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And That Happened: Tuesday's Scores and Highlights

Aug 4, 2010, 6:18 AM EDT

The worst part about Jeff Francoeur hitting the game-winning homer? The Atlanta papers will now start agitating for the Braves to somehow bring him back to the Braves.

Mets 3, Braves 2: I get the sense that we’ll be calling this one the “Francoeur Game” for some time. A bad route by Frenchie on what should have been a single to right led to the Braves’ second run, but then (a) Kyle Farnsworth walked Francouer on four pitches in the seventh and he came around to score; and (b) Frenchie hit the winning home run off Billy Wagner in the ninth. I can’t be mad at Francoeur. The guy’s not evil and he used to be part of my baseball life. Good for him for doing something great in the course of such an awful season. That dinger probably made his year, and everyone should get that kind of joy in their lives once in a while, even if it pains some of us to have to watch it.

Rays 6, Twins 4: Three-run bombs by Sean Rodriguez and B.J. Upton and now the Rays are in first place.  Why?

Blue Jays 8, Yankees 2: That’s why. Rickey Romero tosses a complete game two-hitter. But New York writers can’t be bothered to break down a great pitching performance by the opposition. No, they have to latch onto or create some narrative to explain the outcome in a way that creates a Yankee hero or a Yankee goat.  To wit: I haven’t seen the column yet, but after this game ended last night the New York Post’s Kevin Kernan tweeted that his story for today would be that the Yankees are “letting 600 get in their heads.”  As if anyone on the team cares beyond what it means for dumb reporters’ questions after the game.  Nothing to do with Girardi penciling in a peculiar bottom of the order. Nothing to do with Romero throwing bullets. It’s not even just an A-Rod story anymore. No, the whole damn team is infected by 600-itis!  Brilliant! UPDATE: Kernan didn’t disappoint: “The milestone has become a millstone around the neck of A-Rod and the Yankees.” Oy.

Red Sox 3, Indians 1: Fisticuffsmanship!  Well, pushing, shoving and jawing anyway. Josh Beckett hit a couple of dudes. So later Indians’ relievers Justin Germano and Jensen Lewis threw behind the backs of Papi and Beltre, respectively, which led to he aforementioned shoving and jawing and then ejecting. As for the baseball, Mike Lowell smacked a two-run homer on the first pitch he saw.

White Sox 12, Tigers 2; Tigers 7, White Sox 1: Like I said a couple of weeks ago: split a double-header and it’s like you wasted a day. Like you’ve ended on a note of ambiguity instead of being able to go to bed with the satisfaction of a win or the emptiness of a loss. With at least said emptiness being a resolved note, rather than a dissonant one. But a split? Runnin’ to stand still, baby. Ha La La La De Day. Ha La La La De Day, ha La La De Day.

Phillies 6, Marlins 1: Roy Halladay struck out nine over seven innings and had a two-run single to boot. The Phillies have lost a ton of position players, but Halladay has been there all year, and there’s no way to overstate how huge that has been.

Orioles 6, Angels 3: Buck Showalter’s Orioles are undefeated.

Pirates 7, Reds 6: The Reds came close to fighting back from a 7-1 deficit but fell a tad short. Hard core Pirates fans and fantasy junkies will be interested to note that Joel Hanrahan appears to have been given closer’s duties in Pittsburgh following the trade of Octavio Dotel. The rest of you can continue reading up on Steelers’ camp.

Astros 18, Cardinals 4: I’m becoming convinced that the NL Central is really a rec softball league.  Best part of this rout: Tony La Russa had infielder Aaron miles pitch the ninth inning yet somehow resisted the urge to play the matchups and yank Miles with a situational lefty infielder later in the inning.

Brewers 4, Cubs 3: When you strike out ten dudes in your major league debut you should probably win that game. Tough stuff for the Cubs’ Thomas Diamond, I guess.  The Cubs just couldn’t get the timely hit to support the kid.

Dodgers 2, Padres 1: The Ted Lilly deal is a good one so far. Lilly allowed only one run on two hits over seven without walking a dude. The Padres’ lone run came from one of their deadline pickups, Miguel Tejada, who hit a first inning dinger.

