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And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

Apr 23, 2012, 5:45 AM EDT

Texas Rangers v Detroit Tigers Getty Images

Rangers 3, Tigers 2: If only there was some form of technology that could rectify bad calls. Some magical device that could allow officials to see what really happened on a baseball field when the umpires miss it. A bit of sorcery that could put right what was wrong and prevent a game from being decided on a blown call. Sadly, no such thing exists, despite all of the efforts of our men and women of science. So, alas, the Rangers win on a blown call.

Diamondbacks 6, Braves 4: Randall Delgado issued a bases loaded walk and then a grand slam to Gerardo Parra in the second inning and that would be all Arizona needed. The Dbacks snap their five-game skid and salvage one in what had been a ghastly series against the Braves.

Padres 6, Phillies 1: Nick Hundley tripled, homered and drove in four. I don’t have time to go run the numbers right now, but I assume that that alone is more offense than the Phillies have mustered since the season began.

White Sox 7, Mariners 4: Ichiro Suzuki singled in the first, so no perfect game in this one. Umpire Tim Mcclelland had to be restrained from saying Ichiro struck out on the single, though. And then no one showed the replay and no one talked about it. Huh.

Reds 4, Cubs 3: From the AP game story:

Aroldis Chapman came on to strike out Ian Stewart looking with a fastball that registered 99 miles per hour on the stadium scoreboard, preserving the lead.

I’ve only been there once and it was like 12 years ago, but I was kinda surprised that Wrigley had gun readings on a scoreboard somewhere. These sorts of things elude me.

Athletics 5, Indians 1: Justin Masterson, the Indians Opening Day starter, continues to struggle, giving up four runs on six hits in five innings. Seth Smith and Cliff Pennington each drove in a couple.

Rockies 4, Brewers 1: Ryan Braun got his MVP plaque awarded to him before the game. That and 50 cents gets you a pack of Certs,apparently, because a Michael Cuddyer RBI double in the eighth and a Carlos Gonzalez RBI single in the ninth put the Rockies over the top.

Orioles 3, Angels 2: Nick Markakis supplied all of the Orioles’ offense, in the eighth and the tenth innings. The O’s are at 9-6 tied with the Rays a half game back of New York and Toronto. Yeah, it’s too early for that kind of standings watching, but it’s kinda fun to say it, ain’t it?

Astros 12, Dodgers 0: L.A got whupped. Jordan Schafer hit a grand slam. Wandy Rodriguez threw seven three-hit shutout innings.

Blue Jays 5, Royals 3: Rickey Romero was solid (8 IP, 5 H 2 ER), Brett Lawrie stole home on a delayed double steal and Kansas City has lost ten in a row. Yikes.

Rays 6, Twins 2: First sentence of the AP recap:

The Minnesota Twins are becoming concerned with Francisco Liriano‘s struggles.

This is not a repeat from any year since 2006.

Cardinals 5, Pirates 1: How is Kyle Lohse doing this year? Well, he gave up one run over seven innings and his ERA actually went up. From 0.89 to 0.99.

I will now sell five copies of The Three E.P.’s by The Beta Band:

Yankees vs. Red Sox: POSTPONED: I asked him time again …

Marlins vs. Nationals: POSTPONED: Take me in and dry the rain …

Giants vs. Mets: POSTPONED: Take me in and dry the rain, take me in and dry the rain, take me in and dry the rain, the rain the rain the rain now.

  1. georgia - Apr 23, 2012 at 6:19 AM

    I’m genuinely surprised the Padres ended their years-long home winless streak against the Phillies and then won a second game in a row at home against the team. Of course, the Phils will probably just start another winning streak at PETCO Park next time they come around.

  2. spudchukar - Apr 23, 2012 at 6:37 AM

    That makes 6 consecutive series wins for a banged up St. Louis squad. (For those of you who have trouble with the sole win in Miami counting thusly, I ask you, then why do they call it a one-game series?)

    Not bad for a team who has zero wins out of their dual aces Carpenter/Wainwright, find Berkman on the DL, with zero homers to date, their 3rd place and perennial all-star sporting a BA of .197 and OPS of .592, a shelved centerfielder, and having played only 6 home games.

