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And That Happened: Thursday's Scores and Highlights

Apr 16, 2010, 5:43 AM EDT

Braves blue jerseys.jpgBraves 6, Padres 2: Throwback uniform day at Petco. San Diego’s throwbacks were fairly hideous. Many people lump all of their yellow and brown uniforms together, but there were many variates working off that color scheme. Some were pretty sweet, actually. Yesterday’s, not so much. As for Atlanta, I like their current classic home duds the best, but these powder blues were a nice jolt of nostalgia for me, as that’s what they were wearing when I first encountered them back in the day. As for the game itself, there was some swift defense at second base as both Jerry Hairston and Martin Prado made awesome grabs. Tim Hudson labored for Atlanta, but the bullpen held firm and Jason Heyward’s two RBI doubles padded the lead.

Astros 5, Cardinals 1: Somewhere in Maryland the 1988 Baltimore Orioles are gathering together to open up special bottles of champagne with which they will celebrate their historic season-opening losing streak record lasting yet another year.  Wait, that’s not 100% accurate. They don’t gather; they drink alone. And it’s not champagne, it’s Cold Duck. Warm Cold Duck.

Mets 5, Rockies 0: Seven innings of five-hit shutout ball from Mike Pelfrey, and then two scoreless innings from the pen give the Mets a much needed win. The runs scored on a wild pitch, two fielder’s choices and a couple of singles, but that hardly matters when the other guys can’t score to save their lives.

Twins 8, Red Sox 0: Francisco Liriano is back, my friends. Eight strikeouts, four hits, two walks and a big goose egg for the Sox while throwing an utter economy of pitches. David Ortiz sat for Boston and with the way Liriano was dealing, that was probably a good idea.

Indians 3, Rangers 2: Like I said yesterday, this one was done in a minute and a Huff. Or at least it seemed like it. Tough luck loss for Matt Harrison, who had a shutout going into the eighth before his defense betrayed him, with errors by Michael Young and Elvis Andrus allowing the baserunners who scored when Choo hit his three-run bomb.

Nationals 7, Phillies 5: A day after the Phillies pen saved the day with nearly a full game’s worth of work, it should be expected that they would run out of gas (though maybe we don’t get to the pen so early if J.A. Happ doesn’t walk six batters). The Phillies led 4-1 after six, but the Nats chipped away with homers from Adam Dunn and a pinch-hitting Ryan Zimmerman and RBI singles from Ian Desmond and Ivan Rodriguez.

Marlins 10, Reds 2: The story on Aaron Harang this year is that after a couple of years of injuries, he was supposed to be all healthy again and ready to be the workhorse again. Right now he looks ready for the glue factory (4 IP, 10 H, 8 ER). Jorge Cantu had both a hit and an RBI for the tenth straight game. I’m sure I’ll one day tell my grandkids about where I was and what I was doing when it happened.  Ten strikeouts for Josh Johnson.

Blue Jays 7, White Sox 3: Dana Eveland allowed two runs and three hits in six innings.  He also truly entered my consciousness for, I think, the first time. I mean, on some level I knew he was an A’s starter last year, but if you had asked me really quickly who “Dana Eveland” was this morning, I would have been just as likely to guess that it was an actress from back in the 40s who used to play second banana in musicals and light comedies. Maybe she was with Warner Brothers but was loaned out to MGM on occasion. That sort of thing.  This is what happens when you rarely watch west coast games.

Brewers 8, Cubs 6: Ryan Braun went 4-5 with a homer and three RBI on a day when the Wrigley wind was blowing out at 18 m.p.h.

Yankees 6, Angels 2: Phil Hughes gave up two runs over five innings and picked up the win in his 2010 debut. Two homers for Cano, two triples for Granderson and a more or less unnecessary save for Mariano Rivera. Oh, and the Yankees fans did the wave during this game, which pretty much undercuts all of their protestations about how savvy and knowledgeable they were in the wake of the Vazquez booing criticism. The wave. In Yankee Stadium. Inexcusable.

Athletics
6, Orioles 2
: Ben Sheets has been ailing, but the Orioles are the
sort of team that can cure what ails you. Six shutout innings for
Sheets, who gets his first win since 2008. The Orioles kick of a ten
game road trip with this loss. The way they’re playing it’s going to
feel even longer than that.

Dodgers 6, Diamondbacks 5: Chad Qualls with his second straight blown save, though this time his defense let him down, with Stephen Drew throwing away what would have been out number three (and I mean really throwing it away). Don Newcombe threw out the first pitch. Yesterday I linked to what I thought was the worst baseball song of all time. It’s worth noting that one of the better ones is called  “Strike One.” It’s a jump blues number by Teddy Reynolds. Another one is “Newk’s Fadeaway” by Sonny Rollins. Both can be found on the most excellent baseball episode of Bob Dylan’s “Theme Time Radio Hour,” which you can get on CD if you’re so inclined. Tons of non-Creed baseball songs there.

  1. Patrick - Apr 16, 2010 at 6:14 AM

    J.A.Happ’s pitching line so far this season: 10.1 IP, 9 hits, 5 K, 8 BB.
    And an 0.00 ERA. With an xFIP of 6.38
    Seriously, what deal with the devil has this man done?

