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And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

Apr 18, 2014, 6:47 AM EDT

Adam Wainwright AP

Cardinals 8, Nationals 0: Adam Wainwright was outstanding, tossing a two-hitter. What worked for him? Everything, as after the game he said “my sinker was sinking, my four-seamer was four-seaming, my curveball was curving.” He also had two hits to (altogether now) help his own cause. Of course, he could have been merely competent and won this one, as the Nats looked feckless at the plate, were far worse on defense and couldn’t get Cardinals batters out to save their lives.

Phillies 1, Braves 0: I called the 1-0 Braves win on Wednesday night perfect baseball, so I’d be remiss in not saying that this was something close to it too, even if I didn’t care for the ultimate result. A.J. Burnett wasn’t as dominant as Cliff Lee, Alex Wood seemed more mortal than Julio Teheran and there wasn’t that sense that the Braves, unlike the Phillies on Wednesday, were one hit away from tying it, but 1-0 is still pretty bitchin’.

Tigers 7, Indians 5: Ian Kinsler drove in four. So far that trade is looking pretty good for Detroit. Danny Salazar, who looked so dominant at times last year, has a 7.71 ERA in three starts and has given up 19 hits in 14 innings.

Dodgers 2, Giants 1: Hyun-Jin Ryu tossed seven shutout innings. He had some help in the field from Yasiel Puig as well. Well, help of a sort. I mean, it was interesting at least.

Twins 7, Blue Jays 0; Twins 9, Blues Jays 5: Not a great day for the Jays, eh? R.A. Dickey was knocked around in the first game and the Blue Jays bullpen was knocked around in the second. Well, not really knocked around as much as melted down. And I’m not talking a Three Mile Island meltdown. I’m talking Chernobyl. There are a couple of long-time, inner circle Hall of Fame Blue Jays fan commenters at HBT. Please, comment early fellas. I’m worried about you after this one. Let us know you’re still breathing.

Rockies 3, Padres 1: Ian Kennedy had a one-hit shutout through six but then the Rockies clawed back. Franklin Morales got a second chance at starting following some injuries to Colorado pitchers and he made the most of it, allowing one run and four hits in six innings with five strikeouts and a walk.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $60,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Friday evening MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $8,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on FridayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Rangers 8, Mariners 6: Homers from Choo and Cano got them off the schneid, but ultimately the game was won thanks to Kevin Kouzmanoff, who I still believe died in an industrial accident in 2011 or something and is actually a zombie. Kevin “Walking Dead” Kouzmanoff hit two doubles and scored twice. He’s hitting .414 since being called up to fill in for Adrian Beltre.

Yankees 10, Rays 2: A triple play and a nice offensive outburst are what people may talk about today, but the most significant thing for the Yankees here was CC Sabathia turning in a strong outing, allowing only one earned run on seven hits in seven innings. With so many injuries to position players and with Tanaka and Pineda looking so strong, an effective Sabathia could be the difference between a pitching-first Yankees team challenging for a playoff spot all a year and them finishing in the middle of the pack.

Pirates 11, Brewers 2: Homers from Andrew McCutchenPedro Alvarez and Josh Harrison put the surprisingly powerful Pirates over. They led the NL in bombs so far this year, which is not something I personally would have bet on.

Red Sox 3, White Sox 1: Jon Lester and Chris Sale each carried no-hitters into the sixth. David Ross had a tiebreaking RBI double in the ninth.

Royals 5, Astros 1: James Shields struck out 12 in eight innings. At one point he struck out seven Astros hitters in a row. Some of them were even major league hitters.

  1. renaado - Apr 18, 2014 at 7:01 AM

    The Braves may not win that game but them and the Phillies pitching duel alone is just amazing, hats off to both teams on their magnificent pitching performance.

    • moogro - Apr 18, 2014 at 1:47 PM

      The harpies favor pusillanimity.

      • renaado - Apr 18, 2014 at 2:05 PM

        Hehe… Well, I don’t really bother it too much though. I’m not putting up statements here just to judge it’s thumbs up and thumbs down.

