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And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

Jul 30, 2014, 7:24 AM EDT

90s

Yankees 12, Rangers 11: This game should be on an episode of “I love the 90s” with play-by-play being done by Hal Sparks and Michael Ian Black. Homers galore, seven RBI from J.P. Arencibia, a seventh inning in which the teams combined for 84 pitches, some bad defense, 22 runs, 27 hits and a running time of nearly four hours. God, I’m surprised any of us survived that era.

Athletics 7, Astros 4:  Houston had a 4-1 lead in the ninth which, statistically speaking, is pretty safe. But as my luddite-leaning friends tell me, statististics don’t play baseball. Three RBI singles and an RBI double in the visitors half of the ninth gave Oakland the win, with Chad Qualls being the recipient of most of the beating. And to top it all off, a foul ball nearly killed the Astros’ social media director.

Dodgers 8, Braves 4: I watched four innings of this. Good: I got some Scully time, watched as the announcement of him coming back for 2015 was made and heard him throw some shade on Dan Uggla (really). Bad: It was a Beckett-Harang matchup, which meant lumbering, deliberate pitching that did not allow me to stay up late enough to catch most of it. Maybe for the best, though, as I didn’t have to witness Matt Kemp‘s second homer and the Dodgers score four unanswered runs. Puig had four hits and the Dodgers have won four straight.

Twins 2, Royals 1: Kyle Gibson only allowed a couple of singles in seven shutout innings. The Royals offense has been frustrating all year, but this was one of their lesser performances. Or, as the Hall of Fame might say, one of their fewer performances.

Cubs 4, Rockies 3: People usually refer to the proceedings which outlawed various war crimes as “The Geneva Convention,” but really it was a series of conventions, agreements and protocols which we refer to collectively. You’ve got your protocol relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts, your protocol relating to the Protection of Victims of Non-International Armed Conflicts, your protocol relating to the Adoption of an Additional Distinctive Emblem, your Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare, your Protocol for the prevention of 16 inning games between two teams you really don’t want to watch in the first place, etc. In any event, the people behind this game should be on trial in The Hague sometime soon. Their only defense is that this atrocity did allow for something positive to occur, and that’s a position player — Cubs catcher John Baker — pitching and getting the win. Six hours and 27 minutes.

Pirates 3, Giants 1: Francisco Liriano struck out 11 and allowed only one run over seven and the Pirates victimized Tim Hudson for two early homers to hand the Giants yet another loss. This combined with the Dodgers win puts the Giants three games back in the West. Somehow, however, the actual deficit seems to understand the difference between where the Giants are and where the Dodgers are.

Padres 3, Cardinals 1: Tyson Ross wasn’t his sharpest, but he won his third straight start, holding St. Louis to one run and four hits in six innings. It helped that the Cardinals defense wasn’t sharp either, committing three errors. Newcomer Yangervis Solarte homered and scored another run.

Rays 5, Brewers 1: Can’t stop the Rays. They won their 11th game in 12 chances with Alex Cobb strikes out 12 and Ben Zobrist homered and doubled. Since their June 11th nadir, the Rays are 29-12. Someone give me more facts with 11s and 12s in them, stat.

Blue Jays 4, Red Sox 2: Marcus Stroman faced the Sox last week and tied ‘em up. He did it again last night. What’s your secret, Marcus? Did you do something special to come to dominate Boston?

“To be honest, no, just execute pitches.”

Such a great command of cliche for such a young man.

White Sox 11, Tigers 4: Jose Abreu homered and drove in four. His homer was his 31st of the year. He also has an 18-game hitting streak and has hit safely in 36 of 37. Detroit played awful defense and newcomer Joakim Soria was pretty terrible. I’m going up to Detroit to see their game on Saturday, so at least they got this stinker out of their system.

Marlins 3, Nationals 0: Henderson Alvarez allowed only three hits but he walked four. Nats never made him pay for it, though. The Marlins did make Jerry Blevins and the Nationals bullpen pay for not pitching well, though. And while I’ll admit I haven’t watched their games closely the past couple of days, based on the names appearing in the box score, it seems like the Nats’ choice of relievers at various points is . . . odd. What say you Nats fans?

Mariners 5, Indians 2: Hisashi Iwakuma was yet another pitcher who tossed seven strong innings last night. But then again, strong innings on the road are what he’s all about lately. Iwakuma is 9-0 with a 2.17 ERA in his last 14 road starts. Asked about it after the game he said he wasn’t aware of that and that he had no secret for his success on the road. Someday he’ll learn to say that he simply “executes pitches.”

