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And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

Apr 14, 2011, 5:53 AM EDT

Josh Johnson

Marlins 5, Braves 1: Josh Johnson takes a no-hitter into the eighth before Freddie Freeman breaks it up with a double. Probably for the best. Johnson was at 109 pitches. If he keeps the no-no up all the way his pitch count is getting a bit nutty. Chipper Jones‘ otherwise meaningless home run in the ninth gave him his 1,500th career RBI. Nine more and he ties Mickey Mantle. If he stays reasonably healthy this year he could get up to Al Kaline/Harmon Killebrew/Rogers Hornsby territory.

Phillies 3, Nationals 2: Roy Halladay had a two-hit shutout into the ninth when things started to get a bit shaky, but I don’t think anyone ever doubted that he’d finish the job. Indeed, I had this game on when Cholly visited the mound in the ninth. His gait was quick. It seemed clear that it was only a courtesy call. Of all of the 3-2 games you’ll see, this one felt the least close.

Tigers 3, Rangers 2: [Ron Washington shows the visiting conigliere around his estate]: “Feliz … Feliz.  I’m not gonna pitch him, though. I’m gonna put him out to stud.  Thanks Tony. Let’s get something to eat, huh?”

Cubs 9, Astros 5: I neglected to mention it in yesterday’s recap, but I’m pretty sure a big part of Tuesday night’s loss was attributable to Mike Quade’s displeasure at having to miss the Rush concert at the United Center in Chicago that night. That kind of thing can throw a guy. At least a guy who continues to be a big Rush fan into his 50s. Unable to really relax, knowing he missed a sweet show, Quade could do nothing Tuesday night except lie awake, staring out at the bleakness of Megadon.  But, with Rush safely in Toledo last night — not that I, um, know that or anything — Quade could relax and the Cubs could too, teeing off on Wandy Rodriguez and racking up 14 total hits.

Athletics 7, White Sox 4: “Dear Bobby J. I’m sorry for all of the things I said about you last year. My son is sorry too.  Fact is, we never realized we had it so good. The team needs you. The bullpen needs you. Bobby: I need you. Please come back. I can’t bear to see us blow games late again like this anymore. It’ll be the death of me. Sincerely, Ozzie.”

Rockies 5, Mets 4: The Rockies continue to go nuts, as does Troy Tulowitzki, who hit a three-run homer in the fifth to put the Rockies up for good. At the time, there were two outs, first base was open, there were runners on second and third and Jose Lopez was on deck. Don’t you walk Tulowitzki there?

Brewers 6, Pirates 0: This is why the Brewers got Shawn Marcum, who shut the Pirates out on four hits over seven innings. Three-run homer from Prince Fielder, who is absolutely tearing it up right now. Potentially sacrilegious question: is Fielder a more attractive free agent first baseman than Albert Pujols next winter?

Yankees 7, Orioles 4: A.J. Burnett wasn’t dominant, but he won his third game. Chris Tillman got destroyed, thanks in part to a three-run A-Rod homer and a two-run Robbie Cano double in the second. The second inning could have gotten even more out of hand if Adam Jones doesn’t make this sick grab on a bases loaded bloop from Jorge Posada.

Angels 4, Indians 2: Anaheim takes the second in a row from Cleveland, winning it on a Jeff Mathis sac fly in the 12th inning. After a rocky start to the year, the Angels bullpen has stepped up,  having not given up an earned run in their last 22 innings.

Padres 3, Reds 2: The Reds’ bullpen was not so sublime. They coughed up the lead in the eighth and the game in the ninth, with a nice assist from some bad defense. The Padres salvage one after a couple of tough losses.

Blue Jays 8, Mariners 3:  The Jays exploded for six in the eighth inning, with the big shot being a Jose Bautista three-run homer. Another record-low crowd for Seattle, though according to the game story a decent portion of it consisted of Jays fans who came down from British Columbia. Earlier this week someone mentioned in the comments that they went to college in B.C. or something and that going to Jays games in Seattle was a rite of passage. All of which leads me to ask if anyone in the M’s or Jays’ fan base — fan bases with which I have the least experience out of almost anyone — thinks of the teams as rivals by virtue of them being 1977 expansion partners.  These are the kinds of things I sit and wonder when the cable goes out.

