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And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

Apr 20, 2012, 5:45 AM EDT

Minnesota Twins v New York Yankees Getty Images

Yankees 7, Twins 6: Curtis Granderson hit three bombs and went 5 for 5. If you just followed this game on Twitter, though, you’d think the storyline of the game was Phil Hughes stinking. The Yankees fans I follow are a surprisingly neurotic bunch despite following the most dominant team in American sports history. But to be fair, Hughes did kind of stink and he actually needed all three of those Granderson bombs. Just keeping the slot warm for Andy Pettitte I guess.

Dodgers 4, Brewers 3: Matt Kemp hit another homer. Ho-hum. Meanwhile, jumping Jesus on a pogo stick, look at the play Jerry Hairston made.

Reds 6, Cardinals 3: Adam Wainwright still doesn’t have his mojo back. The Reds beat him up for four runs on seven hits in five innings. Which is saying something, because the Reds couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a damn boat before yesterday.

Orioles 5, White Sox 3Jason Hammel struck out ten and Jim Johnson got out of a bases loaded jam in the ninth. Orioles are still in first place, people. I think that’s in Revelations. That child running on the field is in there someplace too, I’m sure of it (“and then cometh the young, who shall leadeth the …” and something or other).

Marlins 5, Cubs 3: And the Feesh sweep the Cubs. The Marlins are now 3-0 when being managed by a repentant Fidel Castro sympathizer.

Astros 11, Nationals 4: Houston raps out 17 hits. Every starter including the pitcher hit, and the team hit three triples in the first inning, sorta killing all of that “K Street” love I taped for today’s HBT Extra. When that part of the video airs later just pretend that this game didn’t happen, OK?

Rangers 10, Tigers 3: Yu Darvish had his best outing so far, giving up one run on two hits in six and a third. Of course, because he walked five and struck out five, his pitch count was pretty nutsy by the time he was yanked. Michael Young continues his hot hitting. Nelson Cruz continues his Tiger-destroying.

Rays 9, Blues Jays 4: Evan Longoria: 3 for 4 with a homer a double and four RBI. Another error too — five on the year for the guy who says “I will make my glove golden” in those MLB promos — but we’ll let that slide for today.

Indians 2, Mariners 1: The Tribe gets both of its runs on a ninth inning RBI single from Jack Hannahan. They rally — and lack of Seattle run support — squandered a fabulous Felix Hernandez performance: 8 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 12K.  As usual, King Felix just doesn’t know how to win.

Phillies 2, Padres 0: Another great west coast pitching performance, this once from Vance Worley (7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 11K). Phillies scored their runs on a sac fly and a passed ball, however, so the offensive worries are still there.

Athletics 4, Angels 2: The Angels continue to struggle, dropping their third in a row to Oakland. The A’s only mustered three hits total and only two off C.J. Wilson but still scored four runs, partially due to a Wilson throwing error.

Braves 10, Diamondbacks 2: Freddie Freeman went 3 for 5, hit two homers and drove in five. Mike Minor struck out nine and allowed only one earned run. His stuff was pretty filthy last night too. I was so impressed with it that while watching the game I tweeted about it. I accidentally called his curve his “braking ball.” I think I actually like that better, so I’m sticking with it. Minor throws a braking ball. It was taught to him by the braking ball guru. In other news, I also got this screencap from the game, that I will show you without comment. Well, one comment: “fisted.”

  1. georgia - Apr 20, 2012 at 6:07 AM

    You don’t have to post about the Padres-Phillies game. That was just the Phils continuing to obliterate the Friars at home like they have for years.

    • icanspeel - Apr 20, 2012 at 9:45 AM

      I’m a Padres fan and wish I could defend the team, but for me the over/under for amount of runs the Padres will score vs the Phillies is at 3 runs for 4 games. They are just playing absolutely terrible this year and the Phillies do own them, whether the Padres lose by 2 or more it doesn’t matter..Loss is a loss

    • spudchukar - Apr 20, 2012 at 2:10 PM

      When the only 2 runs you score are on a Sacrifice Fly and a Passed Ball, you cannot describe the victory using the word “obliterate”.

