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And That Happened: Wednesday's Scores and Highlights

Sep 23, 2010, 6:00 AM EDT

Oswalt dominates, the NL West continues to see-saw and Joe Girardi decides to use the element of surprise (i.e. a team of super-secret, anonymous relievers) to try and beat the Rays.

Phillies 1, Braves 0: All I can say at this point is woe be unto whoever has to face Hamels, Halladay and Oswalt in the playoffs. I suppose it still could be the Braves in the NLCS, but I’d just not prefer to think about that at the moment. A day off and six games against the Nationals and Marlins sounds just lovely right now.

Oh, and yesterday I mentioned things that will prey on my mind all winter. Here’s another one: The Phillies added Roy Oswalt at the trading deadline. The Braves added Kyle Farnsworth and Rick Ankiel, and then lost Chipper Jones. That’s an even exchange.

Padres 3, Dodgers 1: And the NL West see-saw continues, with the Padres back in first place. Miguel Tejada smacked his 300th homer. It feels like whoever gets to play the Dodgers last will win this thing, because they haven’t put up a fight in weeks, it seems.

Cubs 2, Giants 0: The Cubs have won seven of eight. Mike Quade: you’re passing the audition. The Giants win games nicely. But when they lose, boy do they lose. Four of their last five losses were shutouts.

Diamondbacks 8, Rockies 4: Colorado continues to fail to take care of business, and now find themselves three games back of San Diego. This one was particularly rough: Ubaldo Jimenez was staked to a 4-0 lead before he threw his first pitch. He couldn’t make it past the fourth, giving up five runs on six hits. Jim Tracy said he’s “mentally out of whack.” Maybe he’s just tired.

Rays 7, Yankees 2: After a rain delay knocked out AJ Burnett, Joe Girardi felt like the best way to win this one was to send out Royce Ring, Dustin Moseley, Chad Gaudin and Jonathan Albaladejo — four guys who are highly unlikely to find themselves on the postseason roster. Whatever, Joe.

Twins 5, Indians 1: I’m not going to say that the Indians have packed it in for the season, but when you get beat this badly by a bunch of hungover second stringers, you may not exactly have your head and heart in the game.

Marlins 7, Mets 5: Florida jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first and then held on. Jon Niese was all over the place for the Mets.

Red Sox 6, Orioles 1: A three-run homer and four RBI for Big Papi and a strong outing from John Lackey snap the Sox’ skid. And hey: a scoreless ninth for Papelbon. Miracle of miracles.

Pirates 11, Cardinals 6: Since taking over first place in that kicky and fighty series with the Reds in August, the Cardinals are 3-20 against teams with losing records. That’s absolutely astonishing. And if they lose four more games than they win before the season is out, they too will have a losing record. Which is even more astonishing given the talent on this team.

Brewers 13, Reds 1: Given that the Cards’ loss brought the Reds’ magic number down to three, this shellacking probably doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. And there’s a bright side: seven or eight innings during which the outcome was not in doubt almost certainly gave Jeff Brantley ample time to talk about ice cream sundaes, barbecue, chilli dogs, professional wrestling and all of that stuff that makes me simultaneously love and loathe him as a radio guy. Just wish I had thought to tune in.

Mariners 6, Blue Jays 3: Jose Lopez went off for three homers, which is more air support than most Mariners starters get in a month.  From the game notes: “Blue Jays third base coach Brian Butterfield and bench coach Nick Leyva
said they will apply to replace the departing Cito Gaston as Toronto manager.”  I like the use of the word “apply.” I picture the job vacancy being posted on the bulletin board above the coffee pot in the break room. I also picture a couple of bitter lifers in a table in the corner grumbling about how “they only post that internally because they have to. It’s all politics, man.”

Tigers 4, Royals 2: Miguel Cabrera got a leadoff single one inning. It was his only hit of the game. He had no other big moments or any RBIs. After the game, Johnny Damon said “Without him, we are probably in the cellar in our division. That’s how good he is.”  Somebody got the talking points!

White Sox 4, Athletics 3: Hey, the Sox won a game! They were down 3-1 in the eighth when Juan Pierre stole home to make it 3-2. Then a walk, a fielder’s choice, a single, a single and a double made it 4-3. Nice comeback for a team that has looked beat for the past two weeks.

Nationals 4, Astros 3: The game story makes an early, prominent mention of the fact that the Nats drew only 12,000 or so for this game.  I’m reading that 70s baseball book, and there is constant mention of teams — even good teams or teams with rich histories and deep fan bases — drawing pathetically by today’s standards. Things like the Yankees getting 19,000 on Opening Day in Yankee Stadium and stuff like that. The Nats’ 12,000 and change was roughly what the Cubs drew on average for the entire 1974, 1975 and 1976 seasons in Wrigley. Just a totally different era.

Rangers 2, Angels 1: Jeff Francoeur: secret weapon. He can take a hit-by-pitch. He can score on a passed ball in extra innings. He can find so many ways to beat you.  OK, not fair: he did hit a double to get into position to score on that passed ball.  The Rangers magic number is four heading into a four game series with Oakland, so this could all be done Friday night if everything breaks right.

  1. Jonny5 - Sep 23, 2010 at 11:03 AM

    I’m not making him to be anything he isn’t. The GM of the strongest Phillies team I’ve ever seen. Possibly ever had in Philly. I’ll give the whole “Amaro jumped too soon on dumping Lee” to you. I totally agree, he probably could have got more. But yet again, here we are. Stronger than ever heading into the playoffs with a team that may be the best we’ve ever cheered for. And he saved $$ by trading Lee and getting Oswalt when the dust settled. I’m very pleased with that. Who knows maybe they saved enough money to swing a deal with our Geico rep and keep the caveman here? Which I’ll gladly eat socks for.

  2. Mr. Heyward - Sep 23, 2010 at 11:10 AM

    Whoa, defending the Braves? What drug are you on and where do I get some? Actually never mind, if that drug makes me defend the Phils in any way then I’d rather stay clean.

  3. Old Gator - Sep 23, 2010 at 11:35 AM

    I’ve never seen half the kids who played last night in a uniform before, so for all I know they could have been short term hires out of Toon Town.
    .
    Oops, sorry, wrong wabbit.

  4. matt - Sep 23, 2010 at 12:09 PM

    Ok, half of my brain will be devoted to giving Amaro the benefit of the doubt that he’s a master wizard who has us all on his puppet strings and does hardy belly laughs while all us peons debate his every move. The other half will be devoted to thinking he got damn lucky to be dealing with Ed Wade in Houston who for some reason believes it’s his job to keep stocking his old team with pieces to the world series puzzle. Any part of my brain that is left will be devoted to looking at more pics of that Mexican “journalist” that Rex Ryan harassed. Wow, she out-booty’s J-Lo! Come to daddy!!!!!

  5. Dasher521 - Sep 23, 2010 at 1:26 PM

    I’ve been a Phillies fan far longer than I care to admit to and was a cushed little kiddie in ’64. When we were in the Steve Jeltz days in the 90’s, I was wearing a Phillies jersey and a neighbor asked, “How can you wear that? They stink!” It’s easy to wear your team’s jersey when they are winning. I loved hearing Peter Gammons after the 2008 World Series say that the Phillies were one of the most likable teams he has ever covered. I wish that fans of other teams that were eliminated would come on the Phillies band wagon … if not, so be it. We’re in a nice ride and I get fans rooting for the underdog and other up and coming teams. It’s been the best ride of my Phillies fandom and I sat in the stands at Game 6 1980. I’m just going to enjoy it and hope I can watch another parade down Broad Street! One game at a time Phils!

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