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And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

Sep 30, 2013, 5:00 AM EDT

Henderson Alvarez

Marlins 1, Tigers 0: It’s not often a 100-loss team ends the year with a beer shower celebration. But it’s not often a guy on a 100-loss team — or any team for that matter — tosses a no-hitter on the final day while winning via a walkoff wild pitch. Congratulations Henderson Alvarez. Sorry about having to get that hug from Jeff Loria afterward. Oh, also weird: the Tigers shut the Marlins out until the eighth using three starting pitchers: Justin Verlander, Doug Fister and Rick Porcello. So no, not your typical game-162.

Rays 7, Blue Jays 6: The Rays almost woofed away a playoff spot completely. No, thanks to the stumble at the end, they are still stuck with a game-163 and two one-and-done games rather than just one. Oh well, that’s what baseball wants, that’s what baseball gets.

Rangers 6, Angels 2: Way to finish strong against a team that hasn’t been playing bad baseball of late. Texas has seven straight wins. But if they don’t win an eighth and then a ninth in a row, it’s all over.

Pirates 4, Reds 2: And they’ll meet again on Tuesday, this time up the river in Pittsburgh. A three-game sweep for the Pirates. Now we get to see if momentum means anything. Hint: it doesn’t, historically speaking. But if the Pirates win people will still say it’s a thing.

Indians 5, Twins 1: The Indians finish hot. And now hope that Texas and Tampa Bay go 19 innings and use every single pitcher tonight.

Braves 12, Phillies 5: Big offense for the Braves and no one fought with anyone, which is nice. Although really, between yelling at the opposition over home run trots and coaches fighting with players, the Braves are giving me a 1970s A’s-Yankees vibe. Maybe they’ll dysfunction themselves all the way to the World Series title. As for the Phillies: thank god this year is over.

Orioles 7, Red Sox 6: A loss, yes, even though they were up early, but the Sox finish at 97-65, tied for the best record in baseball. This was basically a spring training for Boston. For the Orioles: a good season. And an abject lesson in the difference between the ball bouncing one way in one year and the other way the next.

Royals 4, White Sox 1: An eighty-six win year makes it the best since 1989 for the Royals. They finished the month 17-10, making it their best month of the year. Gonna be a trendy pick next season. For the White Sox? Well, the didn’t lose 100. I guess that’s something.

Mets 3, Brewers 2: The Mets rallied with two in the eight. Eric Young Jr. took the stolen base crown. Otherwise: a pretty forgettable season for both clubs this year. At least the Mets, unlike the Brewers, had some things to grow on in the form of young pitching. Fans of both clubs are probably both happy for winter.

Yankees 5, Astros 1: Fourteen inning game, fifteenth straight loss for the Astros. But it may be the Yankees who have the more uncertain future. Nowhere to go but up for Houston. The Yankees could be on the verge of a rebuild, a reload, a rebound year or a total cratering. Gonna be an interesting offseason for Brian Cashman.

Cardinals 4, Cubs 0: The Cards finish with a tie for the best record in baseball, home field advantage in the NL playoffs and a date with the wild card winner rather than a series with the Dodgers. Not a bad way to roll into the playoffs.

Diamondbacks 3, Nationals 2: Farewell Davey Johnson, who ends his managerial career his career with a record of 1,372-1,071. Farewell Nationals, most experts’ pick to win the NL East this year. For the Dbacks: grit wasn’t good enough.

Athletics 9, Mariners 0: Bang meets whimper.Six pitchers combine for the shutout and now the A’s look forward to a playoff rematch with the Tigers. Some starters sat, others left the game early, either way it didn’t matter. The M’s will now look for a new manager. It should totally be Ozzie Guillen, right?

Giants 7, Padres 6: Two runs in the ninth for the come-from-behind win. It was Hunter Pence, the Giants’ new $90 million man who did the honors. Three RBI overall.

