Monday, September 20, 2010
And That HappenedPosted by Craig Calcaterra
Phillies 7, Nationals 6: The Phillies are white hot and may very well be the best team in baseball at the moment. They were down 6-3 in the ninth but, hey, no problem: They got a two-run single by Ryan Howard and a two-run homer by Jayson Werth and with that they won their seventh in a row. Philly has only dropped three games in September, and now they have their number one, number one-A and number one-B starters going against the Braves at home this week.
Giants 9, Brewers 2: The NL West has been tighter than a duck's butt lately (note: I think Dan Rather said that one once about an election. I'm not really sure), but the Giants take over the top spot. Jose Guillen hit a grand slam in the first and the Giants never looked back. Thanks to the run support -- which he has not had a hell of a lot of recently -- Barry Zito got his first win since July 16th.
Cardinals 4, Padres 1: Adam Wainwright shut the Padres down to win his 19th. San Diego falls into second place, a half game behind San Francisco and 2.5 back of the Braves in the wild card.
Dodgers 7, Rockies 6: The Rockies jumped all over Clayton Kershaw, grabbing a 6-1 lead after two innings. That's all they'd get, though, as L.A. chipped away at the lead, tying it on a Matt Kemp double in the ninth and winning it on an A.J. Ellis -- A.J. Ellis? -- yes, A.J. Ellis RBI single in the 11th. This one ended in a brisk four hours and twenty-one minutes.
Angels 6, Rays 3: A couple of homers from Bobby Abreu and a win for Scott Kazmir give the Angels a series win. Not exactly the way Tampa Bay wanted to enter the Yankees series.
Orioles 4, Yankees 3: Luke Scott hits the tying homer off Mariano Rivera in the ninth and comes around to score the winning run on an RBI single in the 11th. Not exactly the way New York wanted to enter the Rays series.
Braves 6, Mets 3: The Mets took a 2-0 lead in the first inning and then decided to go to sleep or watch football games on their iPhones or something. Derrek Lee smacked a grand slam off double-agent Manny Acosta to help the Braves complete the sweep.
Astros 4, Reds 3: Who ever would have guessed that Brett Myers would be having the season he's having? Another sharp outing: 7 IP, 6 H, 0 ER. He lowered his ERA to 2.76 on the season. He's 8-0 with a 2.01 ERA at home.
Pirates 4, Diamondbacks 3: I don't know that Kirk Gibson is managing for the permanent gig right now or if the front office has already made up its mind on the matter. But to the extent his destiny is in his own hands, getting swept by the Pirates ain't gonna help him.
Mariners 2, Rangers 1: The Mariners have lost a ton of games this year due to their failure to score runs. This past weekend they won two of three despite only scoring five times.
Athletics 6, Twins 2: Losing the game sucks, but losing Joe Mauer to "a jammed knee," whatever the hell that is, sucks worse. Ron Gardenhire was ejected in the fourth after Jim Thome flew out to center and Delmon Young was called out at second for failing to tag up at first. Gardenhire's argument was that the centerfielder dropped the ball -- which he did -- but the ump said it was after the catch and on the transfer, not a drop of the fly itself. Which seems right based on the replay. Just the latest bit of evidence for the need for an outfield fly rule.
Royals 6, Indians 4: This one was alright -- Yuniesky Betancourt stole home on a double steal -- but Saturday night's game was the real gem: Time of game: 2:57. Time of rain delays: 3:40.
Cubs 13, Marlins 3: Tyler Colvin's injury is nothing short of horrific -- the bat shard punctured his chest wall and required a chest tube to keep his lung from collapsing. It was also nothing short of avoidable. Ban maple bats now.
Red Sox 6, Blues Jays 0: Jon Lester won his fifth straight and upped his win total to 18 on the year. Jose Bautista homered on Friday and Saturday -- he's at 49 on the season now -- but he grounded out with the sacks jacked twice in this one. The loss officially eliminated the Jays from playoff contention.
Tigers 9, White Sox 7: The Tigers had a 7-3 lead as late as the seventh but blew it, only to win it in extras. Brandon Inge scored the winning run, but he probably shouldn't have been in a position to do so: he ran to first on a wild pitch on strike three, A.J. Pierzynski threw down to try and nail him and actually did -- on the foot -- and the ball went flying, sending Inge to third. Oh, and Manny struck out with the bases loaded to end the game. I have this feeling some Chicago writers (and maybe some Boston and L.A. writers) will consider that symbolic of something.
Craig writes the HardballTalk blog for NBC Sports.com