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And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

Jun 25, 2012, 5:40 AM EDT

Derek Norris AP

I’m back after a week’s vacation. I wrote up a long sappy version of it last week, but here’s the short version: San Diego for five days, during which I took Mookie and Carlo to their first ever major league game to see the Rangers vs. the Padres last Monday night. It was a doubly troubling game.

First the Padres — who we decided to root for that night — lost, which was a bummer. Worse: Jason Marquis pitched really well, which has fooled Carlo into thinking Jason Marquis is a superstar. Really, he has not shut up about Jason Marquis for a week. Those two things aside it was a great game. Both of the kids made it through all nine innings, cheered when appropriate, yelled at umpires when appropriate and ate the living crap out of ballpark food.

Back in Ohio late last week, I spent the weekend in Cincinnati with the girlfriend and road-tripping-from-New York- friend Katie for Friday and Saturday’s Reds-Twins games. The games themselves were mixed bags, but the trip was an outrageous success because we got Sean Casey Bobbleheads, fried Kool-Aid and hot dogs with carrots, cucumber, cilantro, and sriracha sauce. All of those things are, in reality, way better than the descriptions sound.

In any event, the trip is over. I greatly appreciate all of you doing the reader contribution And That Happends last week, but as of now democracy has been suspended and we shall revert back to our usual benevolent dictatorship as far as recaps go. Unless you don’t want this stuff anymore and would prefer that we just post scores, in which case I’ll just start sleeping in more. Anyway:

Athletics 4, Giants 3: Two outs in the bottom of the ninth, the home team down 2-1 and up steps Derek Norris to slam a three-run walkoff blast. It was his first ever homer, too, so most of them are going to be a letdown after this. We should call such things “Stone Roses home runs” or “M. Night Shyamalan home runs” or something.

Padres 2, Mariners 0: The Pads found out that bullpen coach Darrel Akerfelds died of cancer before the game. Then four pitchers went out and combined for a shutout. That’s a freaking tribute.

Rays 3, Phillies 2: Rays 7, Phillies 3: Cole Hamels shut the Rays out for seven innings in the first game, was lifted for Antonio Bastardo in the eighth and Bastardo walked two dudes and then gave up a homer to Carlos Pena. After the game Charlie Manuel was asked about putting in Bastardo and responded by, more or less, saying they really don’t have anyone better. And he’s right. In the nightcap Brooks Conrad hit two two-run doubles. Cliff Lee was beaten up and still has no wins. Right around the time the second game was ending, I saw this on Twitter, which is about perfect:

Yankees 6, Mets 5: On vacation and only paying vague attention to what was going on in baseball, and even I got the sense that the R.A.   Dickey vs. the Yankees hype had gotten too big. Yes, he’s having a fantastic year, but it was silly to assume he’d be able to keep up the earned-run-free streak going forever. The Yankees got to him for five last night, though the Mets fought back to get him off the hook for the loss. Robinson Cano‘s eighth inning homer broke the 5-5 tie and ended up winning it for the Yankees.

Astros 7, Indians 1: Derek Lowe‘s reversion to late-period Derek Lowedom continues apace, with the Indians’ starter losing again. His ERA for June: 6.44. Chris Johnson went 3 for 4 with three RBI and a homer. The Astros take the series.

Tigers 3, Pirates 2: A complete game for Justin Verlander, who gave up only five hits, though one of them was a two-run homer. After the game he said he “didn’t feel particularly great.” Guys who struggle just to make it through five innings probably love hearing that sort of thing.

Angels 5, Dodgers 3: The Angels have won 13 of 18 from the Dodgers. They’re getting so bored with this “rivalry” that they’re letting punchless dudes like Peter Bourjos hit two-run homers.

Cardinals 11, Royals 8: St. Louis scored 30 runs on 41 hits in this three game series. It was the biggest beating Missouri has seen since the Centralia Massacre. Oooh … sorry. Too soon?

Marlins 9, Blue Jays 0: The Feesh end a six-game skid. Mark Buehrle‘s win makes him the winningest pitcher in interleague history. Which, based on the way some of you feel about interleague play, is sort of like being the top Edsel salesman of 1959.

