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And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

Apr 22, 2011, 5:43 AM EDT

Matt Kemp

Dodgers 5, Braves 3: A gut punch of a game for the Braves. Having rallied back against Clayton Kershaw in the 9th — Mattingly, seriously, what was he still doing out there? — and having squandered their own opportunities in extra innings, they watch as Matt Kemp hits his second walkoff homer of the week. Given the way they’ve been going, I want to say that the Braves merely tying it up was the best victory they’ve had all season. Blah. Oh well, at least I got four games of listening to Vin Scully in. Yesterday’s musing about how James Loney and Jamey Carrol basically have the first name but are called something different — concluding with “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” — is the kind of thing no one else on the planet could pull off without being corny, but Scully makes it work. Really, about 60% of his stuff is corny but works fabulously. Even a dreadful game (from my perspective) is enjoyable when he’s talking.

Marlins 9, Pirates 5: Scott Cousins and Brett Hayes combined for seven RBI. In other news, guys named “Scott Cousins” and “Brett Hayes” could easily have been members of a mid-1980s NWA tag team. I picture them working the Mid South region as mild heels but capable of an occasional face turn when pitted against Russians, possibly partnered up with Hacksaw Jim Duggan in a six-man match. After they beat the Russians, though, Cousins and Hayes attack Duggan with folding chairs when they perceive him to take two much credit while holding the mic after the match. This sets off a feud lasting several months. Buddy Landel and Mr. Wrestling II are involved somehow too, but I’m not quite sure where they fit yet. Give me some time on that one.

Cardinals 5, Nationals 0: A two-hit shutout for Kyle Lohse and a homer by Albert Pujols help do in the Nats. True story: I was taping today’s installment of HBT Daily during this game yesterday — yeah, we do Friday’s a day in advance; sue me — and Tiffany and I were talking about Albert Pujols’ slump the very moment he hit his homer.  What a narrative killer.

Reds 7, Diamondbacks 4: The Dbacks were going for the sweep, but Mike Leake and the Reds steal one on getaway day.

White Sox 9, Rays 2: Jeff Niemann has been pretty terrible for the Rays this year. He’s had one good start in five this year and was a disaster in the second half of last season. Omar Vizquel, Paul Konerko and A.J. Pierzynski and Carlos Quentin each had a couple of RBIs.

Twins 3, Orioles 1: A pitchers’ duel with Scott Baker getting the best of Jeremy Guthrie. Jim Thome — who hadn’t had a hit since Sunday — hit a homer and an RBI single.

Mets 9, Astros 1: The Mets bust out the whuppin’ sticks for the first time in a while — it was the most runs they’ve scored in a game since the third day of the season — getting homers from David Wright, Ike Davis and Mike Nickeas of all people. Jason Bay returned and went 1 for 4 and scored a couple of runs.

Royals 3, Indians 2: We learned the other day that Chris Perez comes out to the song “Firestarter.” I guess that since he was on the road last night he didn’t get his song, but at least his pitching matched it in spirit. Called in to lock down a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the ninth, the Royals got three hits off him, with the last one — a two-run Melky Cabrera single  — giving the Royals the walkoff win. Cabrera also gunned down Carlos Santana at the plate in the eighth inning.  Overall: a 2-2 split and a well-played series for the two most surprising teams in baseball.

Phillies 3, Padres 0: Roy Oswalt and three relievers combine to shut out woeful Padres offense. Mat Latos continues to fail to inspire confidence (4.1. IP, 4 H, 3 ER).

Mariners 1, Athletics 0: King Felix makes one lone run stand up, because that what he does. An Adam Kennedy homer plated it. This is what 1968 must have felt like.

Red Sox 4, Angels 2: Josh Beckett and Tyler Chatwood were pretty even in regulation, but an Adrian Gonzalez double and a Jed Lowrie sac fly in the 11th was the difference.  And check this out: some moron decided to throw crumpled up dollar bills at Carl Crawford while he was in the on-deck circle. Nice protest. Those dollars are just going to get picked up by the grounds crew who will give them to Arte Moreno who will then not give them to a worthy free agent next year. Actually, maybe he’ll just give them to Vernon Wells.

  1. paperlions - Apr 22, 2011 at 8:19 AM

    At first glance I thought…..”the dodgers traded Kemp to KC? How did I not hear about this?”…but then I saw that the Brooklyn throwbacks are just old KC jerseys with a different name sewn on the front….that must have saved the dodgers some money.

