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And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

Aug 6, 2014, 7:07 AM EST

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 7.07.05 AM Getty Images

Tigers 4, Yankees 3: David Price didn’t get the decision in his Tigers debut but he pitched just fine, thank you. Eight and two-thirds innings, three runs ten strikeouts and no walks. Alex Avila had an RBI single off of Hiroki Kuroda n the seventh to force extras and then smacked the go-ahead and, eventually, game-winning homer in the top of the 12th. Joba Chamberlain pitched and retired all four batters he faced, but he was booed like crazy by Yankees fans. Which I totally get. I mean, he had the nerve to have his career in New York screwed up by injury, by the Yankees taking three years to figure out a role for him and by being far too overhyped and then over-criticized by the New York press. How dare he?

Reds 9, Indians 2:  This was . . . odd. The Indians were starting a little rally in the seventh on an RBI double by Yan Gomes that sent baserunner David Murphy toward third. Murphy tried to score when he saw the ball rolling on the field but it turned out it was merely a ball, not the ball. Specifically a ball that had gotten loose from the Reds bullpen, fooling Murphy into thinking it was the ball in play. Meanwhile, the ball in play was relayed to third where Murphy was tagged out. Not sure why the umpires didn’t call the play dead once the second ball came onto the field or why they didn’t use their handy-dandy replay in order to set this right, but they didn’t. Terry Francona’s comments after the game suggest that he did not have too big an issue with all of this so if he’s not mad I guess we shouldn’t be. But still: bizarre.

Rangers 16, White Sox 0: Adam Dunn pitched. ADAM DUNN PITCHED. That’s all you really gotta know, dudes. Robinson Chirinos homered twice, J.P. Arencibia drove in four and Colby Lewis pitched a six-hitter. He coulda pitched a six runner and been fine. Maybe the most amazing part of this was that a sixteen-run game with position players pitching took less than three hours.

Cubs 6, Rockies 5: Welcome to the big leagues, Javier Baez! He hit the go-ahead homer in the top of the 12th that proved to be the game winner. Before that he struck out in three of his five at bats, but no one will remember that. Heck, given where the Cubs and Rockies are in the standings, no one will remember anything about this game other than the Baez bomb.

Orioles 9, Blue Jays 3Chris DavisCaleb Joseph and Jonathan Schoop all homered for the O’s and afterward O’s pitcher Bud Norris called it a “big statement game.” Whatever. As O’s manager Earl Weaver once said, “we do this every day.” There are 162 of these things, man. None of them are ever really statements.

Twins 3, Padres 1: Kennys Vargas — which is also the proper plural form for when there are mutiple men named “Kenny Vargas” around — hit a three-run homer in the sixth which is all the Twins needed.

Phillies 2, Astros 1: This one took 15 innings but ended on a Ryan Howard RBI single. He had some incentive to do some damage too, as they walked Chase Utley to get to him. I mean, I know he’s not what he used to be, but Ryan Howard still has some pride, dammit, and he made ‘em pay.

Marlins 6, Pirates 3: A five-run eighth inning rally which featured a based loaded walk to Marcell Ozuna, who drove in two on the night. Tough for Charlie Morton who pitched seven sharp innings allowing only one run before having to witness his bullpen cough it all back up.

Brewers 4, Giants 3: This one ended on an overturned 4-3 play n which the Giants runner was originally called safe. After the game Bruce Bochy grumbled about the call, saying that he wasn’t sure how what he saw on the video could be called “conclusive.” Oh wells. Gerardo Parra had a nice game, with a go-ahead homer in the seventh and a sweet catch on a foul ball that was slicing away from him in the eighth.

Cardinals 3, Red Sox 2: Jon Jay hit an RBI single with two outs in the eighth inning to break the tie and put the Cards up for good. The rally that inning was started by recent Red Sox and current Cards catcher A.J. Pierzynski, how smacked a two-out hit. The Cards have won three and a row and four of five. The Sox have lost three straight. The World Series was a long time ago.

Mets 6, Nationals 1: Zack Wheeler started didn’t have his best stuff and started slowly but got on track and ended up winning his fourth straight. He’s now 4-0 with a 1.59 ERA in his last seven appearances.

Athletics 3, Rays 0: Jason Hammel had lost four straight starts and had an ERA pushing ten since coming to Oakland from Chicago and had even been subject to trade and/or waiver rumors, but he tossed five and two-thirds shutout innings here. Drew Smyly was not so effective in his Rays debut, allowing three over five and a third. Coco Crisp had an RBI single in his first start in a week and a half.

