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And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

Aug 15, 2011, 5:31 AM EDT

Nyjer Morgan

Miss me? No? Ah, well. Baseball stops for no one man. Back to the grind then:

Brewers 2, Pirates 1: The walkoff sac fly for Nyjer Morgan. Of course all guys who hit sac flies walk off the field, so whatever. Charlie Morton‘s scoreless innings streak was snapped at 24. In other news, Charlie Morton had a sizable scoreless innings streak. The things you miss when you’re sitting and staring at a lake for a week.

Giants 5, Marlins 2: Two homers for Brandon Belt, so I assume he’ll be sent down to AAA now. Ryan Vogelsong ups his record to 10-2. He retired 17 straight Marlins at one point. He also got hit by a pitch and got real mad. Marlins’ manager Jack McKeon actually said this: “Guys get carried away. Vogel … Volkswagen … whatever his name is — he’s lucky he didn’t have to face Drysdale or Gibson or one of those guys. You would get a shave and a haircut real quick.”  And McKeon is basically the only guy who could get away with saying that kind of thing.

Cubs 6, Braves 5: Atlanta blows a four-run lead and Dan Uggla‘s hitting streak ends at 33. Fun with line scores: Arodys Vizcaino struck out three in two-thirds of an inning. Wild pitches are the damndest things.

Dodgers 7, Astros 0: The Astros got swept. A shame too. Before the weekend began there was still a technical chance that they could finish above .500. So it goes.

Orioles 8, Tigers 5: Baltimore led 8-1 heading into the ninth and allowed the Tigers to rally for four. I’m guessing fans of most teams wouldn’t have gotten too worried, even if such events upset them. But there’s a certain brand of O’s fan — of whom I meet more and more these days — who probably figured their guys could woof this one away. Especially given that they blew a five-run lead on Saturday.

Mariners 5, Red Sox 3: The M’s take two of three from the Bosox as Charlie Furbush gave up one run over seven innings to the best offense around.

White Sox 6, Royals 2: A three-run homer for Brent Lillibridge pulls the Sox to .500 and to within four games of the Tigers.

Blue Jays 5, Angels 4: A walkoff single in the 10th for Edwin Encarnacion. And unlike Nyjer Morgan’s, this really was a walkoff. Because normally if you walk off the field right after hitting a single, they can tag you out or call you out for being out of the baseline or something. You can look it up.

Diamondbacks 5, Mets 3: A homer for Justin Upton. A couple of doubles for Paul Goldschmidt. A broken fibula for Jason Marquis. Two out of three ain’t bad. Six straight wins for the Dbacks.

Rangers 7, Athletics 6: The A’s have lost eight in a row to Texas. They really should stop scheduling those guys. Everyone complains when you beat up on some small school in August, but you rarely get penalized for it. Oh, sorry. I live in the college football belt, and sometimes this kind of talks just starts filtering in this time of year.

Padres 7, Reds 3: Dontrelle Willis had to leave early with forearm tightness. After the game he said “”This is the first time my arm felt like this. At this point in my career, it’s kind of shocking.”  More shocking: that Willis can talk about his career having any sense of normalcy or predictability to it whatsoever.

Cardinals 6, Rockies 2: With the Rockies down by only two, Octavio Dotel struck out Troy Tulowitzki and Todd Helton with the bases loaded in the seventh inning. Pretty clutch, eh? Dotel? Who knew? Long, long homer for Albert Pujols who now, despite such a poor start, leads the NL in bombs.

Nationals vs. Phillies: POSTPONED: I don’t begrudge the fact that, in large part, the ATH comments have been turned into a Phillies fan forum this year. You guys are passionate and committed and your team is doing well so it’s totally understandable. I must say, though, I am curious to see how you guys use a rainout as the basis to dominate the comments as usual.

Rays vs. Yankees: POSTPONED: See, if Yankee Stadium had a dome like they have down in St. Petersburg, this game would have been played. Why can’t anyone learn from the Rays’ example?

Twins v. Indians: POSTPONED: All three games that were postponed involved sure-thing playoff teams or potential playoff teams. I’m getting excited though, because we’re very close to the time of year when they cancel games and don’t bother to reschedule them in the event they involve a couple of dead-enders.

  1. crpls - Aug 15, 2011 at 5:34 AM

    RAIN IS BIASED AGAINST THE PHILLIES.

  2. The Baseball Idiot - Aug 15, 2011 at 6:03 AM

    I don’t REALLY have ANYTHING to SAY,a but I wanted to SAY what I don’t have to say using ALL capital letters in SOME words so that I can BETTER emphasis my point. CONTEXT just can’t be conveyed PROPERLY in online commenting, so I FELT it necessary to do this so EVERYONE will know when I have WRITTEN words that need to be EMPHASIZED.

