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And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

Oct 4, 2012, 5:30 AM EDT

Texas Rangers v Oakland Athletics Getty Images

Athletics 12, Rangers 5: Oakland shocks the world. No one on the planet had them pegged as a playoff team and, as recently as a week ago, no one figured they had a chance in hell at the division crown. Well, that’s what you get for pegging and figuring. As for the Rangers … just, dude, the Rangers. Losers of seven of nine down the stretch. They looked positively shell-shocked in this game. I know there is no correlation between how a season ends and how a team does in the playoffs but, man, this was ugly city.

Yankees 14, Red Sox 2:  God job, Boston. Good effort. Unless, rather than just a totally listless and mailed-in performance, your rolling over like this was really a calculated thing in which you served up you revenge to Baltimore for beating you to close out 2011’s collapse.

Rays 4, Orioles 1: Evan Longoria loves game 162. Three homers here to follow up last year’s heroics. As for Baltimore, it was remarkable that they made it all the way to the last day of the season with a shot at the division. There is no shame in taking the wild card. Now, on to face a Rangers team that looks like it’s suffering from PTSD.

Tigers 1, Royals 0: Miguel Cabrera: .330, 44, 139. Triple Crown. And the Tigers: the best rested of all of the AL playoff teams despite the fact that they have the worst record of them all. Viva divisions.

Nationals 5, Phillies 1: The Nats clinch home field throughout the playoffs. Teddy wins. What a festive day. Even better? Pouty Phillies! Jimmy Rollins:

“With us healthy, they’re a second-place team”

And if ifs and buts were candy and nuts we’d all have a merry Christmas.

White Sox 9, Indians 0: Dan Johnson: all he does is hit home runs in game 162. Really, that’s all he’s done for two years now. Three bombs last night. His first three of the year.

Braves 4, Pirates 0: Let the record reflect that Chipper Jones ended his career (regular season version) with a pinch hit single to right. Let it also reflect that Ben Sheets ended his with a scoreless inning. Beyond that the Braves emptied the pen and won their 20th of 30 to close out the season.

Mariners 12, Angels 0: Casper Wells drives in five. Every Mariner batter in the starting lineup scored at least one run.

Cubs 5, Astros 4: Because of course the Astros had to lose their 107th and final game — and their final NL game — in a walkoff loss. I guess some folks may look to the fact that Houston started respectably and ended winning 15 of 30 to say “hey, it’s not so bad,” but c’mon guys, it’s bad. Here’s hoping Bo Porter and a move to the AL give everyone a new beginning down there.

Mets 4, Marlins 2: It’s all over now everyone. The pain will stop until next spring. Ike Davis hit his 32nd homer.

Cardinals 1, Reds 0: Homer Bailey, alas, was unable to pull off the old Johnny Vander Meer. Matt Carpenter singled in a run and Shelby Miller tossed six shutout innings against a mostly resting Reds roster.

Dodgers 5, Giants 1: Clayton Kershaw finishes with the ERA crown. That’s something. He also finished a lone strikeout behind R.A. Dickey for the second jewel of the pitcher’s Triple Crown. Maybe next year he’ll learn how to win, however, and regain his Cy Young form.

Blue Jays 2, Twins 1: Next year will be the fist season since 1988 without Omar Vizquel in the major leagues. That is all.

Rockies 2, Diamondbacks 1: An NL West crown is followed by a .500 season. And before the NL West crown season, they were just putrid. The Arizona Diamondbacks are like a box of chocolates.

Padres 7, Brewers 6: This was the last game to end last night. And with it the 2012 major league regular season.

And, as it always does, its end makes me sad. I love the playoffs, of course, but they’re not the regular season.  Baseball to me has always been best as a constant, low-leverage thing where no one game matters too terribly much and, if we don’t like it, another game will come along the next day. It’s beautiful background music as we go about our lives from April through September.  The playoffs are …  something else.

Thanks for stopping by every morning during the long slow walk.

  1. Old Gator - Oct 4, 2012 at 5:54 AM

    Lew Wolff is a genius.

