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And That Happened: Wednesday's Scores and Highlights

Apr 15, 2010, 5:50 AM EDT

Huff sliding into home.jpgGiants 6, Pirates 0: Inside the park home run for Aubrey Huff. See it here. To say that Garrett Jones played that one off the wall poorly would be like saying that King George made some fiscal miscalculations when he increased the tax burden on the colonies to help pay for the Seven Years War. Still, nice moment for Huff, complete with the wholly unnecessary slide into home which on deck hitter Mark DeRosa signaled him to do because he correctly figured it would be hilarious.  Not as hilarious as the Pirates’ attempts to hit Jonathan Sanchez, who struck out 11 while allowing three hits in eight innings. One Pirate reached third base in the whole game. He must have been lost.

Cubs 7, Brewers 6: A pretty impressive comeback for the Cubbies, who trailed 6-3 with two down in the eighth. Then both Ryan Theriot and Kosuke Fukudome hit two-run singles.  It wasn’t all chips and gravy for the Cubs, though, as that earlier deficit was enabled by Alfonso Soriano’s continued difficulties in left field, where he bobbled a ball and let another bounce off the wall and on past him.  He was yanked from the game by Piniella in the fifth inning and left to a chorus of boos. Geovany Soto and Prince Fielder collided at home plate in the second inning. I betcha Soto wished he still had that extra weight on him when that happened. He shook it off and hit a homer later, however.

White Sox 11, Blue Jays 1: 10,610 paid to see the game, making  it the smallest crowd in Sky Dome/Rogers Centre history. They didn’t miss much. Carlos Quentin had a grand slam and six RBI. John Danks allowed only two hits in seven innings, and no one on the Jays’ staff had the stones to put one in A.J. Pierzynski’s ribs in an effort to help him feel what a HBP really feels like.  I hope Toronto enjoyed their nice first week, because it’s a thing of the past. 2010 is going to feel a lot more like last night felt.

Marlins 5, Reds 3: Jorge Cantu went 1-4 with a homer, making him the first player in major league
history to have at least one hit and one RBI in each of his team’s first
nine games. This had some media build up before the game last night, being described as a “milestone” or a “record” in various places. Deep thought: absolutely no one in the world beyond Mr. Cantu’s immediate family cares about this, and I’m guessing even they are mostly just smiling politely. There are records and then there are events that that are strange and mildly interesting. This one is the latter.

Rays 9, Orioles 1: That, my friends, is B.J. Upton: 2-5, 2 HR, 4 RBI. The Orioles are now 1-8. Ed Price of FanHouse tweeted a Pfun Pfact last night. Since 1988, 15 teams have started 1-8 or 0-9. They averaged 95
losses. So the O’s have that goin’ for them. Which is nice.

Red Sox 6, Twins 3: There was some rain in this game. All the coverage I’ve seen makes a big deal out of this. Even the AP story has a ball: “Some fans scurried for the concourses and others hastily put up their
umbrellas,” the nameless writer says. As if a team that plays 81 road games a year and a city that, once in a while anyway, left the Metrodome over the past 30 years finds precipitation frightening and confusing. We get it: they play outdoors now. Let’s move on to another storyline.  As for the baseball, the
Sox aren’t missing Ellsbury, as Jeremy Hermida hit a three run double
in the eighth. Orlando Hudson on John Lackey, who gave up two runs in six and two-thirds:
“He’s no pushover. You don’t give ($82.5) million to a pushover.”  You give it to a WHITE MAN, because baseball lives to keep the BLACK free agents down, Hudson did not add.

Eagles 14, Redskins 7: Craig Stammen and Kyle Kendrick gave up seven and six runs, respectively, in their 1.1 and 1.2 innings of work. After that the Philly bullpen restored order, allowing only one more run, while the Nats merely slowed, rather than stopped the bleeding. Some Phillies fans I know worried that Shane Victorino wouldn’t take to the leadoff spot after Rollins went down. Last night he went 4-5, 3B, HR and 5 RBI from there. I think he’ll be just fine, thank you. No one ever worries about Chase Utley. And why should they? He hit two homers. Charlie Manuel thought it was all really swell.

Rangers 6, Indians 2: Nelson Cruz hit his sixth homer. In the sixth inning Michael Brantley hit a double that would have easily scored three runs, but everyone was limited to two bases when a fan interfered with it — grabbing the ball with his glove — and keeping Luis Valbuena at third base. Line of the night goes to MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince: “Ironic that on a night with so few fans, fan
interference has played a role.” And it was a small crowd. Smallest since the team moved into the Jake back in 1994.

Angels 5, Yankees 3: I covered the Vazquez start yesterday. Good? No. Worthy of scorn? No. The Yankees aren’t going to go 162-0, and at some point their fans are going to have to come to grips with that. Especially when you face a sinkerballer who is as on as Joel Piniero was yesterday afternoon. Five hits, one run, seven strikeouts, zero walks and a grounder-to-fly ball ratio of 11-3. All you can do is shake your head, go to sleep and come back the next day and try again.

