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And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

Apr 16, 2014, 6:38 AM EDT

Night court

Pirates 8, Reds 7; Reds 7, Pirates 5: The first game was the completion of Monday’s suspended game with all the homers. The second one was the scheduled game, played in temperatures in the 30s when most other cold weather games were cancelled. And for whatever reason it showed up on my Extra Innings package even though I’m usually blacked out from both the Reds and the Pirates. Glitch in the matrix, I assume. Still, I wasn’t much into it so I watched “Night Court” reruns. Specific shoutout to “Chrizzi’s Honor,” the 1988 episode in which my inner circle childhood crush Markie Post had a party to celebrate Prince Charles and Lady Di’s sixth wedding anniversary only to have it interrupted by a siege in which hitmen tried to kill the anglophile dude she invited to her party because he was going to serve as a witness to the mob. The entire episode couldn’t have happened if cell phones existed or if anyone knew then how twisted the Charles-Di dynamic was at the time. Outside of some “Three’s Company” episodes, I don’t think I’ve seen a more dated episode of television that I actually watched in its first run. Oh, Mike Leake hit a home run.

Marlins 11, Nationals 2: A three-run homer and five RBI for Giancarlo Stanton. The homer was an absolute moon shot off Stephen Strasburg. Marcell Ozuna had four hits and Casey McGehee had three. Quite a definitive way to break an eight game losing streak.

Rangers 5, Mariners 0: When were one of you guys gonna tell me that Kevin Kouzmanoff was still alive? All this time I’d been thinking that he was killed in a bus accident in late 2011 or something, and here he pops up with a homer and three RBI like it’s 2007 or something. Figuring this Kouzmanoff thing is a Winter Soldier situaish? People recognize him, but he has no memory of his Padres days? Metal arm, etc.? Figure that has to be it.

Cardinals 6, Brewers 1: I figure one more game like this and those “so, are the Brewers for real?” questions I get on talk radio hits will dry up.  Shelby Miller, who spent the end of 2013 on the side of milk cartons, struck out seven and allowed three hits over six innings. Mark Ellis came off the DL yesterday and then drove in two.

Royals 4, Astros 2: Yordano Ventura was totally boss, striking out seven and allowing one earned run over seven while averaging 97 on his fastball. This kid is must-see TV. Like, real Must-See TV. Not one of those lame series they tried to shoe-horn in between “Friends” and “Seinfeld” back in the day. Starring Jonathan Silverman or some b.s.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $125,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Wednesday night’s MLB games. It’s $200 to join and first prize is $20,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on WednesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

White Sox 2, Red Sox 1 Xander Bogaerts one-hopped his throw to first baseman Mike Carp in the bottom of the ninth, Carp couldn’t scoop it up and Alexei Ramirez scored from second. And while there’s no guarantee he does any better with the throw, Mike Napoli would’ve been a first base in the ninth if he hadn’t dislocated his finger earlier in the game.

Blue Jays 9, Twins 3: The AP game story says that the Blue Jays knew it was “only a matter of time before they got to” Phil Hughes. Yep, them and about 28 other teams in major league baseball. The Jays put up a five-spot in the sixth and Brett Lawrie made it a laugher in the ninth with a grand slam.

Mets 9, Diamondbacks 0: The day he was called up to replace the injured Juan Lagares, Kirk Nieuwenhuis had a homer among his three hits and three RBIs and he also made a diving catch in center field. Not a bad way to debut for the year. Bronson Arroyo was touched for nine runs on ten hits in three and a third innings. Eww.

Rockies 3, Padres 2:  Juan Nicasio started off a bit shaky, but then settled down and finished with six solid innings, which the Rockies’ staff needed.

Athletics 10, Angels 9: Mike Trout hit a two-run homer to tie the game in the ninth and send it to extras but then Josh Donaldson doubled in Jed Lowrie in the bottom of the 11th for the win. Those of you who dig bullpen drama should know that Sean Doolittle blew the save for Oakland and then Jim Johnson came in and pitched two scoreless innings and got the win. The A’s have won eight of nine.

Giants 3, Dodgers 2: Hector Sanchez singled home the winning run with two outs in the 12th. He said he had to win the game because his wife and young daughter waiting in the parking lot, had been at the game for three hours and that the daughter had school this morning. Ever heard of a cab, Hector?

