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And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

Jul 31, 2012, 6:21 AM EDT

Kendrys Morales, Albert Pujols

Angels 15, Rangers 8: Kendrys Morales hit homers from each side of the plate in the sixth inning — one of which was a grand slam — and drove in six runs overall as the Angels make mincemeat out of the Rangers. Roy Oswalt got tattooed. Between that, Cliff Lee trade rumors and Roy Halladay‘s recent meh outings, it’s not been the best year for the Four Aces.

Cubs 14, Pirates 4: Quite a night for the Cubs. They put up a bunch of crooked numbers against Pittsburgh and unloaded  a bunch of players in deadline deals too. Three RBIs a piece for Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo, so the future is in good shape at least. Four for Darwin Barney. Not sure where he fits.

Braves 8, Marlins 2: That’s six straight wins and — for the first time all year — a Monday win for Atlanta. Indeed, it was the first Monday win since August 22, 2011. Even with this win, the Braves are way back in dead last place in the all-important Monday wins column, which should probably make them Monday sellers at today’s Monday trade deadline.

Red Sox 7, Tigers 3: Dustin Pedroia hit a homer and drove in three. With a ten-game homestand just starting, it’s not unreasonable to say that it’s do or die time for Boston.

Orioles 5, Yankees 4: Nick Markakis went 3 for 4 and drove in a couple. Mark Teixeira left the game after hurting himself diving for a ball, so that’s no good. Eric Chavez and Ichiro went back to back in the seventh inning, but it wasn’t enough. Nice to see the O’s win this one, honestly. Joe Blanton deserves to be on a winning team.

Padres 11, Reds 5: Mike Leake and Alfredo Simon each giving up five runs early put to rest any hope that the Reds would extend that win streak beyond ten games. Will Venable‘s bases-clearing triple in the third really blew it open.  Edinson Volquez beats his former team, even if he was pretty ineffective himself in doing so.

Brewers 8, Astros 4: Houston had a 3-0 lead and then, for once, the Brewers got to experience what it felt like on the good side of a bullpen collapse. How novel.

Mets 8, Giants 7: Scott Hairston hit two homers and both were big. One to tie it in the eighth and one to give the Mets a lead in extra innings. There’s been talk of the Mets dealing him by today’s deadline, but no obvious takes yet. If he goes today, let’s pretend that GMs are impressed by shiny things like two home run-games.

Mariners 4, Blue Jays 1Hisashi Iwakuma struck out 13 while giving up one run over eight innings. Much needed on a night when the M’s bullpen was depleted due to trades of Brandon League and Tom Wilhelmsen Steve Delabar. Um, sorry about that. Trade deadline has my brain all addled.

Diamondbacks 7, Dodgers 2: Welcome to the Diamondbacks, Chris Johnson. The newest snake hit a grand slam. And he was also surprised at playoff talk:

“One of the guys on the bench said, ‘Anybody know what the Giants did tonight?’ And that kind of shocked me, because I’m not really used to that,” Johnson said.

That’s the cutest thing ever.

Athletics 4, Rays 3: Strikeouts are boring. Besides, they’re fascist. And they’re not even a guarantee of winning. The Rays struck out 21 A’s batters, but still lost when Jemile Weeks — who was 0-for-7 with two strikeouts at the time — ended the game with a sac fly in the bottom of the 15th.  OK, just to be clear: if you strike out 21, you usually win that game.

Twins 7, White Sox 6: Break up the Twins! Four straight wins. Next up: former mate Francisco Liriano debuts against them tonight. That should be fun.

  1. megary - Jul 31, 2012 at 7:04 AM

    “That’s six straight wins in a row”

    There’s something repetitive there that I can’t get past. Is that like winning 12 games? Or maybe straight wins are a bit different than crooked wins…

    Now I’m gonna go get the paper, get the paper.

  2. patrick3444 - Jul 31, 2012 at 7:09 AM

    Delabar was traded, not Wilhelmsen.

  3. megary - Jul 31, 2012 at 7:10 AM

    By the way, some guy proposed to his girlfriend at the Cubs-Pirates game with a message on the scoreboard. Unfortunately, the moment was a bit tarnished because she wasn’t there to see it…she was getting beers.

    It worked the second time, however.

    • kiwicricket - Jul 31, 2012 at 7:29 AM

      She was busy getting beers for him? Marrying her is a good option.

