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And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

Sep 20, 2011, 5:55 AM EDT

Omar Infante

Marlins 6, Braves 5: It’s all so fitting, isn’t it? Omar Infante — Braves All-Star representative in 2010 and the chit that went Florida’s way in the big trade that was supposed to improve the team — killing ‘em with a walkoff homer? The Braves single greatest weapon this year, Craig Kimbrel, blowing the lead?  If it wasn’t so nausea-inducing, it would actually be comical in some way. After the game Chipper Jones and Fredi Gonzalez blamed the light configuration in Sun Life Stadium for causing Jones to lose the chopper that let Emilio Bonafacio reach right before the Infante homer. Please. They may as well just blame the cruel fates. We’re no longer playing baseball here, people. We’re in the middle of an epic tragedy. An epic, choking tragedy.

Cardinals 4, Phillies 3: More evidence that this is being controlled by some greater power and not man himself? The headline “Lohse outduels Halladay.” Like that’s going to happen without divine intercession.

Orioles 6, Red Sox 5; Red Sox 19, Orioles 9: I guess the win in the nightcap arrested the slide for now, but it’s not like Boston can feel great here. I mean, what’s the game plan?  “Let’s score 19 runs?” Erik Bedard needs to provide a nice, bullpen-saving start today.

Yankees 6, Twins 4: This one was all about the Mo.  Congratulations Mariano Rivera on save number 602.

Diamondbacks 1, Pirates 0: Ian Kennedy wins his 20th in a dominant outing (8 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 12K). Still only makes him the fourth best pitcher in the NL this year at best, but it’s still a nice outing in a breakthrough season.

Blue Jays 3, Angels 2: It’s getting dark for Anaheim. Adam Lind drove in the winning run with a 10th inning grounder, in a game full of defensive failures on the Angels’ part. They’re five back of the Rangers now.

Astros 3, Reds 2: Tie breaking homer for Matt Downs in the eighth. Four straight losses for the Reds.

Padres 8, Rockies 2: The Rockies had only one hit off CoryLuebke. It was a two-run homer, but still just the one hit.

Cubs 5, Brewers 2: Two homers for Geovany Soto. Their loss and the Cardinals’ win keeps the magic number at 4.

Mariners 12, Indians 6: A nine-run third inning tends to lead to a win. Mike Carp drove in five, including a grand slam.

  1. hittfamily - Sep 20, 2011 at 7:24 AM

    Matusz is the worst major league pitcher I have ever seen. Lackey is terrible, but he looked like Cy Young compared to that bum. Way to come up clutch Brian. O’s skip his spot in the rotation vs the Rays, but throw him to the wolves vs the Sox. Well managed Buck.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 20, 2011 at 8:07 AM

      The Rays are one back in the loss column on the Red Sox. The Red Sox are not going to win all the rest of their games, so the Rays have no one to blame but themselves if they don’t get the Wild Card or at the very least a tie. They have destiny in their hands. Win out and they will get the Wild Card. Let’s not blame the O’s and who they pitched against the Rays a week ago. Sounds very petty…as if it’s Buck’s job to get the Rays into the playoffs over the Red Sox.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 20, 2011 at 8:11 AM

      It was also the second game of a double header. Maybe he doesn’t start if there isn’t the added game.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 20, 2011 at 8:27 AM

        But dr…you missed the importance of the Rays making the playoffs over the Red Sox here. Buck has clearly managed this situation very poorly.

      • Francisco (FC) - Sep 20, 2011 at 8:56 AM

        I’m going to stick a sign there (<– SARCASM) before they jump on you Chris.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 20, 2011 at 9:01 AM

        FC, I’m frankly shocked they haven’t jumped on hitt a little more. His comment above just sounds so crazy to me…as if Buck managed the season poorly by not pitching Matusz against the Rays but then throwing him to the wolves against the Red Sox. I mean…come on dude…I know you are a Rays fan, but you can’t kill Buck for that. Such a silly statement.

    • indaburg - Sep 20, 2011 at 1:08 PM

      Here is another Rays’ fan take on this. The Orioles split a doubleheader with the Sox so the Rays neither lost nor gained ground. Good job, O’s. (No sarcasm intended.) A split was the most I expected from a .400 team battling the vastly superior Sox team. Hopefully, the O’s can pull off another win today and the Rays can take care of business against the Yankees.

