Comment of the Day: Jamie Moyer and Starlin Castro


Cap Anson.jpgI have the best readers on the planet.

In this morning’s recaps I made a joke about how the 47 year-old Jamie Moyer pitching to the 20 year-old Starlin Castro linked Castro directly to 19th century legend Cap Anson. I was just being silly with that, of course.

But reader Luis took it as a challenge and did the actual linking of Castro and Anson:

  • Starlin Castro played with Koyie Hill for the 2010 Chicago Cubs
    Exclude Koyie Hill
  • Koyie Hill played with Rickey Henderson for the 2003 Los Angeles
    Dodgers Exclude Rickey Henderson
  • Rickey Henderson played with Phil Niekro for the 1985 New York Yankees
    Exclude Phil Niekro
  • Phil Niekro played with Warren Spahn for the 1964 Milwaukee Braves
    Exclude Warren Spahn
  • Warren Spahn played with Tony Cuccinello for the 1942 Boston Braves
    Exclude Tony Cuccinello
  • Tony Cuccinello played with Edd Roush for the 1931 Cincinnati Reds
    Exclude Edd Roush
  • Edd Roush played with Nixey Callahan for the 1913 Chicago White Sox
    Exclude Nixey Callahan
  • Nixey Callahan played with Cap Anson for the 1897 Chicago Colts

God, I love that kind of stuff. You can do it with anyone.  I’m not quite sure who the Kevin Bacon figure is in the baseball version of this game, but I’ve always found Niekro and Hoyt Wilhelm to be insanely useful in this regard.

UPDATE:  lar reminds us in the comments that has an app for that.

UPDATE IIJay at Fack Youk covered this ground last year and found that (a) Warren Spahn is the real Rosetta Stone for this game; and (b) Kevin Bacon couldn’t carry Dennis Hopper’s jock when it comes to the degrees game.  Definitely check it out.

Cardinals take 1-0 NLDS lead over the Cubs behind John Lackey’s brilliant outing

John Lackey
AP Photo/Jeff Roberson
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John Lackey flirted with a no-hitter but settled for 7 1/3 terrific, shutout innings to beat the Cubs in Game 1 of the NLDS on Friday. The right-hander held the opposition to two hits and a walk while striking out five. Lefty reliever Kevin Siegrist struck out two to finish the eighth without issue. Closer Trevor Rosenthal worked around a one-out walk and a two-out single in the ninth to seal the 4-0 win, recording all three outs on called strike threes.

Lackey brought a no-hitter into the sixth inning, but lost it quickly when Addison Russell hit a ground ball single up the middle to lead off the frame. Russell would steal second base but was stranded.

Opposing starter Jon Lester wasn’t too shabby himself, relenting three runs on five hits while walking one and striking out nine in 7 1/3 innings. The first run came around in the first inning on Matt Holliday‘s RBI single, which followed a one-out double by Stephen Piscotty. Tommy Pham pinch-hit in the pitcher’s spot in the eighth inning and launched a solo home run off of Lester to double the Cardinals’ lead. Lester walked Matt Carpenter before exiting. Pedro Strop came in and promptly served up a two-run home run to Stephen Piscotty.

The closest the Cubs came to scoring was when Dexter Fowler sent a deep fly ball to right field with a man on base and two outs in the sixth inning, but Randal Grichuk caught it with a foot or two to spare in front of the fence on the warning track.

The two clubs will play Game 2 of the NLDS on Saturday at 5:30 PM EDT. Kyle Hendricks will start for the Cubs and oppose Cardinals lefty Jaime Garcia.

Astros err in letting Scott Kazmir start sixth

Scott Kazmir
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Scott Kazmir went winless with a 6.52 ERA in six September starts. He allowed 41 hits, eight of them homers, in 29 innings, posting an 18/11 K/BB ratio. When the Astros got five innings of two-run ball from him Friday against the Royals, they should have thanked their good fortune and moved right along to the pen.

And they knew this. They must have. Josh Fields got up in the pen after Kazmir issued a one-out walk in the fifth. The left-hander got out of the frame, making himself eligible for the victory in what was then a 4-2 game, but it was still very surprising to see him come back out for the sixth, particularly with the switch-hitting Ben Zobrist (.926 OPS against lefties) and right-handed Lorenzo Cain due up.

Kazmir retired Zobrist, but he gave up a double to Cain. He was then pulled, even with the left-handed Eric Hosmer coming up. Manager A.J. Hinch had committed my biggest baseball pet peeve: he sent his starter back to the mound with the idea of pulling him after his first mistake.

It worked out terribly. Oliver Perez gave up a pair of soft hits to Hosmer and Kendrys Morales before walking Mike Moustakas. Fields then entered and walked the unwalkable Salvador Perez to tie the game at 4. The Astros gave up another run in the seventh and lost the game 5-4.

Maybe that’s the way it would have worked out anyway. Kazmir did give up just the one baserunner. It might not have even harmed the Astros if Perez had better luck.

Still, the thinking that went into the decision was disturbing. It’s always better to bring that reliever in with no one on base when you can. That’s especially the case with this Astros pen, which lacks a double-play specialist, much less a Wade Davis. But anyone in that pen would have been a better choice than sending Kazmir out to face Zobrist and Cain for a third time. Hinch needs to be more aggressive going forward.

Cardinals’ giveaway incorrectly claims ownership of 2001 division title

cardinals logo

The Cardinals have won so many division titles, it’s tough to keep track of them all. At least, it would be tough if it weren’t for Baseball Reference.

40,000 rally towels were given away to fans at Busch Stadium ahead of Friday’s NLDS Game 1 against the Cubs. The towel listed all of the years the Cardinals won the NL Central… and 2001. That year, they tied with the Astros for the best record in the National League at 93-69. However, because the Astros won the season series 9-7, they were awarded first place and the Cardinals took the Wild Card.