And That Happened

Reds 8, Indians 1: It was Brandon Phillips’ birthday and he beat up his old team to celebrate (3-5, 3 RBI). But he overplayed it: “It’s good to have a game like I did today, especially on my birthday and against the guys you used to play for. Today, I was like, ‘I’m going to show the Indians what they missed out on.’” Please, Brandon. They gave you 462 major league plate appearances and you gave them .206/.246/.310. They also gave you parts of four seasons in Buffalo, and you gave them 269/.329/.411. It’s nice of you to show them what they missed out on, but maybe if you had showed some of it, oh, 5, 6, 7 years ago, you’d be the starting second baseman for the Indians today. But happy birthday anyway.

Braves 2, Red Sox 1: Look, you can spin it any way you want to, Boston fans, but you got beat by a kid with a mullet yesterday. But he’s a good kid. Hanson’s last three starts: 17.1 IP, 9 hits, 0 ER. And that ain’t against no tomato cans, neither: that’s against the Red Sox, the Yankees, and the Reds in that playpen they call a ballpark.

Yankees 4, Mets 2: Mariano Rivera got his 500th save. More impressive: he drew a bases-loaded walk, giving him his first career RBI in 15 seasons. Francisco Rodriguez gave it up, which in some cosmic way illustrates the vast gulf between those two pitchers in my mind. How do you walk Mariano Rivera? Nerves is all I can think, and you can bet your ass that if the situation was reversed, Rivera would never have walked Rodriguez, because Rivera’s body temperature runs at a constant 57 degrees.

White Sox 6, Cubs 0: Jon Danks shut out the Cubbies over seven innings, and the bullpen handled the last two. One of the few reasons I’m sad that the interleague season is over is that it will provide fewer opportunities for Ozzie Guillen to talk smack to Cubs’ fans. Here he was over the weekend: “White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was asked why attendance was so low at the Sox-Dodgers series, and said: “Because our fans are not stupid like Cubs fans. They know we’re (expletive).” Guillen said Cubs fans will go watch any game at Wrigley Field because “Wrigley Field is just a bar.”

Phillies 5, Blue Jays 4: You hate to throw this out there on a day he won, but to me it’s the most interesting thing that came out of this game: Jamie Moyer, who allowed three home runs, has now allowed 483 in his career, passing Phil Niekro for third all-time. He’s a lock to pass Fergie Jenkins, who is in second place at 484, but he’s almost certainly going to need to go into next season to beat out Robin Roberts for that all time lead at 505. He’s under contract for 2010, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to see him hold on and take the record.

Royals 3, Pirates 2: Greinke wins his 10th and, thanks to a rain delay, gets a bit of a rest too, coming out in the seventh after throwing only 80 pitches. The Pirates’ highlight of the day didn’t come in Pittsburgh: “Ian Snell, the former Pirates’ No. 2 starter who was demoted Thursday after deciding he needed a change of scenery, struck out 13 in a row after walking the leadoff batter Sunday for Triple-A Indianapolis against Toledo. He finished with 17 Ks and two hits allowed in seven innings, throwing 70 of 108 pitches for strikes. Indianapolis won 2-1 in 10 innings.” I think that (a) he probably needs to come back to Pittsburgh; and (b) if I struck out 17 guys in a game and got a no-decision I’d be pretty damn pissed.

Nationals 5, Orioles 3: Adam Dunn hit a home run that reached the B&O warehouse on the bounce, traveling an estimated 442 feet. The Nats got another run when Josh Willingham scored on a single. He was dead to rights at home plate, but Matt Wieters dropped the ball, missing the tag. Which leads to a theological question: Can Matt Weiters allow himself to make an error? If so, then it seems that he could cease to be omnipotent. But if not — if he is somehow precluded from allowing himself error — perhaps he is not omnipotent to begin with. Think about that one for a minute and get back to me. Either way, though, the answer to this question is less important than the act of asking it. You see, Matt Weiters is sitting at .234/.289/.390, which means that I have to use up all of these Wieters = God jokes quickly, because they’re rapidly approaching their expiration date.

