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And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

Sep 2, 2011, 5:46 AM EDT

St. Louis Cardinals v Milwaukee Brewers Getty Images

Cardinals 8, Brewers 4: Albert Pujols came up big — two homers including a grand slam — and the Cards swept the division-leading Brewers. Yes, that’s cool, but some perspective: Even if the Brewers go .500 in their remaining games the Cardinals would have to go 20-5 to tie them. Ten-game deficits are a lulu.

Dodgers 6, Pirates 4: Dana Eveland was impressive, allowing only one run on six hits in eight innings. Which is great for me because I have an excuse to trot out the observation I make any time I have occasion to talk about Dana Eveland: If you didn’t know he was a pitcher and you simply heard the name, you’d think that “Dana Eveland” was an actress from the 1940s who used to play second banana in musicals and light comedies. She was under contract with Warner Brothers but was loaned out to MGM on occasion.  Try it: list off a leading man and a leading woman of that era and then say “and also starring Dana Eveland!”  It totally works.

Athletics 7, Indians 0: Gio Gonzalez and Craig Breslow combined to shut out the Indians. Of course, as is usually the case, it wasn’t an equal combination, what with Gonzalez pitching seven innings and Breslow two.  Games like these are a lot like when Hunter and Dee Dee used to take down some crime boss. Hunter would shoot 16 dudes, take a bullet in the arm and still find time to crack wise. Meanwhile, Dee Dee would — especially if it was sweeps week — be posing as a stripper or a prostitute or something and would maybe — maybe — hit one of the bad guys over the head with a pitcher of beer or her purse or something.  At the end, Captain Devane would still say “great job, you two” as if it were somehow a matter of equal effort.  What? don’t look at me that way.  I never said that 1980s action/adventure shows were enlightened. But I grew up on ‘em, OK? They’re part of my cultural DNA.

Royals 11, Tigers 8: The first line of the AP recap says it all about this ugly-ass game:

Danny Duffy overthrew his catcher on an intentional walk, and Alcides Escobar struck out on a pitch that hit him in the shoulder.

Jeff Francoeur was 3 for 5 with a homer, a double and three driven in. His assessment of the game: “You saw a lot of stuff.”

Blue Jays 8, Orioles 6Brett Lawrie broke a tie with a two-run homer in the top of the eighth.  Kid is a total boss.

Phillies 6, Reds 4: Vance Worley does nothin’ but win baseball games. Ryan Howard hit a home run — his 30th — giving him the 30 home run, 100 RBI combination that so many of you are impressed with.

Mets 7, Marlins 5: Miguel Batista makes his Mets debut and its a good one: 6 IP, 6 H, 2 ER.

Braves 5, Nationals 2: Brian McCann and Chipper Jones homered to kick things off and Tim Hudson carried things through. The Nats actually scored a run off Jonny Venters. You don’t see that happen very often.

Yankees 4, Red Sox 2: A.J. Burnett didn’t win, but he kept his team in the game, and that’s something he hadn’t done for a long time. Things got scary in the ninth as the Sox loaded the bases and Adrian Gonzalez came to the plate. But dude, Mariano Rivera.  Also: 4:21. Four a nine-inning game with six total runs scored. My lord.

Rangers 7, Rays 2: Two solo homers for Ian Kinsler and a nice outing for C.J. Wilson, who was perfect through five innings but injured his index finger when he reached for a grounder with his pitching hand. He stayed in for a while, but it was buggin’ him too much.

Angels 4, Mariners 3: Ervin Santana walked seven, but you can get away with that against teams like the Mariners.

  1. joshftw - Sep 2, 2011 at 6:23 AM

    Hallelujah, Burnett’s finally gotten back on track!……….at least until next time.
    Man, let’s hope for a Yankees/Red Sox postseason series so we can all enjoy some truly epic 6 hour games.

    • proudlycanadian - Sep 2, 2011 at 7:10 AM

      Yawn! I did not stay up to watch the end of the game. I am glad that my local cable system was showing the YES feed rather than the NESN feed. The people on YES seem to be more interested in baseball than the people on NESN. Once Hazel left NESN, I lost interest in them.

