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And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

Jul 26, 2012, 6:16 AM EDT

Francisco Rodriguez AP

Phillies 7, Brewers 6: It’s hard to imagine a more demoralizing series than the one the Brewers just experienced. In all three games they fell victim to last inning rallies. This one after their own rally brought them back from a 5-1 deficit, tied with a Ryan Braun homer in the eighth. Then they take the lead in the tenth, only to see K-Rod blow it. Again. Just brutal.

Athletics 16, Blue Jays 0: Disastrous by any measure for Toronto. They lost their catcher to a broken hand, their “ace” was tagged for eight runs in an inning and a third and they were shut the hell down by the A’s staff, who struck out 13 Blue Jays batters. It was the worst shutout loss in team history. On the bright side, it was the biggest shutout win in A’s history!

Padres 6, Giants 3: Two homers for Jesus Guzman. One for Chase Headley. Another craptacular outing for Tim Lincecum (4.2 IP, 7 H, 5 ER). I really won’t know what to think about the universe if Tim Lincecum doesn’t stop being awful soon. I already subscribe to a world view that it is arbitrary and uncaring and anything bad that happens is insignificant to most anyone other than the person who is affected because that’s just what life in a vast, empty inanimate void is all about.  But if we are deprived of awesome Tim Lincecum forever, I will believe that it has turned cruel.

Yankees 5, Mariners 2: The Yankees end a dreary west coast road trip with a win. Seattle scored both of their runs in the first inning and then didn’t get another hit until the ninth.

Braves 7, Marlins 1: It’s quite an accomplishment to walk seven times and steal seven bases and only score one run, but the Marlins figured out how. Plenty of good Marlins seats available for the rest of the season, guys.

Angels 11, Royals 6: Jered Weaver keeps on winning. That’s a win in his seventh straight start. He’s now 13-1 with a 2.26 ERA. He’s also on a contract paying him $59 million less than the one Cole Hamels just signed. Nice work, Angels.

Pirates 3, Cubs 2: I assume this was Ryan Dempster‘s last start as a Cub. he ended it by destroying the Gatorade cooler in the dugout like he was friggin’ Carlos Zambrano or something. Stupid media’s fault.

White Sox 8, Twins 2: Dayan Viciedo homered and drove in four. White Sox sweep the Twins. Ron Gardenhire’s assessment of the series: “They whacked it, and they pounded us — scored a lot of runs, and we got dominated here.” Alrighty then.

Tigers 5, Indians 3: Remember when Derek Lowe was having a great season? Nah, me neither.

Rays 10, Orioles 1:  Ryan Roberts homered in his Tampa Bay debut and David Price won his MLB-leading 14th game. The nine-run spread is gonna lead to more “the myth of run differential!” stories, I guess.

Nationals 5, Mets 2: After Stephen Strasburg‘s last start, Davey Johnson said he needed to attack the strike zone more. Mission accomplished: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 11K.

Cardinals 3, Dodgers 2Hanley Ramirez tripled in his first at-bat with the Dodgers and later added an RBI single. But they lost in 12 innings. Former Dodger Rafael Furcal drove in the game-winner.

Rockies 4, Diamondbacks 2: Jeff Francis, who Colorado picked up off the scrap heap, continues to be their best starter. He allowed two runs in six innings and despite Colorado’s 75-pitch limit for starters, he threw 97 pitches. My official reaction to that.

Reds 5, Astros 3: The Astros are the Renaissance men of losing. They lose big or lose close. They sometimes lose late, sometimes early. Really, any look you want, they can give you. Here they lost when Drew Stubbs hit a a two-out, two-run double in the ninth. That’s seven straight wins for the Reds, all without Joey Votto.

Rangers 5, Red Sox 3: Josh Beckett hit Elvis Andrus in the seventh and then Andrus ended up scoring on a wild pitch. Which Bobby Valentine actually called “a damn shame” after the game. I like that a lot for some reason. Derek Holland cruised for most of the game, retiring 22 of 23 batters at one point.