Tigers 4, Astros 3: I made fun of Russ Ortiz quite a bit early in the season, but he just finished with a 1.90 ERA for June. I even added the dude to my Scoresheet team, though that probably tells you more about the quality of my Scoresheet team than it does Russ Ortiz. He got a no-decision here, but for that he can blame Edwin Jackson and the Astros’ bats. Brandon Inge hit a two-run homer off Jose Valverde with two outs in the ninth inning to win it.

Rays 5, Marlins 2: David Price bounces back after a hellish outing against the Phillies, this time holding the Marlins to one run on two hits in six and a third. That makes five straight wins for the Rays, who after seventy some-odd games of fooling around now look ready to make a serious run in the second half.

Twins 6, Cardinals 2: The extent to which the Cardinals have been a one man gang this year was illustrated by the fact that their new addition — super ute Mark DeRosa — hit cleanup in his first game with the team. Mark DeRosa has been a lot of things in his career, but a cleanup hitter has never really been one of them. In fact, before yesterday, he had only started four games as a cleanup hitter in his entire career. Of course, three of those came this year with the Indians, which tells you the dire offensive straits they’ve been in as well.

Mariners 4, Dodgers 2: L.A. has lost four of five, but they can get away with it with their lead. More interesting “the Dodgers hadn’t decided whether they’ll discipline reliever Ronald Belisario after the 26-year-old rookie was arrested early Saturday morning on suspicion of DUI in Pasadena.” I anxiously await the Bill Plaschke column in which he decries the horrible example set by Belisario and declares that whatever punishment the Dodgers mete out to him is insufficient. Because clearly Plaschke thinks that drunk driving is worse than steroid use, doesn’t he?

Rockies 3, Athletics 1: The A’s have dropped five in a row. As for the Rockies, Aaron Cook has been somethin’ special recently, giving up a single run in four of his last five starts.

Angels 12, Diamondbacks 8: A straight steal of home by Gary Matthews, Jr. was pretty spiffy. Four Arizona errors were not. The Angels finish interleague play 14-4, including an 8-1 mark in NL parks.

Padres 2, Rangers 0: Chad Gaudin allowed one hit over eight innings for the Padres. The box score says it was 99 degrees at game time. Seems like it’s always hot down there, no matter when you come. It’s the kind of heat that holds you like a mama holds her son. Tight when he tries to walk, even tighter if he runs.

Giants 7, Brewers 0: Ryan Sadowski (who?) stymies the Brewers in his major league debut (6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER). He’s bumped Jonathan Sanchez to the pen. Sanchez must have been mad: he plunked Prince Fielder and then struck out the side in his one inning of work.

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Comments

  1. Matt S. said...

    K-Rod’s walking of 3(?) batters including Rivera in the 9th last night was clear due to adreneline brought on by anger, no make that rage. He lost all sense of control after Alex Cora dropped an infield fly, creating his own personal groundhog’s day.

    Also, stealing home is the coolest play ever. This season rules!

  2. lar said...

    That Angels-Dbacks series must’ve been pretty wild. First, there’s the “inside-the-park-home run bunt” (video here) and then the steal of home yesterday (video here). I wouldn’t have minded being at either of those games, that’s for sure…

  3. Kelly said...

    In CubsLand, the DeRosa signing was the emotional nail in our coffin of JimHendryStupidity ‘09.

    Off to find a 10,000 word essay about leftie/rightie matchup not being worth a Miles / Fontenot / Bradley trio.

  4. J.W. said...

    Matt Wieters knows that to show the world his true form would be to tear the sky asunder and cause the planet to fold in upon itself. We should be grateful that he is showing such restraint.

    No but seriously. Dude’s gotta hit more.

  5. J.W. said...

    Also, and this isn’t a criticism or a suggestion that you change it, or an annoying TYPO ALERT comment, but I love that you wrote Matt’s name 4 times, and twice his last name was Weiters, and twice it was Wieters. I understand this to be you taking a personal, moral stand on the controversial “I-before-E debate.” By using them interchangably what you’re really saying is that such differences don’t matter, that we shouldn’t sweat the small stuff and we should embrace a multiplicity of beliefs and life-styles. Basically, this is your subtle way of arguing for unity and community and tolerance and compassion.

