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And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

Apr 10, 2012, 5:56 AM EDT

Seattle Mariners v Texas Rangers Getty Images

Rangers 11, Mariners 5: According to Google Translate, a literal translation of “run support” in Japanese is サポートを実行する.  I have no idea if that covers the actual concept of run support, but I bet after last night Yu Darvish knows. He started out his major league debut by giving up four runs in the first inning while throwing 42 pitches. The bats of Nelson Cruz, Mitch Moreland and Josh Hamilton bailed him out of 4-0 and 5-2 deficits, however and later they piled on some more. Darvish ended up laboring through five and two-thirds, throwing 110 pitches, striking out five and walking four. But I suppose he just knows how to win, because he got the W.

Giants 7, Rockies 0: Barry Zito throws his first shutout in nine years. In Coors Field of all places. He only gave up four hits too, and didn’t walk anyone. I think the most logical explanation here is that Zito has been abducted by the pod people, who then put a cyborg in his place. I mean, sure, that sounds fanciful, but I’m a proponent of Occam’s Razor and in accounting for Barry Zito throwing a shutout in 2012, the cyborg/pod people story contains no more assumptions than are necessary to accomplish the explanation.

Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 2: The Sox win and Alfredo Aceves gets a save? Way to kill the narrative, Boston. I had hoped I could ride that out the rest of the week. Not I gotta think and stuff. I go it! Daniel Bard to the bullpen … of the 2003 Red Sox!

Yankees 6, Orioles 2: The Yankees get their first win too, though it wasn’t quite as narrative-killing as the Boston win. Red Sox fans watch their team lose three games and kind of freak out. The Yankees could lose their first 26 and they’d say “Here it goes: we’re gonna win the next 136 games! Go Yankees!”  Don’t applaud yourself for your optimism here, however, Yankees fans: both behaviors are highly annoying to the rest of us. Jeter had four hits. Since Ivan Nova both (a) won; and (b) allowed ten hits, I am contractually obligated to say that said hits were “scattered.”

Athletics 1, Royals 0: Wow, Tom Milone. Eight three-hit shutout innings? With no strikeouts, by the way, which doesn’t happen often.

Mets 4, Nationals 3: The Mets keep chugging along. The game was tied 3-3 since the fourth inning, but Daniel Murphy singled home Mike Baxter in the bottom of the ninth to win it.

White Sox 4, Indians 2: Chris Sale wins his first career start, pitching into the seventh and allowing only one run on three hits. Gotta like the Indians chances tonight, though: according to the game notes, the White Sox plan to tour the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame today, and that’s so damn depressing that the Sox will likely be down for the game.

Cardinals 7, Reds 1: Homer Bailey is awfully sweet. He knows that some Reds fans are probably missing Edinson Volquez this year, so he did a great impression of him by getting lit up like a Christmas tree in the first inning. Matt Holliday homered and then David Freese and Yadier Molina hit back to back dingers that inning. Given that Jake Westbrook allowed only three hits and an unearned run in seven, that was all the Cards really needed.

Astros 8, Braves 3: Atlanta’s season continues to be depressing. This one was a full team effort: the Braves committed four errors, their pitchers made the Astros hitters look pretty darn good and once Houston had the lead, Braves hitters looked like they rolled over and died.  Really, in the seventh inning, Braves hitters saw six pitches. Six total pitches all inning long. Oh, and their manager continues his misguided though somehow admirable campaign to make Braves fans never, ever forget that Bobby Cox is gone. [Miss you Bobby! Call me!]

Marlins 6, Phillies 2: Hit this one up yesterday, but here’s the short version: Omar Infante — former All-Star — hit two bombs, as the Phillies home opener was no fun for anyone apart from the Marlins.

Angels 5, Twins 1: C.J. Wilson gave up one run on three hits in seven innings. After Jason Hammel‘s outing on Sunday, I’m sensing a pattern here: pitchers do really well when facing the Twins.

Brewers 7, Cubs 5: Ryan Braun got booed like crazy in his first action in Wrigley Field since everyone decided that he was guilty of taking something. Whatever. There were nine Cubs players named in the Mitchell Report plus Sammy Sosa who wasn’t, and I’m assuming all of them were booed heartily too. Wait, they weren’t? Why, if I didn’t know better, I’d be tempted to believe that the booing is based on some form of tribalism as opposed to genuine disapproval of Mr. Braun’s alleged actions.

