You know what’s sad? I’ve now started to see even a 2-0 lead against the Indians as something insurmountable. When the Yankees added a third and fourth run today, I knew there was no hope. What’s even more frustrating is when the poor offense wastes a good pitching performance. Mitch Talbot was solid today, before he was tossed from the game by Umpire Dan Iassogna (more on that shortly). This was the second start in a row that Talbot received no support from the offense; he’s looked sharp since his disastrous outing against the Red Sox at the end of May (I have to try and find something positive).
About Talbot’s early exit today – I think it was completely uncalled for. I know I may be a bit biased (obviously pro-Indians in the situation) but in this case, I don’t think Talbot meant to hit anyone. (I loved what radio announcer Tom Hamilton had to say about A-Rod’s reaction to the pitch – since A-Rod is dating Cameron Diaz, he must be taking acting lessons from her as well). I think Iassogna’s decision was caused by the situation with Fausto Carmona and Mark Teixeira from Friday night. If anyone should’ve been tossed, it probably should’ve been Carmona; at the same time, his control was extremely poor last night. I think that he wanted to throw inside to Teixeira, maybe even brush him off the plate; he had so many problems throwing the ball where he wanted to, it just didn’t work out that way. You also have to take Thursday night’s Yankees/Red Sox game into account, where a number of Yankees hitters were hit by pitches. It seems like the umpiring staff was overly jumpy from Thursday and Friday’s events. Right now the Yankees lead the majors with 92 home runs; the second place team is Texas with 75. When you’re mashing the ball like they are, pitchers are going to pitch inside and some of those are going to get away from them. If you make pitchers afraid to pitch inside because of warnings and ejections, you’re ceding that much more to the Yankee hitters.
I can’t complete this post without commenting on former Indian Bartolo Colon’s amazing comeback this year (aside from the hamstring injury today). I’ve always liked Colon, so at first I was really glad to hear about the odd procedure he underwent in the offseason and the great results he saw from it. After seeing him pitch today though, I can’t shake the feeling that there’s something fishy with all of this. I hate to make accusations from the comfort of my living room, when I’ve never pitched in the majors, and never underwent complex sports-related medical procedures. At the same time, I’m kind of floored seeing a 38-year-old, who’s not in the greatest physical shape, throw like that after practically being out of baseball for a few years. Once I heard that Major League Baseball was pursuing his medical records, and that doctors have yet to turn them over to MLB, something really started to seem off. When your lawyer (Jay K. Reisinger) is the same lawyer that’s represented Sammy Sosa, Alex Rodriguez, and Andy Pettitte, it seems like you’re preparing yourself for the inevitable banned substance defense. One of the doctors involved claim that they won’t release the records because Colon still owes money on the procedure; another claimed that Colon and his lawyer did not follow the proper procedures in a medical records request. Hopefully it’s something simple like that, because the alternative is a much more complicated (and disappointing) matter.
I should mention one bit of positive baseball news today – the Pittsburgh Pirates have always been my National League team (yes, some years I truly like to double down on my baseball-related misery). I went to the Pirates/Mets game in Pittsburgh tonight, and the Pirates won 3-2. At least someone was able to defeat a New York team today! (We even got to see a free Huey Lewis and the News concert after the game).