Friday, May 13, 2011
And That HappenedPosted by Craig Calcaterra
Indians 3, Blue Jays 0: Amazing! A perfect game for Len Barker! It was cold and damp at Municipal Stadium last night, so it must have been hard to hit anyway, but regardless, Barker's stuff was incredible. He never even reached ball three against any Blue Jay hitter. This Barker looks so fantastic that I'd be fine with my Braves trading away, oh, Brett Butler, Brook Jacoby, Rick Behenna and $150,000 cash for him two years from now.
At least I assume this game happened last night, as it was on the channel that normally broadcasts Indians games around here. I watched it and, because it is my job, I dutifully report it to you. Gotta admit, though: it's strange that the Blue Jays would sign Danny Ainge at this point. He's 52-years-old for cryin' out loud.
Mets 9, Rockies 5: Carlos Beltran. Carlos Beltran. Carlos Beltran. 3 for 5, 3 HR, 6 RBI. And I assume that there are still Mets fans who think he's one of the team's big problems. For Colorado: Ubaldo Jimenez walked six in three and two-thirds.
Orioles 2, Mariners 1: Wow! Both starters -- Jason Vargas and Zach Britton -- shut out the opposition for nine innings and neither got a decision. Then, after Seattle finally broke through for a run in the top of the 12th, Baltimore strikes back with a single, two straight hit batsmen (really, Brandon League?) and a walkoff RBI single by J.J. Hardy. Thirty-year-old perfect games are great and all, but I'm kind of pissed I didn't watch this one. I don't know what it was like live, but I've got a pretty good sense of box scores, and this one reads like a ton of fun for pitching and randomness junkies like me.
Braves 6, Nationals 5: There were times in both of the first two games of this series when I said to myself "man, the Braves had a chance to win this, and blew it." In this one all I could say is "the Braves had no business winning this one but did." Or maybe they did in some ass backwards way inasmuch as Martin Prado and Brian McCann and a host of other talented Braves hitters could not be expected to continue to not come through as often as they have not come through in key spots so far this year (believe me; as I write that sentence on Thursday evening, it makes sense to me). Anyway, a Prado grand slam tied things up in the seventh and a Brian McCann RBI single in the 10th won it, averting the sweep at the hands of the pesky Nats.
Royals 11, Yankees 5: A good old fashioned woodshedding. This series win for Kansas City has to make some of us who have been assuming the Royals will simply wither and die take heed. They beat the crap out of the ball, and holding the Yankees to 11 runs in three games in their home park is pretty impressive in its own right. Oh, and Eric Hosmer: 3 for 5, 2B, HR and 3 RBI.
Giants 3, Diamondbacks 2: Matt Cain allowed two runs on seven hits in seven and two-thirds. And check out this throw by Nate Schierholtz to nail Gerardo Parra trying to stretch a single into a double. Mercy. That's six straight wins for San Francisco.
Rays 7, Indians 4: I hit this one up yesterday. Rather strange to have a day-night double header with two different teams, but whatever. Kind of shocked not see Joe Charboneau play both ends of this one.
Cardinals 9, Cubs 1: Another great start for Jaime Garcia, who ups his record to 5-0 with a 1.89 ERA. Not too strong for Casey Coleman, who continues to be a disaster. Jon Jay fills in for Lance Berkman in right and goes 3 for 6 with a double and 3 RBI. Maybe it's just something about right field on the Cardinals this year. Either way, doppelganger Tony La Russa approves.
Dodgers vs. Pirates: POSTPONED: I try to tie all of these into a rain theme of some sort, and the first thing that popped into my head here was "I bless the rains down in Africa" from the Toto song "Africa." Which then led me to find this wonderful, irony-drenched cover of "Africa" by Low. And no, no amount of irony can atone for lyrics like "sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti." Note to simile writers: when the thing you're comparing something to (Olympus) is less impressive than the thing you're comparing (Kilimanjaro), your simile has failed.
Craig writes the HardballTalk blog for NBC Sports.com