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And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

Sep 19, 2011, 5:20 AM EDT

Joel Peralta AP

Rays 8, Red Sox 5: Tim Wakefield got a lot of love for his 200th win last week. But it didn’t change the fact that Tim Wakefield doesn’t have a whole hell of a lot left. Now only two games separate these two in the wild card race. And the Rays-love has gotten so crazy that I almost feel like going full-bore contrarian here and may start rooting for the Red Sox. Ah, maybe not. But the desire of the non-Boston people to see the Rays pull this off has gotten near-comical.

Blue Jays 3, Yankees 0: Adam Lind homered twice and Brandon Morrow shut the Yankees the hell down, allowing four hits in eight shutout innings, striking out eight.  To be fair, the Yankees sent out a lineup that you couldn’t pick out of a lineup. Maybe they knew the Red Sox would lose and that it didn’t matter?

Mets 7, Braves 5: Four driven in for Ruben Tejada as the Mets take two of three from the Braves. Johnny Venters walked three and gave up two hits, including a homer, in one inning of work. For those who care, the Braves had exactly two things going for them in their march to the playoffs: strong starting pitching and a shutdown pen. The first one went by the wayside with injures several weeks ago. Now the second one has questions too. R.I.P. Braves season. Whether it ends with the wild card or not, this is a dead team walking.

Giants 12, Rockies 5: And don’t look now, but the Giants are on a freaking roll.  Eight straight wins, this on the back of two Pablo Sandoval homers. Too little too late? I suspect so. And in some ways I hope so. Not because what’s good for them is bad for my team, but because I’m pretty sure there won’t be anything more insufferable on the planet than Giants fans playing the “no one believed in us” card if they make the playoffs. And they’ll be right. And they themselves were included in that as recently as a week ago, though I suppose that part will be conveniently forgotten.

Cardinals 5, Phillies 0: Two homers for Allen Craig and a homer for Albert Pujols. One freakin’ time all year I root for the Phillies and they drop two of the first three. Gee, thanks guys.

Nationals 4, Marlins 3: I think Jack McKeon and Davey Johnson arranged the Hand vs. Wang matchup just to see how many baseball writers would go crazy with the headlines. But not me. I’m above that. At least I am after Wang won the game.  If, however, Hand had handled Wang, I couldn’t have been held responsible for the sheer amount of juvenilia that would have emanated from my keyboard. Oh, and Hand has lost successive games to Wang and Dickey. Just so you know.

White Sox 10, Royals 5: A.J. Pierzynski hit two homers. I’m sure he did it in the nastinest way possible.

Indians 6, Twins 5: The Tribe scored six in the seventh, thanks in part to two fabulous things: a Shelley Duncan homer and a Jim Thome infield single. Jason Repko was beaned by a Justin Masterson sinker that didn’t sink and had to be taken to the hospital, so that sort of took the fun out of it all.

Brewers 8, Reds 1: Milwaukee sweeps the Reds behind homers from Prince Fielder, Carlos Gomez and Corey Hart and a nice outing from Zack Greinke. Cincinnati had only two hits for the second day in a row. Smells like they’re mailing in the last two weeks. Milwaukee will probably be the next team to clinch a playoff spot.

Diamondbacks 5, Padres 1:  Or maybe the Dbacks will be. For, yes, San Francisco is charging, but Arizona’s magic number is five, and that’s a pretty sure bet. Joe Saunders pitched splendidly. Paul Goldschmidt drove in three.

Angels 11, Orioles 2: Baltimore has been a pesky little spolier in the past week or so, but not yesterday. Erik Aybar went 4 for 4 with two homers and a walk and scored five times. The five runs ties a 13-year-old team record held by Tim Salmon. Jered Weaver pitched well on three-days’ rest, winning his 18th.

Rangers 3, Mariners 0: But no ground was gained by the Angels because the Rangers beat King Felix. Four Rangers pitchers combine to blank the M’s.

Dodgers 15, Pirates 1: Half a dozen NFL teams didn’t score 15 yesterday so, hey, nice goin’ L.A. Four a piece driven in by Jerry Sands and Juan Rivera.

