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And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

Sep 20, 2012, 5:40 AM EDT

Atlanta Braves v Miami Marlins Getty Images

Braves 3, Marlins 0:  Kris Medlen continues his astounding second half, shutting out the Marlins for eight innings. The Braves have won his last 21 starts, which is the most any team has won any one pitcher’s starts since the Yankees and Whitey Ford from 1950-53. Is there any doubt who will be starting the wild card game for the Braves?

Brewers 3, Pirates 1: Nietzsche once said that hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torments of man. That kind of describes the Pirates season as they sink to .500 and look to sink farther still.  After how much hope there was in the middle of the summer, is this season’s now-likely less-than-.500 finish more depressing than the last 20? Kinda feels like it. Meanwhile, Marco Estrada has been like Kris Medlen north. He improves to 4-1 with a 1..23 ERA in his last six starts.

Phillies 3, Mets 2: Ryan Howard drove in the tying and winning runs with a two-run bomb in the ninth off Josh Edgin. Who is a left hander.  Meaning that Ryan Howard actually got a hit off a left hander. Is this real life?

Rays 13, Red Sox 3: A shame that a team can’t spread its runs over multiple games, because the nine extra ones here woulda helped the Rays elsewhere. The Red Sox used four pitchers in the sixth inning who walked six batters as the Rays scored seven runs.

Nationals 3, Dodgers 1Dodgers 7, Nationals 6: Day game: Jordan Zimmermann allowed one run over six innings and the bats eked out a couple of runs on sac flies and groundouts. In the nightcap, L.A. blew a 6-0 lead in the eighth but Matt Kemp hit a homer in the ninth to win it. And since everyone made a big deal out of it when he pitched well, it’s worth noting that Stephen Strasburg‘s stand-in John Lannan pitched here too and gave up six runs on eight hits in three and two-thirds.

Royals 3, White Sox 0: The AL Central leaders were shut out by Bruce Chen for six and two-thirds. Meanwhile …

Tigers 6, Athletics 2: Detroit beats the A’s again, with yet another homer from Miguel Cabrera.  Bad news for Oakland, though, as the lose Brett Anderson, who strained his oblique. That’s a big, big blow. Third straight loss for the A’s, who need to find a way to survive this road trip of death lest the Angels knock down the door.

Yankees 4, Blue Jays 2; Yankees 2, Blue Jays 1: Andy Pettitte came back and pitched effectively in game one and Ichiro had seven hits across both games of the doubleheader to pace the Bombers.  Derek Jeter got his 200th hit of the season to lead off the nightcap.

Cardinals 5, Astros 0: Lance Lynn has his second straight excellent start since coming back to the rotation. Maybe he just needed some time to clear his head.

Twins 6, Indians 4: Josh Willingham continues his outstanding year, smacking his 35th homer and driving in four. Those 35 bombs are the most any Minnesota Twin player has had since Harmon Killebrew hit 41 in 1970.

Rangers 6, Angels 2: Reader Lewp was so kind to me that he recapped this one himself for me and sent it in:

Rangers top Halos with pair of three-run frames

No Josh Hamilton. No Adrian Beltre. No worries.

Missing their big guns, the Rangers were faced with the challenge on Wednesday night of replacing 75 home runs and 216 RBIs. They didn’t bat an eye.

Thanks, Lewp!  Four game lead in the division for Texas. And no, it doesn’t look like the Angels are knocking down any doors.

Giants 7, Rockies 1: Matt Cain went eight and won his 15th. Pablo Sandoval homered. Seems like the Rockies stopped playing two months ago.

Orioles 3, Mariners 1: Another extra innings game, another win for Baltimore.  And don’t look to dumb luck here, look to (a) Adam Jones hitting a two-run homer in the 11th to once again bring home to Seattle how bad that trade was for them; and (b) look to dumb Mariners. Michael Saunders, specifically, who ended the game by getting caught stealing second when there were runners on the corners in the bottom of the 11th. Good effort, dude.

Diamondbacks 6, Padres 2: Weird passage from the AP game story: “The Diamondbacks are .500 since they were 64-64 on August 26.” I’m not sure if that’s supposed to be significant or not. Then again, the AP was confusing me a  lot yesterday. In my general news AP feed, the 10th story listed in the daily top ten was “Ben Vereen files for divorce.”  I’m not even sure if that was news in the 70s.  Heck, I wasn’t even sure Ben Vereen was still alive. Then I remembered, nope, it was Flip Wilson who was dead.

