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And That Happened: Sunday's Scores and Highlights

Jun 14, 2010, 5:00 AM EDT

Ted Lilly pitching.jpgCubs 1, White Sox 0:  There were boatloads of home runs yesterday — with a ton of guys who had a pair each — but this one was all pitching.  Ted Lilly took a no-hitter into the ninth before pinch-hitting Juan Pierre hit a leadoff single to break it up.  Lou Piniella then took approximately an epoch to walk out to the mound to make the pitching change, Lilly left to an ovation, but then Carlos Marmol made it interesting by walking the first guy he faced, then balking the runners over. After a strikeout, another walk to load the bases and a fielder’s choice at the plate, Marmol got the save.  Not to be overlooked was Gavin Floyd’s excellent performance as well (8 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 9K).

Nationals 9, Cleveland 4: Mr. Strasburg gets plenty of coverage so I probably don’t need to add too much more about this game. I happened to attend this one, however, so I’ll have some more on it later this morning. For now, suffice it to say that even from seats atop the left field wall, you can tell how electric Strasburg’s stuff is, even if he didn’t necessarily have his best stuff. Which he didn’t, but like I said, more later this morning.

Mariners 4, Padres 2: The Mariners win the day after they had a
players-only meeting led by — and I am not making this up — Cliff Lee
and Milton Bradley. Apparently a pep talk by guys who (a) have one foot
out the door; and (b) are basically nuts was just what the doctor
ordered. Tony
Gwynn Jr. hit an inside the park home run
, which was mostly a
function of Franklin Gutierrez first misplaying the ball and then
dogging after it to the wall.  Best part: Milton Bradley hustling his
ass off to get the ball from left field. So, yeah, maybe he is the right
guy to give a pep talk.

Phillies 5, Red Sox 3: Your third place Philadelphia Phillies salvage
one after getting shellacked on Friday and Saturday. Charlie Manuel on
Cole Hamels’ performance:

“When he’s got a good
fastball, that’s when he’s good. He was good
today, man. He beat a good team. They really work the count on you, and
they’ll take the ball the other
way. They’re a good team. They’re very good.”

Say good
again! Good ain’t no country I ever heard of! Do they speak English in
good?!

Braves 7, Twins 3: Two homers for Troy Glaus. Even better: the Braves’ starting lineup was full of OBPs above .350. I haven’t seen that since Gary Sheffield played in Atlanta. You know, back before Chipper Jones died.

Angels 6, Dodgers 5: Jered Weaver struck out Jeff Weaver in this one. Unless Bob Horner had some pitching brother I’m not remembering this was easily the most laid back matchup of siblings in baseball history.  Oh, and the ceremonial first pitch was thrown by the Dos Equis “Most Interesting Man in the World” guy, which I find quite amusing. He probably threw an eephus pitch or a gyroball or something.

Giants 6, Athletics 2: A sweep of the A’s courtesy of a pair of two-run homers by Aubrey Huff and seven innings of one-run ball from Matt Cain. Cain has been ridiculous over his past handful of starts. And the Giants have been, more or less, scoring runs for the past week or two, which is a novel way for them to try and win games.

Mets 11, Orioles 4: Lots of two-homer days yesterday. David Wright had
one too. Jason Bay was no slouch at the plate himself, going 4 for 4 as
the Mets open up a can of it on the O’s for their first road sweep of
the year. Which I guess is a big deal given that every game story I’ve
seen of this one mentions it, but I’ve noticed that when a New York team
is involved there are all kinds of weird milestones and notable marks
that no one ever cares about when other teams do it. All-time team
leaders in whatever. First shutout in a day game. Road sweep. These are
rather meaningless things that only seem to be reported about the Mets
and the Yankees.

Rockies 10, Blue Jays 3: Ryan Spilborghs was yet another two home
run dude yesterday.  I’ll admit, I had a lot of beers at the ballgame so I
may have forgotten, but would someone tell me if I hit two home runs?
Odds seem fairly decent that I did.

