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And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

Oct 2, 2012, 6:16 AM EDT

Detroit Tigers v Kansas City Royals Getty Images

Tigers 6, Royals 3: Before the season began I said something to the effect of “if I had to bet the lives of my children on the outcome of any division, it would be the Tigers winning the AL Central.” I repeated that line on the radio a bunch of times.  I was sweating it until game 160, but Mookie and Carlo: you’re safe now. Daddy won’t have to give you to the evil gamblers.

White Sox 11, Indians 0: I imagine the beating that Chicago administered to Cleveland felt good for a while, but the Tigers win over the Royals sealed their fate. Hector Santiago shut out the tribe for seven and Dayan Viciedo drove in five, but it’s all over now, baby blue.

Pirates 2, Braves 1; Phillies 2, Nationals 0: That’s about as happy as you’ll ever see a team after they get shut out. The Nats don’t care, they still won the division. And they partied like rock stars too. In some way this is the best reasonable outcome for Atlanta too. Their chance at winning the East was tiny, and by losing on Monday instead of, say, Wednesday, they can be sure to rest the pen and whoever else needs it for the wild card game on Friday.

Athletics 4, Rangers 3: The A’s clinch a playoff spot and with that eliminate the Rays and Angels. Oh, and they move to within one game of the Rangers for the AL West. Because they’re already going to the playoffs no one seems to be talking about Texas woofing the division away. They’ve been in first place since April 9, and had a lead in the division as big as six games as late as August 23.

Yankees 10, Red Sox 2; Rays 5, Orioles 3: Baltimore falls a game back after they get beat by the surging yet, unfortunately for them, now-dead Rays. Meanwhile, the Yankees beat the walking dead Red Sox who possibly had two major leaguers in that lineup last night. In other news, Fernando Rodney was a bit shaky, but he got out of trouble to get his 47th save in 49 chances and lowered his ERA to 0.61. Which is nutzoid.

Cardinals 4, Reds 2: Dodgers 3, Giants 2: The Cardinals clinch at least a tie for the second wild card. They’re winners of 11 of their last 14. Meanwhile, the Dodgers do what they can to stay alive, winning their sixth straight. They need to make it eight, however, and hope for two straight Cardinals losses in order to force a tie for the wild card. Elian Herrera hit a walkoff single with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth.

Angels 8, Mariners 4: The A’s win eliminates the Angels, so Mike Trout‘s 4 for 5, double, triple and three RBI apparently means nothing now. At least that’s what people tell me.

Marlins 3, Mets 2: The Mets went up 2-0, but Giancarlo Stanton started the comeback with a homer and his mates completed it. Easy to forget in the hot mess that is the end of the Marlins season, but a 22 year-old just hit his 37th homer.

Blue Jays 6, Twins 5: In May, extra innings between teams like this is referred to as “free baseball.” On October 1, it’s referred to as “excessive.” Anthony Gose singled home the winning run in the 10th inning in front of the smallest Rogers Centre crowd of the season.

Astros 3, Cubs 0: Welcome to the 100-loss club for the first time since 1966, Chicago!

Brewers 5, Padres 3: Ryan Braun doubled and went 2 for 4. A couple of big games and I think it’s still possible for him to finish with an OPS over 1.000. Which would be handy for those who want to argue about how boned get was in the MVP voting this year.

Rockies 7, Diamondbacks 5: Even more free baseball. This one went to the 13th tied at three. Colorado scored four in the top of the 13th, Arizona scored two and that was that. The Rockies win ensures that they won’t lose 100. Which is something I guess.

  1. Old Gator - Oct 2, 2012 at 6:29 AM

    Wel-l-l, things getting resolved all around. But yeah, you forget that the Iron Giant is just 22 years old. He really does make it look easy when he puts that pitviper swing on a ball. I’ve noticed that opposing peetchers around the league have already developed a “Stanton Slump” in their neck and shoulders when they hear his bat make contact with a peetch. They just look down at the mound and don’t turn to look at the ball, which is safer for them – first of all, it leaves the bat too rapidly for them to follow anyway, and second, they could hurt their necks even trying to catch up with it.

    Last night’s dinger was kind of a PeeWee shot – well under four hundred feet, into the veesiting boolpen. Not much to recommend it in aesthetic terms.

