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And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

Apr 26, 2012, 5:40 AM EDT

Royals celebration

Royals 8, Indians 2: I keep hitting refresh on the scoreboard but nothing changes so, apparently, this is correct and the Royals actually won a game.  Billy Butler hit two homers as Kansas City beat up on Ubaldo Jimenez.

Mets 5, Marlins 1: David Wright hit a two-run homer, giving him 735 RBI in his career, which pushes him past Darryl Strawberry for the all-time Mets RBI crown. Strawberry needed around 300 fewer plate appearances to do it. Wright, however, was not coked out of his mind, so this is really an apples-oranges comparison.

Rangers 7, Yankees 3: Phil Hughes is a wreck. He gave up four runs in two and two-thirds, bringing his year to 1-3 with a 7.88 ERA while allowing 26 hits and six walks in 16 innings.  That is … not acceptable. Adrian Beltre seems to be feeling just fine: 3 for 5 with a homer and 3 RBI.

Reds 4, Giants 2: Barry Zito had a shutout going through six, but then Scott Rolen hit a homer, the bullpen came into play again, bad defense went down and the Giants laid another egg in Great American Ballpark, where they have dropped seven straight.

Nationals 7, Padres 2: Washington continues to cruise behind great starting pitching. The Nats, overall, are 14-4. The starters are 8-2 with a 1.71 ERA with 103 strikeouts and only 22 walks.

Mariners 9, Tigers 1: Felix Hernandez was Felix Hernandez (7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER), but for once he got run support. Imagine. Detroit has lost five of six.

Rockies 2, Pirates 1; Pirates 5, Rockies 1: I wrote up the first game yesterday (short version: tough luck for James McDonald). In the nightcap, the Bucs rode a five-run fifth inning — complete with Pedro Alvarez‘s second homer of the day — to earn the split. I guess the Rockies earned the split too by losing the second game, but we tend not to ever say that for some reason.

Phillies 7, Diamondbacks 2: Cole Hamels drove in two runs with an RBI single. Oh, and he also pitched a little (8 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 7K).

Cardinals 5, Cubs 1: Lance Lynn — who wasn’t even gonna be in the rotation before Chris Carpenter’s shoulder went wonky — now leads all of baseball with four wins following yet another strong outing. David Freese hit a two-run homer and an RBI double. The Cards avoid the sweep.

Orioles 3, Blue Jays 0: Jason Hammel, who came over from Colorado in the Jeremy Guthrie deal, said after the game “I am still learning a new league and seeing what everybody else is doing.” Mostly they’re busy not hitting Jason Hammel. Hammel tossed seven four-hit shutout innings. He’s 3-0 with a 1.73 ERA on the season. Matt Lindstrom worked a perfect eight inning and has still yet to give up a run on the year. He too came over in the Guthrie deal.

Astros 7, Brewers 5: His name is Jose Altuve.  And he’s the man whose big day helped Houston beat the Brewers for the first time in 12 tries.

Rays 3, Angels 2: I am the conductor of the Don’t Worry About Albert Pujols Because He’s Gonna Be Just Fine Orchestra, but it is probably still worth noting that he’s 0 for his last 19. C.J. Wilson struck out 11 in seven innings. But dude, when your offense goes 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position, good is not good enough.

Athletics 5, White Sox 4: Someone tweeted at me yesterday and asked why I don’t have many funny or insightful things to say in White Sox recaps. Well, when the team in question goes 13 innings in a 2-2 game, takes a two run lead in the 14th and still end up losing, well, that sort of limits my options. Yoenis Cespedes hit a two-run homer in the 14th and Kila Ka’aihue hit the game-winning single a few minutes later. That erased Alexei Ramirez‘s go-ahead two-run double in the top of the 14th. It also rendered Paul Konerko‘s 400th career homer a mere footnote.

Red Sox 7, Twins 6: Not news: Clay Buchholz stunk (5.1 IP, 10 H, 1 ER). News: The Sox’ bullpen shut the opposition down. And they did it by committee: six relievers combined to throw the last three and two-thirds, allowing no runs. Although the ninth inning did get dicey, as Alfredo Aceves loaded the bases on a walk, a single and a hit batsman before striking out Denard Span to end it.

Braves 4, Dodgers 2: L.A. took a 2-1 lead into the ninth but then the Braves hit five straight singles — including those of the RBI variety by Dan Uggla, Chipper Jones and Jason Heyward — to rally Atlanta.  Jones, in addition to the go-ahead RBI — made a couple of solid plays at third base and didn’t seem at all like a creaky 40 year-old on a retirement tour. He said:

“I was like a school kid out there. I mean, that’s what you play the game for — moments like that.”

Great. Now he’s Brett Favre. See you in spring training next year, Chipper.

  1. RickyB - Apr 26, 2012 at 6:53 AM

    Excellent choice of photo. Anything with Bye-Bye in it immediately qualifies as exceptional.

