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And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

Aug 29, 2012, 6:07 AM EDT

Stephen Strasburg Getty Images

Major League Baseball celebrated Otherwise Good Teams Get Shut Out Night last night. It was quite festive.

Marlins 9, Nationals 0: Look, maybe this will start a conversation no one thinks we’d ever have about an ace pitcher on a first place team, but maybe the Nationals should consider shutting Stephen Strasburg down (5 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 5 ER). That’s five straight losses for the Nats. Ricky Nolasco with the five-hit shutout.

Pirates 9, Cardinals 0: Pedro Alvarez hit two homers and drove in four. James McDonald pitched fantastically and the Cardinals were accused on the very pages of this blog of being “dipwads.”  Can’t say I disagree with that.

Rangers 1, Rays 0: Yu Darvish struck out ten over seven innings. The game’s only run came on an Ian Kinselr homer in the fourth.

Orioles 6, White Sox 0: Chris Tillman handled seven innings and Brian Matusz, relief pitcher, took it home for the final two. A Nick Markakis bases-clearing double in the second was all Baltimore would need. But they got three more anyway.

Braves 2, Padres 0: Overall the Padres aren’t an “otherwise good team” this year, but they certainly have been lately, so they fit Theme Night. Kris Medlen now has a scoreless innings streak of 28 and two-thirds. He’s easily Atlanta’s best starter right now, which is nothing anyone truly expected before the season started. Heck it was nothing anyone expected in late July. Oh, and he has a music video too. Nice muscles, Dan Uggla.

Athletics 7, Indians 0: This one doesn’t count as part of Theme Night, because they stink, but it is worth noting that the Indians haven’t scored in 22 innings and haven’t scored in 45 of their last 48 innings. They’ve lost 12 of 13. There are three teams with worse records than Cleveland, but really no one who feels as miserable as they do, day-in, day-out.  The A’s, meanwhile are rolling and stay atop the wild card standings, winners of 10 of 12.

Angels 6, Red Sox 5: What in the hell were you doing, Bobby Valentine?

Royals 9, Tigers 8: Wow, I would not have called “the Royals are gonna rock Justin Verlander for eight runs on 12 hits in five and two-thirds” if you gave me any odds on the planet. Just not what you want happening on a night when your division rivals lose and your ace is on the hill.

Yankees 2, Blue Jays 1: Phil Hughes allowed one run over seven innings. Rickey Romero lost his 11th straight, but at least this time he didn’t get shelled. Rafael Soriano locked down the save one day after he blew one in major fashion. Then he sat and held forth with the media about the great issues of the day. Quite the raconteur he is when he wants to be.

Brewers 4, Cubs 1: Jeff Bianchi hit a three-run homer early and that’s all the Brewers needed. OK, I’ll grant that the Cubs may feel as bad as Cleveland.

Mets 9, Phillies 5: Wait, I thought it was the Mets who were the ones who typically gave up 3+ runs in extra innings. So confusing. B.J. Rosenberg broke the heck down in the 10th, allowing an RBI double, an RBI single and a two-run homer. Kelly Shoppach hit the bomb and earlier drove in another with a double.

Mariners 5, Twins 2: Three driven in for Dustin Ackley on a homer. Hisashi Iwakuma allowed only one run — zero earned — in six. Then he handed it over to the capable hands of Oliver Perez. OK, Ollie only threw eight pitches so it didn’t matter. I just can’t get over the fact that he’s in the big leagues again.

Giants 3, Astros 2: The Giants were down 2-1 heading into the ninth, but it was rally time. Brandon Belt singled, Joaquin Arias doubled him in and then Hector Sanchez singled in Arias.

Rockies 8, Dodgers 4: All kinds of bad news. Another bad loss to the Rockies and, worse, the loss of Matt Kemp to a knee contusion and possible jaw problem. Wilin Rosario went 3 for 4 with a homer and three driven in. I bet you there are only, like, a dozen people outside Colorado who know that guy has 22 homers and his slugging .500.

Reds 5, Diamondbacks 2: Johnny Cueto wins his 17th, allowing two runs over seven.