Rays vs. Orioles, Braves vs. Phillies, Cubs vs. Yankees, Indians vs. Tigers: POSTPONEDI waited for you winterlong. You seemed to be where I belong. It’s all illusion anyway. If things should ever turn out wrong. And all the love we have is gone It won’t be easy. On that day.

  1. aresachaela - Apr 16, 2014 at 6:49 AM

    GYAAAAHHHH!! I woke up early in the morning for NOTHING!!!!!!!! DARN YOU RAIN XD!!! Yaankees ALL THE WAY!! RAIN OR NO RAIN!!.

    • renaado - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:03 AM

      LoL.. Calm down Achaela there’s plenty of days you can watch the Yankees play.

      • aresachaela - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:07 AM

        Are you kidding me Ren!? I’ve waited for almost 3 hrs for the blackout this morning to stop LOL XD!! I really hope tomorrow’s the real deal now.

    • indaburg - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:23 AM

      Try some decaf, son.

      • renaado - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:33 AM

        Dude… A girl like her isn’t suited for that LoL…

      • nbjays - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:48 AM

        Ren, jusy FYI, Burgie is no more a dude than Ares is.

      • renaado - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:06 AM

        /Smirk…

      • aresachaela - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:23 AM

        I guess I’m breaking down someone’s door today…………………………………………

      • umrguy42 - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:29 AM

        Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from The American President:

        President Andrew Shepherd: Lewis, however much coffee you drink in the morning, I want you to reduce it by half.
        Lewis Rothschild: I don’t drink coffee, sir.
        President Andrew Shepherd: Then hit yourself over the head with a baseball bat, would you please?

    • southpaw2k - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:51 AM

      Dude, eat a Snickers.

      • aresachaela - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:00 AM

        DON’T YOU MAKE ME HIGH!!!! HAHAHAHAHA XD!!!! And seriously I don’t eat snickers nor any chocolates cause I’m already this high.

      • renaado - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:10 AM

        …Please tell me what you’re always eating in the mornings Achaela… No never mind please don’t.

  2. gammagammahey - Apr 16, 2014 at 6:51 AM

    Stick to Night Court recaps.

    • historiophiliac - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:16 AM

      I don’t want your Night Court in my peanut butter.

    • 18thstreet - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:40 AM

      A huge percentage of 80s television sitcom episodes would fall apart if cell phones had existed or if the characters were willing to say, “I’m sorry, but I think I overheard something I wasn’t supposed to hear. Could you accept my apology for eaves dropping, and tell me what’s going on. I’m afraid there’s been a misunderstanding.” (The remainder would be solved if the male characters were willing to admit their mistakes.)

      A huge percentage of 70s sitcoms would fall apart if North Korea would only sign the truce.

  3. Eutaw's Finest - Apr 16, 2014 at 6:56 AM

    See I didn’t bother with the beisbol last night once I knew the O’s were rained out. I did however give Fargo on FX a shot. I’m indifferent at this point.

    • nbjays - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:22 AM

      Indifferent? You’d think any series with Sling Blade and Bilbo Baggins in it would be pure gold…

      /sarcasm

      • Eutaw's Finest - Apr 16, 2014 at 9:02 AM

        The haircut is just priceless. When asked about it BBT said:

        “It’s like you’re channeling the dark side of Ken Burns.”

        Well played.

    • southpaw2k - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:46 AM

      I dug Fargo. They definitely got the tone and mannerisms right. I also liked how, while most of the characters are carbon copies of those from the movie, the folks are going along with their own story line.

      • thedoubleentandres - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:41 AM

        OH YAAA?

      • Eutaw's Finest - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:57 AM

        I mean don’t get me wrong- it wasn’t bad. But I felt like some of the scenes didn’t fit the tone of the show. Best example I can give is when Lester popped his wife on the head with that hammer… and then they show her blank stare at him… still staring… oh wait now there’s blood running… but she’s still just standing still… I don’t know. It was sort of cheesy. Reminded me of some of the scenes from American Horror Story on FX. It’s like the reaction to the action isn’t a) gory enough, or b) dramatic enough so they just overdo it to the point where it’s both unrealistic and corny.

        But overall the consistency of the premise and the way they are delving into each individual is enough to keep me watching through next week. Whether or not I hang around for 10 episodes remains to be seen.

