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And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

Sep 23, 2011, 5:49 AM EDT

New York Mets v St Louis Cardinals Getty Images

Mets 8, Cardinals 6:  Wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles, the Mets saved the Braves’ bacon, at least for another day. The Cards had a 6-1 lead after seven, but the bullpen — obviously channeling April — blew it. Or La Russa blew it with the parade of relievers and intentional walks to load the bases and all of that kind of nonsense. Whatever the case, a six-run ninth against a Mets team that looked to be mailing in this getaway day game for the first several innings is inexcusable. If the Cards fall a game short of the wild card, this will the game they look at and wonder how in the frak they let it get away.

Rays 15, Yankees 8: The Rays shave a half game off Boston’s lead by pounding New York. Matt Moore: money. He struck out 11 in 5 innings in his first big league start. I have no idea if Tampa Bay will catch Boston, but I know that they’re gonna be good for a long time after this year.

Blue Jays 4, Angels 3: The Angels, alas, do not make up that half game. Walkoff shot for Edwin Encarnacion in the 12th. Check out the home run call. Pretty fantastic stuff.

Nationals 6, Phillies 1: Look: the 2010 Phillies were pretty dominant in September and they lost in the NLCS, so it doesn’t necessarily mean anything. But dudes, seriously. When something called a “Brad Peacock” shuts you down for nearly six innings you have to take a look in the mirror. A sweep by the Nats, who now look to kill the Braves’ season this weekend. Six straight south for the Phillies.

Orioles 6, Tigers 5: The O’s have won eight of ten. Yes, last year taught us not to draw too much from what happens after the meaningful baseball games end, but it’s been nice to see Baltimore play like they mean it these past couple of weeks.

Indians 11, White Sox 2: Asdrubal Cabrera drove in five. Tribe starter Jeanmar Gomez won his fifth straight since being recalled from Columbus. Speaking of guys going up to Cleveland from Columbus, I’ll be at the Indians-Twins game tonight, sitting in the Tribe Social Suite with other bloggery types. I mean look: when you can drive 130 miles to see the 2011 Minnesota Twins play, that’s just something you do.

Twins 3, Mariners 2: Oh, maybe I shouldn’t hate on the Twins too much. They’ll be heading in to Cleveland on a winning streak. A one-game winning streak after dropping 11 straight. Rene Tosoni hit an RBI double with two outs in the ninth to win it.  No, I have no idea who Rene Tosoni is. If you would have asked me before I read the box score I would have assumed that he was a composer. Light opera. Maybe got into some television scoring in the early 50s before he died.

Athletics 4, Rangers 3: Oakland avoids the sweep behind a bullet-dodging start from Trevor Cahill. Ten hits in six and two thirds, but the Rangers weren’t able to string ’em together well enough to do too much damage.

Dodgers 8, Giants 2: Matt Kemp: 4 for 5 with a two-run homer and three doubles. M-V-P! M-V-P!

Astros 9, Rockies 6: Four RBI for Carlos Lee, three for Matt Downs.  Alex White gave up five runs in four and two-thirds innings, hitting two batters and throwing two wild pitches. But hey, at least he’s not in Ohio.

  1. Ari Collins - Sep 23, 2011 at 6:33 AM

    I was listening to Fiddler just last night. Weird.

    Not the biggest TLR fan, but I don’t think you could call him in any way responsible. There was only one intentional walk (did I miss one of those intentional unintentional walks?), and that guy didn’t come around to score.

    Too bad, though. I was rooting for the Cards to make things interesting. I think the Braves are pretty safe now.

    • paperlions - Sep 23, 2011 at 8:04 AM

      In the end, it was Motte’s fault as he couldn’t find the plate….but when a manager insists on using whole-sale starting in the 7th or 8th of every single game, and the team goes from a 5 run lead to a 2 run loss after those changes, the over-managing is just too annoying to ignore, even if it wouldn’t have mattered if Motte throws strikes….but then, that is the point, isn’t it. All of LaRussa’s over managing would never matter if the pitcher performs….but he does it anyway. In this case, it had no effect on the defensive performance, but did result in Punto and Descalso hitting in the 9th instead of Berkman and Freese.

