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And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

Jul 29, 2011, 5:41 AM EDT

Tampa Bay Rays v Oakland Athletics Getty Images

Rays 10, Athletics 8: Oakland scored five in the first so it looked like another shellacking was on the way for Tampa Bay. But no! The Rays put up a seven-spot in the seventh thanks in part to Desmond Jennings who had a whale of a ballgame. Every Tampa Bay starter either got a hit or scored a run in the seventh inning.

Padres 4, Diamondbacks 3:  Heath Bell and Mike Adams pitched, so they’re still in San Diego. I hate to reduce this game to that little trade deadline factoid, but sadly, that’s what this week does to my brain.  We’ll be able to talk more about plain old baseball next week.

Brewers 4, Cubs 2: Three hits including a homer for Ryan Braun. Milwaukee sweeps the Cubbies. Chicago scored four runs in the three game series.

Royals 4, Red Sox 3: I’ve been mocking Red Sox trade rumors that involve hitters coming to Boston because it’s not like the Sox need offensive help. But given that Luke Hochevar of all people held them to two runs in seven innings, maybe they do. Three straight games with a homer for Billy Butler.

Mets 10, Reds 9: Boy howdy are the Reds sucking eggs right now. Homer Bailey got lit up like a Christmas tree. Lucas Duda and Jason Bay each drove in three for the Mets. David Wright is white hot since coming off the DL: he went 3-for-5 here, was 9-for-19 in this series and he’s 15-for-33 overall since his return.

Angels 12, Tigers 7: Mark Trumbo homered and drove in five, falling a single short of the cycle. Which, hey, fine. Brad Penny and Victor Martinez argued on the mound during the game. After the game Penny said it was fine and it was a minor disagreement. After the game Martinez would not answer questions and said he wouldn’t talk about it. Martinez has a reputation for being an extremely nice and thoughtful guy. Brad Penny is kind of a douche. You tell me if things are still fine.

Marlins 5, Nationals 2: Mike Stanton: Nationals Killer. Stanton homers for the fourth in his last six games. He now has eight home runs and 14 RBIs in 12 career games at Nationals Park.  Query: is it the aesthetics of the place or the crapitude of Nats pitching that is more to his liking?

Giants 4, Phillies 1: I love this mostly because it will make a certain segment of Phillies fandom go crazy for a couple of days thinking they have to trade Domonic Brown for whatever marginal offensive upgrade they can manage. Which wouldn’t bother me a bit. I mean, if they aren’t happy with being the best team in baseball already who am I to stop them from mortgaging the future?

Pirates 5, Braves 2: Andrew McCutchen and a two-run homer in the ninth to put the game out of reach. He had three hits overall, including a go-ahead double in the fifth. The Pirates split.

Rangers 4, Twins 1Michael Young and Chris Davis each drove in a run on singles. Neftali Feliz with a flawless save, which should make everyone feel better.

Blue Jays 8, Orioles 5: Colby Rasmus made his Jays debut and went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts. His father then gave 15 interviews about how Toronto doesn’t know how to best utilize his son. J.J. Hardy had two homers in a losing effort.

Astros 5, Cardinals 3: The curse of Colby Rasmus stretches into a second day.

  1. deep64blue - Jul 29, 2011 at 5:58 AM

    I don’t think we should trade Dom Brown as that’s too high a price, but it makes sense to get an upgrade in the OF with Ibanez gone after the season and the risk that the batting dries up in the post-season again. Would be crazy to waste this stellar pitching unit.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 29, 2011 at 7:06 AM

      It seems the asking price for Pence is Cosart, Singleton, Trevor May. Maybe a 4th. Dom Brown unlikely part of any deal.

    • FC - Jul 29, 2011 at 7:48 AM

      Trade Brown!?!?!? Please no. The line-up will get better with a healthy Polanco and Martinez can go back to being our speedy pinch runner and utility infielder. I’m of the opinion that Francisco should head for AAA, I like Mayberry better, at least for now, not only better at the plate but defensively better and more flexbile (backupo CF, backup 1B, let’s not kid ourselves Gload is no longer our backup 1B, he’s our new Matt Stairs)

    • paperlions - Jul 29, 2011 at 8:15 AM

      Isn’t Ibanez already gone?

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 29, 2011 at 8:18 AM

        No, he has been manning left field all season. His contract is up at the end of the season so he won’t be back.

      • paperlions - Jul 29, 2011 at 8:36 AM


        Okay…how about….aren’t Ibanez’s skills already gone?

