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And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

Sep 22, 2011, 6:02 AM EST

New York Mets v St. Louis Cardinals Getty Images

Cardinals 6, Mets 5: And now St. Louis is a mere one and a half back. With games against the Mets, Cubs and Astros left. And when guys like David Freese drive in five runs, you’re entering team of destiny territory.

Marlins 4, Braves 0: Javy Vazquez is going to retire, he implies. If so, he’s going out in style. Stifling the Braves and helping them on their way to a near-historic collapse. That’s one he’ll always remember. Two hits for Atlanta. Two. Old Gator sent me an email late last night with pictures of anti-nausea medication and Advil. Please, Gator, next time just send some cyanide.

Orioles 6, Red Sox 4: Just another stunning loss for the Red Sox. Terry Francona after the game: ” “I’m not in a very good mood right now.”  Well, he shouldn’t be.  But at least this will cheer him up …

Yankees 4, Rays 2; Yankees 4, Rays 2: A game so nice they played it twice. Except the second game was way different, with Jorge Posada playing hero with a two-run tie-breaking single in the eighth. The first game clinched a playoff spot for New York, the second the AL East title. The Red Sox catch the hell for their collapse, but the Rays have simply failed to capitalize on it as best they can. As a result, there is now another team who might …

Angels 7, Blue Jays 2: Look who is also two and a half games back of Boston. Peter Bourjos had three hits including a homer and a triple. Vernon Wells hit a homer. Dan Haren had to leave when he was hit by a comebacker, but it was off his non-pitching hand and he should be good to go.

Diamondbacks 8, Pirates 5: Win number 90 for Arizona as they creep one more game closer to the NL West title. Miguel Montero was 3 for 4.

Giants 8, Dodgers 5: Not that the Giants are making it too easy. They aren’t going to catch Arizona, but they keep winning anyway. They’re 3. 5 back of Atlanta.

Cubs 7, Brewers 1: Matt Garza pitched a complete game, struck out 10 and didn’t allow any earned runs. It’s taking the Brewers longer than they thought to clinch this thing, but given that the magic number is at three, I don’t think there’s any reason to sweat here.

Nationals 7, Phillies 5: Five straight losses for the Phillies. Danny Espinosa and Wilson Ramos each hit two-run home runs. The Nats could theoretically still finish at .500. Much easier when you figure that they have three games against the Braves coming up.

Padres 4, Rockies 0: Colorado is limping to the finish line, losers of seven straight at home. Remember last spring when everyone thought that they were an attractive choice to win the west? Yeah, that was a long time ago.

Reds 2, Astros 0: Bronson Arroyo was one of the worst regular starters in all of baseball this season, but he looked pretty spiffy here. A six-hit shutout in which he only needed 91 pitches. Way to make him work, Astros.

Rangers 3, Athletics 2: Fun with round numbers: Ian Kinsler is the first second baseman in AL history to have 30 home runs, 30 doubles, 100 runs scored and 80 walks in the same season. Lou Whitaker probably would have done it once, but The Man wouldn’t let him. Texas’ magic number is three.

Mariners 5, Twins 4: Eleven straight losses for the Twins. For reasons that aren’t clear to me, I’m going to Cleveland tomorrow evening to watch them play the Indians. They may be the worst team I’ve intentionally watched live ever.

Tigers 6, Royals 3: Max Scherzer and Doug Fister each pitched so that Jim Leyland could arrange his rotation for the playoffs. I remember when my team thought about stuff like the playoffs. Sigh.

White Sox 8, Indians 4: Career win number 160 for Mark Buehrle. The White Sox draw dangerously close to passing Cleveland for second place! Which one day will sound way more impressive than it actually is.

  1. The Common Man - Sep 22, 2011 at 7:04 AM

    Please to enjoy Brian Dinkelman. This will be your last chance to catch him in a Major League uniform.

    • kopy - Sep 22, 2011 at 8:47 AM

      Is he still slugging his batting average? Waiting for him to get an XBH is like waiting for Tyner to pop a home run.

      • kopy - Sep 22, 2011 at 8:53 AM

        After further research: Yes. 18 hits, 18 singles.

      • docktorellis - Sep 22, 2011 at 6:11 PM

        My college roommates and I kept a bottle of cheap champagne in the fridge only to be opened in the event of a Tyner home run. When he finally hit it, we partied like it was a division championship. Later met Tyner at an an event and he very graciously and in good humor signed the empty bottle.

  2. phillyphever - Sep 22, 2011 at 7:14 AM

    Ok, I officially have hit the panic button. The Phila better snap out of this soon before this carries on to the postseason. If they don’t: well, better have vacation plans ready.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 22, 2011 at 7:55 AM

      They swung the bats better yesterday. Charlie obviously wasn’t concerned about winning as evidenced by bringing in Blanton, DeFratus, and Schwimmer in relief. Utley and Victorino look lost at the plate though. That is my real concern. Also, Bastardo is tipping his pitches. I’m not sure what he is doing, but I am positive that the Nationals knew when he was throwing his slider last night.