      • paperlions - Sep 23, 2011 at 8:05 AM

        *whole-sale changes

  2. proudlycanadian - Sep 23, 2011 at 7:28 AM

    Great home run call. Encarnacion’s walk off home run led to Toronto’s 11th extra innings win at home this season. They have not lost in extra innings at home this season.Yes it is some kind of a record. It has been a fun month for the Jay’s. The team has played well. They have held their own against the Yankees, Red Sox and the Angels. They finish the season in Tampa Bay and Chicago. The Tampa Bay series obviously has playoff implications.The players are excited about their outlook for next year. There are a lot of good prospects developing down on the farm. AA points out that there are 4 pitching prospects at Double A who could reach the big league team some time during 2012.

    • Francisco (FC) - Sep 23, 2011 at 8:30 AM

      I was there yesterday PC, it was a pretty close game, fun to watch. It was less enjoyable however because we had a group of loudmouth Jay’s fans who were shouting obscenities at Vernon Wells in left field and pretty much kept the act going for 8 innings chasing away the other fine people trying to enjoy the ball game around them. We moved 11 rows up when we reached extra-innings.

      • cur68 - Sep 23, 2011 at 9:49 AM

        Let the record show I was no where near that game, Eff Cee. I was @ home being virtuous; Chapter 4 is coming to fruition and enjoyed a little extra innings baseball to get the demographic section all nailed down. However, had I been there I probably would have had a word or 2 for my buddy Vern. Ah believes ah have mentioned, the man is a thorn in ma paw. He tried it agin last night robbing (ROBBING I tells ya!) Mike McCoy of a triple with that 10th inning catch against the wall. I was ever so pleased to see his evilness thwarted last night by Edwin ‘Nacho Libre’ Encarnacion.

  3. Lukehart80 - Sep 23, 2011 at 8:24 AM

    I’ve been babbling all week on Twitter about Matt Kemp having an outside but entirely legitimate shot at the Triple Crown.

    Sadly, I have 3 followers that probably aren’t spam, and I fear that while my best friend, a roommate I haven’t seen in 11 years, and my Aunt June have gotten the message, others seem not to have heard.

    Thanks to Craig for pointing it out himself this morning. He has far more old roommates and family members than I do, so I expect the word is out now.

    Finish strong, Matt, finish strong.

  4. Tribe&Browns&Cavs - Sep 23, 2011 at 8:26 AM

    According to ESPN’s Radio Sportscenter this morning “the Indians avoided the sweep” with this win. This win that split the four-game series at two games each. I know they’re only playing for 2nd place, but still, that’s some pretty basic fact-checking. Just one of the many reasons I come to this website instead of theirs.

  5. kopy - Sep 23, 2011 at 8:47 AM

    Strangely enough, the Twins actually have 2 players on their active roster with the first name of “Rene”. It’s pretty incredible. Even earlier in the year before September call-ups, basically 15% of their position players were named Rene.

    • wlschneider09 - Sep 23, 2011 at 9:20 AM

      Too bad they hit like Renee Zellweger

    • proudlycanadian - Sep 23, 2011 at 9:45 AM

      Did I mention that Rene Tosoni is from Toronto. Other major leaguers born in Toronto are J. Votto and R. Martin.

      • kopy - Sep 23, 2011 at 10:05 AM

        I’ll take one of those others instead.

      • Joe - Sep 23, 2011 at 11:23 AM

        I live in southern Maine, and go to see the Red Sox AA team in Portland frequently. Which means I also frequently see the Twins AA team from New Britain, CT. So I’ve seen Rene Tosoni play baseball live. And, much as with Drew Butera before him, I never considered I was watching a future major leaguer.

      • - Sep 23, 2011 at 11:56 AM

        And while we’re picking things out of Canada. I’ll take Rush and a case of Moosehead, and you can have Jeff Francis back…even though he’s from BC.

      • kingkillerstudios - Sep 23, 2011 at 1:35 PM

        I think J. Bay is British Columbia’s fault but you can take him too while you’re up.

