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And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

Sep 17, 2012, 5:45 AM EDT

Baltimore Orioles v Oakland Athletics Getty Images

Orioles 9, Athletics 5: Baltimore salvages one. Which is important for two reasons. Reason 1:  It’s their 82nd win of the year, which means they will finish above .500 for the first time in forever.  More importantly: they really just need to avoid the disaster west coast trip here. If they take care of business against the Mariners this week they can call the trip a success. Or at least a non-calamity. They hold a two and a half game lead over the Angels and trail New York by one. Thirteen pitchers used in this game, by the way.

Cardinals 5, Dodgers 2: It was the ninth pitcher — out of ten total — that let it get away for the Dodgers. John Ely came in for the top of the 12th inning and walked a dude, but then got two outs. Then: Jon Jay doubled in a run, Carlos Beltran was walked intentionally, Matt Holliday was hit by a pitch, Allen Craig singled in a run and Yadier Molina walked to force in another. That was it for Mr. Ely and the Dodgers, who fall out of a tie for the second wild card slot.

Indians 7, Tigers 6: Oh brother. Not only do the Tigers blow this one in the ninth to the Tribe, but Alex Avila got hurt too. Lonnie Chisenhall singled in the winning run off Jose Valverde, who blew a two-run lead, ending the Tigers four-game winning streak.

White Sox 9, Twins 2: The sweep. And a rare instance of one of the two Central contenders taking care of business against inferior division foes lately.

Astros 7, Phillies 6: Philly’s surge came to a crashing halt in Houston, where they dropped three of four to the woeful Astros. It’s a familiar story, though one that hasn’t been a chronic problem in the second half: pathetic middle relief, with Phillip Aumont and Antonio Bastardo blowing Roy Halladay‘s lead. Philly is four games back in the wild card now, with four teams ahead of them.

Cubs 13, Pirates 9: Wild card contenders losing to cupcakes is all the rage, apparently. Here the Pirates blew a 6-1 lead. Anthony Rizzo and Pedro Alvarez each had two homers. The Pirates have lost 12 of 15, including two of three to the Cubs.

Brewers 3, Mets 0: Wily Peralta tossed eight, two-hit shutout innings. Oh, and remember everyone who said that Ryan Braun was gonna fall off bigtime this year due to him being caught up in that testosterone business last year? Yeah, as if. Two more homers today. Braun is now hitting .312/.387/.602 with 40 homers and 103 RBI.  He should be a top MVP candidate again. Let’s see if he gets any love.

Braves 5, Nationals 1: The sweep. Still, I won’t be able to read this kind of thing without extreme anxiety until after the season is over:

Atlanta’s sweep solidified its return to the playoffs after a historic collapse in the final month last season. The Braves maintained a seven-game lead over the second wild-card spot, held by St. Louis, and are eight games up on the next club in the race, the Los Angeles Dodgers. It would take a more epic meltdown than even 2011 to squander that lead with only 15 games to go.

And that could never happen!  I’m …I’m almost certain of it.

Diamondbacks 10, Giants 2: Patrick Corbin wins the Helped His Own Cause Award, driving in four runs while tossing eight innings of two-run ball.

Angels 4, Royals 3: Dan Haren gave up three runs while pitching into the sixth and then a parade of relievers — Nick Maronde,Garrett Richards, Scott DownsJordan Walden and Kevin Jespen — shut the Royals down for the final three and a third. Mark Trumbo with a three-run homer. They remain two and a half back of the O’s in the wild card.

Reds 5, Marlins 4: Ryan Ludwick hit a go-ahead single in the 11th, capping a day in which the Reds got 17 hits but left a ton of men on base. Cincy avoids the sweep.

Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 0: The Jays avoid a sweep as well. Omar Vizquel had two hits. He’s about to pass Babe Ruth on the all-time hits list, by the way. I shall look no further than that stat and declare him Babe Ruth’s equal.

