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And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

Apr 11, 2011, 5:30 AM EDT

David Freese

Cardinals 6, Giants 1: So both my kids came down with strep throat at the same time. Figures. And it figures it would happen on the first truly warm and nice day of the spring. Sunny, breezy, pushing 80 and, with the exception of the trip to the urgent care to get the throat swab and antibiotics prescription, we’re inside all day. Which is cool. Make the most of it. Turn on a baseball game. I turned on this one late in the afternoon. The kids are too sick to go out and play but not so sick to where they can’t watch the game over my shoulder, telling me which players they think are lame (i.e. all of them), that it’s funny how, given that my name is Craig Allen, that there’s a player named Allen Craig, and reminding me when they see Tim Lincecum in the dugout — the only player they really know by sight — that mommy thinks he’s cute like those sketchy skater boys she used to date before she met me.  And yes, the kids know this. He’s “mom’s boyfriend.”  How was your Sunday?

Phillies 3, Braves 0: Cole Hamels was on point, striking out eight over seven innings, rendering last start’s boo-fest ancient history. The saving grace of the kids being sick is that I was at the urgent care for most of this one. Which I would have been watching and not enjoying too terribly much if they weren’t sick, so thanks streptococcal pharyngitis! To call the Braves’ offense sputtering is an insult to the concept of sputtering. Apart from Friday’s “where the hell did that come from” game against Cliff Lee, Braves hitters couldn’t bust a grape in a fruit fight.

Red Sox 4, Yankees 0: Josh Beckett looked better last night than he had in years. The velocity was up, the command was there and the Yankees didn’t have much of a chance. Open question: homers aside — and they do have a lot of them — is this a Yankees offense with real problems, or did they just catch a good pitcher on the wrong night, recapturing something we all thought he had lost?

White Sox 6, Rays 1: Paul Konerko was rockin’ (two homers) Gavin Floyd was rollin’ (eight, innings no earned runs), and the Rays continue to reel.  Babara Ann.

Brewers 6, Cubs 5: The Brewers are on a roll — they’ve won five of six — and Prince Fielder is on a roll too. He hit a two-run jack in this one and is now is 11 for his last 18 with two home runs and 11 RBIs.  Ryan Braun and Casey McGehee hit two-run shots too, McGehee’s a pinch hit job that brought the Brewers from behind and put them on top to stay.

Angels 3, Blue Jays 1: Anaheim is on a roll too, winners of four of five. Jered Weaver struck out 15 Jays in seven and two-thirds. It was his career high and the most for an Angel pitcher since Chuck Finely struck out 15 Yankees in 1995.  Weaver is 3-0 on the season with a cool 0.87 ERA.

Astros 7, Marlins 1: J.A. Happ pitched some righteous baseball into the eighth inning and was 2 for 3 with a couple of RBI as well.  Someone confirm for me that the Astros announcers said that Happ “helped his own cause.”  Because if they didn’t, they get fined. It’s right there in the guild’s bylaws. No, I’m sorry, I can’t show you the guild’s bylaws.  They’re secret.

Padres 7, Dodgers 2: San Diego salvages one behind Aaron Harang. Ryan Ludwick and Nick Hundley were in the middle of the action offensively, scoring four runs, getting two hits driving in three and walking three times between them.

Indians 6, Mariners 4: And the Tribe sweeps the Mariners, who are doing a great job of validating the preseason doom and gloom. Erik Bedard was shelled for six runs on ten hits in four innings. That’s seven straight for the Erie Warriors.

Athletics 5, Twins 3: Oakland takes two of three in Minnesota, showing some signs of offensive life in the process. The Twins continue to struggle in that department. They’ve only scored 24 runs in their nine games so far this year.

Diamondbacks 10, Reds 8: Arizona came back from a 5-0 deficit. Chris Young hit a big three-run homer and Stephen Drew reached base five times and had three RBIs as the Dbacks take two of three from the Reds.

