THE NEWBERG REPORT — April 2, 2008
Callback to the April 1, 2008 Newberg Report, sent two and a
half hours ago, with Seattle
ahead in the second inning, 1-0:
feel good about this game.” Check.
think it’s going to be Josh Hamilton or David Murphy who does something to turn
this thing around.” Check. Check.
man, I sure would like to see us catch the ball better.” Check.
Wow. I’m such a
basket case of a sports fan. There’s no reasonable
explanation for Game Two (that’s April, not October) kicking my tail like this
one did, but I don’t see any way that I’m going to be able to sleep for at
least another hour. Might as well write.
That was a great game.
And an awful game. There’s no
chance that this morning’s papers will have enough space to tell the whole
story, which of course is a terrible shame since a lot of you probably weren’t
able to stay up to watch the last few unbelievable innings.
But before the crazy final third of the game, the Padilla
Flotilla was on a mission, following Kevin Millwood’s outstanding start in the
opener with an equally strong effort. I’m
not sure either righthander looked as good at any time in 2007, which is a big
thing. If we can get a good bit of 2006
out of those two, you best not write 2008 off prematurely.
The defense got even sloppier after I sent that earlier email
(kudos, by the way, to Padilla for not unraveling when his defense was showing
signs of doing just that), and I’m sort of hopeful that the flu has had
something to do with the middle infielders being off their game in the field. (Young, in particular, was really sick
tonight, I understand.) I was thinking
the fastball off Ian Kinsler’s right hand in the seventh might have affected
him on the Ichiro grounder that he lost the handle on in the ugly eighth, but
the incredible at-bat Kinsler then had off J.J. Putz to start the ninth (an
at-bat that will unfairly get lost) convinced me that his hand, no matter how
bad it was, wasn’t going to get in the way, or serve as an excuse. Brenden Morrow.
I said on the radio yesterday that for me, Joaquin Benoit (along
with Jason Jennings) might be the swing guy on the pitching staff, a guy whose
ability to follow up on his 2007 success might be the difference between making
this staff a really good one and a real problem. Tonight was not very encouraging.
C.J. Wilson, on the other hand? Ten strikes in 14 pitches. He looked completely in control of the game.
So did Eddie Guardado, whose 10 strikes out of 15 deliveries
in the seventh had his old teammates consistently off balance.
Callback to March 27: “[Hank] Blalock is going to have a huge year. Huge.”
I haven’t felt this good about Blalock since his first full
Everyone will remember what Hamilton did with the bat tonight, but his
speed made an absolutely huge difference in this game, on defense and on
Incidentally, if it were Boston
or the Yankees who managed to pry Hamilton
loose from the Reds this winter, he would have been on the cover of Time Magazine before camp
I’m such a huge David Murphy fan.
King Felix is not only really, really good at pitching
baseballs, he’s a heck of a good fielder, too.
You could hear Tom Grieve laughing underneath Josh Lewin’s
call of the Hamilton
blast off Putz. Eric Nadel’s voice
cracked slightly when Ben Broussard dug Michael Young’s throw out to retire
Ichiro and end the game. This was a game
that rewarded great baseball fans, and I truly hope most of you stuck around
past midnight to experience all of it.