Rockies 2, Dodgers 1: Todd Helton‘s career comes to an end. With a strikeout, alas, but he’ll remember the better stuff. Nice ovation from the Dodgers fans for Helton at the end. L.A. now heads to Atlanta. God, I hope Brian McCann doesn’t kill Yasiel Puig for not playing the game the right way at some point, but it could very well happen.

And with that, And That Happen bids you adieu for the year.  Yes, we have a game 163 to go, but ATH is a creature of the regular season.

And it’s been a good season. But we now shift into a different gear — the playoff gear — which is wonderful for its own purposes but which is just … something else. For me baseball is about the day-in-day-out of the regular season and its lack of pitched drama is what makes it a true pastime. I like the playoffs fine, but there’s nothing like April-September baseball. And every year at this time I feel a bit sad about its passing, even if the next month will be exciting and memorable.

Oh well. Thanks for reading every morning. This feature will see you again next year.

  1. sdelmonte - Sep 30, 2013 at 5:49 AM

    No baseball fan is ever really happy for winter. Except in that it leads to spring and a chance to start over at 0-0.

    No way I can call this Mets season a success, but I had a lot of fun along the way and I feel good about the team’s future. And for some reason it just feels good to say that we ended with a win, meaningless as it was.

    • jwbiii - Sep 30, 2013 at 8:00 AM

      Players, too.

      “I look out the window and wait for spring.” – Rogers Hornsby on the offseason

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 30, 2013 at 9:05 AM

      Winning your last game isn’t meaningless. It’s ending the season on a good note.
      For similar reasons I never leave batting practice until I hit a good solid gap shot.
      Additionally, when playing basketball I never leave without hitting a jump shot or making 8 of 10 free throws. I don’t care if my pitchers arm is about to fall off or the wife has dinner ready. They both know I am not leaving until these things happen. Of course…I also suffer from OCD.

      • sdelmonte - Sep 30, 2013 at 10:41 AM

        At least if you have to obsess over a baseball team, you get the Cards.

  2. dondada10 - Sep 30, 2013 at 6:22 AM

    Let’s go Rays!

    • proudlycanadian - Sep 30, 2013 at 6:51 AM

      The Rays are in this position because they had the toughest schedule of the 3 Wild Card contenders. Go Rays GO!

  3. proudlycanadian - Sep 30, 2013 at 6:54 AM

    A big raspberry to the White Sox who tanked in the second half of of the season in an effort to have the second worst record in baseball. They came very close to winning the coveted number 2 draft pick.

  4. ibleedroyalblue - Sep 30, 2013 at 7:26 AM

    I’m kinda sad this morning too. Looking forward to spring training!

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 30, 2013 at 9:05 AM

      Ahhh…you guys had a solid year. I expect likewise next year. Now root for the other team in Missouri!

    • spudchukar - Sep 30, 2013 at 10:47 AM

      Hey, look on the bright side, you no longer are the 3rd best team in Missouri.

  5. offseasonblues - Sep 30, 2013 at 7:36 AM

    Having your team in the playoffs postpones the feeling for a while, but you can probably guess how I feel about the annual end of daily baseball.

  6. paperlions - Sep 30, 2013 at 7:36 AM

    This year in inter-league play the AL finished only 8 games over .500 against the NL. A huge proportion of the games young stars are in the NL rather than the AL, shifting the balance of power back toward the middle.

    • proudlycanadian - Sep 30, 2013 at 7:53 AM

      That is what happens when you get all those high draft picks and transfer your worst team to the AL. What would the inter-league results look like if the Astros were excluded?

      • Francisco (FC) - Sep 30, 2013 at 8:02 AM

        That’s not fair. Should we exclude the Astros from the NL for the last three to four years to see the AL’s “real” performance?

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

        Not much different, the Astros were 8-12.

        The path from draft to production in baseball is so long, a few high draft picks ensure nothing….and there have been just as many crappy AL teams as NL teams, the biggest differences were at the top of the AL, not the bottom.