Phillies 6, Mets 0: A grand slam for Chase Utley and Cole Hamels cruising for eight innings. It’s the kind of thing which makes Phillies fans pine for ’09, I suspect.

Orioles 7, Angels 6: A walkoff homer for Manny Machado in the 12th. The AP gamer starts out with “The Baltimore Orioles have a knack for winning in extra innings, and it has nothing to do with luck.” Huh. Remember back in 2012 when they won all of those one-run and extra inning games? And everyone said they had a skill for that? And then they didn’t do it in 2013 and everyone realized, hmm, maybe there’s some chance at play there? Nah, me neither. I have no idea what you’re talking about. In any event, if you have a skill at winning games in extra innings, perhaps you should apply that skill earlier in games to save your bullpen? Just a thought!

Reds 3, Diamondbacks 0: Mike Leake pitched shutout ball into the eighth and singled in a run himself. It was Cincy’s second win in 11 games.

  1. miguelcairo - Jul 30, 2014 at 7:27 AM

    You know it’s bad when you knock in 7 runs yourself (Arencibia) and still lose.

  2. papalurchdxb - Jul 30, 2014 at 7:28 AM

    “John Baker helped his own cause by drawing a lead-off walk after pitching a scoreless 16th for the Cubs.” Just imagine how long that game would have lasted if Beckett had been pitching for either team….

  3. DelawarePhilliesFan - Jul 30, 2014 at 7:29 AM

    You suspect right – my first comment was “the type of game that used to be common place”

  4. NatsLady - Jul 30, 2014 at 7:34 AM

    Odd… definitely… “odd.” We Nats fans have other words, but this is a family blog, right?

    • someguyinva - Jul 30, 2014 at 8:28 AM

      Like his predecessor, Matt Williams has an “A” bullpen and a “B” bullpen.

      The A bullpen, used when the Nats are ahead in games and a save situation is likely, is Storen in the 7th, Clippard in the 8th, and Soriano in the 9th. Starters have been going deeper in games lately, so there’s some flexibility, but that’s basically the plan.

      The B bullpen, used when the Nats are behind or there’s no save situation to be had, involves mixing and matching Blevins, Barrett, and Detwiler.

      Stammen is the long relief guy.

      It’s the classic case of using your best relievers only to protect leads, not to keep games close (like last night).

      Blevins being used on Monday night when Soriano got pulled was due to Clippard being unavailable and Storen being burned on facing Stanton, and only Stanton, in the 8th when Detwiler got into a bit of a jam.

      • someguyinva - Jul 30, 2014 at 3:25 PM

        Listening to today’s game on satellite, so Marlins’ announcers.

        Top 9th, Nats up 4-1, and Storen, not Soriano, is warming in the pen for the Nats, and the Marlins’ announcers are wondering out loud if there’s a closer controversy brewing in DC.

    • Old Gator - Jul 30, 2014 at 1:57 PM

      Just a case of Henderson Alvarez stepping up yet again for the Feesh. No matter who the Gnats marched in from the boolpen, they weren’t winning if they didn’t score some runs. The Rainbow Warriors have clawed their way back to the strange attractor – you could hear the muffled bonnnnggggg of their heads hitting its underside just after Cishek, with the blessing and indulgence of that old Yoruba relict trickster Jobu, whiffed Rendon to close out the game. They made it up the Y-axis from eight negative territory in two magical weeks, like the barrel puck on a sledgehammer strength test at the county fair, such was their longing for home – another word for mediocrity, which in this case looks a lot better than the mere wretchedness they displayed nosediving into the allstar break.

      You will note that the Iron Giant found some ways to make himself modestly invaluable last night. That’s what this team needs, more than anything, to achieve the baseball equivalent of bourgeois respectability and hang on to it until feeshing and camping time sets in for the orfseason.

      Glad hand goes for the series clincher tonight.

  5. philliesblow - Jul 30, 2014 at 7:38 AM

    Joakim Soria hadn’t given up a homer all year while pitching in the launching pad in Arlington. Then he gives up back to back last night in the much bigger Comerica. Some things just don’t make sense. He’s making Phil Coke look effective.

    • nbjays - Jul 30, 2014 at 7:48 AM

      Ouch!

    • happytwinsfan - Jul 30, 2014 at 8:51 AM

      As a temporary honorary Tigers fan I should see if I can get the evil magician that we had place a curse on the Tiger bullpen to remove it.

      • historiophiliac - Jul 30, 2014 at 10:15 AM

        Bad twinkie, bad.

      • happytwinsfan - Jul 30, 2014 at 11:23 AM

        Just trying to be helpful. We don’t want the new guy to catch any Phil Coke cooties.

