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And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

Apr 18, 2011, 5:30 AM EDT

St Louis Cardinals v Los Angeles Dodgers Getty Images

Dodgers 2, Cardinals 1: Wow. 0-0 game through eight. The Cardinals plate one in the top of the ninth inning. Andre Either leads off the bottom of the ninth with a double off Trever Miller, and Tony La Russa brings in Ryan Franklin to lock it down. First base open. The shakiest closer in baseball on the hill. The most dangerous bat in Los Angeles — Matt Kemp — at the plate.  Vin Scully said it best when Kemp hit the game-winning homer: “They pitch to the one guy who could beat them, and he does!” You may hate it if you’re a Cards fan, but there is nothing better than a Scully call on a dramatic game-ender from an electric player on his way back to elite form. Mercy, this is what it’s all about, people.

Indians 4, Orioles 2: Welcome back, Grady Sizemore. In his first major league action since last summer, Sizemore goes 2 for 4 with a homer and a double, helping the Indians to the sweep of the previously-frisky Orioles and their 11th win in the past 13 games. They now go to Kansas City to face the Royals, who are themselves playing some fine baseball.  Who knows how long it will last? Who cares? There are some great baseball fans in Cleveland and KC, and they friggin’ deserve this.

Mariners 3, Royals 2: The M’s cool off the streaking Royals. Literally streaking: Kila Ka’aihue ran naked from the Arrowhead Stadium ticket window all the way across the parking lot to the Kauffman Stadium players’ entrance before the game. He did it on a bet with Alex Gordon, who now owes Ka’aihue lunch at Arby’s for the next week.  Don’t go trying to confirm this in any newspaper reports, though, because the media is just a tool of The Man and they don’t want you to know about such things.

Pirates 7, Reds 6: Edinson Volquez, once again, blew up in the first inning, allowing four runs to the Buccos. They should have him pitch a simulated inning down in the pen before the game actually starts. Jay Bruce came into the game hitting .224/.278/.327, but went 4 for 5 with a homer and 2 RBI.

Mets 3, Braves 2:  The Braves had the bases loaded, a run in and no one out in the second inning and failed to score another run following a pop to short and then one of the more ill-advised squeeze plays I’ve ever seen. It resulted in a double play, with Tommy Hanson striking out and Eric Hinske getting nailed at the plate. What on God’s green earth was Fredi Gonzalez thinking? But hey, at least it wasn’t a close game or anything. Grrr. The Mets snap a seven-game losing streak.

Twins 4, Rays 2: Minnesota snaps a four-game losing streak. And they did it with the following lineup: Tolbert, Casilla, Kubel, Thome, Young, Cuddyer, Valencia, Holm and Repko. I’m pretty sure that at least three of those names were from the made-up players in Accolade’s “Hardball Baseball” for the Commodore 64. Holm batted right behind Moose Lorenzen for the All-Stars I believe. Anyway, here’s hoping this win doesn’t give Ron Gardenhire any ideas about “playing the hot hand” or anything.

Yankees 6, Rangers 5: Adrian Beltre was a one-man wrecking crew for Texas (3 for 4, HR, 2B, 4 RBI), but the Yankees had more men. Homers from Granderson, Cano and Martin and then a string of hits off Arthur Rhodes in the eighth capped off by an Eric Chavez RBI single. Rangers’ first base coach Gary Pettis was ejected in this one. You don’t see that very often.

Nationals 8, Brewers 4; Nationals 5, Brewers 1:  The Nats sweep the double header. In the first game twin three-run jacks for Danny Espinosa and Ivan Rodriguez helped the offense explode for its biggest day of the year so far, against Yovani Gallardo no less. Because of two rainouts Gallardo had a week between starts, so he may have been rusty. Livan Hernandez took care of business in the nightcap. Well, the afternoon-cap. One run and six hits allowed over seven innings for Livan. Espinosa starred again with a bases-loaded triple in the seventh, breaking the 1-1 tie.

Phillies 3, Marlins 2: Two of the Phillies’ three runs were aided by Marlins blunders, with both Jimmy Rollins and Ryan Howard making it to third base after errors and then scoring on a single and a sac fly, respectively.

Angels 4, White Sox 2: And the sweep. Dan Haren goes to 4-0. The Angels are the hottest team in baseball. Bright side for Sox fans: the bullpen didn’t blow one game in this series! Not that they ever had a lead to blow.

Red Sox 8, Blue Jays 1: A nice outing from Jon Lester and big hits from Jacoby Ellsbury and Jarrod Saltalamacchia give the Red Sox back-to-back wins for the first time this year. Tomorrow the Japanese pitcher faces the Canadian baseball team on Patriot’s Day.