Twins 4, Reds 3: Figures the one game of this series that I didn’t see in person was the most exciting. Josh Willingham hit a two-run homer off Aroldis Chapman in the top of the ninth to bring the Twins back from a 3-2 deficit. Chapman is in a major funk, going 0-4 with three blown saves and an 11.37 ERA in his last seven games. This slide started at almost the exact time the heat started to die down regarding his encounters with the bunco squad. To get back to relief ace form, Chapman clearly must start some new scams and grifts.

White Sox 1, Brewers 0: Eduardo Escobar pinch-hit for Brent Lillibridge in the tenth inning, got the walkoff hit and then Lillibridge got traded to Boston. Then on the way to Boston Lillibridge was bumped from his flight and while waiting for the next one, some dude snaked his seat at the gate. But it wasn’t all bad: this kid cried his eyes out when he learned that Lillibridge was traded away. Really.

Orioles 2, Nationals 1: The O’s are in an offensive funk, but Matt Wieters‘ two-run homer was all they needed. Baltimore took two of three from the Nats.

Red Sox 9, Braves 4: Cody Ross hit two homers and drove in five. Kevin Youkilis‘ last game with the Red Sox ended with a triple in the seventh and a standing ovation when he was lifted for a pinch runner. The Braves have lost nine of 13.

Diamondbacks 5, Cubs 1: The Snakes sweep the Cubs behind Wade Miley‘s eight innings of one-run ball. Justin Upton drove in three.

Rangers 4, Rockies 2: Matt Harrison got the win and pitched five scoreless, but he had to leave early due to tightness in his lower back.

  1. uyf1950 - Jun 25, 2012 at 6:00 AM

    First, good to have you back Craig. As for the Yankee/Mets game very seldom does the hype live up to expectations. This pitching match up certainly did not even come close to living up to the hype. The pitching was at best average and that’s being kind, and the defense on both sides pretty sloppy. Now having gotten that off my chest I’m very glad the Yankees won and their 13-5 record this interleague season against some of the very best in the National League was excellent.

    • sdelmonte - Jun 25, 2012 at 9:17 AM

      “Some of the very best?” I will take that as a compliment for the Mets.

      Just imagine if the Yanks played the Marlins or Phils instead of that second series against the Braves. (What was up with that, anyway?)

  2. hova84 - Jun 25, 2012 at 6:09 AM

    Heyward is on fire for Atlanta. Too bad the pitching staff isn’t. Squandered a good chance to make up ground on the Nats.

    • ugglasforearms - Jun 25, 2012 at 6:29 AM

      This weekend I thought I heard one of the Atlanta broadcasters say that since Heyward had talked to “Mr. October” he (Heyward) has become “Mr. June”. Does that mean Reggie gave him some hitting advice and it’s really working?

      • paperlions - Jun 25, 2012 at 7:59 AM

        No, it means that you heard a broadcaster observe coincidence and engage in baseless post hoc narrative.

  3. redguy12588 - Jun 25, 2012 at 6:43 AM

    The pirates finished interleague play at 10-8, which considering their career IL record of about .385, I’ll take it.

  4. qacm - Jun 25, 2012 at 7:17 AM

    Down with democracy! Up with benign tyrants!

    • wlschneider09 - Jun 25, 2012 at 8:13 AM

      Nein! Nein! We the people did just fine without our parsnip-colored, batman-loving, bathrobe-wearing, bubble pipe-blowing, legal-centirc leader. We were witty, we baited phillie phans, we made obscure references to pop culture, we… we…..

      Ah, who am I kidding. Welcome back Craig.

  5. heyblueyoustink - Jun 25, 2012 at 8:17 AM

    We’re teasing alot,
    ’cause we got him on the spot,
    welcome back.

    And up your nose with a rubber hose.

  6. randygnyc - Jun 25, 2012 at 8:17 AM

    The media created hype over the mets Yankees series was dreamed up by MLB and disingenuously hoisted upon the unwitting masses by the very same forces. What we were led to believe was that the series would turn out different than the teams existing talent would’ve dictated. We were sidetracked with chickens and dickey. In the end, the Yankees, naturally, took 2 of 3. Overall for the season series, the Yankees dominated that, too, winning 5 out of 6. Not much “chicken”, there. Yankees continued to hit the long ball, adding 8 more over the weekend 3 game series. Thanks for playing mets, now run along now and play nice.

