Thursday, September 12, 2013
And That HappenedPosted by Craig Calcaterra
Red Sox 7, Rays 3: Mike Carp with a 10th-inning grand slam. Good job extending your lead, Boston! Good job letting the Yankees pull to within one game of the Wild Card, Rays! Apropos of nothing, I'd give a lot to hear what Red Sox fans who love this beards thing had to say about Brian Wilson a couple of years ago.
Yankees 5, Orioles 4: The Yankees are Rasputin. No, they're not mystic/visionary/healer/religious charlatans who hold the Tsarina in thrall. I'm talking about the part where you simply can't kill them, no matter how hard you try. Homers from Cano, Granderson and A-Rod combine with a good enough effort from Andy Pettitte to pull the Yankees to within one game of the Wild Card. And one game closer to the delicious "A-Rod came back and turned the Yankees' season around" narrative that will kill multiple New York columnists. Especially the ones who were convinced that he'd never play another game and/or was "physically unable to perform." Still waiting for the mea culpas from those guys. Not holding my breath.
Marlins 5, Braves 2: Jose Fernandez held the Braves to to one run on five hits over seven innings while striking out five. He also hit a homer. He also stopped to admire it and then spit at the third baseman's feet and fomented a benches-clearing situation. All in a day's work. As for the pitching: holy crap this guy is good. He's being shut down now, which makes sense. He should also be the consensus Rookie of the Year. As for the hubbub: I'm not a big fan of unwritten rules, I think that admiring your first ever big league homer is defensible and I think the Braves, as an organization, get too hung up on all that Play The Game The Right Way thing. Not saying the spitting was fantastic, but maybe your best revenge is to get hits off the guy or to humiliate him the next time he bats against you. Anyway, what I really want to know, though, is what that old lady who thought Harper and Puig were "low class acts" and Fernandez was "such a nice young man" thinks of all of this.
Pirates 7, Rangers 5: If you're not a fan of Fox you have to hope this is the World Series match-up, right? Not exactly a ratings bonanza, even if baseball freaks should love it. If you're an AL team you shouldn't like it either, as the Pirates are now 15-5 in interleague play this year after sweeping the Rangers.
Reds 6, Cubs 0: A solid if unspectacular game for Mike Leake and homers from Devin Mesoraco and Jack Hannahan helped the Reds avoid the sweep.
Royals 6, Indians 2: The Indians fail to take advantage of the Rays' recent troubles -- if they'd won these past two games they'd be in the Wild Card slot right now -- and the Royals succeed in coming back from the near dead to find themselves only two games back. They've won 13 of 18. Imagine where they'd be if it wasn't for a couple of sharp swoons at various points this year.
Giants 4, Rockies 3: The Giants were down 3-1 but then plated one in the seventh and two in the eighth. I feel like the Giants have been playing the Rockies for 12 straight games.
Phillies 4, Padres 2: Cliff Lee solid again. Eight innings, five hits, two runs, nine strikeouts and lowers the ERA to 2.97. Imagine what he'd do on a team with a bullpen and an offense.
Nationals 3, Mets 0: Five straight wins for the Nationals. Still six back in the Wild Card, but some nice baseball all the same. Dan Haren was fantastic again. If he had been anything close to this in the first half the Nats could be playoff-bound.
Angels 5, Blues Jays 4: The Angels' season has sucked but at least C.J. Wilson has been good. Three earned runs in seven innings to win his eighth straight decision. Josh Hamilton was 3 for 3. He's hitting .400 in the month of September.
Cardinals 5, Brewers 1: A good start from Lance Lynn and a four-run eighth inning helps the Cards win their fifth straight and maintain their lead over the Reds and Pirates.
Tigers 1, White Sox 0: Anibal Sanchez strikes out 10 in seven and a third shutout innings. Tough break for Jose Quintana, who also pitched wonderfully. Omar Infante's RBI single in the eighth was the only offense here. How a 1-0 game still goes three hours and 16 minutes is a bit of mystery.
Diamondbacks 4, Dodgers 1: Paul Goldschmidt went 4 for 5 with a couple driven in and Patrick Corbin allowed one run in six and a third as the D-backs avoid the sweep.
Athletics 18, Twins 3: Well, that was ugly. Every A's starter had at least one hit, one run and one RBI. That's practically socialism. Not that it mattered much, but there was a foul ball call that was reversed and turned into a double in this one after the umpires huddled and changed their call. After that Ron Gardenhire came out and argued forever and got an ejection. Can't wait to see how managers react once challenges start.
Astros 6, Mariners 1: And the sweep. The Astros actually have a winning record in September. I don't think momentum is a thing, but I'm sure this will make some Astros fans and players happy.
Craig writes the HardballTalk blog for NBC Sports.com