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And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

Apr 17, 2014, 6:06 AM EDT

Julio Teheran Getty Images

Braves 1, Phillies 0: Cliff Lee‘s last start of 2013 came against the Braves. He pitched eight innings, allowed one solo homer but otherwise struck out 13 and looked invincible. And he lost. Last night: nine innings, one solo homer, but otherwise struck out 13 and looked invincible. And he lost. He totally dominates the Braves but runs into the worst luck run support-wise. Of course this time it had less to do with bad luck and more to do with Julio Teheran keeping Phillies hitters off balance all night. His first complete game and, by definition, his first shutout. Lee got the strikeouts, but Teheran walked one guy and allowed three singles and that was it.

More generally: some people may feel differently, but this is The Perfect Baseball Game. Not because the Braves won — that’s just a happy coincidence — but because of how freakin’ tight and perfectly pitched and tense it got as the game went on. Give me two guys working fast, throwing strikes, throwing confidently and throwing up zeroes like this all night. Give me the complete lack of calls to the bullpen. Give me tight defense and a ninth inning where one ball dropping in here or there or one swing of the bat could totally change things. A game where, until the 27th out is recorded, you couldn’t breathe. If this kind of game doesn’t grab you — or kill you, depending on which side your team falls — you and I don’t have a ton to talk about. Baseball doesn’t get better than this.

Yankees 3, Cubs 0; Yankees 2, Cubs 0: Shutout on both ends of the doubleheader. After watching this Ernie Banks probably said “Forget it! Playing two just ain’t worth it! I’m going out to get something to eat instead of watching any more of this atrocity. God, I should’ve just gone to the Whitney and checked out the Bellows exhibit rather than sit through two dispiriting shutouts.” So good going, 2014 Cubs, you went and made the most optimistic, most doubleheader-happy man in the history of baseball wish you had only played one game. At most. Well-played.

Reds 4, Pirates 0: Johnny Cueto was on point, setting his career high for strikeouts and tossing his third career shutout. Put me in mind of that April 2008 debut of his, which I surreptitiously watched with my friend Mark, who is a big Reds fan, while at my law office one fine afternoon. We watched that and thought Cueto was Bob Gibson all over again. He’s not, but when he’s on he’s really good.

Orioles 3, Rays 0: Yet another shutout. Specifically, Miguel Gonzalez and two relievers combined on a six-hitter. For years we’ve been saying “if the O’s get pitching, look out!” The’ve been getting pitching. As Boston stumbles and Tampa Bay and New York is smacked around by injuries. Hmmmm.

Indians 3, Tigers 2: Last year the Indians finished a game behind the Tigers. If they had dropped, say, only 13 of 19 to the Tigers instead of the 15 of 19 they did lose it obviously would’ve gone differently. They’re starting 2014 off on better footing, beating the Tigers on a night when Anibal Sanchez didn’t seem to have it together early and when Zach McAllilster did. Yan Gomes hot a two-run triple.

Nationals 6, Marlins 3: Down 3-0 in the top of the sixth, Jayson Werth hit a three-run homer which was subject to a review. Watch it here. It looks sorta like fan interference but it also looks like maybe it would hit above the wall even if the dorks didn’t reach out to grab it. I dunno, it’s the Nats and Marlins. When they’re fighting for second place, several games back of the Braves all year, we can revisit its significance, right? Regardless, if Jarrod Saltalamacchia doesn’t commit two — not one, but two — errors that inning, it’s all academic anyway. Jose Fernandez (7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 10K, 0 BB) deserved better.

Mets 5, Diamondbacks 2: The Mets sweep. Dillon Gee allowed three hits in seven scoreless innings. That’s six straight losses for the Dbacks. Not sure what they do now. They’ve traded away all their non-gritty players, fired pitching coach Charles Nagy last year and it’s doubtful that throwing balls at guys is a sound strategy. They’re the worst team in baseball at the moment.

Brewers 5, Cardinals 1Wily Peralta allowed one run in six and a third as the Brew Crew avoids the sweep. Ron Roenicke after the game:

“What’s really important — most important — is we lost two games to begin the series and we got that game back. It’s important against our division, but we have to win more games than they do. It’s not head to head. We have to win more games this season then they do. That’s what we’re playing for.”

Great, now what is the equipment manager supposed to do with all of these swimsuits and pianos the Brewers were going to use in the later rounds of the pageant?

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $40,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Thursday evening MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $6,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on ThursdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Rangers 3, Mariners 2: I spend all morning yesterday talking up Darvish vs. Hernandez and neither figures in the decision. Each pitched well — one run for Hernandez over seven, two over seven for Darvish — but the game turned on Fernando Rodney blowing up in the ninth, throwing a run-scoring wild pitch and allowing a walkoff single to Leonys Martin. Which, to be honest, may have been something I could’ve predicted when I was talking up Hernandez and Darvish yesterday morning.