    • gogigantos - Oct 4, 2012 at 10:24 AM

      Wolff got nothing to do with it, at all. Go A’s

    • APBA Guy - Oct 4, 2012 at 11:37 AM

      As is Peter Angelos.

      Seriously, Wolff looked positively morose in his perch yesterday, keeping his eye glued to the phone. I wonder if Air Bud was giving him a peek at next year’s revenue sharing. Amazing that the A’s managed to get rid of the card-board stand-up of Wolff in the clubhouse before he trundled down for his half-hearted congratulations.

      • Old Gator - Oct 4, 2012 at 11:57 AM

        Probably, the last piece of clothing left to remove was his jockstrap. I wouldn’t have wanted to be there to see that either.

  2. proudlycanadian - Oct 4, 2012 at 5:59 AM

    1) In Omar Vizquel’s farewell game, he made another defensive gem and his hit moved him ahead of Mel Ott in the all time hits list.

    2) Josh Hamilton deserves the goats horns of the month for the horrible error that allowed Oakland to take the lead. Not sure if Texas wants him back after that play.

    3) The Yankees enter the playoffs with most of their injured players back. I like the chances of the ancient ones this year.

    • kiwicricket - Oct 4, 2012 at 6:10 AM

      It seems that being a Yankee ‘supporter’ is pretty straight forward whilst at the stadium. You either boo or cheer after the outcome of each at bat….that is until about the 5th when the Yanks are up by 5 or so.

      • proudlycanadian - Oct 4, 2012 at 7:22 AM

        Funny thing about the thumbs down reactions. I am not a Yankee supporter. I respect the consistency of the team and had Granderson, Jeter and Hughes on my winning fantasy team, but do not wish the Yankees success in the future. Eventually they will do an imitation of the 2012 Red Sox.

    • nbjays - Oct 4, 2012 at 7:16 AM

      Very classy move by Brett Lawrie in last night’s game. He offered to trade uniform numbers with Omar Vizquel so he could play his final game in his familiar #13. Nice to see.

  3. samu0034 - Oct 4, 2012 at 6:03 AM

    Looking at the box score in the Braves-Pirates game…

    B. Sheets 1.0 IP
    L. Avilan 1.0 IP
    J. Teheran 2.0 IP
    R. Delgado 1.0 IP
    C. Gearrin 1.0 IP
    E. O’Flaherty 1.0 IP
    J. Venters 1.0 IP
    C. Kimbrel 1.0 IP

    That all seems a little weird. Is that typical on the last game of the season for a playoff team? Seems you wouldn’t want to work your bullpen that much…

    • El Bravo - Oct 4, 2012 at 10:55 AM

      Dude they have a day off and then Medlen going on Friday afternoon. Given that it’s a one and done game, they will throw out all of the SPs in relief if needed to win. They will also throw out all of the above RPs if needed. They can’t focus on Game 1 of the NLDS until that WC game is in the bag.

  4. kiwicricket - Oct 4, 2012 at 6:03 AM

    The A’s win!!! Tremendous effort by them. Texas were up by a couple early, but totally dropped their bundle. Young will have to display all his heralded VLQ(veteran leadership qualities) to turn the ship around.*

    Jimmy Rollins-blow it out your ass.

    • kkolchak - Oct 4, 2012 at 8:20 AM

      Totally agree about Rollins. What a crybaby. The Nats actually lost more games of their regulars to injury than the Philthies did.

  5. Old Gator - Oct 4, 2012 at 6:11 AM

    It’s too bad to see Jimmy Rollins go home like that. His sour grapes reflect no credit on a team that was stricken by a monumental dose of bad luck this past season and do nothing for the reputation of an otherwise fine ballplayer. Very bush.

    Speaking of bush, the Feesh go out with a splat, and the Chihuahua says they won’t make any decisions about Slobbering Ozzie for a week or so. Well, that makes sense – they obviously don’t already have the information and perspectives at their disposal to let him know yet, right? Better to let him go off on his vacation to Spain today and spend a week wondering about it. I’m no Ozzie fan – this will come as a big shock to regular readers of this blog – but boy, is he working for a pen full of porco.