  6. sdelmonte - Sep 23, 2011 at 8:52 AM

    It’s not much, but the Mets coming back and playing spoiler is a nice thing for me today. One last happy recap in a season that didn’t have nearly enough of them, to get me through a long winter of bad Giants football, no Knicks basketball, Madoff courtroom shenanigans, no free agents signings, and fences being moved in at Citi.

  7. kopy - Sep 23, 2011 at 9:02 AM

    There are also some very good races for home field advantage. The Brewers and Diamondbacks are separated by a game, and the Tigers and Rangers are dead even. Both teams are likely to try hard to finish strong so they can face the wild card at home instead of traveling to face the best record in the league.

  8. Francisco (FC) - Sep 23, 2011 at 9:03 AM

    And so it comes down to this, end of season, playoff games, and the Brave’s primary nemesis, the Nationals firmly in the way. The chess set was laid out on the coffee table in front of the fireplace. This time though, the Nationals figures were in white. The game was sort of half played, as Craig had moved pieces around, tried to figure out the possibilities of a positive outcome for Atlanta.

    He was sitting in his high chair, clearly in a good mood, puffing bubbles from his pipe in rather generous amounts. His Braves bathrobe was neatly straightened out. He awaited the morning call in front of his 70″ LED display. Tiffany was on time (as usual) as the square head-shot appeared in a corner of the screen.

    “Hi Craig! Want to go over the points we’re going to address in HBT Daily?”

    “Naturally my dear Tiffany, I have the topics of interest here in the Craig list”, he replied. Pressing a button on his chair, the screen split on the left side and started enumerating a series of points and possible topics. He had added quite a few this morning:

    * Kemp, NL MVP?
    * Epstein and the blame game.
    * Brad Pitt, chicks and Moneyball.
    * Aquaman must die!
    * Pujols is a Jackass.
    * Chipper lost ball in fight.

    “You seem to be in a good mood today Craig,” said Tiffany as she scanned his topics and compared them with her own notes. “Craig I think that should read Chipper lost ball in light…”

    “Oh! Thanks for the correction,” said Craig. “We’ll use ground ball in stadium lights, to make it clear.” A button press later and a keyboard extended from a hidden slot on his chair. He proceeded to type in the change while addressing her comment. “I’m a good mood yes. Anytime Tony LaRussa successfully snatches defeat from the jaws of victory is worthy of a heckle and a good bourbon. You know, I have to say, I didn’t know the Mets had it in them.”

    “We should also add the Twins breaking their 11 game losing streak Craig. I know it happened a few days ago but still. Aaron must be happy.”

    “Oh sure why not. It was about time, after that 11th straight loss Aaron was in such a funk he almost didn’t make it… he very nearly deleted his blog. They called the police and fire department just in case. In the end Drew slowly talked him out of it, but it was touch and go for a while, the man had his finger hovering over the mouse button the entire time, one click away from ending it all… How sad when people get so wrapped up in the game that they take it so seriously.”

    Tiffany held a bemused expression as she said: “Oh? So I suppose you weren’t the least bit worried by that Cardinals-Mets game last night at the beginning of the 9th. When it seemed like the Cardinals were about to win it?”

    “Well I have rooting interests, so naturally I will invest myself in the game, but it’s important not to go overboard.”

    “Right, so you just happen to have a bottle of cyanide on your table as a center piece?”

    Drat! He kept forgetting the generous camera angle from his side of the conference, curse his healthy ego. He waved dismissively at Tiffany. “That’s for the occasional rat I must poison. Let’s get HBT Daily started shall we…”

    • cur68 - Sep 23, 2011 at 9:54 AM

      Now, see if he had a mongrel around, a hound of uncertain pedigree if you will, to keep the varmits down, he wouldn’t need that there cyanide. *hint, nudge,wink*

      • wlschneider09 - Sep 23, 2011 at 10:02 AM

        I’m thinking something more along the lines of a pure white longhair cat…..

      • Kevin S. - Sep 23, 2011 at 10:46 AM

        The type of dog he was describing is known as a cur.

