This was a feel-good game from all kinds of angles: 1) the Giants tied the Dodgers for 3rd place in the division, 2) the Diamondbacks and Padres did another division-leader flip-flop, meaning the Giants gained another half-game in the standings, 3) multiple multiple-homer games from Pedro Feliz and Moises Alou, 4) Brett Tomko dealing...if I kept on going, I'd run out of stuff for the bullet points.
This win was necessary, though, as Wilson Alvarez is way past his prime and doesn't have the stuff to start anymore. Brad Penny is going tomorrow for the Dodgers, and it'll be much harder to pull out a win there. So, beat up on Alvarez today, win the series, and hope to Snuffalufagus that Woody turns in a decent start tomorrow. Rueter's OPS against (.708) is at its lowest point since 2002, which, along with 1997, was Rueter's best years in the bigs. That fairly low OPS against is the only thing keeping Woody afloat this year, because his walk rate (1 every 2.8 innings) and k rate (1.5 k's every 9 innings) are at the worst levels of his career.
While nobody with at least half of their mental faculties expects Rueter to strike many people out, striking out two less batters per 9 innings than his career average doesn't bode well. Bad pitchers run a k/bb ratio of 1:1, but right now Woody is running a k/bb ratio of about 1:2, which makes me throw up in my mouth just a little. He can't survive doing that, can he? Hm? Well? Can he? 'Course not.
Anyhoo, onto the vibes of Pos-i-ti-vi-ty:
- Jason Ellison, nice slump-breaking game, going 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored. Hey, why is it that when a guy has a game like Elly just did everyone says that he broke out of his slump? What if he goes 0 for his next 30? Is that a new slump, or were we just too quick to say that he broke out of his slump in the first place? Why does Doritos and sour cream taste so good? Are you still reading these questions? Why aren't you answering them, then?
- "Broke and Busted. New Hotness. Broke and Busted. New Hotness." Aside from the Will Smith quotes from Men In Black, our streaky 3rd baseman Edgardo Alfonzo might just be going from broke and busted back onto some new hotness. He was 2 for 4 last night with a double and two runs scored, and is now 9 for his last 16.
- Not to break up the pos-i-ti-vi-ty, but Ray Durham needs to find some Raid for that injury bug. He sat out last night with an ingrown toenail. Next time it'll be a strained nostril or something. Geez.
Sidenote: Kevin Agee and I had a little discussion on Royals relief pitcher Mike Wood over at his new digs, Kaufmann Confidential. Kevin, as usual, found a little water to douse me with after another Royals Related Rant and Rave (tm). Again, the Royals won't hurt you, and Kevin's excellent writing and analysis are treats to read even if you had no interest at all in the Royals, which I know to be untrue. Also, Bill Heeter writes for the site as well, and he has some intelligent, thoughtful things to say about the Royals and MLB as well.
Sidenote that's on the side of my last sidenote: While I'm pointing out other well-written things, those of you who've enjoyed my Texas Hold 'Em stories of anguish ought to take a peek at Bud Hudgins at The View From 302. His elegant phrasings will be a nice change from my excruciating stories of bad luck.
Okay, last sidenote: the analysis of the Arizona Diamondback bullpen will have to wait 'til Friday, because I got off work late last night and will be working early today.
Take care, everybody!