And That Happened

Marlins 5, Orioles 2: Ricky Nolasco has been a completely different pitcher since his little jaunt to New Orleans to get his pyloric valve opened or whatever the hell is was. In his four starts since his return, he’s given up two earned runs, two earned runs, one earned run and last night zero earned runs. Good thing too, for if he did not find a job, he no doubt would have been arrested for vagrancy.

White Sox 10, Dodgers 7: Randy Wolf had nada and Cory Wade’s “relief” pitching was anything but. By the time they were done it was a 9-3 game that was for all practical purpose over. But this loss is morally justified. I mean, how dare the Dodgers be allowed to play when Manny Ramirez should be suspended? It’s a slap in the face, that’s what it is. If a kid gets suspended from school, do they not burn the building down as a lesson to others? If a soldier is caught hording rations, do the generals not summarily execute the whole platoon? I know it’s in the rules that the Dodgers still get to play ballgames, but it shouldn’t be. They should all have their contracts voided and be forced to sell linoleum at Color Tile or something. Won’t someone think of the children?

Mets 11, Cardinals 0: Let me get this straight: David Wright — the guy who went 4 for 4 last night and is sitting at .356/.444/.510 is a guy Mets’ fans have been complaining about for a good portion of the season? I’ll never understand New York baseball. Cardinals pitchers, by the way, combined to strike out exactly zero Mets.

Rays 7, Phillies 1: Pat Burrell’s two-run homer in the second proved to be all of the offense the Rays needed, but he picked up an another RBI anyway. I’m not sure what Phillies’ fans think of that, but I’d kind of like to think that they’re happy that Matt Stairs is getting some playing time now, which he wouldn’t be if Burrell had hung around. Who doesn’t root for Matt Stairs?

Pirates 10, Indians 6: Workers on the “Carl Pavano for Comeback Player of the Year” campaign feel today how the folks at the McCain campaign felt the day after the Katie Couric-Sarah Palin interviews aired.

Blue Jays 8, Reds 2: Aaron Hill, Adam Lind and Vernon Wells all homered off of Bronson Arroyo in the first and Scott Richmond pitched seven strong innings in what was never really a contest.

Red Sox 6, Nationals 4: Papi went 2-3 with a homer and 3 RBI — including the 1000th of his career — as the Red Sox take the second game in this home-away-from-home series (41,000+ once again, and most of ‘em weren’t Nats’ fans). Red Sox’ hitting coach Dave Magadan was ejected for arguing balls and strikes. How does that even happen? If you’re Francona, don’t you tell Magadan to sit down and shut up? Or was it one of those deals where Magadan just called the ump that name you’re not allowed to call umps from the dugout?

Brewers 4, Twins 3: Great moments in defensive decision-making: The Twins are ahead 3-2 in the eighth when J.J. Hardy singles and Jason Kendall hits a double scoring Hardy. Except the relay throw skipped by Joe Mauer, so Kendall went to third. Nick Blackburn was backing up Mauer, and rather than just eat the ball and face the pitcher’s slot in the order, whips the ball back towards third to try and get the advancing Kendall. Ball goes wide, Kendall goes home, and that’s basically the ballgame.

Tigers 5, Cubs 3: That’s six straight for Detroit, as they extend their lead to five games over the Twins. Contrary to what I said yesterday, Magglio Ordonez did get the start, and before the game he pulled a Vlad, cutting off his hair. Result: 2-4. Screw science, I say causation, not mere correlation.

Yankees 8, Braves 4: Things were going smoothly for Atlanta until Kawakami was nailed on a comebacker off the bat of Joba Chamberlain. I missed it — I was reading “Tip-Tip, Dig-Dig” to ShysterBoy at the time — and I’m kind of glad I did. He was hit on the base of the neck, which as recent history has shown, is a pretty dangerous place to be hit. Jeff Francoeur hit a homer for the Braves, but don’t worry, he still sucks.

Royals 4, Astros 3: Miguel Olivo may be on pace for 168 strikeouts against six walks, but he hits a homer once in a while too, and the one he hit in the 11th inning last night won the game.

Rangers 2, Diamondbacks 1: Danny Haren can’t buy a break, as he once again pitches well with little run support. The Rangers snap their losing streak at five and remain in first place by the skin of their teeth.

Mariners 4, Padres 3: Brandon Morrow the starter had his longest and best go of it yet (5 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 4K). Yuniesky Betancourt injured his hamstring and will be out for a while. The game story casts this a negative. I have this feeling some Mariners fans may not feel quite the same way.

Giants 6, A’s 3: The Unit, who gave up one run on six hits, struck out six and walked one in seven innings, looks pretty good sandwiched in between Lincecum and Cain these days. I don’t know that the Giants have enough offense to get there, but they could be a dangerous team to face in a short series should they snag the Wild Card.

