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And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

Sep 12, 2012, 6:06 AM EDT

New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox Getty Images

Just gonna warn you: this was written as cold medicine was taking effect, with wine — ill advised, I know — and while listening to the new xx album. Lots of heavy stuff here, not best for reason or, for that matter, the reading of box scores.  But we’ll soldier through because this is the Internet and the Internet is serious business, folks:

Red Sox 4, Yankees 3: I guess if everything else has gone wrong you can still make yourself feel better by playing spoiler. Jacoby Ellsbury with four hits including the walkoff single. On his birthday no less. David Robertson: seventh loss in relief this year. Remember back when we thought Mariano Rivera wasn’t actually missed all that much? Yeah, that was hilarious.

Orioles 9, Rays 2: J.J. Hardy homered twice — he had four hits in all — and the O’s are back tied for first place in the wild wild east. Unfortunately, they lost starter Jason Hammel to what appears to be a recurrence of the same knee injury that cost him July and August.

Nationals 5, Mets 3: Bryce Harper had four hits. This new xx album, though it sounds completely different, does put me in the same mood as the soundtrack to the Wim Wenders film “Until the End of the World,” which is one of my favorite albums of all time. Been listening to it since it came out. A year before Bryce Harper was born. Damn I feel old sometimes.

Reds 5, Pirates 3: Pittsburgh is now 72-69. Jeez. It was bad enough to see them slip out of playoff contention, but it would stink if they can’t even crack .500. Mike Leake did some serious own-cause-helping, with two hits and a run scored on a wild pitch.

Phillies 9, Marlins 7: Speaking of cause-helping, Roy Halladay — who didn’t pitch particularly well — had an RBI single. Jimmy Rollins hit a homer and drove in three. The Phillies are back to .500 for the first time since early June.

Brewers 5, Braves 0: Milwaukee continues to roll — they’re not at .500 for the first time since April — and the Braves continue to have a hell of a time scoring runs. Marco Estrada tied them up here, pitching shutout ball into the seventh.

Astros 1, Cubs 0: Just your everyday six pitcher, six-hit shutout. Unless I’m counting wrong, the Astros used 19 players in this game, thus explaining the three hour and eleven minute run time.

Royals 9, Twins 1: Seven shutout innings for Will Smith. And even with the cold medicine I am refraining from dropping references to the more famous Will Smith. By this, of course, I mean the English cricketer, the opening batsman and right arm off-spin bowler who currently plays for Durham.

Tigers 5, White Sox 3: Doug Fister allowed two runs over seven and the lack of Ryan Raburn correlates with the Tigers actually scoring runs. Hurm. The Tigers are back to within two.

Rangers 6, Indians 4: What a shocker: Adrian Beltre hit a home run. Matt Harrison won his sixteenth. Ubaldo Jimenez, in contrast, lost his 16th, which is the most in the bigs.

Mariners 4, Blue Jays 3: Kyle Seager went 3 for 5 and fell a triple short of the cycle — not that we should care — and Erasmo Ramirez got his first major league win. Franklin Gutierrez made his first error in 301 games. He regrets it, I’m sure, and can give you his complete assurance that his work will be back to normal. He’s still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission. And he wants to help you.

Padres 6, Cardinals 4: The Cardinals are rolling out the red carpet for the Dodgers and Pirates to waltz back into the second wild card slot, though those two don’t seem intent on walking it. Maybe Milwaukee and Philly will. In any event, the Cards have dropped 10 of 14.  A five run fourth for San Diego helped put the game away.

Diamondbacks 1, Dodgers 0: Ian Kennedy tossed seven and a third shutout innings. And Miguel Montero hit an RBI double. That, combined with this …

Giants 9, Rockies 8: … give the Giants a six game lead with 20 to play, so the NL West is over. This was the best cause-helping game of them all, with Madison Bumgarner hitting a three-run homer to tie it up at four in the fourth. He didn’t pitch worth a damn, but the other seven (seven!) Giants pitchers held the Rockies down long enough for San Francisco to eek it out.