  2. proudlycanadian - Sep 20, 2011 at 7:26 AM

    The Red Sox continue to lose the close games and to win the blow outs. The hitters have padded their stats in the blow outs but as they have rarely had a lead in the 9th inning, Papelbon still hasn’t had a save opportunity this month.

    The Jays welcomed back a couple of old friends yesterday. They let Wells get to third base in the top of the 10th before stranding him. In the bottom of the 10th, they scored an unearned run off Downs. The Angels needed a win and will not make the playoffs.

    • hittfamily - Sep 20, 2011 at 7:40 AM

      Paps got 1 save vs the Rays. But you are right; he job is worthless. The Sox best reliever sits on the bench, while their scrubs get called on to dowse the flames in the 5th, 6th, and 7th. By the time the 9th rolls around, the Sox don’t have the lead. Time to rethink how to use Paps effectively, and if it is in the 6th inning, so be it.

    • heynerdlinger - Sep 20, 2011 at 8:39 AM

      Papelbon still hasn’t had a save opportunity this month

      Well, except for last Friday.

    • Ari Collins - Sep 20, 2011 at 9:47 AM

      Damn those Red Sox hitters for choosing when they get their hits poorly! Perhaps they’re even choosing SELFISHLY!!

      Oi.

  3. Jonny 5 - Sep 20, 2011 at 8:08 AM

    The Phillies are the Honey Badgers of baseball right now. They just don’t give a damn I tell ya. Clinched home field advantage with last night’s loss they did.. Well, lets see if Cliff Lee can win the Cy young award tonight. I’ll be there to see it, hope there’s no rain….

    • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 20, 2011 at 8:18 AM

      You should be good for the night game. Day game might get rained on some but nothing crazy.

  4. halladaysbiceps - Sep 20, 2011 at 8:08 AM

    I give St. Louis a lot of credit. With their backs up against the wall and hungry for the postseason, they took 3 out of 4 from the Phillies. That’s where my praise ends.

    The Phillies are playing like bums. They win the division early and all of the sudden these games don’t matter or are meaningless? Nonsense. In the last 2 days, they have left a boat load of runners on base and can’t seem to knock anyone in. Ryan Howard means more to this Phillies lineup than anyone knows. Is it a mere coincidence that with him out of the lineup, they can’t seem to get these clutch hits? When the Big Piece is in the lineup, they are a much better team. At least start John Mayberry Jr. at 1st for a power threat. Not Ross Gload, who hasn’t hit a homerun since last year.

    Don’t tell me these games don’t matter for the Phillies. They do. St. Louis just whipped up on the Phils and took 3 out of 4, the first team this year to do so against them. I want to see more fire from the Phillies. Play like NL East champs and not chumps.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 20, 2011 at 8:17 AM

      The games don’t matter to the Phillies at all. Charlie already hinted that he is going to run out a scrub line-up the next several days. I’m sure they would have liked to win those games, but it is just natural to let up a tad when the regular season goals have been clinched. People say, “you can’t just flip a switch and turn it on.” I disagree. You certainly can increase your focus, energy, and concentration. If they flame out in the post season it will have nothing to do with this current spell. Relax and enjoy the next week or so, there will be plenty of time to worry and lament poor play when the second season rolls around.

      • halladaysbiceps - Sep 20, 2011 at 8:24 AM

        I disagree 100% to you, Doctor. With the exception of Howard, the Phillies have rolled out their A lineup these last few days and got their asses handed to them. I don’t care that this team has already won the division. To not be upset that this team lost is absurd. This team can relax all they want after the postseason is over. They owe it to the fans that showed up and payed to sell out the place the last few nights.

        I praise or lament them every game. Just like you say players can’t flip a switch and turn it on, as a fan I can’t just flip a switch and turn it off.

      • phukyouk - Sep 20, 2011 at 9:28 AM

        lets not forget the 2000 Yankees.. they did the same thing except for like the last 3 weeks. the Phils are not over exerting themselves so that they are ready for the playoffs plain and simple. trust me when i tell you that its better that Doc got it out of his system now rather than next week. dont get me wrong.. ALMOST nothing would make me happier than to see the Phils lose in the first round but they will show up and the WS, If the Yanks or Tigers make it, will be VERY VERY interesting

    • paperlions - Sep 20, 2011 at 8:19 AM

      You calling the Phillies bums is perfect, reminds me of old video and quotes from Brooklyn Dodger fans…and that is particularly apt because you seem to have the same type of passion as they did.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 20, 2011 at 8:25 AM

      The Phillies are fine. Whether they win the rest of their games or lose the rest, it will have ZERO impact on how they do in the playoffs. ZERO. They could go 10-0 and it wouldn’t give me any more or less confidence in them come game 1 of the NLDS. They are hungover and they played against a team who NEEDED the games. The Phillies do not NEED to win another game.

