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And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

Sep 24, 2013, 7:00 AM EDT

Pittsburgh Pirates v Chicago Cubs Getty Images

Pirates 2, Cubs 1: And with that the Pirates are going to the playoffs. It’s so strange, though, how even though it’s the franchise that has lost for the past 20 years — even though it’s just the laundry which has been shut out so long — that we sort of passively put all that weight on the current members of the Pirates too. Weight that Andrew McCutchen talked about after the game:

“Even though I didn’t lose for the last 20 years, they make you feel like you are. You feel like you lost those 20 years”

That’s pretty remarkable when you think about it. McCutchen was six years old when Sid Bream slid into home plate in the 1992 NLCS, yet pressure has been put on him simply because he got drafted by the Pirates instead of, say, the Giants. The Reds clinched yesterday too and are back to the playoffs. No one asks, say, Shin-Soo Choo about any weight being removed even though he’s just as much of a playoffs newbie as McCutchen is. Oh well.

Reds 3, Mets 2: Like I said, the Reds clinched too, this on a Shin-Soo Choo single in the 10th, but it was a very different scene afterward. No champagne or anything, as they want the division title and seeing the Cardinals beat the Nats a bit after their game ended made that a half game harder to do.

Cardinals 4, Nationals 3: The Nats get eliminated. Proof that you can’t just sleepwalk for four and a half months and then step on the gas for a while and expect it all to be OK. Proof that preseason expectations and predictions mean nothing. Proof that when someone — like a lot of us around here — adds “on paper” to comments about how good a team looks in March it’s probably close to meaningless. Meanwhile the Cardinals are tied with the Braves for the best record in the National League. Whichever of those teams prevails in this regard gets to avoid the Dodgers in the NLDS, so yeah, there are still things to be decided in the NL.

Rays 5, Orioles 4: What an awful day for the Orioles. They lost on a James Loney walkoff homer, get swept in four games and lose Manny Machado and Alexi Casilla to serious injuries. The Rays are a game up on Cleveland for the top wild card spot. The O’s are all but eliminated.

Twins 4, Tigers 3: The Tigers could’ve clinched the central but the wheels fell off late. Lots here which suggests what kind of trouble the Tigers could have in the playoffs, though. Justin Verlander had a dominant stretch of strikeouts — he finished with 12 in six innings — but inefficiency prevented him from going deep into the game. This exposed the Tigers bullpen for too many innings and led Jim Leyland to go to closer Joaquin Benoit for a five-out save which just wasn’t happening. Today is another day to clinch, but I feel like there are reasons to be concerned.

Brewers 5, Braves 0: Atlanta played much like a team that had spent the previous night shooting champagne into each others’ faces. Marco Estrada tossed seven shutout innings and Carlos Gomez and Jonathan Lucroy homered.

Athletics 10, Angels 5: Not all teams which celebrated Sunday looked flat on Monday. Five wins in a row for Oakland, which benefited from Jed Lowrie and Brandon Moss homers and RBI from seven different A’s.

Rangers 12, Astros 0: Alex Rios hit for the cycle and drove in four runs. Texas is a game behind Cleveland for the final wild card spot. All of their remaining games are at home.

Royals 6, Mariners 5: Alex Gordon keeps the Royals’ hopes alive. He gunned down a runner at the plate in extra innings and then scored on Salvador Perez‘s two-out double in the 12th to put KC ahead for good. The Royals are still a longshot, though. Three back with six to play and, unlike the Rangers, all of their remaining games are on the road.

Marlins 4, Phillies 0: This could’ve been Roy Halladay‘s final start for the Phillies. And, though he has said he will pitch again next year, the way he looks it could be his final start in major league baseball. He faced only three batters, walking two, and couldn’t break 83 on the gun. This is pretty sad to watch.

White Sox 3, Blue Jays 2: Tiger got to hunt, Bird got to fly; Man got to sit and wonder, “Why, why, why?” Sox got to pitch, Jays have to bat, Man got to Jays fans have to ask where their Leafs’ schedule’s at. Why no, I didn’t read Charles J. Shields’ quite excellent biography of Kurt Vonnegut over the weekend. Why do you ask?

