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And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

Sep 11, 2012, 6:22 AM EDT

A.J. Pierzynski, Alex Rios

White Sox 6, Tigers 1: The offense continues to snooze. And the Tigers are getting so little respect that some clever wags out there are calling them the “Kittens.” That’s just sad, dude. Alex Rios and Gordon Beckham did most of the damage for the Sox.

Phillies 3, Marlins 1: Fifth straight for Philly, as Phillies-fan commenters slowly creep back into HBT comment sections after a season of mostly silence. Hey, that’s what hope does for you I guess. Welcome back, fellas. Just don’t pretend that you didn’t check out for five months is all I’m asking.

Nationals 5, Mets 1: Gio Gonzalez notched his 19th win — walked five, but the Mets couldn’t capitalize — and Ryan Zimmerman, Kurt Suzuki and Ian Desmond all hit homers. Bryce Harper also broke his belt in the middle of the game while diving for a ball in the outfield. I’m assuming this is symbolism of some sort. Maybe a harbinger. Perhaps a metaphor? Eh, that English minor was obtained over 17 years ago. I’m fuzzy.

Twins 7, Indians 2: First line of the AP recap:

Samuel Deduno struck out six in seven innings and Pedro Florimon made two stellar defensive plays . . .

I refuse to believe those are real people. Sorry. Just not buying it.  Viva September baseball for non-contenders.

Brewers 4, Braves 1: When you have a couple of teams surging meeting each other it tends to be a Thunderdome series: two men enter, one man leaves. The Braves played the roll of Master Blaster here. That is, if walking four dudes in the seventh inning to help throw gas on the fire was what Master Blaster did.

Padres 11, Cardinals 3: For the Dodgers, Pirates, Phillies and the Brewers — or anyone else with pretensions of snagging that second wild card slot that looks vulnerable at the moment — the Cardinals are being quite accommodating. San Diego unloaded an industrial sized can of Whoop-Ass that someone found in the basement of the Western Metal Supply Company, exploding for 11 runs on 17 hits.  Cameron Maybin hit a two-run homer, Will Venable had three RBI. The Cards have lost four of five and now hold a one game lead for the last playoff spot.

Rockies 6, Giants 5: Rockies pitcher Alex White, of all people, homered off Ryan Vogelsong. Vogelsong’s recent nightmare stretch continues. I don’t want to spoil it for you if, later on, you plan on seeing this one at the theater, but Vogelsong says it’s because he’s “just not making pitches.” Didn’t see that coming.

Cubs 4, Astros 1: Dave Sappelt — another fictitious guy who I think some wiseacre inserted into the box score — scored on a wild pitch. The Cubs quest to not lose 100 gets a boost.

Athletics 3, Angels 1: The A’s are supposed to be crumbling now because of injuries, a tougher late-season schedule and lots of road games. Not happening yet. Jarrod Parker tossed seven innings of three-hit ball.

Reds 4, Pirates 3: Fourteen innings, won by Ryan Ludwick with an infield single. That’s four straight losses for the Buccos and — get this — 21 of 30.  And if you think that’s ugly, get a load of this.

  1. pissedoff24 - Sep 11, 2012 at 7:29 AM

    Give me a break on the Philly fan crap. When your top 3 players are out for half a season, you know things are bleak. Most REAL fans (not the 20 year olds going to games for the scene) have been around all season.

    • heyblueyoustink - Sep 11, 2012 at 8:55 AM

      He’s trolling you. There’s plenty of Phillies fans frequenting this establishment, no matter what the blog-tender says.

      Hell, he has only himself to blame for their rally. I wonder what their record is since he proclaimed the Braves ownership of the Phillies. And with a three game series against the bravos coming up shortly? My oh my.

      Even if they don’t have enough margin for error to actually make up the five games, if the Phils can sweep them, send them into a swoon, enough to miss the playoffs, that’ll be worth a single malt purchase right there.

      • chadjones27 - Sep 11, 2012 at 9:03 AM

        Doesn’t matter what the Braves record is after “he proclaimed the Braves ownership of the Phillies.” The Braves still have a commanding lead in the wild card race. And it would take a massive collapse of the Cards in Mets 2007/2008 fashion for the Phils to make the post-season. I highly doubt that would happen. Although, I like the passion. Keep hope alive!

  2. kvanhorn87 - Sep 11, 2012 at 7:32 AM

    Check the stats, we have been here but hard to talk trash when your team is 15 games back. Still some of the most commented stories of the year have been phillies stories.

  3. philsphilsphils - Sep 11, 2012 at 7:45 AM

    Still waiting for the Braves fans to come back. What’s it been since like 1995?

