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And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

Jun 4, 2012, 5:40 AM EDT

New York Yankees v Detroit Tigers Getty Images

Yankees 5, Tigers 1: If I were to tell you that one of this game’s starting pitchers — Justin Verlander or Phil Hughes — was going to toss a complete game, I’m guessing none of you would have guessed it would be Hughes.  But that he did, allowing one run on four hits. Verlander loses his third in a row. Him pitching lights-out had been the last preseason expectation being met for the Tigers. Now they seem utterly lost.

Mets 6, Cardinals 1: Well, it took them 26 innings of a 27 inning series to actually score a run, but the Cards got on the board in this one at least. But, yeah, just a trainwreck of a weekend for St. Louis. Or, if you prefer, a buzzsaw of a weekend for Mets pitching. I mean, not often that the six innings of ten-strikeout, shutout ball that Jon Niese posted last night would be the third best pitching performance in a given series, but there you are.

Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 1: Quick, what’s this?  Answer: a plot of where the pitches Daniel Bard threw in Toronto yesterday ended up.  The Jays had a 5-0 lead after two innings with Bard having given up only one hit. Jose Bautista hit a three-run homer and was walked to force in a run. But really, I think Bard walked almost everyone in Ontario yesterday, so it’s not like it was that big a deal.

Diamondbacks 6, Padres 0: Trevor Cahill added to the parade of excellent pitching performances yesterday, twirling a six-hit shutout. Paul Goldschmidt homered and ran his hitting streak to 12 games. Note: you can’t really “twirl” many other things than a shutout. And using “ran” as a verb like I did there, while not exclusive to sports streaks, has a very high correlation with them.

Giants 2, Cubs 0: Barry Zito: does he (all together now) finally have it together, or is he merely a barometer of how bad the Cubs are? (8 .1 IP, 4 H, 0 ER).

Braves 3, Nationals 2: Halley’s Comet. The McRib. A Braves victory over the Nationals.  You savor them when the come because they are just so damn rare.

Royals 2, Athletics 0: Oakland was shutout again, this time by former A Vin Mazzaro who, with all due respect, shouldn’t be shutting out anyone for that long.  Of course it was the third time in the past four games the A’s have been blanked, so your Aunt Tilly could probably pitch six innings of shutout ball against them. They’ve lost 10 of 11.

Marlins 5, Phillies 1: Carlos Zambrano gave up one run over seven and two thirds and hit a homer.  Even before the homer, on paper, I think Zambrano was a bigger threat than the Phillies cleanup hitter: Hector Luna.

White Sox 4, Mariners 2: Chris Sale went the distance, allowing two runs against what has, recently anyway, been a pretty potent Mariners attack. He leads the AL with a 2.29 ERA. From the AP gamer: “Kevin Millwood was beset by control problems.” This is not a repeat of, well, most games since 2006 or so.

Rangers 7, Angels 3: the Rangers snap their four-game skid behind a couple RBI a piece from Nelson Cruz and Elvis Andrus and a decent showing from Matt Harrison.

Pirates 6, Brewers 5: James McDonald continues his fine work, striking out eight in six innings while allowing a single earned run. Brooks Conrad played a little shortstop in this one for Milwaukee. Which is an interesting choice.

Twins 6, Indians 3: Break up the Twinkies! They’ve won five of six. Since their tone-setting sweep of the Tigers, Cleveland is 2-7. So, so much for tone-setting.

Astros 5, Reds 3: Houston wins for the first time in nine tries. Jordan Lyles gave up only two earned runs over seven innings.

Rockies 3, Dodgers 2: Alex White shuts out the Dodgers into the seventh inning before running out of gas, but it was enough to give L.A. its sixth loss in seven games.

Rays 8, Orioles 4: Productive weekend as the Rays put the Orioles in the rear-view mirror in the AL East. It’s been a nice run for the O’s, but it’s probably over.