Royals 12, Diamondbacks 2Billy Butler had a three-run homer and had four hits and Nori Aoki hit a grand slam, giving Danny Duffy all the run support he needed. Wade Miley was forced to wear this one a good while before coming out, having given up ten runs.

Mariners 4, Braves 2: Ho-hum, the Braves lose again. It’s cool, I wasn’t too invested in having strong personal emotions about baseball this October anyway. To be honest, I wasn’t all that invested in the Braves winning this one either given that they had to face Felix Hernandez. The King struck out eight over eight innings allowing one run. He has now made 15 straight starts in which he has gone at least seven innings and allowed two runs or fewer, which a record. Speaking of records, his is now 12-3, which projects out to 17-4. Which for him is insane. Just give him the Cy Young now and save all the waiting.

Dodgers 5, Angels 4: Clayton Kershaw was human — he gave up three runs over seven innings and walked a couple dudes — but the Dodgers prevailed thanks to an errant David Freese throw to the plate in the ninth which allowed Juan Uribe to score the winning run. If Freese’s throw is on target he probably gets Uribe too. It just took Chris Ianetta out of position too far to handle it, let alone snag it and make the tag.

  1. largebill - Aug 6, 2014 at 7:16 AM

    Don’t understand Francona not fighting over the dead ball stuff. Also, looked like the Reds SS called for time before throwing over to third to get Murphy. Not saying Tribe would have won, but that mess clearly ended what was looking to be a big inning.

    • blacksables - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:15 AM

      It’s not a deadball situation. It has to be played to conclusion.

      Says so right in the rule book.

    • dsaverno - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:32 AM

      The Reds SS did raise his arms, but the umpire did not signal for a dead ball situation. I watched the Indians broadcast last night and was floored by the fact that the announcers never mentioned the third base coach. In a weird situation like that, isn’t it his job to say, “hey, stay on the base, there are two baseballs on the field.” He had to see the relay throw in determining whether or not to send the runner, and he probably saw the errant bullpen throw out of the corner of his eye.

      And the ferret above is wrong. Dead ball situations happen all the time once an infielder has the ball after a play. Look at pretty much any stolen base attempt as an example.

      • blacksables - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:20 AM

        Why are calling largebill a ferret?

        That’s not a dead ball situation. It’s the umpires calling time at the completion of the play.

        Before you start to insult people, learn something (anything) about the game.

        http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/official_info/official_rules/official_rules.jsp

        You don’t have a clue what you are talking about.

      • dsaverno - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:34 AM

        crotchety, rude, know-it-all, set in ways, always gets the last word, and holier-than-thou. Pretty much my biggest pet peeves. I do not agree with you. I believe you, sir (or madam), are incorrect in your opinion. Since no opinions will change by continuing this exchange, see ya.

        And you are the ferret. Sable is a dark-coated animal valued for its pelt. The name has evolved to mean any small dark or black furred animal; hence, ferret. You know, kind of like ‘beaning’ has evolved to mean any intentional HBP.

      • blacksables - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:01 AM

        I provided the link to the rule book. It’s not my opinion.

        You don’t know the rules, make them up to suit yourself, get provided the source material, and then insult someone else for your own ignorance.

        It boggles the mind.

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 6, 2014 at 11:02 AM

        Beaning = hit on the head. It means that and that only. When the term was coined in the 1950’s, “bean” was common slang for head. As in – “Great idea – that’s really using the old bean!”

        Y’all can scuffle about anything else but that’s a fact.

  2. NatsLady - Aug 6, 2014 at 7:19 AM

    The only thing keeping the Nats in first place is the Barves. Nats scored their only run on three walks and a wild pitch. They would have scored at least one more had not Jose Lobaton’s grounder hit Asdrubal Cabrera on the basepath. They would have scored more had Jayson Werth hit into a double play, and Bryce Harper gone 0 for 4, etc. etc. etc. Gio gave up a couple early but settled down and kept them in the game (2-1) until the 7th. Storen came in, hit a guy, Cabrera muffed a possible double play ball, not even getting one out, and eventually it was 5-1. No late-inning rally as there had been so often earlier in the season. Thanks, King Felix, but we gotta start doing this for ourselves, yes, guys, yes?

    Anyway, 25,000 of the crowd of 40,686 got a Jayson Werth garden gnome. It looks just like him. Seriously. http://kcmsports.com/index/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/jwerth-gnome.png

    • someguyinva - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:27 AM

      The Nats look like a tired, lethargic team that’s desperately in need of a rain out.

