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And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

May 19, 2011, 6:03 AM EDT

Jake Peavy

I went to the optometrist’s office yesterday for an eye exam. They gave me the eye drops. And they were worse than usual. In addition to causing my pupils to dilate and my vision to blur, they somehow caused me to be transported back in time to 1968 when no one could score any damn runs.  What are in those things, man?

White Sox 1, Indians 0: Everyone who expected Jake Peavy to pitch a three-hit shutout in his second start after his return to the rotation, raise your hand. Not so fast, Mr. Peavy! You had a freaking detached latissimus dorsi muscle, and should barely be lifting your arm at all at this point, let alone raising it in response to my questions! Man, modern medicine is pretty damn incredible.

Red Sox 1, Tigers 0: There was a time a couple of years ago when my first impulse with these recaps would be to focus on any outstanding pitching outings first. Since it’s the Deadball Era, Mark III apparently, I’m going to need a new approach.  How about this: An offensive explosion for the Red Sox in the eighth as Saltalamacchia hit an RBI double, busting the game wide open!!!!  Five straight wins for the Bosox.

Phillies 2, Rockies 1: Whoa, a winning team scoring more than one run? Show offs.  Cole Hamels allowed one run on five hits, striking out eight. Jason Giambi ended the game striking out as a pinch hitter. Based on both the looks of him and on the amount of life seemingly left in him, he may as well be Quint in “Jaws” at this point.

Yankees 4, Orioles 1: Fifteen innings, with the win for New York coming courtesy of two-run double by Robinson Cano.  Of course getting us to extra innings in the first place was the Orioles tying it up in the ninth, and with respect to that, the big point of contention in real time (i.e. on Twitter) was Joe Girardi’s decision to send Mariano Rivera out for the ninth inning with a 1-0 lead instead of letting Bartolo Colon finish the game.

Stop and think for a minute how insane that sounds as an actual point of contention.  Yes, I realize that Colon was on it last night and had thrown only 87 pitches.  And I’m actually cool with people who say that, if they were in Joe Girardi’s shoes, they’d have kept Colon in the game because hey, Rivera doesn’t have to close out every win.  But on what friggin’ planet have we landed where someone can actually rip a manager for sending out MARIANO FREAKING RIVERA to protect a ninth inning lead?  Neither decision would have been a bad one. The one that Girardi had made happened to backfire. Shit happens. And besides, if it’s not for the Yankees’ impotent bats, we’re not even having this conversation.

Academic now because, hey, the Yankees won, but if they hadn’t, how much disingenuous criticism of Girardi would there be over this?  And now that I think about it, it’s 5:40 in the morning as I’m writing this and I haven’t read the New York papers yet. Maybe there still is some criticism.

Cubs 7, Marlins 5: Highlight of the game: buck naked streaker. Second best highlight: Marlon Byrd‘s tie-breaking homer in the eighth.  Hey, cut me some slack. I see homers every day.

Pirates 5, Reds 0: Remember when we were making fun of Charlie Morton for aping Roy Halladay‘s delivery and we were saying stuff like “yeah, you wish, buddy!”  Well, I’m not sayin’ they’re even or anything, but it is worth noting that Halladay hasn’t pitched a complete game shutout this year and he only has one game with a higher game score than Morton had in this one.  And, though there’s a huge difference in quality in Halladay’s favor once you dig into the peripherals, just for fun let us note that Charlie Morton is 5-1 with a 2.62 ERA and Halladay is 5-3 with a 2.21.

Mets 3, Nationals 0: No healthy position players, no fans in the stands, no dry weather, no problem: Jon Niese threw seven shutout innings and Justin Turner continued his nice little run with a two-run double.

Cardinals 5, Astros 1: A costly win as the Cardinals had both Lance Berkman and Matt Holliday leave the game with injuries.

Rays 6, Blue Jays 5: Tampa Bay jumped out to a 6-0 lead by the third inning and then held on. Matt Joyce homered and is at .365/.434/.619 on the year. Elliot Johnson had three RBI.

Rangers 5, Royals 4: Eric Hosmer’s homer in the bottom off the ninth of Neftali Feliz tied it, and the Royals had a chance to win after that when both Jeff Francoeur and Billy Butler reached base. However, each was pinch-run for — by Jarrod Dyson and Mike Aviles, respectively — and both Dyson and Aviles were picked off first. Mercy. Into extra innings, where Adrian Beltre‘s two-run single in the 11th proves to be the game winner.

