Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Updated: July 23, 1:51 PM ET
The Hall of Fame ballad of Jamie Moyer
By Jim Caple
In case you missed it, 44-year-old Jamie Moyer took a no-hitter into the seventh inning Sunday and improved his record to 3-1 with a 2.65 ERA. He has 219 victories, all but 34 of them since his 30th birthday. If this keeps up -- and why wouldn't it, the way Jamie pitches? -- we might see this plaque on the walls of Cooperstown someday
BOX SCORE LINE OF THE WEEK
San Diego's Jake Peavy struck out 16 batters -- including nine consecutive -- in just seven innings for a dazzling line (7 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 16 K) but didn't get the win because closer Trevor Hoffman gave up two runs in the bottom of the ninth. And Mike in St. Louis points out that the Dodgers' Chin-hui Tsao recorded five outs on six pitches Saturday, which is not easy when you strike out a batter. As Mike says, "Do the math." (For the record, Tsao inherited a runner and got a double play on his first pitch.)
But this week's award has to go to Yankees rookie Phil Hughes, who pitched 6 1/3 hitless innings in his second career start Tuesday before leaving -- with an 0-2 count on the batter and the no-hitter intact -- because of a hamstring injury. His line:
6 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 6 K
Hughes is the fifth starter to be injured this season for the Yankees, who entered May in last place. Yes, looking at the standings brings a contented smile to many a face, but don't get too cocky, Yankees Haters -- New York was 6½ games back at the end of April in 2005 as well and recovered to win the division.
TELL YOUR STATISTICS TO SHUT UP
George Steinbrenner sure knows how to take the pressure off his employees, doesn't he? The Boss issued a vote of confidence for Torre and general manager Brian Cashman in an official release, saying: "I believe in them. I am here to support them in any way to help them accomplish this turnaround. It is time to put excuses and talk away. It is time to see if people are ready to step up." In other words, "You have one more week before the pink slips go out."
Panera Bread canceled a promotion in Kansas City last week in which the bagel/sandwich/soup company offered a baker's dozen of bagels to fans if the Royals got 13 or more hits in a game. When the Royals did get 13 hits and more fans than expected came in for their bagels, Panera decided to end the promotion. But for a bigger nightmare in promotional history, we remember the time in 1991 when a new sports bar in Minneapolis offered to give away 10,000 hamburgers if the Twins, Vikings, Timberwolves or North Stars won 10 games in a row. Three weeks later, the Twins began a club-record 15-game winning streak. The bar paid off the offer with a block party, grilling burgers for hundreds and hundreds of fans. Not surprisingly, the bar is no longer in business.
It took him the entire month, but Richie Sexson did it. In his final game in April, Sexson singled. It wasn't his first hit of the season -- he already had six doubles and three home runs -- but it was his first single. That's right. Sexson played every game in April (or at least, every game the Mariners played when it wasn't snowing, raining, hailing, sleeting or frogs falling from the skies) and didn't have a single until the final game of the month.
Several people wrote in to complain that I didn't give "Major League" its fair credit last week in my item on the Tribeca Film Festival contest. Sorry, but "Major League" is not a good movie. Here's why. "Major League" is supposed to be a comedy. But it isn't funny. I'm sorry, it just isn't. And that it could win the contest by beating out "Bull Durham," "The Natural," "The Bad News Bears" and "A League of Their Own" is just this side of criminal. It's like drafting Roger Dorn for your fantasy league team instead of Kelly Leak.
This week's category is: "Stadiums Where FedEx Apparently Forgot To Deliver The B-12 Vitamin Shipments."
QUESTION: Sammy Sosa homered twice in Cleveland last week, giving him home runs in a major league record 44 ballparks. What are the three parks in which Sammy played major league games but failed to homer? (Hint: It's highly unlikely he'll be able to pick these three up.)
ANSWER: Old Cleveland Municipal Stadium (15 games and 52 plate appearances), the Tokyo Dome (two games and 10 plate appearances) and Puerto Rico's Hiram Bithorn Stadium (three games, 13 plate appearances).
"Beautiful day. It was warm and still. Actually, the only breeze we had was from the Yankees blowing another game."
-- David Letterman
Jim Caple is a senior writer for ESPN.com. He can be reached here. His Web site is at jimcaple.net, with more installments of "24 College Avenue." His new book with Steve Buckley, "The Best Boston Sports Arguments: The 100 Most Controversial, Debatable Questions for Die-Hard Boston Fans" is on sale now.