    • kopy - Aug 15, 2011 at 8:43 AM

      I understand your point, but if only there was some way to do it that isn’t so harsh on the eyes.

  3. halladaysbiceps - Aug 15, 2011 at 6:30 AM

    As the rain was pouring down yesterday and pelting the windows of my house, I was very sad that my beloved Phillies were rained out. I was albout to cry in my beer when I got an idea. Being that it was alumni weekend at Citizens Bank Ballpark, seeing some of the greatest Phillies who ever played the game of baseball again line up and the fans pay tribute to them, I decided to pull up some old footage on mlb.com and watch them. I pulled up videos of Mike Schmidt crushing the ball to the outfield seats, once again reminded of his great power, or Schmidt bare-handing a ball down the 3rd baseline and throwing out the runner at 1st. Watching Pete Rose slap a single into the outfield and making a great slide into 2nd to stretch it into a double. The thing that really impressed me the most is seeing that great slider from Steve Carlton. I thought I remembered how good Carlton’s slider was, but seeing it again for the first time in years made me realise again how great he was.

    I will weep again today because there is no Phillies baseball again tonight as they have the day off. Rest well, my Phillies. Rest well.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 15, 2011 at 8:21 AM

      In Phillies minor league action: Cust has yet to get a hit for the Iron Pigs and Dave Bush was signed to an AAA contract. Freddy Galvis has hit .300 since his promotion, although with a poor .675 OPS. In one of my favorite stories of the minor league season, Joe Savery now has an ERA of 2.51 for the Iron Pigs…could he get a look in September? Would be a great story, starting the year as DH/1B for Clearwater, to a September call-up as a lefty specialist.

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 15, 2011 at 8:35 AM

        Savery would not only be a good addition to the pen, but this guy can hit! The Phillies could use him off the bench as a PH. Tell me he wouldn’t be a better bench option than Gload.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 15, 2011 at 8:45 AM

        Well, anybody would be a better addition than Gload at this point. Savery doesn’t really have pop in his bat either, though. With Brown struggling and Cust being Cust, I’m not sure what options they have for left handed thunder.

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 15, 2011 at 8:48 AM

        Jack Cust isn’t the answer. Dom Brown isn’t either. I don’t care whether the get somebody that hits left or right to come in from the bench at this point. Just get me a guy that can come off the bench and just do the job. Any outside suggestions, besides Thome or Giambi?

      • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 15, 2011 at 8:58 AM

        I think it is important to have a left handed pinch hitter. I’m confident in the abilities of Mayberry Jr. in a pinch hitting role from the right side. Although, I am beginning to think that perhaps he should be getting more regular playing time in left field. I am not sure of any realistic names that could come on the market. Internally, I guess options outside of Cust/Brown would be Brandon Moss and Matt Rizzotti….although they are long shots because Moss hasn’t had any big league success in his opportunities and Rizzotti has holes in his swing. Or they could call up career minor league catcher Eric Kratz, carry 3 catchers and use Schneider in that role…though that seems far fetched as well. They need to make some type of move in that department. I think Charlie knows it too.

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 15, 2011 at 9:05 AM

        I still think the bench piece could come externally. Do not be suprised if Amaro can pull off something with a waiver wire deal. I know they are difficult to make, but I have a gut feeling about it.

        I’m not confident with the internal options you suggested.

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

        Here is the thing, I think Charlie needs to take a hard look in left field. I like Ibanez, I truly do and he has had his moments this season, but largely he has been terrible. If he is not hitting, he shouldn’t play because he is an extreme liability in the field. He has made some nice catches, but even an average outfielder would make them look routine. He is probably the worst defensive outfielder I have seen in the past 10 years. Even Pat had some redeeming qualities out there, mainly his arm. To me, it is looking like Mayberry Jr. is the better option. Ibanez has 39 extra base hits in 453 PA, whereas Jr. has 22 in 186. It goes against everything Charlie does, but it might be time to make the change. If that change is made, then Ibanez can be the left handed bat. He is generally poor as a PH, but still a better option than Gload.

      • FC - Aug 15, 2011 at 9:33 AM

        He wouldn’t necessarily have to be better, Sabremetrics still has to work on this stat but I call it IF: Intimidation Factor: fact is Gload does not intimidate, Ibanez intimidates a lot, at least enough that pitchers while confident need to be careful pitching to him, one mistake and he’ll crush the ball. Ibanez statistically might not produce more in the long haul BUT, the post-season is short anyway so there is no long haul to think about and Ibanez is always a HR threat waiting to happen, sure he’ll strike out more often than not but that’s what all power hitters do, at worst he’ll fly out to deep right field and push a run across the plate through sacrifice.