    Fun perspective: Black Hole Buck offered his postmortem on the season, and he says the Feesh flopped due to “injuries.” His season-long flirtation with the Mendoza Line and his .193 closeout average didn’t figure into his analysis. It’s going to be interesting to see how the team rids itself of him, short of eating the $6mm left on his contract and wishing him luck in the afterlife.

  6. kiwicricket - Oct 4, 2012 at 6:25 AM

    Bobby V goes out in ‘style’, basically calling his coaches a bunch of snakes in a radio interview. Effectively eliminating the slim chance he had of ever securing a job in MLB again. Nice one, Bob.

    You can now go back to nuclear frosting your teeth, dying your hair and over manicuring your face like any normal 62yr old and enjoy retirement.

    • Old Gator - Oct 4, 2012 at 6:52 AM

      Yeah, but his bicycle accident yesterday provided one of the high comedic points of the season, so let’s be grateful for that. Francisco’s comment is still cracking me up a day later.

      • kiwicricket - Oct 4, 2012 at 7:21 AM

        Loria is a genius. He paved the way for teams to start 5 rookie starting pitchers.

    • deathmonkey41 - Oct 4, 2012 at 12:35 PM

      Bobby was everything I hoped he’d be…here’s to hoping the Red Sox brass is too proud to admit they made a huge mistake and hang onto him for another year….

  7. Old Gator - Oct 4, 2012 at 6:48 AM

    Incidentally, just a quick note: I didn’t want to get into any discussions on the prior thread about the Neshek family’s tragedy, but the lowlives who thought it was funny to thumbs down the condolence posts on that thread emphasized why the whole “thumbs up/down” concept is such an intrusive, infantile waste of time. You don’t have to log in and be a member of this forum community to interpolate your worthless reactions, which is unfortunate. Let’s dump them altogether, and if someone has an opinion about what’s written here, let them log on and express it. The “thumbs” feature is just a cheap gimmick that turns this place into a playground for subadolescents, anancephalics and sociopaths. We don’t need this.

    • dlf9 - Oct 4, 2012 at 7:17 AM

      Trying to assume the best of people — yeah, probably misguided, but what the heck — I’d like to think that the thumbs down is not disagreeing with the statement in support of the Neshek family, but expressing displeasure with the horrible trajedy itself.

      That being said, the overall quality of the comments is unfortunately trending towards the juvenilia of the old ESPN bulletin boards rather than a more thoughtful cheering and analysis that once marked Shysterball.

      • kiwicricket - Oct 4, 2012 at 7:29 AM

        I feel there is a direct correlation between the material being written and the comments. Thoughtless spittle doesn’t require/induce much thought from either the writer or from the people who comment. Just my observation from other sites (and this one on the very rare occasion).

      • Gamera the Brave - Oct 4, 2012 at 12:32 PM

        Agreed, dlf.
        I was so happy to find this forum, watching Craig poke at Phillies and Nats fans, pretty thorough coverage – but most of all the collection of smart, informed, erudite, and funny folks that inhabit this domain. Oh, and Randy as well…
        Even when I disagree with a comment, that comment was generally posted with respect.

        That quality is being undercut lately, by the very ne’er-do-wells you mention, whom I suspect are getting bored with trolling PBT, and are coming over to check us out. Sigh…

    • indaburg - Oct 4, 2012 at 7:36 AM

      I hear you, OG, and I agree that it’s a pointless feature. It’s basically Facebook-creep. I think we all know there are juvenile retards out there, the kind of people that make me love my dog even more.

      This hasn’t happened to me today, but I have had instances of mistakenly thumbing comments up or down. I use a touch pad and if I brush the screen the wrong way whie trying to enlarge the screen, there goes a stupid thumb up or down that I didn’t mean. Of course, that’s not what’s happening on Neshek’s thread. That’s just jackasses being asses.

      If you disagree with something someone has said, please articulate why.

      • IdahoMariner - Oct 5, 2012 at 12:19 AM

        I have done the same a couple of times – at least on the iPad, if you immediately touch the thumbs up a few times, it will change your thumbs down to a thumbs up.