  2. emdash01 - Apr 18, 2014 at 7:02 AM

    Ah, Nats. The way they make incredibly stupid mistakes against the good teams is already getting old. Realistically, I expected a loss – Wainwright is probably the Cy Young frontrunner with Kershaw out, and Taylor Jordan is decidedly not – but it would be nice if they could’ve not embarrassed themselves in the process.

    Unrelatedly, replay criticism has been written about a lot, but I think the transfer rule is much, much worse. There was a play in this game where the second baseman dropped the ball when going to throw for a double play because of a hard takeout slide and the first out didn’t count. This would seem to incentive baserunners to slide harder, and it’s going to get some middle-infielders hurt.

    • kevinbnyc - Apr 18, 2014 at 1:51 PM

      Agreed. That was a no-brainer out last year. If you cleanly catch the ball with your foot on the bag it should be an out, regardless of what you do with the ball after that.

  3. thedoubleentandres - Apr 18, 2014 at 7:06 AM

    RA Dickey starts are a bit like peaches…1 in about 3 or 4 are good

  4. janessa31888 - Apr 18, 2014 at 7:21 AM

    Ugh, Danny Salazar keeps on giving up the big hits. It just keeps getting worse. On the positive side, Michael Grantley is off to a nice start.

    • historiophiliac - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:19 AM

      Oh, like he was the only one. V looked like crap. 113 pitches thru 5 innings. He loaded the bases in 2 innings, and Kinsler really saved his bacon, giving him the win. Beautiful Brad was hoping he wouldn’t have to use the BP much because V could go deep, but he was sadly mistaken. I think we threw everyone out there (except, thank Jobu, Don Kelly). Coke and Chamberlain looked good (what?) — Krol not so much. Clearly, this is a team in need of some WD-40 — again except for Kinsler, who is almost making me okay with the trade now.

      Smyly gets the start today (awwwww) — and probably more importantly for the folks on here: MIKE TROUT COMES TO THE D!!!!

  5. chip56 - Apr 18, 2014 at 7:52 AM

    If you haven’t done this already run, don’t walk and find John Sterling’s radio call of Yangervis Solarte’s home run. EPIC

    • Kevin S. - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:12 AM

      Other epic Sterlingisms from yesterday’s game:

      Sterling and Waldman raving about Solarte’s presence of mind on starting the triple play. Dudes, he took an extra two steps towards the bag he was already running to before going around the horn. It didn’t take some kind of Einstein-level genius to do it.

      After Scott Sizemore’s leadoff double in the second, Sterling went on and on about how the Yankees now had to play ABC baseball, about how it was Roberts sole job to hit the ball to the right side. Yeah, apparently rolling over and playing for one run is far superior to hitting run-scoring triples into the gap. Moving the lead runner up ninety feet isn’t worth competent hitters not trying to reach base.

      • chip56 - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:06 AM

        In fairness to Sterling on that one – Roberts came into the game 1 for 22 having not played in about a week because of a bad back and was going up against David Price. Of course the RBI triple is great but in terms of realistic outcomes you’re just hoping that if he makes an out it’s a productive one.

    • chip56 - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:11 AM

      How did this get “thumbs down”? Sterling’s a buffoon but for pure entertainment value his home run calls are classic.

      • babyfarkmcgeezax - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:27 AM

        Because you have had the nerve to criticize Craig in the past, his lapdogs have targeted you for thumbs down votes no matter what you say. They may complain about “thumb harpies” as if they are above bothering with the thumbs, but clearly they use them at least as much as anyone else.

      • chip56 - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:38 AM

        ah…that does explain it.

      • renaado - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:23 AM

        Or someone has a dozen or so many laptops where one person has a dislike in your statements. 😉
        Well… Just a hunch though.

      • sandwiches4ever - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:05 AM

        Because Sterling’s HR calls make me want to shove ice picks in my ears?

  6. goodellisruiningtheleague - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:11 AM

    lololol Nationals can’t beat anyone besides bum teams

    see ya in the NL East cellar

  7. unclemosesgreen - Apr 18, 2014 at 8:34 AM

    The battle of the sock drawer just flew by last night. The first five innings took a little over an hour.

    It’s still a little weird that such a crisply played game took 2:54 to complete. That’s a fast baseball game now.