Royals 10, Twins 5: It’s a lot of fun to blame Ron Gardenhire for telling Francisco Liriano to “pitch to contact,” but ultimately Liriano has to pitch, and he’s simply not doing it right now. Liriano was shelled by Kansas City for seven runs in five innings. He was beat so bad that Kyle Davies got the win despite allowing five runs on ten hits in five innings of his own.  I guess Davies just knows how to win.

Cardinals 15, Diamondbacks 5:  It was 12-0 by the middle of the fourth inning. Lance Berkman had a grand slam and another RBI on a groundout. He now has four homers in the past three games. Every Cardinal starter except Matt Holliday had a hit, which has to make a guy in Holliday’s position really, really frustrated, even if he can’t say anything about it.

Giants 4, Dodgers 3:  The Giants take two of three from L.A.. Buster Posey had a stolen base. The AP story puts it thusly:

After Posey went to first in the third inning, he stole his first career base. He had one steal during last year’s playoffs but it doesn’t count toward his official statistics.

And the one he stole in the postseason shouldn’t have counted because POSEY WAS FREAKING OUT.

Not that I’m hung up on that or anything.

Rays vs. Red Sox: POSTPONED: Although I shelter from the rain under a broken tree, My chair was nearest to the fire In every company that talked of love or politics, Ere Time transfigured me.

  1. halladaysbicepts - Apr 14, 2011 at 7:06 AM

    Doc Halladay made quick work of the Nats lineup. I just hope Howard’s wrist is OK after that punk Lannan hit him.

    Cliff Lee will have a bounce back start and we will take the series tonight.

  2. Brian - Apr 14, 2011 at 7:31 AM

    wow Craig, I’m surprised you have such nice things to say about the Phillies, considering how much you hate them and all.

    on a more serious note… if Johnson had struggled but maintained the no-no, would you put him out for the 9th even if he’s approaching or eclipsing 120 pitches? 130? 140? how important is the no-hitter? how relevant are pitch counts? just thinking…

    • sknut - Apr 14, 2011 at 8:02 AM

      This early in the season you don’t let him throw 130 pitches, imo. If the Marlins are going to be competitive they need a healthy Johnson and you just don’t want to risk an injury in April.

      • Jonny 5 - Apr 14, 2011 at 8:42 AM

        I agree. And honestly, If I’m Charlie Manuel, I probably lift Roy for a pinch hitter last night. Not for the pinch hit, but to just get him out the game. He was over 100 pitches and was pitching at a tiny strike zone. I know, if anyone can handle the load it’s Roy, but it’s a long season Charlie. Not to mention “JoseThe big red truck” seems to pitch much better when he’s used more regularly. I guess I have plenty of reasons why I would have done it. None of them being fear he’d lose the game.

        Does anyone have a link to pitch tracking this game last night? It seemed to me there were two different strike zones for the pitchers.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 14, 2011 at 8:49 AM

        go to brooksbaseball.net and the pitch f/x tab at the top. Search by game and then pitcher.

      • bleedgreen - Apr 14, 2011 at 11:42 AM

        Not only were there 2 different zones, but Halladay’s moved during the game. With that said, at LEAST 1 if not 2 of the pitches to Pudge in the last AB of the night were NOT strikes. Seemed the Ump just wanted to get out of there and after Pudge started jawing with him after the first called strike, his fate was sealed.

        Note to ALL MLB batters: Jawing with the up will NEVER get you ANYWHERE. It can only hurt you and will NEVER help you.

      • professor59 - Apr 14, 2011 at 1:57 PM

        I only saw the replay of Halladay’s last two outs, but yeah, Pudge would have needed a much longer bat to reach that 3rd strike. This, from a Phils fan.

        And I definitely would’ve yanked Halladay several batters earlier. This is no time to prove you’re a horse. Save it for September and October!

  3. Kevin S. - Apr 14, 2011 at 8:00 AM

    I think the question we all need to be asking ourselves now is whether or not Mike Quade can handle the limelight.

    • sportsdrenched - Apr 14, 2011 at 9:29 AM

      He doesn’t care, he’s making The Big Money

  4. Chris Fiorentino - Apr 14, 2011 at 8:14 AM

    Doc actually got the benefit of two borderline strikes against Pudge with two outs. Unlike you, Craig, I was sweating because it was clear that Doc was in trouble. That change-up to Adam LaRoche may have been the best 3-2 pitch I have ever seen. Matt Stairs did his best MannyBManny impression and didn’t even take the bat off his shoulder, then the ump provided Doc with not only a borderline inside call, but then expanded the plate to about 3 feet and gave him an outside strike as well. Poor Pudgey was whining to the Home plate ump all the way off the field at the end, but I have to admit I felt he got jobbed.