  4. kiwicricket - Jul 31, 2012 at 7:33 AM

    Padres Reds game had 17walks in it. Pretty tedious. Bruce seems to be out of his month long slumber.

  5. jarathen - Jul 31, 2012 at 7:44 AM

    That Angels-Rangers game was glorious.

    Because VERNON WELLS wasn’t in the starting lineup.

  6. Old Gator - Jul 31, 2012 at 7:52 AM

    Sorry, Gnatslady, the Feesh couldn’t rise to the occasion for ya. Buehrle with his second straight poor outing with uncharacteristic control issues. This team is playing like it’s now totally given up. Watched a few innings of it, switched over to Angels-Rangers after Krazy Karlos came in and coughed up the two run single. How boring are the Feesh now? I’d rather watch a designatedhitterball game, that’s how boring they are.

    • natslady - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:18 AM

      Yeah, Gator, watched a couple innings… Reyes turning a triple into a double, Buerhle not bothering to cover home…Nothin’ to see here. Mets playing like pros. I respect that.

  7. lewp - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:00 AM

    So I’m just now seeing the award Craig got from the Baseball Bloggers Association…quite impressive and congrats….

    I did notice though when my Rangers lose, it’s the lead story here at ATH, and when the rangers win, it is usually the last item of note…that’s ok because the rangers are falling faster than (fill in the blank).

    Yesterday, we Ranger fans were teased with Cliff Lee trade talk, which was foolish I later learned, so I’m assuming we are going to try to win games the rest of the season with the likes of what we saw last night…UGH! I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but put a fork in the Rangers…they are done.

    • Old Gator - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:51 AM

      32 feet per sec/per sec is as fast as they can fall. This should be of some comfort to Rangers fans. I enjoyed the occasional shots of Nolan Ryan in his luxury cage, sipping on something and glowering like a constipated rattlesnake. That nine run meltdown clearly didn’t go over well with heem.

      On the other hand, folks, Josh Hamilton did show some signs of waking up last night.

  8. kiwicricket - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:08 AM

    The Brewers-Astros game saw ‘active’ 2 of four living species of the order Sirenia. The Manatee picking up the the win, the Dugong the loss.

  9. natslady - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:15 AM

    Nats got to the best record in MLB while they were enjoying an off-day…

    • Old Gator - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:52 AM

      What better way to get there? Pass me another mai tai, Jeeves.

    • natstowngreg - Jul 31, 2012 at 1:02 PM

      …but lost a half-game in the NL East standings.

      The day off giveth, the day off taketh…

      The Phillies infestation is scheduled to visit Nats Park tonight. It may be a smaller infestation than usual. Some of the front-runners won’t be incentivized to make the trek down I-95.

      Stephen Strasburg is supposed to face Cliff Lee. If Lee is still a Phillie. It does appear that Shane Victorino won’t be present tonight, as it is reported he has been traded to the Dodgers.

      • natstowngreg - Jul 31, 2012 at 1:16 PM

        Looks like Hunter Pence will not be attending tonight’s Phillies-Nats game, either. Phillies’ fans won’t be the only ones missing. Actual Phillies will be missing.

  10. antlerclaws - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:28 AM

    Starting to really wonder about this Roy Oswalt deal. Jon Daniels didn’t want to give up Profar or Olt, and now the SP market is slim pickings. I hate to second-guess Daniels, he’s been something of a mad genius so far, but I thought the Rangers were in it to win it this year, all in through the World Series, future seasons be damned.

    • jarathen - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:41 AM

      Surprises me, too. The way I see it, winning the World Series is what it’s all about. It’s interesting to see how the Angels and Rangers are going about it. The Rangers are obviously more invested in being a great team for the forseeable future and aren’t willing to borrow against the next five years to try to crown their achievements in 2012. But it may keep them from winning the World Series.

      The Angels are all-in on 2012, come hell or high water, and are pulling out all the stops to hang another banner. They need some incredible draft classes to prop up what has got to be the worst system in baseball right now, though. They’re going to have to weather some brutal contracts over the next few years while Pujols’ salary goes up and up and up and no one replaces the current crop of Angels starters.

      But if you win it all, even if it’s just once, does it matter?