Padres 4, Diamondbacks 1: My Friday and Monday absences were occasioned by a trip to San Diego for a wedding. While there I got to take in Sunday’s game at Petco. And hang out and walk on the beach and eat In-N-Out Burger and good tacos and drink good beer at Karl Strauss and see my brother and enjoy all of the good things Southern California has to offer while avoiding just about all of the bad things it has to offer, mostly because I didn’t go up near Los Angeles. Starting about 8AM yesterday, as I was enjoying a wonderful breakfast, I began my usual “wait, why don’t I live here again?” musings. I’ve been back in Ohio for about eight hours now and I’m still musing. Sigh. Oh, Padres beat the Dbacks. Apologies for the non-recap of that one. I was busy consulting real estate listings.

106 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. dapperdan50 - Sep 24, 2013 at 7:05 AM

    The issue for the Tigers is not clinching the division title, it’s ending up opening the ALDS series in Oakland (or in Boston, if Oakland wins all the rest of their games and Boston loses a game or two).

  2. johnnysoda - Sep 24, 2013 at 7:09 AM

    Welcome back, Craig. We missed ya.

    • proudlycanadian - Sep 24, 2013 at 7:22 AM

      Johnny’s version of ATH on the weekend was terrific. Hire him!

      • wlschneider09 - Sep 24, 2013 at 7:24 AM

        Second that. And Cur did a nice job with yesterday’s ATH. As usual, the HBT reading public stepped up nicely.

      • historiophiliac - Sep 24, 2013 at 7:47 AM

        Yeah, this Craig dude’s pretty good, but he’s no johnnysoda.

      • indaburg - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:48 AM

        Whoa, whoa, whoa. We don’t know anything about this johnny dude and his feelings about the important issues. His opinions about bourbon, Aquaman, Batman? Cake?

      • proudlycanadian - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:52 AM

        Johnny has a clean slate. I kind of like that.

      • indaburg - Sep 24, 2013 at 6:55 PM

        I don’t know. He copies Craig’s style. The whole thing is kinda Single White Female.

      • historiophiliac - Sep 24, 2013 at 10:15 AM

        johnnysoda’s an enigma. You can’t pin him down, man.

      • proudlycanadian - Sep 24, 2013 at 11:16 AM

        Johnny is still in school. He is an unpainted canvas. He is also a talented writer.

      • unclemosesgreen - Sep 24, 2013 at 10:47 AM

        We don’t know enough about johnny as a candidate. We don’t even know what kind of soda he likes. And as Mayor Bloomberg can tell you – soda is really bad for you, more dangerous than meth even.

        I guess what I’m saying is … won’t SOMEBODY think of the children?

      • cur68 - Sep 24, 2013 at 11:25 AM

        Johnny’s talented but I got grit.

      • historiophiliac - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:32 PM

        johnny pees in your pool, beaverman.

  3. dondada10 - Sep 24, 2013 at 7:21 AM

    The Royals may fall short this year but they look like they may be good for a while.

    • proudlycanadian - Sep 24, 2013 at 7:26 AM

      With 6 games remaining, the Royals are 3 behind Cleveland and 4 behind Tampa Bay. The odds are slim; however, they had a strong year. Baltimore has been taken off life support and the Yankees will probably be taken off life support early in the week.

      • Old Gator - Sep 24, 2013 at 8:26 AM

        I predict that some conservative Republican senator will claim that he has examined the Orioles’ and Borgs’ EEGs and believes he has seen signs of life, and demands that they not be eliminated until they can be taken off Obamacare.

        Or something like that.

      • proudlycanadian - Sep 24, 2013 at 8:40 AM

        You have reminded me of Senator Ted Cruz from Texas. He is a Tea Party favorite and wants to be President even though he was born while his US citizen parents were living in Canada. Senator Ted wants to renounce his Canadian citizenship, but it will not be easy. Birthers will have a problem with him.

      • Old Gator - Sep 24, 2013 at 8:59 AM

        Ackcherley, I was referring to Doctor Senator Frist. Remember him, staring at that puddle of decayed organic matter at the bottom of Terry Schiavo’s skull and pronouncing her potentially sentient? Mistaking brain death for conservative ideology, tsk tsk. One shouldn’t mix science and politics.

        Ted Cruz will never be President; he appeals to people who love Beck and Rush and there just aren’t enough people that stupid to elect a President. There, I said it. Didn’t know I was such an optimist, did you? But more to the point: watch him try to shoehorn financial and moral support out of the rest of the Republican Party after engineering the current congressional trainwreck. When the top conservatives in your party are calling you a liar, a grandstander and a fraud, you’ve just cut your own wrists. There aren’t enough asses to kiss in the party structure to make up for the mess he’s made. Fifteen minutes of fame are almost up.

