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And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

Aug 14, 2012, 6:05 AM EDT

New York Yankees' Derek Lowe pitches to Texas Rangers during their MLB American League baseball game in New York

Yankees 8, Rangers 2: I suppose the critical mass of people mocking the Yankees’ pickup of Derek Lowe was just too delicious for God or Loki or Fate or whatever controls our world to pass up, because He/it/whatever decided to play it funny with us and allow Mr. Lowe to toss four scoreless innings in relief against the AL’s best offense. And his sweat is in such high form that it doesn’t look like he missed a single outing. A pro’s pro.

Nationals 14, Giants 2: An annihilation, as the Nats rack up 21 hits. The bottom part of the order did the damage here, with Danny Espinosa and Roger Bernadina each driving in three and Kurt Suzuki driving in four. Only one home run in the game — Espinosa’s. It was just a constant onslaught.

Phillies 4, Marlins 0: Cole Hamels with the seven hit shutout. Man, that’s gonna make him even more expensive in free agency. Oh, wait. Sorry. Was on autopilot there for a minute. I think Hamels made a good move signing that deal and that he belongs in Philly, but I gotta say, him not hitting the market is gonna make this winter a lot more boring.

Padres 4, Braves 1:  Eric Stults and two relievers shut the Braves down. I loved him in “Killing Zoe.”

Blue Jays 3, White Sox 2: Adam Dunn had two homers, including the game-tying yiketty in the ninth, but Carlos Villanueva was otherwise strong. David Cooper won it with an RBI single in the 11th.

Dodgers 5, Pirates 4: The Dodgers have won four of five and are closing in on these Pirates for the wild card and, for that matter, the Giants for the division. I’ve been expecting them to fall off all year and they just haven’t. Shane Victorino homered and drove in three.

Twins 9, Tigers 3: So apart from that one home start a week ago Friday, Anibal Sanchez has not exactly been bringing the noise since he came over from Miami, eh? He was lit up for five runs on 12 hits in five and a third innings, raising his post-trade ERA to 7.97. Ryan Doumit was 3 for 4 with three driven in.

Cubs 7, Astros 1: When the Cubs and Astros get together you can throw out the record book! I mean, you really, really should throw it out, because if the fans got wind of how bad these two teams are, no one would come to the game. Ah, I keed, I keed. here the irresitable force of stink (the Cubs) displaced the immovable object of stank (the Astros) behind seven innings of solid work from Jeff Samardzija, who struck out 11. Anthony Rizzo was 4 for 5.

Rockies 9, Brewers 6: Mike Fiers was a disaster (2 IP, 9 H, 8 ER). The Brewers chipped back slowly after finding themselves down 8-0 but the hole was too great.

Rays 4, Mariners 1: Seven straight for the Rays and ten of 12 overall. This one came behind yet another strong pitching performance, with Alex Cobb allowing one run on four hits over seven. Jose Molina stole a base. His second of the year. That’s something.

Indians 6, Angels 1: Justin Masterson tossed six scoreless and C.J. Wilson drops his fifth straight decision. The Angels are two and a half out in the wild card, eight back of Texas.

  1. wetmorepsu12 - Aug 14, 2012 at 6:14 AM

    the giants put up 2 runs on 21 hits? impressive

  2. bcopus - Aug 14, 2012 at 6:15 AM

    You sure those Dunn homers were yicketys and not mammos?

    • yarguy - Aug 14, 2012 at 6:38 AM

      The second one wasn’t off Villanueva; Casey Jansen gave it up for his second blown save. But after going 7 innnings and allowing just the one run on 5 hits, Villanueva ends up with a no decision. Guess he just doesn’t know how to win.

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 14, 2012 at 7:43 AM

        Of the rookies who have been pressed into service by the Jays, only Cooper and Sierra have hit well. Sierra hit his first home run to give the Jays a temporary lead. Cooper has hit very well for the Jays against Chicago. He will be available as part of a trade this off season for a starting pitcher.

    • cur68 - Aug 14, 2012 at 12:56 PM

      HR #1 was mammo. #2 was a mere yickety.

  3. daveeproc - Aug 14, 2012 at 6:50 AM

    Um, you mean the Nationals put up 21 hits, Craig.

  4. kkolchak - Aug 14, 2012 at 6:54 AM

    The Nats’ bats were just trying to do what they could to help Jordan Zimmermann win the ERA crown. :)

  5. recoveringcubsfan - Aug 14, 2012 at 7:47 AM

    So the Nats have scored 29 runs in their last 4 games, or something like it. Some smart sportswriter should move the conversation past Strasburg and look at how scary that offense is now that Zimmerman, Morse, and LaRoche are all healthy. I keep hearing how Washington is middle of the pack offensively, but no adjustment is ever allowed for the injuries to Zim, Morse, now Desmond, LaRoche at one time, or Espinosa’s horrible slum for the first 2 months. Now that most of them are healthy, they seem to be bashing away and yet people keep saying this team can’t hit. I wish a blogger or somebody would try to break that down and make sense of it. Oh well. Mysteries of baseball, I guess.

