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And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

Aug 30, 2013, 6:46 AM EDT

Oakland Athletics v Detroit Tigers Getty Images

Tigers 7, Athletics 6: Torii Hunter walks off the Tigers who came back from a 6-1 deficit. A 6-3 deficit in the ninth. All while losing Miguel Cabrera mid-game. Now, starting pitching, please stop requiring Tigers bats to bail you out all the time.

Orioles 3, Red Sox 2: Baltimore avoids the sweep and pulls to within three and a half of the wild card. Chris Tillman with his 15th win. Out of context quote from Buck Showalter after the game: “September’s an eternity.” Going down to the art house tonight to see some experimental French film in which people struggle with the meaninglessness of existence and the knowledge of their own mortality. It features Buck Showalter uttering that line at the end of scene breaks. He’s in black and white. Everyone else is in color. He’s also wearing sad clown makeup. You have to see the whole thing to understand.

Mariners 3, Astros 2: Talk about struggling with the meaninglessness of existence. That’s the very essence of an August 29th Mariners-Astros game, yes? Maybe there’s hope for Seattle in this existential struggle now that their six-game skid is over. Franklin Guitierrez had three hits including a two-run homer. Afterward Eric Wedge wondered what might have been had Gutierrez been around all year. This is the story of Gutierrez’s entire career, of course. Which means that Wedge here is essentially — and futilely — bargaining with the very idea of inevitability. I think that one opens tomorrow, though, so I have to go to the theater again rather than catch it as a twin bill with Showalter’s thing.

Braves 3, Indians 1: The sweep. Kris Medlen tossed seven shutout innings. I feel like every good pitching performance for the past week has been “seven shutout innings for ____.” Which, fine, I like good pitching. I just need someone to mix in an eight shutout innings or a three-inning, eight run meltdown complete with a manager having an outburst to the press afterward. Brian McCann hit a three-run homer. Justin Upton left the game after being hit on the hand. Good thing his brother plays on the same team and can provide a compatible donor hand if necessary.

Brewers 4, Pirates 0: Yovani Gallardo had [all together now] seven shutout innings. Seven shutout innings is the new black.

Angels 2, Rays 0: Oh, look: Jason Vargas had seven shutout innings. See what I mean? Tampa Bay has lost four of five, and the Angels have won five of six. Problem is the team losing these games is in the wild card race.

Mets 11, Phillies 3: Carlos Torres takes Matt Harvey‘s slot in the rotation and does just fine. Ethan Matin takes his usual slot and gets hammered. Daniel Murphy had four hits. Anthony Recker hit a two-run homer.

Nationals 9, Marlins 0: Jayson Werth and Ian Desmond each had three-run homers and Gio Gonzalez tossed seven shutout innings. Eight of nine wins for the Nats, who are now six and a half back of the second wild card. It’s still a tough task — even if the Reds go .500 the rest of the way and the Dbacks fall off the map Washington has to go 22-7 — but this is a nice little surge.

Royals 3, Twins 1: Five in a row for the Royals who have been so very hot and cold this season. That puts them six back of the A’s. Problem is, there are three teams ahead of the Royals who are also chasing Oakland.

  1. NatsLady - Aug 30, 2013 at 7:02 AM

    Speaking of players’ interactions with reporters, you might get a laugh out of Jayson Werth and the sideline reporter here.

    –dumb reporter: What would you say to people who say it’s too little too late?
    –Werth: Who cares what they’re saying?

    …a couple of other questions…Werth answering politely, using cliches, struggling to be patient….finally fails…

    –dumb reporter: Tell me about that home run.
    –Werth: Oh, I don’t know. It went far. It went over the fence. I don’t care. Let’s go. [walks off]

  2. proudlycanadian - Aug 30, 2013 at 7:09 AM

    The Yankees made up a half game on both the Red Sox and the Rays. I just put that in because a certain Yankee fan is taking a hiatus.

    • indaburg - Aug 30, 2013 at 7:40 AM

      BP has their playoff chances at 3.7% now.

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 30, 2013 at 7:43 AM

        That is better than 0.0%

      • indaburg - Aug 30, 2013 at 7:46 AM

        So true. That’s why he still holds out some hope.

    • unclemosesgreen - Aug 30, 2013 at 9:04 AM

      I sure am going to miss that delusional old flatulus. No wait, I’m not.