Giants 2, Dodgers 1: Pablo Sandoval hit a junk pitch with an awkward swing into center field to score the go-ahead and ultimately winning run in the seventh. Baseball doesn’t have to always be pretty.

Angels 5, Athletics 4: Chris Iannetta with a walkoff homer in the 12th. You’ll be shocked to hear that, after the game, Iannetta said he “was just looking for a pitch to hit.” The A’s blew a bunch of chances to take the lead in extras but the Angels’ pen stranded their runners left and right.

Royals 6, Astros 4: Mike Moustakas, who has struggled mightily out of the gate, hit solo homer to give the Royals the lead in the 11th. George Springer had a hit and a walk in his big league debut.

Padres 4, Rockies 2: Andrew Cashner allowed one earned run while pitching into the eighth and striking out five. It was the 10th straight start in which he gave up two runs or fewer.

Red Sox 6, White Sox 4: The polar opposite of that Braves-Phillies game. Robin Ventura used four pitchers to get through the eighth inning and thus had to use infielder Leury Garcia to pitch the 14th inning of a tie game. Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a two-run double off him for what proved to be the winning runs. Matthew has an extended recap of this one, including some fun scoring decisions and box score oddities.

Blue Jays vs. Twins: POSTPONED: “I think it’s dark and it looks like rain,” you said, “and the wind is blowing like it’s the end of the
world,” you said “and it’s so cold it’s like the cold if you were dead,” and then you smiled for a second.

  1. proudlycanadian - Apr 17, 2014 at 6:38 AM

    1) The Twins and Jays were cancelled due to SNOW not rain.

    2) The Red Sox needed that win. A loss would have dropped them to 4 games behind.

    3) Baltimore has pulled themselves up to a .500 record. Well done.

    4) The “injury riddled” Yankees won both ends of a double header against the Cubs and are now alone in first place in the AL East.

    • Eutaw's Finest - Apr 17, 2014 at 8:07 AM

      On the Yankee front there’s a few points worth making about that back-to-back shut out:

      1. It was against the Cubs. The 4-9 hapless Cubs who have lost 4 straight now.
      2. The injuries effect the bats more than anything. Outside of Robertson the pitching staff is healthy and doing well.
      3. On those bats hurting? The Yanks only scored 5 runs over 2 games against the Cubs. Pitching won those games, but when they face a more formidable opponent they’ll need more production out of those bats.
      4. Pineda’s hat looks stupid. So does CC’s. And Strop on the Cubs. Straighten your damn hat out, this is not a fashion show and you look foolish. MAJOR pet peeve of mine…

      • cur'68 - Apr 17, 2014 at 8:34 AM

        All good points Eutaw. Especially the one about the hats. One of my favourite closers, ‘Nando Rodney (known in our Fantasy League as The Mighty Plantain) can’t seem to get his on straight either. I think the lack of hat straightness is ruining America and this game that we love and what’s wrong with society straight to hell!* If he’d had his hat on properly last night he preserves King Felix’s lead and gets the save. Instead? He misses the plate by exactly the same amount his dang fool hat was off centre. Dang kids!

        *when ranting like a crazy old bastard a touch of incoherence is mandatory

      • Eutaw's Finest - Apr 17, 2014 at 8:54 AM

        Daggum hats… and don’t even get me started on the stickers and tags kids leave on them these days! I’m just glad the professionals aren’t allowed to do that and/or chose not to. That just takes foolishness to the next level. It’s not fresh. Or fly. It doesn’t make you a rock star. Or gangster. And they act as if the sticker comes off and it becomes completely worthless. Are you planning on returning it at the end of the season? Maybe exchange it for a hat of whichever team’s bandwagon you plan on jumping on next? Back when I was a youngster we got a new hat, took off the stickers and tags immediately, bent the brim up a bit, and the filthier it got? The better it was.

        Kids these days…

      • cur'68 - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:02 AM

        Dang right! My own favourite hat is as ripe as an old banana. Never been washed, brim curved just so, worn to the back of my head on mild days and pulled down low when I mean bidness. It reeks not only of dirty hair but pipe tobacco, and mosquito repellant from when I wear it hiking with the kids. It keeps the flies off me.

      • Eutaw's Finest - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:14 AM

        The go-to hat! I have my own. Back in the day it was navy blue. After years of sweat, wear & tear, and dirt & grime? I’m not even sure what color to call it now. It’s a thing of beauty.

      • spudchukar - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:53 AM

        Cur, and Eutaw, I take it you don’t like kids on your lawn either.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:03 AM

      • southpaw2k - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:25 AM

        Re: crooked hats – Kids these days, I tell ya.

      • El Bravo - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:40 AM

        4) The “injury riddled” Yankees won both ends of a double header against the Cubs and are now alone in first place in the AL East.