    • proudlycanadian - Oct 2, 2012 at 6:56 AM

      I like Mike!

    • Jeremy T - Oct 2, 2012 at 9:40 AM

      Boolpen? Not bullpeen? No actually, yours is probably better.

      • Old Gator - Oct 2, 2012 at 2:12 PM

        Spend a lazy week down here strolling Calle Ocho, jacking your heart rate with coladas of cafe negro and proving Bernouilli was right by noshing out at the local Cuban restaurant, and I assure you, you’ll peek up the dialect queeckly.

  2. proudlycanadian - Oct 2, 2012 at 7:00 AM

    It was time for Toronto’s kids to shine. Gomes tied the game with a 2 out homer in the bottom of the 9th. Gose drove in Hechavarria with a 2 out single in the bottom of the 10th. The rookies that Toronto has been forced to use have improved a lot with big league experience.

    • hk62 - Oct 2, 2012 at 10:19 AM

      OK – I can buy the rose colored glasses for Gomes, but what are you seeing from Gose that is escaping me? Glad that you’re rooting all the way to the end though – that’s a true fan!

      • proudlycanadian - Oct 2, 2012 at 11:03 AM

        Gomes will have a future as a utility player. Gose is still a work in progress. He has great speed but when Philadelphia drafted him, he was strictly a slap hitter. Since the Jays traded for him, they have worked at improving his hitting. His hitting has improved considerably since being recalled a second time this season. He just turned 22 and probably needs more seasoning in the minors. He is intelligent, and has shown the desire and ability to learn from the coaches and other players. In a couple of years he could be a monster. He has the potential to be another Rickey Henderson with a much better throwing arm than Ricky. Hechavarria is another young player whose hitting has improved greatly with ML experience. The 23 year old was best known for his glove. He will be in the starting lineup next year.

    • cur68 - Oct 2, 2012 at 12:38 PM

      A nice win. A character driven one, in fact. Out boys aint rollin over in meaningless baseball-land. They played great and made a comeback against a tough guy like Glen Perkins. That aint just small potatoes either. Way to go Beaver Wrestler Rookies: you might turn into REAL Beaver Wranglers one day.

  3. randygnyc - Oct 2, 2012 at 7:13 AM

    Rays and angels go home. After the fact, I’ll admit that I was more afraid of those 2 teams than Oakland or Baltimore. Now the tigers clinching over the sox is a disappointment, for Yankees fans. The white sox are a .500 team that played over their heads. They don’t scare anybody. The tigers are a totally different story. Dangerous.

  4. skipperxc - Oct 2, 2012 at 7:18 AM

    I know Rodney’s had an unbelievable year, but 47 saves in 39 chances seems a little crazy, even for him.

    • nbjays - Oct 2, 2012 at 7:22 AM

      He’s just THAT good!

  5. kiwicricket - Oct 2, 2012 at 7:37 AM

    I was thinking about this yesterday after I read one of the comments and the subsequent post…
    With two teams making it to the one-game playoff, does the extra berth not cheapen the wildcard spot?
    It seems a shame that a team with a great record who has played great baseball all year is not rewarded with a 5 games series to decide their fate to progress. To me, it’s not the playoffs, it’s a one game crap-shoot to enter the playoffs.

    If you are the 2nd wildcard team, sweet. If you are the first qualifying wildcard spot, you might be slightly shortchanged(literally and figuratively).

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 2, 2012 at 9:56 AM

      “If you are the 2nd wildcard team, sweet. If you are the first qualifying wildcard spot, you might be slightly shortchanged(literally and figuratively).”

      Dead on Kiwi. I just said essentially the same thing to one of my employees about 15 minutes ago.

      • kiwicricket - Oct 2, 2012 at 9:59 AM

        I fear for the Braves.

    • protectthishouse54 - Oct 2, 2012 at 10:20 AM

      The days of losing your division and waltzing right into the playoffs are over.

  6. kiwicricket - Oct 2, 2012 at 7:38 AM

    Soooo Mr Albert ‘it’s all about winning and respect’ Pujols…..how’s about them Angels this year?

  7. drmonkeyarmy - Oct 2, 2012 at 7:45 AM

    Congrats to the Nationals. Truly had a tremendous regular season.

