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And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

Jul 15, 2011, 6:01 AM EDT

Luke Gregerson

Giants 6, Padres 2: Aaron Harang has now shut out the opposition for two straight starts totaling 13 innings, and each time the Padres have lost. I imagine there have been some “I’m just trying to give my team a chance to win” quotes in there someplace, but it’s too depressing to look for ‘em.  Aubrey Huff homered to tie it at one in the ninth inning and then the Giants erupted for five runs in the top of the 12th, including an RBI infield single from Huff. But hey, at least the Padres looked good in their mustard and brown throwbacks.

Marlins 6, Cubs 3: Carlos Marmol came in to close out a 2-0 lead in the ninth and was rocked for five runs. He did it by walking the bases loaded — he threw only one strike to those three hitters — and then giving up a bases-clearing double (though an error helped). He walked another guy before getting yanked.  Oy.

Rangers 5, Mariners 0: Derek Holland with the five-hit shutout. That’s eight straight wins for Texas, though you’d be forgiven for forgetting that what with the eighteen months off we’ve had due to the All-Star Break.  At least that’s what it has felt like.

Blue Jays 16, Yankees 7: The Blue Jays scored 16 runs — eight off Bartolo Colon in the first inning — all without the benefit of a homer. Is Colon turning back into a pumpkin?

Twins 8, Royals 4: Plouffe, Young and Mauer combine to lead the offensive charge for Minnesota. In other news, “Plouffe, Young and Mauer” sounds like the name of a mid-sized auditing firm.

Rockies 12, Brewers 3: Ryan Spilborghs had four hits including a homer. Twenty hits in all for Colorado, who made relative short work of Yovani Gallardo. Francisco Rodriguez did not play, which confounded my “shiny new toy” theory of baseball personnel use (i.e. if a manager gets a shiny new toy, he’ll almost always use it the first chance he gets).

Indians 8, Orioles 4: Let no one say the Orioles lost focus during the All-Star break. Nope, they picked up exactly where they left off.

  1. jwbiii - Jul 15, 2011 at 6:15 AM

    The Jays got the late touchdown, not the Yankees.

    • proudlycanadian - Jul 15, 2011 at 7:33 AM

      This version of the Yankees scares nobody! They scored 7 runs off the pathetic Jo Jo Reyes and still got soundly defeated.

      • proudlycanadian - Jul 15, 2011 at 7:38 AM

        I forgot to mention Jeter. The Captain scares nobody. The Yankees have a better record without him in the lineup than they do with him in the lineup.

      • vintage1496 - Jul 15, 2011 at 9:35 AM

        Let’s not jump the gun too much – we’re one game into the second half, and the Yankees have the third-best record in the majors. Every team will have a bad game every now and then.

      • deathmonkey41 - Jul 15, 2011 at 1:31 PM

        I think it’s becoming increasingly clear that Nunez is not the answer for the future. His mediocre batting skills in no way make up for his attricious fielding. And why is Sergio Mitre still on this team?

  2. kiwicricket - Jul 15, 2011 at 6:20 AM

    “Is Colon turning back into a pumpkin?”
    Some might say that shape never left him.

    • aceshigh11 - Jul 15, 2011 at 10:29 AM

      LOL, you people kill me.

      • kiwicricket - Jul 15, 2011 at 11:07 AM

        ‘you people’ ???

      • cur68 - Jul 15, 2011 at 11:13 AM

        Antipodeans are deadly, it’s true.

  3. kiwicricket - Jul 15, 2011 at 6:26 AM

    “Question:” Why do pitchers/players swap the ball when they walk off the field??? They swap the ball with someone in the dugout, then flip it into the crowd. Happens every inning. Sorry if it’s a stupid question, just curious.

    • halladaysbiceps - Jul 15, 2011 at 8:00 AM

      Tradition. Simple as that. I’ve seen them do it for years. Same as when there is a strikeout with less than 2 outs. The catcher will throw the ball down to 3rd base and they will go around the horn with the ball.