Athletics 6, Angels 5: Anaheim had a comeback win in them, you could just tell. It was 6-3 in the ninth, the Angels plated two and then had runners on the corners with no one out. Out goes Grant Balfour, in comes Jerry Blevins and it’s strikeout, double play, over. All on eight pitches. Not bad.

  1. natslady - Sep 12, 2012 at 6:22 AM

    Harper, who said yesterday he didn’t expect to play against R.A. Dickey (0-12), did play and got three of those four hits against him. Jayson Werth continues to be an on base MACHINE in the lead-off spot, but, guess what–Michael Morse “forgot” to mention he’s been injured for a month (hand). He’s gonna, y’know, go see a doctor and be out for a day or two at least.

    Jordan Zimmermann struggled, especially in the first inning with, running his pitch count up so he came out after five. Dickey pitched better than JZ, but the HR in the 6th finished him off. Clipp gave up a HR and a single, in that order, but eked out his 31st cardiac-inducing save. The new guy, Christian Garcia, has unbelievable stuff, wow! He has a chance to be the first September call-up to make the playoff roster since, I think, 2004. Someone look it up, please.

    • hittfamily - Sep 12, 2012 at 7:27 AM

      Matt Moore. 2011

    • dondada10 - Sep 12, 2012 at 7:37 AM

      I would imagine that a September call up has made one of the 8 annual postseason rosters every year since 2004.

    • kkolchak - Sep 12, 2012 at 8:06 AM

      Garcia yet again shows that GM Mike Rizzo is a master of picking up talented but injured players and being patient while they recover. The Nats obtained Garcia and Ryan Mattheus for virtually nothing (Mattheus for two months’ worth of Joe Beimel, Garcia as a minor league free agent), and they could end up being two huge cogs in their playoff bullpen.

      • dcfan4life - Sep 12, 2012 at 8:25 AM

        Anyone who understands baseball from the inside has to comend Mike Rizzo here. When Bowden came in and littered the Nats with bad Reds rejects i feel it may have backed us up. Well instead of going nuts with new owners Rizzo sticks to a plan, spends a little in the right place, and makes moves like u mentioned that work out really well. The big name Nats have been great, but players like Tyler Moore, Kurt Suzuki, Garcia, Clippard, Burnett, Desmond have been diamonds in the rough that had years of experience and came out of no where. Did Rizzo panic when Burnett had a 5 ERA and dump him? Nope, he knew he was better than his numbers suggest. Decisions like that make you have to put Rizzo in the talk of best GM in baseball dont they?

      • natstowngreg - Sep 12, 2012 at 12:49 PM

        Worst record to MLB to best record in MLB in 3 seasons. A farm system good enough to allow Rizzo to trade 4 prospects for a high-quality pitcher in Gio Gonzalez, and still provide depth for the 25-man roster. The record is there.

        The haters claim it was luck. As though luck were not a part of developing a good team. Yes, two of the best propects of their generation fell to the Nats. But another GM might have shied away from picking them. Another GM might have refused to negotiate record-setting contracts with Scott Boras. Another GM might not have had the leeway from ownership to pay the big bucks. Rizzo did not shy away, and got the deals done.

        In 20-20 hindsight, Stan Kasten erred in keeping Bowden as GM after the Lerners took over the franchise. Bowden did a few good things (ex., drafting Ryan Zimmerman and Ross Detwiler), but was otherwise a failure. Kasten did not err in hiring Rizzo from the D-backs to implement his plan for rebuilding the Nats the way he did with the Braves, around young talent.