        Any team “riddled” with anything can double-shutout the Sucktastic-Riddled Cubs on a given day.

      • brandotho - Apr 17, 2014 at 12:23 PM

        1. And they didn’t give up a run in either game. Did what you had to do
        2. The bullpen has been held together with ducktape. And remember Pineda is still trying to regain strength after not pitching for two years.
        3. The Yankees are 1st in the AL in AVG, 3rd in OBP and SLG, 2nd in OPS, and 3rd in OPS+. They’re 10th in R/G because they’re batting .218/.255/.289/.544 with RISP. BABIP is just .290 in those situations compared to .321 overall. They’re going to be better, especially when Teixeira is back and Jeter is fresh
        4. Who the hell cares? Every player has their own little thing. They’re not at some ball or something.

      • yankees218 - Apr 17, 2014 at 12:37 PM

        ok then explain 3 out of 4 from the red sox…

      • Eutaw's Finest - Apr 17, 2014 at 1:33 PM

        “ok then explain 3 out of 4 from the red sox…”

        Come now, the BoSox have fallen apart recently. It’s not like they are some team off to a hot start. And in those 4 games? Yankees O put up 4,2,7 & 3 runs. Not like they blew the doors off of them offensively. And as I said before, their pitching is not the problem. The rotation is pitching well. It’s the bats and the Yankees can’t expect the pitching to win every game for them throughout the year. Pitching wears down, bats get better as the season goes on.

      • Eutaw's Finest - Apr 17, 2014 at 1:46 PM

        brando-

        I’ll do my best here:

        1. And they didn’t give up a run in either game. Did what you had to do
        ***Fair enough. Never argued that they didn’t give up a run. Just happens to be against the 2nd worst bats in the league, so the level of competition isn’t exactly league average or anywhere close.

        2. The bullpen has been held together with ducktape. And remember Pineda is still trying to regain strength after not pitching for two years.
        ***The only injury in the pen is Robertson, which of course effects the closing role. However the rest of the pen is just so-so. And with Pineda, you can argue that he’s trying to regain strength, but the counter can also be said that he’s 2 years removed and how strong can he actually get? If anything the season will wear him out, not improve his game.

        3. The Yankees are 1st in the AL in AVG, 3rd in OBP and SLG, 2nd in OPS, and 3rd in OPS+. They’re 10th in R/G because they’re batting .218/.255/.289/.544 with RISP. BABIP is just .290 in those situations compared to .321 overall. They’re going to be better, especially when Teixeira is back and Jeter is fresh
        ***That all means nothing if you can’t put runs on the board. And what justification do you have that they WILL get better? And if you can tell me an oft injured Tex and a “fresh” Jeter (how fresh can a 39 year old be??) are the keys to the offense surging, then they are not exactly in good shape there. It’s more logical for the O’s to say when Machado comes back their O will improve. Young kid, great bat, great D and the current 3B (Flaherty) is terrible. Or for the Rays to say when half of their rotation comes back they will be much improved. But Tex has health issues and Jeter is past his prime at 39. They are both solid starters, just not game changers anymore.

        4. Who the hell cares? Every player has their own little thing. They’re not at some ball or something.
        ***I care. I had an opinion, so I stated it. Just like everything else above, and most of the posts on these pages. And if you want me to get into the details, it’s the fact that it’s a uniform and there is a code. Yankees require players to be clean shaven because they want a professional look, yes? How professional is a cap cocked sideways covering one eye? It’s not. It’s juvenile.

        Same thing I told uyf. I’m not saying the Yankees suck. I’m not saying any other team is better. I’m simply saying that good teams beat the teams they are supposed to. So when a good team owns a bad team? Not surprising at all. It’s not some phenomenal feat. It’s a great one for back to back shutouts, no doubt. I’m just not shocked I guess.

    • happytwinsfan - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:04 AM

      thank you for the correction about there being a SNOW OUT not a rain out. it took me 10 minutes to scrap the car this morning.

      be warned, a dark mood prevails in the twin cities today.

      but at least we gained a half game on the kittens. your boys could help us into first by nightfall.

      • dluxxx - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:50 AM

        Wait, what? You just got rid of the car? Sold it for scrap? Musta been some storm. ;)

        Just kidding, I had about 5 inches of snow in my driveway this morning. Gonna be interesting to see if they can get that day/night double header in today. It’s gonna be FREEZING!

      • happytwinsfan - Apr 17, 2014 at 2:36 PM

        we only got about an inch here in the pampered cities, but of course that inch insisted on freezing on every patch of glass it could find to fall on.

        i trust you shook your fist at the sky and REFUSED TO SHOVEL!

      • proudlycanadian - Apr 17, 2014 at 3:58 PM

        Nice game by Gibson.