  4. kiwicricket - Aug 15, 2011 at 6:59 AM

    I never thought those 3 sweet little words, written by a complete stranger over the internet (whilst in his underwear) would mean so much to me. And That Happened indeed.

    • kiwicricket - Aug 15, 2011 at 7:00 AM

      Oh, and welcome back Mr C. I trust wearing clothes the entire week wasn’t too uncomfortable for you.

  5. proudlycanadian - Aug 15, 2011 at 7:38 AM

    It looks like the Mariners won the big Fister for Furbush trade. For some reason though, I will always associate Furbush with Nellie Forbush of South Pacific.

    As far as the Jays game is concerned, E5 is on a roll. He is hitting very well. Another big hit by the Jays was in the bottom of the 9th. After Rasmus doubled, the 21 year old phenom (Lawrie) doubled him home to tie the game. He then stole third for the first steal of his career. Bautista regained the home run lead. He had been in a slump.

    • kiwicricket - Aug 15, 2011 at 8:18 AM

      I am sure you and ‘Cur’ enjoyed watching someone other than the Jays blow a save opp. yesterday.

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 15, 2011 at 8:50 AM

        I expect that both of us also enjoyed Kevin Gregg’s meltdown yesterday.

      • kiwicricket - Aug 15, 2011 at 9:03 AM

        Ha-ha. No doubt!

    • Old Gator - Aug 15, 2011 at 8:57 AM

      I lost the ability to enjoy Kevin Gregg’s meltdowns some years ago. Probably from a shrapnel wound.

    • dink53 - Aug 15, 2011 at 9:07 AM

      Of course. Dombrowski’s idea of a trade is the classic cow for magic beans deal.

    • cur68 - Aug 15, 2011 at 11:31 AM

      Gator, PC, Kiwi; Good Morning!

      Craig; Welcome back. I’d make some mawkish comment how much the old blog wasn’t the same without you but I’m too tough for sentiment. Harrumph. Did you get a chance to give the clip on shades for your new specs a work out? Careful: you could be left with raccoon-eyes…

      I’m sure everyone tuned into the epic staring contest yesterday between the Jays and the Angels. Game had it all. Pretty good pitching from Haren & Cecil. Just enough offence. A homer from the Most Interesting Hitter In The World &, HEY! In a nice turn of events Frank Francisco didn’t allow the Angels to score in the 8th, thus making it impossible for the Jays to eke out a win. Rausch also kept the tie intact and wouldn’t you know it? Rasmus, Lawrie then E5 came through for the Beaver Wrestlers. Worth every inning of tense baseball.

  6. Old Gator - Aug 15, 2011 at 7:52 AM

    Yes Craig, we missed you. Well, I did, anyway. We have the same rare blood type. Fortunately, I got through the entire week without any injuries.

    Not so for Logan Morrison, who got his balls cut off. Sorry you missed all that.

    • halladaysbiceps - Aug 15, 2011 at 7:59 AM

      Are you sure that Morrison didn’t do the cutting himself?

      • Old Gator - Aug 15, 2011 at 8:05 AM

        Just as sure as I am that Dickie Betts didn’t jump out of the woods and cut off Jerry Garcia’s finger. I saw Larry Beinfest throwing the bloody knife in the dumpster behind gate G. I saw it. And as Craig (quoting Nabokov) will remind you, once a thing has been seen, it cannot be unseen.

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 15, 2011 at 8:19 AM

        Hahahahaha!!! I have no response to something so funny.

      • Old Gator - Aug 15, 2011 at 9:04 AM

        Well, it’s good to see that you’ve learned to laugh at yet another mention of Tweeter. You were really cranky yesterday – taking your rainy day blues out on the perceived superabundance of sunshine in Macondo, no doubt. Well, we had lots of rain yesterday too – but of course they trotted the Feesh scrubbeenies out there anyway to take their lumps in relative silence and stoicism.

        Incidentally, I had to drop my car off this morning for some new brake pads and did something I almost never do: listen to morning spowrts tawk raydeeo (inanity to the nth power). L’affaire Tweeter seems to be the topic of the moment – and judging by the call-ins, the hosts have a lot more sympathy for the Feesh’s poor oppressed left fielder than the agonized masses. I suspect that may be because a lot of them have been slimed first person by the Feesh execs while most fans merely detest them in principle.

