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And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

May 7, 2013, 6:44 AM EDT

Andrelton Simmons

Braves 7, Reds 4: The Braves weren’t going to be able to maintain any sort of momentum if the offense was all Justin Upton — who can’t do it alone — and Evan Gattis — who is, after all, a rookie. Last night they had help from Andrelton Simmons who hit two bombs and drove in four.

White Sox 2, Royals 1: James Shields was brilliant for eight innings. Ned Yost didn’t let him come out for the ninth, though, going with his closer with a 1-0 lead. His closer blew it and eventually the Royals lost the game. Yost’s explanation for why he didn’t send Shields out to finish his shutout:

“Everybody has their job to do and Shields had done his,” Yost said. “He threw eight shutout innings. It was a one-run game. The runs make all the difference. If it was a two-run or a three-run lead, yeah. But in a one-run game, (if) you send him out he’s either going to win it or lose it. You let the closer go out and try to do his job.”

It’d be one thing to simply sit back and second guess Yost. If it had worked, great. But that explanation would be brain dead even if Greg Holland had struck out the side and gotten the save. Yost is clearly saying here that he’s letting bullpen roles dictate his moves. He has a closer, dadgummit, and he’s going to let him close. It’d be one thing if Shields was tired. Or if the guys coming up had historic success against Shields and he didn’t want to press his luck. But no, Yost’s thinking is “you use this guy in the ninth inning and it is the ninth inning, so …” Which is just enraging.

Cubs 9, Rangers 2: Scott Feldman threw seven scoreless against his old teammates. He came out though due to a cramp in his hand. Not because Ned Yost called Dale Sveum and told him he should go with this eighth inning guy.

Indians 7, Athletics 3: Man, Mark Reynolds hit that one a long, long way. It was his 10th homer. He’s now hitting .296/.363/.622.

Diamondbacks 9, Dodgers 2: I wonder if, on a mutual off day, Don Mattingly and Mike Scioscia go boat shopping together. Trevor Cahill allowed two runs and six hits in six innings. Also had a two-run triple.

Red Sox 6, Twins 5: Minnesota had a 3-0 lead at one point but the Sox chipped away, scoring one run in every inning between the fourth and the eighth. Then Stephen Drew, who had four hits on the night, hit a walkoff double with two outs in the 11th. Clay Buchholz gave up four runs on seven hits in four innings and his forearm wasn’t glistening nearly as much in this game. Hurm.

Padres 5, Marlins 0: I guess the 14 runs the Marlins scored on Sunday were meant to last them for the week. Andrew Cashner shut ‘em out into the eighth inning for his longest start of his career.

Blue Jays 8, Rays 7: Toronto was down 7-0 after three and had pulled to within two by the ninth. Then came a two-run, two-out homer from J.P. Arencibia off Fernando Rodney, who was trying for a five-out save. Maybe someone should have called Ned Yost and talked about what the closer’s job description was. Colby Rasmus and Mark DeRosa also hit two-run homers.

Phillies 6, Giants 2: Cliff Lee was solid for eight innings, Michael Young had three hits and drove in two and this, dadgummit, is how it was supposed to look for Philly. The Giants’ win streak ends at six.

  1. mungman69 - May 7, 2013 at 6:54 AM

    Yes, the Phillies still have 3 good starting pitchers. Not much else.

  2. blacksables - May 7, 2013 at 7:00 AM

    Has anyone yet ever explained why a closer is necessary?

    For all of those who think the Royals are going to surprise and be better this year than the last the three, you have your answer.

    If summer ever comes to Kansas City, it’s going to be a long one.

    • cktai - May 7, 2013 at 8:03 AM

      A closer in the strict sense, is not necessary to have a good team, but having a couple of really good relievers who can pitch in high leverage situations (like 1 run leads late in the game) will definitely help a team win games.

      • blacksables - May 7, 2013 at 8:07 AM

        I agree, but when they are needed, not just because they are there. There was no reason for Holland to come into the game.