Padres 8, Astros 6: The Padres trailed 6-4 entering the 8th inning before putting up four on the back of some walks and some singles. A series split.

Diamondbacks 6, Giants 5: The Dbacks end the Giants’ four-game winning streak. Stephen Drew had 3 RBI, including the game-winner on a single in the 12th.

Rockies 9, Cubs 5: Nine runs for the Rockies and not one of them were scored by or driven in by Troy Tulowitzki. Carlos Gonzalez certainly got his whacks in — 4 for 5 with a double and a couple of RBI — but this is no longer a two-man show in Colorado.

Athletics 5, Tigers 1: A dominant performance by Trevor Cahill salvages a split with Detroit. Cahill struck out nine and didn’t walk anyone in eight innings. Seeing Cahill’s strikeout rate jump like it has  is one of the cooler things that has happened in baseball so far this year.

  1. paperlions - Apr 18, 2011 at 7:16 AM

    ….but Franklin is a righty and kemp hits right handed, everyone knows that righty-lefty matchups are the most important thing in baseball and there isn’t a close second, which is why the greatest manager of all time has often carried a 13 man pitching staff….to take advantage of matchups…they are much more important than say….the skill of the players involved.

    • itsacurse - Apr 18, 2011 at 7:37 AM

      Burns: Wait, you Strawberry. Good effort today. Take a lap and hit the showers. I’m putting in a right-handed batter to hit for you.

      Straw: You’re pinch hitting for ME?

      Burns: Yesssss. You see, you’re a left hander, and so is the pitcher. If I send up a right-handed batter, it’s called playing the percentages. It’s what smart managers do to win ball games.

      Straw: But I’ve got nine home runs today.

      Burns: You should be very proud of yourself. Sit down.

      • phukyouk - Apr 18, 2011 at 9:10 AM

        And Mattingly.. SHAVE THOSE DAMN SIDEBURNS!

        thank you. made my week at 9 Am on monday.

  2. Jonny 5 - Apr 18, 2011 at 8:20 AM

    Is LaRussa losing his mind? He seems to be losing his mind.

    • jpeetey - Apr 18, 2011 at 9:04 AM

      Who isn’t afraid of .154-hitting Juan Uribe with two on right now? That lineup is brutal after Ethier and Kemp.

      • Jonny 5 - Apr 18, 2011 at 9:25 AM

        Maybe he wanted Franklin to bean Kemp onto base and he just missed his spot?

  3. stlducks - Apr 18, 2011 at 9:46 AM

    Hopefully larussa was giving Franklin one last chance to redeem himself and now that he knows he is done he will bring up someone. I dont think motte can do it he just throws straight fastballs…Franklin is looking a lot like izzy did a few years ago when he was done.

  4. jwbiii - Apr 18, 2011 at 9:51 AM

    Shakiest closer: Ryan Franklin or Matt Thornton?

  5. larry3656 - Apr 18, 2011 at 10:52 AM

    paperlions…

    Tony LaRussa the “greatest manager of all time”?? He’s good, maybe great, but ahead of…

    Casey Stengel
    Leo Durocher
    Connie Mack
    Walter Alston
    Tommy Lasorda
    BOBBY COX?????

    COME ON!!!

    • itsacurse - Apr 18, 2011 at 11:20 AM

      pretty sure you missed a heavy dose of sarcasm there

      • paperlions - Apr 18, 2011 at 12:32 PM

        Yeah, it was intended to be dripping with sarcasm. LaRussa may be the 2nd most overrated manager of all time (Torre has him beat, I think). As a Cardinal fan, he is infuriating to watch….heaven forbid a game go to extra innings so that LaRussa can dazzle with double switches and pinch hitters and pitching changes.
        .
        He feels compelled to try to decide the outcome himself (which usually ends badly) rather than let the players decide it.

      • astrozac - Apr 18, 2011 at 12:46 PM

        “heaven forbid a game go to extra innings so that LaRussa can dazzle with double switches and pinch hitters and pitching changes.”

        I’ve got to agree with you here. Watch the 20 inning affair with the Mets from last year. It seemed like Tony was more interested in saving his pitchers and try to win by attrition, rather than use up bench players or at least pitchers that could hit decent. That is infuriating when he’s more worried about 2-3 innings down the road rather than trying to win the game right now (at home no less)…

        But Vin Scully dramatic please? Take Kirk Gibson’s home run from the 1988 World Series, who’s call is better or more memorable Jack Buck or Vin Scully?

      • losburrosinblue - Apr 18, 2011 at 2:34 PM

        Scully. Hands down.

