Okay, let’s just put it out there: There was another perfect game on Saturday. That’s two in the same month–again, hasn’t happened since 1880–and three within a one-year span, which is unprecedented. Is 2010 going to be the next 1968?
So, about the pitcher who threw the perfect game: Roy Halladay. Not exactly a nobody. Anyway, Halladay’s Phillies were supposed to have a series at Toronto this year–Halladay’s old team. They’ll still be playing, but…the series has been moved to Philly due to the G20 Summit taking place in Toronto that weekend, not too far from the Rogers Centre. Only it’s still going to count as Toronto home games, with the Jays batting in the bottom of the innings and the DH will be used. That’s great and all, but…it’s still Philadelphia. You can call whoever you want the home team, but the fans are still going to be pro-Phillies, essentially giving them 84 home dates. That’s an unfair advantage, regardless of how you slice it. It’s not as severe as it would be in the NFL (where the brevity of the season magnifies every game) or the NBA (where it has been proven that home court is a larger advantage than in other sports), but every game counts in the end. Also, that means three extra chances to sell merchandise, concessions, etcetera. (By the way, that’s a nice ballpark they have there. I went to the first game of the Boston-Philly series, a 5-1 Philadelphia win. It was my second game of the week–I also attended the Yankee-Red Sox game the previous Tuesday. It was a miserable night, and with the prospect of an upcoming game at Citizens Bank Ballpark with “Hall of Fame Club” seats and my stomach starting to hurt, sticking around New Yankee Stadium on a cold, wet night while the Red Sox were being trampled was not so appealing,and we left in the bottom of the fifth inning, getting to our car right as Beckett was leaving with the injury. Wouldn’t you know it, they came back to win that one.)
And amidst the perfect game, Saturday was also a day for…injuries. Rough day at the Stadium, where Indians starter David Huff took a line drive to the head and a Yankee reliever also left with an injury, and both bullpens collapsed in a game that ended 13-11 Tribe, each team with an inning of at least 6 runs, but that was nothing compared to the carnage in Anaheim. Torii Hunter left the game after taking a pitch to the hand, and Kendry Morales broke his leg celebrating a walkoff grand slam in the Angels’ 5-1 10-inning victory over Seattle. Yes, celebrating. Jumped on home plate to end his trot and, well…yeah, let’s just forget this ever happened. I know the Angels are wishing they could…
Chien-Ming Wang got lit up for the third straight start, as the Indians had a record day. Records that were broken or tied yesterday by the 14-run, 13-hit top of the second inning:
Runs allowed, Yankees, single inning: new record (former record not known)
Hits allowed, Yankees, single inning: new record (again, unknown)
Runs scored, Indians, single inning: tied (June 8, 1950, first inning, vs. Philadelphia Athletics)
Runs scored, Major League, single team, second inning: new record (former AL record was 13, I think held by two teams, but the site I found that on has already been updated; NL record is still 13, held by three teams spanning over a century. Here‘s the site if you want to see it.)
Of even greater concern than Wang’s struggles is the fact that New Yankee Stadium is starting to look like a real launching pad. Through three regular-season games, 17 home runs have been hit in the stadium, and the two preseason exhibition games held there had another 8. Two more homers have been hit so far today, halfway through the sixth. Yankee Stadium, a launchpad? It could happen. And frankly, that’s a really scary idea. Considering the stars that the Yankees find themselves able to land, we could end up with a clean home run record again in no time at all–or, worse, A-Rod. (Not this year, obviously, because he’s going to miss too much time.)
Showing they have a sense of humor, when Wang’s replacement (Anthony Claggett, in his major league debut) failed to stop the bleeding, the Yankee fans started chanting “We want Swisher!”
Cleveland has done this to New York quite a bit, apparently. A graphic in ESPN.com’s recap of the game shows that the four highest single-game run totals posted against the Yankees have all been courtesy of the Indians–24 at Cleveland on July 29, 1928; 23 at Cleveland on September 2, 2002; 22 at New York yesterday, and 22 at New York on July 19, 1987. Obviously, they’re forgetting about the other time Cleveland scored 22 runs at New York. You’d think they’d remember that one…
Also of note: The pitcher holding the Yanks to 1 run right now is Carl Pavano.