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And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

May 23, 2011, 5:30 AM EDT

Asdrubal Cabrera AP

Indians 12, Reds 4: Asdrubal Cabrera hit two homers and went 5 for 5 with 5 RBI, but he wasn’t alone as the Indians complete the sweep of the Reds. This series is called “The Ohio Cup,” by the way. Little known fact: loser of the Ohio Cup has to stay in Ohio.

Rays 4, Marlins 0: James Shields has had a fantastic first couple of months of the season, and this was his most fantastic start yet: A three-hit, 13-strikeout shutout. Adherents of the game score stat will note that this performance — a 93 — is the top game score in 2011 thus far.

Orioles 2, Nationals 1: Vlad Guerrero’s two-run homer holds up. Here is what he said after the game: “I was looking for a good pitch to hit and just to make contact, and not for a home run.”  Which, if true, marks the first time in his sixteen-year major league career that he either (a) looked for good pitch; or (b) wasn’t trying to absolutely murder the baseball, God love him.

Cardinals 9, Royals 8: St. Louis walked 13 times — 13 times! — five of which went to Colby Rasmus. The Royals, in contrast, walked once. You wouldn’t think, based on that stat alone, that this could have been a close one, let alone an extra inning affair, but it was. And the Cardinals’ go-ahead and insurance runs came in fittingly in the 10th: walk-error-HBP-walk-walk. Glad I didn’t see this one. Sounds like the kind of game that would make you want to gouge your eyes out. But hey, at least it was over four hours long.

Angels 4, Braves 1: Anaheim gets back to .500 behind seven innings of one-run ball from Tyler Chatwood. As for the Braves, the fact that Joe Mather was the offensive hero of the weekend — and looks to be the only offensive hope for the foreseeable future given the injuries and Ugglaness of the rest of the offense — tells you everything you need to know about how they’re doin’ right now.

White Sox 8, Dodgers 3: Alexei Ramirez was 4 for 5 with 5 RBI.  Which is normally gonna win you the Offensive Shortstop of the Day Award, brought to you by Pacific Life Insurance, but it wasn’t quite as good as Asdrubal Cabrera’s day.

Mariners 6, Padres 1: King Felix struck out 13 and gave up but a single run in eight innings. The Mariners absolutely destroyed San Diego in this series. The Padres scored a single earned run the entire weekend. And it’s not just the Padres’ impotence making the Mariners look good. As Geoff Baker wrote yesterday, the Mariners have had nine straight outings of at least seven innings pitched and two runs or fewer allowed by their starting pitchers. No team has done that since the Giants did it in 1988.

Astros 3, Blue Jays 2: Here’s something you wouldn’t expect:

Even though the Astros had never played in Toronto before, Pence found himself the target of fans in the right-field seats. “I’ve never had it like that,” Pence said. “I just thought that’s how Canadians might be. They like to heckle … They actually got louder. That’s when you know you’re doing good. The louder they get, the better you’re doing.”

In his experience with leather-lunged fans, Pence said only those in the Wrigley Field bleachers compare to Toronto’s taunters. “It’s similar to Wrigley, but in Wrigley there’s so many yelling, it’s almost like you can’t totally pick them out,” Pence said. “These guys had a knack for being loud alone, or all chanting together. It was pretty aggressive.”

Not sure what’s more unusual: rude Canadians or Hunter Pence being the singular object of anyone’s derision.

Yankees 9, Mets 3: It may have changed since then, but as of 9PM last night, the sub-headline to the New York Daily News’ story about this game read “For six innings, the Yankees were the Yankees, plagued by their typical run-producing problems …”  Of course, going into this game the Yankees lead all of baseball in scoring, at a clip of 5.14 runs a game, so I guess “run producing” means something different than “producing runs.” And yes, I realize that there are people who think this team is too home run dependent — because home runs are totally something you never want — but the small-ball giddiness I’m reading in the game stories for this one due to the fact that A-Rod hit some 55-foot dribbler to spark a rally is too much. You know who hit a lot of homers? The 2009 Yankees did. They only won the damn World Series.