Yankees 6, Rays 4: Some people say the Yankees are too home-run dependent. Others say that small ball is no way to go. The Yankees compromised, doing both yesterday. Russell Martin hit a three-run homer. During that same inning the Yankees stole bases and Nick Swisher of all people had a sac bunt.

Rangers 2, Mariners 1: Texas is probably not too happy hearing all of that “The A’s are gunning for the division title, not just the wild card” talk. Their win and the A’s loss helps put that off a bit. Adrian Beltre hit a homer. Matt Harrison gave up one run over eight and two-thirds.

Padres 12, Rockies 11: Twenty-three runs on 27 hits is not unusual when Colorado is involved. It is unusual, however, when the game is played in San Diego.  Of course there is a BIG difference between day games at Petco and night games. Yonder Alonso wins it with a walkoff single.

  1. uyf1950 - Sep 17, 2012 at 6:47 AM

    The Yankees won and probably put the Rays postseason chances on life support. And maybe just maybe Martin’s bat is starting to come alive. In the month of September Martin is batting .293 with an OPS of .957 Granted it’s a small sample only 12 games but it is a good sign. Now if only those pesky Orioles would lose a little more often.

    • yankeesfanlen - Sep 17, 2012 at 7:31 AM

      I have been trying to define what I don’t like about the Yankees lineup. All I come up with is that the “role players” don’t have the snap of prior years in the same situation. No Shelley Duncan (his father’s underwear notwithstanding) for example. Ibanez and Jones pretty well shot from over-use. Janis Joplin’s friend and Ix-Nay don’t seem to cut it, and Nunez is an adventure in the infield if there ever was one.
      Guess 94 wins will have to take the division this year.

      • uyf1950 - Sep 17, 2012 at 7:53 AM

        Be thankyou you don’t have Shelley Duncan this year. But your right about Ibanez being over used but that was out of necessity. No on I think anticipated Gardner being out the entire year. Jones I don’t think it’s from over use. I just think Jones is done period. I have to admit I like Nix not the greatest offense threat but a heck of a lot better defensively than Nunez at least I think so.
        But Stewart and a couple of the others it wouldn’t break my heart if they were sent packing. The bullpen really concerns me. That needs some work over the winter as well. Going to be interesting what Cashman does this off season. Swisher and Martin are both FA’s. Then they also need to look at/for a starter. Yes, going to be a very interesting winter in Yankeeland.

      • uyf1950 - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:19 AM

        Edit button, it should have started out: Be “thankful” you don’t …….

  2. proudlycanadian - Sep 17, 2012 at 7:06 AM

    LOL! Babe Ruth (and Beep Beep for that matter), could not carry Omar Vizquel’s glove. I hope he passes Ruth in New York. I trust that Hard Ball Talk will post the prerequisite thread, just as you did for Beep Beep. Omar got the game winning RBI yesterday against the Red Sox with a 2 out single. Last week he beat the Sox with a sac fly. Cheers Craig!

    • yankeesfanlen - Sep 17, 2012 at 7:33 AM

      Beep-beep’s glove is hard to carry- it keeps ascending it’s so full of hot air.

    • kiwicricket - Sep 17, 2012 at 8:37 AM

      Best fielding SS in baseball for over a decade. Won’t happen very often, will be a shame to see him retire. My favorite player of all-time.

  3. Lukehart80 - Sep 17, 2012 at 8:16 AM

    That Padres/Rockies tilt was only the second game in Petco Park history in which both teams scored in double figures.

  4. stex52 - Sep 17, 2012 at 9:09 AM

    Tough for the Phillies this weekend, and I have to say rather unexpected for a team that was still in the hunt. But that’s baseball. The Astros may only be a fancy AAA team, but you still have to play better than an AAA game to beat them.

    • proudlycanadian - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:32 AM

      Hello Stex. I am in an AL only fantasy league. Are there any Houston players that I should consider next season?

