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And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

Apr 17, 2012, 6:06 AM EDT

Baltimore Orioles v Chicago White Sox Getty Images

Orioles 10, White Sox 4: Matt Wieters homered twice. The first one coming in the eighth, which kicked off the O’s comeback after finding themselves down 4-1, the second one: a 10th inning grand slam which put the game out of reach.

Twins 7, Yankees 3: Joe Mauer had three hits and Justin Morneau played in the field and had a home run. That should make the Twins fans happy. Carl Pavano allowed three runs in seven innings, which should make the Yankees fans mad.

Phillies 5, Giants 2: The battle of the aces doesn’t quite live up to its billing, but Halladay beats Lincecum, who is still struggling mightily. Indeed, Lincecum gave up five runs and eight hits in six innings and it actually represented a clear improvement over his last outing.

Mets 6, Braves 1: I guess the Mets own the Braves now. Ike Davis — three run homer — and Dillon Gee — four hit ball over seven innings — led New York to their fourth straight win over Atlanta.

Rays 1, Red Sox 0: As mentioned yesterday, Bobby V. stuck with Daniel Bard a bit too long and he walked the ballpark. And Fernando Rodney should have walked Cody Ross in the ninth, but Larry Vanover had other ideas. None of which takes away from James Shields‘ day (8.1 IP, 4 H, 0 ER). The Rays avoid the sweep.

Nationals 6, Astros 3: Stephen Strasburg cruised through five innings, was beat up a bit in the sixth, but had plenty of margin for error to get the win. And check out this throw home on a pop fly by Rick Ankiel. You’ll never see a better one in that situation. If the dude stood out there and threw it like that ten years ago instead of on the mound he’d still be a pitcher.

Tigers 3, Royals 2: Speaking of nice throws, check out this one by Jeff Francoeur nailing Jhonny Peralta at third base. Tigers still won, though, because Verlander dealt for eight innings and then survived — just barely — for the ninth, after loading the bases and going 2-2 to Alex Gordon. Struck him out looking though, with all five pitches to him being 100 m.p.h. fastballs. Brandon Inge had a two-run homer. Which probably bought him two more years in a Tigers uniform, what with the sliding performance scale to which he is subject.

Padres 7, Rockies 1: Nick Hundley drove in three, Chase Headley had three doubles and scored three times and Corey Luebke allowed one run on six hits in seven innings.

Angels 6, Athletics 0: Kendrys Morales hit his first homer since the one that led to his ankle injury nearly two years ago. Mike Scioscia actually said this after the game: “”I was happy he got around the bases in one piece.” Pujols went 2 for 4 with a double. Jered Weaver got his 1000th career strikeout. The A’s were shutout for the third time in six games.

Diamondbacks 5, Pirates 1: Chris Young continues his torrid start. He had three hits, including his fifth homer of the year. Joe Saunders gave up one run on six hits in seven innings.

  1. proudlycanadian - Apr 17, 2012 at 6:42 AM

    The Orioles are now alone in first place in the AL East. The Red Sox are alone in last place. It will be a very interesting year in the best division in baseball.

    • bravojawja - Apr 17, 2012 at 9:21 AM

      The Nationals are alone in first place in the NL East. The Mets have a two game lead on the Braves and Phillies, and the new-look Marlins are alone in last. It will be a very interesting year in the best division in baseball.

      • wlschneider09 - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:22 AM

        I’m tempted to make an equally pretentious post about the AL central, just for comedic effect.

  2. hittfamily - Apr 17, 2012 at 7:10 AM

    Hopefull big game James showed the rest of the starters how it’s done yesterday. In his last 2 starts he has faced the Tigers and the Red Sox. 16.1 innings, 10 hits, 3 BB, 10 k, 2ER. He beat Verlander too. He is proving he is not a 1 year wonder, and his value is skyrocketing. Cincy’s already pissed they chose the Padres over the Rays.

    I still say they will move him this year. Obviously not this early, but their offense and bullpen suck. Everybody focuses on them moving a young pitcher, but that’s not how Tampa does it. He gets really expensive for them, but he is still cheap. They need a catching prospect and an outfield prospect to take BJ’s place. Management has already said they are seeking a long term catching solution, and will not be renting one. Unfortunately, 80% of the top catching prospects are either untouchable, or reside in the AL east or LAA., their direct competitors. Miami still has Pujols; money, and Josh Johnson is sucking so far, so I think they are the best bet. JT Realmuto, Christian Yelich, and a middle reliever sounds pretty good.

    Toronto fans: would the Rays and Jays ever do business, because either Arencibia or d’Arnaud need to be moved.

    • 18thstreet - Apr 17, 2012 at 7:33 AM

      James Worthy is on Tampa?

      How on earth did James Shields get the nickname “Big Game”? He’s made six unremarkable postseason starts.

