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And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

Sep 26, 2011, 5:18 AM EDT

137th Kentucky Derby Getty Images

Yankees 6, Red Sox 2; Red Sox 7, Yankees 4: Early game: when you get beat by a strong outing from A.J. Burnett and a big homer from Jorge Posada, maybe the universe is trying to tell you something, Red Sox. Late Game: Wowzers. Jacoby Ellsbury is getting all the glory — as he should — but let’s not overlook the fantastic job the Sox pen did in that game. Jonathan Papelbon went way past his usual allotment.  Franklin Morales and Felix Doubront likewise came up big. Boston retains a one-game lead in the wild card.

Rays 5, Blue Jays 2: Tampa Bay takes two of three from Toronto as the Red Sox falter. All Rays runs came on homers, including an inside-the-parker for Ben Zobrist.

Nationals 3, Braves 0: OF COURSE the Nats took two of three from the Braves. There have been less certain things than that carved into stone by ancient civilizations possessing Oracles of Seeing. Ross Detwiler shut ‘em out for six innings and the bullpen did the rest.

Cardinals 3, Cubs 2: OF COURSE the Cubs blew a lead in two of three games to the Cardinals. There have been less certain things than that done by the Nationals to the Braves. Late homers for Yadier Molina and Rafael Furcal pull the Cardinals to within a game of Atlanta with three to play.

Diamondbacks 5, Giants 2: Talk about an F-U series. The Dbacks didn’t need these games at all — they had clinched — and then they sweep the Giants anyway. Cold, man. Ice water. Assassin-like.

Tigers 10, Orioles 6: Miguel Cabrera went 2 for 3 with a homer and a couple of RBI. He could still win the batting title and has an OPS of 1.025. But he can’t be mentioned as an MVP candidate — no sir! — because to do so would ruin the whole “Justin Verlander is a one-man gang” narrative with which everyone seems so smitten.

Phillies 9, Mets 4: Philly breaks a nine-game losing streak. You guys can now immediately go from “we’re doomed!” back to “we’re the best team evah!”

Dodgers 6, Padres 2: Matt Kemp‘s 1 for 5 didn’t help his triple crown case, but hey, the win is what is important. Wait. Not at this point of the season it isn’t. Damn.

Brewers 9, Marlins 5: Ryan Braun went 2 for 3 with a homer. But to hear Milwaukee fans tell it — when they’re denigrating Matt Kemp’s MVP case — that homer shouldn’t count. I mean, after all, since the Brewers have already clinched, that game was meaningless, right?

Athletics 6, Angels 5: Just wasn’t meant to be for the Angels this year. Blowing leads of 3-0 and 5-2 in the eighth and ninth innings would probably have hurt more if they were another game or two closer. Now they need both Tampa Bay and the Red Sox to get swept in the season’s final series. Not bloody likely.

Rangers 12, Mariners 5: Anyone besides me hoping against hope for a Rangers-Tigers ALCS?  Seems like the two best clubs goin’ right now.  Yorvit Torrealba hit two homers, one of which was a grand slam.

Reds 5, Pirates 4: Dontrelle Willis wins his first game of the year. He also doubled in two runs. Perhaps he can build on this into his next … oh, wait.

Royals 2, White Sox 1: Luis Mendoza allowed one run over seven and two-thirds.

Twins 6, Indians 4: All kinds of guys I’ve never heard of and most of us will not hear much about again any time soon figured in this one. Rene Tosoni with a big homer in tenth which stood up as the game-winner. Kyle Waldrop got the win in relief. Hunter McKenzie had a nifty defensive play to help send it to extra innings. One of those three was made up. I bet without looking most of you couldn’t say which one it was.

Rockies 19, Astros 3: Take comfort, Atlanta! Houston looks primed to give the Cardinals a big fight in the season’s final series! Oy. Two homers for Kevin Kouzmanoff. Five RBI a piece for him and Chris Ianetta.

  1. itsmekirill - Sep 26, 2011 at 6:59 AM

    If I ever see Scott Proctor throw another pitch in a Yankees uniform I might have to gouge out my eyeballs.