    • natstowngreg - Sep 12, 2012 at 1:30 PM

      The Nats’ TV guys have what they call an ambush. It happens when a hitter jumps on the first pitch and hits the ball hard. That’s what Tyler Moore did to RA Dickey. He hit an inside hanging knuckleball (which looked just like a hanging cureveball) into the LF stands to give the Nats the lead…Jayson Werth was 5-for-5 getting on base, raising his OBP 11 points to .399…Monday, the Mets’ bullpen held the Nats hitless for 5 innings. Yesterday, the Mets’ bullpen returned to business as usual, with Frank Francisco and Josh Edgin allowing 2 in the 9th; as it turned out, the deciding runs.

      Te Nats regain the 2 games they lost last weekend, and lead the Braves by 7.5. According to James Wagner of The Washington Post, the divisional magic number is 13. John Lannan fills in for Stephen Strasburg today. Lannan is from Long Island and has experience pitching in New York, so it’s not like giving a spot start to some rookie. Young Matt Harvey, who has had a good start to this MLB carer, starts for the Metropolitans.

  2. Old Gator - Sep 12, 2012 at 6:22 AM

    The Feelies arrived at the Strange Attractor and discovered fossil trackways indicating that at one time, the Feesh had left the water and crawled on their feens across an ancient mud flat on their way to the basement. Writing in The Journal of Irreproducible Results, paleoludicists from the recently established department of coprolite studies at Macondo Community College speculated that this was actually evidence supporting Lovecraft’s theory that all life on earth was initiated by the Ancient Old Ones as a joke.

    The Iron Giant hit another solo home run. You know what this means, right? If he hits 21 more before the end of the season, he’ll have his first 100-RBI year.

    • nbjays - Sep 12, 2012 at 7:23 AM

      Y’know, Gator, the only thing better than my big ol’ mug of dark roast every morning is the weird humor in your posts coupled with the wonderful mental stimulation of trying to figure out what the hell you are saying. :-)

      Between you and Cur68, you make these boards a pleasure to read, which is all that’s left now that the Jays’ season is shot to hell. Could be worse, I suppose… I coulda been a Red Sawx fan.

      • Old Gator - Sep 12, 2012 at 8:01 AM

        Since you’re feeling so grateful this morning – and I don’t blame you a bit; a lot of hard work goes into my comments at 5AM when I’m not even awake yet and waiting for it to get light out so I don’t trip over the dog on the way to the bathroom – I encountered a remarkable brand of diet cream soda during my last trip to Toronto that beats the hell out of anything I have ever used to wash down a deli sandwich anywhere else on the planet. I cannot remember the name of the stuff. It came in bottles, not cans – no doubt the absence of trace amounts of dissolved aluminum contributed to its body and smoothness, but there was no mistaking the presence of the same superior Canadian craftsmanship that goes into your beers and ales.

        Any idea what the name of that stuff was? I’ve never come across it anywhere else, and will no doubt have to special order a case of it, but need the name. If you’re anywhere near Caplansky’s deli on College Street, I think I got it there – though I may also have had it at Yitz’s.

      • nbjays - Sep 12, 2012 at 11:50 AM

        Sorry I can’t help you out with that, Gator. Unfortunately, I live about 1360 kilometers (850 miles for you south-of-the-49th folks) from The Big Smoke – the “nb” part of my handle denotes “New Brunswick” – so I have no clue what brand it may have been. One question, though… was it the clear cream soda or the obnoxious red stuff?

      • Old Gator - Sep 12, 2012 at 12:35 PM

        Nahh, not the red stuff – I know what you’re talking about. It was more along the lines of light amber, like an ale. I sometimes wonder why I’m even chasing it down when you can’t find a smoked meat sandwich to eat with it in Macondo anyway. Pastrami, yeah, but it’s just not the same thing.

    • stex52 - Sep 12, 2012 at 8:57 AM

      The impression given is that the Feesh crawled out of the water, looked around, crawled back into the water and jettisoned that whole silly evolution thing.

      Coprolite studies? Don’t sign me up!

      Somewhere in here, playing the string out just gets tiring, doesn’t it? Even as much as we love the game.

