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And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

Jul 23, 2012, 5:40 AM EDT

Dark Knight Rises

Pardon me if I seem discombobulated, but I’m suffering from weekend movie whiplash. On Friday night I saw “The Dark Knight Rises.” Yesterday I saw “Safety Not Guaranteed.” If you can find me two movies out right now that are more dissimilar in terms of tone, themes, budget and every other single other relevant measure, I’d like to know what they are.

Verdicts: “Dark Knight Rises” was really good, though I have to say that it was not as good as “The Dark Knight” due to Heath Ledger deficit disorder, obviously, and because there just weren’t any of those “OMFG BATMAN!” moments. You know what I’m talking about. Fine flick, but just not quite as satisfying as the last one, which is not a terrible surprise given how damn good the last one was.

As for “Safety Not Guaranteed”: one of the cutest movies I’ve seen in a long time. And there was a minor, insignificant point in which a character talks about how she used to be married to a ballplayer who, after being traded to Marlins, began to cheat on her, leading to their divorce. The movie was set in a little town near Seattle. I’m going to assume that it was a Mariners player who was traded to Miami. Anyone with any ideas about who this dog was, please note it in the comments. If it helps, the female character is probably in her mid-to-late 30s, and the player would now be around that age, I reckon.

Anyway, two home runs here in my opinion. Which, given what went down yesterday in baseball, is quite appropriate:

Athletics 5, Yankees 4: New York travels to Oakland and gets swept, with all of the games being decided by one run. But this one has to hurt more than your normal one-run loss given that the Yankees jumped out to a 4-0 lead.

Diamondbacks 8, Astros 2: Jason Kubel hit three homers on Saturday night and hit another one here. Overall he’s had six homers in five games. And boy howdy do the Astros stink. They’re 1-9 since the break.

Orioles 4, Indians 3: Just when I started writing off the O’s in every radio, TV and video outlet that would have me, they go and rip off five straight wins. The lesson, as always, is that I’m an idiot.

Tigers 6, White Sox 4: Just when I started talking up the Tigers as “a sleeping giant” in every radio, TV and video outlet that would have me, they go and rip off 13 of 15 and power their way into first place. The lesson, as always, is that I’m a genius. Oh, and let’s start the day’s theme here: Miguel Cabrera hit two homers to lead the Tigers past Chicago.

Twins 7, Royals 5: Ryan Doumit hit two homers to lead the Twins past Kansas City.

Nationals 9, Braves 2: Ryan Zimmerman hit two homers to lead the Nationals past Atlanta.

Phillies 4, Giants 3: John Mayberry Jr. hit two homers to lead the Phillies past San Francisco. Oh, and Nate Schierholtz hit two homers too, but they were not leadership quality, apparently, or else the Giants would have won, eh?

Thus endeth the two-homer hitters, by the way.

Cardinals 7, Cubs 0: A whuppin’ to be sure. But the Cubs still decided to have fun after the game. Jon Jay went 4 for 4 and drove in two and Lance Lynn tossed six shutout innings to win his 12th.

Pirates 3, Marlins 0: I did not write the Pirates off nearly as definitively as I wrote the Orioles off — I gave them a shot at least — but they have now won five in a row too. Pedro Alvarez his hit four homers in his last six games. Pittsburgh has won 21 of 25 at home.

Padres 3, Rockies 2: Carlos Quentin signed a contract extension and went out and put up an 0 for 4. It happens.

Mariners 2, Rays 1: Blake Beavan outdueld Matt Moore, allowing one run over eight without walking a soul. Idea: they should make pitchers in pitching duels actually duel. Like, Aaron Burr/Alexander Hamilton-style.

Blue Jays 15, Red Sox 7: The Jays beat up Jon Lester for 11 runs on nine hits — four of them homers — in four innings. I was gonna make some Bane/Batman analogy here, but not all of you have seen the movie yet because you’re just not real fans.

