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And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

Jul 24, 2012, 6:16 AM EDT

New York Yankees v Seattle Mariners Getty Images

Yankees 4, Mariners 1: Obviously Ichiro in Yankees clothing is the weirdest thing to hit baseball in some time. Must be how it felt to see Willie Mays wearing a Mets jersey or — and I really don’t think it’s hyperbole to say it — Babe Ruth in a Boston Braves uniform. OK, if that’s too heavy for you, how about Hulk Hogan with the NWO? Anyway: Ichiro singled in his first at bat and stole second base, which is very Ichiro. Then he went hitless the rest of the way which is very recent-vintage Ichiro.  I suppose we’ll get used to this soon.

Phillies 7, Brewers 6: John Axford lost his closing job because he kept giving up big innings in save situations. Then K-Rod comes in tonight and allows four runs in the ninth to blow the easy three-run-lead save. Good for Philly: back to back homers for Ryan Howard and Chase Utley. Bad: Roy Halladay gave up six runs on eight hits in six innings.

Nationals 8, Mets 2: Bryce Harper hit a two-run homer to kick off the scoring and then had the go-ahead RBI single in extra innings. But of course the Nats scored five more in tenth inning because the Mets bullpen is the Beatles of allowing multiple runs in extra innings games.

Rangers 9, Red Sox 1: The Rangers have played the Red Sox thrice this season. In those games Texas has outscored Boston 33-7. Just throwing this out there, but the Sox may want to get in on the starting pitching trade action that began yesterday.

Marlins 2, Braves 1: The Anibal Sanchez/Omar Infante trade looked like the beginning of a sell-off for the Marlins. You think that might put Josh Johnson in play. And his six, one-hit shutout innings might be a good thing if you’re gonna market the guy. But then he left early with a finger injury. Doesn’t sound totally serious, but it’s worth watching.

Cubs 2, Pirates 0Jeff Samardzija  was brilliant, allowing only one hit in eight shutout innings. His performance overshadowed near-equal brilliance from Erik Bedard, who struck out 11 while allowing one run over seven.

White S0x 7, Twins 4: The Chisox break a five game losing streak behind Adam Dunn‘s league-leading 29th homer. Francisco Liriano had one of his worst outings of the year. That can’t help the trade value.

Dodgers 5, Cardinals 3: From the things that don’t happen very often department: Luis Cruz hit a three-run homer. Only his second in his career. Chad Billingsley gave up one over six innings.

Indians 3, Orioles 1: Forgot this series was still carrying over into Monday. A shame that this couldn’t have been the ninth sweep of the weekend. Thanks for nothing, Justin Masterson (7.1 IP, 7 H, 1 ER).

Giants 7, Padres 1: Buster Posey didn’t need much help, as he went 3 for 4 with a homer and four driven in. He got the help, though: Ryan Vogelsong tossed seven one-run innings.

Diamondbacks 6, Rockies 3: Ian Kennedy took most of the work into his own hands as well, tripling with the bases loaded in the fourth to drive in what proved to be all the runs he’d need. Then he finished the night allowing two over eight innings and striking out seven. Jonathan Sanchez allowed five runs on six hits and four walks in his first start for the Rockies. I’m not sure what else they were expecting.

Reds 8, Astros 3: Everyone’s talking about the Pirates, but the Reds are in first place, have won eight of ten and show no signs of slowing down. This despite no Joey Votto in the lineup. Ryan Ludwick and Todd Frazier had three hits and two RBIs each in a game that took nearly four hours. Why anyone would want to watch the Astros play for that long is a mystery to me.

Angels 6, Royals 3: Kendrys Morales came in to pinch-hit with the bases loaded in the eighth and stroked a single that cleared the bases. I have not seen the video of it yet, but I’m wondering if this occurred because it really woulda been a double if not for the fact that a guy like Kendrys Morales was running or if, alternatively, the Royals played some Keystone Cops outfield.

 

  1. proudlycanadian - Jul 24, 2012 at 6:35 AM

    Craig has written about Baltimore and their negative run differential combined with a winning record. Boston’s run differential situation almost defies a logical explanation. Sure Texas has outscored Boston by 33 to 7 in 3 games and the Jays outscored Boston by 28 to 11 on the weekend, but Boston still has a positive run differential of 35. They should have a winning record, instead of being 1 game below .500. Prior to the current 4 game losing streak, their positive run differential was a whopping 60 runs.

