One of the only baseball blogs (to my knowledge) in the blogosphere that focuses on the Montreal Expos. Okay, mostly baseball in general, however with Montreal Expos references to be found within!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Some Kinda All Star Game! Part 2

So indeed, some kinda All-Star Game it was! And our buddy Allan 'Budward' Selig didn't stop to declare it a tie! Otherwise, I'm not sure how 'This Time it Counts' would have worked!

I believe it really started getting interesting in the bottom of the 8th, and onwards as it was tied. The game up to the top of the 5th was actually moving along quite quickly, until the scoring started, and it turned it into the longest MLB All-Star Game by time ever, at 4 hours and 50 minutes. The 1967 game in Anaheim also went 15 innings.

It actually really started getting interesting in the bottom of the 10th. Two Fielding errors, and an intentional walk loaded the bases with no outs. Dan Uggla made the two errors to start the inning, but made sure to get the force out at home for the first out. Michael Young was forced out at home. Cristian Guzmán playing threw from third to Russell Martin for the second out, forcing out Carlos Quentin. It was Guzmán's first time playing third in his MLB career! Normally a shortstop, so same side of the field, but still. Miguel Tejada made the next highlight reel play to get the third out, off of Justin Morneau's ground ball. I am reminded of the first out I believe it was. After forcing out Michael Young, Russell Martin threw to first to try and get the double play, not in time, but Adrian Gonzalez made a game saving play, catching Martin's throw on an in between hop close to the ground.

The next big play came at the bottom of the very next inning, the 11th. With runners on first and second (J. D. Drew and Dioner Navarro respectively), Michael Young singled to center fielder Nate McLouth, who went on to throw Navarro out at the plate for out number two. Cristian Guzmán once again deserves credit for getting the third out. Carlos Quentin grounded out, Guzmán fielded to first.

The NL had a nice chance to win it in the top of the 12th. They had runners on first and second with no outs, and then second and third with one out after a sac bunt by Russell Martin. Tejada was then intentionally walked. Uggla, and Gonzalez both struck out to end the threat.

Aaron Cook deserves quite a bit of credit, pitching three innings, and not allowing a run. His defense put managed to put him into a jam, but then helped him out. Since he is a Rocky, and Clint Hurdle was managing, surely that was why he was out as long as he was, as the announcers pointed out.

In the end Michael Young was the hero, sac flying to right fielder Corey Hart (not wearing his sunglasses) who was just a few milliseconds too slow with his throw, and Justin Morneau plated the game winning run. Earlier in the bottom of the 11th, Nate McLouth throwing out Navarro could have been called either way. Obviously he was out. I'm not sure the unwritten rules exactly, but sometimes situations like that it is up to the umpire to give the benefit of the doubt. Martin was the one who received it, as far as the tag being applied versus touching home, but the throw was definitely in there in time.

So all in all, an entertaining ballgame at Yankee Stadium, the fourth and final All-Star age at that incarnation of Yankee Stadium. Old stars, and new stars alike shone. Although I have moved on to the Toronto Blue Jays, my heart is still in the National League, so I actually found myself rooting for them, including Cristian Guzmán, and Dan Uggla (whose third error should not have been as the ball took a nasty hop/in between hop). With that said, time for the Blue Jays to take hold of the second half, and take home field advantage! I'm sure most would agree four possible contenders in the AL East would be even better than three!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Some Kinda All Star Game! Part 1

As the title says!

15 innings
4 hours 50 minutes
National League pitching: 248 pitches (145 Strikes)
American League pitching: 205 pitches (140 Strikes)
Total pitches: 453
Most batters faced: Aaron Cook (NL - Col), 16
Least batters faced: Brian Wilson (NL - SF), and Francisco Rodriguez (AL -LA), 2.

Part 2 in a day or two.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Kudos to Justin Morneau, hats off to Josh Hamilton

Justin Morneau, the Canadian, won the 2008 Home Run Derby. He more than likely won thanks to conserving his energy, or not being as powerful, and/or dialed in as Josh Hamilton. Regardless, he is deserving of his win, as Hamilton would have been as well.

We all know Josh Hamilton's story, and if not, it can easily be found, especially now. He sure put on a clinic in the first round, hitting 28 long, long, long balls! His second round was a mere 4 homers to stay loose, walking away after 4 or so outs (for once I am not bothering to fact check this blog entry, just going off the top of my head!). Maybe he should have skipped the second round altogether as he didn't need it to advance to the finals. Regardless, he, and Justin Morneau are now part of Yankee Stadium history.