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And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

Apr 11, 2014, 6:15 AM EDT

Michael Pineda AP

Yankees 4, Red Sox 1: Michael Pineda was the whole story. Both for pitching a shutout into the seventh and for having some gunk on his hands that sorta looked like pine tar but which, because no one complained about it or brought it to the umps’ attention, couldn’t be examined or dealt with in any way. It was gone by the fifth, so let’s just put this one in the file along with Clay Buchholz‘s Bullfrog sunscreen and pretend it never happened. Haha, kidding. We’ll be talking about it all day because that’s what we do. Here, let me start things off: “Heh, more like Michael Pine-tar-eda, amirite?” Eh, sorry. We’ll work on that.

White Sox 7, Indians 3: If I told you Danny Salazar struck out ten of the first 11 batters he faced, you’d think he had a good night. Welp, no. He had a crappy night, those strikeouts notwithstanding (3.2. IP, 6 H, 5ER, 2 BB, 2 HR). Jose Abreu, however, had a fantastic night, homering once off Salazar and once off the inappropriately named Josh Outman. Abreu is hitting .300/.383/.725 on the young season.

Diamondbacks 6, Giants 5:  Tony Campana and Cliff Pennington don’t start much, but the former had four hits and the latter three Pennington. And the former drove the latter in for the go-ahead run in the 10th. The Dbacks took two of three.

Mets 6, Braves 4: Eric Young got three hits, stole three bases and scored four times. He stole five bases in the three-game series. Any team not running wild on the Braves isn’t doing it right, by the way, as Evan Gattis and Ryan Doumit have shown that they really aren’t a threat to base runners with even a modicum of speed. Justin Upton hit two homers.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $30,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Friday evening MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $5,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on FridayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Brewers 6, Phillies 2: The Brewers have won six straight, all on the road. In Philly, the scored 25 runs and notched 38 hits in a three-game sweep. Ryan Braun was 6 for 12 with 10 RBI in the series, giving him 24 RBI in 21 career games in Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies should totally trade for him. He’d look great there. Plus: they’d cheer for him like crazy, current claims by Phillies fans to their superior ethics and morals notwithstanding.

Astros 6, Blue Jays 4: Former big league knuckleballer Steve Sparks is a radio broadcaster for the Astros. Yesterday, as he did once last year, Sparks tossed knuckleballs in BP to Astros hitters to prepare them to face R.A. Dickey. Then, as last year, they weren’t too fazed with R.A. Dickey, notching five runs on six hits in seven innings. Dallas Keuchel allowed one run over seven while striking out six.

Nationals 7, Marlins 1: Stephen Strasburg was on point, striking out 12 over six and two-thirds. His only mistake was a solo home run surrendered to Marcell Ozuna to make it 2-1 Nats, but a five-spot by Washington in the eighth — including an Ian Desmond grand slam — secured things after Strasburg departed.

Pirates 5, Cubs 4: Down 4-0 in the seventh, the Pirates rallied for five, via a three-run shot from Pedro Alvarez and a two-run pinch hit homer from Travis Snider. That blew a nice pitching performance from Travis Wood (6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER 9K).

Athletics 6, Twins 1: Dan Straily pitched three-hit ball for seven innings even though he had nothing approaching his best stuff. You can do that when you’re facing the Twins, of course.

  1. thedoubleentandres - Apr 11, 2014 at 6:49 AM

    I remember reading about Whitey Ford (subject of the funniest Simpsons bit everrrr) doing anything he could to doctor the ball. He said he wore a ring specifically to put scuff marks on the ball and he used a mixture of baby oil and turpentine which he had in an empty deodorant bottle on the bench.

    • cohnjusack - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:18 AM

      …and Elston Howard would help out, often times scuffing the ball with his shin guard before throwing it back.

      It’s okay though, because it’s cute when old-timey players cheated, but the highest of crimes when modern players do.

      • thedoubleentandres - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:34 AM

        Vintage cheating…before it got such a bad rap…IM GUNNA SCUFF THE BALL SEEEEEEE

      • grumpyoleman - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:52 AM

        And where is all of this highest of crimes rage you speak of?

