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And That Happened: Wednesday's Scores and Highlights

Jul 8, 2010, 6:09 AM EDT

We have the beginnings of an HBT Extra reverse curse. If I slam you -- or if Tiffany interviews you -- your game is bound to improve.

Giants 15, Brewers 2: Observations regarding this bloodbath: (1) Brian Sabean spent the first month of the season talking about how Buster Posey wasn’t ready for the bigs yet. Yeah: 4 for 4, 2 HR, 6 RBI; (2) Lost in the carnage is the fact that Tim Lincecum pitched a whale of a game: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 10K; (3) As has become habit, I spent a third of my latest HBT Extra segment slamming something (i.e. the Giants’ lack of offense), only to have those criticisms contradicted by pesky fact in short order; and (4) it’s sad to see Trevor Hoffman used as a mopup man.

Reds 3, Mets 1: Bronson Arroyo — or, as I shall henceforth call him, Captain America — shuts down the Mets over eight innings. Brandon Phillips had a homer and an RBI double and flashed some nice leather for the Redlegs. He also was interviewed by NBC’s own Tiffany Simons the other day. In recent weeks she’s interviewed Evan Longoria, Jose Reyes, Kevin Youkilis and now Phillips. They all had really excellent games within 24 hours of the interview going down. Coincidence? Before you answer, know that she interviews me every week and I keep shuffling through life as though someone has cauterized my synapses and wrapped my hands in thick bandages, so maybe her powers only work on mega-athletes.

Marlins 4, Dodgers 0: Josh Johnson was, once again, spectacular, shutting out the Dodgers over eight innings and striking out eight. His ERA, by the way, is 1.70 — way lower than Ubaldo Jimenez’s — but he’s getting about a fraction of the press Jimenez continues to get.

Tigers 4, Orioles 2: You’re saving your really good lies for some smarter cop, is that it?
I’m just a donut in the on-deck circle. Wait until the real guy gets
here. Wait until that big guy comes back. I’m probably just his
secretary. I’m just Montel Williams. You want to talk to Larry King.
I’ve been in murder police for ten years. If you’re going to lie to me,
you lie to me with respect. What is it? Is it my shoes? Is it my
haircut? Got a problem with my haircut? Don’t you ever lie to me like
I’m Montel Williams. I am not Montel Williams. I am not Montel Williams!

Sorry. Once a year I crack at the sameness of Baltimore Orioles recaps and feel the need to go all Detective Munch on them. I wish you didn’t have to see that, but I can’t control it. There are days I wish I could be transported back to 1970 and I could write glowing praise about the latest Orioles victory, but that ain’t gonna happen.  As it is, the Orioles aren’t good enough for that and, sadly, they’re not interesting enough for me to even mock like I sometimes do to the Pirates or the Nats in recent years.  They’re just depressing team that makes me reach back 16 or 17 years for TV quotes to dull the pain.

Braves 7, Phillies 5: A couple of bombs from Martin Prado + a three-run double in the course of a six run inning for Brian McCann = the Phillies in a flat spin. Pfun Pfact, courtesy of Mac Thomason: Phillies starter Jamie Moyer made his major league debut when Braves starter Kris Medlen was nine months
old.

Nationals 7, Padres 6: Adam Dunn slams three home runs. The Donkey is on pace for yet another damn spectacular season and yet the first thing out of most people’s mouths when they talk about him is how he strikes out all the time.

Rays 6, Red Sox 4: The Rays sweep the Bosox behind David Price, who picked up his 12th win. Weirdness alert: Joe Maddon had Matt Garza close the game. No real explanation in the game story I read other than he only threw three innings in his last outing. Of course, he threw 84 pitches in those three innings, so it’s not like he was totally fresh.  Whatever. If Casey Stengel could use Whitey Ford in relief I suppose Joe Maddon can use Matt Garza there once in a while.