      • stex52 - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:09 AM

        Actually, Gator, I think it will be the fact that Cruz seems to have an incredible gift for making enemies of anyone he comes into contact with. Whatever it takes. Just so his political career withers quickly.

      • proudlycanadian - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:18 AM

        By Canadian law, Cruz is automatically a Canadian Citizen. Our government plans to piss him off by not changing our law and thus not allowing him to renounce his Canadian citizenship.

      • bravojawja - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:29 AM

        Speaking as a Rush fan, Ted Cruz is an ass.

        Can’t speak for Beck fans, though. Those folks confuse me.

      • Old Gator - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:38 AM

        Boy, when Rush fans have abandoned you, you’re one lonely sad sack of a right winger.

        Incidentally, anyone notice how that opportunistic pretty boy slimebag Marco Rubio is playing Cruz for a trotter? He’s “supporting” him but only just vocally enough to be barely noticed, but keeping his head down carefully to let the Tedster catch all the vilification. Very similar to how he did but did not support meaningful immigration reform. Clever boy, Marco, well schooled by his ascent through Macondo politics. Nailing him down will be tougher than slicking your hands with vaseline and then trying to catch an eel with them.

      • stex52 - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:44 AM

        Article 1 Section 2 of the constitution has never been actually put to the test in the courts. It says the president should be “a natural born citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of Adoption of this Constitution.” The main purpose of those statements was to deal with an inconvenient fact: our first five presidents were born on English soil; the U.S. hadn’t existed at the time.

        When I was younger the fashionable interpretation was you had to be born on U.S. soil. These days the leaning is more toward “Would you qualify as a citizen anyway?” Since his mother was a citizen, the answer is “yes.” But it has still not been tested in the courts.

        Ted needs to calm down about the Canadian thing. There are a lot better reasons than that why he shouldn’t be president.

      • indaburg - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:45 AM

        My boys need to pull the plug on the Yankees tonight in the Bronx. There’s a DNR order.

      • proudlycanadian - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:50 AM

        That would be an act of kindness.

      • stex52 - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:47 AM

        I’m sorry, the part I quoted is from the end of Section 1. My bad.

      • sportsdrenched - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:48 AM

        Gonna step out of my usual ban on not getting involved in politics here. But I listen to 3 or 4 talk radio shows…all them pretty…OK batshit crazy right wing. And I find Rush Limbaugh’s show closest to the center of the political spectrum. And that should scare you.

      • unclemosesgreen - Sep 24, 2013 at 10:55 AM

        The phrase “speaking as a Rush fan” is enough to get you ignored by Big Unk unless of course you refer to Geddy Lee et al.

        At least it’s not as bad as the phrase “speaking as a Beck fan” – which is sufficient for physical violence and/or forced ECT treatments.

      • American of African Descent - Sep 24, 2013 at 11:16 AM

        Birthers will not stand in the way of a good patriotic American like Ted Cruz running for president. It’s only when an American with an “ethnic” name and a Kenyan father who proposes a Republican plan to change the way health care services are delivered that the birthers come out in force.

      • stex52 - Sep 24, 2013 at 1:07 PM

        You are, sadly, correct, AAAD. I have already heard tea partiers talking about how “They don’t think of Canada as different.” Of course, they did when they were trashing their health care system. Selective memory loss.

  4. proudlycanadian - Sep 24, 2013 at 7:28 AM

    No sure why the Jays and White Sox were forced to play a make up game in Chicago yesterday. I am sure that neither team wanted to play the game.

    • paperlions - Sep 24, 2013 at 7:46 AM

      Because baseball games are played to make money.

      • proudlycanadian - Sep 24, 2013 at 7:52 AM

        There were 19,000 fans allegedly in attendance. The travel costs for both teams were significant. Both teams had to fly into Chicago for 1 game and then fly out immediately.

      • paperlions - Sep 24, 2013 at 7:59 AM

        I doubt teams have a la carte airline pricing. In all likelihood, they have a contract and their travel costs aren’t affected much at all by having a couple of extra flights. 19,000 tickets, plus parking, plus advertising, plus TV and radio money, plus concessions….there is a 0% chance they didn’t make money playing the game.

