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And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

Aug 24, 2012, 6:15 AM EDT

Eight Men Out

It was a light schedule and my Braves played a late game, so I watched “Eight Men Out” last night. For, like, the 5th or 6th time. And that just made me want to watch “Matewan” again for, um, the 20th time or thereabouts. Maybe tomorrow night. Anyway, damn you John Sayles, damn you.

As for “Eight Men Out,” I think the best part of it is not the actual narrative, which most hardcore baseball fans know pretty well. I think it’s the player interaction during Game 1 of the Series. You can just feel the tension each of them have, whether they’re in on the fix or not. It helps bring current the reason for baseball’s hard line stance on gambling when, in this day and age, it feels a bit like a historical curio. It’s not, though. When you undermine competition like that so blatantly, and when players betray their own teammates, god, that’s the worst thing you can do in a competitive sporting atmosphere.

Anyway, good stuff. Worth going back to again if it’s been a while since you’ve seen it. And if you haven’t seen it, jeez, what’s your problem?

Angels 14, Red Sox 13: This game should be taken out and shot. NESN and Fox Sports are gonna be fined for obscenity for broadcasting it. If pregnant women were watching it they’re gonna be charged with child endangerment. It was just the stupidest, ugliest oh-my-god-fans-of-these-teams-probably-want-to-jump-off-of-a-bridge game of the year.

Cardinals 13, Astros 5: The Astros took a 4-0 lead after four, but they are the Astros so you sorta knew that wouldn’t last. David Freese and Matt Holliday each drove in four. Allen Craig had three, and Jake Westbrook got a boatload of run support on a day when he didn’t have much of anything.

Rays 5, Athletics 0: Alex Cobb with a four-hit shutout. Can’t do much with that.

Tigers 3, Blue Jays 2: I wrote this one up yesterday. But suffice it to say, Justin Verlander just doesn’t know how to win.

Rockies 1, Mets 0: In his big league debut Collin McHugh pitched two-hit ball over seven scoreless innings, but the bats couldn’t do anything to help him out. Or the defense. The only Colorado run scored when  Jordany Valdespin misplayed Tyler Colvin‘s fly to center in the eighth. He basically pulled a Calcaterra — the play I perfected in Babe Ruth ball and which got me moved out of the outfield — running in several steps on a ball and then having to run back when he realized he misjudged it, letting it fall for a triple. Except unlike Valdespin, I did it on every single ball hit my way. Colorado completes a four game sweep.

Giants 5, Braves 2: I still think the Braves will hold on to win the wild card this year, but I gotta tell ya, when you let Barry Zito shut you out through eight innings, you probably don’t deserve it. The Giants now have a three game lead in the west.

Rangers 10, Twins 6: Josh Hamilton drove in five and Adrian Beltre hit his fourth home run in two games. Texas broke it open with a six run eighth inning, five of which were unearned because of two Twins errors. And there was some chippy stuff too: Roy Oswalt hit Joe Mauer and Scott Diamond retaliated by throwing behind Josh Hamilton, causing him and Ron Gardenhire to get ejected. The win was Ron Washington’s 500th.

Phillies 4, Reds 3: Extra innings and John Mayberry hit an RBI single in the bottom of the 11th inning to win it. The Phillies bullpen — maligned all year — threw five no-hit innings.

  1. antlerclaws - Aug 24, 2012 at 7:00 AM

    I did that when I was a kid in the outfield—misjudging the ball and running forward, only to have to retreat quickly and watch it land 10 feet behind me. It happened so often that the coach had me automatically take 3 steps back any time a ball was hit into the outfield. No matter how shallow or deep, 3 steps back. It made for some awkward plays, but he got his point across. (I retired from baseball soon after this and became strictly a spectator.)

  2. proudlycanadian - Aug 24, 2012 at 7:06 AM

    Verlander had every expectation to win, but simply messed up. Going into the game, the depleted Jays roster collectively had only 6 career hits off him. The Jays had to use 3 raw rookies who were up from Triple A. Verlander did pad his strikeout stats against the kids, but he also gave up a 2 run homer to the only hitter he should have tried to pitch around. He was very lucky not to lose the game as Happ out pitched him.

    • detroitr1 - Aug 24, 2012 at 7:40 AM

      So Happ pitched a complete game?

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 24, 2012 at 8:24 AM

        Not relevant. Happ had a 2 to 0 lead when he left the game and the pen somehow allowed 2 runs to score.