    • yankeesfanlen - Sep 26, 2011 at 8:25 AM

      Proctor is like a cardboard box in the aluminum bin. Wrong way to re-cycle.Laffey should have been left in, Joe, at least until his arm fell off.

      • Kevin S. - Sep 26, 2011 at 9:01 AM

        Kontos and Ayala were both available, where were they? I’m assuming Tony Pena was still taking orders from Girardi, right?

    • Bill - Sep 26, 2011 at 9:16 AM

      Tell me about it. Kind of sick to think that he may be the only 2011 Brave who’ll see time in the playoffs.

    • pisano - Sep 26, 2011 at 9:37 AM

      I’m sure the next time you hear about Proctor it’ll be in the transaction column in the sports section and it’ll read: RELEASED. I’m sure that was his swan song last night, at least I hope it was.

      • Bill - Sep 26, 2011 at 9:45 AM

        What’s the record for most major-league releases granted to one player in a season? Counting spring training, a Yankees release would be #3 for Proctor this year.

      • natstowngreg - Sep 26, 2011 at 1:31 PM

        JC Romero was released 3 times during this season — by the Phillies, Nats, and Yankees.

        http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/r/romerj.01.shtml

  2. bleedgreen - Sep 26, 2011 at 7:15 AM

    Was an 8 game losing streak for the Phils, not 9. They beat the cards last Saturday.

    • Utley's Hair - Sep 26, 2011 at 8:01 AM

      It felt like longer than nine, though, didn’t it?

      • bleedgreen - Sep 26, 2011 at 8:34 AM

        Yes… ugh, yes it did.

  3. mercyflush - Sep 26, 2011 at 7:36 AM

    “we’re the best team evah!”

    um… what? what are we, New Englanders now? Evah? Fail.

    • Utley's Hair - Sep 26, 2011 at 8:00 AM

      We can still eat their clam chowdah, right?

    • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 26, 2011 at 8:23 AM

      Yeah, I thought Craig’s use of “evah” for Phillies fans was pretty odd too. Then I realized he is from Ohio and probably figures we all have similar accents over here on the East Coast. It’s all a part of his Midwest bias. :D

      • sportsdrenched.com - Sep 26, 2011 at 9:52 AM

        Correct, anyone east of St Louis says “evah” right?

      • wlschneider09 - Sep 26, 2011 at 11:23 AM

        whatevah

    • vanquish0916 - Sep 26, 2011 at 2:48 PM

      I’m pretty sure he meant it in the Internet/LOLspeak way, not the “Wicked Pissah!!” way

  4. Utley's Hair - Sep 26, 2011 at 7:59 AM

    I withhold judgment on whether they’ve snapped out of it until they maintain at least half of that output over a few games. Sorry Craig, Heyward, nps and any other Bravox fans, but the Phightins need to break out that whooping bat in Atlanta.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 26, 2011 at 8:10 AM

      Your little game of “guess which player isn’t real” has an inherent flaw. When you type a player name in your blog it comes up in bold print. So, obviously the fake player name is the one in standard font.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 26, 2011 at 8:10 AM

        Sorry UH…obviously didn’t mean to reply to you.

  5. Chris Fiorentino - Sep 26, 2011 at 8:13 AM

    There is more intrigue with the 2nd and 3rd seeds in BOTH leagues the next 3 days than anybody is talking about. I’m not sure how the tiebreakers work, but by AZ continuing to win, they are creating a scenario where, if the Bravos can avoid choking, AZ would possibly play them in the NLDS instead of coming out to Philly. If they finish ahead of the Brewers, then it will set up a pretty good NLDS with Phillies-Brewers. Next 3 days will decide that.

    Then there is the AL…Rangers are a game ahead of the Verlanders and if they remain ahead of them, they will get Rays/Red Sox while the Yankees will get the Verlanders. And the collective panic in the streets of the Bronx can ensue until Granderson hits a 2-run bomb off him in the first inning of game 1 while CC shuts the door on the Verlanders and it’s a clean sweep. But, if the Verlanders can pass the Rangers, the Yankees will get the easy Rangers, who as you may know, do not have Verlander. In that scenario, the Verlanders will get the Rays/Red Sox winner.