      • proudlycanadian - Sep 24, 2013 at 8:34 AM

        On a different note, I do expect an off season trade between these 2 frequent trading partners. The Jays got a look at Quintanna and the White Sox got a look at Jeffress and Delabar.

      • Old Gator - Sep 24, 2013 at 8:28 AM

        Loved that DC-3 with the Chief Wahoo logo in Major League, though. Even Ryan Air can’t top that.

      • gloccamorra - Sep 24, 2013 at 1:45 PM

        It’s not just attendance. The big money player is TeeVee. Did you notice that basketball teams on TeeVee get an extra time-out? The coaches better use them, or they’ll be fined. In time, the TeeVee people will be dictating pitching changes.

    • deepstblu - Sep 24, 2013 at 7:47 AM

      I think it’s in accordance with the unwritten baseball Bible. “For thou shalt play out the season to the end, unto the one hundred sixty-second of thy games; and thou shalt not suffer a rain check to go unvoided, for it is an abomination unto the BUD.”

      • proudlycanadian - Sep 24, 2013 at 7:48 AM

        AMEN!

      • KR - Sep 24, 2013 at 8:29 AM

        162 shall be the number of the games, and the number of the games shall be 162. 163 shall thou not play*, nor shall thou play 161, except that thou then proceedeth to 162. 164 is right out**.

        * Unless there is a tie
        ** Unless there are multiple ties

      • spudchukar - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:44 AM

        Sorry, but Baseball remains sacred to me. And playing all 162 games to one’s best is part of that be it team, player or management. And at least 19,000 people seem to agree with me.

    • American of African Descent - Sep 24, 2013 at 11:17 AM

      Yes, but the families of the players involved were looking forward to seeing their little guys play!

  5. philliesblow - Sep 24, 2013 at 7:44 AM

    Jose Verasverde has been about as big a disaster in the Tigers pen as McWiggles was. I’d take almost anyone with a temperature & a pulse over him on the playoff roster.

    • historiophiliac - Sep 24, 2013 at 7:49 AM

      What? No way. He’s no Phil Choke. I mean that sucked, but it’s not like he does it regularly. Breathe.

    • stex52 - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:15 AM

      Veras had an unusually good run for him with the Astros over the first half of the season. Of late you have seen a bit of regression to historical performance,.

      • unclemosesgreen - Sep 24, 2013 at 10:52 AM

        This year we can call that pulling a Kevin Gregg.

  6. bfunk1978 - Sep 24, 2013 at 7:46 AM

    Used to be that the Cardinals would have to play the Braves or Dodgers regardless of record because they couldn’t play the wild card winner if they were from the same division. At least that’s what I thought. Has that changed with the second WC?

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:03 AM

      Yes, they changed it to give some certainty to the Division winners, becuase you don’t know who will advance until 2 days before the ALDS & NLDS starts. Granted, that is no different then the old way if the WC was decided the last day of the season….but that was what was decided

    • spudchukar - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:48 AM

      It was a great change. It rewards the division winner, and simultaneously rewards the leagues best playing team. One can still make the assertion the schedule is unbalanced, and therefore records are skewed, but the present set-up is an improvement.

      Personally, I would like to see a best of three for wild-card games, and the extension of the first round to 7 games, but the current system is a change for the better.

      • gloccamorra - Sep 24, 2013 at 1:51 PM

        It used to be, the World Series ended by Columbus Day. Your suggestion would blow the WS past Veterans’ Day. Do you really want to see infielders in Detroit or Boston huddling together for warmth in between pitches?

      • spudchukar - Sep 24, 2013 at 1:57 PM

        No. There are other options. First off, shorten Spring Training by about 10 days, and start the season earlier.

        Second. Insist on old-fashioned double-headers, at least two per home team per season. The income loss could be made up by the extra play-off games.

        This would force MLB to expand the rosters by at least one more player, something that the current game needs.

        And lastly, if necessary shorten the season.

      • bfunk1978 - Sep 24, 2013 at 7:52 PM

        I apparently didnt’ ask my question properly. My statement was that I didn’t think the Cardinals would be able to play a WC team in the LDS if that team was from their division, no matter who it was or what their standing was regarding best/worst record among division winners. Is that not how it works?

      • spudchukar - Sep 24, 2013 at 7:55 PM

        Nope. Rule change in the off season. Now a division winner, with the best record, plays WC, even if that WC is in their division.