  2. heyblueyoustink - Apr 22, 2011 at 8:30 AM

    ” but Mike Leake and the Reds steal one on getaway day.”

    Very witty sir, well played

  3. heynerdlinger - Apr 22, 2011 at 8:47 AM

    It’s pretty asinine to taunt players for signing big contracts when they’re at the peak of their abilities. It’s especially asinine for fans of *another* team to taunt a player who left the team that drafted him for the big contract.

    Really? Angels fans feel slighted that Crawford took *more* money than their team was offering?

  4. scottj27 - Apr 22, 2011 at 8:53 AM

    Just so we’re clear, are you still pretending you aren’t @OldHossRadbourn?

    • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 22, 2011 at 9:13 AM

      As God is my witness, I am not him.

      • wurst2first - Apr 22, 2011 at 9:40 AM

        Keith Law says he knows who it is, but he ain’t tellin’ (and insists he ain’t the one, either).

        My money’s on Mike Schur or Joe Posnanski.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 22, 2011 at 9:43 AM

        I spoke with Keith about this very thing back at the Winter Meetings (when I asked him if he was Hoss; my evidence: Keith was the first person Hoss followed on Twitter, and if I were creating a sock puppet, I’d probably follow myself first too).

        Keith would not tell me who it is, but he did convince me that it wasn’t him. He also convinced me that it was not a person anyone has heard of. It’s just an extremely smart and witty person.

      • scottj27 - Apr 22, 2011 at 9:46 AM

        You just always seem to agree with him, watching things at the same time – and the parallels to Cholly speak are so blaring.

        I’ll agree though if it’s not you, it’s not someone well-known

      • Chris Fiorentino - Apr 22, 2011 at 11:23 AM

        If it IS Craig, it is not someone well-known…

  5. itsacurse - Apr 22, 2011 at 9:01 AM

    But seriously, AGAIN somebody’s pitching to Kemp with a base open and at least one out in a walkoff situation with Juan Uribe on deck?

    • paperlions - Apr 22, 2011 at 12:50 PM

      LaRussa is a trend setter

      • cur68 - Apr 22, 2011 at 1:17 PM

        It should come in the managers manual they give these guys when they get the job;
        Section 9, Guys to pitch around;
        Anybody named Bonds
        Anybody with a a suddenly rich pharmacist

    • spudchukar - Apr 22, 2011 at 1:42 PM

      The Cardinal situation was different than the Braves. The Dodgers trailed by one and got a lead-ott double by Ethier. If they intentionally walk Kemp, the Dodgers bunt and move runners to second and third, and a flyball ties the score and bloop single wins it. If their had been one out, I am sure LaRussa would have opted to walk Kemp, but with no one out you are allowing a team to tie the score without a hit and with Kemps speed any kind of hit, error, wild pitch etc scores the winning run.

  6. APBA Guy - Apr 22, 2011 at 9:01 AM

    After a series of brilliant comments about the A’s and the AL West, which nobody has read because I get up too late to catch the East Coast crowd here, I find myself up early today (allergies) but having an A’s game to discuss that was simply too boring to describe. I DVR the games then start watching later so I can skip the pregame, the commercials, etc, but last night after three innings of King Felix I felt like I’d been hypnotized. I felt the overwhelming need to swing and miss, particularly at sliders diving out of the zone. Or at 95 mph 4 -seamers spotted almost always exactly where the catcher set up.

    Despite the soporific effects of so much futility, I did notice that Adam Kennedy was batting 4th for the Mariners. He’s now their power guy. And obviously Jack Cust’s swing has worn off on Kennedy because he took McCarthy’s mistake (center-center) and uppercut it a la Cust into the seats in right. A heckuva shot on a 47 degree night in Seattle with the dome open.

    Tonight it’s Prince Pineda for Seattle. Suddenly I’m feeling sleepy again.

    • yankeesfanlen - Apr 22, 2011 at 10:24 AM

      Really, APBA, I wouldn’t know anything about the AL West and your A’s wrap-ups other than I hate the Angels for obvious, and now long past reasons.Just think of yourself as HBT’s finis coronet opus.
      We’ll probably have a rainout tonight in Charm City which will keep everyone else in the Mighty East below the magnetic oscillator for another day.