  8. happytwinsfan - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:02 AM

    durn it if that little kitty didn’t run out from underneath the chair into the other room. we’ll have to see if we can find where it went while we visit the rising royals.

    faredewell jays, may your opportunity for revenge come in the league championship series.

    • sportsdrenched - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:31 AM

      Tonight’s low in KC is 51* (That’s 10.5 for our Canadian Friends). I swear to JoBu if the Twins bring that cold ass weather down here I’ll go all Ian Kinsler and wish the Twins go 0-162!

      • dluxxx - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:08 AM

        A little late for that. 😉

      • sportsdrenched - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:26 AM

        Pfft. There’s always next year. Royals fans say that a lot.

      • dluxxx - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:35 AM


      • happytwinsfan - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:15 AM

        the royals are scorching hot and so are the twins. this shall be a battle of giants.

  9. uyf1950 - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:16 AM

    CC pitched much better this time out. Yes he had a couple of innings that he managed to get out of with no trouble, namely the 2nd inning when the Yankees turned a triple play. But still 7 IP’ed with just 1 ER and 6 hits is a good nights work. For everyone that continues to talk about the Yankees questionable offense 10 runs scored and 16 hits. The bulk of the 10 runs against last years Cy Young winner David Price.
    Can we say the Yankees are clicking on all cylinders and are reminiscent of the 2009 Yankees or the Yankees of the late 90’s of course not. But the starting pitching pitching looks exceptionally good, bullpen looks very good as well and should look even better when Robertson’s gets back any day now and the offense has started to show very positive signs of that combination of power and speed that can create runs and wins.
    Oh and one other thing that infield that so, so many fans thought were the worst of the worse maybe they aren’t so bad after all. Solarte’s been nothing short of a godsend, Roberts had a very good offensive game yesterday and Johnson is proving to be a very, very good utility infielder.
    Now I don’t expect everyone to agree with me in fact I would be disappointed if those that have been so adamant about the Yankees “porous” defense and weak offense suddenly became converts. The proof will be overtime and I hope the Yankees provide that to all their skeptics.
    In the meantime I’m liking what the Yankees have shown so far.

  10. proudlycanadian - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:18 AM

    We are still breathing Craig; although I did have a nightmare last night. It was below freezing in Minnesota when the games were played. While pitchers on both sides seemed to be having trouble getting a grip on the ball, but I have to admit that the trio of Delabar, Santos and Happ had an inning for the record books. Santos will get more opportunities to close; however, I hope that Happ will not finish the season on the Jay’s roster.

    • unclemosesgreen - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:36 AM

      Happ is not bad. But he’s also not good. The trouble with him right now is that he’s more or less replacement-level, but he’s getting paid $5.2 million. That’s not good business.

      If he ends the season not on the Jays’ roster that’s either because he gets hurt or they dumped his salary on someone, which they wouldn’t do if they were in competition. So don’t root for that.

    • Shayna - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:21 AM

      In a word: Wince.

      At length: After three baseball-less days (Passover and Minnesota’s weather interfered with normal game-watching activities), this is what I get to come back to?! It was simply painful to watch. And pathetically, as our previously excellent bullpen tore up our just-over-the-horizon win, threw the scraps on the dirt, and then ground them into powder, I listened to Buck and Pat make the transition from confidence to hope to dismay to resignation and, finally, to acknowledgement of some truly historical badness.

      Well, maybe this isn’t a harbinger of anything. Maybe this is just the bullpen getting it out of their system and now they can right the ship and return to their prior successes in closing out games. Or so I desperately hope. I almost hesitate to add: Go Jays!

  11. sportsdrenched - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:34 AM

    Royals swept the Astros. This is progress. Last year they lost 2 of 3 in Houston. Hard to make too much of this series though. It was the Astros. But I still think the Astros will reach the playoffs before the Royals.

  12. jimmyt - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:38 AM

    The Cards not only have one of the best (if not the best) starting rotations in baseball they are also just ridiculously deep in the pitching dept. That’s why I see them going all the way yet again.

  13. paperlions - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:19 AM

    The Cardinals was 8-23 with 4 walks with RISP last night. That’s right, 27 guys came to the plate with RISP. The Nationals only had 32 PAs the entire game.