      Accused me of participating in the Yahoo-ification of the comment boards for touting Hiroki Kuroda for AL Cy Young but calling him Cy Old. Not the first longtime commenter to attack me on that front, boooooo. The other longtime commenter’s assaults were far more personal and egregious, but still.

      Left in a hissy fit complaining about thumb harpies and Yahoos when really he just can’t stand the fact that he and his group of frontrunners can’t handle a season out of the playoffs. Anything that doesn’t conform to their pre-arranged narrative brings out the crying towels. Waaaahhhh. “They played like champions.” Really? Because no less than Bill Parcells is fond of saying “You are what the scoreboard says you are.” I would say they played more like a hastily assembled group of waiver wire fodder surrounding an old and overpaid core. Except for all the HBP injuries you’d have to say everything that happened to this squad was very predictable.

      Yankees fans have been reduced to crying and whining and lording 4th place over Jays fans. It’s a beautiful thing to see. In fact, watching every Yankees fan try to recover their equilibrium and readjust their onion-skin-thin outside layer of confidence has been fun since 2004. Poor lost souls.

      • indaburg - Aug 30, 2013 at 9:57 AM

        Ah, cut him some slack. As far as Yankees fans go, he’s not too objectionable. So, he’s a bit delusional about his team’s play-off chances. All fans hold out hope when their team hasn’t been mathematically eliminated. Technically speaking, it’s not impossible. Just unlikely. I hope they get eliminated soon.

        You know, some of your own peeps have gotten mighty arrogant too, not unlike some Yankees fans, since you’ve won a couple of rings in the past decade. I think you need another 86 year drought to teach y’all some humility again. I liked your fan base better when you were cursed.

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 30, 2013 at 10:00 AM

        It’s lonely at the top, babe – I can deal with more loneliness this year.

        The last two years scrubbed enough arrogance barnacles off the S.S. Sawks Nation, thank you very much.

      • indaburg - Aug 30, 2013 at 10:03 AM

        Not nearly enough… I want it sparkling clean!

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 30, 2013 at 10:02 AM

        So your logic here would be: sure, he’s a dick to you, but he’s cool to me.

      • indaburg - Aug 30, 2013 at 10:10 AM

        LMAO

        Um, maybe that’s it. It’s funny, that happens a lot with patients too. I’ll get report from another nurse, “Be careful, this patient is a complete jerk, very demanding blah blah blah.” 99% of the time, the patient will be sweet as pie. I’m nice to them, and lo and behold, the patient will be nice back to me. Go figure. I give said Yankee fan a hard time too–I insult his team and I tell him he is delusional. I just do it nicely. He’s no randygnyc (he has completely dropped off the HBT planet), and even he can be reasonable on occasion. He’s not mean to other fan bases and he’s not a bully. He’s just overly optimistic. There are worse faults.

  3. indaburg - Aug 30, 2013 at 7:45 AM

    Seven shutout innings. Is that the new market inefficiency? Damn you, Vargas, for pitching a gem.

    Thank you Tigers, for beating the A’s, and keeping my Rays at a 0.5 game lead up on top of the Wild Card Standings. I’m almost giving up on winning the division. Just worrying about making the post-season at all at this point. Playoff baseball makes for some complicated rooting, and it’s not even September. Or it is? I haven’t had coffee yet.

    • aceshigh11 - Aug 30, 2013 at 8:12 AM

      “I’m almost giving up on winning the division…”

      • indaburg - Aug 30, 2013 at 8:16 AM

        You bastard!

        LOL My four year old thought that was pretty funny too. Wants to see it again. Great.

        But seriously, losing four out of five is no way to go through life, son.

      • aceshigh11 - Aug 30, 2013 at 8:19 AM

        I just thought that was perfect. ;)

        You know I respect the Rays, right? Can’t stand them when we’re playing them, but what they’ve accomplished over the past 5 years is nothing short of amazing.

      • indaburg - Aug 30, 2013 at 9:45 AM

        Thanks for the compliment.The Rays do know how to stretch out the welfare checks and food stamps that the wealthier teams so generously give them, don’t they? Living on the dole isn’t for the faint of heart. I begrudgingly respect the Sox this year too, damn you to hell. (You do know, I was mocked on this here message board for giving the Red Sox a chance to do well this year during the off-season. I believed they were being underestimated. I believed if their pitching performed, and with Farrell returning that would likely happen, they would do well.)