Reds 6, Cubs 5: Drew Stubbs hit an RBI single in the 11th after Brandon Phillips reached second on a popup that David DeJesus misplayed. The Reds played without Dusty Baker, who was in the hospital for an irregular heartbeat.  More on that later this morning on HBT.

  1. uyf1950 - Sep 20, 2012 at 6:00 AM

    Great day of baseball for the Yankee. The starting pitchers pitched extremely well and the bullpen did a great job. Well everyone in the bullpen except Robertson in the 1st game. And what can you say about the day Ichiro had 7 for 8 in the 2 games and an excellent catch in the 8th inning of the first game. Like I said great day of baseball for the Yankees.

    • uyf1950 - Sep 20, 2012 at 6:02 AM

      Did I mention that since joining the Yankees Ichiro is batting .317

      • kiwicricket - Sep 20, 2012 at 7:09 AM

        4hits, 4stolen bases….like it was 2005 or something.

      • proudlycanadian - Sep 20, 2012 at 7:31 AM

        I suspect that next season, the Yankees will want to keep Ichiro and let Swisher walk. The Jays pitching was OK yesterday with the exception of the first inning. Alvarez gave up 3 runs in the first inning he pitched and shut down the Yankees in his next 6 innings. I do not think that the Yankees would have won both games if Encarnacion had been able to play. Young short stop Adeiny Hechavarria continues to impress. He will will either play SS or second base next season.

      • uyf1950 - Sep 20, 2012 at 9:52 AM

        Proudly, you may very well be right. But keep in mind the Blue Jays were not the only team in those games yesterday that were having to make due with role players instead of their regulars. Just a thought.

    • deathmonkey41 - Sep 20, 2012 at 9:00 AM

      Another encouraging start from Phelps. Hopefully he can keep it up and crack the starting rotation next season.

  2. lewp - Sep 20, 2012 at 6:24 AM

    Just helping out here Craig:

    Rangers top Halos with pair of three-run frames

    No Josh Hamilton. No Adrian Beltre. No worries.

    Missing their big guns, the Rangers were faced with the challenge on Wednesday night of replacing 75 home runs and 216 RBIs. They didn’t bat an eye.

    Knocking out former teammate C.J. Wilson in the third inning, the Rangers beat the Angels, 6-2, behind Derek Holland. The victory lifted Texas to a four-game lead over the A’s, beaten again by the Tigers, and a 7 1/2-game advantage over the Angels in the American League West.

    • pw38 - Sep 20, 2012 at 4:35 PM

      Poor Ceej….not.

  3. randygnyc - Sep 20, 2012 at 6:44 AM

    I don’t know which story line from last night that I enjoyed most. Josh becket pitching well, then melting down as the onset of a diabetic coma set in during the 8th inning. He helped squander a 6-0 lead, giving up 4, behind a team that played poorly enough to barely win, but denied him the win in the process.

    Or how about Boston’s pitching. Dice K gave up FIVE, in 3 innings. Daniel Bard continued to murder his career. He managed to retire one hitter. He through 16 pitches. 4 for strikes. The bright side, he only gave up 1 hit. The bad news, he was tagged for THREE earned runs while managing to walk the ballpark (3 BB). It took a great deal of determination on Bard’s part to pitch more poorly after relieving Aceves. Ace managed to pitch 2 complete innings. He gave up 3 hits while walking only 2. He left the game after spotting the offensively inept Rays FOUR earned runs.

    Maybe it was the Muts, coughing up a 9th inning lead, one out away from victory? A 2 run homerun by the under paid Ryan Howard, keeps the Phluking phillies hopes alive.

    Dumbest finish. In extra innings the orioles broke a 1-1 tie by scoring 2 in the top of the 11th. In the next half inning the mariners lead of with 2 singles. Smoak grounds into a double play. Still a man on third, down a pair of runs. Michael Saunders walks (finally, tiring runs are on base again. So instead of letting Jaso take some swings, Saunders tries stealing 2nd base base. He’s not only caught stealing , but immediately the lights are turned out and before he can wipe the dust from his eyes, all the players and fans had left the stadium. The only person left was the local sheriff who wanted to arrest saunders for unauthorized attempted theft. Game over.