      • kiwicricket - Jul 15, 2011 at 8:52 AM

        Thanks for that.

    • hittfamily - Jul 15, 2011 at 1:25 PM

      I think you are talking about the first baseman. Someone throws the first baseman a ball after an inning. It is to warm up the infield with the next inning. If he made the last out in the inning, he will throw the ball into the stands. Not so much swapping balls, just having 2 and only needing 1.

  4. kiwicricket - Jul 15, 2011 at 6:37 AM

    One more thing. I had the pleasure of popping over the border to Seattle to catch a game whilst in Vancouver several weeks back. Fantastic city, great stadium and great public transport to the stadium…..Utterly putrid line-up. I see yesterdays cast was no different. What do they spend their money on???

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 15, 2011 at 7:35 AM

      Salmon and porn.

      • halladaysbiceps - Jul 15, 2011 at 7:53 AM

        Quote of the day.

      • Old Gator - Jul 15, 2011 at 10:16 AM

        And Cow Chip Cookies – the best of cake and pie combined in one big cookie that’s served in a box of green confetti to look like a meadow muffin.

        Really.

        Well, what did you expect from the home town of Gary Larsen and the original Crapper, hah?

  5. drmonkeyarmy - Jul 15, 2011 at 7:47 AM

    Completely irrelevant to yesterdays games, but I am tired of hearing something. Since the beginning of the season, the national media perpetuated by the Philadelphia media have been pounding the “Phillies need a right hand bat to hit 5th” drum. That is utter nonsense and people need to stop. They have somebody who crushes lefties to bat 5th, his name is Shane Victorino. Furthermore, the Phillies have an excellent record against left handed starters and have gotten to opposing teams lefties out of the bullpen in late game situations. If we are talking about Hunter Pence it is one thing, but we aren’t. Looking to add guys like Josh Willingham is patently ridiculous and not the least bit worthwhile. If anything is added, it should be a bullpen arm. Even though Madson is back, it appears Contreas will not be and Lidge had 3 wild pitches in 2/3 of an inning in AA last night.

    • halladaysbiceps - Jul 15, 2011 at 7:58 AM

      Good Morning, Good Doctor.

      If we cannot aquire a thumper to bat 5th, I agree. I am not enamored with the likes of Jeff Francoeur. If we cannot get a power hitting right-handed hitter, we go with more bullpen pitching depth.

      I still say Contreras and lidge are toast and we will not be seeing them in any significant capacity this year.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 15, 2011 at 8:05 AM

        I don’t think Contreas will be back this year or maybe ever. Lidge will be back, but it remains to be seen how effective he will be. He had very uneven performances in his rehab outing. I know last night they had the 2nd string catcher in, so I’m not sure if his pitches were truly wild or the backup AA catcher was incapable of handling a hard biting slider from an unfamiliar pitcher. Anyway, I can see a solid bullpen arm. I am not enamored with Heath Bell and would settle for somebody like Gregerson, even though he was wild last night too. I agree with you, though. Unless it is somebody like Hunter Pence, making a deal for a right handed bat is stupid. Honestly, I want to see Brown and Ibanez stay in the line-up. I have good feelings about their 2nd half production. I do, however, think they could make a play for a utility infielder who can actually hit.

      • halladaysbiceps - Jul 15, 2011 at 8:14 AM

        Doctor,

        Here what I heard about Lidge’s outing last night. Tuffy was in the 9th inning catching and was thrown out by the umpire for arguing balls/strikes. When the backup came in, he couldn’t handle Lidge’s slider. I guess at that point, he started pitching wild. Maybe because the catcher couldn’t handle Lidge’s bread and butter pitch. Maybe Lidge’s outing was an abberation. Not really sure. He will have another week or so to continue rehabbing. We shall see.

        Contreras may need Tommy John surgery. He’s probably done.