  8. kiwicricket - Oct 2, 2012 at 7:57 AM

    Do they really have to bust out “Playoffs” T-shirts and caps for the A’s(and other teams)? There is only so much space for landfill type products. I really am fond of the team, but I just don’t think a one game coin-flip warrants the pomp. Why not leave the locker-room hose downs until the final two rounds? Yeah, I’m in a bad mood but have found this slightly lame and over the top for quite some time. In the great scheme of things, making it into the playoffs doesn’t actually mean anything. Winning something is tremendous and should be celebrated.

    The Nats with cases of Dom Perignon in the locker-room after making the playoffs? Majority of Moet gets sprayed on hookers boobs and is a waste of money. The US produces some fantastic sparkling wine, why not support a local industry which is struggling?

    Just wish a team would do something cool after a victory.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 2, 2012 at 8:07 AM

      There is only so much space for landfill type products

      http://i.imgur.com/EuBGW.png

      And yes I know I’m going to hell.

      • indaburg - Oct 2, 2012 at 8:25 AM

        Save me a burger and a cold drink in hell because I laughed too.

        I agree with you on the excessive celebration. It’s one thing if it’s spontaneous–if the Pirates make it, they can do whatever they want–but these celebrations for winning nothing kinda feel forced to me especially for teams that get to the post-season regularly. It’s kind of like that phenomena of giving kids trophies just for participating. Lame. And yes, get off my lawn.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 2, 2012 at 8:32 AM

        forced to me especially for teams that get to the post-season regularly.

        Exactly, for teams like the Yanks, save it til you win the ALCS (if you do). But teams like Wash/Orioles/A’s, let them celebrate.

      • kiwicricket - Oct 2, 2012 at 9:00 AM

        Hey! I was born in Africa.

    • stex52 - Oct 2, 2012 at 8:24 AM

      On a tear today, Kiwi? Not that I disagree with your point. We need some serious creativity in the locker room stuff. But face it, it’s a bunch of 25 year old kids celebrating (all men). Anything more creative in their minds would probably be unsuitable for any kind of broadcast.

      • indaburg - Oct 2, 2012 at 8:30 AM

        Thanks for clarifying that they’re all men, stex. I was confused up until now.

      • stex52 - Oct 2, 2012 at 8:54 AM

        Just trying to emphasize the extra hazards that would entail in letting their creative impulses flow. It’s hard to pick a more irresponsible group than guys between the ages of 16 and 30.

      • indaburg - Oct 2, 2012 at 9:26 AM

        I was just teasing you. While I’m a member of the fairer sex, I have a pretty good imagination. Back in 2008, I got to meet some of the Rays at a season tix holder event held the morning after they clinched a play off spot, their first ever. They were all bleary eyed and some of them were breathing fire. I asked Edwin Jackson, who looked like he was particularly hurting, “Hey, where was the party?” His answer was, “Everywhere” with a dopey smile.

    • historiophiliac - Oct 2, 2012 at 9:17 AM

      I appreciate, kiwi, that you believe Americans capable of subtlety and conservancy — especially in regard to sports. *cough* World Series *cough*

    • natstowngreg - Oct 2, 2012 at 12:04 PM

      “We made the playoffs” apparel is produced for the same reason as alternative jerseys. Merchandising.

      For a team that hasn’t been in the playoffs in a long time, or wasn’t supposed to make the playoffs (see Nats, O’s, A’s), it is a big deal.

  9. yankeesfanlen - Oct 2, 2012 at 8:04 AM

    Continued good luck wishes to Tampa Bay Rays.

  10. indaburg - Oct 2, 2012 at 8:09 AM

    Congrats to the A’s. I hate that you eliminated my Rays, but had they hit just a little eentsy teensy bit more, they wouldn’t have had to depend on anyone else to get them in the post-season. I’m happy my boys played a meaningful game in October. If they can carry this momentum into next year, just like the O’s carried over theirs from last year, y’all better watch out.

    • APBA Guy - Oct 2, 2012 at 11:53 AM

      I think everyone respects what the Rays have done and are doing, particularly us A’s fans, who view the Rays success as a model. The thing about low payroll is lack of relative depth. The A’s were able to make up for injuries by having a bunch of guys at AAA who were able to contribute. This was not just luck, check out the Sacramento record over the past few years. But the Rays have done this for a while now. This year, they came up a little short. We’ll see which pitcher they have to sell on this offseason, and if they can come up with another couple of bats. Pena and Luke Scott didn’t do the job offensively for them.

