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And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

May 14, 2012, 5:40 AM EDT

Joey Votto

Reds 9, Nationals 6: Joey Votto hit three homers including a walkoff grand slam.  Yeah, that’ll play. The back end of the Nats bullpen continues to be horrific.

Marlins 8, Mets 4: Earlier in the day Giancarlo Stanton hit a walkoff slam of his own capping a six-run bottom of the ninth for Miami. Heath Bell got the decision despite giving up two in the top of the ninth. Guess he just knows how to win.

Phillies 3, Padres 2: Cole Hamels got an extra day of rest and then got to face one of the worst offenses in baseball. How is that punishment again? Hamels allowed one run over seven innings and apparently didn’t have to welcome any rookies to the big leagues with Old School Baseball.

Braves 7, Cardinals 4: The sweep. Several HBT regulars attended this series this weekend in a mini-meetup.  Of course I suck so I didn’t go even though they asked me nicely and scheduled it for a Braves weekend to entice me. Did I mention I suck?  Braves don’t, though.  They’re looking pretty damn spiffy right now, yes? Lance Lynn takes his first loss of the year.

Giants 7, Diamondbacks 3: And they said a Melky Cabrera/Gregor Blanco-powered offense couldn’t get it done. Four hits for Melky, three driven in for Blanco. Ponder why Melky is always referred to by his first name all the time and Blanco isn’t. Like that’s fair.

Dodgers 11, Rockies 5: A.J. Ellis drove in four and the Dodgers managed 11 runs on only eight hits. But ruh-roh Raggy: Matt Kemp aggravated his hammy.

Tigers 3, Athletics 1: Leave it to the big man to salvage the split. Justin Verlander allowed one run and struck out eight over seven innings. Clearly the reason for the A’s loss was an Inge deficit disorder, as he was given the day off.

Twins 4, Blue Jays 3: Seven shutout innings for Scott Diamond, who has two of the teams ten wins despite only joining the team a week ago.

Cubs 8, Brewers 2: A homer for Ian Stewart and a pinch hit homer for Reed Johnson. They still count the same, though. Those are the rules. Chicago wins its first game in Milwaukee in over a year.

Royals 9, White Sox 1: Close until the ninth when Robin Ventura got all walk-the-bases-loaded happy for some reason.

Pirates 3, Astros 2: Wandy Rodriguez deserved better. He threw eight innings of one run ball, but A.J. Burnett was nearly as a good and the Houston closer — well, Brett Myers — couldn’t hold the one run lead. Onto extras where Josh Harrison did some first-pitch swinging in the 12th and drove home the winning run on an RBI single.

Red Sox 12, Indians 1: The Sox sent nine men to the plate in the first inning, more or less setting the tone.  Jarrod Saltalamacchia homered and drove in five. Three straight for Boston, turning a hot mess into a merely warm mess.

Rays 9, Orioles 8: Tampa Bay had a 7-1 lead and the O’s chipped back with three in the sixth and two in the seventh to get within one, the Rays scored a couple, the O’s scored a couple of their own but the Rays just hung on to salvage one in the series. Baltimore is still in first place. I don’t know how long they’ll stay there. I do know, however, that they are going to be a gigantic pain in the ass for everyone this year, and O’s fans have to love that.

Mariners 6, Yankees 2: Andy Pettitte’s return was underwhelming, allowing four runs on seven hits in six and a third. Kevin Millwood, meanwhile, took care of business, allowing only one in seven. Three driven in by Casper Wells, who began the day posing for a pic with his mom, who has a pretty sweet M’s shirt.

Rangers 13, Angels 6:  Remember back in March when people were saying that the Angels were the favorites in the West? Haha, yeah, that was fun. Josh Hamilton drives in three more. Nelson Cruz drives in four. The Rangers are eight games up on the Angels and have a +80 run differential.

  1. spytdi - May 14, 2012 at 6:09 AM

    Cheers to the Angels’ brass for building a winner.

    • mybrunoblog - May 14, 2012 at 9:24 AM

      Funny post…..Another Monday and Albert Pujols lies tucked safely underneath the Mendoza line here on May 14th.