Blue Jays 6, Twins 5: Jose Bautista hit an inside the park homer which (altogether now!) was the result of poor defense.  Delmon Young hit a homer in the losing effort. You know, between Garza being relegated to the bullpen in Tampa and Young hitting bombs and being talked about as an All-Star, can we now say that the Twins won that trade?

No, of course we can’t, but I did want to see who was paying attention.

Cubs 8, Diamondbacks 3: This, from the game story, is a rather startling stat: Arizona had 10+ strikeouts for the
fifth straight game. The AP writer calls it Arizona’s “whiff-a-palooza,” which I rather like.

Royals 7, Mariners 3: Down by a run in the eighth, no outs, runners on first and second, Ned Yost ordered Alberto Callaspo to bunt. He couldn’t get the bunt down, however, so with the count 3-2 he swung away and hit a three-run homer. There’s a lesson in there that I’m guessing Ned Yost will never learn.

Rockies 8, Cardinals 7: It’s probably time to start worrying, Cardinals fans. For the second straight night St. Louis blows a lead late. This one wasn’t as dramatic — what could be? — but the Cards had a 5-0 lead in the fifth and a 7-4 lead in the seventh, but once again the pen couldn’t seal the deal.

Yankees 6, Athletics 2: The A’s simply didn’t show up for this series. They even made A.J. Burnett look good last night (7 IP, 5 H, 2 ER).

White Sox 5, Angels 2: The Sox have now passed Minnesota and sit in second place, a mere game behind the Tigers.

Astros 6, Pirates 3: Carlos Lee and Lance Berkman hit homers. This is not a repeat from Tuesday night. Astros’ starter Brian Moehler had to leave the game with a groin injury. No matter how many times I write the words “groin injury” — which I estimate has been 1,952 times since I began blogging — it still makes me wince.

Rangers 4, Indians 3: Jumpin’ Jesus on a pogo stick! Would the AP writer stop obsessing on Josh Hamilton’s “home hitting streak?”  Quick — how many of Joe DiMaggio’s 56 games were home games? If you can’t answer that without looking it up, this little statoid is meaningless drivel.  In other news, Michael Young is one of the guys in the “final vote” thing for the All-Star Game. According to the game writeup “the Rangers have enlisted Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten” in the effort “with Witten encouraging
fans to vote online for Young.” Does this really motivate anyone? I mean, I know people get Cowboys crazy down there, but if a Cowboy asked you to jump off a bridge would the Metroplex do it?  Wait, don’t answer that.

  1. Ditto65 - Jul 8, 2010 at 7:00 AM

    * Joe Maddon, I served with Casey Stengel, I knew Casey Stengel, Casey Stengel was a friend of mine. Joe Maddon, you’re no Casey Stengel. —Just sayin’.
    ** You should hunt down that AP writer and beat him up.

  2. Philip P - Jul 8, 2010 at 9:01 AM

    HBT Extra – please bash Russell Martin of the Dodgers next. He is due for a hot streak and while you’re at it, talk about how James Loney lacks power. You worked wonders for Matt Kemp!

  3. ThatGuy - Jul 8, 2010 at 9:19 AM

    Its definatly getting closer on the Garza, Bartlett for Delmon Young trade. Delmon is only 24 and just entering his prime, Bartlett had a good season, but besides that can’t hit and and Garza has fantastic stuff, but had never seem to be able to put it all together and has the highest ERA of his career. Its not as lopsided as once percieved.

  4. Jonny5 - Jul 8, 2010 at 9:41 AM

    Ahhhh, Charlie left the old guy in too long and he blew up. It was 100 degrees charlie!!! C’mon, now that loss was on you. Hey did anyone catch Charlie after the game talking up the Mutts and Braves? Ya can’t help but love this guy.

  5. basiltherat - Jul 8, 2010 at 9:41 AM

    Soriano was gassed after throwing four straight games (and really looked it Tuesday night) and Benoit had thrown three of the past four. Apparently they’d held Garza out of his usual side session because they thought he might be needed. Not sure why he was a better option than Wheeler, say, but whatever works.