      • rsnorth - Sep 2, 2011 at 11:53 AM

        Have to disagree, Proudly, with the cable outfit broadcasting the game. OK, Orsillo & Remy on NESN can get silly, but Michael Kay, Ken Singleton & Al Leiter aren’t exactly unbiased when it comes to calling the games.
        Three games at Fenway Park and not one via NESN in Canada. 2 to YES and the other to ESPN with albeit heavy Red Sox leaning commentators, Curt Schilling, Nomah & Dave O’Brien (radio voice, along with Joe Castiglione on Boston’s WEEI).

    • southofheaven81 - Sep 2, 2011 at 7:14 AM

      Hallelujah nothing, this only extended his chances of actually getting in the playoff rotation, which is exactly what I don’t want to see. He’s way too inconsistent.

      • joshftw - Sep 2, 2011 at 8:10 AM

        Nah, there’s no way AJ is on the postseason roster at this point. Not with Nova pitching well and Hughes on a (slow-moving) rebound. But at least we can hope for a few more not-horrible starts out of him in September.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 2, 2011 at 9:11 AM

        I think there are 16.5 million reasons why Burnett is not only likely on the Playoff roster, but starting game 2 of the ALDS IMHO.

  2. kiwicricket - Sep 2, 2011 at 7:12 AM

    However Ryan Howard was seen smiling in the dugout after making an out. I found this rather off-putting.

    • cleverbob - Sep 2, 2011 at 7:55 AM

      It’s ok, he makes up for any mistakes all at once after every game by self-flagellating in the shower.

    • ditto65 - Sep 2, 2011 at 8:31 AM

      Yeah, smiling after failure is very unprofessional. It forces me to question his drive, his commitment.

      Though I doubt we have to worry about him smiling after tripping in a failed attempt at an inside the park HR…

  3. uyf1950 - Sep 2, 2011 at 7:20 AM

    Who would have “thunk” it. AJ Burnett, yes AJ Burnett pitched a very decent 5 1/3 innings allowing just 2 ER’s, for AJ that almost qualifies as a miracle outing. Yes the bottom of the 9th inning got a little scary with the Red Sox loading the bases with Gonzalez up but he did strike out to end the game. In fact Gonzalez did not hit well the entire 3 game series going 2 for 12 with no RBI’s. In my opinion the game saver or key play the entire game was Granderson’s catch late in the game off of Jed Lowrie’s bat.

    So the Yankees leave Fenway Park having taken 2 of 3 from the Red Sox and winning their 1st series of the season against them, and that’s a good thing.

    • yankeesfanlen - Sep 2, 2011 at 7:51 AM

      Good morning uyf. A win is a win and this one was gratifying, but as far as it goes what we saw was only AJ not losing like we’re used to. Blind squirrels and monkeys with typewriters, you know.
      Russell Martin (and the Grandy catch) won the game. Given tthe number of scoring opportunities early it could have been anyone, and a blow-out was possible early given the baserunners allowed by Lester early.
      I’m not calling local florists yet to find enough roses to fill the Cathdral for AJ. Maybe only enough to fill a dipsy dumpster, because he’s still there in my book.

      • joshftw - Sep 2, 2011 at 8:15 AM

        Considering how the Yanks usually fare against Lester, making him throw a 40-pitch 1st inning was a nice sight, even if they only got one run.

        And AJ may still be there, but he’s a few more stinkers away from having his name spoken in the same tone Yankee fans reserve for Carl Pavano. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love for him to turn it around, but how much more must the fans endure?

      • uyf1950 - Sep 2, 2011 at 8:48 AM

        yanleesfanlen, good morning my friend. I very pleasant surprise last night see AJ at least give the Yankees a chance to win one the Yankees were able to capitalize on. On it’s the Jays turn to come to NY.

      • ditto65 - Sep 2, 2011 at 9:09 AM

        I think we can thank Girardi for pulling AJ before the floodgates opened, as well. Joe might have been letting him try to “work through” tough spots in August, but now realizes all the games count. Especially when your main division rival is winning the rivalry 11-4 this season. Losses against Baltimore sting even more when you are only a half game back.