    • Panda Claus - Sep 22, 2011 at 9:28 AM

      They better not lay down in the playoffs. I’m counting on them as my last defense to prevent the Yankees from winning another title, if they somehow get to the WS again.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 22, 2011 at 9:42 AM

        They won’t lay down in the playoffs. Like I said the other day, the one time in this stretch when they had their full line-up in place, they put up 9 runs. While some of the regulars have been struggling (Utley, Victorino) players like Schneider, Martinez, Orr, and Gload always seemed to find themselves up in key situations….they didn’t produce. Furthermore, pitchers like Schwimmer and DeFratus have also found themselves in tight situations and have likewise not come through. All guys who, barring injury, will not be asked to do anything in October. Except Gload. He will, unfortunately, see a few important at bats in the playoffs. On a tangential note, come on Charlie if you are going to play the fringe guys how about giving Brown an at bat.

  3. Craig Calcaterra - Sep 22, 2011 at 7:16 AM

    FYI guys: Our friend Bicepts told me yesterday afternoon that he’s done commenting here. Not worth the hassle. He said he deleted his WordPress account too, so I presume he’s serious. He wanted me to tell you guys that you can still chat with him via Twitter. His handle: @biceptshalladay.

    I know ‘cepts drove a lot of you crazy — often drove me crazy too — but that’s life. If you expect to go through it without encountering people who aggravate you, well, good luck with that. After his temporary bannination, I was happy to see him (mostly) shape up and try to be nice to people. Obviously that didn’t always happen, but he stayed within my loose site guidelines. I took that as evidence that he valued chatting about baseball over pissing everyone off, and that’s something.

    ‘Cepts, if you feel like coming back, you’re welcome to do so. If not, enjoy lurking.

    • nolanwiffle - Sep 22, 2011 at 8:50 AM

      I, for one, enjoyed his presence here. He certainly kept things lively.

    • uberfatty - Sep 22, 2011 at 9:23 AM

      Bittersweet. Always enjoyed having someone stick to their guns in the face of all evidence to the contrary. I’ll miss those times the most…

      • Old Gator - Sep 22, 2011 at 9:36 AM

        I enjoyed him here too. Some months back I saw an interview with happy couple liberal lion James Carville and conservative operative Mary Matalin. It taught me a lot about coexisting peacefully with TPN network adherents. When ‘cepts of Fiorentino lose patience with me, I just think of it as Mary throwing a frying pan across the kitchen at her slightly anorexic Mr. Clean. I smile the Buddha’s smile and love prevails. ‘Cepts has to find his little thought-exercise and he’ll be fine too. I mean, come on, Hal – it’s the playoffs coming. Why not come back for the duration and then take the Weenter off if you need to exhale?

      • Gamera the Brave - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:49 AM

        If ‘cepts can describe the sound of hand typing, he’ll be fine…

      • Gamera the Brave - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:49 AM

        If ‘cepts can describe the sound of one hand typing, he’ll be fine…

    • sportsdrenched.com - Sep 22, 2011 at 9:30 AM

      Well that’s too bad. HBT certainly has less character without him. The rest of us will have to step up a little. Except for other parts of halladay’s anatomy. I think we’ve hit the point of diminishing returns there.

    • Panda Claus - Sep 22, 2011 at 9:34 AM

      I’m surprised by this news, yet I’m not. He chose to take a different path on here and worked up the consternation of others. So much so, I’m certain he generated automatic “thumbs downs” just when people saw who was making the comments.

      Occasionally he was quite capable of intelligent comments. His early journeys to the dark side [intentionally provoking others] probably caused many to stop reading his remarks, even when they were good ones.

      I’m actually more surprised ‘Cepts didn’t get his own story on this, as opposed to being worked into the “And that happened…”.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 22, 2011 at 9:36 AM

      I’m going to miss his presence as well. I enjoy unusual perspectives on things.

    • Kevin S. - Sep 22, 2011 at 10:18 AM

      Am I the only one who isn’t sad he’s gone? He’s a grandstanding attention whore who doesn’t really distinguish himself when he’s behaving and more often than not provokes more than he discusses. I mean, if he hasn’t done anything ban-worthy, he’s free to come back, obviously, but I just don’t see what he adds to the commentariat that makes him worth missing. And yes, he will be back. This isn’t the first time he’s pulled his “I’m done, I’m leaving and I’m not coming back” schtick. He’ll get this outpouring of support for him, his little ego with be stroked, and he’ll come back satiated. Fuck that shit.

      • nolanwiffle - Sep 22, 2011 at 10:36 AM

        It’s just a baseball blog…..I wouldn’t get too worked up over it all.

