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And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

Aug 5, 2014, 6:38 AM EST

Screen Shot 2014-08-05 at 6.36.56 AM Getty Images

Angels 5, Dodgers 0: You don’t hear about this much nationally or anything, but I’ve done some radio in Los Angeles lately and they’ve been asking me about a possible Freeway Series. Like, Freeway World Series, not just this interleague matchup in midseason. It’s probably a fair question to ask. The Angels have gotten less ink than just about any legit contender this year. But they keep winning and stand one game back of Oakland for the division lead and the best record in baseball. And here they are taking it to their would-be Freeway Series foes. Garrett Richards tossed a five-hit shutout, striking out nine and flashing a 98 m.p.h. heater. Trout and Pujols both had RBI doubles in a four-run first. Watch out for Anaheim, dudes.

Indians 7, Reds 1: The Battle of Ohio. The loser of which has to stay in Ohio, I assume. Corey Kluber follows up his dominant outing from last week with another dominant outing, allowing one run while pitching into the eighth inning. Lonnie Chisenhall drove in three and Michael Brantley two.

Orioles 7, Nationals 3: The Battle of the Baltimore-D.C. Area. The loser of which has to, I dunno, keeps their team owner. This wasn’t really a battle anyway. It was a makeup game from a July 8 rainout. Why it was played at night when the Orioles have a game today in another city is the kind of question I’d be asking if I was the Orioles’ shop steward, by the way, but no one listens to me. Anyway, Baltimore rallied in the seventh and added a couple of insurance runs in the eighth. Caleb Joseph homered and drove in three runs while J.J. Hardy had four hits.

Giants 4, Mets 3: Last game of a wraparound series, but at least people had the sense to schedule it for the afternoon. Pablo Sandoval drove in three runs on three hits, capped by the go-ahead double with two outs in the ninth inning. Sandoval is on fire, having gone 32 for 93 over his past 23 games and hitting .500 in with runners in scoring position over his last 25 at bats in that situation.

Yankees 2, Tigers 1: Brandon McCarthy continues his roll in New York, allowing only an unearned run into the sixth inning. Four Yankees relievers took it the rest of the way home. Great timing for McCarthy’s surge, by the way. Not only has it been a lifeline to a Yankees team in the wild card race, but it may be making McCarthy a boatload of cash. He’s a free agent after this season and this is serving as a nice audition for a Yankees team with rotation uncertainty. Or, for that matter, any other number of teams which often ask of free agent pitchers “can they handle the AL East?”

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $100,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Tuesday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $10,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on TuesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Athletics 3, Rays 2: Derek Norris with the walkoff single in the 10th with the bases juiced against Grant Balfour. Who may have been agitated from a previous ball called against Josh Donaldson that led to a Joe Maddon argument and ejection. Balfour said after the game that he felt like he had to get “five outs.” Welp, maybe. But go get them then. In other news, a possum wandered out on to the field during the 10th inning. Which, OK, squirrels and bunnies and the occasional cat is cute. But possums are gross and disgusting. No word on whether the A’s call him “bitey.”

White Sox 5, Rangers 3: Tyler Flowers homered and tripled. The triple was almost a homer, bouncing off the top of the wall. He should probably cherish that more. He may hit two homers in a game again at some point, but triples for a catcher are rare things. That was only his second in his career. This one was shortened by rain. Anything to reduce the amount of Rangers baseball this year is welcome, however.

  1. Eutaw's Finest - Aug 5, 2014 at 6:43 AM

    “The Battle of the Baltimore-D.C. Area.”

    CC- Just a minor Snapple Fact: it’s locally referred to as the Battle of the Beltways and the winner takes the MASN Cup. The Orioles have taken the series in the last 3 years now.

    • alangyo - Aug 5, 2014 at 8:17 AM

      Also, as an O’s fan, i’m pretty sure I’d take the Nats owners. Just saying…

      • dlgdc - Aug 5, 2014 at 8:36 AM

        To me most of them seem like jerks. Angelos just has a longer public history of being a jerk. Lerner’s reputation isn’t exactly stellar. If we had to only root for teams with nice, likeable owners I suspect we probably wouldn’t have too many options.

