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And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

Sep 28, 2012, 5:40 AM EDT

New York Mets starting pitcher R.A. Dickey reacts to the crowd after getting his 20th win of the season after the Mets defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates in their MLB National League baseball game at CitiField in New York Reuters

Mets 6, Pirates 5: R.A. Dickey wins his 20th, striking out 13 in the process. I don’t care if wins aren’t supposed to matter. It’s cool. He’s old and he struggled for years and he has no freaking ligament in his elbow and he seems like a pretty cool guy and all of that and I am happy as hell that he hit a milestone that, these days, is pretty rare.  Also: that Travis Snider catch in case you missed it. Dear God.

Tigers 5, Royals 4Because of events and things, I am officially no longer allowed to mention the Tigers’ starting pitcher’s name in print again. But suffice it to say, he did well.

Rays 3, White Sox 2: Rays playing spoiler? Bah, they could still make this dance. They have these games against the White Sox and then three against Baltimore. Meanwhile the Sox have lost three straight to fall two games behind the Tigers in the AL Central.  Gettin’ crazy.

Giants 7, Diamondbacks 3: Two run homers for both Hunter Pence and Marco Scutaro and another solid start from Barry Zito. It’s the most wins Zito has had in a season since he signed his gigantic deal with the Giants. And the Giants have won ten straight of his starts.

Rockies 7, Cubs 5: Rockies sweep the Cubs behind a lot of hits and homers. I’m sorry, it’s September 28 and it’s really hard to get it up to say anything even quasi-insightful about a Cubs-Rockies series.

Mariners 9, Angels 4: John Jaso hit a two-run homer and an RBI double and the Angels lost a game they needed to win. Which is basically all of them now, of course, but still. Oakland lost and all, and it was a chance to gain some ground.

Rangers 9, Athletics 7: Despite Mike Adams‘ best efforts — he gave up three homers in two-thirds of an inning — the Rangers prevail, splitting the series with the A’s. Jumping out to an early 5-0 lead helps matters.

Reds 2, Brewers 1: John Axford couldn’t hold a 1-0 lead in the ninth despite getting the first two outs. That’s not some colossal failure or anything, but dudes, if the bullpen held half of the number of leads a typical bullpen holds throughout the season the Brewers would be playoff bound.

Nationals 7, Phillies 3: Gio gets his 21st win. Two homers for Michael Morse. One for Bryce Harper.

Blue Jays 6, Yankees 0: More like Ivan NoGOOD, am I right? Anyone? Eh, ok. Maybe not (4.2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER). Brandon Morrow, in contrast, tossed seven shutout innings. Three runs driven in for Edwin Encarnacion. The Yankees lead is back down to 1.

Braves 6, Marlins 2: Miami continues to sleepwalk to the end of the season. Dan Uggla drove in three.

Dodgers 8, Padres 4: L.A. is now three games back of the Cardinals, but as is the case with everyone else in that boat, you basically gotta win every game left and hope the other guys lose every game and that’s just not happening.

Padres played the Dodgers late. I suppose I’ll update this when I wake up, but the world is ceasing to care at this point.

  1. indaburg - Sep 28, 2012 at 6:21 AM

    Ask me how happy I am in this morning. Go ahead.

    Last night’s Rays-White Sox had me pacing around the entire house like a caged tiger at the zoo, as Big Game James loaded the bases not once, but twice in back to back innings with no outs. His stuff wasn’t sharp last night, and the fact that both times the Rays got out of it with only giving up one run is more a testament of how poorly the ChiSox have been hitting with RISP the past couple of weeks than Shield’s pitching. AJ being AJ, he tried to lie himself out of a strike out by claiming a foul tip when the ball missed his bat by about 2 feet. The umps are unto that odious chinless frosted hair tipped dirty playing machine.

    Two weeks ago, I had come to terms with the likelihood of no post-season this year. Damn these bastard Rays to heck for making me feel that most dangerous of emotions, hope. If the Rays keep playing like they have, going 1-0 on any given day, the final series of the year with the Orioles is going to be really, really fun for Rays fans, and for fans of fun and baseball lunacy. I may need some Xanax to get through it. These Rays do have a flair for the dramatic, non?

    • number42is1 - Sep 28, 2012 at 9:30 AM

      how happy are you this morn… oh i see what you did there….

      • indaburg - Sep 28, 2012 at 12:33 PM

        I am ecstatic. Thanks for asking. :-)

  2. yankeesfanlen - Sep 28, 2012 at 7:41 AM

    Six games left, any guesses as to whether the old Chevy will start? By that time, Bobby V. will be serving fried chicken and beer in BOTH clubhouses and there will be a U-Haul truck idling on Yawkey.

