And That Happenedby Craig Calcaterra
September 13, 2012
Brewers 8, Braves 2; Phillies 3, Marlins 1; Padres 3, Cardinals 2: Um, yeah, this keeps happening. The Cardinals, beneficiaries of an epic collapse by the Braves last year are themselves collapsing. And Philly and Milwaukee look like they'll never lose again. Just insanity in the NL Wild Card race these days. It's kinda great. Well, unless you're a Cardinals fan. And really, the Braves shouldn't be too smug in the first Wild Card slot either. The way they've been scuffling offensively lately, they look primed to be bounced in a one-game playoff.
Orioles 3, Rays 2: Walkoff hit from Nate McLouth that was technically a single, and a pretty kickass play from Manny Machado and J.J. Hardy. Smell that? Smells like ... destiny.
Yankees 5, Red Sox 4: The Yankees hold on, however, despite almost blowing a 5-1 lead and despite losing Derek Jeter to a bone bruise in his ankle. If it's any consolation, the Orioles seem to keep getting better after injuries to key players, so maybe the Yankees will eventually too. Um, OK, maybe not. Trying to look on the bright side of things here, people.
Tigers 8, White Sox 6: Detroit had an 8-1 lead in the eighth and almost woofed it away, but they held on. A Prince Fielder three-run homer gave the Tigers some breathing room early. The Tigers are now only one game back of the Chisox.
Nationals 2, Mets 0: See, I TOLD you it would be disaster for the Nats to sit Strasburg! See what happened?! John Lannan goes out there filling in for Strasburg and ... um, what? Five and two-thirds shutout innings? Um, OK, as you were. (But seriously; call me when it's not the Mets).
Rangers 5, Indians 2: Homers from Beltre and Hamilton! Injuries to Beltre and Hamilton! Ambivalence and creeping dread among the Rangers fan base!
Reds 2, Pirates 1: Pittsburgh is still a half game up on the surging Phillies and Brewers and a mere two and a half behind St. Louis, but I wouldn't give a pair of fetid dingo's kidneys for their playoff chances. Would you?
Mariners 3, Blue Jays 2: Miguel Olivo hit a home run, Kevin Millwood won his second straight start and Rickey Romero loses his 13th straight decision. It's like it was Improbability Night at Rogers Centre.
Cubs 5, Astros 1: A scary moment for Mickey Storey, as a comebacker got him in the face. Initial reports are that the injuries are minor, but as we've learned this past week, initial reports should not be taken at face value when it comes to people being hit in the head with baseballs.
Royals 10, Twins 5: Country Breakfast drove in three and Salvador Perez smacked a homer.
Athletics 4, Angels 1: After getting swept by the Angels last week, after facing a seven-game road trip against the frisky Mariners and the these same Angels and after losing one of their pitchers to a freaking skull fracture, everyone expected the A's fairytale season to end. Nope. The A's keep rolling, winning their sixth in a row. Their schedule ahead remains brutal -- they finish the season with one more against the Angels in this series today and then face the Orioles, Tigers, Yankees, Rangers, Mariners and then the Rangers once again -- but man this has been astounding to see.
Giants 8, Rockies 3: Tim Lincecum provided a workmanlike six innnings, allowing three runs, which for 2012 Tim Lincecum is pretty darn good. Three hits for Marco Scutaro, who has turned out to be a fantastic pickup for the Giants. Their lead in the west is now seven.
Diamondbacks 3, Dodgers 2: Like Pittsburgh, the Dodgers are in it if you look at the standings, but they're not in it if you look into your heart. They've lost six of seven and remain only a game out of the Wild Card, but really, where is the sunshine here? What about their play lately gives anyone any confidence that they can turn this around? Serious question.
Craig writes the HardballTalk blog for NBC Sports.com