      • stex52 - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:57 AM

        Probably not. But I don’t know how deep you go on talent. Jose Altuve at 2nd was a legitimate All-Star choice. He has surprised everyone with how well he has developed. I think he’s the real thing, but we will see how he does next year. He may do better; hopefully they put better players around him. Lowrie at shortstop is very good but has health issues. The Red Sox traded him for that reason. Wallace at first is interesting. He came up as an overweight, pure Moneyball kind of 1st baseman. He spent most of this season in the minors and came back up slimmer, better on defense, and able to hit the lefties. He has hit at every level, but next year is make or break. Nothing in the outfield. Castro at catcher hits decently, but his arm leaves much to be desired. Some possible potential at pitcher, but nothing I would gamble on.

        Three names in the minors (might be up next year) to keep an eye on. Jonathan Singleton at 1st base/3rd base (a very hot prospect from Phillie, presently AA). Jimmy Paredes at 2nd base/outfield. George Springer in center field (more likely 2014).

        All very speculative. It will be grim again next year.

      • proudlycanadian - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:05 AM

        Thank you.

  5. deathmonkey41 - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:37 AM

    Yes, Phillies fans- the curse of Ed Wade is alive and well. Suffer ye who driveth Ed from the City of Brotherly Love and then bring him back as a Special Consultant.

    • stex52 - Sep 17, 2012 at 10:59 AM

      Well Houston drove him forth. But don’t count on any special consultant deals.

  6. Loose Changeup - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    Orioles can’t claim a non-calamity here since they lost the home field advantage for the postseason against the A’s. With a 1-2 series their season record is 4-5 vs A’s.

    O’s have losing records against just 3 teams, and they all play in the West…TEX, OAK, and LAAOAOCCA

    Whatever though, winning season for the win!

    • pauleee - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:53 AM

      I’m stealin’ that one (but will give credit when credit is due).

  7. APBA Guy - Sep 17, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    Dan Straily showed yesterday why losing McCarthy, a shame on its own merits, was a problem the A’s can’t completely solve. He’s probably one-year removed from the kind of mound composure the other rookies have, and it showed yesterday as he continuously missed spots which the O’s were delighted to take advantage of. Buck managed the game well despite Wolf starting very poorly, giving up double, HR, double in the first inning. The two first inning runs were all the A’s got off Wolf while they posted 4 off Straily.

    The best news from the game was that the Horror of Hatteberg will not be in the booth for the upcoming A’s Road Trip of Death. Glenn Kuiper is probably exhausted from having to carry Lew Wolff’s paid mouthpiece for 20 games this year. Still the hope is that having Fosse back will serve as a good luck charm as the A’s do Detroit, NY, and Texas for 10 games. That’s the hope anyway.

  8. indaburg - Sep 17, 2012 at 12:41 PM

    Are there really only 15 games left to the regular season? That makes me sad. Is it just me, or did this season just fly by?

  9. gloccamorra - Sep 17, 2012 at 1:11 PM

    In the Padres-Rockies game, Yonder Alonso hit a single to left, and Everth Cabrera scored from second with a nifty hook slide on a close play at the plate. The Padres mobbed and hugged Alonso, but nobody hugged Everth Cabrera’s legs.

    • ch0psuey - Sep 17, 2012 at 3:06 PM

      He had a good day on the basepaths. Stay Hot Padres.

  10. natstowngreg - Sep 17, 2012 at 1:48 PM

    It was bad enough that the Braves swept the Nats. That should not happen. Worse was how the Braves swept the Nats. The visitors’ bats were silent; 6 runs in 3 games, and 2 of those scored when the Braves executed a sacrifice bunt play like the Bad News Bears. The Nats’ bullpen failed at some point in each game, while the Braves’ bullpen was close to perfect.

    The good news is, their lead is 5.5 games and their magic number is 11 (with 16 games to go). Also, the Nats have shown the resilience to snap out of short slumps. The bad news is, they may have lost another starter (Danny Espinosa), and they host two desparate teams this week, the Dodgers and Brewers. I still like the Nats’ chances to win the division, but am concerned about them limping into the playoffs.

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