      • Kevin S. - Sep 22, 2011 at 10:45 AM

        It’s also one of the best baseball blogs on the interwebs precisely because of the mutual respect commenters have for each other and because Craig and company generally keep trash like bicepts out. Why people bent over backwards to accommodate him is beyond me, and served to the detriment of the blog more often than not.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 22, 2011 at 10:51 AM

        You don’t see the hypocrisy and irony in your own post? You are doing the exact same thing you accuse him of….foul language and all. The tone of your post is one of better than yet you resort to name calling and profanity.

      • Kevin S. - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:01 AM

        With all due respect, that’s a load of bull. Calling him for what he is doesn’t mean I’m stooping to his level. It’s like bigots complaining that those opposing them are also bigots because the opposition calls out their bigotry. Um, no.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:08 AM

        It’s not like that at all. Calling somebody out for being angry and confrontational while being angry and confrontational yourself is just silly. Using your analogy: it is like a team full of bigots calling out a team full of bigots. Note: I am not calling you a bigot. Just illustrating that if you are going to call somebody out, perhaps doing the exact same thing is not the way to go about it. But whatever. Not worth getting into an argument over. I don’t really care.

      • Kevin S. - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:19 AM

        Yeah, you didn’t care so much you went out of your way to twist what I said into being remotely comparable to bicepts’ usual drivel. I wasn’t angry, and I’m really not sure where you got that from. I’m really not sure how you would have wanted me to make my point. Did “fuck that shit” at the end really bother you that much?

      • uberfatty - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:20 AM

        FWIW, I don’t think he was grandstanding, or an attention whore. I think that he genuinely believed some pretty “out there” things (Europe and ball doctoring threads come to mind) and rather than defend his positions with facts and reason he used personal experience to determine that he couldn’t be wrong. He could be stubborn at times, but that was part of the charm and fun of it.

      • spindervish - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:24 AM

        What, exactly, is charming about willful and belligerent ignorance?

      • gogigantos - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:25 AM

        he lurks
        you feed
        he has taken his ball and gone home for a spell
        loving the attention he misses, for sure, he will be back
        and he should be, soon there will be only 11 and his Phightins to talk about
        the bombast and bluster, the ignorance, intolerance and insight, the heart on his sleeve,, it will all be back
        like a fish to bait on a hook
        he is our bait and hook,,,,,
        not even here and he gets many to rise to bite
        reeling us all in for his grand return
        his need for it all is greater than anyone missing him, he will be back
        anonymously lurking at his funeral to see who speaks well or ill of his demise, he will rise again, and soon I predict

        disappointed that Craig needed to point out his absence,, could have simply let it go a few days and the chatter would have been about his silence,, surely that would be enough to draw him back

      • Kevin S. - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:26 AM

        Believing out-there things may have been part of his charm, but the way he turned nasty on anybody who dared disagree with him was unacceptable. As I recall, you had to coax and plead with him to get any kind of response that wasn’t an attack or insult in the Euro players thread, and quite honestly the onus shouldn’t have to be on you to beg for a civilized response.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:27 AM

        You are being confrontational right now. There are undertones of anger and hostility in your post. All I am saying is you can’t bad mouth somebody for calling other people names and being angry while simultaneously calling him trash and using profanity. If you can’t see that, then whatever. I honestly don’t care what your opinion is of the subject and I’m sure the feeling is mutual.

      • gogigantos - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:27 AM

        oh my
        like a fish to bait I rise
        sorry, 7 and the Phightins,,
        damn my eyes

      • Kevin S. - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:48 AM

        I’m being a little confrontational now because I see a dissonance between repeated claims of not caring and repeatedly telling me what I think and what I’m doing. And for the record, I do care about your opinion here, at least a little bit. But it’s not anger. Maybe a little frustration at being misunderstood, such as the automatic assumption that profanity = anger without considering how it was used. And yeah, I think anybody who automatically demeans other people because of their (perceived) politics, lack of religion, methods of evaluating baseball players, or any of the other litany of reasons little t has used for attacking people over the months is trash, and no, I don’t think that puts me on his level, because he’s earned that title.

      • Gamera the Brave - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:52 AM

        gogigantos – that is the most bloated (but beautiful) haiku ever.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:58 AM

        Like I said, there were undertones of hostility in your spiel. Maybe it is a problem of perception on my part or maybe you just don’t realize the hostility in your own words. Whatever, either one is equally plausible. Furthermore, I wasn’t comparing the two of you in the overall totality of posts…just in this particular instance. Difference of opinion on this my man. Not a big deal. Also, I’m sorry I said I don’t care about your opinion. That isn’t entirely true. I value the opinions of most posters on this site (DirtyHarry and CupOPizza excluded). That was a flippant comment that shouldn’t of been said. So, again my apologies for that.