      • bfunk1978 - Sep 25, 2013 at 9:46 AM

        OK cool, thanks. That’s what I missed somewhere.

  7. historiophiliac - Sep 24, 2013 at 8:00 AM

    Hello, the Tiger’s # is 2. (Don’t even think about it, buckfutter.) We could not have clinched yesterday even if we had won. Today is a possibility, although it would require a win for us AND a loss for the Indians (against the ChiSox — likely? Not.). More realistically, we clinch on Wednesday and Scherzer gets his 21st win. For some reason, whoever runs the @Tigers Twitter account thought the magic number was 1 as well. After looking at the string of responses, I’m guessing s/he knows better now.

    So, we were up; it looked like a ready win. We just had to hang on. I had the gametrax up while my students took their test. It was 3-0 when I headed home. I got there and the Twins had gotten two. Rats! Well, winable still. Then Benoit blew his first save of the season. Gah! Tied — we go to extra innings. We’ve been doing this too much lately, gents. I watched the bitter end. It was frustrating. The guys got too eager and hacked at crap for easy outs. Sigh. Well, today might be it. The Dog is up, so that’s good. I have a busy week, Tigers, so could you get this done? Thanks.

    • ashot - Sep 24, 2013 at 8:42 AM

      The Tigers’ magic number to clinch a playoff spot was 1. It’s 2 to clinch the division.

      People seem to want to doubt the Tigers for some reason. Their bullpen isn’t great, but should be less of an issue in the playoffs and nobody saw Phil Coke doing what he did last year so who knows what happens this year (see 2012 playoffs). The pitching will be fine, the offense concerns me a bit, especially with a less than 100% Cabrera.

      • historiophiliac - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:27 AM

        I don’t understand. You don’t want the division title?

        /sniffs

      • bfunk1978 - Sep 24, 2013 at 7:52 PM

        well the Tigers certainly don’t want that division title.

    • dluxxx - Sep 24, 2013 at 11:16 AM

      I warned you… The Twins did everything they could early to give you guys the game. They were even 0-11 or 12 with runners in scoring position early. They struck out 12 times in 6 innings, and yet the Tigers still wouldn’t take their gift.

      So, they took it back. ;)

  8. stex52 - Sep 24, 2013 at 8:17 AM

    And the Astros put the wrapper on another season of abject futility. Unless they win out from here, they are assured of again setting a franchise record of for losses in a season. Absolutely no surprise, but it has been a miserable journey of really bad baseball. And not a single player on this team that is a solid likelihood for a contender. “Oh, wait,” you say, “Dominguez, Altuve?” Check the OPS, my friends. You won’t be able to go with those numbers. Castro? Only if you are willing to give up on decent defense. Cosart? Okay, maybe something to build on. But that about wraps it up.

    Maybe there is hope in the hope in the rebuilding of the Astros’ farm organization. But that is still largely two years out; and still only prospects. And almost all of Luhnow’s experiments with the major league franchise failed this year.

    We will go into spring in the fond hope that it is not the start of another 100+ loss campaign. For the first time in a while, I will at least feel like the team is not weaker than the year before. But how much better? We will see.

    Have at me now, fanboys, for my negativism. But try to start by dealing with the facts.

    • Old Gator - Sep 24, 2013 at 8:39 AM

      I have nothing for you but empathy.

      • stex52 - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:14 AM

        And I for you, OG. At least I have the cold comfort of being sure the Astros are TRYING to get better.

      • stlouis1baseball - Sep 24, 2013 at 1:40 PM

        Wow…
        I read the entire Rubio post (twice actually) and the entire time thought…
        “This is a bad thing?” Then I thought…”he isn’t supposed to do this?”
        Then I thought…”how does this differ from every other politician on the planet?”

        Then I remembered…
        “Gator groups all republican’s together.” “As if they are identical even.”

      • gloccamorra - Sep 24, 2013 at 1:58 PM

        Actually, the Marlins are in far better shape, a young team salted with veterans (who didn’t produce) and a good farm and pretty decent pitching. The Marlins couldn’t score runs, but the Astros couldn’t stop other teams from scoring. The Marlins could improve dramatically with the kids getting better and adding a leadoff hitter and cleanup bat to protect Stanton. The ‘Stros have to build a whole pitching staff and teach their position players how to catch the ball.

