And That Happened

Tigers 1, Twins 0: The Tigers finally clinch the AL Central. It was a nail-biter, though, as they scored their lone run in the first inning and then held off the Twins all night long. Best part of their celebration? For the second year in a row Max Scherzer rocked the goggles with two different color lenses.

Indians 7, White Sox 2: The Indians keep their foot on the gas, continuing their season-long abuse of the White Sox. They’ve beat the Pale Hose 14 straight times. Danny Salazar struck out eight dudes in five and a third innings.

Rays 8, Yankees 3: I’ve often said that you can’t count out the Yankees until they are officially dead. Well, now they are officially dead. Phil Hughes failed to get past the fifth inning once again. That makes 14 times for him this year, which ties the single season record since 1969. He’s gone after this year. He needs to retreat to some home for shell-shocked pitchers on the west coast. Like maybe Seattle or San Diego.

Rangers 7, Astros 3: The Rangers are still alive, still one back of Cleveland. The competition now gets considerably tougher, however, as they go from hosting the hapless Astros to the far more hapful Angels.

Brewers 4, Braves 0: I held forth on Twitter about this last night. My view: Carlos Gomez’s home run trot was pretty punky and low rent, but Brian McCann literally blocking the basepaths and preventing Gomez from crossing the plate was just dumb. This is the second or third time this year the Braves and McCann have taken it upon themselves to be the baseball decorum police, and it’s La Russian in its silliness. You know how you deal with a dumb showboat? Ignore him. Point and laugh. Have the scoreboard operator put up the NL standings with the Brewers’ place in them bolded. Spare me the macho You Have To Play The Game The Right Way business and lead by example. For what it’s worth, Gomez apologized after the game. Perhaps I missed it, but I didn’t see McCann apologize for instigating a benches-clearing situation which could have gotten someone hurt.

Cubs 4, Pirates 2: The Pirates are now three behind St. Louis with three games to go, so this is pretty much all about the Wild Card now.

Cardinals 4, Nationals 1: The sweep. Youth served the Cardinals, as youngsters Shelby Miller, Seth Maness, Kevin Siegrist, Carlos Martinez and Trevor Rosenthal combined for the one-run performance.

Mets 1, Reds 0: Daisuke Matsuzaka made ‘em look pretty weak, and the Reds dropped two of three to the Mets and now have to sweep Pittsburgh this weekend to host the Wild Card game at Great American Ballpark.

Angels 3, Athletics 1: Jered Weaver pitched seven innings of five-hit ball and Josh Hamilton drove in two. If only this sort of combo happened far more between April and August. Alas. The Angels have taken four of six from the A’s in the past week or two and now face the Rangers, whose season they can spoil. Probably worth keeping an eye on these guys next year. Just too much talent to continue to suck like they have.

Red Sox 15, Rockies 5: Todd Helton got a horse, a homer and a double in his final home game for the Rockies, but he also got a pretty darn decisive loss. Will Middlebrooks had two homers — a grand slam and a three-run shot — to give him seven RBI.

Marlins 3, Phillies 2: Adeiny Hechavarria drove in three runs, including the go-ahead run in the eighth.

Orioles 9, Blue Jays 5: Four homers for the O’s as they continue to play out the string with Adam Jones, Brian Roberts and Matt Wieters on the bench. This win finally assured them of a .500+ record.

Padres 12, Diamondbacks 2 : Twelve runs for the Padres? Wow. After the game Jedd Gyorko said “It’s been awhile since we had a game like that.” Heck, there are stretches of five or six games combined where they haven’t had a performance like that.

Mariners 6, Royals 0: The Royals bow out of the playoff race. On the one hand, if you told me before the season that Kansas City would be in it until just before the last weekend of the year I’d say that the Rpyals had an amazing, expectation-exceeding season. On the other hand, having watched them more closely this year than we normally have watched them, it’s hard to escape the feeling that what ultimately did them in was too many stretches on not playing up to potential. Obviously this was still a successful season. But such a weird team. One that can look so good in some stretches and look so bad in others.

Giants 6, Dodgers 4: Likely Barry Zito’s last win for the Giants. Seven years in Oakland, seven years in San Francisco. Nice bookends I suppose, with a lot of overpaid performance in the middle, but such is life. He left the game between innings so he didn’t get a standing ovation. One wonders what the San Francisco fans would have done if he had been pulled mid-inning. What is the proper response to someone who was around for so much success but, really, didn’t contribute too terribly much to it?

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  1. Wade said...

    Craig – First off, big fan of yours and of the Bravos.  While a little of me agrees with you about BMac’s actions, I feel that the players’ policing is at the least necessary to maintain some decorum (even if it leads to a lack thereof).  From what I’ve read, the “trot” and lipping were the results of a hit in the leg in June.  Is that not ample time to let it go?  Also, I dread the thought of players doing endzone dances around the bases.  Gomez is a stud, but I can’t help but think that the heat of the moment took him out of “play the right way” mode.  Also, does anyone think he would have apologized if not confronted by Brian 30 ft. up the third base line?  Just sayin.  Who knows?  Have a great day ever’body.

  2. Jim G. said...

    Craig – that’s the best analysis of the Brewers-Braves situation I’ve read yet. I agree totally. “La Russian”= classic!

    Wade – Gomez missed two weeks after getting plunked by Maholm. I wouldn’t forget either. Gomez is a hot-head and certainly overdid it last night, but the Braves do seem to find themselves in these situations a lot. The “common denominator” rule applies.

  3. Dave Cornutt said...

    Well, my main problem with it (and I say this as a Braves fan from the Rowland Office days), is that while the Braves were all worried about getting disrespected, the Cardinals pulled ahead of them for home field advantage.  Anyone who has looked at the Braves’ home-road split this year knows that is not a good thing for the Braves.  If they’re going to concede that and take their foot off the gas, then they need to be playing the young guys anyway.

  4. Ian R. said...

    “the Reds […] now have to sweep Pittsburgh this weekend to host the Wild Card game at Great American Ballpark.”

    Do they? If my understanding of the tiebreaker rules is correct, the Reds only need to take two out of three to get home-field advantage, since they’d have the better head-to-head record. Right now they’re 8-8 against the Pirates, so if Cincinnati goes 2-1 in those final three contests they’d be at 10-9 on the year.

  5. Ricky W. said...

    I wonder what would have happened to Gomez had he swung at the first pitch like he did, then stared down a pitcher like Gibson or Drysdale or Clemens? Would he still be able to talk?

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