      This weekend’s series against the Braves should be interesting, with the Nats resistible force meeting the Braves movable object. Luckily the rules of baseball generally prohibit games ending in ties, so we’ll either have some clarity in the NL East race, or further muddying of the waters, causing us to harken back to the halcyon days of the ’73 NL East race, where the eventual pennant-winning Mets posted an 82-79 record to nip the Cards by a game and a half.

    • tcostant - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:38 AM

      I was at the game last night. It was a crazy, so many people opening day like. The marketing person created amazing hype for the last month though social media. She deserves a raise.

  3. craggt - Aug 6, 2014 at 7:27 AM

    They were boo-ing Joba as soon as he came into the game, but he didn’t retire all 4 batters he faced. The boos really started coming down after he hit New York demi-god Derek Jeter.

  4. freedomofspeechyesway - Aug 6, 2014 at 7:28 AM

    “There are 162 of these things, man. None of them are ever really statements.”

    After winning 4 of 5 series’ against the top half of the AL West, the O’s finally return to division play and dominate the first game against the team right behind them. This win, if I’m correct, puts the O’s further ahead of any second place team in the same division in all of baseball.

    Craig, as far as second half baseball goes, that’s exactly what I’d call a statement game. Your post sounds bitter that they won. Weird stuff man.

    • thelongestgoodbye - Aug 6, 2014 at 7:43 AM

      He did sound a little salty, as with most the Orioles are just an oversight. Keep playing ball like their playing and it won’t matter.

    • sophiethegreatdane - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:20 AM

      Craig doesn’t seem to like Bud Norris for some reason or another. While I agree about Craig’s opinion on whether or not it was a “statement game” from the fans perspective, I’m fine with someone on the team getting fired up with a little attitude.

      In fact, I like Bud Norris for exactly the fire and attitude he brings to the team. If he thinks it’s a statement, then by all means, go out and make another statement Bud. A *good* one. :)

    • nvl004 - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:22 AM

      It was a bit weird. Anyways, the O’s traditional kill Burhle so i wasn’t surprised with the result

    • pbastille - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:42 AM

      Craig’s just trying to be funny. “Trying to be funny” and “being funny” are like “fishing” and “catching”. Still, the dude has cool glasses.

      • Old Gator - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:31 AM

        Nuances, nuances. Alexander Graham Bell used to fish without a hook. He said that fishing helped to relax him so he could think clearly, but that a fish hitting his line always snapped his train of thought. Bell didn’t wear glasses himself, but his wife Mabel did, and they’re not bad, as far as fashionable frump goes: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/68/Mabel_Hubbard_Bell_ppmsc.00849.jpg/275px-Mabel_Hubbard_Bell_ppmsc.00849.jpg

      • pbastille - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:50 AM

        Not as hipsterish as Craig’s. But I bet his hairline was similar in high school

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:38 AM

      I had similar thoughts aswell. I get where Norris is coming from. The Orioles are toward the end of a particularly horrible schedule swing against all of the best teams in baseball (Minus the Tigers) and have been absolutely dominant thus far. They had a makeup in DC which ended in the team landing in Toronto at 4am the day of this game. And the bats stepped up. Norris also gave up quite a few hits and the team managed to double play their way out of several jams really shutting the door in Toronto’s face, putting the O’s 5 games up in the division. I guess Craig does not like Norris for some reason, I know he follows him on Twitter and has posted about Norris’ comments several times now. I’ll give Craig the benefit of the doubt, but it does feel a little salty.

    • clydeserra - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:09 AM

      the A’s won 2 of three from the O’s Twice. I don’t know where you are getting this “4 of five series’ thing.

      • newlydead - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:39 AM

        It is pretty easy to understand ….. here

        before last nights series opener with the Blue Jays (and the make up date with the Nats), the Orioles last 5 series (that is FIVE series) have been against the top 3 teams in the AL West ..

        @Oakland
        @Angels
        @Mariners
        Angels
        Mariners

        out of those 5 series, the Orioles took 4 of them. That would mean that they took “4 of five series” from the AL West, the only lost series was the Oakland series and if it wasn’t for a blown save in the 9th it could have been different. All the talk was how the AL West was baseballs best division and that the Orioles had a tough schedule coming out of the ASB and playing the AL West. Making it through that stretch with a bigger division lead is more than any O’s fan could have hoped for.

      • clydeserra - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:45 AM

        so, if you are throwing out the first A’s series, why not both?

        Why not throw out every series that the Orioles didn’t win, then you can say they won all series?

        Right, If it weren’t for not scoring more runs than the other team, they would have won all 112 games so far!

      • sophiethegreatdane - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:44 AM

        Since the All Star break, is what Scouts talking about. They’ve had a brutal schedule since then, facing the A’s, Angels, Mariners, Angels, Nats, and now the Jays. That’s a tough schedule right there.

