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And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

Aug 27, 2013, 6:43 AM EDT

St. Louis Cardinals Allen Craig hits a grand slam home run during the seventh inning of their National League MLB baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds in St. Louis

Cardinals 8, Reds 6: Down 5-3 in the bottom of the seventh, Allen Craig launched his first career grand slam to rally the redbirds. Matt Holliday had a three run homer. The win puts the Cards a half game ahead of the Pirates in the Central. Cincinnati is three and a half back.

Dodgers 6, Cubs 2: Zack Greinke blanked Chicago into the ninth and retired the first two batters but then a double, a hit-by-pitch and a double ended his night one out shy of the shutout. Still, not too shabby. He added an RBI and raised his average to .340.

Royals 11, Rays 1: A makeup of a May Snowpocalypse game. This one, in contrast, featured a 93 degree starting temperature and Kansas City late August steam. Joe Maddon was ejected in the fourth for arguing balls and strikes, his team already down 5-0. I would bet my first born that 85% of his reason for doing that was to be “forced” into the air-conditioned clubhouse. This move is known in baseball circles as a “Bobby Cox Special.” Or at least it should be, because he pulled that one all the time.

Blue Jays 5, Yankees 2: Tallying up the future Hall of Famers’ nights: A-Rod hit his 650th homer, Jeter came back with an 0 for 3 night and Ichiro had a rare outfield error which led to a big inning for Toronto. Well, A-Rod probably won’t make the Hall of Fame but it’s not my fault that the voters are dumb. Jose Reyes walked and scored in the third and doubled and scored in the fifth. This was the Jays’ first win over New York after losing ten straight.

Phillies 2, Mets 1: Cliff Lee outdueled Zack Wheeler, tossing eight innings of one-run ball while striking out seven. It was his first win since early July. Not that that’s his fault. Still can’t get much run support.

Rockies 6, Giants 1: Juan Nicasio threw six shutout innings and added an RBI single and Todd Helton homered. Helton is three hits shy of 2,500 for his career.

Athletics 8, Tigers 6: Oakland kept getting a two run lead only to see the Tigers tie it. So then they changed things up by upping it to a four-run lead, which was too much for Detroit to overcome. Coco Crisp was 3 for 6 with a homer and a couple driven in. Miguel Cabrera hit his 43rd homer and drove in his 130th. His average actually went down a point to .359. Which — and I know this sounds kind of crazy — sounds higher than .360. Like, when I was a kid and I’d see an average in the .350s on baseball cards it seemed really high while something in the .360s seemed like — something else. Maybe because things start to seem unreal and comic-booky in the .360s? Maybe even numbers like sixes don’t have some visceral effect that odd numbers like fives? But it’s sort of like seeing a big loud muscle car pull up to a red light next to a finely-tuned sports car. You know the sports car is the superior machine, but the loud engine on the muscle car is more impressive on some weird level.

Um, sorry. I don’t know where that came from.

Diamondbacks 6, Padres 1:  Brandon McCarthy got his first win since May, allowing only an unearned run in seven innings on five hits. Paul Goldschmidt tripled in a run and knocked in another on a fielder’s choice.

Astros 10, White Sox 8: Chris Carter had two homers and drove in four. Jordan Lyles — normally a starter — got the save. Houston had a five run lead at one point an lost it before powering back for the win. And I do mean powering: they hit five homers in all.

Rangers 8, Mariners 3A.J. Pierzynski hit a three-run homer an Alex Rios had two hits and drove in two. This box score also reminded me that Rios plays for the Rangers now. Every year there are one or two dudes who got dealt at the deadline who I totally forget got dealt. Rios is one this year.

  1. proudlycanadian - Aug 27, 2013 at 7:07 AM

    Ichiro’s error only cost the Yankees 1 run. They would have still lost if he had not dropped the ball. Dickey out pitched Hughes. In his recent starts in Toronto, Hughes has stunk. Due to injuries, Toronto started 4 players who had been called up from Triple A. The kids played well. Jeter did not have any difficult chances at shortstop and handled the balls that went his way.

    • proudlycanadian - Aug 27, 2013 at 7:52 AM

      My thanks go out to the thumbs down fairy.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 27, 2013 at 7:55 AM

        Rats! I accidentally thumbed you up. Gah.

