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And That Happened: Wednesday's Scores and Highlights

Sep 30, 2010, 5:54 AM EDT

Two doubleheaders? A walkoff strikeout? Despite most of the games not mattering all that much, it was a pretty damn good day/night of baseball.

Braves 5, Marlins 1: Sometimes there’s a man. I won’t say a hero, ’cause, what’s a hero?
But sometimes, there’s a man. And I’m talkin’ about Brooks Conrad here.
Sometimes, there’s a man, well, he’s the man for his time and place. He
fits right in there. And that’s Brooks Conrad, in Atlanta (1 for 4, HR, 3 RBI).

Padres 3, Cubs 0: San Diego snaps out of it and stays alive. A four-hitter led by Chris Young for five innings and finished by the pen. If the Padres do make it into the playoffs, Young will be huge for them. Partially because he’s 6’10″ — that’s huge! — but also because he has an ERA of 0.90 in four starts this year.

Giants 3, Diamondbacks 1: But thanks to the Braves and Giants winning, the Padres don’t gain on anyone.  Eleven Ks in seven innings for Lincecum and a three-run home run for Pat Burrell. Burrell’s homer really shouldn’t count though, what with him being a guy who the Giants just went out and got and slapped “San Francisco” across his chest.

Rangers 6, Mariners 5: A walkoff strikeout. In which the winning team struck out. Classic. You gotta see it to believe it. The beautiful thing about this was that Nelson Cruz had to swing at a wild pitch for it work. If I ran the Rangers’ kangaroo court I’d probably fine him for that even if it did constitute the winning, um, strikeout.

Indians 4, Tigers 0; Indians 4, Tigers 3: Here’s something I’m having trouble processing: Johnny Damon’s start in the first game made him only the fifth player in history to play in 140 games in 15 consecutive seasons.
The others: Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Brooks Robinson
and Pete Rose. I never would have been able to come up with that list. I probably would have put Ripken on it and been wrong (thanks 1994 strike!). I never would have put Damon on it. Indians sweep the doubleheader, by the way.

Brewers 8, Mets 7; Brewers 3, Mets 1: In the first game, Milwaukee had a six run lead, blew it, and then came back to win it on a Prince Fielder RBI single in the eighth. According to the game story, only “several hundred fans” were in the crowd. In the second, Trevor Hoffman got the save. He wouldn’t have been closing if John Axford hadn’t closed the first game, but now he has 601 instead of 600. I can’t tell you how dissatisfying it is that he’s not finishing with a round number. It’s like one blade of grass sticking up out of the middle of an otherwise manicured lawn.

Angels 2, Athletics 1: The first sentence of the AP game story: “Torii Hunter’s two-out single had barely hit the outfield grass when pink fireworks shot up from the fake rock pile at Angel Stadium.” That sounds less like a game story than the opening lines of a novel written by a sophomore creative writing student. It’s about suburban ennui and the lack of authenticity in 21st century America. He wrote it in his parents’ basement in a upper middle class enclave — maybe Lake Forest, Illinois — right after an argument with his father about the scratch he put in door of the Volvo on the way back from Hot Topic, where he was buying a Che Guevara shirt.

Dodgers 7, Rockies 6: Matt Kemp — who hit a two-run homer on Tuesday night — smacked a grand slam yesterday. It’s been a long season, but he’s ending it strong: “End strong and give ‘em a little preview of what is to come next year,” he said after the game. If the Dodgers sweep the Dbacks this weekend, they end at an even .500.

Cardinals 4, Pirates 1: With the exception of Colby Rasmus, the Cardinals basically put out the pu pu platter lineup. Really, it was one of the few times all year when the Pirates could be said to have had decidedly better hitters going than the opposition did. Didn’t matter, though, as the Bucs just couldn’t figure out P.J. Walters (7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER).

Astros 2, Reds 0: I’m kind of busy so I don’t have time to check the game story here, but based on the lineup that the Reds were running out for this one, I assume it was called in favor of the Astros when it got dark and the Reds batters had to go home. I mean, they have school this morning, and they get cranky if they don’t get in their jammies and into bed before 9.
 
Orioles 2, Rays 0: A capacity crowd of 36,973 was on hand! Which means that, once you take away the 20,000 free ones the team handed out, actual paid attendance was lower last night than it was on Tuesday. Eh, whatever. They’ll sell out their playoff games, people will ring those damn cowbells and wear the big blue mohawk wigs again, and we’ll all be wishing they stayed home. In other news: Kevin Millwood is still alive (7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 7K).