        You know what would really garner us respect? A fan base that cared. That would be so sweet. You know what else? A World Series ring. The Ring. Yes, the Precious. I want The Precious. I have to say though–back in 1986, when my Mets beat the Sox (I have a history of torturing the Red Sox), I was just a kid. The day after the Mets won, I was thrilled, but I also felt a bit of a let down. The pinnacle was reached and I felt a sense of–”Well, now what?” Once you reach your goal, what else is there? It’s the quest that drives us, isn’t it? Once you reach it, what next? But maybe I’m just like my momma. She’s never satisfied.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 30, 2013 at 9:59 AM

        This is what it sounds like when Rays cry…

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 30, 2013 at 10:19 AM

        How can you just leave me floating – a carpet in water so cold – maybe I shouldn’t be gloating – maybe I’m just like my father (too bold.)

      • indaburg - Aug 30, 2013 at 11:07 AM

        Why do we scream at each other?

      • aceshigh11 - Aug 30, 2013 at 11:17 AM

        Damnit. I *MUST* hear that song now.

        By the way, I’m also a Mets fan from growing up in NY, but can only vaguely remember the ’86 WS (was only 8 at the time).

        However, when I go back and watch games 6 and 7, I’m simultaneously exhilarated and horrified. It’s actually pretty funny.

      • indaburg - Aug 30, 2013 at 11:32 AM

        Game 6. It’s a shame you don’t remember it. They say you never forget your first, and they are right. My first World Series was like having a multiple orgasm the first time you have sex; it was that great. I still remember it like it was yesterday. We watched it at my mom’s boyfriend’s house in Brooklyn with some Yankees fans. When the Mets were down to their last out with no one on base, I had tears streaming down my face. The adult Yankees fans mocked me mercilessly, cementing my hatred of Yankees fans forever. I was a KID, you grown ass men! There IS crying in baseball. 108 regular season wins, all to lose like this? And then… Carter single? Weak smile. I always could count on The Kid to make me smile. Mitchell single. Hmmm. Knight down 0-2. Then he singles. Carter scores, much cheering, tears drying. And then, Wilson up to the plate. He fouled off what seemed like two dozen pitches until he hit that dribbler to poor ill-fated Buckner, and the rest, as they say, is history. I jumped up and down on the sofa with my mother. The Yankees fans were silenced. We gloated shamelessly. I knew we would win Game 7. Zero doubt.

        Yeah, I am going to put on some Prince now too.

      • aceshigh11 - Aug 30, 2013 at 1:33 PM

        How old were you?

        It’s pretty effed up for grown men to make a girl cry over a goddamned sport. I don’t care HOW hyped up you are.

        Game 6 is really just beyond belief. I just re-watched the last inning on Youtube and it’s just…I mean, there’s NO way that inning plays out that way.

        They were down to their FINAL STRIKE before the Carter single. It may be the most improbable inning in the history of the game.

        And the crap Buckner got for years was inexcusable. McNamara, Schiraldi and Stanley deserve ALL the blame for that debacle, never mind Game 7.

      • indaburg - Aug 30, 2013 at 5:01 PM

        I was thinking I was 12 but in actuality, I was 14. I’m sure I looked 12; I was a late bloomer.Still, kinda mean. It wasn’t good natured ribbing. Beer had been flowing. Ah, I had the last laugh. :-)

        If you scripted a World Series game like that, it would seem too incredulous to be true. I still get goosebumps.

        I felt TERRIBLE for Buckner. It was NOT his fault. The inning imploded thanks to McNamara’s questionable decisions to leave Schiraldi in one inning too long and have Buckner at first at all. Schiraldi gave up 3 consecutive hits before being yanked. The blame Buckner took, the ridiculous threats, broke my heart. I wanted those ridiculous fans (I know not all Bostonians blamed him) to never know what victory was like as their penance.

    • paperlions - Aug 30, 2013 at 8:16 AM

      If September is an eternity, then it is September, it has always been September, and it always will be September…not a bad month to pick if you have to go with just one…far better than July or January.