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:46 AM

        And where is all of this highest of crimes rage you speak of?

        How would you describe referring to a player as the “Whitey Bulger of baseball”?

      • grumpyoleman - Apr 11, 2014 at 11:33 AM

        That’s an ARod reference that has nothing to do with scuffing the ball or other things that pitchers do “allegedly”

  2. peymax1693 - Apr 11, 2014 at 6:49 AM

    Since the Red Sox (Pineda’s actual on-the-field opponents) didn’t complain about it, I don’t know why anyone else should.

    • Rich Stowe - Apr 11, 2014 at 6:51 AM

      and the Red Sox didn’t complain about it because they don’t want the other teams to complain when they see their pitchers doing the same thing….

      many pitchers do it, it’s just that some aren’t so blatantly obvious about it

      • paperlions - Apr 11, 2014 at 7:31 AM

        Yeah, Buchholtz looks like he climbed out of a tub of grease every time he takes the mound, and I’m sure plenty of other pitchers are better at hiding their use of things to get a better grip or a little more movement than others.

      • kevinbnyc - Apr 11, 2014 at 1:40 PM

        I’m not convinced that’s not what Buchholtz looks like all the time. Perhaps he does live in a grease tub.

  3. Old Gator - Apr 11, 2014 at 7:35 AM

    The Feesh brainstem trust managed to roll out their 2014 edition of the strange attractor just in time, because the Rainbow Warriors slammed right into it last night. Returning to their anticipated state of mediocrity after a brief dalliance with first place, whose altitude must have given them nosebleeds, the Feesh demonstrated that when confronted with serious pitching their bats really would go silent. In an ominous replay of their opening debacle against the Gnats last season, Scrooge McLoria’s discount lineup endured the multifoliate horrors of the Cherry Blossom festival – apparently, no one reminded them that politics was a blood sport and franchises conditioned by overexposure to it would treat them about as kindly as Tea Party fanatics on an investigative subcommittee – and went limping orf to Feeladelfia where they hope to find a more tractable opponent.

    The sacrificial goat in this one was the instant Feesh fan favorite, recent callup Archimedes Caminero, who coughed up the second Gnats grand slam against the hapless homeboys’ boolpen in two nights. Granted, with their bangsticks reduced to wet noodles by Strasburg and Company anyway they weren’t going anywhere last night, but it was an unpleasant way to be sent packing by a real baseball team.

    • unclemosesgreen - Apr 11, 2014 at 7:48 AM

      At least tonight you have El Keed going. Horsemeat and velveeta for all!

      • Old Gator - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:52 AM

        El Keed versus the strange attractor. I will be paying close attention. He’s going out there with the weight of the team brainstem trust’s fantasies, delusions, spin and inflated expectations on his back. But he’s tough. He can handle it.

    • voteforno6 - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:27 AM

      Things could be better (they will be in a couple years, I think), but they could be worse, as the Phillies will remind them.

    • proudlycanadian - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:10 AM

      Congratulations Old Gator. Thumbelina has graced your comment more times than mine.

      • Old Gator - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:27 AM

        Thumbelina, Thumbelina, tiny little thing
        Thumbelina dance, Thumbelina sing,
        Thumbelina, what’s the difference if you’re very small?
        When your heart is full of love, you’re nine feet tall!

        So you’re no bigger than my thumb, than my thumb, than my thumb;
        Sweet Thumbelina don’t be glum.
        Now, now, now, ah, ah, ah, come, come, come!

        Thumbelina, Thumbelina, tiny little thing
        Thumbelina dance, Thumbelina sing,
        Thumbelina, what’s the difference if you’re very small?
        When your heart is full of love, you’re nine feet tall!

        So you’re no bigger than my toe, than my toe, than my toe,
        Sweet Thumbelina keep that glow;
        And you’ll grow, and you’ll grow, and you’ll grow.