        For such an allegedly great gm, Amaro sure does sign a lot of aging players to too many years for too much money.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 29, 2011 at 8:54 AM

        Yeah, he has made some mistakes. Generally signing the old guys to one year too many and giving Blanton too much money. Ibanez has been ok this season. He has had two horrible and I mean horrible months with sub .500 OPS. However, he has had two really good months with OPS better than .850. It is typical Ibanez. He has played a better left field as of late though. So I give him credit for that.

  2. hittfamily - Jul 29, 2011 at 6:24 AM

    The Rays won and the Sox lost yesterday, thus beginning one of the greatest late season collapses in modern baseball.

    On a more realistic note, Desmond Jennings, where have you been all my life? Jennings was 3 for 4 with a homerun, 4 RBI, 2 Runs, BB, SB yesterday. He could have been 4 for 4 if not for a sliding first inning catch. In 6 games, he has had 5 multiple hit games, racking up 11 hits in 22 ABs, 5 of them for extra bases. Add in 5 BBs, 2 HBP, 4 SBs, and only 3 Ks for a whopping 1.471 OPS. It appears BJ Upton has become very expendable.

    Will Friedman pull the trigger and send BJ packing? With the late emergence of Denard Span and Carlos Quentin, the market seems to be flooded with centerfielders. If Friedman doesn’t believe he can get max value, I doubt a deal is made til the offseason. It would take a significant prospect, top 50, to do the deal. No, Ian Desmond will not be a Ray.

    • hittfamily - Jul 29, 2011 at 6:31 AM

      edit: flooded with outfielders

    • proudlycanadian - Jul 29, 2011 at 8:23 AM

      The legend of Desmond Jennings continues to grow. The Rays wisely left him in the minors until he was ready to dominate.

      • hittfamily - Jul 29, 2011 at 8:41 AM

        I agree, it was very wise to leave him down, even when the fans have been vocally calling for him for 2 years. They realized their mistake in a 19 year old Upton prematurely brought to the show. Perhaps Atlanta and Philadelphia should have realized that mistake as well.

    • APBA Guy - Jul 29, 2011 at 11:52 AM

      The previous couple of games it was only Jennings playing with any energy. The rest of the Rays looked like they were all 10 years older and ready to settle down in St. Petersburg for a life of leisure.

      I don’t know what happened exactly to the A’s bullpen yesterday, the game wasn’t broadcast, so I watched the Phils/Giants (wow, that’s what winning teams look like!). But based on the highlights it looked like the A’s bullpen had James Shields disease and were throwing very hittable pitches up there.

      The Rays take on Seattle next, but will miss the King. They should rest Longoria. If he has days where he can’t plant his foot like he had at the Mausoleum, he’ll do even worse at Safeco.

      I’m trying to imagine a Rays outfield of Josh Hamilton, Carl Crawford, and Jennings. The A’s traded away Andre Ethier, Carlos Gonzalez, and Nelson Cruz. But that Rays outfield would have to have been one of the best.

  3. FC - Jul 29, 2011 at 7:34 AM

    Maybe now Chris will understand why I said the starting pitching of the Phillies is the only thing keeping them competitive… competitive for the Post-Season. We’ve now seen how that line-up performs against top pitching. The Phillies have been cheerfully dismantling mediocre teams left and right, against winning teams they have a sub .500
    record. That’s why “best record in baseball” doesn’t impress me.

    So yeah they are a nice competitive team.

    • hittfamily - Jul 29, 2011 at 7:49 AM

      I hated this argument a few months ago, but I have come around. The best pitching staff in the AL East is in a distance 3rd place behind 2 offensive juggernauts. The Giants have the best pitching rotation in the west and are fighting for a playoff spot. The Mariners have 2 amazingly gifted starters, but just lost 17 in a row. A balance of pitching/defense and offense is clearly the way to field a winner, but if a team overloads one side, offense seems to be the way to go this year. Good pitching seems to be bountiful this year, and bats are proving to be the wildcard.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 29, 2011 at 8:02 AM

      FC…the Phillies are missing their starting third baseman and just played back to back against two pitchers in the top 5 in the NL. They were terrible in situational hitting the last two nights. You want to call them “competitive” that’s your prerogative. But today is the first day they have woken up with a two game losing streak in almost two months. I never said they were an offensive juggernaut. I said they are built around the best staff in baseball. But to call them “competitive” when they, again, lost to two of the top 5 pitchers in the NL, is pretty dumb. The Giants didn’t face Doc or Lee in this series too so let’s not forget that.