  1. proudlycanadian - Aug 29, 2012 at 6:32 AM

    The last 2 New York vs Toronto games have been fun to watch. Sorry that I will miss today’s rubber match.

    • cur68 - Aug 29, 2012 at 7:48 AM

      And no Beaver Pitchers were injured in the playing of this game. In fact, as far as I can tell, the entire starting lineup finished the game in playing condition. That’s like a miracle or something.

      • nbjays - Aug 29, 2012 at 12:10 PM

        Unless you count Ricky Romero pitching a great game and still taking the L. Poor guy; when he pitches mediocre, he gets shelled; when he pitches well, the opposing pitcher is just a bit better and he gets no run support.

  2. redguy12588 - Aug 29, 2012 at 7:04 AM

    Mr. Molina, your a great ballplayer and I just like to say, your standing on the tracks and the train’s coming through butthead.

    • redguy12588 - Aug 29, 2012 at 8:10 AM

      If you don’t like Major League 2, you hate America and Freedom.

      • thefalcon123 - Aug 29, 2012 at 9:36 AM

        Oh come on now! Major League 2 was a *terrible* movie. Major League 1 was great…but Major League 2 was like a terrible, slap-sticky David Zuckerized version of the original. It’s like it was made for kids whose parents felt the first movie was too coarse and complex for the pre-adolescence brains.

        In summary, I hate Major League 2.

      • Francisco (FC) - Aug 29, 2012 at 10:36 AM

        Oh come on, that’s just harsh. Tell me you didn’t have a laugh when Hayes basically leapt over Parker to score? I mean sure the 2nd movie wasn’t as great but still had some good moments in there. And what about: “You. Have. No. MARBLES!”

        I’m pretty sure Ichiro is telling A-Rod that every day…

  3. rockthered1286 - Aug 29, 2012 at 7:30 AM

    Aaaaand the yard birds bring it AGAIN!! This time Tilly goes out and pitches a true gem. If you would have told me one starting pitcher would be pulled after 4 IP and the other went 7 and only gave up one infield dribbler, I would have thought Sale and Tilly switched jerseys.

    Notable: McClouth follows up his dinger from Monday with a 3 hit night, Matusz dropped a few K’s in 2 IP relief (and making me feel better about Lidstrom being gone) and really? No mention of Jonesie hitting his 100th homer finally?!

    Impresive win all around, against an otherwise elite team. Can’t wait til Saunders makes his O’s debut today as we go for a series win!

    Forgot to mention- congrats Buck for being the first O’s manager with an overall winning record since… wow no clue. And the O’s are 14 over for the 1st time since June 2005! Insanity.

    • redguy12588 - Aug 29, 2012 at 7:43 AM

      The Orioles are so lucky that they crap leprechauns.

      • rockthered1286 - Aug 29, 2012 at 8:09 AM

        Yes. 16 consecutive losing seasons sure is lucky.

        Truth is, the Duke has made a huge impact. Snatching up guys with “potential” like McClouth, Lew Ford, Chen, Hammel and even earlier in the season Betemit, Chavez, and Thome. All have been crucial in helping this team. Now we’re seeing Duke go out and grab Saunders, looks like possibly Wolf as well, all of which will help this pitching staff.

        Is it lucky that Miggy Gonzo worked out, as well as Tilly, Chen, Hammel? Perhaps. Or perhaps it’s a good eye by Duke and Buck. I also give them credit in knowing when to bring up guys like Stevie Johnson and Machado, and when to send down struggling pitchers, or move them to the pen.

        This season has been a series of chess moves, and we’re getting close to check mate with every game.

      • snowbirdgothic - Aug 29, 2012 at 8:13 AM

        Unfortunately, while the Orioles may be making chess moves, the Yankees are playing Settlers of Catan. Amazing what you can do in a good resource management game…

      • redguy12588 - Aug 29, 2012 at 8:14 AM

        16 losing seasons has no bearing on this season. Getting production from Ford, McClouth, Chen, Hammel, Betemit, Chavez, and Thome are good luck, simple as that. Pirates had McClouth for the first 2 months and he hit .160.

