And That Happened

Marlins 6, Astros 2: Two teams that, one day, we’ll all sit around and say “yeah, I totally forgot that Pudge played for those guys.” Stellar game for Ricky Nolasco (CG, 3 H, 2 ER, 10K). Three more hits for Hanley.

Mets 9, Braves 4: Derek Lowe’s worst outing of the season (3.2 IP, 11 H, 8 ER) negates the Braves’ early four-run lead. Martin Prado removed for a severe headache and will now go back to Georgia for tests. When the Braves break bad, they really break bad.

Rays 5, Orioles 4: Every time I see Gabe Gross’ name I immediately think of Greg Gross, but before the conscious part of my brain concludes “different people,” the part of my brain that forms impressions and snap-judgments thinks “man, that guy has to be 100 years old.” I’m guessing this will only get worse as I get older. Hell, I picked Ivan DeJesus, Jr. in my Scoresheet League’s supplemental draft yesterday and I’d by lying if I didn’t think of the late-70s Cubs as I did it. Anyway, Gross hit a two-run homer, which ain’t too shabby for a 57 year-old guy who has hit only seven dingers over the course of his 17-year career.

Red Sox 10, Blue Jays 9: A couple of ugly starting pitching performances from Ricky Romero and Josh Beckett, but the Red Sox weathered the ugly storm a bit better. Kevin Youkilis returned from suspension. Dustin Pedroia left the team to be with his wife who gave birth. The little fellow was 5’9″ and 180 pounds. No word on the size of the baby.

Giants 8, Reds 5: A day after Jonah pimps Lincecum’s MVP case, Timmy drops a relative stinker (6 IP, 6 H, 5 R). The Giants pull it out, however, because they’re facing the Reds, who hath been baptized with a curse, and for whom a spirit of the air hath begirt them with a snare and for whom in the wind there is a voice which shall forbid them to rejoice. Or they just suck, I can’t decide which.

Tigers 5, Mariners 3: Porcello vs. Hernandez, the combined age of whom is 0.93 Moyers. Hernandez pitches better (7 IP. 5 H. 1 ER, 9K), but the Tigers beat up reliever Mark Lowe for the come from behind win. Bad day to be a Lowe in baseball.

Pirates 5, Brewers 2: Ross Ohlendorf is putting together a nice second half, and gave up one run over seven innings at PNC last night.

Angels 5, Indians 4: I ripped this observation off of someone on Facebook, but it’s worth repeating to those of you who, unlike me, have real live friends: The batting averages of the Angels nine starters after last night’s game: .308, .310, .310, .313, .303, .307, .300, .300, 313. For those of you who care, two teams — The 1927 Philadelphia Athletics and 1930 St. Louis Cardinals — each had ten players who hit over .300 during the same season.

Rockies 4, Nationals 3: Carlos Gonzalez homers for the third straight game. From the game story “Washington’s first game since signing No. 1 draft pick Stephen Strasburg to a record $15.1 million contract drew a crowd of only 18,192 — about 5,000 lower than the team’s average attendance this season.” Well, it’s not like he was gonna pitch or anything. What, people are supposed to show up at the ballpark due to their euphoria that Boras got a couple million dollar commission? It’s still the 2009 Nats we’re talking about here and it was still a horrible hot and humid Swampland night.

Twins 9, Rangers 6: Joe Mauer went 3-5 with two homers and three RBI. I know we have more than a month of baseball left to play, but Teixeira-for-MVP people are going to have to start making their case in terms of “why Joe Mauer isn’t the MVP” as opposed to making Teixeira’s case on the power of some vague “run producer” noises. Seriously, tell me how a plus-defense catcher hitting .380+ with power is not worthy. My boy falls for the “I got your nose” trick, and even he wouldn’t buy anyone’s anti-Mauer argument at this point.

Royals 5, White Sox 4: Unless the question is “who can make one of baseball’s worst offenses look potent?” Freddy Garcia is not the answer (4.1 IP, 7 H, 5 ER). Bonus: “He worked very slowly, repeatedly fell behind batters and topped out at 90 mph.” Tasty! If Kenny Williams thinks the Sox were underperforming when they beat the Royals on Monday, I can’t imagine what he thought last night.

Phillies 5, Diamondbacks 1: Pedro started, the rains came, and Moyer finished with six scoreless innings. Pedro after the game: “You never know what you’re going to get when you put two old goats out there.” The life expectancy of a goat is actually only 16 years, max, so Martinez and Moyer were the combined equivalent of 5.188 goats. I promise that is the last time I use Moyer-to-English conversions this morning.

Dodgers 7, Cardinals 3: Chad Billingsley returns after missing a start and throws six decent innings, and Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday combine to go 0-for-8.

Padres 6, Cubs 3: A day after hitting a walkoff homer, Kyle Blanks hits an inside the park homer. Blanks is 6’6″ and 285 pounds. I am now going to find some video of that bad boy, because I can’t even picture a guy that big rumbling around the bases.

