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And That Happened: Wednesday's Scores and Highlights

Aug 19, 2010, 5:56 AM EDT

The Yankees-Tigers game, starring Sean Penn, Esai Morales, Ally Sheedy and introducing Alan Ruck!

Yankees 9, Tigers 5: The play in this one was defined by the six home
runs that were hit (two by Miguel Cabrera), but the game was defined by
chin music. Or at least leg and back music.  After last night’s hard slide
by Brett Gardner knocked Carlos Guillen out indefinitely, Gardner was
plunked in the first. Warnings issued. Fine. But then Chad Gaudin hit
Cabrera in the eighth. No ejections, though, because umpires have a lot
on their minds and can’t be bothered with remembering warnings they
issued a mere two hours earlier. Leyland got ejected complaining about
that. Then Jeter got one thrown behind his back by Enrique Gonzalez and
both Cano and Teixeira got some inside pitches. Still no ejections.

Depending on how you value inside pitches (does three of them = one
plunking?) the Tigers and Yankees are either even on the Great Manhood Ledger or else the Yankees are up 2-1 (slide into Guillen + Cabrera
plunking vs.the Gardner plunking).  Of course, given that the umps
aren’t going to do anything to anyone over all of this I fully expect the scores to
be settled via someone swinging a pillow case full of soda cans at an opposing player, “Bad Boys”-style. I’ll call it now: Ryan Raburn will play the Sean Penn role and Nick Swisher’s will be Esai Morales.

Twins 7, White Sox 6: Gavin Floyd vs. Francisco Liriano was just the latest cracker jack on-paper pitching matchup that fizzled out when both guys proved mortal. Floyd was mortaler, though, allowing all seven Twins runs on ten hits. Bright side for the Sox: the bullpen didn’t blow this one! The Sox are now five games back.

Braves 3, Nationals 2: Once again Atlanta hitters couldn’t do anything against a Nats’ starter for the first few innings, but once again they came through late. They didn’t come through as big as they did on Tuesday night, though, so this one was tied heading into the bottom of the ninth, when Jason Heyward won it for Atlanta with an RBI single. I haven’t mentioned my man crush on Heyward for some time, but I assure you, it still burns.

Marlins 3, Pirates 2: Josh Johnson goes eight, striking out six and allowing only two runs to snag his first win in six starts. Meanwhile, Dan Uggla continues to chug along in what is turning out to be the best season of his career. He hit another bomb in this one, and now has 28 on the season and a quite spiffy .294/.381/.532 line, all three of which would be career highs if the season ended today.

Red Sox 7, Angels 5: The Sox are now 9-0 against the Angels this year. I guess that atones for the 3-0 sweep in last year’s ALDS, huh?

Phillies 8, Giants 2: Can I go back and re-declare the Giants dead? I won’t claim I was 100% right the first time I did it. I’ll just say that I was ahead of my time.

Padres 5, Cubs 1: A double and a couple of RBI for Matt Stairs who, no matter who he plays for and no matter how he’s doing, always makes me happy. Dude has worked for 12 teams in 18 years. Until this year he’s just about always hit pretty well. He’s never complained or been a problem that I can recall. He’s always just taken his suitcase wherever he was wanted and has done what was asked of him. This is probably his last year. This could have been one of his last starts. Glad to see him going out and gettin’ it.

Mariners 6, Orioles 5: Matt Tuiasosopo homers again. Then he scored on a keeper from the four yard line, putting the Huskies up for good. If they hold on here and then beat the Cougars next week, there’s a potential Sun Bowl birth in it for them.

Brewers 3, Cardinals 2: As Aaron noted, the Brewers were lucky to hold on, but Trevor Hoffman still has enough fumes in the tank to make it a few more miles. Adam Wainwright certainly did enough to win on most days, but the Cards just couldn’t break through against Randy Wolf. Four straight losses for St. Louis.

Royals 9, Indians 7: Cleveland attempted a bit of a late comeback, but it fell short. Let’s face it, though: if you knock 11 hits off Bruce Chen, you should probably win that game. The Tribe, alas, did not.

Athletics 5, Blue Jays 4: Gio Gonzalez was robbed. He gave up only one run on two hits in seven innings, but his pen let him down, allowing Toronto to tie it up in the ninth. In the bottom half the A’s strung together a Steve Tolleson single, a passed ball allowing him to make it to second and then a Cliff Pennington single to knock him in for the game winner.

Rays 8, Rangers 6: As far as playoff previews go, this one was pretty yawn-inducing. Evan Longoria was a stud: his 3 for 4 day, with two doubles, a homer and four RBI led the charge for the Rays.

Mets 3, Astros 2: R.A. Dickey and Brett Myers pitched well, but Dickey ran out of gas in the ninth, allowing the Astros to tie it on a Geoff Blum bomb. The pens each pitched well too, pushing this one into the fourteenth inning when Jose Reyes walked, advanced to second on a sacrifice, stole third and then came in on a sac fly for what what proved to be the winning run. And they say the manufacturing sector is dead in this country.

Reds 11, Diamondbacks 7: Just yesterday I read something about how Arizona’s bullpen had finally settled down a bit under Kirk Gibson’s deft management. Guess they’re still working out the kinks, because Cincy put up eight runs between the eighth and ninth innings, coming back from being down 7-3 to win it going away. The run that put them over the top came on a squeeze play with Jim Edmonds running at third base. I’ll admit it: if I was the Dbacks, I wouldn’t have been expecting that one.

