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And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

Apr 22, 2014, 6:56 AM EDT

Trout and Harper AP

Angels 4, Nationals 2: All day I read stuff about “Trout vs. Harper!” I was really excited until I remember that baseball is not the NBA and at no time was it really likely that the two would actually compete against one another directly. I mean, I suppose one could try to throw out the other as the one tried to take an extra base, but the odds were against that. On a granular level baseball is technically about one-on-one matchups. Only those matchups are between a hitter and a pitcher. More broadly, baseball is a team sport and Mike Trout‘s team beat Bryce Harper‘s. Trout was 2 for 5. Harper was 0 for 3. And Raul Ibanez‘s three-run double mattered more than what either of them did.

Braves 4, Marlins 2: Evan Gattis with a walkoff homer in the 10th. Kudos to Fredi Gonzalez here. In the ninth, following a leadoff double, Gonzalez ordered Jason Heyward to bunt, despite the fact that he’s a lefty with power and the pitcher was a right hander. A right hander, by the way, named Carlos Marmol, who is not exactly good. in essence, he was more confident in Heyward — a guy who rarely if ever is asked to bunt — laying one down than being able to pull something off a crappy righty, which would have moved the runner over. And of course, had he done it, it means he’s depending on B.J. Upton to drive in the run. Now, you may think that’s deranged and I might think that’s deranged, but Fredi certainly knew that this unsuccessful sac bunt attempt would optimize the chances of Evan Gattis coming up to hit that walkoff homer. You mad genius, Freddi! You mad genius.

Phillies 7, Dodgers 0: Cliff Lee struck out double digits for the second straight start. This time he actually won. In his first five starts Lee has struck out 38 batters and has walked two.

Rockies 8, Giants 2: Five homers for the Rockies. And none of them were hit by Carlos Gonzalez or Troy Tulowitzki. Charlie Blackmon hit two. Ryan Vogelsong gave up three of them. Hard to see him lasting the year in the rotation. His ERA is now 7.71.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $55,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Tuesday night’s MLB games. It’s just $25 to join and first prize is $7,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on TuesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Brewers 4, Padres 3: Milwaukee keeps chugging along. Aramis Ramirez homered and Ryan Braun drove in two. K-Rod saved his fourth game in four days. If you had been wagering on Rodriguez being lights out to start the season you would’ve gotten pretty awesome odds. Same with the Brewers starting off 15-5.

Cubs 5, Diamondbacks 1: Travis Wood: wrecking ball. He drove in four runs, including a three-run homer, and allowed one run while striking out nine over seven innings.

Astros 7, Mariners 2: Seattle has lost seven in a row. Matt Dominguez homered and drove in three. And that was with Felix Hernandez on the mound. Houston scored six off of him, though only two were earned. With teams this bad I’m afraid to go look at highlights before I eat breakfast, but I’m gonna assume some sloppy defense. [looks] ah, only one bad defensive play. Yep, the noodle-bat Astros actually beat King Felix around a bit. Go figure.

Mets 2, Cardinals 0: Jenrry Meija shut out the Cards for six and two-thirds while striking out seven. And he had some nifty defense behind him too. The only thing that looked bad for the Mets yesterday was their camouflage uniforms.

Rangers 4, Athletics 3: Yu Darvish was not at his best, but the Rangers gritted one out over the defending two-time division champs. Donnie Murphy lined a go-ahead single up the middle with one out in the eighth inning as Texas came from behind.

White Sox 3, Tigers 1: Anibal Sanchez was solid for six but the Sox broke through in the seventh. Of course, the words “broke through” imply a lot of kinetic energy. Here the seventh inning was like watching paint dry thanks to two replay reviews which stopped the game in its tracks.

Indians 4, Royals 3Jason Kipnis and Michael Brantley hit two-run homers and Zach McAllister overcame some shaky defense behind him. Oh, and there was a squirrel on the field at one point, which I thought you all should know about.

Pirates 6, Reds 5: Ike Davis is making himself right at home in Pittsburgh. He hit a grand slam. This not too long after hitting that big walkoff grand slam for the Mets. According to STATS, Inc., Davis is the first player to hit grand slams for different teams in the same April. Neat.