      • nvl004 - Aug 5, 2014 at 8:59 AM

        I don’t mind Angelos.

      • Old Gator - Aug 5, 2014 at 11:11 AM

        Tiggers blew it. They could have had Steve Cishek from the Feesh in return for Miggy and Scherzer, assuming they were willing to pick up 95% of the salaries of both. Mark my words: this is gonna come back to haunt them, especially since they built Comerica Park on a Kickapoo burial ground.

  2. uyf1950 - Aug 5, 2014 at 7:10 AM

    As opposed to the Yankees/Red Sox series which could hardly be described as a pitchers duel this first game against the Tigers was exactly that. Scherzer for the Tigers pitched very well as I’m sure everyone believed he would. The the Yankees pitchers from the first pitch thrown by McCarthy to the last pitch thrown by Robertson pitched just a little bit better which I think most fans would not have expected.

    Now if the Yankees can just keep it going one game at a time against the AL Central division leading Tigers. Go Yankees

    • unclemosesgreen - Aug 5, 2014 at 7:49 AM

      That makes five good starts in a row by McCarthy, and the Yanks did a good job making Scherzer work hard and pitch from the stretch a lot. Even though he only gave up 2 runs it seemed like he was on the edge of trouble all night.

      The Tiggers have a serious problem – their starters have to go nine innings to win. As great as their starting rotation now appears, that’s how bad their bullpen seems. That is a major flaw for a team with designs on a World Series.

      • philliesblow - Aug 5, 2014 at 8:17 AM

        Except that last night Max gave up both runs (and it would have been more if not for Ezequiel Carrera’s entry for Catch of the Year) and the bullpen (Phil Freakin’ Coke?!) didn’t allow any.

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 5, 2014 at 8:30 AM

        Bad bullpens have a way of coming up big when it doesn’t matter at all.

      • philliesblow - Aug 5, 2014 at 9:31 AM

        I agree that the Tiger’s bullpen has issues, but to say that coming in when behind by just one run and not letting the deficit get bigger is “coming up big when it doesn’t matter” is a little off base.

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 5, 2014 at 9:38 AM

        Phil Coke coming in to pitch the bottom of the 8th in game they were losing 2-1 is the very essence of a low-leverage situation. The fact that it is percentage points higher leverage than a true mop-up situation doesn’t change the fact that it is still low-leverage.

      • Old Gator - Aug 5, 2014 at 11:14 AM

        The Tiggers blew it. They could have had Steve Cishek from the Feesh in return for Miggy and Scherzer, assuming they were willing to pick up 95% of the salaries of both. Mark my words: this is gonna come back to haunt them, especially since they built Comerica Park on a Kickapoo burial ground.

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 5, 2014 at 11:41 AM

        Or they could have re-signed Dr. Benway for a mere $12 million over 2 years. Ah well. Regrets…

      • Old Gator - Aug 5, 2014 at 11:57 AM

        What a crock of Mugwump jism.

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 5, 2014 at 12:47 PM

        You sound like you could use a month at Doc’s Reconditioning Clinic in the Republic of Freeland.

  3. kiwicricket - Aug 5, 2014 at 7:16 AM

    Where is Randall Simon and his bat when you need him? Single biggest threat to NZ forests.
    There are about 30 million possums in NZ- that’s about 7 per person… munch through around 9,000 tonnes of leaves, berries and fruit every night.
    Often infected with rabies and TB. (The possums, not the locals)
    (well..possibly 50/50 in some rural regions)
    Their fur makes outstanding socks btw

    Don’t say I never warned you people…

    • unclemosesgreen - Aug 5, 2014 at 7:38 AM

      You’re acting like possums are all serious, we know they’re just playing.

