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And That Happened: Sunday's Scores and Highlights

Aug 30, 2010, 5:15 AM EDT

NBC Sports.com has cleared me to resume baseball blogging-related activities. They wanted me to do a rehab assignment down in the Gulf Coast League, but my agent nixed that idea. Thanks, Scott!

It’s gonna take me a few hours to get back up to speed after a week off, so bear with me.  Can’t wait to fire up my DVR and check out those couple of Stephen Strasburg starts I missed! That kid is fantastic!

Braves 7, Marlins 6: If you thought that after a week off I wasn’t going to come back leading with a Brian McCann walkoff jack to bring the Braves back from a 6-1 eighth inning deficit then you’re just not familiar with my work.

Phillies 5, Padres 0: Swept by the Astros at home, sweep the Padres at home. I dunno man, you figure the Phillies out.

Brewers 8, Pirates 4: The Brewers have so thoroughly owned the Pirates at Miller Park the past couple of years (28-2) that they’re considering taking out an equity loan on their asses and adding a deck. Or maybe a gazebo. Save number 599 for Trevor Hoffman. I hope he gets to an even 600 and shuts himself down for good so he can (a) have a nice round number next to his name in the books; and (b) end his career with a fist pump and a high five from his catcher after closing one out, because that’s the only way it should be.

Mariners 2, Twins 1: Nice outing for Carl Pavano, but as people have been saying for years, there’s just not a hell of a lot you can do when you’re facing Luke French (7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER). Well, I’m guessing someone said that once or twice. Like, his mom or his Legion coach or someone like that.

Nationals 4, Cardinals 2: The Cards are 2-5 in their last seven. Those seven were against Washington and Pittsburgh. Gettin’ your butt handed to you by last place teams is no way to win the NL Central, son.

Reds 7, Cubs 5: The Reds take advantage of the Cardinals’ loss, extending their division lead to five games. They’re now 11-4 since getting swept by the Cardinals at home. The lesson: trash talking and kicking dudes in the face = victory.

Rockies 10, Dodgers 5: For the first time in six starts since coming over to L.A. in the trade, Ted Lilly loses. In fact, he gets pummeled (4 IP, 9 H, 7 ER). Three of those seven runs came on a pair of Carlos Gonzalez bombs.

Orioles 1, Angels 0: The O’s took all six this year from the defending AL West champs. And this series was your basic flogging: the Angels scored one run on Friday night and were shut out both yesterday and Saturday night. The O’s will finish the month with a winning record and, in fact, will have the best August of any AL East team. Sadly, however, the Yankees’ and Ray’s victories yesterday eliminated them from playoff contention.

Athletics 8, Rangers 2: The A’s take two of three to pull within seven and a half of Texas. Doesn’t seem very doable for Oakland, especially with only one series left between these guys. Not impossible, I guess. In 2002 the A’s were down four and a half at the beginning of that 20-game win streak and found themselves up three and a half when they lost their next game. Now, if Oakland can find that extra run or so a game that 2002 team had over the 2010 team, they’ll be in business.

Giants 9, Diamondbacks 7: San Francisco avoids the sweep at the hands of Arizona. They did their best to lose it, though. Adam LaRoche hit a two-run RBI double to right in the seventh inning. The time it took Jose Guillen to get to that ball is best measured in epochs. Guillen got the two runs back on his own RBI single, but really, no team that considers itself a contender should be playing that guy in right every day.

Yankees 2, White Sox 1: Frank Thomas Day, as The Big Hurt gets his number retired. The Sox could have used him in the lineup, though, as Ivan Nova allowed one run and five hits and struck out seven.

Tigers 10, Blue Jays 4: Dave Stieb Day, as the Blue Jays honor Sir David. The Jays could have used him the rotation, though, as Ryan Raburn hit two homers and the Tigers rattled off 12 hits. By the way, Dave Stieb was better than Jack Morris, and no one ever goes all crazy making his Hall of Fame case.

Royals 6, Indians 2: You can’t stop Bruce Chen and Kila Ka’aihue, you can only hope to contain them.

Mets 5, Astros 1: As of 7:30 P.M. last night, the little AP game story headline was “Dickey Handcuffs Astros.”  Heh heh, “Dickey handcuffs.”  Heh heh heh heh.

Rays 5, Red Sox 3: The season is growing short for Boston. Um, wait, that’s kind of an oxymoron. But you know what I mean. They’re 6.5 back. Carlos Pena and Carl Crawford hit dingers off John Lackey.

  1. Kiwicricket - Aug 30, 2010 at 6:04 AM

    As prompt as always Mr Calcaterra. Excellent.

  2. Jonny5 - Aug 30, 2010 at 8:06 AM

    I’m thinking the Phills were just trying to even out their home record. It was wayyy too lopsided. You know, trying to get your inner Zen back into the yin and yang of things requires such sacrifices. Umm yeah… it’s ashame the Phills haven’t been able to take advantage of the Braves losses with Houston at home, ahhh well. I must admit these Braves are making us nervous with this much moxy late in the season. Reminds me of some other team from the same division and how they played the last few seasons. Ya know all those come from behind wins, and a pretty frequent enough offensive routs on some poor pitching staff from time to time…. Braves fans, regardless of the outcome of this season were treated to one heck of a season, and it’s turned out so far to be a very nice curtain call for Grumpy. The way it’s going now, the Braves can make it even better. One thing for sure, September ball is going to be quite exciting in the NL east. Again…..