Orioles 7, Red Sox 6: These teams were likely dragging after a Sunday night game gave way to this 11AM start, but that’s Patriot’s Day for you. Baltimore jumped out to a 6-0 lead and then held on to win 7-6. The Red Sox had loads of chances — they left runners on base in each of the innings in which they scored — but they let them slip away.

  1. Eutaw's Finest - Apr 22, 2014 at 7:11 AM

    O’s had a 5-0 lead Sunday after 5 innings, and lost 6-5. Yesterday the O’s had a 6-0 lead in the 6th and BARELY eeked out a 7-6 win. Happy to pull a split out of a 4 game series on the road in Boston during a highly emotional weekend but it irks me that they should have won Sunday, and possibly Saturday (had the lead into the middle innings as well), had Buck pulled the starters when they were visibly struggling instead of extending the leash on Norris and Jimenez.

    On a side note, 3 players for the BoSox slept at Fenway overnight Sunday into Monday. One of which was Bucholz.

    http://www.bostonglobe.com/sports/2014/04/21/red-sox-players-decide-stay-overnight-fenway/ybeDZF2sfoTWfJN253DB6J/story.html

    I get the whole idea of being at the stadium when you wake up the next morning and not needing to fight traffic around town for the Boston Marathon on Patriots Day and all but… there’s something to be said for a starting pitcher getting a good nights sleep the night before pitching, especially when it’s an 11am start time. Needless to say, it didn’t bode well for him. Maybe he left his Bull Frog at home? I kid, I kid…

    • proudlycanadian - Apr 22, 2014 at 7:24 AM

      Buchholz stunk once again. I have reluctantly benched him on my fantasy team. Nice to see Baltimore get a split.

      • unclemosesgreen - Apr 22, 2014 at 9:10 AM

        You have to be careful when commenting on Buchholz, he pitched poorly, yes. But he looks like he has smelled bad for years.

        All I can tell you is, I gave you the intel. After that it’s up to you.

  2. emdash01 - Apr 22, 2014 at 7:16 AM

    Pretty frustrating Nats loss – bullpen management hasn’t been a strength for Matt Williams so far. Something I’d hope for from a first-time manager is that he’d be flexible when it comes to roles. But he decided he had to run his most struggling reliever out there with a one-run lead because he’s the “eighth inning guy”, and not be prepared to pull him after he gave up a run. It was obvious Ibanez would be the pinch-hitter, but he didn’t even have a lefty warming when he came to the plate.

    • asimonetti88 - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:49 AM

      As an Angels fan, I have to say I quite enjoyed that.

      And while what Craig said is true that Harper and Trout won’t be really in a one on one battle, it is still cool to have them on the field at the same time. Two great young players on the same field, you’re guaranteed to have a great game!

  3. csmountaineer - Apr 22, 2014 at 7:16 AM

    And both of Ike Davis’s slams came against the Reds…. For two different teams… In the same April

    • proudlycanadian - Apr 22, 2014 at 7:25 AM

      I keep repeating that “I like Ike” and continue to receive thumbs down.

      • dirtyharry1971 - Apr 22, 2014 at 8:53 AM

        That’s because nobody gives a sh!t what you like

      • Old Gator - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:52 AM

        First of all, that’s patently untrue – and if you weren’t such a little nobody, or, perhaps to be more accurate, didn’t know you were such a little nobody, you wouldn’t be trying to repress your sense of insignificance by pretending to speak for anyone other than your wretched self. Second of all, I don’t see any voices raised in unison to cheer your return after the blissful week when you were reduced to nothing but a mindless thumb – not that that’s all the much more than you ever are when you actually post.

      • happytwinsfan - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:13 AM

        we’re still dwelling on the checkers speech.

      • jimeejohnson - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:13 AM

        DirtyPeaBrain’s back.

      • pauleee - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:17 AM

        The “Checkers” speech was Nixon.

      • happytwinsfan - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:24 AM

        ike’s running mate. besides, ike chose nixon to appease the mccarthy crowd.

      • pauleee - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:04 PM

        D’oh! Finally, something that was before my time!

      • [citation needed] fka COPO - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:13 PM

        I keep repeating that “I like Ike” and continue to receive thumbs down.

