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And That Happened: Tuesday's Scores and Highlights

Sep 15, 2010, 6:00 AM EDT

The Empire strikes back, the Braves look pathetic and the White Sox nearly drift off to that undiscovered country as the medics vainly shock them with paddles and yell "clear!"

Yankees 8, Rays 7: There won’t be complaints about the bullpen management this morning. After Ivan Nova got beat up through four and two-thirds (and Boone Logan gave up a homer), Chamberlain, Wood, Robertson and Rivera held the Rays scoreless. The Rays pen was a bit more porous, allowing the Yankees to tie it in the sixth and surrendering the game-winning homer to Jorge Posada in the 10th. Oh, and Carl Crawford got thrown out at third to end the game, trying to advance on a fly out to right. Why would the Yankees want to sign that palooka this winter when they have Greg Golson?

Twins 9, White Sox 3: The White Sox have not yet been pronounced, but they see a bright white light and an almost unnatural feeling of calm is washing over them. Wait! Who’s that? Why, it’s the White Sox’ beloved dead grandma, beckoning for them to join her! Run toward the light, Chicago! Run towards the light!

Padres 7, Rockies 6: That sound you hear is Colorado blowing a great opportunity. The Padres take another from them, thanks in part to a Matt Stairs two-run homer in the eighth, and now have a three and a half game lead over the Rockies. I’m not gonna lie: I thought the Padres would crumble in this series, but they’re showing some serious fortitude.

Dodgers 1, Giants 0: The Dodgers were one-hit — really, just one hit — but scored on a Juan Uribe error in the sixth. Clayton Kershaw allowed four hits, but nothing but blanks on the scoreboard, for his first career complete game shutout. The Giants get pushed a game and a half back in the West.

Nationals 6, Braves 0: I guess that means the Braves still lead the wild card race, but it’s a fact: you are not deserving of a playoff spot if you go out and get shut the hell down by Livan freakin’ Hernandez in mid-September. You’re just not. Dude has been a nemesis since 1997, but I can’t muster any ill-will towards him. The Braves are just not good enough to see this thing out, and I and anyone who roots for them are just going to have to get cool with that.

Phillies 2, Marlins 1: The Phillies, on the other hand, are good enough. Cole Hamels struck out 13 in six and two-thirds. The Phillies, by the way, have set their rotation up so that Hamels, Halladay and Oswalt all face the Braves next week. Way things are going, they could throw Matt Beech, Danny Cox and Shane Rawley at Atlanta and they’d be just fine.

Mets 9, Pirates 1: R.A. Dickey was spectacular (CG, 5 H, 1 ER). Zach Duke got shelled, with Angel Pagan and Carlos Beltran combining to drive in six. I just started reading “Big Hair and Plastic Grass: A Funky Ride Through Baseball and America in the Swinging 70s.” I know they had their problems and everything, but the 1970s Pirates were way more interesting than this crew.

Cubs 7, Cardinals 2: Randy Wells pitched eight strong innings against a Pujolsless lineup and the Cubbies denied Adam Wainwright his 19th win. The Cardinals season is ending on about as lousy a note as it can for a contender, yet they still draw 40,000 fans a game.

Royals 11, Athletics 3: Anyone wanna tell me where Wilson Betemit’s .313/.394/.537 season came from? Because, really, this is nuts. Not a ton of plate appearances, I realize, but someone is going to pay this dude too much money based on this partial season of near-brilliance. Yeah, it’ll probably be the Royals, but still. A two-run homer and two RBI singles in this one.

Astros 3, Brewers 2: Houston has won 11 of 15. They’re 70-75. It may be a long shot, but if the Braves continue crumbling, my official rooting interest for the last two weeks of the season may have to be Houston to finish at .500.

Diamondbacks 3, Reds 1: Daniel Hudson was pretty darn awesome against the National League’s best offense (8 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 8K). Bet the White Sox woulda liked having him around these past few weeks, no? I won’t even speculate about these next few years lest a bunch of south siders put their heads in ovens.

Indians 4, Angels 3: Shelley Duncan hit two home runs. This will make my daughter extremely happy when I tell her this over her pancakes later this morning. He’ll forever be her Joe Shlabotnik.