Diamondbacks 7, Cardinals 5: Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: two homers, this time for Chris Young, the second of which was a walkoff job.

Marlins 6, Rays 1: Mike Stanton was 2 for 2 with two RBIs. That’s three multi-hit games in his first five. Carlos Pena’s home run streak ends at six. The Rays fall into a first place tie with the Yankees.

Yankees 9, Astros 5: These Yankees. A grand slam for Jorge Posada — his second in two days — helped Phil Hughes overcome an otherwise “meh” day for him, helping him run his record to 9-1. The Yankees are now 8-1 all time against the Astros. No chance for the Astros to improve that record, as New York doesn’t play at Minute Maid Park this season. But, like the man said: “You tell that son of a b—- no Yankee is ever comin’ to
Houston. Not as long as you b——- are running things!”

Royals 7, Reds 3: Zach Greinke bounces back from a string of crappy-for-him starts (and the last one was just plain crappy) by striking out 12 Redlegs in a complete game down in Cincinnati. Which means that Stephen Strasburg wasn’t even the best pitcher in Ohio yesterday. Oh, and two homers for Joey Votto.

Tigers 4, Pirates 3: Jeff Karstens (7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER) deserved a better fate, but neither his offense nor his bullpen helped him out. Eight straight losses for the Buccos.

Rangers 7, Brewers 2: Hey, here’s something novel: Prince Fielder hit two home runs.  In other news, Colby Lewis pitched well (8 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 10K) and hit a bases loaded single, which he credited to his experience hitting while pitching in Japan’s Central League. If that’s not a great argument to ban the DH, expunge all DH records from the books and perform universal lobotomies on the populace in order to erase all memories of the DH, I don’t know what is.

  1. Kro - Jun 14, 2010 at 5:12 AM

    The Dos Equis “Most Interesting Man in the World” guy throws a shine ball.

  2. BigtunaNY - Jun 14, 2010 at 6:02 AM

    Many beers: Hmmm, I’d hazard a guess that Mrs. Shyster could confirm that later on you did indeed swing for the fences…twice

  3. Paul Martin - Jun 14, 2010 at 7:58 AM

    OK Craig! You were right and I was wrong about the Yankees. They deserve to be first in your power rankings for now. Long term, I still prefer Tampa Bay. My Jays have had a rough week on the rosd and will deservedly drop in your power rankings.

  4. Professor Longnose - Jun 14, 2010 at 8:35 AM

    The Mets had the best home record and worst road record in the NL. That’s why their sweeping a series on the road is significant. If they’re actually finding their road legs, it could go a long way toward deciding who wins the division.

  5. SouthofHeaven - Jun 14, 2010 at 8:57 AM

    Say good again, I dare you, I DOUBLE dare you motherf***er, say good one more Godd**n time!!!

  6. lar @ wezen-ball - Jun 14, 2010 at 9:07 AM

    “If that’s not a great argument to ban the DH, expunge all DH records from the books and perform universal lobotomies on the populace in order to erase all memories of the DH, I don’t know what is.”
    Well, the only reason Lewis batted with the bases loaded is because Ken Macha intentionally walked Andres Blanco, with his .200 avg and .286 OBP, to get to Lewis with two outs in the inning already. Stupid managerial decisions and stupid intentional walks like that are a decent counter-argument…

  7. Craig Calcaterra - Jun 14, 2010 at 9:08 AM

    Shhh! I’m not talking to sensible people like you, lar. I’m trying to persuade the morons who run Major League Baseball,. and I really don’t need you tipping them off.

  8. nps6724 - Jun 14, 2010 at 9:16 AM

    “The Mets had the best home record and worst road record in the NL. That’s why their sweeping a series on the road is significant. If they’re actually finding their road legs, it could go a long way toward deciding who wins the division.”
    Orioles.

  9. Lashman - Jun 14, 2010 at 9:22 AM

    My God, you actually found a quote where Charlie didn’t use good as an adverb. That’s like being given a blurry picture of Bigfoot, not sure you can believe it, but still amazing.