        Negative run differential, last in the league in offensive WAR, very high LOB%, what else needs to be said.

        I speak from experience, the Pirates did the same thing last year before reality hit hard.

      • ravensgrl - Aug 29, 2012 at 10:25 AM

        So when they sucked for 14 seasons, they were just unlucky???

      • rockthered1286 - Aug 29, 2012 at 12:53 PM

        @redguy
        Again, you’re underestimating Buck and Duke, as well as the entire coaching staff. Is it that impossible to assume that Buck and Duke have an eye for talent? or that guys like McClouth and Ford just needed a better supporting cast to help them with their swing, resulting in a better BA? McClouth started the year cold, Bucs had other plans and let him go. You’re assuming he’s a bad player who is lucky now, but perhaps he had a dry spell and has come out of it. Can’t place everything on luck. A rookie pitcher going out and getting a W his first start? Sure. Chen being consistent all year, Tillman at 7-2, Stevie J 2-0, Miggy Gonzo looking good….to me that’s a great coaching staff, as well as an allstar/gold glove catcher to contribute to their success. Not luck.

        And you can throw stats out all day. This has been discussed over and over again. O’s lose big and win close. Run differential is out the window. I could care less. Jumping sports but you wouldn’t call the NYG-Men lucky for winning the super bowl but they had a negative pt differential for the season. It’s timely hitting, timely pitching, and a lack of errors now that our defense has been solidified.

      • redguy12588 - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:04 PM

        @rockthered1286

        Actually, McClouth hadn’t been good in like 3 years, look at his stats. The only way you believe in “timely hitting and timely pitching” is if you don’t like or understand sabermetrics. Teams that win close and lose big don’t usually maintain it for a whole season. If they do, you can bet that they won’t be anywhere near as lucky the year after.

      • rockthered1286 - Aug 29, 2012 at 4:38 PM

        @redguy

        If you’re basing everything on luck than how can you automatically assume it won’t follow through into next year? If it’s followed through every at bat/inning/game/series and pretty much all season, how can you make that assumption at all?

        If a penny lands on heads ten times in a row, it still has a 50-50 shot of heads the 11th,12th,13th etc…

        By the way: this is Showalter’s 3rd consecutive stop with a crappy, under 500 team. In each and every club he was able to pull them out of the cellars and into an over 500 status in his 2nd FULL year. Luck as well?

      • redguy12588 - Aug 29, 2012 at 5:52 PM

        Chance doesn’t work like that, your odds of getting two heads in a row is not 50%

  4. latchbeam - Aug 29, 2012 at 7:38 AM

    Go Tribe!

  5. Lukehart80 - Aug 29, 2012 at 8:05 AM

    Pointing out that the Indians have lost 12 of 13 is being too kind, they’ve also lost 25 of 30. That ties the worst 30-game stretch in franchise history, set back in 1991.

    • bravojawja - Aug 29, 2012 at 9:52 AM

      If it makes you feel better, the Indians went to the World Series just four years (and one strike) later. Patience, Precious. Patience.

      • Lukehart80 - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:03 PM

        That’s true. Plus, they were a win away from the World Series only 5 years ago too, which seems almost impossible to me today. They don’t seem to be stockpiling the same kind of young talent they were back in 1991 though.

        We’ll see…

  6. paperlions - Aug 29, 2012 at 8:17 AM

    I don’t dispute that the Cardinals intentionally hitting Harrison after Molina was trucked was a dumb thing to do. But they are clearly not the biggest dipwads in the league (at least, not yet), as they only hit Harrison once.

    Molina ran over Ruiz (obviously, still a bad baseball play) during the last game of a Philly series, and the next TWO times the Cardinals played Philly they hit Molina with a pitch. Lest you think Molina is prone to such things, that represents 1/2 his HBP this year.

    • delawarephilliesfan - Aug 29, 2012 at 8:45 AM

      The Molina/Ruiz collison was May 25th in Philadelphia. The Phillies and Cards played on May 26th and 27th – Molina played the second of those two and was not hit by a pitch, nor was anyone else. No HBP’s on either side on the 26th with Molina out.

