And That Happened

Cardinals 5, Brewers 1: Albert Pujols hits two homers and Adam Wainwright throws seven shutout innings to claim his 18th win. Tony La Russa was asked after the game if Pujols should win the MVP. What’s Tony say? “Those are the kind of questions that are distracting and I don’t answer them.” Pujols is hitting .331 with 47 homers and 124 RBIs and is the most important player to the St. Louis Cardinals since Musial retired and you can’t go way the hell out on a limb to say that, yeah, in your considered opinion he’s the MVP? Christ on a crutch, Tony, this is why so many people can’t stand you.

Diamondbacks 4, Dodgers 3: L.A. walks in the winning run– or losing run, depending on how you view these things — in the ninth. Before the winning/losing walk, however, there was a runner on third, and Torre offered intentional passes to two Dbacks to load the bases. I’ve never understood that move, especially with less than two outs. Colorado is 2.5 back.

Astros 2, Braves 1: I’m guessing that after this one, Javier Vazquez took young Tommy Hanson aside and told him that this is just how pitching for the 2009 Braves goes, ya know? Eight innings, no runs, no walks, seven strikeouts, no decision and the team loses because they simply can’t score any runs. Oh, and Rafael Soriano is a shell of whatever he was for those handful of games over the past couple of years when he actually looked good. Bobby Cox: sit everyone down who has a future with this team, play out the rest of the season with whatever organizational soldiers you can muster, and regroup for 2010.

Marlins 6, Mets 3: The Mets took their team photo before the game, with Jose Reyes, Johan Santana and Carlos Delgado in uniform. I hope the stadium was closed to the fans at the time, because if not, that’s pretty damn cruel, ain’t it?

Twins 4, Blue Jays 1: After a stellar start his last time out, Roy Halladay’s nightmare second half continues. Well, nightmare is a relative term — he pitched well despite taking the loss — but when Carl Pavano outshines you, it’s not your best day. The crowd — 11,159 — was the smallest in the 20-year history of Rogers Centre/Sky Dome. In the Jays’ defense, the Leafs’ rookie team was playing a preseason game in Kitchener last night.

Red Sox 7, Orioles 5: A pinch hit, three-run double from Victor Martinez helps the Sox maintain their two-game lead over Texas. And if you’ll pardon the partisanship here, allow me to say that in light of the thirteen pitchers used and the 3:41 it took for this nine-inning affair, I’m rooting like hell that the Rangers eke these guys out so that I can get to bed at a decent hour once the playoffs start.

Phillies 6, Nationals 5: And your closer is . . . Ryan Madson. This despite the fact that Manuel sorta kinda put his support behind Lidge on Tuesday night. Having Manuel say that and then send Madson out is the baseball equivalent of having your boss tell you how much he likes you and then turning around and deactivating your keycard.

Padres 4, Giants 2: If the Giants want to look anywhere when trying to figure out why they never caught the Rockies this year, they can look at their 6-9 record against the Padres. Heath Bell is tied for the league lead with 27 saves. Not bad for a team currently in a dogfight to avoid last place.

Yankees 4, Rays 2: Another one of those silly three-inning Joba Chamberlain starts doesn’t prevent the Yankees from handing the Rays their eighth straight loss. And oh yeah, Jeter tied Gehrig for the team lead in hits. I know no one is really tracking that, so I thought I’d remind everyone.

Cubs 8, Pirates 5: Carlos Zambrano wins for the first time since July 22nd as the Pirates just go through the motions and their fans await Steelers and Penguins season.

Rangers 10, Indians 0: I’m guessing Marlon Byrd would like to hit against Cleveland every day (2-4, HR 4 RBI). Esteban German, too, as he went 5 for 5. Fausto Carmona lasted two whole thirds of an inning, and from the looks of him, if the Indians are planning on entering spring training 2010 counting on him to be in the rotation, they’re deluding themselves.

Rockies 4, Reds 3: The Reds take the lead on a Scott Rolen homer in the top of the ninth, but lose it on a Francisco Cordero meltdown in the bottom of the ninth.

Royals 5, Tigers 1: Break up the Royals, as they’ve won three in a row. Verlander takes the loss, which is relevant only insofar as it relates to his Cy Young chances. Fernando Rodney probably has a beef with the suspension he was given, but one wonders why he didn’t just accept it and sit these games out against the Royals. He appealed, however, and allowed himself the opportunity to give up three runs on two hits with a walk in a basically meaningless game.