      • Kevin S. - Sep 22, 2011 at 12:34 PM

        Fair enough.

      • gogigantos - Sep 22, 2011 at 12:39 PM

        Gamera I blush
        as under the gaze of my dream
        xie xie ni
        this bloated old man thanks you

        really didn’t think anyone noticed, or notices :)

      • Old Gator - Sep 22, 2011 at 1:40 PM

        I dreamed
        I was the last reader
        at a poetry open mike.
        No one followed me.
        I read for six hours.

      • bigleagues - Sep 22, 2011 at 1:46 PM

        No. He ruffled my feathers on more than one occasion, but I was a tad surprised at how passionate he was about defending Theo the last few days.

        So I’m doubly surprised to hear that he has “retired”.

        Not sure HBT is a hassle, but it can be a tad on the addicting side . . . so perhaps he is taking the first step and admitting the problem :-)

      • cup0pizza - Sep 22, 2011 at 2:13 PM

        I’m very glad he’s gone. This place is better without the trolls.

      • Kevin S. - Sep 22, 2011 at 3:43 PM

        So why are you still here?

      • jimbo1949 - Sep 22, 2011 at 3:43 PM

        ironic?

    • The Common Man - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:35 AM

      I, for one, will miss ‘Cepts. Just because I disagreed with him practically at every turn, I don’t think it’s good for any commenter who wasn’t abusive to feel like he was being kicked out of a forum. I hope he comes back, but I also think that getting bent out of shape over the comments on a baseball blog (even a fine one such as this) is pretty silly.

      • The Common Man - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:39 AM

        I should clarify, I don’t meant that ‘Cepts was in any way kicked out of this forum. Or that he has a right to feel like he was. Wish we had an edit function so my previous comment could reflect that. :)

      • Kevin S. - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:39 AM

        He was abusive.

        He wasn’t kicked out.

        I’m not sure why people aren’t seeing this.

      • phillyphreak - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:43 AM

        I think the only thing I’ll miss about him is the crazy twists and turns he takes in his logic. His act was getting really old. If he were to only talk baseball (and leave out his political/social beliefs) without becoming aggressive, it’d be ok to have him around again

      • gogigantos - Sep 22, 2011 at 12:45 PM

        but he was quick to abusive
        early and often
        and not worried that he won’t be back, he will
        again
        like Ali, or the ‘delphian’s own Rockie
        how many times must he return?
        and am sure his comeback will be more of the same, until he can’t take what he dishes and takes his ball home again
        I wonder whose basement he lives in

        bait and hooks all you apprentice baiters striving to be masters
        he will return

    • cur68 - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:39 AM

      What? Again? Well I’ll miss him, I guess. He sure cared about his baseball and was always ready with an opinion on his team. I always felt that with some long term association with the rest of us he’d learn to shrug off the obvious attempts to goad him and laugh at the trolls, but he just never could. I appreciated his efforts to reform, even if they never quite sat right on him. Lots of people get on here and say stuff, rile the hell our of people and never, ever try and change how they say what they want to say. They just accept their role as message board a-hole and run with it (yeah you, ‘0pizza & dirtyharry). I always got the feeling that HB wasn’t wasn’t that way. He just wanted to talk ball and not have anyone insult his team. The guy was just too loyal to what he believed in. Which was exactly what was wrong with him and what was right.

      I used to live across the street from a cat that would attack dogs. Akitas, shepherds, corgis, rottweilers; all were taken on. Never learned to back off from a big fight or a bigger animal. Just charged anything on its property, claws flailing and howling cat insults. HB reminded me of that cat.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:51 AM

      The thing I learned early on about HB is this…if you disagree with him, you just have to say what you think and move on. As some have said…he’s stubborn, but aren’t we all to a certain degree.

      HB just didn’t seem to ever want to learn anything. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t agree with the people here all that much :D But I think the difference between HB and me is that I’ll admit when I am wrong and I will also admit when I learn something.

      In his mind, HB seemingly didn’t learn anything from commenters and was never, ever wrong about anything. :(

      • Jonny 5 - Sep 22, 2011 at 12:37 PM

        “In his mind, HB seemingly didn’t learn anything from commenters and was never, ever wrong about anything”

        Well there was that one time he ripped into me for sticking up for “HIS” opinion. I guess he thought I was being a smartass or mocking him, which I wasn’t. He did later admit he was wrong and sincerely apologized for it. Which I appreciated very much. I don’t think he’s a bad guy, he just takes everything a bit too seriously and people questioning his baseball knowledge probably pushed him past his limits.

      • paperlions - Sep 22, 2011 at 1:35 PM

        Chris, I think you summed him up pretty well.