  3. kkolchak - Sep 28, 2012 at 7:42 AM

    According to Nats Insider Mark Zuckerman, if Gio Gonzalez were to skip his last scheduled start next Tuesday, he would be the first pitcher in MLB history to win 20 games while pitching less than 200 innings. In fact, one incredible aspect of his amazing 21-8 record is that he has only THREE no decisions despite rarely pitching beyond the 7th inning.

    • Old Gator - Sep 28, 2012 at 7:50 AM

      He’s been remarkable. It makes me slightly ill to recall how halfassedly the Feesh conseedered and then shrugged him off during the orfseason. So it goes. One can only shrug and say “poo-tee-weet” and hope the rain brings out the worms.

    • natslady - Sep 28, 2012 at 8:02 AM

      I love me some Gio. Can’t believe how he recovered from the first two innings yesterday. Do you think it was nerves? McCatty said he threw only 13 warmup pitches and he was “underamped.” However, looking at wins with under 200 innings, there is this:

      It should be noted that Pedro Martinez’s 21st win in 1999 was a complete game that brought his innings total up to 188.1. His last 8 starts that season he pitched 62 innings, gave up eight earned runs, and struck out 107 of the 230 batters he faced. That’s basically Craig Kimbrel for 8 innings a night, for six weeks.

      —from You Can’t Predict Baseball

      • kkolchak - Sep 28, 2012 at 8:12 AM

        Gio’s one main problem seems to be an occasional loss of his command. If he ever overcomes that, he could well make that last step to having the kinds of seasons Pedro had in his prime.

    • natstowngreg - Sep 28, 2012 at 9:40 AM

      And the Nats won the 3 starts when Gio didn’t get a decision.

      Couple of interesting things last night. One, the Nats scored more than 4 runs in consecutive games for the first time since September 10-11 in New York. Granted, this time it was against Kyle Kendrick and Tyler Cloyd, but the offense has been inconsistent lately. One hopes to see more run scoring going into the playoffs. Second, the Nats bullpen finally set up the way it set up last season, and was supposed to this season. Sean Burnett, Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen pitching a scoreless inning each.

      The Nats take their magic number of 3 to St. Louis. Edwin Jackson vs. Adam Wainwright. We could expect a repeat of August 30-31 when the Nats won 8-1 and 10-0, but that is rather unrealistic.

    • APBA Guy - Sep 28, 2012 at 11:59 AM

      Gio always had the arm. Trouble was he didn’t always know where the pitch was going. But everyone at the Mausoleum could see the life on his fastball, and the movement on his breaking stuff. He had the second best arm after Bret Anderson, and better overall stuff than Cahill. The A’s package for him (Milone, Norris, Peacock, AJ Cole) was substantial, with Milone and Norris contributing to this year’s wild card run. I don’t think we (A’s fans) saw him dominating right away, because he seemed to need substantial support around him (ie, Braden, the Gio Whisperer) but clearly he’s been fantastic this year right along with the rest of the Nationals.

  4. Old Gator - Sep 28, 2012 at 7:47 AM

    There’s sleepwalking and then there’s not even getting out of bed, Craig. Maybe – maybe – they snored a little, but even the machine that goes peeng! couldn’t detect many signs of life from this team. I didn’t even bother to watch the Feesh last night – I repaired to the Luna Star Cafe in Macondo Norte to be served and arugula, blackcurrant, goat cheese and wild game sausage salad and an ICA mango essence beer by the lissome Brie, listen to some music and just ignored the goings-off up in Atlanta. I’m going to save my enthusiasm for whatever playoff team strikes my fancy and be entertained by the clubhouse lojinks down at Macondo Banana Massacre Field as the Rainbow Warriors come home and get swarmed by the local spawrts tawrk raydeeo hosts (in the sense that if you have a tapeworm or a prion-vectored neurological infection, you’re its host). You just know one of these barely warm bodies is going to say something stupid as soon as somebody shoves a microphone in their faces.

  5. proudlycanadian - Sep 28, 2012 at 7:51 AM

    Jay’s fans were left with “what ifs” after yesterday’s game against the Yankees. Morrow, Lawrie and Arencibia are just rounding into form after their long injury layoffs. EE has been consistently good, but a combination of Bautista and Encarnacion would have resulted in a lot more wins. We can only say “Wait until next year”.

    • Old Gator - Sep 28, 2012 at 7:55 AM

      PC – heading up your way in early November for the Cowboy Junkies show at the Burlington Arts Center on 11/2. Smoked meat sandwich and a Boylan’s diet cream soda (yep, Zane Caplansky emailed me back and gave me the name of the stuff)? We can commiserate about the way it feels to live in the basement.

      • proudlycanadian - Sep 28, 2012 at 8:19 AM

        Enjoy your trip. Burlington is a nice small city with a pleasant waterfront on Lake Ontario. Joseph Brant lived there after his departure from the US. Some sections of the city are quite well off.