      As I have said all along…if the Phillies can get get a RH bat then do it. But if they don’t it won’t mean they aren’t still the favorites to win the NL. This team is built to win the World Series as it is currently put together. No excuses.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 29, 2011 at 8:06 AM

        Fiorentino is right. Move or no move they are good enough to win the World Series. Losing a series in July is no reason to panic.

      • spudchukar - Jul 29, 2011 at 11:24 AM

        No excuses? You just named 4.

      • APBA Guy - Jul 29, 2011 at 12:03 PM

        I watched a lot of the Phils/Giants series. At this time of year a lot of the interest in the A’s begins to wander across the Bay, to the shiny new ballpark that’s always full, or to followthe team that wins on its road trips. Plus being surrounded by people who only talk about the Giants kind of makes you curious.

        And yesterday the talk was all about Beltran, this morning, it’s all about Timmy.

        What I think is clear to most people out here is that the two best teams in the NL are the Giants and the Phils, apologies to Atlanta, but that’s the feeling. Even though the Giants are the defending champs, and even though the Giants have 2-time Cy Young winner Timmy, the Phils have two things the Giants lack: Doc, and the long ball. In close games, and any series between these two clubs will have a lot of close games, having a deep threat at multiple spots in the lineup is an asset (just ask the A’s, they don’t have that). That’s one reason the Beltran trade was huge for the Giants. But good as Timmy is, and he’s really, really good, there is an extra something to Doc that puts him in a class by himself currently. And the Giants didn’t get to see that this series. I hope these two teams face each other in the NLCS. Then the winner will get to face the Red Sox. I’m already looking forward to that.

    • sjhaack - Jul 29, 2011 at 8:21 AM

      Teams the Phillies have a losing record against (1 series, went 1-2 against all these teams):

      San Francisco

      Teams the Phillies have a record of .500 or better against:

      Everyone else

      Teams the Phillies have been swept by:

      This should be really obvious given the first two categories, but No One.

      People freaking out about dropping the rubber match of Kyle Kendrick vs Tim Lincecum with 60 games left need to chill the heck out. The Phillies are not 2 games under .500 against any team this year.

      • Ari Collins - Jul 29, 2011 at 8:44 AM

        It’s weird, because the Phillies and Sox have very nearly the same record, but the Phillies have gotten there by very rarely losing a series and just going 2/3 most times, while the Sox have had these 4-game losing streaks and 8-game winning streaks.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:15 AM

        Ari, I still haven’t seen anyone check on the record for most consecutive games without losing two in a row(and I can’t figure out how to do it in a timely fashion). The Phillies just went 46 games before doing so. They have only lost 4 in a row twice all year. That’s it. No 3 gamers. Very few 2 gamers. It’s been an amazing season.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:19 AM

      Oh and FC…FYI the Phillies appear to be 26-24 against winning teams this year..

      • Old Gator - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:38 AM

        Without checking the stats, it seems to me that over the last few years the Feelies haven’t really stepped on the gas until well into the second half anyway. In their heyday the Bravos were much the same. If you’re going to laze it a bit and dine out on the second-division teams while holding a bit better than your own against the other best teams, you’re going to be in pretty good shape for the last couple of months. It seems to me, as well, that the statistical cemeteries are littered with teams who came out of the gate like gangbusters, expended themselves physically and psychically in the process, and ran out of steam by the middle of August.

        And anyway, I still remember vividly back in April, May and even early June all the weird pessimism being evinced about the Feelies’ offense. There’s more than enough of it to get the job done this season – at the very least, within what is otherwise a pretty weak division.

      • vintage1496 - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:48 AM

        Chris, where does the importance of not losing two games in a row come from? Obviously a team wants to avoid losing streaks, but I don’t know of any statistics or examples linking a team’s inability to lose two straight games and postseason success. It seems like a random number you made up and are now treating as an automatic signal that they will succeed.

        The 1998 Yankees lost 2+ games in a row 11 times (GASP!) and are the greatest team ever.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:03 AM

        I am not giving it importance in the post season. Just thought it was an interesting stat because it speaks to consistency and greatness of aces help avoid losing streaks. Again, I said nothing at all about it meaning it is automatic that they will succeed. This was a response to someone referring to them as “competitive” which is about as dumb a statement you can make about the Phillies, no matter how much you think their offense sucks.

