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And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

Aug 31, 2011, 5:28 AM EDT

Livan Hernandez

Nationals 9, Braves 2: The Nats continue to be an outrageous pain in Atlanta’s rear end. Before the game, mindful of this and mindful of the fact that Livan Hernandez always kills the Braves, I tweeted the following: “Oh, Livan is going against the Braves tonight? Prediction: 7 IP, 3H, 1 ER, 6K, 0 BB.”  He wasn’t that good, but I wasn’t far off: 7 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1K, 3 BB.  The common thread there is a frustrating evening for Braves hitters against a guy who has no business getting major league hitters out after all of these years but dadgummit, keeps doing it.

Yankees 5, Red Sox 2: Did I say the rivalry was boring? A John Lackey pitch to Frank Cervelli’s back changed that at least for a little while, clearing the benches even if no one threw punches. There were some earlier plunkings, though they appeared without purpose. Lackey’s seemed to be in retaliation for a Cervelli home run. To which I say “don’t suck so bad that you’re giving up home runs to Frank Cervelli and you wouldn’t be in this position.”  CC Sabathia struck out ten dudes in six innings. And the game came in one whole minute under a cool four hours!

Phillies 9, Reds 0: Roy Halladay was dominating on the mound (7 IP. 2 H, 0 ER, 9K) and he even hit a bases-loaded double. At some point we’re just gonna have to face facts that he’s a Jedi or something.

Indians 6, Athletics 2: I started watching this one on TV — I couldn’t bear to see Livan Hernandez beat up the Braves — but then I turned it off and watched “Richard Pryor Here and Now” on Netflix. I dunno why. Just not in a baseball mood last night. But Pryor holds up even 30 years later.  Anyway: the recently-recalled Jeanmar Gomez flummoxed the A’s for six innings and the Tribe managed two two-run homers in the sixth to break it open.

Tigers 2, Royals 1: Doug Fister had a perfect game going through six but then gave up a run in the seventh on a double and a pair of sacrifices. Problem for him is that the Tigers couldn’t do anything themselves against Jeff Francis. They tied it up in the eighth, however, and then Ramon Santiago hit the walkoff bomb off Aaron Crow.

Marlins 6, Mets 0: Javier Vazquez shut the Mets out for seven innings. Mike Pelfrey … did not reciprocate.

Orioles 6, Blue Jays 5: A wild finish to a game that was tied after nine. The Jays took the lead in the top of the 10th on a Kelly Johnson triple and a subsequent wild pitch. But then in the bottom of the inning Brian Tallet walked the first two batters he faced and then gave up an RBI single to pinch hitter Jake Fox and a ground rule double to Ryan Adams. Which was appropriate given that it was a heartbreaker on a day the Jays’ manager was out with pneumonia.

White Sox 8, Twins 6:  Alejandro De Aza drove in four runs and the Sox rallied for five runs in the fifth.

Rangers 2, Rays 0: Big fly for Josh Hamilton and six scoreless for Scott Feldman. I’m going to assume all Rays losses from here on out are the direct result of the curse of the Garfoose.  Though, really, he was far too polite to curse anyone when he left. But still.

Cardinals 2, Brewers 1: A win for St. Louis in a series that once looked like it would have huge playoff implications but now really doesn’t. I suppose if the Cards sweep this one and next week’s series in St. Louis, and if the Brewers start to channel the 1964 Phillies, that yes, there are still playoff implications here. But I’m not really seein’ it.

Astros 8, Pirates 2: A six-run sixth inning for Houston.  Henry Sosa allowed two hits and struck out seven over six innings. Three straight wins for the Astros. Break ‘em up.

Diamondbacks 9, Rockies 4: The Dbacks are streaking their way to the NL West title. Miguel Montero and Justin Upton each homered and drove in three runs.

Cubs 5, Giants 2: And, as has become common lately, the Giants have no answer.

Dodgers 8, Padres 5: Andre Ethier should fight with his team about crap more often. A grand slam helps L.A. to an eight-run second inning.

Angels 13, Mariners 6: Mike Trout hit two homers and drove in five, leading the rout. Probably worth noting that this game featured 19 runs, 22 hits and nine walks yet finished up over an hour more quickly than the Yankees-Red Sox game.