      • paperlions - Aug 29, 2012 at 8:54 AM

        My bad, I was thinking it was the last game.

        The point still stands though. Does waiting to hit a guy on purpose until the next series lessen the dipwadness of the action? Hitting a guy on purpose is the problem, not the timeline, and one would have to do more mental gymnastics than a Pouliot (which is a lot) to conclude that those HBPs were coincidental.

      • delawarephilliesfan - Aug 29, 2012 at 12:33 PM

        Well, it’s all in the eye of the beholder I guess. But I am not so sure that was intentional on the Phillies part. The two HBP that Molina got in the follow up series were by Halladay and Rosenberg. Halladay doesn’t really have a rep for hitting guys at all, and he faced Molina in Philly in May, i.e. he could have done it then if he wanted to send a message. And Rosenberg getting wild (8 walks in 10 1/2 IP)……is that really shocking? Not to mention, Ruiz went out of his way to say it was no big deal while they were still on the Field

        But again, plunking is in the eye of the beholder, I will concede

  7. philliesblow - Aug 29, 2012 at 8:26 AM

    Hey Verlander, time to dump Miss Funbags and go back to the old girl so you can get your Cy/MVP mojo back.

    • stex52 - Aug 29, 2012 at 8:28 AM

      You can give him that advice. Would you take it if you were Velander? I don’t think I would.

    • kevinbnyc - Aug 29, 2012 at 2:11 PM

      If I were Verlander, I’d cut off my right arm if my left were allowed to play with those funbags.

  8. stex52 - Aug 29, 2012 at 8:33 AM

    And the Astros lose again in the ninth. Three comments:

    1. When you trade away any semblence of anyone who can relief pitch, what do you expect?
    2. It’s worth noting that the Astros’ lead run did not come on a hit, anyway. It was a wild pitch.
    Not like they can drive in their own runs.
    3. The game was played before 13,516 people. Smallest in the history of Minute Maid Park. What
    I find sad is that 13,516 people have such empty lives that going to a 2012 Astros game is
    the best they can do. That is an existential tragedy.

    • pw38 - Aug 29, 2012 at 9:21 AM

      Hard to believe that team was in the WS what, 7 years ago?

      • stex52 - Aug 29, 2012 at 9:40 AM

        “Hard to believe” is such a neutral statement. I might go for “discouraging” or “Sickening” or even “heart breaking”.

  9. uyf1950 - Aug 29, 2012 at 9:22 AM

    Great outing by Phil Hughes. That makes 12 of his last 16 starts quality starts very solid numbers for a #3 starter which is exactly what Hughes has become after a lackluster 2nd half of the 2010 season a miserable 2011 season and a terrible 1st month of the 2012 season. And with the line up Joe Girardi had out their for the Yankees the only way the Yankees could win that game was with a very good outing by Hughes.

  10. pw38 - Aug 29, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    Man the Rangers game was good last night. It was a very entertaining pitchers duel and this series so far has had the feel of a playoff series. You kinda have to wonder though if Tampa is wondering what it has to do beat the Rangers. Yu looked sharp and worked his way out of a few jams. It’ll be interesting to see how he performs come playoff time.

  11. kvanhorn87 - Aug 29, 2012 at 9:40 AM

    Natitude!

    • angrycorgi - Aug 29, 2012 at 9:51 AM

      hahaha

  12. angrycorgi - Aug 29, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    I think its now abundantly clear that Bobby Valentine’s best days are in the rear view mirror…

  13. sportsdrenched - Aug 29, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    Verlander must have this thing for the mound at Kauffman stadium this season. Thats the only thing I can figure. I would have thought Jeremy Guthrie would have washed the Hochevar cooties off that mound since the All-Star Game.

    That was a pretty wild game. Especially Delmon Youngs foul ball down the RF line that was almost a 3R Dinger in the 9th. Yay instant replay, even thougth the original call was foul ball.

    Royals don’t win often, so you have to smile when they do.