Giants 8, Dodgers 5: On a night when so many teams couldn’t muster offense, the two lowest-scoring teams in the NL combine for 13. Because that makes sense.

Brewers 5, Padres 2: The Brewers have the worst road record in baseball. The Padres had the worst home record. Something had to give!

Mariners 3, Angels 0: Jason Vargas shuts out the Angels on four hits over seven innings while striking out nine. Two RBI singles for Jack Cust proving that, contrary to popular belief, he is not in fact dead.

Twins 4, Athletics 3: Three RBI for Trevor Plouffe, including the game-winning sac fly in the 10th. Two wins in a row for Minnesota. In their case I don’t think it’s too much to call this a winning streak.

Diamondbacks 5, Braves 4: Ryan Roberts scored from third on an infield hit by Justin Upton in the bottom of the 11th — despite the Braves’ drawn-in infield — completing the comeback win. Atlanta had its chances to win this one but ran its way out of a great scoring opportunity in the sixth and couldn’t nail down leads in the 7th and the 11th.  Not surprisingly, Fredi Gonzalez used Jonny Venters, Eric O’Flaherty and Craig Kimbrel again.  At this rate they’re each going to have close to 90 appearances.  Take it easy Fredi.

  1. kiwicricket - May 19, 2011 at 7:14 AM

    Lysergic acid diethylamide perhaps???

    • Old Gator - May 19, 2011 at 12:19 PM

      Doc Ellis joke. Four points.

  2. cktai - May 19, 2011 at 7:24 AM

    Cole Hamels might very well be the best left-handed pitcher in baseball this year.

    • paperlions - May 19, 2011 at 7:40 AM

      Jaime Garcia happens to throw left-handed.

    • randomdigits - May 19, 2011 at 7:59 AM

      Then again it might be Zach Britton. (I don’t actually think so but boy the kid is good)

    • paperlions - May 19, 2011 at 8:50 AM

      A lot of good lefties in the game: Gio, Garcia, Britton, Hamels, Lester, Hamels, Anderson, Price, Sabathia, Lee, Kershaw.
      .
      I’m not sure if Garcia’s performance is sustainable, his K rate is good (not great), walk rate is okay (he’s walking about 1/2 as many guys this year compared to last), but what he does well (somehow) is not give up XBH. Last year he gave up only 31 XBH in 163 IP and this year he has given up only 9 (7 2B and 2 HR) in 60 IP. Those rates are exceptionally low…just not sure if they are luck or a “skill” at this point.

      • paperlions - May 19, 2011 at 8:51 AM

        Hamels is sooo good I had to list him twice. :facepalm:

  3. heffmessina - May 19, 2011 at 7:51 AM

    I think I saw more people on the Twitter defending Girardi than criticizing him for the move. I can’t go with an argument that says you can never question a manager if he brings in a guy because this is his inning. To say a specific move is always good no matter the context is just wrong to me. Anyone who was watching the whole game would have to be out of their mind to say Colon shouldn’t have stayed in. Not only that but what is the harm in having Colon start the inning and then pulling him for Rivera once he allows a baserunner? Thats exactly what would have happened. Not only that but Rivera has pitched in literally half of the Yankees games so far this season. You can’t question bringing in a 41 year old overworked Mariano Rivera when the starter is dealing?

    • yankeesfanlen - May 19, 2011 at 8:43 AM

      My sentiments exactly!

    • Kevin S. - May 19, 2011 at 4:10 PM

      Rivera had pitched twice in the previous week – he was perfectly well rested to come in. Given not being overworked, I will never criticize Girardi for bringing in the greatest getter of three outs in MLB history to get three outs. I don’t care how well he’s pitching, Bartolo Colon after eight innings of work is not a better option than a reasonably fresh Rivera.

  4. wlschneider09 - May 19, 2011 at 8:00 AM

    Bartolo Colon: 263 HR allowed in 2120 IP, including 20 in his last 100 IP

    Mariano Rivera: 62 HR allowed in 1170 IP, including 2 in his last 80IP

    Sometimes that first baserunner ends up going a long way….

    I said this in the other thread, but it bears repeating. If Mo converts that save nobody notices. All this hindsight whining about a decision that has worked out just fine about 572 times in a game the Yankees end up winning anyway. Seems a bit silly to me. It’s not like Mo is Ryan Franklin or something.

