And That Happened

Cardinals 6, Marlins 5: Cody Ross let one get through the wickets in the eighth and it rolled all the way back to the 434′ sign in center, allowing the tying runs to score and putting the eventual winning run, in the person of Ryan Ludwick, on third. It happens. Andrew Miller on the home run he gave up to Pujols: “That wasn’t a situation where I was going to nibble on [Pujols] at 3-1. He’s too good of a hitter, he’s not going to chase a bad pitch. He’s going to get his pitch and hit it. Unfortunately, he did.” Wait, why exactly don’t you nibble on Pujols there? He’s only going to get his pitch to hit if you give it to him, and once you’ve gone 3-1 on the guy, you really have no business giving it to him unless the bases are juiced, and maybe even then you don’t. Wait . . . unless Pujols has finally developed telekinetic powers which enable him to will fat pitches into his wheelhous (as many of us have long expected he might some day). Crap. That’s it. We’re all doomed. All hail our Pujolsian overlord.

White Sox 4, Tigers 3: The White Sox almost frittered this one away, but then Joel Zumaya slipped on some wet grass while fielding a bunt in the ninth and then Scott Podsednik singled in Brian Anderson to eke out the win. Anderson after the game: “Had that gone the other way, it definitely would not have been as fun a bus ride.” It’s 97.4 miles from U.S. Cellular Field to Miller Park so a bus makes sense, but I haven’t thought too much about this before and now I’m wondering what the cutoff is. Do the Tigers take a bus to Cleveland (167 miles)? How about L.A. to San Diego (124)? Sure, you and I always drive those, but these are rich, pampered baseball players here. How about Philly-Queens? It’s 111 miles, but there’s lots of traffic. But back to the White Sox: do you think they considered carpools for the Milwaukee trip? I bet Ozzie Guillen never drives. And he probably calls shotgun even when the car isn’t within eyeshot yet. I get the feeling Jim Thome’s music collection is just awful. Probably a lot of modern female pop country artists. On cassette. I’d probably want to ride with Buehrle. I bet he hauls ass.

Astros 2, Cubs 1: Game story: “Geoff Blum is the first Houston player with winning hits in back-to-back games since Derek Bell did it on July 20-21, 1996, against Atlanta.” I call B.S. on that. I watched virtually every Braves game there was while Bell played in the National League, and I never once recall Derek Bell getting a big hit. Ever. He was a total bust against Atlanta, at least in my memories. In fact, I can’t think of a supposedly decent opposing hitter that I, as a Braves fan, feared less than Derek Bell. OK, fine, I’ll look: Hmmm . . . .270/.322/.405 lifetime against the Braves. That’s only slightly below his career averages. I hate to say this, Forman, because you usually do such a great job, but you seem to have somehow screwed up Derek Bell’s page.

Phillies 6, Mets 3: Raul Ibanez hit a three-run homer with two outs in the 10th inning to win the game. I wonder what could make him do that. I mean, he’s old, it was late in the game and it was past dinner time, so he was probably tired too. Maybe a little something to help a ballplayer gain an extra step when he might otherwise be flagging? Some sort of unnatural fountain of youth, hmmm? Yeah, I’m just gonna come out and say it, and I don’t care what anyone says: Ibanez is clearly doin’ the Dew.

Rockies 5, Brewers 4: The problem with the Rockies’ winning streak is that if it goes on much longer, it’s going to fool someone in the front office into taking the “interim” tag off of Jim Tracy. Even a blind hog finds an acorn once in awhile.

Pirates 3, Braves 1: Javier Vazquez was brilliant (8 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 12K) but got the no decision because the Pittsburgh staff was, on the whole, brillianter. Odd things: Francoeur led the Braves’ offensive onslaught, getting two hits and even walking once. See above note about blind hogs. Also, Bobby Cox was ejected. That’s not news — he’s the record holder after all — but this was very un-Bobbylike. I’m pretty sure Cox premeditates most of his ejections, because they’re usually quick (i.e. he goes straight to the magic word — God, he’s so romantic . . .) and because they usually happen early in the game to ensure plenty of couch time in the clubhouse. This one came in the ninth inning, so he really got no leisure/beer time out of it to speak of. Just not like him, ya know? I hope he’s alright.