  1. uyf1950 - Aug 31, 2011 at 5:55 AM

    CC finally got that elusive 18th win of the season. He did labor a bit and got himself both in and out of a couple of jams but as they say a win is a win. And for the Yankees they have been in short supply versus the Red Sox this season.
    If I may be allowed to para-phase a childhood nursery rhyme. CC huffed and he puffed and he blew the Red Sox down (striking out 10 in 6 innings of work). Sorry, but I couldn’t resist that.

    • yankeesfanlen - Aug 31, 2011 at 10:25 AM

      I’m glad that Beep-beep has elevated his play recently. Last night’s GIDP actually scored a run. Alas, Grumpy’s two did not.
      Have confidence in Hughes tonight. Even the finale has potential for AJ, after all it will be September by then.

  2. btwicey - Aug 31, 2011 at 6:14 AM

    Mike trout is clearly going to be something special.

    • easports82 - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:50 AM

      Everything sounds positive about him, but last night’s performance isn’t really a strong indicator. The two bombs came off a guy who throws high school fastballs. That’s not an exaggeration. Check pitchFx from last night. Vasquez topped 85 about 5 times.

  3. kiwicricket - Aug 31, 2011 at 6:32 AM

    Come on, Craig. Even you had to laugh at Livan’s bloated corpse not being able to jog the entire distance to second base.

    • rollinghighwayblues - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:31 AM

      Good God, I literally saw the clip of that two seconds before I read your comment. Are you shitting me? I honestly thought he was going to do a barrel roll and die after he touched first. I’ve never seen a pitcher so pissed off after hitting a double.

      • kiwicricket - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:37 AM

        I love how he sort of faked an injury, so the walking wouldn’t look out of place…
        I’m still amused by it.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:39 AM

        OK, I want to see this but it isn’t on the video clips from mlb.com. Do you have a link to it anybody???

    • rollinghighwayblues - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:40 AM

      Bah! Yes, Livan actually put on a “injury wince” as he touched first and even looked to come up lame. It was a pathetic sight to say the least.

      • kiwicricket - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:50 AM

        Pathetic, but very amusing. Someone find a link please

    • natstowngreg - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:44 AM

      That’s what you get with Livan, pitching and entertainment. After he reached second, I thought Dan Uggla was going to call for the Nays’ trainer. Or an ambulance.

      • natstowngreg - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:52 AM

        Nats’ trainer. of course.

    • FC - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:01 AM

      Now when Roy Halladay hits a double…

  4. southofheaven81 - Aug 31, 2011 at 7:03 AM

    I’ll admit that I can see why Lackey was a *little* annoyed at Cervelli, but he Cervelli claps his hands every time he gets a hit. And he should get his ERA down under 5 before he start worrying about his pride. Cervelli came around to score again after Lackey plunked him.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 31, 2011 at 7:16 AM

      Not just every time he gets a hit…he is like the Valverde of catchers. After almost every 3rd out he was gyrating back there. I must say, it was fairly obnoxious.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:32 AM

        The guy is a career .274/.341/.340 (82 OPS+) hitter. If clapping gets him hit, it could be his best trait.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:43 AM

        Not saying he deserved to get plunked for it. I’m just saying that I found the gyrating behind the plate obnoxious.

  5. Paul White - Aug 31, 2011 at 7:06 AM

    How quickly we forget “Bat Flip-Gate”. In June, David Ortiz hit a home run in New York and flipped his bat away in a manner that offended Joe Girardi and caused him to be plunked later in the series by C.C. Fast forward to last night, when Cervelli hit a home run and then essentially clapped for himself upon touching home plate. Seeing as how the Yankees had already established the “you can’t celebrate a home run in any way without showing up the pitcher” doctrine a couple of months ago, Lackey decided to drill Cervelli the next time up.

    Pretty silly behavior all the way around.

  6. halladaysbiceps - Aug 31, 2011 at 7:16 AM

    With all these rain delays/cancellations screwing up Roy Halladay’s starts, he was finally let out of his cage. And he pitched like a wild animal being let out of his cage. And man did he pitch! Most impressive was what he did in the 7th inning. He has an 8-0 lead, bases loaded, and would not allow a single run in. He never gives in. Never. Nasty pitch after nasty pitch. Throwing 3-1 filthy cutters to Reds hitters who couldn’t do anything but flail away. His best performance of the year, battle-wise.

