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And That Happened: Monday's Scores and Highlights

Apr 20, 2010, 5:45 AM EDT

Angel Pagan homer.jpgMets 6, Cubs 1: A pitchers’ duel until the 7th when the Mets unloaded on the Cubs’ bullpen, courtesy of an Angel Pagan homer, a Jason Bay double, an Ike Davis single and a Sean Marshall wild pitch.

The Pagan at bat was hilarious. Jose Reyes was on first base, getting a few throws over, but never really looking like he was stealing, mostly because he couldn’t figure out James Russell’s move. The ESPN crew was going on and on with that totally cliched rebop about how a fast guy “changes everything” when he’s on the bases, and all of that. Pagan then golfs one out to the deep part of the park, rendering the running game rather quaint and totally moot. Any acknowledgment of this fact by the announcers? Nah. They go into that “you can credit Reyes for disrupting the pitcher” jive. Just reminds you that so much of what we hear in a baseball broadcast is received wisdom bordering on religion. Pagan just timed it perfectly and unloaded with a beautiful, powerful swing. But no, gotta talk up that non-factor of a running game because you heard someone say that one time back when Lou Brock roamed the Earth.

Oh, Ike Davis debut: 2-4 with an RBI. Just before the RBI single Sean Marshall totally buckled his knees with a couple of curveballs, suggesting exactly why Davis has a reputation of being lost against lefties. The fact he stuck in on the third pitch and got the hit suggested, however, that it’s something he’s going to be able to overcome.

Rays 8, Red Sox 2: We spoke about this one at length already, but let’s add one more nugget in the form of a Victor Martinez quote after the game: “It’s kind of weird. Nothing is going our way. Every team we play, it
keeps falling their way.” I didn’t know that V-Mart wrote emo lyrics.

Nationals 5, Rockies 2: A homer and four RBI for Willie Harris puts the Nationals over .500, and I have to ask myself: did I rank these guys too low? More importantly, did I overrate the Rockies? Smallest crowd in Nats’ history, by the way.

Blue Jays 8, Royals 1: Brandon Morrow impressed, allowing one run and three hits and striking out eight and Jose Bautista hit two homers and the Jays won in a laugher. A record low crowd for Rogers Centre, breaking the old record which was set five days previously. I guess the Royals coming to town doesn’t really compete with Hockey Night in Canada during the playoffs.

Padres 3, Giants 2: Break up the Padres. Their fourth straight win came in dramatic fashion: a David Eckstein walkoff homer in the tenth. The little guy’s homer helped bail out Heath Bell, who had blown the save in the ninth by serving up a dinger to Juan Uribe.  Oh, and Chase Headley was nearly smacked in the head with the barrel of Uribe’s bat in the fourth inning after it was splintered by a Clayton Richard pitch.

Angels 2, Tigers 0: Joel Piniero’s good night (7.1 IP, 9 H, 0 ER) overshadows Dontrelle Willis’ pretty good night (6 IP, 4H, 2 ER, 2 BB).

Cardinals 4, Diamondbacks 2: Five straight losses for Arizona. Matt Holliday was 3-5 with a homer and 2 RBI. Brad Penny threw seven strong innings. Pfun Pfact: Albert Pujols went 0 or 3 against starter Rodrigo Lopez last night and is 0 for 8
against him in his career. Lopez should retire now so he can tell his grandkids about that.

Mariners 8, Orioles 2: The M’s put up seven in the third, so they didn’t really need Doug Fister to no-hit the Orioles into the seventh inning, but he went ahead and did it anyway.  Chone Figgins on the 6’8″ Fister: “It’s good being tall.”  Oh, and this game featured the third record-low crowd of the night.

  1. Lou Struble - Apr 20, 2010 at 6:44 AM

    There was a fantastic series of events from the Yanks-Rays game a few weeks back where Tim McCarver spent the better part of the inning comparing Matsui’s departure from the Yanks to Freddie Couples’ walk down the fairway at Augusta. After realizing that he hadn’t acknowledged any game events for a few batters McCarver then began attacking Cy-Young winner and highest paid pitcher in baseball C.C. Sabathia. Sabathia was SPORTING A NO-HITTER but made the mistake of using a slide step when the runner on first (Ben Zobrist) was obviously not going to attempt a steal. Two pitches later C.C. blows away Longoria with a slide-step heater and Zobrist steals second base. I can’t say I was surprised when McCarver didn’t acknowledge the Zobrist steal but it made me think that maybe there are some rules in the broadcasters club about acknowledging their own and their partner’s mistakes.