      • wlschneider09 - Sep 23, 2011 at 11:25 AM

        Yeah, I got that

  9. Jonny 5 - Sep 23, 2011 at 9:03 AM

    “Six straight south for the Phillies”

    FOR REAL…..
    My Panic button pushing finger is getting itchy. I think only people in denial will be able to say they aren’t feeling some sort of nervousness about this. I think Charlie needs to Channel his inner Rick Flair and break things or something.

    • Francisco (FC) - Sep 23, 2011 at 9:12 AM

      It is what it is, Last September they were on a steamroll and didn’t make it out of the NLCS, in ’07 they went on a 13-4 tear and were swept by the Rockies. If they win it all people will forget about the mid-September slide. We’ll see what happens when the starting eight are put together for the last few games. As someone pointed out a few days ago, at full strength they walloped the Cards 9-2. These games are like ST for them. The starting pitchers look fine. Oz was still hitting 94 in the 8th. The hitters need to adjust and get into a groove though.

      • Jonny 5 - Sep 23, 2011 at 9:30 AM

        I feel the same way, but I am getting worried a bit. There were a few games in this latest skid that they really should have won, but couldn’t.

    • Phillies Homer - Sep 23, 2011 at 9:20 AM

      I’m thinking the Phillies just gave the Nats these W’s so that the Nationals don’t have as good of a draft pick. Smart thinking! (at least this is what I keep telling myself on why the Phillies keep losing, there aren’t many other excuses out there).

      • natstowngreg - Sep 23, 2011 at 1:25 PM

        The downside of improvement is getting worse draft picks. The upside is so much greater, think we Nats fans can deal with it.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 23, 2011 at 9:34 AM

      I guess I am the only Phillies fan around who isn’t scared and I know I am not in denial. Like I have said the last week…if they go 1-0 or 0-12 it won’t change the fact that I expect this team to make it to the World Series and anything less is a failure. So 110 wins or 98 doesn’t make a difference to me. They aren’t playing their entire line-up and they aren’t playing to win…i.e. Uncle Cholly not bunting Orr in the 10th the other day, putting in relievers who aren’t going to get a sniff come postseason, etc.

      Now, if you want to say that the Bastid and Stutes getting tired scares you…yeah, I agree with that. Or the nagging injuries to Messers Lucky and Overrated have you nervous…yeah, I agree with that too. But the actual wins and losses and the actual lack of offense doesn’t mean anything at all. Teams have struggled down the stretch and then won…and teams have dominated down the stretch and been eliminated in 3 games in the NLDS. There is zero correlation between success when it doesn’t count and success in the playoffs.

      In other worse…RELAX PHILLIES FANS. Until they lose a home game in the playoffs, it’s all good!!

    • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 23, 2011 at 9:45 AM

      I’m not concerned about wins/loses. That is irrelevant. What people should be concerned about is the continued poor play of Victorino, Utley, and to a lesser extent Rollins. Utley looks absolutely lost at the plate. He has been terrible for the past 6 weeks and is 3 for his last 43 against left handers. Rollins and Victorino have traditionally gone through spells where they pop everything up. It is correctable and they work through it. Words cannot describe how bad Utley has been.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 23, 2011 at 10:19 AM

        Utley is obviously still feeling the effects of the concussion. He is 5-30 since getting plunked on the head. Clearly, like with his hip a couple years ago and his knee last year, he has duped the doctors into letting him play when he really shouldn’t be playing. I have a feeling we will see something after the season where he is still feeling the effects and it will come out that he played through them.

        I don’t like it…but it is what it is. I just wish the guy would learn to pace himself, but he just isn’t wired that way. Shane and J-Roll are not concentrating at the plate at all, but when the bright lights come on, they will be fine.

