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And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

Apr 4, 2013, 5:33 AM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves Getty Images

Today was supposed to be the first day that I posted ATH later than I used to. Really: I was going to restore life balance with this one. I watched the Braves game last night but rather than stay up another hour and a half or two hours getting most of the recaps done, I turned off the TV and computer, went upstairs, read some non-baseball related things for a bit and then went to bed at a decent hour.  I was then going to wake up at six or so, calmly and with rest write ATH, post it at eight or something, content with the knowledge that 95% of you wouldn’t mind.

Then I woke up at 4:15 AM for no damn reason.

Whatever. Maybe life balance will return tomorrow.  Anyway:

Braves 9, Phillies 2: You know, I’d take way more pleasure in the Braves pounding the Phillies if it didn’t happen against Roy Halladay, because I actually really love that guy and hate to see these struggles. Guess I’ll have to get over that too. In the meantime: Evan Gattis homered in his MLB debut, Justin Upton hit a lazy, grit-free homer — clearly not playing to the scoreboard — and Jason Heyward added one against Jonathan Papelbon, who probably would have pitched better if he had anyone to lead him.  As for Gattis: with his newly-grown beard, dude looks like Mad Dog Buzz Sawyer, I have decided. Which led me to spend a good hour during the game last night in a Georgia Championship Wrestling Wikipedia hole. Which, by the way, is one of the kinds of things that help one restore life balance.

Giants 5, Dodgers 3: Walking seven in five innings is no way to go through life, son, but I suppose if you only give up two runs and drive one in yourself on a fielder’s choice it’s OK. Homers from Pablo Sandoval and Hunter Pence help too. In other news, given that one of those two guys is famously zaftig and the other one is on a hardcore paleo diet, I just got about 30 seconds of giggles trying to picture them  going out after the game to celebrate their heroics and getting into a fight trying to settle on a restaurant. Are there any combination kale/areapa places near Dodger Stadium?

Rays 8, Orioles 7: Walkoff bomb for Matt Joyce, saving Fernando Rodney‘s bacon after he uncharacteristically blew a lead in the top of the ninth. It was the first time he’d even allowed a run since last August 18. Joyce’s quote after the game:

“To get the first win out of the way, and to have it in dramatic fashion kind of seems to be the Rays way.”

Funny. I thought “The Rays Way” was to slam former teammates for not having winning attitudes and claim that “The Rays Way” magically sprung into being the moment you yourself made the roster. Huh.

Diamondbacks 10, Cardinals 9: Matthew did a recap here. I’ll note that the fact that the Dbacks played a 16 inning game but were still afraid to use Heath Bell again speaks volumes. In other news, the fact that this game lasted beyond 3 A.M. eastern is part of the reason I’m gonna try not to get too hung up on staying up late to get these recaps done so darn early. Unless NBC will finally honor that request I put in about transferring me to a company-paid condo in a desirable west coast location I can’t hope to keep up with the late games and do them justice. Waiting to hear back from my supervisor on this any day now.

Mets 8, Padres 4: Matt Harvey struck out ten in seven shutout innings and his teammates supplied him with three two-run homers and a couple more on top. Which, keeping in mind it’s only been a couple of games, leads one to ask startling questions. Maybe that’s why I woke up at 4:15 AM. The possibility of unexpected horrors and such.

Rockies 7, Brewers 3: Juan Nicasio got his first win in nearly a year. Wilin Rosario, Michael Cuddyer and Dexter Fowler all homered too, as the Rockies take two of three from the Brewers to start the year. Walt Weiss after the game:

“Get good starting pitching and it tends to fall into place for you.”

That should happen at least a couple dozen times for him this season.

Indians 3, Blue Jays 2: Mark Reynolds hit the go-ahead homer in the 11th. This after Chris Perez blew the save in the ninth by surrendering a homer to Jose Bautista. I like the Indians this year and think they’ll surprise a lot of people, but Mark Reynolds and Chris Perez in key situations is gonna give Indians fans a lot of heartburn. The Jays start 0-2, putting a serious damper on that offseason title they won.