      • cktai - May 7, 2013 at 8:22 AM

        I don’t think Craig is very fair in the way that he interprets Yost’s words. He says

        “It was a one-run game. The runs make all the difference. If it was a two-run or a three-run lead, yeah. But in a one-run game, (if) you send him out he’s either going to win it or lose it. You let the closer go out and try to do his job.”

        So he didn’t use his closer only because it was a save situation, or he would have used him in a two-run or three-run lead as well. The way I read it he says that he will use his closer (who is his best reliever) do his job (pitch well) because it is only a one run lead (high leverage situation). In my opinion, it is a bit harsh to criticize a guy for replacing someone who has already thrown 8 innings for a guy who has a career FIP of 2.41.

      • stex52 - May 7, 2013 at 8:37 AM

        I’m a little bit on the fence about that last night. I looked at the box score (I have a vested interest, Shields is on my fantasy team). Shields had thrown 105 or so pitches. That’s in a range where you can go either way. I think I would have gone on whether he had an easy eighth and on how he said he felt. But it’s a long season and he’s the ace.

        Hindsight is easy. I also think I would have let him try to finish and have someone ready. But either decision could have been wrong. If Yost just did it because you are supposed to do it that way, then he deserves to get his butt kicked. If Shields was tired, then his position was defensible.

    • Detroit Michael - May 7, 2013 at 12:34 PM

      Based on research that mgl did on The Book Blog or in The Book, I feel fairly confident that letting a rested Greg Holland pitch the 9th inning was likely a better bet than letting James Sheilds pitch the 9th innning after he already had pitched 8 innings. Even taking into account the context (Shields is a very good pitcher and was having an effective day) is unlikely to change the conclusion.

      In short, Craig’s criticism of Ned Yost (this time only!) is wrong in my opinion.

  3. proudlycanadian - May 7, 2013 at 7:06 AM

    I want to give some credit to Mark Buehrle who has had a terrible start to his season. After giving up 7 runs in the third inning, he hung tough and pitched 3 scoreless innings giving the Jays the chance to come back. Hellickson only lasted 5 innings and was gone before Buehrle. The Rays ended up using 5 relief pitchers and burned their closer. I doubt that Rodney will be available for the next 2 games. I also want to thank former Blue Jay Yunel Escobar, whose fielding mistakes enabled the comeback. He was inserted into the game even though he was injured. I wonder why he was used as he clearly wasn’t ready to play.

    • Mark - May 7, 2013 at 7:16 AM

      I keep hearing everybody “credit” Buehrle and it’s somewhat frustrating. He gave up 7 runs. That’s terrible. Had Arencibia NOT hit that two run home run, I imagine we’d be talking about how awful Buehrle looks and how he’s making too many mistakes.

      The credit should go to the offence and the pen, not Buehrle.

      • themuddychicken - May 7, 2013 at 7:32 AM

        He was just pitching to the eventual score (he can see the future)

      • cktai - May 7, 2013 at 8:05 AM

        He just has the will to win (but only late in the game).

    • jaysjunkie - May 7, 2013 at 10:11 AM

      Yeah, I gotta agree with Mark, proudly…Buehrle putting his team in that deep of a hole (again) doesn’t leave me with much of a positive takeaway from his start…I get what you’re saying, though. And yes, thank God for good ‘ol Yunel. Considering the Jays’ numbers with RISP last night (and this whole season), the comeback almost certainly wouldn’t have happened without his assistance.

      • proudlycanadian - May 7, 2013 at 10:20 AM

        The third inning was a disaster, but he did pitch well for the next 3 innings and did not unduly tax the bull pen. The Rays on the other hand used 5 relief pitchers and their closer will be out of action for a couple of days.

    • cur68 - May 7, 2013 at 10:38 AM

      Jimminy Crickets, PC, but I’m agreeing with Mark. He and I NEVER agree! Jeez. Anyhow, the last guy I wanted see after the 3rd was Mark Buehrle. I was pretty certain that Gibbons had given up and was saving his pen for the remaining 3 games, but it was so early in the game that I thought Our Lads had a chance to come back. Lucky for us, he didn’t suck as much has he did when he started and The Lads showed some, dare I say it, grit.