      • randomdigits - Apr 17, 2012 at 8:45 AM

        He picked up the nickname when he was in the minors.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Apr 17, 2012 at 11:37 AM

        The minor leagues don’t have big games. By definition, they’re all Minor League games.

        It’s like going to PFT and seeing Aaron Rodgers named A-Rod.

      • detroitfanatic - Apr 17, 2012 at 11:54 AM

        He made it to the majors, while a lot of them don’t. They are ALL big games.

    • proudlycanadian - Apr 17, 2012 at 7:33 AM

      They would do a deal if it made sense; however, Toronto has a lot of top pitching prospects in the minors. Three of them are expected to be ready for the majors sometime this season. Now if you had a stud first baseman to trade???????? The Jays would love to get Votto in a trade and I am sure that they are monitoring Morneau closely.

      • detroitfanatic - Apr 17, 2012 at 8:00 AM

        Morneau’s contract combined with with his health issues make him untradealbe, so as a Tampa fan, I say go get him. Trumbo really isn’t an upgrade ove Lind either. Ike Davis maybe? 3 way deal with NY? Hmm. The Rays have both Beckham and Hak Ju Lee to replace Reyes in NY. I’m sure they’d rather deal pitching though.

        The top catching prospects reside in Yanks, Sox, Jays, A’s, Braves, Giants, Padres, Mariners and Rockies systems. Of those, The first 3 would be hard to get any deal done. The A’s don’t won’t want Shields, Nieman, or Davis, as they are just like the Rays in that they trade vets for prospects, no visa versa. The Braves won’t move a top prospect catcher until McCann is locked up. I doubt the Giants want to move a catching prospect until Posey proves he is back and can handle 120 games behind the plate for the next few years. The Rockies are pitching loaded in the minors as well, so that would be tough to do.

        So the Padres, Mariners, and Marlins (as I already said in original post) make the most sense. However, the Rockies are pitching loaded in the minors as well. The Mariners gave up Pineda for Montero, so they obviously think higher of him than I do, and likely the Rays do either. The Padre’s really have no use for both Nick Hundley and Yasmani Grandal, so this is definately a possibility. However, I believe the Rays would rather move Shields and his 7.5, 9, and 12 million dollar salary elsewhere for a buttload of prospects.

        So, I am absolutely stumped. The Marlins are the only ones that match both teams financial desires, but Realmuto is a ways away. Perhaps a 3 way deal is most likely, because there don’t seem to be any 2 way deals.

  3. detroitfanatic - Apr 17, 2012 at 7:32 AM

    Leyland is really pissing me off. Verlander has gone 8 innings, 8.1 innings, and 9 innings. His ERA in the 9th inning this year is over 40. There is no reason to allow him to throw 131 pitches in April. We pay Benoit and Valverde a lot of money, and one of them should have been in there. Does he not realize that 93% of the season still remains? I guess he wants Verlander to throw 275 innings this year, but the DL would be far more likely. We are in a weak division, have a top bullpen, and it’s g#$ damn April for f^cks sake!!!! Get him out of there Jim, or our #1 and #2 will be on the DL.

    • proudlycanadian - Apr 17, 2012 at 7:35 AM

      Didn’t Valverde blow the save, the first time he had a chance for one?

      • Francisco (FC) - Apr 17, 2012 at 8:18 AM

        Yes, but he got the W anyway. Man just knows how to win…

    • aceshigh11 - Apr 17, 2012 at 8:28 AM

      Yeah, that’s pretty inexplicable for this time of year.

      But on the other hand, Verlander is a friggin’ monster. Still hitting 100 MPH in the 9th to blow the last guy away.

      You rarely see that kind of starting pitcher dominance anymore, sad to say.

      • Francisco (FC) - Apr 17, 2012 at 8:37 AM

        100 MPH at the end of the game? Only if you are Aroldis Chapman, and only if they BRING him in the 9th.

      • aceshigh11 - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:52 AM

        Craig reported above that Verlander struck out the last batter of the game with 100 MPH fastballs.

    • cur68 - Apr 17, 2012 at 9:45 AM

      detroitfanatic is just pointing out something that others have commented on in the past: Leyland works his pitchers hard. In fact, he’s lead the league in allowing his pitchers to throw the most, for a few seasons. Nothing new here, really.

    • sportsdrenched.com - Apr 17, 2012 at 9:56 AM

      Here is Verlander’s PC for his April 2011 Starts:
      114-108-119-116-117-114

      Think that’s impressive. Check out May 2011:
      127-108-105-114-132

      He’ll be fine. He’s just Verlander being Verlander.

      • spudchukar - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:51 AM

        The Rays know what they are doing. As long as they remain the team to beat in the AL East (winners in 2 of the past 4 years and currently improved over those teams and much younger than their competitors) James Shields will remain the ace of a very young staff. He just turned 30 so should be in his prime.