Indians 4, Royals 3: Greinke rebounded from his previous shelling, but he needed to be better than good on a night when his offense didn’t really show up. Shin Soo Choo hit a single off a freakin’ seagull in the 10th, driving in the winning run. Learning to play the seagull carom in Progressive Field is one of those things visiting defenders just don’t have time to master in a short series. Oh, and now that the memories of the Royals’ early-season friskiness have long since passed, can we just get to the end game on Trey Hillman and save everyone a lot of hassle?

Athletics 4, Twins 3: It’s a shame about that lead Blackburn lost. It was. That was really a shame. To go so suddenly. Ah, he was tiring for innings. But the very end, when he actually gave it up . . . was extremely sudden.

Nationals 3, Reds 2: The eighth inning throwing error by Brandon Phillips that allowed Christian Guzman to score the winning run wasn’t as ugly as the second inning throwing error by Ryan Zimmerman that allowed Alex Gonzales to score the Reds’ first run. Phillips had a dude bearing down on him and just misfired. Zimmerman’s was an air mail job that, at last report, was entering Canadian airspace.

Mariners 6, Orioles 3: 3 RBI for Russell “how in the hell is he still at .317/.413/.614″ Branyan.

Diamondbacks 2, Giants 1: Max Scherzer gave up only three hits while shutting out the Giants over seven and two thirds. Mark Reynolds struck out three times to raise his total to 87. In 1948, Hank Sauer led the NL with 85 for the whole season. The year before, Chris Nicholson led the league with 83. In fact, since the end of the deadball era, guys have led the league in strikeouts with 87 Ks or fewer on 21 occasions. Just thought you’d like to know that.

Rays 11, Angels 1: The Angels have given up 33 runs in their last four games. David Price left in the fourth because he had already thrown 105 pitches. Dude’s gonna have to figure out how to reign that in, because hanging around long enough to take advantage of offensive outbursts like this is the stuff that 18-win (and better) seasons are made of.

Rangers 1, Blue Jays 0: Two good offenses collide in one of the most offense-friendly parks in baseball. It’s 80 degrees at game time, so sit back, babies, and watch the horsehide fly! Or, if that’s not your speed, all of the scoring in the game can happen on a second inning sacrifice fly.

Red Sox 4, Yankees 3: What a miserable night for the Yankees. Getting beat by the Red Sox for the eighth time in a row is bad enough, but having it happen in a cold rain via a blown lead has to add some extra pain. I guess someone has to win a game in the Mets-Yankees series this weekend, but the way things are going, I can’t feature either team doing it.

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  1. J.W. said...

    I recall there was some mention of awarding a commenter 50 points yesterday for nailing a Tampa Bay 9=8 reference. In my opinion, today’s points recipient should be Sam. I highly doubt anyone tops that comment for brilliance/awfulness. Ahh, the pun, gotta love it.

    Also, Craig, have you considered that it’s not the stats that are being changed, but your memories? This conspiracy is vast, it reaches into places we can’t even imagine. We’re talking about seriously powerful and seriously twisted people. People capable of anything. Beware the Derek Bell Society.

  2. Craig Calcaterra said...

    That’s it.  I’m heading into the bunker.  If any of you try to follow me, I’m shooting first and asking questions later.

    /no where’s that wax paper . . .

    //no, it’s not tin foil.  The government has fooled you into thinking that tin foil deflects their mind rays, when in fact, tin foil amplifies them.

    //wake up sheeple!

  3. RoyceTheBaseballHack said...

    Re: TOR-TEX, 0-1. Not only was this only the 2nd 0-1 game in that stadium in seven seasons, but The Rangers actually won against a team with a winning record bringing nothing but pitching and sound defense.  Life is good. Ok, warm up you best Madeline Kahn voice and sing along, “Ooooooh, Sweet mystery of life, at last I’ve found theee….”

  4. Adam said...

    If last night’s Yankee-Red Sox game was the only one you’d ever seen, you would come to the following conclusions:
    1. Nick Green is better than Derek Jeter
    2. Brad Penny is unhittable.
    3. Dustin Pedroia never strikes out, even though he closes his eyes and swings as hard as he can.
    4. Brett Gardner has the worst arm of anyone in the majors except for the guy standing next to him.
    5. The Red Sox treat the Yankees like a cat with a nearly dead mouse.
    I guess it could be worse.  I could care about the Orlando Magic.

  5. tadthebad said...

    Looks like Adam is in the midst of the seven (?) stages of grief.  Cheer up, maybe you’ll pull out of it by August.

  6. Adam said...

    @tadthebad, I think you’re right on.  I’m in the last stage now.  “Acceptance”.  Although “anger” and “denial” are certainly making a strong showing.