  4. chill1184 - Apr 16, 2014 at 6:59 AM

    Mejia looked very sharp in his third start. I wanted Arroyo back in the offseason, glad Sandy decided pass up on him.

    • dondada10 - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:33 AM

      Too bad about the blisters. He looked like he could’ve gone a few more innings. At least German (and the rest of the pen) has looked good since the opening series.

  5. renaado - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:16 AM

    Damn! Pitchers these days are really hitting the ball well.

  6. bengalsucker - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:21 AM

    Thanks for the great review of the Reds game. Missed a good one. Bias much against certain teams? Apparently so.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:39 AM

      Sorry. I’ll watch 15 games a night from now on an give full, no-nonsense recaps of their games, just for you.

      • southpaw2k - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:44 AM

        Because who really needs to sleep? Just overdose on Red Bull, and type furiously on your laptop all night long. I can’t wait to read the kind of gibberish that pops out from that kind of binge. If even three sentences are coherent from that, I’d call it a win.

      • unclemosesgreen - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:45 AM

        Not only that, but you should keep score for every game, that shouldn’t be hard. Then you should transcribe those numbers into little rectangular statistical game summaries. I know that it will be a lot of work, but there’s literally no other way for us to find out what happened in MLB. None.

  7. southpaw2k - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:37 AM

    I miss the glory days of Must See TV on Thursday nights. I remember the show Madman of the People with Dabney Coleman that lasted a single season, and I thought it was really funny. Never understood why it was axed after its single season since I recall it held decent ratings (but then, you could have put an infomercial for a new type of laxative in between Seinfeld and ER and it still would have brought in solid ratings).

  8. proudlycanadian - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:45 AM

    It was chilly in Minnesota last night. Fortunately, the Jays were facing a pitcher they know and love. Rasmus was held out of the game, because of his tight hamstring. I doubt that he will play tonight either especially if it is cold. Lind had to leave the game due to a bad back, so Kawasaki will probably be the DH tonight. I wonder how Dickey’s knuckleball performs in cold weather?

    The Jays have opened up a 3 game lead over the defending World Series champions. I hope that they can keep it up.

    • southpaw2k - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:53 AM

      A chilly night in Minnesota? No way, tell me more!

    • cur'68 - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:51 AM

      I don’t much care for cold weather baseball. I don’t much care for ball players dressed like ninjas. The look like me about to walk my dog for 8months of the year. Other than that GRAET GAME!

      Prolly a snow game tonight. It was supposed to snow later in the evening there in Minnesota, so I probably won’t be looking forward to seeing the same style of ball. Either way, Our Boys seem a bit tougher to beat all of a sudden.

      Go Beaver!

    • happytwinsfan - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:54 AM

      Craig’s otherwise gentle and fair soul was seared by the crushing reality of 1991. Allow me to present an alternative account of last night’s twins blue jays encounter.

      A heartfelt minnnesota welcome to our Canadian cousins: game time temp 35 degrees. The commendably reciprocative Canadians introduced their bull pen to us in the fourth. The twins would slyly force them to pitch the bottom of the ninth.

      First inning: Out of the box too early, out. Next two hitters, six pitches, six missed bats, inning over.

      Roy hobbes colabellow lifts one into the heavens, only coming down to kiss the highest part of the right center field wall. Twins one jays 0

      Mauer is mauer. Two nothing.

      Will it be so that the jays are the best of the al least? We won’t bore you with the details: Twins 2 jays five, followed by blah blah.

      Join me:

      • cur'68 - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:58 AM

        I watched this game with a Twins fan. Dare I say you lot are even more numb to suffering than even Phans?

      • renaado - Apr 16, 2014 at 9:10 AM

        Who video’d this? Still, hands down to this guy singin.

    • nbjays - Apr 16, 2014 at 9:28 AM

      Good game by the Jays (eventually). It’s like a light went on in the dugout after the 5th inning; sort of a collective “Wait a cotton-pickin’ minute here… that’s Phil Hughes out there!” at which point the bats came to life.

      I hear you about the ninjas, Cur. I was sitting in the office, helping my daughter with her homework, keeping half an eye on the game on the living room TV, when I saw this masked man jogging into second base. At first I thought it was Bautista, and figured I’d confirm that when I saw the number 19 on his back. Well, it turned out to be Jackie Robinson instead.