      • paperlions - Sep 30, 2013 at 8:19 AM

        To expand on the draft myth, the best NL teams are the Cardinals, Atlanta, Pittsburgh, LA, Cinci, Washington, and Arizona….with the possible exception of Washington, those teams aren’t good as a result of particularly high draft picks, but some combination of development, luck, and smart FA acquisitions (and in the case of the Dodgers, crazy spending).

  7. philliesblow - Sep 30, 2013 at 7:48 AM

    I remember right around the start of the season Craig warned that ATH would likely post a little later in the morning, maybe even after 8 AM. With the year now complete I don’t think that occurred but a handful of times. Thanks for all the early posts Craig. There is no WAR figure needed to give you the MGB award: Most Gritty Blogger.

  8. proudlycanadian - Sep 30, 2013 at 7:50 AM

    Congratulations to Henderson Alvarez on his Maddux.

    • Jason Lukehart - Sep 30, 2013 at 10:04 AM

      It’s only the third Maddux in Marlins history, making it more rare than a no-hitter for that franchise.

      • proudlycanadian - Sep 30, 2013 at 11:22 AM

        Thank you for the update Jason.

      • moogro - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:49 PM

        How often do Maddux no-hitters happen in the league?

      • Jason Lukehart - Sep 30, 2013 at 5:24 PM

        This is the 9th no-hit Maddux (H.Alvarez, P.Humber, D.Lowe, D.Cone, K.Brown, K.Rogers, C.Bosio, K.Gross, D.Martinez).

        Humber, Cone, Rogers, and Martinez’s were also perfect games.

  9. jwbiii - Sep 30, 2013 at 8:05 AM

    Updated playoff percentages, final edition:

    Team     FG    B-Pro    Cool   Schedule
    TBR    49.7     74.6    41.6   1 @Tex
    Tex    50.3     25.4    58.4   1 TBR

    Three widely diverging opinions.

    Some have suggested that the Indians only made the playoffs due to their easier schedule.

    .          v. >= .500 Opps
    Team      G    W    L    Pct
    Det      88   48   40   .545
    Cle      88   36   52   .409
    KCR      89   44   45   .494
    Min     104   33   71   .317
    ChW     104   36   66   .353

    Over the course of the season, the Indians played roughly the same schedule as their division rivals. The Twins and the White Sox played more quality teams because three of their divisional rivals counted as quality teams. The Indians certainly had a creampuff schedule down the stretch, which means that they had a tougher schedule earlier in the season. They won the games they had to win. More troublesome for the Indians is their poor record v. good teams. I have no idea if this has any predictive value for the playoffs, but it sure doesn’t look good. The Rangers are one of the few good teams the Indians dominated (5-1), which really doesn’t have any predictive value.

  10. nbjays - Sep 30, 2013 at 8:08 AM

    Craig, thanks for another year of ATH. (and thanks to Johnnysoda and Cur for filling in so admirably in Craig’s absence.)

    Yes, we are in for some fun playoff baseball, but I agree with you that there is nothing like the slow, day-to-day, comfortable continuity that is the regular season. This offseason could prove most interesting, however, with more than a few teams having to rebuild, reload or simply rethink things. Toss in a few free agency question marks and a bit of A-Rod drama, and we might even have enough fuel to keep the hot stove talk and speculation going until Spring Training.

    Also, congrats to Burgie’s floating carpets for at least getting into a playoff. I hope you beat the Rangers but I am sort of on the fence if you come up against Cleveland.

    Time for some October baseball!

    • moogro - Sep 30, 2013 at 1:52 PM

      Burgie must have a had a heart attack watching that game.

  11. NatsLady - Sep 30, 2013 at 8:48 AM

    Goodbye, Davey. Thanks for all you did for a “wannabe” team. 2013 wasn’t the best season, but it was FAR from the worst, and, thanks to the last season run, the boys know what they can do in 2014. Enjoy your vacation, come back and give wise advice and teach some kids.

