Baseball Thinking

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Tale of the Irish Pekka.

Today it was announced that the NHL Nashville Predators signed goaltender Pekka Rinne. I know it isn't baseball related and I think it is kinda funny. If you do the unmentionable and mouth his name while you are reading it, you will smile. Next, say his name out loud. Then yell his name. Now make believe he is Irish and call him O'Pekka! If that doesn't make you smile, nothing will. On to baseball.
When the Red Sox finish the ten game road trip they are wrapping up in Kansas City, they will begin the stretch run with 24 of the remaining 36 games at home. This portion of the schedule has been well publicized since the schedule was released last year. The key is if they take advantage of it. Sixteen of the final 36 games are against teams with sub .500 record. Of those remaining 20 games, six are against New York, 4 against Oakland & 3 against the Angels and Blue Jays. Against the sub .500 teams, this year the Sox are 17-12. Against the remaining teams, the 2005 Red Sox are 17-20. The Blue Jays have had their number all year by taking 8 of 11 so far. The New York Yankees have 16 home/20 road games remaining once they finish their series with the Toronto Blue Jays. Twenty-one of the 36 remaining games are against sub .500 teams. Against those teams, the 2005 edition of the Yankee's are an incredible 13-19, including a 3 game sweep at the hands of the Royals. The Sox are 7-6 against the Yankees, and the remaining teams are 11-4. At first it appears that the Sox have the clear edge to win the American League East, but other tangibles have to be factored in. How a team is currently playing, how hot the starting pitching has been, injuries, which team will mail it in as the season comes to a close are all factors that can't be determined at this time. Even so, the Sox must realize that they are in the driver’s seat and control their own destiny. Win the games you are supposed to win and don't scoreboard watch, well, at first anyway! Go Sox! This date in baseball history: 1906 At American League Park in Washington, D.C., the White Sox win their 19th consecutive game beating the Senators, 4-1. 1936 The Indians' seventeen-year-old rookie pitcher, Bob Feller makes his first major league start striking out the first eight batters he faces. 'Rapid Robert' will finish the game with 15 strikeouts as Cleveland beats the Browns, 4-1. 1952 Bob Elliot of the Giants is tossed from the Cardinal game for protesting a strike two call and his replacement, Bobby Hoffman, is also thrown out for arguing the third strike of the same at-bat. 1982 Gaylord Perry of the Mariners is ejected from the game for applying a foreign substance to the ball. Although the right-hander has been suspected for years of loaded up the baseball, it is the first time he has been caught by the umpires. 1989 Cincinnati manger Pete Rose agrees to a lifetime suspension from baseball due to allegations of betting on baseball. (Historical data courtesy Photo courtesy dnamaali/mokke.html)


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