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And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

Apr 5, 2013, 6:55 AM EST

Aroldis Chapman and Dusty Baker

Reds 5, Angels 4: Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton finally upped their averages north of .000 — each went 1 for 4 and drove in a couple — but not enough to matter. Aroldis Chapman came in to pitch the ninth against the top of the order. Mike Trout singled but then he got Aybar — who sacrificed — Pujols and Hamilton, with his velocity going up a couple miles per hour each pitch. It was a nice closing job, but boy howdy I’d like to see him start a game at 93 and slowly crank it up to 99, Verlander-style, someday.

Yankees 4, Red Sox 2: Pettitte-to-Mariano. If you’re struggling, go back to what works. This has worked for about 17 years or so. In other news, the Yankees and Red Sox played a game against each other that lasted two hours and thirty eight minutes. I didn’t think such things were possible, but it actually happened.

Royals 3, White Sox 1: An impressive outing from Jeremy Guthrie (6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 9K). Then the hard-throwers in the bullpen did their thing for three innings. This is what the Royals pretty much drew up happening every game this season. It won’t, but this is what success looks like for this team.

Twins 8, Tigers 2: We all laughed a bit yesterday afternoon when the Tigers signed Jose Valverde. But after watching Brayan Villareal stink up the joint to the tune of fives runs in two-thirds on an inning, it’s not as if Valverde would be the worst part of this bullpen. At the moment the entire bullpen is the worst part of the bullpen.

Cubs 3, Pirates 2: I watched way more of this one than the Angels-Reds game which was on TV at the same time. Guess I just wanted to see teams I’ll see less of over the course of the year. Travis Wood was good and Carlos Marmol was his usual shaky self. My favorite thing was the Pirates, though. In the seventh inning, with the Cubs up 1-0, Clint Hurdle had his cleanup hitter bunt with a fast runner on second and no one out. The cleanup hitter could not get the bunt down and strikes out. The next two batters pop out and strike out. Oh, and the fast runner stole third in the meantime. Maybe if they had one more out. Maybe if Hurdle put a guy in the cleanup spot that he trusted to, you know, clean up.

Padres 2, Mets 1: Eric Stults and five relievers combined for 14 strikeouts and kept the Mets scoreless until the ninth. If you had New York at 162-0, well, sorry.

Nationals 6, Marlins 1: I suppose if you had the Marlins at 0-162 that you still have a lot of life in that proposition. But hey, at least they finally scored a run. The Nats’ 2-3-4 hitters combined to drive in all six of the team’s runs. I suppose Werth, Harper and Zimmerman are gonna do that a lot.

Orioles 6, Rays 3: Chris Davis, have yourself an Opening Week. He homered for the third straight day and drove on four. For the series he went 7 of 11 with three homers, three doubles and 11 RBI. And if we’re gonna mention the Nats’ 2-3-4, we should mention the O’s 3-4-5. In taking two of three from Tampa Bay they went 17 for 37 with four homers, six doubles, 13 runs scored and 15 RBI.

Phillies 2, Braves 0: Cliff Lee dominated, allowing only two hits — both singles — and striking out eight. Last year Cliff Lee didn’t win his first game until the fourth of July. Speaking of wins, this was the first time in 24 tries that the Braves lost a Kris Medlen start. Which, to be honest, makes me happy in some strange way. Seemed like that streak — which stretched over years, a Tommy John surgery and a lot of improbable stuff — was giving people a sense that this kid was somehow magical rather than simply good and fortunate. And from there it’s a short slide to people thinking pitcher wins matter. If you want to see how awful it is when people think that, just ask folks if they think Cliff Lee is still an ace. Those poor deluded sods who say “no” are basing this on his win total last year.

Athletics 8, Mariners 2: L.A. Woman-era Jim Morrison hit a homer and drove in four runs for Oakland. Wait, sorry. That was Josh Reddick. Michael Morse homered for the third straight day.

Blue Jays 10, Indians 8J.P. Arencibia hit two homers. Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista did too. But some bad news: Bautista left the game early with a twisted ankle. Probably not serious, but Toronto needs him healthy all year.

  1. UgglasForearms - Apr 5, 2013 at 7:19 AM

    My, not so bold, prediction is that the Pirates can end their misery and win more games than they lose this year. I know it’s the first week of the season but…

    • abaird2012 - Apr 5, 2013 at 8:38 AM

      No, that’s pretty bold.

