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And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

Jul 25, 2012, 6:05 AM EDT

Actor Sherman Hemsley dies at age 74 portrayed George Jefferson

Holy moley, an awful lot of big news happened overnight. Ramirez a Dodger? Cole Hamels almost remaining with Philly? There were even some games!

Athletics 7, Blue Jays 2: The A’s are streaking. That’s six in a row. Derek Norris hit a two-run homer and Yoenis Cespedes drove in three with a single. The A’s success at this juncture of the season is almost as surprising as me learning that the late Sherman Hemsley was into 1970s prog rock and LSD and was all kinds of crazy and different than you’d imagine. Seriously. I have no idea how to process this information. It was bad enough when I realized yesterday that he was younger than I am now when “The Jeffersons” premiered.

Phillies 7, Brewers 6: The second straight day the Phillies rip the Brewers’ hearts out. Or the Brewers choked their guts out. Depends on your point of view. Zack Greinke was fantastic for seven innings, allowing one run and even hitting a homer of his own.  But then the bullpen came in, giving the Phillies a six-run eight inning. Milwaukee: trade Zack Greinke because you’re out of it and you need to get something for him. But also trade him out of basic human compassion.

Cardinals 8, Dodgers 2: The Dodgers stopped streaking as Clayton Kershaw was rocked for eight runs in five and two-thirds. Adam Wainwright [all together now] helped his own cause with an RBI double and taking a walk with the bases loaded.

White Sox 11, Twins 4: Adam Dunn went 3 for 5 with a double a homer and drove in four. Josh Willingham hit two bombs but that’s all the Twins could muster.

Reds 4, Astros 2: What a depressing night for the Astros. First they trade away one of their last bona fide major leaguers in Wandy Rodriguez and then they go and blow a one-run lead in the ninth. Will the last person remaining in Minute Maid Park turn out the lights?

Braves 4, Marlins 3: Jason Heyward hit a sac fly and later singled home Martin Prado to break a 3-3 tie in the seventh. After a shaky start Tim Hudson was solid, retiring the last 16 batters he faced. I suppose now that they’re selling off players that it’s worth watching to see when the Marlins have officially given up on the field.

Red Sox 2, Rangers 1: Clay Buchholz gave the Red Sox a much needed solid start, allowing one run over seven. He didn’t get the win — Vicente Padilla got that when Mike Aviles broke a 1-1 tie with an RBI single in the ninth — but the Sox needed that kind of outing from a starter.

Nationals 5, Mets 2: R.A. Dickey‘s 11-game winning streak is over, though he did strike out Bryce Harper three times, which was fun. Gio Gonzalez notched his 13th win to match Dickey, pitching his longest game in two months.

Indians 3, Tigers 2:  The Indians are 6-1 against the Tigers this year. Too bad they can’t play ‘em all season long.

Cubs 5, Pirates 1: Paul Maholm is en fuego. He won his fifth straight start, beating his old team which had been rumored to maybe want to trade for him again before snagging Wandy Rodriguez. Maholm has allowed just four earned runs in 38 and a third innings in that winning streak.

Rays 4, Orioles 1: In contrast to good streaks like Maholm’s and good streaks ending like Dickey’s, Jeremy Hellickson has had a bad streak: he had’t gotten a win in nine straight starts.  Well, that changed last night. He gave up one run and three hits in six and a third and didn’t walk anyone.

Mariners 4, Yankees 2: Bad night for A-Rod. His 2000th career strikeout followed by a broken hand. Oh, and since he was in Seattle, he was booed mercilessly. Splendid.

Giants 3, Padres 2: Angel Pagan may have made the play of the year to end the eighth and then Brandon Crawford delivered the game-winning hit in the ninth. Pablo Sandoval left the game after three innings with a left hamstring strain while stretching for a ball at first base.

Diamondbacks 6, Rockies 2: Five straight wins for Arizona. Joe Saunders allowed only three hits and a walk over seven innings while striking out nine.