Phillies 7, Nationals 1: The Phillies rested the starters they didn’t rest on Tuesday night and threw out Blanton instead of Oswalt. This time they cruise instead of lose. They should just play split squad games against themselves until the playoffs start. I’d watch that. Wouldn’t you watch that?  Adam Dunn got the golden sombrero (0 for 4, 4Ks) in what could have been his last home game as a Nat.

Blue Jays 8, Yankees 4: Know what’s gonna be hilarious? When Javier Vazquez signs with some big-park NL team next season and goes 15-8 with a 2.85 ERA. He and Carl Pavano can do commercials together. Yankees fans heads will explode. For now though, well, yuck (4.2 IP, 10 H, 7 ER). A-Rod hit a bomb to give him 30 on the year to go with his 100+ RBI. He has strung a bunch of those together.

Twins 4, Royals 2: According to the game story, “Delmon Young became the fifth Minnesota Twin to hit 20 home runs, 40 doubles and drive in 100 runs in the same season.” The story said he “joined some elite company.”  Then the elite company was listed: Kirby Puckett, Justin Morneau, Torii Hunter and Michael Cuddyer. OK, I’ll grant you Puckett — Hall of Famer — and Morneau — former MVP — but Cuddyer and Hunter aren’t exactly “elite.” I mean, if I was running Club Awesome I’d probably allow my doorman to let them in eventually, but I’d probably have him make them cool their heels behind the velvet rope for a few minutes. And they would NOT get a nice table once inside.

White Sox 5, Red Sox 2: Josh Beckett finishes the season 6-6 with a 5.78 ERA. Thank GOD for that contract extension, or else the Sox wouldn’t have had this guy at $15.75 million a year through 2014. That’s a risk they could not have taken.

  1. Proudly Canadian - Sep 30, 2010 at 8:22 AM

    Who cares about Vazquez? Everyone knew that he could not pitch in New York. The real pitching story was Jays pitcher Brett Cecil. He was 11 & 2 against the AL East this year and only 2 of his starts were against Baltimore. He was 4 & 0 in 5 starts against the Yankees. Even though he is from Maryland, he grew up as a Yankee fan.

  2. Proudly Canadian - Sep 30, 2010 at 8:48 AM

    By the way Craig, the Jays Yankee game last night was not about the friggin Yankees. It was Cito Gaston’s last game at home as the Manager and the Jays won big time for him.
    I realize that you know virtually zilch about the Jays, so keep an open mind while I educate you.

  3. RickyB - Sep 30, 2010 at 8:54 AM

    It’s not the cowbells that have me worried. It’s the vuvuzelas that have been popping up there. Put a bunch more people and quite a few more of those things and the broadcasts of those playoff games will be close to unbearable …

  4. Alex K - Sep 30, 2010 at 8:59 AM

    Was the a “Big Lebowski” reference in the Braves/Feesh recap?

  5. birdmancometh - Sep 30, 2010 at 8:59 AM

    Screw the Braves. I hate when your happy Craig.

  6. Proudly Canadian - Sep 30, 2010 at 9:01 AM

    In case you have not noticed Craig, the Jays were 10 & 8 this year against the Evil Empire. Last nights win enabled them to win the season series. The Jays also hit 3 home runs to bring their season total to 247 which is the 5th best in ML history. John Buck became the 6th Jay to hit at least 20 home runs in the season. It could have been more if they had not traded Gonzalez and if Snider had not missed two months with a wrist injury.

  7. Craig Calcaterra - Sep 30, 2010 at 9:03 AM

    Dude: I’m writing a post about Cito Gaston. Relax.

  8. Alex K - Sep 30, 2010 at 9:04 AM

    the = that

  9. GoGigantos - Sep 30, 2010 at 9:13 AM

    601, one more
    like one more than ten
    but, this one goes to 601, eh

  10. Old Gator - Sep 30, 2010 at 9:14 AM

    Good job by the Feather Lice. You have to wonder what the Borg and their nest of brood parasites must be thinking going into the postseason badly overmatched across the board by at least three if not four of the teams they’re going to face, and with Mariano Rivera looking – ready? – old and tired. Like it or not they are not the same team that they were midseason and certainly not the same team that won last year.
    .
    Now on to important stuff.
    .
    The Feesh are going out not with a bang or whimper but with a splatt!. The manager managed the Braves series like he wasn’t paying any attention or just didn’t give a crap – especially night before last, leaving a rag doll named Anibal Sanchez on the mound when everything he was throwing was getting hit so hard that it’s amazing the balls didn’t break down into quarks and muons on contact. The hitters must have been swinging gently because they were afraid of getting splinters from their bats – they scored, I think, four runs in three games or some such thing. And of course the Red Queen would have been screaming “off with their heads” at that through-the-double-wickets grounder that made Gaby Sanchez and Dan Uggla look like extras from the croquet scene in Heathers.
    .
    The Feesh have a critical (!) four game set against the Pirates this weekend, and at four games south of GSA they have to sweep this series in order to finish even. The only reason they have a gossamer hope of doing so is that it’s the Pirates but of course the way they’re schlepping to the finish line even this isn’t much comfort. The next interglacial beckons. They’d be better off spending the trip home tying flies than looking at more of those dreary opposing pitcher videos.