        Sure they could use a catcher, middle infielder with some pop, a right-handed DH/OF who can produce and another arm or two in the bullpen, but they have needed those and more the past four years when they have finished better or as strong as the luxury tax laden Yankees and Red Sox.

        Upton and Farnsworth should return in the first part of May, and getting Lobaton and/or Chirinos will give them flexibility in the catcher department. Maddon usually solves the bullpen issues and the addition of Keppinger gives them a bat in the middle infield. So suddenly many of their perceived issues disappear.

        Remember the Rays didn’t have Jennings or Moore for the majority of 2011 and still traveled further in the post-season than their more ballyhooed rivals. Plus Hellickson isn’t a rookie, Niemann is healthy, Pena is back at 1B and off to a rare hot start, and Scott is a lefty DH addition that can only help. (Much to my chagrin)

        True they have not come flying out of the gates in 2012, but soon they will be healthy, more apt to stay that way then either Boston or New York, and still sit at 5-5 after opening with 3 at home vs the Yankees, then 3 in Detroit, followed by 4 in Fenway, not exactly a cushy first 10 games.

        This week they travel to Toronto, and take on the Jays, the team they will most likely be battling with for the division crown in years to come.

    • kalinedrive - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:58 PM

      Verlander was at 104 pitches through 8 innings. I think he wanted to pitch the ninth more than Leyland wanted him to. And I think JV has earned the right to say it’s my game, lemme finish it, Valverde already blew the first one for me.

      • detroitfanatic - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:51 PM

        Why have a manager then? They don’t teach. They don’t coach. They decide. Verlander blew a 2-0 lead to the Rays by allowing 4 earned in the ninth to them. He gave up an ER last night in the 9th. Verlander, like most great pitchers (or non-great ones too), will never say, “OK coach. It’s in the best interest of the team and my health to pull me”. That will always be the managers decison. I understand letting him start the 9th, but he allowed 2 baserunners. He should have been out after the first one got on.

        Quade did it to Smadzija. Maddon did it to Shields and Hellickson. I can’t think of any others this year, but it is a pretty standard practice, especially over 120 pitches.

  4. spindervish - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:31 AM

    I have no idea what that last sentence of the Nats-Stros blurb is supposed to mean.

    • royhobbs39 - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:55 AM

      Can we just have Ankiel pitch from about ten yards behind second base?

    • The Rabbit - Apr 17, 2012 at 11:49 AM

      Rick Ankiel was a Cardinals’ pitcher. He had an excellent year as a rookie, but after that wasn’t effective.
      He was athletic and had skills. He went back to the minors and was recycled as an outfielder.

  5. spudchukar - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    If Verlander is Verlander in the post-season this year, like flamed-out last year, the Tigers will be watching the latter part of play-offs.

  6. Gamera the Brave - Apr 17, 2012 at 11:51 AM

    After the first week, the Giants’ rotation looked SCARY bad… However, one at a time, they are bouncing back to form – Zito (?!?), then Bumgarner, then Cain. Even Vogelsong’s first appearance off the DL was solid, if not great. Only Timmy remains, and frankly I think his switch got flipped in the third inning or so. If that is the case, the whole rotation may be back to usual form.

    Now, if we can just get some more hits with runners in scoring position – oh, and some f-ing DEFENSE…

  7. APBA Guy - Apr 17, 2012 at 11:52 AM

    Key takeaway from the A’s game: “The A’s were shutout for the third time in six games.” Even with all of Arte Moreno’s marketing, with Albert playing and Weaver starting the official attendance was only 60% last night. The A’s are toxic. If the owners vote on the move in May, something I seriously doubt will actually happen, Arte should play everyone a tape of the half-empty park before the vote. “My fans don’t want to be bored to death” should be the message. Because god knows, 10 games in, Oakland fans already are.

    • scatterbrian - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:15 PM

      Slusser reported (tweeted) last night that the vote will not be on the agenda, according to an MLB source.

  8. The Rabbit - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:01 PM

    Re: Wieters and Matthew’s post from last night
    Some of us in the cheap seats here were discussing this during last night’s games prior to the GS.
    Most of my remarks were not appropriate for a family audience, but I did wonder if Rosenthal had hairy palms, too.
    We did question whether Rosenthal has real (unnamed) sources or just a large number of imaginary friends.

  9. steviep23 - Apr 17, 2012 at 12:23 PM

    Wieters looking like an all star starter right now.

  10. jiggy3198 - Apr 17, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    First place birds you gotta live it. Go O-R-I-O-L-E-S. I will check back in 3 weeks

  11. jlovenotjlo - Apr 17, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    After playing some solid baseball through the first 3 series, the White Sox came back to show their true colors. Bad defense, a worse bullpen, and a lineup that appears to have 5 pitchers batting in it is only the beginning. The 07,08,09,10 and 11 White Sox would be proud that we are carrying on this great legacy.

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