  1. yankeepunk3000 - Jun 4, 2012 at 6:22 AM

    I know you’re not a big fan of the giants and yes the cubs are beyond struggling but i do want to give zito some credit…I’ve watched most of his starts these past few years and it looks like he is finally turning it around, I hope he continues to pitch well into the season…and for the O’s though I love the yanks I hope they can turn this around and keep on contending…every team hits a slump they just have to pull themselves out of it.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 4, 2012 at 10:20 AM

      I think it is completely fair to say Zito has turned things around. He was one of the worst pitchers in baseball for a while there, and now he is respectable. Turning it around has not made him an ace, but being a competent #4 or 5 starter is miles ahead of where he was a couple of years ago.

  2. mungman69 - Jun 4, 2012 at 6:46 AM

    How do the Phillies think that they can win with this team? Lot of guys out and some (Chase) won’t be back at all and some (Howard) won’t be back till August. Then there’s Jimmy Rollins and others who aren’t hitting. Even the pitchers are hurting.

    • prophet215 - Jun 4, 2012 at 9:12 AM

      You might want to hold off on making foot in mouth comments until you’ve read the local news. Chase is going to Clearwater today. He will be back soon.

  3. bbk1000 - Jun 4, 2012 at 7:34 AM

    “Well, it took them 26 innings of a 27 inning series to actually score a run, but the Cards got on the board in this one at least”

    Craig, it’s minimally a 36 inning series as the Mets and Cards play again today….stick to the fluff….

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 4, 2012 at 10:22 AM

      The new york weather report says Craig is correct, and your tone says you are taking this way too seriously.

      • Old Gator - Jun 4, 2012 at 11:14 AM

        If I were a Cards fan after this past weekend, I would be taking it about as seriously as an apocalyptic fundamentalist listening to a Harold Camping sermon. Time is indeed running short.

      • bbk1000 - Jun 4, 2012 at 11:34 AM

        I am taking it seriously…I want the sweep…..

  4. proudlycanadian - Jun 4, 2012 at 7:41 AM

    An interesting play by The Bard yesterday. Was it a comedy, a tragedy or a drama? A comedy because he walked 6 and hit 2 batters? A tragedy, because Edwin Encarnacion could have been sent to the DL when he was hit on the hand? A drama, because the experiment of using Bard as a starter may be over?

    • proudlycanadian - Jun 4, 2012 at 8:54 AM

      Last September, Bard also had some meltdowns against the Jays while he was pitching in the pen. A stint in the minors might be in his future.

    • Francisco (FC) - Jun 4, 2012 at 9:37 AM

      Bard walked so many… he even walked my dog. What a nice guy.

      • Old Gator - Jun 4, 2012 at 11:19 AM

        He would have had problems walking our odd Hemingway Hound, Fido. First off, he’d have to find Fido’s neck, which would be difficult, considering that his face seems to be affixed to the front of his chest. He would have to watch out lest he impale his palm on one of Fido’s retractable fangs, which he always extrudes when he feels that he’s being mishandled. Next, he’d have to avoid getting all those loose hairs stuck in his hand. We’re working on that but, aside from constant brushing – which he doesn’t like and always retreats to his corner of the ceiling to avoid – still haven’t figured out how to get him to eat anything with coat oil on it. But most of all, Fido never “goes” in the same place twice. He’ll go in the corner of the garden, then behind the shed, then maybe on the pool deck right by the ladder, and then over by the bananas. No one spot is ever good enough twice. He’s so…fecal.

    • deathmonkey41 - Jun 4, 2012 at 10:17 AM

      He’s been Joba-dized. I’m not sure why, when teams have a young kid that looks dominant in a set up role and could be a potential long term closer in the future, they feel the need to turn them into a starter. Has that worked yet?

      • hamispig - Jun 4, 2012 at 10:33 AM

        David Price

      • deathmonkey41 - Jun 4, 2012 at 10:40 AM

        That was for like 14 innings. He was drafted and brought up to be a starter. He came up to taste the big leagues and fill a temporary role. It wasn’t like they had any intention of leaving him in the bullpen. He knew he was going to be a starter. They didn’t mess with his head.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 4, 2012 at 1:52 PM

        Everything you just wrote applies to Joba as well. Starter in college at Nebraska, starter throughout the minors (all 88.1 IP of it). He was brought up in the bullpen to fill a huge gap in relief, and the Joba Rules were instituted by Cashman to prevent Torre from blowing out his arm (Scott Proctor syndrome). All intentions were to keep Joba as a starter, the team just didn’t give him the leeway they gave Hughes.

