And That Happenedby Craig Calcaterra
May 02, 2013
Mets 7, Marlins 6: Jordany Valdespin hit a pinch-hit three run homer in the sixth to put the Mets up to stay, breaking their six-game losing streak. But Terry Collins is on the hot seat! No he isn't! Yes he is! She's my daughter! [slap] My sister! [slap!] My daughter ...
Nationals 2, Braves 0: The Nats finally break through against the Braves. Biggest reason: the best kept secret in baseball: Jordan Zimmermann's awesomeness. Why that's a secret I don't know, but ask 100 baseball fans to name the Nats rotation I bet his name is listed after Strasburg and Gonzalez by almost everyone, and I bet some folks even forget it. His numbers may be a tad inflated so far this season because four of his six outings have come against the Marlins-Marlins-Cubs-Mets, but he's a legit stud. Maybe the most underrated starter in the NL.
Twins 6, Tigers 2: Anibal Sanchez was coming off a 17-strikeout performance against the Braves but here he didn't really have it. "It" being either his best stuff or an opponent that would swing at it if the pitcher putted it up to home plate. Scott Diamond was sharp. The Twins showed when facing Bruce Rondon that you can throw it 100 miles per hour, but it don't mean nothin' if it doesn't have any movement.
Pirates 6, Brewers 4: Pittsburgh finally takes one at Miller Park. Four runs in the eighth thanks to Starling Marte's two-run homer and RBI singles from Brandon Inge and Pedro Alvarez. John Axford blew up here, giving the Brewers their first loss this season when leading after seven. Shades of 2012.
Angels 5, Athletics 4: Mark Trumbo has been a bright spot at least. Three homers in three days for the big guy. He also leads the league in mixed metaphors:
"It was probably more of a nail-biter than we would have liked. This team hangs around and they'll find a way to get back in it if you let them. You just have to keep your foot on the gas pedal and try to pound them into submission before they get their second wind."
I hate it when people hit me with gas pedals when I'm trying to breathe.
Indians 6, Phillies 0: Ryan Raburn went 4 for 5 and is hitting .364/.407/.655. Because that makes sense. The Indians have won four straight, outscoring their opponents 39-5. The Phillies send Halladay and Lee into a two-game series and get outscored 20-2. That's something that would have made no sense a year ago at this time. Heck, it still makes little sense.
Cardinals 4, Reds 2: Lance Lynn is 5-0 and has won 10 straight decisions. He also got a hit and laid down "a perfect bunt" which he said after the game was what he was most happy about. Pitchers batting is adorable.
Yankees 5, Astros 4: Over at IIATMS, Jason is keeping tabs of how big the Yankees' disabled list-only payroll is right now. It's up to $95 million. Yet the Yankees are still winning ballgames. Later this year some manager on the hot seat is gonna start whining about all the injuries he's had to deal with. He'll say it's "not an excuse," but he really will be offering it as an excuse. When he does, I hope Johnny Sportswriter asks him why his injuries have kept him out of contention while the Yankees are still in the thick of the AL East race.
Cubs 6, Padres 2: Scott Feldman goes the distance, striking out 12 and allowing only two runs. Andrew Cashner -- the Cubs' first round pick back in 2008 -- faces his old coworkers and doesn't make it into the fifth inning.
Red Sox 10, Blue Jays 1: Clay Buchholz throws seven shutout innings and improves to 6-0. Two homers for Mike Napoli, one of which travelled multiple parsecs.
White Sox 5, Rangers 2: Texas had its chances against Chris Sale in the first couple of innings but didn't take full advantage of all of its baserunners. Slenderman -- which if people aren't calling Sale that now, they really should be -- settled down and didn't allow anything after that. Conor Gillaspie and Alejandro De Axa homered in the seventh.
Giants 9, Diamondbacks 6: The comeback kids: the Giants rally against the Arizona bullpen for the third straight game to sweep the Gritties. Brandon Belt had a three-run homer. I haven't watched many Giants games this year, but it feel like Belt has had a lot of big late hits for a guy whose batting line is rather blah overall.
Rockies 7, Dodgers 3: I suppose it's possible the Rockies can keep winning despite getting meh performances from their starting pitchers, but I just don't feel like it's likely. Juan Nicasio only went four innings, but the bats -- and Dexter Fowler's glove, robbing Adrian Gonzalez of a dinger -- picked him up. This game lasted nearly four hours. You won't be surprised to learn that Josh Beckett was starting for the Dodgers.
Royals 9, Rays 8: The Rays led 6-1 after three and a half, but Kansas City scored one in the fourth, two in the fifth and five in the sixth. After the game, Jeff Francoeur explained why the Royals feel like they can always come back from deficits:
"Our goal is to get the first one or two guys on every inning and then let whatever is going to happen, happen," Francoeur said. "Tonight, we were able to do that."
Jeff Francoeur: on base percentage guru.
Mariners 8, Orioles 3: Seattle has taken five of seven. Michael Morse hit his third homer in four games. After the game Eric Wedge provided his bosses with a baseline which can help them better decide if he needs to be fired later:
"I feel like our guys have taken significant steps and what you are seeing now is more the norm in regard to what our guys are capable of."
Awfully courteous of him.
Craig writes the HardballTalk blog for NBC Sports.com