    But I think the best story line was Ichiro’s performances. The Yankees managed a doubleheader sweep over the bluejays. Pettitte makes a successful return in game 1. Ichiro’s manges to go 7-8 in the twin bill. He scored 2 runs in the first game and hit the game winning hit in the nightcap. He racked up 9 total bases, while swiping 4 bases during the late game.

  4. papalurchdxb - Sep 20, 2012 at 6:47 AM

    The O’s win in extras again, giving them a 4 game lead over the Angels in the WC race – the balance of their season is against the desperate Jays, RedSox & Rays – playoffs are yours to throw away Baltimore – keep it running!

    • Jeremy T - Sep 20, 2012 at 1:20 PM

      I’m starting to think the entire city of Baltimore got together and made a collective deal with the devil. Which I really don’t think is a very original idea, since “Damn Yankees” already covered that territory.

      • natstowngreg - Sep 20, 2012 at 1:50 PM

        Too bad Washington isn’t in the AL anymore. Though who knows, someday the Yankees and Nats may meet in the World Series. Headline writers would have a field day with that.

      • Jeremy T - Sep 20, 2012 at 3:04 PM

        True, I guess Baltimore is the closest they could get, geographically

  5. East Coast Raider - Sep 20, 2012 at 6:56 AM

    Hey HBT, why are you not bringing up the atrocious call in the second Nats/Dogers game? Zimmerman had a tag play at third before a Dodger crossed the plate, but the bonehead umps weren’t watching, so when Mattingly came out and demanded they give him the run, they did. Replay showed that it wasn’t even CLOSE, and the game ended in a one-run loss for the Nats.

    Sure, they should have never allowed that many runs, but in a one-run game with several playoff implications, how can you not bring it up?

    • voteforno6 - Sep 20, 2012 at 7:49 AM

      I’m not sure that it’s possible to overstate how bad that call was. It’s quite clear that none of the umpires were paying attention. They were just responding to Mattingly complaining to them. Considering how many spectacularly bad calls that I’ve seen this year just at Nats games (and may have led to as many as three losses for them), I have to wonder if now’s the time to go to an expanded replay system.

      • East Coast Raider - Sep 20, 2012 at 7:55 AM

        What really confused me was the umps were not going to do anything until Mattingly argued, so they obviously didn’t see enough to rule on it. If you didn’t see it, wouldn’t you err on the side of caution and not give away a free run? I know I’m probably sounding like a Nats homer, but if anyone didn’t see it, look up the replay. It genuinely wasn’t close.

      • voteforno6 - Sep 20, 2012 at 8:10 AM

        Well, I’m a Nats homer as well, but I’d like to think that I’m honest enough to admit that Adrian Gonzalez was safe at first earlier in the game. That being said, I have to wonder what they were talking about when they consulted with each other. I would be surprised if it was anything other than that none of them saw what happened. In fact, I’m not so sure that Davey or Jesus did either, or they might have gone ballistic. Interesting to note, though, is that F.P. was all over that call on the broadcast – I think he had it pegged even before Mattingly stepped out of the dugout.

      • escapingexile - Sep 20, 2012 at 8:28 AM

        Dodger fan here, and yes, that call was atrocious. Despite it being in our favor, I hate to see the ultimate outcome of a game being decided by an umpire. That being said, it’s nice to be on the good side of an errant call for a change. We had a game in Colorado earlier in the year where Jerry Hairston was deemed out at first base, despite the fact that Todd Helton had his foot about three feet off the bag. When can we get rid of the replacement refs? Oh crap, can’t even wait for that, wrong sport.

      • sumerduckman - Sep 20, 2012 at 9:07 AM

        That was one of the most egregious calls I have ever seen.

        Someone needs to record that on VHS, and mail it to Emperor Selig so he can see the evidence for the necessity of instant replay.

        It could be set with each team’s manager getting a little red piece of cloth they could only throw once onto the field to request a review. Since they only get one possible review a game, it would not slow down the game, but would help stop game deciding bullshit calls.

      • voteforno6 - Sep 20, 2012 at 9:18 AM

        @sumerduckman:

        Maybe they ought to mail that tape to Roger Goodell…he could use some more replacement referees.

      • kevinbnyc - Sep 20, 2012 at 11:06 AM

        There is no appetite for expanded replay.

    • manchestermiracle - Sep 20, 2012 at 8:50 AM

      A) Didn’t get to see the games. How is it that two teams battling for playoff position (Nats are in, Dodgers likely not) aren’t on national TV? Especially a rare double-header?
      B) How is it that a team (Nats) that has been good all year can’t draw a measly 27,000 fans? In the middle of a pennant race?