      • professor59 - Apr 22, 2011 at 12:13 PM

        Actually, Kennedy batted third last night when he crushed his studly, game-winning homer.

      • APBA Guy - Apr 22, 2011 at 1:15 PM

        Thanks Len. I can count on you and OG for my daily literary elevation. Finis coronat opus indeed.

  7. Eric Solomon - Apr 22, 2011 at 9:06 AM

    “Marlins 9, Pirates 5: Scott Cousins and Brett Hayes combined for seven RBI. In other news, guys named “Scott Cousins” and “Brett Hayes” could easily have been members of a mid-1980s NWA tag team. I picture them working the Mid South region as mild heels but capable of an occasional face turn when pitted against Russians, possibly partnered up with Hacksaw Jim Duggan in a six-man match. After they beat the Russians, though, Cousins and Hayes attack Duggan with folding chairs when they perceive him to take two much credit while holding the mic after the match. This sets off a feud lasting several months. Buddy Landel and Mr. Wrestling II are involved somehow too, but I’m not quite sure where they fit yet. Give me some time on that one.”


    • IdahoMariner - Apr 22, 2011 at 2:02 PM

      I agree that it’s gold…once I got past my initial thought that NWA was the rap group NWA, which distracted me for a bit because I couldn’t figure out how they would have a tag-team and they certainly wouldn’t want anyone named something so pedestrian as scott or brett…once I got on the right track, I thought it was genius.

  8. pauleee - Apr 22, 2011 at 10:40 AM

    Erick Aybar back in the lineup for the first time since the beginning of the season and…gets thrown out trying to stretch a lead-off double into a triple in the bottom of the 8th. The replay shows he looks, not once, but twice at the right fielder as he’s going to second (at nowhere near top speed) before running us out of the inning. If he commits immediately, he’s safe, OR he just stays at 2nd and Scioscia bunts him to 3rd. A waste of a very good outing by Chatwood, who nearly matched another fine effort (3 in a row?) from Beckett.
    Welcome back Erick!

    • Ari Collins - Apr 22, 2011 at 12:08 PM

      One of baseball’s adages (that I think might actually be right for a change) is that you don’t make the first or last out at 3rd. Especially stupid in a tie game.

      • pauleee - Apr 22, 2011 at 12:14 PM

        He does this time after time. Great speed, horrible base runner.

  9. The Dangerous Mabry - Apr 22, 2011 at 10:50 AM

    The real highlight (lowlight?) of the Mets/Astros game was a four base error by Hunter Pence in the 8th inning. (Video here: You just don’t see a four base error all that often, and it’s odd any fielding stats we have consider this to be the same as a wide throw to first that pulls the first baseman off the bag. They’re both “errors”. We need to fix that.

    • wlschneider09 - Apr 22, 2011 at 10:58 AM

      I think the real highlight was Buck Showalter’s appreciation of the extended National anthem in Baltimore:

    • Ari Collins - Apr 22, 2011 at 1:10 PM

      That was pretty amazing. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Old Gator - Apr 22, 2011 at 10:58 AM

    Returning the Feesh-Bucs game to matters of besibol from the brain-dead kitsch terrain of professional “wrestling,” a note on the Feesh boolpen. In the 6th inning, Chris Volstad hit the wall and after getting the first out, gave up a seeing-eye single and a couple of walks before Edwin Rodriguez yanked him for Randy Choate and Ryan Webb, who, via a couple of hits and a hit batter permitted all three inherited runners to score. It took a sparkling double play initiated by Hanley Ramirez, including a diving stop and flip to Infante at second from the prone position to get out of the inning.

    By then the Feesh were way out front but the point is, in the surface stat layer the boolpen still looks golden and Volstad’s ERA bloats. But as I’ve been saying all along, this bunch of relievers doesn’t really strike me as all that good yet. Leo Nunez, as is his want, closed it out in his usual rickety fashion when he gave up a hit and a walk and ran the count full before getting the final out on a well-hit fly ball to left. And I see lots of signs of over-management from Rodriguez, who likes to change his relievers about as often as Madonna likes to rotate lovers.

    But these were the Bucs. The Rockies and Dodgers come in tonight; six games against first division teams and then they head west. We’ll know a lot more about whether this earl-season success is good for the long haul by next Thursday.