  6. h r coursen - Jul 8, 2010 at 9:49 AM

    The Red Sox finally ran out of players. Buchholtz’s pulling a hamstring was inexcusable, but Francona should have learned by now that Dice-K should go, if at all, only against Baltimore. Key play was Beltre’s striking out on an eye-high fastball in first game with one out and the bases loaded. Second key play was Romero’s not taking a cut at first pitch after Maddon walked Ortiz to put the tying run on second base. It was a medium speed fast ball and the only good pitch he was going to get. He should have been given the swing sign. Has anyone noticed that Scutero has no range at all?

  7. Steve A - Jul 8, 2010 at 9:58 AM

    “His ERA, by the way, is 1.70 — way lower than Ubaldo Jimenez’s — but he’s getting about a fraction of the press Jimenez continues to get.”
    Just like college football, you have to do it from the start to get the press.

  8. Riddering - Jul 8, 2010 at 10:52 AM

    While no one is denying how awful Burnett made himself look in June, he’s not exactly a scrub pitcher. He can have good to excellent games without help from the opposing team.

  9. Old Gator - Jul 8, 2010 at 12:44 PM

    Naahhh, it’s just that Jiminez pitches at a higher altitude and is easier to see.
    .
    Stanton was the whole offense last night, Johnson was his usual ridiculous self. Slowly but surely Stanton is finding his groove and climbing away from the Mendoza line. Now if Cameron Maybin’s shoulder would heal and he could begin to find his groove, that’d more than make up for the trade loss of, say, Uggla or Cantu or even Cody Ross. At least one and probably two of them are going by July 31; the Feesh are, even with this wins by Johnson, treading water: back half of the rotation much worse than expected, no middle relief to speak of, and situational hitting poor to the point of threadbare. Look at Johnson’s three losses and no decisions and you’ll see what I mean about the situational hitting. Scrooge McLoria wouldn’t spend money on a winning team this past offseason, so don’t bet he’ll spend on a loser. Stay out from under the Feesh until August 1 or you’re gonna be buried by the payroll dump.

  10. APBA Guy - Jul 8, 2010 at 1:01 PM

    The A’s are certainly the team to play if you need to pad your pitching stats. Against the Yankees the A’s scored 4 whole runs. In three games. Even Joba looked like Joba should look: 1 hit in 3 innings.
    - Vazquez: 1 run allowed
    - CC: two runs allowed. Slacker. Probably tired from donating so much to his old school district in Vallejo. He’s really generous, and believe it or not he’s a model for Braden in that respect, who is also very generous but has a fraction (2.5%) of the annual resource.
    - AJ: 1 run
    That’s pretty fair. The A’s got a total of 15 hits in the 3 games, but they drew over 100,000. More loot for Wolff/Fisher which will never get spent on the team. I wonder if Loria, Angelos, and Wolff have a little club where they meet and laugh about how much they pocket from revenue sharing, etc.? They probably meet twice a year in some tax haven, say Monaco in the summer and the Caymans in the winter, drink champagne, smoke big Cubans and laugh about how bad their teams are.

  11. Ditto65 - Jul 8, 2010 at 1:16 PM

    I picture them in a room behind some seedy, smoking cheap domestics while counting stacks of money. Same conversation, though: “Did you see what I bought with Stenbrenners money?”, and son on.

  12. APBA Guy - Jul 8, 2010 at 3:10 PM

    I like it.

  13. Ditto65 - Jul 8, 2010 at 5:42 PM

    ** It was supposed to be “a room behind a seedy bar.”

  14. YankeesfanLen - Jul 8, 2010 at 5:52 PM

    Meanwhile, Universe doesn’t even notice the money’s missing due to opening of a couple more revenue streams. Moreover, fans don’t mind as long as they see Ws. New York, New York, pay-to-play.

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