  1. phillyphreak - Apr 10, 2012 at 6:17 AM

    Irrational Deployment of Bullpen Arms: A Novel
    By Fredi Gonzalez
    Special Introduction by Charlie Manuel

    • Old Gator - Apr 10, 2012 at 8:23 AM

      “He’s Gone” (for Bobby Cox)

      Like a steam locomotive
      Rolling down the track
      He’s gone, he’s gone,
      And nothin’s gonna bring him back….

      (words by Robert Hunter, music by Jerry Garcia)

  2. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 10, 2012 at 7:26 AM

    [Paraphrasing]
    What’d we see, six, six goddamn pitches?
    You can’t say goddamn on the radio!
    Oh who cares, nobody is listening

  3. paperlions - Apr 10, 2012 at 8:07 AM

    Mike Matheny pushing all the right buttons, “leading” his team to victory.

    • stex52 - Apr 10, 2012 at 8:37 AM

      Got you point. One could argue that he is leading in the best way a manager can, by staying out of the way when the team is doing well.

      • paperlions - Apr 10, 2012 at 9:22 AM

        Exactly!

        Every time I have posted this, it has been sarcasm.

        The Cardinals are playing good baseball because they have good baseball players.

  4. easports82 - Apr 10, 2012 at 8:20 AM

    I’d like an explanation from Rangers fans about how they give a guy who goes 5 2/3, gives up 5 runs, 8 hits, walks 4, and throws a couple pitches to the backstop a standing ovation. Darvish got “dominant” after the Mariners abandoned their game plan at the end of the first inning and started chasing pitches.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 10, 2012 at 8:25 AM

      You’re asking fans to be rational? Come on…

    • Jonny 5 - Apr 10, 2012 at 8:37 AM

      It’s soooo terrible to support your pitcher who’s having a bad night on his very first start as a Ranger. YU have issues if that’s a problem for YU.

    • beefytrout - Apr 10, 2012 at 9:09 AM

      It was more of a welcome rather than a congratulations. We support our team here.

  5. thoran85 - Apr 10, 2012 at 8:28 AM

    “Ryan Braun got booed like crazy in his first action in Wrigley Field since everyone decided that he was guilty of taking something. Whatever.”

    Craig, the fans in Chicago didn’t decide that Braun took something, a lab and people at the lab who test urine samples for a living found that he took steroids. He’s suspension was overturned on a chain of custody technicality. Therefore, I am not really sure where this comment is coming from, are you really surprised that when a player is actually found guilty of using steroids that he would be booed?

    • stex52 - Apr 10, 2012 at 8:39 AM

      But he wasn’t found guilty.

      • thoran85 - Apr 10, 2012 at 9:30 AM

        His test was clearly found to have steroids in it, however, the process that needed to be followed in order for him to be suspended was not followed.

        So yes he was not found “guilty”, I should have worded the sentence better, he was clearly found to have been using steroids, but because of a techincal defect in the process of taking the sample from the subject to the testing lab, he was not suspended.

        Also, I understand that Craig is trying to point out the hypocrisy of the Chicago fans in not booing their own players, which happens in basically every city (see San Fran), but I was more taking issue with how I read his first sentence, which certaintly sounded like he was accusing the Chicago fans of leaping to conclusions about Braun’s use of steroids.

      • kopy - Apr 10, 2012 at 9:40 AM

        This can’t be dropped?

        “His test was clearly found to have steroids in it”

        You’re already wrong. His urine sample had elevated testosterone. Nobody will ever know why. The chain of custody wasn’t followed properly by the collector. This means that whether you think he’s guilty or innocent, nobody can prove you wrong. Let’s watch baseball now. If the arbitrator makes his findings public, then maybe we’ll have something.

    • easports82 - Apr 10, 2012 at 8:46 AM

      I only watched a couple innings of the game until the M’s/Rangers started, but was struck when one of the ESPN guys said that it’s Braun’s responsibility to prove his innocence and until he steps forward with more info, he’s getting what he deserves from the fans.

      Craig, you’ve probably kept a closer eye on it: did the 3rd arbitrator ever publish his reasoning for overturning the suspension?

      • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 10, 2012 at 8:54 AM

        I don’t believe he has.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:02 AM

        I love how ESPN takes the stance that Braun has to prove his innocence. This is the same stalwart network that threw a monkey wrench in the entire MLB doping procedure by making news from leaked information.