Royals 4, Angels 1: Will Smith shut down the Angels. Later today several hack headline writers and highlight show anchors will be fined $100 each for saying he “got jiggy with it.”

  1. kiwicricket - Jul 25, 2012 at 6:29 AM

    The nightly festivities and visual delights seemed to distract the Hanster in Macondo(not as much as Gator, but distracted none the less)….so he is moved to L.A? I only hope he doesn’t revert Kemp back to his Rihanna GF mode.

    • Old Gator - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:54 AM

      Well, at least Rihanna didn’t have a greasy little round boyfriend with dangerous connections from a large island ninety miles south of Macondo that shall remain unnamed in the interests of political correctness like some of the Latina hotties here in Macondo. Anyway, the Hanster wasn’t noteworthy for strange-chasing, which was one of the few things he did discreetly. Why he couldn’t throw his tantrums in private too, we don’t know.

      Nothing much to report last night. The Feesh scored a few runs off Hudson early and then went to sleep, which has been their usual operating pattern most of the season. Buehrle was a little wilder than usual but he still went six with two earned runs, not exactly a meltdown. The boolpen coughed this one up.

      With Bonifacio playing second now, I haven’t seen anything about who’s going to play third yet. Probably Dobbs, unless the Feesh want to bring someone up from Nawlins to try out. It’s going to be audition time in Macondo for the foreseeable future anyway.

  2. kkolchak - Jul 25, 2012 at 7:49 AM

    The Nats drove a stake in the Mets’ heart with this series, and now the NL East is a two team race: Braves and Nats. Who would have expected THAT at the beginning of the year? :)

  3. koufaxmitzvah - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:09 AM

    Rest in Peace, Mr. Hemsley.

    http://dangerousminds.net/comments/weezy_get_me_some_lsd_when_sherman_hemsley_met_gong

    • ajcardsfan - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:03 AM

      He finally got to move on up to that deluxe apartment in the sky

  4. stex52 - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:14 AM

    Poor Luke Harrell. He started weak, but has been pitching his heart out for the Astros the last six weeks. Nothing to show for it because they have no bullpen and no hitting.

    Mr. Luhnow, Mr. Crane. How many tickets do you really think you can sell by telling people things will be better in 2015? It ain’t working here.

    • kkolchak - Jul 25, 2012 at 9:09 AM

      I can sympathize. It’s the same line we were getting in DC during the 2008-2009 debacles. As much as I hated waiting this long for the Nats to be competitive, the thing I like about MLB these days (as opposed to the completely watered down NFL) is that there are no quick fixes. Building a contender takes years, as it should be.

  5. whodeytn - Jul 25, 2012 at 8:44 AM

    The Reds are now 57-40 and 7-2 without Votto.

    Just thought I’d bring that up.

    • metalhead65 - Jul 25, 2012 at 12:11 PM

      are you as happy as I am that cordero turned down the 2 year deal the reds offered him after the season? this guy makes every 9th a adventure when he comes in,he let the strikeout king drew stubbs beat him! how about Chapman as the closer? had a rough 2 week stretch but seems to be over whatever it was that caused it. Go REDS!

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 25, 2012 at 1:34 PM

      Well stated whodeytn. To be safe…you guys better sit Joey upon his return.
      After all…you wouldn’t want to disrupt the team chemistry.

      • metalhead65 - Jul 25, 2012 at 4:46 PM

        not even the lineup changer that is crusty will do that. note that rolen was starting the min. he got out of his walker and was activated so a healthy Votto will not be sitting.

  6. sportsdrenched.com - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:36 AM

    I wouldn’t worry too much about Planet Zack, no run support and bullpen collaspes are all he knows…with the exception of last season.

    …and he still comes home to: http://www.emilykuchar.com/

    If he gets too fed up, I suppose he could just mow lawns.

  7. sportsdrenched.com - Jul 25, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    And for another shameless edit function lobby: How am I supposed to keep up with all this baseball news and do my real job?