    • janessa31888 - Aug 5, 2014 at 8:31 AM

      I was milking our goats one evening when I glanced over and saw a possum eating out of our barn cats feed dish. I was kind of half fascinated, half horrified, thinking of all the awful diseases it might be carrying. Thankfully it scampered away and didn’t come back.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 5, 2014 at 10:23 AM

        I’m sorry. Did you say “milking goats”???

      • Old Gator - Aug 5, 2014 at 11:58 AM

        Maybe you ought to sterilize the dish then, Janessa. One of these days a baby is going to eat from it. Then what will you do?

    • stex52 - Aug 5, 2014 at 8:31 AM

      That’s what happens when you let a lot of marsupials hang around your place. Right, Kiwi? In east Texas we have more foliage than we know what to do with. But the little buggers are still pretty annoying.

    • stlouis1baseball - Aug 5, 2014 at 9:47 AM

      So it is safe to assume opossum season in New Zealand is year year round?
      Nasty, nasty creatures. I have struggled to find anything they are good for.
      Eating roadkill perhaps?

      • Old Gator - Aug 5, 2014 at 12:04 PM

        Possums are a plague in New Zealand. They’re an invasive species and horrifyingly destructive to the environment. They have no predators, either. New Zealand is desperate for a solution to them.

        I humbly suggest Burmese pythons….

    • stex52 - Aug 5, 2014 at 10:11 AM

      That’s a very anthropocentric view, SLB. They don’t have to be good for anything. They are just an evolutionary success. In fact they are likely to be here when we kill ourselves off.

      • Old Gator - Aug 5, 2014 at 12:05 PM

        Yes. Even in the midst of ecological apocalypse, it pays to have deep pockets.

        Get it? Deep pockets. Marsupial….

        Oh, never mind.

      • stex52 - Aug 5, 2014 at 12:27 PM

        I suppose we could make the pythons work, OG. I’ll bet you know where they can find some. And it’s not as if they haven’t wiped out all of their ground dwelling bird species, anyway.

  4. jarathen - Aug 5, 2014 at 7:16 AM

    There was some fun ribbing in the Angels/Dodgers matchup. Early on Puig almost doubled Aybar off of first and then ave him the Mutombo for daring to stray off of first during a flyout.

    Later on Hamilton flied out to center and Puig took it slow, so that fleetest of foot, Albert Pujols, tagged up and took second base on Yasiel before strutting around to mock the Dodgers’ phenom.

    The preseason Freeway Series used to be good times, sure, but as an Angels fan, the in-season games are kind of a big deal. And it’s super fun.

    • bfunk1978 - Aug 5, 2014 at 9:11 AM

      I loved it. Here’s the video.

      http://atmlb.com/1uirpew

  5. ptfu - Aug 5, 2014 at 7:19 AM

    Not even the possum wants to live inside Oakland’s Coliseum!

    And I think a possum is a great mascot for that place. No matter how gross & disgusting, it’s not as dead as it looks. The Possum Coliseum seems to have bamboozled Bud Selig’s Blue Ribbon Panel…

  6. skipbaylesslovesmen - Aug 5, 2014 at 7:37 AM

    The nationals refused to play the game during the day. It’s a little disappointing you brush this game off between 2 first place teams as no big deal. To hell with LA; beltway series is more likely anyway.

    • unclemosesgreen - Aug 5, 2014 at 7:39 AM

      Great moments in regional inadequacy syndrome …

    • clydeserra - Aug 5, 2014 at 10:51 AM

      more likely how? Both the Angels and dodgers have better records relative to their league than Wash or Bal.

      it seems like shorter odds on the freeway series.

  7. beefytrout - Aug 5, 2014 at 7:45 AM

    nice dig at the Rangers.

    • stex52 - Aug 5, 2014 at 8:13 AM

      As a Gulf Coast resident, I confess I’m usually not just overflowing with sympathy for the Metroplex. But Rangers’ fans deserved better than they have gotten this year. It’s been an amazing train wreck.