    • detroitr1 - Aug 24, 2012 at 9:09 AM

      Here are some animated gifs of Verlander yesterday when he was ‘out pitched.’

      http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/justin-verlander-below-the-surface/

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 24, 2012 at 10:36 AM

        Verlander is a great pitcher, but yesterday was not a great effort. He was lucky not to be tagged with the loss. Not only did he fail to pitch around Encarnacion, he got a break when Davis was wrongly called out on a steal of second.

        Craig is right. Verlander does not know how to win. A winning pitcher would not throw that pitch to Encarnacion in a scoreless game.

    • detroitr1 - Aug 24, 2012 at 11:04 AM

      In the sweep of the Jays, the Tigers scored 11 runs. I think the the lack of Tigers’ offense had more to do with Verlander not getting the Win than the elevation of Happ to elite status or Verlander not “knowing how to win.”

  3. kiwicricket - Aug 24, 2012 at 7:46 AM

    Starting first baseman for the Reds……Miguel Cairo!
    Dear God it seems he has been around forever. Devil Rays original, no?

  4. kiwicricket - Aug 24, 2012 at 7:57 AM

    I also don’t know what a ‘Skip Bayless’ is. Please can he not be mentioned again, everyone went insane yesterday.

  5. angrycorgi - Aug 24, 2012 at 8:06 AM

    Idiotic Homer Call of the Night: Following a throw at Hamilton’s head and subsequent ejection of Diamon and Gardenhire, theTwins play-by-play guy says “unfortunately the ball didn’t make contact with him”.

    I’ve never heard anyone on TV or radio broadcasts ever suggest that it would be ideal to hit a player of any team in the head. Unreal.

    • Old Gator - Aug 24, 2012 at 8:42 AM

      That’s pretty lowlife, but remember what it’s like to be a Twins broadcaster way up there in the subarctic. You have to cork your ass with a pile of chewed up larch leaves and bark (and if you haven’t been doing yoga regularly, you probably need to have your broadcasting partner do that for you) and then hibernate from the beginning of October until the middle of March. You can’t tell me that having your brain frozen solid for five and a half months doesn’t affect your judgement.

      • paperlions - Aug 24, 2012 at 9:04 AM

        Yeah, that must be it….that’s probably why MN compares unfavorably to FL in just about any social aspect you can think of…..wait, no it doesn’t. FL is a shit hole of shallow idiots and MN is a great place to live. Never mind.

      • Old Gator - Aug 24, 2012 at 9:19 AM

        Great that you can perpetuate the discussion in the same spirit of ironic humor with which it was initiated. Way to wear that chip!

      • kopy - Aug 24, 2012 at 9:27 AM

        Hey, hey, the 45th parallel runs through Minneapolis. You can’t be subarctic if you live south of Broadway St.

      • paperlions - Aug 24, 2012 at 10:36 AM

        You are right, I shouldn’t have cast aspersions on an entire state. Rather, I should have assumed that something about Florida’s climate makes you an elitist, pretentious windbag that constantly spouts rambling taradiddle.

      • Old Gator - Aug 24, 2012 at 1:44 PM

        You seriously need to see a proctologist about having that broom handle removed from your ass.

      • Reflex - Aug 24, 2012 at 3:12 PM

        paperlions – Most of us quite enjoy Gator’s ramblings. You can feel free to ignore, however.

    • mplsjoe - Aug 24, 2012 at 9:27 AM

      Which play-by-play guy? I can’t imagine milktoast Dick Bremer, the TV guy, saying anything so emotional. Cory Provous (sp), the radio play-by-play guy, is also pretty intentionally dry, as he’s new and is just trying to make a non-offensive impression.

      On the other hand, Dan Gladden (OF from the 1987 and 1991 WS teams) does PBP and color on the radio. He’s not only a homer, but he loves a good tough-guy shtick. I can totally see him saying something like this.

  6. stackers1 - Aug 24, 2012 at 8:07 AM

    I too did the same thing in a little league game many years ago. I took 2 steps in & the ball went way over my head. The game was being played at dusk & after the play, my coach (may he rot in hell) yelled out to me, “what’s the matter Brophy, the sun get in your eyes?”. I could hear all the parents on the bench laugh out loud at this incredible piece of wit. Kids today don’t have character building moments like this. I’m 50 years old & remember it like it was last night.