        Thumbelina, Thumbelina, tiny little thing
        Thumbelina dance, Thumbelina sing,
        Thumbelina, what’s the difference if you’re very small?
        When your heart is full of love, you’re nine feet tall!

      • proudlycanadian - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:43 AM

        Thanks!

      • moogro - Apr 11, 2014 at 4:01 PM

        “Thumbelina”

        I’ve been cheated by you since I don’t know when
        So I made up my mind, it must come to an end
        Look at me now! Will I ever learn?
        I don’t know how but I suddenly lose control
        There’s a fire within my soul
        Just one look and I can hear a bell ring
        One more look and I forget everything, w-o-o-o-oh

        Thumbelina, here I go again
        My my, how can I resist you?
        Thumbelina, does it show again?
        My my, just how much I’ve missed you
        Yes, I’ve been brokenhearted
        Blue since the day we parted
        Why, why did I ever let you go?
        Thumbelina, now I really know,
        My my, I could never let you go.

        I’ve been angry and sad about things that you do
        I can’t count all the times that I’ve told you we’re through
        And when you go, when you slam the door
        I think you know that you won’t be away too long
        You know that I’m not that strong.
        Just one look and I can hear a bell ring
        One more look and I forget everything, w-o-o-o-oh

        Thumbelina, here I go again
        My my, how can I resist you?
        Thumbelina, does it show again?
        My my, just how much I’ve missed you
        Yes, I’ve been brokenhearted
        Blue since the day we parted
        Why, why did I ever let you go?
        Thumbelina, even if I say
        Bye bye, leave me now or never
        Thumbelina, it’s a game we play
        Bye bye doesn’t mean forever

    • yankeesfanlen - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:18 AM

      Ah, the first real sign of spring is when the Feeesh bring out the strange attractor Or the Dynamic 88.

      • Old Gator - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:34 AM

        Oh, my – the Dynamic 88, every greaser boy’s dream of what they wanted parked out front of their Levittown box, or to take the prom queen to the prom in those years. I doubt if any of them ever put the top up, even when it rained. I mean, if you were gonna put the top up, why not just buy a Chevy?

        I was too young for the prom. When they were building those things, What I wanted was a halftrack with quad mounted 50cals.

  4. southpaw2k - Apr 11, 2014 at 7:48 AM

    Holy smokes, the official time on the Red Sox/Yankees game last night was a mere 2 hours and 55 minutes. Why the rush?

    • historiophiliac - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:40 AM

      Wow, did Papi only get one AB?

      • southpaw2k - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:02 AM

        According to the box score, he went 1 for 4 with a strikeout. I dunno, stranger things have happened I supposed.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:02 AM

        It must be because he rushed. lol

    • moogro - Apr 11, 2014 at 4:04 PM

      I stuck it out for the whole interminable Yanks-Sox game. Good thing I had concurrent work. Not again for a while. It’s bad for baseball.

  5. proudlycanadian - Apr 11, 2014 at 7:54 AM

    The beasts of the east have not been very beastly so far this season. New York, Tampa Bay and Toronto are tied for first at 5 & 5. Baltimore is next at 4 & 5. The World Selfies Champions are in the cellar at 4 & 6.

    • proudlycanadian - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:23 AM

      I see that the Boston Thumbelina is at it again.

      • Old Gator - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:37 AM

        See above for the lyrics. While I was sitting at Radio City with my parents watching Hans Christian Andersen, Danny Kaye was attending cross-dressing parties with Ed Wood Jr.

        Really.

    • spudchukar - Apr 11, 2014 at 3:10 PM

      Yeah it is the Al Least. And none of that beatin’ up on each other excuses either, they are 9-12 outside the AL East.

  6. chill1184 - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:31 AM

    Farnsworth 90+ mph fastballs still baffle me and Valverde going 1-2-3 is a mystery

    • yankeesfanlen - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:21 AM

      Farnsy was in the above mentioned Dynamic 88, holding the ball out the window in best golden retriever stance.