  10. lar @ wezen-ball - Jun 14, 2010 at 9:51 AM

    Whoops, didn’t mean to ruin your whole big plan there, Craig. Sorry.
    I was just really annoyed at the game yesterday when I saw Macha do that, and then he laced the single down the line (that really should’ve been a double).

  11. YankeesfanLen - Jun 14, 2010 at 9:52 AM

    The Metropolitans have the most home WINS, but I dispute the best home record part. At 24-10, they’re about.706 at Shea, the team across the river is 22-7 for a .759. The obvious good news: we’ll have more home games when it counts.

  12. Old Gator - Jun 14, 2010 at 9:53 AM

    Time for the Feather Lice to take a night off, catch their breath, and go see Huron and Lee Harvey Osmond (who should be the official “O Canada” vocalist at the Rogers anyway) at the Dakota. There’s a rumor Mike and Margo will be sitting in.
    .
    Meanwhile, speaking of the Rays, it appears that the Feesh were inspired somehow by playing in the Tropicana Dump, and they’ve initiated another one of their mini-good-streaks by taking two of three and dropping the Rays into an ignominious tie with the Borg. They managed to climb a half game ahead of the Gnats, and now they come home to play in the rain and fearsome electrostatic discharges for a week or so. How will all that sturm und drang affect their delicate psyches this time? Meanwhile the impending Rays, who will be plenty pissed off and inspired by playing under a gray sky full of menace instead of a gray dome with a paunchy predator drone, will be looking for revenge. With Renyel Pinto rumored to be about to come off the DL, they’ll probably get it.
    .
    More downside: Ricky Nolasco, who started off the season like a bull shark off a children’s beach, has been fair, poor, bad and then brutal over the last few weeks. It’s been like watching David Bowie age in The Hunger.
    .
    More upside: Mike Stanton has established that he can single in the major leagues. Uncle Wes Helms deposited a distinctly avuncular home run in the seats at the Tropicana Tumulus, first time since last year, proving that he hasn’t totally lost it yet while continuing to provide discount onfield versatility and clubhouse leadership for Scrooge McLoria and his Chihuahua. Chris Coghlan is back to normal.
    .
    Cameron Maybin, so far the major missing piece of the Feesh offense this season, continues to sputter and was held out of the lineup for the entire Rays series, and hasn’t played since the 6th against the Mutts. What does this signify for Cody Ross, who has been the subject of trade rumors ever since the Players Union forced Scrooge McLoria to break his bank on Josh Johnson back before spring training? Do the Feesh keep Ross and dangle Maybin, whose performance might net them a midlevel EYP in a pre-deadline trade, or are they showcasing Ross in center field while secretly installing bionic upgrades in the onetime SEYP (Super Exciting Young Prospect)? Probably too early to tell. I’ve always been a Maybin fan – based largely on a ball I saw him hit off his fists that hit the scoreboard at a spring game oncet – and his penchant for lunging swings don’t make a lot of sense to me.
    .
    Ross, on the other hand, creeps me out sometimes – he looks too much like those netsuke carvings of fat little forest sprites, especially when he smiles, and his perpetual pallor even under the Macondo sun gives one the impression that he subsists on the blood of tykes. But until or unless Maybin comes around, we’ll just have to concentrate on his play and hope that he develops the ability to photosynthesize or something. I’d rather see him green than translucent, you know?

  13. APBA Guy - Jun 14, 2010 at 10:33 AM

    This was an interesting weekend for the A’s in that for the first time this year the hard-core A’s fans on Athletics Nation turned against A’s management en masse. Was it losing 3 to the spoiled, rich-kid Giants or was it the horrendous lineups produced by the A’s? It wasn’t like the A’s were massacred, there were no double digit shellackings endured, it’s just that there is no answer on offense when facing competent pitching. And Lincecum, a revitalized Zito (his curve in the 4th is the soft tossers anti-Strasburg weapon of choice, varying between 70-80 mph, but lots of 12 to 6 break, just like the “old” days)and a dominant Cain (don’t forget, he’s younger than Timmy)were better than competent.
    Oh well, at least they get to play 3 at Wrigley. It’ll be fun to hear the drunks in Wrigley’s bleachers sing “Who are you?” at every A’s hitter.

