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And That Happened: Sunday's Scores and Highlights

Jul 26, 2010, 5:38 AM EDT

Dan Haren is a nice pickup, but the hole is getting a little deep for one good pitcher to help the Angels climb out of, no?

Mariners 4, Red Sox 2: I went down to West Virginia to see old friends
over the weekend. I went without my wife and kids, so I had a lot of
time to wander around my old hometown, drive some crazy country back
roads, do a little hiking in the middle of nowhere and generally get
lost in my own head for a little bit. Highly enjoyable, but I gotta say: both the 20 year-old memories stirred
by meeting up with friends and being removed from civilization for a day
or two was a bit disorienting. Dreamilike, in some ways, really. You know how in “Inception” Leo DiCaprio had that little spinny top thing? Well, I use boring and inefficient Dice-K starts in which he throws 110 pitches in six innings while walking five dudes to let me know when I am out of dream land and back to reality.

Astros 4, Reds 0: Seven innings of one-hit ball for Wandy Rodriguez
against a Reds team that seems like it had one foot on the charter to
Milwaukee from the time this one got going. I listened to this game on
the radio on my way back from West Virginia yesterday. Well, part of it.
After spending the better part of two days touring the coal fields, I
didn’t have a lot of patience for Reds’ color man Jeff Brantley telling
us that pinch hitting was “the hardest job in America.” It was 1-0 at
that point, though, so I guess I didn’t miss anything that truly
impacted game’s outcome. 

Rangers 6, Angels 4: Josh Hamilton continues to be ridiculous and the Rangers take three of four from Anaheim, extending their lead to seven games. Dan Haren is nice, Angels fans, but I really can’t see him being a difference maker right now.

Giants 3, Diamondbacks 2: Buster Posey smacks four hits to extend his hitting streak. He’s at .469/.511/.815 in July and at .371/.407/.579 on the year.  This is the man that Brian Sabean said “wasn’t ready” back in April. Sure, dude. Whatever.

Tigers 6, Blue Jays 5; Blue Jays 5, Tigers 3: When teams split a double header do the players go to bed that night thinking that the day was totally wasted? I’d probably feel that way.

Dodgers 1, Mets 0: Clayton Kershaw threw eight shutout innings a day after Joe Torre emptied the bullpen to win Saturday’s 13-inning affair. For the second day in a row Jerry Manuel refuses to use K-Rod in an ultra-tight game. Does he simply not trust his putative relief ace? Does he only care about saves?  How do you lose two games like the Mets’ Saturday and Sunday games without once getting your relief ace into the action?

Cardinals 4, Cubs 3: Felipe Lopez homers in the eleventh and Dennys
Reyes closes the door in the bottom half of the inning. Why Dennys Reyes
and not Ryan Franklin? Because Tony La Russa thought it would be a good
idea to use his best relief pitcher in a close game rather than have
him sit around and wait for a save situation, Jerry Manuel.

Brewers 8, Nationals 3: The Brewers sweep the Nats thanks to some terrible defense by Washington. Note to Jim Riggleman: Just because a guy has played a little third base in the past doesn’t mean he should play third base now.

Athletics 6, White Sox 4: Dallas Braden gets his first win since his perfecto nearly three months ago. Braden after the game: “I can finally quit answering calls from the Oakland Zoo looking for
their monkey. He’s off my back and I’ll be sending him home.” Hmm . . . was it the Vervet or the Squirrel Monkey?

Padres 6, Pirates 3: San Diego sweeps Pittsburgh in what is shaping up to be the Pirates’ worst season in 25 years. Which is saying something given that they’ve been wandering in the desert for a good 22 of those years.

Twins 10, Orioles 4: The Twins cruise despite having a number of regulars out of the starting lineup due to the effects of an unbearably steamy weekend in Baltimore. Jim Thome tied George Brett on the career RBI list. Remember when Thome used to play third base? Yeah, that was pretty hilarious.

Phillies 4, Rockies 3: Jimmy Rollins stole third and then came home on a wild pitch to score what turned out to be the winning run in seventh. If he would have reached on catcher’s interference and made it to second on a balk it would have been the run of the year. The Rockies have lost five in a row on what is turning out to be a nightmare east coast swing.

Marlins 5, Braves 4: The Braves had the bases loaded in the top of the eleventh with one out. Nate McLouth grounded into a double play. He was terrible before his concussion, the Braves won like crazy when he was gone and he’s been terrible since he came back. He adds absolutely nothing to this team. Wes Helms used to be talked about in similar unflattering terms when he played for the Braves but he got the game-winning hit in the bottom half of the inning for Florida. I think I’d rather have him playing centerfield than McLouth right now.