Rockies 3, Dodgers 2: A wild one! Wait, make that a wild three! Octavio Dotel got two strikeouts in the tenth inning, but he allowed Melvin Mora to advance to second on a wild pitch and then come home on a second wild pitch with the winning run. He had a third wild pitch that inning, but it ended up not doing him any additional harm. For what it’s worth, the Dodgers scored their first run of the game on a wild pitch too.

  1. Kevin S. - Aug 19, 2010 at 6:56 AM

    Craig, you are by no means alone in your man-crush on Heyward. He’s already become my favorite non-Yankee. I can’t buy any of his merch (obvious reasons), so I live vicariously by getting my girlfriend his t-shirt when we go to the game last Sunday. We have seats in right field, about six rows back off the wall. I’m super pumped to be watching him in action for the first time. I’m worried that if I get drunk enough, I might just blurt out my unconditional love for him. And then then announce the lineups, and not only do I find out that he gets a seat for Bobby’s B-Lineup Sunday Special, but it’s Melky fucking Cabrera’s fat ass I’m going to have to stare at all game. Needless to say, I was devastated.
    They did make it up to me by kicking Torre’s ass all the way back to LA, though.

  2. Joe - Aug 19, 2010 at 9:16 AM

    Matt Stairs is an assistant high school hockey coach in Bangor, Maine in the offseason. How can you not love that?

  3. minnesconsin_ad - Aug 19, 2010 at 9:36 AM

    The Rays/Rangers is no longer a playoff preview at this point, unless the two meet in the ALCS (unlikely?)

  4. onemilemore - Aug 19, 2010 at 10:01 AM

    Yes, PLEASE declare the Giants dead again! Then maybe they’re rattle off another hot streak!

  5. Tim's Neighbor - Aug 19, 2010 at 11:04 AM

    I’ve watched a ton of guys take BP this year and I gotta say that watching Matt Stairs was my favorite so far. I mean, it’s Matt Stairs. If he could make it to the bigs, what things can’t we do as humans? The possibilities are endless. Also, he hit more bombs than most people I’ve seen hit so far.

  6. Ace2000 - Aug 19, 2010 at 11:14 AM

    The Yankees and Rays are deadlocked in the standings, so right now it looks like one of them will play the Twins and one the Rangers. Hard to say which at this point, so Rays vs. Rangers is definitely still on the very short list of first round playoff possibilities. And once the playoffs start, it’s practically a crapshoot. Heck, we could see the Twins beat the Rangers in the ALCS en route to a WS with the Reds!

  7. murd - Aug 19, 2010 at 11:19 AM

    You know, a few weeks ago when Thome hit a triple, everybody talked about how many games and at bats he went between between triples .Anybody know the last time Matt Stairs made a diving catch in the outfield like he did last night? It could very well be on par with Thome’s triple gap.

  8. Old Gator - Aug 19, 2010 at 11:46 AM

    The Pyrites were JJ’s early birthday present. He has been very erratic over his last five starts or so and has gotten shelled twice, so it was nice to see him feast on Peetsburg for a change. Scrooge McLoria must warming milk in his microwave at night, sitting be wondering why in Buddha’s name he made such a fanfare over opening extension talks with Uggla when the guy is driving up his price every day lately.
    The Iron Giant took another ohfer and his average has dipped nine points in two games now. Player of the Week can kill you.

  9. minnesconsin_ad - Aug 19, 2010 at 11:51 AM

    I’m not suggesting it’s impossible or even unlikely. I operate under the assumption that the Yanks will win the East, probably by a few games, so I was somewhat annoyed by the entry early this week hyping up the Rays/Rangers series as a definite preview of the ALDS. My point exactly was that a lot can change between now and the end of the season. A lot depends on the two series coming up between MN and TX, but I believe TX is the most overrated team in the AL — and its not even close. The AL West is the only division in baseball with a second-place team playing sub-.500 ball… and TX and ATL are the only division leaders playing sub-.500 on the road, which doesn’t necessarily spell disaster but certainly doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence, either.
    I started to gag a little reading Tom Verducci’s piece this week in which he crowned Josh Hamilton the best player in baseball and started comparing him to Mickey Mantle in his prime. Let’s let the guy win at least one significant award before going down that road. The guy is a good story, and he’s having a monster year — that said, he has a whopping one impressive full-season performance to his name. Slllllow down, Tom.

  10. APBA Guy - Aug 19, 2010 at 12:40 PM

    I always picture Matt “The Wonder Hamster” Stairs in green and gold. I’ve related the stories of how good he was working the fans on Fan Fest day, and showing the ropes to Mulder, etc.. But when he was with the A’s he played a lot of right field. His range wasn’t spectacular. Even though he and Ichiro are close in altitude the similarity ends there. But he had this sneaky good arm. It was great fun to see the look on a baserunner’s face as he got up from the dust cloud after a close play at second, a mix of bafflement and horror, as the sick reality settled over him like the SF fog in a Dashiell Hammett novel: “Yer Out!”. Thrown out by the Hamster. There would be no end of abuse in the visitor’s clubhouse for suffering that fate.

  11. APBA Guy - Aug 19, 2010 at 1:51 PM

    I forgot to mention that today the Rays come to town to begin their series with the A’s. Any bets on a mutual no hitter (ie both teams are no-hit simultaneously)? Both teams are prone to low hit games, though the Rays certainly handled Texas. The pitching matchups are:
    Sonnanstine v. Cahill
    Hellickson v. Mazzaro
    Price v. Anderson
    Tonight’s game seems unlikely for the mutual with Sonnanstine going, and tomorrow Mazzaro will probably give up a hit by falling behind in the count, but Sunday has all the earmarks: day game, pitchers’ park, hard-throwing lefties, it could happen.

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