      • indaburg - Oct 5, 2012 at 6:37 AM

        Thanks for the tip. I have an IPad too. I’ll try it next time it happens.

    • stex52 - Oct 4, 2012 at 8:44 AM

      Agree that the thumbs are generally a waste of time. If I really am invested in what I’m saying, I could give a rat’s about the response. But I confess sometimes I will push things a bit just for the fun of seeing “downs.” Take the temptation away. Force me to be rational.

      And let the illiterates find another site to push their little buttons.

  8. indaburg - Oct 4, 2012 at 7:43 AM

    Not that it really matters except for accuracy’s sake, Longoria hit 3 home runs, not 2. Now I can play 4 months of “what if Longoria hadn’t missed more than half the season.” Fun.

  9. cardsfanandi - Oct 4, 2012 at 7:55 AM

    I was at the Cardinals game last night. This was the Reds line up:

    B. Phillips, 2B
    Z. Cozart, SS
    J. Votto, 1B
    R. Ludwick, LF
    J. Bruce, RF
    S. Rolen, 3B
    R. Hanigan, C
    D. Stubbs, CF
    H. Bailey, P

    How is this a mostly resting Reds line up? Shelby Miller pitched one heck of a game…a no hitter until the middle of the sixth for his first big league start! Can we give him some credit, please?

    • Craig Calcaterra - Oct 4, 2012 at 8:10 AM

      Most of those guys were lifted for replacements during the game.

      • paperlions - Oct 4, 2012 at 8:25 AM

        …and every single one of them had at least 2 ABs, while Miller pitched 1 hit ball. The only “replacements” he faced were Cairo and Valdez in the 6th….his final batter faced was Votto.

        It was most certainly not a “mostly resting Reds line up”, unless 2 of 21 batters equates to most.

    • natslady - Oct 4, 2012 at 8:48 AM

      Don’t the Cards and Reds hate each other with a Nats-Phillies sort of hate? I watched about half the game and I didn’t see much “resting.” Looked to me like a tight game with the usual NL double-switching towards the end. Final tune-up for the playoffs.

      • hisgirlgotburrelled - Oct 4, 2012 at 9:23 AM

        The Cards and Reds actually fought each other. This is in no way similar (if there is even any hate with the Nats and Phillies, outside of weird Werth).

      • Francisco (FC) - Oct 4, 2012 at 10:07 AM

        There’s no hate with the Nats, just friendly ribbing and rivalry punctuated by bouts of Werthy Weirdness.

  10. yankeesfanlen - Oct 4, 2012 at 8:00 AM

    Writing to congratulate the Universe without the appearance of gloating.
    IBM Joe’s numbers book notwithstanding, making due with what we had or could get.
    Beep-beep’s 216 hits and the etc. records he’s surpassing.
    Mr. Fiddley-fart is back and in good order so there’s not as many sub-three hour games.
    ARod left alone, hoping for a good postseason
    If Grandy was indeed taken out in deference to the great Miggy accomplishment, good for all.
    Swish is fun, Robbie is fantastic.
    (Forgive me, I must) Fly in the ointment: THE FAT TOAD

    • natslady - Oct 4, 2012 at 8:35 AM

      OK, being a person who doesn’t pay attention to the Yankees–inconceivable as that may seem–I still managed to decode most of this. But who is Fiddley-fart? I googled “Fat Toad” but the last report (2008) showed Hideki Irabu in Japan getting drunk and punching the bartender. Who inherited the title?

      • yankeesfanlen - Oct 4, 2012 at 11:25 AM

        The “new” Fat Toad is Joba.
        Mr. Fiddley-fart is the new old pitcher who throws to first fifty times a day

    • jayscarpa - Oct 4, 2012 at 9:20 AM

      Girardi uses an IPad now. I think Apple makes that.