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 27, 2013 at 7:56 AM

        Not too late to change your vote. At the moment, paperlions has the lead over me.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 27, 2013 at 7:57 AM

        he he

        I won’t be far behind.

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 27, 2013 at 8:01 AM

        indaberg is in third place

      • indaburg - Aug 27, 2013 at 8:10 AM

        Third place in the thumbs down derby is unacceptable. I demand a recount. I at least want a wild card spot.

      • nbjays - Aug 27, 2013 at 8:19 AM

        I thumbed you down, PC, because all the cool kids are doing it.

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 27, 2013 at 8:20 AM

        paperlions still has a big lead on me.

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:49 AM

        I am catching up to paperlions. I want to thank the thumbs down fairy, dirtyharry1971 and the NY Yankees for making this possible.

    • dirtyharry1971 - Aug 27, 2013 at 8:36 AM

      um none of the kids the jays called up have shown anything great, I mean go check the batting averages they aint anything to ride home about unless you are a jays fan I guess. And PC congrats!! The jays are now 2-12 against New York this year, that has to make you very proud, well I know it makes me really proud at least but if you need the stats on those kids as you call them I will be more then happy to post them and you will see more of them cant hit anywhere near their weight. Basically the same as always with toronto

      • Old Gator - Aug 27, 2013 at 8:42 AM

        I wonder if our resident Artificial Stupidity is planning to try for that GED again this orfseason. I know there’s no cure for stupid, but I have seen modern science do wonderful things with even the most recalcitrant forms of illiteracy.

      • dirtyharry1971 - Aug 27, 2013 at 9:13 AM

        Sorry gator, my fellow poster lewp asked us not to go back and forth on this board anymore and I promised I would and I am a man of my word. So you can continue to do what you do best and that’s talk to yourself… enjoy!

      • Old Gator - Aug 27, 2013 at 10:45 AM

        Convenient of lewp to bail you out when you’ve been humiliated time after time. Good for him – he showed more good old Buddhist compassion than I did.

    • stevequinn - Aug 27, 2013 at 8:49 AM

      Glad to see Jeter back in the lineup. Would like to see the Yankees catch the Rays.

    • michaelle123 - Aug 27, 2013 at 4:30 PM

      what Marcus implied I didn’t know that a stay at home mom able to get paid $4252 in 4 weeks on the computer. have you read …???? http://miniurl.com/dyRW

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 27, 2013 at 4:36 PM

        EDIT: $42.50! There! I corrected it for you.

  2. johnnysoda - Aug 27, 2013 at 7:10 AM

    I’d be surprised if A-Rod didn’t make it into the Hall of Fame- not on the first try, but eventually. If he plays till the end of his contract in 2017, he’d be eligible from 2023 until 2038. Do you think the voters in 2038 will still care as much about his problems?

    • indaburg - Aug 27, 2013 at 7:17 AM

      I don’t know. Will sanctimony have been bred out of our species by 2038?

      • wlschneider09 - Aug 27, 2013 at 7:28 AM

        Not a chance, the sanctimony gene gets more fixed with every internet message board that opens up.

      • Old Gator - Aug 27, 2013 at 8:43 AM

        Bred won’t do it. It will have to be beaten out of him with a bnana.

  3. indaburg - Aug 27, 2013 at 7:14 AM

    I was thinking maybe it’s not the 5 but the number 9 changing your perception of Miggy’s batting average. Just like stores price something $3.59 instead of $3.60 because somehow, we think it’s so much cheaper. But then I realized to you, the $3.59 would seem like more, so maybe you’re just weird, Craig.

    Hellickson is killing me. I listened to the game on the radio at work (my poor patients recovering from anesthesia had to listen to that. No wonder more seemed nauseous than normal.) From what the announcers were saying, Hellboy was getting really unlucky on some bloop hits and flares, while the Rays were smashing the ball right at fielders. Still though, 11-1? P.U.

    • proudlycanadian - Aug 27, 2013 at 7:26 AM

      When Moore returns from the DL, will he replace Hellickson or Fausto? It is a tough call given Hellickson’s erratic year.

      • indaburg - Aug 27, 2013 at 8:07 AM

        That’s a great question, PC. I was actually wondering that myself. At the beginning of the season, this question would have been laughable, but the way things stand, Fausto is the more reliable pitcher.