      • indaburg - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:50 PM

        The A’s created the blueprint for winning on the cheap. The Rays just borrowed it.

  11. natslady - Oct 2, 2012 at 8:10 AM

    photo/1

    That was cool. The crowd singing “Take on Me” that was cool. Gio dancing and hugging 86- year old owner, that was cool. Bryce Harper and Drake LaRoche (age 9) sharing sparkling cider (provenance unknown), that was cool. Nats fans chanting “Let’s Go Pirates!” That was cool. Charlie Manuel acting churlish after a win, that was cool. Clinching at home instead of in St. Louis, that was cool. Pix of Nats families, so many young kids and babies, that was cool. How much more coolness do you want?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 2, 2012 at 8:27 AM

      The crowd singing “Take on Me” that was cool.

      Bryce Harper, Danny Espinosa, Ian Desmond, Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmerman, Stephan Strasburg, Ross Detwiler, Drew Storen and John Lannan. What do they all have in common? They all weren’t alive when that song came out.

      The more you know
      /rainbow

      • natslady - Oct 2, 2012 at 8:48 AM

        Yup. The Nats were so bereft of our own traditions that until last year they sang “Sweet Caroline” at the Park. New team, young team. “Traditions” will happen.

        Also.
        Matt Snyder ‏@MattSnyder27
        I would like to once again bring up the fact that many Phillies fans went after Jayson Werth for chasing $$ and “not caring about winning”

      • historiophiliac - Oct 2, 2012 at 9:39 AM

        Seems an odd choice for a crowd celebration song, and how do these kids know the words? It’s not at all a song from the past that I would’ve bet on having a second life like that.

      • natstowngreg - Oct 2, 2012 at 12:35 PM

        @historiophiliac — “Take on Me” is one of the songs played when Michael Morse comes to bat. Some fans have taken to finishing the chorus after the music turns off. I’m not a fan of that, especially since the singing continues while Morse is actually batting. But, in the context of the Nats’ season, it was appropriate for the post-game celebration.

      • historiophiliac - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:09 PM

        It doesn’t seem very…fierce, does it? Liked the video though.

    • kiwicricket - Oct 2, 2012 at 8:51 AM

      I guess actually winning something?
      Oh yeah, I forgot, bigger and louder is better.
      I am over the moon for the Nats, really am. Hope they win the entire thing. Just wish teams would tone down the purpose driven pomp.

    • dakotah55 - Oct 2, 2012 at 9:47 AM

      I thought the video of John McCain giving Teddy a pep talk was pretty cool.

      • natstowngreg - Oct 2, 2012 at 12:37 PM

        Teddy still lost. Rumor has it that Teddy will be allowed to win tomorrow, but I’ve heard that tease before.

    • natslady - Oct 2, 2012 at 9:58 AM

      It’s Michael Morse’s walk-up music, so the crowd knows it. No idea where he got it.

  12. stex52 - Oct 2, 2012 at 8:20 AM

    As the saying goes, you win 54, you lose 54, and what you do with the other 54 is the difference. In point of fact, it wasn’t clear until the 9th last night that the Astros would win 54. They did. They just lost all (or almost all) of the rest.

    Wait till 2016! We’ll show you guys!

    • kiwicricket - Oct 2, 2012 at 8:57 AM

      “Wait till 2016! We’ll show you guys!”
      Bud is passing a rule which enables the Astros to combine their wins in consecutive seasons?

      • stex52 - Oct 2, 2012 at 9:30 AM

        Boy, and I thought I was a cynic about this whole rebuild thing. Thanks for the added vote of confidence.

      • proudlycanadian - Oct 2, 2012 at 9:32 AM

        Bud is simply amazing!

      • kiwicricket - Oct 2, 2012 at 10:03 AM

        Sorry, Stex. I only kid.

      • stex52 - Oct 2, 2012 at 11:18 AM

        No problems. We dish it out. We can also take it.

  13. stlouis1baseball - Oct 2, 2012 at 8:57 AM

    Stupid Elian Herrera.

  14. southofheaven81 - Oct 2, 2012 at 10:29 AM

    So, did Bobby V just trot out all of Pawtucket to lose to the Yankees as a final middle finger to the whole city of Boston?