Tigers 3, Athletics 0: Justin Verlander wins his 24th. Which seems like an MVP-type number in ways that 23 isn’t. No, I’m not changing my mind. I still don’t think Verlander should be the MVP. But I bet a lot of voters who were on the fence will be pushed there because of his 24th win. All of that said: Verlander’s wins seem a hell of a lot more solid than most guy’s gaudy win totals in recent history. This was a three-hitter over eight shutout innings. The vast majority of his wins have come with authority this season.

Astros 3, Cubs 2: A Carlos Pena would-be homer was called a double on replay — pretty correctly, I’ll add — but that didn’t stop Mike Quade from arguing it and getting himself ejected. Anyone else think that the Mike Quade administration is just about over?  Yeah, me too.

  1. crpls - Sep 19, 2011 at 5:41 AM

    So unfair that the Marlins had to play my Giants AND the Nationals on the same day.

    • Old Gator - Sep 19, 2011 at 9:05 AM

      That’s just the Feesh’s karma these days after an entire season of give-a-shit baseball and eight years of contempt for its fan base on the part of its front orifice. I had a choice between cleaning the barbecue grill and watching the game yesterday. I chose the grill. You’ll notice I did not say that I chose to watch the Dolfeens, who, I suspect, are just the Feesh benchwarmers in helmets and falsies. As Macondo temperatures plummet into the upper 80s and it becomes necessary to prepare the barbecue for the heartier fare for the fall grilling season, the Feesh’s cretaceous-tertiary season becomes less of a memory than a collection of statistics deducible from carbon dating a little prematurely.

      Tomorrow the Feesh play the Braves. Be hopeful and of good cheer, Craig.

  2. gogigantos - Sep 19, 2011 at 6:22 AM

    still an improbable hill to climb,,
    but strange things in strange light are often found
    stranger is the outburst of offense
    calendar, Kershaw, schedule and still score runs,, seems a bit much really, but it is fun
    nine to play, ten for the Cards, Giants need to do better than win the last three series and get some help,, could happen
    insufferable isn’t when getting in happens, it is when the rotation rolls the postseason like last year,,, will be insufferable for sure then

  3. btwicey - Sep 19, 2011 at 7:38 AM

    I may have been the last person to hear the hand Wang joke but I rofl that’s brilliant!!

  4. yankeesfanlen - Sep 19, 2011 at 7:39 AM

    AAAARRRGH Mateys, the Universe better score some runs or ye’ll be walkin’ the plank. Cap’n Joe has to be puttin’ some spice in that ol’ squaliwog AJ or we be keeholin’ the lot.

    • Utley's Hair - Sep 19, 2011 at 7:59 AM

      Yaarrrgggghhhhh!!!!! Craig’ll be hittin’ the rum today with the karma being paid for previous and future Phightins vitriol. The Phils be makin’ his timbers shiver for it this weekend. Blimey me mateys. AAAAARRRRRRGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Old Gator - Sep 19, 2011 at 8:37 AM

        I don’t know where you guys got your silly “pirate” patois. None of you sound even a little bit Somali.

      • Utley's Hair - Sep 19, 2011 at 11:09 AM

        It’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day, Gator.

    • Utley's Hair - Sep 19, 2011 at 11:08 AM

      So, Len, rum cake for Talk Like a Pirate (Non-Pittsburgh Division) Day?

  5. Chris Fiorentino - Sep 19, 2011 at 7:48 AM

    Mets fans around America have to be rooting for either the Rays to win the WC(8 games back with 21 to play), the Giants to win the NL West(9.5 back with 17 games to play) or Atlanta to choke the NL WC(8.5 up with 21 to play). If any of those three happens, their monumental choke in 2007 could be forgotten.

    Me…my name’s Paul and this is between ya’ll.

  6. joshftw - Sep 19, 2011 at 7:54 AM

    Come on Craig, there’s no reason to ever root for the Red Sox.

  7. 4d3fect - Sep 19, 2011 at 8:03 AM

    Out here Aybar was informally christened the Admiral.

