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And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

May 10, 2011, 5:46 AM EDT

Betancourt double play.bmp

Brewers 4, Padres 3: Holy moley, this Yuniesky Betancourt-to-Rickie Weeks double play is the defensive play of the year so far. It’s enough to make you contemplate the nature of Yuniesky Betancourt. How someone can just do that without thinking — because he had no time to think — yet is unable to make basic plays a lot of the time. There are just some people like that in the world. Don’t-think-just-do people. My brother is like that. You played pickup basketball with a guy like that. Never ask them to do the workaday things but Christ Almighty they will pull stuff like that once in a while that makes your jaw drop. It’s those kind of guys who make grinders like the rest of us shake out heads and wonder about the gulf between the conscious and the unconscious world.

Red Sox 2, Twins 1: Jose Iglesias was inserted as a pinch runner for Jed Lowrie, who walked in the bottom of the 11th and he was doubled in by Carl Crawford for the win (assist to Ben Revere for an awful throw from left).  I suspect that, between the highly-touted prospect and the highly-touted struggling free agent, there will be a few storylines spawned by this one as the morning progresses. Oh, and you can throw in the fact that Ron Gardenhire got ejected by Joe West for flavor. And if you really like Joe West flavor, here’s some more for you.

Phillies 6, Marlins 4: Thanks for the appearance Javier Vazquez, but really, your services, such as they are, will no longer be needed (4.1 IP, 9 H, 6 R). And a nice alley-oop play by Mike Stanton on the Rollins homer. Although, yeah, it kind of looked like it was going out anyway.

Pirates 4, Dodgers 1: This double play — made possible by Jose Tabata picking up a ball on the rebound but playing it off like he caught it — led to the ejection of Jose Uribe and Don Mattingly. I often agitate for replay, but the big question about replay is what you do about the continuation play, as it were. If the ump in the booth calls down and says no, it was a trap, what base do you give Matt Kemp? He probably makes third base if the play was properly called as a hit, but as it was he’s back hanging around first base, waiting for the replay, when the call is finally overturned.  My best guess is to allow the ump in the sky to make a judgment call — Kemp gets second or Kemp gets third — but that’s not ideal.  Probably preferable to blown calls like this one, though.

Athletics 7, Rangers 2: One way people like to argue for the MVP award is to say how bad off the team would be without the guy.  If that argument holds, Josh Hamilton is the runaway winner, because Texas has sucked eggs since he went down. Five RBIs for Josh Willingham, who apparently made the right decision in appealing his suspension for ump bumping on Saturday.

Tigers 10, Blues Jays 5: Max Scherzer goes to 6-0, which ties him for the MLB lead in wins. Which doesn’t mean he’s the best pitcher in baseball — far from it — but makes it pretty good to be Max Scherzer lately.

Reds 6, Astros 1: Travis Wood pitched shutout baseball into the seventh and hit a three-run homer which — per union bylaws — I’m required to describe as “helping his own cause.”

White Sox 8, Angels 0: A beatdown. Edwin Jackson with seven scoreless innings, Carlos Quentin went 3 for 4 with 5 RBI.

Rockies 2, Mets 1: It’s not often that you walk six guys in six innings while throwing just 55 of 107 pitches for strikes and get away with it, but  Jhoulys Chacin did.

  1. The Baseball Idiot - May 10, 2011 at 6:32 AM

    Everyones quick to call out the umpires. Why don’t the players and managers get called out for their actions.

    The play was done and over with, and the inning had changed, and Uribe choose to go out and keep arguing the call. That’s a rulebook violation, and the umpire was right to run him, if he felt he needed to. Why didn’t Uribe just keep his mouth shut and play the game, instead of arguing a call he had no chance of changing? And hurting his team in the process by taking him out of the lineup. How come no one wants to call out Uribe for his actions?

