Tuesday, August 31, 2010
And That HappenedPosted by Craig Calcaterra
Astros 3, Cardinals 0: J.A. Happ beat Roy Halladay on his last outing and absolutely dominated the Cards this time out, so yeah, it's been a good week for him. Two hits and a walk in this one, with two of those base runners erased on double plays. This says a lot about Happ's potential and maybe a bit about what the change of scenery has done for him. It also says a lot about the awful rut in which the Cardinals find themselves. It's not crazy to ask at this point whether St. Louis has played their way out of the playoff picture.
Reds 5, Brewers 4: And the reason it's not crazy is that the Reds keep winning and now find themselves up six games, their largest lead since 1995.
Dodgers 3, Phillies 0: Shane Victorino broke up Hiroki Kuroda's no-hit bid with a one-out single in the eighth inning, but that was all the Phillies would get. Halladay was quite hittable, but he
kept the damage to a minimum by allowing only three runs. I was talking to Chris from The Fightins yesterday and he said he was having a hard time getting his brain around following a team that gets great pitching but zero offense, because that's really nothing the Phillies have ever done in recent years. It was all the Braves did for several years. And while it was obviously their key to success back in the day, it takes a long damn time to get used to it, and it lends itself to occasional frustration like this.
Braves 9, Mets 3: Jason Heyward led the charge by going 4 for 5 with four RBI. And hey: an Ollie Perez sighting! He saw his first action since (I think) the Carter Administration last night, walked a dude and gave up a dinger to Brian McCann. So no, the rust hasn't affected him in any material way.
Rockies 2, Giants 1: Carlos Gonzalez drove in the tying run with a broken bat triple (how does that happen?), and then came in from third to score on the play when Freddy Sanchez committed his second throwing error of the game. Tough loss for the Giants as both the Phillies and Padres lost too and thus the chance to gain some ground was squandered.
Diamondbacks 7, Padres 2: Five straight losses for San Diego. The Padres scored all the runs they would score in the first inning and gave up all the runs they would need to give up to ensure the loss in the first as well.
Rangers 3 Royals 0: C.J. Wilson continues his second half roll, winning his seventh game since the All-Star break. Two hits in just under eight innings for Wilson, though he did walk four.
Cubs 14, Pirates 2: The Pirates spent the first part of the year getting blown the hell out when they lost and squeaking by when they won. This made me think that they weren't as bad as their run differential made them look. Know what? They probably are that bad and have been all along.
Rays 6, Blue Jays 2: Wade Davis won his sixth straight decision. Carlos Pena drove in four. The game lasted a mere two hours and fourteen minutes.
Yankees 11, Athletics 5: The Rays and Yankees seem like they've been tied at the top of the division forever, and tied they will remain for another day after the Bombers shelled the heretofore unshellable Trevor Cahill. Javier Vazquez gets the win in relief, though he pitched a third of an inning longer than starter Dustin Mosely did, so the pitching box score kind of looks upside down.
White Sox 10, Indians 6: Bobby Jenks blew a three-run lead sending this one to extras, but then the Cleveland pen blew up, allowing a homer, a couple of RBI doubles and an RBI single in the 11th. Sadly, with Manny showing up today most of the press will be diverted from their usual "quote Ozzie Guillen threatening to ship Jenks to Siberia and then walking it back and keeping him as the team's closer" beat. Sad, really.
Angels 5, Mariners 3: Sixth inning homers from Bourjos, Abreu and Matsui power the Angels.
Nationals 9, Marlins 3: A three hour and ten minute rain delay followed by a three hour+ game with the last place team in town. I haven't looked yet, but I'm willing to bet the number of people who actually stayed to watch the end of this one could fit in my Honda. And we'd still have room leftover for the dog.
Craig writes the HardballTalk blog for NBC Sports.com