    Either way, it is becoming clear that the Phillies may never lose more than 2 games in a row this year. I mean, sure Heavy B can be counted on for a 5 IP, 5-7 ER, 10 hit, 4 walk outing 3 out of every 4 starts. But when you have Doc ahead of him and Hamels behind him, does anyone really expect the Phillies to ever lose more than 2 in a row??

    • Kevin S. - Apr 14, 2011 at 8:20 AM

      Didn’t declaring the Phillies 2010 WS Champions in mid-September teach you anything? It’s *highly* likely the Phillies will have at least one three-game losing streak. Hell, the ’98 Yankees had three three-gamers and a four-game losing streak. No matter how good you think the rotation is, these Phillies are not that team.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Apr 14, 2011 at 8:25 AM

        The 98 Yankees, for as great as they were, did not have anything CLOSE to the rotation that the Phillies have this year. I-hear-a-boo was their 4th starter.

        Relax anyway…I was just messing around. I am sure in the dog-days of July, when they are 15 games up in the NL Least, they will falter some. It happens to even the best teams.

      • professor59 - Apr 14, 2011 at 2:00 PM

        They will have a down time. The bats will all get quiet at the same time, and there will be much hand-wringing. And then they’ll be fine, as long as it doesn’t happen in the playoffs again.

    • Jonny 5 - Apr 14, 2011 at 8:45 AM

      Chris, the Ump owed Halladay those pitches in the ninth. He was being squeezed more than a prom date for 8 innings.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 14, 2011 at 8:54 AM

        Halladay’s link:

        A few low and outside pitches should have been called strikes, one badly missed pitch called for a ball. Couple of pitches he got the benefit of the doubt on. One of them appear to be the called strike to Pudge that Chris mentions above:

        http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/pfx.php?s_type=3&sp_type=1&batterX=71&month=04&day=13&game=gid_2011_04_13_phimlb_wasmlb_1%2F&year=2011&pitchSel=136880&prevGame=gid_2011_04_13_phimlb_wasmlb_1%2F

      • Chris Fiorentino - Apr 14, 2011 at 8:57 AM

        Yeah, this was the at bat…

        I guess when you look at it on that chart, they weren’t all that bad of calls after all.

      • Jonny 5 - Apr 14, 2011 at 9:11 AM

        I was wrong, The difference is a few called balls on strikes in Lannan’s favor. What is clear is that the guy behind the plate was calling plenty of strikes balls on both guys. His zone was erratic to say the least. Then come the final inning he obviously got loose with his calls giving Halladay a couple of generous calls compared to the rest of the night.

      • cur68 - Apr 14, 2011 at 11:05 AM

        I’ve watched this happen for years with Halladay in the 9th; it’s like the ump coms to identify with his bearded baby face and just gives him one or two for old times sake because he’s been standing on that mound for so long. I suppose in addition to that array of pitches, command, & strength he also has Shadow-like abilities; he can cloud the minds of umpires. Enjoy; all season long you lucky buggers.

  5. halladaysbicepts - Apr 14, 2011 at 8:29 AM

    Once again, I sense Phillies jealousy on this board. Comparing any Yankees team short of the 27 Yankees to this current Phillies’ team is just silly. This team easily wins 100 games in their sleep. How many more they win after that depends on how bored they become with the rest of the National League.

    • Alex K - Apr 14, 2011 at 8:57 AM

      You’re right, it is silly to compare the current Phillies to the 1998 Yankees. There is no way they win 114 games.

    • Brian - Apr 14, 2011 at 9:13 AM

      yes, this is clearly a Phillies team capable of 3 straight world series wins…do you really believe the crap you say or are you just doing it to be an idiot?