    Try being a Twins fan for a while.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - May 19, 2011 at 8:53 AM

      If Mo converts that save nobody notices. All this hindsight whining about a decision that has worked out just fine about 572 times in a game the Yankees end up winning anyway

      Not necessarily. If anyone is questioning the decision because of the results, it’s just not smart for the reasons you state. However, I would have liked to see Colon start the inning for two reasons:
      1. The bullpen is severely overworked. Of the three best relievers, one [Soriano] is on the DL, one [Robertson] has thrown something like 115 pitches the last 5 days (!), and the last [Joba] has pitched in like 4 of the last 5 games.
      2. Let see if the guy can get the CG. 87 pitches thru 8 is Halladay-esc. If he lets a guy get on, then bring in Mo.

      • Chris Fiorentino - May 19, 2011 at 9:54 AM

        “1. The bullpen is severely overworked. Of the three best relievers, one [Soriano] is on the DL, one [Robertson] has thrown something like 115 pitches the last 5 days (!), and the last [Joba] has pitched in like 4 of the last 5 games.”

        What does any of this have to do with bringing in Rivera in the 9th? If he were overworked, I would (almost) understand. But considering he is not, then having an overworked bullpen has ZERO to do with whether it was a good decision.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - May 19, 2011 at 1:50 PM

        Bah because I’m a moron and forgot to mention Rivera in there as well. He’s already up to 20IP in about 1/4 the season putting him on pace for the most innings he’s pitched since ’01.

    • rebarratige - May 19, 2011 at 9:08 AM

      It is striking to see Yankees fans debating so passionately whether it was better to win the game the way it was won, or attempt to win the game in some other way. Resembles the Philly fans fans jawing about their terrible offense while their team holds the best winning percentage in the NL. Just insufferable. Take the win.

      • heffmessina - May 19, 2011 at 9:22 AM

        So we are only allowed to disagree with managerial decisions in losses?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - May 19, 2011 at 9:40 AM

        B/c deciding not to criticize an action based solely on the results is asinine. To make an extreme example, say my car breaks down in a bad thunderstorm. In my infinite wisdom, I grab my nine iron and stand on the roof of my car in a hope to get struck by lightning and jump the battery. What do you know, it works!

        The decision is idiotic even though the result is what I want.

  5. heffmessina - May 19, 2011 at 8:18 AM

    I saw a ton of people question it before the inning even started. This is why I got so frustrated with this argument last night: you can’t look at the issue context free and say Mariano is great so you can’t question it. But thats the only argument I have seen.

  6. Chris Fiorentino - May 19, 2011 at 8:27 AM

    The amazing thing about the Phillies game last night is that they scored both their runs courtesy of a passed ball and a wild pitch putting the runners in scoring position.

    In the words of Winston Wolf…”Let’s not start sucking each other’s d**ks (or for Mr. Bicep(t)s, bag of d**ks) just yet boys”

  7. uyf1950 - May 19, 2011 at 8:59 AM

    Who could have imagined that after roughly 40 games. The ace of the Yankees staff would be Bartolo Colon.
    One comment about the Yankees victory last night. From my perspective no harm no foul with taking Colon out. The only thing that matters is the Yankees won. Yes, Colon should have gotten the victory, he pitched that well. But that’s secondary to the win.
    That’s just my opinion.

    • bigxrob - May 19, 2011 at 9:09 AM

      Do we need the obligatory “he doesn’t know how to win” comment here?
      I think we do.

      He just doesn’t know how to win.

      • uyf1950 - May 19, 2011 at 10:07 AM

        I don’t know who the “he” is that you are referring to but if it’s Colon remember the general consensus on this board is that wins and loses are the poorest way to judge a pitchers performance. Colon’s ERA 3.16, 48 SO to 11 walks and a 1.13 WHIP. A lower ERA and SO to Walks ratio than King Felix and Jon Lester this season. If it’s Girardi you are referring to, what manager has been more successful the past 2 seasons? World Series win in 2009 and advanced to the 2010 ALCS in 2010. None that I can think of.

      • bigxrob - May 19, 2011 at 10:15 AM

        hence the idiocy of the “he doesn’t know how to win” comment.

        I think you missed the pont.

      • bigxrob - May 19, 2011 at 10:17 AM

        “point”

      • uyf1950 - May 19, 2011 at 10:24 AM

        Apparently so. I’m still trying to get use to some of the posters witticisms, here. I apologize for obviously missing “your point”.