  4. Chris Fiorentino - Sep 2, 2011 at 7:35 AM

    Vance Worley is having the best rookie season of any starting pitcher this season. Is he the best? No. Does he have the beat upside? No. Would I take other rookie starters over him? Absolutely. But the fact is that he may be “lucky” but his numbers show that he is having the best rookie season of any starting pitcher. xFIP and BABIP and the other sabremetric stats may show he is doing it with smoke and mirrors and they may show he will fall off next year and that is fine. But put the actual numbers that show what has actually happened put there, with no subjectivity, and they will show that his season has been the best of any rooks starter this year.

    My first thought while watching all 380+ pitches of the red sox Yankees game was to time the pitcher from when he toed re rubber and the batter came set. average time was around 7 seconds with nobody on. Once a runner got on it was ridiculous. Lester was around 13 seconds while Burnett was closer to 11. That’s just nuts. But it was a very good game until Martin hit the double off Bard. Then it seemed like the umpire who was horrible opened up the corners a little more. It’s a conspiracy i tell you!!!!!

    • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 2, 2011 at 7:47 AM

      Bob Nightengale of USA Today,
      “Worley, surrounded by an encyclopedia of pitching knowledge, doesn’t even bother looking at videotape or studying scouting reports. He goes to bed at nearly 4 in the morning on the night before he pitches, comes to the ballpark, steps on the mound, and throws an arsenal of pitches featuring a 90-mph sinker, slider, changeup and cut-fastball. He simply pitches, lets his catchers do the thinking, and rarely bothers to ever shake them off.”

      • mckludge - Sep 2, 2011 at 7:52 AM

        “Don’t think, just throw.”

      • yankeesfanlen - Sep 2, 2011 at 7:53 AM

        Sounds like a plan.

    • Jonny 5 - Sep 2, 2011 at 8:36 AM

      Don’t take the xFIP and FIP numbers to heart too much Chris. There are plenty of guys who aren’t made an example of that have similar unbalanced stats.

      Jered Weaver for example is playing 3x higher over his head compared to Worley right now, yet we only read of his praises, and that he’s as good as Hamels. See what I’m saying?

      Matt Cain is another who’s got a large divide between era and xFIP. But he’s an Ace in the making. According to many

      Both of these guys are on the same page as Worley imo. Do you see that as strange? Many people would by listening to the roar when Worley is praised.

      Jered Weaver just got a huge contract, was compared as being as good as Hamels, yet his numbers are worse than Worley’s are. And all we hear are praises to Weaver and “Worley is lucky to be a #4 you dumbass Philly fans.” I just wanted to point that out to you.

      Oh, that and he’s a rookie who has potential to improve with more experience as well. Just like Weaver and Cain can.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 2, 2011 at 8:53 AM

        J5, I understand the sabremetric #’s and to a certain degree I agree with a lot of them…when it comes to FUTURE PERFORMANCE. If the sabremetric guys want to say that Worley is lucky and he isn’t going to keep this up for his career, that’s all well and good. I can’t say they are wrong or right about the future. However for this year, Worley’s #’s are pretty special and there’s no way you can put any other rookie starter up against his #’s for this year.

        Just some guys you hear a lot about and their actual stats for this year…

        Jeremy Hellickson 11-10 3.01 ERA 122 ERA+ 6.1 K/9 1.89 K/BB
        Michael Pineda 9-8 3.71 ERA 103 ERA+ 9.2 K/9 3.12 K/BB
        Brandon Beachy 7-2 3.31 ERA 114 ERA+ 10.1 K/9 4.00 K/BB

        Vance Worley 10-1 2.85 ERA 146 ERA+ 7.6 K/9 2.59 K/BB

        None of those first three have put up actual #’s better than Worley…Beachy and Pineda are more power pitchers who K more guys. They all walk around 2.5 to 3 a game. They are all 22-24 years old.

        Again, I would take any of the first 3 over Worley because they all appear to have higher upsides according to the scouts. But up until this point, none of their 2011 seasons are close to as good as Worley’s.