  4. Old Gator - Sep 11, 2012 at 7:57 AM

    Teepical Feesh game. A few hits, a lot of missed opportunities, a wasted decent peetching performance. The Iron Giant, he of the awesome power and solo homers, chasing bad peetches and striking out with the bases loaded. So here’s the line on Meester Muscle Meelk: throw the slider away in the dirt. He can’t hit it and he can’t lay off of it. Kyle Kenrick looking like Sandy Koufax and doubtless grateful for the opportunity.

    Big Scrooge McLoria interview in the Macondo Feeshwrapper today. The possessor says that there are just a few “retoolings” needed to improve this team and that they’ll be weeners next season. Right.

    • chadjones27 - Sep 11, 2012 at 9:30 AM

      huh huh, weiner, huh huh

    • APBA Guy - Sep 11, 2012 at 11:40 AM

      Is one of those retoolings a possible replacement of the Chihuahua?

      • Old Gator - Sep 11, 2012 at 12:45 PM

        If Scrooge didn’t replace the Chihuahua when he divorced his first wife, who happens to be the Chihuahua’s mommy, he’s probably not going to leave him at the shelter this weenter either.

  5. wlschneider09 - Sep 11, 2012 at 7:59 AM

    Leo Nunez and Fausto Carmona are close friends of Samuel Deduno and Pedro Florimon. Honest.

    • rooney24 - Sep 11, 2012 at 9:38 AM

      Actually, Deduno has been in the Twins rotation since July 7th, and Florimon first appeared August 17th (when the Twins sent down Brian Dozier). I realize the Twins aren’t big time and don’t catch most people’s radar. But, when a guy has been up since July, and has a 6-3 record, they aren’t really just a September call up. Although, I realize Craig would rather be snarky than accurate.

      • stex52 - Sep 11, 2012 at 11:39 AM

        But you have to admit it. They sound more like characters in an 18th century opera to me.

      • Old Gator - Sep 11, 2012 at 12:47 PM

        They could have been Capulets or Montagues. Maybe they were Shylock’s accountants.

  6. natslady - Sep 11, 2012 at 8:04 AM

    Bryce Harper lost his belt diving for a ball… In other news, Gio got his 19th win and lowered his ERA to under 3. Various Nats hit home runs and the bullpen was flawless. Typical Nats win, get 5 runs early and hang on…

    http://mlb.mlb.com/cutfour/index.jsp#contentId=38225496&partnerId=rss_was

    • natstowngreg - Sep 11, 2012 at 8:42 AM

      Gio did not pitch all that well but kept the Mets from scoring, which is the point of being a pitcher. I quibble a bit about the bullpen being “flawless.” Drew Storen pitched himself into a jam in the 8th. A strike call on a Scott Hairston checked swing kept Ike Davis from coming to the plate as the tying run. Then Storen disposed of Davis. That said, Storen has been looking a lot better lately.

      Speaking of Hairston, he provided the Mets’ only run with a homer. When he faces a lefty, the spirit of Rogers Hornsby seems to inhabit his body…Ian Desmond hit his 22nd homer. This season, he has doubled his career homer output. And his line (.293/.328/.515) is much improved. He still walks rarely, though that is less harmful to the offense batting 6th than 1st. Especially with Jayson Werth (.388 OBP) doing such a nice job of leading off.

      The lead is back to 6.5 games. Not insurmountable, but the Braves’ window is almost closed. They need the Nats to collapse, and it hasn’t happened. Jordan Zimmermann faces RA Dickey tonight.

      • natslady - Sep 11, 2012 at 9:13 AM

        True on Storen. One night he K’s ‘em all with his slider, another night he can’t seem to find it. Boy, when Clip wants to pitch he sure can. Wish that version would show up every time. :)

    • sdelmonte - Sep 11, 2012 at 8:44 AM

      Hang on? All you need to do of late is to arrive at Citi Field and the Mets gift-wrap it for you. It gets to be more and more of a mystery as to how the Mets don’t seem to have home field advantage there, other than lack of support.

      Tonight, with RA on the mound and 9/11 ceremonies, might be different that usual. Or not, since right now I don’t really expect much, even with my blind Mets fans optimism.

  7. sdelmonte - Sep 11, 2012 at 8:47 AM

    The one thing that makes “playing out the string” so interesting in baseball are the call-ups. In other sports, there’s really no reason to go to a late season game with a non-contender. In baseball, there’s usually a glimpse or two of the possible future waiting. You never know when next year’s ace or WAR hero is about to have his first great game.

