And That Happened

Twins 3, Tigers 2; Tigers 6, Twins 5: Porcello and Blackburn were each tough in game one, but Verlander wasn’t matched by Duensing in Game 2, putting his team in a 5-0 hole. A seriously long day for these two teams, and despite all of the drama, now they’re back (back) where they started, here they go ’round again. Day after day they get up and they’ll say, they have to do it again. Two more times.

Marlins 5, Braves 4: A three run homer from Matt Diaz to tie it up in the 6th had me dancing the dance of joy, but the Braves just couldn’t get over. When Chipper hit into that double play in the ninth all the air came out of the room. They can’t win every damn game, even if it seems like they can lately. The Rockies have to lose once in a while.

Rockies 7, Brewers 5: Crap, they didn’t lose. At first I was all prepared to write this one up as a 5-2 Rockies win last night when all of a sudden Kendall hit that three-run homer off Street. Jason effin’ Kendall. WATFO? But then Chris Iannetta does it his own self? Mercy. Oh well, I still have that NL East pipe dream I was harboring for a couple of hours yesterday . . .

Phillies 7, Astros 4: Double crap. I suppose it was too much to ask the Astros to lay the smackdown on the defending champs. The Phillies’ magic number is now one.

Reds 7, Cardinals 2: Jay Bruce hit two home runs. Homer Bailey pitched well. Joey Votto blasted one. This is sort of how Cincinnati drew it up in 2008 or so. Better late than never, I suppose. And the hot finish is likely enough to keep Reds’ fans warm over the winter.

Blue Jays 8, Red Sox 7: Take that, Jay Bruce: Adam Lind hit three home runs. Take that Adam Lind: Papelbon plunked Lind on the elbow his last time up. Classy as ever, Jonathan. The Red Sox clinched the wild card when the Rangers lost later in the evening (see below), but they really can’t be happy with this last week. Five straight losses. A circa late-July, early-August Clay Buchholz performance. Anaheim won’t lose to Boston in the first round forever, you know, and this year is looking pretty ripe for a change of pace.

Cubs 6, Pirates 0: I know he had the shutout going, but I’d like to think that at least a small part of the reason Lou Piniella left Dempster in there to finish the game was to show John Russell that the home crowd will give a pitcher a standing ovation even after the ballgame is over.

Rays 3, Orioles 1: Twelve straight losses for the O’s. There hasn’t been this much carnage in Baltimore since Junior Bunk opened fire in the squad room at the end of season six.

Nationals 4, Mets 3: Break up the Nats, who have won two in a row. They count as wins, even if they come at the expense of the Mets.

Yankees 4, Royals 3: The Cardinals clinched and have gone on a big slide. The Yankees clinched and haven’t lost since. This has to be a good sign, right? Let us consult some teams who entered the playoffs on a hot streak: 2005, 2006 and 2007 Yankees, what say you? Hmmm, they’re not answering. Maybe we should talk to some teams who stumbled to the end of the regular season: 2005 White Sox, 2006 Cardinals and 2007 Red Sox, wasn’t it a nightmare entering the playoffs with no momentum?

Angels 5, Rangers 2: Good night Rangers. All the more depressing for Rangers fans to have it happen against a second string Angels lineup and a spot starter. At the beginning of the season I picked the Rangers to win the west. Based on everyone else’s picks, I was pretty much alone in thinking they’d do anything. Well, they did a lot, and they have nothing to be ashamed of. There’s a good foundation here and a good future. They will be back.

Padres 3, Dodgers 1: I suppose they’ll clinch eventually, but in the meantime, losing a lot of games to the Padres and Pirates of the world can’t feel too nice. And really, between St. Louis, Los Angeles, and Philly, is there any NL team that wants to at least act like they have a shot in the postseason? Poor effort down the stretch, division leaders, really poor effort.

Giants 8, Diamondbacks 4: Those two home runs by Bengie Molina probably bought him another million in contract negotiations with Brian Sabean (but not any sane GM the Giants could hire or who works for another team). Probably bought Buster Posey another month in AAA or on the pine, too. Bruce Bochy: “We don’t know what’s going to happen and Bengie doesn’t know what’s going to happen. I do know he’s done a great job here. We wouldn’t be in this position … without Bengie.” What position is that, Bruce? Outside of the playoffs looking in despite a superior pitching staff by virtue of you having black holes every where you look on offense?

Mariners 6, Athletics 4: Did we see our last ever Ken Griffey, Jr. home run in this one? If so, the circumstances — a three-run job against a kid who was a year old when Junior debuted, at home, that essentially put the game away — is a fine way to go out. 628.

White Sox vs. Indians: Postponed: They could cancel it outright, but then they’d deprive the Indians of the dozens of dollars they stand to make in beer and hot dog sales during the makeup game later today.

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  1. MooseinOhio said...

    I suspect Papelbon is in the AJ Pierzynski category in that you hate him if he’s on another team and like him (hate him less) if he is on your own team.

    I would not be shocked to see the Red Sox trade Paps in the off-season, resign Wagner for one year allowing Bard to get more seasoning pitching the 8th inning before making him the closer in two years.