  11. Francisco (FC) - Oct 4, 2012 at 8:15 AM

    Another thing lost with wild cards: no talk of the Rangers collapse worthy of the ’64 Phillies. They had a 5 game lead on the division with 9 to play last Monday and proceeded to lose the division by coughing up 7 games. If that isn’t epic I don’t know what is. For comparison the Mets had a 7 game lead with 17 to play in 2007 and the aforementioned Phillies of ’64 had 6 1/2 lead with 12 games to play.

    • indaburg - Oct 4, 2012 at 8:28 AM

      That’s a really good point. Any other year, we would be talking about the Ranger’s monumental collapse and how they failed to make the playoffs. Since I’m still undecided as to whether I like this new playoff format, I’ll put your point in the why-I-don’t-like-it column.

      • natslady - Oct 4, 2012 at 8:37 AM

        Apparently Vegas doesn’t believe in “monumental” collapses. Or repeaters.

        Odds to win the 2012 World Series

        Texas Rangers – 9/2
        New York Yankees – 5/1
        Cincinnati Reds – 11/2
        Washington Nationals – 6/1
        Detroit Tigers – 13/2
        San Francisco Giants – 7/1
        Atlanta Braves – 10/1
        Oakland Athletics – 10/1
        Baltimore Orioles – 14/1
        St. Louis Cardinals – 14/1

      • scatterbrian - Oct 4, 2012 at 2:04 PM

        Those odds can’t be current. No way a play-in team is considered the overall favorites.

  12. rockthered1286 - Oct 4, 2012 at 8:18 AM

    I gotta say…last night’s game was totally deflating for me. The O’s looked like they went out there with nothing in the tank, Tilly had his worst outting in his last 6 starts, and we blew any shot we had at a home field for the playoffs, even if it was just a play-in wildcard game. Losing 2 of 3 from Tampa hurt bad. Granted, this is a very good Tampa team. By far the best 3 pitchers we’ve faced in any series all season. But man…watching Shields throw upper 80’s to low 90’s and left a ton in the middle of the plate… we just looked flat, and I pray it doesn’t carry over into the wildcard game where the O’s have to head into Arlington to play against a pissed off Texas team that just got swept and lost their Division after a 13 game lead. By far the worst possible scenario. And to make matters worse? Hammel, Gonzo, Tilly all unavailable for Friday. We’re either going to start rookie Steve Johnson (although he is 4-0 with a hair over 2 ERA) or Joe Saunders (I believe winless in Arlington with an astronomical ERA).

    If there’s any silver lining, this is how it felt all season with these birds. You keep thinking “No way in hell…” and yet here we are, first time in 15 years. Remarkable journey and I’d love to see it continue.


    • kkolchak - Oct 4, 2012 at 9:09 AM

      The Orioles are playing with house money right now given their negative run differential. They made an amazing run just to get to this point. Win or lose Friday, it was a great season for them, whereas if Texas loses it completes a disastrous collapse.

      • lessick - Oct 4, 2012 at 11:28 AM

        The Orioles have a +7 run differential, not a negative one.

      • rockthered1286 - Oct 4, 2012 at 12:05 PM

        Beat me to it Lessick. People are foolish.

  13. Francisco (FC) - Oct 4, 2012 at 8:21 AM

    I also went to the Jays game, we ended up sitting behind Yunel Escobar’s father. After the game and interviews Vizquel was given a Gatorade bath. They also celebrated inside the clubhouse with a retirement party. Hopefully we’ll see him return soon as a coach/manager.

    • kiwicricket - Oct 4, 2012 at 9:07 AM

      Being a bench coach under Sandy Alomar Jr in Cleveland would be a great way to start. Add Thome as the hitting coach in a year or two and the old band is back together!

  14. natstowngreg - Oct 4, 2012 at 8:48 AM

    Had several things to say this morning about unexpected playoff teams, classlessness, and large foam heads. Pointless. The only worthwhile thing I can say is, sincerest condolences to Pat Neshek and his family.

  15. randygnyc - Oct 4, 2012 at 9:01 AM

    Thanks for these ATH articles. I agree about the comforting nature of a 162 game schedule. I also agree about the void it creates at seasons end.

    3 simple points- first, congrats to the Yankees, as they emerged as the best team in the American league.