Diamondbacks 3, Twins 2: I know some Twins fans who laughed when division rival Chicago gave up Daniel Hudson in that trade for Edwin Jackson last summer. Damn poetic justice (Hudson: 8 IP, 8 H, 2 ER). Hey look: Arizona is at .500. And only one game behind the Rockies for second place in the NL West. Speaking of Colorado …

Brewers 3, Rockies 1: They get swept by Milwaukee. This was a toughie, as Jimenez pitched a complete game and only ran in to trouble in one inning — the third — when a walk, a HBP and a triple on which Ryan Braun was able to score by virtue of a throwing error gave the Brewers all of their runs.

Giants 5, Athletics 4: Five straight losses for Oakland. Twelve pitchers were used in this game. Nate Schierholtz hit a two-run pinch-hit homer in the eighth to tie it up.

Tigers 2, Pirates 0: Rick Porcello‘s eight innings of one-hit ball give the Tigers their first win in eight days.

Rangers 2, Phillies 0: Matt Harrison helps the Rays avert a sweep. All the Phillies can say is thank God for that pitching staff, because it’s not often that you’ll see a team score five runs in a three-game series and take two of three.

Red Sox 5, Cubs 1: This was the first time Tim Wakefield faced the Cubs since 1918. Or maybe I read that little series preview wrong. I dunno. Sounds sensible enough. The knuckler was dancing last night, as Wakefield pitched into the seventh allowing one run on four hits. Adrian Gonzalez went 4 for 4 and is pretty much fulfilling all of those “Adrian Gonzaelz will totally hit in Fenway Park” predictions.

  1. kiwicricket - May 23, 2011 at 6:47 AM

    “I just thought that’s how Canadians might be”
    Funniest thing I have read in days! Is Hunter from the South…or the deep south?

  2. curr68 - May 23, 2011 at 8:01 AM

    Jose Bautista + cheese curds + gravy = my dream poutine…

    • Old Gator - May 23, 2011 at 11:23 AM

      I agree. There’s probably a lot less cholesterol in every bite of Jose Bautista than in a comparable mouthfull of french fries.

    • cur68 - May 23, 2011 at 11:28 AM

      I didn’t notice little mini-curr there this AM. A head full of snot and a chess full of phlegm will soften the brain, I guess. Don’t judge him anyone. Just remember Freud’s theories on projection.

      Mini-cur you complete me…

  3. Jack Marshall - May 23, 2011 at 8:01 AM

    Doubters should send mea culpas for their disrespect to Tim Wakefield, c/o The Boston Red Sox, Yawkey Way, Boston MA. He’s had three starts, two of them superb and one stinker; his ERA is essentially his career average. There is no reason to assume that he’s lost anything but durability, and if they let him stay in the rotation, he may catch Cy and Rocket yet.

    • kiwicricket - May 23, 2011 at 9:00 AM

      He may look like the gym teacher for a bad public school, but I would pay good money to watch the guy pitch. Hope he stays in the game for years to come. Can’t tell me a knuckler wouldn’t do alright in Petco!

    • bobwsc - May 23, 2011 at 10:31 AM

      it would be fitting if he was the all-time leader in wins for the Sox. with Dice-K and Lackey looking iffy, he may have a shot.

    • cur68 - May 23, 2011 at 11:35 AM

      Jack, I said as far back as Friday that Waker still had it. He may look like he’s nearing term for that baby he’s carrying but that ball just dances when encourages it out of his hand to tumble gently in Salty’s glove. There’s your starter right there.

  4. yankeesfanlen - May 23, 2011 at 8:42 AM

    Let’s review how to play a game Yankees-style
    Fri- 2–1 loss: Let’s do it NL-style, try to bunt and stuff we can';t do, Put Jorge on first base as a productive use of time. Well, maybe he can crochet potholders for the souvenier stand
    Sat 7-3 win: Let’s do a Murderers’Row imitation, 4HRs from 4 different hitters. Yeah, that works!
    Sun 9-3 win: How about we do it almost walk-off style, have nothing til the seventh then have a bunch of screwy singles (Jorge can try to stretch it to a double, 3 more Jeep ads while waiting for the tag-out) Watch all the defensive Metropolitans amble around near left field and miss a pop-up (Flashback:6/12/09). Weel, that worked.
    Jeter only has Hits That Count on weekends. Must be part of the new contract.
    Which of these game plans will work vs. Blue Jays tonight?No trends developing.

