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And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

Apr 25, 2011, 5:30 AM EDT

Atlanta Braves v San Francisco Giants Getty Images

Braves 9, Giants 6: The Braves should have had this one won in regulation, but Fredi Gonzalez apparently fell asleep while reliever Jairo Ascencio poured kerosene all over the place and lit a match in the seventh inning. Maybe the warmth made Gonzalez’s nap more cozy. I don’t know. All I know is that by the time he woke up and yanked Ascencio, a 5-2 Braves lead had turned into a 6-5 Giants lead. A Dan Uggla homer in the eighth tied it up and then the Braves broke through against Brian Wilson in the 10th, loading the bases with no one out and subsequently plating three. Jason Heyward had a three-run homer. He went 7 for 12 with that homer and four RBI against the Giants over the weekend.

Red Sox 7, Angels 0: A butt whuppin’. Both this game and the whole series. And really the whole west coast swing. I don’t think we need to worry too much about the Red Sox anymore. This was the Red Sox’ first four-game sweep in Anaheim since 1980.

Phillies 3, Padres 1: You’ll see a bad Roy Halladay start on occasion, like the one we saw against Milwaukee last week. Then he’ll mow down the next team he faces. Fourteen strikeouts for Doc. The Padres scored three runs in four games against the Phillies.

Dodgers 7, Cubs 3: I watched most of this one. For all practical purposes it was over in the first inning when the Dodgers pulled the old blitzkrieg on Carlos Zambrano, scoring five runs before I even had the cap off my beer. Lots of sloppy defense too, so it actually worked out well for me inasmuch as I didn’t mind turning it off to go over to my parents’ house for Easter dinner. If it was a good game I had to turn off I would have been all surly over there. Er, surlier.

Mets 8, Diamondbacks 4: Four straight wins for the Mets. This one was occasioned by two David Wright homers. So I guess two things we thought we were sure of the other day — that the Mets suck and that David Wright is getting killed by his home park — aren’t quite as clear as we thought.

Tigers 3, White Sox 0: Before the game Ozzie Guillen tweeted “Let’s be ready to turn this crapp.”  I suppose that’s open for multiple interpretations, but I’m guessing that being shut out for the second day in a row was not what he was aiming for.

Brewers 4, Astros 1: I, for one, welcome our new hawk overlords. The Wolf ones (Randy) are pretty impressive too (8 IP, 4 H, 1 ER).

Yankees 6, Orioles 3: Mariano Rivera blew his second save in a week — and Joba Chamberlain had given up a couple of runs before that — but the Yankees broke through in the eleventh on the power of a boatload of infield singles and throwing errors. And you thought that they could only score via the long ball. Well, they got a long ball from Curtis Granderson, but all of the other runs came via ground rather than air forces.

Rangers 8, Royals 7: The Rangers are unimpressed with the precocious Royals, sweeping them the heck out of Arlington. Michael Young and Jeff Francoeur stretch their respective hitting streaks to 14. Alex Gordon stretches his to 18.

Athletics 5, Mariners 2: Oakland salvages one in Seattle behind a strong Brett Anderson outing. Coco Crisp reached base three times and scored on each occasion.

Nationals 6, Pirates 3: Mike Morse had three hits, including a three-run homer. It was his first homer on the year which, given how many he hit last year (15) in so few at bats (266) is a surprise.

Twins 4, Indians 3: Three wins in a row for the Twins, who are starting to show some signs of life.

Marlins 6, Rockies 3: Ubaldo Jimenez gave up only one hit, but unfortunately for him he walked four guys and that one hit was a bases-loaded triple. Colorado came back to tie it late, but Mike Stanton‘s three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth sealed it. Oh, and Marlins fans were booing Hanley Ramirez in this one which seems pretty nutso to me.