Reds 2, Brewers 1: The Pirates may be surging, but the Reds are holding them off just fine, winning eight of 10 on the home stand. Johnny Cueto struck out nine and allowed a run over seven innings, winning his 12th and lowering his ERA to 2.23.

Dodgers 8, Mets 3: Allowing, like, 3+ runs in a single extra inning is a special kind of demoralizing. Four wins in a row for LA, eight of nine dropped since the break for the Mets.

Angels 7, Rangers 4: Dan Haren came back and pitched the Angels to a series win. His return — and the stabilization of the rotation — will have an awful lot to do with the Angels’ prospects down the stretch.

  1. Old Gator - Jul 23, 2012 at 6:31 AM

    A married ballplayer chasing strange in Macondo? Who ever heard of such a thing? And where the hell did he find women around here?

    Speaking of Seattle, though, welcome to Macondo where the season has pretty much gone down the original Crapper, which must have been hauled out of the basement of Doc Maynard’s and set up in the batting cage at Macondo Banana Massacre Field just long enough to pull the flush cord before being spirited back to its home by the Sound. The Feesh, meanwhile, limp home like a bunch of walking catfish with fin rot, seven games from the Strange Attractor and already planning their October golf and trout fishing trips, to prepare not so much for the Braves series that begins tonight as for their forced march up the stairs to the trading block. To listen to spawrts tawrk raydeeo in Macondo, you would think that there’s going to be no one left here except the Iron Giant, Justin Ruggiero, Mark Buehrle and various instant iterations of Bugs Bunny on August 1.

    • Old Gator - Jul 23, 2012 at 6:33 AM

      Ruggiano.

      Edit function!
      Edit function!
      EDIT FUNCTION!

  2. proudlycanadian - Jul 23, 2012 at 6:33 AM

    Lester was in trouble from his first pitch which Lawrie hit out of the park. Previously, the Jays had little success against him. At the end of the game some Red Sox fans were suggesting (on SI.com) that Lester be sent to the minors and that the pitching coach be fired. Can’t be an enjoyable season for Red Sox fans. There have been too many swings in the team’s performance. They are still at .500, but are back in last place in the AL East.

    • APBA Guy - Jul 23, 2012 at 12:21 PM

      The Lester situation is perplexing. He’s not old, hasn’t really been overworked, yet he has suffered a notable decline in velocity. But his problems this year look more like a command issue, with too many pitches centered in the zone. Ordinarily I’d think maybe a shoulder issue, but in this case, I really don’t know. He just doesn’t look like he’s got any confidence anymore.

      And speaking of firing the pitching coach, the Sox did that last year, ridding themselves of Curt Young, who returned to Oakland and has the A’s leading the league in ERA.

  3. proudlycanadian - Jul 23, 2012 at 6:41 AM

    The randomness of baseball is part of the enjoyment. The Yankees were swept by Oakland in a 4 game series by a total score of 14 to 10. In their previous 3 games, the Yankees had swept the Jays by 18 to 4. Having been swept by the Yankees, the Jays went into Fenway and swept the Red Sox by 28 to 11. On Tuesday, Oakland visits Toronto for 3 games. Based on what happened last week, that series is impossible to predict.

  4. oldpaddy - Jul 23, 2012 at 7:07 AM

    I’m sorry to say that I was at the Sox Jays game. I’m still horse from booing.

    B3 was awesome! Better than 1, not as good as 2. No superhero movies have matched b2 and few will. It was a masterpiece. B2 is the Godfather of superhero movies.

    • cshearing - Jul 23, 2012 at 8:09 AM

      Still horse? Neigh, I don’t think that’s the right word. :)

      • Old Gator - Jul 23, 2012 at 11:09 AM

        cshearing, go to your room. And consider yourself lucky that that’s all. Puns that bad are punishable by death in Texas.

        But then, so is everything else.