  6. pauleee - Apr 18, 2011 at 10:53 AM

    I’ve been absolutely slammed at work lately and with a side job I’ve been doing, so Sunday’s Angels-White Sox(s) game was the first Angel game I’ve seen al season, discounting the extra innings in the Blue Jays game a while back. Can’t be more thrilled with Haren right now, hope it continues all year.

    Best thing was that the game was televised locally, so I didn’t have to listen to The Hawk. And you can put THAT on the board, bitch!

  7. Lukehart80 - Apr 18, 2011 at 10:57 AM

    Thanks for the shout-out to Indians’ and Royals’ fans, Craig. With yesterday’s game including a fantastic return for Grady, bombs from Santana and Hafner, a great performance from Fausto, and an easy save from Perez, it was pretty close to an “ideal” game for the Tribe. Mostly I continue to feel like it can’t last, but with the Sox bullpen in shambles for now, the Tigers stumbling, and the Twins a total mess at the moment, some part of me is starting to think… “just maybe.”

  8. saucepaws - Apr 18, 2011 at 11:15 AM

    Anyone else wondering if Cahill’s new found ability to miss bats will hold up? He’s looking like a guy ready to jump to the next level. If it continues, he could put up some awful good numbers in that park and that division.

  9. Utley's Hair - Apr 18, 2011 at 11:32 AM

    Come on, Craig!!!! Where’s the credit for the Phils bats?!? They only won because of Feesh f-ups? Puhleeeezze!!!!! 8)

  10. Old Gator - Apr 18, 2011 at 11:51 AM

    The Feesh are apparently determined to find ways to sabotage themselves so that they can migrate to the spanking new Macondo Banana Massacre Field next April with a substantial credit of sympathy – or something. John Buck has disclosed his apparent intention to limit his errors to critical situations, and I suppose we need to be thankful for his keen baseball instincts on that score. I don’t think we’re going to see a lot of killer mistakes by Logan Morrison – I’m trying to be generous here – but Buck has demonstrated a pattern of misguided missile launches that is beginning to concern me. It’s as if the conditional infield improvement registered with the arrival of Infante is going to be a wash because of the defensive deficits Buck might be bringing to the infield. Ah well. And the Feesh hitters still come to the plate seemingly allergic to RISP.

    On the bright side, Anibal Sanchez threw a pretty good game and the boolpen, by and large, kept on doing its job as it has on most of the road trip. Years of boolpen tomfoolery by this team has made me kind of cynical about anything trotting in from the little door in right field so I’m withholding judgment until a few more weeks or months of use shakes out the duds.

    Biggest worry so far: yes, I know he’s missed a lot of time with injuries but the Iron Giant still takes swings that might be the envy of some pro golfers and he still plays a lateral version of fox-and-the-grapes with outside pitches. He hasn’t hit a home run yet this season, which is unnerving. Time to define your strike zone and stick to it, big guy. Your whiffs are not going to supply the air conditioning that Joeprodolsharklife Stadium requires this time of year anyway.

    • Jonny 5 - Apr 18, 2011 at 12:27 PM

      “I don’t think we’re going to see a lot of killer mistakes by Logan Morrison”

      http://www.crossingbroad.com/2011/04/marlins-logan-morrison-rocks-phillies-shirt-goes-to-flyers-game.html

      Well, let’s just say the Phills “know how to win”. Get these guys all drunked up the night before, he was a riot on twitter.

  11. Old Gator - Apr 18, 2011 at 12:02 PM

    Viz. Fat Freddi – well, Craig, you guys are now learning why I used to cringe publicly here whenever someone made the ridiculous comment that Freddi was “getting the most out of his limited resources,” or when he was a manager of the year nominee, or what have you. What was he thinking? You want to call that thinking? Hey, you’re about to witness an entire season of inexplicable decisions and/or non-decisions. If I were you, I would at all times be carrying around a note pad for copying down every extenuated metaphor for ineptitude that occurs to you while, say, stopped at a light, or reading the tabloid covers on the wire rack behind some entropic duffer taking forever to hoist her twelve packs of Ensure onto the checkout counter belt at Kroger, or lying in bed in the morning wondering why the Weather Channel has replaced so many hot babes with scrawny geeks in idiotic haircuts over the past year or so. Those jottings will come in handy as you track and attempt to respond Fat Freddy’s uninspired plod through the evolving young season.

  12. spudchukar - Apr 18, 2011 at 12:09 PM

    The ol’ olbigatory hindsight comments from Papier des Leon et al. Sure walk Kemp, the Bums bunt them to 2nd and 3rd and Loney bloops a single to left-center and the Cards lose, and the critics bemoan the fact that the “Greatest Manager of All Time”, gets the, “What kinda fool, puts the winning run on base with a free pass” question.