  5. Jonny 5 - May 23, 2011 at 8:49 AM

    Yeah, yeah, 2 out of 3… That’s nice. 1st place and word has it they’re picking up a second baseman. Word has it he’s pretty decent too. What happens when they DO start hitting anyway?

    • kiwicricket - May 23, 2011 at 9:04 AM

      Aaahhh Jonny….would that be the same second baseman from last season? Or the one from 2-3 seasons ago???

      • Jonny 5 - May 23, 2011 at 9:09 AM

        I can hope for one, but either will be an improvement at this point. No?

      • Jonny 5 - May 23, 2011 at 10:15 AM

        For those who don’t understand what I just said. Chase Utley on his worst season since 2004 (which was last season) still posted a +4.2 WAR. Which is heads and shoulders over what the Phillies are using now to cover 2nd. So even last year’s Chase Utley would also be an improvement to the team. Either way, Chase being added at his worst performing level since 04 would still be a +.

  6. Jonny 5 - May 23, 2011 at 8:59 AM

    BY THE WAY! FOX SPORTS SUCKS FOR BASEBALL!

    1) Please, do away with the “football sound track” you play, it’s baseball.

    2) Please stop making me watch interviews on the sidelines during play. That’s just &%$#^&ing ridiculous.

    • hermitfool - May 23, 2011 at 9:23 AM

      Fox could use some television producers who actually like the game of baseball.

    • halladaysbicepts - May 23, 2011 at 10:50 AM

      I hate that damn pitch tracker that they put up on the screen. I don’t need a box interfering with each pitch to tell me what is/isn’t a strike.

      And Ken Rosenthal, with his little sideline reporting throughout the game. While the game is being played, they put the camera on his mug. Sometimes missing plays in the game because of him. He can go eat a bag of d**ks!

    • APBA Guy - May 23, 2011 at 11:56 AM

      Testify, brother, the Lincecum/Mr. Anderson Saturday game was sound off all the way.

    • mornelithe - May 23, 2011 at 1:32 PM

      I seriously wanted to kill myself, listening to those morons during the Sox/Cubs games. I lost track of how many times I said just shut the $uck up already! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

  7. wrg885 - May 23, 2011 at 10:07 AM

    Not that I have any standing to nitpick: Matt Harrison helps the *Rays*…Sorry Craig. I’m just glad ATH is back for the week. Eating my breakfast cereal after 3rd shift on the weekends just isn’t the same. Thanks and keep up the good recaps-Bill

  8. cur68 - May 23, 2011 at 10:23 AM

    Jays lose 2 of 3 to the Astros. >deep sigh<.

    However my countrymen did heckle the heck out of Hunter Pence. Why? Because he was there. Because he was named "Hunter Pence" (sounds like a medieval barber or something), and they had beer and he didn't.

    Too many guys trying to hit homers, swinging for the fences, hacking like they're a gonna be Babe Ruth. Case in point; Aaron Hill at the dish, 2 out, bases jacked, 9th inning. Does he make any sort of adjustment? Nope. Hack, hack, hackity hack hack. You are out, ballgame over, sit down, but don't forget to give Hunter Pence a good shellacking.

    Just as a tip, for next time, when you are facing a pitcher who can't afford to walk anyone, and the game is entirely up to you and you've had no success up till then; DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT! Like what you ask? Here's a gooder; move right to the right edge of the batter's box. Just crowd the plate. The pitcher doesn't dare hit you, you can now reach that called strike over the chalk line in the opposite batter's box and you force the dumba$$ ump to get a better line on those outside pitched he keeps calling strikes.