      • Old Gator - Sep 24, 2013 at 5:39 PM

        @Stlouis1: and then you thought “oh wait, every single Republican in the house voted for the spending bill.” Or maybe you thought, “Oh wait, Gator was writing about the conflict between factions of Republicans in the Senate.”

        Your call.

    • unclemosesgreen - Sep 24, 2013 at 10:51 AM

      You are more justified in impatience than negativity. The ‘Stros are being run correctly for the first time since 4 years prior to Bagwell hanging up his cleats. The type of damage caused by a Drayton McClane cannot be undone overnight, or over a couple of seasons.

      The farm system is being properly rebuilt and I see hope on the horizon for your Stros. True, it is the distant horizon. But it’s there.

      • dluxxx - Sep 24, 2013 at 11:52 AM

        More like an event horizon… It seems to slow down as it approaches to the observer from the outside, but it continues to move over the horizon in the normal time.

    • APBA Guy - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:24 PM

      Well, the Astros played a few good games against the A’s, and I thought for a moment that they might have stabilized, but you’re right: check the stats, check the standings. Ugly.

      Still, I can see an organization that is teaching the proper way to play. If this were AA I’d be thrilled. The A’s took 6 years between 2006 and 2012 to redo the team. It kind of happened in waves, like 2 steps forward and one step back. Hopefully Luhnow will have the time to move the team to a quality you guys can be proud to support.

      • stex52 - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:58 PM

        Part of what we miss with our discussions about patience and rebuilding is that you have to get from here to there. The Astros’ brand has gone to hell in the Houston area. And, huge a baseball a fan as I am, there is only so much I can tolerate.

        Case in point, does anyone remember this play? Opposition men on 1st and second. Sacrifice bunt. When the dust settles, two runs have scored and the bunter is on third.

        How much of that could you possibly want to watch?

    • misterj167 - Sep 24, 2013 at 2:00 PM

      Hey growing up, I was a Mets fan during that period from ’74-’83 when they were one of the worst teams in baseball and featured “stars” like John Stearns, John Milner, and Lee Mazzilli. So I know exactly how you feel. Actually even in ’73 they barely played above .500 winning the division, then beat the Big Red Machine in the playoffs and took the great Oakland A’s to 7 games in the series. Pitching, pitching,pitching…

      When my family moved to Florida in ’79 and we got cable I started to watch the Braves (because they were the only team we could watch regularly, thanks to WTCG-WTBS) and I remember those exciting years from ’82-’84, with Murph and Horner and Chris Chambliss, with Joe Torre managing. But they had a lot of bad years before they got good in ’91, too.

      Sometimes though, it can be fun to watch a team you know is out of it, just for the love of the game. Baseball is good like that, I think. Another reason it’s a superior sport.

    • proudlycanadian - Sep 24, 2013 at 2:46 PM

      Hi Stex. Wasn’t the bunt play you described carried out by the Jays? If my memory is correct, the bunter was Rajai Davis, one of the guys on base was Lawrie and there were a couple of errant throws. Davis and Lawrie are both aggressive base runners and took full advantage of the mistakes.

      • stex52 - Sep 24, 2013 at 8:33 PM

        I couldn’t remember for sure. I think you are correct, PC.

  9. stex52 - Sep 24, 2013 at 8:33 AM

    Do you suppose there is any player in the league happier for his July change of address than Alberto Callaspo? I would think not. And he is certainly making the most of it with the A’s.

    • Old Gator - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:01 AM

      Reecky Nolasco.

      • stex52 - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:12 AM

        Point well taken. Nolasco has got to be feeling good to be out of the clutches. Pitching pretty well, too.

    • someguyinva - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:54 AM

      Kurt Suzuki might be just as happy.

  10. Old Gator - Sep 24, 2013 at 8:36 AM

    Nate Eovaldi was lights-out against the Feelies last night, shutting them down for 8-2/3, but the Feelies looked dispirited and surely watching Doc leave the field after pitching to only three guys, with his arm hanging like a wet noodle, couldn’t have done much for their morale. A forgettable season, but then who is a Feesh fan to talk? We’ve had a forgettable decade.

    Eovaldi, by the way, has deadly stuff when he’s on, wince-making stuff when he’s not, and really, you never know which Nate Eovaldi is going to take the mound on any given night. If there really is a Good Nate who has an evil twin, he will shortly occupy the ecological niche in the order vacated by Reecky Nolasco.