      • isaidallo - Apr 14, 2011 at 9:17 AM

        he is clearly a troll…he has been trolling these boards ever since Craig made fun of his wittle phillies team…..

        don’t know why I’m actually responding to you and the always delusional Fiorintino, but there is no way you can say this Phillies team is better than the 98 yanks. The 1998 Yankees were one of the most balanced teams in MLB history. Ridiculous lineup, great bullpen and starters. All the Phillies have is one of the best rotations of all time. Their lineup and bullpen are just average.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Apr 14, 2011 at 9:24 AM

        Don’t lump me in with this jack-ass, jack-ass. I didn’t say the Phillies were going to have a better year than the 98 Yankers. They were the best team I have ever seen. They had 3 stretches where combined, they went like 81-19. They were as motivated as any team maybe in baseball history. And of course, they had a hall of fame manager leading them, which didn’t hurt either.

      • halladaysbicepts - Apr 14, 2011 at 9:24 AM

        This team is more than capable of winning multiple WS titles with this assembled group.

        I forgot more baseball knowledge than you will ever know in your entire life.

      • Jonny 5 - Apr 14, 2011 at 9:33 AM

        “Their lineup and bullpen are just average.”

        I beg to differ.

        The Phillies have the highest team AVG., Hits, OBP, 3rd in runs , 4th in slg.
        Wayyy above average.

        Their bull pen has a 1.93 era in 32 innings. That’s alot of innings so far and a damned good era. I don’t know where it ranks them, but they have to be one of the best so far.

      • Brian - Apr 14, 2011 at 9:36 AM

        really? they can win multiple titles? utley’s not the same, rollins will most likely be gone, and there’s no one really to replace him on the team…oswalt stands a decent chance of being gone. in 2013 they don’t have madson or contreras, probably no more hamels because how can they afford him when they’re paying lee and halladay what they earn. plus by this point they’ll be getting pretty old. utley will be pretty useless by then…and howard. no polanco. maybe no victorino…they’ll be great this year, really good next year, then it’s just going to fall apart.

      • isaidallo - Apr 14, 2011 at 9:51 AM

        Jonny 5: 2 weeks into the season they have a great lineup and bullpen. By the end of the season they will be average to above average… Which isn’t bad at all. I’m not saying they won’t win the division or the NL pennant. Just saying they don’t have nearly the same team as the 98 Yanks.

        Chris: sorry for lumping you in with him, thought you were saying the current Phils were better than the 98 yanks since the rotation is better, but you weren’t, and you are right they do have a better rotation.. However, you are posts are still usually pretty delusional. I am starting to think delusion is just an inherit trait of Phillies fans.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Apr 14, 2011 at 10:01 AM

        isaid…there is seriously nothing worse than a condescending, high-brow fan of the Borg. Oh gracious one…is the Phillies rotation really better than the 98 Yankers? Oh thank you Your Highness.

        Phillies fans may be “delusional” in your eyes, but to me, some Yankers fans are just stuck-up, obnoxious, pricks.

      • Brian - Apr 14, 2011 at 10:09 AM

        hey, i’m a lifelong phillies fan, and i like to think i’m pretty reasonable and realistic about the team. it’s a vocal, idiotic few who give us a bad name.

      • isaidallo - Apr 14, 2011 at 10:14 AM

        Chris: that’s funny because I’m just as much a Phillies fan as a Yankees fan….I’m really a SF Giants fan, so I guess you’re just an idiot.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Apr 14, 2011 at 10:17 AM

        “However, you are posts are still usually pretty delusional. I am starting to think delusion is just an inherit trait of Phillies fans.”

        “Chris: that’s funny because I’m just as much a Phillies fan as a Yankees fan….I’m really a SF Giants fan, so I guess you’re just an idiot.”

        And I am the idiot?

      • isaidallo - Apr 14, 2011 at 10:23 AM

        Huh, I don’t get what you are trying to show me there….I never said I was a Yankee fan. Reading comprehension isn’t taught down there I guess. I am a NY/SF Giants fan from before they moved bud.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Apr 14, 2011 at 10:26 AM

        You said Phillies fans are delusional, then claimed to be one. You, sir, are the idiot. Now I am done wasting time with you. Anyone who is a fan of not one, not two, but THREE teams is as big an idiot there is.

      • Brian - Apr 14, 2011 at 10:28 AM

        woo…chris seriously read a little slower…he never claimed to be a phillies fan, or a yankees fan. don’t get your panties in a twist over it.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Apr 14, 2011 at 10:29 AM

        Brian, WTF are you talking about????

        “Chris: that’s funny because I’m just as much a Phillies fan as a Yankees fan….I’m really a SF Giants fan, so I guess you’re just an idiot.”

        Did I miss something?