      • East Coast Raider - Sep 20, 2012 at 9:01 AM

        The Nats have been on TV a good deal this year, so I can’t really complain about that. As for the fans at the game issue, I see this a lot and it’s a perfectly fair question. This is just one guy’s opinion, but I’m comfortable saying it since I’ve been to 10+ games a year, so I can see the difference this year:

        1. The team is finally winning, but before this year, they were pretty bad. The turnaround has been stong, but the Nats will need another year or two like this before they can keep butts in the seats.

        2. The DC metro region has a lot of people who moved there, but grew up somewhere else. There are always a lot of opposing fans, because many carry their favorite team with them when they move here.

        3. The park’s parking lot system really doesn’t help. Since it’s built downtown, the Metro is pushed as the best way to get to a game. There are small parking lots scattered throughout the area, but no major parking lot like a lot of the parks.

        These aren’t excuses, I think people are crazy not to embrace this kind of season. But just my thoughts.

    • East Coast Raider - Sep 20, 2012 at 9:03 AM

      AGon was definitely safe earlier on. I agree. I guess I’m just used to seeing those kind of bang-bang plays a lot more than the one later in the game. But good point. Why can’t there just be an ump in the back with a TV that can radio down any time there is a really bad call? Not a balls and strikes judgment call, but actual plays like those two?

    • natstowngreg - Sep 20, 2012 at 1:58 PM

      I saw the play live, sitting behind 3B, applauding Ryan Zimmerman for hustling after the ball and making the play to end the half-inning. Then we saw the umps conferring, with Mattingly close by. Strange. Eventually, my fellow (half) season ticket holder got a tweet from Adam Kilgore explaining it. There was no replay on the scoreboard and, as usual, no explanation to the fans.

      As for the apetite for instant replay, there is. The lack of apetite lies more in MLB HQ.

  6. kiwicricket - Sep 20, 2012 at 6:59 AM

    Who pee’d in CJ Wilsons cornflakes yesterday? Cut a dour and pathetic figure, pitched like it also. Angels base running was awful.
    Derek Holland sporting some pretty spiffy socks, leading the league in funk.

  7. darthicarus - Sep 20, 2012 at 7:16 AM

    Watching Miguel Cabrera these past few weeks (well heck the whole season actually) has been quite a treat. I think Harold Reynolds said it best last night when he stated he didn’t think he would ever see a Triple Crown winner in his lifetime but Cabrera is one of those “special” players.

    Fingers crossed the big fella keeps it up though I would probably still rather have the Tigers make the playoffs having a Triple Crown winner would be rather impressive.

    • overfro4 - Sep 20, 2012 at 9:33 AM

      As much as I don’t support Craig when be bashes the Phightin’s at EVERY possible opportunity, thie whole Cabrera for MVP stuff needs to stop. Dave Cameron put’s it nicely here: http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/mike-trout-miguel-cabrera-and-measuring-value/

      As for your arguement: Unless you somehow show me a leverage index where Cabrera is taking these amazingly highly leveraged AB’s on a consistent basis then there is no way to measure this. What you’re doing is throwing all these intantigibles around, trying to actually predict what players are thinking and what their real motivations are, as well as making assumption about a player “carrying a team” when the best statistic for value to a team is WAR and without taking into account Trouts still stellar defense. If you are using intangibles like “leadership”, “grit”, and that ilk, you are just throwing s#&t again the wall and hoping it sticks.

  8. philliesblow - Sep 20, 2012 at 7:37 AM

    Stats since August 1:

    Mike Trout: .280 BA 9 HR 22 RBI

    Miguel Cabrera: .362 BA 16 HR 45 RBI

    Both teams are fighting for a play off spot. One player is fading while the other is Superman. MVP’s come through at winning time.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Sep 20, 2012 at 7:44 AM

      The Tigers won and the White Sox lost last night. Do the Tigers gain two games on Chicago because it’s “winning time?” Do the games count more?

      Or are you just seeing what you want to see?

      • philliesblow - Sep 20, 2012 at 8:08 AM

        September stats:

        Cabrera: .371 – 8 – 21
        Trout: .274 – 2 – 3

        Technically the games don’t count more, but with fewer games left in the season there is less room for error and winning is at a premium. I see one player excelling when his team needs him and another fading.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Sep 20, 2012 at 8:10 AM

        The Tigers needed Cabrera earlier in the year just as much as they need him now. And back then he performed far worse than Trout.