    And why did Mattingly feel the need to go get ejected? He wasn’t going to change anything either. He’s just as guilty for what he did as anything the umpires might have done.

    If people want to call for replay, that’s their right. But the fact is, it took several replays in slow motion to show it was a trap. Life isn’t lived in slow motion, and the game isn’t played in it. The umpire made the best call he could with what he saw. It’s not an anti-Dodger conspiracy. So how about the players and managers shut up and play the game.

    As far as asking for help from the second base umpire, that’s not his job. He isn’t supposed to be watching the ball. He’s not a spectator. His job is to watch the runner from first and make sure he touches the bag as he rounds it. If he’s watching the ball, he can’t do his job correctly.

    Seriously, education and a quick read of the rulebook would really help a lot of people.

    • paperlions - May 10, 2011 at 6:48 AM

      Yeah, you probably never get frustrated by injustice and react in the heat of the moment, I mean….that’s not your job, so why would you?

    • paperlions - May 10, 2011 at 6:55 AM

      The issue isn’t whether or not the umps are doing the best they can in real time, but whether or not tools are available to improve the accuracy of calls. The idea is to get calls correct, is it not? Umpiring is still in the 19th century from a technology standpoint. I mean, it might take sever x-rays/ct scans/MRIs to detect the cause of your pain, but that doesn’t justify the doctor getting the call wrong because they choose not to use better tools that guessing, does it?

      • paperlions - May 10, 2011 at 6:59 AM

        *several (not sever)

    • mplsjoe - May 10, 2011 at 9:48 AM

      That’s crazy. You can’t critisize a guy who was right. Uribe was right – the ball was, in fact, trapped – and he had every right to blow up about it. I’m not complaining that he or Mattingly was tossed. They probably should have been tossed. But if the umps had gotten the call right in the first place, none of this would have happened.

      Shut up and play the game? How about get the f’ing call right for a change.

  2. roadwearyaaron - May 10, 2011 at 8:05 AM

    I don’t know about that being defensive play of the year. I still like both Brandon Phillips’ behind the back and between the legs plays better. Or his bare-handed play against the Padres a few weeks ago that actually saved a run, and possibly the game. I’m a Reds homer though so I have to make an argument for BP over any Brewer.

  3. bcopus - May 10, 2011 at 8:12 AM

    Life doesn’t travel 80 mph on it’s own either. We should do away with cars and go back to the way things should be.

  4. uyf1950 - May 10, 2011 at 8:45 AM

    This is a generic question. The baseball season in the next 10 days or so will be a quarter of the way gone. By most people’s estimate that is sufficient time to stop saying “it’s early”. That being the case. With the obvious financial woes of the Mets and the Dodgers when do the “fire sales” start to unload payroll? The Mets are going nowhere in a hurry and the Dodgers don’t appear to have 2 nickels to rub together.
    Then there are those teams that are playing themselves out of contention for example the Twins and White Sox 10 and 9.5 games behind the Indians respectively. I would have to think for both these teams it’s win the division or stay home. They are not going to the playoffs as the wild card.
    Like I said it begs the question with nearly a quarter of the season approaching when does the “sell off” start for some of these teams?

    • Ari Collins - May 10, 2011 at 11:29 AM

      Generally only a couple good players (and occasionally a very good one) get traded in May, a few more in June, and most of the moves occur in July. Even though the Twins and White Sox are 95% dead, teams generally don’t want to give up on the season in early May. Plus, waiting until nearer the deadline means more teams ready to give you their prospect as they get close enough to smell the playoffs and get a better idea of their strengths and weaknesses.

    • bleedgreen - May 10, 2011 at 2:52 PM

      The phils were 8 games back of the Braves after the all star break last year, and ended up winning the division by 6 or 7 games if I’m not mistaken… if you can beat the teams in your division 3/4 times, its easy to make up ground FAST in the division.