      • happytwinsfan - Apr 17, 2014 at 4:03 PM

        thanks PC.

        hope you understand if i go a little overboard if they win the second game.

    • historiophiliac - Apr 17, 2014 at 3:59 PM

      Wait a minute. What is this? They have fired Flight Simulator Guy for embarrassing Canadians????? I will never understand your people. Down here, it’s de rigueur to embarrass your countrymen with your dress, musical tastes and/or questionable acts. I mean, Mountain Dew. Okay? If you fired everyone that embarrassed America, we’d all be unemployed. What is this, Canada?

  2. bostonfrogs - Apr 17, 2014 at 6:53 AM

    Tiger fans, you got what you wanted with Prince Fielder and Jim Leyland departing…how’s that working out for you?

    • detroitr1 - Apr 17, 2014 at 7:15 AM

      Well, it’s like when the Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai was asked in the 1970s about the French Revolution of 1789 “Too early to say.”

      6-5 record. We’ll see. It was also in the mid 30s last night…so there’s that.

      • johnnysoda - Apr 17, 2014 at 7:21 AM

        What, and the Indians weren’t playing in the same weather?

      • detroitr1 - Apr 17, 2014 at 7:29 AM

        Both teams went 2-22 with runners in scoring position. I think weather might have played a role for both teams. Anibal’s hands were visibly shaking while trying to grip the ball. Both teams seemed to have issues at the plate. The Indians won by 1 run and Don Kelly.

    • historiophiliac - Apr 17, 2014 at 8:21 AM

      First of all, do not make assumptions about what Tigers fans want. I wanted neither of those things. Secondly, it is April. Let’s talk in August, shall we? Tigers fans know we don’t always start hot — especially V. And, as someone already noted, we had a man on 3b with one out in the 9th and Don Kelly. I’m not sure any Tigers fan would’ve wanted him to hit there. Anyway, I don’t think days off and weather postponements have been helpful to us, but, again , it is April. We will warm up.

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - Apr 17, 2014 at 8:28 AM

      I’m sure they aren’t missing a guy who’s hitting .172/.262/.276 for a 29 wRC+ on the season so far.

    • sportsdrenched - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:24 AM

      What? I’m not a Tigers Fan, but the ones I do know did not want Leyland or Fielder to leave.

  3. janessa31888 - Apr 17, 2014 at 7:51 AM

    Way to go, big Zach!!!!!!!!!! So tired of our starters getting shelled. What a refreshing surprise. Of course, Yan Gomes provides the necessary runs. Good ole Yan. Last year after the Tigers finished kicking our tails in the last series we played against them, I was greatly angered when Chris Antonetti insinuated that all those games to the Tigers didn’t matter any more than any other games.

    • janessa31888 - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:59 AM

      Dont be mad, down thumber. Lately, its such a rare thing when the team I root for beats the Tigers that naturally I get excited when it does happen.

  4. Old Gator - Apr 17, 2014 at 7:59 AM

    No peetcher “deserves better.” Saltalamacchia made a pig’s smorgasbord out of the sixth inning, true, but it was still El Keed’s responsibility to get Worth out, not to let him hit a fly ball far enough for a bunch of wonks in the stands to interfere with a critical play and a bunch of beer pickled umps in New York to take a few minutes off from playing “Find MH370″ on their X-box and blow the replay call.

    All that did, by the way, was leave the game tied so that Mike Dunn and A. J. Ramos could come in in the eighth and distribute unbirthday presents to the Gnats’ batters. And the Feesh, checking their watches and realizing it had gotten late, just shrugged and figured, well, when you’re in the basement and it feels like home anyway, and ninety percent of the fans are heading out onto the 836 already anyway, why knock yourselves out?

    The Rainbow Warriors get a day orf to recover, then take on the Mariners tomorrow. Old pal Tweeter won’t be with the visitors because he’s having his twice-annual hamstring pull a little early this year, but since he’s been awful anyway so far, the Crew of the Minnow won’t notice very much. The good news for the Feesh is that they’re going to miss King Felix in the rotation this time. I bet they’re all shedding scales over that one.

    The way the Braves own the Gnats’ arses so far this season, the Gnats own the Feesh’s cloacas.

    • cur'68 - Apr 17, 2014 at 8:38 AM

      The Feesh Keed was fun to watch until the Werth AB, Gator. He’d struck out His Werthyness earlier. A +++FB that Werth could only wave at. That’s the conundrum of Werth. He can be made to look bad. But you can’t do it twice. He makes adjustments and finds a way.

    • groupofsevenrules - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:24 AM

      No Jays game to replay when I dragged my sorry carcass in from wurrrrk this morning, so I watched four different replays of that Wert fly ball. No question, those umps were on their fourth brews when they reviewed that. Definitely fan interference. But you’re right, Gator – the Keed still had to get him out. Since this team doesn’t appear to be bound for glory this season anyway (nor any likely season under this terrible ownership), Fernandez can just enjoy all the gooseggs his effort added to his line. I will bet you anything that the first thing he did when the game ended is go over to Saltalamacchia in the locker room and reassure him that stuff happens and it’s OK. I just hope this wasn’t Grandma Olga’s last game before heading back to that blighted prison island where she has to live.