        Brown for me plays EVERY single day. Lefty/righty, I don’t care. We need to see what we have with him and stop dolling this guy.

        When Victorino comes off the DL, I would platoon Ibanez and Mayberry. Why, you may ask? I think Ibanez can be more effective at his age with some days off during the week.

        Francisco would only come off the bench, getting an occasional start to spell someone in the outfield. But that’s it. Francisco is like the kiss of death.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 15, 2011 at 8:48 AM

        Agree that they need to keep Mayberry Jr. with the big club. It will be interesting to see what they do when Victorino comes off the DL. I don’t know if Francisco has any options left; if not I think this could be his last weekend with the Phillies.

      • halladaysbiceps - Jul 15, 2011 at 8:53 AM

        Seth Everett, on his Saturday morning show on WIP, said last weekend that he thinks that it’s almost a certainty that they will send Mayberry Jr. down when Victorino comes off the DL and that Francisco will stay.

        I think that the Phillies are afraid of sending down Francisco because he’s a liked guy, veteran, and they don’t want to disrupt any team chemistry. I’ve heard this before from different people with knowledge of the situation.

      • Phillies Homer - Jul 15, 2011 at 9:12 AM

        I think bullpen problems go away when Blanton and/or Oswalt come back. Having Kendrick in the pen is much better than having Baez/Herndon coming in after a 5 inning pitched game by Kendrick.

        Once the Phils arms get healthy, the usual: Ace/Stutes/Bastardo/Madson effect will take place. Stutes and Bastardo have proven that they can setup so get 7 innings out of the stud, let Stutes and Bastardo setup when needed and Mad Dog close things out.

        To me a need is some power off the bench. They are obviously going to be in some tight games down the road… but when you only have Gload/Valdez/Martinez/Francisco to turn to that’s not very impressive. I’d like to see them get a power bat, like a Matt Stairs of 2008, who knows his role is to swing for the fences in a key spot.

      • kingvorp - Jul 15, 2011 at 9:37 AM

        Hello everyone…I suppose I’ll consider this my true ‘debut’ though its actually my second comment. I’ve been watching this community for a while I don’t want to ramble on things I don’t know about, I’d like to chime in on Phils related matters on occasion…

        With that said, I do recall hearing Benny Fresh having 1 option left. However as we’ve seen with the likes of MiniMart, and David Herndon, the 25th man on the roster isn’t always the one who goes. I still believe Martinez needs to be sent home to Washington.

        When it comes to the deadline, I’m in the camp that wants to see a bullpen guy come in. Those Padres can’t keep themselves out of the discussion with all the live arms they have late in the game. I see Gregorson or Mike Adams as great options. Adams is signed though this year at 2.3 I believe and still has one year of arbitration left.

        Now hopefully I didn’t use up all the words I had in me for 2011. This commenting’s a fickle art.

      • halladaysbiceps - Jul 15, 2011 at 9:55 AM

        kingvorp,

        Commenting doesn’t have to be a fickle art. Once you post after a few times, you can attain the Art of the BS like the rest of us.

        Like I said before, I would be shocked to see Francisco moved off this roster in any fashion short of a trade. To be honest, though, I have no clue what Amaro Jr. is going to do before the trade deadline. Absolutely no clue whatsoever.

      • kingvorp - Jul 15, 2011 at 10:06 AM

        …and I’m misspelling things with the best of them already.

    • Jonny 5 - Jul 15, 2011 at 8:57 AM

      Victorino is their best OBP guy. I think you MUST bat him in front of Howard. I think Mayberry needs to play LF every single time they face a LHP, and Ibanez for RHP. I do think they need a good RH bat in the OF as long as it’s a smart non desperation type of move. They also could use a good reliever to take Jose’s spot, which looks like will be vacant at this point. And Baez sucks, which is a shame because he seems like such a nice guy. I see Amaro doing something wacky that will bring arms (plural) to the club. In the past he’s shown. When in doubt, pitching is what it’s all about.

