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And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

Apr 13, 2012, 5:45 AM EDT

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Madison Bumgarner throws against the Colorado Rockies in their Major League Baseball game in Denver

Giants 4, Rockies 2: Madison Bumgarner took a no-hitter into the sixth, silencing the Rockies bats that rocked Tim Lincecum‘s world the night before. That, and some bad defense by Dexter Fowler, prevented Jamie Moyer from becoming the oldest pitcher to ever win a game. Can’t have errors behind the old guy or he’s toast. Why? Because as Jason Giambi said after the game: “He’s not a strikeout pitcher.” To which the interviewer responded thusly.

Cubs 8, Brewers 0: Attention Zack Greinke: you’re doing this whole free agency push thing wrong (3.2 IP, 9 H, 8 ER). Matt Garza, in contrast, was masterful (8.2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER).  Well, almost masterful.

Nationals 3, Reds 2: The first place Nationals one won (professional writer, folks!) their home opener in front of a sellout crowd. There are, like, three things unusual about that sentence. But which over the next several years will seem pretty normal I reckon. Ryan Zimmerman scored the winning run on an Alfredo Simon wild pitch in the 10th.

Rangers 5, Mariners 3: Michael Young went 3 for 4 and drove in four. Derek Holland struck out eight in seven and a third. The Rangers have gotten a lot of really good starting pitching over the past three games.

Twins 10, Angels 9: The Twins rapped out 20 hits, including homers from Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau (who were booed earlier in the game, BTW. What the hell is wrong with you people?). Not that it was an offensive tour de force, as Minnesota stranded a bunch of runners. But that paled compared to the Angels’ bullpen, which gave up 11 hits and seven runs over the last four innings.

Tigers 7, Rays 2: Drew Smyly made his major league debut for the Tigers. It was rough at first — he loaded the bases with no one out to start the game — but wiggled out of it. Still didn’t get the win, though, as he threw 90 pitches over four innings.  It was Brennan Boesch‘s birthday, it was his birthday, so he partied like it was his birthday, driving in four.

Phillies 3, Marlins 1: Joe Blanton had no trouble handling the Marlins, giving up one run on three hits in seven innings.

Dodgers 3, Pirates 2: The Dodgers sweep. Third game in a row without Vin Scully, by the way, as he recovers from a bad cold. Which just means that when he comes  back and the Dodgers don’t win the division, I’m going to start claiming that it was because of the curse of Vin Scully. That ought to be popular.

Diamondbacks 3, Padres 1: Ian Kennedy strikes out nine in six innings. A lot of people, myself included, thought that Kennedy would regress some this season. I think what we were forgetting is just how many games he gets to pitch against the Padres each year.

  1. detroitfanatic - Apr 13, 2012 at 6:06 AM

    Where the heck are the west coast games?

  2. cktai - Apr 13, 2012 at 6:06 AM

    There are, like, three things unusual about that sentence:

    The first place Nationals
    sellout crowd
    and ofcourse… one their game
    :D

    • 18thstreet - Apr 13, 2012 at 8:59 AM

      Am I allowed to complain about the ATH recap? That temporary closer Brad Lidge blew a the 2-run lead in the top of the 9th (thus sending it to extra innings) was noteworthy.

      I think the Nats will be pretty good, but this bears watching.

      • joshfrancis50 - Apr 13, 2012 at 9:15 AM

        Don’t forget that super-tactician Dusty Baker, in a tie game in the 10th, used his worst relief pitcher while one of the best in the league, Sean Marshall, languished on the bench because, you guys, it wasn’t a save situation.

      • Jonny 5 - Apr 13, 2012 at 9:19 AM

        Enjoy him Washington. He’ll be just like that mostly every time he pitches.

      • paperlions - Apr 13, 2012 at 10:05 AM

        I am not defending the Nats or Red managers, but what they did is what nearly all managers would have done. LaRussa would have done (and always did) the same thing Baker did. You never saw the Cardinals “closer” unless it was a save situation or until ever other reliever had been used. This is not bagging on LaRussa, this is what nearly all managers do because it is viewed as “the safe” choice and perhaps partly because it will get them the least criticism in the local media.

