America’s Pastime Makes for Memorable Memorial Day Weekend

May 31, 2010 Updated: October 1, 2015
BE CAREFUL: Kendry Morales (right) landed awkwardly in his game-winning home run celebration, breaking his leg. (Harry How/Getty Images)
BE CAREFUL: Kendry Morales (right) landed awkwardly in his game-winning home run celebration, breaking his leg. (Harry How/Getty Images)

It has been a memorable Memorial Day weekend for America’s pastime (understatement of the year). Roy Halladay’s perfect game obviously grabbed the biggest headlines.

The Philadelphia Phillies ace pitched the 20th perfect game in MLB history. Combined with Dallas Braden’s perfect game on May 9, the duo represent the first time since 1880 that two perfect games have been pitched in one season.

“It’s never something that you think is possible,” Halladay said in his postgame press conference.

Two perfect games in three weeks is absolutely unheard of.

Break a Leg

There was more excitement in the air after Kendry Morales’s walk-off homer in the bottom of the 10th inning against the Seattle Mariners in a 5–1 Los Angeles Angels victory.

Except that as Morales was nearing home plate, he jumped up amid his jubilant teammates and landed awkwardly, breaking his left leg. Can we say, “Oops?”

Disabled or not, Morales apparently set a precedent. The next day, the Angels overcame a 7–3 deficit to win 9–7 off Howie Kendrick’s three-run walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth inning, the first in his career.

The Angels had consecutive game-winning home runs for the first time since Aug. 29–30, 1986. “To have two walk offs two days in a row was phenomenal. I think that says a lot about our team and how we play the game,” Kendrick said after the game.

As for the celebration at home plate? Kendrick managed to steer clear of danger by not jumping on the plate while his subdued teammates patted him on the back instead of mobbing him.

The New York Yankees were not so lucky. In fact, they held a six-run lead over the Cleveland Indians and somehow managed to cough it up, the third time in the last two weeks that they have lost leads of five or more runs.

Joba Chamberlain only pitched one-third of an inning but allowed four runs and four hits in that span. The Indians ended up scoring seven runs in the seventh inning by way of four Yankees pitchers en route to a 13–11 victory.

Saturday’s win marked the first time the Indians have scored in double figures this season.

However, like Morales and the Angels, the Indians suffered their own injury. Pitcher David Huff got hit in the head right above the left ear by Alex Rodriguez’s line drive. Huff was carted off the field but the CT scan was negative.

On Sunday, he showed no signs of a concussion. “I feel good,” Huff said to the New York Daily News. “Scary experience. It’s one of those things, it could have been an inch this way and I wouldn’t be here talking to you.”

Tough Times

Remember Zack Greinke, last year’s AL Cy Young Award winner? He’s 1–6 after a 1–0 loss to the Boston Red Sox on Saturday.

Although the Kansas City Royals rank second in batting average, they only bat well when a starter not named Greinke is pitching. In six of Greinke’s 11 starts, the Royals have scored two runs or less.

With a 3.39 ERA and 1.17 WHIP, Greinke clearly ought to have more than one win under his belt. Can I once again reiterate how useless win–loss records are for pitchers?

Things are not all bleak though. St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols had three home runs against the Chicago Cubs on Sunday afternoon. The last time that happened was in September 2006 against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In addition, a Midwest pitcher put himself on the radar with 14 strikeouts and 0 earned runs in 5.2 innings against the Oakland Athletics.

Detroit Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer certainly lowered his 7.29 ERA to 6.42 with his great outing. I’ve never seen Scherzer play but I’m told by people who watch him on a daily basis that he has different colored eyes and “filthy stuff.”

So much has happened this past weekend that the only thing missing is the debut of Stephen Strasburg. But alas, we will have to wait until next week for a peek at the most anticipated pitcher in MLB since…ever?

And we still have five more months left of baseball.

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