      • cur'68 - Apr 16, 2014 at 9:39 AM

        Yep. Saw a lot of ‘Ole J. Robinson last night. I’m glad I was watching online with my FL buddies and not at a pub where I had invitations to be. I don’t mind non-baseball company and will ‘splain the rules as things unfold but if ya don’t know what “42” means, I’m not gonna ignore the action to bring you up to speed and I don’t care how cute you are. Americans as a rule should know that one, I think. Anyone from Montreal, too.

        I must say, #42 was en fuego until the 6th when his FB became straight and high in the zone at 92mph. Then when #42, #42, & #42 all scored, I thought the Twins bullpen would hold them off. But no. #42 from the pen was no better. When #42 hit the Big Potato in the 9th, I wasn’t surprised: he’s a cold weather kid, from birth. He’d played shut down D all game and was looking better with each AB as the game went on.

        That #42 can sure play some ball.

      • nbjays - Apr 16, 2014 at 10:02 AM

        OK, you had me until you said Lawrie was a “cold weather kid, from birth”. He’s from friggin’ Langley, BC, and “cold weather” there means you wear a sweatshirt over your t-shirt. You’ve lived in Edmonton, I’ve lived in Cold Lake… we know cold weather. Lawrie… not so much.

      • cur'68 - Apr 16, 2014 at 11:04 AM

        Do you know what kids do for fun in Langley BC, nbjays? Snowmobile trips. Skiing trips. Arseing about in the snow on the mountain trips. He’s way more accustomed to messing around in the cold that the Dominicans (Dog love their plantain eating souls, every one of them). Anyhow, he looked like he always does playing, ninja mask and all. Bautsita looked cold and stiff in CF. Likewise most of the team.

        On a side note, I really like Langley. I’ve had many a good hike in the mountains from there.

    • dluxxx - Apr 16, 2014 at 11:17 AM

      Stupid beavers…. I thought my boys would be in good shape after getting to the bullpen in the 4th, but of course they couldn’t score another run afterwards. And to be honest, I kinda expected Hughes to eff it up, but he did look pretty good through the first 5. That guy was dodging bullets like Neo…

      • cur'68 - Apr 16, 2014 at 11:21 AM

        Blame Gardenhire. Here’s my take on the events of last night:

        The weather nearly did my boys in. They looked cold and cramped right into the 6th inning. I don’t know what did it then, but bats finally woke up. Warming influence of rum, maybe? Who knows. That’s what you need to ask yourself if you have a pitcher going in the freeze: can he throw well in the cold? The pitcher has the advantage in cold weather games. They stay looser due to the constant activity of throwing. But, due to cold, they tire faster. A smart cold weather manager knows this and gets his boy out of there early if he wants to preserve a lead. Somehow, Gibbons did this and Gardenhire didn’t. By the 5th inning you could see Hughes throwing slower with more effort and less pitch movement. Of course Morrow was gone by the end of the 4th. And of course Hughes got rocked and gave up the lead. What happened next was one BABIP crazy thing after another. Then Brett Lawrie came up. He’s a cold weather player, born and bread. Never mind he’s a childish tool, he can still play well in the cold. And that Big Baguette he hit? Well, of course he did. That was a meat-ball pitch and he crushed it.

      • happytwinsfan - Apr 16, 2014 at 11:39 AM

        our answer at last. hughes is a warm weather pitcher. hughes is a warm weather pitcher. hughes is a warm weather pitcher.

        and when the sun gets higher a snarky braves fan gonna get educafied.

      • cur'68 - Apr 16, 2014 at 11:47 AM

        Actually HTF, Hughes was great in the cold. He just tired out but he outlasted Morrow. How doesn’t Gardy see that Hughes was labouring in the 5th? Gibbons saw it in Morrow mid 4th: tired and unable to grip his splitter so he yanked him.

        This is an adjustment to make for ALL pitchers. People as a rule fatigue faster in the cold, that’s all.

      • proudlycanadian - Apr 16, 2014 at 11:51 AM

        As expected, your ex-Yankee starting pitcher finally remembered who he was. I believe that today’s pitching matchup features a couple of former Mets.

      • happytwinsfan - Apr 16, 2014 at 11:58 AM

        PC
        those six swinging strikes in the first inning were due to amnesia?

    • moogro - Apr 16, 2014 at 3:27 PM

      South Ontario cold? This year the Twins will play for two months before the ice goes out enough to canoe in the Brainerd area.