        This is far better than what Yahoo Sports said, which was something like “Ike smacked that ball like Ike smacked Tina”

      • proudlycanadian - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:20 PM

        “I like Ike” was the campaign slogan for President Eisenhower.

      • Old Gator - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:59 PM

        “Why not?” was the campaign slogan for Harold Stassen. It wasn’t much of a primary.

  4. chill1184 - Apr 22, 2014 at 7:24 AM

    Mejia had a little trouble in the 7th inning but the bullpen was able to bail him out of it, his starts are such a joy to watch. When a young pitcher can shut out a powerful offense like the Cardinals it’s certainly encouraging.

  5. proudlycanadian - Apr 22, 2014 at 7:26 AM

    A nice start to the season by John Danks. He stunk last season, but so far this year, he has pitched quite well.

  6. jrs45 - Apr 22, 2014 at 7:27 AM

    Tito’s talk with his team is paying off. Zach pitched another good one to go 3-0.

    • proudlycanadian - Apr 22, 2014 at 7:33 AM

      And John Axford now has 7 saves on the young season. Who saw that coming?

      • spudchukar - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:34 AM

        It shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise. When the Cards acquired him late last season, they knew he was tipping his pitches. After a couple of shaky appearances, and adjustments to his delivery, he was back to his old self and excelled for St. Louis down the stretch and into the post season. But with all the young arms, and Motte coming back he really didn’t have much of a spot with the Red Birds, and they weren’t interested in giving him a 2 year 4mil package to be a 6th inning guy.

  7. bmore55 - Apr 22, 2014 at 7:40 AM

    Os need to put Schoop at his natural position and keep him at 3rd his errors lost 2 games now still young season cant wait to see if the Os can win the division this year!!!!

    • proudlycanadian - Apr 22, 2014 at 8:14 AM

      Machado should return sometime next month. Until then, Schoop is likely to remain at third base.

    • Eutaw's Finest - Apr 22, 2014 at 8:25 AM

      The problem with this (Schoop @ 3B) is that there is no real answer at 3B until Manny returns. Who would you suggest putting over there? Flaherty has 2 errors at 3rd, Schoop has 3 or 4 now, and Lombo can’t play 3B. And to make matters worse, Party Hardy left the game yesterday with hammy tightness. While we won’t be out long, it looks like we’ll be back to Schoop, Lombo AND Flaherty all starting for a few games north of the border.

      Long story short- until Manny comes back we don’t have many options right now.

    • Eutaw's Finest - Apr 22, 2014 at 8:29 AM

      Wait, I may have read this wrong- are you saying to keep Schoop on the hot corner? Or move him to 2B? I personally think he’s set to play 2B for this team, but with Lombo hitting .300 right now, it’s tough to sit him, especially when Lombo plays better defense.

  8. Old Gator - Apr 22, 2014 at 7:45 AM

    With the strange attractor shimmering within their grasp, the Feesh really let one get away last night. These days, when you see Mike Dunn trudging in from the boolpen in a close game, you pretty much know it’s time to try to beat the other spectators to the freeway. Tom Koehler “pitched well enough to win,” as they say – but Dunn has a thing about plating his inherited runners this season that would have shamed Joe Robbie’s heirs. Thank Buddha for the great Carlos Marmol, who pitched a scoreless ninth – what Craigster didn’t tell you about the Upton bunt is that he popped it up and the Feesh’s ranking prion vector made a twisting, tumbling over-the-shoulder diving catch of the ball that for a moment turned him into the world’s plumpest Mobius strip.

    Kudos to the inspirationally named Archimedes Caminero, though, who saw the potential of the game to groan into interminable extra iterations and made short work of it by serving beachballs to Uggla and Gattis in such rapid succession that no sooner were we mired in an extra inning that it was time to go home. No doubt Caminero went downstairs to the team’s hotel bar afterwards and explored the principle that the upward buoyancy exerted by alcohol upon a sinking ego is proportionate to the depths to which the ego has sunk.

    • proudlycanadian - Apr 22, 2014 at 8:15 AM

      Well said!

      • richarddansky - Apr 22, 2014 at 8:27 AM

        “Now who can argue with that? I think we’re all indebted to Gabby Johnson for clearly stating what needed to be said. I’m particularly glad that these lovely children were here today to hear that speech. Not only was it authentic frontier gibberish, it expressed a courage little seen in this day and age.”