      • Utley's Hair - May 10, 2011 at 3:00 PM

        Approaching the break, the Phightins were also snapping out of their slump, injuries were still cycling through, and then Rube snagged their third ace, so ultimately, it was quite easy for the Phils to overcome the Bravos by six games.

      • bleedgreen - May 10, 2011 at 3:25 PM

        Yeah, I’m just saying that just cuz you’re 10 games out today doesn’t mean you are out of contention. I mean, for all we know, next week the Mets *snicker* could start *snicker* playing with some consistency *snicker* and win a bunch of games….

        *HAHAHAHAHAHA* OK that won’t happen, but you get the point.

  5. Jonny 5 - May 10, 2011 at 8:59 AM

    The Feesh killed themselves with errors last night. The Iron Giant had two and Buck had one. Not good Feeshes!!! Anyway, the Phills look more like the Fillins last night with all of replacement players getting some play time.

    • Phillies Homer - May 10, 2011 at 9:18 AM

      If you watched the game last night. Thoughts on the E. A. G. L. E. S. EAGLES! chants that broke out around the 6th-7th inning??

      First one was cool… let the stadium know we are loud and proud! Though everytime after that annoyed me. Maybe if there were some Marlins fans there to tell them to shut up!

      • Jonny 5 - May 10, 2011 at 9:45 AM

        I had the volume off, radio on after I became enraged at yet another Chris Wheeler “he’s going to do this” and then backpedaling with excuses when he didn’t do what Wheels thought he’d do. I wasn’t mad because of that, I don’t like him as an announcer, and he’s always predicting and trying to dissect management of the game instead of just calling it as it happens. Plus he’s very critical for a guy who is afraid of foul balls.
        So no, I didn’t hear that. And what’s wrong with calling out your baseball team at the baseball game? Why do people cheer for the Eagles at baseball games? I don’t get it, and it could be construed as a lack of respect towards the Phillies actually.

      • Phillies Homer - May 10, 2011 at 9:50 AM

        Agreed… though it’s most likely because the Phillies don’t have a default chant.

        Every Philadelphean knows the Eagles chant and once you hear it started, it’s tough to not chime in. But, at a Phillies game… especially when they are winning. It’s stupid to do it… maybe once “just because”… but that’s it. I think I may have heard it a good 7-10 times.

      • Utley's Hair - May 10, 2011 at 11:45 AM

        That drives me insane. Yeah, great, Philly fans are down there to watch the game—why not, ’cause Feesh fans aren’t—but it’s the Phightins, not the Iggles. It still happens at the Bank, too, but luckily they are mostly drowned out by actual Phils Phans.

        But that Rollins-Orr-Howard double play in the fifth was pretty sweet. And it was good to see Worley not implode after Sanchez’s jack.

      • yankeesfanlen - May 10, 2011 at 12:03 PM

        I fear for the safety of the fans ever starting a J-E-T-S or even a G-I-A-N-T-S (if there is such a thing, which I doubt) at The Cathedral.

    • professor59 - May 10, 2011 at 12:02 PM

      Didn’t realize until last night what a butcher Stanton is in the OF. The Future of the Franchise better get some catching and throwing lessons before he finds himself the next Adam Dunn!

      • Jonny 5 - May 10, 2011 at 12:38 PM

        Is it safe to say he’s 1st base bound? I say yes.

  6. cur68 - May 10, 2011 at 9:49 AM

    The play by Betancourt was good, yes but give Weeks some credit; he had nearly no time to react but he somehow got that ball barehanded and fired a strike to Fielder while getting run by the player sliding into him. Weeks MAKES that play. Without him catching and firing in motion while jumping it’s one out and just a good play. The 2nd out was harder to turn by a mile.

