Friday, August 31, 2012
And That HappenedPosted by Craig Calcaterra
Orioles 5, White Sox 3: Zach Britton strikes out ten, gets sent down to the minors. That's fair. That aside, heady freakin' times for the Orioles who, apart from the Yankees fans, I think everyone on the planet is wanting to sweep New York and make the AL East a dead heat by Sunday night. Viva chaos.
Cubs 12, Brewers 11: Jonathan Lucroy drove in seven runs for Milwaukee -- his second seven-RBI game of the season -- but the Cubs still won. Total bullpen meltdown, capped with a K-Rod blown save on a day when Axford was unavailable. I was shocked to see that driving in seven in a losing cause is not terribly uncommon. Indeed, he was the fourth player in the past five years to do it, joining immortals like Jose Guillen.
Mariners 5, Twins 4: Look at the Mariners go. They're not gonna finish at .500. They're certainly not gonna make the playoffs. But they've played respectable baseball all year and are finishing strong. If you're not gonna win, at least be respectable and competitive every night out, and that's what Seattle is doing.
Phillies 3, Mets 2: Hustlegate. I can't think of a former MVP who has found himself at this place in his career like Rollins has, but that's where he is. I don't even know what to think about it. Except that I think there are 20 teams and maybe more who would love to have a non-hustling Jimmy Rollins as their shortstop.
Athletics 12, Indians 7: The AP gamer referred to the Indians as "free falling." I think that's an insult to parachutists, who at least have a plan about where they're heading. The A's continue to lead the AL wild card race.
Blue Jays 2, Rays 0: A two run double in the first was all Toronto needed as Carlos Villanueva pitched six shutout innings with three innings of blanks from the bullpen.
Nationals 8, Cardinals 1: For a team whose calling card has been offense all season, the Cardinals' recent offensive drought has to be somewhat concerning, no? They went 28 innings without scoring a run before the eighth inning of this one, and that came after everything was more or less decided. Another homer for Bryce Harper and ten strikeouts over eight shutout innings from Edwin Jackson.
Royals 2, Tigers 1: Now it's three things that would-be playoff teams don't do: Lose Justin Verlander starts, lose to Bruce Chen and lose to Jeremy Guthrie. Basically, you can't get the tar knocked out of you by the Kansas City Royals is what I'm saying. I don't think I'm declaring the Tigers dead yet, but the patient is in dire shape.
Giants 8, Astros 4: Bad luck and worse luck, all on one play -- and a late collapse blowing a 4-0 lead -- pretty much sums up the 2012 Astros.
Angels 5, Red Sox 2: Boston goes 0 for 2012 against the Angels. The AP gamer described Zack Greinke as "unintimidating but effective" in this one. I plan on filing a lawsuit later today because that was the working title of my autobiography.
Diamondbacks 2, Dodgers 0: Ian Kennedy pitched shutout, two-hit ball for six and a third. Chris Young hit a two-run homer. The D-backs take their seventh straight from the Dodgers. If L.A. falls short this year, not beating the D-backs as much as they should will be a good reason.
Craig writes the HardballTalk blog for NBC Sports.com