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And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

Jun 26, 2012, 6:10 AM EDT

Kevin Youkilis

Twins 4, White Sox 1: Kevin Youkilis made his Chisox debut and went one for four in a loss and gave us this odd picture of him in a White Sox uniform. Adam Dunn went 0 for 4 and struck out four times, but the list of things he gives less of a crap about than that is pretty short, I’d presume. Francisco Liriano went seven innings and allowed only one run. Looked like the Twins’ ace.

Reds 3, Brewers 1: When I was at Great American Ballpark over the weekend I learned that if Reds pitchers combine for 11 or more strikeouts that everyone in the park got a free small pizza and a free scoop of ice cream from LaRosa’s. Johnny Cueto and the bullpen came close to that on Saturday, and when, late in the game, a Twins batter would ground out or fly out, some people in the upper deck near us would boo because, dammit, they wanted their free pizza and ice cream.  Well, Mat Latos got it for ’em last night: 13 strikeouts in a four-hit complete game.

Royals 8, Rays 0: Luke Hochevar tossed a seven hit shutout while striking out eight. I wonder if anyone gets free burnt ends in Kansas City for eleven strikeouts.

Rockies 4, Nationals 2: You’d think that Steven Strasburg giving up only three runs while striking out eight and walking only one dude in Coors Field would lead to a Nats win, but the park played somewhat reasonably on a 100 degree night in Denver. Jeff Francis allowed only two runs over five and the Rockies’ pen shut ’em out over the next four.

Cubs 6, Mets 1: The AP headline as of 11:44 last night was “Wood pitches Cubs to win over Mets.” Made me think of Kerry and I got all sad and nostalgic. Of course I doubt Kerry Wood would show up to bat looking like this.

Padres 8, Astros 7: Last week at the Padres game I used Carlos Quentin as the example to my kids of why a player may be traded in the middle of a season. As in, “sometimes when a guy is playing well for a team that isn’t so good, he’ll get traded to a team that is doing better in the middle of the season in exchange for someone who might help the bad team next year.” Since then, the boy keeps asking me if Carlos Quentin has been traded yet. Not yet, Carlo. He was around to double in the winning run on the top of the tenth for the Padres.

Tigers 8, Rangers 2: Rangers starter Justin Grimm lived up to his name — and I’m sure inspired some punny headlines this morning — in allowing six runs on eight hits in a single inning of work which saw him throw 52 pitches. Way to lay one on the pen on a night that saw triple digit temperatures.

Cardinals 8, Marlins 6: Miami had a 6-1 lead as the eighth inning began, and a 6-2 lead entering the ninth, but then Heath Bell worked his magic, allowing four runs on three hits in the ninth. But hey, since it was such a large lead he surrendered, no blown save! I’m always looking on the bright side of things, folks. It’s just who I am.

Yankees 7, Indians 1: Robinson Cano stayed hot, homering and driving in three. DeWayne Wise — really? — homered, tripled and drove in three too. Maybe it’s too early for watching the standings, but a Tigers win and an Indians and White Sox loss pulls Detroit to within two of first place. For as miserable as their season has gone, they’re in the Central, so I’ve never really worried about them. Until they have to face teams like the Yankees in the playoffs, of course.

Phillies 8, Pirates 2: If you had told me that Joe Blanton would be one of the Phillies best two starters before the season started I woulda told you you was crazy. But there you go. Blanton struck out eight and allowed two earned runs over seven innings while walking one. Jimmy Rollins continued his recent tear by going long again.

Blue Jays 9, Red Sox 6Colby Rasmus drove in three. The Jays also lost another starting pitcher to an injury when Henderson Alvarez had to leave the game early, but what the hell else is new for Toronto? On the Boston side of the ledger, two homers for Big Papi. Meanwhile, Will Middlebrooks went 1 for 4, a mirror image of Kevin Youkilis’ night in Chicago. Yeah, that’s kind of meaningless, but if you don’t think the Boston media won’t be keeping track of that kind of thing for the rest of the year, you’re just not familiar with their work.

Giants 8, Dodgers 0: Barry Zito shut the Dodgers out for seven innings on three hits. Meanwhile, Pablo Sandoval drove in three while Angel Pagan and Hector Sanchez added a couple a piece. The Giants — who a month ago trailed the Dodgers by seven and a half games — have closed the gap to two. After getting swept by the A’s last week, I’m thinking that the Dodgers want the hell out of the Bay Area.

Athletics 1, Mariners 0: Did you know that heading into yesterday’s games the A’s led the league in runs scored for June? Yep! That was weird. Seeing an A’s-M’s game end 1-0 in a crisp 2:18, then, is much more normal and comforting. Tommy Milone outduels Erasmo Ramirez, who struck out ten in eight innings in a losing effort.

  1. proudlycanadian - Jun 26, 2012 at 6:55 AM

    The Jays continue to win despite their depleted rotation. Boston’s pitching is more questionable than Toronto’s. Joey Bats hit his 24th home run to lead the majors. Rasmus and Arencibia also homered.

