And That Happened

Reader YankeefanLen wrote me yesterday afternoon with the following observation: “It strikes me that this 3 game series- Yankees v. Rangers, Tigers v. Sox, could be a portent to the first round playoffs. Tigers have division lead and would have to play BoSox, who would be, of course,wild card, and from all I see, Rangers and Tigers should hold on to West and Central.” Lots of baseball to go, but yeah, I could see that happening. So Let’s see how the division series are playing out:

Yankees 12, Rangers 3: Jorge Posada’s throwing error broke the team errorless streak, but given what he did at the plate (3-4, HR, 4 RBI), I don’t think his teammates mind all that much.

Red Sox 5, Tigers 1: Crap, this means that we’re going to have a Boston-New York ALCS, doesn’t it? If so, I give the Yankees the edge, because the Red Sox’ closer is shaky. Papelbon came into the game and gave up three straight singles to load the bases, then struck out the side to preserve the win. John Rocker used to do that kind of thing, and it’s the reason why I’m bald and jumpy and everything. The Sox beat up Porcello a bit over 4.1 innings, and since he’s, like, 13 years-old and on a no-doubt strictly-enforced pitch count, making him work is the key to beating him.

Pirates 3, Mets 1: Zach Duke beats Johan Santana, with the former failing to strike out a single Met and the latter striking out only three Pirates. Guess that means that everyone was just suffering from a case of the feebles.

Blue Jays 6, Angels 4: Ah, there’s where all of the strikeouts went. Halladay (CG, 7 H, 4 R, 14K) was hording them all.

Braves 6, Cubs 5: Atlanta sent Jordan Schafer down to Gwinnett before the game. Jeff Francoeur, obviously thinking “there but for the grace of God go I,” responded with a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to tie up a game the Braves trailed 5-0 in the eighth. He walked once, too! That kind of killed it for Randy Wells, who took a no-hitter into the seventh. Chipper Jones’ RBI single in the 12th definitely killed it for the Cubs.

Rays 6, Royals 2: Andy Sonnanstine lowers his ERA to 7.16 and Matt Joyce goes 3-4 with a double, a homer and four RBI. Kyle Davies walked six guys and threw 114 pitches in 5.2 IP for the Royals. Guess he’s not into that whole, you know, brevity thing.

Nationals 10, Giants 6: Tim Lincecum strikes out the 500th batter in his brief career, but then sits down and watches his bullpen give up six runs in the eighth. Ron Villone gets the win, which inspired me to look at his career stats for a moment. I knew he was a journeyman, but I didn’t know that Washington was his 12th team. Mike Morgan, much celebrated for his nomadic ways, “only” pitched for 12 teams himself. Have left arm, will travel, eh Ron?

Athletics 5, White Sox 0: Mazzaro, Breslow & Ziegler — which sounds like a personal injury law firm — combine to shut out Chicago. Colon, Gobble, Carrasco & Whisler — which kind of sounds like onomatopoeia from a French children’s book about farms or something — were not as impressive.

Astros 3, Rockies 2: Miguel Tejada goes 4-6 with three RBI including the game-winning home run in extra innings. Apparently he did not hear me when I said earlier in the day that he was playing over his head and that his current level of production was not sustainable. It’s as if he’s doing this just to make me look ridiculous. And a man in my position can’t afford to be made to look ridiculous. Now you get the hell out of here. And just know it if you want to try any rough stuff that I ain’t no band leader. Yeah, I heard that story.

Mariners 8, Orioles 2: Erik Bedard (6.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 7K) was very considerate to put together a nice performance at home against the Orioles so as to make everyone forget, even if for only a couple of hours, about just how badly the Mariners were fleeced in the Adam Jones deal.

Phillies 10, Padres 5: Raul Ibanez (3-5, 2 HR, 5 RBI) may be reaping the rewards now, but there will be hell to pay when it is found out that his 2009 production is the result of his clandestinely stealing the life force of some younger, unknown ballplayer in the course of his dark, twisted effort to attain immortality. Yeah, I dropped a Fistandantilus reference. I don’t care. I’m old now, and my kids will soon think I’m a dork anyway, so why should I pretend not to be?

Marlins 10, Brewers 3: Manny Parra was lifted after throwing exactly 100 pitches. Given that the dude gave up ten runs on eleven hits in that time, I’m going to assume that it wasn’t a forced pitch-count thing. For a guy with a bum groin, Hanley Ramirez is hitting damn well. Three for five both Monday night and last night.

Twins 4, Indians 3: Joe Mauer (3-3, HR, BB 3 RBI) is not bad. And as if Cleveland’s season needs to get any worse, Asdrubal Cabrera left the game with shoulder injury.

Cardinals 5, Reds 2: Nick Stavinoha comes through again, hitting a two-run double to put the Redbirds ahead for good in the sixth. He’s been driving in a lot of runs since his callup in mid-May. After the game he had this to say: “Memphis is a nice place and all. but I like it a little better here.”