Rockies 6, Pirates 5: Seth Smith with the always exciting game-winning bases loaded walk in the seventh. The walk came off Mike Crotta, who walked three of the four batters he faced. The other one — Jason Giambi — hit an RBI single.  Nice win, but I love how the AP game story has the Rockies talking about how much they’re proving by winning on the road in the early going this year. As if a series against the Pirates breaks the mold or makes a statement or something.

Rangers 3, Orioles 0:  The Rangers have the best pitching in the AL right now and the second best offense. Other than that, I suppose they’re in good shape.

Royals 9, Tigers 5: I had been thinking before the season that for the Tigers to do anything this year, they needed Rick Porcello to put it together. He’s not putting it together. But hey, he’s consistent! In each of his first two starts he’s given up five runs on nine hits in five innings. Wilson Betemit went 4 for 4 with two doubles and a walk.

Nationals 7, Mets 3:  Chris Young deserved a better fate after allowing one run on one hit in seven innings, but that’s bullpens for ya. D.J. Carrasco gave up the lead in the eighth, Blaine Boyer gave up the game in the eleventh.

  1. yankeesfanlen - Apr 11, 2011 at 7:10 AM

    Indeed-y, the scrambled eggs of a lineup the Yankees put forth were no match for Beckett last night who must have found a discarded can of baked beans from 2003 to snack upon instead of his usual can of worms.
    The pinnacle of the evening for me came when my prince appeared to save CC late in the 6th, caught a drift of the flatulence left from said beans on the mound, and turned back into THE FAT TOAD for the seventh.
    Hopefully a mid week feast of Birds will revive us.

  2. heffmessina - Apr 11, 2011 at 7:31 AM

    Im a Yankee for but whatever it’s worth I don’t think you can say the offense has real problems one day after they scored 9 runs. Beckett was untouchable last night. The problem so far is Jeter and Gardner are not getting on base at all at the top of the lineup and now Texeria and Posada have gone into mini slumps. So far they only score when they hit homeruns. Is that really a big problem playing over a hundred games in AL east parks?

    • JBerardi - Apr 11, 2011 at 7:40 AM

      “I don’t think you can say the offense has real problems one day after they scored 9 runs”

      Oh that the rest of the world also thought this….

  3. phillychris - Apr 11, 2011 at 7:38 AM

    You mentioned Friday when the Phillies offense could only muster 3 runs saying “that’s what happens when you face a real MLB pitching staff” or something very close to that. So what does it say when they drop double digits the next to games, one being your opening day starter? Does that mean only Fridays guy is a legit MLB pitcher? Interesting… You should at least ate some crow in this days ATH.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 11, 2011 at 7:51 AM

      How are three runs “double digits?” Because that’s what they scored yesterday. They broke out against a guy on Saturday who had five total major league starts. Hudson and Lowe did a fine job containing them. It’s just that yesterday Hamels was far, far better.

      And thank you so much for perpetuating the stereotype of the insecure Phillies fan who can’t stand it if their team isn’t given the level of praise you feel they deserve and if the opposition doesn’t show the proper level of contrition. People probably thought I was making that up, but then you show up to validate it.

      • halladaysbicepts - Apr 11, 2011 at 8:07 AM

        Listen here, Braves loser. From day one on this blog, you have given the Phillies no respect at all. The only thing validated here is your lack of respect for a team that is clearly better than your beloved Braves. So, start showing more respect and pay homage to a Phillies team that took two out of three this weekend.

      • cktai - Apr 11, 2011 at 8:16 AM

        Internet. Serious business.

      • Utley's Hair - Apr 11, 2011 at 12:24 PM

        In a misguided attempt to keep the commenting on the accurate(ish) line, Craig, I’d give this guy a mulligan here, if only due to the fact that the Phightins did score double digits over the next two days—14 runs.

        As for some of the others, meh. I’m not getting dragged into this one.

        Though, I will leave you with this, Craig, you and your sad tomahawk-chopping, nonloyal fellow Bravos fans still get to face Fat Joe, the Terror Squad and Chooch a few more times this season—and I believe that number is in double digits. :P

        Oh, and MWAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

    • Brian - Apr 11, 2011 at 8:12 AM

      oh here we go again. Someone please take my advice to heart…

      To the Insecure Phillies fans of the world: STOP. Get over yourselves, watch baseball and enjoy it for the entertainment that it is. It’s just a freakin’ game. The Phillies are just a team. I love them, but they’re just a baseball team. They are not your life, they are not your family, and if you get personally outraged over perceived slights, you need some sort of social adjustment. Get out of the house for a while and move on to more important things.