      • halladaysbiceps - Jul 15, 2011 at 9:00 AM

        “Victorino is their best OBP guy. I think you MUST bat him in front of Howard.”

        Where do you bat Utley then?

      • Jonny 5 - Jul 15, 2011 at 9:12 AM

        Jimmy
        Shane
        Utley
        Howard
        Polanco
        Brown
        Ibanez/ Mayberry
        Ruiz

        I like it like that. I didn’t mean right in front of Howard, I meant before Howard in response to the Dr wanting him in the 5 hole. He will have 1 less AB many nights in the 5 spot I think, plus Howard is the RBI guy, the cleanup man, load the bases in front of him, get all of your best guys up front and leave Chooch to bat before the pitcher. He thrives there with his ability to draw a walk.

      • FC - Jul 15, 2011 at 9:16 AM

        In front doesn’t necessarily mean #3, I think he’s saying Victorino should be #2.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 15, 2011 at 9:19 AM

        What?? No way. Polanco batting 5th is not a good move. Victorino will do a much better job of protecting Howard and providing a threat from the right side against a left handed pitcher. That and he will also set the table for the soon to be streaking Ibanez and Brown.

      • Phillies Homer - Jul 15, 2011 at 9:20 AM

        We weren’t saying this back when Polly was batting .350!!

        But, I agree… and I think the “1 at bat less per game” for Old Man Polanco will do him some good!

      • halladaysbiceps - Jul 15, 2011 at 9:25 AM

        *Testing. My last comment did not post.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 15, 2011 at 9:28 AM

        Polanco hasn’t been swinging the bat well since early May. I’d prefer my 5 hole hitter to at least be a threat to get an extra base hit. Polanco slugs .346 while Shane slugs .540. Polanco on base .330, Shane .370. It doesn’t make sense to bat somebody with that type of slugging percentage 2nd and the difference in on base percentage is not so great to compensate for the outrageous difference in slugging percentage.

      • Jonny 5 - Jul 15, 2011 at 9:31 AM

        Dr., I put more importance on having a good OBP guy in front of Howard, than I do on “protection” of Howard by that same guy. Plus Polanco isn’t a slouch in that spot either. Some people might pick on you for the “protection” comment, but I loosely subscribe to it but find it lower on the list of importance than I do for wanting the highest obp guys in front of cleanup. I would also rotate Polanco in and out of a spot there too, depending on how he’s been playing, as well as the other three I listed above.

      • halladaysbiceps - Jul 15, 2011 at 9:32 AM

        Jonny 5,

        Respectfully, I think that Victorino needs to be in the 5 hole behind Howard instead of Polanco. Here’s my line of thinking. Polanco at this point is a singles hitter, nothing more. Victorino, however, has gap power as well as the ability to put a ball into the outfield stands every once in a while. For now, you keep Polanco in the 2 hole.

        What scares me with Polanco is his back. He just received some shots in his back. Who knows what his health will be like for the 2nd half of the season.

        Here’s what I would do if I were the Phillies. If they can aquire a right-handed bat at 3rd before the trade deadline, I would put Polanco on the bench and have him come off as a pinch hitter/utility guy. This would save his back and allow them to have an insurance policy.

        Like I said, Polanco’s back issues scare me.

      • Jonny 5 - Jul 15, 2011 at 9:45 AM

        “It doesn’t make sense to bat somebody with that type of slugging percentage 2nd and the difference in on base percentage is not so great to compensate for the outrageous difference in slugging percentage.”