Angels 11, Rockies 3: Just yesterday, Rob Neyer said that Jason Marquis was about to turn into a pumpkin due to his poor strikeout rate. Looks like it’s midnight (3.1 IP, 9 H, 8 R). Yeah, he struck out four in those 3.1 innings, but it’s probably because the Angels were coming out of the shoes to swing at that hittable stuff. Vald-the-bald, by the way: 2-5, 2B, HR, 3 RBI. Let’s hear it for short hair!

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  1. Levi Stahl said...

    In the Pirates-Indians wrap, I think you need to swap out the McCain/Palin reference in favor of a Sanford 2012 reference—gotta keep up to date.

  2. Craig Calcaterra said...

    Levi—I can’t bring myself to go with Sanford because the whole episode disappointed me. Not because I care about him or anything, but because for a day or two there I had this image of man in power simply deciding to check out and disappear for a few days for no particular reason.  I was sort of thrilled at the prospect that someone with repsonsibility could retain the eccentricity and spontaneity to just take off when he felt like it.  If gave me hope, however small, that people in such a position can retain their central humanity and not get trapped into defining themselves by their profession.  I like to hear about those 19th century presidents who would slip their security detail to go swinning in the river. There are those old stories about Howard Hughes going and working as a baggage handler or hitchiking for a few days. I don’t care if that meant that those presidents were reckless and that Hughes was ill. I just liked the escape narrative.

    When it was revealed that it was the common old affair story I was crestfallen, even if I shouldn’t have been surprised.  Screw you Sanford. Not for your morals, but for dashing my hopes like that.

    Nick: it was indeed a Confederacy of Dunces reference. I saw Nolasco, thought about his New Orleans rehab, thought about what could have happened to him in N.O. that helped him out so dramatically and so quickly, and the idea Ignatious’ valve just sprung into my head.

  3. Levi Stahl said...

    I get that, Craig—Sanford’s disappearance really did seem like a more amazing story before we knew everything than it does now. (Though the inclusion of Argentina at least leaves it with a frisson of mystery and exoticism, no?)

    If you like stories of powerful people taking off into the wilds to get away from it all, you really should read about Teddy Roosevelt (if you’ve not): he did that sort of thing throughout his life—the most amazing being after he lost the election to Wilson in 1912 and lit out for the Amazon. Candice Millard’s book about that trip, River of Doubt is jaw-droppingly good; I’ve written about it a bit here.

  4. Jack Marshall said...

    According to Magadan, he was just yelling typical, “Aw, bear down, ump!” comments, the umpire started barking back at him, and threw him out when Magadan just said, “Let’s play the game!”

    By the way, Rob Dibble, who is what the Nationals call a color man, makes one long for Rob Sutcliffe. Dibble revels in being unprepared. I guess it’s possible that he can’t read.

  5. Gowtham said...

    Hey Craig, not all Met fans are complaining about David Wright.  Just the loud mouth, knee-jerk reacting fans who don’t understand baseball beyond strikeouts and home run totals.
    Wright has been noticeably streaky this season.  There have been weeks where no matter what he did, he got a hit, and other periods where he was lucky to make contact.  This may be just because we are attenuating to it, kinda like Raul Ibanez and his hot start (Joe Poz pointed out how Ibanez has had similar streaks in previous seasons, just not at the start…hmmm… seems you may have another thread about that…)
    Craig, please don’t lump all Mets fans together.  Most of us love David Wright and are enjoying this season, watching him become a better player and leader for the team.

  6. Jason B said...

    Hate to point it out but…you didn’t say anything nice about the O’s.


    *Hides the sharp objects*

  7. APBA Guy said...

    Just read Confederacy on the plane to Florida. So the pyloric valve reference was understood and appreciated.

    Glad to see you are on the SF bandwagon for the playoffs. Trouble is, getting there. We all have our fingers crossed that the Panda can continue hitting .330+. Right now he’s squaring everything up, but can it last?

    Lincecum and Cain, now Johnson. Can they carry Zito and Sanchez?

    Need a bat and another starter.

    BTW, A’s dropped 5 of 6 to SF. Ugly, ugly, ugly.

  8. Sara K said...

    From  “And in the fifth, [Brad Thompson] induced an inning-ending double play, but some players didn’t know they had three outs—almost the whole team remained on the field for a while before realizing the inning was over.”  I’d never heard of this happening before.  Starting to walk off prematurely would signal a little more confidence, no?

  9. Wooden U. Lykteneau said...

    No, not really. I’d much rather see a team do that than, say, throw the ball to the umpire after the 2nd out (Steve Lyons) or into the stands (Trot Nixon).

  10. Ron said...

    “Royals reliever Kyle Farnsworth was injured in the eighth inning on his third pitch. He released the ball and crumpled to the ground, clutching the top of his right leg. He hobbled off the field with help and was replaced by Jamey Wright. Team officials said Farnsworth had a right groin injury and would be evaluated Thursday.”

    There is joy in Mudville.

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