    • proudlycanadian - Jun 26, 2012 at 9:38 AM

      There was a 2 hour rain delay in the game, so I missed the last 3 innings. Since the late inning pitchers in the Toronto pen are quite good, I had no worries about the result. Mighty Casey struck out all 3 batters he faced for the save.

  2. bsbiz - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:54 AM

    Craig, the ice cream is from UDF, not LaRosa’s.

  3. Old Gator - Jun 26, 2012 at 7:59 AM

    I’m all for instituting a category of Epic Blown Save (EBS) for leads of more than four runs. Heath Bell, who has been terrific for the past month (last earned run: May 26) melted down like the core at Chernobyl and got capped by Yadier Molina in the ninth. But we shouldn’t overlook the Hanster’s fancy footwork at third, two errors on a booted ball and a throw on the same play, that gave the Cardinals their toehold in the top of the eighth. Nor should we overlook how the player formerly recognizable as Gaby Sanchez came up with runners on first and second and one out in the ninth and grounded into a velvety smooth double play. Nor, lest Feesh fans become too encouraged by their four-run outburst in the seventh, should we overlook the fact that the Cardinals giftwrapped the entire inning with lots of walks, including a couple with the bases loaded, inept fielding of their own and very little input from the Feesh batters.

    And all this after Ricky Nolasco finally made it to the park instead of his evil pod person twin and threw 6-2/3 innings of no-earned-run ball.

    Further lost in the implosive shock of this latest collapse was a weird situation in the top of the ninth where Allen Craig got booted from the game because of a scorecard mixup on the part of Mike Matheney.

    As we approached the ninth inning and it looked very much like the Feesh were actually going to win, I decided to check back to the last time they won back-to-back games, but the carbon dating method approved by MLB, and championed by its drooling idiot of a commissioner, has a reliability of plus or minus around five thousand years or so.

    • paperlions - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:32 AM

      The teams also combined to walk 15 batters (Cardinals 8 and Marlins 7 with each team issuing an intentional pass) despite the fact that the strike zone was pretty generous last on both sides of the plate last night.

      Just a really ugly, horribly played game.

      • Old Gator - Jun 26, 2012 at 9:29 AM

        The Feesh have been involved in a lot of those lately. It might be something catching. The Cardinals ought to be OK once they get out of here.

    • mickeyb21 - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:38 AM

      Don’t forget that the Cardinals had a base hit with the bases loaded that hit a runner. I think the Cardinals would have at least gotten a run there, maybe more.

      Also, I think the scorecard mix up was all the ump’s mistake. Don’t think it was Matheny’s fault.

      • Old Gator - Jun 26, 2012 at 9:28 AM

        Yep, subsequent information confirms that it was Davidson who screwed up. Well now that’s a shock. The Feesh announcers on the raydeeo last night were kvetching about how the umps don’t liase with the home team public relations people so they can let the fans in the stadium and the announcers know what the hell is going on down on the field.

    • Francisco (FC) - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:38 AM

      Epic Blown Save

      We already have a category for that: it’s called a Marmocalypse.

    • natslady - Jun 26, 2012 at 10:37 AM

      Not that it matters much, Craig, but the end result of Cards-Fish was 8-7 not 8-6.

  4. Francisco (FC) - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:05 AM

    Reds pitchers combine for 11 or more strikeouts that everyone in the park got a free small pizza and a free scoop of ice cream from LaRosa’s.

    In Rogers Centre it’s actually 7 or more Ks for a small slice of pizza at Pizza-Pizza… that tells you how often they strike out the opposition.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jun 26, 2012 at 10:36 AM

      Yeah really FC.
      Even more impressive is (I am guessing) the Pizza in Canada costs about 1 1/2 times that in the U.S.

  5. Old Gator - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:06 AM

    Incidentally, Craig, is it just me or did someone get their sneaker laces fouled in the tractor feed for the thumbnails at the top of the page ?

    • jimbo1949 - Jun 26, 2012 at 10:48 AM

      Past couple days now.

  6. randygnyc - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:07 AM

    The Yankees continue to bomb their opponents into submission. Kuroda has thrown his fourth gem in a row. The yanks make it look easy on a “let down day”, after the Mets and without AROD and Martin and with dewayne wise in the line up.

    On another point, what the hell is wrong with Heath Bell? WTF?

    • deathmonkey41 - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:40 AM

      I got a little worried when Kuroda walked the first two guys in the 6th, but he got out of it without giving up any runs.

  7. groundruledoublebourbon - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:11 AM

    Craig – fans don’t get free burnt ends in KC for strikeouts, but fans DO get delusional when Luke Hochevar has a couple good starts in a row. Today’s talk will be roughly the 47th rendition of “Has the former 1st overall pick finally figured it out?!”

    I’d much rather have the ends.

  8. paperlions - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:19 AM

    Shouldn’t the Padres win over Houston count as an interleague win the NL? I think it should.