  4. paperlions - Aug 27, 2013 at 7:17 AM

    When Craig’s ball cleared the wall, I said, “SI MOTHERF*CKER!”

    Good times.

    • dondada10 - Aug 27, 2013 at 7:27 AM

      Calcaterra’s?

      • paperlions - Aug 27, 2013 at 7:44 AM

        Ha! No, Allen’s.

      • Old Gator - Aug 27, 2013 at 8:45 AM

        If Craig’s balls hadn’t cleared the wall he’d be sitting on a bag of frozen peas right now.

    • historiophiliac - Aug 27, 2013 at 7:41 AM

      Holliday!

      • paperlions - Aug 27, 2013 at 7:46 AM

        He’s been pretty fantastic since coming off the DL.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 27, 2013 at 7:49 AM

        You’re welcome.

      • spudchukar - Aug 27, 2013 at 8:23 AM

        Yeah, and he has also hit into some bad luck, reduced the number of DPs hit into, while providing some needed power. I know this sounds strange, but he is still evolving as a hitter, as he adapts to inside heat, getting the bat head to ball on balls that crowd him.

    • proudlycanadian - Aug 27, 2013 at 7:55 AM

      I see that the thumbs down fairy has also sanctified your comment.

      • paperlions - Aug 27, 2013 at 8:03 AM

        Yes, I feel blessed.

      • indaburg - Aug 27, 2013 at 8:13 AM

        It really hurts my feelings, you guys. /sniff

  5. spudchukar - Aug 27, 2013 at 7:29 AM

    Tyler Lyons pitched well enough to get another couple of starts, particularly against the Reds and Pirates whose power is mostly left-handed. Martinez chipped in with a couple of good innings. Look for the Red Birds to make a move before the deadline for a SS. Kozma can’t hit and Descalso is struggling in the field.

    Allen Craig may be the most under-rated player in MLB.

    • paperlions - Aug 27, 2013 at 7:58 AM

      Lyons pitched pretty dang well. The two triples were hit okay, but mostly were a function of slow OFers and balls in the gap more than balls that were hammered. His slider/curve (seems to be more of an tweener/slurvy thing) was really effective against lefties. With the Cardinals general desire to have at least 1 lefty in the rotation, I could see him getting a rotation spot next year…he doesn’t have anything left to prove in AAA.

      Descalso always struggles in the field, just like Kozma always struggles at the plate. There is a reason Descalso was always a 3B in the minors, I wish they would remember why…he keeps trying to remind them, on nearly a daily basis. Problem is…there isn’t jack squat available at SS. At this point, they may as well try Garcia or Jackson….can’t really be much worse…Descalso and Kozma are both about replacement level players.

      • spudchukar - Aug 27, 2013 at 8:20 AM

        The Cards are asking a lot from Descalso. He is being forced into playing a position that he isn’t suited for. Last year he showed some promise, but he is in a bit of fielding slump this year, and a SS has to make the routine plays which he hasn’t been able to consistently do.

        The Red Birds need to find somebody who can provide a little pop and play at least average SS, then they can use Kozma as a defensive replacement late in games. The problem is the roster spot. Robinson must be kept for lefties, and defense, Adams bat also is a must, so in order to keep Descalso on the roster a reliever must go, or the Cards have to go with 2 catchers, a scenario that may work in the play-offs but probably shouldn’t be implemented until after Cruz returns from the DL. It would be nice to give Yadi some rest after the Reds/Pirates match-ups.

      • paperlions - Aug 27, 2013 at 8:29 AM

        You are right. They are asking Descalso to do something they should know he won’t excel at, so, it isn’t his fault, per se, it is the organizations for repeatedly asking him to do something he can’t (and they should know he can’t). Unfortunately, his bat is only good enough to play at 2B/SS, and he can’t field either of those spots.

        When the rosters expand in September, I wouldn’t be surprised to see both Garcia and Jackson up and get mini-try outs to see what they can do…they really can’t be any worse than Koz/Descalso have been this year…..but man, the SS market is THIN.

        I was hoping they would try to get Iglesias from Boston in the spring, but then Drew got hurt (of course) and they needed him. He can’t hit either, but the glove is fantastic. There are some teams with SS depth in their systems, they may just have to bite the bullet and trade some pitching for a guy.