  7. spudchukar - May 10, 2011 at 10:17 AM

    UYF, my friend, what I read and what I hear are two entirely different things. Yes, it is a valid question to ask at the quarter pole, but what I hear are when are you guys gonna throw in the towel and send us the starting pitching we need. One thing for sure, Romine, Maxwell, Nunez et al are not trading options that should bring you a quality #3 starter. And yes the Twins and Chisox are seriously trailing, but if I am the fan base and they bail 1/4 through the year with the unproven Indians and Royals as targets my season ticket purchases go on hiatus.

    • uyf1950 - May 10, 2011 at 10:35 AM

      spudchukar, my friend. Since there is no sound in my comments you believe your eyes and not your ears. But I will differ with you on who will bring what should a trade become available. I’m not sure either one of us has the credentials of a Major League GM to say what or who would be acceptable to another team in a trade.
      As for your comment as a “fictional” season ticket holder of either the Twins or White Sox. It looks to me like some of the White Sox ticket holders have already put their season ticket purchases on hiatus. Can the Twins fans be far behind?
      That’s just my opinion.

  8. spudchukar - May 10, 2011 at 10:27 AM

    If that is the best Javier Vazquez has to offer the Pheesh need to turn to AAA. An 87-88 MPH fastball without command, and a breaking ball that has enough loop in it to qualify as a legal slow pitch softball toss, is not Major League stuff. Kudos to the Pheelies for getting a big win on the road, but honestly, this game was served up on a Pheesh platter. Aided by Greg Dobbs baserunning, or lack thereof, and double-play itis, the only thing more embarrassing than the Marlin performance was the sorry-assed attendance by the Florida faithful. I know it was a Monday Night and all, but there were more fans at the Spring Training games in Jupiter I attended this Spring than bothered to show up for this rather attractive early season showdown.

    • Jonny 5 - May 10, 2011 at 11:00 AM

  9. besnoah - May 10, 2011 at 10:29 AM

    To your point about the gulf between the conscious and unconscious worlds, Weeks and Betancourt would, in the 9th, combine for one of the ugliest non-turns of an easy double play ball as Weeks scooped a roller, fired the ball directly into the ground, Betancourt bobbled it, dropped it, somehow corralled it and barely managed to tag Hawpe for the out.

    I thought that was a perfect follow-up act to this double play.

  10. alexpoterack - May 10, 2011 at 10:34 AM

    I feel like a hack saying this, but, the more I watch Yuniesky Betancourt, the more I feel like he just doesn’t try half the time. I swear, there are lots of times when he’s facing a hard grounder up the middle like the one he fielded for the DP last night, and he’ll run about halfway there and then just stop. Not stop running, literally just stop and stand there and watch it roll by. Again, I have no idea what goes on in a player’s mind, and I hate to act like I do, but this is the only conclusion I can draw by watching him.

  11. macjacmccoy - May 10, 2011 at 11:41 AM

    Nah Brandon Phillips under the leg throw is the defensive play of the year winner so far.

  12. IdahoMariner - May 10, 2011 at 12:20 PM

    “It’s enough to make you contemplate the nature of Yuniesky Bentancourt. How someone can just do that without thinking — because he had no time to think — yet is unable to make basic plays a lot of the time.”

    I think it’s because he is able to do that, without any effort or thought, that he thinks it should always be like that, and if it requires effort or thought, he is just not interested. If you have ever watched him half-heartedly wave his glove at a ball he could have snagged if he had just done some basic prep or even just moved his damn feet, and watched this on a daily basis, you can see — the thinking and the effort are too much for him. A complete waste of natural talent.

  13. handsfour - May 10, 2011 at 2:10 PM

    Guess Trevor Cahill’s brilliance is routine enough that it doesn’t rate a mention.
    Guy is now 6-0, 1.72 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 45/16 K/BB in 52.1 IP. 23 years old.

    Certainly the bigger news for the A’s was actually managing 7 runs. They did it with just 4 hits, but 8 walks. Afterward C.J. Wilson, that stand-up guy, said yeah, the A’s beat him, but they didn’t do it in a manly way, so they shouldn’t get any credit. Or something.

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