Rays 2, Blue Jays 0: Wow, what has gotten into James Shields? Back-to-back complete games in which he allowed only four hits. Unlike the last one, though, this was a shutout. All of the game’s scoring was over in the first inning with Ben Zobrist‘s two-run homer. The game took two hours and five minutes.

Cardinals 3, Reds 0: When Yadier Molina hit that three-run home run just as the rain was picking up, I was sure it was time for Tony La Russa to activate the microchip he had implanted in the umpiring crew’s brains, causing them to call the game before the Cardinals’ bullpen was summoned to lock it down.  There must have been a malfunction, however, because they played on and the shutout of the Reds was completed. Jake Westbrook had his best start of the year. Edinson Volquez somehow avoided his usual first inning meltdown and looked good himself until the Molina homer. Which came after it looked like Volquez hyper-extended his left knee, by the way, even though Dusty Baker didn’t seem to care about it too much.  Pujols left the game gimpy too.

  1. uyf1950 - Apr 25, 2011 at 6:07 AM

    Joba, has to go. He spoiled a very good outing by Garcia who I believe after 2 starts and i short relief appearance has his ERA under .70 While it’s true Mo blew the save opportunity it never should have come to that. Joba is just to unreliable. I had hopped that he was on his way back, but that appears to have been wishful thinking on my part. Right now Joba is a luxury the Yankees can ill afford. Joba needs to be packaged with the right group of players and traded for someone who can give the Yankees value. Whether it’s a middle of the rotation guy depending on the other players included or a decent lefty reliever if it’s a straight up deal.

    In the meantime, Girardi needs to turn over the 7th inning responsibilities to Robertson and use Joba for the time he has left in pinstripes as a mop up man. BTW so far I like what I’ve seen out of both Pendelton and Carlyle. Granted the sample size is less than small but still. Just calling it like I see it. Need I say it, but that’s just my opinion.

    • buddaley - Apr 25, 2011 at 7:50 AM

      It would be interesting to know upon what you base your opinion. Prior to last night, Joba had appeared in 10 games and held the lead (or score) in 7 of them. In one case he gave up a run to cut the lead but in the other 6 he finished the inning having given up nothing.

      Robertson had appeared in 8 games over the same stretch and held the score 6 times, also allowing a run once but maintaining a lead. Each was pulled in the middle of an inning once. How does that suggest one is more reliable than the other?

      Despite grumbling by some fans, probably because expectations have always been very high for Joba, Chamberlain pitched quite well last year. He continues to be a valuable bullpen asset this season.

      • paperlions - Apr 25, 2011 at 8:01 AM

        It’s called confirmation bias and is commonly applied by just about everyone to just about every scenario they encounter in life.

      • uyf1950 - Apr 25, 2011 at 9:10 AM

        paperlions – call it what you like. But if it is a bias because of preconceptions I’m not the only one that possesses the bias. If you bothered to follow the Yankees during spring training virtually ever announcer/sportscaster responsible for covering the Yankees even those on the Yes Network clearly stated that Joba had until the trade deadline this season to prove his worth to the Yankees and “basically get his act together” or he would most likely be traded. So I guess I’m in good company then with my “confirmation bias”. Perhaps it’s those of you that can’t see the forest for the trees when it comes to Joba that have “confirmation bias”. That’s just my opinion.

      • paperlions - Apr 25, 2011 at 10:37 AM

        I wasn’t trying to single you out and was not exempting myself (or anyone) from the tendency. It is just how people are naturally programmed to filter new information….if new data is consistent with an already held notion/opinion it is more likely to be accepted without question (and a “see, I knew it/told you” attitude), whereas new data that do not fit the pattern will be ignored or explained away (even if this data far out weighs the data that is consistent with preconceptions). Confirmation bias is the primary reason the scientific method exists….just a set of rules that keep us from lying to ourselves.