  6. Eutaw's Finest - Jul 30, 2014 at 7:42 AM

    Manny’s firrst career walkoff, and back to back games with a GW RBI in extras (Manny had a sac fly to win it in Seattle on Sunday).

    Also, Ryan Flaherty owes Manny for saving his tail after a routine grounder to Hardy who turned to second and… what? Flaherty sleeping at second? Are you kidding me?! Run scored. Game tied. Went to extras. Burned up bullpen. Thanks jerk.

    • southpaw2k - Jul 30, 2014 at 8:02 AM

      That Flaherty play was a mystery to me as well. I can only guess he was so far off the bag because of the shift for Hamilton, but that’s a stretch. At least Hardy was alert enough that he didn’t toss the ball into mid air and hope the Ghost of Camden’s Past caught it.

    • clydeserra - Jul 30, 2014 at 8:27 AM

      to be fair to Flarety, Hamilton, a lefty, was up with 2 outs. Not a double play situation and he was likely shaded towards first. At least he should have been.

      Sopmething Hardy should have known before the ball was pitched. I think this one is on hardy for not knowing where Flarety was.

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jul 30, 2014 at 8:58 AM

        It’s up to Flaherty to tell Hardy “You are going to first I’m all the way over here and won’t make it”. So no, this one is on Flaherty. O’s fielding coach even went up to Ryan after the inning was was all “What the hell dude?”

      • clydeserra - Jul 30, 2014 at 9:22 AM

        I didn’t see the aftermath. If true, blame the O’s defensive philosophy, not flarety. flarety should be in the hole for a lefty pull hitter with 2 outs. Were they even holding puhols on?

        Still, hardy has to know, its not up to others to tell him where they are.

      • Eutaw's Finest - Jul 30, 2014 at 9:36 AM

        See now I disagree, because if you want that replay Flaherty has about 3 steps on Pujols getting to that bag. He should have been moving regardless. Just like a batter always runs out every hit, a position player needs to run out every play on the field regardless. Flaherty giving up on that ball to me was the equivalent of a shallow fly and the infielder staying put assuming the outfielder has it. Don’t be shocked to see Schoop back in the lineup tonight.

      • nvl004 - Jul 30, 2014 at 9:54 AM

        I felt if Hardy flipped it to Flaherty he catches it steps on the bag still just in time to beat Pujols. But Yes he was later than he should have been. Buck said afterward that Flaherty said he couldn’t get there to Hardy. so maybe it is on Hardy. they won who cares.

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jul 30, 2014 at 8:57 AM

      I defended Flaherty at the beginning of the year, but you know what? I’m done. Get his ass off this team. It’s bad enough he can’t hit his weight, now he can’t even cover a routine ground ball to second blowing the game in the first place? I know Buck is obsessed with him, but we’ve GOT to find another solution.

      Also, the game could have worked out differently if it wasn’t Pujols on first in the top of the 12th when Hamilton crushed that double. Most everyone in the league would have scored on that. Birds got a little lucky.

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jul 30, 2014 at 9:02 AM

        Edit, the ground ball was to short, Flaherty was supposed to cover second. I’m so irritated I can’t even type.

      • dickschofield8291986 - Jul 30, 2014 at 12:07 PM

        A while ago Scoscia said that the problem with the shift is that teams spend very little time practicing conventional team defense and now you’re adding unconventional wrinkles that mess with the players instincts. I thought of that because Hardy fielded and his instincts told him to make the short throw but the coaches had put Flaherty out in short right; Hardy just couldn’t overcome muscle memory.

      • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jul 30, 2014 at 12:10 PM

        Hey, if my rec league softball teams can take 2 seconds to communicate, so can the big boys. It’s really not that hard to say “I’m too far away, you’re going to first.” Flaherty is a player who is only in there for his defensive skills, and if you watch the replay, the issue wasn’t that he was too far away, the issue is that he simply didn’t move toward second. He assumed Hardy was going to first slacked off, and by the time Hardy looked up, it was too late.

    • psuorioles - Jul 30, 2014 at 9:57 AM

      I’m not a Flaherty hater like most O’s fan, but that was inexcusable…. he needs to be there on the bag for Hardy to make the easy play.

  7. proudlycanadian - Jul 30, 2014 at 7:46 AM

    A mixed night for the Rasmus brothers. Pitching for Anaheim, Cory gave up the game winning homer by the Orioles. Colby went 2 for 4 with a homer for the Jays.

    As far as Stroman’s mastery of cliché’s at a young age is concerned, he did go to Duke after all. In his 11 starts, he has a 2.12 era. The short (5 foot 8 inches) rookie is a keeper.