  8. VIVIMETALIUM - Aug 5, 2014 at 7:51 AM

    Reblogged this on VIVIMETALIUN.

  9. janessa31888 - Aug 5, 2014 at 8:38 AM

    Corey Kluber does it again, with support from Lonnie Baseball, Dr. Smooth, and Yan (it’s GONE!!!) Gomes. Is Craig insinuating that only losers live in Ohio? If so, I’m proud to be one.

    • philliesblow - Aug 5, 2014 at 9:14 AM

      Doesn’t Craig live in Ohio?

      • janessa31888 - Aug 5, 2014 at 9:42 AM

        Yeah, but he doesn’t have to make the rest of us out to be losers. I happen to like my state.

      • stex52 - Aug 5, 2014 at 12:29 PM

        You’d love Stephen Colbert. He pointed out to an Ohio congresswoman that Ohio had more astronauts than any other state. He then asked what it was about Ohio that made people want to leave the face of the earth.

    • unclemosesgreen - Aug 5, 2014 at 9:49 AM

      Well Janessa, that’s the real problem with carpetbaggers, isn’t it. Never put faith in a man who grew up in West Virginia, moved to Ohio and roots for the Braves. That’s right up there with “Never start a land war in Asia.”

      • Craig Calcaterra - Aug 5, 2014 at 11:05 AM

        I’ve actually lived in Ohio twice as long as I’ve lived anyplace else. 20 of the past 23 years and 16 years in a row. I just . . . can’t claim it for some reason.

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 5, 2014 at 11:38 AM

        Not a Mountaneer, not a Buckeye. Just ‘Murican.

  10. 14thinningstretch - Aug 5, 2014 at 8:40 AM

    The Nats game featured a couple absolutely baffling managing decisions:

    – Bottom 6th, 1st and 3rd, two out, ahead 3-2: Matt Williams let starter Tanner Roark hit for himself despite a) being ahead only one run and b) looking kind of gassed the previous inning.

    – Top 7th: All kinds of things. Roark stayed in long enough to give up two doubles, a single, and the lead. So, guy on first, down by one, one out in the seventh, who do you bring in? Surely either Drew Storen or Tyler Clippard, who have been lights out? Nope, long man Ross Detwiler, who gives up a hit. Williams goes out and gets him after one batter and replaces him with Craig Stammen, who gets left in to rot, giving up six hits in one inning. Storen, Clippard, and Rafael Soriano, the Nats’ best relievers, never even warmed up.

    • NatsLady - Aug 5, 2014 at 8:51 AM

      100% agree. I was listening on the radio and got home in time to see Roark hit for himself. WHAT!!! Only two web gems had saved him from a blowout in the first place, he was not sharp, balls were flying on a warm evening. And Matty’s choice of reliever??? If you want to get one lefty, bring in the LOOGY (Blevins). Why are you bringing in Detwiler, especially since the game could go extras?

      Further, why don’t you use Storen/Clip/Sori when you have a lead??? You may not have one tomorrow when Gio is up–the most inconsistent of the starters–and you may need the long relievers because I’m still not sure Gio’s recovered from his shoulder problems. So yeah, use the long guys when you need to protect a lead (or keep it close) in the late innings. Makes NO SENSE. Stammen and Blevins are surely not available, and to my knowlege Detwiler hasn’t pitched two days in a row. So if you need long relief I guess it’s Treinen…

      I was just baffled by his management. Apparently in the postgame he didn’t say, “OK, I made a decision that didn’t work out, I’ll make a better one tomorrow.” That’s what we demand that Soriano say when he blows a save. Take some “responsibility,” Matty, this one’s on you.

      (Well, and on the bullpen and the hitters leaving 1,000 guys on base in the early innings).

