The Hairys carry some gigantic wood, y’all. Game 1 was supposed to be a pitcher’s duel, with Cain and Pettitte squaring off. Neither impressed; both were mediocre.This game was like a heavyweight bout, with each team taking turns punching the other’s gut. The Hairys struck first blood, with an Utley two-run bomb in the 3rd. This was after Cain easily retired the first 8 Hairy batters. Then, with two out, Pettitte, of all people draws a walk to set up the Utley dinger. The Hogs got it back just minutes later, as Aramis Ramirez hit a 3-run shot to put the Hogs out in front. The Hairys weren’t done, though, as the Hogs tied it up when Utley hit his 2nd of the game in the 7th and the next batter, welterweight Betemit, went yard too. In the bottom of the inning, however, the Hogs would land the devastating blow -Â a bit of a low blow too – Pettitte was yanked, and the Hairy pen came in…. Shackelford. With the game tied, he walked one, and hit two batters, to load the bases. Al Reyes was called on to get the final out of the inning, but Hog pinch hitters Aybar and Drew each “drew” bases loaded walks. 6-4 Hogs. The Hogs pen, 7 of them in all in this one, shut down the Hairys just enough to escape with a 6-5 win in the end. The Hairys had 3 errors in the game, and the Hogs won despite getting just 5 hits.
GameÂ 2 was ALL HAIRYS. Peavy pitched great for Jerry, Heilman sucked rocks for Ted. In the 2nd inning, Griffey and Jacobs went yard, back to back. 2-0 Gary. In the 3rd, Griffey hit his 2nd homer of the game, a 2-run shot. 4-0 Gary, just like that. Heilman hit the showers. In the 5th, Jacobs struck again, RBI double. In the 7th, Cabrera hit a solo shot. These guys can hit, I kid you not. The Cows managed a couple unimportant measly runs on 7 lackluster hits in the game. 10 of Jerry’s 11 runs in the 2-game set cross home on Homerballs. Man.
The Knights played some sloppy ball and Delgado may have shown his real talent at 2B tonight with a crucial error that allowed a run.Â But who cares cause we pulled off a come-from-behind win to take 3 of 4 from the soon-to-be EX World Champions.
We were trailing 4-1 going into the bottom of the 4th.Â But we scored a couple in the 4th, and a couple more in the 7th to take the lead.Â One run at a time was all we needed, one at a time.Â But we got a couple in each of those innings just to be safe.Â My bullpen sacked up after Beckett left the game in the 7th, allowing only 1 earned run.Â For those keeping track at home, that is only the 2nd earned run given up by a Knight starter in 25.2 innings.Â Holy schlong.Â My team ERA is 1.75.
The Knights got a taste of their own medicine in game 2 with Smoltz pitching a gem.Â He wen 7 and allowed 4 hits.Â This game was 0-0 until the 7th.Â The Knights bullpen pretty much blew it as Padilla and Izzy made their debuts with not much gas.Â Both allowed a couple runs in each of the innings that they pitched.
Game 3 was all Knights as they unloaded like it was the Davis league.Â Knights scored 9 runs in the first 3 innings.Â And it was never really close.Â Helton, Glaus, and Ausmus all went deep.Â Glaus went deep twice, and Lofton had another 3 hits to raise his average to .583.
Burnett pitched well in his debut, going 6.2 with only 1 earned run.Â My starters have pitched 19.2 innings and only allowed a single earned run.Â Nice.
Delgado has turned 4 DPs in 3 games.Â He has been ‘pivotal’.
Game 4 later tonight.
The Knights defeated the reigning champion Foxes in the home opener at Bank One Ballpark, 2-0.
Clemens pitched a doozy, going 7 innings and picking up the first of what should be many wins.Â He allowed 2 hits in the first 6 innings before giving up 2 hits in the 7th.Â Wise & Wagner teamed up in relief to keep the shutout.
Kenny Lofton was the offensive hero of the game, going 3-4.Â It’s clear that the Foxes were scared of Helton as he was IW’d 3 times.Â Lineup changes pending for game 2 in the 4 games series.Â Lance Berkman was in great form for the opener, and managed to collect a fistful of doubles.
The Knights home crowd was excited and anticipating a great opener for the Knights.Â This team is looking good.
As my thoughts turn in full toward this, our 2nd championship league season, and the first in which I’ll keep my team in the same town with the same name, let me briefly reminisce and remind you of Hog trivia from last year:
*10 1-run wins, 1st in the league. A lot of fun, heart-stopping late wins.
*70 steals as a team, 2 players with 14 or more, and a 66% success rate. That’s not good, but it’s really exciting.
*Fewest runs in the league, by 21 runs! Yet we finished tied for 2nd place in win. Nice
*Fewest homers in the league, by 5. I could have used some more long balls for sure.
*Fewest walks in the league, with only 79. The next lowest total was 27% higher. That reeks.
*I had 1,241 At-Bats against right-handed pitching, and only 82 against left-handed pitching, by FAR the lowest in the league. Why are you guys so afraid of tossing southpaws against me? Because I hang to the left?
In summary, expect some more tough losses this year boys. We seriously made do and got some W’s without actually being good last year, and now we’re good. And, I hope to have some starters get through the 5th inning every once in a while. Too bad that if they do throw that many pitches, it will be a large percentage of their real season total. Hmm. Could be interesting. Nice Google draft, I might add. Checking that thing like 40 times a day, as I’m sure you guys did too, ensures that our priorities in life are totally in order. Let’s get playing, suckas!