  1. Old Gator - Jul 26, 2012 at 7:06 AM

    Undaunted, the Feesh will doubtless go on stocking up on peetching as they seek to trade away their high priced ballast, or what’s left of it. Peetching is what you need; to hell with run producers. This is the Beinfest philosophy and has been since day one of the Scrooge McLoria era. So the New, New, New Look Feesh go one for twelve with RISP. It’s a shame in some ways that this season is going to be buried at sea, because a tombstone with “They Had their Opportunities” would really look cool as hell. After the game, Slobbering Ozzie – whose captaincy is beginning to look like Francesco Schettino, Joe Hazelwood and Edward Smith combined – was heard to remark, “Uhhhnnnnnnhhhhh,” which, when speeded up, would be unprintable here, like most of his comments.

  2. redguy12588 - Jul 26, 2012 at 7:15 AM

    The top half of the NL central is ridiculous, you have to win every day just to keep pace.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 26, 2012 at 10:40 AM

      No shit Redguy. I was just lamenting this last night to my buddies (all Reds fans)…after Softball. The Cardinals just keep winning…but so do the Redlegs and Bucs.

  3. kiwicricket - Jul 26, 2012 at 7:31 AM

    Carlos Gomez trotting the entire bases after a long foul ball(it’s beyond me how he didn’t notice),then striking out after returning was pretty dam funny. I defy anyone not to cringe when watching it on MLB.com. Not a career highlight for the guy.

    • ufullpj - Jul 26, 2012 at 7:39 AM

      No kidding. That’s one frustrating guy – he’s got 4 of the 5 tools (doesn’t have a plus arm) – but just can’t seem to put it all together, and I think this may be a microcosm of that failure to even approach the massive talent level the guy has.

      • kiwicricket - Jul 26, 2012 at 8:17 AM

        Amazing athlete, about as smart as cling-film. The way it goes sometimes unfort.

      • brewcitybummer - Jul 26, 2012 at 8:20 AM

        This is wrong. I know a lot of people think this but Carlos Gomez has a below average hit tool. Its well below average. Sure he has plus speed and plus glove and plus raw power, but you have to make contact for the power to play and Carlos Gomez’s hit tool is flat out bad.

      • brewcitybummer - Jul 26, 2012 at 8:34 AM

        I get so mad about this. Carlos Comes is not a bad guy, hes not a thug and hes not crazy, hes a great athlete who can’t hit major league pitching. Hes a great athlete who’s a crappy major league baseball player because his hit tool sucks. Its frustrating that the scouts were wrong when they put projection on his hit tool but it happens, live with it and stop implying or stating that he sucks because hes a bad guys. That’s completely ignorant.

      • kiwicricket - Jul 26, 2012 at 8:57 AM

        So he has a below average hit tool?

      • wlschneider09 - Jul 26, 2012 at 12:52 PM

        Depends on what he’s hitting it with….

    • badmajk24 - Jul 26, 2012 at 8:26 AM

      Not to mention he trips coming up the dugout steps on his way out to the field then proceeds to kicking the top step in anger. That’s an embarassing day

  4. kiwicricket - Jul 26, 2012 at 7:38 AM

    I know he checks in a little later in the morning…but APBA Guy must be absolutely frothing at the A’s recent success. Look forward to the review of the feather plucking handed out to the Jays yesterday.
    Go Pirates Go A’s!

    • cur68 - Jul 26, 2012 at 11:35 AM

      Yeah, thanks. Rub it in. I sit here in a cloud of gloom, my team in disarray, brought low by the Great & Powerful Beane, and you Bottom-Halfers are happy about it.

      Only consolation I take from this is Mathis didn’t appear to blow out his UCL pitching. How did Scioscia not know he could pitch? He’s thrown some quality innings for the Beav. . .pity The Beave haven’t played some quality ball for him.

      Oh well: game 3 in about an hour. Can’t get any worse, right? Right? Yeah, right.

      • goawaydog - Jul 26, 2012 at 12:45 PM

        West coast bias! (we need all we can get on the left side)

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 26, 2012 at 2:47 PM

      I am still waiting on the definition of a “hit tool.”