    So it is on to Chicago for 3, who have ingeniously decided to schedule 2 night games Monday and Tuesday in April. Forecasts calls for game time temperature to be 42 and breezy.

    • hittfamily - Apr 23, 2012 at 11:29 AM

      I sure is nice beating up on bad teams, and playing in a division with no other .500 clubs. Boston is in a similiar situation and has 4 wins.

      • spudchukar - Apr 23, 2012 at 1:10 PM

        Hey another 13 ways of stupid comment. First off, it is way too early to determine which teams in which divisions are strong. Second, you are talking about the World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals, who if memory serves me right, defeated all the teams in the overrated AL East in 2011, who were not even strong enough to send a representative to the final round of the post season.

        Third, St. Louis has only played two series against a traditionally “bad” teams in their first 16 games, a 3 game set vs the Cubs. So far their schedule has had them play 6 games vs Cincinnati, 3 vs Milwaukee, three vs. the Pirates and one against Miami, and the 3 vs the Cubs.

        Fourthly, Cincinnati and Milwaukee are currently more talented than these American League teams, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Kansas City, Minnesota, Seattle and Oakland.

        Yes, there are 4 good teams in the AL East, and to date their respective records indicate that. So if you wanted to make the point that St. Louis would not be 11-5 in that division, I would agree, but comparing them to cellar dwelling Boston in inane. The point of the post (and I should not have to spell this out) was that unlike teams like Boston the Cards have overcome a handful of early season injuries with excellent reinforcements from young role players, which Boston obviously does not have or plan for.

        And you should know by now, I am an ardent Rays fan, and am well aware of the difficulties they overcome. But in all honesty the Rays have not played particularly well early. Outside of Shields the starting pitching has been mediocre, still no production from the middle infield, no real catcher to speak of, and a bull pen that is a mess.

        Although extremely hypothetical, were the Rays to have replaced the Cards, and played the same schedule as St. Louis has played, I can guarantee you they would be no better than the 11-5 record St. Louis sports, and this goes for any other team in the AL East.

      • Old Gator - Apr 23, 2012 at 3:08 PM

        “13 ways of stupid comment” – hey, great reference! I love Wallace Stevens.

  3. philm5 - Apr 23, 2012 at 6:37 AM

    It has been bugging me all weekend that FOX wouldn’t show the replay of that last check swing in the perfect game, nor would they even talk about the possibility that he didn’t swing. I feel much better now that someone has finally brought it up.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:54 AM

      Considering the home plate umpire called him out, and there isn’t any rule specifying what a checked swing is, not sure why there’s a controversy. Ump called him out. If he ran to first instead of complaining, he probably would have been safe.

  4. proudlycanadian - Apr 23, 2012 at 7:43 AM

    What is wrong with the Angels? Just like Boston in 2011, they spent big in the off season and appear to have spent poorly. The Angels also have a log jam at OF, 1B and DH that they have been either unable or unwilling to resolve.

    • spudchukar - Apr 23, 2012 at 8:04 AM

      Correct about the logjam, but nobody wants Abreau or Wells even if they eat most of their salaries.

      • hittfamily - Apr 23, 2012 at 12:24 PM

        If Marlon Byrd and Carlos Zambrano can be moved, Vernon Wells would surely have some takers. He’s 1 season removed from a 4 WAR, 125 wRC+ season, and is on pace for a 3 WAR season. If they ate the salary, a decent prospect is definitely plausible, hell maybe even a top 100. I think their plan was to use him the same way the Mets used Beltran last year to net a top 50 prospect at the deadline. They were going to have to eat all of his salary one way or another, so why not maximize his value.

        With a last place start, that plan may have to change, and move he and Trumbo for a starter and bull pen help. There won’t be as many takers for either of them as there would be for Hunter. If Hunter can still play center, the Nats have a surplus of MLB ready arms and a need for a center fielder.

        One thing is certain. The Angels are in a bind as far as their trade possibilities go. They want to move aging players with big salaries for MLB ready talent. The time to do that is the offseason and the deadline, not 2 weeks into the season. The takers for those players will be teams vying for playoff spots, and won’t want to help the Angels. That makes Abreu untradable in my view. Trumbo has value to a NL team, but I doubt any NL team would give up much for Morales, as he is better suited for DH until he proves he can stay healthy.