      • hittfamily - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:18 AM

        I’m with Chris on this. It may prove to be a worthless number, but it shows dominance, and competitors lack thereof. Some teams go in funks in the playoffs, and lose to a lesser team. Others go on streaks and beat superior teams. Chris’ stat shows they will neither go in a funk, or lose to a streaking team.

        I like the stat.

      • FC - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:57 AM

        I was working with a old stat it seems when they were like 20-21 or something. But here’s the record I care about: 1-2 vs SF and 6-6 vs Atlanta, the potential playoff opponents. They can still win it all no doubt, but to me it’s less than sure thing. You like to point out ad nauseum how they rarely lose two in a row, but how that correlates to good post-season performance? It doesn’t. So I remain doubtful.

        You also point out ad nauseum how they have the best record in baseball. Again where is the correlation with post-season success? Look at last year, look at the 2001 M’s and their 116 win season.

        I’m saying there are question marks that need addressing, until they do I won’t call the Phillies the dominant MLB team. They have the pitching and the BP, the bats… Not so much. For post-season play.

    • seeingwhatsticks - Jul 29, 2011 at 5:13 PM

      The Phillies really haven’t done anything to address the reasons they lost to the Giants last year:

      They’re still overly reliant on the 3 run homer and the big inning. Over 162 games they’ll get their fair share of big innings and it will make their offense look awesome, but the playoffs are about small sample size and getting a big run when needed against great pitching that isn’t going to give up that big inning. That’s just not how the Phillies play and for whatever reason they are either unable or unwilling to make the adjustment.

      The bullpen gap has narrowed a little but it still exists even if it wasn’t an issue in this series. The big test on this front will come in the playoffs when Manuel has to show he trusts someone other than Madson in a close game. Will he?

      The Phillies might not commit a ton of errors but they are not very strong defensively and their commitment to that part of the game should be questioned. The Giants scored a run last night that was totally preventable had Ryan Howard simply hustled to get the ball on Martinez’s error. He didn’t and Stewart scored the 4th run.

      And can we stop saying that Philly has the best rotation in baseball? There’s certainly an argument to be made but a good offensive team, at home, in a good offensive park, just scored 1 unearned run off of Cain and Lincecum. As good as Philly’s starters are, San Francisco’s are just as effective. Yes, the Giants didn’t face Lee or Halladay but the Phillies also didn’t face Vogelsong (3rd in MLB in ERA) or Bumgarner (34K, 2 BB in his last 35IP).

      Finally, based on Manuel’s ridiculous post game comments, “are the Giants in the Phillies’ heads?” is a perfectly valid question.

      These two teams are very close but the Giants, out of necessity, have to scrape and claw for every run they score and play a ton of close games and that gives them a slight edge. It might make them look less impressive on paper and over 162 games but that’s how games are won in the postseason when good pitching is the name of the game and there’s no time to wait for the bats to wake up if they are slumping.

  4. Jonny 5 - Jul 29, 2011 at 8:20 AM

    They don’t have to trade Brown to get Pence. It will take 3 prospects to get him. Two pitchers, one highly rated, one low. And one position player highly rated as well. None of these players will be named Dom Brown, or Vance Worley. At most, a fourth lower level player could be tossed in as garnish, but I think the offer on the table is the best they’ll see and they’ll sign Pence some time today/tonight. The Astros won’t get much more than that unless Atlanta goes all in with pitching, lots of it. That’s what I think.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:27 AM

      I am hearing Cosart and May as the two pitchers. They are both highly rated. I think you are right about the rest though.

  5. proudlycanadian - Jul 29, 2011 at 8:22 AM

    Rasmus learned something from the game last night. He is currently the third best young outfielder on the Jays. Hopefully, this will encourage him to strive to improve his game. Eric Thames has thrust himself into the AL ROY race and Travis Snider has hit very well since being recalled. The Jays have the potential for a great outfield for years to come.

    • Ari Collins - Jul 29, 2011 at 8:47 AM

      You do realize that Thames isn’t very good, right? Maybe this changes, but for now, he’s got terrible plate discipline and is only surviving because of a .375 BABIP.

      Jays have plenty to be hopeful for, but Thames is a complete fluke.

      • paperlions - Jul 29, 2011 at 8:49 AM

        But he listens to his coaches >> talent

      • proudlycanadian - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:20 AM

        Interesting comment Ari. The first time Thames was called up he was excited and eager to swing at anything. Since his recall, he had hit extremely well. In 154 at bats he is hitting .305 with a .519 slugging percentage. He has 12 doubles, 3 triples, 5 home runs and 22 RBI’s in those 154 at bats. The RBI’s are picking up as he is hitting lower in the order. The kid is quite good. The production numbers I quoted are much more important than BABIP.