  2. Kevin S. said...

    Yeah, the 2000 Yanks backed into the playoffs so hard they should have had a beeper on, then won the damn thing.  I guess I should take solice in the ‘07 Rockies?  I’ll take a return to the Series at this point – one thing at a time.

  3. Ross said...

    Do we have to put an asterisk next to Dempster’s shutout totals because one came against the Pirates?  Isn’t that the same as steroids?  /sarcasm end

  4. Steve A said...

    @Rob²  We may never know if Paps purposely threw at Lind (I think he did).  However, there’s no way he could risk a suspension or injury (in the case of a brawl) this late in a playoff-bound year by purposely throwing at a batter with obvious intent.  He needs to hide it in some fashion, and I think he did a good enough job in the eyes of the umpires and MLB.

    Tonight’s game will be interesting to see if the Jays go after a Red Sox batter, though.

  5. Kevin S. said...

    Ooh, maybe they can throw an eye-high pitch to Youkilis, after which he’ll sprawl in the dirt, cry like a little bitch, then charge the mound with a weapon and somehow get the pitcher suspended for the same length of time he was.

  6. Dan said...

    I just watched the highlights on MLB Network, and Lind had it coming.  His second home run was the slowest home run trot I can recall (outside of one or two Big Papi trots and Manny’s home run trot at the end of the 2007 ALDS).  I don’t doubt the pitch was intentional, but it was meant for his ribs and ended up hitting his elbow due to Lind’s effort to get out of the way, as someone mentioned above.

  7. MikeS said...

    Although they slumped a little in August and September, the 2005 White Sox won the last 5 games of the year, including 3 games against Cleveland that the tribe neede and were meaningless for the Sox.

  8. luke said...

    You’re right, Craig – best strategy would be for the yanks to lose as many games as possible before the playoffs start.  In related news, the 125-50 1998 team answered when I called them.  They sounded happy.

  9. Carlos said...

    Something tells me we haven’t seen the last of Ken Griffey Jr. There’s some buzz around Seattle to bring him back for one more season.

  10. Jack Marshall said...

    The only reason to believe that Papelbon hit Lind intentionally is that Pap is a moron. The Sox had just rallied to close within one run…it would have been certifiable not to try to get a clean 1-2-3 inning. Thus Jerry Remy argued passionately that it was a mistake. But Pap IS a moron…

  11. Craig Calcaterra said...

    I think it may have jumped the shark before that, Will. Falzone and that whole next generation of detectives were bad news. I liked Kellermann, but Sivers and the rest? Ugh. Especially in the last season.

  12. Will said...

    Perhaps you’re right, Craig. The show went downhill after Jon Polito left. And then Ned Beatty.

    But, oh, how I hated Kellerman. He gave us the all-time stupid story arc in the show. “What are you going to do, Detective, read me my rights?”

  13. APBA Guy said...

    Not mentioned in the A’s story was how effective Cy Young Candidate Felix “The King” Hernandez was against a hot-hitting A’s lineup. Well, hot, but powerless.

    The King threw 7.2 IP allowing 2 ER, but a not impressive 4BB and 4K.

    His problem is really that the argument for Sabathia over Greinke applies equally to Felix also:
    non-factor team, non- AL East, etc..

    While The King’s win total is better than Greinke, we all know about wins as an indicator of a pitcher’s effectiveness. I say “we all” to refer to readers of Shysterball and related blogs, not the actual voters.

    And his 18 wins are still less than Sabathia’s 19, and only a bit better than Greinke at 16. Whereas Greinke has a .42 advantage in ERA of 2.06 to The King’s 2.48.

    The thing that impresses me the most about the King is that he is this good at 23. He’s younger than Lincecum (25), Cain (24), Buchholz (25), Lester (25), Joba (24), etc..

    The age thing has no Cy bearing, it’s just impressive on it’s own.

  14. Kevin S. said...

    The question is though, is Felix’s age somewhat mitigated by his experience?  We’d expect a 23 y.o. in his fourth year in the league to outperform a pitcher of the same age in his second year, no?  Though obviously reaching the majors before your twentieth birthday is eminently impressive.

  15. Daniel said...

    Also, APBA Guy, pitchers tend to wear down with mileage, not necessarily age.  So even while its impressive that Hernandez is this good at 23, he may break down by age 30 while those other guys last until 31 or 32. 

    That’s all speculative of course, and Hernandez certainly does possess a greater potential for long-term success, but you never know with pitchers.

  16. Rob² said...

    I don’t think the plunking was obviously intentional.  It was inside and had a lot of movement, but it hit Lind in part by virtue of the way he twisted to avoid the pitch.  He kind of corkscrewed his way around, and tucked his elbow in as the ball hit it.  Had he lifted his elbows instead, it wouldn’t have looked so bad.

    If Papelbon wants to hit a guy to send a message, he doesn’t have to be so cute;  He can put it right square in the guy’s back.

  17. Laura said...

    You mentioned yesterday that you wanted to know if anything interesting happened in the unimportant games.

    Brian Roberts broke the record for doubles by a switch hitter with his 56th double.

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