      • proudlycanadian - Apr 16, 2014 at 4:17 PM

        Southern Ontario has cold weather this week, but not that bad. It will warm up again tomorrow.

  9. nymets4ever - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:07 AM

    Dominant win by the Mets, tense games between OAK-LAA and LAD-SF, beautiful pitching performance by a Royals phenom in the making.

    Lots of good baseball happened last night – which is just one of many reasons why nobody frickin cares about Night Court or whatever TV show you were watching instead of it.

    • unclemosesgreen - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:17 AM

      Lots of good places to find baseball news other than this blog – which is one of the many reasons why nobody frickin cares what you think. No one will ever care what you think.

      And Craig – he’s getting paid and is getting a lot of page hits to keep paying those bills. So I guess someone cares about all of the extra-baseball topics.

      I think it would help me to build empathy for people like you if I could wear a helmet that turns my every factually-supported viewpoint into the confused, obnoxious, totally wrong flotsam that floats around your otherwise empty cranium. Everything must be so damn confusing for you.

      • cur'68 - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:51 AM

        This.

    • renaado - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:20 AM

      Night Court + No NBC channel + Living outside the US = ???

      Good Baseball always beat better TV shows all the time.

  10. schmedley69 - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:09 AM

    Great, now I’m gonna have the Night Court theme in my head all day.

    • thedoubleentandres - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:47 AM

      Could be worse theme songs… “Come and knock on our doooor”

      • nbjays - Apr 16, 2014 at 9:13 AM

        Damn you!

      • schmedley69 - Apr 16, 2014 at 9:32 AM

        At least that song reminds me of Suzanne Summers in her pre-Thigh Master days. The Night Court song reminds me of Selma Diamond.

      • dkb1968 - Apr 16, 2014 at 9:39 AM

        NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. goodellisruiningtheleague - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:16 AM

    nationaLOLs

    so much for a post season chance

    • renaado - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:31 AM

      Rizzo’s statements are just all talk anyways.

    • emdash01 - Apr 16, 2014 at 9:50 AM

      No team that started 8-6 over the first 14 games has ever made the postseason, I’m sure.

      • goodellisruiningtheleague - Apr 16, 2014 at 1:53 PM

        sure hasnt

  12. miguelcairo - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:18 AM

    How date you insult Seinfeld…

  13. Old Gator - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:34 AM

    Last night reminded me of that story Matt Hooper tells the Brodies over dinner in Jaws about how he became interested in sharks. He was out fishing one day and hooked a small thresher, pulled it into his boat and then had to dive overboard when it began thrashing around and tearing his boat apart. That’s kinda what happened to the Gnats after manhandling the Feesh for five games so far this season. Strasburg had one of his lousiest starts ever, getting pounded for six runs in four innings, five of ‘em delivered by the Iron Giant with another one of his trademark jawdroppers (dead center, hitting orf the facade above the fence and sending Tommy into paroxysms of…well…paroxysms) and a two run double down the third base line. Casey McGehee warmed up again, with three hits and a pair of ribbies, and Adeiny Hechavarria, who was treading water throughout the Feesh’s losing streak while his schoolmates deflated, tripled and scored a couple of runs hisself. Tom Koehler delivered another workmanly performance, holding the Gnats scoreless for seven where they stayed until Dan Jennings came in to mop up like an old Soviet janitor laboring under the slogan “we pretend to work, they pretend to pay us.” All in all, a cathartic night for a team that has been just plain awful for the previous ten days. The strange attractor, which turned red for some reason last night, hovers in the distance, having become barely proximate enough to be seen with the naked eye.

    Tonight, El Keed takes the mound again, hoping he’s made some adjustments from his last start. Everyone’s hoping to see grandma Olga again.

    • cur'68 - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:56 AM

      I always knew Adeiny Hechavarria was going to be good. I twas sorta pleased when he got traded to The Feesh. I took a real spite to him when my daughter laid eyes on him during a Beaver Broadcast and said in that tone“Hey! Who’s THAT?!” Of course later on when she laid eyes on Giancarlo Stanton she had an even more emphatic response, so I kind of hate them both, in an abstract way.

      • spudchukar - Apr 16, 2014 at 9:34 AM

        My Ex, did likewise, something about his nose.