    Bronson “Fabio” Arroyo is simply outmatched by the Phillies everytime he pitches against them. They own him and the slop he throws up out on the mound.

    Mr. Lucky is getting primed for his typical September tear with two more bombs and 3 RBI’s. Another +100 RBI year for Mr. Lucky. Pence also added his 17th bomb on a fastball that was head high. I still can’t believe that Mr. Overrated was able to get the bat head around on a ball that high.

    A well rested Cliff Lee on the mound tonight. After watching Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay do their thing these last couple of days, I have no doubt he will be masterful as well. Probably will throw another shutout complete game.

    • cur68 - Aug 31, 2011 at 10:52 AM

      Welcome back HB. Some game by Harry LeRoy the 3rd there, eh? Saw the highlights. I wander if Charlie Morton is going to ape Doc’s stance at the plate too? Seems to work just fine, don’t it? Actually seems to be not far off his ‘set’ stance as he pitches. Well of if you got a good thing working…

      Y’know, if that team wasn’t stacked with mediocre, past their prime and overrated players they might do something this season. Or something.

  7. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 31, 2011 at 7:30 AM

    I love the headline “Sabathia finally solves Red Sox” Uh-huh. 128 pitches in 6 innings. 10 hits and 2 walks. A couple of timely hits and CC would have been out of the game in the 3rd inning. But he persevered and gutted out a win. Did he “solve” the Red Sox? Nah, I wouldn’t put it that way. He definitely owned A-Gonz last night though I will give him that.

    Or maybe I’m just spoiled by watching Obi-Wan every 5 days. I’m not a fan of the “quality start” but when a guy has 26 starts and 20 of them are of the “quality” variety, then it is something special. However, then you look at young Anakin and see that he has 21 quality starts in his 26 starts. Qui-Gon Jinn has struggled along with only 19 quality starts in his 26 starts. He’s going to need to pick it up or he may get himself Maul-ed.

    Oh and 2 more bombs from Mr. Lucky and another one from Mr. Overrated. It’s got to be pretty embarrassing to some to see Pence hitting .326/.400/.526/.926. Or maybe not. I know I’d be embarrassed if I called him “overvalued”, but maybe that’s just me.

    • halladaysbiceps - Aug 31, 2011 at 7:39 AM

      6th straight 100+ RBI season for Ryan Howard. Man, he sucks. Probably only the 8th best player on the Phillies.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 31, 2011 at 7:50 AM

        Yeah, it’s pretty embarrassing how some people make fools of themselves lining up to rip this guy. But that’s OK. People can feel how they want about Mr. Lucky while we have the pleasure of watching him do his thing every single night and that is something that no stat geek can ever take away from us.

      • kiwicricket - Aug 31, 2011 at 7:54 AM

        Is that sarcasm cepts ??

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 31, 2011 at 7:57 AM

        Sarcasm? Me? Nah.

      • kiwicricket - Aug 31, 2011 at 7:58 AM

        Guy’s – A bee in your bonnet this morning ???

      • paperlions - Aug 31, 2011 at 7:59 AM

        No one lines up to rip Howard, we just marvel at the ability of people to misunderstand who is responsible for runs scored by a team. It is like giving pitchers full credit for their ERA when defense has a huge effect on that number.

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:01 AM

        No. I have a Halladay in my bonnet this morning. Tomorrow morning, I will have a Lee in my bonnet.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:05 AM

        PL,
        I think most people understand that the scoring of runs is dependent on numerous factors. I think what bothers Phillies fans is that to illustrate that point many people go too far by denigrating the accomplishments of Ryan Howard.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:11 AM

        Paper…it is what it is. You can continue to look at the spreadsheets while I continue to enjoy watching Ryan Howard night-in and night-out drive runs home and hit bombs. And when he is hoisting up the 2011 World Series Trophy like in the picture from 2008 below, none of us Phillies fans will give a rat’s ass about all the nitpicking articles and comments.

      • halladaysbiceps - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:20 AM

        That picture of Ryan Howard lifting the World Series trophy in 2008 brings back sweet memories. I didn’t sleep that night at all. I partied until I passed out in the morning. It will be all the sweeter when Doc, Lee and Oswalt get to lift the trophy this year as well.