  8. heffmessina - May 19, 2011 at 9:10 AM

    They were very lucky to get the win after all that went on. In extras they had runners on 1st and 3rd with no outs and failed to score in one inning and a runner on second with no out another inning. They didn’t need to play another 6 innings. And Chris Dickerson didn’t need to be hit in the helmet. Did anyone see that btw? Cracked his helmet and got a welt on his face. Then AJ Burnett pinch ran for him. Crazy game.

    • randomdigits - May 19, 2011 at 9:20 AM

      In Gonzo’s defense, since he has been an Oriole he has had pretty bad command. I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and say Dickerson getting hit was Gonzo just sucking.

      • heffmessina - May 19, 2011 at 9:28 AM

        Oh yeah I didn’t really think it was on purpose. I wouldn’t have thrown him out of the game.

  9. easports82 - May 19, 2011 at 9:19 AM

    We knew that Cust wasn’t dead, but there are those currently residing in crypts that have shown more power than him.

    Also good news: Gutierrez makes his long awaited return. Bad news: he remembers quickly that he’s playing for the M’s and throws up an 0-4.

  10. yankeesfanlen - May 19, 2011 at 9:24 AM

    Things I learned on Twitter last night:
    1). At least half of my hit-and-miss “followings” thought Colon should have stayed in, at least til something untoward happened.
    2). An old friend from Pittsburgh is following ME! (now I have, like 3)
    3). Craig will answer today how long last night’s game will last.
    4). Ken Davidoff and Cephster are pretty cool.
    5). Best Buy lies. They e-mailed me yesterday saying they would tweet me when their midnight online sale would begin, but didn’t. Would not have bought anything anyway, their camera prices are ridiculous, besides the fact that I’m not normally on Twitter at midnight anyway.

  11. Jonny 5 - May 19, 2011 at 9:27 AM

    I know someone will rip the Offense of the Phills, but I’d like to point out some interesting facts on a positive note.

    We should see a “don’t screw with Chooch’s arm” thread today after that pick off last night.

    Cole Hamels was stellar.

    Ryan Madson closed out last night and his era is .53 as of now after 7 saves this season as the third back up closer. His SO rate is 11.6 per 9 innings. The Phillies are 22 and 0 with a lead after the 8th inning this season (best in baseball), and the the first two choices to close out games are injured.

    • Chris Fiorentino - May 19, 2011 at 9:36 AM

      But, Jonny5…did you see my comments above? I mean, come on man…they scored the game-winning run on a sac fly after a wild pitch moved Valdez to third. And they scored their first run(unearned mind you) on a weak single after a passed ball moved the runner to third.

      I’m not taking anything away from what you said…the Mad Dog is proving he can close, Cole Carlton was stellar, and Chooch is, and always will be, the man.

      • Jonny 5 - May 19, 2011 at 9:53 AM

        I also watched the game and yes I read your post. Why can’t I just ignore the fact that the offense is as potent as elderly Eunich? I mean they have to eventually start hitting again. Don’t they? Hmmmm? “Cole Carlton”, I think I like it.
        But yeah, It doesn’t look good 5 hits in 8 innings and 2 unearned. They must do better.

  12. Chris St. John - May 19, 2011 at 9:31 AM

    Last night, the Vancouver Canucks scored more goals (7) than every baseball team besides the Giants (8 runs) and the Cubs (7 runs).

  13. cur68 - May 19, 2011 at 10:53 AM

    I loafed about all day looking forward to the Jays v Rays yesterday. I was aided and abetted by the influenza virus and a dog with a cone around his head. My day was going ok. Then the game started.

    5 f#cking errors? 2 by the same guy (Edwin Encarnation)? Jesse Litsch looking like he was as nervous as a school girl on her first date? A strike zone that changed size like an amoeba?

    Encarnation pretty much gave that game to the Rays all by himself. Compounding his issues was his swing because he was woeful at the plate, too. He was aided by Litsch hitting all kinds of people (I think he even tried to bean the Durham Bull at one point) and when he wasn’t doing that he was throwing behind them.

    Somehow the Beavermen fought back; the bullpen showed young Jesse how it was done (Villinuevea should be a starter), and the Rays actually made a few mistakes too. The boys of Beaverton actually had the go-ahead run to the plate on 2 occasions but just couldn’t get it done. One less error and they’d have won it.