  2. Chris Fiorentino - Apr 25, 2011 at 8:41 AM

    The Phillies run production the last 13 games…

    3, 4, 3, 4, 3, 3, 3, 0, 3, 3, 2, 4, 2

    The Phillies record the last 13 games…

    9-4

    I believe this should quiet the “Phillies should have kept Jayson Werth over Cliff Lee” crowd. For the regular season, it doesn’t matter if they don’t hit. With this staff, they will win 100 games in their sleep blindfolded with one arm tied behind their backs. The only question is whether they stay motivated enough to do something REALLY special, or simply win the division by 10 games.

    • Jonny 5 - Apr 25, 2011 at 9:09 AM

      Their offense has been chumpy to some pretty chumpy teams. I don’t like it. Yeah, they’ve been EEKing out the wins because of their pitching. But now the backup closer to the closer is now DL’d. Most of this season they’ve beat teams with a losing record. Let’s wait until they mow down the D-backs and Mutts coming up, then face some teams with decent records after that. I’ll feel much better when they beat good teams, so far there hasn’t been much competition.

      • nps6724 - Apr 25, 2011 at 9:19 AM

        While I do think Philly’s record is a tad misleading (what with only playing maybe 2 good teams thus far), they look far better than I thought they would this early.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Apr 25, 2011 at 9:51 AM

        Jonny, the problem is that there really aren’t many “good teams” in the NL. Besides the Rockies, who are you afraid of? The Giants? They just got swept by the stinking Braves at home. The Reds or the Cardinals? Give me a break. The Marlins, who I picked to win over 81 1/2 games for some of my hard-earned money, are probably the 3rd best team in the NL…THAT’S how weak the NL is.

        I’ve said it time and again…this team will easily win the NL Least…and have the best record in the NL. The only question is whether they can hit the ball in October. If they can, they will win the World Series. If they can’t, they won’t. That’s it. The regular season will be nothing more than a grind on these guys. Their starting pitching is too good.

        When you worry about the Diamondbacks, realize that they are throwing Lee, Oswalt, and Hamels in the 3-game set and you have to think…how the hell DON’T the Phillies win 2 of 3?????

      • Jonny 5 - Apr 25, 2011 at 10:10 AM

        I’m not worried about the D-backs Chris, I’m just saying I’m not going to get too excited until they beat some good teams (D-backs are not that). So far it’s been a cake walk of a schedule, and if they are just winning against these teams, what’s going to happen when they face the good ones? I was just sayin’ I’m going to reserve some of my excitement for when the phillies put up decent offensive numbers against good teams. Which won’t happen until after they go to arizona then play the Mutts. After that it’s the .500 Nats which is the best team to face them since the Brewers nearly swept them last week. Yes, the Phills will crush the NL east, but that’s not what I’m worried about. If the Phills want the championship they need to learn how to score more runs, and score them against good teams.

      • mercyflush - Apr 25, 2011 at 10:16 AM

        “Most of this season they’ve beat teams with a losing record. Let’s wait until they mow down the D-backs and Mutts coming up, then face some teams with decent records after that. I’ll feel much better when they beat good teams, so far there hasn’t been much competition.”

        agree with that completely. i’m worried about the Phillies, even though they have the best record in baseball. they need to hit better in May – much tougher schedule coming up.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Apr 25, 2011 at 10:22 AM

        “learn how to score more runs”

        I don’t think that is ever going to happen, so as Phillies fans we are going to have to deal with the 4-2 wins on a nightly basis. To me, it’s not a big deal until the playoffs start. Hopefully, they make a deal for a bat in July, but if not, they will have to live with keeping us Phillies fans on the edge of our seats every night because this isn’t a team that is going to blow anybody out nightly.

      • nps6724 - Apr 25, 2011 at 10:32 AM

        You Philly fans went from starving children in Africa to being contestants on The Biggest Loser before the show starts. Now simply having the best record in baseball and a perennial World Series contender isn’t enough, you need to also blow out every opponent nightly to keep you from the edge of your seats?