    • kkolchak - Aug 14, 2012 at 9:31 AM

      The Nats are actually leading the league is scoring since the All Star break. This is not an aberration. They have seven players in their lineup who could hit more than 20-HRs provided they were healthy for a full season (Werth, Morse, Zimmerman, LaRoche, Harper, Espinosa and Desmond) and their starting catcher Ramos (out for the season) probably could as well. The team does lack a true leadoff hitter and they strike out too much, which makes them inconsistent, but having that kind of power up and down the lineup overcomes their other deficiencies.

  6. kiwicricket - Aug 14, 2012 at 7:54 AM

    In the post-game interview, Swisher referred to Derek Lowe as “D-Low”. Nicknames such as this are a crime and must stop. Someone please think of the children.

    • Old Gator - Aug 14, 2012 at 8:56 AM

      K-ket? Ki-ket?

  7. kiwicricket - Aug 14, 2012 at 8:03 AM

    Can someone who also watched the game, please describe to me why Theriot and Scutaro were not charged with errors during the Nats big inning? What does ‘hometown scoring’ actually mean anyway?? The poor pitcher gets boned as a result.

    • proudlycanadian - Aug 14, 2012 at 8:06 AM

      The pitcher gets boned and the statheads who produce WAR etc. blindly ignore the errors made by the official scorer.

      • kiwicricket - Aug 14, 2012 at 8:25 AM

        Exactly. It’s not 1920, bullshit scoring is not needed and very simple to fix.
        Speaking of that sort of thing….someone on here the other day mentioned that Soriano was one of the best fielding LFers in baseball, according to UZR.

        I don’t want to go full blown Cept’s on everyone, but if someone actually believes this, they need their head examined.

      • Alex K - Aug 14, 2012 at 8:58 AM

        You’re right. Statheads who produce WAR etc. don’t pay any attention to what actually happened on the field. They only use boxscores. Who needs to actually watch the games to measure what happened? Not statheads!

      • Alex K - Aug 14, 2012 at 9:04 AM

        kiwi- Anyone who uses one year of UZR to argue that someone is a good defender probably doesn’t understand how to use UZR.

      • kiwicricket - Aug 14, 2012 at 9:15 AM

        Just astounded someone would actually write something like that.

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 14, 2012 at 9:33 AM

        A lot goes on in games that are not reflected in dry stats. Umpires make mistakes or calls that other umpires would not make. Strike zones differ depending on the ump. Positioning of fielders can have a big impact on games. Infielders in or infielders out? A no doubles alignment in the outfield compared to a situation when the outfielders are in close so they can throw out a runner at the plate. In some cases,a third baseman played in short right field against left handed power hitters. Managers may be more aggressive in calling for hit and runs or stolen bases. I once read that under URZ that Roberto Alomar was a sub standard second baseman. Anyone who watched him play, knows that he was a superb fielder. His positioning was impeccable.

    • APBA Guy - Aug 14, 2012 at 11:54 AM

      These days, MLB teams actually use stats derived from Fielding f/x which measures the movement of fielders on each play relative to the ball and baserunners. Thus, their valuations of a fielder’s worth are based on in-house derived measures and not something like dWAR and UZR, which can absorb atrocious scoring decisions as fact. That’s why you see the A’s move for some guys like Inge despite his age, etc..

      As for the Giants’ two plays, Scutaro rarely plays third, and the ball was hard hit. The scorer showed mercy, I would not have. It was an error. Theriot had a long, long run. Not sure if the runner would have been safe at first had he fielded it, it certainly would have been close. Still, when you go Christiano Ronaldo on a ball, it’s an error.

      Despite that, the sad fact is that a lot of the Nats hits were scalded. When Kurt Suzuki is smoking it past the third baseman, Scutaro or not, your staff is doing something wrong. In 200 AB’s with the A’s this year he did not get around on a pitch like that.

      Very bad night for Los Gigantes. They need to make a statement with Bumgardner against a possible playoff opponent tonight.

  8. yankeesfanlen - Aug 14, 2012 at 8:15 AM

    Watch out Beep-beep! There’s a new Derek in town and he’s even more “mature” than you by a year.
    IBM Joe’s new plan: 1 pitcher, 4 inning saves. Just don’t put in The Fat Toad.