      Also, The Great Henry Blanco Experiment was an utter failure as far as I’m concerned, too. To top it off, the guy who was sat for Blanco, JP, was the game winning hit. Our Boys need rid of Blanco. In another rare instance where Mark and I agree I’m thinking its time for Thole to come back up. He may not hit any better than Blanco but he can field faster and he knows RA Dickey just as well.

      And, that win had more to do with Yunel Escobar’s errors allowing the crucial runs aboard and then into scoring position than most anything else. Certainly far more than anything Buehrle did. I didn’t see where Escobar’s bruised hand had anything to do with his fielding. Mostly it was rushing routine plays. The home run by JP wouldn’t have been possible without Yunel’s input.

      Anyhow, a win’s a win and that comeback after the laugher v Seattle makes it all the sweeter. Happ goes tonight v Hernandez.

      Beaver Power, Gentlemen.

      • Mark - May 7, 2013 at 3:48 PM

        Hey now, we’ve agreed on a few things. But there’d be no discussion if we all agreed with each other. And I enjoy seeing your opinion, and Proudly’s, even if I disagree with it from time to time.

        Now let’s hope they make it a 3 game win streak :).

  4. randygnyc - May 7, 2013 at 7:09 AM

    Mystery solved with Clay Bucholz. He came out without his spitball material and promptly gave up 5 doubles and 4 ER in 6 innings.

    • Jack Marshall - May 7, 2013 at 7:34 AM

      Yeah, that proves it all right.

      • paperlions - May 7, 2013 at 7:50 AM

        Peripherals were they same they’ve been all year (9 Ks and 2 BB in 6 IP), so unless people think his spitball makes guys hit the ball at fielders…there is nothing in last nights performance that proves anything.

      • cktai - May 7, 2013 at 8:43 AM

        Maybe the spitball is easier to see, so the fielding team can react sooner, leading to a lower BABIP.

        That is about as much sense as I can make from randy’s comment.

      • Francisco (FC) - May 7, 2013 at 9:00 AM

        @cktai Well you see right there that’s your problem, you’re trying to make sense of his comments, you’re not supposed to do. Just go with it.

      • randygnyc - May 7, 2013 at 12:38 PM

        The spitball is designed to offer late movement that tumbles down, out of the strike zone. All of his pitches that were hit hard were up in the zone. It’s no coincidence that he gave up as many doubles and runs in one game as he has all season. The days of Bucholz and a one ERA are over. You’ll see. There’s no coincidences in sports.

  5. indaburg - May 7, 2013 at 7:09 AM

    This Rays loss was a particularly sickening one. To lose a7-0 nothing lead to the Jays is a new level of suckitude for my boys. I shall be in mourning today. The Rays really know how to rip a heart out. Take 2 out of 3 from the good Rockies to lose a 7 to 0 lead to the stumbling Jays. Good on the Jays–they never gave up.

    Prior to the season, my “bold” prediction (well, everyone’s bold prediction): the Rays will be fine as long as their pitching, their biggest strength, performs. Tampa, we have a problem.

    • proudlycanadian - May 7, 2013 at 7:15 AM

      Tampa’s bull pen was over used yesterday. During the rest of the series, the starters will have to go longer than Hellickson did.

      • indaburg - May 7, 2013 at 7:24 AM

        You’re absolutely right. The rest of the series does not bode well. Dig that knife a little deeper.

        Maddon had no choice. Hellickson was hellish as is his norm this season, running up his pitch count. No reliever except Peralta had any kind of mojo going. Yes, our bullpen was overused. Man, I miss James Shields. What good does hitting do you if you can’t pitch and hold a lead like 7-0?

        I don’t know if you remember, but back in May 2008 the Rays played the Jays for three games. The games were played in Orlando. The Rays swept the Jays. It was the series that made me believe that we might have something special. I do hope desperately the Jays don’t return the favor, but if they do, make sure they go on to bigger and better things. Build a shrine or something.