      • Jonny 5 - Sep 2, 2011 at 9:20 AM

        I would not take Hellickson over Worley. He’s even more over his head than Worley by XFIP. One more walk per 9 for Worley? I’ll take that with every other stat being better for Worley, including BABIP%. The other guys? Sure they do project as somewhat better imo, and I’d probably go to them first, but like you mentioned, unless Worley has an implosion he’s got the #’s to beat them all out for ROY consideration. We all know advanced stats are rarely looked at for that.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 2, 2011 at 9:25 AM

        Kimbrel has ROY on lock down. Out of starting pitchers though, you are correct Worley has them all beat. He has been great this year.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 2, 2011 at 9:26 AM

        J5, I don’t even care about the ROY. If it were up to me, Kimbrel would be a lock. Not only are his saves #’s impressive…and I value the save probably more than anybody on this board…but he has 110 Ks in 66 2/3 innings. That’s just sick.

        Plus, Freeman is having a very good year for rookies, so I’d also give him the nod over Worley…especially since he is picking up for the disaster that has been Pedro Cerrano’s horrendous sophomore season.

      • Jonny 5 - Sep 2, 2011 at 9:47 AM

        That’s a tough one for me guys, simply because I don’t value saves as much as the next guy does. I my friend, am all about the starters. I’d like to see Kimbrel stretched out to start and then see what he can do. Just to see. It’s easier imo to have a better K rate when you know you’ll only face one inning. But like you said, he has been STELLAR as a closer. He’ll probably win the ROY imo. Not that I like voting for a closer to win the award, but the guy is setting records.

      • Jonny 5 - Sep 2, 2011 at 9:48 AM

        And I forgot about Buzz, he’s another one who will garner much attention, as he should.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 2, 2011 at 9:50 AM

        No chance of Kimbrel being stretched out…ever. He has not once started a game as a professional. I too am partial to starters, but his season has been ridiculously dominant.

      • phillyphreak - Sep 2, 2011 at 9:55 AM

        “Jered Weaver for example is playing 3x higher over his head compared to Worley right now, yet we only read of his praises, and that he’s as good as Hamels. See what I’m saying?”

        I’m a little confused. Can you explain why Weaver is playing 3x over his head right now?

      • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 2, 2011 at 9:59 AM

        I’m assuming that this is what he meant:
        Worley ERA 2.85 FIP 3.16 xFIP 3.64
        Weaver ERA 2.28 FIP 2.97 xFIP 3.73

        So, double “over his head” would probably have been more apt…but you get the point.

      • phillyphreak - Sep 2, 2011 at 10:06 AM

        Hmm…

        But if you look at the adjusted FIP and xFIP (FIP – and XFIP-; park and league adjusted) he’s not really any playing any over his head compared to Worley:

        Worely: 81 FIP-, 94 XFIP – (100 is average, lower is better), 3.56 SIERRA
        Weaver: 75 FIP -, 93 XFIP – , 3.52 SIERRA

        I think that the case for or against Worley can’t really be made until next season (or maybe until the end of next season). I’m enjoying riding this out now though, even if it is an abberation…

      • Jonny 5 - Sep 2, 2011 at 10:10 AM

        PhillyPhreak, I use fangraphs which uses actual adjusted era for xFIP, makes it easier for me. And by their measure Worley is actually better by xFIP.

      • phillyphreak - Sep 2, 2011 at 10:17 AM

        I know you did Jonny5, that’s where I got the FIP – and xFIP – stuff from. I think the stats will play Worley out over the next year or so and we’ll have a better clue to him from that size. Even one season of baseball can be considered a small sample size in the big picture.

        I think the reason people have been saying he’s a no 4 is mostly based on what scouts have said about him. And if I recall correctly, through his first few starts, his numbers appeared much more lucky than they do today (lower K rate, lower HR rate). I think it’s hard for people to see a pitcher who wasn’t projected to be this good, even by the scouts, come up and pitch this well. It’s entirely possible that he will regress next year and be that 4th starter. But even stats need more of a sample size than this so far…..

      • Jonny 5 - Sep 2, 2011 at 10:22 AM

        BINGO!

        But he must be Cy young mat’l if Weaver is, huh?? lol… Although I kid, the main focus of Worley “overachieving” was his X-FIP, which is better than Weaver has. I’m only here trying to make a point which is this. “Worley may turn out to be much better than projected”, and comparing him to Weaver slams that point home imo.