    So there are about 8 series that are affecting the playoffs in the next 3 days. Should be a fun 3 days.

    My predictions…

    AZ – Phillies
    Braves – Brewers

    Rays – Rangers
    Verlanders – Yankees

  6. RickyB - Sep 26, 2011 at 8:33 AM

    Kyle Waldrop to the Indians: “Stay out of the Woolworth’s!”

  7. uyf1950 - Sep 26, 2011 at 8:52 AM

    Well after 159 games with just 3 games remaining in the regular season basically you still have 4 teams trying to win the last 2 playoff spots The Red Sox and Rays in the AL and the Braves and Cardinals in the NL. Both the Red Sox and Braves with 1 games leads. My guess is the Red Sox will hold on and the Cardinals will sneak past the Braves. Good luck to all 4 teams still involved in the race.

    …and here’s to Friday when the real fun begins, the playoffs. And the match ups are locked and loaded.

    • yankeesfanlen - Sep 26, 2011 at 9:07 AM

      uyf- Believe it or not, there’s some consternation in Detroit if they draw the Yankees. They’re confident on Verlander, Fister not so much, Scherzer even less and equate Pocello and Penny with the disdain we have for AJ.
      I hate five game series and have a slight preference to have the Rangers, then Detroit.

      • uyf1950 - Sep 26, 2011 at 9:32 AM

        yankeesfanlen – I agree with you on all points. My preference would be to play the Rangers also, but does it really matter. In fact it might be to the Yankees advantage to play the Tigers in the 1st round. After all I believe Jim Leland has already stated that Verlander will not pitch on short rest. If I’m correct that means the series would have to go the full 5 games for the Yankees to face Verlander a 2nd time. Besides if the Yankees are to go all the way it’s only right that at some point they have to them.
        BTW, should the Red Sox hold on and I think they will they will they will have a very tough time regardless of who they face in the first round Texas or Detroit they way they are playing this month.
        One last point, much is made in the article about the “great job” the Sox did in the 2nd game yesterday. Let’s put it in proper perspective perspective. The Yankees only started 4 regular position players which probably was the reason for extra innings in the first place. Clearly the Red Sox even with their extra inning win last night are not playing like a playoff caliber team either offensively or pitching wise. At least that’s my opinion.

  8. sportsdrenched.com - Sep 26, 2011 at 9:55 AM

    General Question. Fan of the regular season ending on a Wednesday and playoffs starting on the weekend? Or like it used to be back in the day. Season ends on a Sunday and Playoffs start on a random week day?

  9. dlevalley - Sep 26, 2011 at 10:15 AM

    All these jokes about the season coming to an end are just getting me down…

  10. APBA Guy - Sep 26, 2011 at 11:49 AM

    Interesting fight in the AL to avoid the Yankees in the first round. Texas has the advantage over Detroit for now. Every one on the Rangers appears to be healthy except Cruz. He’s still not himself.

    It’s interesting to compare Jacoby Ellsbury, erstwhile MVP candidate, to Ian Kinsler. The quick takeaway on Ellsbury is that he’s a 30-30 guy. Kinsler is 31-29. Both are very good defenders in up the middle positions. The big separator is the secondary number of bases Ellsbury has, as reflected in his OPS advantage of .928 to .825. But if that is big enough to disqualify Kinsler from comparison with Ellsbury, so too must Miguel Cabrera’s lead of 1.025 to .928 disqualify Ellsbury from comparison to Cabrera. Even though Cabrera plays an “easier” defensive position, the 1.025 is sensational, as opposed to a very good .928.

    Finally, the A’s actually played an exciting game yesterday, coming from behind for only the 4th time when trailing in the 8th. My girlfriend and I were stunned when Suzuki hit an opposite field double to tie the game on a 2-strike pitch. Stunned that Walden didn’t throw a slider. Even more stunned that Suzuki didn’t swing out of his shoes with that big swing of his. Instead, he put a compact, controlled swing on the ball. Where has that been for the past 2 years of steady offensive regression?