    • cur68 - Apr 22, 2011 at 11:22 AM

      It’s just not a Marlins update without you flogging Hanley, Gator. I’m glad he’s finally showing some D, but your eloquence describing him flubbing it was something I looked forward to over coffee every morning. I don’t mean to revel in your pain, but good literary bile is hard to come by. Can you lay it on just as thick when he gets it right? I’m hoping to steal a few lines for rounds on Sunday.

      • Old Gator - Apr 22, 2011 at 2:40 PM

        I don’t rip Hanley when he plays like he means it. I didn’t, for example, flog him for getting caught stealing on an attempt that everyone except maybe God, who was otherwise occupied last night, knew was coming. I’m all for agressive play with a four run lead.

      • cur68 - Apr 22, 2011 at 2:46 PM

        Nice. Gonna see if I can work that line about God into my spiel on Sunday (apropo, eh?). Sorry, no credit will be given.

      • Old Gator - Apr 22, 2011 at 5:53 PM

        On Easter sunday, I always look on the bright side of life. Rolling all those eggs drive up the concentration of LDL in my nose, though.

  11. jimbo1949 - Apr 22, 2011 at 11:00 AM

    Left out from the Dodger – Braves report: Vin the DJ announcing the music played during the commercial breaks. Right in his wheelhouse cause it was 40s music for Throwback Thursday. Good stuff.

  12. icanspeel - Apr 22, 2011 at 11:08 AM

    The over/under for amount of runs the Padres will score against the Phillies in the 4 game series is 1

    This is coming from a Padres fan, but we can’t hit the worst of pitchers this season, so we’re in trouble vs the Phillies. As for Latos he made a few mistakes, but the defense behind him was horrible, yet he still only gave up 3 runs, but when you can’t score 3 runs feels like 10

    • Chris Fiorentino - Apr 22, 2011 at 11:21 AM

      Latos was pretty awful last night, the strikeouts not withstanding. Dude was all over the place, and it easily could have been 7-0 in the 4th inning if it weren’t for Phillies swatting at horrible pitches with RISP and the Big Piece Striking out not once, not twice, not three times, but four freaking times. I love Latos, but he was not good at all last night. He had like 70+ pitches after 3 innings.

  13. Ari Collins - Apr 22, 2011 at 12:56 PM

    Weird stat: the Sox have the longest current win streak of any AL team. With… 2.

    • phukyouk - Apr 22, 2011 at 2:05 PM

      seriously? if thats right its priceless

      • Ari Collins - Apr 22, 2011 at 2:49 PM

        Yeah, just a weird thing. Check out the STRK column:

        It helps that the Sox’ “streak” is against two different teams, leaving only 11 other teams capable of having won two in a row. But it’s still a weird statistical anomaly, considering there are 4 teams in the NL with a streak at least that long. Although actually no one has won more than 3 in a row there either. I wonder how streaky teams generally are!

  14. spudchukar - Apr 22, 2011 at 2:15 PM

    Too early for boasting, but things are looking rosy, in St. Louis. Lohse looks like the 2008 hurler before the injury. His pinpoint control is back. He tosses a 2-hitter and is robbed on about 10 pitches. Garcia continues to build on an outstanding rookie campaign. McClellen has been stellar replacing Wainwright, and Carpenter looks better now than at this time last year. Big outing for McClellen tonight against the Reds. Of course Franklin’s stumbles have kept us only one game above .500, but Boggs looked good in his first save opportunity, and Sanchez has looked ungodly great.

    On the offensive side, after a slow first week, and missing Holliday, some impressive numbers are being put up. Theriot .300/.349, Rasmus .351/.432/.584 with 2 HRs, Pujols .247/.314/.494 with 6 HRs adn 14 RBI, Holliday .455/.571/.705 with 2 HRs and 10 RBI in only 12 games, Berkman .339/.409/.595 with 6 HRs, and 15 RBI, and Freese .328/.365/.483 with 2 HRs and 10 RBI.

    Tough series this weekend with the Reds, with the one remaining sore spot, Westbrook who has been awful goes on Sunday. But much more reason for optimism after the Wainwright injury, and a disappointing first week.

    • cur68 - Apr 22, 2011 at 2:24 PM

      I’m pretty happy for McClellen, not least because I thought he had the goods to fill in real well for AW. I hope he keeps it up; he’s making me look good, something mother nature never bothered to do.

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