  11. Jonny5 - Sep 30, 2010 at 9:46 AM

    Jerry Manuel is the only manager that will go to the Feesh to be a Manager/ puppet i’m afraid Gator. What will you do if such a catastrophy was to take place?

  12. Joe - Sep 30, 2010 at 9:55 AM

    Maybe they are conflating “exclusive” with “elite.” A four-man club would be pretty exclusive.

  13. Jonny5 - Sep 30, 2010 at 9:56 AM

    Ahhh, The Phillies….. It was tryout night in Washington last night for the Bench guys. Everyone did a little to make a case to be used during the playoffs, besides Dobbs, who has been anemic all season long. And besides Fransisco who hit two bombs, he did alot to make his case. This guy is good enough to start in right field, and would be if he was with most clubs. Do the Phillies have one of the strongest benches in the major leagues or is it me being a fanboy? Gload, Fransisco, Sweeney, Brown. All real good off the bench.

  14. Jonny5 - Sep 30, 2010 at 9:59 AM

    Valdez…. Almost forgot he’s a bench guy because he’s started so many games…

  15. Jonny5 - Sep 30, 2010 at 10:03 AM

    And you say Philly fans are sensitive??? Pffffttt!!! Those Frenchies are wayyy worse!!! lol!! No offense PC, but i just had to get that in.

  16. Chris Fiorentino - Sep 30, 2010 at 10:20 AM

    Clinching the division, best record in the NL, and just all around greatness really takes the zest out of your week as a fan…I can’t imagine what it does to a player. I’m at Chili’s last night, and there’s this group of about 10 people in the bar area cheering every home run like it is game 1 of the World Series. I am looking at them like “You do realize that this is a glorified spring training game, without the Florida sun, don’t you”. I realized, however, that they were college kids from Rowan U. and probably didn’t follow baseball much.

  17. Jonny5 - Sep 30, 2010 at 10:28 AM

    Vuvuzelas? And Cowbells? Seriously though? Maybe Rays fans are trying to drive away other Rays fans to continue to have excellent parking accommodations? No wonder people don’t really want to pay to come to the games. It’s like paying to stick your head into a big bass drum for 3 hours….

  18. Mr. Heyward - Sep 30, 2010 at 10:48 AM

    They aren’t Frenchies silly. Try again.

  19. Mr. Heyward - Sep 30, 2010 at 10:53 AM

    Man, I was giving you the benefit of the doubt, but then you said you were at Chili’s. I hope you were there because you knew a hot waitress and not for the food. I think you need Ye Olde Gator to school you on l’art culinaire. Also, stop making it sound like you had anything to do with the Phillies’ “all around greatness,” you sound like Hawk talking about the “good guys.”

  20. Jonny5 - Sep 30, 2010 at 11:14 AM

    I always cheer. And i’m sure fans of teams who aren’t playing for anything but to finish the season with a more respectable record do too. Anyway, I bet our buddy Chris got the sizzling Fajita’s. They’re an attention grabber.. Chris before you freak, that was a joke. ;>P

  21. Jonny5 - Sep 30, 2010 at 11:20 AM

    Frenchish Canadians then ?

  22. Utley's hair - Sep 30, 2010 at 11:34 AM

    Junior Limeys?

  23. Utley's hair - Sep 30, 2010 at 11:38 AM

    Valdez is the startingest utility pine rider we’ve had in a long time.

  24. Utley's hair - Sep 30, 2010 at 11:41 AM

    Their boneless wings kick ass. Besides, they have lager there, so it’s all good.

  25. Utley's hair - Sep 30, 2010 at 11:56 AM

    Three homers from back-benchers from the right side of the plate. Maybe Mayberry needs to be busted back to LV, so he can be brought back up with the big boys to hit playoffs round tripper. But the regulars went ohfer 11? The Hawaiian we have in centerfield needs to be put back in leadoff.

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