  5. lionsfan415 - Jul 23, 2012 at 7:08 AM

    Miguel Cabrera, the Calvin Johnson of the Tigers

  6. randygnyc - Jul 23, 2012 at 7:24 AM

    Flags are at half mast until the Yankees win and end this national tragedy.

    Cashman should get busy trading. Perhaps that fish-kid in anneheim or the cargo guy in Colorado?

    • kiwicricket - Jul 23, 2012 at 8:15 AM

      You really do suck.

      • Ben - Jul 23, 2012 at 10:13 AM

        randygnyc has to be performance art, right?

      • Old Gator - Jul 23, 2012 at 11:10 AM

        Leave randygnyc alone! Why not just be satisfied that we haven’t had Fiorentino to kick around anymore?

      • stlouis1baseball - Jul 24, 2012 at 12:12 PM

        Yep….he sucks sweaty, nasty, hairy balls at that.

  7. legacybroken - Jul 23, 2012 at 7:41 AM

    Lionsfan Miggy was doing this stuff when Megatron was still in college. Its more like Megatron is the Lions Miggy Cabrera.

    • wlschneider09 - Jul 23, 2012 at 9:03 AM

      Although it should be noted that up until this year, Miggy was plying his goods in a different city, so Megatron was there first.

      Plus, neither of them play defense ;)

      • wlschneider09 - Jul 23, 2012 at 11:07 AM

        Once again, a joke that was only funny in my head.

        Sigh.

      • Old Gator - Jul 23, 2012 at 11:11 AM

        It was funny in mine too, for some reason. Perhaps the other movie Craig saw this weekend was Being Old Gator.

  8. damnws6 - Jul 23, 2012 at 7:46 AM

    Dave Magedan (sp?)

    • Old Gator - Jul 23, 2012 at 11:14 AM

      Magadan. It’s Russian, after the ancient port city in eastern Siberia. A nice place to be from.

  9. darthicarus - Jul 23, 2012 at 8:01 AM

    I was nervous about the Tigers/White Sox series this weekend given the Harvey Two-Face nature of the Tigers performances pre-All-Star break. After seeing how well the starting pitching performed, including what I figured was a loss with Jacob Turner going, and the impressive hitting of the offense I’m thinking this Tigers team is going to replicate last year & take the AL Central with ease. A few weeks ago I wasn’t so sure but now seeing the team clicking it’s fun to watch/listen to the games again. I’m still impressed with their ability to score runs with 2-outs. The best part of the offense clicking is their ability to score runs with 2 outs – 30 of their 45 runs scored since the All Star break have come with two out.

  10. bmfischer - Jul 23, 2012 at 8:06 AM

    The Mariners and Marlins have only been involved in 4 trades according to baseball reference. Possible players involved in this movie include: Arthur Rhodes (July 31, 2008), Ron Villone (July 31, 2005), Dave Magadan (November 9, 1993), or Henry Cotto and Jeff Darwin (July 27, 1993)

    • bmfischer - Jul 23, 2012 at 8:06 AM

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/friv/trade-partners.cgi?franch_ID_1=FLA&franch_ID_2=SEA

    • Old Gator - Jul 23, 2012 at 11:15 AM

      Then it has to be Henry Cotto. He came to Macondo to play hide the salami.

      Nyuknyuknyuknyuk…..

  11. natslady - Jul 23, 2012 at 8:13 AM

    Somehow, after a bizarre weekend, the Nationals are 3.5 games ahead in the NL, which is where they were Friday morning before the rain started. And it did rain. A lot. And not a single rain delay ensued, but a lot of slopping pitching and fielding did.

    The good news is after giving one away on Friday and splitting on Saturday, Davey gave us all a mental break. With a 9-2 lead he didn’t fool around, just let bulldog Stammen pitch the last two innings.

