Eli Whiteside hit a home run off Roy Halladay in the seventh inning of last night’s Giants-Phillies game. According to Matt Gelb of the Philly Inquirer, that caused some Giants fans to chant “overrated!” at Halladay. I suppose if anyone can talk smack to Roy Halladay it’s the fans who root for Tim Lincecum, but calling Roy Halladay overrated is crazy.
Fan weirdness in Kansas City too as Royals fans booed Mike Sweeney when he pinch hit for Seattle last night. Sweeney was the Royals’ best hitter for a good while and I understand that Royals fans are a bit miffed that he got a big contract and fell off a cliff at almost the exact time the team decided that Carlos Beltran wasn’t worth trying to keep around, but that’s on an inept Royals front office, not Sweeney. Sure, it’s hard to boo a front office seven years after they did something dumb, but booing a nice guy like Mike Sweeney is a decidedly un-Midwestern thing to do. Midwesterns are much bigger on passive-aggressiveness than open hostility. There’s a thin veneer of politeness to it which makes us think we’re better than everyone else.
And since I’ve taken it upon myself to tell fans all over the country who they can and can’t jeer, I may as well go one presumptuous step further and tell them exactly how they should receive players like Halladay and Sweeney.
In San Francisco, the fans should, after getting the best of a guy like Roy Halladay, offer wild applause for their own guys, and a zipped lip (though exuberant inner-joy) at the misfortune of Halladay, knowing full well that (a) you got the best of one of the best; but (b) it ain’t likely to happen the next time your guys meet up with him.
For Sweeney? Tougher, because that business with the $55 million bust of a deal is really old news. Maybe Royals fans should get creative and, rather than boo him, they could all meet outside the stadium after the game, pool their resources, figure out where former General Manager Allaard Baird lives and leave a flaming bag of dog poo on his porch.
Much more constructive if you ask me, and really, a lot more satisfying.
Clayton Kershaw has looked sharp on the mound and at the plate so far in this must-win NLDS Game 4 at New York’s Citi Field.
After no-hitting the Mets in the first two frames, Kershaw smacked a one-out single to left-center field in the top of third inning. Howie Kendrick followed soon after with a two-out single to left and then Adrian Gonzalez blooped a ball to shallow center that drove in Enrique Hernandez, who had reached earlier on a fielder’s choice grounder to second base.
That all set up this Justin Turner two-run double down the left field line that put Los Angeles up 3-0 …
That’s now four doubles this postseason for Turner, which is a Dodgers franchise record for the Division Series. Los Angeles is trying to force a Game 5.
In the first postseason meeting between the two longtime archrivals, the Chicago Cubs prevailed over the St. Louis Cardinals.
Watch as Cubs closer Hector Rondon whiffs Cardinals outfielder Stephen Piscotty with a nasty 0-2 breaking ball to clinch a Division Series victory and send Wrigley Field into a frenzy (this is actually the first time in franchise history the Cubs have won a playoff series at home) …
Chicago dropped Game 1 but took three straight to finish off St. Louis. Next up is a matchup against either the Dodgers or Mets in the National League Championship Series.
After taking Game 1 of the NLDS in an outstanding performance from John Lackey, the Cardinals dropped three straight to the Cubs by scores of 6-3, 8-6 and 6-4. It’s not difficult at all to imagine a healthy Carlos Martinez swinging one of those games.
Martinez wasn’t the Cardinals’ best starter this year, but he was the one who could shut a team down by himself, with little help from the defense needed. Martinez struck out 184 batters in 179 2/3 innings while going 14-7 with a 3.01 ERA. He left his next-to-last regular season start with a shoulder strain that was going to cost him the entirety of the postseason no matter how far the Cardinals advanced. It was a killer blow for a team whose offense had already been slowed by injuries.
October just came at the wrong time for the Cardinals, what with Martinez down, Yadier Molina nursing a significant thumb injury, Matt Holliday and Randal Grichuk far from 100 percent and Adam Wainwright still weeks short of potentially pulling off a Marcus Stroman-like return to the rotation.
It’s Molina absence Thursday and lack of effectiveness otherwise that serve as a popular explanation/excuse for the Cardinals’ loss. And the downgrade from him to Tony Cruz behind the plate was huge, even if Molina is no longer the hitter he was a couple of years back.
Martinez, though, had the potential to even up the NLDS just by doing what he did in the regular season. And had Martinez been in the rotation, the Cardinals wouldn’t have moved up Lackey to start Game 4 on three days’ rest. They’d have been the clear favorites in a Game 5 Jon Lester-Lackey rematch back in St. Louis, though we’ll never know how that might have worked out.