  3. Jonny5 - Aug 30, 2010 at 8:10 AM

    BTW Welcome back Craig. Missed the ATH.

  4. Utley's hair - Aug 30, 2010 at 8:13 AM

    Yup. The Phightins give it up to the Stros for the first four game broom fest in the Bank’s history. So what do they do for an encore? Head west to sweep the NL win leaders in their own house–though the Phils do own the Friars in the rectory (I think they’re 18-4 at Petco, but I might be a bit off).
    -
    And after that BP prompted sweep of the now-red-hot Reds last month, the Cards are doing their best imitation of my Phils by giving it up to the cellar dwellers.
    -
    Welcome back, Craig. You picked a hell of a week to play hooky, Craig.

  5. Megary - Aug 30, 2010 at 8:42 AM

    The Reds go up 5! And the Cardinals, um…Flounder! Great way to start the week, Craig.

  6. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 30, 2010 at 9:11 AM

    As I said on Friday…Phillies fans could look at it as “WE SHOULD BE IN FIRST PLACE!!!” or “WE JUST SUCKED ASS FOR 4 GAMES AGAINST THE LOWLY ASTROS AND ONLY LOST 1/2 A GAME!!!” Now we picked up a game, the Braves are fading(lucky win yesterday), and by mid-September, the Phillies will be 5 up in the division.
    Welcome back Craig…you were missed.

  7. dlf - Aug 30, 2010 at 10:06 AM

    “…they’re considering taking out an equity loan on their asses and adding a deck”

    Seems like something that J.Lo should consider.

  8. APBA Guy - Aug 30, 2010 at 10:34 AM

    A few pitching issues for Texas this weekend, as Daric Barton went deep twice, also Kouz. Even Mark Ellis launched one and Kurt “I’m Swingin’ At Everything” Suzuki was 6 for 11. Lots of chatter from the A’s announcers about how much work hittin’ coach (tribute to Texas talkin’) Skaalen has been working with the A’s offense. Colby Lewis just ran out of gas yesterday in the heat, whereas the much slimmer Hialeah Gio Gonzalez seemed ok with the temp and sun. If Texas is going to have pitchers who don’t break down in the heat they maybe should consider hot weather physiology. Big bodies struggle in the heat moreso than slimmer types.
    Saturday night Braden threw about a thousand changeups and sweated his way to a shutout. People forget how hot it can be in the 209, where Dallas Braden comes from. Last week it was over 100 there three straight days. So he handled the, wait for it, 95 degree evening start whereas Rich Harden didn’t stick around long enough to feel the heat. Still, Nelson Cruz is back this week and maybe also Ian Kinsler. There’s no way Texas loses this thing.
    The A’s take the kid pitchers to New York this week so we’ll get extended highlights on the World-wide leader. They also start both their righthanders after setting up their lefties to neutralize Josh Hamilton (6-9, HR-they neutralized everyone else). The Yankees are a powerful left handed batting team, so I expect some unpleasantness for the A’s staff. The White Rabbit has been one one of the luckiest BABIP pitchers in baseball this year. That kind of luck runs out sometime.

  9. adam - Aug 30, 2010 at 11:26 AM

    “Can’t wait to fire up my DVR and check out those couple of Stephen Strasburg starts I missed! That kid is fantastic!”

    You forgot to add “Too soon?”

  10. Old Gator - Aug 30, 2010 at 11:47 AM

    There was nothing “lucky” about a comeback win against the Feesh boolpen and fielding mavens. A herd of musk oxen with dysentery couldn’t have stunk up a field as badly as the Feesh did yesterday afternoon. Three errors, three unearned runs, and a boolpen that imploded like a soap bubble in a singularity made a wonderful end-of-summer gift to the Bravos of a game Josh Johnson left after six innings of one unearned run ball leading 6-1. Those Braves hitters in the dugout who saw someone other than Josh come out to pitch the seventh had lean and hungry looks about them – hell, they looked like a bunch of kids waiting at Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth for those first big bowls of fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy after skipping lunch. Will Ohman and Leo Nunez rewarded them handsomely by doing their best Kevin Gregg impersonations for two catastrophic innings.
    .
    This was one of the most humiliating losses of this low-rent season for Scrooge McLoria’s K-Mart Kids, who with another loss tonight would be hugging the strange attractor for the twenty second time this season. This team may be mediocre, but at least it’s consistently mediocre.

  11. John_Michael - Aug 30, 2010 at 12:13 PM

    The Buck Era should put the O’s into the Power Ranking teens. Maybe. But the methodology is pretty voodoo anyway, right?

  12. Utley's hair - Aug 30, 2010 at 12:14 PM

    The Friars see the Feesch’s three miscues and raise you one.
    -
    And, speaking of high-school-type lines, Craig, where is the obligatory reference to Shane Victorino and his reaction to Hawaii in the LLWS title game?

  13. Craig Calcaterra - Aug 30, 2010 at 12:16 PM

    You can’t ignore all that has happened before. If you did and went on August records only the Yankees would be way down the list. My rankings just don’t work that way. Also: the O’s got eliminated yesterday. That’s gotta count for something.

  14. nps6724 - Aug 30, 2010 at 12:25 PM

    Wow, they were eliminated with a full month to play? That’s gotta suck.

  15. Old Gator - Aug 30, 2010 at 12:32 PM

    “I don’t see any method.”
    Apocalypse Now

  16. Utley's hair - Aug 30, 2010 at 12:35 PM

    They’ve actually been eliminated for several years, but yesterday it became a mathematical formality.

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