      • nbjays - Apr 16, 2014 at 9:39 AM

        Only the father of a daughter would understand, Cur, so I’m with you. Reminds me of that old t-shirt “D.A.D.D – Dads Against Daughters Dating: Shoot the first one and the word will spread” :-)

      • cur'68 - Apr 16, 2014 at 9:41 AM

        I recently bought my daughter that very shirt, nbj! It was a huge hit, too. They even spelled “shoot” as “shewt” on it, too. Its glorious. Yep. Im a DADD.

      • Old Gator - Apr 16, 2014 at 10:26 AM

      • cur'68 - Apr 16, 2014 at 10:51 AM

        I recall John Candy singing that as he stood guard over a bridge in the movie Volunteers (1985). He was drug addled or something as I recall. And yeah, that’s The DADD theme song.

      • groupofsevenrules - Apr 16, 2014 at 10:57 AM

        My father loved that song. I don’t know why. He was French.

        I just watched the Iron Giant’s home run. My God, he is bloody strong. If I am not mistaken, Macondo Filed is enormous, isn’t it? That had to be another 425 foot or so shot. The problem is that you can’t really make out how high it was.

      • cur'68 - Apr 16, 2014 at 10:58 AM

        That kid has arms like telephone poles. Yeah, he’s bloody strong.

      • Old Gator - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:40 PM

        @groupofseven: not all the videos I watched caught this but just to your left of where the ball hit the facade and bounced into the shrubs, there’s a “418” stenciled on the outfield wall. So yeah, I’d say 425 was a good guess, though of course it probably would have carried another 20-25 feet beyond that if not for the wall.

  14. umrguy42 - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:42 AM

    Man, Night Court. Is it just me, or have like all those actors seemingly fallen off the face of the planet? I think the only one I heard of doing another TV show (or showing up on one) at any point after that was Larroquette…

  15. sportsdrenched - Apr 16, 2014 at 9:21 AM

    I remember when ABC aired Thursday Night Baseball for a season (a Google search says this was 1989, I was not sure before that.) We would watch baseball except for the 30 minutes Night Court as on, and we’d always flip back to baseball when Night Court was in commercial.

    How about that Ventura? It also appears that Holland has found his groove again. He was being nasty and not walking dudes. Athough, if you walked a guy with that umpires strike zone you were really off. Royals need to get healthy against the Astros.

  16. spudchukar - Apr 16, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    It is commonplace here on HBT to dismiss RBIs. And while it is true that their value can be overstated, not all RBIs are alike. Take in point last night’s Cards/Brewers contest. Just off the DL, Mark Ellis was given the starting nod over Wong to sharpen his skills in real Big League Baseball. His talents are often the kind that cannot be “statified”. At least in this contest, and why statistical analysis can be misleading.

    Following a Molina walk and Peralta double Ellis came up in his first PA of 2014. He promptly took the first pitch out over the plate and grounded it back up the middle plating Molina and sending Peralta to third. It was obvious the Ellis was “giving himself up” on his swing, preferring to insure he made contact of the ground ball sort to the middle of the diamond producing the Red Birds’ first run that the Brewers infield offered by playing back. It was the second inning and not wanting to allow a big inning the Brewers believed at the time it was prudent, and probably is. A strikeout or pop-up, common among free-swinging players would not have moved the runners, but Ellis’ approach was unselfish, and the Cards prospered.

    Next up the St. Louis fourth. Following an Adams single, and wild pitch and a muscled single off of Molina’s bat the Cards had runners on first and third. Peralta whistled one down to Ramirez, and Adams baited Ramirez to throw home, more on that later. The ensuing run-down put runners on second and third with one outs. Now the Brewers bring the infield in cause they cannot allow runs for outs anymore. Up comes Ellis. This time he needs a pitch he can elevate. He indeed turns on the first high fastball and swats it into medium range left deep enough to score Molina easily. Again it was painfully obvious, to Brewer fans at least, that this is exactly what was first in Ellis mind, get a pitch I can drive deep enough to score the run, again giving himself up if need be to insure run production.

    The line for Ellis for the night reads 0 for 3 and an average of .000, but he had a very good night nonetheless, just not one that would be appreciated by the statistically-happy multitudes.