  8. APBA Guy - Jul 25, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    I usually get to the comments kind of late, being on the West Coast, and I expected to see something from Cur or PC, so the pressure’s all on me this morning.

    Was the game effectively over when Reddick threw out Lawrie at third? From a distance, it looked to me like that play followed by the strikeout of E5 produced the same reaction in the Jays that the big curve from AJ Griffin produced in the Yankees: “who are these guys?” said in a manner similar to Butch and Sundance while being chased by Lord Baltimore and his posse.

    That Blackley has been molded into the left-handed version of Griffin is no accident. This is the work of Curt Young, run out of town in Boston last fall and immediately snapped back up by the A’s. Blackley kept the Jays off-balance through 7 innings, throwing a variety of slop, but importantly walking only 1 batter. Cecil did well also, but the game got away from the Jays when Cecil left, with Beck throwing stick-straight and Happ unable to find the strike zone.

    But back to Reddick. This was his 10th assist in 2012, and Lawrie and the Jays had to know it was a risk. The play at third was extremely close. And Blackley had already uncorked one to the backstop. So I think it was the right decision to try to advance, it just didn’t work out.

    The A’s now have some amazing July record, something like 15-2. No team in the Wild Card era has ever completed July at that winning percentage. So as much as I’m enjoying this run, and believe me, after 6 years of awful teams, I’m enjoying it very much, I just don’t see how it can last.

    But it doesn’t have to. It just needs to keep going at an above .500 pace. That might be good enough to actually make the post-season. And that could very well happen.

    • cur68 - Jul 25, 2012 at 12:41 PM

      I was waiting for your take, APBA. Why steal your thunder and do the re-cap analysis? That was actually a fun game to watch. Chatted with my Fantasy League compadres through it: we talked of your happiness with this result. The thing I’m waiting for is your metaphorical “Tip O the A’s Cap” for The Great & Powerful Beane (G&PB). Looks like he made some pretty shrewd moves in the off season, eh?

      Now ‘splain to me whats up with this Cespedes, eh? Comes into the league with all kinds of dire predictions about his lack of MLB experience, a shirtless montage that was the HEIGHT of campy, and then I watch him strike out on change ups a few times, comment that he better not see another one, and BAM, lines a hanging change into center with the bases loaded. Know what I saw? That kid learns quick on his cleats. He’s made on the fly adjustments to what he gets thrown and doesn’t try to pull them all into the seats: short hack contact with RISP. This behaviour is against established doctrine! Did The G&PB know it was going to be like this? If so, cue Brad Pitt for another movie becasue we have here another market inefficiency: older Cuban rookies with Plate Discipline.

      Game 2 tonight, amigo. Romero will be low hanging fruit for these boys of yours. A’s win # 7 coming up.

      • APBA Guy - Jul 25, 2012 at 2:15 PM

        I think the thing to keep in mind re: the G &PB is that the front office has evolved from the the “all-stats all the time” of the Moneyball movie to the reality of a professional scouting operation in balance with the statistical research group. This started a few years ago with the re-hiring of Grady Fuson, incorrectly portrayed in the movie as an old school, set-in-his ways scout. So given the state of the market the best place for the A’s limited dollars to play was Latin countries, not subject to the draft. That’s where the A’s have concentrated, but not exclusively. They’ve also heavily scouted the US professional and college ranks as well. Anyway, all this scouting is a big departure from their pattern of even 5 years ago.

        But it is efficient, also, hence the Moneyball tie in. When you consider the cost of a scout, or of a quality coach like Curt Young vs the average coach’s price, you realize that a few hundred thousand invested in these areas can yield a player like Cespedes or avoid mistakes in the draft that cost millions. There are no guarantees of course, but I think Cespedes was heavily watched by the team over time. And with the steady upgrades in the A’s staff when they brought Cespedes to camp they knew about his bat speed and baseball instincts, particularly on offense, and they were confident they could work with him. They appear to have succeeded.

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