  14. Old Gator - Aug 29, 2012 at 9:56 AM

    Looks like the Feesh did everything right for a change last night. Naturally, I dozed off early, having worn myself out cutting up fallen banana plants all day in the steamy humidity and standing them against the wall to drain (a banana plant, for those of you who inhabit areas subject to that unnatural meteorological aberration called weenter, absorbs huge amounts of water during heavy rainfalls and the trunks weigh tons as a result), netting foliage out of the pool and otherwise generally cleaning up our soggy mess of a yard. I woke up at around three in the morning, dimly conscious that the Feesh had faced Strasburg, and checked my laptop for what I expected to be the sorry results.

    WTF????

    Seven runs scored with two outs. Ummm…Feesh? That you?

    • sumerduckman - Aug 29, 2012 at 10:39 AM

      Yep, the Nat’s low of the year. So far. And the low of the low? That would be Carlos Lee (!) stealing second , then yucking it up with his buddies in the dugout after he scored.
      These guys couldn’t hold Pope Ratzinger on first, or throw him out.

      • Old Gator - Aug 29, 2012 at 12:26 PM

        I didn’t know about that till you mentioned it. Went back and read about it on the Feesh web site. What a hoot. That’s nearly as bad as letting Belial Bradley stealing a base.

      • stex52 - Aug 29, 2012 at 12:40 PM

        Carlos is a smart player. He doesn’t try much, but he picks his spots. Glad he has gotten your first base performance up to league average. I retain a certain perverse fondness for him. Too bad the Feesh didn’t have that level of performance at 1st a little sooner.

      • Old Gator - Aug 29, 2012 at 2:58 PM

        Carlos has been a birthday present from the gods, and from all reports, terrific with the new kids washing up from Nawlins. Recent reports have Carlos favorably inclined to staying in Macondo and the Feesh beginning to discuss re-signing him with his agent. I hope so. I’ve often goofed on the whole idea of “veteran presence” in the locker room but when you mix such a positive attitude with actual p-e-r-f-o-r-m-a-n-c-e on the field, it’s not a bad mix for a team that, like the phrase or not, is going back into rebuilding mode.

    • natstowngreg - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:55 PM

      The Fish caught the Nats in a bad week.

      • stex52 - Aug 29, 2012 at 2:17 PM

        No doubt. Baseball has a way of doing that.

  15. Francisco (FC) - Aug 29, 2012 at 10:42 AM

    I think it’s a safe to say B.J. Rosenberg will NOT be pitching for the Phillies in 2013… At least I hope not.

  16. APBA Guy - Aug 29, 2012 at 12:32 PM

    At this point in the Cleveland series, with two straight shutouts thrown by A’s pitchers, it’s natural for the fans to look forward to the next series, with Boston visiting the A’s. The team can’t do that. They need to keep piling up wins like squirrels storing nuts, since, as they say in in Game of Thrones: “Winter is coming”.

    Winter in this case being a very difficult September schedule, with Boston followed by the Angels in Oakland, and ultimately the potentially season make or break road trip to Detroit, New York, and Texas mid-month. With 34 games left to play, only 8 are against teams not involved in the playoff hunt. Six of those are against Seattle, currently only 4 games under .500 and riding the King’s arm.

    But back to last night’s game. All you needed to know was encapsulated in the contrast between the two team’s dugouts. On the Cleveland side, everybody was seated, nobody’s talking, let alone smiling. On the A’s side, players were up on the rail, talking, smiling, interacting. Anyone who’s played team sports, especially over a period of time, knows the symptoms. Cleveland needs more than just a managerial change at this point. Their team body-language is the worst I’ve seen this year. Much worse than KC or Minnesota or Seattle. The A’s need to stay focused, though, because they are going to need every win down the stretch. The big payroll teams in the playoff mix and the Rays are not going away.

  17. natstowngreg - Aug 29, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    The 2012 Nats have been remarkably slump-free. Their current 5-game losing streak matches their season long. Not enough to cause panic, but their quality of play has been too reminiscent of 2008-2009. How they recover (or not) will show how ready this team is to be a championship contender. I remain optimistic, for now.

    • stex52 - Aug 29, 2012 at 2:06 PM

      They have been too consistent to date to panic over. One never knows about the old momentum, but maybe they are just getting that bad play out of their systems before the playoffs.

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