        Similarly, most managers will employ an “experienced” closer if they have one even when it is clear that the guy is not their best reliever and should not be the choice for highest leverage situations. Most “baseball lifers” will refer to that experience and “knowing a player can handle the pressure” to justify using a worse player that has experience (AKA veterany goodness) over a better player that is less experienced despite overwhelming evidence of the less experienced players superior ability.

    • natstowngreg - Apr 13, 2012 at 2:37 PM

      To be fair, Craig is still getting used to the idea of using “win” and “Nationals” in the same sentence. So are we Nats fans.

      Among other noteworthy things from the game were the wind, which blew in my face almost the entire game; John Popper of Blues Traveler playing God Bless America on the harmonica during the 7th-inning stretch; Ryan Zimmerman missing on not one, but two ground balls; and another starter (Gio Gonzalez) not getting a win after an excellent start.

      The Nats are still playing with a small margin for error. But they’re 5-2, so I will enjoy it.

  3. proudlycanadian - Apr 13, 2012 at 6:34 AM

    Tampa Bay has had a tough schedule so far (NY and Detroit), but are still tied for first in the AL East with the Blue Jays. So far, the Jays have yet to play one of the top teams.

    • detroitfanatic - Apr 13, 2012 at 6:48 AM

      It gets a little easier for them today vs the Red Sox. I was high on the Sox before te season started, but not any more. Their rotation is very weak, their bullpen is garbage, their third baseman is in a wheelchair, and the 6,7,8,9 hitters could be the worst in the league. I have no idea why I actually thought this team could compete, but after watching what the rays 4 and 5 pitchers did to Detroit, Price, Hellickson and Moore may not give up a run this series.

      • scatterbrian - Apr 13, 2012 at 3:27 PM

        “…but after watching what the rays 4 and 5 pitchers did to Detroit…”

        One of those dudes was James Shields. He’s pretty good. Don’t confuse how pitchers are deployed to start the season with their actual ability.

    • Francisco (FC) - Apr 13, 2012 at 8:19 AM

      So far, the Jays have yet to play one of the top teams

      Ouch. (Red Sox Fans are foaming at the mouth…)

      • proudlycanadian - Apr 13, 2012 at 8:37 AM

        Take a look at Boston.com

      • Francisco (FC) - Apr 13, 2012 at 8:51 AM

        I said they were foaming at the mouth, I didn’t say they were foaming at you (they are likely foaming at the team!)

  4. yankeesfanlen - Apr 13, 2012 at 7:43 AM

    Craig. What happens with ALL Yankees-Red Sox games that start at 7PM?Do they fall in same catagory as West Coast night games?
    Extra inings in Baltimore?

  5. uyf1950 - Apr 13, 2012 at 8:58 AM

    “And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights”

    I didn’t think there was any baseball yesterday, since it was an off day for the Yankees.

    • 18thstreet - Apr 13, 2012 at 9:01 AM

      I’m not giving this a thumbs-up, but I’m tipping my hat to you. Pretty funny.

      • uyf1950 - Apr 13, 2012 at 10:00 AM

        I gave you thumbs up for at least admitting it was funny.

  6. astrosfan75956 - Apr 13, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    The nats one their home opener???

    • dink53 - Apr 13, 2012 at 9:19 AM

      That’s new Craig shorthand. Clinton took the W off his keyboard.

      • RickyB - Apr 13, 2012 at 10:07 AM

        I think you meant the Braves took the W off, since they won’t be needing it this year …

      • jimbo1949 - Apr 13, 2012 at 1:51 PM

        Oh snap+++++++

  7. ajcardsfan - Apr 13, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    If the Cubs are playing like that, it should be a good game today…assuming our home opener doesn’t get rained out…God must be toying with all of St. Louis’ emotions today

  8. Old Gator - Apr 13, 2012 at 9:57 AM

    Craig, we said you could fall asleep before the late west coast games. I don’t remember anyone extending you a license to fall asleep nose-down on the keyboard.