  8. Utley's Hair - Sep 19, 2011 at 8:20 AM

    Take that, Craig. The Phightins did manage to pop some bottles for Mr. Overrated, though—and they didn’t back in to it, either.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Sep 19, 2011 at 8:24 AM

      Why the “take that?” It’s like people have totally forgotten that, my rooting interests aside, I picked the Phillies to with the division by double digits and considered them my favorites to win it all.

      • yankeesfanlen - Sep 19, 2011 at 8:28 AM

        Aye, hang ’em from the yardarm, Capn Craig
        Welcome back Ut, ol’ matey, ave a lil grog to settle yeself.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 19, 2011 at 8:33 AM

        Yeah, Craig…but did you say you would streak down Broad Street if they didn’t lead the division by 10 games by September? 😀

      • Utley's Hair - Sep 19, 2011 at 9:23 AM

        I guess my sarcasm didn’t make it through the portals?

      • cur68 - Sep 19, 2011 at 12:27 PM

        I told you we needed a sarcasm font Craig. Did you listen? Noooooo. Now here you are, hoist on your own petard (<—see what I did there? I too, can make an obscure pirate joke. Arr. Or something).

      • Utley's Hair - Sep 19, 2011 at 1:35 PM

        Rum cake today, Seisenta?

  9. heynerdlinger - Sep 19, 2011 at 8:28 AM

    I’m still waiting for all of the national writers opine about how the current Wild Card structure has given us a great race in the AL. Or are we supposed to believe that the Rays-Red Sox duel down the stretch would be more exciting if they were playing for home-field advantage in a playoff?

  10. proudlycanadian - Sep 19, 2011 at 8:48 AM

    It is up to Baltimore to follow the script and be spoilers. I think that they can do it.

  11. Old Gator - Sep 19, 2011 at 8:57 AM

    Speaking as a Floridian, I have no desire to see the Razed overtake the Beanbags. For one thing, who wants to have to watch the cameras pan the inside of the Tropicana Tumulus (not to mention the outside) for another week? The place is so depressing and ugly that just knowing it’s there drives the gulls to the dump – ever wonder why nothing shits on your car in the parking lot of the Trop? Second of all, those of you who have recently “discovered” the Razed don’t have to avoid the Tropicana Wart the way Razed fans do. It’s not that the team has few fans. It’s just that they’d rather stay home and watch them on TV or read about them in whatever the local feeshwrapper calls itself than subject themselves to that wretched “special use facility,” which I think is what Dick Cheney used to call Abu Ghraib. If you had to go there to see the Razed play, you’d be rooting for the Beanbags, since the Trop is arguably uglier than Kevin Youkilis and Jason Varitek combined. To quote one of the cockaroaches at the end of Weerd Tayles, “no kud be such ugly.” Third, what everyone really wants is a Borg-Beanbag playoff so that the natural order of the Universe can be restored after an eight year period of unnatural equilibrium.

    • indaburg - Sep 19, 2011 at 9:13 AM

      Speaking as a fellow Floridian, speak for yourself, OG. Stick to Macondo and leave the little bay to those of us that actually live here.

    • buddaley - Sep 19, 2011 at 12:16 PM

      You really don’t have a clue. Tropicana is not among the best stadiums, but it isn’t all that bad either, and as most people, both in and out of St. Petersburg have noted, it is actually a pretty good place to see a game. There have been a few writers who made a point of visiting and rating all major league ball parks, and their ratings for Tropicana are generally positive.

      • Old Gator - Sep 19, 2011 at 2:20 PM

        Of course the Tropicana Carbuncle is a great place to see a game. There’s no one sitting in front of you so you can put your feet up on the seatback. There’s no one sitting behind you so you can just fling your cup over your shoulder when there’s no watered down beer left in it. The only thing you need to worry about is having that obese predator drone that prowls beneath the rafters go out of control and plough into your cheese fries. That, and the chance that incipient postgame onset depression (IPOD) when the effects of sitting in the lurid effulgence of that place finally get to you on the Bradenton side of the Skyway.

        I suspect that the writers who think the Tropicana Midden is a great place for a game work for the DoH and inspecting the thing on a routine basis is what keeps them employed in a period of sharp government cutbacks.

      • buddaley - Sep 19, 2011 at 4:04 PM

        Wrong again. And as for the beer, Tropicana has a stand that sells excellent beer, not Bud, Millers, Coors or other imposters.