    • historiophiliac - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:27 AM

      Your score seems low then.

      • paperlions - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:35 AM

        Yep. Lots of singles. Wainwright was on base 3 times (walk, single, double) and was stopped at 3rd on singles multiple times to avoid possible injury. He eventually scored once, but that still prevented further scoring as him being held up kept the runner at 2nd from advancing to 3rd on the play and scoring on the next ball in play. The conservative base running with Wainwright combined with the uber slow Molina and Craig and pretty slow guys like Holliday, Adams, and Peralta resulted in far fewer runs than an team with average speed would have scored.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:39 AM

        Wow, pitcherwannabehitter ball is…lame.

      • paperlions - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:59 AM

        It was more slow non-athletic wanna be athlete ball being lame….well, that, and most of the singles were to LF and guys were properly fearful of running on the cannon that Harper has.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:01 AM

        Epicycles, dude. You’re just resorting to epicycles now. The system is at fault. Admit it and embrace the truth.

      • paperlions - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:04 AM

        Uh huh. Using your philosophy, we should just let everyone be a specialist and have completely different lineups for offense and defense….you must really love football.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:05 AM

        That’s low. I’m keeping a tally. You owe me a lot of olives now, you know.

      • paperlions - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:10 AM

        Quarterbackwannabetacklerball….isn’t that what the people that championed specialization in football used to say to make fun of people that thought guys should play offense and defense?

      • historiophiliac - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:12 AM

        You tell me; I’m not that old. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised to see that level of specialization in baseball somewhere down the road. I don’t know that I would be excited about it, but I wouldn’t stop watching baseball because of it or anything. Things change over time.

      • paperlions - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:14 AM

        Considering the Cardinals current roster and the great OF prospects they have knocking on the door….I’d love it if the Cardinals could use a DH.

      • paperlions - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:03 AM

        Here are the hitting lines (BA/OBP/SLG) for Wainwright and a slow non-athletic guy that has been a pretty good hitter in the past. Guess which is which.


      • unclemosesgreen - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:54 AM

        But, but station to station baseball and double switches and pitchers bunting and Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

      • natstowngreg - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:24 AM

        This discussion is more interesting than the ballgame was.

      • unclemosesgreen - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:32 AM

        Well, Greg, that’s because historio and paper are both designated writers. Any confrontation between specialists is bound to be more exciting than watching (a vast majority of) pitchers try to hit.

    • natstowngreg - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:44 AM

      Much credit to Wainwright. An excellent pitcher pitched excellently.

      Not making any excuses for the Nats. Other teams have injuries and bad days. The Nats have been terrible vs. good teams (1-6 vs. Braves and Cards); winners vs. lesser teams (8-1 vs. Mets and Fish). Some of the bad aspects of 2013’s first 4 months are on display, like poor fundamentals. They need to stop telling us how good they are, and show it. Happily, they have a lot of games left.

  14. dluxxx - Apr 18, 2014 at 10:34 AM

    Well, the Twins have had enough bullpen implosions already this year, it’s about time they got one back. :) Glad to see my boys finish the day/night sweep. If we can string together a few more series wins, then we could actually be looking at a descent season.

    I just can’t help thinking that they’re playing above their heads, but then again, I think it was ’90/’91 when they went “worst to first.” Could lightening strike twice???? I won’t hold my breath. Especially not with the pitching staff we have…

    • Cris E - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:30 AM

      Most of the Twins’ bullpen explosions are really just Jared Burton appearances. The man is broken right now.

      As far as playing above their heads, that could be. I’m more concerned about Collabello’s alien possession than anything happening on the mound. But a quicker hook by Gardy and maybe replacing a couple injured players more promptly could have saved a couple of those lost games, so it all sort of averages out. All told they aren’t nearly as bad as recent years, and that’s good.

      • dluxxx - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:33 AM

        Agreed. It’s nice to have some early season optimism. I just won’t get too crazy about it yet. There’s still a lot of baseball to be played.

  15. prestonbucher - Apr 20, 2014 at 9:48 AM

    This is the year Waino finally gets his hardware!!

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