Athletics 6, Mariners 2: Tommy Milone gave up a couple of homers in the first inning but then he chilled out and pitched six shutout innings on top of that one.  Jed Lowrie went 3-for-3 with a homer a walk and three RBIs. Nate Freiman had two hits and an RBI in his major league debut, which is pretty cool.

Red Sox 7, Yankees 4: Clay Buchholz allowed one run in seven innings. Hiroki Kuroda took an early shower thanks to a Shane Victorino liner off his pitching hand. Not gonna bury the Yankees like everyone else, but their best shot to weather this early season storm of injuries and self-inflicted roster deficiencies is to get solid work from the 1-2-3 in their rotation. So far they’re 0 for 2 in that department.

Twins 3, Tigers 2: The girlfriend records a Tigers podcast each week for the Bless You Boys website. They were set to record this week’s installment last night right after this game ended. It ended with Phil Coke and the Tigers’ new quasi closer-by-committee setup blowing the game. I couldn’t hear them in the other room recording the podcast, but it took way longer than usual, so I can only assume it was to edit out all the f-bombs and bitter asides and such. If it were me, this week’s podcast would consist of me beating up an effigy of Jim Leyland as I screamed “DO NOT LET PHIL COKE PITCH TO RIGHTIES EVER, SEE?”

Pirates 3, Cubs 0: Wandy Rodriguez shut the Cubs out into the seventh inning, ending his night by getting out of a bases loaded jam with a strikeout to Brent Lillibridge with the count full. Just froze his butt. That bases loaded situation notwithstanding, the Cubs only managed two hits and that was the only time they got someone as far as third base.

Rangers 4, Astros 0: Houston was shut out for the second straight game, this time by Alexi Ogando — who struck out ten in six and a third — and four relievers who were mostly around to get some work in after not exactly needing it the past couple of games. The Astros have struck out 43 times in three games.

Nationals 3, Marlins 0: Gio Gonzalez did it all, throwing six shutout innings and hitting a homer. He was like that elephant in the old “Gone Batty” cartoon. Or maybe Bugs Bunny in “Baseball Bugs.” Hey, wait a minute. Warner Brothers was recycling cartoon plots!

White Sox 5, Royals 2: Jake Peavy threw a solid six and four Sox hit homers. The White Sox lost 12 of 18 to the Royals last year. If they had gone .500 against Kansas City they would’ve tied the Tigers for the AL Central title. So taking the first two games of the season from them probably feels pretty good.

Reds 5, Angels 4: Joey Votto drove in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth with a hot shot off Albert Pujols‘ glove. Brandon Phillips hit a three-run homer. He’s the Reds’ cleanup hitter now, which is weird. But life is weird sometimes. Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton are a combined 0 for 15 with five strikeouts in the first two games of the season. The Angels might survive yet another slow start from Pujols and early struggles from Hamilton. One wonders if Mike Scioscia will, though. I know it’s impossibly early, but I sorta feel like he’s gonna be the first manager to get the axe this year. You don’t sign the biggest free agents in the game two years running, get bad results and avoid someone being made a scapegoat.

OK, this time I mean it: tomorrow ATH is gonna be up later. Totally seriously.

  1. pipkin42 - Apr 4, 2013 at 5:36 AM

    I always know its time for bed when I see one of these come through the ol’ wire. I live in California, but still…

    • quintjs - Apr 4, 2013 at 6:15 AM

      you are doing well pipkin, I live on the other side of the world and that is my routine too…

  2. mrfloydpink - Apr 4, 2013 at 6:01 AM

    If you regard 6:00 a.m. as “sleeping in,” you are officially an old man. I suggest you go out front and order the kids to get off your lawn.

    • heyblueyoustink - Apr 4, 2013 at 8:22 AM

      I still regard 6:00AM as a “rolling in” hour, not a “sleeping in” hour……. age be damned.