      Again, it doesn’t matter if they go 10-0, 0-10, or 5-5…game 1 of the NLDS is the next game that means a hill of beans to them. The ONLY important thing between now and then is that everyone stays healthy. If you think the next 10 games mean anything to them in the playoffs then you are overreacting.

      • Francisco (FC) - Sep 20, 2011 at 8:32 AM

        All true, still if they’re going to mail it then till the rest of the season why watch or even bother going to the games, you know, just forfeit? I disagree on the whole turn it on, turn it off. Even Charlie says that the layover between the NLDS and NLCS affected his hitters. He’d better play his starting lineup everyday in the last 5 or 6 games if he wants his team in any kind of shape or focus for the postseason.

      • halladaysbiceps - Sep 20, 2011 at 8:33 AM

        Chris,

        People keep saying that these games have no implication for the playoffs. Chris, where have I said that? All I’m saying is I don’t like how they are playing right now. They are laying back and playing the game with no fire. I can see it as I watched the last couple of nights.

        It’s called game-by-game analysis. If you want to call it overracting, you can. I call it watching a game and being angry about what I am seeing on the field.

        According to you, it sounds like I should stop watching the regular season and wait to watch another Phillies game in October.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 20, 2011 at 8:41 AM

        FC I’m not saying it is a conscientious turn it on turn it off thing. It is human nature. I don’t think they should stop trying to win. All I am saying is that no matter what happens the rest of the way, it will have ZERO influence on what they do in the NLDS. Period. If they score 10 runs a game for the next 10 games, it won’t make me any more confident going into the playoffs so why would i let them struggling make me feel any less confident???

        HB “According to you, it sounds like I should stop watching the regular season and wait to watch another Phillies game in October.”

        If you are going to worry about how they are playing every single pitch of every single inning, then this is probably a good idea. Wait for the NLDS to start so that you aren’t overreacting every night to a team that clearly is preparing for the playoffs having clinched everything they possibly can without their #1 run producer in the line-up.

        Let me ask you this…if they win out, will you be more confident in them than you already are?

      • halladaysbiceps - Sep 20, 2011 at 8:50 AM

        Chris, I think you are misunderstanding where I’m coming from. I’m not even thinking about the playoffs right now. I’m just commenting on what I see on the field the last 2 nights. It’s September 20th and Phillies still have 10 games to play. I still want to see some good baseball on a nightly basis over that stretch. Is that too much to ask? I am just watching a game and commenting that I don’t like how they are playing right now. I don’t need to see them win out. I just want to see them be more clutch at the plate and knock in some of the 500 runners left on base that they have had on base the last few nights.

        You keep on using the word overreacting. It’s not overreaction. I’m calling the last few games as I see it. They are playing flat baseball right now. This has nothing to do about October. It’s about the here and now.

        Do you now understand where I’m coming from?

      • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 20, 2011 at 8:58 AM

        Yeah, I see what you are saying. They are 15-7 in their last 22 games though. I think it is unfair to say they are playing flat or like bums based on 2 games against Carpenter and Lohse…after they just poured champagne all over themselves all night Saturday night and were clearly hungover Sunday night. I didn’t expect them to win and they didn’t. Then last night, as you wrote, they don’t have Mr. Lucky and they still almost came back and won with the tying run on base in the bottom of the 9th. Usually when Doc pitches, 3 runs is enough, but last night it wasn’t. I’m not going to say that Doc is flat or pitching like a bum right now. Your problem is that you live and die with every single game and while that is admirable when the games count, it just sounds silly when they do not. But it is your prerogative and I would never tell you how to root for the Phillies.

        I’ll just say this…keep your eye on the prize man. WS Champs 2011. And that trophy being hoisted up will happen whether they lose the next 10 or win the next 10. As far as I am concerned, these last 10 games are like pre-season football…completely meaningless.

      • gb4ever0811 - Sep 20, 2011 at 9:03 AM

        I am in complete agreement with Mr. Halladay’s Biceps. They need to play like they mean it for at least some of these games. Go Phils!!