  5. natslady - Jul 26, 2012 at 7:38 AM

    Strasburg can strike out 11, Harper can bust his butt, the Nats can spend months in first place with the 2nd best record in MLB and a 90% chance to make it to the playoffs–and what is local media’s lead story: how does RG3 feel about training camp? Who is RG3, you ask? Well, he’s not a baseball player.

    • jarathen - Jul 26, 2012 at 7:46 AM

      Kind of sad, really. RG3 is an electrifying talent, no doubt, but the Nats have TWO young phenoms, the best rotation in baseball, and they still take a backseat to one phenom’s thoughts about the start of training camp.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 26, 2012 at 8:02 AM

        The Rays could win the WS and the Buccaneers could start out 0-8, and the Bucs would still get front page news in TB. It’s how the sports world works unfortunately :(

      • deathmonkey41 - Jul 26, 2012 at 8:50 AM

        Yeah, did you see the attendence at Bucs games the past few years? I’m not really sure how much Tampa cares about them either.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jul 26, 2012 at 10:45 AM

        Yeah really. The start of training camp for a perptually dissapointing team no less.
        It matters not as it isn’t like there is anything ELSE going on in D.C. huh?
        You guys (Nationals fans)…need to start harping on the media a little bit about the lack of coverage. It certainly can’t hurt.
        Calcaterra: Why yes…yes I am dogging the media.

    • paperlions - Jul 26, 2012 at 8:07 AM

      Seriously?

      The baseball season is nearly 200 days long, throw in another 6 weeks of spring training and you’ve got nearly 250 days of essentially continuous baseball to cover. Strasburg striking out 11 over 7 innings is called a normal outing for him, the Nats have been in 1st place nearly all year, and have maybe 1/2 a legitimate challenger in their division…..and when NFL training camp opens you are going to complain that the lead story for one outlet is the electric rookie QB’s first day of work?

      • natslady - Jul 26, 2012 at 8:10 AM

        Actually, it’s OK, I’ll take the Nats and RG3 can find out if he actually has any receivers next month. A lot of fans are saying to talk radio they’d rather go to a Nats postseason game than a regular game of that pointy-ball type… Of course, a lot aren’t.

      • sportsdrenched.com - Jul 26, 2012 at 9:37 AM

        I’m almost as big a football fan as I am baseball. I know the NFL is king in America. However, I get what she’s saying. The Nats are having an excellent year and the games they’re playing now actually count in the standings.

        I saw RG3 play in Manhattan last season. He’s athlete for sure. However, The NFL doesn’t take a meaningful snap for 6 more weeks. We’re still talkin about practice, not the game that we love and die for, we’re talkin about practice. What are we talkin’ about? (ten years later and that’s one of my fav sports quotes and I won’t apologize for using it at any opportunity)

      • stlouis1baseball - Jul 26, 2012 at 11:01 AM

        Yes Paper. It appears they are serious. I also don’t blame them. This is just one of several reasons why baseball isn’t taken seriously in D.C. The Nationals are are hot. They are exciting. They have a load of very young, increibly talented players.
        Yet..it’s the end of July and the media is all RG3 all the time.
        The rookie QB for a perenially sucky football team no less.

      • sportsdrenched.com - Jul 26, 2012 at 11:31 AM

        Maybe Rams fans could let the DC media know that rookie QB’s instantly solve their football teams issues.

    • natstowngreg - Jul 26, 2012 at 12:03 PM

      It is frustrating if you’re a Nats fan and not a Redskins fan (like yours truly), but it’s not changing anytime soon. Like, in the next quarter-century or so. Perhaps, never.

      Part of it is that Washington went more than 3 decades without a baseball team–not even the bad teams they had and lost. Part of it is that the Redskins won a lot (including 3 NFL championships) while there was no baseball. Washingtonians have too many memories of football success and no memories of baseball success.

      The Nats have just begun to penetrate the consciousness of Redskins Nation. The process is going to take a long time, and many winning seasons. Hang in there.

