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And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

May 12, 2011, 5:46 AM EDT

Red Sox pitcher Lackey leaves the game in Toronto

Blue Jays 9, Red Sox 3: Who is hated more in Boston right now: John Lackey or Lebron James? Probably Lackey. Dude even hates himself. His quote after the game — and I am not making this up — “Everything in my life sucks right now, to be honest with you.”  Man, way to take all of the fun out of going after a guy.

Nationals 7, Braves 3: Bullpen go boom and any momentum Atlanta had coming off that Philly series is gone. I’ve had the sneaking suspicion that Craig Kimbrel had been used too much lately (Eric O’Flaherty and Johnny Venters even more so), and perhaps it is catching up with him. Kimbrel was unable to hold a 3-1 lead in the ninth and then Scott Linebrick imploded in the 11th. The latter was far less surprising than the former. Anyway, earlier in the season I said some nice things about Fredi Gonzalez not having too quick a hook with some guys and not having too late a hook with others and that he generally had a good feel for his pitching staff. Yeah, I may be coming off that a bit.

Royals 4, Yankees 3: Things could have been worse. Jeff Francoeur was almost the hero here with a 10th inning RBI double.  If that had held up, you would have found me locking my doors to keep Kent Hrbek, Jim Leyritz and zombie Eric Gregg from breaking down my front door and barging into my house to tackle me, to hit an ill-advised slider over my fence and to call me out on extremely wide strikes, respectively.  As it was, Curtis Granderson hit a clutch two-out RBI single to tie it up again in the 10th and then Eric Hosmer won it with a sac fly in the 11th (he also homered earlier). Way, way more comfortable with Hosmer as the hero.

Rays 8, Indians 2: Cleveland had won 14 straight at home, but Cleveland did not rock for them last night. Detroit is only four and a half back now.

Dodgers 2, Pirates 0: Hiroki Kuroda shut the Pirates out over seven and the bullpen continued the job (Note: Vicente Padilla now has as many saves as Fernando Rodney and Ryan Franklin combined).  May I ask anyone who saw this game: how does a 2-0 contest in which there were nine total hits last over three hours?

Phillies 5, Marlins 3: A day after his error helped cost them the game, Jimmy Rollins hit a two-run single in the ninth inning to complete the Phillies comeback from a 3-0 deficit.  Ah, Jimmy. I suppose we’ll keep you.

Orioles 4, Mariners 2: Felix Pie went 1 for 3 against Felix Hernandez (1 for 4 overall), dropping his career average against pitchers named Felix to .500.  As far as I can tell, this leaves Felix Escalona alone at the top of the all-time Felix-on-Felix leader board, with his cool 1.000 average (a double off Felix Heredia).  For those of you wondering, Neither Felix Mantilla, Felix Fermin nor Junior Felix ever faced a Felix pitcher.  If anyone wants to look up who leads the Octavios or Guillermos, be my guest. UPDATE: it’s done. Check the comments. My readers are the best.

Tigers 9, Twins 7: All Victor Martinez does is get three hits and three RBI. Every game! OK, just the last three, but that’s pretty impressive anyway. I don’t think it’s too early to declare declare the Twins the first team that a non-trivial number of people picked to go to the playoffs dead.

Astros 4, Reds 3: Hunter Pence hit a walkoff double, helping the Astros avoid the sweep. The Reds walked nine Astros hitters. Three of them scored. Walks are bad, mmmkay?  Pence has a 15-game hitting streak, by the way.

Padres 13, Brewers 6: Twenty-three hits and thirteen runs for San Diego is a good way to make the season’s offensive numbers look better.  Jason Bartlett and Cameron Maybin each had four hits.  Chris Denorfia and Ryan Ludwick each had three, including a homer.

White Sox 6, Angels 4: Jake Peavy returns and allows four runs in six innings. Not great, but having him back is a positive. Once he left the Sox bullpen held up nicely and the Angels’ pen didn’t, allowing Chicago to come back from a 4-1 hole, with Omar Vizquel of all people driving in runs in the eighth and ninth.

Cubs 11, Cardinals 4: Chicago opens up a can of whoop-ass on Jake Westbrook and the Cardinals, getting 11 runs on 17 hits. The struggling Starlin Castro was 4 for 4 with three RBI.

Giants 4, Diamondbacks 3: Down 3-0, the Giants woke up and scored four unanswered runs. Miguel Tejada was 3 for 4.

Mets vs. Rockies: POSTPONED:  Coalescence occurs when water droplets in clouds fuse to create larger water droplets, which is known as the Bergeron process. Air resistance typically causes the water droplets in a cloud to remain stationary. When air turbulence occurs, water droplets collide, producing larger droplets. As these larger water droplets descend, coalescence continues, so that drops become heavy enough to overcome air resistance and fall as rain.