        The only series of those that they lost (so far) is the A’s series immediately following the break. And let’s face it, if not for the blown save by Zach Britton in the opener, the O’s would have won two of those three.

        No one is talking down about the A’s. They’re a great team, and in my mind, the team to beat. Scouts was simply talking about how rough a stretch this has been for the O’s and they’ve performed well so far (no jinx, ok world?).

      • clydeserra - Aug 6, 2014 at 3:13 PM

        I didn’t think he was talking down the A’s, just that what s/he said was wrong.

        I get it, now that its explained, which would have been helpful earlier or later without the snark

      • freedomofspeechyesway - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:56 AM

        Yea I was talking about since the All Star Break, which I thought was apparant when I said “second half baseball”, and starting the post with “After”. The O’s have pretty much only been playing AL West teams since the ASB.

      • clydeserra - Aug 6, 2014 at 3:13 PM

        do better next time

      • nvl004 - Aug 6, 2014 at 11:11 AM

        clydeserra….his only point is that the O’s have had a tought schedule, specifically since the all-star break. They have won 4 out of the 5 full series that they have played since the all-star break. No one is throwing out the first A’s series, that was simply before the Al-star break

      • cmoney4949 - Aug 6, 2014 at 11:42 AM

        Idiot, can you read the comment?

      • clydeserra - Aug 6, 2014 at 3:14 PM

        yes. which is why I corrected

  5. philliesblow - Aug 6, 2014 at 7:41 AM

    Home runs from traditional power sources Andrew Romine and Alex Avila. The fleet-footed Victor Martinez scoring from second on a single. 3 1/3 scoreless, hitless innings from the rock-solid bullpen. Just another typical Tigers game. Oh yeah, and some new starting pitcher looked pretty good.

  6. janessa31888 - Aug 6, 2014 at 7:42 AM

    How embarrassing. When will the Josh Tomlin experiment end? He’s had one or two good starts since he returned and a lot of bad ones. He has no velocity and gets hit hard a lot.

    • Detroit Michael - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:13 AM

      Seems to me he is still their best bet for the fifth starter’s gig. K/BB ratio is impressive, velocity is OK but has never been great (http://www.fangraphs.com/pitchfxo.aspx?playerid=9388&position=P&pitch=FA) and he still might improve a bit more as he is coming back from Tommy John Surgery.

    • dsaverno - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:50 AM

      Yeah, to stay on the team, he has to limit HR allowed. His average per 9 innings is more than twice league average. He does give up a ton of flyballs though, so he may always be above league average in HR/9. In fact, one of the widely accepted new pitching stats is xFIP, which controls for things that pitchers have no control over (basically what happens to the ball once it’s hit), and figures out what their ERAs should be based on the things that they can control; i.e. Walks and Strikeouts. If a pitcher doesn’t give up many walks and strikes out a bunch, he is less likely to be hurt with the randomness that is a ball in play. That’s just a long-winded way of saying that he can be a quality pitcher, but he has been unlucky with flyballs turning into HR.

      In fact, here is how his July stacks up with other starters:

      http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/instagraphs/demoted-the-fourth-best-starter-of-the-last-month/

  7. chip56 - Aug 6, 2014 at 7:53 AM

    Just a point of correction: Joba didn’t retire all four batters he faced. He faced five batters, Jeter was HBP.

    • proudlycanadian - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:32 AM

      Did he have an issue with Jeter/

      • chip56 - Aug 6, 2014 at 1:16 PM

        Not that I know of. Ball just slipped. He was extremely apologetic after which was kind of odd.

      • proudlycanadian - Aug 6, 2014 at 1:17 PM

        Thanks

  8. nvl004 - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:04 AM

    I am not one of the O’s fans that always wants writers and rankings guys to ‘Respect’ the Orioles. But c’mon Craig, it was a nice win for the O’s. You should probably mention that instead of Trolling Bud Norris.

  9. beefytrout - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:17 AM

    Maybe a little more respect for Colby Lewis? Coming off hip surgery, and basically given a “we owe it to you” chance in Spring Training, where he looked like he had nothing left. Then turned it around. Made it back to the rotation, but it took him awhile to adjust to pitching on what is basically a new hip. Seems like he’s made the adjustments and is on a really good run lately. Last night was his first complete game in 2 years.

    Not bad for a guy no one thought would ever pitch again.

    • clydeserra - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:37 AM

      I am sure Colby Lewis will chime in soon regarding Craig not blogging the right way

  10. blacksables - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:18 AM

    I can’t find video of the Indians game. Is there more information?