  7. historiophiliac - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:42 AM

    We did not play yesterday, so I was reduced to trolling Jim DeMint on Twitter and arguing with stupid Tigers fans about the Evan Reed allegations. Thank god we get baseball tonight. Padres count, right?

  8. aresachaela - Apr 11, 2014 at 8:49 AM

    Yankees Win !! Pineda’s honey hands all the way !

  9. miguelcairo - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:01 AM

    Your game wrap-ups kinda suck, Craig.

    • Old Gator - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:40 AM

      Your posts kinda suck worse, miguel.

    • dluxxx - Apr 11, 2014 at 11:05 AM

      YOU kinda suck… Sorry, was that juvenile of me?

      • Old Gator - Apr 11, 2014 at 12:28 PM

        Yep, but why quibble? It’s Friday and we’re all playing in the sandbox today. Come join us – no cats allowed.

  10. happytwinsfan - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:14 AM

    time for a rare episode of realistic assessment, before going back to the womb of insane delusion.

    twins run differential: -13 second to last in the league, but i’m betting that the starter’s era is behind that of the league leader in negative run differential houston. the last three starts have been five and fly, with a third five, runs allowed in five, being present in two of the starts. the other five and fly by gibson, where only one run was allowed before he was lifted after walking the first hitter of the sixth inning, is tellingly the best start the twins have gotten in the first nine games.

    worst case scary scenario: nolasco, who has looked awful so far, doesn’t make the adjustment to the american league and is at the beginning of his career decline, leaving the twins with a four year 48 million dollar owwee to overcome. the change in scenery does hughes no good as he just doesn’t have the stuff anymore and his final years as a yankee were no aberration, a three year 24 million dollar rock to carry. pelfry has to be perfectly on to be effective and even then it’s for only four or five innings, a two year 10 million dollar drag on the payroll. corriea, league average for a month or so here and there and barely useable the rest of the season. gibson only turns out to be league average or a little worse and is the defacto ace

    i need a hug. somebody tell me nolasco is a warm weather pitcher. i promise to believe it.

    • proudlycanadian - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:07 AM

      Repeat after me. “Nolasco is a warm weather pitcher”. “Nolasco is a warm weather pitcher.” “Nolasco is a warm weather pitcher.”

      • happytwinsfan - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:20 AM

        nolasco is a warm weather pitcher and hughes was just unlucky. nolasco is a warm weather pitcher and hughes was just unlucky.

      • proudlycanadian - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:45 AM

        Accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative and don’t mess with mister in-between.

      • Old Gator - Apr 11, 2014 at 12:42 PM

        The problem with that is, Reecky has always been maddeningly erratic. Once he’s been awful long enough for you to dread his turn in the rotation, he comes in with an eight inning, ten strikeout, one earned run performance. Then he’s on a roll for his next three or four starts before his mechanics come uncottered again. Here in Macondo we never knew if we were getting the real Reecky or his evil twin until the third inning (his evil twin loved to tease us for nine quick outs and then crap out completely in the fourth).

        My suggestion would be, take sensitive or psychic friend adept at seeing auras with you to the next game Reecky pitches. He or she should be able to tell you before warmups are over which one you’ve got, and you can make your plans to leave the stadium before the traffic clots on 394.

    • moogro - Apr 11, 2014 at 4:09 PM

      I’m with ya, happytwinsfan. Nolasco will get better as it gets warmer. Wanna feel better? Keep the Twins in one packet and grab a National League Team that has a lot of money.

  11. 4d3fect - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:23 AM

    And Sandoval throws the game away to the Snakes.

    Thanks, Panda.

    • aresachaela - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:27 AM

      He’s not that much of a Panda 8-).

      • 4d3fect - Apr 11, 2014 at 9:52 AM

        Yeah, just a nick now, anatomically/politically incorrect as it may be.

        He lost 30 lbs or so, I think.

  12. spudchukar - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:12 AM

    Never considered saliva a foreign substance.

    The Minnesota Twins are currently 7th in runs scored in MLB. So shutting them down is something other teams haven’t been able to do. Yes, their pitching is horrid, and that makes them a vulnerable team, but suggesting one can beat them without good stuff isn’t particularly accurate.

