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And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

Oct 1, 2012, 5:33 AM EDT

Boston Red Sox v Baltimore Orioles Getty Images

Orioles 6, Red Sox 3Yankees 9, Blue Jays 6: 159 games and NOTHING has been decided in the AL East. And, say what you want about the new playoff setup, but the fact that it matters so much who wins the division makes this a fantastic final three days. The Yankees close things out with the Red Sox at home. The Orioles go on the road to face that buzz saw.

Tigers 2, Twins 1; Rays 6, White Sox 2: That’s the sound of the AL Central title being all but sewn up. Anibal Sanchez with another solid start. If Max Scherzer is good to go in the playoffs, the Tigers’ rotation — despite all of the kicking and stumbling they’ve done all year — should make them a team no one wants to face.  As for the White Sox: bad time to run into a buzz saw Rays team.

Reds 4, Pirates 3: And with that the Pirates ensure their 20th straight losing season. The just stepped off the ledge and hit terminal velocity once the second half got going.

Cardinals 10, Nationals 4: Carlos Beltran went three for five with a couple homers and five driven in as St. Louis moves a step closer to icing the final playoff spot in the NL. Washington is all clinched for a playoff spot, but it’s probably worth noting that they still haven’t clinched the NL East.

Braves 6, Mets 2: All the Braves do when Kris Medlen pitches is win. That’s 23 straight of his starts in which Atlanta has prevailed, which is a new major league record. It’ll all be so much noise, however, if he does’t win his next start: the one-game wild card playoff.

Dodgers 7, Rockies 1: L.A. retains dim hope, two back with three to play. Josh Beckett tossed six innings of one run ball. Matt Kemp and Luis Cruz each hit two-run homers.

Astros 7, Brewers 0: And with that the Brew Crew is officially eliminated. It was a nice late run but the whole they dug for themselves earlier in the season was too great.  Watch out for next year, though: this team reminds me an awful lot of that 2010 Diamonbacks team that had the crap-awful bullpen and then the next year, when it wasn’t crap-awful, made the playoffs. Not that Milwaukee has to make up 30 games or whatever the hell it was the Dbacks did to turn things around.

Phillies 4, Marlins 1: Cole Hamels wins his 17th. The Phillies need one win in their final series to finish at .500. So that’s something to shoot for as they play the Nats this week. Well, that and the improbable sweep of the Nats while the Braves sweep the Pirates, resulting in a tied NL East and bonus tie-breaker baseball, which would be pretty fantastic.

Angels 5, Rangers 4; Rangers 8, Angels 7: The Angels rallied past the Rangers in the first game when Joe Nathan couldn’t hold a one-run lead in the ninth. In the nightcap Texas got ’em back, with Mike Napoli homering twice and driving in six. The Rangers clinch at least a wild card, but will have the west with one win over the A’s in the season’s final three.

Athletics 5, Mariners 2: Yoenis Cespedes hit an RBI triple and an eighth inning, game-tying go-ahead homer. Then Josh Reddick hit a two-run shot to put the A’s up for good give them some breathing room. The A’s solidify their wild card position, the AL West is not yet out of reach, but they gotta win out.

Indians 15, Royals 3: It’s the second Sunday in a row where the Tribe scored 15. This time, however, they did not outscore the Browns. The Browns scored 16 this week. Four driven in for Asdrubal Cabrera.

Cubs 7, Diamondbacks 2: I’ve stared at this box score for close to five minutes and can’t for the life of me think of anything interesting to say about it. Sorry, folks. That’s game 159 between a couple of also-rans for you.

Giants 7, Padres 5: A Xavier Nady homer tied it in the ninth and a Hunter Pence gave the game to the Giants in comeback fashion. Tim Lincecum continues to be exceedingly meh, giving up five runs — four earned — in six innings. He ends the season with a 5.18 ERA which, if someone would have bet you about it before the season began, you’d never have bit.

  1. redguy12588 - Oct 1, 2012 at 5:58 AM

    No hit for the 81st loss. Blown save in the 9th when the pirates were 69-0 after leading after 8.

    This team punches you in the nads better than any in history. For Clementes sake, I hope it doesn’t reach 21 seasons.