  3. natslady - Apr 4, 2013 at 6:19 AM

    Can’t believe you missed Gio saying he made love to his hand…and Rick Eckstein (hitting coach) burning his pants in a clubhouse fire.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/dc-sports-bog/wp/2013/04/03/gio-gonzalez-i-felt-like-i-was-making-love-to-my-hand/

  4. rockthered1286 - Apr 4, 2013 at 6:42 AM

    Chen pitched great for the O’s. other than allowing the first man on base in 4 straight innings. But 5 2/3IP 2ER? Not too shabby. At 83 pitched I would’ve left him in longer, but I guess that’s easy to say after you watch Ayala go 1/3IP 2ER, followed by Strop who continues his fall from grace with more wild pitches and no control over his fastball (Daniel Cabrera anyone?) and Tommy Homer, sorry Hunter, doing what he does best- give up long costly bombs

    O’s pen: 2 1/3IP, 6R. Ouch. I hope I NEVER see the combo of Hunter, Ayala, Strop again out there. It’s almost like conceding a loss and getting your bottom barrel guys some action while resting other arms and nothing more.

    • psuorioles - Apr 4, 2013 at 9:07 AM

      Not a fan of Ayala at all… how do you give up a 3run HR to Shelly Freaking Dunkin.

  5. schmedley69 - Apr 4, 2013 at 6:53 AM

    Evan Gattis does look like Mad Dog Sawyer, which probably means that he has a long-lost brother out there somewhere, Brett Wayne Gattis.

  6. janessa31888 - Apr 4, 2013 at 7:17 AM

    Mark Reynolds was so bad with runners on base. But I’m going to forgive him for the sake of that home run. I think Chris Perez will be okay. It was that pesky Jose Bautista. He makes a lot of pitchers look bad. Happy that Ubaldo had a good start. If he hadnt, we would have gotten crushed.

    • proudlycanadian - Apr 4, 2013 at 7:37 AM

      The Indians got lucky with that unearned run off Oliver; otherwise, Bautista’s home run would have won the game. Otherwise, I do think that the Indians will surprise this year and have said so on this site. Congratulations to Fat Albers who was the winning pitcher.

  7. Old Gator - Apr 4, 2013 at 7:20 AM

    The Feesh made a leettle heestory last night, becoming the first real baseball team to open the season with back to back shutout losses since 2002. Pretty impressive, no? The reconstituted Kevin Slowey pitched five and two thirds innings of one run ball for his new manager, who also happened to be his catcher in his major league debut for Minnesota way back when he made his major league debut seven or so years ago. Unfortunately, the Scrooge McLoria No-Run Offense (I thought it would be more appropriate to name it after the owner than call it “New Look,” since it’s actually the same old shit as last season, just worse) proved unequal to the expertise of Macondo native Gio Gonzalez, for whose services the Feesh got snookered year fore last. It’s just as well, since he’d be playing for the Feather Lice by now anyway if they had gotten him.

    The unfortunate Mike Redmond noted after the game that some of the guys were “pressing,” which I think refers to the weight room. Well, I hope so. That way, when they swing hard, the ball might carry a little further in case they hit it. Also, on this day one year ago, Slobbering Ozzie was entering the third day of his penitential persecution for saying that he loved Fidel Castro. Yes, it’s been over a year already. And guess who they still haven’t been able to kill?

    • natslady - Apr 4, 2013 at 8:22 AM

      OG–your Iron Giant, is his head in the game? He rattled around right field as if he’d never been there (on the Ryan Zimmerman “triple”), let us just say “chancy” baserunning, and not much at the place. I know, small sample size, but…

    • heyblueyoustink - Apr 4, 2013 at 8:23 AM

      Jeff Loria?

      • Old Gator - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:07 AM

        Who dat?

      • Old Gator - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:09 AM

        Oh, I get it – not having imbibed my liquid pacemaker this morning, I didn’t catch that you were trolling me.

        Okay, you asked for it: fuck you!

    • indaburg - Apr 4, 2013 at 9:06 AM

      As I was saying last night, if you’re going to be awful, be historically awful. Don’t just be mediocrely bad. That’s boring.

      • Old Gator - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:10 AM

        I’m not prepared to assess what’s historical or not. That’s histori…historo…hysterio…ahhh, where is my goddamned coffee this morning anyway? My dogs usually have it waiting for me by 8:30 AM.

    • huffdaddyco - Apr 4, 2013 at 9:08 AM

      Wait. Did you just call them a real baseball team?