        That network is a bunch of moronic boobs.

      • kopy - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:09 AM

        Indeed. Requiring an accused private citizen to prove their innocence at their own burden and expense is one hell of a slippery slope.

    • snowbirdgothic - Apr 10, 2012 at 8:50 AM

      Call me crazy, but I think what Craig is saying is that he’s completely unsurprised that Chicago fans will boo the guy for the other team who supposedly took PEDs while not booing their own guys who did the exact same thing. The question is not over whether Braun would get booed, but why the Cubs players named in the Mitchell report got a free pass for the exact same transgression.

      And Craig is also shocked, shocked to find gambling going on in here. But I digress.

      • sportsdrenched.com - Apr 10, 2012 at 9:59 AM

        I boo players on the opposing team…because they’re on the opposing team. Not sure it has to be any more complicated than that.

  6. Jonny 5 - Apr 10, 2012 at 8:35 AM

    Yes the Phillies are doomed and the Mets being 4-0 will take the division and go onto the WS.

    Oh is this why we don’t use the first week of baseball to predict the division winners?

    I just had to say that because someone hit the panic button in Philly. I think they hit it at loss #2 actually. One thing is for certain, the offense of the Phillies isn’t doing anything right now. I see Charlie is kinda lost at this whole “small ball” thing too. I don’t care what philosophy you employ, but you never pull Thome for Nix, even if you want to bunt to move the man over, and even if Nix could bunt well, which he can’t. I HATE giving away free outs, but if you do it, make sure it makes sense if successful. Thome is in Philly to drive in runs and you pull him to bunt with a player who’s clueless at bunting? It’s almost as if Charlie is trying to prove bunting is stupid.

    • spudchukar - Apr 10, 2012 at 9:59 AM

      Of course you are correct regarding the first week thing, but why is it a surprise that the Pheelies are having a tough time scoring? You could see this one a mile away, particularly since the Phightens did little to upgrade their offense in the off season.

    • yankeesfanlen - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:00 AM

      Taken as a whole, and allowing for name changes to protect the innocent, your comment is written in Yankee-ese

  7. stex52 - Apr 10, 2012 at 8:45 AM

    And the Astros, who predictably will finish the season with a whole bucketload of disasters, continue for the moment to feast on their opponents’ poor play. I’m a long way from optimistic, but maybe there is some good baseball to be seem at Minute Maid after all. If all the young pitchers continue to carry their share, then some degree of respectability could be possible.

    • umrguy42 - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:22 AM

      I don’t know why, cuz I’m a huge Cards fans, and always will be, but the last coupla days, I’ve had this desire to see the Astros do well, maybe even win the WS, just to stick it to everybody before being shunted off into the Junior Circuit :p I’m sure reality will settle in soon enough, but still.

      • stex52 - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:41 AM

        Thanks for the support. Just to let you know, my default second team for the last 30 years has been the Cards. A class organization, and I thought so long before they had the wisdom to pick up Berkman.

        Besides it’s safe for a Cards fan to root for the Astros to do well this year. At the absolute top of their potential there is no way they will challenge the Cards for position.

      • ajcardsfan - Apr 10, 2012 at 12:45 PM

        I wish the Astros would do well, I always like the Cards/Astros games when they had Berkman, Oswalt and Bagwell

  8. spudchukar - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    Craig, just so you know it wasn’t only the Marlins who enjoyed the outcome of Philadelphia’s home opener.

  9. yankeesfanlen - Apr 10, 2012 at 10:04 AM

    Beep-beep goes 4 for 4, 1RBI. The Dark Side is vanquished, let’s party like it’s 1998 (changed for historical accuracy)

  10. cur68 - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    Beaver Men late relief woes continue. Sergio Santos can throw 97 mph, just not over the dang plate. The planet can get off Aceves’ back about being “not a closer”. He’s got 4 excellent pitches, great command, mid 90’s velocity, and everything moves. More like a starting pitcher, but a damn good starting pitcher: he was untouchable last night. He’ll be fine as a closer. 2nd game tonight between The Beaver Men & The Valentines. Drabek v Bard. We got us a ball game, sports phans.

    • 24missed - Apr 10, 2012 at 3:01 PM

      Hi Cur!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      You broke our downward spiral, thank you so much. I love Santos ~ who cares about pitch location and control? RS rocked your little Beavers. You poor thing.