    • stex52 - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:27 AM

      No. The prospect of giving up baseball for DH ball for the rest of my fan days is bad enough. Give me the rest of this season to deal with it.

  9. uyf1950 - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:24 AM

    The Yankees went on a killing spree. And to be honest the game wasn’t even as close as the 7-1 looks. BTW, it may have taken the Yankees 72 games but they finally have the best record in MLB.

    • hcf95688 - Jun 26, 2012 at 10:44 AM

      Sometimes you get what you pay for.

  10. stex52 - Jun 26, 2012 at 8:25 AM

    In Houston, nuthin’ gets you nuthin’ as you watched a battle of competing futilities between the Astros and the Padres. 3:41 play time, which seems to me should be covered somewhere in the Geneva Convention. And a sub-15,000 attendance level, a true Mendoza line for Houston sports. Errors, bases-loaded walks, inept relief, this game had it all. Wandy was uncharacteristically weak in his start, but managed to right the ship and hang on into seven. Too bad they had to bring in relievers after that. Perhaps some comfort in a little power being flashed by the Astros, and several steals by both teams. But I think that is more reflective of the defensive skills of both catchers.

    Oh well, a new day. I will try to get in a better mood about the rest of the season.

  11. l0yalr0yal - Jun 26, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    20,000 strong in Kansas City last night was a welcome sight after St. Louis took their bandwagon back down I-70, and these complete games from a Royals starter are few and far between. Royals fans have very little to cheer about, but the return of Salvador Perez has had a definite impact and with a top-tier starting pitcher I really feel like they’d be in the mix for the AL Central lead.

  12. hisgirlgotburrelled - Jun 26, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    In the first 42 games before taking his 3-days for paternity leave, Jimmy Rollins was batting .229/.295/.283 with 1 HR and 7 RBI. Since then, in 31 games .316/.345/.581 with 7 HR’s and 19 RBI.

  13. seeinred87 - Jun 26, 2012 at 9:39 AM

    Scary moment in the Nats-Rockies game last night when Stras put a fastball right between the eyes of Marco Scutaro. It was really the turning point in the game. Strasburg pitched a little timidly for the rest of the inning, and in doing so, took the loss.

    He did go 1 for 1 with a sacrifice and an RBI double though. That puts him at .348/.375/.652 for a 1.027 OPS (in 23 AB).

    • natslady - Jun 26, 2012 at 9:58 AM

      Yes, and after Desmond hit that comeback and Nicasio broke his neck last year. Some bad vibes in Coors, plus it was 100 degrees. What happened to the cool mountain breezes?

    • natstowngreg - Jun 26, 2012 at 3:14 PM

      That was scary. Still, 3 runs in 6 innings should be good enough to win at Coors. Unfortunately, the Nats have reached that state of grace where they can make most any mediocre pitcher look good.

  14. beefytrout - Jun 26, 2012 at 9:56 AM

    I’m somewhat amazed that the Rangers are able to have such a massive positive run differential, because they seem to have quite a few games like last night, where they just get blown out. Felt bad for the rookie, but it happens.

  15. natslady - Jun 26, 2012 at 9:56 AM

    Gee, I wish we got something for strikeouts, but, NO, we get pizza for 6 runs, and free wings for 5 runs and a win. If we ever got 5 or 6 runs the pitchers would by pizza, wings, and ice-cream for the DMV out of their own pockets!!!

  16. stlouis1baseball - Jun 26, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    I can’t believe the Cardinals won that game. Wow. Top of the 7th the Cardinals were trying to rally w/ 2 down…the bases loaded and Holliday up. What happens? Shane Robinson is on 1st Base (LOOKING AT SECOND) when Holliday hits a rope that smacks Robinson in the leg. Rally over.
    Bottom of 7th…the “Feesh” have the bases juiced and Sanchez is doing is best to NOT throw any strikes whatsoever. To the point of walking in run(S). I turned the TV off…went outside and played kickball with the kids. Came into the work this morning…and the good guys won.
    Unbelievable. I love baseball.

  17. APBA Guy - Jun 26, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    How bad is the Seattle offense? Well, one measure is their failure to score against fireballer Tommy Milone, who touched 90 once on the generous Safeco gun. Another measure is that they were one run worse than the A’s, which means the depth of horror and futility they reached was Edvard Munch-worthy. In fact, the only guy who showed any muscle last night was Seth Smith, who’s HR to straight-away center was longer than the official 411′, since the fence is 405 and his shot carried onto the upper portion of the batter’s eye. Unless that 405 at Safeco is a monstrous lie.

    Of course, speaking of bad offenses, the A’s managed three hits against someone called Erasmo, a guy who so mimics King Felix in looks and demeanor, that, well, 3 hits, is it possible? Has Seattle figured out a way to clone the King? I mean he’s smaller, but that 94 on the black that he throws…No it couldn’t be. But he pitched very well in the loss.

    The battle for Last in the West continues tonight with Blackley and Vargas. If those two guys combine for another 1-0 I’ll have to channel Homer or something to properly describe how bad these two offenses are.

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