      So, did you have a good Passover? We’re getting ready for Good Friday now – a divinely ordained day off, if you believe in such things.

      • Old Gator - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:55 AM

        Yeah, rough game. It seems like the Feesh have entered a very bad karmic vortex – a combination of retributive influences from past lives lived poorly and being caught in the realtime malignant energy field of Scrooge McLoria and the Chihuahua which, I suspect, warps even averse samsaric waves like dark matter.

        On a brighter note, congratulations on your day orf, and yes, we had two lovely seder nights – one at home, with our daughter stopping by to read the Hebrew haggadah with my wife while I defaulted to patriarchal privilege and reminisced about a fairy tale my grandfather once told me, about how the Red Sea swallowed up Pharoah’s troops in mute nostril agony, carefully refined and sealed over. We had the other one at our Palace of Superstition of choice, Temple Beth Schlemeil, in the company of our fellow miscreants, reprobates and misanthropes. This particular synagogue is noteworthy for having been founded by a Zen master (true!) who gave as many sermons about bringing up your kundalini as he did about accumulating mitzvot and becoming a lamadvavnik. My wife teaches Hebrew and history to the spawn of these associates of ours. I don’t think I could much stand a run-of-the-mill synagogue full of lawyers, accountants and golf buddies.

        Meanwhile, to all my chosen (or rejected, as the case may be) friends out there, here’s a very tasty idea about what to do with your leftover charoseth (on the assumption that no one can drink enough of that awful Manischewitz cough syrup to give themselves cirrhosis):

        – Cut in half and clean four to six large acorn squash. Cut the bottoms flat so they will stand up straight when it comes time to fill and re-bake them.
        – Roast face down at 375 degrees F. on a baking sheet for 30 minutes.
        – Remove squash from oven; reduce heat to 350 degrees f.
        – Fill squash with a half tbsp of butter, leftover charoseth (note: you must have toasted the walnuts slightly before making the charoseth in the first place or they’ll turn soggy during roasting if they haven’t already), and then sprinkle with a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg and ground clove (aka pumpkin pie space), a little salt and pepper to tast.
        -Bake for another 30 minutes until rims of squash are brown, squash and apple mixture are tender.

        Oh boy.

        Another thing I do sometimes if I have lots of the stuff left over – and I often do, since we pig out on it like Johnny Appleseed’s business – is just make a charoseth pie out of it, with the same baking instructions as with any apple pie with a wholemeal crust.

        Or, if not quite enough to make a pie, I saute the charoseth in butter until tender, then roll it with pastry dough and bake post-Pesach turnovers.

        Good yontiff. Hearty appetite.

    • natstowngreg - Apr 17, 2014 at 12:23 PM

      The Nats are 8-1 vs. Mets and Fish; 1-5 vs. Braves.

      Some things about the April 2014 Nats remind one of 2012 (come-from-behind wins, better clutch hitting). Others remind one of 2013 (sloppy fielding and baserunning, not beating good teams often enough). Still others remind one of both (injuries). Plenty of time to get on track; just need to do it before the second week of August.

  5. Eutaw's Finest - Apr 17, 2014 at 8:16 AM

    I fully expected Gonzo to revert back to his old ways last night and go 4ish innings and give up 4-5 runs. I was close. While Gonzalez didn’t give up any runs (and only 3 hits), he did run that pitch count up FAST. 98 pitches through 5 and that was all she wrote. While I can appreciate blanking the Rays in this one, Gonzo REALLY needs to be more effective with his pitches, and work into the later innings. Relying on your bullpen to go 4-5 innings every time he pitches will continue to wear them down. Is it hurting the team in April? No. Will it down the line as we approach the tail end of the season? I’d say so.

  6. southpaw2k - Apr 17, 2014 at 8:22 AM

    On Cliff Lee: To paraphrase Battlestar Galactica, “All that has happened before will happen again.”

    On dem O’s: Yes, their pitching has been much, much better lately (save Ubaldo), but how long till Britton works his way into the rotation? The end of April?

    • Eutaw's Finest - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:17 AM

      You make a good point. 9 IP, 3 H, 4/7 BB/K 0.00 ERA. I think he’s only allowed 1 inherited runner to score and that was coming in with bases loaded and 1 down against Toronto (walked him in). I think the 2 things you have to look at is:

      1) how long of a leash they give Ubaldo (considering his contract I’d say longer than others but if he starts 0-5 and his ERA stays up around 7? Phantom injury) and
      2) Whether or not injuries pop up anytime soon.