Royals 7, Tigers 3: I’m not sure what’s more surprising: that Jose Guillen has homered in four straight games or that he has 200 home runs for his career. As for Detroit, they had the bases loaded and no one out with Miguel Cabrera at
the plate in the fifth and the inning ends with the Tigers scoring one run.
I got a lot of heat for ranking Detroit above the Twins in this week’s power rankings. Rest assured, this miscalculation on my part will be remedied this coming Monday.

Cardinals 2, Astros 1: Try as he did, Brett Myers (7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 7K) couldn’t deliver the Astros their first win of the season, because Brad Penny had a little more (7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 4K). All of the run scoring came in the first inning. We’re apparently entering the “God hates us” portion of the Astros early season catastrophe. Next up will likely be 17-16 game loss by Houston on a suicide squeeze play in the bottom of the ninth followed by a forfeit due to a laundry snafu.

Rockies 6, Mets 5: The Mets came back late, scoring one in the eighth and ninth to tie it, but didn’t capitalize when they had runners on second and third in the tenth. Jenrry Mejia only got a chance to throw four pitches in the tenth, the fourth of which resulted in a long Chris Ianetta homer.  The Mets could use this as a teaching experience for him: relief pitchers need to be able to forget what just happened and bounce back the next day and take the ball again. Sadly, Mejia should be learning how to be a starting pitcher right now, not a reliever.

Braves 6, Padres 1: Hey look! A young starting pitcher who isn’t being mishandled. Tommy Hanson gave up one run and struck out seven over six innings. It took the Braves six innings to get to Chris Clayton Richard, but they got to him. The big shot, not off Richard, was a Troy Glaus three-run homer, his first of the year.

Mariners 4, Athletics 2: Jason Vargas was solid and, for the first time all year, that whole Ichiro-Figgins small-ball plan that seemed so spiffy in the offseason bore some fruit: Bunt single for Ichiro in the fifth, followed by a Figgins walk, followed by Gutierrez walk, followed by a Milton Bradley RBI single. M’s fans say “more please.”

Diamondbacks 9, Dodgers 7: Just your average five-lead-changes, 16-run, 4:57 affair. The Dbacks had a chance to win this one in regulation, but Chad Qualls gave up a double to Manny in the ninth, which was followed up by a Casey Blake RBI double. Chris Young was the hero, though. Matt Kemp misplayed a ball in center, allowing Mark Reynolds to reach in the 11th, loading up the bases. Young singled, driving in one and then Augie Ojeda had a sacrifice fly. Last year the Dodgers had one of the best bullpens around. Last night they had Russ Ortiz pitching in the 11th. That’s a bit of a step down.

  1. DMW - Apr 15, 2010 at 6:04 AM

    Eagles 14 Redskins 7 that’s classic…….how are your braves looking now to win the division???

  2. Craig Calcaterra - Apr 15, 2010 at 6:07 AM

    You do realize of course that at some point this season the Phillies won’t be playing the Nats and Astros, right?

  3. Patrick - Apr 15, 2010 at 6:12 AM

    That’s consecutive days now where the Orioles and the Blue Jays have drawn the smallest crowd in their stadium’s history. Oh, the AL East.

  4. Richard Dansky - Apr 15, 2010 at 6:32 AM

    True. But they will be playing the Padres and Pirates.
    And the Mets.

  5. Moses Green - Apr 15, 2010 at 7:23 AM

    Love the Caddyshack reference.
    I’m pretty sure Chris Richard didn’t come back as a pitcher, and Clayton is the Richard who shut down the Braves for 5 innings. He’s only the second most famous Michigan backup QB ever, c’mon.

  6. Chris Simonds - Apr 15, 2010 at 7:25 AM

    Aha! A Revolutionary War analogy. You haven’t done one of those in a while. And, as is my wont when you do, I beg to differ, or nitpick, or whatever. Old King George didn’t really make a fiscal miscalculation. Being a pre-Keynesian, he just wanted to try and balance the books. Sure as hell made a political mistake though.
    And yeh, Eagles Redskins, that’s good.

  7. Levi Stahl - Apr 15, 2010 at 7:56 AM

    Is anyone but me starting to like the Astros’ chances of catching the ’88 Orioles? Sure, it’s still incredibly unlikely, but I feel like they’re better suited for the task than any 0-and-many team since, say, the ’97 Cubs, who didn’t give up the chase until they were 0-14.