      • darthicarus - Sep 20, 2012 at 8:25 AM

        Chris Sale did get “out-dueled” by Bruce Chen so I think that should count as two losses. (humble opinion of a Tigers fan)

      • cur68 - Sep 20, 2012 at 8:30 AM

        I think Craig you’re missing the point. You’re ignoring the human element here with a straight up logic argument. Sure, your logic is fine. The games do count equally, if you look at the season as a whole. But games played in mid-July are not played with the same sense of urgency as those played in September (even if they should be). What you’re talking about, though correct, is not at all how people’s minds work, not at all how they perform a difficult task under pressure.

        Fewer and fewer games remain: its very likely that in the minds of the athletes there is less room for error now. Less room to think “I’ll do better next time”. Now its crunch time. Performance, in the minds of those competing, REALLY counts.

        The perception being put forth here is that the guy folding it up is Trout: he sees his team under the gun and he’s trying harder and failing more. Cabrera’s been here before: he’s trying harder and succeeding. Which guy is more valuable in a pressure packed situation? ¿Si or no, Cabrera? To me, that’s what these guys (phillisblow & detroit1) are talking about and, give them some credit, they have a point: its way more valuable to have a guy like Cabrera who can play like his hair is on fire in a pressure situation in September than Trout who plays like he’s choking in the clutch.

      • proudlycanadian - Sep 20, 2012 at 9:38 AM

        Craig is a lawyer and is doing his best to win his case; however, Cabrerra has been a gret hitter for several years and has been close to winning it the last few years. He is due to win. Trout’s is young. If he can continue to hit well, he will get many opportunities to win in the future.

      • kalinedrive - Sep 20, 2012 at 4:43 PM

        Cabrera
        Mar/Apr .298/.368/.571/.940
        May .331/.371/.468/.839
        Jun .311/.387/.604/.990
        Jul .344/.409/.677/1.086
        Aug .357/.429/.663/1.092
        Sep .371/.438/.823/1.261

        Trout
        Mar/Apr .091/.167/.182/.348
        May .324/.385/.556/.941
        Jun .372/.491/.531/.950
        Jul .392/.455/.804/1.259
        Aug .284/.366/.400/.866
        Sep .273/.368/.394/.762

        When did Cabrera perform “far worse” than Trout?

  9. detroitr1 - Sep 20, 2012 at 8:05 AM

    His point has nothing to do with closing in on the Sox. What he sees are the stats between Trout and Cabrera. Cabrera is close to the Triple Crown and has not regressed all season and yet the MVP conversation was decided back in July.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Sep 20, 2012 at 8:09 AM

      My point is that games count the same in July as they do in September, and thus the things a player does to win a game in July counts the same as it counts in September, thus you cannot discount a player’s July performance and elevate a player’s September performance.

      Maybe if Cabrerea was better in July the Tigers wouldn’t be behind in the race right now? Is that excused?

      • detroitr1 - Sep 20, 2012 at 8:15 AM

        Cabrera’s July stats:

        Monthly Totals 96 22 33 5 0 9 23 12 12 1 0 .409 .677 1.086 .344

      • voteforno6 - Sep 20, 2012 at 8:34 AM

        I agree with you in that you shouldn’t elevate performance in one month over another – you should look at the entire body of work. When you compare these two players, in my opinion, Cabrera has had the superior season. He has a slightly higher batting average, significantly more home runs, and over forty more RBIs than Trout.

      • cur68 - Sep 20, 2012 at 8:40 AM

        voteforno6: good points all. BUT you neglect to mention Cabrera is pouring it on now, when the psychological pressure to perform is highest. If MVP voting was done by Vulcans then Trout’s overall play wins the day, easy. But its not voted on by Spock et al. now is it?

      • Lukehart80 - Sep 20, 2012 at 9:38 AM

        vote, you’re totally ignoring base running and defense, two areas in which Trout has a HUGE edge on Cabrera.

      • kalinedrive - Sep 20, 2012 at 10:09 AM

        You don’t have to run the bases when you can trot around them or cruise into 2nd with a standup double, and any CF is going to look more defensively impressive than a 3B because gosh, they have to run sometimes to catch a fly ball. Wow, he’s 20 years old and he can run. Amazing skill.