        Considering how bad the defense is in general, I’d prefer they trade for a young, cheap glove-first SS that can hit a little than an older expensive can’t field but can still hit a little SS (i.e. no Asdrubal Cabrera please)….but SS is really the only obvious hole on the roster.

        In the off-season, you gotta figure they either trade Adams or don’t re-sign Beltran, there really isn’t room for both of them…Adams needs to play more.

      • spudchukar - Aug 27, 2013 at 8:38 AM

        I agree with your choice at SS. With the offense they have a defense first SS choice is the direction they should opt for. I hate to say this but I believe it is Freese who will be the odd man out.

        Furcal is still an option, but I’m afraid he will price himself out of the Cards’ market. He shouldn’t but he probably will. I can live with the Adams/Craig/Beltran rotation. Both Holliday and Beltran need days off, and Taveras is still unproven. If Adams goes, he damn well better get a lot in return, cause that guy will go off in a small American League park as a DH.

        The one place where I disagree with you though PL, is your evaluation of Craig, as a defender. He has made himself a well above average first baseman, and at least average in the outfield. One error to date, should not be overlooked for a three position player.

      • paperlions - Aug 27, 2013 at 8:51 AM

        Yeah, Craig has improved at 1B as the year has gone on…by leaps and bounds, he was really bad early…lots of balls going by…he’s worked out his foot work issues and getting way better first steps than he was….he’s fine in the OF….but man, our OF is soooooo sloooooow, I’m sure I would be amazed to see someone with actual speed out there. Jay makes the most out of what he’s got…but he ain’t fast.

      • spudchukar - Aug 27, 2013 at 8:58 AM

        He isn’t slow either, and he gets a good jump, is confident enough to play shallower than many CFers, and comes in on balls well. His deficiencies are just magnified by Holliday’s ineptness in LF. But boy do the Cards improve when they are forced to DH. Hopefully we will be able to see that come October.

      • paperlions - Aug 27, 2013 at 9:04 AM

        Yeah, it is the combination of a CF with average speed and two old slow guys on the corners that is the problem, not Jay, per se….he does do a very good job going back on balls.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 27, 2013 at 9:19 AM

        Well, our new SS is working out okay. :)

      • spudchukar - Aug 27, 2013 at 9:45 AM

        Thanks for reminding me there are defenses that are much worse than “ours”.

      • paperlions - Aug 27, 2013 at 9:50 AM

        If next year starts with Yadi, Carp, Wong, Craig, Jay, and Taveras….that is some solid defense. Holliday won’t get any better, obviously…just need to find a usable SS….too bad Kozma couldn’t only be a bad hitter instead of a “man, I wish the pitcher was up instead of him” hitter.

    • stevequinn - Aug 27, 2013 at 8:51 AM

      Craig is simply an RBI-machine.

  6. historiophiliac - Aug 27, 2013 at 7:48 AM

    Mondays are horrible. There’s a game; I have a night class. Always. Stupid education. I kid — I love it and wouldn’t trade being in class for a game any day. Amusingly, this semester I have a young man who’s quite the sports guy. It has already come out — of course — that I am a baseball fan and we’ve discussed the team a little. Last night, I was lecturing, and he raised his hand at one point to let me know that Miggy had gone boom! Bless him. When we took our break, I went to check the score on my phone, and he told me not to look…but I did. Sigh. At the end of class, he said: You don’t want to know. Freaking Crisp and his triple shy of a cycle. :( I’m gonna hear about it from that ABBA guy today.

    The winner takes it all
    The loser’s standing small
    Beside the victory
    That’s her destiny…

    • nbjays - Aug 27, 2013 at 8:23 AM

      ABBA instead of ABBOY? Wow, you really took this loss hard. :-(

      • dirtyharry1971 - Aug 27, 2013 at 8:40 AM

        ABBA boy will be fine, he is crying to dancing queen right about now

      • Old Gator - Aug 27, 2013 at 8:47 AM

        Our resident Artificial Stupidity will be fine too. His food stamps and welfare check just arrived in the mail on the same day.

    • historiophiliac - Aug 27, 2013 at 9:34 AM

      Oh, come on, you stupid thumb hole! I deserve more than 20 downs for that. You suck.