    That’s it for the Angels. Amazing they came this close considering their decision to let Napoli leave and the injury to Morales. Just shows how good their pitching was for the year.

    • Old Gator - Sep 26, 2011 at 12:38 PM

      Chronicle of a death foretold, eh? Well, at least you went out on a high note. I’m hoping to see the Iron Giant crush one on Wednesday for Auld Lang Syne, you know? Then it’s on to that sterile, grandiose giant Cuisinart™ where the stately old Orange Bowl™ used to be. It ain’t San Jose, though.

      • APBA Guy - Sep 26, 2011 at 4:04 PM

        No magic in predicting the A’s future this year. It’ll be the same next year as well. Lew Wolff (A’s managing general partner) was on the telecast yesterday, sounding about as optimistic as a mortician doing diagnoses in a cancer ward. That may be “insensitive” but it accurately reflects my takeaway from the interview.

        At least you have a new stadium! I hope it turns out nicer than the one in DC. Not crazy about that one.

        I’ll be stunned if they don’t in fact name it “Macondo Banana Massacre Stadium.”

        Will they be serving mojitos there?

  11. Old Gator - Sep 26, 2011 at 12:33 PM

    After getting swept in Milwaukee where they got to watch a clinching celebration, the Feesh stumble home for their final three games against the Gnats, pretty well assured of their fifth place money. They can’t make any difference to the standings now, but they do have a golden opportunity to build some inertia towards the orfseason.

    I haven’t gone to many games this season, largely out of disgust – but I am going to take my own kosher corned beef on rye to the Rosh Hashanah celebration on Wednesday night, fitting for their final game in the much unfairly maligned Joeprodolsharklife Stadium – which was a fine place to watch a ballgame, even if it was a lousy place to play from an ownership standpoint. Then again, although Scrooge McLoria and the Chihuahua no doubt chafed at the terms of their lease, one of the worst in baseball, that proffered so little in the way of parking or concessionary income, it probably represents more generous terms than they would have offered anyone had the situation been reversed.

    Originally, this final game was sold with the opportunity to see the “new Feesh logo,” which, once the place had been pretty well filled up (something I want to see just for its own sake), the Chihuahua announced that the new logo wouldn’t be “unveiled” (the same term we use for a new gravestone, by the way) for a few more weeks yet. Typical Scrooge-and-Chihuahua fare. If it’s that atrocity that “leaked” last week, it’s just as well. Back to the shop with ye.

    • natstowngreg - Sep 26, 2011 at 1:41 PM

      Look on the bright side. You should get to see The Awesomeness that is Strasburg in person. Also, Livan & Pudge will be in town to commemorate their contributions to the Fish World Championships.

      For no extra charge, you can watch Bo Porter coach 3B and dream of him occupying the home dugout at the new baseball palace, while wondering how Ozzie would look in the new uniforms.

  12. natstowngreg - Sep 26, 2011 at 1:48 PM

    The Nats did their job, and left the fandom (such as it is) optimistic about the future.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/nationals-vs-braves-washington-wins-home-finale-3-0/2011/09/25/gIQAefmuwK_story.html

  13. spudchukar - Sep 26, 2011 at 2:34 PM

    Whenever you bring Proctor in it is a Gamble.

    For all you Naysayers, (UYF, Ari, Fior etc), the Rays and the Cards sit 1 game back with only 3 to play. Even if neither make it, your early season predictions that they would not be serious contenders now looks less than prescient. Anytime you get to within 1 with 1 series left, you have given all of baseball a taste of your grit.

  14. cerveceros82 - Sep 26, 2011 at 6:09 PM

    Wow Craig, kind of a cheap shot at Brewer fans there… Fantastic! It feels good to be rooting for a team good enough to receive backhanded compliments. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t pay enough attention to other teams to have a strong opinion on who should win the MVP. Obviously Kemp is having a tremendous season.

    Weather Braun gets the hardware or not, nobody is taking this moment away. http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=19566869&topic_id=&c_id=mlb&tcid=vpp_copy_19566869&v=3

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