    What field was the ball hit to?

    What field was the loose ball rolling around in?

    What was the third base coach doing, because it wasn’t his job?

    Was the play in front of Murphy or behind him?

    • Paper Lions - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:33 AM

      http://m.mlb.com/video/topic/11493214/v35110365/must-c-curious-pens-lost-ball-costs-indians-out

      • blacksables - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:23 AM

        Thanks.

        That’s all on the third base coach. He’s got the play right in front of him, as well as the loose ball. It’s his job to know which is which and act accordingly. If he doesn’t know, then he tells the runner to plant on the base and let the manager sort it out after the play has been completed.

        Since it’s not a dead ball situation. No many how many fielders throwing their hands in the air.

      • Bob Loblaw - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:33 AM

        This is just a horrible job by the umps. Two balls on the field should instantly be dead ball situation. How they missed it is ridiculous. And how Francona doesn’t argue this until he’s ejected or until they fix it is almost criminal.

      • blacksables - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:36 AM

        No its not. They did everything by the rules.

        Whether you want it to be a dead ball or not doesn’t matter. It isn’t. Straight from the rule book.

        I would like to see the designated hitter go away, but it doesn’t. Because it’s in the rule book.

        And maybe Francona didn’t argue, because unlike the virgins here, he actually knows the rules and knows it was his coach that screwed it up.

        Read the rule book, Bob. Or better yet, go down and volunteer at your local youth league and learn how it works.

      • jm91rs - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:52 AM

        I didn’t realize until yesterday that Blacksables is so knowledgeable about baseball rules. I also didn’t realize that he’s such a jerk to everyone that might get a rule wrong once in awhile.

      • blacksables - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:06 AM

        I’m not a jerk to people who get rules wrong. If they don’t know, then its a way to help educate them to better enjoy the game. Maybe you should try that instead of your insulting ways.

        But when some knowledgeable about the rules posts a clarification, it should be listened to by you virgins. Someone arguing for something and being clearly wrong about it doesn’t make me wrong. If they want to be a jerk and continue to argue and make up their own rules and call me names, then I will be a jerk in return.

        Or are you afraid someone will take the Chief Jerk title away from you?

      • Old Gator - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:52 AM

        I’ve had my bouts with jm91rs but I think it’s safe to say that the Chief Jerk title is quite firmly your own, probably endowed in a blood ceremony and bound with rawhide jesses.

      • jm91rs - Aug 6, 2014 at 11:24 AM

        Aww, come on gator, I think we could get along pretty well if we could steer the conversations away from unions and jonny cueto.

      • blacksables - Aug 6, 2014 at 11:42 AM

        See, old gator, talking about blood. Always with the violence. You really need help.

        Or are you just mad that you didn’t get the Chief Jerk title?

        I thought by now you had achieved an honorary status far above Jerk.

        Did you miss the ceremony?

      • Old Gator - Aug 6, 2014 at 12:24 PM

        Ah, you skipped your usual recourse to “Frito Bandido” this time, but there’s that BS “violence” thing of yours. Of course in your case, it’s hard to tell whether that ackcherley represents progress, or whether mere disuse has erased one of the only two motifs you’re capable of enunciating. I suppose you could try to come up with something original for a change, but that would likely run too much current through what little of an imagination you have and burn it out completely.

      • blacksables - Aug 6, 2014 at 1:14 PM

        You bore people every day with your faux literary knowledge lifted from Cliff Notes, and that’s the best you can come up with?

      • Old Gator - Aug 6, 2014 at 2:04 PM

        When you’re so adept at making a cloaca of yourself, why should I exert the effort to read an entire book just to make you look more vapid than you already do?

      • blacksables - Aug 6, 2014 at 3:17 PM

        Calling me an orifice in Latin. Mature.

        You have issues, old man.

        Didn’t you get someone banned for calling you a name in Spanish? Yet you do the same to others. Hypocrite.

      • Old Gator - Aug 6, 2014 at 4:54 PM

        Nope, I didn’t “get someone banned.” They got themselves banned for being consistently vulgar and belligerent past the point of decency. Anyway, “cloaca” isn’t generally regarded as an obscene term. We all have issues. Yours is stupidity.

    • Paper Lions - Aug 6, 2014 at 2:40 PM

      How many balls can be throw on to the field of play then? I had no idea that stray balls could be chucked out there and by rule they should just be ignored, even when they affect play.

      • blacksables - Aug 6, 2014 at 3:11 PM

        There shouldn’t be any more than one ball on the field at a time, and if one comes out before the pitch/play is made, then time will be called and the ball removed.

