Monday, September 26, 2011
And That HappenedPosted by Craig Calcaterra
Yankees 6, Red Sox 2; Red Sox 7, Yankees 4: Early game: when you get beat by a strong outing from A.J. Burnett and a big homer from Jorge Posada, maybe the universe is trying to tell you something, Red Sox. Late Game: Wowzers. Jacoby Ellsbury is getting all the glory -- as he should -- but let's not overlook the fantastic job the Sox pen did in that game. Jonathan Papelbon went way past his usual allotment. Franklin Morales and Felix Doubront likewise came up big. Boston retains a one-game lead in the wild card.
Rays 5, Blue Jays 2: Tampa Bay takes two of three from Toronto as the Red Sox falter. All Rays runs came on homers, including an inside-the-parker for Ben Zobrist.
Nationals 3, Braves 0: OF COURSE the Nats took two of three from the Braves. There have been less certain things than that carved into stone by ancient civilizations possessing Oracles of Seeing. Ross Detwiler shut 'em out for six innings and the bullpen did the rest.
Cardinals 3, Cubs 2: OF COURSE the Cubs blew a lead in two of three games to the Cardinals. There have been less certain things than that done by the Nationals to the Braves. Late homers for Yadier Molina and Rafael Furcal pull the Cardinals to within a game of Atlanta with three to play.
Diamondbacks 5, Giants 2: Talk about an F-U series. The Dbacks didn't need these games at all -- they had clinched -- and then they sweep the Giants anyway. Cold, man. Ice water. Assassin-like.
Tigers 10, Orioles 6: Miguel Cabrera went 2 for 3 with a homer and a couple of RBI. He could still win the batting title and has an OPS of 1.025. But he can't be mentioned as an MVP candidate -- no sir! -- because to do so would ruin the whole "Justin Verlander is a one-man gang" narrative with which everyone seems so smitten.
Phillies 9, Mets 4: Philly breaks a nine-game losing streak. You guys can now immediately go from "we're doomed!" back to "we're the best team evah!"
Dodgers 6, Padres 2: Matt Kemp's 1 for 5 didn't help his triple crown case, but hey, the win is what is important. Wait. Not at this point of the season it isn't. Damn.
Brewers 9, Marlins 5: Ryan Braun went 2 for 3 with a homer. But to hear Milwaukee fans tell it -- when they're denigrating Matt Kemp's MVP case -- that homer shouldn't count. I mean, after all, since the Brewers have already clinched, that game was meaningless, right?
Athletics 6, Angels 5: Just wasn't meant to be for the Angels this year. Blowing leads of 3-0 and 5-2 in the eighth and ninth innings would probably have hurt more if they were another game or two closer. Now they need both Tampa Bay and the Red Sox to get swept in the season's final series. Not bloody likely.
Rangers 12, Mariners 5: Anyone besides me hoping against hope for a Rangers-Tigers ALCS? Seems like the two best clubs goin' right now. Yorvit Torrealba hit two homers, one of which was a grand slam.
Reds 5, Pirates 4: Dontrelle Willis wins his first game of the year. He also doubled in two runs. Perhaps he can build on this into his next ... oh, wait.
Royals 2, White Sox 1: Luis Mendoza allowed one run over seven and two-thirds.
Twins 6, Indians 4: All kinds of guys I've never heard of and most of us will not hear much about again any time soon figured in this one. Rene Tosoni with a big homer in tenth which stood up as the game-winner. Kyle Waldrop got the win in relief. Hunter McKenzie had a nifty defensive play to help send it to extra innings. One of those three was made up. I bet without looking most of you couldn't say which one it was.
Rockies 19, Astros 3: Take comfort, Atlanta! Houston looks primed to give the Cardinals a big fight in the season's final series! Oy. Two homers for Kevin Kouzmanoff. Five RBI apiece for him and Chris Ianetta.
Craig writes the HardballTalk blog for NBC Sports.com