White Sox 4, Athletics 3: Tons of zeros put up by the bullpens in this 13-inning affair. Octavio Dotel’s three scoreless innings to end it were the most important.

Angels 6, Mariners 3: Jered Weaver allows two runs in six and a third, and the Angels, unlike the Dodgers, keep their lead over the upstart team behind them.

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  1. TJ said...

    Re: LaRussa not calling for a Pujols’ MVP trophy, would that not lead naturally to a discussion on who should get the Cy?  And that would certainly be a distraction, at least one stumbles badly.

  2. Randy said...

    The Sox were only party to blame for the length of game. Baltimore used 7 pitchers to Boston’s 6 (counting starters) and Trembley played the matchups while it was a 4-4 game. (Didn’t work, but at least he tried to win the game rather than ride out the string.)

    But, 3:41 for a Sox fan is actually a pretty tight game, so no complaints here.

  3. Jason B said...

    I think tubby ol’ Heath Bell has 37 saves, not 27.  NL wild card seems essentially decided, no? It seems more a question of who between the Rox and Dodgers will win the west and who will be left with the wild card.

  4. lar said...

    It should be noted that, in yesterday’s game, Tony La Russa used two different relievers in each of the 8th and 9th innings. The Cards were up 5-0 in the 8th and 5-1 in the 9th, and it’s not like the Brewers had just scored umpteen runs in the previous two games…

    But it’s okay, because Tony La Russa uses hairspray and no one ever called him a sissy…

  5. themarksmith said...

    Hanson was absolutely awesome. Just something to add, Berkman swung at a slider in the dirt—the dirt 4 feet in front of the plate. That’s how nasty he was last night. Otherwise, I just want to go hide in a hole somewhere. This has just been heartbreaking lately.

  6. Daniel said...

    As an Angels fan, it’s tough.  On the one hand, it’s nice when the Rangers lose, because given the Angels’ September track record, any help in winning the division is welcome.

    On the other hand, what good will it do when the Angels win the division only to play the *$#&^ing Red Sox in the ALDS.

    I’m a competitive guy.  If someone beats me, I want to play them again to prove that I can beat them.  But once they’ve beaten me 5 times in a row, I’m going to play someone else (if I can).

  7. APBA Guy said...

    Anyone notice Jered Weaver is 15-5? That’s pretty good, though maybe not as surprising as College of San Mateo alumnus Scott Feldman at 16-4.

    You see, this is the kind of thing you follow when you are an A’s fan right now. How is anyone doing who is tangentially connected to either the Bay Area or the State of California, especially when they are doing well.

    It’s fun to watch the Angels because Moreno runs a beautiful operation. The stands are full, the team plays well, they win consistently. And it wasn’t always like that. The owner can make a positive difference sometimes.

    AJ was feeling it last night, hitting the ball hard almost every at bat. It’s no surprise he hit the game winner for the White Sox. But poor Jermaine Dye (of Vacaville, CA), he looked absolutely lost. 0-6 last night, hitting a Giambi like .177 or something since the break. His OPS over the past week is .435. Sad.

    Geren did a Joba like 3 innings with Trevor Cahill last night. The suspicion is that he’ll do that with him and Brett Anderson for the rest of September as both are nearing the 20% above career high in IP.

  8. Joe said...

    The major issue with Soriano is that he’s been used in the last 4 games (with an off day sandwiched in between those 4). The extent to which him and Gonzalez have been overused this season is embarrassing

  9. ecp said...

    Not only did Yuniesky Betancourt take a walk last night, he too another in today’s game.  That’s four games in a row.  Shall we start a pool?  How many games in a row can Yuni take a walk?

    If somebody says five, I’m taking the unders.

  10. Craig Calcaterra said...

    Yeah. Nothing was really speaking to me today. And I was kind of tired.  Some days it just doesn’t roll.

  11. Chris H. said...

    Can we now close the book on the whole Torre-is-a-brilliant-manager thing?  I watched the end of the Dodgers game trying to figure out what the hell Torre was thinking.  When the winning run was walked in, it seemed like poetic justice to me.

    Bonus points: with a man on first and third, Torre issues the walk to Upton.  After Reynolds is walked to drive in the winning run, Rick Sutcliffe talks about the decision to walk Upton: “It’s a risky move, but it does give you a chance to get two outs with one pitch.”

    Um, Rick?  There was already a guy on first.  The double-play was already set up.

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