    • uyf1950 - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:53 AM

      My friend the trouble with judging how a team(s) record should look based on run differential is highlighted exactly by the Red Sox. Take just the following 6 games the Red Sox have played:
      April 13 versus the Rays the Red Sox won 12-2 a 10 run differential
      April 14 versus the Rays the Red Sox won 13-5 an 8 run differential
      May 13 versus the Indians the Red Sox won 12-1 an 11 run differential
      June 13 versus the Marlins the Red Sox won 10-2 an 8 run differential
      June 20 versus the Marlins the Red Sox won 15-5 a 10 run differential
      July 18 versus the White Sox the Red Sox won 10-1 a 9 run differential

      That a positive run differential of 57 runs in just 6 wins. There is 57 of the 60 runs you mention. The Red Sox plain and simple are not playing good baseball and their positive run differential only masks their poor performance. That’s just my opinion.

  2. bleedgreen - Jul 24, 2012 at 7:06 AM

    Utley’s been on bit of a streak the past few games. 5/18, 2 HR, 1 3B, 5BB, .500 OBP, 5 game hitting streak in the last 5 games.

    Its not world beating burn it all to the ground, but its pretty productive, and I’ll certainly take it.

    • deepstblu - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:32 AM

      Howard: .237 BA, .961 OPS. That’s what happens when you can still hit but you can’t leg anything out at all. Last night he reached third base in the 9th and Charlie pulled him for a pinch-runner because he needed somebody who could score on a sac fly. The last bench player available was backup catcher Eric Kratz–the kind of guy who usually gets taken out for a PR himself–but he was still deemed to be a better option. Kratz scored the winning run, but Charlie is probably dreading the next similar situation.

      • bleedgreen - Jul 24, 2012 at 10:12 AM

        Well, it remains to be seen. He could never run well, but he is less than 1 year removed on a blown apart Achilles. I’m sure he’ll be better in a few months/next season. Plus, he’s been drawing some walks and the past 3 or so games he’s been hitting more consistently. He had 2 hits to the left side of the diamond last night, which is VERY encouraging for him. Maybe they wouldn’t play the SS @ 2nd and the 2nd in right field for him as much if he can keep knocking a ball to left once in a while.

      • Francisco (FC) - Jul 24, 2012 at 10:35 AM

        That’s not going to happen unless he fundamentally changes the way he hits. His spray chart still shows him hitting primarily into the right side of the diamond. There’s no way Howard can make the defense play “Honest” to give him holes in right field because he is a pull hitter, that’s where he gets his power. If it means letting Ryan get a few singles on the left side of the field opposing teams are fine and dandy with that to prevent extra base hits to the right side. Besides which right now he’s a base running liability.

      • bleedgreen - Jul 24, 2012 at 11:02 AM

        But using the shift is only going to prevent singles to right… its not going to stop home runs or long fly balls or even doubles up the line. If he can hit singles to left with ANY regularity, they’re going to HAVE to not use the over-shift, because you’re not preventing anything.

        In summation, if he can hit singles to left, you can’t say ‘oh we’ll still stack the right to prevent singles to right, but you can have all the singles to left you want’ if even 1/4 of his singles goto left.

      • Francisco (FC) - Jul 24, 2012 at 6:02 PM

        We’re going in circles here. You’re just repeating what you said above without acknowledging my input at all.

        Ryan Howard is a pull hitter. He will consistently pull the ball to get his power stroke, that’s not going to change. Hence, the vast majority of his hit balls will fall to the right side, he’s not going to get singles with enough regularity towards left field to cause a change in defense.

        You cannot change the way you fundamentally bat at the plate between swings or at bats. Either he becomes a spray hitter with the consequent loss of power, or he continues to mash at the plate, going primarily for doubles and home runs. The occasional single to left will happen as he gets a small piece of a fastball on a late swing, but don’t pretend he can actually do this on purpose with any sort of frequency that will cause a cessation of the shift. In any case it is rare to find a hitter that will consistently hit the spread the ball evenly throughout the diamond. All players have certain tendencies to hit the ball at certain spots. All teams are wising up to these stats and use them ruthlessly to prevent hits. The only thing at this point that Howard would accomplish is to get a different shift that will likely flummox him as often as the current one does.

        The only way the shift stops is with folks on base.

        In summation, if he can hit singles to left, you can’t say ‘oh we’ll still stack the right to prevent singles to right, but you can have all the singles to left you want’ if even 1/4 of his singles goto left.

        For his career about 15% of his balls in play have ended up towards left field, 3% have resulted in hits (we’re not counting opposite field home runs, which account for nearly half his hit total towards left field). 25% is a tall order, unrealistic to achieve in my opinion.

  3. whodeytn - Jul 24, 2012 at 7:24 AM

    The Reds are 56-40 (6-2 without Votto) and are getting no attention whatsoever… I love it!

  4. jarathen - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:03 AM

    Would’ve been a double, but Morales leapt onto first base in celebratory fashion, breaking his ankle.

    Some people never learn.

  5. Jonny 5 - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:07 AM

    The many faces of Francisco Rodriguez.