      • jimbo1949 - Apr 20, 2012 at 3:05 PM

        offensive juggernaut?

      • spudchukar - Apr 20, 2012 at 7:46 PM

        Much improved. However, most juggernauts are offensive.

  2. illbringdabeers - Apr 20, 2012 at 6:59 AM

    I didn’t know 2-0 was obliterating a team

    • georgia - Apr 20, 2012 at 7:10 AM

      Well, it isn’t. The Phils have beaten the Padres at PETCO Park every game since 2008, I believe. This game wasn’t a giant defeat, but overall the Padres have gotten dominated by the Phillies at home for a long, long time.

      • georgia - Apr 20, 2012 at 7:12 AM

        Reference if you care: http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Phillies-vs-Padres-Whos-the-Home-Team-148195695.html

    • Jeremy Fox - Apr 20, 2012 at 12:50 PM

      Relative to how bad the Phillies offense has been so far this year, a 2-0 victory does indeed count as “obliterating” a team. And I say that as a Phillies fan.

    • spudchukar - Apr 20, 2012 at 2:11 PM

      Ooops sorry, should have read further before I posted.

  3. Kevin S. - Apr 20, 2012 at 7:53 AM

    I’m guessing Hughes and Garcia don’t like conflict, making Girardi’s decision easy when Pettitte and Pineda are ready.

    • spudchukar - Apr 20, 2012 at 2:13 PM

      Somehow Pettitte and Pineda does not conjure up a dynamic duo.

  4. Lukehart80 - Apr 20, 2012 at 8:14 AM

    Felix was a monster last night, but Josh Tomlin deserves credit for pitching really well too, and keeping the Indians close so that two runs would be enough.

  5. yankees177 - Apr 20, 2012 at 8:22 AM

    Hughes stinking? Really? That didnt happen in the game I watched. He gave up 4 unearned runs in the first because of Nunez. Had to throw 30 pitches to get out of that inning. After that the only blip was a 2 run shot in the 6th. Official line was 5.1 innings 2 earnes runs. If it wasnt for the fact he had to throw a ton of pitches in the first he might have pitched to the 7th. Had a good curve and change all night. Thats not amazing but hardly stinking.

  6. yankeesfanlen - Apr 20, 2012 at 8:30 AM

    I told that neurotic Granderson after the game that he’s not helping his OPS by only hitting singles after the first three HRs. Gotta step it up we want half-price pizza.

    Clarification note: Papa John’s, in tri-state promotes pizza at half off online when Yankees scores 6 runs and wins.Only fifth time it’s happened this season-kick it up Universe!

    • Jonny 5 - Apr 20, 2012 at 9:36 AM

      Same for the Phillies too. Although I must sadly admit, that will more than likely be a very rare occurrence.

      • yankeesfanlen - Apr 20, 2012 at 9:42 AM

        As an humanitarian gesture, just use code YANKEES6, the computer won’t know the difference.

      • Jonny 5 - Apr 20, 2012 at 9:51 AM

        LOL! I was sad about the Phillies, Not the pizza Len! But thanks anyway. ;)

  7. uyf1950 - Apr 20, 2012 at 8:39 AM

    Craig, to be fair Hughes didn’t really stink. If not for the very costly error by Nunez in the 1st inning Hughes would have got out of the inning with only having given up a single to Jamey Carroll instead of the 4 unearned runs created by Nunez. An error like that can’t help but take the wind out of the sails of a pitcher for the next several batters. In case you hadn’t noticed Hughes did settle down for the next several innings. So lets give Hughes his fair due. He went 5 1/3 innings giving up 2 earned runs both of those in the 6th inning. Striking out 4 and walking 2.