      • paperlions - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:31 AM

        To be clear, I think Ryan Howard is a good baseball player, and in the past was a great baseball player. The surprising thing to many (I think) is how much press he seems to get, which may be a fault of the national outlets, as he has rarely been the best Philly on the right side of their infield.

        Most of the bashing (or apparent bashing) of Howard is probably a backlash and over-reaction to what people view as over-rating (which he most clearly has been by much of the fans/media, there is really no other way to explain his MVP vote totals in recent years). Bashing the RBI stat, should not be viewed the same as bashing Ryan Howard because he accumulates a lot of RBI. As demonstrated clearly by the numbers, Howard is not particularly great at driving in runners, he is just fortunate to be in a position where a great number of runners are on base for him. And neither that or the over-rating of the RBI stat are Howard’s fault.

      • paperlions - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:33 AM

        Chris, instead I will continue to improve my understanding of the game of baseball while you continue to be a fan of one team. We will each enjoy our separate endeavors.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:46 AM

        Thanks paper…you enjoy improving your understanding of a game while I simply enjoy it.

      • Jonny 5 - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:46 AM

        I can’t argue this, Howard is a good ball player. And there is a trend where teams with the best OBP all have an RBI leader on their team, or more than one (freaking Yankees and BoSox, AL east evil)

        What I want to bring up, what the hell has happened to Sir Albert Pujols? This guy is on a team with the 3rd best OBP and hasn’t broken 80 RBI yet.

      • kiwicricket - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:04 AM

        J5-
        Holliday and Berkman normally bat after Albert. Also, I think TLR bats the SP lead-off if the wind blows from the east, and the temp is between 84-92deg.

      • FC - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:06 AM

        Yeah Roy is so lucky to have all those guys get on base in front of him so he can pad his RBI totals.

      • Jonny 5 - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:08 AM

        LOL!!, Yeah, but Kiwi, he usually is in the top of the RBI leader pile. Maybe it’s just the breaks…

      • Jonny 5 - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:09 AM

        FC, that was awesome. And it was only a demonstration to the power of “the force”.

        Or he got lucky…. :P

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:13 AM

        J5, it looks like Pujols has come up with 314 runners on base, as opposed to A-Gonz with 419, Mr. Lucky with 404 and Prince with 401. Of course, while the latter three have an RBI % of over 18, King Albert’s is a hefty 14.97%. So it’s a combination of having less men on base and not knocking in the ones he has on base at a similar % as he has done throughout his career(18.20%)

      • FC - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:15 AM

        Actually I think Ryan Howard is more impressive because he still manages to drive them in at a prodigious rate despite the fact that pitchers have adjusted to him. He’s the MLB player who sees the least fastballs %-wise and the least fastballs %-wise on 3-0, 3-1 counts. And of course ALL teams employ the mammoth shift on him. While the Rays will employ 25 different shifts (one for each opposing player) not every team does what the Rays do. I think Joe has a defensive coordinator in the dugout.

        People have highlighted how recent stars have done better, but then again pitchers have had little time to accumulate data and adjust to the new kids on the block, but they will and their output will drop just as Howard’s has as the opposing pitchers learn what to pitch and what not to pitch.

        The exception is Pujols. The man is a Borg, you hit him in a weak spot, he adapts and then hits the very same pitch next time for a bomb, you have to keep rotating your pitches to keep him off balance!

      • Jonny 5 - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:20 AM

        Chris! You didn’t just show us all something. That Howard is better at driving in runs this season than the God known as Albert… omfg…. you’ll surely burn in baseball hell for that. LOL, thanks for the breakdown there. It looks like Albert has been a little off this season on top of having a bad obp in front of him.

        Why aren’t there any “Albert Pujols is on his decline” articles though? He’s showing it.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:27 AM

        There are no Albert is on the decline articles because everyone is too busy trying to be first to point out how overrated Mr. Lucky is. It’s all cool though. I said what I needed to say on the subject and will just enjoy Howard night after night. I realized after his second bomb last night just how much I love having this guy on my team.

      • FC - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:31 AM

        GDP, well there’s another interesting stat. Let’s compare them, so far this year Howard has 10, Prince has 17 and A-Gon has 25 (League Leader BTW along with Pujols who also has 25). Remember the first 3 have all had similar # of guys in front of them (Pujols has had less but that hurts him).