  14. Kevin S. - Jun 14, 2010 at 10:49 AM

    Craig, pitchers have an aggregate OPS+ of -3. The rest of the positions vary from around 90 (C) to 120 (1B). If that isn’t reason enough to force the NL into the late-ish 20th century, I don’t know what is.

  15. Craig Calcaterra - Jun 14, 2010 at 10:55 AM

    You’ll have just as much luck talking someone out of their religion or their favorite flavor of ice cream.
    I like pitchers batting because I just do. I know full well that they can’t hit. I just don’t care.
    Sometimes life is that way.
    reCaptcha: “and pynchon”

  16. Kevin S. - Jun 14, 2010 at 11:02 AM

    I’m aware of that Craig, but A) it’s fun making people look silly clinging to something in the face of all logic and B) you started it! :-P

  17. Infinite Wisdom - Jun 14, 2010 at 12:18 PM

    “You tell that son of a b—- no Yankee is ever comin’ to Houston. Not as long as you b——- are running things!”
    GEORGE! GET A HOLD OF YOURSELF!
    CAPTCHA- flunkies Korean.
    Simply wonderful.

  18. Old Gator - Jun 14, 2010 at 12:38 PM

    That argument assumes that every baseball fan is a Neanderthal who wants to see nothing but a mindless succession of like-minded club-waving Neanderthals lurching towards the plate inning after inning after inning. The countervailing argument is that we don’t want to see that, that we appreciate the textures, rhythms, pathos and strategies inherent in having someone we know is clueless with a club coming up at the moment that the game is on the line, the starter had been terrific through seven, the boolpen is a catastrophe waiting to happen and the manager – and we – must think it all through. A lot of us like to enjoy baseball with our minds as well as with our cojones.
    .
    and pynchon. I’m jealous.

  19. Professor Longnose - Jun 14, 2010 at 12:42 PM

    I specified that the Mets had the best home record in the league, not the majors.
    I’d guess that both their home and road records are more or less chance and a streaky team.

  20. Professor Longnose - Jun 14, 2010 at 12:44 PM

    I agree that beating the Orioles is no great achievement, and that the Mets probably haven’t turned any major corners. But that is why their sweep got notice, not, I don’t think, just because they are from New York.

  21. Professor Longnose - Jun 14, 2010 at 12:48 PM

    I’m guessing that at some formative moment in your fandom you saw an at bat by a pitcher that forever changed you. Can you dig it out of your subconscious? What’s the greatest pitcher at bat you ever saw?

  22. Craig Calcaterra - Jun 14, 2010 at 12:54 PM

    I don’t know that there was one single at bat. I think it has more to do with my underdog thing. I’m sure I saw some pitcher — maybe Rick Mahler — hit a home run once and was just tickled at something like that happening.
    And I know the whole “there’s more strategy in the NL” argument gets derided all the time, but things like, should the pitcher bat, should he bunt, should you double-switch, etc. etc. do get the brain working, and I usually enjoy engaging my brain like that and trying to figure out what I would do in such situations during games.

  23. Professor Longnose - Jun 14, 2010 at 12:57 PM

    I’m guessing that at some formative moment in your fandom you saw an at bat by a pitcher that forever changed you. Can you dig it out of your subconscious? What’s the greatest pitcher at bat you ever saw?

  24. nps6724 - Jun 14, 2010 at 1:01 PM

    My problem with the DH is it allows someone to be half a player. As bad as Adam Dunn is on defense, at least he is out there playing. If your defense is so bad that you’re only an asset if you NEVER PLAY DEFENSE AT ALL, then you’re not a very good baseball player.

  25. Kro - Jun 14, 2010 at 2:23 PM

    Pitchers hitting homeruns is awesome. It gives all of us couch jockeys hope that we too could hit one out. With that said, watching pitchers hit is about as painful as watching Bud Selig speaking at the draft. Just get rid of them both, please.

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