    The bad news is our all-star shortstop, Ian Desmond—sigh–is on the DL. Not unexpected. Some analysts (Eric Karabell, I’m looking at YOU), chirped about him missing the All-Star Game, but we here knew he was hurt. His oblique “strain” finally morphed into a small “tear.”

    Now, we have another shortstop who happened to be playing second place (Danny Espinosa) and we have another second baseman (Steve Lombardozzi) who happened to be playing left field… So they are bringing up an outfielder. If the backups to the backups get injured–as happened with our catchers–gonna be alphabet soup playing the infield.

    Congrats to John Lannan, who not only saved the day with a great game on Saturday night, but saved every prospect in the system from getting traded for Ryan Dempster.

  12. natslady - Jul 23, 2012 at 8:15 AM

    Second BASE, not second place!!! grrrrrrrr.

  13. paperlions - Jul 23, 2012 at 8:22 AM

    Confession time. I’ve been rooting against Pujols and Angels this year, I just couldn’t help it….even though I know long-term (and even medium term) that the Cardinals are far better off without that contract (and they have had great production from his replacements on the field (Craig) and on the payroll (Beltran)…but retained residual bitterness, which now appears to be ebbing.

    Watching the game last night, I felt no bitterness or disappointment (at him not making an out) when he ripped a double to the wall in the 1st inning. It was nice to see the “old” Pujols in the box….though, when he homered later I may have muttered “fucker” under my breath…but at least I was smiling when I did it.

  14. aceshigh11 - Jul 23, 2012 at 8:25 AM

    Anne Hathaway’s leather-clad ass sticking up in their air as she was bent over Batman’s motorcycle was the best part of TDKR.

    Oh, and Michael Caine, who brought to me to tears with his two big emotional scenes. What a brilliant actor.

    Bane was a disappointment. I couldn’t decipher at least 25% of what he said, and he LITERALLY sounded like Darrell Hammond doing his Sean Connery impersonation.

    I don’t know who thought that was a good idea…but it wasn’t. It really took me out of the film…

    I kept expecting him to say, “I’ll take ‘The Rapists’ for 20. SUCK IT, TREBEK!”

    I’m not trashing the film though…I thought it was very good, but simply too long and unevenly paced.

    And frankly, it was simply a case of expectations being WAY too high. Nolan’s last two films (TDK and Inception) were such revelatory game-changers that it would have been impossible to live up to such lofty expectations.

    So we end up with a very good film rather than a masterpiece.

    The ending was fantastic, I must say. I was in a sold-out IMAX showing and everyone, including myself, applauded.

    • cur68 - Jul 23, 2012 at 11:37 AM

      Agree with you about everything (Anne Hathaway +++) BUT Bane. I understood him fine, though he did smack of Sean Connery too much. However, that cultured voice from that brutal body was such a contradiction that it was impossible to grow comfortable with the character: he was always unsettling when he spoke. I thought it worked well. An excellent character, IMO. Loved the prison chiropractor scene. I’ve been going ’round work over the weekend offering to fix up all the people with bad backs I know. There’s a number of them I’d LOVE to ‘help’ like that.

  15. whodeytn - Jul 23, 2012 at 8:29 AM

    The Reds continue to dominate the NL while staying under the radar. Love it.

    • Old Gator - Jul 23, 2012 at 11:18 AM

      Which just goes to show you that Cincinnati chili and goetta will take you farther than horrible horsemeat and Velveeta™ sandwiches during periods of global warming.

  16. natslady - Jul 23, 2012 at 8:35 AM

    Yeah, that last does deserve a thumbs down, because the Nats’ fan base has no stomach a-tall, none a-tall. So after losing two and in the next game Lannan giving up two runs in the first inning, there was panic, I mean, PANIC in the Nations’ Capital.

    Nats are doomed to second place downhill from there momentum is lost it’s 2005 redux next year was our year anyway Davey’s too old and has lost his touch FIRE RIZZO!!!