      • Old Gator - Sep 12, 2012 at 10:23 AM

        I am crossing the desert of the desolated regular season with my gaze fixed resolutely upon the oasis of the playoffs. I kinda feel like Lawrence of Arabia, going back into the Nefud to rescue that idiot who fell off his camel.

  3. natslady - Sep 12, 2012 at 6:26 AM

    Oh, and the Nats have won 3 of 4 since the you-know-what. John Lannan tonight. He has to throw 105 strikes and a CG shutout or the Nats are doomed, doomed.

    • rockthered1286 - Sep 12, 2012 at 7:58 AM

      I believe, at least in my opinion, the sentiment has been that you cannot replace Strasburg’s starts, not the other games where he’s a nonfactor. Essentially, even if he was still on the active roster Nats would’ve won those games. He has no effect on anything but every 4th or 5th game. And yes if Lannan loses tonight it will be a hot topic. Personally I think it won’t effect their regular season at all. It’s the postseason where it’ll be more noticeable. again, all in my opinion. Prove me wrong and I’ll lock it up.

      • kkolchak - Sep 12, 2012 at 8:19 AM

        Look at Stras’s stats from July 31st until his last start:

        42 IP, 16 BB, 4.29 ERA, team record of 5-3 in his eight starts.

        Dude was obviously wearing down as the season wore on. Stras was dominant in the first half when the Nats’ offense was all banged up and they needed him to be. With the offense healthy and clicking, their pitchers no longer need to be outstanding, just good.

        Will it make a difference in the playoffs? We’ll never know one way or the other, except that if the Nats win it all we can definitively say it didn’t matter.

    • chadjones27 - Sep 12, 2012 at 8:32 AM

      I wonder if the Nats would have made the decision to shut down Strasburg if they weren’t running away with the NL East crown. If they were in contention for the wild card spots and had to have a 1-game wild card playoff, would they have been so eager to shut him down?

      • natstowngreg - Sep 12, 2012 at 1:00 PM

        They would have shut down Strasburg. Rizzo made that clear late last season, when Strasburg returned from the TJS. Before it was known that the Nats were headed to the playoffs. Some did not want to believe that Rizzo would do it. I did because Mike Rizzo strikes me as the kind of guy who sets a course and follows it. And he has followed it.

        Eager? Not at all. This was a difficult situation. Perhaps it would have been easier if Strasburg had suffered his injury earlier or later in the 2010 season. Perhaps, either he would be past the need for a limit already, or would be recovering from surgery. But that’s just speculation. This whole thing was not about wanting to shut him down, it was about believing that shutting him down was the right thing.

  4. dondada10 - Sep 12, 2012 at 6:30 AM

    Craig, The XX is awesome. That is all.

  5. johnnyb1976 - Sep 12, 2012 at 7:14 AM

    I think natslady is the alter ego of oldgator.

    • Old Gator - Sep 12, 2012 at 7:51 AM

      I don’t have an altar ego. I’m an atheist.

      • stlouis1baseball - Sep 12, 2012 at 12:15 PM

        I couldn’t help but notice one person in particular was missing from yesterday’s rumblings.
        Good call…and another reason why you are far more intelligent than I.
        So…what did you do with your time? Eat, drink and stay merry?

      • Old Gator - Sep 12, 2012 at 3:33 PM

        Essentially, yeah. I was baking a batch of banana bran muffins and a carambola upside down cake with a carombola creme filling, trying to make some use out of all the fruit our yard has been outputting this month. Most of all, though, a large and venerable literary organization has asked me to deliver the keynote address to its annual conference later this fall (my life as a graying eminence – so it goes), and I’ve been pretty much head-down into my belletristic labors. I would have had to work far too hard to insert some kind of rational commentary yesterday, and it would have been like pissing in the ocean. But I must admit, your own efforts oscillated between the Herculean and the Sisyphian. I was charmed by your repeated attempts to make sense, agree or disagree though I might. I can’t say that about too many others in the discussion.