    • happytwinsfan - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:23 AM

      bless you.

      • spudchukar - Apr 11, 2014 at 10:31 AM

        Just statin’ the facts.

    • dluxxx - Apr 11, 2014 at 11:10 AM

      Bright spot. And the A’s are expected to win the West, so it isn’t that bad that we got swept… Okay, it is. Especially when we should have won game 2. We had the chances, just didn’t get it done.

      And today we get our first opportunity of the season to get Chened. For some reason he always seems to have the Twin’s number.

      I will be at the game today, however and look forward to seeing our young Gibson in his home debut. Hopefully it’s a good start and we can get back to our winning* ways.

      * Winning at least one game in a series constitutes winning. Right?

      • spudchukar - Apr 11, 2014 at 11:41 AM

        Are you headed to “The Loon”, before or after the game?

      • dluxxx - Apr 11, 2014 at 11:59 AM

        Probably not. I’m getting some furniture delivered and will probably be catching the bus to get down there right before the game starts. But maybe. If so I’ll be the guy in the Twins had with the attractive brunette. ;)

      • spudchukar - Apr 11, 2014 at 12:05 PM

        I only know about The Loon cause there is a “sister” restaurant here in the Sun Valley, Idaho area. Two brothers here own it, and are good friends and their other brother owns The Loon in downtown Minneapolis. They have similar menus, the Texas style chili is killer, and the Marsha K’s chicken sandwich is incomparable.

      • dluxxx - Apr 11, 2014 at 12:11 PM

        I honestly have only been there a few times, and it was for drinks before or after a game (Wolves or Twins, I don’t remember). I’ll have to make a point of trying their food some time. It’s hard when about a block away is a wonderful local restaurant called Gluek’s that makes a killer mac and cheese made with spatzle and cut up sausage (your choice!). Very tasty. They have a pretty killer beer list too.

      • happytwinsfan - Apr 11, 2014 at 12:21 PM

        this is the first game since last weekend during which i will not be at this place they insist on calling work, so it’ll be genuine all beef, oscar meyer hot dogs followed by ice cream with hersheys syrup for me in front of da big screen. it could be that the young gibson starts are the highlight of each week during the season.

        koufax in october, gibson in april. the voices are returning.

  13. APBA Guy - Apr 11, 2014 at 11:09 AM

    The beloved A’s come to Minnesota a .500 team and leave in first place in the AL West, running their win streak against the Twins to 9 in a row. This is more a reflection on the current state of affairs for the Twins, as in, if you make Dan Straily look like a Cy Young candidate, you haven’t got much offense at all. So that’s problem #1.

    Problem 1a is giving up 21 runs in 3 games, meaning your pitching is as bad as your offense. How long have the Twins been rebuilding? I suppose we’ll get a better read when the Astros and Twins play.

    In any event, the A’s feel-good moment will be short-lived since they face the King tonight. He is unusually tough on the A’s early in the year, and the Mariners are .5 game behind the A’s at this point.

    • dluxxx - Apr 11, 2014 at 11:12 AM

      To be fair, the Twins have had some injuries to two of their better hitters in Arcia and Willingham. Granted the Hammer had a rough year last year, but he’s a better offensive option than Chris Hermann. Now defensively…… Well, that’s another story, and I think that may have some effect on the effectiveness of our pitching staff. Knowwhatimean???

      • spudchukar - Apr 11, 2014 at 2:50 PM

        One should never use the terms Twins/effectiveness/pitching in the same sentence. Nor need the use of a qualifier, as in the Minnesota’s awful pitching. The former is verbose and the latter redundant.

      • dluxxx - Apr 11, 2014 at 3:14 PM

        What if it’s an outlier like “Awfully good Twins Pitching?”

  14. Kevin S. - Apr 11, 2014 at 1:26 PM

    On the baseball side of last night’s game, pretty pumped to see Girardi realize Phelps is capable of getting more than three leveraged outs. Viva firemen!

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