Wednesday, May 04, 2011
And That HappenedPosted by Craig Calcaterra
Twins 1, White Sox 0: The no-no! Francisco Liriano came into the game with a 9+ ERA and his job on the line and he didn't allow a hit. It wasn't the most dominant no hitter you'll ever see. He walked six guys, only struck out two and threw 123 pitches, but it doesn't really matter. Liriano had never even had a complete game before. This is the kind of thing that makes baseball beautiful. A team and a player, both of which are having a crappy year, can have one night where everything is perfect. You play every day, and every day there's the possibility for something wonderful.
Rays 3, Blue Jays 2: And that, my friends, is B.J. Upton. Belt-high fastball with zilch movement from Jon Rauch turns into a walkoff job.
Diamondbacks 4, Rockies 3: It wasn't a walkoff, but Justin Upton joined his brother in the game-winning homer club, his coming in the eighth. My brother and I talked on the phone with each other and complained about how we get aches and pains for seemingly no reason anymore. And can't sleep through the night without having to wake up and pee. So it was almost the same.
Phillies 4, Nationals 1: Cole Hamels allowed only five hits. Raul Ibanez broke his 0-for-gajillion streak with a couple of doubles. Jayson Werth, in his return to Philly, was getting booed when he came to the plate, then he stopped and tipped his cap to the crowd. Then the boos quickly turned into cheers. I can't decide if that's beautiful or if the Phillies fans' lack of conviction on the matter is mock-worthy.
Astros 10, Reds 4: Since their four-game losing streak ended on April 20th, the Reds have alternated wins and losses every day ... until last night, when they lost their second in a row. On ESPN.com, the team schedule lists wins in green and losses in red. As Lt. Giardello used to tell the homicide unit: there's a lot of red on that board.
Red Sox 7, Angels 3: Jon Lester vs. Dan Haren was something to look forward to. So of course I missed it because I had 18 things to do and then decided to watch the Liriano no hitter once I was able to turn my attention to TV. Lester got the better of it, striking out 11 in seven innings, holding the Sox close in a 1-0 ballgame before they helped him out with seven runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth.
Giants 7, Mets 6: Mets jumped out to a 3-0 lead and blew it, took a 5-4 lead and blew it and then battled back to make it 6-6 and send it into extras. Then Aubrey Huff went yard in the 10th, ending a personal 0 for 20 slump.
Tigers 4, Yankees 2: Detroit snaps a seven-game losing streak. Scott Sizemore gets three hits and drives in a run in his first action since being called up from Toledo. Lots of people thrive when they leave Toledo.
Cubs 4, Dodgers 1: Going forward, unless someone hits four homers or something, Andre Ethier's hitting streak is what we're going to care about most in Dodgers games. So: yes, he got a hit, so he's at 29. More improbable than an extended hitting streak was Carlos Pena actually putting good wood on the ball, but he did that too with a homer.
Padres 6, Pirates 5: Speaking of "good wood" this one was helped along by some bad wood. Specifically, bad Brandon Wood who, after reaching second base with one out in the ninth decided to try to take third on a pitch in the dirt but was thrown out. Clint Hurdle's opinion of the play: "You're already in scoring position and if you're safe, we're all happy. But he pushed the envelope a little bit. At times you have to be smart, so when you're out at third like that, it never looks good."
Mariners 4, Rangers 3: The M's have won six of seven and -- get this -- while still in last place in the West, are only two games back of co-leaders Anaheim and Texas.
Indians 4, Athletics 1: Key series for the Indians, as they have to prove that they can be more consistent on the road and that they can beat good pitching. So far so good, as they take this one for their seventh straight victory. Strong outing for Fausto Carmona, who gave up only the one run in eight innings of work.
Royals 6, Orioles 5: A game-winning sac fly by Jeff Francoeur in the 10th. He also had the homer that tied the game for Kansas City to send it to extras. He's at .315/.362/.604 with 7 homers and 23 RBI on the year. But no, I am not yet preparing my hat for consumption purposes.
Cardinals 7, Marlins 5: Daniel Descalso hit a go-ahead three-run shot in the seventh inning -- his first ever homer -- to give this one to St. Louis. On the less-than-bright side, Albert Pujols was 0-for-5, hit into his 10th double play of the year and stranded eight runners. Hurm. I still think he'll bust out of it, but man, if he doesn't, and turns in a poor year by his standards, it only makes the free agent stuff harder for the Cardinals, doesn't it? It's one thing to commit a boatload of cash to the best player in baseball. But do you commit a boatload to one who you're not sure will continue to be elite? Because it's not like one bad year will cut his demands down to 3/$30 million or something.
Brewers vs. Braves: POSTPONED: Don't come around here no more, bringing me all of your bad rain. Can't you see I've got troubles of my own. I ain't got time to be messing with all of your bad rain. Why in the world can't you just leave that stuff alone?
Craig writes the HardballTalk blog for NBC Sports.com