    • pw38 - May 14, 2012 at 11:16 AM

      Aside from on Saturday CJ getting some quasi-revenge for Friday the Angels just didn’t show up. They put up a half way decent effort on Sunday but against Texas 6 runs usually isn’t enough, especially when your best pitcher gets shelled. With the way Oakland is playing I’d be more worried about catching them if I werre the Angels. For Texas to go through their first slump of the season while the Angels actually start winning some games and they still end up 8 games up on the Halos after this weekend, well that’s gotta be a bit demoralizing.

  2. ThisIsBaseball - May 14, 2012 at 7:11 AM

    Please do not feed the trolls.

    • jimbo1949 - May 14, 2012 at 11:17 AM

      But, but, they’re sooooo cute.

  3. legacybroken - May 14, 2012 at 7:32 AM

    The Angels struggles haved certainly opened the door for Joey Bats, B-Law and Jays to sneak into the playoffs. Kind of fitting since The Halo’s deals with the Jays have created some of there biggest headaches ie Vernon Wells, Napoli in Arlington.

    • mattintoledo - May 14, 2012 at 9:48 AM

      In the known universe, the greatest affront to God and good taste has to be the proliferation of “nicknames” created by taking the first initial of a player and then adding the first syllable of his last name. I considered that I may be overstating this, but no. I stand by it.

      • chadjones27 - May 14, 2012 at 10:08 AM

        Well said, M-Tol

  4. mungman69 - May 14, 2012 at 7:33 AM

    I now wonder if the Angels can recover. If big Albert starts to hit and that is a big if maybe the Angels can get back in the race. Their whole team is waiting for Albert.
    Texas has a lot of everything, power hitters, average hitters, base speed, starting pitching and a good bullpen. So far they are the best team in the majors.
    The Phillies can’t score runs. Even when Howard comes back how much will he contribute? And Utley may never play again.
    Washington has the best pitching in the majors. Their pitching ranks #1 in every category. Losing their catcher is quite a blow. We will see if their pitching holds up throwing to different catchers.

    • Old Gator - May 14, 2012 at 8:04 AM

      Thanks for that incredibly lame restatement of the obvious. None of us would have ever known any of this stuff if not for your convenient rehash of it all, except maybe that just about everything you wrote has been written somewhere else on this blog or beaten to death by every other sports blog in the matrix. On the other hand, your analytic prowess is impressive. Will the Angels do better if Pujols starts hitting? Terrific question; we’ll all have to reconfigure our thinking about the Angels after you engineered that trenchant paradigm shift. The Phillies are having trouble scoring runs? Well, isn’t that news? They might or might not score more if some of their injured players return? Wow – I can only marvel at your incisiveness there. Texas is the best team in the majors? Who would have figured that one out without you here to tell us? Impressive, to say the least. No wonder you feel entitled to come on here and contribute nothing except to criticize your betters.

      Did you take one of those sportscasters’ correspondence courses? Or did you just watch the rerun of Baseball Tonight this morning and take a few notes?

      • angrycorgi - May 14, 2012 at 10:04 AM

        Damn, Gator! lol…sick ’em!!

      • chadjones27 - May 14, 2012 at 10:11 AM

        I was about to make a joke about Gator being an angry old man, but, I’m afraid he’ll start yelling at me too.

      • KR - May 14, 2012 at 10:56 AM

        Mungman must have been on Gator’s lawn.

      • Old Gator - May 14, 2012 at 12:16 PM

        Didn’t mind him being on the lawn, but there was no excuse for that yellow spot he left.

      • Old Gator - May 14, 2012 at 2:16 PM

        chadjones: fear not. Schlongman was begging for it all of last week. I wasn’t going to reply to his silly japes and wheezes – life is too short for jousting with idiots, especially when you’ve got other more important (not to mention interesting) things to do – but then this morning dawned on a perfect storm of circumstances: (a) we didn’t get the rain we were supposed to get so my holding off on weed-spraying my Japanese rock yesterday garden felt like a cheat; (b) Fido, our rather odd Hemingway hound managed to push the bedroom door open last night and climb into bed with us, and my wife and I woke up with hundreds of his little hairs stuck in our quilt, our mattress, and us – and it takes hours of tweezing to get them out, in addition to which he left one of his little fur-covered dried out potato chip-like play toys on my pillow, and finally (c) after a week of contributing absolutely nothing but the occasional impotent sniping at my posts, schlongman finally posted his humorless, witless, utterly vapid and pointless recap of recaps of recaps, preserved like a pig’s knuckle in rancid aspic in what must be his own special brand of the much-belabored obvious.