      • Jonny 5 - Apr 14, 2011 at 10:29 AM

        isaidallo, Last season the Phillies batting was ranked 7th in the MLB along with many, many injuries to most of their key players.

        That is wayyy above average. I’m not comparing this to a 98 team, but all 2010 teams. Your assessment of their mediocrity is way off. That’s my point.

        In other words, they aren’t JUST the best rotation right now, they are much more than that.

      • isaidallo - Apr 14, 2011 at 10:30 AM

        So my assumption that you can’t comprehend words is correct.

        People that say I am as much a this as I am a that can also be saying it facetiously to mean that they are neither. So by me saying I am as much a Yank fan as a Phils fan, I am pointing to the fact that I am a fan of neither team. Pretty simple really.

        Thank Brian, you’re the man!

      • Chris Fiorentino - Apr 14, 2011 at 10:33 AM

        Oh I see…so you use stupid wording and I am the one who doesn’t comprehend? If you had said “I am as much a fan of the Phillies as I am of Osama Bin Laden” then it would have made more sense.

        Enjoy the Giants 78-win season this year, bozo.

      • Brian - Apr 14, 2011 at 10:37 AM

        chris, he even stated in TWO comments that he’s a Giants fan from their NY days. when someone says “I’m really a fan of ________” that’s what you need to pay attention to. and I don’t think you have any room to diss a giants fan considering they are the world champs and have earned the bragging rights…and if i’m not mistaken, i believe they did beat the phillies triple-ace attack last year to get there. you have no leg to stand on in that regard.

        and in the future, please read the comments you reply to carefully and thoroughly. I recommend reading them out loud to understand them as completely as you can.

      • isaidallo - Apr 14, 2011 at 10:38 AM

        I have put up with the Giants being pretty mediocre my entire life, and I don’t get sand in my vagina when people make fun of them. I have no money invested in the team, I don’t play SS, I just watch and enjoy baseball…big whoop.

      • Brian - Apr 14, 2011 at 10:38 AM

        also, the phrase that isaidallo used is pretty common and usually easily understood…

      • tomemos - Apr 14, 2011 at 10:40 AM

        Jonny: “The Phillies have the highest team AVG., Hits, OBP, 3rd in runs , 4th in slg.
        Wayyy above average.”

        And the Indians are in first place. Talk to us after the All-Star Break.

    • isaidallo - Apr 14, 2011 at 10:43 AM

      If I learned one thing from this: Craig is 110% right about (some) Phillies fans. (some of) You are the most touchy and defensive fans in baseball. It’s just a game. A silly little game. Just watch the games and enjoy the game itself, If you do this instead of worrying what someone might say about a bad Cole Hamels start or a blown Lidge save, you will get 100000 times more enjoyment out of the best sport on earth.

      • Jonny 5 - Apr 14, 2011 at 11:52 AM

        What???!!! Lidge Blows??!!??! You bastard!!! Wait, I agree, carry on.

      • Jonny 5 - Apr 14, 2011 at 12:10 PM

        BTW, don’t point at me, I’m not being sensitive, It’s called realistic. You weren’t and I wanted to point that out. “mediocre offense” does not describe the Phills, that’s all. Bullpen? maybe, but so far? very good.

  6. isdtyrant - Apr 14, 2011 at 9:15 AM

    There’s no &%@&ing way that ^)#%amn letter was from Ozzie &($#ing Guillen.

  7. halladaysbicepts - Apr 14, 2011 at 9:21 AM

    isaidallo – you’re clearly an idiot. If trolling is defending and talking up one’s team, I’ll do it all day long.

    When all is said and done, this Phillies golden age of baseball will exceed anything your precious Yankees did in the late 90s.

    • Brian - Apr 14, 2011 at 9:22 AM

      I can see Craig’s next headline: “Halladaysbicepts is delusional.”

      also, do you realize you spelled biceps wrong?

      • halladaysbicepts - Apr 14, 2011 at 9:27 AM

        The “P” is for Phillies, as in Phightins, idiot.

        Use some imagination, which, reading some of your prior posts, you have none of.

      • Alex K - Apr 14, 2011 at 9:36 AM

        halladaysbicepts, Why are you so angry? Your favorite team is really, really good. Just enjoy it. Some people (me included) don’t think they are historically great, there is no need to be a jerk because people disagree.

        And the “P” is supposed to be in biceps. Everyone is wondering why the “T” is there.