      To Craig Calcaterra: Stop enabling these insecure Phillies fans. If you ignore them, they might go away, or at least tone it down a little bit. These people are obviously a little cuckoo, so don’t poke them.

      I’m going to go bang my head against a wall…

      • halladaysbicepts - Apr 11, 2011 at 8:19 AM

        Insecure? Are you kidding me? The Phillies are 7-2. Were just getting started.

        As far as it just being a game, you must be from California. Because in the northeast part of the country, we care more about sports than that.

        Social adjustment? Seems to me that you would be better posting on a Dr. Phil blog or something. Do us a favor and help others in need than bringing your unique perspective to a sports blog.

      • Brian - Apr 11, 2011 at 8:24 AM

        i’m from philadelphia, actually, and i’ve been a phillies fan since the late 80s when I was 5 or 6. I care about sports quite a bit, thank you very much, but I also understand that it’s not my entire life and it’s just a game. you need to cut the self-righteous arrogance. no wonder phillies fans get such a bad rap.

      • Jonny 5 - Apr 11, 2011 at 8:37 AM

        Brian, Well that’s just boring now isn’t it? Do you not salt and pepper your french fries? Do you not add dressing to your salad? Is your beer “light” beer from a can? Myself, craving a more boring existence is kinda lame. Salt those fries! Use two salad dressings at the same time!! And for Gods sake drink good beer from a bottle man and enjoy life, it’s fun if you let it. Until you smash your knee like I did over the weekend crashing into asphalt at about 30 mph on rollerblades. I got an owie, but it sure was fun.

        Craig, stock up on lot’s of cheap Popsicles, children’s Motrin,and chloraseptic. You will probably thank god for nickelodeon too.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 11, 2011 at 8:34 AM

      You mean that, aside from picking them to win the NL Pennant, I’ve shown them no respect? Or that I spent much of last week arguing that it was unreasonable to count their lineup out? And that I’ve said on multiple occasions that Charlie Manuel is my favorite active manager? Or that I have said that I am an avowed Roy Halladay fan and think that he is once again the favorite to win the Cy Young?

      Hmm, not that I think about it, I’d ask you to explain how, aside from the fact that I root for the Braves, I have disrespected the Phillies.

      • halladaysbicepts - Apr 11, 2011 at 8:47 AM

        I’ve read (and heard your interview on 610WIP in Philly) on numerous occasions suggesting that the Phillies do not have the depth they had in previous years to win the division. Which is fine. That is your opinion and you are entitled to it. As far as your predictions, I really don’t care. I don’t care who you like to win the CY Young, etc.

        What I really do take offense to is your lack of respect towards the Phillies fans themselves. Your previous post (see below) validates it.

        “And thank you so much for perpetuating the stereotype of the insecure Phillies fan who can’t stand it if their team isn’t given the level of praise you feel they deserve and if the opposition doesn’t show the proper level of contrition. People probably thought I was making that up, but then you show up to validate it.”

      • Brian - Apr 11, 2011 at 8:49 AM

        craig’s absolutely correct in his assessment though. does the truth hurt? The lady doth protest too much, methinks…

      • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 11, 2011 at 8:52 AM

        Then you have me mistaken with someone else. I’ve been on WIP two times since the start of the year. Both times I made it clear that I think the Phillies will win the division and that people who are doubting them are crazy.

      • yankeesfanlen - Apr 11, 2011 at 8:56 AM

        And you haven’t been on WCBS all spring, unless you’re moonlighting as the weatherman.

      • Utley's Hair - Apr 11, 2011 at 12:27 PM

        That’s yankeesfanlen’s contribution to insecure whiny fandom.

  4. cktai - Apr 11, 2011 at 8:16 AM

    Craig Allen?