  5. wlschneider09 - Jun 4, 2012 at 7:45 AM

    Gosh, it sure was a good idea to stick Sale back in the bullpen for a couple of weeks. He’ll never make it as a starter.

  6. natstowngreg - Jun 4, 2012 at 9:11 AM

    The game started out like another Nats victory over the Bravos. Lombardozzi the Younger hit his first MLB homer. Then Young Mr. Harper hit what should be the first of many homers over the Nats’ RF bullpen into the club level. That was the sum total of the Washington Nationals’ offense for the afternoon. Tommy Hanson settled down nicely, while Gio had a rare bad start, not making it through the fifth.

    Props to Andrelton Simmons for his first MLB hit, a liner over the leaping Ryan Zimmerman into the LF corner. The Nats’ TV guys were quite impressed with the kid’s moves at shortstop. That can keep him in the Majors a long time, as long as he can keep his BA above water.

    The Nats are 7-7 in the hard part of the schedule and are 3 percentage points ahead of the Fish and Metsies (having 2 fewer games played). It gets harder. The surprising Metsies come to town, followed by a trip to the Nation and Beaver Land. Then back home to greet the Yankees infestation and the Rays. Maybe we could get Dick Vitale to visit, providing a Rays infestation all by himself. That would be cool.

    Non-Nats note: Watched most of the Rangers-Angels game. Nelson Cruz looked like he was in the Home Run Derby, hitting a batting practice pitch over 480 feet. Into an area of the Anaheim ballpark you don’t see on TV — an area where I think, once upon a time, they had football seats. Most impressive.

  7. prophet215 - Jun 4, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    Joe Blanton is going to the Allstar game.

    He’s going to be lone pitcher in the HR Derby.

  8. uyf1950 - Jun 4, 2012 at 9:52 AM

    Great outing by Phil Hughes CG, 1 run, 8 K’s game. Especially since it came after Hughes’s otherwise very ugly outing against the Angels. Very nice road trip for the Yankees 6-3 can’t ask for much better than that. Yankees remain 1 game out. Oh and the Red Sox found their way back tie for last place after their loss to the Jays. All in all a pretty good Sunday of baseball.

    • deathmonkey41 - Jun 4, 2012 at 10:18 AM

      I wish I knew what to make of Hughes. To say he’s inconsistant is an understatement.

      • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 4, 2012 at 10:26 AM

        The problem with Hughes is that he is really a one-pitch pitcher. If he has a good fastball, and an opponent that is looking for something else, he can be good. Even Martin admitted that they basically went all fastball.

        If his fastball is having a bad day, or if the other team is geared up to whack it, he does not really have a plan B

      • uyf1950 - Jun 4, 2012 at 10:40 AM

        deathmonkey – He maybe inconsistent but truth be told 4 of his last 5 starts have been pretty darn good and this last one very, very good. But let’s be honest what starter in the Yankees rotation hasn’t been inconsistent (at least this year)? None that I can think of.

      • deathmonkey41 - Jun 4, 2012 at 10:45 AM

        Not just this year- throughout his career so far. Even from year to year he’s been inconsistent. That start a little back against the Angels was just plain ugly. Yes, the Angels are hot, but that Detroit lineup is nothing to laugh at either. Sometimes he looks like he needs to be sent down and other times he looks like a viable #3 or #4. It’s frustrating to watch.

      • uyf1950 - Jun 4, 2012 at 10:53 AM

        deathmonkey – I agree with your latest comment 100%. It is frustrating. But this is just my opinion. I honestly feel if the Yankees stick with him as a starter this year they will NOT regret it and the Yankees patience will be rewarded. He know’s he’s on the clock so to speak with the Yankees and that more often than not, is a great motivator. Let’s just hope I’m right.