  6. philsphilsphils - Sep 12, 2012 at 7:25 AM

    I’m not going to act like I’ve been here for the last 5 months but nice Phillies win.

    • heyblueyoustink - Sep 12, 2012 at 8:27 AM

      Well, I have been here for five months. Still a nice win, depsite the bullpen’s best efforts to blow it.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 12, 2012 at 8:37 AM

        Bullpen wasn’t actually bad. Utley tripping over his feet really screwed that inning. How about Aumont? That guy is nasty. I see where he can run into problems with command because of the movement on his pitches….but he has serious shutdown stuff. His splitter is ridiculous.

      • heyblueyoustink - Sep 12, 2012 at 9:16 AM

        His stuff is incredible, I just hope he keeps up with his consistency.

  7. proudlycanadian - Sep 12, 2012 at 7:59 AM

    The Gutierrez error was a shock. He was in a great position to catch the ball and just whiffed on it. Some scorers might not have given him an error because he did not touch the ball at all; however, the right call was made by the official scorer. Unfortunately for the Jays, they could not plate Johnson who had ended up on second.

  8. heyblueyoustink - Sep 12, 2012 at 8:20 AM

    Wait a second, wine at 6:06 AM? Are we trying to reignite the fire of Halcyon days here, Craig?

    • indaburg - Sep 12, 2012 at 8:27 AM

      Craig writes these things before he goes to the bed, and by the magic of the Internet, it automatically posts for him some time around 6 am. If there’s a game going on after his bedtime, he updates it in the morning.

      • kiwicricket - Sep 12, 2012 at 8:52 AM

        Auto-send nonsense! He drinks a bottle of Pinot in his underwear at 6am alright!

      • heyblueyoustink - Sep 12, 2012 at 9:19 AM

        I kid, inda, I kid. For the record, sigh, I don’t actually believe Craig is slamming down vino first thing in the morning.

        Now Maker’s Mark on the other hand…..

      • indaburg - Sep 12, 2012 at 9:27 AM

        Ah…my sarcasm meter is broken this morning. :-)

  9. schmedley69 - Sep 12, 2012 at 8:24 AM

    Phillies playoff rotation based on merit: 1) Kendrick 2) Hamels 3) Lee 4) Halladay

    • heyblueyoustink - Sep 12, 2012 at 9:21 AM

      Sure, if the Phils make it to wild the wild card game, I fully expect Kendrick to start the game. In other news, I think i’ll ride a unicorn today.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Sep 12, 2012 at 12:09 PM

        I despise KK as much as the next Phillies fan, but KK is 5-1 with a 1.49 ERA, 0.803 WHIP, 33/7 K/BB ratio in 42.1 innings his last 6 starts. Dude has been the best Phillies pitcher during their meteoric rise to mediocrity.

  10. indaburg - Sep 12, 2012 at 8:24 AM

    9-2 loss to the Orioles. So it really did happen. Ugh.

    The Rays didn’t just lose. They got spanked. The Orioles outplayed them in every category that mattered. Don’t even get me started on Matt Bleepin’ Wieters. Matt Wieters:Rays::Chipper Jones:Mets

  11. kiwicricket - Sep 12, 2012 at 9:01 AM

    Very costly error by Hunter in the 9th. Tried to trap the ball before it hit the wall…..backfired to the tune of several runs. Pujols was 1 for 9 in the series.
    Will Smith is a solid batter and a fantastic fielder(non glove edition!). The Royals or Twins could do worse, probably have already!

  12. biffnasty - Sep 12, 2012 at 9:02 AM

    I don’t understand how the xx got so popular recently. That being said, the 1st album is much better

  13. rockthered1286 - Sep 12, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    I do apologize for my absence over the past few days. Apparently my body decided it was going to adopty a few germs, who in turn took on a whole “divide and conquer” approach to life. Needless to say, I’m back to a point where cognitive functions are no longer a challenge, so here we go!