    This has been a football town for so long (can’t understand why, it’s not as if there is an actual football TEAM here) that fans can’t grasp the concept of a 162-game grind. OK, people, here is what you understand: Polls taken in July mean nada, it’s the polls in October that give you a clue. Check back in late September–if the Nats’ are in danger of losing a 3.5 game lead in September, THAT’S when you panic.

  17. nbjays - Jul 23, 2012 at 8:36 AM

    Two home runs as a theme? Seriously?

    I would have expected something a little more sweeping, since there were eight… count ‘em, EIGHT… series sweeps completed Sunday:

    My Jays swept the Bosox
    The A’s swept the Evil Empire
    Miggy and the Tigers swept the White Sox
    The Dodgers swept the Metropolitans
    The Reds swept the Brewers
    The Pirates swept Old Gator’s “Feesh”
    The Cards swept the Cubbies
    The D-Backs swept the Astros.

    Musta been a sale on brooms at Wal-Mart or something!

  18. mj1818 - Jul 23, 2012 at 8:47 AM

    Stick to reviewing baseball…and why does everyone keep “writing off” the orioles? They are right in the thick of things for the wildcard!!

    • wlschneider09 - Jul 23, 2012 at 9:08 AM

      Currently their starting rotation consists of the following debris: Chen, Hunter, Britton, Tillman and something called Miguel Gonzalez. I’d love to see them succeed, but even when Hammell comes back I have my doubts that the pitching can hold up.

    • ptfu - Jul 23, 2012 at 9:42 AM

      It’s not just the pitching. The Orioles are 11th of 14 AL teams in runs scored.

      The Orioles have been outscored by 44 runs this season. 395 runs scored and 439 runs allowed approximately translates to an expected 43-52 record. That’s EIGHT games worse than they are and would bury them in the wild card race.

      Doesn’t look like a playoff caliber team to me. That looks like a team that’s gotten lucky.

      Can the Orioles stay lucky through September? Not bloody likely. LOTS of people will have to step up if they want to make October.

      • ptfu - Jul 23, 2012 at 9:50 AM

        Naturally, the first thing I saw after making the above post was:

        http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/07/23/are-we-supposed-to-ignore-the-orioles-run-differential/

        Heh. Go figure.

  19. stex52 - Jul 23, 2012 at 8:57 AM

    As an Astros’ fan I say, “Let’s stick to movies!” Heck with baseball. Grandson and I will see Batman 3 this week end. It’s worth it to me to miss the huge crowds. It’s sometimes a little scarey, too, to see who my peer group is in a movie like that. But if you can’t think of any other reasons to see the movie, that picture at the top of the thread should offer one.

  20. papalurchdxb - Jul 23, 2012 at 9:32 AM

    Ok, before I while-away a couple of hours, I’ll ask in case someone else already has worked it out – how much stronger would the Red Sox be in the standings if we just wiped away the runs conceded in the first 2 innings every game played?

    If it happens once or twice, it’s ‘one of those things’, however it is virtually every game is in a hole of some kind before innings turn 2, it cannot be a coincidence anymore that the ‘old-guard’ starting pitching are stinking it up.

  21. legacybroken - Jul 23, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    Ummm WLschiender, Miggy has been in Detroit since 2008. Its Prince Fielder we just signed this offseason.

    • wlschneider09 - Jul 23, 2012 at 11:09 AM

      Ah, the true source of the downward thumbs count? Maybe I am funny but just stupid?

      I suppose the two are not mutually exclusive, I could be stupid and unfunny. Nah, inconceivable.

  22. Loren - Jul 23, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    I saw “Safety Not Guaranteed” at Sundance. Coolest part of the Q&A was that the writer admitted that very late it the production of the movie they switched up the big “will it work or won’t it” at the end. So if you’re sitting through the movie with no idea whether the thing will work, know that the writer had no clue either. Fun movie. I doubt that the baseball player mentioned in the movie has any connection to a real one.