      • phillyphreak - Sep 2, 2011 at 10:28 AM

        Oh I think Worley could be better too. And the sabermetric stats I like has actually improved a bit lately. I just think, as I’ve stated above, that less than 1 season of data can be really misleading. At this point most of the criticism I think has been that he hasn’t been projected to be this good (and probably because of his W/L record- which shouldn’t ever influence anything ever in judging a pitcher). That’s why I think it has to play out more before I’m ready to kill him or praise him. I’m just enjoying it now.

        And if the AL Cy doesn’t go to Verlander, my faith in baseball will be crushed…..

      • Jonny 5 - Sep 2, 2011 at 10:33 AM

        And,,,,,,, Amen to that.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 2, 2011 at 10:56 AM

        phreak and J5…that was all exactly my point. You can look at all the sabremetric stuff and get a subjective sense for what is to come. But if you look at his actual performance on the field, using the actual #’s that have happened and counted toward something…like ERA, ERA+, WHIP, K/9, BB/9, BB/K, you can say without a shadow of a doubt that he has had the best year of any rookie starter in all of baseball. That doesn’t mean he will keep doing it or do it next year. Just means exactly what it is…he’s the best of his class this year.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:00 PM

        Schoenfeld on Worley:
        http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/15755/the-amazing-vance-worley-wins-again

    • spudchukar - Sep 2, 2011 at 10:44 AM

      “With no subjectivity”. So your numbers are totally objective, (the ones that support your position), while “other” numbers, (those that show flaws in your thinking) are suspect because they don’t support your opinion. Wow! Tough to argue with that line of reasoning.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 2, 2011 at 10:54 AM

        Potatoman, name a rookie starter who has had a better 2011 than Worley?

      • spudchukar - Sep 2, 2011 at 12:39 PM

        Jeremy Hellickson.

        In Worley’s 17 Games Started, he has faced winning teams only 5 times, twice vs. the Giants, who cannot hit anyone, so he has had 3 outings of substance. The jury is still out.

      • Jonny 5 - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:12 PM

        LOL! that’s some fine contradicting of yourself potato bird…. What you accused Chris of doing, you just did. You did it worse though. You throw out all the stats and go to some unheard of stat. Facing a winning team percentage. FAWT%? is that it? That’s rich. Potato bird pooped!

      • spudchukar - Sep 2, 2011 at 5:23 PM

        As you should know J5, wins are hardly the best indicator of who is the better pitcher. You are whistling in the dark, if you ignore a pitcher’s competition. Worley, has been coddled by the Pheels, intelligently so I might add, as they have not been in any rush for him to produce. But to compare his season to Hellickson’s at this point is pure poppycock.

        To date, Hellickson has faced Boston (2), Toronto (2), Detroit (2), New York (2), LAA (1), Texas (1), Milwaukee (1), Cincinnati (1), and St. Louis (1). That is 13 starts against quality hitting teams vs Worley’s 3.

        Plus he has thrown more than 50% more innings. Worley does not have enough production to even qualify as a legitimate starter.

        Run Support? In 14 of Hellickson’s 24 starts the Rays have scored 3 runs or less. Worley’s support has been that low in only 4 of 17 starts.

        I guarantee you if their respective roles were reversed, this wouldn’t even be a discussion. Worley has performed masterfully, but compared to Hellickson he is a distant second.

  5. yankeesfanlen - Sep 2, 2011 at 7:55 AM

    BTW, I get your plan too, Craig. The final month of the regular season will be punctuated by photos of the reactions and celebratory quirks of various home-run hitters.

  6. yankeesfanlen - Sep 2, 2011 at 8:04 AM

    And now a word about 4 hour games:

    I enjoyed my four hours and 21 minutes of baseball last night. Included within it was a 2 hour pitching duel and a low-scoring game. Each pitch, good or bad, was carefully considered and the hitters remarkably patient in pursuing them. 12 pitch at bats=offensive durability and an attempt to wear down the starter.
    Much better than non-DH ball, no slingshotters mowing down Punch-and-Judy hitters.

    • Jonny 5 - Sep 2, 2011 at 8:39 AM

      Hey, watch it there Lenny!!!

    • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 2, 2011 at 9:05 AM

      Worley went 1-2 for with an RBI single yesterday, Len. That’s more than you can say about your DH and 3B last night :)

      • yankeesfanlen - Sep 2, 2011 at 9:09 AM

        If AJ hits anything like he pitches, I wouldn’t have been safe in Jersey.

