The Weekend Buzz, while you were wondering how a lineup as good as the Rays' can keep going nine innings (or even 8 2/3 innings) without a hit ...
1. History in Toronto. So what's more impressive, two home runs (and two other hits) in a major-league debut, or 17 strikeouts in a complete-game one-hitter?
J.P. Arencibia, or
|Brandon Morrow joins an impressive club that includes Nolan Ryan and Pedro Martinez. (AP)|
First, the Blue Jays hit eight home runs in Saturday's 17-11 win, with two of them by Arencibia, the fourth guy in modern big-league history to debut with two home runs (and the first with two homers and two other hits). Then Sunday, Morrow became the fifth guy in modern major-league history to fan 17 in a no-hitter or one-hitter.
What's more impressive? Well, the list Morrow joined is more impressive than the one Arencibia joined.
The no-hit or one-hit, 17-K club: Nolan Ryan (1973), Kerry Wood (1998), Pedro Martinez (1999), Curt Schilling (2002), and now Morrow. Ryan's was the only no-hitter in the group.
The two-homer debut club: Bob Nieman (1951), Bert Campaneris (1964), Mark Quinn (1999), and now Arencibia. Charlie Reilly also did it in 1889, for whatever that's worth.
The guys with two homers in a debut combined to hit only 258 more big-league home runs (fewer than Javy Lopez). The guys with 17 strikeouts ... well, you may have heard of those guys.
2. History in New York. When Alex Rodriguez hit his 600th home run last week, he said that he's in a better place now than he was three years ago, when he hit his 500th homer. The reason, A-Rod said, was that he doesn't spend as much time talking to the media as he once did.
"Let my play do the talking," he said. "And not do a lot of talking off the field."
So what happened Saturday? A-Rod, while talking to a member of the media (FOX-TV's Joe Buck) on the field, was hit by a batting practice ball off Lance Berkman's bat. He was taken for X-rays and scratched from the lineup, putting the chase for 601 on hold for one more day.
3. History in Milwaukee? The chase for 600 saves is nothing like the chase for 600 home runs, as Trevor Hoffman would tell you. Hoffman's 597th save finally showed up Saturday night, when he finished off the Brewers' 5-2 win over the Astros for his first save since May.
|Rays at Jays|
This spring, when all the talk in Braves camp was about Jason Heyward, manager Bobby Cox was already talking about Mike Minor. 3 to watch >>
Hoffman apparently has convinced Brewers manager Ken Macha to entrust him with a few three-run ninth-inning leads, in hopes of getting to 600 before this season (and perhaps his career) is over.
4. Trouble in Tampa Bay? Longoria's ninth-inning hit allowed the Rays to avoid an amazing third no-hit loss this year. It didn't help Tampa Bay avoid being swept in Toronto. Even worse, the Rays had to send two starting pitchers -- both Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis -- back home to see a doctor. Both Niemann and Davis were complaining of soreness in the back of the shoulder.
5. Hope in Baltimore. Buck Showalter takes over as manager, and the Orioles immediately win four in a row and five out of six. And the team-owned MASN TV network announces improved ratings. Next thing you know, they'll put crabcakes back on the nightly menu in the Camden Yards press room.
6. No hope in Kansas City? Zack Greinke's timing could have been better. A day after telling the Kansas City Star that he was depressed about the Royals' near future, Greinke gave up six runs Friday night against the offensively-challenged Mariners. Greinke's assessment of the Royals will probably have more impact than his one bad game, though. No matter how good the Royals' farm system is -- and opposing scouts say it's pretty good -- it won't be easy to convince fans when they can't convince their best player. "There's no reason for me to get real excited about it," Greinke told the Star's Bob Dutton. "Because the chance of more than one of [the top prospects] making a major impact by the time my contract is up is pretty slim."
7. Red Sox sign Carlos Delgado. Delgado, who turned 38 in June, is determined to prove he can still play. The Red Sox, who signed him to a minor-league contract, are willing to try to find out. Meanwhile, according to sources, teams that showed recent interest in signing Jermaine Dye (Tampa Bay was one) were told that Dye was no longer interested in playing this year.
8. Pirates fire coaches. And that means that Gary Varsho and Joe Kerrigan won't get to watch Pedro Alvarez singlehandedly try to turn the Pirates into a winning team.
9. Mets fire Alex Cora. According to the New York Times, Jeff Francoeur said he and other Mets veterans were "dismayed and confused" by management's decision to release Alex Cora, who needed just 18 more games to vest a $2 million option for 2011. Cora is a good guy and a nice clubhouse presence, but he was hitting .207 with a .543 OPS, and the Mets were a game under .500 and eight games out of first place. Doesn't sound too confusing, does it?