  7. slavetothetrafficlight - Aug 24, 2012 at 8:18 AM

    Someone on MLB Network (Vasgersian?) called the Angels-Boston game “one of the best games of 2012.”

    • Old Gator - Aug 24, 2012 at 8:44 AM

      Whoever it was probably also has a list of alltime favorite Three Stooges films.

  8. Old Gator - Aug 24, 2012 at 8:24 AM

    Well, what is Craig going to do about his John Sayles fixation? More, I hope, even if watching Eight Men Out and Matewan back to back does seem a little incestuous. Anyway, everyone knows Alligator was Sayles’ grandest achievement. Everything else was an afterthought.

    And speaking of passion Feesh, the Rainbow Warriors had an orf game last night – not that they had many “on” nights since the end of May, of course – which afforded a little time to contemplate the receding Strange Attractor and think about re-doing the basement floor of the NL East in Spanish tile. Tonight they play the Bums, and get to say hi to the rejuvenated Hanster. Amazing what a town full of fresh hot strange can do for a body, innit?

    The Weather Channel has been parading a selection of Macondo emergency management bureaucrats across my idiot box screen this morning. Florida’s corrupt scumbag crook of a governor, having just cut the cojones off state residents – mostly elderly – by butchering the coverages and illegally jacking the premiums of the state hurricane insurance company with the Orwellian name of “Citizens,” held his grandstanding pre-landfall press conference this morning, surrounded by an impressive legion of patronage appointees, to let us know he’s on the job. I hope there’s a flying coconut with the bastard’s name on it out there somewhere. Just another day in paradise.

    This is your meteorological correspondent (aw no, are we gonna get hit with one of those too?) Old Gator, taking the sage advice offered at the end of the James Arness version of The Thing, to watch the skies – don’t stop watching the skies….

    • indaburg - Aug 24, 2012 at 9:44 AM

      Your description of Rick Scott and the annual hurricane show is perfect.. May Scott in his reptilian skin rot in hell.

      • Old Gator - Aug 24, 2012 at 1:45 PM

        Hell probably won’t have him; his slime trail would put the coals out. There’s an anteroom with a heated gravel floor for politicians of his particularly viscous sort.

    • APBA Guy - Aug 24, 2012 at 11:57 AM

      Only in Florida could the CEO of a company fined for the largest Medicare fraud in history be elected Governor. After being found innocent of criminal charges based on the incompetence defense: “I didn’t know what my subordinates were doing.”

      “I admit I was an incompetent chief executive, so vote for me, for chief executive.”

      And they did.

  9. gbar22 - Aug 24, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    Dude it was movie not necessarily showing the actual dynamics that took place between the white sox players. It’s absurd for you to draw conclusions based off in part the dynamics that moved you amongst actors told to act that way to make the audience feel something.

    • Old Gator - Aug 24, 2012 at 1:47 PM

      You clearly have no concept of how cinema actually generates reality in western faux-civilization. You should start by reading up on frame theory.

  10. gbar22 - Aug 24, 2012 at 9:21 AM

    And to old gator minnesota is far more progressive and forward thinking than ass backwards Florida. You can’t tell me all those rays don’t melt away brain cells especially when you take into account florida’s voting record and their choice of governors since 1998. Hmmmm

    • hittfamily - Aug 24, 2012 at 1:52 PM

      I used to work in Minnesota at Bill’s Miltia Supply Co. Bill did a LOT of business. Then Militia Mart opened up next door. Bill closed down shop and moved to Florida.

    • Old Gator - Aug 24, 2012 at 4:26 PM

      Fortunately, my critical circumspection about the schizophrenic hallucination of a community within which I dwell – which you’d understand if you had actually bothered to read my correspondence here over the past three years – keeps me from taking seriously the mindless indignation of homeboys rising to the gratuitous defense of their own little dystopias. Macondo may be a corrupt, atavistic, ethnically destabilized polity, but it is incomparable theater 365 days of the year. There’s nothing entertaining about a block of ice, unless it starts melting and releases an alien giant humanoid plant that likes to fertilize its sprouts with human blood. (Sorry – I’ve got a thing for The Thing today.)

      However, come January, when I finally have a little free time on my hands, I do want to assure you that I will ponder your comments as seriously as they deserve to be pondered – while drifting around my swimming pool in my floating chaise while nursing a mamey batido and celebrating Minnesota by reading a Louise Erdrich novel under the shade of my big floppy Panama sun hat.