  7. proudlycanadian - Jun 25, 2012 at 8:21 AM

    Because of the injuries, the Jays still have to find a # 5 and a # 4 starter. Morrow will return after the Break, so they actually still need to find one more starting pitcher. Yesterday, Jesse Chavez flunked his second audition for the job. Laffey gets his audition tomorrow. Down on the farm, Chad Jenkins seems to be rounding into form. Yesterday, Jenkins had his third quality start in a row. I would like to see him get a chance to replace Chavez.

    • Old Gator - Jun 25, 2012 at 10:50 AM

      I bet Francisco would like to see that too. I guess the big question is whether or not Hugo will make it as far as the trade deadline.

      • proudlycanadian - Jun 25, 2012 at 11:10 AM

        Who knows how much time Hugo has? He is a cancer on his home team.

  8. dawgpoundmember - Jun 25, 2012 at 8:25 AM

    fried kool aid huh? thats a new one

    • Old Gator - Jun 25, 2012 at 10:52 AM

      Here’s how: freeze the Kool-Aid. Roll it in flour, then beaten egg, then the breadcrumb mixture. Deep fry it quickly. Same as how they make tempura ice cream at your local sushi palace. The difference is, no one ever committed mass suicide with tempura ice cream – which is remarkable when you consider that the whole idea for it comes from Japan.

      • proudlycanadian - Jun 25, 2012 at 11:13 AM

        I am having sushi for lunch, but will not order frozen Kool-Aid. Instead, I will have deep fried milk pudding for desert.

  9. annaalamode - Jun 25, 2012 at 8:30 AM

    Not to condone violence, but I am putting the over/under of Cliff Lee punching someone (possibly a public screaming match) at July 15. When I still don’t think he will have a win because his karma is clearly shot. (Or, alternatively, pitcher wins are an archaic stat that are subject to normal randomness.)

    • Old Gator - Jun 25, 2012 at 10:53 AM

      I condone it, especially if Joe West is working home plate.

  10. clownsfan - Jun 25, 2012 at 8:43 AM

    The Mets can suck my Dickey

    • stex52 - Jun 25, 2012 at 8:49 AM

      Classy. Say, aren’t you late for summer school?

      • Utley's Hair - Jun 25, 2012 at 2:38 PM

        Maybe he’s the guy who went to the bathroom the first day and didn’t come back.

  11. stex52 - Jun 25, 2012 at 8:44 AM

    Saturday morning I had composed a humorous little comment about how a three game series against the Astros was the perfect way to reinvigorate any listless pitching staff. This by way of relieving frustration over two weeks of pathetic batting by the kids. I didn’t put it in, and now I will have to save it a while. They actually came out hitting for the last two games against Cleveland.

    Unfortunately, I feel pretty sure I’ll get another chance to submit it.

  12. ajcardsfan - Jun 25, 2012 at 8:47 AM

    “Cardinals 11, Royals 8: St. Louis scored 30 runs on 41 hits in this three game series. It was the biggest beating Missouri has seen since the Centralia Massacre. Oooh … sorry. Too soon?”

    How could you Craig, we’re still on the Mend…..148 years later and we have not forgotten….well, at least wikipedia hasn’t

  13. Francisco (FC) - Jun 25, 2012 at 8:49 AM

    The man in the Bathrobe holding the Bubble pipe sat down in his high chair, rubbing athletic sock clad feet against the Philly Phanatic rug. His Braves 1995 Championship Team Portrait on the wall gave way to a 71″ LED screen, which promptly subdivided into sixteen sections. Each one showing a different baseball game. Of course since there where 15 games plus one double header that left one square for his right-hand hench-woman Tiffany Simons.

    “Good to have you back Craig.”

    “Good to be back my dear Tiffany, it’s been quite a while since you’ve graced my screen.”

    Tiffany, pursed her lips. “Craig it’s only been a week…”

    He jumped up from his chair. “An eternity of time – I’m sure you’ll agree – for being away from Baseball. Though I wasn’t quite away, I was able to see my product up close instead from afar. Sometimes you need to be in the trenches! But San Diego was so disappointing. Should have gone to L.A.”

