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And That Happened: Monday's Scores and Highlights

Apr 6, 2010, 5:43 AM EDT

Heyward Homer.jpgBraves 16, Cubs 5: Yeah, I saw
. Right before it happened I even berated Chipper Jones for
scoring from third because it screwed up Heyward’s inevitable debut
at-bat grand slam. A few seconds later: bammo.

By the way, everyone seems to want to go with “J-Hey” as a nickname. I
suppose there’s no stopping that train, but before it reaches full
speed, allow me to offer “Heymaker.” Someone
suggested that one to me yesterday
and I like it better than the
first-initial/beginning of last name construct that has become so very
tired. And besides, “J-Hey” is a Willie Mays reference, and while
hyperbole may be the order of the day with Jason Heyward, he’s never
going to have the glove or the speed to be a Willie Mays comp.  Let’s
push this more in a Dave Winfield/pre-coke Dave Parker direction. Just
seems more appropriate.

Cardinals 11, Reds 6: Keep an eye on this Pujols kid because he might be pretty good some day (4-5, 3 RBI, 2 HR).  And it’s cute how Pujols credited working with Mark McGwire in the postgame interviews too. That’s like Mozart thanking Salieri for helping him finish The Magic Flute.

Pirates 11, Dodgers 5: Garrett Jones may not have that Pujols kid’s promise, but he hit two bombs yesterday too. One of them was an absolute blast: 450+ feet out of the park and into the Allegheny River on a bounce. Not to take anything away from Jones, but it’s possible that Vicente Padilla didn’t have his best stuff yesterday: He gave up seven runs and six hits in 4.1 innings. According to a friend of mine who was at the game, at least one of his pitches was that crazy quasi-eephus pitch thing he throws. I’ve seen him do it on TV before, but only when he’s struggling and knows he doesn’t have anything.

White Sox 6, Indians 0: Mark Buehrle pitched fast (game time: 2:24), threw blanks (7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER) and may have made the defensive play of the year already, kicking a batted ball to the first base line and flipping it back between his legs to Konerko who barehanded it at first to nail Lou Marson at first. You can read about it and watch video of it here. Just sick. Sick for different reasons: Indians’ starter Jake Westbrook had four wild pitches.

Phillies 11, Nationals 1: Nice day for the imports: Roy Halladay begins his march to what I’m betting is a Cy Young Award (7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 9K). Placido Polanco hit a grand slam and drove in six. Charlie Manuel was late meeting with reporters after the game because he had to take ten minutes out to explain to Halladay what run support was and that it does not make him any less of a pitcher that he did not have to win the game via a shutout.

Rangers 5, Blue Jays 4: Shaun Marcum had a no hitter into the seventh inning. Gleeman and I were chatting online and debating whether we should put a “Marcum has a no-hitter in progress” post up.  We decided against it. We figured, fine, if he made it through the seventh, do it, but 6.1 innings didn’t seem quite enough.  A second later Marcum walked Josh Hamilton, gave up a single to Vlad Guerrero and then a homer to Nelson Cruz that tied things up, so we’re glad we didn’t post anything. And for what it’s worth, Marcum remained the pitcher of record through the Jays’ half of the eighth and left the game with a lead, but Jason Frasor blew it in the ninth. Query: is it more depressing to lose like that on Opening Day or to get drilled 11-1, Phillies-Nats style?

Mets 7, Marlins 1: I wasn’t crazy about the Mets’ lineup, but they won so I should shut up.  Nah, just kidding. I’m not shutting up. Mike Jacobs went 0 for 4 in the cleanup spot with a couple of strikeouts. It worked out because Josh Johnson didn’t have spit and Gary Matthews, Jr. hit well down on the other side of Bay (2-3, BB), but this is going to bite them sooner or later.

Giants 5, Astros 2: Reports of Tim Lincecum’s rust have been greatly exaggerated. Dude didn’t do much except shut the Astros out over seven innings, striking out seven and walking no one. The bullpen made it slightly interesting with Brandon Medders allowing a couple of runs in the ninth, but maybe Brian Wilson will buy him a steak this weekend for giving him an unexpected save opportunity. The offense was a team effort with a homer from DeRosa, an RBI double Renteria, some assorted RBI singles and a sacrifice fly.