Mariners 3, Rangers 2: The M’s not only scored their first run since Friday, but they snapped their seven game losing streak too. Not that they really brought out the lumber: “They singled us to death,” Ron Washington said after the game.  Hey, whatever gets the job done.

Diamondbacks 6, Nationals 1: Mark Reynolds hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning, then was beaned by a pitch in the sixth. Reynolds on the pitch from Colin Balester: “I guess the pitch just got away from him.” I truly hope so. There’s nothing uglier in baseball than pitchers hitting a dude on purpose simply because they hit a homer.

Royals 3, Athletics 2: Alex Gordon was 2 for 4 with a double and a home run, and came around to score the winning run on a fielder’s choice by Gregor Blanco in the ninth. I wonder if they’d take Kyle Farnsworth for Gordon?

Giants 10, Rockies 0: Jonathan Sanchez strikes out nine Rockies in six shutout innings and Colorado does nothing to stop the Giants’ bats (note: I’m still having trouble getting my mind around the Giants having bats).  That sound you hear is all hope abandoning the few remaining riders of the Rockies’ bandwagon.

  1. Proudly Canadian - Aug 4, 2010 at 7:33 AM

    How about those Blue Jays! A two hitter for Romero and the Jays hitters once again had multiple home runs. The New York media has tunnel vision.

  2. BasicInstinct - Aug 4, 2010 at 8:30 AM

    The pure joy in the Met’s dugout after that home run was something to behold. Manny Acosta and Henry Blanco were probably happier than Francouer. Acosta gave Frenchy a little head butte to show his love. Even John Smoltz was happy in a hard to conceal way.
    I’ll bet Yunel Escobar probably watched it five times on his Tivo once he got home, and texted Francoeur as soon as he could find his number.
    Revenge is sweet.

  3. Kevin S. - Aug 4, 2010 at 8:30 AM

    Ups to the Jays. Romero was dealing last night. Kevin Kernan makes me want to go to New York and break his fingers.

  4. Scott - Aug 4, 2010 at 8:31 AM

    Craig: specifically, Balester hit Reynolds in the head and he was taken out of the game. It was more than just a regular HBP.
    FYI, it was also the 2nd time Balester had beaned a dude in the head within the last week. Dibble was, let’s just say rather harsh, on him during the broadcast.

  5. Paper Lions - Aug 4, 2010 at 8:40 AM

    I’m sure the Cardinal FO is scanning the waiver wire daily looking for a situational lefty IF, they currently have none on their roster. Rather embarrassing that they could have such a giant hole in their roster at this time of the year and in a pennant race.

  6. Jonny5 - Aug 4, 2010 at 8:42 AM

    Well, not only did Roy Halladay pitch great but he got 2 ribbies on a single that squirted past third. Yes, he hit the ball. Chooch went 4-5 and was a triple short of the cycle. And I don’t think Halladay called off a single pitch he called. Ben Francisco (who I swear should be an OF full time on most teams) had 3 hits. I know, Gator will tell it better. And any time you give a major league team 4 outs an inning, you will lose.

  7. Jonny5 - Aug 4, 2010 at 8:43 AM

    BTW, Frenchie did that just to piss you off Craig. I know you know this.

  8. Simon DelMonte - Aug 4, 2010 at 9:06 AM

    Hats off to RA Dickey, as well, for continuing his out of the blue great season. What is it about knuckeballers that they come into their own so late? And why doesn’t every team have one?

  9. Steve C - Aug 4, 2010 at 9:16 AM

    I love the joke about a situational lefty infielder. Think about it for a second, the only lefties that play an infield position are first basemen. Only La Russa would pull Pujols from a game to put a situational lefty infielder at first base just in case he needs to bring them in to pitch.
    I’d love to have seen a younger La Russa with fiery red hair.

  10. Kevin S. - Aug 4, 2010 at 9:21 AM

    Probably because there aren’t thirty receivers who can handle the flutterball.