      • UgglasForearms - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:19 AM

        Yeah. I should have said “my not so smart prediction”.

  2. proudlycanadian - Apr 5, 2013 at 7:29 AM

    In other news, Craig slept in sort of. Congratulations Craig on a normal night’s sleep.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 5, 2013 at 7:41 AM

      Woke up at 6:10. Had already written a couple of the recaps last night. This is somewhat closer to a human schedule.

      • heyblueyoustink - Apr 5, 2013 at 9:04 AM

        What do you know of a human schedule, Cylon?

      • Old Gator - Apr 5, 2013 at 9:58 AM

        Cylon? Replicant.

  3. southpaw2k - Apr 5, 2013 at 7:51 AM

    Yeah, but Chris Davis’ home run yesterday was a measly 2-run bomb, not another 3-run homer. I mean, he’s still on pace for a 162-home run season which is great, but his RBI projection has dropped significantly. Underachiever.

    • indaburg - Apr 5, 2013 at 8:18 AM

      Chris Effin’ Davis.

      • chuuke - Apr 5, 2013 at 9:28 AM

        Chris ‘Big Baby’ Davis

      • rockthered1286 - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:17 AM

        Crush Davis.

      • indaburg - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:19 AM

        Sob…

  4. skeleteeth - Apr 5, 2013 at 7:57 AM

    “Michael Morse homered for the third straight day.”

    That’s it? Really? Vlad fading into obscurity is more interesting than 4 homers in first 4 games of the season?

    • paperlions - Apr 5, 2013 at 8:10 AM

      Yes, it is. Every year some player has 3 or 4 HR in the first 3 or 4 games….waaaaaa, my team doesn’t get enough coverage/appreciation/respect.

      • skeleteeth - Apr 5, 2013 at 8:59 AM

        No hurt feelings here. Not even a Mariners fan. I don’t know, 4 HR to start the season after 9 in spring training seems like something.

      • sportsdrenched - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:48 AM

        This is when I like to remind everyone that Mike Jacobs went on a tear like this once…So did Brian Daubach. Who are those guys?

      • skeleteeth - Apr 5, 2013 at 11:22 AM

        I know it’s not an amazing feat. Just wondering why there’s barely a blip about Morse or Chris Davis’ hotness right now yet we get a full post when Cano is moved to the two-hole in that weaksauce lineup.

  5. Gobias Industries - Apr 5, 2013 at 8:41 AM

    You forgot about the greatest highlight of the night: Ryan Howard’s cameo on The Office (yes, some of us still watch it). Dude’s a born comedian!

    • umrguy42 - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:58 AM

      But how well does he play off of left-handed comedians?

  6. rockthered1286 - Apr 5, 2013 at 8:47 AM

    I did appreciate Tampa fans giving Ramos a standing ovation after getting David to ground out. Only 3 games in but I cannot imagine there are many people out there in Baltimore still saying “we should’ve kept Reynolds and let Davis go!”

    • indaburg - Apr 5, 2013 at 9:51 AM

      Getting him out seemed impossible. He can’t be stopped. Fastball. Boom. Breaking ball. Boom. Men on base, guess who’s up? Chris Effin’ Davis. Boom. Last night I woke up in a cold sweat muttering the words “Chris Effin’ Davis.”

  7. darthicarus - Apr 5, 2013 at 9:00 AM

    Listening to sports radio last night & this morning Detroit fans are acting like it’s game 159 and the team is done for. One guy this morning even called in asking what’s wrong with Prince Fielder.

    Oh I love opening week hysteria.

  8. Sorbet Te Charta Saccus - Apr 5, 2013 at 9:15 AM

    Josh Reddick is proving that hitting a home run is so easy, a caveman can do it.

    • chuuke - Apr 5, 2013 at 9:30 AM

      Duck Dynasty

      • Old Gator - Apr 5, 2013 at 9:59 AM

        Playing at your local ballpark Soong.

    • rockthered1286 - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:34 AM

      They need to start playing ZZ Top when he comes to bat.

    • natstowngreg - Apr 5, 2013 at 11:04 AM

      So is Jayson Werth.