    • Francisco (FC) - Apr 20, 2012 at 12:18 PM

      The counter-point to that is that your pitcher should be tough enough to persevere no matter what. We frown on pitchers if they complain that their defense is letting them down. Why let them off the hook when it does? Because it’s an “un-earned” run? I find that stat slightly suspect. After all, I figure most fly balls to left field that fall down for singles and doubles with Raul Ibanez defending should be unearned runs! We don’t accept the simple error stat to measure defensive value of the fielder, why do we accept the error stat as a measure of whether the run is earned or not?

      Only if the error directly led to a run would I say, yeah that’s unearned. But this was indirect. Hughes did strike out Josh Willingham next. You can’t say he was wanting for confidence. He had every opportunity to make sure the defensive faux-pas didn’t cause any damage, but he slipped.

      I’m not going to say Phil Hughes stunk, but I will say he let himself get rattled. You can say that without the error this ends with a Josh Willingham strikeout. You don’t know that. This inning could have also ended if Morneau doesn’t walk and instead Phil induces a ground ball or strikes him out too. I’m not willing to absolve him of those four runs in the 1st inning. His defense let him down no doubt but he didn’t step up either.

    • spudchukar - Apr 20, 2012 at 2:21 PM

      Uyf, my friend, your undying support for Hughes is admirable, even if it lacks much credence. Hughes’ velocity does seem to be back, I’ll give you that, but his fastball is still straight, he lacks the command of it to combat that weakness, he keeps putting himself in hitter’s counts, mostly due to his lack of confidence in his heater.

      This happens to young pitchers sometimes. Early success, but then when their go-to pitch gets hit, they try to make it too fine, which only exacerbates the issue. Far better to challenge hitters on the first pitch, than to fall behind and then have to come to them when they can look for the pitch. Baseball is still primarily about the success a player has on strike one, and for some time now Hughes has not been very good on his initial pitch.

  8. sophiethegreatdane - Apr 20, 2012 at 9:00 AM

    As an Oriole fan, let me assure you that their presence in first place won’t last long. By mid June they’ll have fallen into last place, suffered two or three 8-game losing streaks, and the town will be longing for Ravens training camp.

    It happens every year: they’re competitive for two weeks, and terrible for the rest. It’s like watching Groundhog Day. Except I enjoy Groundhog Day and don’t want to shoot myself in the face 3/4 of the way through the movie. Unlike an O’s season.

    • Loose Changeup - Apr 20, 2012 at 12:11 PM

      The last time the O’s were in first place this late in the season was 2008.

    • DJ MC - Apr 20, 2012 at 1:26 PM

      I love Orioles fans who never allow themselves to actually enjoy the Orioles.

  9. ajcardsfan - Apr 20, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    Waino’s outing yesterday was just ugly. I’m still giving him till Mid-June to get his groove back, but man it still hurts to watch him struggle out there right now.

  10. sportsdrenched.com - Apr 20, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    I like Curtis Granderson, even though he plays for the Evil Empire.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 20, 2012 at 9:50 AM

      I think it’s really hard not to like Granderson, a great person and good ballplayer.

  11. md23rewlz - Apr 20, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    Re: Hughes–It’s a middle ground. Yes, Nunez made the error, but after a player makes an error, the pitcher isn’t automatically obligated to give up four runs. And the logic that I saw previously stated in the thread, “An error like that can’t help but take the wind out of the sails of a pitcher for the next several batters” just doesn’t hold, given that he struck out Mauer right after the error and had two outs. The error DID lead to runs in the technical sense that, had Nunez not made it, maybe Hughes gets out of that inning, but when (with two outs), you walk someone to load the bases, then give up a single, then give up a double, I think that’s on the pitcher, error be damned. Credit to Hughes for settling down, but the error doesn’t absolve him of all first inning blame. Regardless, this weekend’s Boston series should be interesting. If you’re going to have a 100th anniversary party for Fenway, might as well have the Yankees beating you up for your lunch money. For the sake of nostalgia. DO IT FOR NOSTALGIA, YANKEES.