  2. sjp - Apr 20, 2010 at 6:59 AM

    Lou Brock can still be seen roaming the earth, and with a nice looking ‘fro, too: http://images.stltoday.com/stltoday/resources/cardshallopener625apr13.jpg

  3. Moses Green - Apr 20, 2010 at 8:12 AM

    Of course they don’t call each other on mistakes. If McCarver’s broadcasting partners had to call him out every time he made a mistake or said something stupid there wouldn’t be any time left to do play-by-play.

  4. Eli from BK - Apr 20, 2010 at 8:23 AM

    Who are you (nor is the ESPN crew able) to say what was going on in the pitcher’s mind during the Pagan at-bat? Perhaps, he did think Reyes would get a good jump…
    But even without that, when a quick player is on 1st base, the batter is going to see mainly fastballs (preventing or attempting to prevent a steal to 2nd) so Reyes on first could’ve very well “disrupted” the Pitcher’s mojo.
    Francesa, who works on a station very close to your heart, suggested the Mets bat Reyes 2nd and Pagan in the leadoff spot, because if Pagan gets on – a slumping Reyes would mainly see fastballs.
    Something to think about, CC.
    – @EliFromBrooklyn

  5. Craig Calcaterra - Apr 20, 2010 at 8:26 AM

    I’m not discounting the possibility that Reyes helped mess with the pitcher a bit. But there was zero credit to Pagan for actually, you know, hitting the home run, which was rather silly.

  6. Evan - Apr 20, 2010 at 8:33 AM

    Craig,
    .
    The ESPN crew aren’t as bad as the Fox guys (Joe Buck etc). The YES men (hah) are the best out there. Though Leiter appears on Fox and YES I think he’s one of the best guys on because he has so much to say about pitchers. I like when he demonstrates how to hold the ball for certain pitches.
    .
    I know people that mute the television and listen to the radio while they watch the game. I can’t say I blame them.

  7. Jonny5 - Apr 20, 2010 at 8:42 AM

    “A homer and four RBI for Willie Harris puts the Nationals over .500, and I have to ask myself: did I rank these guys too low?”
    Absolutely. These guys were better last season than their record showed. The Phills never had an easy time playing the Nats last season, and they’ve improved. So far they have a 5 run per game avg. The NL east is stronger this season than most people think. NY will be at the bottom of the barrel come end of season.

  8. Lou Struble - Apr 20, 2010 at 9:02 AM

    Very true. I think what I think I’m noticing is the difference between the local and national broadcasts. During the local games when someone makes a mistake it’s noted and often joked about. For the ESPN and Fox games it seems like the broadcasters pretend to know everything about the teams and the game of baseball and when someone screws up they don’t acknowledge it to unsuccessfully preserve that image.

  9. Dan - Apr 20, 2010 at 9:07 AM

    One comment about the Nats attendance- game 3 of the opening round of the NHL playoffs were tonight, which surely kept some fans indoors, even if it was an away game.

  10. RobRob - Apr 20, 2010 at 9:15 AM

    I make a date for golf, and you can bet your life it rains.
    I try to give a party, and the guy upstairs complains.
    I guess I’ll go through life, just catching colds and missing trains.
    Everything happens to me.

    I never miss a thing. I’ve had the measles and the mumps.
    And every time I play an ace, my partner always trumps.
    I guess I’m just a fool, who never looks before he jumps.
    Everything happens to me.

    At first, my heart thought you could break this jinx for me.
    That love would turn the trick to end despair.
    But now I just can’t fool this head that thinks for me.
    I’ve mortgaged all my castles in the air.

    I’ve telegraphed and phoned and sent an air mail special too.
    Your answer was goodbye and there was even postage due.
    I fell in love just once, and then it had to be with you.
    Everything happens to me.

