No intro. Here we go...
MLB: Nationals 4, Florida Marlins 0
The Nats kept from falling under .500 thanks to another strong pitching performance by Hector Carrasco (5-3), who had been a reliever all season until September 13, when he made a spot start and ended up with a place in the rotation. Now, the Nationals are probably thinking that they could still be in playoff spot if Carrasco had been in the rotation all year instead of, oh, say ... Rangers reject Ryan Drese.
Last night, Hector went six innings, giving up just two hits and striking out six Fish. Carrasco has now pitched 17.2 scoreless innings in his last three starts, lowering his ERA on the year to 1.73.
This is a good story for the Nats (yes, better than Cristian Guzman going 3-for-5 with three RBIs to lift his batting average to .215 ... he’s still the worst offensive player in the Majors). Carrasco is a guy that’s been around for over 10 years and has never been dominant, posting pretty consistent ERAs in the mid-4’s. Then he had rotator cuff surgery, missed all of 2002, and couldn’t find a team. He played most of 2003 in the Orioles farm system, then headed to Japan for 2004 after failing to land a bullpen spot with the Cubs. Finally, the benevolent Washington Nationals picked him up and sent him to New Orleans to be a Zephyr. Less than a month into the year, he was called up to the big club, and he’s been pretty much dominant ever since. Good job, Hector.
Plus (for any of you from the College Park area), he kind of looks like “Wildness,” the (Hispanic? I don’t know ... Wildness is unclassifiable!) guy with the dyed blond hair who always wore sunglasses at the TCBY, and now does so at the Tasti D-Lite. (Sorry folks. I couldn’t find a picture. Just know that he’s a legend among drunk/high college students in need of frosty treats around the University of Maryland.)
Thusly, I fully support, from now on, referring to Mr. Carrasco as “Wildness.” Make it so.
Anywho. Game two of the series is tonight at 7:05 in Florida, with Esteban Loaiza (11-10, 3.63 ERA, RHP) facing D-Train, Dontrelle Willis (22-9, 2.44 ERA, LHP), who is very talented. (Dare I say, almost as good as Hector “Wildness” Carrasco.)
I’m on a (parentheses) kick today. (Awesome.) (It’s because I use them with style.) But enough stalling...
MLB: New York Yankees 11, Orioles 3
The Yankees scored a lot of runs, the Orioles didn’t. Tejada didn’t get any RBIs and Gibbons didn’t homer. Rodrigo Lopez (14-12) took the loss.
The Red Sox were rained out, so the Yankees win put them in sole possession of first place in the American League East by half a game.
O’s late-inning replacement shortstop Ed Rogers hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning for his first Major League hit.
The current nine-game losing streak is the Orioles’ longest of the season.
That’s all you need to know, and probably more.
Tonight is Bruce Chen (12-10, 3.60 ERA, LHP) against Mike Mussina (13-8, 4.20 ERA, RHP) at Camden Yards at 7:05.
P.S. I hate Gary Sheffield.