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And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

May 11, 2012, 5:45 AM EDT

H

Nationals 4, Pirates 2: Stephen Strasburg struck out 13 in six innings. The only thing more dominating than he was the Hulk when I went to go see “The Avengers” last night. Upshot: damn fine movie. But the “Dark Night Rises” trailer before it may have been even better. Yes, I realize that I may be reacting emotionally here.

Anyway, a question (and if you haven’t seen the movie yet, move along): why is the Hulk such a malevolent threat when he first transforms on the ship, to the point where Black Widow and everyone in his path is in extreme peril just by being near him, yet during the big battle scene everyone can hang around him and he’s all cool and knows who the bad guys are and stuff? Well, except for Thor that one time.  I’m sure there’s some reason for this besides movie convenience — and I never read the Hulk comics, so if the answer is there, I’m just ignorant about it — but I did think about it.  Oh, and I’m sort of in love with Cobie Smulders now too.  Anyway, enough of that. Other games:

Indians 8, Red Sox 3: The fans booed Josh Beckett off the field. And afterwards he said they were smart fans because he “pitched like sh**.”  That sums it up, no? He gave up seven runs on seven hits and walked two in two and a third innings and ensured that people will make hacky jokes about his golf game for the next five days. (Oh look! They’re here already!)

Orioles 6, Rangers 5: Rangers 7, Orioles 3: Colby Lewis struck out ten but allowed five bombs in Game 1, which is kind of special.  In Game 2, Josh Hamilton hit his 15th homer and drove in two, giving former teammate Tommy Hunter the loss.

Yankees 5, Rays 3: CC Sabathia struck out ten and allowed no earned runs in eight innings, getting his 5th win of the year. Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson hit homers.

Blue Jays 6, Twins 2: Henderson Alvarez continues his fine work, allowing only a single earned run over seven. Jason Marquis, not so much. And talk about symbolic futility: runner on third, popup in front of the plate and neither Maquis, catcher Ryan Doumit nor third basemen Trevor Plouffe caught it. It just hit the ground with a sick thud. There are your 2012 Minnesota Twins, folks.

Tigers 10, Athletics 6: Yes, Detroit won — good job for Miguel Cabrera and Andy Dirks having big games as the Detroit offense awoke from its stupor — but that aside, Brandon Inge hit a grand slam against his old mates, giving him 12 RBI in his last four games. As I said yesterday, the closest thing to chaos we have in baseball right now is the relationship Tigers fans have with Brandon Inge, so to see him have a big game against them is rather fun.

  1. pkers - May 11, 2012 at 5:57 AM

    Perhaps the connection is to be made that, while everyone thinks that the Hulk is a mindless wrecking machine, there is actually some portion of Banner’s mind that is in control of the Hulk. And that the Hulk is a manifestation of Banner’s emotional turmoil, an outlet for his angry screaming child that relishes breaking stuff; but when presented with something worth fighting “for” instead of “against”, Banner is able to reign it in and channel his Hulk-self as he does in the final fight. Which is why Banner says, when he joins the Avengers in NYC and everyone wonders if/how he’ll Hulk out in time to face the first monster, that he doesn’t have to “get angry”, he’s “angry all the time”. Banner is in control of Hulk.

    • tpxdmd - May 11, 2012 at 7:13 AM

      I just had this conversation yesterday, and consensus in that group was that it was Loki. When Loki first comes on board he heli-carrier, he smiles at Banner, who stares back at rubs his eyes. It’s a little bit of Ray controlled by Vigo at the end of Ghostbusters II. Black Widow tells everyone that Hulk is part of Loki’s plan, which is why Banner mindlessly grabs the sceptre and wh Loki’s grinning when he hears the Hulk roar. But then, how does Hulk break Loki’s influence?

      It’s the only part of the movie that bothered me, really. Just a tiny explanation and I’m as satisfied as possible.

      • pkers - May 11, 2012 at 7:30 AM

        If that’s the direction you’re going, then he probably just hit his head reallllly hard on the ground after he fell from the jet plane, thus breaking the “spell”, much like Hawkeye and Dr Stellan Skarsgaard.

      • The Common Man - May 11, 2012 at 7:31 AM

        I wondered the same thing, and tpxdmd’s explanation probably makes the most sense to me. Especially since we saw that Edward Norton’s Bruce Banner had learned to control the transformation at the end of The Incredible Hulk. So it makes some sense that he’d learned some control over the Hulk too. Until Loki messes with him, that is.

