Tigers Injuries Assisted in No-Hitter

This season in baseball has already been termed the “Year of the Pitcher” for excellent reason. Edwin Jackson and Ubaldo Jimenez both have thrown no-hitters, Roy Halladay and Dallas Braden tossed perfect games, and Armando Galarraga had a 28 out perfect game. Matt Garza joined the party by no-hitting the Tigers on Monday night, becoming the fifth pitcher of the season to complete the task. While I do not want to diminish Garza’s accomplishment, I would like to point out that several recent injuries to the Detroit Tigers offense eased Garza’s burden.

In the span of a week, the Tigers lost third baseman Brandon Inge, right fielder Magglio Ordonez, and second baseman Carlos Guillen to injuries. Inge broken his hand getting hit by a pitch last Monday, Ordonez broken his ankle sliding into home on Saturday, and Guillen strained his calf on Saturday. The Tigers still had triple crown contender Miguel Cabrera batting cleanup on Monday, rookie of the Year candidate Brennan Boesch batting fifth, Johnny Damon hitting third, and Austin Jackson leading off, but the lineup was certainly less challenging than when healthy. The Tigers had a rookie without a hit in his career in the lineup, as well as three other hitters batting .206 or worse.

Matt Garza is an above average pitcher with good stuff who threw six scoreless innings two starts prior to the no-hitter. He was one of the best pitchers in baseball in April and he helped pitch the Rays to the World Series in 2008. He’s always had the type of stuff to throw a no-hitter, but there’s no doubt that the recent injuries in Detroit resulted in the Tigers running out a weakened lineup. Rather than this being a commentary on Garza’s outing, maybe this is more of an indication of how the final two months of the season will go for the injury-depleted Tigers.

Photo Credit: AP/Mike Carlson

Now The Pie-in-the-Face is Dangerous

About a week ago, we felt inclined to update you on all the weird baseball injuries that have occurred this season, of which there have been an abundance.  Throughout recent history, we’ve seen pitchers who manage to injure themselves swinging a bat and players who injure themselves while celebrating.  The UCLA baseball team failed to learn a lesson from Kendry Morales — who hurt his ankle celebrating a walk-off homer — and ended up injuring one of their pitchers in a dog pile.  Celebrating a big moment is something you kind of can’t help, but unless it’s a championship clincher teams should probably do their best to scale it back a bit.

When considering the possibility of an injury related to the pie-in-the-face celebration, I tend to think about people ending up with a scratched cornea or an eye injury.  I can honestly say I’ve never given any thought to somebody tearing a meniscus.  That’s exactly what happened to Florida Marlins outfielder Chris Coghlan after the Marlins walk-off win over the Braves on Sunday afternoon.  Coghlan suffered a torn meniscus trying to smash a shaving-cream pie in Wes Helms‘ face after his walk-off single, and he could be out six to eight weeks if surgery is necessary.

It’s tough to control your emotions when you care about the team.  It’s totally understandable, but I’d hate to see a pennant race affected by a casualty that’s suffered during a post-game celebration.  Players really need to make a more conscious effort to celebrate safely, if that’s at all possible.  I can’t think of anything more embarrassing than ending up on the shelf because you were trying to smash shaving cream in a teammate’s face.  I’m sure Coghlan agrees.

Coghlan goes on DL after celebration injury [MLB.com]

Kemp Confuses James Loney for Rihanna

A little too close for comfort in my opinion. Yes, that’s James Loney in the front and Matt Kemp in the back during the celebration after Loney’s game-winning walk off home run to beat the Mets in the 13th on Saturday. Kemp had just wrestled Loney to the ground and got caught in that position before hammering him with a few kidney shots. The whole on-ground scene only lasted a few seconds, but it was long enough to give us our best suggestive male athlete on male athlete pose since Rex Grossman. Nice going guys!

Test Rusty Bumgardner for Roids!