    We saw K-rod for out #1 Then we saw H-rod, and B-Rod, and H-Rod, and B-rod, until the game was over. All those years punching himself in the head as a Mets reliever may have done serous damage to the man. I have to say Halladay was not as sharp as I hoped he would be, but not too bad for just coming back. Two early runs against him could have been avoided had Pence not misplayed out #3 in the first inning.

  6. thetruth1313 - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:15 AM

    Giants 7, Padres 1: … Ryan Vogelsong tossed seven one-run innings.

    —————————————————–

    Soooooo…wouldnt that make it a 7-7 game?

  7. stex52 - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:29 AM

    Craig put his finger on one problem that is really bothering me. We are supposed to feel so good because the Astros are finally rebuilding. But in the meantime we are watching a team that might well struggle to have a positive record in AAA. Drayton McClain really mismanaged his asset in his last four years of ownership. But he understood one item that seems to be lost now. There has to be some incentive for fans to come to the ball park. It led to some mediocre veteran acquisitions, but at least there was some recognition of the customer in the transaction.

    I’m afraid I’m going to be checking out the Sugarland Skeeters for the rest of this year.

    • Old Gator - Jul 24, 2012 at 9:57 AM

      I know how you feel. The impending explosion of the Geev-a-Sheet Feesh means I’ll be letting my supply of Jiffy Pop run out and am not likely to replenish it. The microwave could use a rest anyway; once it cools off I can start cleaning the egg off its walls. Note: I tried perforating them with my Dremel tool. They explode anyway. Ah well.

  8. easports82 - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:35 AM

    29 teams and Ichiro had to land with the pinstripes… Definitely root for him, but not that damn jersey. Hope he’s rejuvenated and can land a multi-year deal with someone else where he can win a ring.

    Oh, and some idiot tweets that if Ichiro goes to the hall, it’s with a NY cap? WTF?

    • natstowngreg - Jul 24, 2012 at 1:14 PM

      Watching Chris Young retire Nat after Nat, then watching Mike Gonzalez blow the lead by throwing a fat fastball to Ike Davis, I was not encouraged. Once again, Jordan Zimmermann (right now, the Nats’ best pitcher, starter or reliever) could sue for non-support. Meanwhile, it was raining, causing Creedence Clearwater Revival’s classic question to swirl around in my consciousness — who’ll stop the rain?

      Solace lay in the knowedge that eventually, Terry Collins would be forced to call on his relief pitchers. Didn’t expect the Nats to put up their best inning of the season, though.

      Question: If the Mets’ bullpen is The Beatles, is the Brewers’ bullpen the Rolling Stones?

      The Nats, thanks in part to Josh Johnson, upped their lead over the Braves to 4.5 games. They also retained their lead for #1 seed in the NL by a half-game over the Reds (yes, someone is noticing the Reds). Gio vs. RA again tonight; last week, the Mets won that matchup, 9-5.

      • natstowngreg - Jul 24, 2012 at 1:18 PM

        Oops, put this in the wrong place.

  9. uyf1950 - Jul 24, 2012 at 8:55 AM

    The Yankees are back on track. Kuroda looks great and especially encouraging is the A-Rod hit a bomb in spacious Safeco Park and a very long double.

  10. kopy - Jul 24, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    You know that game on The Price is Right with the Alpine Yodeler that climbs up the mountain? The further up you make him go, the better off you are, until you possibly make him fall off the cliff at the top. The Twins just lost that game with Liriano’s trade value.

  11. mississippimusicman - Jul 24, 2012 at 10:01 AM

    Braves-Marlins:
    You know a call had to be pretty bad for them to admit it on Quick Pitch on MLBN. That double play in the top of the ninth was garbage. I’m writing a letter to Bud Selig. Maybe if we all go all Shawshank Redemption and write a letter every week, this idea could get some traction?

  12. sdelmonte - Jul 24, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    Free falling, yeah, I’m free falling, free falling.

    That is all I have to say for my Mets.

    Here’s hoping RA can stop the bleeding and that Harvey’s debut isn’t too bad.

  13. MattJanik - Jul 24, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    RE: Morales

    Line shot over Francoeur’s head in right, just an absolute laser, so Francoeur got to it quick and his arm held Morales at first. Tough to tell with the camera cuts, but it sure looked like Frenchy eschewed the cutoff man to fire the ball straight to second, with no regard for the fact that a relay might have had a shot at the third runner at the plate… But, you know, he doesn’t get on base ever and smiles a lot, so we can overlook that.

  14. hisgirlgotburrelled - Jul 24, 2012 at 10:27 AM

    The Phillies were real good for the first time in the 9th inning while behind and Howard and Ruiz got hits on fat pitches…

    The blown save over-shadows what Carlos Gomez did last night: 2-2, HR, 3 RBI, 3 R’s, and 2 SB.

    K-Rod was bad. He was all over the place. Maldanado had to make a kick-save on a fastball low and outside.

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