      • Francisco (FC) - Sep 20, 2011 at 9:08 AM

        I would say rest and heal for the next 4 or 5, and then the last 5 or 6 play all your regulars everyday, get them into rhythm and comfortable at the plate. Of course I say that with 0 experience in managing a baseball team. The closest I’ve ever come has been my statis-pro-baseball cards and being pieces of flimsy card-stock they really never complain about going 10 or 20 games in a row and my ace reliever can save 6 or 7 games in a row without a hitch.

    • Francisco (FC) - Sep 20, 2011 at 8:30 AM

      They’re playing like bums! Right Mickey?

      Mickey: Bums I tells ya, those other players are hungry, these guys? They haven’t been hungry since they got their rings. The worst thing happened to them that could happen to any team, they got civilized…

  5. yankeesfanlen - Sep 20, 2011 at 8:40 AM

    For a moment, Nick Swisher was confused about why he was applauded for grounding into a double play. Maybe the 40,400 fans were misidentifying him as Beep-beep. Then he realized he had just saved Mo’s “save”
    Ah, the conumdrum of the Universe. All those games vs. the Rays.But we are absolved- BoSox fate is their own.
    Just NEVER pitch AJ Burnout again.

    • uyf1950 - Sep 20, 2011 at 9:47 AM

      To yankeesfanlen, how are you doing today my friend? It is kind of comical to hear fans cheer a double play by a Yankee player while the game was still within reach by the opposing team. But like you said the fans wanted to see Mo make his record breaking save, and that they did.

      As for our “friend” AJ Burnett, if yesterdays performance wasn’t the final straw to show Girardi the AJ needs to be relegated to the “pigpen” then I don’t know what it will take. As a starter he’s as useless as “knots on a log”. And I think I am not the only Yankee fan who might have that opinion.

      • yankeesfanlen - Sep 20, 2011 at 10:07 AM

        Hi uyf – Now it kind of comes down to who we want and have to prepare for in the ALDS. And want has nothing to do with what will happen. Looks like the Rangers which is fine by me, they don’t look as sharp as last year, but I don’t watch them every day.
        Tigers sources tell me that the rotation isn’t as good as the record indicates after Verlander. Scherzer is good, Porcello iffy. The late inning offense is what ours should (and used) to be. However, this is against AL Central teams primarily.
        And Girardi and Cashman should pick the roster carefully, not on the basis of pride (Grumpy) or money (AJ).

      • APBA Guy - Sep 20, 2011 at 12:08 PM

        Gentlemen-

        The beloved A’s have 3 starting tonight against your probable playoff opponent. I’ll be sure to call it as I see it in reports on those games, so be sure to check in around noon your time.

        The Rangers haven’t clinched yet, I think their magic number is at least 4, so expect them to play reasonably hard against the A’s. And coming from Safeco, they should be somewhat adjusted to the Pacific time zone and hitting in a pitcher’s park. Only one day game for Josh to worry about also.

        Matchups are:

        Holland v. Harden
        Wilson v. McCarthy
        Lewis v. Cahill

        McCarthy is throwing the best of the 3 A’s pitchers right now.

  6. spudchukar - Sep 20, 2011 at 9:26 AM

    Well “Cepts, this is one time when you are getting it right. Losing this series at home to St. Louis, not only keeps the Cards hopes alive, it should be a concern seeing how the Red Birds may well be your first round match-up. It is still an uphill battle for sure, but we go home to face the Mets and Cubs and finish in Houston so a 6-3 finish is probable, and the sputtering Bravos may well go 3-5 or worse. Lots to be decided in the final series vs the Phightens’.

    Of course their are many more positives than negatives, for the soon to be 100 win Pheelies but losing this series cannot but help the Cards confidence. I believe that makes 7 out of 10 this year with 7 being in Philly. Yes, you were without Howard for most of the series, but St. Louis was also missing Holliday, pretty much of a wash.

    The biggest confidence boost was the outing by Lohse. He not only shut down the Philadelphia nine, he pitched around some awful defense, by the usually sure-handed Punto and Furcal. Series starts on the 1st of October with two in Philly, then on to the WC team for two after a day off. Not to get ahead of myself, but St. Louis may go with Carp then Lohse, save Garcia for game 3 at home. Then back to Carp for a possible game 4 and then who knows in a game 5.

    But we have greater concerns, especially with the Giants breathing down our necks. Will be rootin’ for the Dodgers and Phillies in the next 10 days, who would have thunk it?