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jul 30, 2014 at 9:05 AM

      Cory had a really bad night. He gave up a 2 out walk to Ryan “Out Machine” Flaherty followed by a single (On a EXTREME doubles prevent defense to Hundley.) He got lucky that Markakis crushed one down the line that Pujols was able to come up with otherwise the game would have been over sooner. He followed that up by hanging his fourth consecutive breaking ball to Manny Machado who promptly deposited it into the left field seats.

  8. nbjays - Jul 30, 2014 at 7:48 AM

    A nice win by the Jays last night, ensuring their 4th series win since the break. Good thing, too, because the Rays, Yankees and Orioles just keep rolling along. Stroman was his usual self, baffling the Sox hitters. Good chance at the sweep tonight, with the about-to-be-traded-maybe-or-maybe-not Lester scratched in favour of Brandon Workman. Mark Buehrle, the Anti-Beckett, takes the hill for the Jays, ensuring a quicker game at least.

    • Eutaw's Finest - Jul 30, 2014 at 9:38 AM

      In terms of W-L, the AL East is hands down the hottest division in baseball since the break. And this is after everybody deemed them the weakest division in baseball this year. Boston aside, the Orioles, Rays, Jays and Yanks are cruising.

  9. historiophiliac - Jul 30, 2014 at 8:19 AM

    And this happened:

    http://m.espn.go.com/general/blogs/blogpost?blogname=4152896&id=11283065&src=desktop&rand=ref~%7B%22ref%22%3A%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2F%22%7D

    • philliesblow - Jul 30, 2014 at 9:44 AM

      Story about this in the Freep. Cool that he donated money to help refurbish a local field.

      http://www.freep.com/article/20140729/SPORTS02/307290226/jack-white-first-pitch-tigers-detroit

      • historiophiliac - Jul 30, 2014 at 9:51 AM

        Very cool — also wearing the Negro leagues jersey. I used the ESPN link because I wanted to show that Jack White *SMILED* in Detroit. :) I had to check my Bible to see if a smiling Jack White throwing the first pitch to Santa Claus was a sign of the end times.

      • moogro - Jul 30, 2014 at 8:53 PM

        I love his White make-up for the extra pale look.

    • DelawarePhilliesFan - Jul 30, 2014 at 9:54 AM

      said it once before, but it bears repeating

      • historiophiliac - Jul 30, 2014 at 10:29 AM

        when I say nothing, I say everything

      • Old Gator - Jul 30, 2014 at 1:45 PM

        Not like any woman I’ve ever come across before.

  10. uyf1950 - Jul 30, 2014 at 8:19 AM

    If there is such a thing as an ugly win the Yankees win the prize. That was probably one of the ugliest yet. I’m glad they won don’t get me wrong. But when your teams best relief appearance is by Chase Whitley who gave up 1 ER in one innings you know it was ugly.

    • nbjays - Jul 30, 2014 at 8:31 AM

      I didn’t watch the end of it, went to bed when it was 10-4 Yanks in the middle of the 7th thinking “The Yankees have this one well in hand.” Apparently not.

  11. JB (the original) - Jul 30, 2014 at 8:28 AM

    Wow, no references to the blown(?) replay call in the Twins’ game?

    http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/news/article/min/twins-lose-challenge-on-royals-alex-gordons-diving-catch-ron-gardenhire-gets-ejected?ymd=20140729&content_id=86943488

    • clydeserra - Jul 30, 2014 at 8:43 AM

      I don’t know about blown. Inconclusive. The ball didn’t look like it moved in the web. I could see it go either way, so the call on the field would have to stand.

  12. clydeserra - Jul 30, 2014 at 8:36 AM

    in a span of 10 minutes, the AL west went from a half game race to two and a half.

    The A;s were trailing 4-1 in the 9th with an out and the Angels had 2nd and third in the top of the 11th. then Callaspo hit a pinch single (A’s are batting something like 360 as pinch hitters this year) 4-3 Astros. Baltimore got out of the jam. Jaso Grounded into a force 4-3 astros 2 out. Walk to Lowrie. Machado HR 7-6 O’s, Within seconds Cespedes single 4-4. Pitching change, Moss Single 5-4 A’s. Pitching change double, fly out.

    1-2-3 Bottom of 9th. remarkable.

  13. thelongestgoodbye - Jul 30, 2014 at 8:38 AM

    I dont want to hear from anyone anymore that this is a “down year” for the AL East. Just because it’s not Boston and NY, this is a ridiculously tough division and the numbers prove that.

    Every night is interesting and every team, not named Boston, seems to be winning every night.