      • Ari Collins - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:31 AM

        The power’s there, I’ll grant you. But those numbers won’t stay unless he fixes his awful discipline.

        I shouldn’t be so hard on the guy, though. He’s still reasonably young and had better discipline in the minors. Could be that, like Josh Reddick, he eventually adjusts his approach.

        But he’s going to really struggle if he doesn’t fix his approach pronto.

      • paperlions - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:41 AM

        His walk rate of 5.4% in MLB isn’t great, but he had a walk% of 8.9 or better (up to 13.5%) at every stop in the minors, the discipline is there and should come with his adjustment to ML pitching.

      • Jonny 5 - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:54 AM

        The luckiest man in baseball is A-Gon .398 Holy s—– does he need to come back to earth….. And poor poor Howard is sooo unlucky at .288. And Tex up in NY? Dang he must have broken a mirror or something .224.

        Ahh, so is this really measuring luck, or something else, ARI? Something construed as luck maybe, but more influenced by skill. A -Gon for his career has been one of the “luckier” men in baseball well over .320, and then there’s This current .398 now that he’s in a park that better suits hitting. This isn’t Luck imo, it’s something though. I like to call it skill, and ability.

        Things like that are why I have heartburn calling rookies “Flukes” or “Lucky” by looking at advanced stats. Not only are they developing, you’re using too small a sample size, and BABIP proves that not all players will or should revolve around a .300 BABIP for life. Because they’re just plain better. I’m not saying Thames is anything he’s not, but I’m also not willing to hang a “fluke” tag on him either. The kid could be great.

      • Jonny 5 - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:58 AM

        Sorry, all of those numbers I put up are BABIP. Sometimes I just assume people know what I’m thinking…. But yeah, A-Gon is one man who shows there is something else other than Luck contributing to BABIP#s.

      • proudlycanadian - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:06 AM

        BABIP does not diferentiate between line drives in the gap and lazy fly balls. A hitter who hits them where they ain’t will have more success than a hitter whose balls in play are quite catchable.

      • Ari Collins - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:18 AM

        Hitters can have established levels of BABIP that aren’t luck-based, absolutely! But many get right out of the gates and have really high or low BABIPs, and we don’t have enough information to say that Thames is an elite line drive hitter who will always have a high BABIP.

        A recent example of a guy with an unusually high BABIP his rookie year: Austin Jackson. Another would be Pablo Sandoval, who those who didn’t see his BABIP thought was an emerging superstar. (Of course, he’s still a very good player.)

      • Jonny 5 - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:30 AM

        Exactly. I think sometimes people have been making rash decisions on rookies looking at numbers that can be deceiving without a large enough sample size, on top of the fact that they can develop for better or worse. I just wanted to give Thames props for getting it done in a good way. A high BABIP IMO doesn’t always mean “Lucky”, it can also turn out to be a trend due to ability. We will see. Also, I just want to add, as it is BABIP is a good indicator for guys with some time under their belts and maybe a good chunk of rookies as well.

      • cur68 - Jul 29, 2011 at 11:29 AM

        Ari- I’m beginning to wonder about you. What isn’t ‘very good’ about a .305 average & .519 slugging? In fact if you ignore his numbers before demotion and go strictly on his post recall numbers, he’s even better. Like PC pointed out “12 doubles, 3 triples, 5 home runs and 22 RBI’s in 154 at bats” is GOOD. Please adjust your beer goggles.

        I’ve watched every game that young man has played. He isn’t flukeing anything. He’s young, eager, very talented, very coachable and plays like his hair’s on fire. “Fluke” is when you come up, make a big splash over 4 or five games and then disappear offensively. The kids been great for over 100 at bats now, with RISP or without. He’ll only get better, IMO.

      • Ari Collins - Jul 29, 2011 at 2:18 PM

        The list of guys who’ve had terrible plate discipline, excellent performance, and lots of luck on balls in play over their first 150 ABs is long and full of flukes. I don’t think you understand sample size, my friend.

      • cur68 - Jul 30, 2011 at 12:17 AM

        “Thames is a complete fluke” is based on the SAME small set of data. The statement is as erroneous as wholesale support. My point is, based on his current stats and having watched him play, my OPINION is he’s not flukeing anything. Have your opinion, but don’t tell me those over all stats are telling you anything but good news and your bold “fluke” statement is little more than dressing your opinion as some sort of fact.