      • paperlions - May 7, 2013 at 7:55 AM

        Guys like Hellickson have very little room for error. When you don’t get GBs, only K about 6 guys per 9 and walk 3 per 9, you’ve got a tight window and have to maintain a really low BABIP (which he has managed to do, probably as a combo of weak fly balls/pop ups and quality TB defenders behind him). But when that combo is your underlying data, there isn’t much room for error at all, a little bad luck on balls in play or order of events (which will affect LOB rate), and suddenly the ERA will be a run or two higher even though he’s pitching the same.

      • Francisco (FC) - May 7, 2013 at 9:01 AM

        As bad as he was Sally it was still short of a Porkcello.

      • historiophiliac - May 7, 2013 at 9:17 AM

        Hey!

      • indaburg - May 7, 2013 at 9:21 AM

        ‘Lions, I only have a minute left on my break but I looked it up. Hellickson’s BABIP is a favorable .279. He’s just pitching lousy.

        FC, comparing my pitcher to Porcello does NOT make me feel better. /grumble

      • historiophiliac - May 7, 2013 at 9:28 AM

        Hey! :(

      • paperlions - May 7, 2013 at 9:32 AM

        I know indy, the point is that when you have a lot of balls in play because of low K rate, AND you walk a bunch of guys….you spend all day with guys on base…so a little bad luck with runners on and your LOB % goes way down. He’s stranding 10% fewer runners this year than throughout his career….that is pretty much the entire difference between this year (so far) and previous years. Some of that is just bad luck over a small sample size, but the fact remains that when you have guys on base all day (which has always been true for Hellickson, this year’s BABIP is the highest of his career, but still low), then you open yourself up to the vagaries of chance.

        The reason DIP models (e.g. FIP, xFIP) LOVE guys with high K rates, high GB rates, and low BB rates is because they don’t have many guys on base, GBs lead to DPs, and GBs are less likely to be XBHs. Those things give pitchers HUGE room for error (and by error, I mean sampling error = random variation in outcomes), as baseball outcomes are highly stochastic.

      • Francisco (FC) - May 7, 2013 at 9:51 AM

        Not to worry Historio, we’re merely referencing ONE bad outing from Porcello. I named the event The Porkcello, he’s otherwise a fine pitcher. It just so happens this event was responsible for one of the most entertaining rants I’ve ever heard since George Carlin died.

      • cur68 - May 7, 2013 at 10:42 AM

        Hey!

      • indaburg - May 7, 2013 at 12:17 PM

        I hear you, ‘lions. Hellboy does have little room for error. The problem is he’s making those errors. His K/9, never great, is down. His BB/9 is up. His strand rate is down 10% over his career norm. The Rays are hitting but their pitching is struggling mightily and it’s not just due to luck. Granted, it’s still a rather small sample size but as the days tick away, the sample size gets larger.

    • stex52 - May 7, 2013 at 8:39 AM

      Terrible way to lose. I’d rather suffer three blowouts than one seven run come-from-behind. It gnaws at your guts.

      Of course, it’s easy for me to wish for blowouts. I’m an Astros fan. We can have all we want.

      • historiophiliac - May 7, 2013 at 9:18 AM

        Thank you.

  6. kcrobert10 - May 7, 2013 at 7:26 AM

    Ya the royals loss was all on yost. Shields is our ace has a shut out and Holland pitched the day before. Seems like a no brainer to me. Also after the 1st 2 batter’s got hits and it was clear Holland just didn’t have it why not go get Herrera. Then even more maddening when your in extra innings why run Herrera out for a second inning why not use Chen or crow. Just a rough day oh well got to go get Baltimore tonight.

  7. therealtrenches - May 7, 2013 at 7:31 AM

    The Phillies have more than three good pitchers.

    And at the end of the year, the lineup will be sprinkled with guys who have nice stat lines and we might even be scratching our heads, and wondering why they were a sub .500 team.

    The reason is that they lack the cohesion and the consistency to play more games like last night’s than not. They leave men stranded, they have no clue of how to manufacture runs, their bullpen stinks and their outfield is terrible. Those are big obstacles to overcome, even if you have more than three good pitchers.