        Unless the RBI leader in the NL is batting cleanup behind him. If I’m Charlie, I’m expecting most of my offense to happen in the front so I go that direction. I also don’t like Shane when he’s trying to pop up, I mean hit home runs every other AB. I want Shane and Jimmy to be patient and get on base where they’re dangerous.In front, they have speed. The fact that the Phills have a weak 5 hole is now evident because it makes little sense to weaken offense in front of your cleanup hitter Imo. We could debate line ups all day and still not agree, but that’s pretty much par for the course I think. Nice chat though, it was fun. Now I’m off to dig into my latest project of re manufacturing some steam air ejectors. Fun times……………

      • Jonny 5 - Jul 15, 2011 at 9:56 AM

        Must read, if you haven’t already.

        http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1188164/1/index.htm

  6. Jonny 5 - Jul 15, 2011 at 8:58 AM

    Cubbies could use a better closer huh?

    • Old Gator - Jul 15, 2011 at 10:18 AM

      Not for the next few days.

      • Old Gator - Jul 15, 2011 at 10:22 AM

        Coda: did ya see how our “mediocre closer” settled down, got two tough strikeouts and left some poor fool stranded at third? Yes, it was a Cub – lugging a century of futility around on his back like a bull troll – but all the same, hey, the guy found his range. He’s always rusty after a layoff.

        Anibal Sanchez threw another really good game for his umpteenth no-decision, in which I suspect he leads the division this year. For some reason the Feesh are really, really fond of Mujica, who usually hangs around for just one or two batters, gets a seventh or eighth inning third out, sees the Feesh swing hard in case they hit something and do hit something the next inning, and pockets the win. He’s 7-2 and it feels like maybe he’s pitched a total of four innings this season.

      • Jonny 5 - Jul 15, 2011 at 10:56 AM

        Yes, I did. And about Mujica. For example, earlier this season Kyle Kendrick had more wins than Lee did. Not anymore of course, but you know how this game goes. W/ L records are not fair much of the time. I think Clippard got the W in the all star game , correct me if I’m wrong, facing one batter and giving up a hit?

  7. yankeesfanlen - Jul 15, 2011 at 9:00 AM

    Not going to hide from cur or proudly today simply due to the Yankees totally forgetting any defense they ever learned. Nunezcompoop gives lie to the given that SS is more difficult than third. Jo Jo with his immediate lead served up meatballs for a while then barely made it til he qualified.
    Not a worthy effort on either side with the added displeasure of Joey Bats getting hurt.

    • Ari Collins - Jul 15, 2011 at 10:57 AM

      Nunezcompoop has to be the worst play-off-someone’s-name insult I’ve ever seen.

      • kopy - Jul 15, 2011 at 11:26 AM

        I agree, although I have very high standards for athlete play-off-name insults because I think they happen too often on sports forums, and they’re usually annoying and not funny.

        Although I do love that approximately 98% of cats in Minnesota are named “Joe Meower”.

      • yankeesfanlen - Jul 15, 2011 at 11:26 AM

        Yeah, Ari – Ain’t it great!!!

    • cur68 - Jul 15, 2011 at 11:11 AM

      Mornin’ Len. No crowing from me. When your starter gives up 2 (2!) homers to the likes of Andruw Jones in his dotage, then you KNOW there is an element of luck involved. I saw the way it was going to go when the human strike out machine Rajai Davis got a ‘hit’ by dribbling one that Fat Bart had to charge for. The thunder of the Dugong’s passage was frightening.

      It is my contention that most of yesterday’s score was just luck; good and bad. Losing Joey Bats was immaterial to that game but will be huge for tonight’s. A twisted ankle will probably see him out till at least Sunday so I predict The Universe will revert to the mean for the remainder of this series. Likely you’ll be more comfortable with the outcomes for the weekend.

      Jeets sure looked worn out, eh? Minka must have had the poor old chap up past his bed time.

      • yankeesfanlen - Jul 15, 2011 at 11:42 AM

        cur- the six-run formula certainly didn’t work last night. In retrospect the Universe voided the game in the first by not realizing EDT in Canada is the same as in the U.S. and thought they were hacking around the field to let the grounds crew actually play the balls.
        So we await tonight’s game to see if Garcia has any muscle-memory left, or at least a Tom-Tom for the strike zone.
        Beep-beep, his work done for the season, will resume his Cigar Store Indian approach at 3 feet (1 meter) from second base.

