Tuesday, July 31, 2012
And That HappenedPosted by Craig Calcaterra
Angels 15, Rangers 8: Kendrys Morales hit homers from each side of the plate in the sixth inning -- one of which was a grand slam -- and drove in six runs overall as the Angels make mincemeat out of the Rangers. Roy Oswalt got tattooed. Between that, Cliff Lee trade rumors and Roy Halladay's recent meh outings, it's not been the best year for the Four Aces.
Cubs 14, Pirates 4: Quite a night for the Cubs. They put up a bunch of crooked numbers against Pittsburgh and unloaded a bunch of players in deadline deals too. Three RBIs a piece for Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo, so the future is in good shape at least. Four for Darwin Barney. Not sure where he fits.
Braves 8, Marlins 2: That's six straight wins and -- for the first time all year -- a Monday win for Atlanta. Indeed, it was the first Monday win since August 22, 2011. Even with this win, the Braves are way back in dead last place in the all-important Monday wins column, which should probably make them Monday sellers at today's Monday trade deadline.
Red Sox 7, Tigers 3: Dustin Pedroia hit a homer and drove in three. With a ten-game homestand just starting, it's not unreasonable to say that it's do or die time for Boston.
Orioles 5, Yankees 4: Nick Markakis went 3 for 4 and drove in a couple. Mark Teixeira left the game after hurting himself diving for a ball, so that's no good. Eric Chavez and Ichiro went back to back in the seventh inning, but it wasn't enough. Nice to see the O's win this one, honestly. Joe Blanton deserves to be on a winning team.
Padres 11, Reds 5: Mike Leake and Alfredo Simon each giving up five runs early put to rest any hope that the Reds would extend that win streak beyond ten games. Will Venable's bases-clearing triple in the third really blew it open. Edinson Volquez beats his former team, even if he was pretty ineffective himself in doing so.
Brewers 8, Astros 4: Houston had a 3-0 lead and then, for once, the Brewers got to experience what it felt like on the good side of a bullpen collapse. How novel.
Mets 8, Giants 7: Scott Hairston hit two homers and both were big. One to tie it in the eighth and one to give the Mets a lead in extra innings. There's been talk of the Mets dealing him by today's deadline, but no obvious takes yet. If he goes today, let's pretend that GMs are impressed by shiny things like two home run-games.
Mariners 4, Blue Jays 1: Hisashi Iwakuma struck out 13 while giving up one run over eight innings. Much needed on a night when the M's bullpen was depleted due to trades of Brandon League and Steve Delabar.
Diamondbacks 7, Dodgers 2: Welcome to the Diamondbacks, Chris Johnson. The newest snake hit a grand slam. And he was also surprised at playoff talk:
"One of the guys on the bench said, 'Anybody know what the Giants did tonight?' And that kind of shocked me, because I'm not really used to that," Johnson said.
That's the cutest thing ever.
Athletics 4, Rays 3: Strikeouts are boring. Besides, they're fascist. And they're not even a guarantee of winning. The Rays struck out 21 A's batters, but still lost when Jemile Weeks -- who was 0-for-7 with two strikeouts at the time -- ended the game with a sac fly in the bottom of the 15th. OK, just to be clear: if you strike out 21, you usually win that game.
Twins 7, White Sox 6: Break up the Twins! Four straight wins. Next up: former mate Francisco Liriano debuts against them tonight. That should be fun.
Craig writes the HardballTalk blog for NBC Sports.com