      • Alex K - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:45 AM

        Yay! Another Ryan Howard argument! Can this one get to 300+ cooments? I sure do hope so!

        /sarcasm

        Chris & Jim, You realize that you guys are some of the reason people “take shots” at Howard, right? You guys sarcastically call him Mr. Lucky and overrate his RBI total so that brings out the group of people who think RBI are a bogus way to value a player.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:56 AM

        Alex, I’ll just keep enjoying watching him knock guys in while others can enjoy learning more about a game so they can apply that knowledge to trying to convince everyone how overrated Ryan Howard is.

      • FC - Aug 31, 2011 at 10:04 AM

        Alex K as far as I know those articles and arguments have been around long since before Chris & Jim. The Mr. Lucky moniker is also recent because of some HBT posts pointing out articles elsewhere not the other way around. In any case I believe everyone is enjoying a few light-hearted jabs. No one is convincing anyone of anything here. Personally I lean more in enjoy watching the game camp. I love it when a guy who hit less than .100 gets a bases clearing double. I watch the game for those surprise moments. Others like to bask in the warm feeling of satisfaction they get when they predict an outcome based on stats that works out 8 out of 10 times. To each his own.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 31, 2011 at 10:21 AM

        FC, I’ll continue to call him Mr. Lucky but I’m done debating his merits. He is what he is and I love watching the man play the game. I feel lucky to have had the exact same guy hitting clean-up for my team for the last 5+ years…5+ years where my team has won 5(soon to be 6) straight division titles, 2 pennants and a world series. And Ryan Howard has been a big part of that success.

      • Alex K - Aug 31, 2011 at 10:26 AM

        Chris- By all means do that. But just know that when you get on here saying Mr. Lucky this, Mr. Lucky that, and talk about how people go out of their way to “take shots” at him the “shots” will come. I’m in the camp where I love to watch people play and appreciate the skill it takes for even the worst MLB player to do what they do. But I also like to look at the stats to help me know who the best players are (since I can’t watch every pitch of every game – which is sad).

        FC- I’m fully aware that there have been many articles written about Howard being overrated, but Chris and Jim (Bicepts for those who don’t know) stoke the fire when they complain about people who don’t think Howard is as good as they do. And if people still think they are going to convince someone on the other side of the argument otherwise they need to have their head examined. I’ve grown weary of all the Howard talk – I just can’t seem to make myself ignore it, however. I’m like a moth to a flame.

      • FC - Aug 31, 2011 at 10:43 AM

        Alex K. THAT’s what I was going to tell you. That you should ignore it and move on. I engage in light jabs now and then, but that’s it. If you can’t stay away, well dude prepare to be burned each and every time you see that pretty flame! :D

    • theonlywaytojudgeaplayerisrbi - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:37 AM

      Every post that Chris makes, I give it a thumbs down. Wooooooooooooooo.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:44 AM

        +1

    • phillyphreak - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:40 AM

      I’m a Phillies fan and the Howard stuff doesn’t bother me. .

    • theonlywaytojudgeaplayerisrbi - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:52 AM

      Slow down there Alex. Are you trying to tell me that my fantasy league rankings and Sports Center/Baseball Tonight are lying to me? What I know from watching every pitch of every baseball game through a scout’s eye (which I’ve acquired from watching every pitch of every game, despite never learning how to scout with a real scout) is that the guy with the most RBI is the best offensive player in baseball. Ryan Howard is in a tight battle for the MVP of the league.

      Down with metrics that evaluate player talent that don’t agree with RBI!!!

  8. kiwicricket - Aug 31, 2011 at 7:46 AM

    Cervelli and Lackey are both terrible. They can do whatever they want to one another…

    Thought the Red Sox trainer not wearing socks was pretty average form.

    • cur68 - Aug 31, 2011 at 11:00 AM

      Hey Kiwi, is “average” the new antipodean “ordinary” or merely the NZ version? Other day a I got a “no dramas” out of my Ozzie barkeep at me local. I presume this is the current version of “no worries”?

  9. Jonny 5 - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:08 AM

    “At some point we’re just gonna have to face facts that he’s a Jedi or something.”