    I’ve telegraphed and phoned. I sent an air mail special too.
    Your answer was goodbye and there was even postage due.
    I fell in love just once, and then it had to be with you.
    Everything happens to me.

  11. Stuart - Apr 20, 2010 at 9:15 AM

    Re Nats attendance:
    Hockey night in Washington eh!

  12. Anon - Apr 20, 2010 at 9:23 AM

    My problem with the ESPN call last night was that it was based on the assumption that Reyes messed with the pitcher. Other than a few throws over, there was no evidence that he actually messed with the pitcher. Sometimes you can tell – the pitcher looks really nervous, the runner fakes jumps, there are constant throws over, the catcher visits the mound, etc. That didn’t happen. There were a few throws and then, as you say, a fat pitch that Pagan crushed.
    The bottom line: correlation does not imply causation.

  13. ralphdibny - Apr 20, 2010 at 9:26 AM

    Yeah, the announcing on that Cubs/Mets game was pretty mediocre. I was also bothered by that Reyes/Pagan sequence, for the same reasons as you, Craig. You could just tell that the announcers were constructing a story, and weren’t going to let the facts on the field slow them down. At one point they mentioned that Reyes is “the difference maker” or some such cliche, and that’s how they called it, with Reyes making all the difference and with little mention of Pagan. (Capt. Jeter gets the same difference maker treatment, which is why through no fault of his own he annoys me so much). It’s just another example of how announcers are really salesmen.
    Recaptcha: the cosby. “Nah, nah nah, gonna have a good time!”

  14. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Apr 20, 2010 at 9:26 AM

    The ESPN crew aren’t as bad as the Fox guys (Joe Buck etc). The YES men (hah) are the best out there. Though Leiter appears on Fox and YES I think he’s one of the best guys on because he has so much to say about pitchers. I like when he demonstrates how to hold the ball for certain pitches.

    The only good thing about the YES broadcasters is the Fake Michael Kay twitter account. He’s just as bad as Chip Caray with wrong calls, but at least Caray didn’t compare talking about a no-hitter while it’s happening to the holocaust. Remi and Orsillo are way better than the YES Guys (and I’m a yankee fan).
    But you’re right in that Leiter in the booth is what an ex-player should sound like. He gives you insight into what a pitcher is likely thinking and what he says actually sounds intelligent compared to Buckarver.

  15. David - Apr 20, 2010 at 9:28 AM

    While we’re at it, let’s just unretire the number 42 in baseball so anybody can wear it at any time since it has just become arbitrary now. I completely understand the Met’s love and homage of all things Brooklyn Dodgers being in Queens and all, but cmon guys, it was 4+ days ago when baseball celebrates Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier. Does it bother anyone else that the Mets/Cubs wore 42 several news cycles after the 15th? Or is it just me?

  16. Ace - Apr 20, 2010 at 10:20 AM

    Actually, I’m a little bothered by the Mets complete appropriation of the Brooklyn Dodgers’ history. They’re in roughly the same geographical location, sure, but it’s an entirely different franchise. Walking into Citi Field feels strangely like going to a Dodgers game. The entrance is called the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, and there’s nary a reference to Mets history in the place. What would be wrong with calling it the Tom Seaver Rotunda? Or even the Keith Hernandez Rotunda?

  17. APBA Guy - Apr 20, 2010 at 12:16 PM

    It’s too bad the East Coast market doesn’t get to hear Ray Fosse every night like we do for the A’s. I love Remi and Orsillo. But the Red Sox broadcast is practically national with all the fan interest and the MLB package, etc..
    Fosse and his play by play guy Glenn Kuiper (brother of Gigantes play by play guy Duane Kuiper) are really like two neighbors in your den having a beer watching the game. Only one of the guys, Ray, happens to have two world series rings.
    Never the same story twice, always focused on the game at hand, no arbitrary constructs of baseball to shoehorn into the narrative. Just nice, easy going, informative commentary with the occasional entertaining digression about ball park food. Great stuff.

  18. MVD - Apr 21, 2010 at 12:20 AM

    wow. is the D-Train back? I dont mean “back” back, I think we all assume he wont be among the elite again, but he looks like a decent 4/5 starter right now. I know its just 3 games but those 3 seem miles apart from his 08 and 09.

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