Yankees 12, Royals 6: Yankees in a laugher on the strength of two Curtis Granderson jacks and three RBI from Alex Rodriguez. Or at least it was a laugher until A-Rod got smacked with a ball in the eighth inning. It hit and bruised his left hand pretty good. “I was more fearful of the ball coming toward my face,” A-Rod said after the game. “My beautiful, beautiful face,” he did not add.

Rays 4, Indians 2Pretty spiffy play by Reid Brignac in the seventh, taking what could have easily been a game-tying hit away from Carlos Santana. I’m not a big fan of extreme defensive shifts like that, but I’ll admit it, they’re pretty satisfying when they result in a play like that.

  1. Paper Lions - Jul 26, 2010 at 7:23 AM

    Braden started with the squirrel monkey, but the little guy just wasn’t getting the job done and a month ago he upgraded to the vervet. Of course, he went that entire streak without getting the most effective monkey (Gibbon) onto his back. The streak could have ended much sooner.

  2. YankeesfanLen - Jul 26, 2010 at 7:36 AM

    Except for a swing that threatened to cause gale winds on Long Island Sound for the second time yesterday in the HBP at bat, ARod showed little evidence of over-working it for the long ball, with great impact on the scoring. The RBIs came without the strange attractor occurring. (Did I use that right, Gator?)
    Curtis Granderson is the best-spoken Yankee, if not all of baseball. He has 17 ways to say “it was a team effort”. I think he whispered to ARod that Friday’s “I want to reward my fans by hitting it in the Stadium” to Sunday’s “I’m disappointed I couldn’t share the moment with the fans”. Maybe Curtis could have helped Tony Hayward.NAAAHHHHH.

  3. randall351 - Jul 26, 2010 at 8:05 AM

    What no mention of the all powerful Scott Podsednik hitting two home runs? What kind of reporting is this?

  4. SouthofHeaven - Jul 26, 2010 at 8:11 AM

    That Royals pitcher who hit A-Rod should at least be fined. He threw at him twice in that at bat. No way was that an accident.

  5. Jonny5 - Jul 26, 2010 at 9:01 AM

    The Phills are 5 back and getting back on track. Ryan Howard has been hitting better than ever. Ibanez isn’t looking too bad either lately. It looks like the Phills are ready to make the push for the post season. Now when is that Utley coming back?

  6. BC - Jul 26, 2010 at 9:01 AM

    I think Thome last played 3B in 1990….

  7. BC - Jul 26, 2010 at 9:03 AM

    Scott Podsednik is the Messiah.
    (Of course we all know, though, that Clapton is God)

  8. Paper Lions - Jul 26, 2010 at 9:05 AM

    Except for the fact that the pitch that hit him wasn’t even thrown at him, you are right. ARod didn’t move an inch….well, he moved, he just didn’t actually move away.

  9. BC - Jul 26, 2010 at 9:05 AM

    Craig, I think you’d rather have Al Cowens playing CF for the Braves at this point. And he’s been dead for 8 years.

  10. Professor Longnose - Jul 26, 2010 at 9:38 AM

    When a manager brings Oliver Perez into a ballgame, I don’t think he’s worried too much about “trust.”

  11. Old Gator - Jul 26, 2010 at 9:50 AM

    You may have. I need to review the game story before I can determine if you constructed a functional analogy. All I knew was that he got hit by a pitch on his hand. I spent most of yesterday tethered to the grill cranking out a variety of papaya marinated cornish hens, ribs, burgers, dogs, beans, greens and buns, so my strange attractor for the day was my belly button.
    Meanwhile, my beloved Feesh wrapped up their best week of the season with four walkoff wins, three of which were over the Bravos, and closed to within seven games in the division and rejoined the strange attractor just in time to head west where, most likely, the seasonal pattern will resume and they’ll dive a few games below it again. Despite the hitters coming to a semblance of life and finding ways to atone for the arson squad’s attempts to hand games back to their rightful owners, the boolpen still looks awful; it took Nate McLouth to make it look, if not good, than at least tenuously respectable. Then there was that nightmarish eight-run karmic implosion the other night….well, there won’t be any Nate McLouths out west this week, betchabetcha. Taylor Tankersley has reverted to pre-AAA form again, and now seems to think it’s unfair to treat lefthanded batters any differently than righties. Way to get religion, Taylor. Just remember: if you give lefthanded batters equal rights, than everyone will want them. Jorge Veras feels naked without the bases loaded, and Burke Badenhop remains one of those rare pitchers for whom a man on first is effectively a runner in scoring position (and with a west coast trip in process, I suspect that Badenhop’s PERA would bring us closer to finding the even integer of Pi than a tandem series of Crays).
    Donnie Murphy enjoys his fifteen minutes of fame. Score all the strange you can while you can, Donnie. Fame is fleeting.