  7. FC - Sep 2, 2011 at 8:05 AM

    Craig sits down in his chair tugging his Braves bathrobe and picks up the morning paper. He notices the pipe is tapped out, no more bubbles. He’ll have to refill it later. For now he takes in yesterday’s box scores when he notices a package on his small table. Curious, he settles the paper down on his Phanatic rug and picks it up. He proceeds to unwrap the package and open the box. It’s some kind of bobble-head figure. Perhaps the new Tim Hudson figure he ordered online? He gingerly plucks it out of the box and immediately frowns. Looking back at him with a goofy smile is Ryan Howard with a tag that reads “30 HR, 100 RBI, 6 Years and Countin’ Baby!”. Craig sighs, rolls his eyes muttering “Silly Phans.”

    • kiwicricket - Sep 2, 2011 at 8:59 AM

      Craig has a selection of Monocles & Pendant Magnifiers for his viewing pleasure.

  8. Old Gator - Sep 2, 2011 at 8:26 AM

    Feesh doctors have come up with a new oxymoron – “shoulder instability” – to describe how Hanley’s left shoulder keeps popping out of its socket when he looks at it funny despite having “no structural damage.” Apparently Hanley is going to consider his options with the team feeshician for treating this nonexistent damage, which has not really kept him off the field for most of this season. The truth must be told: although Hanley seemed not to be on the field, he really was on the field, you just couldn’t see him. The invisibility of his nonexistent structural damage has extrapolated itself to mask all of him, kinda like baseball’s answer to the Romulan cloaking system. I was chatting with some other baseball fans at my weekly Jews for Buddha group meeting at our local hip synagogue, Beth Schlemiel, last night, discussing ahimsa (gezuntheit) gefilte fish recipes and considering how Hanley’s affliction might actually be a form of Zen koan: what is the sound of one hand clapping? When is structural damage not damage, but mere instability, a ruck in spacetime caused by the sheer mass of ineptitude? Yes, yes, we all know that Buddhist metaphysics is a lot like halfassed quantum mechanics. But, if you consider the evidence, it’s apparent that Los Manos de Piedra was indeed there all along, a kind of angel in the infield, and when Emilio Bonifacio appeared to be booting balls and pegging to some imaginary first baseman standing halfway between first and home or halfway between first and the foul pole, that was really Hanley throwing the ball away. Amazing stuff they can do with green screens these days.

    Anyway, the Feesh concluded the worst August in team history, then immediately set about laying the foundation-which-is-no-foundation for its worst September by bumbling, fumbling and stumbling away yet another game to the otherwise hapless Mutts. Clay Hensley, thusly subverted, came unglued (or maybe he just suffered an onset of instability cause by a lack of structural damage) in the third inning and got hisself yanked by the Curmudgeonly Undead in the middle of a 2-1 count, smacked the cooler on his way back down the birth canal to the locker room in a procedure meant to ameliorate his birth trauma, and then had unkind things to say – but, in keeping with the Zen spirit of structural damage which is no structural damage, and kindness and compassion towards all living things – did not say about that sweet old man who had just humiliated him.

    Tonight, the Feelies, with their murderer’s row of peetchers and their buffet table of very un-Zen horsemeat and Velveeta sandwiches (I mean let’s face it, Velveeta is a living thing, isn’t it?) invade Joeprodolshark Stadium, apparently having had nowhere near enough of meteorological instability (which should not be confused with structural damage to the atmosphere, which can only be caused by cattlle farts), will be graced all weekend by the eastern circulation of Tropical Depression 13, which is striving mightily to become Tropical Storm Lee even as I write this, which of course begs the Zen question of when a tropical storm is no tropical storm. Expect Bud Light to announce any minute now that the teams are going to play a triple header this afternoon in hopes of avoiding three straight rainouts.

    I think it’s entirely possible that Fiorentino and his gang of cuthroats, misanthropes, bullies, renegades, horse butchers, cannibals, Velveeta killers and castaways will get their weekend full of laughers as a runup to the impending clinching party (you have been firing up those stills already, haven’t you, guys?). But it’s going to be wet. But then, the best things always are, aren’t they?