    The Beavermen are clinging to around .500. They gotta add some plain old base hits to their repertoire if they plan to do any better.

  9. halladaysbicepts - May 23, 2011 at 10:39 AM

    The Phillies should have swept the series. I’m not satisfied with taking 2 out of three games against Texas. Harrison was not throwing unhittable stuff yesterday. He basically showcases a decent fastball and a decent curveball and nothing else. The problem is the Phillies offense is so bad they can’t even hit a fastball. Ryan Howard continues to look ridiculous at the plate, flailing away at pitches. He’s so bad right now that the pitchers are not even afraid to challenge him with fastball after fastball, because he swings right through a fastball. And Rollins….pop-up after pop-up…for the love of god, Jimmy, start swinging down on the ball and maybe you will get more hits…you have no gap power anymore and can no longer drive the ball.

    .246 team batting average. Very painful to watch day in and day out.

    I don’t care if this team is in first place. At the plate, they are very frustrating to watch.

    • Chris Fiorentino - May 23, 2011 at 10:53 AM

      The saddest part of the Phillies season is that they are going to once again win the NL Least going away, then, if their hitting doesn’t improve, they are going to fizzle out in the playoffs once again.

      However, I am going to enjoy the historic pitching while it is happening and not worry about October until October. They are still the best team in the National League and one of the top 3 in baseball. They are still better than the Cardinals and the Giants I don’t care what Craigy says.

    • cur68 - May 23, 2011 at 10:56 AM

      ahh, ‘bicepts…still hatin’ on your winning club, eh? Tell you what. I’ll start watching the Phills and you start watching the Jays. See if you like all that HR power and that .500 record.

      • halladaysbicepts - May 23, 2011 at 11:29 AM

        It’s not hate. I am pointing out that this is not a ballanced team at all. Not even close. I watch every game and don’t like what I see from them at the plate. The only reason they are winning these games is because of their starting pitching.

        This team is so bad at the plate, impatient, that I take bathroom breaks when their offense is up. 2 mins. later, when I return to the TV, the opposing team is back up.

        I love watching them for their pitching and they are in 1st place. But their offense is pathetic and I will critisize them until they get their act together.

      • cur68 - May 23, 2011 at 11:33 AM

        I’ll give you a prop for being realistic about your team, but whining while around you are people contemplating their club’s losing record won’t endear you to anyone.

    • brianmoline - May 23, 2011 at 10:59 AM

      Translation: They’re winning, but not the way I want them to, so that’s not good enough.

      • halladaysbicepts - May 23, 2011 at 11:30 AM

        It’s not when you have to sit through every game and watch the crap that comes up to the plate every night.

  10. Old Gator - May 23, 2011 at 11:35 AM

    Why did the Feesh bother to show up yesterday? Last time they faced Shields they pounded him for ten runs. This time, they stepped to the plate with all the enthusiasm of lungfish crawling towards the nearest stagnant mudhole. Chris Coghlan said after the game that Shields wasn’t as bad as when they mauled him and not as good as when he spayed them. That will have to pass for wisdom this morning. It was brutally hot, they were boring as hell, so I trimmed some hyperannuated hedges, chopped back an overgrown prickly pear cactus in my rock garden, took a swim, drank a pina colada and sat back and alternated watching the Heat flip the Bulls again with re-running The Seven Samurai for the umpteenth time. Know what I learned from that? That compared to Takashi Shimura, Yul Brynner can’t act to save his ass.

    • cur68 - May 23, 2011 at 11:40 AM

      You just know I’m scribbling “all the enthusiasm of lungfish crawling towards the nearest stagnant mudhole” onto a piece of paper so I can use it later, don’t you?

      I need one more; we gotta kid who just won’t eat. Cute as button, but not a clue with the feeding. Tell me; how was Hanley’s defense?

      • Jonny 5 - May 23, 2011 at 11:53 AM

        Honey. Put honey on anything and a kid will eat it. And it isn’t half bad for the non diabetic either….. Does Hanley need some honey on his glove? I missed that game so, I’m guessing here.