    Then Scrooge McLoria will unload him for an EYP or two.

    • wlschneider09 - Sep 24, 2013 at 8:43 AM

      I’ll bite. I have a guess, but in the Gator world what’s an EYP?

      • Old Gator - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:02 AM

        Exciting Young Prospect

  11. happytwinsfan - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:12 AM

    all canucks present, including ted cruz, stand and cheer. twas BUSTIN JUSTIN whose relay to the plate gets the final out clinching a playoff spot for the pirates for the first time since jim leyland was thier manager and other teams would sometimes pitch around bobby bonnila to get to a young and skinny barry bonds.

    last night’s game with the tigers:
    good excercise for the boys. glad it went 11, giving the prospects more opportunities to bid for a roster spot. pressly and pinto continued to make thier case. six more games before an extended rest peroid, with pre season resuming in february.

    looking forward to the real games

    • historiophiliac - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:31 AM

      Quit playing like you have a chance at a WC spot. Lay down and take it! >:(

      • happytwinsfan - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:50 AM

        whats the mlb minumin – about 3 grand a game? sorry, but my no signing bonus AA boys gots to save up some sugar for the winter, and get the spring invite

      • philliesblow - Sep 24, 2013 at 10:34 AM

        Lay down and take it?

        That’s so Bobby Knight of you.
        http://www.nytimes.com/1988/04/27/sports/knight-is-criticized-over-rape-remark.html

      • historiophiliac - Sep 24, 2013 at 10:48 AM

        I meant like boxing. Bleh.

      • unclemosesgreen - Sep 24, 2013 at 10:58 AM

        I had to tape my hands together with athletic tape and chew my way out of the mess for 90 minutes to avoid responding to this comment.

      • historiophiliac - Sep 24, 2013 at 11:27 AM

        I guess I’m the only one whose mind did not go there. Nice.

      • unclemosesgreen - Sep 24, 2013 at 11:31 AM

        The back of my hands are hairy too – the last ten minutes really hurt. Thanksalot

      • historiophiliac - Sep 24, 2013 at 11:43 AM

        Ironically, I skipped the Braves post with that rape BS.

      • unclemosesgreen - Sep 24, 2013 at 11:44 AM

        The Bobby Knight thing? As I remembered that particular bit of repugnance, I skipped that link as well. Just, ick.

      • historiophiliac - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:21 PM

        I don’t know what it’s about and I don’t want to — so I didn’t read it.

      • unclemosesgreen - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:23 PM

        And if everyone followed your lead in this – the internets would be better places.

      • stlouis1baseball - Sep 24, 2013 at 3:47 PM

        That’s sexist.

  12. thomas844 - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:26 AM

    The Pirates celebrated because they haven’t made it in a long time, so they should enjoy this moment. I think the Reds didn’t celebrate because they have made it a couple of times recently and washed out of the first round. Now they are like, “Okay, we’re here, we need to take care of business this time.”

  13. bravojawja - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    I sure hope “shooting champagne into each others’ faces” isn’t a euphemism for anything.

  14. therealtrenches - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    Craig, You write about blaming the Pirate’s current players for twenty years of failing like you just discovered uranium.

    It’s nothing new. Ask any player who has donned a Browns, Cubs, Eagles or pre-04 Red Sox uniform; the fans have always laid the burden at their feet.

  15. jwbiii - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    Updated playoff percentages:

    
    Team     FG   B-Pro   Schedule
    TBR*   90.7    92.6   3 @NYY, 3 @Tor
    Cle*   73.5    63.4   2 ChW, 4 @Min
    Tex    33.6    42.2   2 Hou, 4 LAA
    KCR     1.6     1.6   2 @Sea, 4 @ChW
    NYY     0.5     0.3   3 TBR, 3 @Hou
    Bal     0.0     0.0   3 Tor, 3 Bos
    
    WsN     0.0     0.0   2 @StL, 3 @Ari

    Yesterday’s action knocked the Nationals completely out of contention and the Orioles virtually out of contension. MASN executives were seen weeping openly.

    Elimination news: The Nationals are out. The Orioles have a tragic number of 3. The Indians host the White Sox; they are 15-2 against them this season. So you’re telling me there’s a chance? Yeah!