        I guess something just snapped.

        You, however, have nothing to fear. So go ahead. Revile my prematurely septuagenarian biliousness. I will smile for you.

      • Jonny 5 - May 14, 2012 at 4:53 PM

        Gator. A fuzzy little potato chip shaped chewy thingie huh? Well, I’ve only seen this once before being chewed by a dog. It took me a bit to put it all together trying to figure out what this thing was, but being in close proximity to a beef farm helped me coupled with the fact that the tiny rubber band was still attached to one end. The method of castrating male bovines today turning them into a “steer” helping to keep the meat tender is to take a teeny tiny but very strong rubber band and sliding the rubber band over this pronged band stretching device. Not just cows, but goats and sheep get it too. They then wait until feeding time and sneak up behind these young unsuspecting cows and slowly place the device over the hanging fruit releasing it and running in one motion (testicle banding). The band cuts off circulation drying out the “fruit” until it falls from the vine. What you are left with is a much smaller, almost completely flat pc of fuzzy nut sack jerky. So, take a look at it good, really good and see if there is a spot on these things where a rubber band once was and you will know what this is/was. I have a strong feeling that your dog left a set of dried testicles on your pillow sir.

    • natstowngreg - May 14, 2012 at 8:27 AM

      Nats pitchers will be fine throwing to Jesus Flores.

      • jimbo1949 - May 14, 2012 at 11:21 AM

        Exception to the rule: some of the bullpen will have trouble pitching to any catcher.

      • natstowngreg - May 14, 2012 at 12:37 PM

        Unfortunately. Saturday night was the good Henry, blowing hitters away. Yesterday was the bad Henry. Flores, with some excellent pitch-blocking, probably prevented a walk-off wild pitch. Then Henry had to throw one of his 98-99-mph fastballs for a strike to Joey Votto, who absolutely crushed it.

  5. natstowngreg - May 14, 2012 at 8:20 AM

    Ladies and Gentlemen, Joey Votto. Tip your cap to him and move on.

    The Nats won the season series 5-2, in part by keeping Votto in check, pitching around him for the most part. His first 2 homers, while impressive, were solo shots and would not have mattered. Yes, this one was on the bullpen.

    • Old Gator - May 14, 2012 at 8:41 AM

      We’ve got a used closer you can have. He needs some work, though.

      • natstowngreg - May 14, 2012 at 12:40 PM

        Your generosity is greatly appreciated but no, thanks.

  6. Old Gator - May 14, 2012 at 8:39 AM

    Jimmy, this is for you: Jose Reyes is batting .330 and change for May so far, so the Mendoza days are well to his rear. Krazy Karlos, deprived as usual of the W but, thanks to his between-innings assiduous readings of El Pequeño Libro de la Calma that Slobbering Ozzie bought him during the offseason, maintains his cool throughout and lowers his ERA to 1.88. You’ve gotta feel at least as comfortable about his long-term prospects for emotional stability as, say, a farmer’s mule grazing on the slope of Popocatepetl. After yesterday’s triumph of the Iron Giant in Think Pink mode, the Feesh prosper onward from their franchise -best-ever western road trip despite what was the worst RISP in the majors coming into Sunday’s game and a couple of serious boolpen issues, of which the Bell problem is only the most obvious. Bell has, however, progressed from being consistently atrocious to being erratic; his last five appearances or so have oscillated between efficient and iffy, with little epicycles built into his less impressive appearance:: two quick outs followed by walks and hits, or walks and hits followed by two quick outs followed by another walk or hit. His nadir was definitely that four-walk fiasco at the Mutts a couple of weeks ago, but his control hasn’t been nearly that bad since. He’s tended to be “wild in the strike zone,” as they say, rather than allergic to it. A lot of this may be connected with turbulence passing three games beyond the strange attractor, but the Feesh had the Iron Giant supplying an additional warp factor yesterday so maybe the fortuitous veesitation by the Pyrites will finally occasion the Feesh’s acceleration to escape velocity.