    Tiffany smiled. “My Angels are doing pretty good.”

    Craig frowned. “I was thinking more the Dodgers, you know the DH isn’t my thing. Although they did face each other this weekend, but I was gone by then. I have to say without Matt Kemp it will be tough for L.A to keep their lofty perch on the N.L. West. They’ve truly had an atrocious last year and a half what with the McCourt saga. Hopefully new ownership steers the ship right and gives the town something to look up to.”

    Now it was Tiffany’s turn to frown: “But Craig, L.A. won the Stanley Cup.”

    Craig waved that off: “Big deal, who watches golf anyway? You want your team to win the World Series, not some golf tournament. Anyway what’s the team doing playing that instead of working more on their baseball? No wonder they’re 3-7 in the last ten.”

    Tiffany wore a perplexed expression on her face: “Craig the Stanley Cup… never mind…”

    • proudlycanadian - Jun 25, 2012 at 9:02 AM

      Well said FC. No hockey pucks were injured in the above statement of true facts.

  14. sdelmonte - Jun 25, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    Even though the Mets did well against AL teams that aren’t the Yanks, I am always glad when interleague play is over. These series just aren’t fun. The good news is that the Mets didn’t lose much ground within the division. The bad news is that the Nats were also one of the few NL teams with a winning interleague record.

    Moronic comment of the day: local sportscaster saying that the Mets-Yanks game last night lived up to the hype. I think he confused “exciting if sloppy game” with “sterling pitching match-up!”

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 25, 2012 at 10:23 AM

      we secretly replaced the Yankees infield with the bad news bears, lets see if anyone notices…

  15. funkygoorilla - Jun 25, 2012 at 9:27 AM

    Welcome back Craig, this site just isn’t the same without you. In second thoughts……….Yankees rule!

  16. protectthishouse54 - Jun 25, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    It may not have been the pitcher’s duel we anticipated, but last night’s Yanks/Mets game was exciting nonetheless. The largest crowd ever in Citi Field with dueling chants and cheers made for an electric and unique environment.

    • proudlycanadian - Jun 25, 2012 at 10:47 AM

      Big Apple bias!

      • protectthishouse54 - Jun 25, 2012 at 2:22 PM

        So be it! :)

      • proudlycanadian - Jun 25, 2012 at 2:26 PM

        Cheers!

  17. Old Gator - Jun 25, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    Benevolent dictatorship. Sleeping in more. Pillow talk in place of spawrts tawk. What shall we call that – the Muslin Brotherhood?

    Um….

    Yes, well. The Feesh awakened from their long June slumber, kinda like Robert de Niro and will prolly doze right back orf again like he did tonight, and behind some terrific pitching by Mark Buehrle – who wasn’t punished for it, for a change – and perhaps inspired by the repeated Debby-related monsoon downpours we’ve been enjoying here in Macondo, spilled nine runs across the plate and took the rubber game (just as Tennessee was passing a law that says you can’t show kids rubbers in sex ignoration class) from the Feather Lice.

    More important, though, I have to note the passing on Saturday of Lonesome George, the last living Pinta Island giant saddleback tortoise, in Puerto Ayora, Galapagos Islands. I actually scratched George’s chin in his pen at the Darwin Research Center (Darwin being another aspect of enlightenment that Tennessee once tried to ban from its blighted classrooms). He seemed to like it. Many attempts were made to mate George with closely related female saddlebacks from nearby islands, but he showed little interest in them until – and this is true; you could look it up – a graduate student from Switzerland attempted to stimulate him manually (I searched YouTube in vain for the video – ah well). She must have been hot, because he then began clumsily mounting some of those females – the grad student reported that he didn’t really seem to know what he was doing, which made me wish I had gone to grad school in Switzerland myself, and hell, I could always use another degree – but unfortunately and the eggs laid by the females with whom he somehow managed the task all turned out to be infertile. I guess you could say that Lonesome George carried the termination of his line within him like some kid of pledge – which is a lot like the way the Feesh are playing out their season, you know?

    • jimbo1949 - Jun 25, 2012 at 12:10 PM

      “Muslin Brotherhood” and turtle sex, an unbeatable combo.