  7. Kevin S. - Aug 15, 2011 at 8:17 AM

    Welcome back, Craig.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 15, 2011 at 8:24 AM

      Yes, welcome back. I missed the ATH segment….it was amazing that none of the other bloggers could make a daily recap segment. Oh, and Kevin….thanks for enlightening me about the rules for optioning yesterday. It never even occurred to me that teams would do something like that in order to manipulate service time.

      • Kevin S. - Aug 15, 2011 at 8:41 AM

        No problem. It was actually a big deal last spring when Heyward won the starting job right out of Spring Training. Holding him back three weeks would have given them an extra year of team control (like how the Rays held back Longoria in ’08), and holding him back two months or so would have kept him from being a Super Two in 2013 (like the Giants did with Posey). The Braves decided he could help them win games immediately so they brought him up. That tends to be the exception these days, especially for a small- or mid-market team.

  8. FC - Aug 15, 2011 at 8:50 AM

    Miss me? No? Ah, well. Baseball stops for no one man. Back to the grind then:

    Did we miss you? Thank whatever Gods exist you are back! Quality of HBT is noticeably below par when you’re gone: between what seemed like 10 posts of alleged Blue Jays sign stealing and a plethora of posts about broken down veterans signing minor league deals, I can’t imagine what would happen here long term if you were to suffer a convenient accident, practice law again or retire.

    Besides no one knows how to bait Phillies fans better than you. Matthew has tried, and he’s OK at it but he’s not the genuine article.

    • kiwicricket - Aug 15, 2011 at 9:25 AM

      I am glad I wasn’t the only one who noticed something. The comments section went South pretty quickly, and became pretty painful to read at times. It was like an awful amount of people forgot to have their morning coffee or something. I actually started to feel sorry for Matthew at one point having to politely deal with that rabid testiness which swept over HBT land.

      The 200odd comments about the Victorino/Giants thing weren’t overly stimulating.

  9. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 15, 2011 at 8:52 AM

    One thing I learned this past week from a response to a comment is that Craig didn’t start this blog…it was started by a couple of the other writers(Matt and Drew I believe) who then hired Craig on…I didn’t know that. Welcome back Craig and ATH…you were both sorely missed around here.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Aug 15, 2011 at 9:00 AM

      That’s basically true. I was there on Day 1 of publishing, but I was the last add-on to the team. An afterthought mostly. Aaron and Matthew have worked for NBC for years, via Rotoworld. They were there for inception, formulation and launch as Circling the Bases. A week or two before it started they reached out to me and asked if I’d be willing to contribute a couple of stray posts here and there and I did.

      It launched in April 2009, and I posted, basically mornings, through Thanksgiving while still working the legal job and still maintaining the Shysterball blog. I joined NBC full time effective the Monday after Thanksgiving, quit the law job and pulled the curtain on Shysterball.

    • FC - Aug 15, 2011 at 9:20 AM

      I hope Craig gets a nice raise when he’s arbitration eligible next year.

      • kiwicricket - Aug 15, 2011 at 9:34 AM

        This ducking off on Holiday while it’s Baseball season B.S should count against his service time

  10. Jonny 5 - Aug 15, 2011 at 9:01 AM

    I too spent last week on a lake, and besides the bug bites and lack of sleep, I had a great time. My only connection to the outside world was listening to a radio with bad reception for my baseball fix. Although I was entertained quite well by the imitating antics of the local Pituophis melanoleucus as it tried to scare me off by playing “rattlesnake”. Well, with a week of kayaking, canoeing, and 4 wheel explorations, I am thoroughly in need of coming back to work for a break. Vacation is Work!

    • kiwicricket - Aug 15, 2011 at 9:13 AM

      And welcome back Jonny5!

      • Jonny 5 - Aug 15, 2011 at 10:00 AM

        thanks Kiwi

    • Old Gator - Aug 15, 2011 at 9:32 AM

      Yeah, those big pine snakes do put on quite a show. I’ve got a small one here – about a foot and a half long – that I’ve had since it was barely more than a hatchling. They often won’t eat in captivity unless you get them when they’re very young. Beautiful snakes, great mousers. I used to come across them when hiking in the pine barrens in whatever state forest that is west of Toms River as a kid. But they buzz their tails in the dry leaves and hiss like a punctured truck tire when cornered, and they have a nasty bite even though they’re not poisonous. Their western relatives, the bull and gopher snakes, are a lot tamer.