  7. Shaun said...

    I think you want to change that to Andrew Miller giving up the Pujols homer, since Trevor Miller is Pujols’ teammate.

  8. themarksmith said...

    Cox was pissed. The home plate umpire had been giving Maholm this outside strike all game. If the catcher sets up on the outside corner and has to reach to his right to catch a curveball from a left-handed pitcher to a right-handed batter, then it is not a strike. Then, the first base umpire missed two calls, both hurting the Braves. The first was on a throw from Escobar that was off-line but Canizeras obviously tagged him a step off the bag. The umpire ruled him safe. In the ninth, Kelly Johnson hit the base at literally the same time Capps did on the 3-1 putout. The umpire called him out. Bobby was just at his limit for the day. I, for one, was not surprised to see him come out and get rung at that point. If anything, I’m surprised he didn’t come out on the first missed call.

    But it was a pretty good ejection. He came out and stuck two fingers in the guy’s face (meaning he had missed two calls), and then said, “Gosh darnit” (or some variation) and slammed his hat.

  9. Nick Whitman said...

    Don’t forget about Big Papi recapturing a little of his former glory against the Yankees.  After being the butt of their jokes all season, that has to sting the Yankee fans.

    I don’t think he’s suddenly become Ortiz from 2007 again, but it was great to see nonetheless.

  10. Bob Timmermann said...

    There’s a train between L.A. and San Diego, but it’s not all that much faster than driving, although it is less stressful.

    But then you would have to take a train in Southern California. You might as well just play with plutonium. It’s safer.

  11. Bob Timmermann said...

    The Dodgers and Padres regularly take a bus between Los Angeles and San Diego for road trips.

  12. Scarf said...

    I think most teams up along the Eastern seaboard take the Acela train for certain road trips rather than fly, as well.

    PS: Welcome to the “I’m an Insomniac And Therefore Spend Late Nights Writing A Wide Variety Of Things” Club, Craig.

  13. APBA Guy said...

    I can’t claim to be a big Fletch fan, since I missed the reference, but I can say that yesterday’s A’s come from behind against a clearly superior Minnesota team was eminently satisfying.

    I don’t know what possessed Gardenhire to go with Blackburn as deep into the game as he did. Since the game was on radio I couldn’t watch, but the sense from the announcers was one of surprise and expectation in the bottom of the 8th when Blackburn took the hill. Like many of the Twins starters, he doesn’t have swing and miss stuff. ANd once he loses a little movement and command, he gets hit. That’s exactly what happened.

    Maybe Nathan has spoiled Gardenhire. Unless you are perfect he doesn’t trust you.

    Today begins the crosstown series with Los Gigantes. They’ve been playing well lately with a season record right around .500. The A’s get to play in beautiful AT & T Park, a place closer to many of their homes than the Mausoleum. I for one am looking forward to seeing the fans bundled against the cold, swilling hot beverages, and watching Vin Mazzaro, he of the 0.00 ERA after two starts, versus Tim Lincecum.

    Vin fills the the Jim Palmer role of the recreated 1970’s Orioles staff that the A’s are imitating. He’s the power pitcher, with 93 mph velocity. He’s different in style though, not overhand with a rising fastball. He’s more three-quarters with exceptional movement. Like Cahill, Anderson, and Outman, he’s also 22.

  14. Craig Calcaterra said...

    Thanks Gerry. I should have known that.

    Thanks Bob. Isn’t there a train or something there? The Coaster? Or am I making that up?  Not that they should take it or anything, I’m mostly just wondering. These are the sorts of things I’d ask my brother (in San Diego)if he wasn’t a luddite without a computer.  I don’t do phones.

    Scarf: Happy to be here, Scarf.

  15. Chris Warren said...

    There was a pretty funny story last year about Lou Pinella and Cubs coach Matt Sinatro driving from Chicago to Cincy.  Pinella takes a nap, and wakes up and doesn’t recognize any of the town names.  So they stop at a gas station to check a map, and realize they’re close to the Pennsylvania border, on the way to Pittsburgh.

    IIRC, they missed the start of the first game of the series.

  16. Craig Calcaterra said...

    There’s always room for Fletch.  There are days when I have considered making every game recap tie in with a Fletch quote, but I have stopped myself because it’s too Simmonsy.

  17. Craig Calcaterra said...

    So, I see they’ve gotten to Retrosheet too.

    We’re through the looking glass here, people . . .

    /just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean there’s no one out to get you

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