And speaking of my kids: I do almost all of my writing in my den. My den is directly below my son’s room. A couple of minutes ago, something large slammed into the floor of his room above my head. I ran up the stairs and found the boy crawling back into bed. He managed to whisper “fell . . . out” before he put his head down and started snoring again. Anyway.

Orioles 11, Blue Jays 3: Six runs in the seventh inning and six shutout innings from Jake Arrieta. The Orioles need now only go 6-11 in their final 17 to finish with fewer with 100 losses.

Rangers 11, Tigers 4: Texas was down 4-1 in the fourth and then scored ten unanswered runs. Well, they weren’t totally unanswered. They were just answered by a ton of creative profanity from Jim Leyland rather than any other runs.

Red Sox 9, Mariners 6: The Bosox trailed 5-4 before David Ortiz hit a three-run eighth inning homer off Brandon League to take the lead. Why M’s manager Daren Brown even let League — a righty — pitch to Ortiz when he had a lefty ready in the pen is a mystery. But hey, I suppose there’s value in hastening the Mariners season to as quick an end as possible at this point.

  1. Old Gator - Sep 15, 2010 at 8:20 AM

    Let’s hope that Ozzie runs into the light with the rest of the team and stays there until after the Feesh hire their next manager. The idea of Bobby Valentine being brought in because he was “fiery” was intriguing, but then the story went that Beinfest, the Chihuahua and some other shadowy backroom suits lined up against Scrooge McLoria’s man crush on BV because the latter was too independent. As this line of thinking goes, the Feesh favor compliant, cooperative, “team”-oriented managers who can all work smoothly together for the good of the Feesh bottom line, if not the results afield. Someone like, uh, Fat Fredi, who had been unceremoniously canned a few days before all this speculation oozed from the blogs and tabloids. Now, we’re hearing that these same Feesh factotums are intoxicated with the idea of the slobbering, vulgar, incoherent loose cannon Ozzie because he’s “fiery.” Okay-y-y……
    Last night the Feesh sleepwalked through nine innings, in a manner that might suggest that they see the light themselves, and in their distracted if not enervated state made Cole Hamels look really good. The Iron Giant, for example, following his rampage in Washington last weekend, appeared to have fixed his strike zone somewhere on the ground on the opposite site of the plate and swung at everything that bounced there. Fortunately, though, it appears that seasons can go into the light by themselves and leave ballplayers behind on this mortal coil where they can spend the offseason playing ouija scrabble and take a breather from chasing strange.

  2. Professor Longnose - Sep 15, 2010 at 9:10 AM

    Manny Sanguillen, Rennie Stennett, Richie Hebner, Richie Zisk, Al Oliver, Dave Parker, Kent Tekulve…

  3. Snappy - Sep 15, 2010 at 9:25 AM

    Glad your son is OK Craig, always a great read!

  4. klbader - Sep 15, 2010 at 9:29 AM

    Did everyone see what Francisco Liriano did last night to advance his Cy Young case? After being given a 2-0 lead by his team in the 5th, Liriano — who should be in the Cy debate but seems left out — let the White Sox score 2 runs in the bottom of the 5th. He wanted to make sure his teammates didn’t have a let down after taking the lead. Brilliant! Then, in the bottom of the 6th, he let the White Sox score an additional run. He did this to motivate the Twins, to let them know they needed to score more than 2 to win this game. Genius! Then, in his boldest move of the night, he made it known to his entire team that he was not going to go out and pitch in the 7th! The Twins hitters, despite knowing they have a strong bullpen, decided that they better put up a few runs to make sure the game isn’t even close! Then in the top of the 8th, Liriano, consummate winner that he is, used his psychic powers to make Armando Rios get a bad break on a ball and then he used telepathy to force that ball our of Rios’s glove, resulting in the Twins’ then-insurmountable lead.
    Clearly, Liriano knows what it takes to win games and should be a more prominent part of the Cy Young discussion. (All kidding aside, he really should be!)

  5. Detroit Michael - Sep 15, 2010 at 9:33 AM

    Let us know what you think of Big Hair and Plastic Grass.