    • cktai - May 7, 2013 at 8:41 AM

      Who would these guys with nice stat lines be? At the moment there is only 1 position player with an above average OBP. A bit hard to manufacture runs when you don’t have anyone on.

      At the same time, the Phillies actually leave the third fewest men on base in all of baseball. Only the White Sox and the Nationals leave fewer men stranded. This is also reflected in the fact that the team has been hitting much better in high leverage situations than in mid and low leverage situation. The Phillies don’t lack “grit” or “intangibles”. They lack good players.

      • hisgirlgotburrelled - May 7, 2013 at 9:55 AM

        If Phillies are 24th in runs scored and overall don’t leave that many runners on base, then you’d say they just aren’t getting enough base runners. But, they have had 10+ hits in 13 games and are 9-4 in those games, with 3 of those losses netting just 3 runs. Last week they drew 7 walks, 6 were in the first 5 innings, and went 0-10 with RISP… It’s really inconsistent. Their hits come in bunches. But they have more games right now without those bunches.

        But there is a lot of room for improvement: their CF and C positions aren’t going to provide .498 and .536 OPS’s for the entire season. A sub .500 OPS has only been achieved by 2 players since 1920.

      • therealtrenches - May 7, 2013 at 11:03 AM

        You can pretend that the first line of my comment above means that I am one of those remaining Phillies fans who is in total denial thinks everything is okay, or you can acknowledge that the rest of my comment indicates clearly that I know they’re a franchise that’s rotten to the core.

        I promise you, that by the end of the season, the middle of their order will all be at around .300 with respectable RBI and HR totals. AND IT WON’T MEAN SQUAT. Remember Pat Burrell? His end of year average, RBI and HR totals always suggested he had a good year, but remember how useless his AB’s were?

        I agree that it’s “hard to manufacture runs when you don’t have anyone on,” but you and I both know that Charlie wouldn’t bother trying even if they did.

        Cohesion is not an “intangible.” Cohesion is a well-put together lineup with an order of guys who complement each other by making productive AB’s. They don’t have that anymore.

      • jwbiii - May 7, 2013 at 12:05 PM

        burrelled, That is what is happening. The Phillies are 12th in the NL in scoring. They’re 13th in both OBP and slugging. They strike out an above average number of times and their home runs are below average, despite their favorable home park. They steal a below average number of bases but are above average in runners caught stealing. So if they don’t have many runners on base, strike out a lot, and lose a more than average number of baserunners caught stealing, then at least they can’t can’t ground into many double plays, can they? Wrong. They have the second highest GDP total in the NL. This is just not a good offensive team at this point.

  8. js20011041 - May 7, 2013 at 8:24 AM

    Ned Yost just explained everything that is wrong with managers today. They don’t manage to win games, they manage to deflect blame at the press conference. Collectively, they are completely gutless. Yost tells you what he’s thinking. He’s thinking that if Holland blows it in the 9th, he (Yost) can simply say that he used his closer and that’s why he’s there, to pitch the 9th. If he uses Shields, and Shields loses it in the 9th, then he’s going to have to answer why he didn’t bring in the closer. It’s entirely about shifting the blame in case of a loss, away from himself and to the players.

    • blacksables - May 7, 2013 at 9:26 AM

      Yeah, but who’s asking the questions? The sames who will assign blame.

      The managers are gutless when it comes to it, but it doesn’t help when they get told to do it (or not to do it) in one write-up, and then get ripped for the results by the very same people in the next write-up.

      • js20011041 - May 7, 2013 at 9:55 AM

        The vast majority of media that cover sports are idiots. That’s what makes it even worse. That managers give a shit at all about what questions are going to be asked to them after the game is beyond stupid. Their thought process should be “what gives my team the best chance to win.” Period. There is no reason to consider anything else. Thats why when you hear a manager say that he brought in so and so to pitch the 8th “because he’s my 8th inning guy” you know that the manager is either brain dead or gutless. Managers don’t want to have to actually think about these things. They want to set the bullpen at the start of the year and leave it alone. If they actually made decisions that were based on the specific situation (inning, score, batter, etc.), then they have to be accountable for those decisions. It’s simply too easy for them to declare a closer who only pitches the 9th and an 8th inning guy, and a 7th inning guy. That way when asked why the bullpen blew a lead late in the game, the manager can say, “I did my job, blame the players.”