    • isaidallo - Apr 14, 2011 at 9:30 AM

      HAHAHAHA. The Phillies have only won the division 4 times and only 1 world series…in what had been a pretty pathetic division. Come back when they win 9 al east titles in row.

      Come on, you’re delusional. No team will ever win 4 WS in 5 years and appear in 6 WS in an 8 season span, not even the Yankees.

    • isaidallo - Apr 14, 2011 at 9:31 AM

      But it isn’t the “P” that’s wrong in Biceps, it is the extra T you have, genius.

      • Brian - Apr 14, 2011 at 9:37 AM

        didn’t you know? the extra T is for troll.

      • The Common Man/www.platoonadvantage.com - Apr 14, 2011 at 9:50 AM

        I’m starting to love this guy. You, sir, have a gift for comedy.

  8. uyf1950 - Apr 14, 2011 at 9:30 AM

    AJ pitched pretty well last night. For 6 1/3 innings he was pretty darn good, no runs and I believe just 3 hits. Did he give up 4 runs in the 7th inning sure. But considering the way he was last season from basically June on the 2011 version of AJ Burnett is a improvement. A gradual improvement with each game is all Yankee fans could have and should have expected this early in the season. Sixteen (16) K’s and just five (5) BB in 3 games in a little over 17 innings. It’s obviously not Doc Halladay numbers but on the other end of the spectrum it’s not John Lackey numbers either. Speaking just for myself and as a Yankee fan, if AJ can give the Yankees the type of performance he gave them yesterday every time he goes out to pitch, I’ll take it. Because I know if that’s the case the Yankees will win a lot more then they lose when he pitches..and that’s my opinion.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Apr 14, 2011 at 9:37 AM

      The Yankers are putting together the kind of season where they just play well, hit, pitch, and when nobody is paying much attention, they are 10 games up in mid-May. Then people say “How are they doing this with only CC and a bunch of scrub starters?” I don’t see the Red Sox doing anything this season…another slow start for them…what else is new…and they aren’t the type of team that is going to come back from a big division deficit. When the Yankers punch them in the mouth, they go and hide in the corner and ask for their mommies. The only saving grace for the Sox is that there doesn’t appear to be a front-runner for the Wild Card, so they could end up getting into the playoffs AGAIN by way of the Wild Card. They should just rename it the “American League Red Sox second-best Card” because they have gotten it 7 times since its inception. Ridiculous.

      • Jonny 5 - Apr 14, 2011 at 9:41 AM

        But, they didn’t lose last night. That’s a plus.

    • cur68 - Apr 14, 2011 at 11:17 AM

      uyf1950; yeah, that’s AJ at his best. ~6 innings of excellent ball, then they figure out his pitching and start to get to him. If Martin’s any good he’ll be calling a lot more breaking and of speed stuff after the 6th. If that happens AJ will go another 1 or 2 innings but his velocity will be 2 to 3 mph down on his FB. Best thing for his starts is have someone ready from the 6th onward. The guy is finally getting some love in NY. I always knew he had good stuff.

  9. heynerdlinger - Apr 14, 2011 at 9:37 AM

    Keats and Yeats are on your side, while Wilde is on mine…

  10. Old Gator - Apr 14, 2011 at 9:54 AM

    Josh Johnson took the Feesh by their tailfins and hauled them off’n the strange attractor. It was great fun to watch him mulching the Bravos, but even more fun to watch the Feesh batters approach the plate without leaving a trail of Z’s across the Akashic record last night, at least for the first three innings, after which they apparently decided it was more fun to lay back and watch a ballgame than play in one. Hanley got into the act with an RBI single and now has pushed his average closer to the insulated lining underneath the Mendoza line. He also fielded his position cleanly last night, abetted by the statistical skew resulting from JJ’s nine strikeouts. The Iron Giant, though, continues to flail at the air and has begun to approach the thin layer of mist that often forms just above the Mendoza line in the springtime. This is not a good thing for the Feesh, but I’ll allow the bum leg excuse for another night or so before becoming deeply alarmed. LoMo (have I mentioned how much I hate these stupid contracted names?) hit another one of those patented bases-empty Feesh dingers, while Chris Coghlan, the man with the bionic knee, had another one of his Rookie of the Year nights with three hits and a couple ‘o ribbies. John Buck, based on his early batting splurge, has obscured the fact that he has also begun his slow descent to Mendoza land, as has the great gloved hope, Omar Infante. I think maybe I ought to dust off the jug of acid I’ve been ignoring in the early going – a grand slam buys you a little wiggle room, you know? – and get it ready to pour on the huge contract the Feesh gave him during the offseason.