    • NatsLady - Sep 30, 2013 at 8:48 AM

      Er, “late season run.” Though last season was good, too!

    • chill1184 - Sep 30, 2013 at 9:00 AM

      Isnt Davey returning to the Nationals in advisory role?

    • natstowngreg - Sep 30, 2013 at 9:28 AM

      Davey will go back to being a consultant. As Adam Kilgore notes, there isn’t complete agreement on what that means.

      Davey’s last public act was to take out a failed reliever. Something he did all too often this season. IMHO, reworking the bullpen, along with strengthening the bottom of the rotation and the bench, need to be points of emphasis for Rizzo.

      This is a good team. It won 86 games, 6th in the NL. (In a league where only 6 of 15 teams posted records over .500.) It just wasn’t good enough. Never mind the World Series or Bust nonsense. The Nats dug themselves too big a hole and took too long to climb out. They played too poorly against the top teams. From April through the first week of August, they underachieved in most every way a team could underachieve. By the time the Reds faltered a little and created an opening, the Nats were too far behind.

      There is hope for 2014 and beyond, with a new manager and, hopefully, a bit of an attitude adjustment (I’m hoping “Natitude” goes away, but am not that optimistic).

      • NatsLady - Sep 30, 2013 at 9:47 AM

        Yes, Davey is supposed to come back as a consultant, that is why I wrote “give wise advice.” A lot to mull over on this season, in contrast to last season, which was endless re-workings of Game 5.

  12. NatsLady - Sep 30, 2013 at 8:50 AM

    I already miss the season. I miss having lots of baseball, checking the standings and the schedule to see which games affect the Nats… the West Coast games that I fell asleep to…

    Will be rooting AGAINST the Barves, but that’s not the same as rooting FOR the Nats.

  13. chill1184 - Sep 30, 2013 at 8:58 AM

    Certainly a positive for Eric Young Jr’s career for winning the stolen base total. After the WS (which I personally hope for an A’s-Pirates one) Sandy Alderson has to figure out what to do in terms of the OF, SS, P and possibly 1B. In addition we find out if Wilpon is lying or not. (take note even if Wilpon misses the upcoming loan payment Commrade Selig still wont do anything)

  14. polfro - Sep 30, 2013 at 9:37 AM

    Great stuff as always, Craig. Go Braves! (Not.)

  15. historiophiliac - Sep 30, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    Since V started yesterday and Leyland played Fister and Porcello (which could be an effort to keep them from going completely cold prior to their next starts and prep them for relief), I’m going to choose to believe that this means His Heterochromianess and Sanchez (What? I don’t have a nickname for him yet???) will start in Oakland. Please, Dog.

    Also, if I have to hear one more person gloat about getting no-hit by the Marlins — as if they didn’t win on a wild pitch and they weren’t playing our non-stars… Also, I’m not so sure about this Jhonny in Left thing. I think taking what you get defensively there is not a smart move against teams with excellent offenses. It may work against the Marlins, but I think it’s a big mistake against the BloSox or Dodgers.

    • spudchukar - Sep 30, 2013 at 10:51 AM

      Here let me help you, I would go with “Filthy”.

    • stlouis1baseball - Sep 30, 2013 at 11:33 AM

      I would go with “Dirty.” I know…I know…crude.
      I don’t normally stoop to this level but I felt it was warranted.

      • indaburg - Sep 30, 2013 at 12:49 PM

        Too funny… my fantasy league has been calling him that since the day he struck out 17.

    • historiophiliac - Sep 30, 2013 at 11:43 AM

      That’s nasty! No!

  16. sportsdrenched - Sep 30, 2013 at 10:16 AM

    “An eighty-six win year makes it the best since 1989 for the Royals. They finished the month 17-10, making it their best month of the year. Gonna be a trendy pick next season.”