      • dirtyharry1971 - Apr 22, 2014 at 8:56 AM

        well said compared to what? it was his typical train wreck of a comment, its pretty obvious he never got attention growing up.

      • unclemosesgreen - Apr 22, 2014 at 9:09 AM

        Good morning Unclean Harold. Well said, for one example, in stark contrast to anything you’ve ever said or written.

      • dirtyharry1971 - Apr 22, 2014 at 9:16 AM

        yea keep drinking gator’s kool aide uncle sheep, the reason he writes the way he does is because of the shock treatments he used to get so at least he has an excuse, what’s yours?

      • unclemosesgreen - Apr 22, 2014 at 9:25 AM

        I’m much more of a goat, Harold. Sheep are easily led, not very bright. Goats are willful, a tad ornery, and don’t take kindly to being led anywhere. I even talk crap to my GPS when she sounds like she’s giving orders.

        While we’re here discussing anthropomorphism, I would have to say that you’re a pig. You wallow in mud and crap, you’re loud shrill and senseless, it’s the epitome of an unclean animal. Anyhow, good luck foraging your meals today, Harold.

      • apkyletexas - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:22 AM

        Pigs are vastly more intelligent than most animals. In lab studies, pigs play video games, use mirrors to find food, have dreams, recognize their own names, and are more trainable than dogs.

        Goats – not so much.

        Just saying. Do you really want to be the animal that chews on tin cans all day, or the animal that can post a high score on Super Mario Brothers?

      • Eutaw's Finest - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:24 AM

        Come on now UMG, calling him a pig is giving bacon a bad name. And everybody loves bacon.

      • spudchukar - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:42 AM

        Sorry guys but you are giving DH way too much credit. Any suggestion that he has evolved to the level of mammalian is foolish. He is a single celled, self-replicating, redundant life form, that exists off of sulfuric acid, decayed feces, and rat phloem.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:45 AM

        The baconormative bias here is ridiculous.

      • groupofsevenrules - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:02 AM

        “Rat phloem.” The American Society of Neologists hereby awards that man a gold star!

      • Old Gator - Apr 22, 2014 at 3:50 PM

        Personally, I don’t eat bacon per se. I buy thin cut slices of pork side, which is, essentially, the same meat from which bacon is cut, but it’s uncured – no sugar, no salt, no nitrites, no MSG. I slice away the skin edge (which I bake crispy as dog treats), dredge it in wholemeal flour mixed with salt, pepper and lots of freshly oven dried rosemary, and fry it on both sides until slightly crispy. Much healthier than all the chemicals in commercially cured bacon, sugar included. You can make it even healthier than that by laying it across a rack over a drip pan and baking it at 450 degrees F until it crisps, letting all the fat drip into the pan below for disposal.

        I think if I were asked to compare poor dim Harry to a superior life form, I would probably say that he most resembles a planarian. It has a fixed, mindless expression which is not even a real expression, and nicely emulates our virtual village idiot’s predictability and tediousness by regenerating into exact duplicates of itself no matter how many bits into which you chop it.

  9. roundballsquarebox24 - Apr 22, 2014 at 8:15 AM

    Man, Jenrry Mejia has some good stuff! And what about that sweet double play by Rubén Tejada and Daniel Murphy!? I love this flood of new, young talent that has been coming into the league these past few years.

  10. metalhead65 - Apr 22, 2014 at 8:26 AM

    I take it you are going to write about Billy Hamilton running from first to third on a come back to the pitcher then scoring on a ball hit to the third baseman in another article today right? wait probably not a stat for that so unlikely but I took care of it for you.

  11. richarddansky - Apr 22, 2014 at 8:29 AM

    FWIW, I believe Fredi said in his post-game presser that the bunt was all Heyward.

    • Francisco (FC) - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:35 AM

      Well, technically speaking, advanced stats say that bunting with the guy on second to move him to third increases the chance of exactly 1 run being scored, since it’s the bottom of the ninth all you care about is getting that 1 run in, you don’t need a big inning of 2 or more runs. From a win probability perspective, it’s the right call more often than not to bunt in THIS specific circumstance.