        If I’m running the club, I’d let things play out. Wells may bounce back, and Pujols will be Pujols. Santana and Williams won’t suck all season, and are very acceptable 4 and 5 starters. I’d leave Trout in AAA all season. I’m reminded of what Tampa did to Upton. They brought him up at 19 without having a need for him. It killed his progression. He had to lean a new position, and fix his flaws at the MLB level, which turned a top prospect into an average #6 hitter. Trout likely won’t add anything that Wells and Hunter can’t, except for SB. It’s not like he’s a guaranteed .800 ops guy at 20 years old, so he’s not really an upgrade. If they are still below .500 in July, make some changes, but they only have to be better than either the Jays or Rays in the end when it is all said and done.

      • spudchukar - Apr 23, 2012 at 1:19 PM

        Which more than anything shows how sad WAR stats can be. The Angels would have dumped him some time ago, had anybody offered anybody in return. A top 100 prospect, you must be kidding me. It would be a steal if they could get a top 300. They have the #1 prospect in AAA who is blocked by the Abreau/Wells dilemma.

        The most prudent play would be to dump them ASAP. No one can be sure that Trout will excel, but he is the #1 rated prospect for a reason, and the odds are better for him than anyone else.

      • hittfamily - Apr 23, 2012 at 1:51 PM

        The Mets got the #28 overall prospect for 1/3 of a season of an oft injured Carlos Beltran. If the Angels picked up his salary, he has between 6-and 9 million dollars in value. Offense desperate contending teams make reckless moves at the trade deadline. If he shows he can bounce back and be productive, a desperate contending team will part with a small peice of their future hoping to contend now. Whether Wells plays 1/3 of a season or the entire season, they are paying his salary in it’s entirity.

      • spudchukar - Apr 23, 2012 at 3:05 PM

        The difference is Beltran can still play! He was slowed only by injury. Wells and Abeau are healthy and lousy. Regardless how you value them, intelligent baseball minds know they are washed up. Maybe Trout needs more seasoning, that is a viable argument, but he is an upgrade, particularly defensively, and on the bases, and even a disappointing season offensively would be in the same neighborhood of the best case scenarios for either of the has-beens.

        The reason nobody wants Abreau is cause he is out of shape, a defensive liability, can no longer steal a base, and doesn’t have the power for a DH. He is in the last year of his contract, so a release, is what he wanted in Spring Training, then maybe with his salary team, somebody might have taken a platoon flier on him, if he came free (being the major league minimum.)

        But Wells is another story, he is signed through 2014. Talk about an Albatross. He can no longer play center, isn’t even a good corner outfielder anymore. He no longer even steals 10 bases a year, and is a OBP nightmare. The only way the Angels can rid themselves of him is to eat the majority of his $63 million contract. If they are willing to pay say $15 mil per year, then perhaps some team would be foolish enough to swing a deal, but if he fails to produce which is highly likely, they would still be on the hook for $12 in 2013/2014.

        I just cannot see any team going there. The Angels must be hoping they can somehow play him enough to showcase him, pray he gets hot, and move him with the least amount of burden. But my guess is, he matches last year’s numbers, plays about 1/2 the time, and finally is either released or moved for an single A play with marginal upside, eating $40-45 mil while doing so.

    • phillyphreak - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:20 AM

      Does “appear to have spent poorly” translate to “not in first place over a small portion of the season?”

      • pw38 - Apr 23, 2012 at 1:11 PM

        Because apparently it’s impossible for Angels fans to admit that maybe the Rangers are the better team and there’s a reason they’re in first place so far. April wins count just as much as Sept. wins…

      • phillyphreak - Apr 23, 2012 at 2:03 PM

        1) What?

        2) “Appear to have spent poorly” is probably a little over the top after 16 games.

    • paperlions - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:37 AM

      Well, their lineup was horrible last year. All they added was one bad and one pitcher. One bat doesn’t fix a bad lineup full of old players (that are all still there and just not getting any better) and slap hitters. Trumbo has power but shown no ability to avoid outs (even in his minor league numbers). Kendrick was their only real offensive weapon.