  6. Jonny5 - Sep 15, 2010 at 9:58 AM

    Thanks for the Laugh out loud moment this morning Craig. It’s happened many times in my home as well.
    Things are going good for Philly baseball right now. The Phills gained a game in the NL east lead. Three aces in the hand. The Blue Claws just won game 2 of the championship series they’re in. (I thought the farm was bare bones with the trades?? hmmm?) And Rookie ball league? The Phills Rookies took that Gulf coast league championship from the highly touted Rays rookies. Whipped them soundly the final game actually… Yes, baseball is good in Philly right now.

  7. Kelly - Sep 15, 2010 at 10:07 AM

    I know we don’t +1 over here with intelligent baseball discussion, but I really think you should email Mr. Morgan this recap, see if he can talk about it next week… Frankie isn’t the Cy Young choice, but he should finish in the top 5 easy.

  8. Jonny5 - Sep 15, 2010 at 10:08 AM

    What else is good in PA right now? Seriously, you have to take a look at this.. LMAO!

  9. matt - Sep 15, 2010 at 10:28 AM

    As a Phillies fan Im diggin’ the Matt Beech and Shane Rawley references. Thats old school right there and a reminder of awfully bleak days of the Phillies past.

  10. MerkleBoner - Sep 15, 2010 at 10:45 AM

    Grant at McCovey Chronicles noted last night that the Giants game was the 48th time since 1920 that a team has allowed one hit and lost.
    The Giants have done it twice this year.

  11. APBA Guy - Sep 15, 2010 at 11:16 AM

    The Royals v. A’s contest was basically their kids vs. our kids. That could have been fun until Gio decided to flash back to last year and struggle with command, rolling a few mush balls into the middle of the plate for the Royals batting pleasure. Zach Greinke may not be showing Cy Young form this year, but when he loaded the bases in the first he got out of it by throwing 97 when he had to. That’s how we roll in the 407, where Greinke’s from. After giving up 11 in 3 innings the A’s used this game the way Sept games used to be used by non-contenders: they emptied the bench. Every punchless outfielder in the system came to the plate at least once, any more than that would have been too embarrassing. Thankfully the A’s announcers have stopped talking about catching the Rangers, and are now limiting their remarks to food, including camera sequences of some fine barbecue being prepared at Kaufmann stadium.
    Gator- Gio is from Macondo. Please speak to him in the offseason about last night. He looked lost and hurt. I’m sure your soothing words will help further his development.

  12. Utley's hair - Sep 15, 2010 at 12:01 PM

    That link is awesome!!!

    Where are those microphones down there in Old Gatorville? You could hear every expletive uttered on the field. When does Cole have to meet with the FCC?

    Craig’s got to be livid after Livan shut down the Bravos AND jacked one over the wall to boot. Damn.

  13. Utley's hair - Sep 15, 2010 at 12:15 PM

    (Okay. That damn autorefresh effed this up and my reply became a lone comment. Here’s my reply.)

    That link is awesome!!!

    Where are those microphones down there in Old Gatorville? You could hear every expletive uttered on the field. When does Cole have to meet with the FCC?

    Craig’s got to be livid after Livan shut down the Bravos AND jacked one over the wall to boot. Damn.

  14. Old Gator - Sep 15, 2010 at 3:16 PM

    If we can arrange to meet for a fizzy the week after next when I bestride the narrow Bay like a colossus, I’ll slip you the secret map to my favorite cafe, the Luna Star, and we can meet for a pep talk. I’ll order him up one of my patented Cherry Garcia in Framboise lambic beer floats, so he’ll start off with a smile. I’ll use all my sociopathic skills to soothe his bruise-ed egall.

  15. Old Gator - Sep 15, 2010 at 3:21 PM

    Microphones are everywhere. They belong to the Trailer Park Network, of course. They know when you’ve been sleeping. They know when you’re awake. They know when you’ve been bad or good, so keep your !@#?% mouth shut! (Grawlix deleted).

  16. APBA Guy - Sep 15, 2010 at 3:21 PM

    I’m ready! How do make the appropriate arrangements?

  17. Old Gator - Sep 15, 2010 at 9:46 PM

    I’ll see if Craig wouldn’t mind passing to you my secret identity, and the location of the phone booth where I routinely smash my elbows changing out of my three piece Brooks Brothers business suit into my two-piece alligator costume.
    Then again, I could also ask him to pass you my email address. How’d that work?

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