    • APBA Guy - Aug 27, 2013 at 11:25 AM

      Coming into the game, Anibal Sanchez led the AL starters with a 2.45 ERA, and featured 93-95 mph on the fastball. Unfortunately last night he couldn’t find his touch on the outside corner and was over 100 pitches and 4 earned runs after 5 innings. Also unfortunately AJ Griffin was doing his Harry imitation and pitching stupidly, centering a fastball to Infante on an 0-2 count and, really stupidly, hanging a curve to Miggy 3-1. I guess Miggy didn’t get all of it since the ball stayed in Michigan, but at the end of 5 AJ and Anibal had basically the same pitching line.

      The game was then turned over to the bullpen where the A’s actually have an advantage over the Tigers. In the bullpen game, the score was 4-1 A’s. The postgame celebration was not “hey we won one” but rather the joy of hearing that El Capitan, Bartolo Colon, may be activated to pitch Thursday against Scherzer.

      Before we get to that, tonight’s game is Tommy Milone against Verlander. Milone, like Griffin, isn’t the pitcher he was last year, lacking the pinpoint command he used to compensate for 85-87 stuff. Without that command his ERA is up about a run a game from 2012, so if I’m Chris Davis I’m expecting my home run lead over Miggy to be further eroded. The A’s will do their patience thing against a surprisingly vulnerable Verlander and again try to get to the Tigers middle relief. I don’t expect Daric Barton to be so composed at the plate again, but Crisp’s streak will probably continue. Historio will need to exercise all her mojo to get Verlander through 7 with a lead. Otherwise, the Tiger’s bullpen will get exposed and results could become “unpredictable”, leaving Historio and Leyland to seek some form of consolation.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 27, 2013 at 2:02 PM

        Did you enjoy the ABBA thing? lol

  7. natslady - Aug 27, 2013 at 8:38 AM

    Is it too late to play? Sorry, was absorbing our gain of 1/2 game in the WC race and going from 4.2% chance of the playoffs to 4.5% chance. Thumb-dumb, don’t get bored NOW.

  8. stevequinn - Aug 27, 2013 at 8:47 AM

    When it comes to crunch time, the Cardinals just seem to step up for the occasion. Take 3 out of 4 from the Braves, the best team in baseball. Then take the opener from the Reds. The Cardinals are just NOT strong up the middle, not counting Yadi Molina. Weak at SS and in CF. Yet they find ways to win in spite of having a doofus as a manager.

    Opener of an important series and he has Beltran on the bench. The last game of the Atlanta series is when Beltran should have been rested….not against a Division rival who is creeping up your backside. And Matheny is wearing Yadi Molina out. Molina has a bad knee and should be playing a lot of 1B when possible. That may be understandable because the Cardinals are toast without Molina. He’s the odds-on favorite for NL MVP.

    • spudchukar - Aug 27, 2013 at 8:54 AM

      The Cards are not “weak”, in CF. Jay didn’t have a particularly great first half, defensively as well as offensively, but both have returned since the break, and he has history on his side.

      Mike Matheny is not a doofus.

      I thought the final game of the four game stint against Atlanta was an opportunity to rest some regulars too, but a win in the final game would have given St. Louis the advantage over Atlanta in tie-breaking scenarios, and probably contributed to Matheny’s thinking.

      Giving Beltran the night off, proved wise, the Cards won without him and now he can play through the next two series.

      Molina will get plenty of rest, after the Reds/Pirates series, after Cruz returns. Putting Molina at first means, benching another productive hitter, and really doesn’t improve the offense or defense.

  9. jm91rs - Aug 27, 2013 at 9:06 AM

    The Reds need to stop scoring so many runs for Mike Leake. I’m not saying he pitches to the score, because that’s stupid, but I do believe he relaxes or something. He blows big leads and pitches stellar in tight, low scoring games. That game last night just showed that the Reds are going to be playing the Cards or Pirates in the wild-card round, they can’t beat the good teams when they absolutely need it.

  10. lewp - Aug 27, 2013 at 9:30 AM

    Not sure I can gauge my Rangers. They play pretty well against the Houstons and Seattles of the world, but a semi decent team like the pale sox makes ‘em lose the series. I guess some teams just have the other teams numbers.

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