      Pujols, for all his greatness, is 32. I’m sure he’ll improve over his start, but 32 is past prime. He only has 3 non-intentional walks this year. His walk rate has been declining the last few years; teams have been pitching to him and he’s been expanding the zone…that has gotten worse.

      Morales has never walked much; he has yet to walk this year.

      It is a team with little power that doesn’t get on base much.

      With that lineup, they have to be carried by their pitching nearly every game….and the pitching has been struggling to dominate like everyone expected it to….they are a healthier version of the Phillies.

  5. kiwicricket - Apr 23, 2012 at 7:47 AM

    To me, instant reply is similar to Keith Richards singing. You certainly appreciate it, but in no way, shape or form, do you actually like it.

    • CJ - Apr 23, 2012 at 8:45 AM

      Francona actually had mentioned a decent idea yesterday. Like many, he’s concerned about the integrity of the game in how reply would be implemented but also how it would affect the tempo of game. He suggested putting a 5th ump in a booth with access to all replays and give him the ability to page down when a call is potentially blown. The difference from his suggestion compared to what i’ve seen elsewhere is he’d give the 5th ump in the booth the final and only say. No back and forth with the umps on the field, no going ump on the field going under the hood to look at replays…just have a guy upstairs look at the screen and tell the others when they screw up and how to fix it.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 23, 2012 at 8:49 AM

        I’ve actually been advocating for that for some time:

      • kiwicricket - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:32 AM

        I have seen with Rugby(Both Rugby and Rugby league) and Cricket over the past 15yrs, that things have gotten a lot smoother. In the early stages, it was a novelty, especially since entire games are almost decided on these correct outcomes. The general enthusiasm decreases for such things after time, especially after the chosen sport gets too funky with the replay business, but the general equilibrium balances out. You end up with a useful, effective, and most importantly….quick and decisive decision making process. It takes time, but the wrinkles will iron out.

        Cricket has a guy in a small booth, next to a television. When called upon, he looks at the replay on TV. Presses a green or a red light. Pretty bloody simple really.

      • CJ - Apr 23, 2012 at 11:33 AM

        Hey Craig, thanks for taking the time to reply. I guess that means Terry Francona has been reading your site longer than I have!

  6. nyetjones - Apr 23, 2012 at 8:54 AM

    While I love the Hi-Fidelity allusion, I’m going to call shenanigans as you used “Dry the Rain” last year. Might I suggest … Ann Peebles?

    • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 23, 2012 at 8:58 AM

      All of the rainouts last year took a toll on my rain-related content so I’ve decided that I can re-use some the next season. I decided that about one minute before writing the Dry The Rain bit last night.

      • Old Gator - Apr 23, 2012 at 3:20 PM

        Not on mine, though.

        Because of the rainout in DC, the Gnats did not have an opportunity to serve notice on the Feesh that a massive offseason spending splurge that nevertheless fails to address critical needs and balances on a team, run production being foremost amongst them, is no innoculation against dying of offensive anemia on a regular basis, making adequate pitchers look good and good pitchers look bulletproof. At the same time, Josh Johnson did not prove conclusively that his arm isn’t moribund by digging himself a thirty pitch hole in the bottom of the first; Gaby Sanchez did not turn in a couple of sparkling plays to atone for his game-euthanizer the night before, the Iron Giant did not bust out of his gimpy-kneed offensive swoon, Jose Reyes did not finally start putting up the kind of offensive numbers Scrooge McLoria paid for during his offseason tennis court oath, Tweeter did not line a couple more hits to demonstrate that he has conclusively recovered from his nightmarish 2011 performance, Omar Infante’s mysteriously sore groin did not heal sufficiently to permit him to rediscover the hot hitting he exhibited in splendid isolation amongst his teammates to open the season, and the Hanster did not have an opportunity to reanimate the hot streak he enjoyed against the hapless Cubbies back at Macondo Banana Massacre Field last week, and finally, Slobbering Ozzie had to get on the bus and flee to Gotham too precipitously to find time to go to a local bar and get himself drunk and say something stupid and inflammatory again.

        Meanwhile, I am en route to Cincinnati on the expectation that Over the Rhine will sit in with Cowboy Junkies tomorrow night. I noticed that there seem to be a lot more really hot looking TSA cuties guarding the gates of aeronautical freedom these days – when did that happen? – but when you need a pat-down, no luck – they still call for the one who looks like a minotaur with scabies to do the honors.