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 30, 2013 at 8:21 AM

        Only a couple of days before I start listening to “September Song”.

      • NatsLady - Aug 30, 2013 at 8:42 AM

        July is my favorite month (though it was bad this year). Endlessly hot, endlessly light. You can’t imagine why you have sweaters and coats in the the closet.

        Sadness creeps in with August, because in August, you can’t deny January will come. August has been good this year, so all is forgiven.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 30, 2013 at 9:58 AM

        Really? Not October?

      • paperlions - Aug 30, 2013 at 10:03 AM

        I didn’t get to pick, that was Buck…I just said it wasn’t bad, nice weather, leaves still on the trees, no need for AC or heat, days still a decent length….pennant races going on, foot ball starting up….so, you know, that’s all pretty good

      • historiophiliac - Aug 30, 2013 at 10:05 AM

        No need for AC or heat where *you* are. We are supposed to hit 100* today and be in the 90′s all next week. Welcome to September.

      • paperlions - Aug 30, 2013 at 11:32 AM

        Well, fortunately, at least, according to some of your very loud federal congressmen, climate change isn’t real nor is it a product of human actions….so, hey, no worries on that front. The fact that Oklahoma has repeatedly set records for being the hottest state ever for a calendar year is just unlucky, or coincidence, or the wrath of god, or something.

        /s

      • historiophiliac - Aug 30, 2013 at 12:08 PM

        Wrath of God, duh. We still have a Planned Parenthood office — 2! in town.

      • paperlions - Aug 30, 2013 at 12:09 PM

        So…you guys still have old testament God, huh? He doesn’t mess around.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 30, 2013 at 12:11 PM

        No, just a mess of Pharisees. :(

      • paperlions - Aug 30, 2013 at 11:33 AM

        FWIW, today is still August. Maybe in September you’ll only hit 98, at least it’s a dry heat.

      • NatsLady - Aug 30, 2013 at 10:34 AM

        October is lovely here (setting aside baseball). We have short springs–cherry blossoms for a few days and then it’s HOT. But we have long, lingering autumns. I have had roses bloom well into December.

      • spudchukar - Aug 30, 2013 at 11:38 AM

        PL, don’t worry about the climate change deniers that seem to have found Mecca in Oklahoma. The fracking will implode the state, long before it boils over.

      • paperlions - Aug 30, 2013 at 12:05 PM

        Eh, I’m not that worried….overpopulation and corporate greed collapsing the world economy and possibly most infrastructure on which we rely are gonna get us long before climate change….we are creating a veritable cornucopia of societal demise.

      • Reflex - Aug 30, 2013 at 2:42 PM

        For those of us old enough to remember the internet before the masses, September is eternal and still going on.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_September

    • unclemosesgreen - Aug 30, 2013 at 9:07 AM

      Sean Rodriguez had a chance to make this a very different recap in the first inning – bases loaded, one out, Vargas struggling to establish his strike zone. S.Rod showed why he’s a perennial backup and quad-A player, put on a very unimpressive, unprofessional at bat before popping out. If that’s your fifth hitter against LHP’s, that’s a very large problem for the playoffs. You know, if they can float on into the playoffs, that is.

      • indaburg - Aug 30, 2013 at 9:50 AM

        S-Rod sucks eggs. No, he’d probably miss the egg. He’s not even good enough to suck an egg.

        S-Rod is no A-Rod, that’s for sure. If the Yankees ever tire of the Devil Incarnate/Worst Human Ever and want to release him, I’ll take him on the Rays. We’ll make room next to TheRapist, the Big Dummy Yunel, and the rest of our merry band of misfits.

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 30, 2013 at 9:57 AM

        To be fair, Longo had a very poor first at bat against Vargas as well, the first inning was when Vargas was vulnerable. While watching the first inning on MLB Network I had the immediate and distinct feeling that they let him off the hook and would be sorry about that.

      • indaburg - Aug 30, 2013 at 10:02 AM

        I didn’t get to see that at-bat, but Longo (bWar 5.2) > S. Rod (bWar 0.1 (shocked it’s not a negative number)), so I’m willing to cut Longo a break.

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 30, 2013 at 10:05 AM

        Longo tapped into a fielder’s choice on an outside change I think it was, and berated himself all the way down the first base line and then a little more once he got there. It was actually pretty funny how angry he was at himself.