      • natstowngreg - Sep 22, 2011 at 5:53 PM

        Good grief. Not about you, Chris, you’re right. It’s just that, once again, a thread has degenerated into a dabate about HB. And he’s not even here.

      • loungefly74 - Sep 23, 2011 at 2:01 PM

        sad to see HB gone. he did a great job of doing the most important thing to do on this site…give his 2 cents regardless if you agreed or not. i hear that he may have been harsh but hey, lets not get our panties in a bunch…its a comment section for crying out loud.
        i think the worst conversation i could have is with someone who agrees with me 100% of the time.

    • tomemos - Sep 22, 2011 at 1:09 PM

      Count me as another who won’t miss him and doesn’t understand the nostalgia. It’s not like the guy died, guys, jeez. He just decided to stop posting at a website. The state of the conversations here will improve as a result; so will his well-being, I’m sure.

  4. southofheaven81 - Sep 22, 2011 at 7:33 AM

    The Yankees have agreed to keep beating the Rays so long as the entire city of Boston kneels down, one by one, and kisses George Steinbrenner’s tombstone.

  5. halladayslabia - Sep 22, 2011 at 7:56 AM

    My friend, Evil Cartman’s other friend, told me today would be a good day support my evil twin from another universe, halladaysbiceps. He said among other things, my modest twin from anther universe, halladaysbiceps, had been self centered. My twin Cartman wishes he had gone further, but whatever. Myself, Evil Cartman, as well as others, feel his comments to be self serving and self-indulgenl. I quote halladaysbiceps, so you, the readers, whom may also see him as I do, won’t have to look it up. Here is yesterdays quote from halladaysbiceps, regarding a homeless man missing from Giants stadium, whom happened to resurface at a Dodgers game.

    “This is great news!!! Like I said last month when his story was posted on HBT and people were fearing the worse, I stated that you never know about homeless people/transients and their intentions. He probably moved on, as I stated. This was proven to be true, and I’m glad.”

    -“This is great news”. — The Phil wrorks in mysterious ways

    -“Like I said last month when his story was posted on HBT and people were fearing the worse” — If you are right, you are right. Keep telling them!

    -“I stated that you never know about homeless people/transients and their intentions.” Okay me from another dimension, my other dimension self was right, so enough with the narcissism.

    -“He probably moved on” Tell it like it is brother…I mean evil twin

    –“as I stated.” No doubt bro, tell them who found him.

    –“This was proven to be true, and I’m glad.”—- Oh my god. My Evil twin just took credit 5 times in 2 sentences for finding a missing homeless man. I am the Evil Cartman, hence the Evil halladay, but I am speachless. Cartman just took credit for finding a homeless man feared dead.

    What is Evil Cartman to do?

    What is Evil Halladay to do?

    • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 22, 2011 at 8:08 AM

      ??….More and more bizarre.

    • kopy - Sep 22, 2011 at 8:34 AM

      what

    • Francisco (FC) - Sep 22, 2011 at 8:42 AM

      Err… go back to mildly amusing, you overdosed on the bizarre there.

    • nolanwiffle - Sep 22, 2011 at 8:54 AM

      That didn’t work…..on any level. I already miss halladaysbicepts.

    • hittfamily - Sep 22, 2011 at 9:45 AM

      No one read Halladays diatribe yesterday or recognizes it was written in a 12 minute .window…I take thanks in his goings! What up phils

      go Rays

      A Ray of sun shine is like a ray of win,
      and those bastards from beantown are ewaring sunblck

      • The Common Man - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:42 AM

        I take thanks in spellcheck. I wish everyone else did.

    • cur68 - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:45 AM

      Whatever man. You’re a real crusader. Setting the record straight and all that. Don’t forget to pat your own back on the way out.

  6. Meg - Sep 22, 2011 at 8:00 AM

    And when guys like David Freese drive in five runs, you’re entering team of destiny territory.

    Yeah, how bizarre that a guy hitting in the .290s with 10 hr and 50-some RBI in essentially a half-season of playing time would bust out for a big game..

  7. yankeesfanlen - Sep 22, 2011 at 8:16 AM

    Over at the Universe, our Kindly Imperial Commander, er Captain, tells us we have a lot of work to do now as he gently pours champagne down the back of Kim Jones head so as not to get any in here sparkling-enough eyes.
    I truly envy the fans who had tickets for both ends of the doubleheader. Come for the pitcher-by-committee, stay for the histrionics of grizzled-veteran-wins-the game-at-the-end. 1930s M-G-M could not do it better.
    However, Yankees Baseball is a weird mix of Art and Science, and must be presented thusly. Quite pleasing in it’s own unique way.

    • Old Gator - Sep 22, 2011 at 10:36 AM

      Kim Jones now, is it? Tough life.

      • jimbo1949 - Sep 22, 2011 at 3:53 PM

        Kimberly Jones, newspaper and YES network reporter. While interviewing various Yankees in the locker room was doused liberally with champagne by all concerned.