      You can’t ignore Britton’s stats. He’s pitching lights out. If he gets his walks down he becomes even scarier. And on that note, we can also look at Gausman who is really pitching well in AAA too. He’s chomping at the bit. I also caught Harvey’s line last night at Delmarva: 6IP, 1H, 0ER, 7 K’s. I know it’s low-A ball, but not too shabby. Beyond our core rotation right now and the prospects of Bundy and Gausman, I like what we have down the line in Eduardo Rodriguez, Tim Berry and Hunter Harvey. FINALLY organizational pitching depth!

      • southpaw2k - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:36 AM

        Wouldn’t surprise me at all if Ubaldo did hit the DL if he continues to struggle with an “oblique injury” or something. That would easily open the door for Britton. I would have expected to see him replace Norris or Gonzo, but both are coming off solid pitching performances.

  7. unclemosesgreen - Apr 17, 2014 at 8:32 AM

    It will be very difficult for any AL East team to gain a wildcard berth this season. They’re all good and (floating carpets excepted) patient at the plate. They all have some pitching. They’re going to beat each other up all season long. Whoever wins the division will be exhausted and injury-riddled.

  8. nymets4ever - Apr 17, 2014 at 8:32 AM

    Your idea of a perfect game is way off. It’s better when both starting pitchers go deep, work fast, and throw strikes, but both teams still get on the board unlike was the case yesterday, and the starters eventually give way to high-profile relievers who either get some clutch outs (or give up clutch hits) in tense late-game ABs.

    • cshearing - Apr 17, 2014 at 8:49 AM

      I just knew you could find fault in this article too. You are so good at it.

    • Old Gator - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:35 AM

      Well, games are highly variable in quality and texture. Perfection in terms of entertainment value, as opposed to in strictly statistical terms, is highly subjective. On the other hand, there’s never any mistaking you for a perfect asshole.

  9. chill1184 - Apr 17, 2014 at 8:37 AM

    A very nice road trip for orange and blue, 2 of 3 from the Braves, sweeping the Diamondbacks and at least salvaging a game from the Angels. Can’t complain with a 6-3 trip and return to Citi to take on the Braves again.

  10. uyf1950 - Apr 17, 2014 at 8:37 AM

    The Yankees pitchers all of them from Tanaka’s with his first pitch in the first game to Warren’s and his last pitch in the 2nd game were great. Some here may want to downplay that it was against the Cubs the “lowly” Cubs well guess what pitching 2 shutouts and giving up a combined 9 hits and just 4 BB over 18 innings is good work no matter who the opposing team team. And when you add in that 14 of those innings were pitched by 2 Yankees starters that nearly everyone on this board had questions about that’s pretty amazing. Tanaka had NEVER pitched in a MLB game prior to this year and Pineda hadn’t pitched in a MLB game from 2 years recovering from shoulder surgery.
    So I say again the pitching effort by the Yankees pitchers especially their 2 starters in this day/night doubleheader was great.

    • Eutaw's Finest - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:32 AM

      I see my lowly note made it’s way around… so I agree. It’s impressive no matter what. My note was simply that the Cubs offense is terrible so 2 wins are expected there. Cubs rank 25th or lower in OBP (27th), SLG (29th), OPS (29th), Runs (25th)… I mean they are just bad offensively. And the pitching staff for the Yanks is no pushover. Kudos on the shutouts.

      Just some food for thought, because this is flying under the radar: I think it was more expected of the Yanks to shutout the Cubs over 2 games with only 6 hits allowed between Tanaka and Pineda, than 1 run allowed by Miguel Gonzalez and Wei Yin Chen of the Orioles on 8 hits against a better offensive team in Tampa. The difference 1 run makes.

      • uyf1950 - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:40 AM

        Just look at Tanaka’s outing in the first game. He pitched 8 innings gave up just 2 hits BOTH bunts and 1 walk with 10 K’s. If you ask me that trumps your example in my opinion. Without including the Yankees 2nd game shutout.

      • uyf1950 - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:45 AM

        BTW, Gonzalez only went 5 innings in his start and Chin just 6 1/3 in his start and they were separated by 2 days if I’m not mistaken. Hardly comparable to the Yankees day/night doubleheader shutout regardless of the team being the Cubs.

      • Eutaw's Finest - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:10 AM

        I’m not denying the Yankee starters pitched better- that was never my debate. I was simply saying to see the top pitching prospect in the offseason (Tanaka) and Pineda shutout the 2nd worst offense in baseball is less surprising than Chen and Gonzo shutting out a better offensive team in the Rays. You have to remember- Chen and Gonzalez are middle of the road guys who struggled mightily to start the year. Their combine first starts: 9 IP, 21 H, 11 ER. Their last outings against TB: 11.1 IP, 8 H, 1 ER. That’s a major jump. Like I said, I’m not saying it was a better pitching performance by the O’s- no debate there. I’m simply saying 2 better pitchers in Tanaka and Pineda shutting down the 29th ranked O is much more likely than Chen/Gonzo shutting down a better Rays team.