    • halladaysbicepts - Apr 11, 2011 at 8:22 AM

      Craig Allen…. the weather guy or soccer player? LOL!

    • Utley's Hair - Apr 11, 2011 at 12:28 PM

      Making his initials CAC—run with it.

  5. Jonny 5 - Apr 11, 2011 at 8:20 AM

    The Bravos / Phills series…. Derek Lowe is proving me wrong time and time again. He’s actually proving to be a man who can pitch late into his career very effectively. I expected the Phills to feast on him, but no. The Phillies entire pitching staff (if you look past Cliffy’s unlikely BP session) Has been damn near unhittable. And as many innings as the bull pen has been called on lately it’s been lights out. Kendrick, Bastardo, and Baez most notably have been on their game. BTW, who besides the batter didn’t see that splitter coming from “Jose the big red truck” for the final strike to end it yesterday? Nastiness I say. That’s a major league pitching staff if I ever saw one. ;)

    • halladaysbicepts - Apr 11, 2011 at 8:27 AM

      Yeah, Big Truck looked good yesterday. I think he will be an adequate fill-in for closer this year. The bullpen has been better than expected in the early going. But, with our starting five, who thought we would have to use them this much at this juncture.

      Lowe pitched better than I thought he would as well. The Phillies usually seem to own him.

  6. halladaysbicepts - Apr 11, 2011 at 8:30 AM

    To Brian from Philadelphia…. Your perception about Philly to the rest of the country brings tears to my eyes….. Get over it!

    • Brian - Apr 11, 2011 at 8:47 AM

      sure thing, dude.

  7. cur68 - Apr 11, 2011 at 8:42 AM

    Got up too late to get my 2 cents in before the Philly/Yankee/Sox angst-fest picked up steam. As such I will be forced to see this post be buried under a lot of hand wringing, Yankee baiting, and self importance (you decide who you are). My boys lose their first series but never really looked bad doing it. No blow outs, but not much offense in the first and last of their tilt with the Angels. The Jays need a soft target and tonight they’ll get one; off to Seattle to have go at Mariner’s pitching. Its probably too much to ask for a sweep, but they actually better do something very close to that against the anemic Mariners. I’m looking forward to Boston vs the Rays tonight; no matter who wins, the Jays benefit. Prediction in that one; the Rays win a close one. Why? Just for the amusement value.

  8. halladaysbicepts - Apr 11, 2011 at 9:04 AM

    Next up for the Phillies… The lowly Nationals. We’ll be 10-2 by the end of Thursday….hahahahaha!!! Go Phils!

    • saltwatertrout - Apr 11, 2011 at 9:57 AM

      You are unbearably obnoxious.

  9. Jonny 5 - Apr 11, 2011 at 9:05 AM

    Ohhh yeah, open question.

    Nobody should worry about the Yankees offense. They suffer the same infliction as the BoSox. Pitching is less than desirable. Beckett looked great but I don’t see that lasting all season either. Man, I thought the BoSox were going to have the most runs in baseball by now. WTH???

  10. angrycorgi - Apr 11, 2011 at 9:27 AM

    Youkilis is such a freakin fairy…ya’ll see that slide? Dude was nowhere near 2nd base. You didn’t have to be a Yanks fan (I’m a Rangers fan, myself) last night to shake your head at that. Totally bush-league.

    • JBerardi - Apr 11, 2011 at 10:41 AM

      Have you ever seen a MLB game before? That was a pretty standard slide. I mean, Hanley Ramirez and Tsuyoshi Nishioka say hi.

      • derpdederpdederp - Apr 11, 2011 at 1:29 PM

        obviously that comment comes from a rangers fan. you guys, including your commentators, seem to have an absolute disdain for the red sox. players have gone into 2nd like that more times than anyone is willing to count and, considering the umps rarely call it, the fact that they took a run off the board is enough. no need to call it bush-league

  11. Old Gator - Apr 11, 2011 at 9:27 AM

    Feesh, anyone?

    No?

    Oh well.

    I don’t want to minimize Happ’s performance yesterday; he was hitting his spots like a Sioux archer on a buffalo hunt.