  2. Old Gator - Oct 1, 2012 at 6:05 AM

    You take away Lincecum’s weed, this is what you get.

    Well, the Feesh are going out with a whimper, but then, that’s how they’ve played the entire second half. Watching Anibal Sanchez coming back to life and coming up beeg for the Tiggers is kinda fun, meanwhile. You look at all the ex-Feesh making noise around the league…Detroit has been using the Feesh for a farm team the way the Borg used to use the Kansas City A’s.

    No dingers for the Iron Giant yesterday so the chances that he could wind up with 40 for the year pretty much go out the weendow – but still, 36 isn’t bad with about eight weeks sacrificed to the DL. Imagine his numbers if he’d come out of spring training healthy and stayed that way.

    Nate Eovaldi gives up three runs in six plus with one walk on seven Ks and got his usual non-support. He’s a work in progress but I think this kid is gonna be a keeper. Meanwhile, this orfseason the priorities for the Feesh are seemple: get rid of Nolasco, Tweeter and Buck. Somehow. Any how. I suspect, though, that Tweeter is going to show up again at first base like a case of herpes. I doubt if the Feesh will be able to unload him this orfseason until other GMs are convinced that his chronically wonky knee has finally been repaired. Maybe if he gets off to a mediocre start this spring, they’ll clamor for him the way they did after he wrapped up a mediocre 2010. The question is, will the Feesh notochord trust be willing to part with him and his near-league-worst RISP? My guess is that they will. There are just too many teams out there that need a fifth-place hitter who can come out and pop up with two outs and the bases loaded to ensure that the peetcher will lead off the next inning. There may even be designatedhitterball teams that can use a gimpy fill-in hamhanded DH off the bench.

  3. dondada10 - Oct 1, 2012 at 6:22 AM

    I’m surprised you’re so positive about the one game playoff, Craig. The Braves are probably the second best team in the N.L., yet their entire season is going to come down to a one game playoff. I would say they’ve played well enough to deserve a 5 game series, division be damned.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 1, 2012 at 7:08 AM

      After last year’s collapse, I’m sure just getting in is a positive.

      [As a Yanks fan] congrats to the O’s. Good to see you playing meaningful baseball again.

  4. southpaw2k - Oct 1, 2012 at 8:16 AM

    Man, being at the Yard yesterday was something awesome. Seeing all the Orioles orange flooding the stadium was a foreign concept to me until the last couple months, especially in the second half of the season. I already got my playoff tickets package, so I’m ready to go for the postseason, but I would absolutely love to crown the O’s as AL East champions this year.

    • bmorelikeme - Oct 1, 2012 at 9:01 AM

      Coolest thing about yesterday was seeing the entire team / packed stadium hang out AFTER the game ended to watch the rest of the Rangers/A’s game on the jumbotron together. Granted it didn’t turn out the way we wanted and MASN caught a clear four letter word coming out of one Oriole player’s mouth, it was another great moment in season full of them. Let’s go O’s.

      • southpaw2k - Oct 1, 2012 at 9:10 AM

        Yes!!! My girlfriend, her son, and I all stayed after the game was over to watch the conclusion of that Rangers/Angels game. Everyone was holding their breath to see Nathan get the win. Too bad they didn’t clinch until the second game of the doubleheader, otherwise the entire stadium would’ve gone NUTS.

    • nolanwiffle - Oct 1, 2012 at 9:08 AM

      I was there as well……great atmosphere. And at the risk of sounding like a goof, it was somewhat emotional. It used to be great fun being an O’s fan when summer turned to fall. Yesterday stirred up some of that passion that been dormant (in me, at least) for many years.

  5. Innocent Bystander - Oct 1, 2012 at 8:19 AM

    O’s/Yanks battle seems exciting on the face of it, but if we rewind to when just 2 Division winners went to the postseason and there were no Wild Cards the drama would be even more intense. Imagine if one of these teams was going home. For that matter, go back farther to league winner goes directly to the World Series and you would have a great 3 team race with the Rangers. And in the NL the Reds/Nats would be a lot of fun too. More playoff teams doesn’t necessarily make the races better.

    • clydeserra - Oct 1, 2012 at 2:53 PM

      why would the reds nats be fun? they were in different divisions.