    • spudchukar - Apr 16, 2014 at 10:10 AM

      As to the Adams base-running excellence. With runners on first and third and no outs Peralta smashes one down to Ramirez who was playing wide of the bag. After Adams sees Ramirez come up with the ball, makes eye contact, and fakes a break to the plate, this draws attention and subsequent throw home by Ramirez, and this is exactly what Adams and the Cards want here, not the freezing of the runner at third and throw to second and possibly even on to first for a double play and no runs, but a run-down perfected by Adams who stayed in the “pickle” long enough to enable Molina and Peralta to advance to third and second. Ellis takes over from here, and Bourjos tacks on another.

      Sometimes the “little” things really can make all the difference, and the Red Birds executed them to perfection on Tuesday night. It is also nice to have Big things too, and Holliday and Peralta blasted bombs in the ninth to provide the insurance. Peralta’s swing is an anomaly around Cardinal teams, he is a slugger, waiting to turn on the first fastball he sees, although his ninth inning two-run shot was on a high, hanging slider. The point is having his pop in the 7th spot in the order is a luxury St. Louis hasn’t had in a while.

    • happytwinsfan - Apr 16, 2014 at 10:52 AM

      i agree that stats are useful, informative and for those so inclined fun but they can’t account for everything. here’s another one:

      in one of the twins games over the weekend, there were runners at first and third with one out. a sharply hit but not smashed grounder was hit straight to the twins shortstop. because he didn’t field it cleanly they had to settle for the out at first and a run scored.

      the pitcher got exactly what he was probably trying for, double play grounder, and instead of being back in the dugout with no runs yet allowed, he suffers an “earned” run and winds up having to pitch to two more guys elevating his pitch count. of course this will vary from guy to guy, but he must have felt some frustration which potentially negatively effected his performance for the rest of the game.

      is there any stat that can account for this?

      • spudchukar - Apr 16, 2014 at 11:44 AM

        Not that I know of. The cannot “assume” a double play thing odd. Don’t official scorers, “assume” a booted ground ball should be caught; don’t they “assume” a throw will be accurate?

        I get the “benefit of the doubt” thing but tailor-made DP turns are pretty routine, and failing to complete a simple play ought to be penalized.

      • happytwinsfan - Apr 16, 2014 at 1:34 PM

        it’s probably too much to expect the umpire to take in to account the speed of the hitter, whether or not the runner was going on the pitch, how much time the infielder had to start the turn, etc.

        but if i was billionaire paying my players millions, i’d insist on the use of an internally developed metric to measure the value of my investments. i’d insist that they have a coach or knowledgeable former player assigning a -1, 0 or +1 to every defensive opportunity. in this case of course florimon would get a -1 if not worse because of the importance of the play.

    • Reflex - Apr 16, 2014 at 4:54 PM

      Sorry Spud, but that is some pretty dumb analysis, and runs exactly counter to your own hitting advice the other day. You were going on about how little the hitter controls, that all they can do is attempt to square up and ‘hit it where its pitched’, but now you are saying he was sacrificing himself, and that it was a *good move* even though it was only in the second inning and could have just as easily ground into a double play.

      I highly doubt he ‘gave himself up’, and I highly doubt that the result of that was better than a hit. And yeah, the RBI’s were out of his control, if the other guys don’t get on base he has no RBI.

      That said, giving up an out in only the second inning rather than going for a hit is some poor baseball. Outs are the most limited commodities a team has, and once you hit 27 of them, its game over.

      • spudchukar - Apr 16, 2014 at 5:34 PM

        There is so much you don’t understand, that I do not know where to start. Go bother someone else with your blithering nonsense.

        You continue to establish these false dichotomies. Baseball is way more complex than you wish it to be.

      • Reflex - Apr 16, 2014 at 5:49 PM

        Says the guy who is always oversimplifying it.

        But I think you get the point: No one here is asking for you to tell them how to play, appreciate or analyze it, so stop trying.

      • spudchukar - Apr 16, 2014 at 5:56 PM

        I don’t have time to go into detail, gotta catch a flight to St. Louis, my mom passed late last night, but quickly nobody said the result was better than a hit, nobody said he wasn’t trying to get a hit, and I never said “how little” a player controls, I never said hitting where a pitch is pitched is the only option, just the more prudent one. A guy can sacrifice oneself, and get a hit doing so. Stop putting words in my mouth I didn’t utter to satisfy your narrative.

        And you cannot ground into a double play with runners on second and third, unless there is a weird run down, and lousy running by the guy poised at third.