    The problem was the pitch selection. After Franklin paints the outside corner, knee-high and doesn’t get the call, the Cards choose to challenge Kemp down and in. He had previously hit a two strike sinker that was six inches off the ground and a foot inside off Carpenter to right, proving he can handle that pitch.

    Kemp was beat on the prior pitch, I’m screaming at the computer double up on the fastball away, he was guessing the previous pitch and won’t expect it or the cutter just off the outside corner fooling him into thinking it is another one on the corner, but no, we? choose to come inside and Kemp hits one to Malibu.

    • spudchukar - Apr 18, 2011 at 12:19 PM

      On an other note, Vin Scully is a national treasure. I clicked over to the Cards/Dodgers game, and MLB computer-style, brought me the Dodger broadcast. It wasn’t until the last of the fourth before I changed over to the Cards version which is now pretty good. The point being I was mesmerized by the game-calling. I now believe Scully is some alien cyborg or something with a total recall capability. I mean he is like 100, and instantly recalls an at bat of Berkman’s from game 2 of a four game series, interjecting into the play-by-play as if it was the previous pitch. Clone this dude, save his genes and inject into Alzheimer’s patients. He amazes.

      Kudos to Cards announcer, ex-lefty reliever Ricky Horton for his comment on the physical info on the Dodger’s Korean set-up lefty, “we will have to wait for a further update on the ‘status of Kuo’.

      • paperlions - Apr 18, 2011 at 12:38 PM

        Spud, only the comment was hindsight (because the ATH is posted after games happen) not the opinion.
        .
        As soon as Freese drove in the run, I put the dogs in the truck and took them for a long hike through the woods because I wasn’t going to sit through another Franklin closing….I was hoping they added to the lead, I didn’t even stay for 1 more batter. When I got home 2 hrs later, I got to see the results of Franklin and LaRussa’s handy work. It really doesn’t take a genius (maybe it takes a not genuis) to decide to walk Kemp and pitch to Uribe (who sucks), Loney (who has struggled for over a year), and Barajas…..those guys are hitting .154, .150, and .188 on the year….but yeah, lets pitch to the guy hitting .474

    • losburrosinblue - Apr 18, 2011 at 2:39 PM

      Watching the LAD games all season is even worse than the numbers (which are pretty bad): Ethier/Kemp is about the only threat the Dodgers have right now. Uribe would then crush the ball right into the glove of the shortstop and Loney would manage to crush a 400-foot pop up right into the catcher’s mitt in foul territory. My point, pitching to Kemp=bad idea.

  13. uyf1950 - Apr 18, 2011 at 12:23 PM

    I’m briefly going to touch upon one of my favorite topics. That is King Felix. Over the past couple of days I’ve read on several blogs one piece even appeared here on HBT. mentioning what here to for has been almost the unthinkable, that the Mariners are so bad that they might even or should consider trading King Felix this year. Surprise, surprise remember where you heard it first. With that I will say until later, enjoy.

    • yankeesfanlen - Apr 18, 2011 at 1:15 PM

      That’s an idea I’d love to embrace. Watch, someone will drop by here and say Hal and Hank are too cheap to do it and yada yada yada.
      One thing I have to add- wev’e got to get Gardner and Jeter apart. No 1-2 in the lineup, and that means no 9-1 either. At this point, better yet, just put in Andruw Jones every other day.

      • uyf1950 - Apr 18, 2011 at 2:12 PM

        I’m beginning to fall into that camp. ‘m even beginning to think that the Yankees really need a guy at the top of the line up that can get on base. Right now neither Jeter or Gardner fit that bill. Unfortunately with Jeter signed for at least these next 3 years he’s going to be in the line up somewhere. Here is a thought how about Jose Reyes (Mets) of course that assumes that the Mets will get rid of him at some point this season or that the Yankees sign him for 2012 (assuming he stays healthy this year). Then move Jeter to LF in 2012 and Reyes is the new Yankee SS and lead off batter. As for Gardner he then becomes the 4th outfielder in 2012. Food for thought and obviously just speculation on my part. But it does make you think.

      • yankeesfanlen - Apr 18, 2011 at 2:25 PM

        uyf, Reyes would make a good shortstop long term, right now he’s the only one doing anything for the Metropolitans. Jeter of course would kick and scream and the tabloids would have a field day (ever notice how Lupica DETESTS the Yankees and loves Jeter?) but he’s losing range by the day and shows never saw a potential double play he doesn’t want to hit into.