        As for attendance, aren’t people tired of the same old tired cliches by now. We get it. The Rays have an attendance problem. They are near the bottom of baseball in per game attendance. The issue has been beaten to death with many explanations, alibis, analyses, but I doubt that dissatisfaction with the field itself (I don’t mean its location) is among the primary culprits.

        So have fun, if it pleases you. And while there, concoct more commentaries on the Cubs’ failure to win a World Series since 1908 (we haven’t heard that one enough) or Pittsburgh’s long streak of sub .500 seasons (another howler) or maybe you still find the Yankees’ payroll or the steroid hysteria a fresh subject. As much as I bemoaned Boston’s championship in 2004, at least it ended the “curse of the Bambino” crap.

      • Old Gator - Sep 19, 2011 at 6:56 PM

        It pleases me immensely, obviously. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to mention my Feesh, who aren’t “near” the bottom in attendance, but at it. In a couple of years, when the novelty of Macondo Banana Massacre Field wears off, they’ll most likely be back at it. Anyway, it wasn’t my contention that playing in an ugly, depressing stadium was responsible for the Rays’ attendance problem. How could it be, given what gluttons for punishment humans are? You could dig the entire execrable lump of gunite up by the foundations, float it across the bay and roll it on sequoia logs to some ideal spot near the junction of I-4 and 275 and even if attendance improved – which it doubtless would – it would still be the premiere architectural abortion and poster child for sick building syndrome in professional sports.

        And what’s worse, they would still be playing designatedhitterball in it.

  12. Jonny 5 - Sep 19, 2011 at 9:02 AM

    Pujols really whipped it out on Cole yesterday. That was a serious f&^%ing home run. He left the part of Philly not watching the Eagles in awe with that hit. He is the kind of guy who will violate you if you’re a pitcher, yet you can’t help but enjoy it.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 19, 2011 at 9:13 AM

      King Albert crushed that ball. He’s up over .300 and I think if the Cardinals make the playoffs he should win the MVP. He’s carried them the last month. Of course, he’s a couple points behind in the all-important WAR statistic…meaning that he wouldn’t deserve it because he hasn’t been as much better than a replacement at his position as Kemp has been this year…LOL.

      • uberfatty - Sep 19, 2011 at 9:35 AM

        Just wanted to jump in and say that WAR adjusts for position, so it actually does compare players at different positions against each other. “Replacement” player is just any random joe schmoe regardless of position becuase of that adjustment that is taken into WAR.

        That being said, Pujols has had a great year (well, great May-Sept). Kemp has been better.

      • fearlessleader - Sep 19, 2011 at 11:44 AM

        Kemp’s an MVP in the sense that without him (and Kershaw), the Dodger Stadium crowds this season would be nonexistent rather than merely paltry and dwindling. He’s more than done his part to try to keep the Blue Crew relevant and respectable during the McCourt Massacre.

        Pujols needs a new award invented for him—MIM (“Most Indestructible Machine”)? MRC (“Most Ridiculously Consistent”)? The fact that he’s still a decent bet for a .300/100/30 season after his miserable start and his broken wrist is a mind-boggling triumph of mind over matter. As a Cardinal fan born too late to watch Stan Musial play, I feel stupidly lucky to get to witness Albert’s amazing career. [Please, no jokes about witnessing it in pinstripes next year. I’m a hardened baseball realist but I still might cry.]

  13. indaburg - Sep 19, 2011 at 9:06 AM

    Let’s go O’s! They looked good this weekend against the Angels.

  14. Francisco (FC) - Sep 19, 2011 at 9:11 AM

    Well that was a grueling weekend. Dropping two of three to the Mets! The Mets of all teams! Craig had just changed his Bathrobe and refilled his bubble pipe when he sat on his high chair to this morning’s paper and video highlights. The screen was already on showing the various bloopers and heroics of the weekend. He had to type up a Weekend Wrap-up pretty soon. At least no obnoxious bobble-heads were lying around, there was no package on his table… but then he spotted something on the mantle of his fireplace… was that- Jimmy Rollins!?!?!?!? He needed to install new security in this place!