    On the downside, Gabby Sanchez remains mired, and I do mean mired, in a sub-Mendoza nightmare of offensive ineffectuality. You expect John Buck to remain hopeless at the plate, except when his “swing hard in case you hit it” batting philosophy bears statistically inevitable fruit, as it did with his two run accident yesterday. But Gabby’s got real problems, and even with Reyes coming around the Feesh are going to be walking razor wire until he gets himself straightened out.

  7. beefytrout - May 14, 2012 at 8:44 AM

    Casper Wells’ mom is kinda hot.

  8. stex52 - May 14, 2012 at 8:55 AM

    Spoiler alert! I’m going to build on a point made above. Wandy has a WHIP of .99, ERA 1.9, and SO/BB ratio of 3, and the best he can get is 3-3. One of the games he pitched was lost on an error he made, but overall the guy has been very good. I was uncomfortable with him as a #1 (generally would say he’s a weak 2 to a solid 3) but he has really risen to the challenge.

    Some of those hot young Astro’s bats cooled down in Pittsburgh, and they did well to get out with one win over the week end. This is going to be a new challenge; can they adjust as they reach more of a normal output?

    I expect Wandy will be gone at the deadline. But then I’m not sure who will eat the innings after that.

    • Old Gator - May 14, 2012 at 9:01 AM

      How has attendance been down at Enr…er…Minute Maid these days? Would the new owners be cutting their own throats by not at least hanging onto one fan favorite these days?

  9. stex52 - May 14, 2012 at 9:28 AM

    Running about 15,000 during the week when they were in town. Up until the second half of last year, I would have told you anything under 20-22,000 was an absolute disaster. I agree with your point; if you don’t have some hope of showing real baseball, why should people come?

    I think it’s a lock that they will try to unload Myers. Carlos will probably make the season at 1st base. He’s not terrible, just has mostly lost his power and isn’t worth 19 MM$. And last I checked, Brett Wallace, the ultimate overweight 2003 moneyball 1st baseman, was still sitting at AAA trying to figure out how to hit lefties. I’d love to see Wandy stay until a couple of the decent looking kids are a little better. Hopefully this new ownership is going to figure out marketing and realize the team has to be interesting or no one will come.

  10. legacybroken - May 14, 2012 at 9:57 AM

    Ok then I officially will attempt to create a new Lawrie nickname meme by hereby calling him Judge Dredd because he is the Law..rie

    • mattintoledo - May 14, 2012 at 10:00 AM

      I don’t know if that will stick, but I applaud the effort.

  11. goawaydog - May 14, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    The Gigantes start what is essentially 6 of 8 rookie position players, every position player gets at least 1 hit (Melky 4-5), Pill goes deep making Bochys call of him over Belt for extra power the right choice, Blanco drives in 3 “for mom” with 2 hits, Culberson gets his first MLB hit ever, Sunday no one could complain about the Giants not going young or supporting a youth movement. I will have to find another reason to hate on Sabes now. 17-17 never felt so good.

  12. APBA Guy - May 14, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    The most interesting thing about yesterday’s A’s/Tigers game was Verlander’s obvious unhappiness at surrendering the first hit, a Reddick single in the 4th. He must have been feeling the perfecto, since he fired a pick off move almost to Hayward allowing Reddick to take third from first (there is a LOT of foul ground in Oakland, and the sight of Prince trying to chase the loose ball down was, well, comical.It was eventually retrieved by Raburn.)

    Anyway, Verlander struck out Gomes to end the inning, the last strike on a 99 mph fastball that Gomes had no chance on. The A’s had used up all their offense on Saturday so that when Benoit and Valverde came in after Verlander they looked like Rivera and Wetteland from the late 1990’s Yankees: two IP, no hits, one walk and 3 k’s. Very nicely done.

  13. schmedley69 - May 14, 2012 at 1:44 PM

    The Braves always look spiffy in May. Not so much in September and October though.

    • Utley's Hair - May 14, 2012 at 2:07 PM

      Except for a few years in the 90s and early 00s, that is.

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