  9. hisgirlgotburrelled - May 7, 2013 at 10:09 AM

    The Phillies get shut down by average and below average pitchers and then beat Madison Bumgarner.

    And then Jean Machi enters the game… Isn’t that the dude who farted in the bullpen?

  10. gloccamorra - May 7, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    Don’t look now, but the Dodgers are in last place.

  11. thomas844 - May 7, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    The Reds were 3-15 with RISP last night. That right there is the glaring and defining weakness for my team and that is what kept them out of the NLCS last year. We need to hit when it counts, and that’s not something you can be taught, it’s just something you have to do.

  12. APBA Guy - May 7, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    It is now time to consider if Jarrod Parker is suffering from overuse last year. The numbers indicate he’s not pitching as well, and the eyeball evidence on his performances so far say he’s leaving the ball up and centered, resulting in not only Mark Reynolds’ 460 foot job, but also 2 lesser bombs from Asdrubal Cabrera and a 4th from Jason Kipnis. Four HR’s in in 5 IP. That’s Mark Buerle territory.

    In 2011 he had a total of 135 IP, while last year he was at 205. Keep in mind he was 23 last year and had missed all of 2010. His velocity seems about the same, but his command is nowhere near what it was. At 7.34 ERA, it’s very difficult to keep throwing him against AL lineups.

  13. Old Gator - May 7, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    The Feesh were jetlagged – even Ozuna went hitless, and they reverted to their Keystone Koppery in the field. It strikes me as a bit dumb to ask a team to play a game on the day they complete a transcontinental flight – yesterday should’ve been an orf day. Even so, most days, its kinda hard to distinguish the jetlagged Feesh from the circadian synched Feesh, so maybe in this case it doesn’t matter anyway.

    Meanwhile, wow, Harry, did you see the way the Feather Lice came back at the Rays last night? I mean, was that a great comeback or…or…Harry? Harry? (Kicks the body gently.) Hey! Harry’s not moving! Cur! Bring the defibrillator! Proudly! Call 411! Harry! Harry! Wake up! (Slapslapslap!) Harry….?

    • nbjays - May 7, 2013 at 1:41 PM

      This is one of those occasions when I need more than one user account here so I can thumb-up your post multiple times, Gator.

      And that’s not even taking into consideration your SECOND paragraph… :-D

      • Old Gator - May 7, 2013 at 4:11 PM

        I’ll trade you a thumbs up for a hot smoked meat sandwich. Any day.

      • nbjays - May 7, 2013 at 4:53 PM

        Mmmm… hot smoked meat… on rye… with a kosher dill on the side.

        Time for a road trip to Montreal… pity that they no longer have a baseball team (or a hockey team, recently).

        /curses Jeff Loria

      • Old Gator - May 8, 2013 at 1:53 AM

        Why schlep to Montreal if you’re closer to TO? I always make a beeline to Caplansky’s on College Street for mine – plus, they’ve got great cabbage borscht and they are the only place on the planet that make smoked meat doughnuts with maple syrup. Those things will roll your eyes up in your skull like a couple of old windowshades with worn spring arrestors. Oh yeah, and they have smoked meat hash and eggs for breakfast on the weekends. Dear Buddha…..

      • nbjays - May 8, 2013 at 8:31 AM

        I am closer to Montreal, being on the east coast (the NB in my handle stands for New Brunswick). There are a lot of good smoked meat places in Montreal these days, but the old standby is Schwartz’s (the now-deceased Ben’s was also a local icon).

        Smoked meat hash and eggs… now I know what to go looking for next time I’m in T.O. Sounds great! Thanks Gator.

  14. mungman69 - May 7, 2013 at 3:18 PM

    If the Phillies have more than 3 good pitchers someone should tell Amaro. He’s still looking for a #4 & #5.

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