        Once the pitch/play starts, it has to be played to completion of the play, unless one of the several deadball plays occurs. This wasn’t one of them. While it was unfortunate, it does occur and their is no rule that lets the umpires call a dead ball.

        It’s the same situation as if a fielder runs into a wall or another player or the wall. Play continues.

        There was no interference, and no obstruction, and no one left the field. No dead ball.

        There have been situations where a batted ball has struck a bucket of balls in the bullpen and overturned it.

        Things happen on a baseball field. That’s what makes it so great.

      • blacksables - Aug 6, 2014 at 4:21 PM

        It’s just like an animal running onto the field, or the wind blowing trash in front of a player trying to field the ball.

        Once the play starts, it continues until it is finished, unless covered by a specific rule.

  11. Eutaw's Finest - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:26 AM

    I kinda get where Norris is coming from with the statement game comment. Since the break, the O’s have not picked up ground on the ALE at all, so speculation was that the division was still up for grabs and the O’s were not getting any respect. It was disregarded that the Yanks schedule and Jays schedule were fairly pedestrian, allowing them opportunities to keep pace. The Jays have played 7 against the last place BoSox, 3 against the last place Rangers, 4 against the faltering Astros, and 3 against the Yanks. 14 of 17 games against teams no more than 14 games under .500. The Yanks didn’t have a much tougher schedule- 3 against a Reds team who has gone 6-12 since the break, 7 against the last place Rangers, 3 against the last place BoSox, and 3 against the Jays. 10 of 17 games against teams no more than 17 games under .500.

    The O’s in that stretch? 3 against the 1st place A’s, 6 against the 2nd best record in the league Angels, 6 against the current 1st wild card Mariners, and 1 against the 1st place Nats. All teams with winning records, 2 of which hold the top 2 records in MLB. But despite the SoS in that stretch, the division is still up for grabs and the O’s get no respect. So for the Orioles to go out last night and knock Buehrle out after 4 and put up 14 hits and 9 runs against a divisional opponent in a very convincing win, and now hold a 5 game lead on the division? I can understand Bud calling it a statement game.

    BUT… I think the Orioles need a statement series. If they really want to make their presence known? Sweep the series and go up 8 games and run to 18 games over .500. September is MUCH easier for the O’s so hopefully they can keep this momentum going!

    (note- I understand you have to ‘play who is on your schedule,’ and no disrespect to ALE opponents, I just get all fired up feeling like the O’s get no respect no matter what they do!)

    • nvl004 - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:34 AM

      I am over the ‘no respect’ thing about the Orioles. If they feel like it helps them to have a chip on their shoulder then so be it.

      But in reality they have had several nationally televised games, most All-Star starters voted in, Jones in the Derby, and currently ranked in the top 5 by baseball pundits. So they aren’t as ‘under the radar’ as O’s fans would like to believe. Bottom line like you said, go out and win the series, set up an easier September.

      • Eutaw's Finest - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:06 AM

        For the sake of playing devils advocate- the Orioles nationally televised games have been against teams picked to be front runners in the division (last 3 this year are NYY, TB, NYY), not because of the Orioles’ play. The O’s were picked to finish 4th in the ALE in nearly every preseason mock I saw, so I find it hard to imagine Fox and ESPN are picking up the O’s games at that point in time when the schedule is decided. As for the other notes- Jones picked in the HR Derby by a player not fans, and ASG voting is a joke (see Wieters, despite TJS and out for the year, getting the starting catcher nod).

        I’m sure they aren’t as under the radar as I think, but I still think they carry a stigma of “yea but it’s the Orioles, they can collapse” while teams like the Yanks carry the stigma of “yea but they Yanks can surge!”

    • proudlycanadian - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:36 AM

      Baltimore is playing well right now. This has to stop. Please!

      • groupofsevenrules - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:42 AM

        Yes, and the Jays are playing terribly since they put on that embarrassing show of futility with the Astros. It’s less that the Birds have to stop than that the Jays have to suck it up and bear down a lot more. Last night was close to unwatchable on all fronts.

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:54 AM

      It’s also worth nothing that the team is 12-6 over this stretch (good for the best record in baseball in the second half). They still have two more against Toronto, then back home against the Cardinals and Yanks, but after that it’s Cleveland, both Chicago teams, Tampa, and Minnesota to finish out the month. If the O’s can manage to take even 2 of 3 against a beat up and tired Toronto team, they will certainly be in a position of power for the remainder of the season. The most impressive part? The team’s 2.80 era in the second half. The starters have a 2.91 era in the second half, trailing only Seattle for second best in all of baseball since the break.