  8. Oscar - Apr 15, 2010 at 8:26 AM

    In fairness, Pinella did yank Soriano as part of a double-switch in the 7th (not the 5th) — it wasn’t quite a Billy Martin/Reggie Jackson moment.
    But the boxscore for the 7th inning is strange — Soriano botched the Hart double, then Pinella brought in Justin Berg to pitch without using a double switch. Berg got one batter out, then Pinella brought in James Russell and yanked Soriano in a double-switch. Delayed reaction?

  9. Patrick - Apr 15, 2010 at 8:30 AM

    I think it’s unlikely. Their rotation of Oswalt, Wandy, Myers, Morris isn’t bad enough to lose 100 games. Plus they’ve faced top teams mostly and are missing their best hitter. Plus they’ve had bad luck, like when when held the red-hot Phillies to 2 runs but had Roy Halladay on the other side.

  10. Jonny5 - Apr 15, 2010 at 8:35 AM

    “Eagles 14, Redskins 7: Hey! You take that back! That’s just not cool Craig. So how’s that “neck to neck” thing going for ya? Charlie say’s you’re crazy as a one eyed Ograbme in heat if you think the Braves will be neck and neck with anyone but the Feesh or Gnats.

  11. RobRob - Apr 15, 2010 at 9:11 AM

    Let me add that it was as much the Proclamation of 1764 preventing European Americans from settling in the territory acquired as a direct result of the Seven Years’ War that sowed the seeds of Independence as it was the Stamp Act of 1765. The Stamp Act was designed to pay for the soldiers who remained in America after the war, not so much to pay off the debts incurred during the war (which was a true global conflict.)

    In essence, the American colonists were happy to help pay for a standing army while the French were a threat in North America, but once that threat was removed, they were pissed off that Parliament maintained that army and charged the colonies to do so. (It should also be noted that one of the reasons to maintain the army was to keep the politically-connected officers and soldiers employed.)

    So it wasn’t really the war debts that George III was asking the colonies to repay. It was really the on-going cost of the standing army that remained in America, which Britain couldn’t afford because of their war debts.

    The political calculation that King George made was balancing the demands of the troops (who could not be stationed in England), against the unrepresented colonists.
    captcha: Publishing crumpets

  12. Jonny5 - Apr 15, 2010 at 10:00 AM

    And I thought Charlie was the only one around for when that cartoon came out…..

  13. Old Gator - Apr 15, 2010 at 11:47 AM

    Craig’s revolutionary war analogy was simply an aversive maneuver to a Civil War reference that could have linked him to Tim McCarver. He wins a Red Badge of Roughage for that one.
    .
    Well, my Feesh seem to have found a way to beat the Reds: have the starter hold them to under seven runs.
    .
    Now then, counsellor, you take Borg boosters to task for behaving like Feelies fans, and then you deride Jorge Cantu, who is not only our team pontoon so far this season but also our poster boy for laser face planing and perhaps the first professional ballplayer to shave with IEDs – really bush league stuff, Craig. As far as Jorge Cantu’s epochal shattering of the consecutive at-least-one-hit-and-at-least-one-run record, look, when you’re a still early adolescent franchise and your entire tradition so far consists of an El Nino-La Nina equivalent oscillation between world championships and spasms of pinchpenny fan abuse, anything that kicks the gong, even a little bit, should be cherished; Blake once wrote that “Prisons are built on stones of law / Brothels on bricks of religion,” and what is more religious than baseball statkeeping? Team traditions are based on deceptively trivial moments like Cantu’s astonishing accomplishment last night; something that would be lucky to earn a manila folder at Cooperstown will merit a mural above the portal to the Feesh hall of fame when Macondo Banana Massacre Field is finally opened to the public.
    .
    Anyway, Craig, if you’re not a Feesh fan you can’t relate to us, so STFU.

  14. APBA Guy - Apr 15, 2010 at 11:51 AM

    Of course, Milton is still an adventure in left, but his bat is warming up finally as the Beloved A’s realize they aren’t really a 5-2 type club week in and week out. I heard a few boos for him after a weak at bat early in the game, but the Seattle faithful were in full voice when he drove in two with his single. That’s two nights in a row for him with the big hit.
    The A’s showed their true offensive potential, I think, against Vargas and Fister. Two runs in 18 innings. Against Vargas and Fister.
    Tonight the A’s are giving away “Sluggies”, green snuggies with gold A’s printed on them. You need stuff like this at the Mausoleum in April because you aren’t clapping, stand and cheering, etc.. So at least Lew Wolfe is finally doing something for his last 10,000 paying customers.

  15. Old Gator - Apr 15, 2010 at 12:26 PM

    Cherish those snuggies. They’ll be collctor’s items one day. The ones with the gold “SJs” (or worse, “SHs” if the guy running the press can’t spell any better than some of the correspndents on here) them won’t be worth poo.

  16. RoyceTheBaseballHack - Apr 15, 2010 at 1:03 PM

    I’d like to call your attention to the fact that The Twins have been charged with only one error so far, this year.

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