      • Old Gator - Jun 4, 2012 at 11:23 AM

        It’s not a well known story, but our Canadian friends ought to enjoy hearing it. Hughes tried to order a couple of hundred of the first jet airliner prototype, the Avro Canada C-102, way back in 1949 when he owned TWA. He got derailed by the usual run of US political pressure and domestic Canadian political bullshit. The plane was never manufactured and Canada had to settle for world leadership in snowmobiles. So it goes.

        Yes, I grant you Hughes was crazy, and he is indeed hard to make out. But the guy knew his airplanes, even if he hasn’t got a clue about opposing batters.

      • deathmonkey41 - Jun 4, 2012 at 12:25 PM

        Well, I wish this Hughes would order a good curve ball because he’s seen to have lost his.

  9. CJ - Jun 4, 2012 at 10:04 AM

    In other news, we can reset the “Days Since Hawk Harrelson Said Something Stupid” counter back to zero.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 4, 2012 at 10:28 AM

      Does it go any higher? Seems like a waste of good numerals if it does.

      • CJ - Jun 4, 2012 at 10:44 AM

        Great point. But I think describing a based loaded situation as “sacks full of semen” might be a new low even for his standards.

      • El Bravo - Jun 4, 2012 at 1:24 PM

        Wait, what? CJ, what happened? I was watching Game of Thrones for the last 72 hours or so….

      • CJ - Jun 4, 2012 at 1:54 PM

        Bravo,

        The Mariners had a bases loaded situation against the Sox. Between pitches to Ichiro, the Hawk described the situation as “sacks full of [presumably] sea-men.” Which I guess he used intentionally instead of Mariners.

        But when listening to it he pauses right after he said it as if he knew he said something stupid. And a little later ended up correcting himself or whatever. But when you listen to it it sounds like he said “sacks full of semen”. Mostly because that’s exactly what he said, but he’d argue that he meant the other spelling. I figured there’d be a post on here about it by now, but it’s on Off the Bench, so maybe they’re making a conscious effort not to duplicate work on the sister blogs.

    • The Rabbit - Jun 4, 2012 at 1:28 PM

      I didn’t hear it but I see where you mind goes. LOL
      The White Sox were playing the Mariners? What he most likely said was “sea-men”.
      I think Hawk is an idiot but he’s not the first announcer to refer to the M’s with that label.

      • CJ - Jun 4, 2012 at 1:48 PM

        “Sea-men” would make sense, I guess, but it’s a lame reference. And if you’re going to use it, “sacks full of” should probably be on the list of things NOT to say in front of it. But I don’t usually hear any announcer use “sacks full of ” to describe a bases loaded situation, let alone “sea-men” or “semen”.

        Then again, this is Hawk Harrellson we’re talking about so I guess that explains everything.

  10. APBA Guy - Jun 4, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    It only took an hour to go through the A’s game on the DVR yesterday. After Hosmer’s home run, and looking at the Royals bullpen lineup (the same as Friday night, when they first shut down the A’s) I had the feeling the game was over early. It was.

    Like the Orioles, the A’s best days of 2012 are likely behind them. The book on their hitters is clear and widely distributed. Injuries will only deplete the team further. Manny is doing very, very little at Sacramento so far, Bret Anderson and 209 won’t be back until the All-Star game, at best, and even then we won’t know what they can do. Certainly ownership isn’t going to buy players in hopes of finishing ahead of Seattle in the division.

    The A’s were around .500 up until this late May skid began, highlighted by almost 100,000 for 3 games at home against Detroit. We’ll look back fondly at that in August, when attendance is around 8,000 per game. But it appears that 1-10 with every-other-day shutouts is who the 2012 A’s really are.

  11. goawaydog - Jun 4, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    The Giants have won or tied 14 of 18 series to date. I will take that pace all season long. starting pitchers for Friday – Sunday each go 8 strong innings, woeful Cubs or not, that is give the staff credit. hopefully the rain today won’t keep the G-Men from a 4 game sweep of the Cubbies. Zito was good too.

  12. hushbrother - Jun 4, 2012 at 1:21 PM

    If Joey Crawford was an MLB ump he would have called most of Bard’s pitches strikes.

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