    • kiwicricket - Sep 2, 2011 at 9:25 AM

      “smacked the cooler on his way back down the birth canal to the locker room in a procedure meant to ameliorate his birth trauma”

      combined with yesterdays ‘returning back to the birth canal under more favorable conditions’ line scores a 9.5 from the Russian judge Gator. Outstanding.

      • Old Gator - Sep 2, 2011 at 10:01 AM

        You mean the East German judge, right? Incidentally, when is an East German Judge not an East German Judge, O Great Sacred Ancient Llama? (Yeah, yeah, I know the Tibetan lama is spelled with one L, but in addition to being a Deadhead, I’m also a Cowboy Junkies fan, otherwise known as a llama in the Andean sense.)

      • kiwicricket - Sep 2, 2011 at 10:22 AM

        First country that popped into my head Gator. I’m an early 80’s child, I barely remember the Federation of Eastern block grain producers or whatever they called themselves. The East German Judge was implicated in the Mitchell report and disappeared under a cloud of suspicion remember…..

        Interesting fact….Ukraine in the 80’s had more Hectares of vines planted than N.Z has currently!

    • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 2, 2011 at 10:01 AM

      “I think it’s entirely possible that Fiorentino and his gang of cuthroats, misanthropes, bullies, renegades, horse butchers, cannibals, Velveeta killers and castaways…”

      I resent that Old Gator…we don’t ever make our cheesesteaks out of human flesh.

      • Old Gator - Sep 2, 2011 at 12:42 PM

        Then you’ve all lost your edge. I can still remember when you had fillet of Santa Claus and Velveeta sandwiches for Christmas.

    • phillyfrank - Sep 2, 2011 at 10:04 AM

      Gator, you wouldn’t happen to a Gentle Giant fan, would you? Your writing style is very reminiscent to me of someone who used to post to their mailing list.

      And yes, Velveeta is a living thing, which is why I never get it on my cheesesteaks. It’s either provolone or Cooper sharp for me.

      • Old Gator - Sep 2, 2011 at 12:50 PM

        Nope, never posted on the GG site. But if there is a cheap imitation of me out there someplace, I am going to have to hunt him down and liquidate him like a debt portfolio from Lehman Brothers.

    • spudchukar - Sep 2, 2011 at 11:51 AM

      Whether Velveeta is actually food has been a bone of contention of mine for some time. If it isn’t necessary to be kept cold, at your local supermarket, then I say it is more resembles plastic than something organic. Perhaps it can change forms like Viri (if Cactus becomes Cacti, then Virus must be…) lying dormant, only to assume life-like properties, when in close proximity to Carne de Caballo.

      This does of course raise the question, Can Velveeta influence other non-life entities, like the Undead. If so perhaps the Pheelies may find that their favorite “food” might awaken, then enlighten the Pheesh’s Phearless leader. Forget the Asteroid or Mud theories of the origin of life. I am proposing Pseudo Cheese/Zombie Hypothesis.

      • phillyfrank - Sep 2, 2011 at 12:02 PM

        From Wikipedia: “(horse meat) consumption is associated with the Teutonic worship of Odin.” Hmmm…could Velveeta have actually originated in Asgaard?

      • Old Gator - Sep 2, 2011 at 12:58 PM

        “Perhaps it can change forms like Viri (if Cactus becomes Cacti, then Virus must be…) lying dormant, only to assume life-like properties, when in close proximity to Carne de Caballo.”

        My own theory – based on admittedly limited greenhouse testing – is that it is made from the sap of Euphorbia, which, oddly enough, mimics cacti – there seems to be at least one type of Euphorbia for every type of cactus, as well as Euphorbia that mimics other types of plants (like Poinsetta, which is not a true deciduous plant but a Euphorbia masquerading as one). I think it was a brilliant stroke to create a Euphorbia that mimics cheese. I also believe that George W. Bush is actually a Euphorbia masquerading as a human. It is hard to explain such plant-like stupidity any other way. There are doubtless other forms of Euphorbia with human mimics – Bud Light, for that matter. I suspect, furthermore, that Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann’s boobs are really Euphorbia burl. Dead giveaway.