  8. Jonny 5 - Sep 22, 2011 at 8:20 AM

    “The Nats could theoretically still finish at .500. Much easier when you figure that they have three games against the Braves coming up.”

    The Nats have a winning record against the Phills. They have Strausbionic 2000 facing your Braves too this time. Does anyone else see this team picking up another pitcher and then competing with the Braves and Phills for the division and WC spot? Soon I think.

    • Francisco (FC) - Sep 22, 2011 at 8:45 AM

      Caveat: The Nats have an 6-8 record against the Phillies.

      The Nats have a 3-0 record against the AAA Phillies.

      • natstowngreg - Sep 22, 2011 at 9:28 AM

        This is partially true; you can’t say that about Cliff Lee’s loss. But they’re still wins. When you’ve been rooting for a team as bad as this one, anything is appreciated. For Nats fans, it’s a time to appreciate the improvement, and the prospect for further improvement.

        As I said in another thread, if Rizzo can find another SP and a CF, maybe next year, maybe not. There’s still the matter of the offense striking out too much and stranding too many runners, thus wasting decent pitching. Ir’s good that one can even think about the possibility of contending next season.

        The best the Nats can do is 82-79, with one game canceled. That will be tough, given the final 3 games during the celebration of The Football Stadium of Many Names in South Florida..

      • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 22, 2011 at 9:34 AM

        I don’t think they have to limit themselves strictly to a CF as far as another outfielder goes. Werth can play CF very well. Maybe they could go after one of the first basemen on the market and have Morse play for OF. I know he isn’t good out there, but he makes up for it with his bat.

      • Francisco (FC) - Sep 22, 2011 at 10:23 AM

        Actually you can even lump Cliff Lee into that, 9ks 11 hits? He’s pitching like it’s ST. Fact remains the Phillies have nothing to play for, they’re more concerned about resting and staying healthy. Why press in a meaningless game? You can’t tell me that if the games meant the division wasn’t on the line this series would have played much differently with a full lineup. I fully expect the Phillies to lose again tonight.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 22, 2011 at 10:34 AM

        Green Day said it best, and it certainly applies here…”Wake me up when September ends” If they lose October 1st or 2nd, then I’ll be worried. Until then…ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

      • frenchysplatediscipline - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:28 AM

        Fiorentino – There is some merit to what you say but clinching it early and resting/shutting it down for a few days isn’t always the best course of action. Sometimes it is hard to turn it back on again quickly and before you know it the 5 game series is over.

        However with that pitching staff, I think you can go back to sleep and rest easy. Your lineup could keep cold until the NLCS and your top three starters will still ensure a sweep of the NLDS.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:32 AM

        frenchy…the thing is, whether they went 12-0 or 0-12 after clinching, I wouldn’t have felt any differently about the team heading into the NLDS…provided nobody important got injured. This is a team that has no excuses…they should make the World Series and if they do not, the season will be a colossal failure any way you look at it.

        p.s. nobody important = Doc, Lee, Hamels, Mr. Lucky, Mr. Overrated, J-Roll, Hawaiian, and Utley.

      • spudchukar - Sep 22, 2011 at 2:36 PM

        Denial.

      • natstowngreg - Sep 22, 2011 at 6:08 PM

        Good Doctor, it wouldn’t shock me if Werth went into 2012 as the starting CF. However, Rizzo’s efforts to trade for a CF show that he thinks Werth would be best staying in RF.

        Morse has been playing LF again, as the Nats give Chris Marrero an extended tryout at 1B. Defensively, Morse would be better off at 1B, but Adam LaRoche should be returning. It’s unclear whether the team thinks Marrero is the longer-term answer at 1B. His defense reminds one of Adam Dunn’s (not a compliment), and he hasn’t shown he can hit MLB pitchers for power (yet).

        Basically, once Bryce Harper comes up, the Nats will have to sort through their surplus of 1B and corner OF talent. My hope is that they leave Werth in RF, get a rangy CF, put Morse at 1B, and Harper in LF.

  9. joshftw - Sep 22, 2011 at 8:49 AM

    It’s nice to see the natural order of things restored to the AL East.

    • protectthishouse54 - Sep 22, 2011 at 9:23 AM

      All that’s left is to see the other teams sweat it out. 4 more against the Rays and 3 against the Sox. I always want to win, but maaaaybe we drop a couple close ones to the Rays in that time. Girardi will likely rest the crap out of everyone which I hate, but the Binder does what the Binder wants.

      • Panda Claus - Sep 22, 2011 at 9:40 AM

        The thought of taking the foot off the gas pedal may not happen until best record is locked up. About a five-game lead there I think.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Sep 22, 2011 at 9:49 AM

        If my math is correct, and it’s usually not so someone double check, the magic number is 3 to clinch home field.