    Fortunately, though, he also caught the Feesh hitters on a day when they brought their A (for absent) game. Somnambulism was the order of offensive business. I like to think that hundreds of millions of years ago, a coelocanth dozed off and sleepwalked ashore for the first time, then opened his eyes to realize that he could walk on his feens. Wow, man. That really started something. These Feesh, though, kept walking back and forth between the dugout and the plate in trancelike states giving no indication that they had figured out what their bats were for and and after the first inning the Feesh stood glazedly at the plate as if they were thinking more about the bus to the airport than the task at hand. Anibal Sanchez pitched as though he knew that he had been thrown to the lionfeesh.

    Hanley out a third day. A third day with no team errors. Who believes in coeencidence?

    • JBerardi - Apr 11, 2011 at 10:43 AM

      “Hanley out a third day. A third day with no team errors. Who believes in coeencidence?”

      Gator, find someone to complain about who isn’t one of the five best players in baseball. It’s noxious.

      • Old Gator - Apr 11, 2011 at 12:08 PM

        You will recall season fore last when Dan Uggla reamed Hanley in the local papers for dogging it, I very prominently posted here that he should go pick on someone who was batting a hundred and twenty points lower than Danny was. I am second to no one – well, maybe to my pal Jeffrey the Lawyer, who is a harder core homeboy than me – in my admiration for Hanley.

        However:

        I watch this team every day. He has been fielding his position like he just learned it this season, not paying attention to who’s at bat and being out of position when grounders pass him by following routes he should have been astraddle from the moment the batter came to the plate, and then booting balls he damned well should have fielded when they are hit right at him. His defensive miscues subverted Josh Johnson’s last start and helped cost the team another game sometime last week. Granted, it’s a long season but the fact is that Hanley has never been a great fielding shortstop, and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect “one of the five best players in the game” to field his position in an above-average manner. I can’t think of many folks who think Hanley does that.

        Moreover, Hanley’s batting .207 so far this season. Not my idea of the kind of performance we can expect from “one of the five best players in baseball.” Again, yeah, it’s a long season and no one expects him to hug the Mendoza line much longer. Then again, he had a forty point dropoff in average last season; all of his offensive numbers were down. Everyone talks about a “bounceback” season after a schneid like that, even when he wound up hitting .300 for the year. Some say the .341 diamond amulet Scrooge McLoria gave him last spring was accursed. Some say it was just Hanley being Man…er….Hanley. But here we are, with a couple of months of spring training under the bridge and a couple of weeks into the regular season and it’s still looking a lot like a projection of last season – and the arc continues to feel downward. And if Hanley winds up hitting .300 again with comparable sabremetrics to last season, that’ll make him a good ballplayer, sure. But “one of the five best”? I don’t think so.

        I’m not saying that Hanley is the second coming of Jeff Francoeur, what with his exploits of seasons past continuing to generate blinkered assessments of the present and unrealistic expectations for the future. But really, don’t climb on me for pointing out how disappointing his performance has been so far this season. When he bears down and pays attention to what he’s doing and lets his talent rise to the challenge, believe me, I’ll be the first one to exhale with relief and from where you sit it’ll sound like someone just punctured a truck tire.

  12. aburns77 - Apr 11, 2011 at 9:37 AM

    I don’t agree with Craig that the Yankees’ offense should be a cause of concern yet because that was one hell of a performance by Beckett last night. To be honest, I’m not really sure where these concerns are considering the fact the other two games this weekend the Yanks were smacking the ball all over with the exception of Jeter, Tex and Gardner at the moment against Bucholz and Lackey two of their better pitchers. I think you just have to give Beckett credit for pitching a great game he was mixing his pitches up better than I’ve ever seen him do and his fastball had late life and was hitting his spots, not much you can do against a guy on a roll like that

  13. wonkypenguin - Apr 11, 2011 at 9:57 AM

    My question is whether the Twins will try to finish the basement while they’re down there or just play hide and seek in all the storage boxes.