      • tcombs10 - May 11, 2012 at 7:48 AM

        Coke to tpxdmd.

        Also, even though it’s definitely a popcorn movie, there seems to be a point being made here about having emotions and being able to control them rather than repressing them. Tony keeps asking what his secret was for staying calm,-which is more suggestive of someone trying to repress feelings. Another subtle suggestion that it’s about banner’s controlling his anger and using it rather than letting the rage take over.

    • randall351 - May 11, 2012 at 9:24 AM

      They discussed all this in detail over at the fan boy site of Ain’t it cool News, which is a pretty cool site if you’re into movies and the like.

      Not to promote other sites on this fine blog, but if you’re into that sort of movie/comic/tv news, gossip than it’s a pretty neat site to help keep up with the kids these days.

      In more related news, the Royals didn’t lose last night so that’s good.

    • ajcardsfan - May 11, 2012 at 11:11 AM

      Reckless Hulk comes out when Banner is forced to transform – in the movie it was because he probably would have been killed without the transformation from the blast.
      Controllable Hulk comes out when Banner willingly transforms, which is hinted at with the line “My secret is…I’m angry all the time”

    • deathmonkey41 - May 11, 2012 at 1:07 PM

      I prefer the Bill Bixby/Lou Ferrigno Hulk- the one that doesn’t look like Shrek on the roids.

    • pw38 - May 11, 2012 at 1:56 PM

      Banner is in slight control which is why Hulk doesn’t just go ape shit and down a bunch of buildings or blow up a mountain or something. In fact there’s been one time Banner was switched off in Hulk and that was to defeat the Xavier/Magneto hybrid Onslaught.

  2. jtk1985 - May 11, 2012 at 6:25 AM

    I love how when the Indians win its about the other team. How about Lowe picking up his 5th win (thanks ATL) or Brantleys 4 hit night. Or a mention about the Indians being in first place

    • md23rewlz - May 11, 2012 at 6:55 AM

      Because Josh Beckett just got booed off the mound at Fenway Park. There’s a reason train wrecks make the front page, even when puppies are frolicking through fountains somewhere in the world.

    • paperlions - May 11, 2012 at 7:39 AM

      So…Cleveland fans are not offended by the negative stereotype of Chief Wahoo, but ARE offended if their team isn’t the focus of a blurb about a game? I see.

      • Old Gator - May 11, 2012 at 7:53 AM

        Clearly, ambient rust affects the brain, and not nearly enough research is being done into this problem.

        By the way, speaking of Marvel Comics characters, doesn’t Howard the Duck live in Cleveland? Surely he’d be a fine, inoffensive alternative to Chief Wahoo – although I’d have to see what he looks like painted onto the nose of the team DC-3 before making up my mind about it.

    • fivetoolmike - May 11, 2012 at 9:21 AM

      Perhaps you’re unaware, but ATH is NOT actually a full game story. There are, however, places on the internet that will talk about the Indians winning, if that’s your kind of thing.

    • Chip Caray's Eyebrows - May 11, 2012 at 9:21 AM

      Nobody cares about the Indians. Now pipe down.

      • spudchukar - May 11, 2012 at 2:05 PM

        Much like the Braves. Is there an anti-Native American bias at play here? And shouldn’t that be “peace pipe down”, anyway?

  3. proudlycanadian - May 11, 2012 at 6:32 AM

    The Twins made their share of mistakes on the field. With runners on first and second, Escobar was allowed to score from second on a fielders choice hit to the SS. Lawrie moved from first to third on a passed ball that the catcher could not find although it wasn’t very far from him. The Jays had another 3 double plays and lead the majors in that category. They also lead the majors in total chances. On the downside, they made 2 errors and have the 4th worst number of errors. Charitably, it appears that one cause of the errors is that they are getting to more balls in play than other teams.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - May 11, 2012 at 9:02 AM

      The Twins made their share of mistakes on the field.

      Impossible, the Twins play smart, fundamental baseball thanks to Ron Gardenhire’s expertise which is told to us every f’ing time the twins make the playoffs/are on national TV.

    • rooney24 - May 11, 2012 at 9:18 AM

      Wouldn’t it be more correct to say that they have more total chances due to having too many errors, which result in the opposition hitting longer and getting more chances?