  8. hisgirlgotburrelled - Sep 11, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    Pretty dumb thing to say, Craig. I see comments from Philly fans every day. At their worst winning percentage, around the trade deadline, there were tons of Philly commenters… You keep trying to prove that Philly fans are as big of bandwagon jumpers as every other city and you keep failing. Your reason to need to prove this can only because Atlanta not only invented jumping on the bandwagon but make sure to continue to be the best at it.

    • stex52 - Sep 11, 2012 at 11:41 AM

      No! No! Don’t let him troll you! We love you guys. (Seriously, but just don’t rise to the bait).

  9. kopy - Sep 11, 2012 at 9:33 AM

    Wow. Phillies fans took the bait so hard, they swallowed the hook.

    • Old Gator - Sep 11, 2012 at 10:27 AM

      Know what’s fun? Trying to get your favorite lure back from a big snapping turtle.

  10. Tim OShenko - Sep 11, 2012 at 9:37 AM

    Re: the Twins recap: Believe it or not, Deduno has been in the rotation for most of the year, and has been one of their more effective pitchers despite horrible K/BB numbers. As for Florimon, well, he’s just a bit of undigested beef, a blot of mustard, a crumb of cheese, a fragment of underdone potato. There’s more of borscht than of baseball about him.

  11. bravojawja - Sep 11, 2012 at 9:50 AM

    Just a quick edit to the Brewers/Braves recap:

    When you have a couple of teams surging meeting each other the Braves lose on Mondays.

    Though I certainly appreciate the Thunderdome reference. There was a guy at Dragon*Con wearing his kid in one of those backpack things and wearing a sign that said “Master Blaster.”

  12. lewp - Sep 11, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    I’m leaving a comment even though my Rangers had an off night last night. I don’t want Craig calling me out….So, here comes the race to the finish boys and girls. Gonna see lots of the A’s and Angels in the next two weeks, as well it should be.

    • pw38 - Sep 11, 2012 at 12:52 PM

      Yep, the division is by no means won and if I were the Rangers I’d be scoreboard watching. I think they’ll pull it out (they have when needed to so far this season) but hey you never know. All it takes is a funny bounce, a missed pitch, or a bad fielding decision. The Rangers had all of those in the WS last year. No reason it can’t happen before the end of the season. If the A’s were to catch them I think it would probably be one of the bigger upsets in regular season history. I’m definitely nervous.

  13. pete8880 - Sep 11, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    Look at the attendance differences between real baseball cities like Philly, Boston and Chicago (Cubs) and terrible ones like Atlanta, Cincy and Washington. 35 to 40 thousand every night during a down year and struggling to draw 20 thousand as the three best teams in the NL. Poor Craig, he just can’t go past his bad baseball city complex.

  14. APBA Guy - Sep 11, 2012 at 11:59 AM

    Jarrod Parker was the Real Deal last night, taking a page from Mix-A-Lot and throwing a ton of change-ups to go with his 92-94 mph heat, which he wisely showed out of the zone for the most part. Interesting moment the third trip through the line-up. He hung a slider top of the letters and Albert missed it. Norris went out to talk to Parker with the basic message “we’re not throwing any more sliders” while Albert retreated in conference with Kendrys Morales. Change-up down and Albert grounded out.

    Dan Haren, former A, has struggled with his back for most of the season. The Angels had counted on him to be a powerful # 3, and unfortunately last night he pitched in line with his season ERA of 4.45. He also gave up his 23rd and 24th homeruns, again part of his 2012 pattern. Both homers were center-cut fastballs, or maybe very straight hard sliders. It’s hard to tell because his FB velocity has dropped from 91.5 when he was with the A’s to 88 now. At that speed he has to be perfect, and his balky back precludes perfection.

    Tonight is Straily (another rookie) vs Williams. Williams’ ERA is about the same as Haren’s at 4.59, and he hasn’t pitched in a week. Straily was called up from the River Cats recently and is being tossed into the heat of an MLB Wild Card race. Bottom line: nobody knows what we’ll get from these two pitchers.

    Lew Wolff, A’s managing general partner and co-owner, and also certified frat bro of Bud Selig, was on the broadcast for an inning last night. He’s a resident of SoCal. So it was an easy commute for him, I guess. He said he saw ‘the Commissioner” last week but the “did not discuss the venue” ie the stadium, because Bud was in town for a charity do. He asserts, as he has done every year for the past 5 years, that there could be movement on the issue soon. We live in hope, even though no one believes him.

  15. schmedley69 - Sep 11, 2012 at 1:36 PM

    Been here all season, telling it like it is and trying to educate Nats fans about the game of baseball. They haven’t seen much before this season, ya know.

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