  6. kiwicricket - Sep 28, 2012 at 7:51 AM

    Congratulations to R.A. Dickey. First pitcher to win 20games on a losing team since 1992(Maddux-Cubs)

    • Old Gator - Sep 28, 2012 at 8:00 AM

      Multiple thumbs up for the Biggeth Dicketh. Here’s hoping that this sublime and indomitable being takes home the trophy this weenter. Born without a UCL, he is perhaps the first confirmed case of a genetically predetermined knuckleballer. I mean, if you can name an operation to replace a UCL after Tommy John, you can name a procedure to remove one altogether after the Dickster. Maybe all these guys who are wasting all that money and giving up whole seasons to recover from Tommy John Surgery should just have their UCLs removed like a spleen or something and attend knuckleballing clinics run by Dickey and Charley Hough. They’d be back on the field in half the time.

      • kiwicricket - Sep 28, 2012 at 8:34 AM

        Dr Yocum and Andrews will have you whacked if they read what you just wrote!

        You bring up an interesting point. I feel you will see more and more knucklers around the shop in future years. Tossing a knuckleball will be cool in the youth divisions. When they figure that they are more likely to prolong their careers flipping it 70mph, it will become mainstream.
        A former great Australian spin bowler brought back leg-spin(wrist spin) into fashion from the mid 60’s. Created a worldwide sensation. As with the knuckleball, it’s exceedingly difficult to control and master, but your chances of playing a higher level of sport are greatly increased through it’s rarity and specialty.
        Dickey winning the CY Young will encourage a new wave of youngsters.

      • mrwillie - Sep 28, 2012 at 8:53 AM

        I have a gweat fwiend on Wome named Biggus Dickuss.

        I also see you have the machine that goes PIIING. That’s my favorite machine.

      • Old Gator - Sep 28, 2012 at 9:02 AM

        You see we lease it back from the company we sold it to and that way it comes under the monthly current budget and not the capital account.

  7. philliesblow - Sep 28, 2012 at 7:52 AM

    Fister was doggone good yesterday. I’m still not convinced the Tigers will hold this lead. Scherzer’s shoulder is an issue, still one more Porcello start to endure and the memory of the 2009 collapse is still fresh in my memory bank.

    • stex52 - Sep 28, 2012 at 9:55 AM

      “doggone good.” Shame on you. :-)

  8. paperlions - Sep 28, 2012 at 8:12 AM

    Most HRs by a player in MLB before their 20th Birthday:

    Conigliaro 24
    Harper 21
    Ott 19
    Cavaretta 18
    Griffey 16
    Mantle 13

    Pretty impressive list (with the exception of Cavaretta)

    • Lukehart80 - Sep 28, 2012 at 8:56 AM

      And Cavaretta won an MVP, played in some All-Star Games, and collected a bWAR over 30 and nearly 2,000 hits during his career, so he wasn’t exactly chopped liver either.

      Mike Trout’s incredible play has (understandably) overshadowed Harper, but Bryce is having himself a great season too.

      • pdowdy83 - Sep 28, 2012 at 9:15 AM

        Trout at age 19 – .220/.281/.390 slash which is good for a .672 OPS to go along with 5 HRs, 16 RBI, 20 runs scored, 4 SBs and a 20% k rate.

        Harper at age 19 – .264/.334/.465 slash line which is good for a .799 OPS to go along with 21 HRs, 58 RBI, 94 runs scored, 17 SBs and an 18% K rate.

        Harper is over a year younger than Trout, with roughly 3 times less minor league experience to boot (Trout – 1312 MILB plate appearances vs. Harper’s 461 MILB plate appearances), and Harper has more than held his own this year which Trout did not do last year. I don’t really think it is fair to say that Trout has overshadowed Bryce at all.

        Mike Trout is an amazing player. Bryce Harper is an amazing player. Why does every post about one or the other have to always bring up a comment about the other?

      • kkolchak - Sep 28, 2012 at 9:30 AM

        Next year will be the tale of the tape for Harper/Trout comparisons. Not only will each one will be facing the dreaded sophomore slump, but Harper will have to raise his play to MVP level to match what Trout has accomplished this season.

        Personally, I think the kid can do it.

      • paperlions - Sep 28, 2012 at 10:12 AM

        I agree….but Ott, Griffey, and Mantle are all-time greats….and Tony C appeared to be on his way to a HOF career (or at least a highly distinguished one) before an HBP screwed up his eye sight at age 22.

        If Harper turned out to have a Cavaretta-like career, that would be a major disappointment, wouldn’t it?

      • Lukehart80 - Sep 28, 2012 at 10:25 AM

        paper – I agree, a Cavaretta level career for Harper would feel disappointing, but I also don’t think he has to reach the level of Mantle, Griffey, or Ott to have been a great success.

        pdowdy – When I say “overshadowed,” I mean to say he’s gotten a lot more attention for his great play, which I think is certainly accurate to say. That means not everyone has really noticed just how good Harper has been, and at an even younger age.

