Wednesday, September 21, 2011
And That HappenedPosted by Craig Calcaterra
Orioles 7, Red Sox 5: Guess that visit from Ric Flair didn't pay off, eh? It's possible, I suppose, that the visit wasn't from the man in his awesome Nature Boy persona, but rather, was the real life Ric Flair, who is pretty damn pathetic. Anyway, sure, Tampa Bay lost too and if these teams keep pace with one another for the next week Boston wins. On the other hand, yuuuuuck. If Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon can't combine in the eighth inning to shut down Baltimore, how much confidence do you have for the playoffs?
Yankees 5, Rays 0: Look, Tampa Bay: Boston isn't gonna do all of the collapsing for you. You have to do your part too.
Braves 4, Marlins 0: Randall Delgado tossed five shutout innings for his first MLB win and Fredi Gonzalez was finally introduced to a couple of relievers who aren't Craig Kimbrel and Jonny Venters to close things out. True fact: I actually own and still wear a sweatshirt that is older than Delgado. It's a black I.O.U. number with purple lettering on it and the words "styled for the 90s" written across the bottom. I got it from an aunt in November 1989 (Delgado was born in February 1990). I have no idea why I've kept it so long, but I still sleep in it when it's really cold. I could probably match it up with a pair of baggy acid wash jeans and some British Knights and really make the scene in some Eastern European village someplace.
Cardinals 11, Mets 6: Of course you can't depend on the Mets to do anything for you. They had a 4-0 lead and blew it and then were back to a 6-5 lead in the seventh before giving up a bases-loaded Ryan Theriot double and six runs in all that inning. Albert Pujols was 4 for 5.
Dodgers 2, Giants 1: While St. Louis kept pace the same can't be said of San Francisco. Clayton Kershaw pretty much owns the Giants and he flummoxed them again, winning his 20th. A James Loney single and a Jerry Sands homer gave him two runs to work with early and two runs tends to be all he needs.
Nationals 4, Phillies 3; Nationals 3, Phillies 0: Yeah, I know they've clinched their division and are a lock for the best record and that September records mean little for playoff teams and yadda, yadda yadda. But that said: aren't you at least a bit worried about this offense?
Brewers 5, Cubs 1: I have no idea why the postal service is considering cutting off Saturday delivery to cut costs. The Cubs are so thoroughly mailing it in that the USPS budget should be balanced by next Wednesday.
Royals 10, Tigers 2: Eric Hosmer went 5 for 5 and drove in three. Brad Penny got lit up. The Royals have won eight of their last nine. If they pick up a pitcher or two this winter, they are gonna be everyone's trendy pick next spring.
Mariners 5, Twins 4: Mike Carp was 5 for 5 but didn't score once. I wonder how often that happens.
Reds 6, Astros 4: Homer Bailey scattered six hits while pitching and had three of his own while hitting. We always couch this as an individual sentiment, but really, there's no "I" in "helped his own cause." Oh, wait. There is one "i" in there. It's not capitalized though, so maybe we can let this one pass?
Angels 10, Blue Jays 6: Toronto fails to play spoiler on this night. Know what would be really cool, though? If someone played The Spoiler. Anyone remember that guy? You, over there, in the I.O.U. sweater. You're old enough, right? Yeah, he kind of sucked actually, but the world needs high-level jobbers to get guys over, OK? Those superstars don't sell themselves.
Padres 2. Rockies 1: Mat Latos struck out nine in eight and two-thirds but ran out of gas as the pitch count crossed the 120 mark. Heath Bell got a one out save.
Indians 4, White Sox 3; White Sox 5, Indians 4: The only thing more meaningless than a White Sox-Indians game this time of the year is the White Sox and Indians splitting a double header. At least in a single game something perceptible happens in the standings. The split twin bill was about as eventful as making an angel in the gypsum at White Sands National Monument. Tomorrow, it's as if it never happened.
Pirates 5, Diamondbacks 3: Charlie Morton threw six scoreless innings. The Dbacks magic number is down to three thanks to the Giants' loss.
Rangers 7, Athletics 2: Michael Young got his 200th hit and Adrian Beltre hit a three-run homer. Texas has won eight of ten and is gonna cruise into the playoffs at this rate. The magic number is four.
Craig writes the HardballTalk blog for NBC Sports.com