      • dondada10 - Oct 1, 2012 at 6:08 PM

        Until ’62, they’re weren’t playoffs. The best record in each league faced off in the World Series.

  6. proudlycanadian - Oct 1, 2012 at 8:21 AM

    I noticed a small error Craig. The Cespedes homer in the 8th gave Oakland the lead. The score had been tied 2 all when he hit it.

  7. stex52 - Oct 1, 2012 at 8:23 AM

    The Astros actually manage to exceed my rather low expectations of losing fewer than 110 games. A very small victory. They hit four home runs again; I’m having a lot of trouble figuring what is going on there. 11 home runs in three days in Milwaukee. What the heck do they put in the water up there?
    Jordan Lyles had a rough year; they have much higher hopes for him. But he is only 21, and he certainly finishes 2012 with a bang.

    I would say they go into the off-season with catcher, shortstop and 2nd base relatively secure. Two of the starting pitchers are steady enough to believe that they might make #3’s as they develop. I would not think that any other player on the team should assume he has a job. But with most of the prospects at AA or below, the Cavalry will not be coming over the hill in 2013. The Astros also say that they are sticking with the Tampa Bay model; in that case I would not expect much help from free agents. So the Astros will enter 2013 with a 30 MMish salary structure and some hope for improvement, but not a lot.

    Enjoy the playoffs, Bo. You earned it. Next year should be a real test of resolve for you.

  8. indaburg - Oct 1, 2012 at 8:37 AM


    You’re welcome.

    The Rays

    • historiophiliac - Oct 1, 2012 at 11:27 AM

      Oh, we are grateful, believe me.

  9. kiwicricket - Oct 1, 2012 at 8:38 AM

    Under Buck’s tutelage, they have grown from boy’s into men, from men into gladiators…..And from gladiators into….Swansons

    The 2012 Baltimore Orioles are going to the Postseason! Incredible.

  10. rockthered1286 - Oct 1, 2012 at 8:52 AM

    Unsung O’s hero: Dan Duquette. The man has made countless moves that ended up being detrimental to this teams success: Nate McLouth, Jim Thome, Omar Quintanilla, Manny Machado promotion, Randy Wolf, Joe Saunders…incredible.

    As for Buck? There’s a man I would never challenge to a chess match. He seems to always be one step ahead of his opponent. I’ve not seen Buck get out-managed all season long. Hands down Manager of the Year. And before you get your panties in a twist Nats fans, look at your talent level and offseason moves versus the O’s. Much better team coming into this season, much higher expectations, and slightly better results. Davey is great, but Buck used some Orioles magic and made men out of these boys.

    • kiwicricket - Oct 1, 2012 at 8:58 AM

      Not sure the word you are after is ‘detrimental’….but it does read well with that list of names after it. Pretty funny.

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 1, 2012 at 9:30 AM

        I am gonna’ help him out Kiwi.
        detrimental = instrumental

      • stex52 - Oct 1, 2012 at 9:36 AM

        I don’t know SLB, he may speak more truly than he knows.

      • rockthered1286 - Oct 1, 2012 at 11:08 AM

        It’s Monday morning @ 8am while I’m typing this, after staying up watching SNF into the late hours of the night. I grant myself a free pass for my fopa. And yes fopa is the right word in this instance!

        Instrumental* thanks SLB.

      • rockthered1286 - Oct 1, 2012 at 11:09 AM


        *Faux pas

        This is why I speak for a living, and not write…

      • historiophiliac - Oct 1, 2012 at 11:50 AM

        At the Fopa, Fopacabana…

  11. philliesblow - Oct 1, 2012 at 9:39 AM

    Jose Valverde tried his best to blow the lead in the 9th, but Austin Jackson’s catches on the first 2 batters of the 9th saved the Tigers’ bacon. Good thing with that rumored bacon shortage going on. Miggy also had a clutch grab on a screamer heading for the LF corner that would have plated two Twinkies earlier on. Mmmm, bacon & Twinkies. Time for my mid-moring snack.

    • kiwicricket - Oct 1, 2012 at 10:14 AM

      How can you watch that particular Tigers team and think there could be a bacon shortage?