        As for your crack about sample size, let me say this: the sample mean should be close to the population mean, if the small sample is reflective of the over all data set. I contend, as an opinion having watched multiple Blue Jays games, that this is so as far as Thames goes.

    • hittfamily - Jul 29, 2011 at 8:56 AM

      No doubt about that. The AL East has become Little Big Horn, with Baltimore sporting military garb.

      • Old Gator - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:46 AM

        I would say, rather, that the AL East has become Wounded Knee, with Baltimore wearing crow’s feathers.

    • dirtyharry1971 - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:07 AM

      the jays have been living on potential for decades now, Rasmus will join the recent list of busts like Wells, Rios, Snider, drabek and the list goes on and on.

      • hittfamily - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:19 AM

        Wells and Rios aren’t Blue Jays busts. They had great careers in Toronto.

      • Ari Collins - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:24 AM

        You pop up to say this every once in a while.

        Wells = not a bust, had a very good career, is just old and overpaid now
        Snider = 23, not a bust
        Drabek = 23, not a bust

        And you’re conveniently forgetting Romero and Arencibia.

        Not to mention the excellent players they’ve pick up as other teams’ “busts,” like Morrow, Bautista, Escobar, and Rasmus.

        But… I’ll give you Rios, I guess? Who hasn’t been on the team for years? And was awfully good when he was?

      • proudlycanadian - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:41 AM

        I can think of some other Toronto draft picks who have done reasonably well. Halladay and Carpenter turned out OK. Marcum has pitched well. League (who was traded for Morrow) is having a decent year. Lind has had a good career. Hill had a couple of decent years, but is currently not living up to his contract. Thames was a 7th round draft pick. In fairness to Thames, he was rated as having first round talent, but injuries both in high school and in college led to him being picked much lower. An AL East team with a very spotty record with its draft picks is the Yankees (Harry’s favorite team).

      • Ari Collins - Jul 29, 2011 at 11:03 AM

        Harry doesn’t have a favorite team. He just has a team he trashes less.

  6. paperlions - Jul 29, 2011 at 8:25 AM

    Since the Cardinals got rid of that trouble maker, they have lost 2 straight to the worst team in MLB with Carpenter and Garcia starting. They have started lineups with: Descalso, Theriot, Schumaker, Punto, pitcher in the first game and with Punto, Laird, Theriot, Patterson, pitcher in the second game. That is two straight games with only 4 of 9 hitters that were at least league average.

    Last night the curse intensified with Laird, Cruz, and Punto all leaving the game with injuries and the sloppiest, ugly game the Cardinals have played since they quit on their manager last year and went into a nose-dive after sweeping Cinci. The way they have looked the last two nights, another they-look-like-they-hate-playing baseball nose-dive may be looming. Woohoo.

    • spudchukar - Jul 29, 2011 at 11:35 AM

      Rarely do I miss a game, but 5th row seats for Bruce Hornsby and Bela Fleck replaced the Cards last night. Later I will watch the replay, but are any of the three injuries considered serious?

      • paperlions - Jul 29, 2011 at 1:49 PM

        I don’t think so. Punto was a strained oblique, Cruz was a finger/hand issue on his throwing hand, Laird was also a finger issue.

  7. scottj27 - Jul 29, 2011 at 9:27 AM

    How dare you insult crap by comparing it to Nationals pitching

  8. Old Gator - Jul 29, 2011 at 10:00 AM

    The Feesh have leaped clear of the basement more like sturgeon than their namesakes, landing hard on a leaky skiff full of Gnats. They are within one shimmering game of the strange attractor, which buzzes, pulsates, throbs, strobes and humms at their approach. After weeks of languishing in utter execrability, they now stand upon the cusp of baseline mediocrity.

    Tonight, they have to play something more like a real team in the Braves. Me, I think they come out of this weekend like a multiply iterated Sisyphus (I’m saving my fox-n’-grapes analogy for the next round of one step forward, two steps back), still looking up at the strange attractor as if dazzled by its pretty lights and distant pyrotechnics.

    • proudlycanadian - Jul 29, 2011 at 1:12 PM

      I await the foxes and grapes anology professor.

    • feartherallythong - Jul 29, 2011 at 4:47 PM

      Nahhh – it’s more like some guy doomed to push a big rock up a hill, only to have it roll downhill…

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