  18. bravojawja - Jun 25, 2012 at 10:57 AM

    Mark Buehrle : Interleague :: Jack Morris : 1980’s

    Discuss.

    • Kevin S. - Jun 25, 2012 at 11:17 AM

      What, that’s he’s completely overrated by obsolete statistics and arbitrary endpoints? That’s not a very nice thing to say about Mark.

  19. chumthumper - Jun 25, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    You mean someone else has been writing this twaddle for the last week? In the meantime, I enjoy Gator’s meanderings although I ususally don’t know what the hell he said.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jun 25, 2012 at 5:04 PM

      Right there with you Chum. Sometimes I re-read them until my head starts hurting to the point of exploding. Then I ask for a translator. Seems to work pretty well.

  20. APBA Guy - Jun 25, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    Despite the goodness of the A’s winning yesterday, the reality of the series is that the Giants won 2 of 3, and looked pretty good doing it. Aside from Zito, it looks like their starting pitching is roughly on 2010 form, and overall their bullpen looks consistent and deep enough. What is surprising is that the offense is credible. I say surprising because after last year we had gotten used to thinking of the Giants as offensively challenged. But this year the top two guys work the count and get on base with regularity. The next 3 guys are genuinely dangerous. Having Posey back is huge. He hit two against the A’s and both were no-doubters.

    The Giants vs Dodgers series will be must watching this week for NL fans and for fans of playoff bound teams in the AL.

    The A’s showed how much they’ve improved from last year due largely to the trades of Gio and Cahill. They still are not contenders, but they are more fun to watch than the 2011 version, unless they are slumping. But still, .500 is as good as it will get for these guys. At least we are being spared daily observation of the regression of Kurt Suzuki, a sad tale of woe for a hard-working catcher who has not learned to make adjustments at the plate, shorten his swing, and maintain his balance.

    • goawaydog - Jun 25, 2012 at 1:23 PM

      From the 1st pitch Friday to the last home run on Sunday that was a great weekend of Bay Area baseball. each game entertaining for 9 innings. As much as I would have loved a sweep and seeing Cain get 10 straight wins, that was a hell of a way to end the series. Beane is probably already trying to trade Norris for prospects.

      • APBA Guy - Jun 25, 2012 at 2:18 PM

        I’m sorry Dog, but any Beane reference must be preceded by “great and powerful”. And you are probably right, since Norris is already 23, the same age as Trevor Cahill when the great and powerful Beane traded him.

        Those 3 games were terrific. Even losing two, I had a smile on my face almost every minute. Just really good baseball. I still think the highlight was Timmy’s performance. Incredible “want to” as the pro bullriders say, tough, tough performance. I hadn’t realized he’d lost 33 pounds over the off-season. That much weight loss will definitely slow you down. Here’s hoping that performance will help him bounce back for the second half this year.

  21. madhatternalice - Jun 25, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    “The O’s are in an offensive funk”

    Ain;’t that the truth. A league worst .491 OPS and 10 runs in their last six games. But why?

    6/24: Ross Detweiler, 3.09 ERA
    6/23: Edwin Jackson, 2.91 ERA
    6/22: Jordan Zimmerman, 2.89 ERA
    6/20: Dillon Gee, 4.27 ERA
    6/19: Johan Santana, 3.00 ERA
    6/18: R.A. Dickey, 2.31 ERA

    That’s some pretty difficult pitching to face. 2-4, for a young team, against that kind of pitching? We’ll take it. Dillon is probably the only inexcusable one, but they did score the most runs off of him in the last week (3!).

  22. natstowngreg - Jun 25, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    A little over a month ago, the Nats embarked on what was supposed to be a test of their mettle as a contender — 33 games vs. the NL East and AL East. They were neither great not bad (18-14 with one rainout, 10-8 vs. the AL East). They enter the next phase of their schedule with the #2 record in the NL, 12 games over .500, in 1st place by 3.5 games. The flaws that could limit their ceiling (the offense in particular) remain, but so do the strengths that can keep them in contention (the starting pitching in particular).

    Off to the mountains for 4 in Denver. Messrs. Strasburg, G. Gonzalez, Zimmermann and E. Jackson have pitched quite well at low altitudes; we shall see how they fare a mile above sea level.

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