    • unclemosesgreen - Aug 5, 2014 at 9:34 AM

      It seems an odd and frustrating series of decisions. It really makes me think that Storen is hurting. He hasn’t pitched since 7/30 when he got a 27 pitch, runners on base and 2 runs allowed save. If Storen is right, I guarantee Williams goes to a pinch hitter for Roark in the bottom of the sixth and the pen is lined up Storen-to-Clippard-to-Soriano.

  11. Paper Lions - Aug 5, 2014 at 8:47 AM

    I love to get on the umps as much as the next guy/gal, but I find that more often than not, when I check the actual pitch location data (and not the approximations shown on TV, which often are highly inaccurate if they are not calibrated for camera locations), the umps calls were right….ignoring the “lefty strike”, which is pretty much a given at this point.

    Here are the pitch locations for the Donaldson PA:http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/cache/location.php-pitchSel=346797&game=gid_2014_08_04_tbamlb_oakmlb_1&batterX=87&innings=yyyyyyyyy&sp_type=1&s_type=3&league=mlb&cache=1.gif

    If anyone should complain, it should be Donaldson. Balfour threw one pitch in the zone to him, getting two called strikes on pitches that were just outside, but those are close pitches. Balfour didn’t throw a single strike last night that was called a ball.

    • unclemosesgreen - Aug 5, 2014 at 8:56 AM

      I’ve also noticed that those tv strike zones can be screwy. For NESN, home of the Boston Red Sox, the tv pitch zone seems worse for road games than home games. Calibration.

  12. girardisbraces - Aug 5, 2014 at 8:55 AM

    Yankees played in their 15th straight game decided by two runs or less (longest streak in the majors since ’75, according to Elias.)

    No Bronx Bombers-style wins to be had. Smoke and mirrors, I tell ya….

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 5, 2014 at 11:38 AM

      They all look the same in the standings.

  13. nvl004 - Aug 5, 2014 at 9:12 AM

    The Orioles now have the 3rd best winning percentage in all of MLB.

  14. kastout11 - Aug 5, 2014 at 9:32 AM

    In my opinion, Kluber is the best pitcher in the American League, with maybe Scherzer being the lone exception.

    • unclemosesgreen - Aug 5, 2014 at 9:53 AM

      My fake AL Cy Young ballot right now

      1) Felix Hernandez
      2) David Price
      3) Corey Kluber
      4) Chris Sale
      5) Yu Darvish
      6) Jon Lester
      7) Max Scherzer

    • jarathen - Aug 5, 2014 at 9:54 AM

      Kluber has been very, very good. I still think King Felix is the class of the AL,with Sale behind him, but there’s a bunch of real good guys just behind them: Kluber, Scherzer, Richards, etc.

  15. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Aug 5, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    Opossum.

  16. phillysports1 - Aug 5, 2014 at 12:14 PM

    If Cuth and Tulo miss time, who do we have for NL MVP ?

  17. thegreatstoneface - Aug 5, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    they shortened tyler flowers’ second career triple due to rain. interesting…

    • unclemosesgreen - Aug 5, 2014 at 12:55 PM

      That’s just how long it takes Flowers to get to 3rd base.

  18. sisqsage - Aug 5, 2014 at 2:10 PM

    With their payroll, this is how the Angels are supposed to be playing.

  19. APBA Guy - Aug 5, 2014 at 2:17 PM

    Wildlife are no strangers to the Oakland Mausoleum, just look at the Raiders fans…

    But seriously, folks. The A’s had the bases loaded in both of the first two innings and failed to score. Cobb made some decent pitches but mainly it was A’s hitters overswinging. Longoria’s blast was on a Sam miss that was middle-middle. That ball deserved, if anything, to go a lot further than it did. An in-game graphic showed that Sam has been up on over 40% of his fastballs, which in large part accounts for his increase of over 1 run per game in ERA since he arrived in the pitcher’s paradise that is Oakland.

    But somehow he persevered and left the game with a very respectable 2 ER in 7 IP. After that it was the A’s bullpen and the breakthrough, at last, with the bases loaded in the 10th. Rays pitchers walked 9 last night. Hard to win like that.

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