Diamondbacks 6, Padres 3: There was a period in the 1960s when stadium architects decided that the time when accidents of geography and ad-hoc additions to ballparks interfering with the game had to end. Just because the old man who founded the team back in 18-dickety-seven was too cheap to build his ballpark on property large enough so that it that didn’t require odd dimensions and overhanging seats didn’t mean those imperfections had to be maintained! No, they built nice symmetrical ballparks that ensured fairness and purity of competition!  But everyone hated those, so they tore them all down and built new parks with phony architectural quirks whose form does not follow any function accept nostalgia and the maintenance of an ignorance of history. Quirks like the overhang in right center at the Dbacks’ park, off of which caromed Stephen Drew’s fly ball, shooting it back towards the infield and giving him an inside-the-park home run in the fourth inning.

Tigers 8, Royals 4: Zack Greinke pitched better than Justin Verlander in this much anticipated matchup, but Greinke has the inferior pen, which yesterday gave the Tigers six of their eight runs. Home run from Yuniesky Betancourt hit a home run for the Royals, which ain’t something you see every day.

Rockies 5, Brewers 3: Ubaldo Jiminez and a whole bunch of relievers who are not named Huston Street and are not as effective as Huston Street brought this one home. But not without some drama, as the Brewers threatened, ultimately emptily, in the ninth. Ryan Braun describing Jiminez’s stuff: “He’s throwing 99 and the ball is moving a foot and a half. He’s got great stuff. We won’t face anybody with better stuff — ever.
He has as good of stuff as you’ll see in the game.”

Angels 6, Twins 3: What did you think of Hideki Matsui’s performance? Would you like to have a player like Hideki Matsui in your lineup? Answers: not bad: 2-4, HR, 2 RBI, including what would serve as the game-winner; and yes. Kendry Morales had an identical line. Except no game-winner, because you can’t have two of those in one game. It’s physics. At least I think it’s physics.

Mariners 5, Athletics 3: Casey Kotchman was 2-4 with 2 RBI. Milton Bradley was booed all evening by the Oakland crowd and then shattered his bat slamming it into the ground in frustration after striking out to end the ninth, right after Kotchman hit what would be the game-winning RBI, which is the sort of thing that pisses off your teammates way more than saying dumb things to the media.  Oh, and the Oakland juju has started the season out just dandy:

Four A’s-clad fans among the 30,686 in attendance carried two banners:
“Lew Wolff Hates Oakland” and “Keep Our A’s in Oakland” while two others
banged drums as they took their message about the team’s owner through
the stands.

And Bud hasn’t even announced that Oaktown is a lame duck city yet!

  1. Chris Simonds - Apr 6, 2010 at 6:07 AM

    Salieri/Mozart ≈ McGwire/Pujols…. okay, Craig, all is forgiven. At least temporarily. Haven’t lost your ATH touch.

  2. Chris Simonds - Apr 6, 2010 at 6:19 AM

    Salieri/Mozart : McGwire/Pujols is an equivalence relation! Okay, Craig, all is forgiven. At least temporarily. You haven’t lost your ATH touch.

  3. Chris Simonds - Apr 6, 2010 at 6:22 AM

    Sorry about the double post. Something was squirrely with the comments text engine. Maybe it didn’t know the ascii for the equivalence sign.

  4. Ray Steele - Apr 6, 2010 at 6:57 AM

    I still think I will just call him Mr. Heyward, though Heymaker is a lot more creative than the Atlanta sports writers. Then again, the vanilla bean is more creative than the Atlanta writers.

  5. Moses Green - Apr 6, 2010 at 7:07 AM

    Hopefully the first of many baseballs we’ll get to see hastened wayward.

  6. Old Gator - Apr 6, 2010 at 7:15 AM

    Well, here I am at some ridiculous hour of the morning, as I expect to be regularly, responding to this feature. Not a bad thing, this getting up at 6AM, insofar as it makes me feel like a contributing factotum of the workforce again – although, frankly, I’d rather just move five time zones each and wake up at 11AM in London to deal with it.
    Whereas it’s likely true that the Mutts won’t play that well every day, don’t forget they were playing someone whose peccadilloes and ineptitude you did not mention in any particulars. To wit: fresh from a bout of the flu, Josh Johnson took his turn – what kind of wussy finks on Opening Day over some silly strand of wayward DNA encased in a thin thin protein shell like a submicroscopic M&M? – and promptly gave a demo of how to send your larval first baseman scampering after a misconceived pickoff throw (or was he still working on his cutter?). And Sanchez proved he belonged in the Feesh infield by making an error of his own. Get used to it, Gaby – speaking of initiations, the Feesh infield is a Moloch that consumes first basemen instead of firstborn.
    Seeing Johnson running out of gas, the Feesh arson squad came racing in from the bullpen with their own brightly colored teal gas cans. One wonders why they bothered lugging them out in the first place, since they were going to make some horrible fielding plays of their own – again, not necessarily a bad thing when the stuff is so expensive to being with. I mean, it’s tough to survive five out gifts to your hosts when your infield is working its dark and inept magic again, especially when you are your infield. It would not surprise me even a little bit to discover that Fat Freddi had his bullpen work on bunting all spring without realizing that he was running out of time to work on their fielding.
    Speaking of the ghosts of first base, Cameron Maybin regained his partial season form from last year rather than the year before and fulfilled the anxieties I had expressed all spring here by matching Mike Jacobs strikeout for strikeout and then going him one better. Speaking of highly touted prospects. This, Craig, is the archetype in season – the Heyward Child one year and one late season callup down the road. Is it pretty or is it pretty? Yes, I grant you this was Johan Santana, not one of the quotidian hurlers who made Maybin look so lost in the valley a forgettable season ago, but it isn’t heartening.
    Okay, Craig, now I have to be honest with you, even at risk of bruising your delicate sensibilities. I didn’t really wake up at six AM to respond to this feature. I woke up at six AM because the asshole who had this hotel room before me left the goddamned clock radio on the nighttable set for six when he left.