    • APBA Guy - Oct 2, 2012 at 11:54 AM

      Clay Buchholz was a big part of that loss.

  15. xjokerz - Oct 2, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    I love how you point out trouts 4-5 effort but don’t mention it regarding miggy ? I can see who you’re pulling to win MVP sadly for your biased ass it’s miggys MVP to lose

    • Craig Calcaterra - Oct 2, 2012 at 10:52 AM

      Or maybe because we mentioned it just two posts before that:

      http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/10/01/tigers-beat-royals-to-clinch-al-central/

      And followed it up with a dedicated post to his triple crown standing:

      http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/10/02/triple-crown-watch/

      And then gave him his own section in our two-days-left-preview which is being heavily promoted by NBC News today:

      http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/10/02/two-days-left-heres-where-it-stands/

      But hey, if you want to be a victim and pretend that no one is paying attention to your hero, go right ahead.

      • manifunk - Oct 2, 2012 at 10:55 AM

        ……damn

      • stlouis1baseball - Oct 2, 2012 at 11:10 AM

        Ya’ see people! Look at C Squared’s response.
        The dude is perfectly capable of defending himself. He just made him his bitch.
        So please cease and desist with the slow jacks. Although I am sure Craig enjoy’s them.

    • moogro - Oct 2, 2012 at 2:59 PM

      C Squared.

      (!)

      Yes to that. I suppose later he’ll end up being C2, or something like that.

      And, of course, the inevitable:

      Leave C Squared Alone!

  16. xjokerz - Oct 2, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    Damn indeed… But at least were on the same page with miggy being the MVP

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 2, 2012 at 11:16 AM

      Hahaha! Great reply Joker. It helps alleviate the sting. If it’s any consolation…I am pulling for Cabrera to win the Triple Crown.

  17. xjokerz - Oct 2, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    St.louis …. Relax.. Considering the cards are probably not making the playoffs I’m sure this will be the last time I see you post until next spring training. Get your shots In while you can

    • historiophiliac - Oct 2, 2012 at 1:14 PM

      Where’s McCutchen when you need him?

  18. APBA Guy - Oct 2, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    ” Because they’re already going to the playoffs no one seems to be talking about Texas woofing the division away.”

    Well, we’re talking about it here! My boss, exercising his bossly prerogative, is attending tomorrow’s game full of expectation that it will be the Division decider. As I have all year, I can’t allow my hopes and dreams to run that far into the future. But damn, it would be so cool if that game meant something.

    Frankly I’m amazed the A’s are here. When I look back at the team’s record on May 31, the A’s were dead last, 7 under .500 and with a -38 run differential.

    Now this. 21,000 screaming their heads off as Grant Balfour struck out the side in the top of the 9th. Today: 92-68, +90 run differential. What a transformation.

    I have two words for everyone: Curt Young.

    The instant Boston released him as pitching coach he returned to the A’s. Look at the results:

    3.50 team ERA, second in the AL behind Tampa. With rookies starting 99 games. The closer, Grant Balfour, makes $ 4M, and has a 2.60 ERA. “A” bullpen set up guys Blevins and Cook are at 2.49 and 2.14 respectively.

    It’s my opinion, and there were a ton of contributions from the offense and hitting coach Chili Davis, but Curt Young was The Man for the A’s this year.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 2, 2012 at 2:56 PM

      Yeah Chili has done a great job. Speaking of Chili…I can’t help but think about the time my buddies Wife was in California with her Mother on vacation and they toured a bunch of Vineyards.
      Chili is apparently a big win connoisseur. He spent a bunch of time with them. Actually followed them around a bit. It seems Chili was blatantly hitting on my buddies Wife as well. Quite the funny story. This happened last year. They said Chili was a very down to earth…humble person.
      He just has an affinity for beautiful Women. Can’t fault him for that. I also give my buddy a hard time about it on a regular basis. Pisses him off actually. Which of course requires me to dog him about it even harder.

  19. raysfan1 - Oct 2, 2012 at 2:49 PM

    Congrats to the A’s. I hope they do well. Of course, in a perfect world, it would have been the Yankees getting eliminated instead of the Rays…oh well, whaddayagonnadoaboudit?

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