      • Jonny 5 - Aug 15, 2011 at 9:59 AM

        It’s a good show, it really is. And they are every bit as mean as they portray. My mother had one as a pet when she was a kid. I’d say that with their temperament, the only way to keep one as a pet would be to adopt it as a baby. I was in Wharton state forest which is SW from the one just west of Toms river. Absolutely beautiful. My son and his cousins probably ate 3 lbs of wild blueberries each, ahh funny stories…

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

        Are the fence lizards still pretty common out there? They used to skitter up and down the trees all over the place. Catch one? Right. Fast as bullets. And the lakes had those enormous redbellied turtles – not as big as the snappers, of course, but the snappers don’t sun themselves so you don’t see one until it takes your goddamned hook and you’re wondering how the hell to get rid of him without losing a finger or two in the process.

        ‘Course the big attractions were the coastal plain milk snakes, which were phenomenally beautiful but shy – you found them under rotten railroad ties and under the piles of collapsed roofing shingles in old barns – and bog turtles, which were scarce even when I was a kid and maybe, because they’re protected now, have staged some sort of comeback. Purty little things.

      • Jonny 5 - Aug 15, 2011 at 12:46 PM

        I saw no lizards, but kept my eyes peeled in case, I used to enjoy the chase as a kid. I saw plenty of painted and red belly turtles, the bait thieves. And I also got to see a rather large black rat snake. In my neighbors’ cabin…. lol!

  11. sdelmonte - Aug 15, 2011 at 9:14 AM

    Welcome back, Craig. While you were gone, so was my boss. I had plenty of time to read your stuff. And you weren’t here! How dare you!

    Anyway, in case you haven’t seen this, here is a very interesting article about Ralph Branca: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/15/sports/baseball/for-branca-an-asterisk-of-a-different-kind.html

  12. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Aug 15, 2011 at 10:43 AM

    Welcome back, Craig. Need some snark in my life.

  13. Senor Cardgage - Aug 15, 2011 at 11:42 AM

    Craig: Because of the quirks in how language works, a so-called walkoff win has become something the offense achieves, but strictly speaking, walking off is what the defense does. You see the bomb fly over your head, you see the sure double with a runner on second, you throw a wild pitch with a runner on third—at these times, your only choice is to hang your head and walk off the field.

  14. APBA Guy - Aug 15, 2011 at 12:04 PM

    Welcome back, Senor Shyster.

    I say Senor advisedly. Yesterday was Fiesta Day at the Mausoleum. Everybody (ie, the first 10,000 fans) got yellow hats with a robo-signed Gio autograph. Just don’t let those hats get wet! Very colorful Mexican dancers who entertained behind the catcher before the game and mid-6th. The flourishes and color seemed to distract Matt Harrison as he’d been cruising until then. Suddenly his hard slider was too far down and A’s were laying off it, waiting for the fastball which they stung all over the ball park.

    Of course nothing could prepare me for the perfect vision of demographic change in the East Bay: a fan wearing a Godzilla face mask topped by a sombrero. Naturally inspired, Matsui continued his fine offense since the All Star break, getting a key single to knock in the A’s last two runs and tie the game at 6.

    Still, the A’s lost, Bailey giving up a 2 out single to Murphy while Felix ran it up to 98 on the Mausoleum gun against the helpless A’s.

    At least this game was entertaining. The previous two losses were by a combined 16-2.

    As long as Texas stays healthy, (and how long can that be, with Josh diving all over the place) they are the team to win the West.

  15. spudchukar - Aug 15, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    No sympathy for the Pirates today. Since the Cards were entertaining the nation on Sunday Nite, I caught most of the Pittsburgh/Milwaukee game. I, unlike catcher McKenrey, can occasionally catch Pirate games. Here is the scenario, bottom of the eighth, two out runner on second, Nyjer Morgan at the plate, accompanied I assume by his imaginary friend, behind in the count 1-2 with Ryan Braun on deck. The so-called Pirate backstop calls for a breaking ball down and in. Smart, cause Morgan is a sucker for balls out of the zone in crucial situations, even with the advice of his doppleganger. The unscathed Morton nods and delivers. The pitch is perfect, starts knee-high, breaks over the inside corner, down and in, Morgan chases as expected and his swing misses by a mile, no report on whether he was told to swing by his sidekick, but the Pirates and Morton escape the eighth inning jam and Morton carries his shutout into the ninth. But wait, McKenrey decides to backhand the ball which is at his feet, between his feet, a ball he could have reached out and caught, or easily blocked, he stabs at futilely and the ball bounds away, Morgan, quickly informed by his alter-ego that the third strike was botched by the “catcher”, races safely to first, the other runner high tails it to third, bringing up Braun who singles… And the Pirates lose in 10. Backhand?!, on a pitch between your legs, that you called both type and location. Why, Why, Why?

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