  2. Old Gator - Apr 16, 2010 at 6:22 AM

    It’s nice to see the Feesh pound one out like that every so often. On most nights ten runs will be adequate to keep ahead of their bullpen, assuming their starters can go at least six. With Maybin batting .310 now, Hanley his usual self, Cantu as hot as he is – although he and Uggla are both streaky and can go cold as Ted Williams’ head in the snap of an O-ring – the team can do some damage early before the realities of that bullpen catch up with them, as it inevitably must.
    .
    Josh Johnson looked good last night, and along with Maybin seems to be hitting his stride. The Feesh gave him enough of a cushion so that even Fat Freddy could pull him in six and give the pen a chance to see if it could exceed fan expectations (which isn’t saying much, since twenty five hundred fans, if that many, can’t generate many expectations in the first place). And incidentally, all of you who are getting as sick of the phrase “exceed(ing) expectations” as I am, please raise your middle fingers. You won’t be on ESPN if you do.
    .
    Chris Coghlan gets to rest his tushy for a while as he tries to regain his 2009 form. He’s been playing like he got his Rookie of Year Curse by pissing off Larry Talbot’s gypsy. He’s still being paid bupkis so I doubt if Scrooge McLoria has the Chihuahua sticking pins in his bobblehead. If Coghlan comes alive and enables Fat Freddy to move Maybin back from his ridiculous place at the head of the batting order, this team will have the ability to score a lot of runs and lose anyway; they’ll look like the K-Mart edition of the Minnesota Twins from back in the old days.
    .
    An observation about fan support in Macondo: the cheapskate New York art dealer who through some horrible twist of fate now owns this team still doesn’t understand how mindsets form down here. El Nacion de Feesh is beginning to take genuine pride in its reluctance to visit the ballpark en carne, and I see the spectral fans at my local cafe Cubano in the morning poring over the attendance figures to see if we’ve set a new record for lowest attendance ever today and smiling proudly if we have. Mind you, it’s not an attempt to spite Scrooge McLoria or anything like that; it’s an existential investment in pure numerology. While we take pride in the awesome achievement of Jorge Cantu’s hit-and-ribby-per-game streak, we’re also becoming proud of the way we’re pushing fan support downward to levels heretofore unseen outside the theoretical subatomic physics seminars at the University of Macondo. We want to achieve an historic level of absurdity – the perfection of having no one at all show up for a game while the announcer nevertheless informs an empty stadium that the official attendance is 10,243. Of course, the problem with that – insoluble, no doubt – is simply this: if a ballgame is played in a stadium and there’s no one there to see it, does it count in the standings?

  3. enough already - Apr 16, 2010 at 7:44 AM

    That hardly matters because a run is a run.
    http://newyork.mets.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100415&content_id=9319368&notebook_id=9329032&vkey=notebook_nym&fext=.jsp&c_id=nym

  4. Moses Green - Apr 16, 2010 at 8:15 AM

    You cannot imagine my surprise when Dallas Braden and Dana Eveland turned out to be different people. Beane probably traded him so his coaches would stop getting them confused for one another.

  5. Jeremy - Apr 16, 2010 at 8:28 AM

    Apparently not a very good deal. If I was going to sell my soul I’d want the power to throw a perfect game every time out.

  6. Jonny5 - Apr 16, 2010 at 8:56 AM

    That is a crazy number. Getting guys out when you need to seems to be what Happ is good at. His numbers were way off last season too. He has the uncanny ability to strand everyone. Last season his ERA was 1.2 with men in scoring position. It’s like he just shuts down any attempt at small ball. I hope to see him improve his game and soon. Halladay, Hamels, Happ, Blanton, Moyer. It sounds formidable but damn if Halladay isn’t the only starter who looks true to form so far. Tha “Achillies heel” bullpen has been the saving grace this season.

  7. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Apr 16, 2010 at 9:37 AM

    Jesus his LOB% is 94.1!
    http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=7410&position=P#advanced

  8. APBA GUy - Apr 16, 2010 at 10:10 AM

    Actually, Dallas Braden, Dana Eveland, and Greg Smith (Colorado) are the same person. Imagine our confusion when the 3 of them were A’s starters two years ago.
    The A’s are extremely grateful that Spring Training was extended for them by two weeks this year. Playing the first 13 against Seattle (4-6), the Angels (3-7), and Baltimore (1-9) is almost as good as playing against Washington and Houston. We’ll be able to look back on the first two weeks of the season and proudly recall the Beloved A’s leading the AL West.
    Loved Old Gator’s remarks about the local gente taking pride in driving attendance to zero. We took a break from that last night due to a promotion at the Mausoleum that had fans lining up early: the Sluggie.
    http://twitpic.com/1fwvyz
    Even though only 10,000 of the lovely garments were being given away over 17,000 showed up to compete to make their fashion statement.
    We should be back to normal tonight, around 10,000.

  9. Jonny5 - Apr 16, 2010 at 10:58 AM

    Is it another “lucky” year as the sabermetrics guys claim or is it just how he pitches a game? I guess it’ll take another season to know for sure, But I hope if it is luck it doesn’t run out.

  10. Pete Toms - Apr 16, 2010 at 1:25 PM

    What I learned from last nite’s White Sox/Jays game. Freddy Garcia is a soft tosser now. And also noticed this series, Andruw Jones is not fat this season!

  11. Old Gator - Apr 16, 2010 at 1:46 PM

    Glad you caught that. But “zero” is only a hypothetical figure at the intersection of the X/Y axis, and merely a resting point. Macondo is the land of realismo magico. Have you ever heard of fractals?

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