    Second- awesome showing by Oakland. Personally, I don’t think they’ll advance too far in this years playoffs, but the experience they’re obtaining will create a strong foundation for winning, A LOT, in the future.

    Third- Miguel Cabrerra-MMMVVVPPP

  16. brakengo - Oct 4, 2012 at 9:02 AM

    Is MLB the only sport that has a division winner on the road playing the wild card winner? The Senators at Braves/Cardinals winner. Hasn’t this been going in for years?

  17. thephilsabide - Oct 4, 2012 at 9:08 AM

    As a Phillies fan, part of me wants to act like Jimmy and whine about luck and injuries. And the last few days I’ve even come as close as to typing a message out and deleting it. But, 98 wins is 98 wins no matter how you look at it. And even with a healthy Phillies team, the Nats were still playoff bound. On the list of my favorite Phillies, Rollins ranks near the bottom with the likes of Geoff Geary and Mike Martinez. And it’s simply because of his mouth. When he learns to shut up and accept the fact that it just wasn’t your AB, game, year….whatever, he may earn some respect in my book. So, in other words, I’ll never respect him.

    • natslady - Oct 4, 2012 at 9:24 AM

      Thanks, much appreciated!

  18. nyetjones - Oct 4, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    Hey Craig – I am not offended and not trying to pull a PC police move on you here – but I find it interesting that you would compare the Rangers to a person suffering from PTSD. And I’m serious about not trying to be making some kind of moralistic call-out here – I think if you had said “shell-shocked,” it might not even have registered, and clearly that’s just a historical version of the term.

    But I am curious as to what drives when we don’t notice things like that and we do. For example, I seriously doubt you would write “their defense was awful like an AIDS patient” or “their offense is as anemic as a hemophiliac” or “a run down Cubs team that looks like it is suffering from end-stage leukemia.” But you could write that a team is on life-support, and again, no one would notice. So – what do you think drives that? Why is PTSD a funny comparison whereas all these other things would raise hackles in a heartbeat?

    Again, curious as to what you think, not accusatory. I’m not one to squash speech, but I am one to try to understand it and its social cachet.

    • Loren - Oct 4, 2012 at 12:04 PM

      I was also wondering about this. Not offended myself, but wondering how people who actually have had PTSD or come into close contact with it would feel about reading something like this. I’m not sure the horrors of war should be compared to losing a baseball game.

  19. sportsdrenched - Oct 4, 2012 at 9:51 AM

    I bounced around MLB last night until the final out in Milwaukee, even though a lot of teams were spring training the games out. (wipes tear). And like Craig and others have said, I enjoy the playoffs…because it’s baseball. I enjoy a normal 15 game schedule in the middle of July too. It’s like that security blanket being ripped away from you. Summer is my favorite season and baseball’s regular season ending is just like another leaf that’s blown to the ground as winter approaches….so this is when we riot, correct?

    Some other thoughts:
    I have to go with Cabrera for MVP. If you do something that hasn’t been done in 45 years…you need to get an award for that.

    Billy Beane is a Wizard and no one should ever underestimate him again.

    This time last year I was excited about the Royals future, but since then it seems the front office and team has done everything to make sure they drive away fans. I’m not hopeful about the future anymore even if they get Danny Duffy & Mike Montgomery back on track. It’s not a coincidence that a team that should accept the Moneyball philosophy has rejected it since it was a “thing”, and subsequently they have most losses in MLB during that time frame.

    On another Royals note: The crowd at the K did give Cabrera a curtian call last night. Don’t know if that will get any run in the national media. But it goes to show that KC fans don’t hate everyone like some would have you beleive from the HR Derby with Cano.

    I like the new playoff format for the sole reason there is more baseball. But I hate that division winners have to go on the road to start the DS to the Wild Card team.

    I haven’t read the Pat Neshak story…but damn, there are now words.

    • scatterbrian - Oct 4, 2012 at 2:57 PM

      “If you do something that hasn’t been done in 45 years…you need to get an award for that.”

      That’s not really a valid reason to give him the MVP award. Trout was the first rookie ever with 30 HRs and 40 steals….something that hasn’t been done in like 141 years.