    I tried telling you people….. These guys will use “the force” on you.. They have united to fight THE DARK SIDE (AL east bastards). And the Dark side is going down!!!

    • cur68 - Aug 31, 2011 at 11:02 AM

      Hey!

      • Jonny 5 - Aug 31, 2011 at 11:10 AM

        *disclaimer- “the Dark side” refers only to the RS and Yankees. Thanks for catching that Cur.

    • yankeesfanlen - Aug 31, 2011 at 11:31 AM

      Hey!

  10. cshearing - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:10 AM

    The most important line in the recap was about the difference in time between the Yanks/Red Sox game and the Angels/Mariners game. I used to enjoy the rivalry, but the games have become so obnoxious I cannot watch outside of the postseason.

    • pisano - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:47 AM

      cshearing… The time thing will be alot worse tonight with Beckett pitching. This guy is a human slow motion machine. The only chance of the game being under 4+ hours is if the Yankees light him up early, which they have done on occasion.

    • kopy - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:48 AM

      I don’t watch these games either for the same reason. Every time a pitcher steps off the mound, the catcher comes out to talk, or the batter calls time in relatively routine situations I want to hit something. Does anyone know why are these games so much slower?

      • kopy - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:54 AM

        This was a good read on how Bos/Nyy on average just spend more time between every action: http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/blog_article/red-sox-yankees-slow-games/

    • kiwicricket - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:55 AM

      second

  11. paperlions - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:52 AM

    Pujols has grounded into a crapload of double plays this year and for most of the year Theriot was leading off and other scraptastic players have been hitting 1 or 2. Essentially, for most of the year, the worst StL hitters have been hitting in front of Pujols….but he has performed poorly with the opportunities he has had.

    • paperlions - Aug 31, 2011 at 8:53 AM

      That was in reply to Johnny5, somehow it didn’t go where it was supposed to.

      • Jonny 5 - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:14 AM

        Why PL? Why would Tony put the worst batters in the front of the lineup? I don’t get it. You must detest this in a way huh?

      • paperlions - Aug 31, 2011 at 11:05 AM

        Because they are scrappy, weak hitting, sorta kinda fast/quick white guys….I guess. I have no idea why. For years he has been putting one of the teams worst hitting players in the leadoff spot….always the same kind of player, no power, poor OBP (there have been some happy times when the leadoff man had above league average on base skills). But yeah, that freaking kills me. I hate it….there is jut no way to justify giving the most ABs to the worst hitters.

  12. natstowngreg - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:06 AM

    Took one look at the pucture and thought, this is killing Craig. Not wishing to take perverse pleasure in the suffering of others, but…

    The Nats being a pain in the Braves’ rear end? Love it. It was also nice that they had an easy win and beat up a quality starting pitcher, for a change.

    I look forward to the day when they’re a pain in the Phillies’ rear end.

    • Jonny 5 - Aug 31, 2011 at 9:26 AM

      Phills are 8-6 vs. the Nats this season. Which is better than MANY other teams actually. The Nats are a good team and seem to step it up vs. the Braves and Phills.

  13. Bar None - Aug 31, 2011 at 10:02 AM

    Don’t forget to mention that it could have been 6-2 in the Cubs-Giants game if the umpire allowed the runner who was less than 10 feet from 3rd to score on an interference call. Things are looking bad for SF.

  14. jimbo1949 - Aug 31, 2011 at 10:39 AM

    Just to be picky, it’s Francisco Cervelli.

  15. APBA Guy - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:42 PM

    The White Rabbit continued his 2009 reunion tour last night, reuniting with all his old bad habits and poor form from his rookie year. “Hey, you know what would be fun? Let’s get behind in every count then throw up a mush ball and see how hard they can hit it!”. I think the A’s are on a mission to make Carlos Santana look like the second coming of Johnny Bench, at least offensively. His two home runs the last two nights were positively ripped. At least former Athletic Jack Hannahan had the courtesy to deposit his in the front row so as not to injure the sensibilities of A’s fans who remember his sparkling defense but wonder where this 3-4 offense came from. Couldn’t be the coaching, could it?

    As for the A’s “offense”, where did that hot streak after the all-star break go? The A’s are doing too good an imitation of their role models, the Giants, forgetting that to win you must actually score runs. Let’s face it, getting a total of 3 runs off David Huff and Jeanmar Perez isn’t exactly lighting it up, especially in a hitter’s park. The only consolation was this was another quick game, relatively, under 3 hours.