      • yankeesfanlen - Sep 22, 2011 at 9:54 AM

        Church – That’s what I come up with as well. Why does it seem more difficult when figuring against the Tigers and Rangers?

  10. sportsdrenched.com - Sep 22, 2011 at 9:49 AM

    I’ve watched Jose Valverde’s act for a couple seasons now. I don’t have a horse in the playoff this year. But my one wish for this years is for someone to shell Valverde.

    It’s times like this I’m glad closers have short shelf lifes.

  11. Chris Fiorentino - Sep 22, 2011 at 10:08 AM

    The one thing that really annoys the crap out of me about this whole “Aren’t the Yankees the greatest things since sliced bread” notion is this…yeah, they are the Al East champions and yeah they showed the moxie that they ALWAYS show. But come on everyone…the fact remains that they were picked to make the playoffs by just about everyone. The only thing they showed is that they are not the chokers that the Red Sox are.

    Fact: If the Red Sox had played .500 ball in September(10-10 instead of 5-15), they would be 2.5 games out of first, they would have just about clinched the wild card, and the only thing everyone would be talking about with regards to the Yankees and Red Sox is how they are setting up their rotations for the ALDS.

    Now, had the Yankees beat up on the Red Sox, then I would be able to give them a little more credit in causing their demise. But they only played once this month and are 1-0 against the Sox.

    And for you Yankees fans who are going to say I am dissing the Yankees…I am NOT. All I am saying is that the Yankees did what they were supposed to do and the Red Sox did not. Period. The Yankees were NOT Underrated…the Red Sox were VASTLY OVERRATED.

    About the Phillies…eh…”Wake me up…when September ends.”

    • vintage1496 - Sep 22, 2011 at 10:23 AM

      How do you expect anyone to think you’re not dissing them when you make a back-handed compliment like “The only thing they showed is that they’re not chokers”? I agree with most of what you said (Boston choked big time, New York hasn’t had luck against them this season), but don’t give yourself too much credit.

      I don’t think there’s half as much “Yankees are the greatest things since sliced bread” talk and there is “Phillies are the greatest things since sliced bread” talk, and there’s only three games’ difference between the two teams.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 22, 2011 at 10:31 AM

        So now you are saying that you are offended as a Yankees fan because they are only 3 games behind the Phillies(it was 7 games when the Phillies clinched so that’s a pretty odd thing to think, but OK) and aren’t getting the same type of publicity as them? LOL Yankees insecurity…it’s FANTASTIC!!!

        My post directly takes issue with those who say “See how the “experts” were wrong about the Yankees” when really nobody was wrong about them. They are in the playoffs, as 99% of the people picked. What the “experts” were wrong about is the Red Sox…they picked them to win the division and the Yankees for the WC but 99% of them picked both teams to win around 95 games and make the playoffs. The Yankees did their jobs and the Red Sox, as of right now, did not. For people to say the Yankees, as I heard one guy say last night, “defied the odds”…HUH??? Seriously? They have the highest payroll in the league, almost everybody picked them to make the playoffs, and they did. How did they “defy the odds”?

      • vintage1496 - Sep 22, 2011 at 10:42 AM

        No you misinterpreted. You are criticizing the Yankees for the amount of media attention they’re getting, when they’re essentially just as good a team as the Phillies. One would assume two teams with almost identical records would be receiving the same amount of press, and you act like everything written about the Yankees is totally blown out of proportion.

        I haven’t heard any of the talk you speak of in your second paragraph, but if it’s out there I agree, that’s absolutely retarded.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 22, 2011 at 10:55 AM

        Well, vintage, you are being a little silly about comparing the Phillies and Yankees based solely on their records. As I said…when the games meant something, the Phillies were 7 full games better. The Yankees picked up 4 games since the Phillies clinched. I wouldn’t compare them based on their records.

        I would say that the difference in starting pitching puts the Phillies slightly ahead of the Yankees, but the Yankees offense is far superior to the Phillies. I never said I expect the Phillies to beat the Yankees in the World Series…I have always said I expect them to get there. Just as I always expected the Yankees to get there too…whether it be from the Wild Card or the Division.

  12. Old Gator - Sep 22, 2011 at 10:30 AM

    Feesh Flush: the Chihuahua happened upon a fatal accident on the I-595 connector to the Florida turnpike west of Ft. Lauderdale – an execrably designed flyover melange with lefthand blindside merges, improperly banked curves and a traffic flow that was ten times too much for it on the day it opened and which has bred one horrifying pileup after another. It’s now being torn up and rebuilt, thank Buddha – only took our local engineers thirty years of these nightmare accidents to figure out it didn’t work very well, bless their featherbedded souls.* Anyway, the Chihuahua was badly shaken by his experience and may have peed on the carpet at the Macondo Banana Massacre expo trailer when he finally arrived. He kept repeating “I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t do anything.” Nothing like an encounter with hardcore reality to restore your sense of perspective about who and what you are – except that the situation was merely inappropriate to the Chihuahua’s area of expertise, which is lying, misrepresentation and browbeating (he also claims to know something about old movies; he really doesn’t).