Athletics vs. Rangers: POSTPONED: Rain is an Edenian who bears witness to Shao Kahn’s invasion of his homeland Edenia as a youth. Many centuries later, he returns during the invasion of Earthrealm and is forced to join Kahn’s forces in order for him to betray his homeland. During the events of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, Quan Chi informs Rain that he is a direct descendant of Argus, the protector god of Edenia, making him a half-god.

  1. cktai - May 12, 2011 at 6:08 AM

    I loved Mortal Kombat since I could tell people “you pernounce my name like that bad guy in Mortal Kombat”

    • cktai - May 12, 2011 at 6:08 AM

      pronounce.

  2. elderstatesman1 - May 12, 2011 at 7:11 AM

    “Everything in my life sucks right now…”

    Hate to be the downer here, but Lackey’s wife has cancer. Worth noting as we analyze his performances.

    Bullpen was also spent last night. Lackey had to go longer than he should have. 4-3 in the 7th.

    • proudlycanadian - May 12, 2011 at 7:46 AM

      Excellent points. Lackey did start the game well. He was left in too long. He was not as bad as Lester was on Tuesday.

    • Craig Calcaterra - May 12, 2011 at 7:48 AM

      Yeah, read about that this morning. Had missed it in the spring. Sounds awful. He’s clearly not in a good place right now.

    • deathmonkey41 - May 12, 2011 at 9:29 AM

      Sucks about his wife, but I still love when the Red Sox lose. I especially love that they’re losing after all the mindless talking heads picked them to run away with the division and win the World Series. Maybe it’s time for ESPN to help propagate another myth about them- something that will even rival the hoax known as “Red Sox Nation”. Let’s see what John Henry can feed his propoganda arm now. And what the hell is Stuart Scott looking at?

    • henryd3rd - May 12, 2011 at 11:53 AM

      I pray for this man’s wife; but why did he leave Anaheim for baseball crazy New England? Didn’t he realize that life was good on the left coast? Warm winters, good team, great manager, great owner and team mates! What did he hope to find in beantown? Be careful what you wish for you might get it!

  3. rollinghighwayblues - May 12, 2011 at 8:16 AM

    is there a line forming for people to kick Epstein in the rear for signing this wash up? What an absolute waste of…let me prepare myself, $82.5MM. I decided to leave the house and not watch the game because Lackey was pitching. I come back three hours later hoping that he didn’t let the entire world hit off him but lo and behold Lackey was as advertised: dogshit awful. John McDonald took this guy yard, are you serious? It’s sad to say that if Lackety gave up five or six runs in his next outing then that would be an improvement. Seven starts, four of those are outings where the opponent scored six or more runs. I’ve been saying this spring training, this guy does not have what it takes to be successful at the MLB level, fastball that is flat as can be and off-speed that he can’t spot up to save his life. Lets have Tito’s take on the matter.
    ” He had the ability to get back in counts with the breaking ball but didn’t really have the put-away breaking ball and left it over the middle a few times.”
    Newsflash Francona, Lackey hasn’t had a put-away breaking ball since he signed that burden of a contract. Aren’t you in the dugout witnessing this debaucle? Lackey always leaves it over the heart of the plate and when he doesn’t, the hitters can still adjust because his “stuff” is that bad.

    Time for him to get pulled out of the rotation in my opinion and give him some time off. I’ve never been a fan of this but right now I think a phantom injury and a stint on the DL would be in order.

  4. Chris Fiorentino - May 12, 2011 at 8:50 AM

    Craig, heard you on WIP this morning…good stuff. While I don’t usually agree with Angelo, he hit my points right on the head regarding Oswalt’s ridiculous decision to ride a bulldozer with a balky back.

    As for the Guppies, they have to be feeling pretty down today considering the Phillies played awful baseball and managed to take 2 of three from them. The Phillies left Florida with the best record in baseball. Considering their starting catcher, #3 starter, and closer are on the DL, that’s not a bad thing. I can’t wait until Chase Utley comes back. If Brown comes back with a better mindset(and swing), this lineup will be freaking stacked.

    Rollins
    Polanco
    Utley
    Howard
    Ibanez
    Victorino
    Brown
    Ruiz
    Ace

    Damn…there aren’t many holes in that 1-8. Of course my reverse psychology worked on Sardine-can and Orr as they were key contributors to the win last night.

    Now to Hotlanta, where the Phillies can take the hearts of the Cowards and leave the city 8 games ahead of them on the 15th of May.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - May 12, 2011 at 9:50 AM

      boo

      • Utley's Hair - May 12, 2011 at 2:44 PM

        Hiss. Pieboy.

    • CJ - May 12, 2011 at 9:53 AM

      People still listen to that station?