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Jul 30, 2014 at 9:07 AM

      We over here in the East have learned that the media only gives a crap about Boston and New York. There was a piece on ESPN not too long ago discussing who would win the East. The first place Baltimore Orioles weren’t even mentioned.

      • sportsdrenched - Jul 30, 2014 at 12:32 PM

        I haven’t watched ESPN in two years and I’m a better person and sports fan because of it.

  14. dsaverno - Jul 30, 2014 at 8:41 AM

    More baseball is always a good thing, but this second wildcard is keeping teams that otherwise would be sellers to hang onto players that should be on the move. As an Indians fan, I realize that they could sneak into the 2nd wildcard with a finish like they had last year (I know, doubtful), but I would rather see them take a flyer on a mid-level prospect or two for Cabrera and Masterson, Neither is in the long-term plans of the club, and neither is good enough to guarantee that they wouldn’t accept a one-year qualifying offer. The team is in danger of losing both in the off-season for nothing.

  15. aceshigh11 - Jul 30, 2014 at 9:14 AM

    Shades of the legendary 2008 game between the Red Sox and Rangers, where the Sox won 19-17:

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080813&content_id=3300396&vkey=news_bos&fext=.jsp&c_id=bos

    I think NESN called it the “Texas Tornado” when they played it on repeat. I’d love to re-watch that game.

  16. penguins87and71 - Jul 30, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    Look who’s in second place in the NL Central, it’s the Pittsburgh Pirates, 1 game back of the Milwaukee Brewers, and in the second wild card spot. This Pirates team is a really special team in my opinion, to comeback from such a big hole in April to now being in the thick of it is unbelievable. This is one of the most mentally strong teams I have seen in a long time.

  17. dluxxx - Jul 30, 2014 at 9:58 AM

    Twins Win!!!! Twins Win!!!

    I don’t get to type that very often, so I’ll just say that and slowly walk away…

    • historiophiliac - Jul 30, 2014 at 10:00 AM

      Don’t walk away. Roll around in it a little.

  18. nvl004 - Jul 30, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    Craig, it’s ok if the O’s are a little better than some in extra inning games. I would attribute it to having good bullpen play, which they certainly had in 2012 and have had most of this year. Makes a lot more sense than saying they were luckier than the other team.

  19. theravenmaniac - Jul 30, 2014 at 10:22 AM

    No credit for the O’s dominating the Angels this year? I miss the good old days where people held onto their two cents for a rainy day.

    • proudlycanadian - Jul 30, 2014 at 10:52 AM

      Why do I suspect that you are a fan of the book “The Story Of O”?

  20. doctorofsmuganomics - Jul 30, 2014 at 11:18 AM

    Soria is really working out for the tigers.

    this is totally not sarcasm.

  21. APBA Guy - Jul 30, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    There was something in the air in Houston last night, other than the usual hydrocarbon particulates. Every pitcher seemed unable to keep the ball down, starting with Sam, who at least had the good grace to go 6 and 2/3 and give Melvin some bullpen flexibility.

    Chad Qualls, on the other hand, seemed like he was throwing magnets at a target square in the center of the strike zone. I’ve seen many a batting practice pitcher who could not repeat his pitches middle-middle the way Qualls did. After waiting too long to pull Qualls, Porter brought in Tony Sipp, who looked like he was totally out of gas the night before, and he did what you’d expect, giving up a Moss rocket that put the A’s ahead. After that, the pitching change to Veras and the inevitable Donaldson double up the hill in center seemed foregone.

    Still, the A’s were very lucky. Falling behind 4-1 going into the 9th, you aren’t going to win many of those. But A’s fans will certainly take it.

    Today, we will all be praying to the gods of baseball (in my case, that would be Jobu, who I have on good authority prefers California red wine to rum) that the Angels do not acquire a front-line starter.

    • daveitsgood - Jul 30, 2014 at 12:30 PM

      Hey – Everybody knows that the A’s are a second half team!

    • Old Gator - Jul 30, 2014 at 1:48 PM

      Incredibly enough, what’s in the groundwater in Huston makes what’s in the air look like the pure mountain atmosphere of Shangri-La. Wander south a bit from the San Jacinto monument some time, for example, and ogle the swamp of dead trees, which have taken up so much pollution from the runoff from the vinyl flooring factor adjacent to it that the beetles and termites die of cancer before they can bring down dinner.

  22. sportsdrenched - Jul 30, 2014 at 12:33 PM

    All I have to say is playoff teams don’t lose to the last place team in their division with their Big Game Ace starting…at home.

  23. timpaz - Jul 30, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    How can Chad Qualls still be in the majors????

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