Yankees 7, Athletics 2: Sabathia wins his 14th and Derek Jeter goes 3-5. Jeter is 20 for his last 36. Game story: “Girardi spent the morning watching a joint practice between the Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers as a guest of Niners coach Mike Singletary. Girardi met former Raiders coach John Madden and owner Al Davis. “Mr. Davis told me to tell Mr. Steinbrenner, ‘Hi,” Girardi said.” Huh. You’d think Davis would simply say hello to Steinbrenner himself at the next Big Conclave of the Supremely Evil.

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  1. MooseinOhio said...

    Mauer not winning the MVP, especially if Teixeira wins, would be a clear indication that a big market/East Coast bias is alive and well. 

    The Twins are close enough (6.5 games back) in a weak AL Central to defeat the argument that the MVP needs to be from a winning/playoff bound team.  His influence on the team’s success is multi-fold has he has a major offensive impact and a large defensive affect as he manages the pitching staff as well as most any catcher.

    Of course, if he doesn’t win it this year he will more than likely be on a big market/East Coast team in a few season and can accept a few MVP’s then.

  2. Jeff Polman said...

    Shyster:  If you find video of the Blanks inside-the-parker, pay special attention to right field as Fukidome runs nearly three miles to chase the ball down after it bounds off the CF fence.  Milton Bradley is—oddly enough—nowhere to be seen.

  3. Greg Simons said...

    I saw the video of Blanks’ inside-the-park homer and thought, “Where was the Cubs’ right fielder?  He should have been able to get to the ball before Fukudome tracked it down.”  Then I saw the RF was Milton Bradley.  ‘Nuff said.

    And I like the Moyer-to-English conversion stuff, Craig.

  4. Greg Simons said...

    I was typing my comment as Kelly’s and Jeff Polman’s were posted.  I’m feeling a bit redundant right now.  Again.

  5. Mark said...

    “My boy falls for the “I got your nose” trick, and even he wouldn’t buy anyone’s anti-Mauer argument at this point.”

    Tee hee! Well played, Craig.

  6. Jack Marshall said...

    I remember from my old Strat-O-Matic teams that if you played Bill Cunningham, a semi-regular outfielder-third baseman at third (instead of Heinie Groh, who hit .265), the World Champion 1922 Giants also had an all.300 hitting line up: C-Frank Snyder, .343; 1B-George Kelly,.328; 2b, Frankie Frisch, .327; 3b, Cunningham, .328; ss, Dave Bancroft,.321; LF, Irish Meusal,.331; CF Casey Stengal,.368; RF, Ross Youngs, .331.

    Including Stengal, this line-up had five future HOF-ers, though Kelly, Bancroft and Youngs are much derided selectees. I also remember that damn team couldn’t beat any of the later pennant winners. No power, shallow pitching. The ‘27 Yankees especially ate their lunch.

  7. DonCoburleone said...

    But Craig, Tex has 86 RBI’s!  86!  Do you know how many runs knocked in that is? 86!  His team has the best record in the major leagues! THE-BEST-RECORD.  And the defense he plays! You can’t even imagine how good his defense is in person! His glove can CURE CANCER Craig!  How can you overlook the fact that his glove CURES CANCER?

  8. Jason B said...

    “instead of Heinie Groh, who hit .265…”

    I’m glad we have advanced to the point of not regularly naming people using slang terms for the buttocks.  Say what you want about our strides in gender equality, civil rights, and the like, but this is an even bigger step for our culture and our country.  It rivals the advent of the space age and advances like fiber optics and microprocessors.

    Although part of me thinks those early-to-mid 90’s Braves teams would have been better off with Buttcheeks Blauser and Poop-factory Pendleton.

  9. APBA Guy said...

    The A’s return to their 2009 norm last night, featuring the Perfecta: errors by Adam Kennedy (2 in 43 games at 3rd) and Mark Ellis (2 in 62 at 2nd). Also noteworthy was the night’s beanball/retaliation, Sabathia style.

    A-Rod got plunked inadvertantly above his his elbow guard by Mazzaro in the 1st. In the bottom of the inning, Sabathia, a Northern California native, threw behind Suzuki, taking care not to hit him. Both benches were warned.

    Sabathia then threw a “fogive me” cupcake (at 95 mph, but the proverbial down the middle), which Suzuki obligingly deposited into the bleachers.

    That’s the last generous offering from the Yankees, but the A’s seemingly numb from the previous night’s shutout, committed 4 errors (although one on Garciaparra should not have been ruled an error: a diving attempted stop to his right after 3 steps).

    The Yanks have hit no homeruns at the Mausoleum, but quickly adjusted to the space after Monday and smashed numerous gap shots to win handily.

  10. Daniel said...

    Quick!  Someone go check on Rob and Chad Lowe to make sure they’re okay!  You never know with those out of work actors…

  11. mike in brooklyn said...

    Other members of the conclave?  I would guess Jerry Jones, Doctor Doom, and some rep from the O’Malley family.

  12. Gerry said...

    Not sure how you get those counts of ballplayers hitting 300. Certainly not ballplayers qualifying for the championship – the 1930 Cardinals only had 6 guys with 400+ at-bats. You have to go down to 227 at-bats to pick up 10 guys hitting 300, and if you’re going down that far you may as well go down to 100 at-bats and pick up two more hitters, for a total of 12.

    You have to go down to 130 at-bats to get 10 guys on the 1927 Athletics.

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