      • pw38 - Sep 20, 2012 at 4:39 PM

        This reminds me of earlier in the season when the Angels were stinking it up and their fans were saying “it’s early, it’s early”. Wish you’d had a game or two back then now, huh?

  10. rockthered1286 - Sep 20, 2012 at 8:09 AM

    And the yard birds do it AGAIN!! I’ll admit, I had no interest in facing King Felix last night. Wasn’t exactly optimistic, but who would be? Got a runner to 2nd in the first two innings, but no dice. Then it seemed like the king locked in once the 3rd roller around and any chance we had of scoring on him was out the window. And for the most part it was. But Adam Jones…the dude is impressive. A dinger like that was sure to sour the Seattle fans even more and I’m sure the name Beddard was mumbled somewhere in that stadium in the 11th last night…

    4-2 left coast trip. 4 game winning streak. Keeping up with the Bronx Bombers, and a day off. Not too shabby O’s.

    And one more note- Praise to Taylor Teagarden!!! As mentioned last night he had a GW RBI in the 18th, and 3 of his 7 hits this year were GW’s. (6 of 7 for RBI’s). Last night instead of the bat? Does it behind the plate throwing out Saunders to end the game. You do NOT run on the Orioles.

    LEEGGOOOOOOO!!!!

    • rarson - Sep 20, 2012 at 12:33 PM

      I watched the highlights, that really was an impressive throw by Teagarden. He hadn’t really impressed me too much defensively up to that point, but that throw was perfectly placed. That guy is basically clutch as hell.

  11. heyblueyoustink - Sep 20, 2012 at 8:22 AM

    “Nietzsche once said that hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torments of man.”

    That’s two existentialists in a week. Craig, do you need some xanax, dude? Too much of those somewhat tortured fellows disbalances the humors. And then come the leeches.

    Go for a little early English Romanticism instead, you know, like William Blake and free love and all. Be a happy, albiet, walking around in the garden naked type of progressive.

    Or a little George Gordon, st least thee shall laugh.

    • indaburg - Sep 20, 2012 at 9:17 AM

      “Hope is the thing with feathers
      That perches in the soul
      And sings the tune without the words
      And never stops at all.”
      ― Emily Dickinson

      • heyblueyoustink - Sep 20, 2012 at 10:58 AM

        “There is something pagan in me that I cannot shake off. In short, I deny nothing, but doubt everything.”

        George Gordon

    • umrguy42 - Sep 20, 2012 at 10:14 AM

      “Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”

      • moogro - Sep 20, 2012 at 4:46 PM

        “That is not dead which can eternal lie.
        And with strange aeons even death may die.”

        H.P. Lovecraft

        “Only the dead go free.”

        Roger Waters

    • cur68 - Sep 20, 2012 at 11:01 AM

      Hope? I don’t hope. I just do things based on experience, knowledge, study or logic. I do things one after the other, in a certain order. Then, if I’ve picked the right things, in the right order, it all works out. If it doesn’t, I find out why and try again and do it differently. I can’t afford hope…but I wish I could.

  12. ncphilliesguy - Sep 20, 2012 at 8:32 AM

    I’m sure someone can come up with a stat that says Howard’s 2 run homer to win the game with 2 outs in the ninth off a left-hander didn’t really happen. This would likely improve Craig’s mood. Maybe a stat that correlates strikeouts in July with HR’s during “winning time”.

  13. sdelmonte - Sep 20, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    A tip of the hat to Matt Harvey, who ends his first season in the majors with a very strong performance. After a lead-off home run by Rollins, Harvey held the Phil hitless over the next seven innings. He finishes the year with a WHIP of 1.15,a 2.73 ERA, and 70 Ks to only 26 walks. He also had a .333 BA, which puts him ahead of everyone else who played last night.

  14. APBA Guy - Sep 20, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    The Road Trip of Death (it must be capitalized, Craig) continued in disturbing fashion. The A’s looked a lot like their 2011 incarnation last night, with lackluster play, missed pitching locations, and a hideous performance punctuated by “non-clutchiness” with runners in scoring position. In short, the looked like the Marlins. OG, I feel your pain.

    Much was made of Cabrera’s HR on a pitch up and out of the zone, with announcers hyping the achievement as if it had never been done nor would it ever be done again. Of course, Matt Kemp would do exactly the same thing in the Dodgers second game. That’s pretty fast company, though.