      • Reflex - Apr 16, 2014 at 5:58 PM

        Rather than argue with you again I’ll just say that I’m sorry to hear about your mother, and best wishes to you and your family at this difficult time.

      • spudchukar - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:41 AM

        Thanks for the kind words, we can take this up at another time.

    • clydeserra - Apr 16, 2014 at 5:42 PM

      do yourself a favor, watch Ellis play second when you go to the game. he is (was at least with the A’s) the smoothest. was robbed of GG by Polonco having a no error season (ellis was better, I think he had 2 and one of the errors was an absolute joke of call by the scorer). and another time Grudelanick won for some reason.

      You have to watch from before the pitch. he does everything right.

      • spudchukar - Apr 16, 2014 at 5:50 PM

        I will. It is true, I don’t see that many Oakland games, and really didn’t watch him that often in his brief tenure in LA, but he comes with high praise. Mostly he will see time against lefties, which historically he mashes, and the Cards need help in that area. The problem is in the NL Central there are so few left-handed starters. The Pirates have two, but one is Rodriguez and he may lose his spot. None on Milwaukee, only Cingrani in Cincy, and Wood in Chicago. St. Louis doesn’t have any either, well maybe after today, but then he won’t be facing them.

  17. Liam - Apr 16, 2014 at 10:14 AM

    I’m going to have the Pixies cover of Winterlong in my head all day.

  18. Gamera the Brave - Apr 16, 2014 at 10:57 AM

    I am deeply concerned by the relatively small number of Markie Post comments in this thread.
    I am with Craig on the Markie Post thing – all the way.
    Second on the TV-crush-o-meter to Amanda Pays…

    • Old Gator - Apr 16, 2014 at 12:03 PM

      What you should really be concerned about is how badly the new Godzilla movie is going to suck.

      • happytwinsfan - Apr 16, 2014 at 1:36 PM

        not if it has ferris bueller in it.

      • Gamera the Brave - Apr 16, 2014 at 2:40 PM

        If Godzilla’s movie sucks – a distinct possibility – that’s on Big G. Gamera remains above the fray, in blissful retirement…

  19. APBA Guy - Apr 16, 2014 at 11:31 AM

    As an A’s fan, when you see Mike Trout come to the plate in a crucial situation, as he did last night in the bottom of the 9th against fellow UVA alum Sean Doolittle, my first instinct is to yell “F*** you, Mike Trout” at the TV.

    But as a baseball fan, it’s such a privilege and thrill to watch a guy who reminds me of film I’ve seen of Mantle and Mays when they were young. That game-tying homer was off a slider that was supposed to be right at his back foot, but was elevated to about mid shin and inside by 4 inches, so not a strike, but absolutely pummeled by Trout. Love and hate, two sides of the same emotional coin.

    Speaking of love and hate, I had a late meeting in downtown SF and was waiting for the train home as the Giants fans were pouring into the city before the Dodgers game. After the second trainload I realized why the scene was so unfamiliar: there were too many fans, at least, too many compared to my experience when attending A’s games. Alone in the throng was one couple in Dodgers garb, heading directly to the stadium, no loitering, no eye contact. Really, out of town visitors, it isn’t that bad. The mood was pretty light-hearted, the weather was good, what a great night for baseball.

    • clydeserra - Apr 16, 2014 at 5:46 PM

      calhoun was the key batter in the 9th. Get him, (lefty on lefty) and let trout do his thing.

      I am with you though. Trout is very very good. I wa privileged to see his 978 footer off pedro figureoa last year. Game wa a blow out. such a moonshot can’t help but admire it.

  20. illuminancer - Apr 16, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    /yawns and stretches. Morning, y’all. I expected last night to be a long game with Josh Beckett pitching, but 5 hours?! Kudos to Timmy for only giving up the one run, and the bullpen for holding the line. Nice to see my Baby Giraffe having a good night at the plates, too. Keep Calm and Brandon!

    • illuminancer - Apr 16, 2014 at 12:53 PM

      Also, LOLPUIG. I don’t care where you’re from, when you don’t leave the box because you’re watching it go out and it gets caught in right? I’m going to point and laugh. Nothing to do with “playing the game the right way” and everything to do with making a stupid, boneheaded move. When you’ve done that more than once, I’m going to laugh even harder.

  21. irishdodger - Apr 16, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    Ahhhh, Markie Post….one of the few decent looking women that POTUS Bill Clinton banged….allegedly.

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