    • APBA Guy - Aug 30, 2013 at 11:37 AM

      Well, tonight might be a preview of the Wild Card “Game of Death”. Are your guys bringing Matt Moore out of wherever he is for this series? The A’s don’t hit good lefties well at all (something about neutralizing Brandon Moss).

      My predictions with Historio were 100% wrong, so no predictions on the Rays series. I will say I’m looking forward to this series, as both teams lofty records are based on front office guile and revenue sharing. Tampa may be the only team in the league that comes to the Mausoleum and feels envy (even if just a little bit).

      • indaburg - Aug 30, 2013 at 7:14 PM

  4. kcrobert10 - Aug 30, 2013 at 7:55 AM

    The royalcoaster just goes on and on.

    • proudlycanadian - Aug 30, 2013 at 8:01 AM

      It has been fun recently for Royals fans, but the royalcoaster will probably slow down a tad this weekend. Cheers!

  5. aceshigh11 - Aug 30, 2013 at 8:15 AM

    Is it time to add Buck bleepin’ Showalter to the cavalcade of thorns in the side of the Red Sox over the years?

    Bucky bleepin’ Dent
    John bleepin’ McNamara
    Calvin bleepin’ Schiraldi
    Bill bleepin’ Buckner
    Grady bleepin’ Little
    Aaron bleepin’ Boone

    • nbjays - Aug 31, 2013 at 9:10 AM

      You forgot the original, Aces… Harry bleepin’ Frazee

      • aceshigh11 - Aug 31, 2013 at 1:02 PM

        Heh, the funny thing is that the majority of people on that list are actually Red Sox players and managers. Talk about self-inflicted wounds.

  6. Detroit Michael - Aug 30, 2013 at 8:22 AM

    Max Scherzer knows how to win. Or at least how to avoid losses. Or how to be lucky. Or something like that.

    • unclemosesgreen - Aug 30, 2013 at 8:52 AM

      He has The Will to Pitch Poorly Only When Well-Supported Or About To Be Well-Supported With Many Runs. He pitches to a different scoreboard – it’s in his head.

  7. steelers88 - Aug 30, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    I think the Nationals will be in the one game playoff. I think the Reds will overtake the Pirates and I think the Nationals will overtake the Pirates and Dbacks. So the one game playoff will be Nats VS Reds with the Cardinals winning the NL Central. The Pirates are chocking again. They are just 7-12 in their last 19 games and they are 21-20 since the all star break. The Pirates will finish 92-70 and the Nationals will finish 95-67. The Nationals have the easiest schedule remaining in the NL.

    • NatsLady - Aug 30, 2013 at 11:02 AM

      Thanks for the thought, but for the Nats to win 95 they would have to go 27-4. We are kinda hoping for 22-9 which is still a lot! (90 wins). I do count the Pirates in my list of teams the Nats could pass.

  8. historiophiliac - Aug 30, 2013 at 9:58 AM

    Is there seriously anything more fun and adorable than a bunch of guys jumping up and down and hugging because they won? I was grinning ear-to-ear when V-Mart ran up to greet Torii coming in — beckoning him with his hands to come in for a hug. Pena was so excited he doused the sideline reporter with the bucket of water (FYI, that’s what you get for wearing a light colored suit, Beau Brummell). After a couple of really sucky games, that was something to celebrate.

    • APBA Guy - Aug 30, 2013 at 11:53 AM

      Sure, celebrate. That’s exactly the word I was thinking of. Since that’s the name of the song the A’s use at home after a win. Rub it in. I know it was intentional /s/.

      Seriously, the A’s have to consider themselves very fortunate to escape from Detroit with a series win. I’ll spare everyone the hideous details of Balfour having nothing in the 9th yesterday. Or of him throwing an 84 mph mush ball to Torii, allegedly a slider, since he couldn’t throw a fast ball strike with anything more than 30% certainty.

      But that pales compared to the fiasco that was Detroit’s starting pitching in the series. Even Scherzer was missing spots badly. It just seemed to be in the water. He was backing off his 98 mph gas because he couldn’t throw it for a strike. And it wasn’t the umps. The whole series, guys couldn’t locate their fastballs. All except for the well rested, and seemingly a bit more rotund, El Capitan, Bartolo Colon.