      • natslady - Oct 1, 2012 at 10:29 AM

        Is it me, or do all AL teams seem to, on average, weigh about 20 lbs. more per player than NL teams? Of course there are individual exceptions.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 1, 2012 at 11:44 AM

        Can’t you picture Quintin Berry — who I think loops his belt around twice — with an empty plate saying “please, sir, can I have some more?”

        Garcia definitely needs to lose some weight, but bacon = power hitting fuel.

  12. shaggylocks - Oct 1, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    You know what I miss? Those weekend recap posts. Just sayin’.

    • natslady - Oct 1, 2012 at 10:28 AM

      Seems like hardly anyone read or comments on the weekend. Guess they want to use the bosses’ time to do that. :) Me, I like the posts, but I like the comments more. Love to hear from the fans of the various teams.

  13. delawarephilliesfan - Oct 1, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    “159 games and NOTHING has been decided in the AL East.”

    I’m sure the Red Sox, Blue Jays and Rays will be relieved to know they are still alive

  14. APBA Guy - Oct 1, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    Very nice series against the Mariners ends with the beloved A’s needing 1 win in the concluding Rangers series. Today would be a good place to get it, with Martin Perez on the hill for Texas. But man, the Ranger’s offense meant business in Game 2 yesterday after the blown save in Game 1. Still, if I’m a Rangers fan, I’m nervous about the pitching going into the playoffs, and Josh looks like he never met a change up down and away that he didn’t love.

    But back to the A’s. Despite yesterday’s heroics the A’s recently are only 14-14, that includes 4 games in which Melvin did not do everything he could to give the A’s the best chance to win. Lately, with the season on the line, he’s been flawless, however, and that included yesterday. His pulling Neshek after 4 straight balls in his loogy situation was particularly adept since Melvin’s main fault has been sticking with guys too long as if the season were 262 games and not 162. Still, his approach has the advantage that when guys come in they are somewhat fresh, like Cook and his amazing strikeout the side after allowing runners at the corners with the bases empty.

    I can’t believe the Mariners ran on Reddick yesterday. He now has 15 outfield assists, and has been throwing guys out since April. The crowd went nuts when he tossed Smoak in the second to keep the Mariners at 2. Unlike the Rangers, the A’s can’t let their opponents get up by too many runs and expect to come back. So that throw held the Mariners and got the crowd into it, very important on a sunny, warm Sunday afternoon, the kind of day that the fan base had become used to coming to the Mausoleum, stretching out, and taking a pleasant, quiet, 6 inning nap, waking up in the 8th down by 3-4 runs.

    Not anymore. 21,000 very loud fans were screaming and stomping from that play onwards, and I hope there are at least that many-or more-to see the A’s and Rangers tonight.

    • goawaydog - Oct 1, 2012 at 12:49 PM

      Needing 1 game is not enough … sweep the Rangers, take the division crown. Full steam ahead, don’t settle for the WC, let’s have a pair of division champs in the Bay Area!

      • APBA Guy - Oct 1, 2012 at 2:16 PM

        I love it!

  15. natstowngreg - Oct 1, 2012 at 12:35 PM

    Yes, it is worth noting that the Nats haven’t clinched the NL East. The Nats have 96 wins and have had a winning record every month, but they’re playing .500 ball these days. Not a good sign going into the playoffs — regardless of which team they will play.

    Meanwhile, the Braves keep beating the cupcakes. Not a criticism: as Davey Johnson would say (and has said), you win the game in front of you. The Nats got to 96 wins by winning about 60% of the games in front of them, against cupcake or contender. Props to the Braves for winning the games in front of them. Now, when is Fredi gonna get a little love (after all the abuse he took for last season’s collapse)?

    John Lannan vs. Kyle Kendrick tonight, as Nats Town hopes to celebrate a division title. Lannan has had 2 good starts and 1 bad start in place of Stephen Strasburg. The Nats are 4-1 when Lannan starts; the Fightins’ are 10-14 when Kendrick starts.

  16. meteor32 - Oct 1, 2012 at 6:04 PM

    Craig, there was something very interesting about the Cubs Diamondbacks game yesterday. The Cubs got their first win on the road against and NL West team this season on their final try to avoid complete futility and settle for utter futility.

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