    So the Feesh now find themselves oddly sandwiched between the strange attractor and the Feelies. Whereas I’m comfortable that Ricky Nolasco can pitch a decent game tonight, we’ll see if the hitters got a decent night’s sleep last night. The early season is a time of cockamamie hierarchization, though. Things might re-order themselves more naturally this weekend as the Feesh enter the land of horrible horsemeat and Velveeta sandwiches, nightmare rotations and hulking, warty, one-eyed beer swilling fans. Can they play with the big boys? My guess is, no. I look for them to maybe salvage one game out of the series and come limping home to seek solace at the expense of the Pirates next week.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Apr 14, 2011 at 9:58 AM

      With this weak NL Least, there’s no reason the “Feesh” can’t win 85-87 games and eek out a wild card spot. The Cowards are looking like I thought they would…a middling 82-84 win team at best. That under bet on the Cowards total wins was about as easy money as one could ever make.

      • Old Gator - Apr 14, 2011 at 11:51 AM

        Here’s a couple of reasons why the Feesh will have problems contending seriously for the wild card this season:

        1) Javier Vasquez;
        2) Any influence on the rest of the pitching staff by the veteran Javier Vazquez;
        3) Hanley’s fragile psyche – not as bad as Manny’s by any means but riven with hidden fracture lines the slightest tap upon which can trigger a distracting low-yield meltdown;
        4) Third base;
        5) An all but congenital aversion to clutch hitting and consistent run production, which already seems to have carried over from last year which in turn carried over from the year before that;
        6) A boolpen which, while improved by subtraction perhaps even more than by addition, remains highly suspect. Choate especially seems to feel that if he doesn’t allow at least one run in any given appearance, he’s wasted his evening.

        I don’t think the wild card team is going to come from this division.

    • yankeesfanlen - Apr 14, 2011 at 10:31 AM

      First sign of spring for me in the frigid northeast is always the appearance of the “strange attractor”. Thanks, Gator, for having it appear before Easter and early blooming hyacinths. My duty for the rest of the season is to inject malapropisms for said phrase.
      The Yankees pulled away form the twin turbo hydramatic last night. A certain 3rd baseman who we leave alone caught Ted f#$$%%^g Williams in RBI’s. Maybe Ty Cobb by the end of the season. Will a young pitcher get up to speed tonight or turn into a puddle of lime jello discarded by Columbia Presbyterian? We shall see.
      Now, for left coast updates, we turn to APBA guy……

      • Old Gator - Apr 14, 2011 at 11:42 AM

        The strange attractor never hibernates down here; it just disappears into our household budget calculations and reappears whenever we think we might be getting a little ahead of expenses. It can be found in my pond as early as March, though, usually in amplexus with a Mandelbrot set. Ribbit, ribbit, ribbit. I try to let it have its privacy until, say, a week or two of early season games. Anything beyond that would be the crassest form of hedonism. Then I haul it out, pressure clean the algae off of its unforgiving ass and put it to work. Thus, you see it as it is now, newly emergent, spanking clean and ready to exert its mystifying gravity.

    • APBA Guy - Apr 14, 2011 at 12:39 PM

      Our first 2011 reference to the “strange attractor”. Game on.

  11. tomemos - Apr 14, 2011 at 10:44 AM

    Craig, the Angels-Indians score can’t be right–if the Angels won on a sac fly in the 12th, they couldn’t have won by two runs.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 14, 2011 at 10:47 AM

      Maybe he hit it really, really far.

      OK, I’ll go back and fix it.

  12. Chris Fiorentino - Apr 14, 2011 at 11:09 AM

    Why do some people get all bent about comments on the board and assume that they act this way every other second of their day? I am at work, trying to kill time before lunch and this is just something that is fun for me. I may have off-the-wall opinions, but that doesn’t mean I walk around all day pissed-off that Craig may have been unfair to the Phillies or their fans. When I am off this blog, I don’t think about it one bit. Carrano, my rash, Brian, isaid, all of you people don’t exist in my real world. This is just a stupid commenting board where debate can be fun. When you guys say things like “You Phillies fans are too sensitive…just enjoy the game” are you implying that I actually am thinking “Man, I am so mad that Craig posted something that rips the Phillies” when I am not on the board? Do you think I don’t enjoy baseball because I’ll occasionally come on here and debate someone? Do I really give a shit outside of this board who is a fan of what team or which one of you said this or that? Of course not, duh.