  23. APBA Guy - Jul 23, 2012 at 12:44 PM

    I’ve already done one comment in praise of Curt Young, so we’ll leave the homage to the A’s pitching coach with this final thought: A’s are number 1 in team ERA in the AL and are only one quality start behind the Angels for the lead in that category.

    Yesterday, El Capitan Bartolo Colon got knocked around pretty well before Melvin gave him the hook, and by the bottom of the 5th the mood in the Mausoleum was pretty much “oh well, 3 out of 4′s not bad.”

    But then local boy CC Sabathia, well known for his charity work in the North Bay, decided to give back, especially to Kurt Suzuki, who hit his 1st homer of 2012 on a mush ball that kind of rolled onto Kurt’s bat. That really excited the A’s dugout, and as Bartolo set the Yankees down in the top of the 6th, a few in the park dared to dream. Then when the A’s scored again in the bottom of the 6th, a few more started buzzing. Maybe, just maybe.

    But by the bottom of the ninth those dreams were evaporating into the thinnest of hopes. Everybody knew how good Soriano had been this year, and after Inge popped out to open the A’s half, things looked bleak. And even when the ball left Seth Smith’s bat, there was hesitation, an intake a breath, only a little bit of natural gas added to that flicker of hope. It’s been warm here lately, and the air’s been light. Perfect atmospherics for the ball to carry. And carry it did.

    And so too did the bullpen carry the A’s in this one: 5.1 IP, 3 hits. For 31,000 screaming fans, this was possibly the best day at the A’s park since 2006. We don’t hate the Yankees like fans of some clubs. They aren’t a natural rival. But they are a yardstick, and they are the team that beat the A’s in post-seasons past (just slide, Jeremy!). So this one felt good, really good.

  24. mississippimusicman - Jul 23, 2012 at 12:56 PM

    Here’s my breakdown on the possible ex-husbands from that movie:
    If we assume he was a player traded directly from the Mariners to the Marlins (not at all a given), we have a list of five players: Arthur Rhodes, Ron Villone, Dave Magadan, Henry Cotto, and Jeff Darwin.

    Rhodes and his wife Leah have been together basically forever, and lost their five-year-old son to cancer the year of the trade.

    Villone married Brooke in 2004, the year before being sent to Miami, and they are still married.

    Magadan has been divorced and remarried, but his two sons from that previous marriage are ages 23 and 20, so unless the character had grown kids, that one’s busted. Another point against is that he signed with the Marlins as a free agent after leaving the Mets, was traded to Seattle at the deadline, and then was sent back to the Marlins early that offseason – not exactly a situation I’d call being “traded to the Marlins” for these purposes, and not a situation likely to leave an ex behind somewhere he only played two months.

    Henry Cotto is 51 years old. He and wife Emily had a daughter in 1991, born during Spring Training. If the movie character isn’t named Emily, or doesn’t have a grown daughter, no dice.

    Jeff Darwin, Age 43, was 23 when he was traded to AAA Edmonton, in the Marlins system, where he only spent part of one season. He didn’t get his first taste of the Bigs until the following year, back with Seattle. I can’t find much personal info on him to confirm or bust a marriage and divorce, but this barely even qualifies as “traded to the Marlins” since he never went to Florida. He is the closest fit of the five possibles for that scenario.

    Other possibilities:
    * Rather than looking for a player traded from Seattle to Florida, we should be looking for a player who was drafted out of Washington state, who was traded to the Marlins at some point in his career.
    * A player who played for Seattle at any point in his career prior to being traded by a different team to the Marlins – they could have just really liked the area, or been there long enough to put down roots.
    * The screenwriters assumed that anyone watching this movie wouldn’t give two sh**s about the Marlins.

    If we really need to know this stuff, someone else can pick up where I left off. I really am curious about Jeff Darwin now though; for every other player on the list, there’s at least a little bit of personal info out there.

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