        As I also noted, the Yankees O really does need to step up though. They can’t rely on these type of pitching performances every night. Only scoring 2 and 3 runs, respectively, in their double header is not going to cut it when they play a much more formidable opponent. I can the same for my O’s who were held to 3 against Odorizzi yesterday (although they finally lit Archer up the game before).

        No ill will my man, just trying to throw out there a line that flew under the radar in the ALE!

      • spudchukar - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:09 AM

        UYF, my friend, kinda disingenuous about what others have said regarding Tanaka and Pineda. Most here held in judgement their takes on the two Yankee hurlers, I know I did. The questions were more about Pineda’s return to the healthy guy the Yanks had a couple of years ago, and how well would Tanaka’s stuff translate in the good ol’ US of A.

        No doubt that shutting out any team is noteworthy of a very good performance. But to dismiss the fact that the pair accomplished the feat against the struggling Flubs is as I said, somewhat disingenuous. I for one am not surprised by the early successes of Tanaka and Pineda. The major question for the two is stamina. Will Pineda stay healthy enough to maintain his stuff over the long haul, and can Tanaka adjust to the rigors of the 5-man rotation. Questions that still have to be answered. But the start is good, but the caveats are real and carry weight.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:16 AM

        Will Pineda stay healthy enough to maintain his stuff over the long haul, and can Tanaka adjust to the rigors of the 5-man rotation. Questions that still have to be answered. But the start is good, but the caveats are real and carry weight.

        I hope, but not sure how well they can. Unfortunately they dont have the early/mid 00s offense to carry the team if the pitching deals with injuries. A nice 10+ game lead in September would let the Yanks give those two some rest, because I really can’t expect one, let alone both, pitching 200+ innings this year.

      • Eutaw's Finest - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:39 AM

        Following Spud’s note on the 2 pitchers being discussed, I refer to Buck’s quote prior to us facing the Yanks regarding Tanaka:

        “How can you hit what you’ve never seen before?”

        I think this attributes, to some extent, to his early success. The book on Tanaka is based on how he pitched prior to coming to the MLB. Otherwise teams have limited exposure to him (3 starts to date). I’ve pointed this out in previous posts, but it’s way too early to tell how he’ll develop. Let him get a few more starts under his belt and teams will start to figure him out. Once that happens, it’s up to Tanaka to learn how to adjust to the hitters. If he manages to do so and continues on his current tear? Then he’s a stud. But it remains to be seen. For now, teams have very limited info on Tanaka and are going up blind more or less, and hoping for the best. I cannot stress enough (because I’m trying to start a war): I’m not saying he sucks. I’m not diminishing his success to date. I am simply saying it’s shocking that he’s 2-0 with an ERA around 2 right now, given teams inability to truly scout him prior to facing him.

        And the same can be said for Pineda to some extent. You don’t know whether you’re getting the same Pineda from years ago or something completely different. Teams will adjust, and it’s a matter of whether or not he does.

        To BOTH of their credits so far? They’ve pitched very well.

      • Eutaw's Finest - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:39 AM

        RE: Tanaka

        Make that it’s NOT shocking.

        Need a flipping edit function on here still…

    • aceshigh11 - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:35 AM

      No doubt. Doesn’t matter HOW bad the opposing team is…this is still MLB. Two shutouts in one day is highly impressive.

      • Eutaw's Finest - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:31 AM

        Out of curiosity, what difference does it make if it’s in the same day versus back to back games over 2 days? While the bats remain constant, the pitchers change, which happens anyway on back to back games (for the most part, some relievers to be recycled).

    • spudchukar - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:57 AM

      The Rays and Yankees have “good” pitching, the others not so much.

      • nbjays - Apr 17, 2014 at 1:23 PM

        What yardstick do you use to measure “good” pitching, Spud? Team ERA? WHIP? WAR? Because I have yet to find any team pitching stat lists that have the Rays and Yankees as tops in their own division in pitching.

      • spudchukar - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:31 AM

        Past successes. Way too small a sample size to judge anybody in 2014.

  11. DelawarePhilliesFan - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:13 AM

    “but this is The Perfect Baseball Game”

    Craig – it was 4 outs away from being a 1 hitter by Tehran. And had that happened, the one hit would have been the difference of an otherwise perfect game. And that one hit…..an infield single by Ryan Howard.

    Now THAT would have been perfect baseball!

    Of course, it did suck that the Phils lost….

    • historiophiliac - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:08 AM

      Or a home run hit by a pitcher — isn’t that the NL ideal? smh

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

        4 years ago the Phillies were 1 hit by the Mets – Mr. Hamels had the 1 hit.