    • halladaysbiceps - Sep 20, 2011 at 9:32 AM

      I tell to what, spuds. Your Cards played with some huge stones these past 4 games. Pujols, who normally kills the Phillies, had another big series against us. Carpenter and Garcia looked great. I like your Cardinals club a lot.

      I will be pulling for the Cardinals to win the wild card. They play baseball with a certain swagger that I like.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 20, 2011 at 9:35 AM

      “Not to get ahead of myself, but St. Louis may go with Carp then Lohse, save Garcia for game 3 at home. Then back to Carp for a possible game 4 and then who knows in a game 5. ”

      Seriously, Potatoman? You are setting up the Cardinals rotation for the NLDS when they are 2 games out in the loss column with 9 games to play? Ugh. Then you have “Carp” starting game one when he, if the rotation stays how it is, will likely be pitching the final game of the year on Wednesday the 28th. So he is going to pitch on 3 days rest in game one of the NLDS? Wait, I’m actually debating the game 1 starter for the Cardinals with you, when the Cardinals aren’t even leading for the WC????? Ugh on me now.

  7. Chris Fiorentino - Sep 20, 2011 at 9:34 AM

    “Not to get ahead of myself, but St. Louis may go with Carp then Lohse, save Garcia for game 3 at home. Then back to Carp for a possible game 4 and then who knows in a game 5. ”

    Seriously, Potatoman? You are setting up the Cardinals rotation for the NLDS when they are 2 games out in the loss column with 9 games to play? Ugh. Then you have “Carp” starting game one when he, if the rotation stays how it is, will likely be pitching the final game of the year on Wednesday the 28th. So he is going to pitch on 3 days rest in game one of the NLDS? Wait, I’m actually debating the game 1 starter for the Cardinals with you, when the Cardinals aren’t even leading for the WC????? Ugh on me now.

  8. spudchukar - Sep 20, 2011 at 9:50 AM

    Not out there guaranteeing anything Fior, just fun speculation. I am quite aware that we still have an uphill battle, complicated by the Giants on our heels. But the schedule does favor us, and the 3 out of 4 in Philly was a necessary ingredient in an unlikely scenario, that up til a few days ago, looked grim. Remember the ol’ 91% chance? It now looks about 40-60 and we do have that fickle seductress Momentum on our side.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 20, 2011 at 9:57 AM

      OK, well while we are speculating, assuming the Braves don’t go COMPLETELY in the tank, and the final game is needed, since it is “Carp”s game, he won’t be pitching in the NLDS until game 3 unless he goes on short rest on Sunday, Oct 2nd. Do you think he will do that and will he be as effective on short rest?

      • spudchukar - Sep 20, 2011 at 10:04 AM

        Perhaps we should be talking about a play-off match-up for the WC. With the Braves tougher schedule and the Giants on fire, it sure isn’t out of the question. How about a 3-way tie for the WC? Is it a coin flip for the bye? I believe that is so, and that usually occurs about a week before the season’s end. Sure is fun to be in the conversation.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 20, 2011 at 10:06 AM

        Playoff matchup would be nice, although I don’t want the Giants anywhere near it. Let the Braves and Cards knock themselves around, but I’ll still be pulling for the Braves since I want the young and dumb D-Backs in the NLDS. Let the Brewers fight with the Braves and then see what happens. Either way, though, would be fine because I’m not afraid of anybody except the Giants.

  9. Ari Collins - Sep 20, 2011 at 9:55 AM

    For all the panic, 2 games up with only 8 to play is a pretty tough lead for the Rays to make up, especially with a harder schedule. Glad the Rays are making it interesting, though. Both for the fans’ sake and so people pay attention to how very very good the team is.

    Also, Ellsbury’s inside-the-parker was neat. Really rooting for him to hit two more homes and reach the previously-unfathomable total of 30 HRs.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 20, 2011 at 9:58 AM

      1 in the loss column, ari. Only 1 in the loss column. Meaning that the Red Sox only have to lose one more game for the Rays to be in control of their own destiny.

      • Ari Collins - Sep 20, 2011 at 10:26 AM

        But that extra game the Rays have to play is within their 4-games-against-the-Yankees-in-3-days stretch. I’m not sure how “in control of their own destiny” they really are.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 20, 2011 at 10:36 AM

        Well, technically, they are because if they win, they are in. Will it be tough? Yeah of course, but they dug themselves this hole so now if they are good enough, they will dig themselves out of it. And if they don’t get it, there will be nobody to blame but themselves. I’m with you on the this being interesting though…always fun to have meaningful games in late September.

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