    And the yard birds do it AGAIN! This time we owned Matty Moore, no so much in tacking a ton of runs on the board, but more so in the sense of plate discipline, and getting his pitch count well into the 80’s through 4 innings. Top to bottom the lineup looked good. Lew Ford played solid D in RF to replace Nicky Markakis, and Party Hardy went yard twice, driving in 5 all together for the night.

    Right now, however, I am starting to worry about this teams post season hopes. We’ve lost our best pitcher (again) AND our leadoff who has been hitting up around .340 since the AS break. Definitely not a good combo. I hope we can make do with what we have, and I hope Tilly can get back into the rotation in Hammels absence, but man oh man would that be a painful way to go down.

    On a brighter note, we’ve opened up a 2 game lead on the Rays and back to a tie with the Yanks! Hopefully Boston continues to be dream killers in their series, and the O’s keep on throwing out W’s vs. the Rays.

    LEEGGOOOO!!!!

  14. mattyflex - Sep 12, 2012 at 9:44 AM

    Lorenzo Cain was just a yickety away from the cycle last night, and I understand if you don’t want to be the pitcher to give it up, but Perdomo threw at his face. Total and utter horseshit.

  15. pw38 - Sep 12, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    That had to be the longest extended home run trot in history by Beltre last night. Good the umps got it right though. The Rangers just need to keep on winning. There shouldn’t be any reason they can’t sweep the Indians and Mariners. Well, Seattle might pose a threat as they seem to be Rangers kryptonite this year. Still, the A’s refuse to go away and it almost seems like the schedulers had ESP when they scheduled the end of this season. This is going to be a wild ride to the finish for Texas. I think they’ll pull it out though.

  16. 4d3fect - Sep 12, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    “so the NL West is over”

    Hmm, interesting….

  17. APBA Guy - Sep 12, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    The pucker factor was massive among the A’s faithful last night. increasing to DEFCON 5 as Balfour got nobody out in the bottom of the 9th. Thank goodness Melvin actually manages (gone are the days of Macha and Geren: “He that am the closer shall be always the closer”) and he came and got Balfour. And thank goodness Blevins was “on” when called upon.

    Before that, though, the wiggling act by Straily to get out of jam after jam (first inning, Angels on first and third, no outs: pop-up by Pujols, strike out of Morales, strike out of Kendrick.) had the old pucker meter twitching. So when Balfour decided to get nobody out, the pucker shot from already tense to DEFCON 5 with well practiced, well warmed ease.

    Maybe some Angels fans are wondering what they have to do to beat the A’s. Well, just look at tape of last weeks’ sweep: don’t throw the ball down the middle. Moss has 18 HR’s in 201 AB’s. Carter has 14 in 177. There’s your slugging 1B alright, and all for around MLB minimum x2. And Crisp has two triples in two games. None of that happened in the Angels’ sweep last week.

    Anyway, having guaranteed the series split, the A’s throw AJ “Mix-a-Lot” Griffin against Ervin Santana. I hope the Angels enjoy seeing right handed change-ups. They saw a few last night. They’ll see more, and better, tonight.

  18. stlouis1baseball - Sep 12, 2012 at 12:26 PM

    The Cardinals are looking real good. Losers of 10 out of their last 14. Great times!

  19. sometimesimisscandlestick - Sep 12, 2012 at 12:46 PM

    As a very long time Giants fan, a six game lead with 20 to play does not seem like a lock to me.

  20. moogro - Sep 12, 2012 at 2:55 PM

    Thanks for the XX rec. That’s the first time in a long time a music rec wasn’t precious and boring and/or ProTools thin and one-dimensional. That and Now I know are great. Thanks!

  21. moogro - Sep 12, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    I loves me Gleeman, but aside from Motown you have way better taste in music than he does.

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