Somehow or another I came across a slow pitch softball game being televised on ESPN Saturday afternoon. The game was between the U.S. and Canada and it was dubbed the “Border War.” No, I didn’t exactly stick around to watch this thing — my attention was fixed more on the Dodgers/Mets game that went extras — but if you have a thirst and hunger for home runs, then this game was right up your alley. Specifically, Rusty Bumgardner is what you need to see.

Watching this team play, Bumgardner stood out amongst everyone on the field. Bumgardner is 6’6″ and 285lbs of pure muscle. The dude is built like a brick wall and he has veins popping out of every part of his body. That guy doesn’t just hit home runs; his balls are crossing interstate lines. After seeing Rusty club softballs off the stadium scoreboard, it’s no surprise to find out that he has a deep athletic background.

The softball behemoth played baseball and football at Wake Forest and was even the first American signing by the Marlins. While his minor league numbers weren’t bad, he’s making even more of a name for himself with his beer league bombing ways. Any surprise his hobbies are sports and working out? Of course not. Rusty is a certifiable beefcake. Beefcake BEEFCAAAAAKE!!!

Here’s some of the best of Rusty Bumgardner in case you wanted to see this guy destroy a slow pitch softball:

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Mark Teixeira Pwns Bruce Chen

I’ve seen cases where batters have had good records against pitchers before but I don’t ever remember seeing anything quite like what Mark Teixeira has done against Bruce Chen. Strange combination, right? I know, but the numbers speak for themselves. Prior to Thursday’s Yankees/Royals game, Mark Teixeira was 7-for-11 against Chen. Six of his seven hits were home runs and the seventh was a double. For those of you keeping score at home, that’s a ridiculous 3.030 OPS. You can’t even do that on a video game.

Teixeira was back in usual form against Chen on Thursday in the Bronx, mashing an RBI double and a single in his first two ABs vs. the lefty. He did strike out in his third at-bat of the game before Chen was lifted. Teixeira ended up 3-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI. In 14 career at-bats against Chen, Tex is now 9-for-14 with six home runs and two doubles. That’s good for a healthy .643/2.143/2.810 line. That is pure pwnage unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

Mark Teixeira’s splits [Baseball-Reference]

Cubs Should Make Ryne Sandberg Their New Manager

With the announcement of Lou Piniella’s retirement, Chicago Cubs fans have once again picked up their talks as to why former Cub and current manager of the Triple-A affiliate Iowa Cubs, Ryne Sandberg, should be their new manager. And you know what? It makes perfect sense.

1. Sandberg understands the Cubs. As a former player, Sandberg knows what being a member of the Cubs is all about. I have to hand it to Cubs fans for being so loyal when their team is a terrible as they are. Even though attendance at Wrigley Field is down, Cubs hats and t-shirts are still worn with pride. Sandberg understands that the “lovable losers” will stand by the Cubs no matter what their position in the standings is. But more importantly he knows how badly they want to win.

2. Sandberg has been preparing for this job. He hasn’t spent four years in the minor leagues for nothing. Sandberg took the job in Iowa so that he would have the proper seasoning when the Cubs job opened up. He even says he’s been preparing for this opportunity.

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Bruce Bochy Picks on Acting Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly

Bruce Bochy may not be very good at making decisions, but he’s certainly got an eye for spotting others who make bad ones.  After Joe Torre was ejected due to a hit batsman issue during Wednesday night’s Dodgers-Giants game, Bochy pulled out the rule book and stuffed it directly up acting manager Don Mattingly‘s can.

With the Dodgers leading 5-4 in a bases loaded situation in the 9th, Mattingly decided to make a mound visit to chat with his closer, Jonathan Broxton. As Mattingly was leaving the mound to head back to the dugout, James Loney asked him a question and he turned around and walked back to the mound to answer him.  Since he technically stepped off the mound and returned in the same inning, Bochy was quick to point out that it was the second mound visit of the inning and the umpiring crew agreed Broxton must leave the game.  Here’s the video of Don Mattingly accidentally making two mound visits and forcing Broxton from the game, courtesy of Deadspin:

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