    Craig walked slowly to his fireplace crossing his arms puffing bubbles like mad as read the tag: “Still the team beat baby! 5 Straight Division Crowns and counting!”. Craig frowned and basically read the toy figure the riot act: “Get your act together and stop playing scrubs against the Cardinals! You do still need to secure home-field advantage! The one time I root all year for you and you disappoint me… Those who disappoint me aren’t usually around for long…”.

    He grabbed the bobble-head and was about to casually toss it into the fire when Drew Silva’s head lit up on the display in a corner.

    “Hey Craig how are you doing? What’s that in your hand? A Jimmy Rollins bobble-head? Tsk, tsk, Craig I know it’s in your rooting interest for the Phillies to beat the Cards but holding a Phillies toy like an idol? You’ve reached a new low. Now I suppose you’ll be offering it rum.”

    Craig was annoyed and set down the figure on his table and pointed at the screen with his pipe. “Watch it Drew, I force-choked the last person who crossed the line with me. You’re early, the meeting doesn’t start till ten in the morning.”

    “Well I wanted to say hi first before we got down to business, tough luck on that weekend series eh? At least the Falcons beat the Eagles right?”

    “I’m sorry what? What are these falcons you speak of?”

  15. - Sep 19, 2011 at 9:53 AM

    I was out of pocket most of the weekend. I did notice that even though the Royals lost, they scored more than the Chiefs. And with that I’m off to PFT, and then CFT.

  16. phillyfrank - Sep 19, 2011 at 10:12 AM

    “…a lineup that you couldn’t pick out of a lineup.” Heh. Cool.

  17. APBA Guy - Sep 19, 2011 at 11:48 AM

    The A’s played the Washington Generals to Verlander’s Harlem Globetrotters yesterday, dutifully going through the straight-man motions of recording unthreatening out after unthreatening out. But off-script, Jose Guillen’s calf injury will degrade the Tigers lineup for the last week and probably into the post season, something they don’t need.

    For the A’s the season can’t end soon enough. Even with spectacular weather the only decent crowd of this series was Friday’s Fireworks night. Of course the great and powerful Beane did an interview for “Moneyball”, in which he basically said that he has no new bight ideas for turning the A’s around. Gee, Billy, the last 5 seasons are evidence enough of that. He did not comment on rumors that he might be on his way to Chicago, along with every other West Coast GM.

    The Rangers handled King Felix, largely on an Adrian Beltre “take that” home run. The Angels have to make up 5 games in the next 10. With the Rangers in town to play the A’s, that’s very, very, very unlikely.

  18. spudchukar - Sep 19, 2011 at 12:17 PM

    Something tells me the “Phightens”, aren’t goin’ to be phighten all that hard in the three game final series vs. the Bravos if it means either St. Louis or San Francisco will benefit from them defeating Atlanta. With Jurrjens out and Hansen questionable, look for the Pheels to be “resting” the regulars. “Resting” is a pseudonym for we would prefer not to Phace; Lincecum and Cain or Carpenter and Garcia.

  19. The Rabbit - Sep 19, 2011 at 12:37 PM

    You need more love for the Panda than that. His first at bat was a triple and both of his two HR’s were in the 4th inning. And people are worried about his weight.

  20. goawaydog - Sep 19, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    Panda hits two home runs in the same inning, and Cain goes deep over straight center field for a two run dong.
    Best part was the announcers as Cain crossed the plate and turned for the dugout krukow:”think he might smile now?” to which Kuipers responded:”no way, he is STILL ticked off at Joe West!”
    I will be willing to eat crow for any dispariging remarks i made about the Giants should they make the playoffs. I will also enjoy being insufferable. Go Giants!

  21. professor59 - Sep 19, 2011 at 4:09 PM

    Almost any matchup with Wang is a writer’s wet dream.

    Wang vs Dickey?
    Wang vs Fister?
    Wang vs Leake?
    Wang vs Wood?

    And my personal favorite:
    Wang vs Furbush?

  22. natstowngreg - Sep 19, 2011 at 5:24 PM

    Enough of the feeble, juvenile attempts at humor. Do you still think Chien-Ming Wang may be finished, as you said after his first two starts?

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