      Forgive me if I don’t understand the stat correctly, but shouldn’t teams average roughly the same number of chances per game (not accounting for errors), since there are roughly the same number of outs to get for each team? So, wouldn’t the team that has played the most games with the most errors end up with the most total chances?

      • Cris E - May 11, 2012 at 10:37 AM

        Having a starting staff with an ERA north of 7.00 means there are tremendously more chances to chase the ball around out there. Errors have nothing to do with it if the ball is getting crushed all over the park.

    • cur68 - May 11, 2012 at 12:03 PM

      PC, IMO the Beaver batting order should be:
      Escobar
      Lawrie
      E5
      Bautista
      Thames
      Johnson
      Lind
      Davis
      Arencebia
      Johnson strikes out way too much to leadoff & Escobar is VERY difficult to strike out, so there’s that. All Brett Lawrie does is get on base & who doesn’t need that? E5 is The God of Beaver Hitting, Bautista should follow him, not lead him. Might learn something. Thames doesn’t care where he hits, all he does is hit, so there’s that. Either Thames, E5, Davis or Lind can DH. That’s the way to get the max from this lineup, IMO.

      • proudlycanadian - May 11, 2012 at 12:20 PM

        Thames gets some hits but rarely drives in runs. I am no longer a fan of his.

      • spudchukar - May 11, 2012 at 2:07 PM

        What happened to Rasmus?

  4. angrycorgi - May 11, 2012 at 6:38 AM

    Correction: Colby Lewis struck out 12, not 10…and allowed 6ER on 5HR shots…feast AND famine together!

  5. angrycorgi - May 11, 2012 at 6:44 AM

    The interesting point of note on Hamilton’s homer is that it was a pitcher’s pitch, borderline at best, down and in, and he would up driving it WELL over 400 ft. Best contact I’ve seen him make this season on what might have been a called BALL.

  6. tcombs10 - May 11, 2012 at 7:20 AM

    Spoiler explanation for hulk’s two states.

    In the first transformation he was being manipulated by Loki. In the scene just prior to the transformation the movie shows the group arguing with various cuts to the Loki’s scepter, including weird camera angles suggesting disorientation resulting from the manipulation. then, to bring the manipulation point home, you see banner holding the scepter unconsciously, suggesting he’s out of control and being manipulated into that state. Also recall that Loki wanted banner on that ship so this is exactly the result which Loki sought. Therefore you have an out of control hulk.

    in the later scene, we learn bannner’s secret–he’s always angry. The key here is that he’s learned to be angry while being in control. the key, the movie seems to be telling us, is whether Banner is in control of his anger. in the first scene, it’s absent so he’s a mindless rage monster. in the second, he’s still brutish, but more in control

    • Old Gator - May 11, 2012 at 7:55 AM

      Edward Norton is a fine actor, but he is simply incapable of a Steve Ditko grimace.

      • Old Gator - May 11, 2012 at 8:02 AM

        Duh-h-h-, I mean, Jack Kirby.

        Edit function!
        Edit function!
        EDIT FUNCTION!

  7. roycethebaseballhack - May 11, 2012 at 8:25 AM

    Looks like Sabathia is tracking for a monster-damned season. The guy is 5-0, and has thus far shut down the best offensive teams in the AL.

    • fivetoolmike - May 11, 2012 at 9:24 AM

      See also: CC Sabathia’s prior five seasons.

    • protectthishouse54 - May 11, 2012 at 10:03 AM

      C.C. is treating us to they type of pitching he usually saves for the dog days. The slider was absolutely wicked yesterday.

  8. mybrunoblog - May 11, 2012 at 8:42 AM

    Sabathia looks pretty awesome. He is stepping up just like your # one starter needs to.
    The Nats are pretty exciting to watch.
    The Red Sox are a mess.
    Lastly, The Avengers was awesome, I love the Hulk pic and I think Banner learned how to control himself. Being part of the team(Avengers. Duh!) allowed him to focus more.

  9. JB (the original) - May 11, 2012 at 8:47 AM

    Oh, so the picture is of the ‘Bruce Banner’ Hulk. Here I thought it was Ron Gardenhire after last night’s game…

  10. Reggie's Bush - May 11, 2012 at 8:49 AM

    Craig, I have a bone to pick with you…

    Your recommendation of Summer Shandy – blah! I admit I like Leinenkugel’s Sunset Wheat because it has a fruit loop (in a beer kind of way) taste, but Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy is mixed with Lemonade!!! Good thing I’m having a housewarming party soon and I can pass these off to my gf or others attending…

    Anywho, keep up the good work buddy!