  14. APBA Guy - Apr 11, 2011 at 12:06 PM

    The beloved A’s take their mighty (25th ranked) offense into Chicago to face the White Sox after a spectacular pitching series against the Twins. Among the regulars CoCo Crisp leads the team with a .265 average and Willingham leads with an .843 OPS, the only regular withing sniffing distance of respectability.

    Fortunately the pitching is exceptional with Mr. Anderson, Gio, and tonight’s starter, the White Rabbit, all with ERA’s under 2.00. The A’s rank 5th in the MLB in team ERA, the Sox 17th.

    All of this has led to a 4-5 start, while the White Sox are 6-3. I’m looking forward to this series since the Sox have shown more muscle than the Twins who only managed 5 runs against the A’s in 3 games. This series should be a good test to see how good the A’s starters really are. Also, the White Sox pitching has been a “Tale of Two Cities” so far, with some very good work and some not good work. Both teams are third in their division currently, and while I can see Chicago making a move in the Central the A’s are going to need some help to get past the Rangers in the West.

  15. spudchukar - Apr 11, 2011 at 1:28 PM

    I will give you a little wiggle room here Craig, because David Freese did hit a clutch home run to help propel the Cards to victory, but since the discussion was about Allen Craig, I am confused as to why there is a picture of David Freese.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 11, 2011 at 1:30 PM

      There were no good pics of Craig on the AP, Getty or Reuters photo feeds, so I figure I’d at least get a good shot from the game I was featuring.

  16. derpdederpdederp - Apr 11, 2011 at 1:31 PM

    and all was well again in red sox nation. hopefully lackey was paying attention and thinking to himself, “hey, if josh can do it, maybe i can make it past the 5th inning too”

  17. uyf1950 - Apr 11, 2011 at 3:13 PM

    Well yesterday could have turned out better. But as the saying goes “it is what it is” or in this case “it was what it was”. Again congrats to the Sox they played a great game and Beckett pitched like a man possessed by the greatest Red Sox pitcher of all time Denton True “Cy” Young. Yesterday was but one game in a very long baseball season.

    I would like to reflect on a few Yankee issues that should be somewhat obvious to all Yankee fans even after just 9 games…and that are going to have to be addressed by management sooner or later. In my opinion preferably sooner;
    First – Jeter is done. Some Yankee fans may not like it or want to hear it but it’s true. Stick a fork in him he’s done. I hope he hurries up and gets the hits he needs (67) to reach 3,000. Then may be he will realize it’s time to retire. Pass on the remaining years of his contract and graciously ride off into the sunset. It’s time to give Nunez more time at SS.
    Second – Posada is done as well. The Yankees should split the DH duties with between Chavez and him 50/50. May be even consider releasing Posada and bringing up either Montero so he can get valuable ML at bats or give some DH time to Jorge Vazquez who had a great spring.
    Third – Gardner, needs to be more aggressive at the plate. When he gets on base an awful lot can happen with his speed, etc…He needs to use the same aggressiveness he use on the bases at the plate. Working the counts is nice, but sometimes he should take the battle to the opposing pitcher.
    Fourth – Swisher, someone needs to sit him down and give him a wake up call. If he wants the Yankees to pick up his 2012 option he better get on the stick and start to turn his season around.
    Lastly – Cashman needs to package some of the young talent in the minors and work a trade for a “solid” #2. I’m not talking about moving Banuelos, Betances, Noesi or Montero. But the Yankees have plenty of other very desirable prospects and players like Pena that could be combined in a package to lure a quality starter from another team. I realize this isn’t possible now, but the groundwork should be laid so in June or July the trigger can be pulled.

    These are just my opinions, and I’ve tried to be objective. As I like to say, just calling it like I see it.

    • yankeesfanlen - Apr 11, 2011 at 3:32 PM

      All points well-taken. That Gardner-Jeter 1-2 is a train wreck. ARod’s absence last night was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Beckett had a fantastic night and we were woefully unprepared.
      I’m hoping there’s some “Grand Plan” that is coming that we are not privvy to at this early date.

      • uyf1950 - Apr 11, 2011 at 3:59 PM

        The Yankees definitely need A-Rod in the line up.

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