    • sportsdrenched.com - Apr 26, 2012 at 9:13 AM

      here, here

  2. darthicarus - Apr 26, 2012 at 7:32 AM

    Of course on NFL Draft Day you would have to make a Favre comment.

  3. proudlycanadian - Apr 26, 2012 at 7:48 AM

    Congratulations to the Royals. I had expected that they would finally win a game against Cleveland. This team is not as bad as its won loss record.

    • Old Gator - Apr 26, 2012 at 11:13 AM

      Hats off to our prognosticator par excellence from the north. I made a mental note last week about checking the KC/Cleveland score to see how you fared. You just won yourself a smoked meat sandwich at Caplansky’s next time I’m in town.

      • proudlycanadian - Apr 26, 2012 at 3:07 PM

        Thanks. The Royals are on a roll. They won again this afternoon.

  4. Kevin S. - Apr 26, 2012 at 8:04 AM

    Next thing you know we’ll discover Larry sent a dong text to Kim Jones.

  5. vendolius - Apr 26, 2012 at 8:15 AM

    Any day I get to unexpectedly see a picture that includes Steve Balboni is a great day.

  6. hojo20 - Apr 26, 2012 at 8:25 AM

    Love that picture. I’m sure many a Cards fan is still unhappy about Denkinger’s call.

    • 18thstreet - Apr 26, 2012 at 8:50 AM

      Yeah, it’s a shame how Denkinger made them lose Game Seven.

      • rammer27 - Apr 26, 2012 at 2:02 PM

        I think you are being sarcastic (I hope) Cause the call was game 6 and the Royals thumped them in game seven

      • 18thstreet - Apr 26, 2012 at 2:44 PM

        I think it’s obvious. Instead of one out and no runners on with a 3-2 lead in the series, the Cardinals were forced into a situation where there was one out and a runner on first with a 3-2 lead in the series.

        The Royals offense was so dominant only 12 Americans League teams scored more runs than they did that year. Balboni! Sundberg! Biancalana! These are the all-time greats. You can’t give them more chances!

        It’s all Denkinger’s fault. The Royals had a 3-1 lead in the series, but it’s the ump’s fault that they blew it. Yep. No sarcasm here at all.

    • ajcardsfan - Apr 26, 2012 at 9:16 AM

      I wasn’t around for the I-70 Series, although Lord knows I’ve heard it talked about plenty of times and seen the series on ESPN Classic. I want a re-match, not because of the “bad” call, but because I want to see my home state’s two teams go at it again!
      C’mon Royals do better. I do plan on getting tickets to the Cards/Royals games this year since I’ll actually have the time to do so

  7. spudchukar - Apr 26, 2012 at 8:30 AM

    The Cubs pitching strategy was pretty clear and quite effective for most of the three game set vs. St. Louis, just never throw them strikes. It worked well until the third time around in game three when, aided by a couple of high sliders, the Cards finally broke through against their rivals from Chicago. Freese battled until he “found one to his liking”, as the saying goes, his liking being a sinker about knee-high, and 9 inches inside. Beltran finally took one the other way to set the stage, and the Cards managed to overcome LaHair’s attempt to beat them for the 4th time. He had been integral in the Cubbies other three wins against the Redbirds with a Grand Slam in the Cubs only win in St. Louis, a 14-pitch AB vs. Motte in game one which resulted in a walk, and the undoing of the usually reliable Cards’ closer, and then a game tying homer in game 2 of the series, but his homer in game three, on a pitch about 6 inches off the ground, was all the North Siders could manage in the series finale and St. Louis managed to salvage game three of the series, before heading home for a day off before hosting the Brew Crew.

    12-7 is the record the Red Birds carry into the weekend match-up with Milwaukee, and although certainly acceptable, with Carpenter, Berkman, Jay, and Craig all injury-bitten, and Wainwright struggling to be the dominant pitcher of old, in all honesty better play would find them at 14-5 or 15-4. But with only 6 home dates, and continued fantastic starting pitching perhaps some “home-cookin'” can distance themselves further from the NL Central pack.

    Hopefully, Descalso’s name will be entered in the starting second base slot, Jay can quickly return to roam centerfield, and Craig can see his name in the line-up all before the return of Berkman next week.

    • ajcardsfan - Apr 26, 2012 at 8:39 AM

      You need to write for a paper Spud, you’re definitely better than some of crappy re-caps I’ve seen in local news (Although, you’ve still got some work to do if you want to be as poetic as Gator)

      On a side note: Even though it’s not the sole reason, the game we win from this series is the one without Green at second – ha! Also, as much as I like Jay, Robinson is doing just fine, I say we keep Robinson and trade Green.

      • spudchukar - Apr 26, 2012 at 9:09 AM

        Thanks for the kind words A.J., and there is only one “Gator”, and we are blessed to be able to read his unique musings here daily. As you know I am not a Greene fan and while he suffers from some similar Rasmus-like deficiencies, he is a hard worker, and generally well-liked by his teammates, so it is unfair to him talk of him in the same vane. He just cannot corral his talents and turn them into success on the diamond. Maybe a move the American League where he could platoon, get some DH at bats, pinch-run, might be somewhere he could find a modicum of success, but as you noted he seldom helps the Cards win.