  7. KR - Apr 6, 2010 at 8:04 AM

    “Maybe it didn’t know the ascii for the equivalence sign.”
    It’s not ASCII.
    [/nerdy nitpick]
    However I agree the Salieri reference was excellent.

  8. ma - Apr 6, 2010 at 8:19 AM

    Francoeur hit a homerun in his first MLB game against the Cubs, too. How did that work out?

  9. Matt - Apr 6, 2010 at 8:20 AM

    Definitely worse to lose 11-1 or 16-5 than 5-4 with a blown save.

  10. Jay B - Apr 6, 2010 at 8:23 AM

    No mention of the horribly blown call on the McLouth “catch”? The game was still in doubt at that point, Cubs should have had 1st and 2nd, no outs; instead had bases empty, 2 outs.

  11. Craig Calcaterra - Apr 6, 2010 at 8:27 AM

    Dedicated post about that coming later this morning.

  12. Sam - Apr 6, 2010 at 8:51 AM

    “Home run from Yuniesky Betancourt hit a home run for the Royals, which ain’t something you see every day.”
    It’s true, I’m not sure I’ve EVER seen a player’s home run hit a home run.
    Also, now that I have ATH back, it’s like my whole life has some structure again. You’re a national treasure, Craig.

  13. Kelly - Apr 6, 2010 at 9:16 AM

    The Halladay/Manuel line killed me.
    Thank goodness baseball is back.
    And on behalf of everyone who took the Heymaker maybe one round too early in her fantasy draft (and who also happens to be a Cubs fan), I yelled “Holy s***” when he smacked that sucker.
    Definitely have high hopes for him. Glad he could announce his authority.

  14. Brian - Apr 6, 2010 at 10:32 AM

    Ah, the return of ATH. Just one more great thing about the start of the baseball season.

  15. Matt - Apr 6, 2010 at 11:00 AM

    I completely and utterly agree. I forgot how much I missed ATH until today.

  16. onesweetworld - Apr 6, 2010 at 11:38 AM

    No mention that Francouer walked yesterday? Erroneous!

  17. The Common Man - Apr 6, 2010 at 11:55 AM

    This was refreshing.

  18. Anon!Mice! - Apr 6, 2010 at 12:24 PM

    Quirks like the overhang in right center at the Dbacks’ park, off of which caromed Stephen Drew’s fly ball, shooting it back towards the infield and giving him an inside-the-park home run in the fourth inning.
    Is that a sentence or a dependent clause looking for a subordinate conjunction? And yes, I do have a Grammar Police Pioneer Youth Badge.

  19. APBA Guy - Apr 6, 2010 at 1:30 PM

    Of course A’s fans are parading with signs about Lew Wolfe. And as much as he disturbs me for pocketing wads of cash while he puts a AAA team on the field, I don’t think he hates the people or the fans in Oakland. What I think he sees is a City government plagued by nepotism, “fixers” galore, etc..
    And not just the ordinary sort that people offhandedly accept and attribute to local government everywhere. His hostility and aversion to Oakland’s “leaders” is visceral.
    Read Matt Taibbi’s article on local governments’ being scammed by Wall Street:
    Oakland is waist deep in those swaps and the cost burden is very high. A precondition of executing those swaps is either corruption or financial stupidity on the part of the localities.
    I’m no fan of Wolfe but when a business man, especially a successful one, loses his “business speak” and slams Oakland the way Wolfe has, there are reasons. We don’t know the actual reasons, but in the case of Oakland, there is a lot of smoke.

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