  16. Old Gator - Aug 31, 2011 at 12:50 PM

    Your daily excursus into second division irrelevance:

    The Feesh managed to win a game against the Mutts last night, somehow. Javy Vasquez was superb, even considering against whom he was pitchin. Now, I was looking back at some of my posts from early in the season and chuckling at all the unkind things I wrote about Javy, and chuckling again at how he’s become the most consistent and effective pitcher the Feesh have this season since the All-Star Rupture. In addition to the shutout he threw last night, he racked up his 2,500th strikeout against the Mutts, becoming only the 30th peetcher to reach that particular tepui. A few weeks back he told some sportswriter-drone (all sportswriters are either drones or sterile) that he was probably going to retire at the end of this season. How many ways can you bait a hook?

    I think it’s reasonable to expect even the so-called “brain trust” of the Feesh, which was reputedly meeting at Scrooge McLoria’s underground money vault in New York yesterday, to assess what went wrong this season. Well, yes, we know that the answer to that is “everything.” Remember, though, that feesh brains are generally only one fifteenth the size relative to total body mass of birds and most mammals. Moreover, their part of the brain that most hominids, except for sportswriters, devote to thinking, the cerebrum (in feesh, the telencephalon) is mostly devoted to smell, which may explain why they steenk this season.

    More(or less)over, they’re certainly not sufficiently ambient thinkers to consider that a screw-up as massive as this team has proven to be would have warped and distorted spacetime from the outset, and so the entire team was hopelessly traversing a ruck in reality all season long about which no amount of batting instruction, hitting off a tee, studying films of your pitching motion or release point or infield practice was going to remedy unless you were fluent in quantum mathematics. Assuming that a batted ball is not unlike the electron in the gedanken experiment – it has an equal chance of finding the gap or not finding it – the Feesh, hitting into that distortion in spacetime created by the sheer bulk of their ineptitude – keep not finding it. The presence of a runner in scoring position deflects the particulata repelled by the negative polarity of a Feesh bat directly against the solid wall of adversarial defensive competence and it keeps missing the gap by just this much (holding thumb and index finger so barely apart that static shocks result). Of course, most of these conclusions derive from experiments conducted prior to this season in a vacuum formed by Scrooge and the Chihuahua’s payroll budget. Blowing eighteen million on John Buck might have skewed the results more than a little bit. It might even, via spooky action at a distance, have impacted the negative value of the Feesh’ BA with RISP – but to measure the impact of unlike forces on that stat, you would just about need to have been hardwired at birth like an idiot savant to think in substantive terms about negative quanitification. Me, I was born with the normal allotment of digits and can’t count that far backwards.

    What Scrooge, Beinfest and the Chihuahua think they’re going to be able to do about this I have no idea. It seems to me to be beeger than all of them. If I were them, I would just go out and enjoy an artery-plugging dinner at Sammy’s Roumanian and get me some tickets to some kitschy Broadway musical and stop thinking about it until February.

    Anyway, one other bright spot in last night’s unlikely victory was the Iron Giant’s opposite field upper deck dinger. That gave him thirty-one for the season, making him just about the sole treatment to the average Feesh fan’s intensifying interest deficit disorder. In the interest of maintaining the empiricist theme of today’s Feesh Flash, I actually set up apparatus to measure the elapsed average time between the Iron Giant’s plate appearances. In a future post, I will report that average to my fellow Feesh fans along with suggestions for healthy, nutritious dishes that can be prepared in between his at-bats so you won’t have to keep running back to the den to see if he’s up yet while you wait for your barramundi fillets to paoch.

    • ta192 - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:57 PM

      Stanton IS the reason I watch the mullets, so I look forward to your publication of his MTBAB number…

  17. natstowngreg - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:06 PM

    What kind of wine goes well with poached barramundi filets?

    • Old Gator - Aug 31, 2011 at 1:42 PM

      A well chilled Puligny Montrachet, preferably an early 90s vintage.

      Don’t forget that the wrong answer to a question like that exposed the SPECTRE agent in From Russia with Love. Kinda like being a would-be German infiltrator in WWI who didn’t know the name of Tarzan’s monkey.

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