    • uyf1950 - Apr 20, 2012 at 11:23 AM

      md23 – to quote you “had Nunez not made it, maybe Hughes gets out of that inning…” My friend there is no maybe. If Nunez does not make that error Hughes is out of the inning as I stated. That’s why they call the runs unearned.

      • md23rewlz - Apr 20, 2012 at 1:22 PM

        Even if I do give you that point (which I guess I can), just because Hughes would have been out of the inning had the error not been made doesn’t mean that the four runs aren’t his fault. Like I said, middle ground. Nunez made the error that opened up the possibility, but Nunez did not make that possibility a reality. He just opened up the possibility. It’s still on Hughes that those runs scored, at least to a large degree.

  12. pw38 - Apr 20, 2012 at 11:37 AM

    I know the Rangers will eventually cool off a bit and hit a slump (since every team does it) but man are they hot right now. It doesn’t matter who they face they hit well, pitch well, field well. This is about as complete a team as there is in the majors atm. They’re two blown saves away from 13-0. I hope Detroit shows more tonight otherwise it’s gonna be a long series for them.

  13. Old Gator - Apr 20, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    Slobbering Ozzie’s commitment to the Revolution is paying huge dividends. Night before last, the Feesh seized and then nationalized the Strange Attractor. Last night, they were surfing the luck plane on it, as Bob would say. That Ricky Nolasco showed up but as luck, karma and prion-vectored neurological disorders like die Vloek van der Geitbok would have it, he was facing the New Look Cubs (in rear profile, anyway) who are themselves now so far below the Strange Attractor that their sensor batteries can’t even register its gravitational field. The Hanster went homerless, just for varietie’s sake, and the Feesh hitters had fun testing bounces off the semi-artificial turf of their new playpen.

    That replicant grass at Macondo Banana Massacre Field, by the way, was custom-designed for the Feesh by the Tyrrel Company cyber-agronomists – “more graminoid than graminoid” – and when the rood is open, it photosynthesizes normally, but when the roof is close the artificial chlorophyll (magnesium and green food coloring) responds positive-phototropically to the stadium lights, kinda like a hybrid Camry with flex-fuel capabilities. Speaking of manmade nightmares, Tommy got a night off, giving the Feesh time to send some inspectors to check out his gears and sprockets. I suspect that there’s actually a little old man who lives in there someplace – you know, like Moses the Clock Man in The Hudsucker Proxy. I will have to find out his name by the time the Feesh come back from confronting the upstart Gnats this weekend – a series on which it behooves all postmodernist baseball fans to keep an eye.

    Okay, arriba y adelante en route to the great whoredome of Washington – funny how our secret service agents get so nostalgic for the company of congressmen when they’re working out of town that they have to hire prostitutes off the streets just so they can feel a little more at home, innit?

  14. Mike Luna - Apr 20, 2012 at 1:14 PM

    Darvish having a high pitch count isn’t a story.

    He was at 102 pitches after 6 and easily could have called it a night right there. Texas doesn’t worry about PCs. They sent him out in the 7th. They wanted to push him.

  15. APBA Guy - Apr 20, 2012 at 1:32 PM

    The A’s win the series 3-1 over the Angels, whose bats were sleeping (memo to Jobu: wake up!). Bad as the Angels offense was-I wrote yesterday about how old their older players look-their pitching has also been sloppy: too many hanging sliders, especially to Cespedes, and yesterday the contrast between Milone’s command (first walk in 3 games by an A’s starter was by Milone) as opposed to Wilson, whose 3 walks all came around to score. The Angels were also sloppy on defense with 3 infield errors.

    So let’s think of one word to describe the A’s in this series:

    Boring? No, that’s always the case these days.
    Scrappy? No, there were elements of that, and I think Gomes certainly plays hard, but not sure the whole team is there yet.
    Lucky? That’s better. As my girlfriend pointed out last night, the Angels are playing like they think they deserve to win just by showing up, whereas the Rangers are playing like they have something to prove.

    The Angels will come around. The A’s were lucky to catch them at this point in time, before the Angels elevate their game.

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