    In the wake of Slobbering Ozzie’s foot-in-mouth implosion earlier this week, Captain Cora must have loved his team’s impersonation of the Daigo Fukuryū Maru last night. The Feesh are peecking up right where they left off offensively last season, much less in spring training. Ita me san Joe Blanton sliced through the Rainbow Warriors like a ginsu knife through really, really high quality hamachi. Last season the Feesh placed 27th out of 30 teams (or third, if you want to look at it negatively) in leaving runners in scoring position, and they averaged two runs and change a game in spring training, which as we all know doesn’t count (unless you keep playing the same way once the season lurches into gear). Captain Cora must have loved his team’s impersonation of the Daigo Fukuryū Maru last night.

    Tweeter and the Iron Giant remain a little gimpy, and John Buck – himself coasting along in the friction layer of Rio Mendoza – melodramatically ran himself into the railing trying to catch a popup that nearly fell behind him. A couple of peetches later that out-wannabe landed out of the playing field but the other way, and the Feesh were well on their way to wasting another solid performance by their weenter bonus baby Buehrle.

    It’s not that it’s time to panic – that was back in the fall when Prince Albert signed with the Halos and Scrooge McLoria and the Chihuahua all but gave up on trying to land any other legitimate offensive threat what with Jose Reyes already on board. Unfortunately, as I wrote at the time – and again the other day – what sense did it make for a team near the bottom of the league in most offensive categories to go out and blow a wad on a get-on-base guy when their run producers were puffing along like a fleet of Sendai ghost trawlers? Well, faced now with the threat of a low-key fan boycott by the disaffected Cuban dinosaurs with an Ozzie jones, the real kaiju in the Feesh’s pond isn’t Gojira but the likelihood that, excuses about wonky knees and peetchers being ahead of the heeters in the early going aside, this might be about as good an offensive unit as this team actually is.

    It’s not too late to make a trade – package one or two prospects, one of the bottom guys in the rotation or boolpen, and throw in Tweeter (who they could have unloaded over the weenter when any number of clueless GMs were enquiring about him but who will need to be de-gimped in a hurry to get doodly squat for him now) and go get someone who knows how to drive in runs.

    And sign Oswalt while you can. JJ may still be a few months of power lifting away from being a shadow of his old self again.

    • Jonny 5 - Apr 13, 2012 at 10:15 AM

      Well Gator, in all fairness to your Feesh, last night the mighty Joe Blanton was throwing better than I remember him throwing before. His sinker was averaging 91 mph by Brooks. He hasn’t hit 91 with his sinker in GAWD knows how long and last night that was his average, so there’s that. It seems to me whatever ailed his elbow was repaired fully last season through surgery and relaxing on the beach with a turkey in one hand and a bucket of Margarita in the other.

      http://crashburnalley.com/2012/04/12/blanton-sharp-as-phillies-return-to-500/

    • Jonny 5 - Apr 13, 2012 at 10:48 AM

      In all fairness to your Feesh though Gator, Blanton was pitching at his very best last night with sinkers averaging 91 mph. He usually doesn’t see 91 with those pitches. Whatever surgery he had and relaxation he got last season it seems to have made him, dare I say “pretty darned good”. The man deserves a Turkey.

      http://crashburnalley.com/2012/04/12/blanton-sharp-as-phillies-return-to-500/comment-page-1/#comment-126410

    • APBA Guy - Apr 13, 2012 at 12:13 PM

      I like the notion of Oswalt pitching for Miami. I’m surprised the Chihuahua isn’t on it already, except that maybe Roy O wants too much money. McLoria earned that “Scooge” sobriquet, it was never thrust upon him.

      From your perspective, calling los Cubanos viejos “dinosaurs” will no doubt lead to you being suspended for 5 cups of cafe Cubano from your favorite cafecita. Like the Koch brothers funding every right leaning Super Pac they can, the Fanjuls do the same in So. Florida, and keep the pot boiling so the price of azucar remains absurdly high. Can’t have that competition from Cuba. Competition bad. Price supports for billionaires good. Will Ozzie be sufficiently chastened when he comes back?