  12. Jonny5 - Jul 26, 2010 at 9:57 AM

    The Crowd at CBP was tearing Giambi a new one, chanting something about “take your steroids” or something very loud, over and over again. I guess it worked? He was out.

  13. randall351 - Jul 26, 2010 at 9:58 AM

    The count was 1-2, why in the world would you think that he was trying to hit A-fraud? He was obviously having control issues, and if you wanted to hit someone why wait till you are at 2 strikes before doing it?
    He had just made him look foolish with that Matt Stairesque swing for the fences 1 pitch prior.

  14. Old Gator - Jul 26, 2010 at 10:06 AM

    Sorry. It’s Jerry. He has risen and I dare you to find the body.

  15. YankeesfanLen - Jul 26, 2010 at 10:09 AM

    Never could figure out how to grill cornish hens. Rotisserie seem to take longer than a Thanksgiving turkey.

  16. Old Gator - Jul 26, 2010 at 10:50 AM

    Okay, never say I didn’t do nuthin’ for ya. Here’s the trick. Get yourself a pair of chicken scissors at the local Ace Hardware. Wash the hens in cold water, then split them in half down the back with the chicken scissors and unfold them butterfly style. Prick the breasts, legs and thighs vigorously (Cialis may help) with a corn holder. Place the unfolded hens breast down in a pan and cover with papaya nectar (you might add a few teaspoons of Liquid Smoke to the liquid), cover with cellophane even if your sanity is challenged by the stuff, leave at room temperature all day and then refrigerate for a couple of days. On grillin’ day, remove the hens from the liquid, pat dry and rub the breasts, legs, thighs and wings with balsamic glaze (that’s glaze, NOT straight balsamic vinegar). Allow to air dry for an hour or so uncovered until the glaze gets tacky. This will actually hold the sauce you choose in place on the bird and make repeated brushing or basting unnecessary. Then brush with your favorite BBQ sauce (I’m on a Jack Daniels BBQ sauce binge these days). Lay open side down on the grill (no turning will be needed), close the lid and check periodically for when the hens have turned a beautiful golden brown. Twenty minutes or so should do it, more if you’re prissy with your flame. They’re ready to place in your mouth. You never knew you could have a sensation like that so far up your body.

  17. YankeesfanLen - Jul 26, 2010 at 11:30 AM

    Thanks. I have this fixaion that poultry should taste like something. KC Masterpiece Smoky still my favorite, but who knows what ShopRite is hawkin’ this week. Kitchen shears are on hand already, hate that silvery stuff they always leave on bottom of ribs.

  18. APBA Guy - Jul 26, 2010 at 12:35 PM

    Ok everyone, enough with the too sweet sauces. No wonder Texas wants to secede. Please try Rudy’s for your barbecue, authentic Texas style flavor.
    Gator, interesting procedure for the game hens. Thanks for the detailed explanation.

  19. APBA Guy - Jul 26, 2010 at 12:41 PM

    The A’s took 2 of 3 from the CWS over the weekend, and Ozzie didn’t lose it once, despite much stimulation from his team’s performances. I think Ozzie was pondering the old thespian adage “If you lose it in an empty arena, did you really lose it?”.
    Anyway, Kurt Suzuki signed a 4 year, $ 16.25M deal this weekend, almost the same deal exactly that the A’s gave Terrence Long before he was shipped to the Padres a few years ago. Start packing Kurt. Billy’s itchy, and he doesn’t have Ben Sheets to trade anymore.
    The A’s play Texas this week in Texas, starting Tuesday. This will be fun.

  20. Old Gator - Jul 26, 2010 at 1:36 PM

    It will be. But you can’t imagine how tough it is for a Feesh fan to watch a financially crippled team hogstrung by legal wrangling and living on a financial heart-lung line from MLB make trade after trade to improve itself while the most profitable team in MLB, the Feesh, contemplates yet another round of payroll dumping and oscillates like a gyro with a hamstring pull in the standings.
    Oh, by the way – I head for the Bay area in October to see the Cowboy Junkies at Napa on the 8th and at Bimbo’s on the 9th. Self-indulgent? Naaahhhh. I got a pile of air miles that will rot if I don’t use ’em by November 30th or some such thing.
    Any way to find out when the Monarchs stop to rest at Muir Woods? I think it’d be about that time.

  21. Old Gator - Jul 26, 2010 at 3:09 PM

    Rudy’s? Yeah, OK. But then there’s the Salt Lick in Driftwood, roughly between San Marcos and Austen. Dear Buddha, that’s pigging out.

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