    It was a fun season in Royals Land. There were some low lights, like the month of May. But there were some highlights like the pitching staff and the post All-Star Break part of the season (I hate the term “Second Half”, the ASB was after game 90 for all teams).

    All that being said, I’ll have to wait and see what Dayton does in the off-season before getting too excited. This offense has some major holes. While Eric Hosmer turned his corner, Mike Moustakas is stuck in neutral, if not regressing.

    If anything the 2013 Royals season was frustrating because I felt there were lost opportunities that could have landed them a playoff spot. I guess that’s progress though. Because in the past lost opportunities were just a bad team being bad. This year that stuff mattered till the end. And that’s what makes it fun.

    But Winter is not fun, and I’m not looking forward to it. We’ve got a month of baseball activity before it gets really tough. Then Nov-Dec-Jan-Feb, and then spring training will be in full effect in March. Why is it that those 4 months seem longer than the other 8 months of the year when there is baseball?

  17. number42is1 - Sep 30, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    when they added the 2nd WC they also added that the WC can play a team in their own division?

    • gloccamorra - Sep 30, 2013 at 12:19 PM

      Yes, of course – it’s the two non-division-winners with the best record, so that rule had to go.

  18. APBA Guy - Sep 30, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    If you are going to just go through the motions, it’s best to do it against a team who is anxious to start their vacation. Sonny Gray may have been the only player looking to prove something, and he did. I expect to see him starting for the A’s against Detroit, along with El Capitan, Parker, and Home Run Griffin.

    Before that series starts on Friday we have a week of entertaining wild-card action. But even so, I share the sentiments of commenters above who are already lamenting the end of the regular season. I’m already keeping an eye on the EPL, and much as I’ve come to enjoy it from November through March, it isn’t the same as baseball. There is nothing quite like getting up a little early, starting the coffee and smelling the aroma while watching the highlights from the night before.

  19. dluxxx - Sep 30, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    Thanks for all the ATH posts this year Craig. I’ll probably be pretty quite during the playoffs as I don’t have a horse in this race. I guess I’ll cheer for the Pirates, as they have Frankie and Morneau, but I doubt you’ll hear me chime in for a while. Have a great off season everyone and see you in the spring.

    • gloccamorra - Sep 30, 2013 at 12:26 PM

      Wait, why does the ATH series stop? Only the REGULAR season has ended, the BASEBALL season still has a month to go, including the World Series. There will be multiple games up to the World Series that can be ATH topics, and Craig can delve into them with greater detail, so why should we be denied Craig’s brilliant analysis during the playoffs?

  20. clemente2 - Sep 30, 2013 at 2:51 PM

    Thank you, Craig.

  21. janessa31888 - Sep 30, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    Thank you, Terry Francona!!! Without any real stars on this team, he led them to a record that few of us imagined. The pitching coach worked a miracle with Ubaldo and he really pitched well the second half. Loved the contributions from the Goon Squad (Aviles, Raburn, Gomes and Giambi). Next year, hopefully they will have a better record against good teams. I admire the perseverance of the Indians, though. They never gave up on the season. GO TRIBE!!!

  22. Shayna - Sep 30, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    It’s been a tough year for Blue Jays fans. It feels like an incipient attack of Bosoxitis in which every year presents us with a new set of derailments, crises, and false hopes. We spend money; we don’t spend money; our pitchers stay healthy and our hitters are injury-plagued; next year, vice-versa; our bullpen is a bulwark in the first half, our bullpen is a sieve after the break.

    Nevertheless, I went to five games this season and they won for me every time. I was there to see Kawasaki’s walk-off against the Orioles and the subsequent looney-tunes interview. I saw the 11th game in our 11-game win streak. I cheered myself hoarse. I was in the depths of despair. We’ll never win. We can’t lose.

    I’ll be back. See you around spring training time. For the moment, I’m with Burgie–go, Rays!

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