Dodgers 6, Diamondbacks 5: Danny Haren (7 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 7K — and 3-3 at the plate!) deserved much better than the no-decision he got thanks to the Tony Pena and Dan Schlereth-led bullpen implosion. As for the Dodgers, they are now halfway through Manny’ suspension and, really, haven’t missed him a bit. When he comes back it will be as if they went out and acquired a big bat at the trade deadline without having to give up anything in return.

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  1. Craig Calcaterra said...

    I wish there was, Andy.  I’m told by the NBC people that there’s a revamp coming of the box score page—everyone there hates how it’s set up and how it looks now—but I’m not exactly holding my breath.

    Your comment does lead to another topic, though, and that’s how I present the box scores here.  You may be the first person who has told me that he actually clicks through to them.  Question: do other people do it too, or do you just look at them elsewhere or not at all?  I ask because I’ve toyed with the idea of not linking the box scores themselves anymore.  No compelling reason apart from the fact that it saves me some clicks, but if people truly do use this feature as a box score portal, I’ll definitely keep them here.  Alternative: a single link at the top of the post going to the day’s box score pages, which is something I’ve done recently when rushed.

    Any thoughts on this appreciated.

  2. Greg Simons said...

    I click through to the box scores once in a while (like today to see how amazing Mauer has been so far this season), but not so often that having every link makes a significant difference.  I can find the box scores on my own if I want to.

  3. MooseinOhio said...

    Papelbon is aging Francona right in front of us.  If Daniel Bard is all they say he is and gets over the ‘I’m in the Big’ stage and settles down I can see the Sox letting Paps go in a year or two (I think he has a couple of arbitration years to go b/f being a FA) and handing the ball to Bard in the ninth.

  4. Alex K said...

    The amazing thing about the Fancoeur walk is that is was on four pitches. The AB where he hit the HR he took a couple pitches as well, I was nervous the world was about to end. And let the record show I HATE KEVIN GREGG!

    I almost never look at the box scores, save yourself the clicks.

  5. Hizouse said...

    I read ATH every day and have clicked on boxscores only 2 or 3 times this season.

    Frenchy had some comments after the game about wanting to get back to what he used to do.  That’s not really what I’m looking for.

  6. J.W. said...

    Read every ATH, clicked on links 2-3 this season, and could have easily found the box scores on my own. Not worth the trouble.

  7. Brian said...

    Not a dream, Tim.  A nightmare.  Marmol’s control, which was never great, is downright awful this season.  Then Gregg serves up a fastball down the middle to a guy who before last night had gone to a 3-0 count exactly ONCE this season.  After the Braves tied it, there wasn’t a question of who would win that game…just when.

  8. Richard in Dallas said...

    @J.W. – As a diehard Rangers fan and Yankee hater,, needless to say that I was very disappointed at pretty much everything that happened after Nelson Cruz’ HR that put Texas ahead.  Except, of course, Tiexera getting plunked.  Your perception of him as a whiner is dead on, as I observed during his time here.  We were not at all upset to see him go.  I only wish he had the stones to charge the mound, so we could be rid of him for a while.  He IS a pesky offensive force, no matter that he is nothing more than a big crybaby.  He would have NEVER taken a slide that hard FOR the Rangers, kind of like Roger Dorn.  Anyway, win or lose, this is a series packed with emotion for us lowly first place Rangers fans, and, if we play the Yanks again after this series, we hope it’s in the ALCS so we can try a Division Series against somebody different…..

  9. Mike Green said...

    There hasn’t been a player in many years who I felt had a chance to hit .400.  Mauer does this year.  Three things are working in his favour-

    1.  With the increase in his power, his batting average on balls out of play (HR/HR+K) is .429. It may not stay there, but is likely to be much, much higher than in previous years.

    2.  He always has hit many line drives and very few pop-ups.

    3.  He will have fewer ABs than usual, because of his missed time (and more walks later in the year, as pitchers decide that it is just not worth the effort), so a BABIP outlier is more likely this year than others.

    George Brett, 1980 was a lot of fun.  Here’s hoping for a re-run.

  10. Greg Simons said...

    @Mike Green – Very good points about Mauer’s potential to hit .400, and the fact that he’s a catcher means he’s likely to have more days off, i.e. fewer ABs, even though he does DH sometimes.

    The odds are stacked against anyone achieving the feat, but it’s always fun when someone makes a run at it.  The guy’s been a beast so far, and it will be interesting to see what he does the rest of the season.

    Man, I sure do love baseball!