      • cur68 - Jul 15, 2011 at 12:21 PM

        Well if Nunez continues there at 3rd then there is an ENORMOUS hole on the left side of the infield. All those ARod haters are probably praying to whatever noisome deity they revere that he heals up right quick. It was not my imagination that ARod was playing 3rd AND short all this time (no wonder he blew up his knee). As such, look for Yankee errors on the left side to continue. Meanwhile, Grandy, Tex and Cano will continue to provide all the offence with Nunez trying too hard to make up for his errant fielding by hitting. The only real question is will Andruw Jones still be as lively as he was last night or will he revert?

        Villaneueva isn’t going to be blowing anyone away with his stuff but he’s such a sneak that I don’t expect to see Jones getting any meatballs to tattoo. Swisher, though, will probably have a better game at the plate: he can eat a low 90mph fastball for lunch and only luck kept him from creaming Reyes last night. The Jays need production from Lind and for Davis to get more selective, both of which have been happening. Encarnacion has become a monster and I expect to see him CRUSH Freddy. The only dicey thing might be if those youngsters the Jays are relying on can cope with Freddy’s junk-ball attack. Historically they’ve dealt with mediocre power just fine but those sub 90 breaking pitches have given them fits. If Snider & Thames hit well then the Jays take the Yankees tonight.

  8. redsfanmaryd - Jul 15, 2011 at 9:07 AM

    Aaron Harang probably ran out of things to say about a lack of run support years ago… Same thing happened to him… a lot… when with the Reds

  9. tomemos - Jul 15, 2011 at 10:10 AM

    Fun fact about the Giants-Padres game: while the first five runs were entirely the fault of Luke Gregerson—he walked three, made an error on a bunt, and gave up a 2-RBI hit—he was credited with ZERO Earned Runs! Another piece of evidence that the ER is a flawed stat.

  10. uyf1950 - Jul 15, 2011 at 10:15 AM

    Well that was one ugly game by the Yankees last night. But it was just 1 of a 162 game ML schedule. Hopefully Girardi learned his lesson last night “just say no to Mitre”. No you can’t pitch, No I’m not putting you in the game, No, No, No. The Yankees can’t have a lead big enough that could justify putting this guy in a game.

    With Colon apparently still hurting (my opinion) the Yankees need AJ to step up and be good AJ more often then bad AJ. They also need Hughes to improve on his last outing and strike a happy medium between how he pitched the first half of last year and how he pitched the 2nd half of last year. If both guys can do that the 2nd half of the season looks bright, if not it will be a struggle. But that’s what makes baseball a great game.

    In this poster opinion their is a silver lining to last nights ugly performance. Cashman should realize that neither he nor the Yankees can stand pat at the trade deadline. I suspect a trade and not just a “retread” signing. That’s just my opinion.

  11. APBA Guy - Jul 15, 2011 at 11:37 AM

    Texas has won 8 straight, all their guys are healthy, yet they only lead the Angels by 1.5 as the Halos are 8-2 in their last 10 just like the Rangers. The Angels bring their 24-20 road record to the Mausoleum tonight. The heavy air is back (marine layer) in the Bay Area so any thoughts of Maicer Izturis and Erick Aybar going deep can be forgotten. However, the likelihood of Dan Haren allowing between 2-4 hits in his old haunt is excellent, with his 2.61 ERA and 0.95 WHiP on display in front of 11,000 or so shivering faithful. The A’s are in full dispirited mode with the loss of Brett Anderson, the trade of Ellis, the impending trades of Willingham and probably Crisp, and another 35 years of wandering in the desert to come. Watching the A’s second half will not be for the faint of heart or weak of stomach.

  12. boxchain has a loose changeup - Jul 15, 2011 at 12:50 PM

    I was going to watch the Orioles game but it was raining and I thought it would be a good idea to clean out my rain gutters

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