        I love you crazy bastards :)

      • Jonny 5 - Apr 25, 2011 at 10:50 AM

        I hope you’re off on the “don’t think that is ever going to happen” Chris, I really do. But you could be right.

        NPS6724, LOL!! It is enough, more than enough. I just feel the offense is underachieving because they know they don’t “NEED” a bunch of runs to win.

  3. uyf1950 - Apr 25, 2011 at 8:48 AM

    Buddaley – look at Joba’s numbers closer. He’s pitched in 10 games including yesterday. In yesterday’s game he comes into the game with the Yankees winning 3-0 he promptly give up a 2 run homer finishes the inning with now the Yankees leading 3-2 and gets a held. Some hold. On April 17th he comes in, in relief of CC in the 7th inning promptly giving up one earned run in 2/3 of an inning and blowing the save. On April 10 with the Yankees trailing Boston 1-0 in the after 5 2/3 inning he comes in for 2/3 of an inning and in the 7th inning he gives up 2 earned runs after only getting 1 out. On April 9th against Boston he came in the game with the Yankees winning 8-4, big deal. The 2 games prior to that he did hold on to the lead for the Yankees. The very first game he pitch this year he came in to start the 9th inning and promptly gave up 1 earned run. As best I can tell in his 10 appearances so far this season he’s pitched effectively in only 5 games. Six if you include him coming in against the Red Sox on April 9th with the Yankees leading 8-4. Net, net my friend in 3 games he gave up runs in critical situations, in one game he gave up a run when the Yankees were losing and in 1 game he came in the the Yankees already had the game well in hand. To my mind that’s not what he’s being paid to do. And as for 2010 anyone that watched him pitch he was very erratic during the year. Why do you think virtually every announcer this year during spring training on the Yes network always mentioned he probably had until the trade deadline this season to prove his value to the Yankees otherwise he would probably be traded. It wasn’t because he had a good 2010. Just the opposite.

    Just one last comment about Robertson. I’ve seen him work out of jams created by other pitchers as well as his own when he’s called into a game. I can say the same thing about Joba and certainly can’t say it about him this season so far.

    • uyf1950 - Apr 25, 2011 at 8:52 AM

      oops the last sentence should read “I can’t say the same thing about Joba and certainly can’t say it about him this season so far.”. Sorry

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 25, 2011 at 9:12 AM

      As best I can tell in his 10 appearances so far this season he’s pitched effectively in only 5 games

      It’s 11 appearances including last night. How you get effectively in 5, I have no idea. Here’s the breakdown:

      3/31 – 1IP, 0H, 0BB, 1K
      4/3 – 1IP, 3H, 1ER, 1K
      4/4 – 1IP, 0H, 0BB
      4/7 – 1IP, 1 Unearned run on a HBP and error on Martin
      4/9 – 1IP, 0H, 0BB, 2K
      4/10 – .2IP, 2H, 2ER, 2BB, 1K
      4/14 – 1.2IP, 0H, 0BB, 2K
      4/16 – 1IP, 1H, 0BB, 2K
      4/17 – .2IP, 1H, 1ER, 1BB, 0K
      4/19 – 1IP, 0H, 0BB, 1K

      I count 5 perfect frames, 6 times out he’s kept them off the scoreboard. Only four of eleven he’s allowed and earned run. The Texas game on 4/17 was the only time he’s given up a lead all year. As paperlions mentions above, it’s confirmation bias.

      • nps6724 - Apr 25, 2011 at 9:21 AM

        Allowing an earned run in 36% of your appearances (not to mention any inherited runs that aren’t being counted) isn’t exactly what I’d call effective.

      • uyf1950 - Apr 25, 2011 at 9:46 AM

        Church – as nps6724 indicated in his reply giving up earned runs in 36% of your appearances doesn’t exactly instill confidence in his ability to get out of jams or keep good outings by starters from potentially becoming loses. For your information that’s even a higher rate then his 2010 total of about 29%. Which by the way is a considerably higher rate then Robertson.