  11. J.W. said...


    I’m totally with you on this. Having been born and raised as a Yankee fan, I’ve always found 2 things incredibly annoying about my fanhood. 1) The people who aren’t from NY, have no connection to the team and just jump on the bandwagon. 2) The team has a tendency to collect players who are impressive at the plate, on the mound, or in the field, but not always such impressive people. I’m one of those people who thinks that what happens in the game is really all that matters, but it makes it a bit harder to pull for the team sometimes when you’re faced with multi-millionaires who whine a bit too much or what have you. Oh, I also don’t like the behavior of some of our execs and the arrogance we Yankee fans sometimes tend to put out there. It would be nice to have a team of humble, likable, hard-working players, but human beings aren’t perfect and you take what you get.

  12. Jack Marshall said...

    Craig, did you SEE the Sox-Tigers game? Papelbon gave up a bloop, a dink and a seeing-eye grounder—-none were hit well or hard. Then he struck out the side. I sure wouldn’t cite that game as proof that he’s a shaky closer. What I saw was a guy who came out in a non-save situation, let some hitters make contact and was unlucky, and then who shifted into save mode and was dominating.
    Papelbon is obviously a guy who has an extra gear, and given his record in the post-season, your assessment has the whiff of wishful thinking.

  13. Kelly said...

    Randy Wells would like your help suing Carlos Marmol for defamation of character and negligence.

    And I read every day and rarely click on the box scores.

  14. Joe said...

    Papelbon just needed to set up his own save situation before he got going.  Too bad he threw 30+ pitches in the process.

    Box scores?  You link to box scores?

  15. APBA Guy said...

    Nice summary of the A’s game. Coors Creature Matt Holiday is getting some timely hits lately, like yesterday’s 3 run double off Colon. Evidently Boras told him his stock was dropping faster than GM’s, so he’s dialed it up the last month or so.

    Yesterday I highlighted the bottom 3 in the A’s lineup, with their average OPS of around .550.

    Not surprisingly, that’s only slightly less than the OPS of their leadoff man, Orlando Cabrera, at .575.

    It’s amazing they win at all, but sometimes these kid pitchers throw a shutout, like yesterday. Mazzaro was effectively wild in his major league debut, with a lot of “here it is, I’m not sure where it’s going” movement that was effective for the A’s because enough White Sox swung instead of taking pitches.

  16. Andy said...

    I guess I am the minority then.  I do use “And that happened” as sort of a boxscore portal.  Of course I can find boxscores elsewhere.  I can also look at them all and find the interesting points myself – but I thought the point of a daily feature like this is to gather all of it in one place, so I can take a few minutes to browse through before I start my day.  I don’t click on all of the links, but I do when something in Craig’s comments catches my interest. At least one a day.  For instance, the Halladay comment today.  There is something really beautiful about a nice pitching line, especially a complete game.

  17. Greg Simons said...

    Fistandantilus?!?!  Man, Craig, you really did like those Dragonlance books, didn’t you?

  18. tadthebad said...

    Given that the Yanks bullpen, besides Mo, is nothing special, and that the Red Sox make pitchers work, I don’t know that the Yanks get the clear edge there. 

    It’s nice to see Yankees fans already claiming the division.  And people think Red Sox fans are arrogant?

  19. YankeesfanLen said...

    How about this for a set-up?  John Rocker on the No. 7 train with an unwed mother next to him, dozes off and finds a horse’s head next to him upon awakening.  Sounds like a David Lynch plot to me.

  20. J.W. said...

    Nice little series of events in the bottom of the 4th of the Yankees—Rangers game, as Vicente Padilla plunks Mark Teixeira for the second time to load the bases(though V-Pad [umm that kind of sounds like a woman’s personal hygiene product, sorry Vicente] was definitely not throwing at him) and Teixeira jaws at him. Well more like whines at him somewhat aggressively. A-Rod stepped to the plate looking to pick up his teammate, and did what A-Rod does best in situations in which he feels some kind of pressure to perform, he flailed and failed, chopping a hard(ish) hit grounder over towards what I believe was the second base side. The ball was fielded cleanly and slung over to second base in what looked to be a sure-thing double play. And yet, Teixeira dialed it up to a gear we may never see him reach again and went flying into second to break up the play. It was a cleaner break-up slide than you’ll often see; he even took the time to swipe the bag with his hand as if to say, “See, this was a legit slide!” It was a nice piece of aggressive play that didn’t hurt anyone and showed some of that competetive fire that is sometimes lacking in the great game of baseball.

  21. Adam said...

    Saw that the Nats fired their pitching coach.  I guess they wanted the deck chairs facing west.  As to us arrogant Yankee fans, those days are long gone.  0-5 against the Sox this year means I may hate ‘em, but I do fear ‘em.  I think the Sox are better until the Yankees can prove otherwise, by, say, actually scoring more runs than them in a game.

  22. Andy said...

    Is there a way to change the default ‘refresh’ setting on the box score pages?  Whenever I click on one it refreshes every 60 seconds.  Not really needed when I look at them the next day, and annoying to be browsing the box and have the screen go blank for a second.

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