        That’s an AL no-hitter

      • Kevin S. - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:41 AM

        You misspelled “unicorn.”

  12. aceshigh11 - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:13 AM

    Wow, Cliff Lee deserves SO MUCH BETTER than what the Phillies give him. He’s still an awesome pitcher even at 35 years old (exactly 3 days younger than me).

    • [citation needed] fka COPO - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:27 AM

      It’s a good thing he choose the Phils because they had such a better future than the Rangers or Yankees…

      • Kevin S. - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:04 AM

        And he’s stuck there until Ruin Tomorrow, Jr. leaves, because he won’t realize that he’ll have to settle for either clearing Lee’s contract off the books and getting little in return or eating a large portion of it to get good value back. Lee is absolutely earning his contract, but teams aren’t going to give up great prospects just to pay a guy market rate.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:45 AM

        This could come as a shock….but players do have these things called “Families”. And as was well documented in December 2010, Mr. Lee’s family very much wanted to come back to Philadelphia.

        Add in more money by the Phillies, and you have the top two reasons you are not Lee’s agent.

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Apr 17, 2014 at 12:58 PM

        Add in more money by the Phillies, and you have the top two reasons you are not Lee’s agent.

        I’m not discounting those other reasons, but his public statements about the future of the Phillies have been the exact opposite of what he expected to have happened.

      • stupidusername - Apr 17, 2014 at 1:54 PM

        Were you looking for him to instead say “I took more money”? People keep bringing this up as if it’s not just him pandering to the team, management, and fans. He also signed with the Phillies in 2010 after they went to the World Series 2 years in a row, who then won 97 games in 2010 and 102 in 2011. I don’t think he looked 3 years down the road at all the contracts, ages, and future ineptness of Ruben Amaro Jr.

  13. indaburg - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:14 AM

    The Rays need to stop training with Derek Shelton’s Speed Hitter.

  14. timmmah10 - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:58 AM

    Springer had a hit and a walk, but was also picked off and caught stealing those two times he was on base.

    It’s all sunshine and rainbows on ATH though…

    • sportsdrenched - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:06 AM

      New Stud Young Guy, meet another stud young guy, Sheriff Sal Perez.

  15. kcrobert10 - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:02 AM

    Wow the royals wow 2 road games in a row. Good thing it was against the Astros cause the offense still is pretty pathetic. On a side note this sieres so far has highlighted some of baseball’s best future stud players. Just don’t know by the time they become stud players they won’t be playing for the Yankees, red sox, Dodgers, etc. I love baseball but they need to do more like the nfl does to help these small market v teams retain there best young players.

  16. sportsdrenched - Apr 17, 2014 at 10:04 AM

    Yay Royals! Good to see Danny Duffy doing well out of the bullpen. While Holland got the save and is showing some electric stuff, he’s still walking people. Base runners in extras or the 9th = bad.

    • kcrobert10 - Apr 17, 2014 at 12:03 PM

      I want Duffy in the rotation… Not in the pen…

  17. APBA Guy - Apr 17, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    Another game, another blown save, this time by Luke “Jamie Moyer’s in My Body” Gregerson, who’s been flirting with it in the 9th up until this game. But it really was a collective effort. Milone left the game with two on, Otero came in and gave up one charged to Milone and one of his own. Then the meltdown in the 9th, and that was followed by the A’s failing to capitalize on RISP in extra’s, as Craig pointed out.

    Painful. Nobody’s pulling away with it in the West. That’s no surprise. Every team is flawed, or injured or both, and then there are the Astros, who are improved, but need further improvement everywhere.

  18. raybrower - Apr 17, 2014 at 11:53 AM

    Yesterday was Mike Pelfrey’s best start of the year. Go Twins. : |

  19. gloccamorra - Apr 17, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    “…some fun scoring decisions and box score oddities.”

    Is this the most subtle dig at baseball’s “official” scorers, who are baseball writers hired by each club? Or is it a way to gloss over the fact those guys are fellow baseball writers who are terrible pretty much everywhere and should be replaced by umpires in the press box who can speed up replays? Let’s not even mention the conflict of interest involving writers who write about players they like/dislike and then give them hits or errors, and passed balls or wild pitches, or deny a pitcher a no-no if they don’t like the guy.

    • antaresrex - Apr 17, 2014 at 1:24 PM

      Haven’t the official scorers been league-appointed for some time now?

  20. stupidusername - Apr 17, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    Phillies/Braves game time: 2 hours 29 minutes

    • stupidusername - Apr 17, 2014 at 1:57 PM

      (Un)Fun fact from ESPN:
      From Elias: Cliff Lee is the 2nd pitcher since 1900 to have 2 losses with at least 13 K and 1 run or fewer allowed in each game. The other is Big Ed Walsh (also had 2).

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