Monday, July 18, 2011
And That HappenedPosted by Craig Calcaterra
Reds 3, Cardinals 1: I spent my Sunday near Cincinnati. Not in Cincinnati, but just north of it, at the Kings Island theme park (i.e. the one the Bradys went to where Greg lost Mike's plans or whatever it was; it has improved a bit since 1974). I took Mookie and Carlo and my old man came with us to round out the group. It was about eight hundred degrees and humid and I'm pretty sure my dad and I were the only two grown men in the whole park who decided to keep our shirts on. Actually, that's a lie. I noticed some guys wearing shirts. One of them said "I love boobies." It was not some clever breast cancer awareness thing either. It was just a shirt -- apparently custom made at a print shop -- exclaiming the wearer's love of boobies. There was also a teenager, who was there with his parents. wearing a black t-shirt that simply said "F*ck," but with no asterisk. Man, I love theme parks.
Theme park people aside, we had fun. Reds fans had fun this weekend too, watching their hometown nine take two of three from the Cards. And I imagine the majority of the men in Great American Ballpark kept their shirts on too. Jaime Garcia? Not so much fun. He gave up a run on a wild pitch -- actually two wild pitches and a disputed call at second base led to the run -- and took his first ever loss to the Reds despite pitching pretty damn well.
Giants 4, Padres 3: The Giants scored what proved to be the winning run in the 11th on a Chris Stewart suicide squeeze. It was sad to see Stewart commit suicide like that. I mean, no, he's not likely to be a superstar, but as an experienced catcher there's no reason he can't forge a nice coaching career one day. Suicide squeezes: a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
Twins 4, Royals 3: A three-run shot for Jim Thome -- his 596th --when the Twins were down 3-1 to put them ahead to stay. Jeff Francoeur homered and Melky Cabrera had two hits, increasing the chances of an awesomely hilarious trade sometime in the next two weeks.
Red Sox 1, Rays 0: Just your run-of-the-mill 15 innings of scoreless baseball. And your standard 16-inning three-hitter for Boston pitching, led by Josh Beckett's eight innings of one-hit ball. Jeff Niemann deserved better after his own two-hit, eight inning outing. Then again, don't most people deserve better than they get?
Braves 9, Nationals 8: Walking Brian McCann to get to Freddie Freeman with a man on in the bottom of the ninth is the smart play. Even Freeman knew it, saying after the game that he'd walk McCann to get to him too. But given how quickly Freeman is growing up this year, that may not be the smart play for too much longer. A walkoff RBI single for Freeman, helping the Braves take two of three from Washington. McCann had a three-run homer to tie it at six in the fifth inning.
Athletics 8, Angels 1: Over before it started, with an eight run first inning, highlighted by a Connor Jackson grand slam. The A's sent Joel Pinero to the showers after he could retire only one guy, and he didn't even get the one guy until seven runs had scored.
Tigers 4, White Sox 3: Chicago led 3-1 in the sixth but then Victor Martinez hit a two-run single and Carlos Guillen hit an RBI single to break the tie and, ultimately, win the game.
Rangers 3, Mariners 1: Eleven straight wins for Texas, as their pitching continues to look good. Of course, anyone's pitching would look good against the M's. Remember when the Mariners were a game out? Yeah, now it's eleven and a half.
Brewers 4, Rockies 3: Shaun Marcum was cruising until he had to leave early with a stiff neck. The pen maintained, however, and the hits kept falling for Milwaukee.
Diamondbacks 4, Dodgers 0: Daniel Hudson threw a five hit shutout, but he also hit a homer and drove in three. I'd say that he helped his own cause with that, but he did more than help. Between the pitching and the hitting, he was a one man gang. One Man Gang?
Marlins 7, Cubs 5: Greg Dobbs hit a two-run homer. Walked with the bases loaded too. Hanley Ramirez hit a solo homer in the first himself, and it was a monster shot up behind the batter's eye in center field.
Pirates 7, Astros 5: It was 4-4 in the 11th when the Pirates scored one on a passed-ball, one on an error and one on an RBI single. Pittsburgh takes two of three from Houston and is a half game out of first.
Orioles 8, Indians 3: Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and Matt Wieters hit homes, helping the O's earn the series split. Now they get to play the Red Sox again, who gave them perhaps their most miserable series of the year just before the break. Let's see if our Orioles is learning.
Phillies 8, Mets 5: Michael Martinez -- a Rule 5 pick from the Nats -- hit a three-run homer. The Phillies had an 8-1 lead int the 8th, but withstood a late charge from New York, who beat up on Juan Perez, Ryan Madson and Antonio Bastardo to make things interesting.
Yankees 7, Blues Jays 2: Phil Hughes picks up a win. Hey, three months later that anyone thought it would come is better than never. Curtis Granderson drove in three.
Craig writes the HardballTalk blog for NBC Sports.com