    • kopy - May 11, 2012 at 9:21 AM

      Summer Shandy is delicious.

    • Chip Caray's Eyebrows - May 11, 2012 at 9:24 AM

      You’re out of your damn mind.

    • nolanwiffle - May 11, 2012 at 9:25 AM

      As an alternative, try Shiner’s Ruby Redbird. It’s beer with a hint of grapefruit. Great summer brew. Or you could simply have a Budweiser…..the year-rounder.

    • Tim's Neighbor - May 11, 2012 at 3:19 PM

      I’m also not a fan of Leiny Summer Shandy… Actually, don’t care for most of Leiny’s stuff. However, if it’s in my fridge, I will drink it.

      Actually, our first date as poor college students, my wife and I split a mixed pitcher of Leiny Raspberry and Leiny Honey. It was delicious. That was a success. Trying to get her to come back to my place for another beer and watch a movie was not.

  11. philliesblow - May 11, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    Seems the Notorious I.N.G.E. just needed a change of scenery. Yogi was right, 90% of this game is half mental.

  12. tcostant - May 11, 2012 at 9:19 AM

    And now back to baseball.

  13. jtk1985 - May 11, 2012 at 9:34 AM

    I would like once to come on this site and read about the Indians win being about the Indians. And why would Wahoo offend me, I’m not some PC puss.

    Also to ask why anyone should care about the Indians the answer is simple : we’re winning more then Boston, Chicago, Detroit, and New York

    • Old Gator - May 11, 2012 at 10:56 AM

      It’s not a question of how many wins or losses the Aboriginals have. It’s that they’re from Cleveland.

    • spudchukar - May 11, 2012 at 2:10 PM

      I believe a similar statement could be made about this time last year. But hey I am all for giving a little love to the Spiders.

      • Old Gator - May 11, 2012 at 2:36 PM

        Doesn’t matter what time of year it is. Nobody wants to go to Cleveland. The Edmund Fitzgerald was on its way to Cleveland. The crew knew this. Anybody out there really think they left that hatch open by mistake?

  14. biffnasty - May 11, 2012 at 9:55 AM

    Can not go wrong with Sams summer ale.

    • Old Gator - May 11, 2012 at 2:38 PM

      Matt Bush could.

  15. Reggie's Bush - May 11, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    Sorry I cannot directly reply to a post from the iPhone app…

    Summer Shandy is not my cup-o-tea. Give me a Brooklyn Lager, or if we go to pale ales I love me some Magic Hat! I’m more on the taste pallet of Newcastle or Guinness…

    Trust me, I’m no beer snob – I’ve drank everything from Schlitz to Stone’s Arrogant Bastard – but I’m sorry Bud/Bud Light isn’t something that should be recommended. It’s the cheap beer me an the buddies use for flip cups and beer pong, not to savor. Again, not that I dont like it or don’t drink it, just that it’s not a top preference

    • nolanwiffle - May 11, 2012 at 11:22 AM

      It’s the goddam King of Beers! The big #1!

  16. dawgpoundmember - May 11, 2012 at 11:17 AM

    ohhh how i love me some Brooklyn beer

  17. APBA Guy - May 11, 2012 at 12:33 PM

    WIth an announced attendance of 11,000 and an actual attendance of closer to 8,000, thankfully very few fans were on hand to witness the 3 innings of destruction visited upon the A’s by Los Tigres. Bartolo “El Gordo Maximo” Colon took his “here is my strike, I defy you to hit it” to extremes by forgetting to spot the ball on the corners and forgetting that even major league hitters not named Miguel Cabrera are pretty good. For the most part, the Tigers respected the reality that is the Mausoleum (no, not the giant rodents) and did not try to muscle the ball: they hit sharp line drives, went the other way, and took advantage of the lack of foot speed in the A’s non-Coco, non Cespedes outfield.

    My girlfriend, who precedes every A’s broadcast with a somber intonation of “The A’s are dead to me”, watched El Guapo’s meltdown with some distress, as he is a starter on her All Ugly Team, and of course it is a requirement that you actually be playing in the majors to make the team.

    Even more distress was felt somewhere in the bowels of the Mausoleum, where, behind the green and gold curtain, the Great and Powerful Beane was listening (he never actually watches) to his Colon trade dreams dissipate like so much fairy dust in the wind.

    As for Brandon Inge: .179/.230/.446. Enough said.

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