      Aceves of old is back and with conviction. I think he ain’t no closer. He’s prone to hitting guys randomly and that can be no big deal, (as long as it he doesn’t injure a guy) but, that can be a game changer in the late innings. I like him as a starter or middle relief guy. Aceves should get the big bucks the starters get if he is that middle relief guy. He has to clean up their messes and can do it multiple days in a row for multiple innings. That’s just my ramblings on him.

      Scott A. was phenomenal out of the bullpen, too. Props to him. I’ve always rooted for this guy.

      Felix was interesting to watch.

      Your guys weren’t half-bad. They were actually pretty scary. Actually, John Farrell is pretty scary. He looked so pissed when Santos was pitching. But, your guys scored off of Felix and we had not much to show for it for a while. Impressive line up. Neat to see Lawrie, Rasmus and Bautista. Can’t believe your fans boo’d Santos on Opening Day. I expect to see lots on our Opening Day, I just didn’t expect it on your OD.

      Not bad, not bad, but thank you for finally handing us a win.

    • cur68 - Apr 10, 2012 at 4:03 PM

      “Handing the win” is right. Beaver Men had that game. Santos has the goods to close it but not the Gulliver. He got booed, yeah, but that should light a fire under his a$$. Play better and we shall shower you in seal blubber and anoint you with fragrant whale oil, not boo. I will brook no more of this “Aceves is not a closer” stuff, either. He was a monster. Great location, command, control and cool as cool up there. Santos was sweating like a horse. He looked like teenager in love meeting the young lady’s cop father. Aceves looked determined and sure of himself. Like a closer should look. Hell, he looked like Santos’ daddy is what he looked like.

      Will I see you the comments section at 7PM. 24? We can make it a date, if you like. Beaver Men v. Valentines. I’ll bring the can a wup a$$ you bring the sauce O’ despair. One of us will be doused in what the other is bringing. Should be fun.

  11. ajcardsfan - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    Last nights game made me happy for obvious reasons. It was nice to see both teams had pitchers with ants in their pants and had to calm down. I was a little bummed to see Furcal get an error and Westbrook over play the ball that him causing him to keep the game from being scoreless. Either way, I’m just so happy I have baseball games to look forward to after work again!

  12. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Apr 10, 2012 at 11:55 AM

    You’ll all recall the post about how awful Opening Day at Comerica apparently was. Well I can tell you it’s as bad or worse in Toronto.

    I’m from there but I’ve cheered for the Sox for as long as I’ve watched baseball. I wore my Sox jersey, expecting to be heckled and have some unkind words hurled at me. I’m used to that and have no problem with it. That’s just part of the fun of the game.

    Unfortunately when the Sox tied the game the drunk loudmouths who had been on my case all game went from hurling insults to hurling garbage. When I told an usher I didn’t want more stuff thrown at me the loudmouths tried to rationalize their stupidity by telling me the same stuff happens at Fenway and to stop being a tattle tale. Sorry, but I came to watch a baseball game. It’s hard to do that with crap flying at your head.

    Simply put, the fans who show up on Opening Day are an embarrassment to the real fans who actually show up for the other 80 games. But you all already knew that, just wanted to say my peace.

  13. APBA Guy - Apr 10, 2012 at 12:09 PM

    Nice of Craig to do a separate A’s related post on Tom Milone. Since people here on either side of the Bay don’t talk (sarcasm), they probably haven’t noticed how similar their two pitchers performed. I live and work on the Peninsula, the Giants side (movie stars, swimming pools) and the talk here is Zito: is he back? No!, but that was fun. Going where Cain, Lincecum, and Bumgardner feared to tread. On the other side of the Bay (hillbillies, possum stew) the talk is all Tom Milone: Shutout-no strikeouts, is he for real? No!, but that was fun.

    Conditions were perfect for Milone and he was helped immensely by an overanxious Royals team and his improved defense, anchored by the return of Daric Barton (10+ range at 1B). You had to see the Reddick throw out of Bourgeois in real-time to appreciate how it changed the game immediately. The massive mid-season crowd of 10,000 could breathe again. Milone and the whole team visibly relaxed, which allowed them to pour it on the Royals, finally scoring a goal, I mean a run, to take the insurmountable 1-0 lead and hold it until full-time.

    You’ll pardon the soccer metaphor, but 1-0 really did look insurmountable, especially after Hosmer was called out at 3rd on a steal attempt (he was safe).

    Cespedes is now on pace for only 97.2 homeruns.

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