      • Old Gator - Apr 13, 2012 at 1:24 PM

        For a leetle while. You can bet he’s not going to get into politics again – matter o’ fack, he swore he is never going to get into politics again at his inquisition on Tuesday. But if he actually behaves like a human being who was raised according to cutting-edge behaviorist principles, I’m going to be convinced that the Feesh used this opportunity to replace him with a pod person.

        Those pods grow pretty well in our climate, too.

        As far as my beloved little cafecita, I operate surreptitiously. They actually believe that I’m the sixth cousin of Mas Canosa.

        Speaking of which, when Horton Foote, Donna Shalala’s predecessor at the University of Miami, retired some years ago, we were sitting around in the faculty lounge debating whether the university really ought to spend thousands of dollars commissioning a statue of Foote instead of buying another round of concussion-proof football helmets for the varsity squad. The subject of how such a statue ought to be posed came up and I suggested bending over with his hands on his knees and his lips pursed, as if kissing Mas Canosa’s ass.

        I got a laugh, but then again, I also knew I was retiring at the end of the semester.

  9. tmohr - Apr 13, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    “Drew Smyly made his major league debut for the Tigers”

    His nickname better be “Guy”.

  10. mplsjoe - Apr 13, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    If you’re surprised that Mauer and Morneau were booed during a Twins home game, then you must have missed how much the worm has turned (is that the phrase?) on those two in Minnesota. Particularly Mauer, who was vilified by the local press last year for his injuries, rehab, and what was perceived to be a lack of toughness. Minnesota is a market that loves its local heroes, its “one of us”-es, and there was no bigger one-of-us than Mauer (who, as everyone here probably knows, is from St. Paul). The switch last year from love to hate was quite stunning.

    • Cris E - Apr 13, 2012 at 11:28 AM

      I don’t think it was a lasting thing. As long as they approximate a living, breathing baseball player the love will still be there. The trouble was, particularly for Mauer, it was hard to empathize with them as injured when nothing was visibly wrong. Over time, and in conjunction with a growing understanding of concussions in hockey and the NFL, Morneau was cut some slack. But Joe had to get back out there and play. He’s doing that now and he’ll be off the couch and back in the sack with MIN in short order. (Was that image wrong? It feels creepy now that I read it.)

      • mplsjoe - Apr 14, 2012 at 11:20 PM

        I agree on Morneau. I would chalk any booing of him up to general frustration with the team. But Mauer needs a new narrative to be written on him, one which involves him hitting about 20 HR and the team winning division titles. Since neither of those things are likely, I see more booing in Mauer’s future.

  11. marinersnate - Apr 13, 2012 at 3:25 PM

    Although the Mariners’ went 1-3 this week down in Arlington, they were actually in all these games. Surprisingly. Normally the M’s march into Texas and a few days later slink on out with their tail’s between their legs. In the first game the M’s jumped all over Yu-know-who only to have Noesi give it all back to them. In game 2, Blake Beavan (part of the Cliff Lee-Justin Smoak deal) matched Natali Feliz pitch for pitch and lost 1-0. (A 1-0 game? In Rangers’ Ballpark?) In game 3 the M’s sent out their #5 starter, Kevin Millwood. (Yes, THAT Kevin Millwood). After a shaky first inning, Millwood pitched like a crafty old vet and kept Texas hitters guessing. It was pretty impressive, not only against a high powered line up like this, but also for the fact that he had rookie catcher Jesus Montero behind the plate for his first MLB start (you know, the one the Yankees’ say can’t catch). Although behind all game, the M’s come fighting back with a three run top of the 9th for their one win in the series, 4-3. Game 4 was the only one the M’s were never really in. Derek Holland was great and Jason Vargas could not match him.

    The M’s may have the worst offense in MLB and they are no threat to contend for anything this season. But this series had a different feel to it. Right now, the M’s have some very young guys stepping up and playing well. Yes, they still lost the series. But they are fighting clearly better teams right to the end. It just seems that they are not quite the punching bag of the AL West that they have been these past few years. A little bit of an improved offense combined with all the very good starting pitching that Seattle has stacked down at AA, is enough to give a fan just a tiny glimmer of hope for the future.

    King Felix vs. Bartolo Colon in tonight’s home opener as the A’s come to town. The Safe should be rockin’.

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