    Adam Lind needs to get off the DL NOW! I don’t care if his back disintegrates, we got some ball games to win here, man…

    • Old Gator - May 19, 2011 at 12:28 PM

      If Cowboy Junkies were touring this spring – they’re not – I would’ve been in Toronto at some point to catch one of their local gigs like the good little llama that I am, eaten and imbibed my way up and back Queen West, and taken in my annual game at the Rogers. I look at the calendar and watch my well-ordered life falling into disarray. Exile in the tropics. REM deprivation from mating toadsong. Sultry afternoons with the sun turning the air lemon yellow and mazy. Botflies swarming the carrionflowers in the cactus garden. This, my friends, is what decadence really smells like. I weesh the Feesh would come home already.

      • cur68 - May 19, 2011 at 12:49 PM

        One a these days I’m going to get out this frozen popsicle stand and move somewhere so I can describe myself existence as ‘exile in the tropics’.

        When the Marlies do get there I look forward to your first hand reports of their play. Its been a while and I have to do a lot of talking at work in a few days. I’m going to need some fresh invective for morning rounds.

  14. spudchukar - May 19, 2011 at 11:14 AM

    As, UYF, noted Colon has been the Yankees best starter to date. He is coming off surgery. He has a history of arm troubles. Many question his durability. He is at least 37 years old. So saving your top starter with the aforementioned issues, and bringing in the greatest reliever the game has ever known, in a 1-0 game, gets criticism? Lets throw in the fact that your starting staff is shaky at best, you have no one ready in the minors to assume a major league role if an injury occurs, the market is bone dry for available replacements, and a loss would have meant your perennial play-off team and its 200 mil payroll would be 1 game out of last. What was Girardi thinking?

  15. spudchukar - May 19, 2011 at 11:35 AM

    I realize that there were a number of pitching performances last night that overshadowed Kyle Lohse, but it is about time he begins to receive some national attention. He has the lowest WHIP in the NL, has been remarkably consistent, and is a major factor in the Cardinal 2011 success story. If the All-Star selections were to be made today it would be criminal if he were excluded, but something tells me he would be.

  16. APBA Guy - May 19, 2011 at 12:27 PM

    I rarely comment on the Phightin’s other than to note that I think their fans are great, because they actually have fans, but I watched the ninth and Madson’s dissection of the heart of the Rockies order with awe. His K of former A’s prospect Carlos Gonzalez in particular: every strike was within a ball’s diameter on the outside corner at the knees with movement and Car-go never got a splinter on it. Fabulous command. Most impressive thing I saw all night, except for the look on Giambi’s face as he struck out to end the game. Madson k’d Car-Go, Tulo, and Gumby for the save. “You’ve done a man’s job, sir”.

    Not a good night for A’s past or present. After a solid performance by #5 starter Brendan McCarthy matched the Twins #2 Carl Pavano, the A’s had nothing against the Twins pen and lost in 10. The only interesting thing was the very first hitter, Denard Span, lining a comebacker off the back of McCarthy’s shoulder that ricocheted into Kouz’s glove. Your basic 1-5 line out.

    The Twins did get good performances from their top 4 hitters, who went 7/18 compared to the A’s top 4 at 3/18. But they aren’t the same team with Mauer and Thome on the bench, and Morneau and Nathan not at full strength. Watching Nathan pitch without a dominating fastball was surreal. He used his off-speed stuff to keep the A’s off balance and spotted the remains of his fastball to get outs. Good pitching, professional, but not Joe Nathan. Still, he got the win. Timing is everything.

    • Old Gator - May 19, 2011 at 12:39 PM

      I hear you cry. The Feesh stank up Wrigley last night, the boolpen no longer as vaunted as it was in the early going after coughing up leads and losses over the past few weeks. Hanley has finally gotten nineteen points clear of Rio Mendoza, but every pitch is looking like a spin-three charmed quark to Omar Infante these days, and he threatens to hit the water within a few more days. On the plus side, the Iron Giant is singling as well as doubling and dinging, and his average is up into the mid-260s now. Logan Morrison is back but has been playing more like he twitters than like he played before he got hurt a couple weeks back.

      Also on the bright side, John Buck is maximizing the value of every one of his hits by hitting infrequently (because if you divide the eighteen million Scrooge McLoria inexplicably decided to pay him – was he standing on a tennis court when he decided to do this? – by the number of hits Buck has, you get an approximate value per hit. By hitting fewer and fewer times, each hit becomes worth more. See how it’s done?). We know how Scrooge McLoria feels about #winning, right? He’s got to be happy that he’s getting his money’s worth.

      • cur68 - May 19, 2011 at 12:53 PM

        I should have kept reading to the bottom of the page. Masterful summary. Not much though that I can apply to work but I live in hope for the future.

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