      • Old Gator - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:14 AM

        No, the implication is that they’re a virtual baseball team. Would it really surprise anyone if Scrooge McLoria and the Chihuahua discovered that despite the high programming and design costs going in, it would be far less expensive to populate the field with nothing but idoru — you know, holographic Stepford ballplayers – and ship the real ones, quietly and in the night, off to become Soylent Rainbow? He could have used one of the same boxcars left over from the banana massacre for which his 35,000 seat parboiler was named.

        Ergo, Gnatslady, the Iron Giant was merely having a software problem out there last night.

      • natstowngreg - Apr 4, 2013 at 1:05 PM

        Any resemblance between the Miami Marlins and a Major League Baseball(tm) team is purely coincidental.

        Exhibit A was Placido Polanco batting cleanup. Exhibit B was Kevin Slowey as the #2 starter.

  8. Shafer's Dealer - Apr 4, 2013 at 7:26 AM

    Phillies future is murky at best…

    • heyblueyoustink - Apr 4, 2013 at 8:26 AM

      Too early to tell, agreed. One thing is certain, though, while the Bravos may be starting strong, there’s that whole finishing the job thing….

    • bellweather22 - Apr 4, 2013 at 2:19 PM

      If you look at the team the Phillies are putting on the field, and their terrible bullpen…. well, it’s not going to be any better than last year.

  9. dondada10 - Apr 4, 2013 at 7:41 AM

    And the Yankees keep on dooming along.

  10. jarathen - Apr 4, 2013 at 7:45 AM

    Albert Pujols was terrible all game. He wasted a walk trying to steal in the first and then misplayed the Votto shot at the end of it.

    • stex52 - Apr 4, 2013 at 8:35 AM

      Fortunately it’s only two games. But he hasn’t looked good yet. Let’s hope it’s not a repeat. I doubt it, though.

      • proudlycanadian - Apr 4, 2013 at 4:26 PM

        It is not spring training and Pujols is no longer allowed to have a designated base runner.

    • bengalsucker - Apr 4, 2013 at 8:49 AM

      I was at the game so I didn’t see it on TV but everyone in my section thought he was safe when stealing second. And we were all Reds fans. But yeah, other than that, he’s not looking so good. Hamilton had a good shot I believe to the warning track but that was about it. 2 strikeouts other than that.

    • bellweather22 - Apr 4, 2013 at 2:22 PM

      Has Pujols figured out yet that the ball doesn’t carry in the heavy night ocean air on SoCal? Too bad most of his flyballs die on the warning track. That really kills the HOF creds.

  11. philliesblow - Apr 4, 2013 at 8:04 AM

    Wonder what was going through Phil Coke’s brain when Jackson and Dirks let that fly ball drop?

    The CBC (Closer By Committee) arrangement might work if you can spread your 5 back end guys over 2 innings to play match-ups. Verlander and Sanchez have only gone 5 innings, both over 90 pitches. We knew the bullpen would be a question mark, but starting pitching is supposed to be a strength for the Tigers.

  12. recoveringcubsfan - Apr 4, 2013 at 8:07 AM

    If Hunter Pence and Pablo Sandoval stood next to each other, they’d look like the number 10.

  13. bengalsucker - Apr 4, 2013 at 8:52 AM

    I still don’t understand why they pitch to Votto in the 9th after plunking Choo and Heisy bunting him over. Not a smart move. I would have taken my chances with Phillips even though it’s a lefty on righty matchup. Votto can hit against anyone. Although I’m glad they did and we get the win!

  14. indaburg - Apr 4, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    I love my team, but every time I hear the Rays Way, I cringe. It sounds like some inane corporate team building activity. I still don’t know what it is. I’m thinking it’s either no run support or being unable to hit your own body weight.

    • cur68 - Apr 4, 2013 at 11:40 AM

      So, we agree? “Ray’s Way” = “No Run Support”? Wish I’d known this BEFORE the effin season started….jeez

  15. jrs45 - Apr 4, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    Reynolds’ bomb in the 11th was amazing! What a blast!

  16. Ben - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    Game 2: the Marlins are still scoreless.

    • historiophiliac - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:41 AM

      Ruina!

