I'm afraid our Cram Session is very truncated this morning, given that today was the first day of kindergarten for The Boy, and so I'll be playing catch up all day at work. There were no tears from The Boy or his parents, just a good attitude and a quiet acknowledgement that he was where he belonged. He went right in, acted like he'd been going to elementary school forever, and got right to work making a macaroni necklace with his name on it. My kid's awesome that way. And neither The Uncommon Wife or I had any qualms about leaving him. We knew he was ready for the next step.
You have to know when your youngsters are ready to take that step. For instance, if you're 28 years old and have spent the last four seasons racking up 11 strikeouts per nine in 154.1 AAA innings, and have a 2.27 ERA in those four years, it's pretty clear that you've earned the right to prove yourself at the Major League level. Especially when your organization is on the way to its second straight 95 loss season and has an opening on its 40 man roster.
But if you're name is Anthony Slama, and all of those things describe you, apparently you aren't done being dicked over by the Major League franchise that controls you in your serfdom (the Minnesota Twins), and who steadfastly refuses to give you a chance to prove yourself for reasons that are not apparent. I can't wait for Slama to sign with the Rays or the Padres this offseason, and spend the next six years as an object lesson in how to build a good bullpen on the cheap as a giant "screw you" to the Twins. Free Anthony Slama!
Pitcher of the Night: Kris Medlin, 9 IP, 5 H, 0 BB, 12 K, 1 R
Man, if you're not enjoying the Kris Medlin era, I don't know what to do for you. Seven starts, four runs allowed (three earned), five walks in 49.2 innings, and 50 strikeouts. Only one homerun allowed. A 0.54 ERA. He's now one of 55 pitchers with 7 consecutive games with fewer than two runs allowed.
Hitter of the Night: Jamey Carroll, 2-3, HR, R, RBI, BB
You people never read the whole rulebook. It's right there in fine print: The game is to end after nine innings when one team has more runs than the other, excepting when Jamey Carroll hits a home run, at which point play suspends and his team just wins.
Injuries of Note:
Robinson Cano, hip tightness
Jeff Niemann, rotator cuff
Jered Weaver, shoulder soreness
Nationals: Russ Detwiler, 7 IP, 4 H, 3 BB, 3 K, 0 R
Yes, Detwiler has been a very good pitcher this year, and has actually remade himself into a nice groundball machine. But you can't seriously tell me you think the Nationals are better with him in the rotation than with Stephen Strasburg. If this was a Greek tragedy, the Nats would win the World Series, and Strasburg would never again get the chance to pitch in the postseason. The Greeks were big on irony.
Tigers: Quintin Berry, 1-4, SB, R
Since July 1, Berry is hitting .229/.298/.322. Yeah, that sounds about right. The clock has struck midnight.
Orioles: Joe Saunders, 6.1 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 2 K, 0 R
Look, I didn't think the Orioles had it in them. Don't lie, you didn't either. Hell, I'm still pretty convinced they'll lose eight of their next ten. But they're only a game back of the Yankees now. God, I love baseball.
Rays: BJ Upton, 1-3, HR, 2 R, RBI, SB
Upton's batting average is up, but every single other part of his game has regressed going into free agency. His power is down and his patience is down, and his defense has taken a step back. It'll be interesting to see how much he gets paid.
Phillies: Tyler Cloyd, 7 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 9 K, 1 R
Cloyd's great game led to my favorite tweet of the night, as Phillie phans have begun to ramp up the hype machine about him and presumably hoping he replaced Cliff Lee in next year's rotation. Take it away, Penn State student tweeting to Keith Law:
WRONG. RT— keithlaw (@keithlaw) September 3, 2012
@krott16: says Tyler Cloyd cannot be a reliable 4 or 5 in the rotation. They said the same thing about Greg Maddux 20 years ago.
This would be the same Greg Maddux, by the way, who was the 31st overall pick in the draft and debuted at the age of 20. Cloyd, on the other hand, is 15 and was picked 556 overall. Let's try to keep some perspective. Maddux was no scrub.
Astros: Brett Wallace, 3-4, HR, R, 3 RBI
Wallace was given one last real chance to prove he wasn't a complete bust, and given his .287/.352/.490 performance in 159 plate appearances this year, he might have actually bought himself another season. It's not like the Astros have a lot of talent in the wings, after all.
Rangers: Mike Olt, 0-3, 3 K
The Rangers won, but Olt's performance so far has been really disappointing, hitting just .143/.257/.179 in 35 PAs with 12 strikeouts. At least the Rangers have enough of a lead right now to make continuing to use him a defensible option.
Cardinals: Joe Kelly, 6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 4 K, 2 R
I'm not one of the guys who feels bad for Lance Lynn, who got demoted to the pen in favor of Kelly. It's not that Kelly's great shakes, necessarily. But Lynn has experience in the pen, and has the ability to be a tremendous weapon in the postseason if deployed for multiple innings and should the Cardinals get there.
Giants: Marco Scutaro, 3-6, 2 R, RBI
A good game all around, capped off by a walk off single in the 10th for Scutaro. He's hitting .322/.344/.425 as a Giant and has actually been one of the best deadline acquisitions of the year.
Mariners: Jason Vargas, 7 IP, 6 H, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 R
I always feel like Jason Vargas should be right-handed. I'm not sure why, but I'm probably conflating him with Claudio, who's still kicking around the Mexican League.
Angels: Vernon Wells, 2-2, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB
It's not just a really pretty boxscore line, with all those twos lined up nicely; it's also Vernon Wells' best game of the year, just slightly outpacing his August 11 three-hit performance. This doesn't mean anything, but we should really take the time to appreciate Wells' good games, given how few of them he has.