Monday, May 14, 2012
Clearing the Bases: OBI-one's a lonely hope
By Christina Kahrl
First: Marco Scutaro drove in a run for the Rockies. That may not seem like a big deal, but it was his first baserunner plated since April 11 and just his second of the season. Before driving in Dexter Fowler, Scooter was the only big-league regular who had failed to drive in more than one teammate on the season; now he’s tied for the fewest “Others Batted In” (or OBI) with Dayan Viciedo of the White Sox … with two.
Second: Once upon a time, Scott Diamond was your prototypical Twins command/control lefty, the sort of guy who throws strikes with three different pitches but doesn’t overpower anybody. However, his first problem was that he was in the Braves organization, but the Twins corrected that problem by selecting him in the Rule 5 draft before 2010, and then dealing a semi-interesting relief arm, Billy Bullock, to retain the rights to Diamond.
That didn’t look so good when he didn’t impress in Rochester last season, or in a brief big-league cameo (losing all five starts he made), but on Sunday he shut down the Blue Jays to win his second game with his second seven-inning quality start in his second turn for the Twins as their in-season rotation replacement for top prospect Liam Hendriks. With all their other woes, there is at least this reflected Twin-kle of their past success with strike-throwers with this Diamond.
Third: Justin Masterson pegged three people at the plate during a blowout loss in Boston, including Daniel Nava twice (in the third after Will Middlebrooks’ home run then again in the sixth inning on his first pitch). His lack of command had a lot to do with it, home-plate ump Ron Kulpa didn’t issue a warning, nobody got tossed, nobody got hurt (beyond bruising), and the world did not end. It doesn’t appear Sox starter Daniel Bard felt any compunction to retaliate; get a dozen runs’ worth of support, and you can probably afford to be generous to a former teammate.
Home plate: The tweet of the night goes to Richard Justice for catching and conveying Josh Hamilton’s lamentations after the on-field death of the bat he’d had his four homer-game against the Orioles with:
Christina Kahrl covers baseball for ESPN.com. You can follow her on Twitter.