      • Chris Fiorentino - May 12, 2011 at 1:19 PM

        i do in the morning…i just cant stand greeny and the dumb meatball in the morning. angelo is the lesser if two evils and the few times conklin comes on is worth the wait.

  5. cur68 - May 12, 2011 at 8:51 AM

    The Jays did me proud last night.

    Rajai Davis justified my faith in him and went 4 for 4 with 2 stolen bases.

    Jose Bautista hit his usual screaming line drive to left field. All except Corey Patterson knew it was a hit. Patterson was tagging the bag at 1st thinking that Crawford was 10 feet tall so Jose only got a single out of it. He gave Patterson a look that would have broken a lesser man’s jaw. Patterson for his part made up for it with 2 hits, 1 run and a stolen base, so I forgive him. This time.

    Got to see Wakefield do his thing and make some history as the oldest man to ever suit up for the BoSox. He can still dance that knuckle ball but good. He does, however, look 5 months pregnant. I can’t believe a fit woman couldn’t throw a knuckle ball better than Tim Wakefield, age 44. In any case, I’m real glad it wasn’t Timmy the beavermen faced for most of the game last night; John McDonald hit himself a homer and he needed the Lackey fastball to make it happen.

    Lackey, in spite of his poor pitching line, was actually better than you would have thought. This time the strike zone tightness was due to Gary Darling who didn’t seem to respect the fact that the plate has corners on it. I’m pretty sure he robbed Lackey 2 or 3 times.

    Jesse Litsch was just dynamite out there and even got his soufflé fastball up to 93 mph at one point. He threw his cutter, change up and fastball so well it took the likes of Gonzalez and Ortiz to homer off of him; all others were just a spectatin’. I am lovin’ me some plump, red headed pitcher even if he does look like Hagar the Horrible’s slightly more civilized little brother. The chubby ginger kid can pitch.

    • deathmonkey41 - May 12, 2011 at 9:31 AM

      Although we don’t agree on Bautista- I will rejoice in your team’s beating of the Red Sox. They can’t lose enough for me.

      • cur68 - May 12, 2011 at 9:44 AM

        The whole team is starting to hit now; the longer they’ve been around Dwayne Murphy the better they get. There’s your performance enhancer right there.

        Cooper an Arencebia will start to turn it on as he works out their timing with them. Both guys get out on their front foot and uppercut at the ball, like a golfer. They’ll start swinging with their hands first and get the bat through the zone with their hips and then all that pop-up, foul ball contact they make will start being drives and homers.

        If it wasn’t already an MO of someone else I’d totally change my handle to “Bautista’s Beard” (although I do believe the correct MO when copying this style is to spell beard “B-e-a-r-d-t-s”).

      • Jonny 5 - May 12, 2011 at 9:54 AM

        Down with the Fascist pigs!!!!!!!

  6. missthemexpos - May 12, 2011 at 9:27 AM

    Jessie Litsch’s gutsy performance so far this year has helped to ease the loss of the traded Shaun Marcum, whom I really enjoyed watching in previous years for the Jay’s.

  7. mplsjoe - May 12, 2011 at 9:29 AM

    I know this will never happen, but how about some heat on Ron Gardenhire for the Twins historically bad season so far? Sure, players have been injured. But the Twins pushed Mauer to play when he wasn’t ready and they let guys sit around hurt way too long before DLing them (Delmon Young, Thome come to mind). And, as Aaron points out all the time, Gardy’s insistence on running a bullpen-by-title (“The 8th inning guy pitches only in the 8th inning. The closer pitches only in save situations. That’s that.”) and even weirder insistence on lineup-by-stereotype (Are you a small, white middle infielder? Then you’re hitting second. What? You couldn’t get on base to save your life? But you’re a small, white middle infielder. So you’re hitting second”) is not helping the team.

    Combo all this with his failure to have his players ready to play on several days this year – to say nothing of essentially giving up in games 2-4 of last year’s playoffs – and Gardy should have to answer some questions.

    • clydeserra - May 12, 2011 at 12:56 PM

      Alexi Casilla=DH.

      Wow

  8. Jonny 5 - May 12, 2011 at 9:53 AM

    How about that, I was mad as hell at Snyder for gimping out when he should have scored the tying run off of a Cliff Lee single (how dare he get hurt before he scored that run right?). But luckily my anger faded as the Phills took advantage of Florida afterwards. I was thinking that this offense really has be stinking lately with Roy losing after pitching a damn nice complete game, and here Lee may lose as well… Phills are looking relatively good in spite of having a team consisting of a bunch of replacements. Like Chris said, Utley will be back soon, which has to help. And one thing he hasn’t said, Brown has been raking in AAA. I wouldn’t bring him up until you’re ready to use him regularly though. I think it’s time to give Mayberry JR. an honest to goodness shot out there first. I think he’s got more than we’ve seen but needs to get out there regularly. Look at his #’s from last season with hardly any AB’s. Look this season, still quite nice after many more AB’s. I think he’s better than the Phillies have been allowing him to be. Let the man play RF for a bit and let’s see what he’s got Charlie.