  9. jayscarpa - Sep 28, 2012 at 8:13 AM

    Ivan NoMas

  10. stex52 - Sep 28, 2012 at 8:26 AM

    I as out of pocket yesterday and so missed the brou ha ha (Ha Ha Ha, Gator) about Bo Porter going to the Astros. He seems to be popular and well-spoken, but two thoughts:

    1. They spoke well of Cecil Cooper and Brad Mills, too. Mills never got a fair chance, he may work out somewhere else. Cooper was an absolute disaster.

    2. Unless Porter is bringing at least two #3 pitchers and a couple of corner outfielders who can nick .800 on the OPS, I’m not sure the field manager of the Astros matters much for the next couple of years.

    • pdowdy83 - Sep 28, 2012 at 9:21 AM

      Porter is a good coach and has been one of the main cogs in helping develop Bryce Harper as an outfielder. While no the Astros don’t stand much of a chance of being competitive I think it is a good choice to get a forward thinking, respectable manager who can work with the young players they have there. I hope they give him 3 years there and don’t give him an early boot like Mills. To be honest though from what I saw of Brad Mills managing there it wasn’t always too good. That and he wasn’t the new regime’s “guy”. Porter really fits with what Luhnow and Crane are doing.

      • stex52 - Sep 28, 2012 at 9:32 AM

        BTW, are we sure we really know what Crane and Luhnow are doing? Or that they do?

      • paperlions - Sep 28, 2012 at 10:19 AM

        I am pretty sure I know what Luhnow is doing. He is building an organization comprised of individuals that share the same philosophies with respect to baseball and that are consistent with a particular process: a balance between scouting and sabermetric understanding of how baseball works, including the relative importance of particular skills to winning and player development philosophies.

        Anyone from the previous regime (which was built right out of the 1980s) that wasn’t on board will be dumped as the goal is to have an integrated and consistent approach from rookie ball through the majors. If you like what the Cardinals have done from an organizational standpoint since Moz took over, then you should be content with the direction of change.

      • stex52 - Sep 28, 2012 at 10:59 AM

        The strategy is clear enough. They have been consistent in their story since the takeover. I was, of course, also just throwing rocks to be throwing rocks.

        But the execution at this point is pure speculation. They can have this great, gorgeous plan and if they don’t draft right, develop well, and utilize the statistical whizzes they are bringing in just a little bit better than the other teams, it will still all amount to nothing.

      • paperlions - Sep 28, 2012 at 11:51 AM

        Totally agree.

        Considering where the started, it will be a long and painful road (made longer and more painful by MLBs extremely short-sighted changes to signing and drafting amateur talent). The organization was a shambles….so even a perfectly executed plan would take a while….and a poorly executed perfect plan is totally possible.

        I think they’ve made some good trades to get some minor league prospect depth, had a good draft, and seem to be hiring smart people. TB had a long road to the promised land (contention)….if Houston is lucky, Crane will spend money too, and Houston will be fine after the rebuild.

  11. APBA Guy - Sep 28, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    Very impressive display by the Rangers yesterday in taking advantage of an overmatched and over-amped (technically) rookie A’s starter. Blackley looked like he did last week against the Yankees, he alone among the A’s rookies did not markedly improve from his first start to his second on the Road Trip of Death, which ended 4-6 for the A’s. This explains Bret Anderson’s frantic side session yesterday accompanied by numerous pronouncements of “could be, possibly” etc. My own view: we’ll see Blackley again next week against the Rangers and he’ll be a bit better in the bigger ball park.

    Three homers against Mike Adams was fun, though. Brandon Moss has kept it up nicely, not fading like Carter or Reddick, who also looked much happier after his 2 homer day. Congrats on 30 and 31 for him.

    Still, it’s all to play for. Three against the Mariners with no King Felix, starting today. All three are must-wins to pad against the final three against the Rangers who will be looking to round into play-off shape. The A’s asked a lot of questions about the Rangers starters and the bullpen. I’m not sure the Rangers have the answers. But then again, I don’t think Darvish’s neck is stiff, either, I think that was just cover for repositioning him in the rotation.

    If the A’s win 4 of the next 6 they are in, since I don’t see the Angels winning out, and Tampa has the White Sox and Baltimore over their final 6.

    • pw38 - Sep 28, 2012 at 1:15 PM

      Rangers-A’s would be a fun series to watch. As a Rangers fan I have nothing but respect for what that bunch in Oakland has done. They play with pride and seem to almost play with a care free attitude. I just get the feeling from that group that since they’re not expected to do much they have nothing to lose by playing loose and free. They still play smart though which is also impressive. It seems to me the AL West is turning into the beast division (minus the crappy Astros next year).

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