      • Eutaw's Finest - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:10 AM

        I look forward to the 17 game stretch at the end of this month- 3 @ Cleveland, 3 @ ChiSox, 3 @ Cubs, 4 home w/ Tampa, 4 home w/ the Twins. Even beyond that, the Reds seem to be falling apart, then Tampa and Boston.

        That’s a nice 29 game stretch going into the final month. 23 of 29 games against teams under .500 and the Reds and Indians are both only 1 game over. Could get very exciting!

  12. chadjones27 - Aug 6, 2014 at 8:45 AM

    The Phils/Astros game went 15 innings and all it got was three sentences?
    Actually, it was quite boring so that’s all it really needed. But no mention of Howards home run in the 2nd. Yes that’s correct… he hit a home run… see, his contract is not that bad. Although, he did GIDP, twice.

  13. govtminion - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:14 AM

    …can Rockies season be over yet? I can’t keep doing this to myself.

  14. Old Gator - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:23 AM

    The Feesh tripped up the Cutchless Bucs last night behind the fourth consecutive strong performance by Glad Hand since he returned from the Feesh hatchery in Nawlins. One suspects he must have cut a deal with Louis Cyphre down there à la Harry Angel. I know how it works with blues guitarists, but does Mr. Scratch get to claim a pitcher’s soul orf the waiver wire once they’ve been designated for assignment?

    It sure looked like the Rainbow Warriors were playing with the dark grace of the unnameable one given how the Bucs suffered such a systemwide meltdown in the top of the eighth after pulling ahead 2-1 in the bottom of the seventh – it was as if the devil himself had stepped in to protect his investment. A couple of bases loaded walks, a butchered play on a tailor made double play ball, a couple of singles including an infield dribbler by the Iron Giant, and a booming ground rule double by Christian Yelich.

    The Feesh brainstem trust is still making playoff noises, but what else are they gonna say – we’d be right in the middle of this thing if our owner wasn’t such a prevaricating cheapskate? They have issues, not the least of which is that the Iron Giant continues to flail mindlessly at low and away breaking balls. Last night he struck out on three straight pitches of exactly that persuasion like some kind of hulking windup doll. After learning (temporarily, it seems) patience at the plate in the first three months, he’s been looking absolutely clueless at the plate since early July. At the same time, Casey McGehee has hit a trough, watching his BA fall over 20 points while he has seemingly developed a proclivity to generate perfect double play balls. He got lucky with the one he gifted to the left side of the Bucs infield in the eighth last night but he’s definitely on a down cycle.

    When you combine that with the Iron Giant’s apparent inability to get a grip on his swing-down-and-outward reflex, you gotta be grateful that Peetsburgh was so obliging last night.

    • unclemosesgreen - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:36 AM

      McGee (I refuse his superfluous letters out of hand) is the best leadoff hitter currently batting cleanup. His SLG is actually lower than his OBP, and he only had 4 extra base hits in all of July. He more or less perfectly demonstrates the difficulties of looking for ground ball singles out of the 4th spot.

      I’m pretty sure that calling his recent production a “trough” is to accidentally overstate his previous maxima.

      • groupofsevenrules - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:54 AM

        But if you pronounce McGehee as if you had one beer too many it would also sound like “McGeeee.”

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:28 AM

        One beer too many – not sure I’ve ever stopped precisely “there”. ;-)

      • Old Gator - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:14 AM

        I think of McGehee as an ideal number two hitter. He’s remade himself into a good contact hitter – I have to accept our Japanese friend’s assertion that the hitting coach at Sendai helped show him the light – and though he’s not really fast enough to make a good leadoff hitter, he is an intelligent baserunner who seems to know when he can take the extra base and when he can’t. I do not recall him galumphing into any TOOTBLANs this season, unlike some of his less ambiently cognizant teammates.

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:29 AM

        Tough to TOOTBLAN when all you do is hit singles & into double plays …

    • stlouis1baseball - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:17 AM

      So THAT’s the Ma’ Bell I always heard about growing up?

      • Old Gator - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:38 AM

        You know, that’s a good question – is Mabel the one who endowed the former telephone company megalith with that name? After checking around, I found too many conflicting stories to be sure, but two “kinda” made sense: (1) that “Ma Bell” is a corruption of Mabel, who pronounced her own name as if it were “May Bell” and treated the early employees of the family business her husband founded well and maternally, or that (2) when antitrust law forced the breakup of Bell Telephone into the regional “baby Bells,” Ma Bell became a sort of cover term for the entire group of them. Number two, though, has issues in that “Ma Bell” seems to have predated the breakup.