      The A’s flew back to Oakland and prepared to face the Rays. After my dismal record of predictions in the Tigers series, I only hope the Rays series is as rewarding. I am looking forward to tomorrows’ Sonny Gray/Alex Cobb match-up. Two young guys who throw hard is an always entertaining game.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 30, 2013 at 12:10 PM

        Whatever the juju is you’re using, it works! Damn you. Thankfully, we didn’t get skunked.

      • APBA Guy - Aug 30, 2013 at 1:37 PM

        Well, if I knew I’d bottle it up. Could be the boys are just high on life :)

        But your team needs to seriously rest Miggy for a few days. You don’t want that “ab strain” turning into a tear. Without Miggy, yesterday’s miracle might be the only way to beat a good team. With him, the whole game centers around pitching to him, the way it did with Barry Bonds or Manny Ramirez.

        It’s such a pleasure watching stars play. There’s goodness watching nice players overachieve the way the A’s do. There’s another level of enjoyment watching a great player perform. Miggy truly is a pleasure to watch. I enjoyed every at-bat of his in this series. The game within a game when he’s up is totally engrossing. Detroit fans are very fortunate getting to watch him.

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

    The Feesh continue their late season plummet, bats gone cold as a bucket of penguin shit. Last night the Gnats handed them their 16th shutout of the season.

    Tweeter has seen something like a twenty point slide in his BA the last couple of weeks, and we may hope that this weenter, if some GM dimly offers a pack of PYPs (promising young prospects) for him, that this time the Feesh brainstem trust will spring for it instead of treating him like their once and future golden boy. After giving up on Tweeter as an outfielder after watching his patterns of tracking routine flies emulate crop circles, the Feesh planted him at first base where he was evidently possessed by the spirit of Jeremy Hermida. Although there was a slight spike in his RISPies in early to mid August, he has returned to his predilection of making orphans of baserunners with the avidity of startup airlines flying TU-134s in the former Soviet republics. How much enough is enough?

    Tonight, El Keed goes against Teheran – something the last three US Presidents haven’t had the nerve to do. They’ll crush the life out of you for showing higher testosterone levels while opening out a Playboy centerfold, but they’ll let a terrorist take the mound? What the hell is that about?

    • NatsLady - Aug 30, 2013 at 10:49 AM

      Tweeter made me smile. This was yesterday. Goes for a foul ball. Fan screams “I got it, I got it.” Tweeter peels off. Ball drops. Tweeter admits he got fooled.

    • misterj167 - Aug 30, 2013 at 11:44 AM

      gah why do we have to face “El Keed”? It’s not like we’re hitting that well lately to begin with…

      • Old Gator - Aug 30, 2013 at 3:02 PM

        @misterj167:

        “You have your fear, which might become reality, and you have Godzilla, which is reality.”
        ….Ogata

        Incidentally, El Keed has only one or two starts left before he is shut down for the season. Scrooge McLoria is going to have to start spreading rumors that Macondo Banana Massacre Field is the only place where folks will be safe from the impending asteroid strike if he wants to get anybody into that pileated pressurecooker for the last month of the season.

  10. jwbiii - Aug 30, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    Updated playoff odds:

    Team  Cool   B-Pro
    Cle    5-1     6-1
    Bal   10-1     8-1
    NYY   14-1    21-1
    KCR  111-1    67-1
    
    WsN    8-1    18-1
    Ari   37-1    32-1

    The Indians visit Detroit; big series for them. The O’s visit the Yanks, so their positions could change dramatically. The Royals spend the weekend in Toronto.

    The Nats host the Mets; the Dbacks host the Giants.

    • NatsLady - Aug 30, 2013 at 1:35 PM

      I’ll take 8-1, given that it was 99-1 a couple of weeks ago. 14-5 since the ATL sweep here. That sweep knocked us out of the Division–completely and finally.

      But–it might also have been a turning point.

      No way we were winning over 95 games to compete with ATL, so trying only led to frustration. Pressing. I recall Harper saying when he got hit by a pitch or something, “14.5 games back, I gotta be in the game.” Too much scoreboard watching.

      Now the boys say they are playing one game at a time and I believe them.

      Strange season. Gone from favorites to out-of-it to scrappy underdogs.

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