      That said, you always need to take into account the situation: Carlos Marmol is on the hill (CARLOS MARMOL), Jason Heyward is at the plate (JASON HEYWARD). Righty vs Lefty. A Lefty with Power. In this case throw the book away and let the boy hit!

  12. tolbuck - Apr 22, 2014 at 8:36 AM

    The Tribe’s leader in home runs came over in the Sabathia trade. Just what the Tribe planned all along.

    File under fun with small sample sizes.

    • uwsptke - Apr 22, 2014 at 8:41 AM

      And nobody initially would have thought it would be Brantley, since LaPorta was the “can’t miss” prospect with 40 HR power.

  13. chadjones27 - Apr 22, 2014 at 8:47 AM

    So, how long before the Hardballtalk follow up post about some writer claiming Puig lost this game for them?

  14. irishdodger - Apr 22, 2014 at 8:56 AM

    Good to see Cliff Lee dominating…even though it was vs my Dodgers.

  15. unclemosesgreen - Apr 22, 2014 at 9:11 AM

    Craig, how dare you refer to the White Sox as the “Sox”. How dare you.

  16. wonkypenguin - Apr 22, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    I know you don’t care about my fantasy team, but let it be known that Albert Pujols’ inexplicable stolen base scored against me in two leagues. Also let it be known that Albert Pujols stole a base last night.

    • unclemosesgreen - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:01 AM

      That must have been a busted hit-and-shuffle.

    • spudchukar - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:47 AM

      Albert Pujols has stolen 94 bases over his career, and 47 of them were between 2009-2012, his last injury free years. If he stays healthy, look for him to get at least 5 more in 2014.

  17. goodellisruiningtheleague - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:18 AM

    Nationals aiming for that cellar spot.

    Why is Tyler Clippard still in the majors?

  18. APBA Guy - Apr 22, 2014 at 10:56 AM

    Last night’s A’s/Rangers game was a good example of how close I think the Division race will be again this year. Darvish managed to hang in and turn the game over to the bullpen in good order, despite facing a team that forced him to pitch in the zone. Texas’ lineup, even with Prince, doesn’t scare you as much as it used to, especially with Beltre missing.

    While much has been made of the A’s playing Houston 7 times in 10 games, they also play the Rangers 7 times in the next two weeks. Those games will be more illustrative of what we can expect in the West race this year.

    • stex52 - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:02 AM

      So what, now, playing the Astros seven times? What are you saying? The Astros won’t contend?

      You West Coasters are just so biased. /s

      • spudchukar - Apr 22, 2014 at 11:57 AM

        Yeah, it is so unfair. Know what else troubles me? How many times the phrase “Astros win”, and “blind squirrel” are used in the same post. It is uncanny.

      • stex52 - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:50 PM

        I maintain that they will be better this year. I think ownership has wised up to the fact that you can only tank under the heading “rebuilding” for so many years. And Porter and Luhnow begin to understand that being the hot prospect GM and field manager will only take you so far. There is a renewed interest in some kind of results this year.

        But my over/under is still 100 losses.

  19. renaado - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    Awesome win by the Braves today, even though I somewhat question about the bunt ordered by Fredi there though but still it worked good and also J-Hey will take anything whats best for the team to win, Gattis walk off shot there is freakin epic.

  20. happytwinsfan - Apr 22, 2014 at 12:16 PM

    we’re just about at the 20 game mark and 8 of the 15 american league teams are exactly at 500 or just one game from it. does this mean that baseball is becoming increasingly competitive resulting in team outcomes becoming closer and closer, or is it statistical noise?

    is obama care working?

  21. moogro - Apr 22, 2014 at 1:02 PM

    Cliff Lee was intense, often making the batters seem like they were not ready to hit, and boop, it’s in the glove. Must be some deception going on somehow.
    Maholm was Maholm. Brandon League seems to be a work in progress, kind of like that car that’s been sitting disassembled in the garage for years, but now that UPS has delivered a bunch of expensive parts and one is committed, it’s time to get to work. A little better movement on the pitches, but everything is still hard and downward on the menu, kind of like a Belisario. He’s still vulnerable as hell on his off days when he is up, but there may be some life there if they can keep working on things.

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