      • uyf1950 - Apr 25, 2011 at 10:03 AM

        church – one follow up comment. My mistake I missed the March 31st game. Regardless, my original for the time frame I referenced is still accurate. As for your list above. I guess we shouldn’t hold the April 7th game with the 1 unearned run against Joba. Although I’m not sure why we wouldn’t, unless it was some other pitcher that hit the batter. I assume you’ve heard the proverb
        For Want of a Nail:

        For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
        For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
        For want of a horse the rider was lost.
        For want of a rider the battle was lost.
        For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
        And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.

        Well if not for the hit batter…I could go on about the error by Martin, etc.. but I think you get my point.

        It’s just my opinion but the saying that I think best describes Joba is: He is consistently, inconsistent.

    • yankeesfanlen - Apr 25, 2011 at 9:21 AM

      uyf-I’m late to the party here, so after all your research, which I will viscerally applaud and concur-I’ve tried to be nice and tone it down- that lasted less than a week.
      We need to rid ourselves of THE FAT TOAD.
      Let him stargaze in Kansas City or the Steel City, or the nearest dipsy dumpster..

  4. Jonny 5 - Apr 25, 2011 at 9:44 AM

    So, Is San Diego a haven for west coast Phillies fans? I saw more Phillies fans there than you can wish to see in Washington DC, which is a car ride away from home.
    WHAT GIVES? It was like this http://media.philly.com/images/300*526/20110425_dn_0lk6hlhp.jpg all weekend, all over the park.

    • Utley's Hair - Apr 25, 2011 at 11:27 AM

      Jonny, after the last few years, I expect that just about everywhere—not out of a sense of entitlement, just out of habit.

      And it appears it’s time for MadDog to prove what he can do. I hope it’s better than his previous opportunities, or else Sarah is going to REALLY hate Phightins Phans.

      • Jonny 5 - Apr 25, 2011 at 12:27 PM

        LOL!! Yes, the closers role has been known to draw more “attention” than the setup guy ever will. Hope he doesn’t get more phone numbers of home wreckers thrown at him or anything.

  5. Old Gator - Apr 25, 2011 at 11:11 AM

    They were booing….Hanley Ramirez? I can’t even imagine such a thing. Just because these days Hanley needs a pair of binoculars to see the underside of the Mendoza Line (which in his current case probably feels more like the Mendoza Layer – let’s extenuate the meteorological metaphor, shall we?), or because every time he gets a ball hit to him you have to hold your breath to see if it will be a sparkler or a black hole? Last I heard, when a ballplayer who has so much going for him plays this badly – and if you think his .182 BA is bad, wait’ll you see his RISP; it’s so small, it’s practically hypothetical – you were richly entitled to boo. It’s actually just a form of tough love – or is Craig advocating a return to the kid glove Dock Spock days that produced an entire generation of spoiled lazy slaggards like me? Fie!

    The bigger news was the Trinity Site bomb (niced mixed metaphor there, too – especially for Easter) that the Iron Giant launched into the stairwell at the back of the left field mezzanine so fast that nobody turned around to see where it landed in time to see it land. Sheesh, did he ever crush that pitch. He hit it so hard that the sound of it coming off the bat actually awakened a few of the few Feesh fans mazily broiling in the afternoon sun. In fact, if Joeprodolsharklife Stadium had been any emptier we could have posed the existential standard, “If the Iron Giant crushes a three run bomb and there are no fans there to see it, does it go up on the scoreboard?”

    In other news, after Josh Johnson carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning and left with a two run lead, the boolpen in the form of Clay Hensley came out and went right to work depriving him of his win. He had guys on base and two Rocky Mountain Oysters runs plated almost as fast as Stanton’s dinger hit the back wall of the left field mezzanine. Ryan Webb came out and contained the fiasco in time for the Iron Giant’s heroics, though, and Leo Nunez came out and threw the first one-two-three closeout in his current incarnation (I’m still checking out his jatakas for the last lifetime in which he turned the trick; no joy so far).