      • Ben - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:52 AM

        But seriously, I wonder what the record is for number of games played before scoring a run to start the season?

      • historiophiliac - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:54 AM

        We might find out.

      • Ben - Apr 4, 2013 at 11:23 AM

        I think (but I’m not 100% sure) the longest streak of scoreless games for a team to start the year is 4.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 4, 2013 at 11:25 AM

        I’m sure if the Marlins set a new record, the pundits will be sure to let us know. Good on the research though.

  17. earpaniac - Apr 4, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    For his sake and yours, lets hope he doesn’t make the same life choices that Mad Dog Buzz Sawyer did.

  18. APBA Guy - Apr 4, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    The Mariners showed their reality last night, once you get past the King, you are likely to get pitches to hit. The A’s did, finally, after the Iwakuma futility in Game 2, and took advantage of the situation, despite two solo shots in the first off Milone. Lowrie sure looked good, as he does when healthy, and Freiman, the surprise roster selection out of Spring, also looked good: nice and controlled at the plate as opposed to Moss, who looks like he’s pressing. 15,000 again at the Mausoleum, which looks pretty good compared to last year’s 10,000 mid-week, so the 2012 carryover looks to be real.

    Griffin goes tonight. Hopefully he can be solid and the A’s can even up their record. It’s important to not fall too far below .500 in April and May, the months when Beane assesses what the team needs. As good as Texas and LAA figure to be, it will be even more difficult to stage a late season run this year, especially since the 3 kid pitchers (Parker, Milone, Griffin) pitched a lot of innings last year. It is almost certain that one of them shows real fatigue by August.

  19. roycethebaseballhack - Apr 4, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    I almost hate to bring this up now, but why on earth did The Angels and The Reds start the season in a inter-league series? I’m struggling with the whole thing. If this is some kind of traditional scheduling, it’s shot right past me. Sorry this is such a late-in-the-party question, but I’ve been digging around and haven’t seen any substantial comments on it. Are there always two teams that start the season like this? I’ve been less focused than normal on the season to this point, but trying to get lasered in, and this is really throwing off my game.
    Thanks. Mean it.

    • bailey2626 - Apr 4, 2013 at 12:40 PM

      roycethebaseballhack – The Astros moved to the AL, making it 15 teams in the AL and 15 in the NL. There will be an interleague game somewhere every day. Reds and Angels are just the first this year.

      • roycethebaseballhack - Apr 4, 2013 at 1:03 PM

        Thanks, bailey. I appreciate it.
        Gotta admit I’m a tad perplexed by the downvotes on the question, though.

  20. hisgirlgotburrelled - Apr 4, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    “In the meantime: Evan Gattis homered in his MLB debut” … off of Halladay in the 4th inning. And then proceeded to flip the bat.

    I’d like to give the guy the benefit of the doubt and say he was caught up in the moment of hitting his first HR. Any thoughts on a guy playing his first game and flipping a bat in front of Halladay? Out of line? Caught up in the moment? Or are bat flips just accepted now as not showing up the pitcher?

    • bellweather22 - Apr 4, 2013 at 2:27 PM

      However you look at it, there’s not much that Halladay can do about it with an 88 mph fastball. Players used to be afraid to show him up. That’s just not a factor anymore. Plus Gattis is a big dude and he looks like he might bite.

      • hisgirlgotburrelled - Apr 4, 2013 at 4:30 PM

        So you think he did show him up… Great move by a guy in his first game ever to a veteran like Roy Halladay.

  21. kegrun - Apr 4, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    THIS…IS…WHY…WE..CHOOOOOOOP!

  22. sportsfan22 - Apr 4, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    Go rays! And the rays way is just find a way. Third lowest payroll but usually contend they are truly a “team”. No egos involved(anymore) and play hard. So keep writing your stories bashing them they don’t care!

  23. bellweather22 - Apr 4, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    Merging Braves and Rays talk: BJ Upton has now struck out five times in a row. Great start! What’s the MLB record?… and does Dan Uggla hold it?

  24. indianbob - Apr 4, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    If Posey wasn’t injured in 2011, Giants have three World Series in a row!
    Go ahead, ignore San Francisco again, while they take the 2013 World Series!!!

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