        I sure would like to keep Robinson, especially with Jay being left-handed, but unless the Cards are willing to part with Komatsu, it is hard to see how he will find room on the 25-man roster. Cruz has done an admirable job as a back-up to Molina, but he should be honing his skills in Memphis, having relatively recently made the move to catcher, and improving his hitting approach especially against breaking balls.

        A move to bring a legitimate defender, who ideally hits from the left-side as a compliment to Yadi would be a prudent addition. And a right-handed hitting second baseman would also be sweet. The player I have been keeping an eye on is Roberts, from the O’s. He is a switch-hitter, more than adequate defender, great base stealer, and if fully recovered from his significant concussion issues could be a real value, if the O’s would be willing to eat some of his contract. Kolten Wong should be ready soon, so Robert’s age shouldn’t be an issue.

        We can be patient, make the right deal when we have the leverage, cause soon we will be healthy with a plethora of talented options.

  8. scapistron - Apr 26, 2012 at 9:02 AM

    A little more accurate description would be that Bucholz stunk and so did the next three relievers to follow. Clay left the game with the score 7-2 and the bases loaded, the trio of relievers used to finish out the inning allowed 4 more runs to cross the plate.

    Not exactly the best group effort.

    • Jack Marshall - Apr 26, 2012 at 1:34 PM

      Yes, I was going to mention that too—a stark example of how inherited runners are unfairly counted on the ERA of the pitcher who had no control over whether they scored or not. So Clay’s line was 5 runs, not just 1. The final three Sox relievers shut down the Twins. To be fair, only the first reliever, Thomas, truly stunk.

  9. natstowngreg - Apr 26, 2012 at 9:10 AM

    OMG, Jordan Zimmermann got run support! A 1.33 ERA and 0.70 WHIP in 4 starts, and a 1-1 record to show for it.

    OMG, the Nats scored seven — count ‘em, seven — runs! With Chad Tracy batting 3rd.

    OMG, Ian Desmond walked! Twice! OBP is .321; by season’s end, it may well get back to sub-.300.

    For those who point out that the Nats haven’t played the toughest schedule thus far, you are correct. They’re doing what good teams do — beating the teams they should beat.

  10. sportsdrenched.com - Apr 26, 2012 at 9:27 AM

    Country Breakfast and Alex Gordon do what tops of the order should do. Luke Hochaver avoided his trademark Hochaver inning, Y’know. The bullpen did what bullpens are supposed to do.

    They ate Sir Robins mintrels, and there was much rejoicing in Royals Nation.

    There’s another game in 2.5 hours. That’s why you love baseball.

  11. sportsdrenched.com - Apr 26, 2012 at 9:27 AM

    Seriously. How good are the Rangers?

    • pw38 - Apr 26, 2012 at 1:33 PM

      Good enough that if the Angels don’t watch out this 8.5 game defecit they have to make up won’t apply to them catching Texas but rather them even making the playoffs. I could see the Rangers being double digits up on them in a month. As a long time suffering Rangers fan I have no sympathy for that team. I know they’ll snap out of it eventually (maybe) but I’m loving every minute of this so-called “AL West Race” we’re having.

    • natstowngreg - Apr 26, 2012 at 1:33 PM

      Seriously. I think they will keep going back to the World Series until they get it right.

  12. yankeefanincolo - Apr 26, 2012 at 9:43 AM

    Two things this morning… as a Rockies-are-my-second-favorite-team fan, with the cheap shot Ubaldo Jimenez gave Troy Tulowitzki during spring training, I loved seeing him get beat up by Kansas City! I hope every time he pitches this year Craig’s recap includes the words, “beat up on Ubaldo Jimenez”!

    Second, as a Yankee fan, the question arises again this year… how long is Girardi going to keep sending Hughes out? And isn’t it amazing how quickly things change! A month or two ago we were wondering what the Yankees were going to do with all their pitching; now with Pineda out for the year, Joba healing from his trampoline mishap, and Hughes completely ineffective, Pettitte can’t get here soon enough!

  13. hushbrother - Apr 26, 2012 at 10:46 AM

    Paul Konerko has 400 homers. Who knew that?

  14. Old Gator - Apr 26, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    The Feesh erupted for a run on an Omar Infante dinger sometime or other last night. In other news, there wasn’t any other news, and the Feesh continue to suck offensively, which, because it was news in spring training, isn’t really news anymore.

  15. APBA Guy - Apr 26, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    Cespedes has now seen so many 2 strike off-speed pitches that he is looking for them. Especially when location is missed as badly at it was in the 14th inning last night, up and over the plate as opposed to sharply down and away, he can and will crush the ball. Of his 5 homeruns, 3 have come on missed location 2 strike off-speed pitches. This one, while not as far as the moon shot he hit off Jason Vargas the first week of April, was one of the longest I’ve ever seen to straight away center at the Mausoleum.

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