      • cur68 - May 23, 2011 at 11:57 AM

        Dude, he’s 32 weeks corrected age. Honey might kill him. His issues are oral defensiveness. The kid I mean, not Hanley. I don’t know what Hanley’s corrected gestational age is. Maybe honey WOULD work for him?

      • Jonny 5 - May 23, 2011 at 12:25 PM

        LOL!!!

    • halladaysbicepts - May 23, 2011 at 11:51 AM

      Feesh? What are you, Swedish?

  11. APBA Guy - May 23, 2011 at 12:10 PM

    Craig, I believe you missed that the A’s have lost 9 straight to the World Champion SF Gigantes at their palatial AT&T abode. And this series was the first that Bailey’s absence was truly felt, as closer-in-name-only Fuentes lost 2 of the 3 games.

    Worth noting that Athletics Nation, the main A’s fan blog, is now in full “Geren is an idiot” mode, about a year after we had this discussion on HBT. As the best man at Beane’s wedding, rotund Bob isn’t going anywhere, no matter how often he runs mushball throwin’ Fuentes out there with the game on the line, past performance=reality, in the world of the A’s.

    But more importantly, the Giants dissection of the A’s indicates the gap between the two clubs: substantially more mature pitching, more professional at bats, better organizational depth, better managing. The gap isn’t all due to the stadium differential and the revenue effect derived therefrom. I’ve felt for a long time that Beane has received too much credit for the team’s late 1990’s/early 2000’s success, as that team was largely built by Sandy Alderson as GM, and that ownership group, while not perfect, appeared to take less money out of the team than the current group does.

    Oh, and Schierholtz just kills the A’s.

  12. spudchukar - May 23, 2011 at 1:39 PM

    Ugly for sure. However, most of that could have been lessened had the strike zone not been miniscule. Angel Campos, under the tutelage no doubt of fellow umpiring crew members Angel Hernandez and Joe West, decided that he and no one else should redefine what is and what isn’t a strike. This fell partiularly hard on the young control challenged Royals. Fortunately, for the Cards they had Jaime Garcia hurling, so he was more adept at adapting, but even he had had enough after 5 innings, and a rapidly increasing pitch count. Our starters have been so good lately, and our two rookie closer tandem so awesome that TLR decided somebody else in the bull pen needed work. Garcia had pitched alot lately, so it was a move that needed to be made, but it was also a woeful reminder of how lousy the other arms in the bull pen can be. It is a tough call knowing they need work, are rusty, and then suck. It almost cost us the game, but then the Royals handed it back to us on a silver platter.

    What concerns me about the strike zone is that lately it seems to be a pattern. Dimuro, a few games ago also redefined the strike zone. I fear, and hope I am only imagining, that the MLB commissioner’s office, sent out a memo, that with the decrease in runs, perhaps the umps tighten things up a little to aid the hitters. This creates 4-hour debacles, not better baseball.

    • cur68 - May 23, 2011 at 2:05 PM

      Spuddy; Did you watch the Astros v Jays game? Don’t bother to answer that. All of baseball was simply a-quiver for THAT matchup.

      Any ways, should the mood for outrage be upon you, have a look at Benillo’s strike zone from that game. He was actually calling strikes over the chalk lines on the opposite batter’s box. A couple of those were for strike 3 on the 3rd out with men on. The game was close the whole day, too.

      Pay attention to this guy Benillo. He’ll be in the news again. He seems to want to be the next Angel Hernandez.

    • spudchukar - May 23, 2011 at 2:57 PM

      You are correct that I have a tough time getting behind that enduring Astros/Jays rivalry. I fear umpiring in general is trending in the wrong direction. I failed to mention, that Campos tossed Matt Treanor. I will never know what Treanor said, but he did not turn around to Campos, and he was squatting when he was ejected. (If the image of that last phrase is disturbing, I would concur.) Looked like an unnecessary tossing to me, followed by an equally quick dismissal of Ned Yost. Cur, maybe Benillo didn’t get the memo.

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