        Ah well.

  7. jeffthomasb - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:01 AM

    After the beautiful “Crazy Ivan” reference from ‘Red October’ a few months back, Craig dusts off another winner with a pull from ‘High Fidelity.’ Well done. And since I didn’t see him do it last year, I won’t call any shenanigans.

    Meanwhile, I await the inevitable Lohse return to reality. Look at his stats– he’s young Roy Hobbs in April most years, and then he metaphorically goes off to spend time in a hotel room with a woman in black around cinco de mayo. Shame he doesn’t come back from that and hit the cover off the ball…

  8. Lukehart80 - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:26 AM

    • georgia - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:35 AM

      Looks like he didn’t swing at all…

      I love this by the way. It’s so simple.

      • paperlions - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:39 AM

        The bat is across the plate. Looks like an easy call to me.

      • spudchukar - Apr 23, 2012 at 3:15 PM

        I have not consulted the rule book regarding what is a swing and what isn’t these days, but if the definition is the bat crossing the plate, it is downright stupid. If this is the barometer, then a player who chooses to hit from the front of the batter’s box, should have every pitch thrown to him called a swinging strike, whether he takes his bat off his shoulder or not.

        A swinging strike needs to be better defined, and stop having the home plate umpire make the determination, he has enough to do, and does not have a good angle.

        The traditional breaking your wrists is still the best, but the language is fuzzy to some, so something like “past the point of perpendicular with the plate” is the best indication of a swing. If the bat ever goes past a 90 degree angle to the plate it is a swing. The only problem with this, and why “breaking your wrists” is better is it allows for swing that are started, then stopped, on pitches that come close to hitting the batter. Theoretically, a player’s bat could then go past perpendicular, in an attempt to avoid being hit, but perhaps a caveat clause could be added.

      • paperlions - Apr 23, 2012 at 3:47 PM

        I agree spud. How about this. He made an effort to contact the ball with bat, and during said effort, the bat achieve an orientation perpendicular to the flight path of the pitch, thereby qualifying the effort as a “swing”.

    • hittfamily - Apr 23, 2012 at 12:34 PM

      I love how there is no real rule on this, but everybody argues about it. If he hits that ball, it’s a grounder to second base.

  9. paperlions - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    Maybe if they called it “expanded sorcery” with “mystical rulings” coming from “the man in the sky (box)”….people would be more in favor of replay. American’s love superstition and appealing to higher powers.

  10. beefytrout - Apr 23, 2012 at 9:41 AM

    People are really overreacting to this missed call in the Texas/Detroit game. It’s not like the 27th out in Galarraga’s perfect game. Texas had the bases loaded with no outs and could only manage 1 run with the help of the call, and Detroit had their mashtastic hitters coming up against Joe “the anus clencher” Nathan… so it’s not like this call sealed the fate of the Tigers.

    Both teams, at this point, are looking like pretty solid bets to head to the postseason, so a blown call on April 22 is most likely not going to affect the fabric of the space time continuum to the extent that people are suggesting.

  11. unconventionalidiot - Apr 23, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    They post the gun readings at Wrigley on boards that hang from the rafters above the upper deck on both the first base and third base side. They also show out of town scores on those boards. They’ve been there for a while, maybe 10 years. They may post speed gun readings on the new scoreboard in Right Field but I didn’t notice them.

  12. APBA Guy - Apr 23, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    The A’s won yesterday, bringing to a close their 1-2 series against the Indians, sort of the polar opposite of the Angels right now. Where the Indians were patient, drawing walks in abundance, the Angels were super-aggressive, anxious even, swinging and making weak contact on borderline strikes and too many pitches out of the zone. That patience paid off in the first two games of the series for the Indians, but failed them yesterday as they couldn’t get the hits with RISP against Tyson Ross, who has showed the same polish as he did last year pre-injury, despite 5 walks. Masterson topped those 5 with 6 of his own, and added 6 hits to yield a sparkling in-game WHiP of 2.40. Against the Rangers or the Yankees you could expect that. Against the A’s, it means you really had no command.

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