      But if you must give Cabrera an award, give him the Hank Aaron award.

  20. billgatesbarber - Oct 4, 2012 at 10:01 AM

    I wonder if injuries had anything to do with Rollins getting benched for lack of hustle?

  21. wonkypenguin - Oct 4, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    And as I do every year, Craig – thank you for your hard work on ATH. Sometimes, I marvel at your ability to say something about every game, every day. You truly make my baseball season more enjoyable.
    /has no reason to suck up, so obviously it’s sincere… :-)

  22. manchestermiracle - Oct 4, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    “Maybe next year (Kershaw will) learn how to win, however, and regain his Cy Young form.”

    This is why Kershaw, despite the best ERA and being 2nd in strikeouts (to say nothing of pitching well with a hip injury), won’t win the CY this year. What in the heck does not getting run support have to do with “learning?” Very few pitchers can generate enough runs on their own to win a game, it requires teammates producing. What a stupid sentence that was, Craig.

    • kiwicricket - Oct 4, 2012 at 10:19 AM

      I think Craig was kidding?
      (I don’t see your sarcasm indicator flickering)

    • Francisco (FC) - Oct 4, 2012 at 10:36 AM

      You Sarcasm detector must be broken today.

  23. pdowdy83 - Oct 4, 2012 at 10:25 AM

    The injury argument from Jimmy Rollins was just dumb AND classless. EVERY team deals with injuries. Yes the Phillies had more than their fair share but so did the Nats. Werth, Morse, Storen, Desmond and Ramos all missed over a month of the season. The Nats banded together and still won 98 games.

    Show a little respect JRoll and tip your hat to the better team this year then come back next year and let your play do the talking.

  24. APBA Guy - Oct 4, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    In the end, it was the Gold Alternate Home jerseys. When I saw those on the A’s at the start yesterday, I knew Game 162 was in the bag.

    Ok, maybe not in the bag. I was nervous as hell. This wasn’t 2002. There was no Chavez, no Miggy, no Big 3. Just a bunch of rookies and scrap-heap pick-ups. And Texas. Loaded with stars. And Money.

    AJ “Mix-a-Lot” Griffin had started looking nervous the night before. Every camera shot of him in the dugout during game 161 showed him tight-lipped, grim, rookie-like. Sure enough, the sold-out Mausoleum (can’t say that enough) endured 2.2 innings of balls up in the zone, when they were in the zone, and Rangers prancing and cavorting like we thought, in our nightmares, that they would.

    Then magic. Scribner, another rookie, relieved Griffin in the third and got the third out with Rangers at first and third and 5 runs in. In the Rangers fourth, with two out, Beltre singled and Cruz doubled. Runners on second and third.The stadium was dead quiet. The sky is about to fall.

    But Scribner got Young to fly out. The A’s ran off the field with purpose. There’s a murmuring, a stirring, a belief spreading throughout the stadium.

    The rest, everyone has seen in the highlights.

    By the time the Rangers bat in the ninth the score is 12-5. Melvin , whom I criticized roundly in mid September for various managerial offenses, is taking no chances in this one, as indeed he has taken none over the past 10 games. TV takes no commercial break and stays with the crowd between innings as the Raiders-like din escalates to frenzy, the right-field bleacher faithful raging to crazy Aussie Balfour’s walk-on music, appropriately the Bay Area’s own Metallica’s “One”, from “And Justice for All” their last truly heavy album, a raging drum-madness nightmare that completely captures the essence of Balfour.

    Every pitch, every out is met with a rising swell of noise, like a volcano erupting and you’re in the middle of it.

    Then Crisp’s catch: relief, disbelief, unbridled joy. From 5 games back with 9 to play. 101 starts by rookie pitchers. In this game, the biggest game of the year 6.1 innings from the pen, 5 by rookies, only allowing 4 hits and 1 walk. Pitching Coach Curt Young should be paraded around Oakland in a sedan chair for the rest of his life.

    And best of all? The Great and Powerful Beane being drenched by a team beer attack after the game, while Wolff scowled.

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