  11. APBA Guy - Aug 4, 2010 at 10:16 AM

    The A’s finally lose to the Royals, despite Mazzaro continuing a string of excellent starts by the young A’s pitchers. The bullpen was definitely rusty after three straight complete games (Braden, Gio, the White Rabbit). KC’s pitching kept them in this one as Davies matched Mazzaro and the KC bullpen outpitched the A’s, giving up only 1 hit in 4 innings. Amazing how Alex Gordon can look so bad striking out twice but so good with a HR and a double. Do NOT throw him a high fastball. Coco Crisp’s OBP is .309. He’s the A’s leadoff man. Billy knows better, at least, he used to.

  12. YankeesfanLen - Aug 4, 2010 at 10:47 AM

    Guess this a little late to think of this, but alongside your “grinning like a prom queen” Frenchie picture you could have placed the Frenchie “twinkle toe through the outfield” that I know is your favorite.

  13. Jack Marshall - Aug 4, 2010 at 10:57 AM

    There isn’t a fan in Boston who wouldn’t say that last night’s non-fight was trivia, while Mike Lowell’s first pitch home run following an emotional standing O from the crowd, on the day he was going to be released and instead became the guy who has to hold down Youk’s place in the line-up, was one of the high points of the season thus far, and maybe #1.
    And you mention it as an afterthought.
    One more peril in summarizing games one doesn’t actually see, Craig.

  14. Craig Calcaterra - Aug 4, 2010 at 11:00 AM

    The point of this feature always has been — and always will be — for me to riff on what I find interesting in a given game, not to provide some assessment of what, in some objective sense, was the most significant thing that occurred. We’ve talked about Lowell an awful lot on this blog in recent weeks and likely will continue to do so should he clear waivers and garner any trade interest. The little bench clearing incident is what caught my eye in this one.

  15. Old Gator - Aug 4, 2010 at 11:56 AM

    Canadian, don’t equate the entire New York media with the Pestilence, which is merely the local New York edition of an Australian meta-rag with shrimp-and-barbie tentacles extended throughout the former civilized world – like that giant octopus down in the boiler room of the doomed cruise ship in Deep Rising. Commonwealth correspondents should spend less time sniping at the Borg, Braniac’s favorite gigantic bottled city called New York (he just uses the Kandor bottle to raise expensive Madagascan day geckos these days), and more time cleaning up their own journalistic privy. Sight unseen, I’ll bet you that the rest of the Gotham tabloids, not to mention the Times, had plenty to say about Romero and about how much better the Featherlice have been this year than they were expected to be.

  16. Old Gator - Aug 4, 2010 at 12:12 PM

    I have a photo here someplace of Roy Halladay standing on the charter dock in Key Biscayne in a bathing suit, t-shirt and flipflops holding a fishing rod, while beside him twenty-five filleted Feesh and one obnoxious manager wearing “Sharks” color hang inverted from a davit. Halliday is smiling.
    With their own ace in a bit of a funk these days, the Feesh may be slowly coming to the realization, as they cling once more to the strange attractor, that their inspired min-run of the past few weeks has netted them something like a one and a half game improvement in the division standings and, if I’m not mistaken, no gain at all in the wild card race. They pretty much must take two of three from the Feelies and two of three from the Cards at home, then capitalize on games versus league doormats like the Gnats, Buccos and Disastros next week if they want even to sniff the roses emerging from the dog days. With the Feelies a MASH unit in uniforms and the Bravos faltering, they could actually manage to make a splash if they can recover the momentum of last week and sustain in. For Feesh fans, it’s a conundrum. On one had it’d be great to see things get exciting in Macondo. On the other, that would be a shame, because it would merely re-instigate Scrooge McLoria’s delusions about playoffs on the cheap.

  17. mgflolox - Aug 4, 2010 at 12:26 PM

    Yeah, I don’t get the whole Crisp thing either. And have you noticed? Chris Carter and Michael Taylor are mashing here in Sacramento. Beane has been collecting talent the last few years, hopefully we’ll see these guys in Sept.

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