    • uyf1950 - Aug 14, 2012 at 8:49 AM

      Good Morning my friend. The Fat Toad isn’t a fat right now, you may have to go with just “The Toad” for a little while. Take Care.

      • Old Gator - Aug 14, 2012 at 8:58 AM

        His FAT TOADness is not merely a function of his avoirdupois, uyf. It is an expression of his inner bulky batrachian as well.

  9. uyf1950 - Aug 14, 2012 at 8:19 AM

    The Yankees won, Phelps pitched pretty well in fact if he can just get his pitch count down a bit he might stand a good chance to make the Yankees starting rotation.
    Got to say it once again Cashman seems to have dug deep into the “washed up” pile and found someone that looks like he will be a huge asset to the Yankees staff. Also I wonder if the Rangers powers that be are kicking themselves Oswalt or Lowe and they chose Oswalt.

    • jtf1218 - Aug 14, 2012 at 9:39 AM

      Phelps was fine with pitch count, he’s just not stretched out. 78 pitches through 5 would be a miracle for Hughes though.

      • uyf1950 - Aug 14, 2012 at 10:07 AM

        You’re right 78 pitches through 5 isn’t bad. But the 26 he threw in the 1st inning was the problem. That’s can’t continue if he expects to be successful long term.

  10. hisgirlgotburrelled - Aug 14, 2012 at 9:03 AM

    No mention of Dempster dropping his 2nd 8-run performance in 3 starts for the Rangers? His season ERA has jumped almost a full point since joining Texas. He allowed 3 runs last game but they were “unearned,” but his total runs allowed is 19 in 17 1/3 IP.

    You think Texas is wishing they posted the trade on their website before getting Dempster’s approval?

  11. Old Gator - Aug 14, 2012 at 9:18 AM

    The Feesh sleepwalked through back to back games yesterday and Sunday. I would be tempted to say that they were mailing it in at this point, except that they don’t look like they have enough energy to walk as far as the local post office. They also helped sabotage their young starter, Nate Eovaldi, with a couple of errors – Greg Dobbs’ Fairly Famous routine on what should have been an inning-ending ground ball in the third inning led to an unearned run – in addition to running the bases like lungfish, Reyes overrunning first on a first inning single and getting nailed in a rundown, and some other clown getting thrown out by a parsec trying to steal third – I saw it out of the corner of my eye and don’t want to know who it was.

    Incidentally, the Feesh telecast last night was made maddeningly obnoxious by a silent auction for charity – not that I have anything against charity during the interminable Clinton/Bush recession, mind you – to which the announcers kept defaulting even during the play-by-play. Thoroughly distracting and cheesey. It’s hard enough to keep interested in this awful team as it is.

    This afternoon, the Feelies will resume pouring the emulsified Feesh until they set into a firm foundation at the bottom of the division that the other four teams can stand upon. The interesting aspect of today’s game will be the debut of Rob Brantley behind the plate. There was some interesting video on the pregame show of Carlos Lee taking the new kid in the tank under his fin and showing him around, introducing him to the other guys and subjecting him to some good natured kidding.

    Way to go, C-Lee.

    • APBA Guy - Aug 14, 2012 at 12:14 PM

      I saw that the Fla Parks and Recreation folks tracked and caught a 17’7″ Burmese Python in the ‘Glades recently, loaded with 87 eggs. I hope those monsters aren’t slithering closer and closer to your lair as they consume every mammal in their paths.

      • Old Gator - Aug 14, 2012 at 2:16 PM

        Mammals are horrible.™ If not for their protein content, they’d be completely useless.

      • Old Gator - Aug 14, 2012 at 2:18 PM

        PS – and by the way, Craig, I hope that someday a python bites off Aubrey Plaza’s clueless expression.

  12. Gardenhire's Cat - Aug 14, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    Just curious Craig, what statistic are you using to proclaim the Rangers “the AL’s best offense”? Runs per game? Both OPS+ and wRC+ have them ranked third, and both more accurately reflect their offense since they are park-neutral.

  13. Lukehart80 - Aug 14, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    Derek Lowe just couldn’t handle the pressure of playing in Cleveland.

    • ditto65 - Aug 14, 2012 at 12:07 PM

      Imagine the pressure of knowing there is absolutely nothing around you.

      • Francisco (FC) - Aug 14, 2012 at 1:02 PM

        If there’s nothing around you wouldn’t the problem be lack of pressure? hence your body tries to expand to occupy the space, making you all woozy? You can’t survive without some pressure…

  14. boiler90 - Aug 14, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    Ah, Samardzjia and Rizzo – the future of the Cubbies. They’ll probably be traded in the off season

  15. sportsdrenched.com - Aug 14, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    Note to Football Fundementalists. Every MLB game had more “action” than the MNF game last night.

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