And That Happened

Dodgers 17, Brewers 4: In a scene out of late-80s WCW, after the game, Prince Fielder ran through the underground tunnels to go put a hurt on Guillermo Mota in retaliation for a ninth-inning plunking. Fortunately for Mota’s health and Fielder’s wallet, he was stopped at the Dodgers’ clubhouse door (though I’m guessing he’s gonna get a fine anyway). No word on whether he had a folding chair with him. Kind of a bush league move on Fielder’s part, though, wasn’t it? I mean, everyone knows that if you’re going to go after a guy, you don’t do it in the clubhouse. You ambush him while he’s doing a standup interview with Tony Schiavone.

Cardinals 12, Mets 7: Albert’s little slump appears to be over. Big shot in the 8th to bring the Cards closer, much bigger shot in the 10th — grand slam — to put the game out of reach. “I’m human. I’m not a machine,” said Pujols after the game. Sorry dude, I ain’t buyin’ it. Great moments in Mets history: Luis Castillo sprained his ankle after slipping on the dugout steps in the seventh inning. Apparently he was trying to avoid stepping on someone’s glove or something. I’m guessing it was Francoeur’s, mostly because I don’t like him and I want to believe it was his. Also because I don’t like Francoeur, I’ll note that he went 0-5, seeing a grand total of 12 pitches in those at bats.

Braves 9, Padres 2: Martin Prado homered and drove in three runs and Matt Diaz hit a two-run homer as the Braves broke out the whuppin’ sticks in support of Javier Vazquez. Neither of these guys were the starters at their respective positions for most of the season. Prado certainly has been a marked improvement over Kelly Johnson and Diaz too, over Francoeur. Diaz did, however, perform a tribute to the departed Jeffy last night as, in addition to the homer, he hit into three double plays and struck out. Adam LaRoche was 4 for 4 and Garret Anderson was 3-5, adding to the hit parade. Adrian Gonzalez’s consecutive games streak was ended at 314.

Athletics 6, Rangers 0: Someone should detain the guy who started for the A’s last night and ask him what he has done with the real Gio Gonzalez. Whoever this impostor was, he lowered Gonzalez’s ERA a full run with this 6.2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER performance. The pod people apparently got to Mark Ellis too, as he drove in three.

Orioles 8, Tigers 2: Welcome to the majors, Brian Matusz! The 2008 draftee gave up a run and six hits in five innings, walking three and striking out five. He had some nifty defensive help from Cesar Izturis too, as he dove to pluck a bases loaded grounder in the second to bail the kid out of a jam. Hit a homer too. Jarrod Washburn’s debut — for the Tigers, not in the majors, because he’s been there for a while — was not as nice (5.1 IP, 6 H, 6 ER).

Giants 8, Astros 1: Jonathan Sanchez struck out eight in seven shutout innings, winning his first road game of the season. Freddy Sanchez and Pablo Sandoval hit back-to-back homers in the sixth and Aaron Rowand drove in three runs in an unusually potent Giants offensive attack.

Cubs 6, Reds 3: Pirates’ import Tom Gorzellany shuts down a Reds team that is on the fast track to oblivion. No one — and I mean no one — is playing as pathetically as this Reds team is right now.

Diamondbacks 6, Pirates 0: Yusmeiro Petit threw eight shutout innings and took a no-hitter into the eighth, when it was broken up by Ronny “Buzzkill” Cedeno.

White Sox 5, Angels 4: Scott Podsednik hit a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the ninth as the Sox — fresh off of takin’ it to the Yankees over the weekend, beat the red-hot Angels. Not that killing giants like that bodes well or anything. Oh, and Bobby Jenks was unavailable for the game because he had to be treated for a kidney stone, which is the kind of thing I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

Mariners 7, Royals 6: Ichiro started the game with a homer and ended it with a pretty spiffy sliding catch in right. In between he walked and got another hit, scoring each time. He’s pretty good, ya know?

Rays 4, Red Sox 2: Walkoff bomb from Evan Longoria. An all or nothing kind of night for him, as he hit another homer earlier, and struck out in his four other times at the plate. Game story: “It was the Rays’ longest game of the season and tied for the Red Sox’s longest game in innings.” Which means that the Red Sox played a game longer than 4:57 in less than 13 innings at some point this season. AL East baseball: it’s fantastic!

Yankees 5, Blue Jays 3: The Sox loss and the Yankees’ win gives the bombers some breathing room. A day after I say that you don’t see many complete game losses anymore, Roy Halladay pitched a complete game, but lost, giving up five runs on ten hits.

Rockies 8, Phillies 3: Thirty-two of the Rockies’ 59 wins have come on the road this season. They didn’t used to do that sort of thing. Game story: “Moyer extended his 10-start pattern of alternating good starts and bad ones, with a subpar effort.” Maybe Manuel should skip every other Moyer start. Or does it not work that way?

Nationals 6, Marlins 4: The Nats rallied for six in the eighth inning, capped off with an Adam Dunn homer, to beat the fish. Dunn pulled a Longoria in this one, striking out three times before connecting. Wait, Dunn’s been doing that for years, so I guess Longoria pulled a Dunn.

Twins 10, Indians 1: “Doubles are nice,” Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire said after the game. The Twins hit seven on them — three from Joe Mauer — as the pound the Tribe. Scott Baker was on (7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER). David Huff was not (4.2 IP, 11 H, 7 ER). Makes me wish that I hadn’t already burned my “minute and a Huff” joke a couple of weeks ago.

A Hardball Times Update
Goodbye for now.