    *Holds wild card berth

    • spudchukar - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:58 AM

      Craig erroneously stated in ATH, that the Cards and Braves are tied for the best record in the NL. Actually the Cards have one more loss. They have 5 to play and the Braves 6.

      The Dodgers are 2 full games behind the Braves. Tougher road ahead for them schedule-wise while the Cards have 2 more in St. Louis against the just eliminated Nats, and then 3 at home against the Cubs, while Atlanta hosts the Brewers for 2 more before finishing with 4 in Georgia against the Pheelies.

      Here is a rarity from yours truly: Go Philadelphia!

    • proudlycanadian - Sep 24, 2013 at 10:12 AM

      If The Indians and Tampa Bay win today, the Yankees tragic number becomes 1. A Baltimore loss and a Cleveland win eliminated Baltimore.

      • proudlycanadian - Sep 24, 2013 at 10:13 AM

        EDIT function: “eliminates Baltimore”

      • proudlycanadian - Sep 24, 2013 at 6:50 PM

        In the above scenario, I forgot to mention that Phil Hughes will start for the Yankees tomorrow, so wins by the Indians and Rays today would almost certainly eliminate the Yankees.

  16. jarathen - Sep 24, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    I just hope the Pirates get to play at least one playoff game at home. The fans deserve that.

  17. happytwinsfan - Sep 24, 2013 at 11:56 AM

    i did for a moment consider the proposal

    • happytwinsfan - Sep 24, 2013 at 11:57 AM

      whoops – this belongs in the bobby knight thread above

  18. jdubfla - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    The White Sox Jay makeup game OUTDREW the Rays and Orioles two teams in a pennant race. Now thats funny.

  19. APBA Guy - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    I was surprised at three things in Anaheim last night:

    - Garrett Richards, who had been really good lately, couldn’t find the corners at all. The results were predictable.

    - Tommy Milone was not sharp, even though he’s pitching for a playoff roster spot. Still, I think he’s more reliable than Brett Anderson at this point, but Melvin et al may opt for 2 lefties in the pen rather than 3.

    - Josh Hamilton is hitting something like .325 since late August. The bat speed is there, the batting eye is not. He looks like he’s got Vlad Guerrero’s conception of a hittable pitch.

    The A’s believe they can get the home field advantage if they win out. Playing an extra game per series at the Mausoleum would be huge for them, as they’ve become used to the sight of huge rodents and tsunamis of sewage. Other teams’ players are perhaps less comfortable in such surroundings. Also, the A’s fans, it’s Oakland after all, can get really loud if motivated. We’ll see how they do over this final week.

  20. misterj167 - Sep 24, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    (re-posted from last night)

    Meanwhile, on ESPN:

    (dirge music playing in background, announcers dressed in black)

    “A sad sad day for baseball as the greatest team to ever take the field has been sadly eliminated from post-season play. Your take on that, Bob?”

    “No! No! it’s not true, it can’t be true!”

    “You promised you would contain yourself, Bob…”

    “I have proof! I have evidence of ten umpires who were paid off to make key calls against the Nationals in a criminal conspiracy that goes all the way to the top!”

    “The Commissioner’s Office?”

    “No, President Obama himself! He personally saw to it that our Nationals team lost because he clearly hates America!”

    “Uh Bob, I’m not sure that makes any sense…”

    “OF COURSE IT MAKES SENSE! I got the evidence from Donald Trump himself! We want those games overturned, do you hear me? Overturned! The Nationals real record is 129-33! They win the division! They have the best record in baseball! It’s not over! It’s never over! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor??? Turn those machines back on! TURN THOSE MACHINES BACK ON!!!”

    (Bob convulses in a frothy-mouthed fit and collapses in a heap behind the sports desk. With tears in his eyes, Doug continues)

    “Aptly-named…(pause to wipe away a tear)…aptly-named reporter Ivana Duharp was in the Nationals locker room and had this interview with Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, who slammed headfirst into his locker in a show of grit that would make Kirk Gibson proud. Ivana?”

    (five-hour, tear-ridden, consolation sex-filled interview later…the camera is back to the studio where medics are taking Bob away on a stretcher. Doug consoles his partner, then turns to face the cameras, eyes red with tears)

    “One other item, some other team won the NL East, we’ll have an investigative report on who that is in a month or two. And that’s it for Baseball Tonight, stay tuned for our eight-hour special: The Washington Nationals: Team Of Destiny 2014!

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