  11. mplsjoe - Aug 24, 2012 at 9:33 AM

    Roy Oswalt should have been ejected for throwing at Joe Mauer. I have no beef w/ejecting Diamond and Gardy for retaliating, but Oswalt got off scott free for doing the same thing.

    • beefytrout - Aug 24, 2012 at 9:43 AM

      The same thing? Oswalt was at a 3-0 count and the pitch simply got away from him – his body language clearly suggested as much. If teams need to retaliate for obvious mistake pitches, then I guess that’s just the lay of the land, but Diamond threw directly at Hamilton’s head. There’s a right way and a wrong way to retaliate, and Diamond chose the wrong way.

      • kopy - Aug 24, 2012 at 9:47 AM

        There was a base open and the ball was up around Mauer’s neck. Anyone who has been around baseball as long as Oswalt knows the body language to display to make it seem like an accident. We’ll never know for sure. I’m just trying to say that claiming it was an accident is equally reckless as claiming it was intentional. Mauer has reached base 204 out of 208 times with a 3-0 count. Why not get a free shot if he’s going to reach anyway?

      • mplsjoe - Aug 24, 2012 at 2:36 PM

        RIght…just a coincidence that the 3-0 pitch to a guy who is probably going to walk anyway ends up at his neck. Again, I have no problem w/Diamond getting tossed, because Diamond clearly threw at Hamilton. But Oswalt just-as-clearly threw at Mauer, and got nothing.

      • beefytrout - Aug 24, 2012 at 10:36 PM

        yeah, it’s really clear – except for, you know, why he would do that in the first place.

    • beefytrout - Aug 24, 2012 at 10:28 AM

      First off, claiming it was accidental is not as reckless as claiming it was intentional – that’s just crap logic. Secondly, what’s the thinking behind “getting a free shot”? Is there some sort of bad blood between the Rangers and Twins? The Rangers have a single goal in mind, and has nothing to do with “sending a message” to a last place team from another division, in the middle of a pennant race.

  12. El Bravo - Aug 24, 2012 at 10:05 AM

    Frieri got a blown save win. Those are just precious.

  13. legacybroken - Aug 24, 2012 at 11:13 AM

    My Tigers are offensively challenged due to a horrible dropoff in talent after Prince in the cleanup spot, Delmon Young has no place being 5 or 6th in a lineup with playoff aspirations. Yet Leyland continues to do so.

  14. APBA Guy - Aug 24, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    Wednesday I mentioned that things were going to get more challenging for the A’s, beginning with the trip to Tampa, in which series the A’s might not get a hit. That bit of hyperbole was not too far from the mark yesterday, as jet-lag and great pitching from Cobb had the A’s regularly barking at home plate umpire Vic Carapazza. Replays on the A’s broadcast showed that Vic got almost every call right. And I say almost only because I’m not sure he didn’t get every call right. Cobb played the A’s hitters like a yo-yo, up and down, in and out, with real command. The groggy A’s (arrived at the hotel around 3 am yesterday morning) had no chance.

    Tyson Ross was called up to face the Rays, and he did well for 4 innings, also hitting the corners regularly. But in the fifth, his pitches straightened and rose, so that a lot of balls were belt-high and centered. That none left the yard says more about the Rays approach right now, and Luke Scott getting his swat a little towards the end of the bat, but Ross-there only because of El Capitan’s abrupt exit, Blackley’s injury and Straily’s recent demotion-would be gone before the 5th ended and the game essentially over.

    Speaking of bad crowds, I realize the necessity to prepare for a hurricane, but having lived in Tampa it’s not like making these preparations is that unusual. Only 11,000 showed up for this game, which makes the 17,000 at Oakland Wednesday look like a full house in comparison. True, The Mop is the worst stadium in the league, far worse than the Mausoleum, but still, the Rays are playing great right now and the A’s are, at the moment, a close contender to the Rays for the playoffs.

    • natslady - Aug 24, 2012 at 2:18 PM

      OK, so I’m not sure where to put this question. Right now there is a three-way tie for the 2nd WC in the AL. If that happens on Oct. 3rd, how is it untangled?

  15. raysfan1 - Aug 24, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Kiwicricket–
    Yes, Cairo was a Devil Ray, and was not a rookie then. We don’t miss his inability to get to balls that would turn into routine DPs by better second basemen.

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