    So the Feesh take two of three from the Oysters, and now Frank McCourt’s former team shows up. The next three nights should be rollicking at Joeprodolsharklife Stadium for all ten or fifteen of us.

  6. APBA Guy - Apr 25, 2011 at 11:55 AM

    Craig, the A’s actually salvaged both of the last two games against Seattle, maintaining their .500 pace and going 5-5 in their last 10. Mr. Anderson’s outing followed the White Rabbit Saturday night, the game in which the A’s erupted for 9 runs! That’s newsworthy. It’s also a testament to the Mariners’ rotation after King Felix and Prince Pineda. Unfortunately for fans outside Seattle the Mariner’s 1-2 were matched up with the A’s 4-5, so we just missed some really compelling pitching matchups. Because really, watching these two offenses against top starters is like watching paint dry: nothing much happens then it’s over. At least OG has the Iron Giant’s homeruns. Oh well, Coco’s 3rd triple last night was a thing of beauty, a leadoff gapper that would have been a double for 99% of MLB. Of course he was stranded at third by the A’s.

    The A’s now travel to Anaheim, where it will be about 30 degrees warmer than Seattle. The Angels are 12-10 and have 5-0 Jered Weaver against Gio tonight. The A’s actually have a better run differential (+12 to + 5), but Weaver and Haren have been great so far, and account for 9 of the Angels’ 12 wins. Both teams are relatively healthy, unlike the Rangers, who continue to suffer serious injuries, with Josh and now Neftali Feliz both down. Ordinarily the absence of Bailey in this series would put the A’s at a serious disadvantage but I think they won’t have leads in 2 of the 3 games so it won’t matter.

  7. spudchukar - Apr 25, 2011 at 12:08 PM

    Fiorentino, Dis my Redbirds if you like, but while you wallow in self-admiration, let me remind you there are a few teams, that are nipping at your team ERA stats and ripping the cover off the ball. It isn’t just the Cards you should fear, but the Brew Crew and Feesh, also pose a threat. You should be familiar enough with the South Florida bunch, lest I remind you they trail you by a mere 1 game in the loss side. They have been blessed with a comparably easy first month schedule, but have achieved that level with Ramirez mired in an early season funk, Stanton only finding his stroke on Sunday, and Morrison currently shelved. If they find a third baseman watch out.

    As to the Wisconsin boys, they already whipped ya’ 2 of 3, averaging 6 runs per, and have Corey Hart ready to rejoin the 2011 version of the Wrecking Crew. Did that series slip your ever-bulging brain? Was it a 3-day bad trip? You were at home, any recall?

    As for the Cardinals, we are raking, our starting pitching has been better than yours, especially now that Westbrook seems to have found his touch, and with the exception of Ryan Franklin, who is doing his best imitation of Brad Lidge in his off year, has been stellar. Fear the Birds.

    Let us see where you stand after you face the Cards, Rockies, Rangers and Reds in late May.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Apr 25, 2011 at 2:04 PM

      Yes, spud, we shall see where the Phillies stand at the end of May. But remember this factoid…the Phillies are a notorious slow starting bunch. The last 4 aprils have averaged around a 13-11 and 12-10 record. With the team 15-6 this year, there is no doubt that the 4 aces have everything under control this year. It’s a different vibe. 80% of the time the Phillies play, the other team’s pitcher is under pressure to not give up too many runs. 80%. For a long regular season, that’s an unbelievable advantage. For a short postseason, I’m not as confident. However, I have no doubt that, barring any prolonged injury to the 4 aces, the Phillies will win 100 games this year.

  8. spudchukar - Apr 25, 2011 at 3:24 PM

    So, they are due for a serious slump?

    • Jonny 5 - Apr 25, 2011 at 3:31 PM

      I think they may be in one, that’s the scary part. For other teams anyway.

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