  6. jarathen - Jul 26, 2012 at 7:49 AM

    The Angels took 2 of 3 from the Royals, and their fourth/fifth starter conundrum remains foggy as all get out (Santana skipping a start, possibly on an “out count” that seems to be more outs than he is capable of getting, Richards is shaky but of course Williams throws up four scoreless), but what’s really concerning here is that their bullpen, which stabilized in time to help the Angels get back into playing winning baseball, is looking rough again. Frieri got tagged for a run but was good overall. Scott Downs, though, has been atrocious of late, and had to be rescued by KEVIN JEPSEN.

    I wonder if the Angels would be best served by landing another starting pitcher and immediately moving Richards or Santana to the bullpen for the remainder of the season with instructions to just go full-throttle.

    • bsbiz - Jul 26, 2012 at 9:08 AM

      To be fair, when they make the playoffs, they won’t need those fourth and fifth starters more than once through the duration…

  7. heyblueyoustink - Jul 26, 2012 at 8:22 AM

    Hmmmm, there hasn’t been a Bryce Harper story in a few days. I thought you had a quota to fill on that topic Craig, what gives?

  8. Jonny 5 - Jul 26, 2012 at 8:40 AM

    The Phillies wins over the Brewers in this series, 7-6 in 3 games all in late innings can only be explained one way as I see it. It’s the work of the baseball Gods. Or Voodoo.

    • deathmonkey41 - Jul 26, 2012 at 8:51 AM

      Or a really bad Brewers bullpen.

      • Jonny 5 - Jul 26, 2012 at 9:22 AM

        Blasphemy! You must be a witch or possessed by demons.

      • deathmonkey41 - Jul 26, 2012 at 9:54 AM

        Me thinks K-Rod might have hurt his trade value in this series.

    • cur68 - Jul 26, 2012 at 11:38 AM

      I knew it.

  9. stex52 - Jul 26, 2012 at 8:41 AM

    Now Craig, be fair. To call the Astros “Renaissance Men” there would have to men on the team. “Renaissance Boys” admittedly sounds a little odd, but at least it comes closer to describing one of the many problems they have. It’s just a bunch of AAA kids with maybe five or six at most who will actually stick around for MLB careers. When your senior player is Wesley Wright, who was a Rule 5 signing (for gosh sake), you are cruising for a bruising.

    • kiwicricket - Jul 26, 2012 at 9:00 AM

      So how many Altuve’s is the average Astro’s MLB player then?

      • stex52 - Jul 26, 2012 at 1:27 PM

        Not sure of your syntax, Kiwi, so the best way to answer is to tell you what I think. Altuve looks like the real thing. But he’s only in for about a year. We will hope. Lowrie looks like a solid shortstop with injury problems. They have drafted some shortstops, so he is probably here for 2 weeks to 2 years. About three of their young starters are doing decently well but inconsistent from game to game. Castro may turn into real MLB at catcher, but he sure doesn’t throw many out. The Houston outfield has the lowest OPS in the Majors. A couple can field and throw pretty well, but none hits with any consistency. Chris Johnson at 3rd is a defensive liability with periodic problems with the curve ball. Brett Wallace was in the plans for first, but he is an old style Billy Beane moneyball player (sort of, he’s having hell with lefties). We will have to wait for Singleton (Pence trade) to mature into first base. Don’t even talk about relievers.

        That’s my short version, Kiwi. If you have thoughts, I’m interested.

  10. kvanhorn87 - Jul 26, 2012 at 8:43 AM

    Nats have the best rotation in baseball? Now that’s funny. Thank you. I needed that this morning.

    • wlschneider09 - Jul 26, 2012 at 8:54 AM

      Who’s been better this year? The Nats are certainly in the conversation.

    • natslady - Jul 26, 2012 at 8:55 AM

      May be funny to you, but it SURE is fun to us!!! 3.11 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, .233 BA… etc.

    • jarathen - Jul 26, 2012 at 8:58 AM

      When the cumulative ERA of your starting rotation is good enough to be an ace on just about any team, yeah, that’s a good starting rotation.

      But if you have an alternate team you’d like to throw up there, we’re all ears. Oakland’s is surprisingly solid.