        On the other hand, and to be fair, I suspect that Nancy Pelosi is a morph of Dionaea muscipula .

      • Old Gator - Sep 2, 2011 at 2:26 PM

        Phillyfrank: re Asgard, no. I understand that worship of the underside of stallions was connected with the cult of Onan, and as such probably originated in Washington DC.

    • natstowngreg - Sep 2, 2011 at 12:58 PM

      And trees. Trees cause pollution. Ronald Reagan said so. It’s unfair to just blame cattle.

      • Old Gator - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:01 PM

        Trees don’t fart. They emit oxygen, which can be counteracted with simple antioxidants such as those identified by Dr. Serizawa as long ago as 1954. Methane, on the other hand, and as we all know, cometh from pig shit.

  9. agilmore1080 - Sep 2, 2011 at 8:54 AM

    Eric Hosmer hits 3 homers the past 2 days and doesn’t get mentioned anywhere? You’re slipping Craig.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 2, 2011 at 9:00 AM

      He’s on the same team as Frenchy, who hogs all of Craig’s coverage of the Royals :D

    • yankeesfanlen - Sep 2, 2011 at 9:03 AM

      Yeah, that Yankees prospect looks pretty good.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 2, 2011 at 9:08 AM

        I can almost hear the Yankees PA announcer now…

        “Batting 4th…playing first base for your 2017 New York Yankees…number 35…Eric Hosmer.”

  10. mplsjoe - Sep 2, 2011 at 9:18 AM

    When my brother and I were kids, we thought Hunter was about the most awesomest show ever. Then, several years later, we watched an episode (or maybe it was one of the several “movie-length” reunion specials) and realized how terrible it all was. A real reality check.

    • ditto65 - Sep 2, 2011 at 9:34 AM

      Mmmm, Dee Dee McCall.

  11. thinman61 - Sep 2, 2011 at 9:48 AM

    “Also: 4:21. Four a nine-inning game with six total runs scored. My lord.”

    And yet all y’all are still bitching about Josh Beckett, who pitched in the shortest game of the series.

    • kiwicricket - Sep 2, 2011 at 10:01 AM

      Please point out on this thread where ‘y’all’ of us are bitching about yesterdays game?

      • phukyouk - Sep 2, 2011 at 10:10 AM

        hey lets call it as it is. the first HALF inning took 31 minutes and the whole inning took close to an hour. so the next 8 inn only took about 3 hours not to shabby..

        Also craig you got some pretty bad typo’s in there this morning… not being nit picky im just sayin’

  12. Reggie's Bush - Sep 2, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    I bow to thee, old gator

    • Old Gator - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:02 PM

      Not good enough. Did you go naked into the wilderness and kill a wombat with a boomerang? Don’t come back here with those baskets of gold nuggets, opals and yellowcake until you do.

  13. APBA Guy - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:22 PM

    OG has been truly inspired the last two days, and it would perhaps require his gifts to adequately describe the pall of depression that has settled over the Bay Area as fans of Los Gigantes begin to realize that it isn’t going to happen for them this year. SF is six games back whereas last year they were 3 back at this point. But, last year the Padres were on a seven game losing streak, this year Arizona is 9-1 their last 10 games. More importantly, last year the Giants had Posey and were +69 in run differential. This year they do not and are -23. Finally, and most tellingly, the guy at the Lids store says that this year SF hats are dead, they are sending them back by the case. Last year they couldn’t get enough.

    Speaking of dead, the Good Gio was miraculously revived somehow and showed up at Progressive field yesterday. He was aided by Cliff “The Juggler” Pennington, 4-5 with a stolen base and 3 RBI, who also contributed his 19th error.

    Very quietly Conor Jackson slipped out the back door and on to Fenway, saving Wolff/Fisher half a mil, which is tip money for Fisher. Billy Beane’s secret plan to convert every mediocre journeyman to “utility player” status then ship them on seems to be working, as Jackson follows Mark Ellis’ exit after Ellis played 2 games at first. And who says the offense hasn’t improved this year? Last year Oakland had scored 534 runs at this point, this year that total is 543. See, +9. At this rate, it will only take 21 more seasons to catch up to the Yankees’ offense. Beane’s secret plan must be working. Genius.

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