    Right?

  6. Craig Calcaterra said...

    J.W. thank YOU for noticing that.  I’ve been beating the old IE horse for so long that I had almost given up hope of my voice being heard on the subject.

    Um . . .yeah.

  7. DGL said...

    Snell is a classic million-dollar-arm, ten-cent-head.  He gets 17 strikeouts in AAA by nibbling the corners and getting AAA hitters to flail at crap, and then tries the same thing in the majors and when major league hitters don’t fall for that weak-ass s**t and he walks five batters and throws 104 pitches in six innings, whines that the umpires weren’t calling strikes and his catcher wasn’t calling the right pitches.

  8. Dennis Koziel said...

    Does anyone have any idea how the Rockies can use Seth Smith best?  Should he be getting more at bats, and where?  Should he be trades for much needed middle relief help?  I would love to hear comments.  Thans in adance.

  9. Jason B said...

    I heard last night that Gaudin’s performance was the first time an opposing pitcher had pitched at least eight innings at the Ballpark at Arlington and had given up only one hit.

    To which I say…“Really???  Chad frickin’ Gaudin???”

    *Too lazy to verify, so I put it out there in case someone else wants to do the honors*

  10. john barleycorn said...

    i bleeve mark derosa would be the cards’ new ‘addition,’ rather than their new ‘edition’

  11. Chad said...

    Brandon Phillips being mad at the Indians stems something from the hitting philosophy he was apparently “forced” to adhere to.  I’m not justifying it as I do love the guy, but his take comes from something along those lines.

  12. APBA Guy said...

    The Beloved A’s are approaching a level of futility few foresaw when the season began. Those of us who are a bit older and understand that a staff of 22 year old starters will be problematic not just this season, but next, and next, and probably even the year after that, anxiously await any indication that Billy Beane has a plan that involves something more than watching attendance at the Mausoleum slowly dwindle into nothingness.

    My buddy showed up at gametime and sat 3 rows from the field. Anybody else able to do that anywhere else these days? I told him to wait until the A’s trade Holliday. We’ll be able to get first row seats at game-time. Of course, we’ll still be lonely at the games.

    On a brighter note, the Panda has raised his OPS to .965. Amazing. I’m actually looking forward to the next Giants/Rockies series. Who would have thought that 2 months ago?

  13. fleerdon said...

    @Chad-

    Yeah, yeah, we know, Brandon Phillips thinks walks are for pansies, Brandon Phillips thinks OBP stands for “Oh, Brandon Phillips!”, Brandon Phillips got cut from the Indians for smiling too much…

    Craig nailed it. Sure, the Indians gave up on him too soon, and personality issues were a part of it. Fact remains that he underperformed, then sulked and blamed other people for his underperformance.

    As a Tribe fan, I regret LOSING him, but I sure don’t regret CUTTING him, if that makes any sense. He earned it.

  14. Chad said...

    Ya I’m with ya 100%.  The infuriating thing about it is that we have to hear about it twice every season in the pre-games and then when he has his inevitable good game in one of the 6 played.

    Like I said I love the guy, but still having to hear about it like it’s Brett Favre and the Packers some 5 years ago is absurd.  I guess if that’s what he needs to get motivated and hustle then great, it’s definitely a lot better than watching his off-the-wall singles.

  15. mike in brooklyn said...

    Just how empty is my life?  When I saw Wieters drop the ball in the highlights this morning, my first thought was to come here and see what “God is Dead” jokes you’d be making.

    Thank you for bringing some much-needed structure to my life.

  16. Kevin S. said...

    @APBA Guy – The A’s young pitching hasn’t been a problem; they’ve posted a 4.14 team FIP, good for ninth in the league.  The batters, on the other hand, are dead last in WAR, wOBA, and OPS+.

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