      • natslady - Jul 26, 2012 at 9:23 AM

        Speaking of Oakland, it will be interesting to see how our former boy Tommy Milone does tonight in Toronto. His home/road splits are atrocious–but if you can strike out a bunch of Yankees and not walk people, his style should start to work on the road, too. Lovin’ Gio, though! Just lovin’ Gio…

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 26, 2012 at 11:04 AM

      Keith: Do your homework on the Nationals pitching staff and get back to us.

    • natstowngreg - Jul 26, 2012 at 12:28 PM

      Some on this here blog right here still haven’t gotten the memo. The Washington Nationals are a good team. Doesn’t mean they’re destined to win the World Series or anything (though it’s nice to think about the possibility), but the time for dismissing them is over.

      As to the question of whether the Nats’ rotation is the best, consider their current records:

      Strasburg: 11-4, 2.76
      G. Gonzalez: 13-5, 3.13
      Zimmermann: 7-6, 2.31
      E. Jackson: 5-6, 3.73
      Detwiler: 5-3, 3.01 (includes bullpen duty)

      Of course, wins and losses are not the true measure of a pitcher (note the lack of teammate support behind Zimmermann’s and Jackson’s records), but show me another rotation that is better at preventing earned runs, and I will reconsider.

  11. kvanhorn87 - Jul 26, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    I would take San Fran’s for one. I know this might make you blow your lid but if I am looking forward to august and September, I would rather have the Phillies too.

    • natslady - Jul 26, 2012 at 9:25 AM

      Depends if Doc is back to form and Cliff Lee can be Cliff Lee again (not just talking about the W/L record). And what are the Jints going to do about Timmy, just have him pitch at home?

      • goawaydog - Jul 26, 2012 at 12:51 PM

        even Timmy Tim Tim is not safe at home. he got smoked for a 5 spot yesterday. He can’t pitch in the heat, out of the stretch, on the road, with a lead, he does not like green eggs and ham … if the playoffs were to start today he would get Zito’ed.

      • gloccamorra - Jul 27, 2012 at 1:47 AM

        Timmy was going through those stretches in 2010, but when the postseason arrived, he was up for it. Maybe that’s it – he’s jaded and needs high pressure, for-all-the-marbles situations. To be fair, I watched the game and in key points in at-bats, he threw good pitches but didn’t get the calls from the umpire. Maybe when you have two CY Youngs in the rear footwell of your car, covered with In-N-Out wrappers, the umps think you should be perfect.

  12. uyf1950 - Jul 26, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    The Yankees were at least able to salvage a series win on their West Coast trip by taking bookend wins of a 3 game series against Seattle. Nova’s performance was not all that inspiring for 5 innings but at least he did hold the Mariners to just 2 runs. But the big blow for the Yankees came from Jayson Nix a bases loaded clearing double in the 8th inning that gave the Yankees a 4-2 lead. Thank God he was able to get the key hit with RISP where several other Yankees had failed during previous innings.

  13. kvanhorn87 - Jul 26, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    Not trying to offend anyone, Nats are definitely top 5. I just dont see them as the best in MLB. For future consideration over next 3 years, I would want them over all others except maybe phillies, giants, and rays. Cards are also a good staff but Washington blows them away. Over the next 5 years, I would take either the Giants or Nats with DC gaining the edge
    since Tim Lin is doing his best dontrelle willis imitation.

    • natslady - Jul 26, 2012 at 9:30 AM

      That’s sad, if it comes true… I loved watching both of them pitch…

  14. sportsdrenched.com - Jul 26, 2012 at 9:54 AM

    The Royals Yackety Saxed their way to another loss while I was at work. Which left my evening open to watch teams that know how to play baseball in the evening. I thoroghly enjoy the Cards – Dodgers game and will probably listen to their game today. Since the Royals won’t start till it’s time for my nap.

    I noticed that with the start of training camp the Football Fundementalists were getting a little fiesty on twitter yesterday. Deriving their self worth from watching a sport in which most of them can’t play. So I must remind my Seamhead Bretheren to not take any crap from them. After all the MLB season has 2400 games to enjoy, and the NFL, while very cool only has 244.