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13 years ago

If Fielder really wanted to get his hands on Mota he should have grabbed a mic and walked out to the middle of the infield and told Mota that there were no hard feelings and he wanted him to come out there so they could shake hands. Then when Mota turned around he should have clobbered him. But he better keep an eye on that J.J. Hardy fella’, when a guy has fallen on hard times like that he’s always ripe for a heel turn.

Greg Simons
13 years ago

Maybe someone could ask Aaron if he ever took “greenies.”  Heck, ask a bunch of ballplayers from the 50s, 60s and 70s.  Y’know, privately, off-the-record, never intending for the information to be made available for public consumption.  Just keep the list someone private, safe, secure…because it could never get leaked…

Sorry, I’m rambling a bit, but the whole idea of “Well, a few guys have gotten screwed over on the confidentiality thing, so let’s just screw ‘em all and get it over with” ticks me off.  It was supposed to be anonymous testing, the players had their right to privacy violated, and someone’s breaking the law by leaking the names, and it all pisses me off.

13 years ago

Isn’t the biggest fear Ryan Braun coming out of the dugout in a Dodgers jersey and sprayed on beard? It would be the ultimate betrayal. Also, doesn’t Sting fit in here somewhere, considering his latter years in the WCW consisted of stalking around with a baseball bat?

13 years ago

OK, so there turns out there is a downside to the MLB package.  I finally found the worst announcing team in baseball; it has to be Dwayne Staats and Kevin Kennedy of the Rays.  I turned on the Rays/Sox game, which was a great one; Rays kept getting lots of guys on base and couldn’t deliver.  In the 8th, after the Longoria homer to tie it at 2-2, Zobrist walks and Aybar lays down a bunt. Josh Bard throws his best fastball down the right field line, where the ball ends up in the equipment bag of the bullpen catcher.  Both runners keep running, but after a short conference, are sent back to 2nd and 3rd.  These two pinheads in the booth go crazy; how both would have scored, it’s a judgment call, any moron could see that Zobrist was rounding third when the ball got lodged in the bag.  They spend the next three innings not calling a single pitch (even though the Rays loaded the bases twice with nobody out and couldn’t score) but lambasting the umpires for their incompetence.  Kennedy talks about how he’s never seen four guys miss a call like this. 

Except for one small detail. It’s a dead ball.  And the rule is that when there’s a dead ball, all play stops.  There is no judgment, it’s just dead.

Finally, in the 10th inning or so, somebody gets word to these two dopes that they’ve been wrong all along and should shut up, but they can’t bring themselves to admit that they’ve made a mistake; they keep harping on what a terrible rule it is.  How about a rule prohibiting bullpen catchers from keeping their equipment in foul territory?  Better yet, how about a rule that broadcasters know the rules?

I was almost disgusted enough to root for the Red Sox (let’s not get crazy here), but finally had to turn it off in the 12th because it was getting late and these two were driving me crazy.  so I missed the Longoria walk off.  The whole thing made me nostalgic for Sterling and Waldman.

13 years ago

The Rangers must have felt like they were seeing double after Brett Anderson Monday the Gio Gonzalez Tuesday. Both featured good low-mid 90’s fastballs over the outside corner followed by hard, sharp breaking curves that the Rangers swung over.

The Rangers have an aggressive hitting team, and for two games they have not recognized or adjusted to the hard curve. They will pound mistakes and it was reasonable to expect the A’s rookie pitchers to make mistakes. But they made very few in these two starts.

The other factor in the two losses for the Rangers is that the A’s bullpen has out pitched the Rangers. Ron Washington went with Guardado and Mathis last night, and both got hit consistently, whereas the A’s tandem of Wuertz and Breslow was effective.

Finally, Wash had three left hitters in a row in his lineup, which made it an easier call for Geren to go with Breslow in the 9th rather than Andrew Bailey.

On another note, Dwayne Staats used to spell Harry Caray on the Cubs’ WGN broadcast years ago. He was not popular then either, and took the Rays job in partly in response to the Chicago-land sentiment.

Greg Simons
13 years ago

Craig, sorry for the early-morning hijacking, but please say you’re going to address Hank Aaron’s desire to release all the names on the “anonymous” 2003 drug-testing list.

13 years ago

I loved Keith Law’s opinion on Hank Aaron!

Greg Simons
13 years ago

TL, I assume it’s less than flattering, but can you elaborate or provide a link?

13 years ago

Law went a little far in stating Hank Aaron should not discuss current issues but the gist of the statement surrounded Law’s opinion that it doesn’t matter what Aaron thinks about reinstating Rose and releasing the PED list.

And regarding the list he stated Aaron probably hadn’t thought of the legal ramifications of releasing the list.

It was on Jason Smith’s ESPN overnight show.

Craig Calcaterra
13 years ago

Yes, Greg, I will have something to say about it, though to be honest, it will mostly be referring the former Home Run King to what I wrote on it last Friday.

mike in brooklyn
13 years ago

You can NEVER over-use the “minute and a huff” joke.

BTW—is Ichiro your favorite non-Brave?

Craig Calcaterra
13 years ago

I like Ichiro, but he’s not my favorite non-Brave (favortie current Brave is probably Brian McCann).  I haven’t really given much thought to that, but if I had to rattle off some non-Brave players, all of these guys would be in the conversation (in no particular order):

Wakefield (knuckler), Adam Jones (reminds me of Eric Davis, and I have an eternal Eric Davis crush), Pujols (he’s pretty good), Buehrle (works fast), Lincecum (he’s pretty good too and is rather funky), Granderson (I just lke the cut of his jib), Moyer (as I get older I appreciate old people more), Mike Cameron (seems like a smart and thoughtful guy), I suppose Ichiro is in there somewhere too, but it’s more of an appreciation thing than anything else.

This subject is probably worth thinking about more and maybe deserves its own post.