is back for all its adoring fans (assuming there are some). After a 2.5 month hiatus, we'll once again be bringing you a weekly feature of baseball hilarity and obscurity. We kick off our comeback tour with yet another case of same name syndrome...The Braun's.

Ryan Braun has taken MLB by storm, reaching 20 homeruns in less than 70 games after making his debut in late May. His stats are off the charts, especially for a rookie. Naturally, I checked his availability for my fantasy teams and was amazed to see he was still a free agent. To my dismay, the "real" Ryan Braun of Milwaukee fame was gobbled up long ago and some no-talent ass-clown by the same name that pitches for the lowly Royals was still available. Needless to say I left the latter Braun for the vultures.

The Brew Crew's Ryan J. Braun is a 23 year old stud 3rd baseman that was drafted out of Miami in 2005. He quickly hit his way through the minors and is currently assaulting MLB pitching. His career thus far is one of the most impressive beginnings ever- 65 games, .346 average, 52 runs, 92 hits, 17 doubles, 3 triples, 21 homeruns, 54 rbi, 10 stolen bases, and a 1.057 OPS. If he would have been around the entire season, we wouldn't only be discussing Rookie of the Year and MVP, but a possible Triple Crown as well.

The other, lesser known, Ryan Braun plays for Kansas City and really isn't all that good. Ryan Z. Braun made his MLB debut in 2006 for the Royals and has bounced back and forth between the minors ever since. He is a 27 year old relief pitcher that doesn't really offer much relief. In his big league career he has pitched in 22 games, logging 29.2 innings, with no wins and a 7.28 era. I'm not sure how much more we'll be hearing of this Ryan Braun for years to come.