        We may never know, so to hell with it. Let’s just concentrate on naming the vector particles for dark matter instead.

      • stlouis1baseball - Aug 6, 2014 at 2:40 PM

        I am on board. How about “Vec?” Or “V.P.”
        Or…”Louie.” Let’s go with “Louie.” I have always found the name Louie to be very whimsical. Certainly more whimsical then the vector particles themselves.

  15. theravenmaniac - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:33 AM

    Craig dislikes the Orioles, come on Craig it is okay to admit it. Atleast your posts will make sense if you tell is what teams you dislike??????

    • sportsdrenched - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:43 AM

      You must be new here. Craig hates every team.

      • freedomofspeechyesway - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:54 AM

        Sometimes I think he hates himself and this entire website is one projection after another. You remember that insanely awkward ‘Greg Maddux rookie game/Craigs wife as a young girl’ post? Yeesh.

      • sportsdrenched - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:15 AM

        I had to track down that post. After reading it. I can’t say I disagree with you.

  16. sportsdrenched - Aug 6, 2014 at 9:47 AM

    Sometime,s as a Royals fan I get so annoyed with the dumb stuff Ned says, that you forget to look and notice they have won 10 of their last 13.

    • cassi1125 - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:49 AM

      And we in Brew-town had a double dose of it with Nedly – both as a player and as a manager – so eventually all we did was shake our heads and sigh when the press would stick a mic in his face…

  17. bronxbomber213 - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    I don’t understand why if Girardi was gonna bring betances in in the 8th anyways and they have no lefty specialist right now why he wasn’t called upon to face Avila in the 7th! Kuroda was clearly tiring but then again betances could have given up the hit as well so who knows!

  18. coryrox78 - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    Not true Craig, Rockies fans will remember the 6 walks and 3 runs the Cubs were given without getting a hit in the 7th innning. Reaching new levels of ineptitude in Colorado…

    • sportsdrenched - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:18 AM

      No, Whatever is going on in Colorado couldn’t possibly pass the mid-aught Royals. You can’t set a new level of ineptitude, you can only hope to match it.

      • coryrox78 - Aug 6, 2014 at 11:10 AM

        Ha! I’ll keep that in mind the next time I watch the Rox implode, which should be August 17th since I have tickets to that game…

  19. dluxxx - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:18 AM

    Kennys Vargas is a bad, bad man. Roy Smalley (whom I prefer as the color man over Blyleven btw) was talking about how they were just going to throw him breaking balls until he proved he could hit them.

    The next curveball went over the wall. Gotta love it.

    • moogro - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:38 AM

      Roy has a good track record of calling these things.

  20. chill1184 - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:36 AM

    Credit to Wheeler who obviously was having control issues again and getting umpshowed, pull himself together for 6.3 innings.

  21. moogro - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:36 AM

    That Kershaw/Trout game with Vin was loads of fun.

  22. Francisco (FC) - Aug 6, 2014 at 10:49 AM

    So now it’s the Orioles eh? Craig update your “Troll” post and add “Dismiss notions of the Orioles making a statement game”.

  23. cranbery - Aug 6, 2014 at 11:37 AM

    Still hoping my Red Sox will make a comeback……….I am the eternal optimist!

  24. APBA Guy - Aug 6, 2014 at 12:37 PM

    The A’s “A” bullpen was on full display last night, with 3.1 IP of no-hit ball, absolutely vital after Jason Hammel’s near 2.00 WHIP performance, which was his best in an A’s uniform so far. Fortunately he kept getting bailed out, sometimes by the A’s defense, and sometimes by the Rays’ hitters. I’m looking at you, Mr. first pitch GiDP Evan Longoria.

    I will say that Hammel’s curve was better last night, but he still had no fastball command to properly set up that pitch.

    The A’s offense benefited from the return of Covelli, who lined a single in his 3rd at-bat to drive in the A’s first run in what had at that point in the game looked like a repeat of the previous night’s frustration of stranding men on base. The A’s have been vulnerable to lefties all year, and Cespedes’ loss, as a right handed bat, would have been acute had not the A’s gotten Gomes in the deal. Gomes was 1-4 but hit a number of balls hard.

    Of course these A’s wins, no matter how they are accomplished, are vital to maintain the division lead over the Angels. With Lester, the A’s can at least match up in a play-in game, but winning one of those has a huge luck component. Better to win the division and even the luck out over a series. The Angels feel the same way obviously, as they pushed Garret Richards pitch-count Monday to 122, and his 2014 IP of 153 is already above 2013’s total of 145. By the time of the wild-card game, what will he have left?

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