    Sometimes, you guys get this idea that this board is the world and we are all just rotating around it like it is the sun. It’s not. It’s a nice little distraction and a way to kill some time. It’s occasionally educational and always entertaining. And i am sure Craig is quite happy with it being just that.

    • isaidallo - Apr 14, 2011 at 11:21 AM

      What are you eating for lunch? A cheesteak or a roast pork? mmmm.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Apr 14, 2011 at 2:08 PM

        Actually, I had sushi for lunch today. But it was a working lunch, and I got paid to eat for free. Sometimes, life just isn’t fair. Then there’s my job.

    • Old Gator - Apr 14, 2011 at 11:36 AM

      I’m writing from deep within the throes of well earned retirement. For me, this is also fun – more fun, at least, than trying to force an idea into one side of the head of a football scholarship sophomore in an 8AM American Literature survey course, only to have the last idea I forced into his head drop out the other side. Too bad we weren’t stronger in track and field.

    • bleedgreen - Apr 14, 2011 at 11:55 AM

      Internet… serious business! On that note, I need to go put my phils gear in the wash for the game tomorrow. Crab fries are callling my nammmme.

  13. cur68 - Apr 14, 2011 at 11:35 AM

    Blue Jays won. yay…yup took 1 form the Mariners, wooo. At least they got 5 days off before they have to face a big league club on Tuesday. I’m kidding, I’m kidding! However I’m kind of looking forward to them against the the Sox for 4 days @ Fenway. I don’t wanna pile on the Sox too much; there is such a thing as kicking people while they’re down, but my guys are down too.

    As for a Mariners Jays rivalry; well its more a friendly thing than anything else. Their fan makes room for us when we go there, and we mostly have the stadium to ourselves. The ushers remember us from the last time; we’re the apologetic folk who pay for cheap seats and sneak down to the better ones but we tip with currency worth more than the local green (does now, at any rate). Every once in awhile, if we have someone suitably bilingual with us, we yell insults in french, just to be amusing and then, in lieu of a hockey fight, try to act like we know something about baseball and cuss out the Ump (whom some of us call the ‘ref’, because, I admit it, we really are more at home at ice rinks). I think it would be way more of a rivalry if the stadium contained more locals to rub up against like a Nationals vs Phillies game. Then there might be some sparks in that rivalry. Maybe not though; their fan is very nice.

  14. kingbs - Apr 14, 2011 at 11:40 AM

    Craig,

    The Jays/Mariners thing is less about their both coming in at the same time and more about the nature of the television markets in the area. For those of us up in the Vancouver (BC) area we get the Seattle feed for many of their games and Sportsnet Pacific (Basic cable sports) has many more. Sportsnet Pacific also carries 140 Jays games a year. So we on the Coast get both feeds and tend to support both teams. Given the population base up here the chance to see both teams play is a biggie and people make the trip down whenever they come to visit.

    The schedulemaker did the Mariners no help this year when they scheduled the games for weeknights. Had it been a weekend tilt another 10- 15,000 fans would have driven down for the games. The road can be a zoo for a weekend series and the border line-ups a nightmare. The only good thing is that the border guards are quicker on game days because they know where everyone is going.

  15. IdahoMariner - Apr 14, 2011 at 12:08 PM

    “At the time, there were two outs, first base was open, there were runners on second and third and Jose Lopez was on deck. Don’t you walk Tulowitzki there?”

    Yes, yes you do. Unless you are, apparently, the Mets. Jose is a nice guy, but he’s an almost guaranteed out in that situation.

  16. bcopus - Apr 14, 2011 at 2:02 PM

    “Bicepts…the P is for Phillies”…that’s a T-Shirt waiting to happen.

  17. macjacmccoy - Apr 14, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    “Indeed, I had this game on when Cholly visited the mound in the ninth. His gait was quick. It seemed clear that it was only a courtesy call”

    When he got to the mound last night all he said was “well Im here” Halladay said hes got it and Cholly said “alright” and then went back to the dug out and laughed.lol . You gotta love the guy.

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