    • beefytrout - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:50 AM

      Oh, I think we can go ahead and say the Roy Oswalt deal was a significant misstep for JD and my beloved Rangers. Here’s a fun fact for you: there have been 2 times in 2012 that an AL team has scored 9 runs in an inning. Roy Oswalt was the pitcher that started both of them.

      But, it was bittersweet to see my prediction that “the return of Mitch Moreland would inspire the return of the offense” come true.

  11. stex52 - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:33 AM

    If a bad bullpen can destroy a playoff-bound team, then imagine what it can do to a bad team. Oh wait….. you don’t have to imagine it, if you live in Houston you can see it right before your very eyes. Not like the Astros would be a good team anyway, but a surprising number of these games are actually being coughed up in the eighth and ninth. Francisco Cordero, Toronto’s gift to Houston closing, has an ERA of 18.0 and a WHIP of 3.25(!!!!!!!!!!) since coming over.

    Remind me to thank Cur for the Beavermen’s generosity.

    • kiwicricket - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:39 AM

      I don’t understand why they even have him pitching? Why not try out a couple old hands and young pups from the minors. Might find something worth while if they are lucky.

      • stex52 - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:42 AM

        Agreed, Kiwi. No time for guys who obviously can’t do the job.

    • cur68 - Jul 31, 2012 at 11:19 AM

      What, you expected the Beav to keep Cordero? Ha, ha, stex, you so funny! Now those are some impressive numbers he’s posted there. Perhaps he’s in the Astro BP to make the other guys feel good? Rumour has it he’s a real nice fella: has ClubHousePresence™. Surely your guys need ClubHousePresence™?

      • stex52 - Jul 31, 2012 at 11:32 AM

        I would prefer ClubHouse absence.

        If not, he can have ClubHousePresence(TM) as long as he promises not to pitch.

  12. deathmonkey41 - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:46 AM

    Well, the brilliant strategy of Joe Girardi and Kevin Long to teach batters not to worry about situational hitting and just swing for the fences every time they’re up there seems to be working like a charm. 3-7 in the last 10- almost all one run loses, but everything is fine. Who cares if Nick Swisher led off the bottom of the 9th with a double and the Yanks down by one, but his teammates were once again unable to capitalize? Who cares if the Yanks are like 0-30 something when trailing in the 8th? They can afford to keep leaving runners on the basepads all the time. They hit four solo HRs right? That lead in the East is dwindling- Girardi needs to do something before this becomes an epic Red Sox-like collapse.

    • Alex K - Jul 31, 2012 at 8:59 AM

      You’re right. Hitting too many homeruns is a huge problem.

      • deathmonkey41 - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:20 AM

        It’s not hitting too many HRs that’s the problem- it’s striking out and popping up in the infield with a runner on 2nd and no outs because you’re trying to hit a HR instead of moving the runner over to third so he can be driven in with a sac fly. As the Yankees have learned in recent weeks, you can’t keep leaving runs on the basepads against good teams.

      • Alex K - Jul 31, 2012 at 10:55 AM

        So you want the hitters to change what has made them successful? Would you complain if one of those balls was a HR and two runs scored? Just because it isn’t the outcome you want doesn’t mean that the inputs were wrong.

      • deathmonkey41 - Jul 31, 2012 at 12:26 PM

        Guy- you can’t count on hitting HRs every time you’re up at bat. Sometimes it’s because of the pitcher you’re facing, sometimes it’s because of the weather, other times it’s field, other times because you’re plalyers are going through slumps, and other times the situtation just calls for moving a guy over to tie or win the game. You have to learn other ways to scratch out wins- especially in the fall when the weather is cooler and the ball doesn’t travel as well. The Yanks have shown over and over again this year that they are unable to do that. You’re going to face a good team’s 1,2, and 3 starters in the playoffs- what are the Yankees going to do if the weather’s bad or the pitching’s not giving up a lot of longballs? Do they just forfeit because hitting a lot of HRs won them a lot of regular season games or do they make an adjustment to the situation? Sometimes you just have to give yourself up by going the other way instead of jumping out of your shoes to try to pull it out of the stadium. Apparently there is no accountability for that in the Yankees clubhouse.

      • Alex K - Jul 31, 2012 at 12:42 PM

        Guy? Really? If you’re going to use a name for me at least don’t be disrespectful about it. My real, actual name is attached to the comment.