  15. hisgirlgotburrelled - Jul 26, 2012 at 10:04 AM

    Yeah, that “ace,” Ricky Romero, in his last 6 games has now allowed 33 ER’s in 28 1/3 IP, and is 0-6. No team in baseball has had more players pitch in a game more than Toronto, and one of the only healthy ones set up a turnstile at home plate, allowing more ER’s this year than anyone.

  16. raysfan1 - Jul 26, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    Ain’t run support grand?

  17. APBA Guy - Jul 26, 2012 at 12:16 PM

    I briefly pondered gloating. But 6 years of horrendous baseball provides more than a moment’s caution. But I do have to say this: Any pitching staff that yields 2 home runs to CoCo Crisp is in total disarray. Look, the A’s have the second worst offense in the league, propped up only by Seattle, who are truly atrocious. A’s lead-off hitters’ (Weeks and CoCo) OBP this year are averaging right around .310. The 7-9 hitters average under the Mendoza line. I could go on and on. So the 16 runs yesterday says way more about the Jays than it does about the A’s, and what it says IS NOT GOOD. I don’t know who that was wearing the Ricky Romero suit yesterday but whoever it was had nothing but fear of the strike zone, just pure abject terror at the thought of throwing a strike.

    Follow that up with “I’m Not Rod” Beck and the game was well and truly over before the Jays came to bat in the second inning. Wow, Cur, how you must be suffering. I know, I’ve been living the nightmare for the past six years.

    Until now. Sure, there is a huge element of luck in a streak like this. Fosse was pointing that out last night during the broadcast. But the non luck elements:

    – A’s team ERA is # 1 in the AL, and they are doing it on the road also
    – Much better power this year. They will hit mistakes out of the yard
    – Terrific team speed
    – Sound defense (Weeks and Cespedes are suspect, but not horrible)
    – Sensible field management. Nobody is right all the time, but Melvin does a good job
    – Terrific coaching. I cannot say enough good things about Curt Young, and hitting coach Chili Davis is having a positive impact as well

    AJ Griffin was good, not great yesterday. He walked 2, which is borderline by A’s standards lately, and only went 6. But the Jays helped him out, striking out 9 times in those 6 innings.

    Griffin’s mirror image, Tommy Milone, goes today. And therein lies the A’s cautionary tale. Milone went through a period on the road where was absolutely shelled: 5.69 ERA and 4.34 of that in day games. He, like most of the other A’s pitchers, has to be absolutely perfect with location. He simply does not have the stuff to miss his spots and get away with it. But lately, he has been great with location.

    But if things finally start to go wrong with the A’s, that’s how it will happen. A little tight shoulder will lead to a few more misses in the zone, those will get hit hard, just as the offense cools a little bit (Cespedes is not really a .479 hitter, as he has been showing since the All-Star break, nobody is), and somebody will boot a play, just at a critical moment.

    For now-this is really fun. I’d love to see it last. Reddick’s catch, the smile on Carter’s face, who are these guys?

    • wlschneider09 - Jul 26, 2012 at 12:49 PM

      Nicely said, I think I’ll devote my considerable fan energies to the A’s this year, as I’m beginning to suspect that this might not be the Twins year. Or decade. Sigh.

      And Coco is certainly no Albert Pujols, but he’s been pretty hot at the plate for a month plus.

    • cur68 - Jul 26, 2012 at 1:04 PM

      How is it Jose Reyes cuts off his hair and turns into Just Another SS yet Coco can trim the braids and BOOM, he’s a monster? He a demi-god or something? The Beav threw Coco BP last night. Coco said “thank you very much”.

      I knew it was going to be an absolute foot-on-the-neck game when Reddick climbed the wall to get Snider’s long fly. Losing Arencebia, the best remaining power bat not named E5, was just just a kick to the corpse of this season.

      Romero had NOTHING . . . actually, I wish he had nothing. What he had was middle of the plate, straight as a ruler FBs and hanging curves, when he threw strikes. If he’d just missed the plate with everything, he might even have had a better line.

      A’s have hit A LOT of HR’s this month. They added to their totals yesterday.

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