      • uyf1950 - Apr 18, 2011 at 3:12 PM

        Yankeesfanlen – all I can say is if Jeter finishes out this year below his 2010 levels he may not like to move but I think the Yankees will have no choice but to move him out of the SS position especially IF Reyes has a good year and is available to the Yankees either as a FA or via a trade. The Yankees would be foolish to pass it up. Right now I can see Jeter finishing up the 2011 season with about a .260 BA, and about 50 RBI’s, less than 10 stolen bases and even a worse OBP, SLG and OPS then in 2010. That just isn’t going to cut it.

      • spudchukar - Apr 18, 2011 at 5:59 PM

        Sure glad you guys didn’t want Berkman anymore.

      • uyf1950 - Apr 18, 2011 at 7:54 PM

        spudchukar – glad you enjoy having him in St. Louis. But you might temper your enthusiasm for him. I’m sure you looked at his numbers/performance so far this early season. If you look at just the totals they look pretty darn good. However there is that nasty however. Take out the 3 games against Arizona and his other 11 games don’t look all that good. In fact in the other 11 games he’s 10 for 39 which comes to a .256 BA with 2 HR’s and 3RBI’s. So unless the Cardinals are going to play a majority of their games this season against Arizona I’m thinking the Berkman St Louis got was exactly the one the Yankees didn’t want. BTW, the Cardinals only play the Diamondbacks 4 more times this season and those are in the 2nd week of July.

  14. APBA Guy - Apr 18, 2011 at 12:50 PM

    Here’s some small baseball: bottom of the 5th in a 0-0 game. Runners on 1st and 3rd, 1 out. Brad Penny throws to Matsui, who squibs one in front of the plate. Penny lumbers off the mound, and just as the ball is about to go foul, reaches down, picks it up , and throws to first. Runner on third scores.

    The entire stadium, which on a sunny 60 degree day, has actual people in it, is baffled. The announcers are baffled. The White Rabbit, who ALWAYS is sitting next to Mr. Anderson in the dugout, trots out to the hill in the top of the 6th with a lead, something he does not always get from the Oakland offense. And on this Sunday, the White Rabbit looks like Doc Halladay junior with his slider and two seamer forming Halladay’s patented x-pattern over the corners. He even does the Halladay 8 innings.

    The A’s play the Phillies this year in interleague, in late June at Philly. Not only willl I get to renew conversation with Jonny and Utley’s Hair, but we’ll all get to see the Young Clones version of the Philly veteran starters go after each other. Hopefully the green and gold won’t be too nervous and will give a good account of themselves then.

    Anyone check the AL West standings this morning? The Angels are tied with the Rangers atop the Battle of the Team Physicians division. Both Haren and Jared Weaver are 4-0. The loss of Hamilton has really hurt the Rangers, as has their stretch playing the Al East. Danny Haren is reminding everyone why he is so coveted as a starter. That’s one of two Oakland trades that to me and many of us here (the other was Carlos Gonzalez et al to Colorado for a rental of Holliday) that is inexplicable and has really hurt the team. Much as I like our young staff, Haren pitching for Oakland would have been affordable and dominating.

  15. larry3656 - Apr 19, 2011 at 11:47 PM

    Scully is a national treasure. I could listen to him calling a game on radio and I could “see” the game. I am, no doubt, showing my bias as I am a die-hard Dodger fan, having lived in LA from ’62 to ’82. That was during the era of Koufax and Drysdale. One of my fondest memories is of my dad and I deciding at the last minute to go to a game on Tuesday, Sep. 9, 1965. Dodgers vs. Cubs. Koufax on the hill… We saw Sandy pitch a perfect game that night. Dodgers won the game 1-0. There was only 1 hit in the ENTIRE GAME! Imagine throwing a 1-hitter and losing to a perfecto? Well, how about throwing a no-hitter and losng? The Cub’s pitcher, Bob Hendley gave up 1 hit and 1 walk and lost! Here’s the real rub… The Dodgers only run was UNEARNED, coming without a hit. The Dodgers got a walk, sacrifice to 2nd, attempted steal of 3rd with an overthrow of 3rd by the Cub catcher for an error and the unearned run. The only Dodger hit was a little bloop double hit by “Sweet Lou” Johnson in, I believe, the 7th. He was stranded at 2nd. If not for that hit, it could have been a double no-hitter.

    This game was named by ESPN the Magazine as the greatest pitched game in baseball history and my Dad and I were there. He died on an operating table in ’04. Just before he went in for surgery, he looked up at me and said, “Remember Sandy’s perfect game?” How could I not?

    This is what makes baseball so special to Dads and their sons. I still miss him a terribly.

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