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And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

Sep 29, 2011, 5:55 AM EDT

Rays' Evan Longoria runs to home plate as his teammates crowd around after his 12th inning home run to defeat the Yankees during their American League MLB baseball game in St. Petersburg, Florida

Can we breathe now? Look guys, you know what happened in these games, so forgive me if I’m light on the details. We have full breakdowns all over the place. I’m still in shock.

Rays 8, Yankees 7: Evan Longoria. Dan Johnson. Oh my gods. Did that really happen? [checks] Yes. Yes, it did happen.

Orioles 4, Red Sox 3: Congratulations to Robert F***ing Andino on the creation of his new middle name.

Cardinals 8, Astros 0: No doubt about it. Brilliant performance by Chris Carpenter. A two-hit shutout. 11Ks. Yes, the Braves collapsed, but don’t undersell the Cardinals’ surge. It takes both, and it does a disservice to the Cardinals to make this all about the Braves gack-job.

Phillies 4, Braves 3: And it was a gack-job, but let’s not be content to call this some episode of mass choking. There were real people responsible here. The blown save by Craig Kimbrel in the 9th? The broken-bat single by Hunter Pence in the 13th? Both are on Fredi Gonzalez in my view. Kimbrel was murdered this year. Pence should have been walked. I can think of a half dozen games that Fredi’s small-ball, small-brain approach cost the Braves in 2011. And sure, any fan can say the same of his team, and I could say that of any Bobby Cox-led team of the previous 20 years. But Cox wouldn’t have let his team be as tight as these Braves have been the past three or four weeks. Just don’t see that ever happening.  It’s been real, Atlanta, but you didn’t belong in the playoffs in 2011. It’s pretty easy to see that now.

Padres 9, Cubs 2: Four RBI for Will Venable as the Padres destroy Ryan Dempster.

Brewers 7, Pirates 3: Milwaukee wins its 96th game, which is a franchise best. Zack Greinke finishes with an 11-0 home record this year. Which is pretty neat. 0 for 4 night for Braun, so I guess the fact that Jose Reyes left the game early didn’t matter.

Twins 1, Royals 0: A Carl Pavano shutout to end the season. Bruce Chen threw eight shutout innings himself. Maybe the Red Sox should have traded for him a couple of months ago.

Rockies 6, Giants 3: The Giants world title defense is over. Can they all shave now?

Nationals 3, Marlins 1: Stephen Strasburg‘s late season return is like that episode where Q sends the Enterprise to another quadrant to see the Borg, just as a tease of what they’ll have to face in the future. Everyone in the NL East is gonna hate that dude for the next decade.

Rangers 3, Angels 1: Mike Napoli hit two homers. One wonders where this season would be for the Angels if Napoli still played for them instead of Texas.

Tigers 5, Indians 4: Nice, but the Rangers win means that Detroit has to go to New York to start the ALDS.

Blue Jays 3, White Sox 2: Chris Sale issued two bases loaded walks in the ninth. What an inspiring ending to the season for the White Sox, my AL Central pick back in March.

Mets 3, Reds 0: No one cared at all about this game outside of Jose Reyes taking himself out of it to guarantee his batting title. How very game-162.

Dodgers 7, Diamondbacks 5: Matt Kemp homered, giving him the home run and RBI crowns. He’s the first Dodger to do that in 70 years.

Athletics 2, Mariners 0: Gio Gonzalez starts the season the way he began it in spring training: dominantly. Of course on this night he could have thrown a 27-strikeout perfect game and it may not have led any of the highlights shows. Thems the breaks.


And another season ends. The day-by-day ho-hum of this feature is no longer operative as we head into the Everything Friggin’ Matters postseason.

I always have mixed feelings about this. The playoffs are great, sure. And last night — which was basically playoff baseball — was fantastic. Maybe the best night of regular season baseball I can ever remember.

But to me at least the beauty of baseball is all about those lazy Tuesday nights in June when nothing really matters. Baseball as a constant. As something we enjoy all evening but then let go when we go to bed because, hey, there are 15 more games tomorrow, and they’ll help us to forget our worries.

But that all happened already. It will happen again next year. Now it is over, and it’s time for the edge-of-your-seat stuff.

It’s been great seeing you all here each morning for our usual nonsense. Thanks for all of the fun folks.

  1. - Sep 29, 2011 at 10:01 AM

    Will there be any articles written today about how MLB needs to change? That it’s broken, and not relevant? About how it’s not exciting?

    Hardly, The beat writers from other sports that I follow were tweeting about baseball last night.

    MLB is awsome despite Bud Selig, can he and the other brain trusts in the MLB Marketing Department find a way to capitalize?

  2. kiwicricket - Sep 29, 2011 at 10:20 AM

    Sooooo…..just wondering what the people who berated Craig etc for being ‘homers’ ‘Anti… ‘ ‘pro this and that’ have to say about HBT’s writing these past couple days?

    Outstanding effort down the stretch Craig and HBT. You learn more about a human being in 2 days under strain, than in 2 years of ambiance.

    The intangibles of an intangible. Craig Calcaterra – Clutch *

    *denotes amusement/semi sarcasm

  3. APBA Guy - Sep 29, 2011 at 12:54 PM

    Speaking of insignificance, I spent about 10 minutes ffwding my DVR on the A’s game at x15 because I was glued to the Rays/Sox games and kept flipping to those.

    Just a brief note on the A’s game, the way the Mariners were approaching Gio I was stunned he threw more than 50 pitches. Both teams looked like they had their bags packed already and the bus was waiting. But congrats to Gio for 16 wins and a fine year. Willingham tried for HR # 30 but came up 1 short, which will cost him some cash this offseason, though he’ll still make out fine compared to how he started 2011.

    It’s the Giants who have some thinking to do. Picked by many to win the West, their lack of offense and defensive frailties, plus impending cost increases related to pitching and the burden of carrying Zito’s contract, combine to make this a difficult offseason to build up their offense, which they absolutely must do. This year proved that no pitching staff can carry a nonperforming offense.

    Thanks to Craig for providing this outlet for us to scribble our observations, musings, and rants. What a way to finish the year! For some of us, after the playoffs, the TV switches to the EPL. But I always check HBT every day, if only for the snark. Besides, we’ll have winter meetings, the McCourt situation, trades, and after the playoffs, only 105 days before Spring training..

  4. wonkypenguin - Sep 29, 2011 at 2:59 PM

    As always, Craig, it’s been a pleasure. I refer to you as my “favorite baseball writer” and look forward to your thoughts every morning, even in the offseason.

  5. artisan3m - Sep 29, 2011 at 3:36 PM

    I’m still baffled this morning. Maybe I just don’t understand base-a-ball as much as I think I do ~ ~ but what the Hell were the Orioles celebrating last night other than a single game victory? My God, you’d have thought they had just won the WS with a game 7 walk-off homer. Beating Boston couldn’t have been that big a deal. Nearly everybody did in September. Say. . .you don’t think the Rays . . . . . nah, flush that!

  6. kvanhorn87 - Sep 30, 2011 at 12:12 AM

    Still waiting patiently. Most wins ever. Most total wins by any manager in Phils history. 25 articles and counting today. Ho hum!

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