  9. rebarratige - May 12, 2011 at 10:06 AM

    Not that this has any significant effect on his performance, for better or worse, but I’m beginning to think that Kimbrel was hyped a little too early. All that he’s-unspeakably-awesome-within-this-vanishingly-small-sample-of-25-innings stuff is painful to read now that he’s regressing a bit. Still a filthy strikeout pitcher, still giving up far fewer hits than you’d expect but I hope we (and by “we” I really mean “I”) adjust our expectations of the boy a little bit. Nights like last night should do the trick. He’s not going to post an ERA+ higher than 900 forever.

  10. yankeesfanlen - May 12, 2011 at 10:12 AM

    No, Im not hiding, just recovering from a 4+ hour, 11 inning borefest that no one, particularly the Universe, wanted to win. Let’s just go back to the 2 HRs a day program, guys, and stop putting people on base (3 in two innings, 2 in 4) and save one for other than top-of-inning, no outs.
    Must have been way past Hosmer’s bedtime before he got tired and hit a sac fly, which we were too bored to duplicate two innings in a row.
    Burnett was fine, but gratuitous plunking is silly, especially with 2 on.

    • phukyouk - May 12, 2011 at 10:34 AM

      I had a whole rant prepared to copy and paste into todays ATH but i let it go. 1/15 with Runners in scoring is just unacceptable. the Yanks did not deserve this game at all… with the exception of Grandy NOONE has done anything in the last 3 weeks.. NO! not even jeters accidental surge on sunday is worth noting. AJ should be punching ppl in the face for his 3 BRILLIANT start wasted this early into the season. its things like this that will push him back into his mental state and make him awful once again. if not for our AMAZING pitching we would be in dead last right now.

    • uyf1950 - May 12, 2011 at 1:24 PM

      Guy’s you can analysis it, slice it or dice it 9 ways from Sunday but this the final line says it all.
      Royals: 4 Runs, 4 Hits, 0 Errors
      Yankees: 3 Runs. 12 Hits,1 Error

      AJ, pitched a great game 7 innings, 1 ER and lowered his ERA to 3.37. The bullpen and the offense let him down. Three out of AJ’s last 4 starts he has pitched very, very good and what does he have to show for it. 2 loses and 1 ND.

      Time to move on from last nights disappointing lose and look to this evenings game with Nova on the mound. Let’s hope Nova has the same success in this game that he has had his past couple of outings.

      • uyf1950 - May 12, 2011 at 1:32 PM

        “loss” not lose. In the last paragraph. Sorry

    • deathmonkey41 - May 12, 2011 at 1:36 PM

      I don’t think he plunked him on purpose. The situation was bad and Martin was lined up outside. Usually when a plunking is about to occur, the catcher will line up inside so it looks like it just got away a little. I could be wrong, of course, but it just didn’t seem like an ideal moment for it.

      Anyway, I blame Girardi for this loss. He managed horribly. WIth two on and none out late in the game, he had Gardner swinging away instead of bunting them over. Gardner proceeded to fly out lazily to left field, didn’t advance the runners, and it was just another inning of runners left on the bases. And the Posada as DH experiment needs to end- he is just awful. The Royals gave him the biggest insult they possibly could- they intentionally walked a badly slumping Nick Swisher to get to him and then he did what I expected him to do- he struck out on a breaking pitch. Time to bring up Jorge Vazquez.

  11. Chris St. John - May 12, 2011 at 10:14 AM

    Octavios – only one PA in MLB history:
    Octavio Augie Ojeda vs. Octavio Dotel: 0-1, 1K, .000 AVG

    Guillermos:
    Guillermo (Naranjo) Montanez (Willie Montanez) vs. Guillermo (Villanueva) Hernandez (Willie Hernandez): 15 PA, 0 HR, 1 BB, 1 K, .357 BA
    Guillermo Quiroz vs. Guillermo Mota: 1 PA, GDP, .000 AVG

  12. handsfour - May 12, 2011 at 2:02 PM

    A’s and Rangers actually got in four innings – and the Rangers led 7-0 – before rain washed it all away. Mitch Moreland’s grand slam, Gio Gonzalez’s 7 R in 3 IP – officially never happened. Love that Texas weather!

  13. natstowngreg - May 12, 2011 at 6:46 PM

    Still no love for my Nats. We’re .500! This team is winning games it shouldn’t win, and would not have won before. It may be a mirage, but I’ll enjoy it while it lasts.

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