    But it shows that even when the A’s were trying to miss the zone, they couldn’t execute their pitches. Before he was hurt, Detroit showed their veteran presence by bunting twice off Brett Anderson, both beautifully executed in the triangle between the pitcher, catcher and 1B. Even Gerald Laird beat out his bunt (where I think Anderson was actually hurt). This is vintage Leyland: Anderson had mowed down the heart of the order, but he’d missed Spring traing and all that PFP: let’s see how he’s moving around the mound. Answer: not well, not well at all.

    What stood out last night is how the bottom of the Tigers order beat the A’s pitching after it had been the top of the order on Tuesday: everybody’s pitching in, the sign of a good team playing well.

    The A’s have fallen behind the O’s in the playoff race, but still hold the second wild card with 8 games remaining in the Road Trip of Death. The suddenly vulnerable rotation is now: Milone, Parker, Blackley, Griffin and Straily. Nervous times for the A’s faithful.

  15. Loose Changeup - Sep 20, 2012 at 12:36 PM

    As an O’s fan, I loved Olivo’s bunt foul popup with one on, one out in the 10th. Classic DH work right there.

  16. rarson - Sep 20, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    Kinda cool seeing the game end on a caught stealing. What a throw. I surely did not think Teagarden had it in him, but he’s been impressive in late-inning situations.

  17. moogro - Sep 20, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    “Nationals 3, Dodgers 1; Dodgers 7, Nationals 6: Day game: Jordan Zimmermann allowed one run over six innings and the bats eked out a couple of runs on sac flies and groundouts.”

    Nice use of eke out, Craig. You can eke out more runs, but you can’t eke out a win. Thank you, more of this.

    • natstowngreg - Sep 20, 2012 at 2:03 PM

      Too often this season, the Nats have failed to eke out enough runs to support Jordan Zimmermann’s good pitching. Nice to see them eke out enough runs last night. And yes, “eke out” is an appropriate description.

      • moogro - Sep 20, 2012 at 4:51 PM

        Nice. Maybe HBT will someday be the shining light on the hill for all to see.

      • natstowngreg - Sep 20, 2012 at 5:51 PM

        Let’s not get carried away here. :)

  18. natstowngreg - Sep 20, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    A beautiful afternoon and evening. An opportunity to escape from the office a bit early. Baseball with playoff significance. Two — count ‘em, two — games done well in time to catch a Metro train home. They even corrected the problem at previous doubleheaders, where the concessions shut down between games.

    The only things missing were (1) better management of the many requests to exchange tickets from Tuesday night’s rainout (it started to get a little ugly while I was in line) and (2) another ridiculous, come-from-behind Nats win in the second game. On the whole, it reminded me of the saying by Buffalo Bills coach Marv Levy: “where would you rather be than right here, right now?”

    Game 1: See comments about “eke out” above. Watching Zimmermann, Gio, and Detwiler is a little furstrating. They throw too many pitches, walk too many, occasionally can’t get through the 6th. But then they come out of the game, you look at the scoreboard, and tohe opponent has only 1-2 runs. Such was Zimmermann’s start.

    Nats Park isn’t really much of a park for hitting triples. A lot of doubles are hit to, or off, the 15-foot high out of town scoreboard in RCF (some would be homers in other parks). Where others hit doubles in that area, Bryce Harper hits triples (as he did in this game). Watching the game live, you know he’s going to try for three, and usually make it. That alone makes Young Mr. Harper one of the most exciting players in MLB.

    Game 2: Sigh, another simplistic, baseless generalization about Nats fans. Oh well. John Lannan did pitch well in New York, which was worthy of note. He did not pitch well last night, which is also worthy of note.

    Who knew Josh (Beer and Chicken) Beckett would pitch 7 shutout innings? Who knew Josh Beckett would implode in the 8th? After the Dodgers got a decent-sized lead, Davey played this like, “the season is long, we’ll get ‘em tomorrow.” He used the bottom of his bullpen and took out Ryan Zimmerman, Adam LaRoche, and Jayson Werth. Lo and behold, the Nats did one of their comebacks. Sitting (well, a lot of standing was involved) during the rally, the thought occurred, if the Nats win this, the Dodgers are finished. Not mathematically, but emotionally. Matt Kemp and Brandon League prevented that.

    The Nats’ magic number for the playoffs is 1, for the division title 9. The Reds are still a threat for the #1 seed, should the teams meet in the NLCS. Ross Detwiler vs. Chris Capuano tonight.

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