  10. yankeesfanlen - Sep 23, 2011 at 10:16 AM

    Nothing left to do for the Universe than ponder who will start on Monday October 3rd at Comerica.
    Who will it be? Believe it or not, we don’t know.
    Magic number is 11 (well-positioned October wins)

  11. tellyspop - Sep 23, 2011 at 10:46 AM

    by T.Popp
    The St. Petersburg Rays dominate the Empire yesterday and will soon swim past the Nation. Hub fans will have the winter of yer discontent to read Dan Shaughnessy postulate his Belichickian Theories why the Nation imploded. John Henry will give back his money, enter a monastery. Theo, last seen pounding on the Employees Only door on Waveland Avenue, is never heard from again. Nation players sign with the California Penile League. Citgo Green House Gas Field is torn down and Frank McCourt puts up another parking lot. Mangler Francona receives a fish wrapped in newspaper. Thinking he will end up at the bottom of the Townie River, it is really an invite to Miami to say hello to his little friends at the bottom of Bay in the Nat’l league.

  12. Kevin S. - Sep 23, 2011 at 10:50 AM

    I wouldn’t be concerned at all about the Phillies. These games are irrelevant, and they’re treating them as such.

  13. foreverchipper10 - Sep 23, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    A 6-game losing streak for the Phils. Here’s hoping they only go on a losing streak half of that come playoff time.

  14. APBA Guy - Sep 23, 2011 at 12:01 PM

    The Rangers sleep-walk to victory continued yesterday until the bottom of the 7th when Colby Lewis showed why this year is not like 2010 when he walked DeJesus and Pennington doubled. Sizemore drove in the tying run on a ground out. Then in the 8th Adams gave up a double to Weeks and single to Crisp for the winning run. Earlier in the game Lewis had given up Weeks’ first MLB home run. And for once the Rangers’ offense was unable to mount a comeback against the A’s veteran bullpen. Wednesday victim Grant Balfour located better and escaped undamaged in the 8th, followed by a rested Andrew Bailey in the ninth.

    The Rangers still reduced their magic number by 1 as the Angels lost to Toronto. Cur and the boys are no longer referring to Encarnacion as E5. Love in bloom, obviously.

    The Angels host the beloved A’s tonight, with Jered “Dude, where’s my fastball?” Weaver against Gio at Anaheim. I expect the A’s to win one game of the series, just because it’s what they do, and that will complicate life for the Angels.

    • roycethebaseballhack - Sep 23, 2011 at 1:32 PM

      There are than a few subtle, and less subtle things about this years Rangers vs. 2010. Still very strong with depth in the starting lineup and off the bench, but they’ve just had a problem with focus since July. Their record is still quite good since then, and they’ve had some brilliant series, many of which they’ve won. But, still, I think the departure of Clint Hurdle Has really left a leadership vacuum that has caused some huge gaps their day-to-day performance. There have been too many offensive train wrecks that rarely happened when he was in the dugout. I think the tight AL West race has been the best thing that could have happened to them; it’s forced them to focus. Feeling pretty good about their chances in the playoffs.

      As far as The Phillies are concerned, I think focus is what will be their undoing. History has not been kind to MLB teams that have monster regular seasons and clinch early. The NL Pennant has to go through Milwaukee this year, and there is no way I’d bet against them. For as talented as Philly is, they are beatable in a seven game series.

  15. xmatt0926x - Sep 23, 2011 at 3:53 PM

    Yes craig, it’s concerning to an extent with the phillies offense. I’d just say that you are of course ignoring that Manuel is resting on avareage 3 regulars a night during this stretch. Does that excuse the 0-fers that the regulars who are playing are having? Of course not. But remember, if Pence, Howard, etc. are all in the lineup then maybe they are hot at the time and getting on base and maybe the guys that are cold are coming up to the plate under pressure situations for the opposing pitcher who now has to pitch totally differently Am I reaching? Maybe. But I just don’t think it’s time for total panic when Pete Orr, Ben Francisco, Jeff Bowker(is that even his name?), Brian Schneider, and the like are dominating playing time during this cold streak. Utlley and Rollins weren’t exactly tearing it up when the Phillies were blowing through everyone and Craig was talking about how easily the Phillies were making it look. I hope that Victorino works his way back. To be honest I have little expectation for Rollins and Utley anyway. They’ve been mediocre to much longer than they’ve been good this year and the Phillies are still somehow , some way going to win 100. I’ll panic when they are down 0-2 in the first round.

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