  9. sportsdrenched - Apr 5, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    That awkward moment when you realize Houston for all their strikeout problems…have scored the same or more runs than 9 other teams including the Dodgers.

  10. natstowngreg - Apr 5, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    Jordan Zimmermann, optioned to Syracuse for giving up a run on 8 hits to the Fish.

    Bryce Harper, optioned to Syracuse after getting only a pair of singles, lowering his SLG to 1.083, and getting caught trying to steal third.

    Hey, expectations are high in Natstown this season.

    But seriously, the Nats spend the weekend in a real MLB bandbox, against a real MLB offense, facing the team with the second-best record in the NL last season. Sunday is supposed to be Strasburg vs. Cueto; that oughta be fun.

  11. APBA Guy - Apr 5, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    There’s a lot of emphasis -or attention anyway-on Josh Reddick’s face mat. But the A’s are showing that their rotation depth will prevent them from enduring long losing streaks.Griffin as the 4th starter was clearly a cut above rookie Maurer for the M’s. Except when facing the elite teams, like Washington, the A’s rotation depth should be an advantage as long as they are healthy.

    As for Reddick, he showed yesterday that he can shrug off the slow first 3 games and display the power and overall form from last year. The bullpen looked much better also.

    There’s a lot of talk around the AL West that with the top teams being so close, how well they do against the Astros could account for the ultimate difference in the standings. Meaning, everybody has to pile on Houston, and if you lose a game to them in a series, it’s bad, but if you lose two games, it’s doom. We’ll see if that’s how it plays out. I’m sure Houston is thrilled to be thought of in that light, but they are not a competitive team, so losing for them this year really is a matter of degree and “how they play the game.”

    Still, the A’s begin a series against Houston today, with the A’s one rotation question mark, Dan Straily (filling in for the suspended El Capitan Colon). Straily didn’t show the kind of poise and command that the other A’s rookies did last year in his brief appearance with the club. That needs to improve, and if he can’t do it against Houston, he could be looking at a long AAA stretch after the game.

  12. El Bravo - Apr 5, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    Anyone paying attention to Michael Morse? I bet the Nats are even with their still-deadly lineup, they gotta miss him already. Between spring training and now, he’s hit 200,000 dingers. Look that shit up.

  13. Old Gator - Apr 5, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    Let’s talk Feesh.

    I know that a single run scored in a loss by five runs may not seem significant to many of you, but…hey! You in the back – yes, you, the one with no shoes – put that cell phone away.

    There, that’s better.

    Anyway, as I was saying, the great mathematician Leibniz anticipated modern computerism by asserting that the numerals 1 and 0 were all the numerals anyone really needed. Seriously, he said that. So we may abstract from that that the Feesh, having been shut out for 26 innings and having scored a single run in one inning already have, in effect, everything they need to get through the season. And as we all know, even though you can’t always get what you want, the Feesh, having tried sometimes, have gotten what they need.

    I think it would therefore be greedy for any Feesh fans, such as there are – I suspect that there may be more thylacines and ivory billed woodpeckers abroad in the land, but I deeply believe in the persistence of thylacines and ivory billed woodpeckers, even if I know of only one relict Feesh fan remaining out in some northern urban wilderness – to expect the Feesh to put up any crooked numbers. Such numerals as they may from time to time cluster over the expanse of a single game would be only by the grace of the Bodhisattva Phatswallah. He’s pretty merciful, though, so one never knows, do one?

    And it is by the indulgence of the Bodhisattva that the Feesh get to warm up for their home opine-er next Monday with a visit to Club Wilpoon down at the detritus-accumulating end of Flushing Bay. There, it is not unreasonable that propitiation of the dharmapalas might even bring them a win, though it will take a good deal of fasting and prayer. If anyone is going to make a mistake and serve the Iron Giant a beachball to crush, it’s a Wilpoon hurler. I can’t stand the tension.

  14. cardsfanandi - Apr 5, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    Didn’t Medlen start the wild card game for the Braves last fall against the Cardinals? Or is that stat including just 24 regular season games started? Just curious. Pretty weird streak either way.

    • baccards - Apr 5, 2013 at 12:26 PM

      I think Craig is still in denial of that game – or that it did not count because the “blogger” fly rule causes the memory to be automatically erased.

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