        If you’re going against a great pitcher that doesn’t give up a lot of hits or HR isn’t the best way to score runs to hit the ball over the fence? You really want to count on stringing together hits or giving away outs that don’t 100% lead to runs? Also, why ask a player to do something different than what has made them successful? The best chance the Yankees have to win is if they are hitting HR’s. The thing that a lot of Yankees players are best at is hitting HR’s. So why would you want the players to do something they are not as good at is beyond me. You only get 27 outs in a baseball game, it’s not the best practice to give them away to move a runner.

      • deathmonkey41 - Jul 31, 2012 at 2:33 PM

        Sorry Alex-Guy, no offense intended (:

        I have to disagree with you. I think you need to get guys on against a good pitcher- distract them- don’t let them bare down on the hitters- make them worry about throwing pitches in the dirt and advancing runners. You might have to grind out runs- if he leaves a fat pitch over the plate and they hit it out- great. But as a hitter, you can’t go up there thinking you’re going to hit a 3R-HR with nobody on base. Part of the reason the Yanks are slumping is because pitchers have made an adjustment. They’re no longer throwing 2-0 and 3-0 fastballs. They know the Yankee hitters are swinging and they’ll be swinging for the fences, so they can take a chance on throwing a breaking pitch in those counts. Most of the time the hitters are corkscrewing themselves into the ground, popping up, or hitting weak ground balls because they’re so far out in front. They have been a lot of Yankees teams with power since the mid-90s, but I have never seen one so reliant on it and so hapless at everything else.

    • protectthishouse54 - Jul 31, 2012 at 10:07 AM

      As soon as Ibanez K’d, I knew it was over. Shorten your damn swing and put the bat on the ball. Geez!

      • deathmonkey41 - Jul 31, 2012 at 12:15 PM

        Yep- I said the same thing. It’s like the same script over and over again. Once the first guy gets in scoring position, you know the second guy is going to strike out- third guy will move him over with a long fly ball or ground out, and then the third guy is going to strike out.

  13. chill1184 - Jul 31, 2012 at 9:46 AM

    I’m still surprised that the Mets-Giants game only had one registered error it was just an ugly game. However with Harriston doing what he does hit bombs and the Acostalypse only giving up one run they escaped with the victory.

  14. APBA Guy - Jul 31, 2012 at 11:57 AM

    The A’s win another in unlikely fashion, now 19-4 in July, or .826.

    Craig cannot do justice to how close a call this game was, what with Smith and Reddick entrenched on the warning track waiting for balls to come down on their side of the fence while AJ “Mix-a-Lot” Griffin hung curve after curve to the Rays. Which also tells you something about the Longoria-less A’s. Folks, when Jeff Keppinger is your clean up hitter there are issues. And at the end of 7 innings of batting practice, Mix-a-Lot walked into the clubhouse with a 1.0 in-game WHIP and only 5 hits surrendered. A perfect example of the Mausoleum’s depressing effect on hitters.

    In extras it was all about which bullpen would blink first, and the A’s finally, and I mean finally after 15 innings, got to Farnsworth: single, walk, intentional walk, sac fly. Pummeled. This after the A’s bull pen went 8 with 3 hits allowed. Altogether in 15 IP the Rays managed 8 hits, two for extra bases. That’s not good. The A’s only got 10, 2 for extras. But for the A’s the key moment was Hicks home run, his 3rd. Price looked to be cruising, and this homerun came out of nowhere, like a white shark attack in the middle of the Pacific, just totally unexpected. If you are going to bat .193, please have some occasional power, and Hicks does, with SLG of .439.

    Tonight is Griffin’s mirror image, Tommy Milone. I wish the A’s would separate those two in the rotation. Even though they have the lefty/righty thing, Griffin and Milone have virtually the same velocity, repertoire and pattern. Perhaps they will be separated when Anderson or McCarthy come back.

    Finally, it will be interesting to see if Shields starts for the Rays. We’ll know by 3:00 pm. The A’s are expected to stand pat or at best do a minor tweak around the infield today. But we’ll see. The Great and Powerful Beane never, never tips his hand on deadline deals.

  15. gostros19 - Jul 31, 2012 at 1:35 PM

    Craig, Astros lost by only 1, not 4. Score was 8-7 in battle of bad bullpens. Hey, only losing by one last night that’s a step in the right direction right?

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