    On to brighter things: Craig, there’s no over-the-counter cyanide anymore. Used to be you could get it in powdered form in little cans you were supposed to pry open, hang from the end of a broom handle and shake over hornet nests and beehives. Yep, son, that’s how we did it before 40-foot-stream hornet spray cans. How about just eating canned spaghetti till you burst, like that lawyer in Seven? I understand two packets of Beefaroni™ work just as well – when the rescuers got to the Donner Party in the spring, they found two unopened cases of it in one of the supply wagons. It was being saved as a last resort.

    Javy Vasquez: what can you say about the guy? He’s going out in a blaze of glory, unlike just about everyone else on this totally forgettable team except the Iron Giant. Speaking of whom, he went two for four with a double and his batting average is inching up to .270. He’s 21 years old, has 34 dingers and closing in on 90 ribbies and you have to marvel at his slow, steady learning curve this year. He’s taking more walks, getting more line drive and groundball hits, and you can tell by the looks on their faces that he’s already giving opposing pitchers wet dreams – the yellow kind. When he walks out on the field at Macondo Banana Massacre Field next spring and notices that he’s lost ten or fifteen feet off the outfield all the way around, you think he’s gonna smile a little, maybe? The kid is going to be worth paying to see for the next decade and change, even if he has to wear that unbearably awful new logo (assuming that’s it) until he’s arbitration eligible.

    *Any one of us who grew up playing with Kenner Girder and Panel or Bridge and Turnpike building sets could have taken one look at the original blueprints for that mess and muttered, “this is gonna kill a lot of people.”

    • Old Gator - Sep 22, 2011 at 10:32 AM

      Oops, hit send too soon again. Coda. Logan Morrison debuted his new Mohawk™-plus-ducktail hairdo last night.

      It looks idiotic to the point of pain. Bury his hairstylist at Wounded Knee and let’s move on.

  13. APBA Guy - Sep 22, 2011 at 11:56 AM

    Bob Melvin showed off his new 3 year deal to the fans of Oakland last night. Brandon McCarthy worked the zone for 7 magical innings, taking a little off here, adding some movement there, and holding the Rangers to one run over that span. Then No Longer Interim Bob sends Grant Balfour, a stick straight fastball pitcher, to the mound in the 8th, with the resulting blasts from Kinsler and Josh forseeable, predictable, and inevitable. Meanwhile, CJ Wilson, doing what he does, gives way to Uehara, Mike Adams and Feliz for the 3-2 win.

    The Phillies crush fastballs. So do the Rangers. I understand not wanting to get beat on your second best pitch, but getting beat on your best pitch is still getting beat. And 93-94 against Josh is like taking the ball and throwing it up in the stands. Nelson Cruz is the same way when he’s healthy, which he is far from being at the moment.

    So the A’s sentimental journey is about to end, awash in a tidal wave of “Moneyball.” Last night the great and powerful Beane sat in the broadcast booth for an inning to handle softball questions from Ray and Glenn (ex.: “How does it feel to see someone play you on the big screen?” Answer “Pretty good, when that someone is Brad Pitt.” Much barfing ensues.) Rangers go for the sweep today. It should be easy, but the Texas team almost seemed too relaxed yesterday.

    • Old Gator - Sep 22, 2011 at 1:48 PM

      You found that house in Tampa yet? Sounds like you’re ready for it. And anyway, you can always move to San Jose when conditions warrant.

      • APBA Guy - Sep 22, 2011 at 2:41 PM

        Detecting an overarching negative tone to my comments? There are a few Tampa neighborhoods I wish I could afford.

  14. marinersnate - Sep 22, 2011 at 1:03 PM

    Mariners 5, Twins 4: ….”For reasons that aren’t clear to me, I’m going to Cleveland tomorrow evening to watch them play the Indians. They may be the worst team I’ve intentionally watched live ever.”

    Cleveland? But the M’s are headed to Arlington. Oh, you meant the Twins. So you are saying that the Twins are worse than the M’s? Um, ok.

    On thing for sure, The California/Los Angles/Anaheim Angels of Anaheim need the M’s to channel some of that inner 1995 and take a couple from Texas (not likely in Arlington, especially with Texas hitting on all cylinders and in full playoff mode) to make those last three Texas/Anaheim games meaningful. Realisticly, the Angels have a better shot at Boston and the wc than they do the AL West. And just to stir the pot a bit, I will say this: It would sure be nice to see the AL WC come out of a different division than the AL East for a change.

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