Tuesday, June 07, 2005

AO? Is That Short For Uh-Oh? 

Before I discuss yesterday's game, I want to address a subject that brought a whole bunch of traffic (relatively) to my site yesterday.

In baseball, what does AO mean?

Maybe there was some sort of internet treasure hunt going on, in which people had to ask that question in a certain search engine and then go to, say, the 4th result. Maybe there was some sort of alien mind-meld going on and instead of sculpting Devil's Tower out of mashed potatoes, people all across the country felt compelled to find out the meaning of an obscure baseball abbreviation.

I don't know. But I do know that they might not have found the answer in the link to my site, but I found the definition in 10 seconds.

Air Outs (AO) - Out is recorded when defensive player catches the ball before it lands on the ground.

Can you use that in a sentence, Stefan?

Sure... How about this?

"Reliever Brian Bruney in his 2/3 innings of work in the bottom of the ninth of Monday's 10-8 Diamondbacks victory over the Phillies pitched no AOs or GOs (ground-outs)."

He just gave up 4 hits, walked 1, plunked another (though Mark Grace theorized that might've been a payback pitch for a couple plunkings of Diamondbacks earlier in the series). Only 1 of those hits were a ground ball.

The inning made me so mad, I had to leave when Melvin mercifully pulled Bruney with the tying run on base. Javier Lopez came in and struck out Todd Pratt to end the game. Or that's what the post-game show said.

There is a reason why the Pythagorean record for the D-Backs is so bad, and it's because the bottom of their bullpen is not good. The top of the bullpen, at least when Lyon and Aquino are healthy, is decent enough (Lance Cormier was lights out, needing just 29 pitches to record 9 straight outs after replacing Brandon Webb on a day when he didn't have his absolute best stuff). But the bottom. [Shivers.]

And, yes, congratulations to the offense for coming through with a big game, and continuing to pile on throughout the game. Those extra runs (e.g., the homerun by Cruz) proved bigger than we should have expected.

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