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And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

Aug 12, 2014, 6:49 AM EDT

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Royals 3, Athletics 2Pirates 11, Tigers 6: Put those two scores together and you have the Kansas City Royals in first place in the American League Central. It’s a half game, but at the rate the Royals are going they’re never going to lose a baseball game again. They’ve won eight in a row. They were eight games back three weeks ago. This is simply amazing. And with their bullpen and yet another injury to a Tigers starter, you have to give serious consideration to the fact that, yup, it’s sustainable.

Mets 5, Phillies 3: Anthony Recker hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the seventh to break and 0 for 18 slump. Jon Niese gave up two runs on five hits in seven to break a pretty lousy stretch of play of his own. A Phillies’ fan sitting in the outfield seats tried to make this one 5-4 by snagging a ball hit by Chase Utley with his cap, causing the drive to originally be called a two-run homer, but on review it was changed to a ground rule double, scoring only the one run. Probably didn’t matter as Ben Revere flew out to end the game right after that, but good effort, dude.

Orioles 11, Yankees 3: The Orioles won. That’s good! But Manny Machado went out with a sprained knee. That’s bad. But Chris Davis came off the bench to play third and managed to go 2 for 3 with a two-run homer. That’s good! But the home run contained potassium benzoate . . . [blank stare] . . . that’s bad.

Dodgers 6, Braves 2: Speaking of bad, that’s what the Braves are anymore. They have now dropped 10 of 12 and are four games behind Washington in the increasingly non-competitive NL East. This after new Dodger Kevin Correia allowed just one run over six innings. L.A., meanwhile, is five games up in the West.

Rays 7, Rangers 0: Drew Smyly picks up his first win as a Ray, tossing seven and two-thirds shutout innings while striking out nine. Less than two weeks ago he was the expendable guy in the David Price trade. Depending on how Justin Verlander and Anibal Sanchez go health-wise in the next couple of weeks, he’s going to be sorely missed in Detroit. Colby Lewis walked a lot of dudes. The Rangers threw the ball around and allowed three earned runs. It’s just ugly baseball in Texas these days.

Marlins 6, Cardinals 5: Giancarlo Stanton hit two homers. He also had a nice diving catch on the warning track in the fifth inning. Lazy dude didn’t pitch a shuout, though, so what good is he?

Twins 4, Astros 2: Joe Mauer had two hits, including an RBI single in the ninth to break a 2-2 tie. After the game Ron Gardenhire said Mauer could “get out of bed” and hit. Or, in this case, come off a 34-day stint on the disabled list.

Brewers 3, Cubs 1: Yovani Gallardo allowed one run over seven and struck out six. Asked after the game what was the difference here vs. his last not-so-good start: “Just command, to be honest.” I’m glad he’s being honest now. We’ve lived with your lies far too long, Yovani. It has to feel better to finally come clean about this. You weren’t fooling anyone. *hugs*

Mariners 11, Blue Jays 1: Felix Hernandez: seven innings, one run, three hits, 8Ks. Dude is clockwork. Plus he had 11 runs of support which is something he probably had to have someone explain to him for he is so unfamiliar with the concept.

Padres 4, Rockies 3Yangervis Solarte hit a go-ahead, two-run home run in the seventh. The Padres bullpen struck out the last seven Rockies hitters of the game and nine of the final 12. Either the Rockies were seriously overmatched or else they all wanted to get back to their hotel to watch Shark Week.

  1. proudlycanadian - Aug 12, 2014 at 6:59 AM

    It is time for the Royals to fire both their GM and their Manager. This is simply not acceptable.

    • proudlycanadian - Aug 12, 2014 at 7:47 AM

      Where are those Royals fans who were disenchanted with the management of the team?

      • dan1111 - Aug 12, 2014 at 8:00 AM

        The long-term problem with the Royals’ management is that they have been breathtakingly futile for years. The short-term problem is that they sold the farm to put together a team that is only marginally competitive.

        I don’t think their recent run has changed this picture at all. They still aren’t a great team this season, and despite having some very good prospects over the past few years, their future does not look bright.

      • sportsdrenched - Aug 12, 2014 at 9:33 AM

        Don’t get me wrong. I’m pretty excited about this little stretch. But, there are still underlying problems. It’s just that winning tends to gloss those over. The best hitters on the team…are still Allard Baird draftees.

        Where I will give Dayton Moore credit is being able to build a bullpen out of nothing. He’s done that several times over. If Duffy & Ventura continue to improve I’ll give Dayton Moore credit for that too.

    • glennsyank13 - Aug 12, 2014 at 2:40 PM

      You haven’t seen the half of what Nedly is capable of just yet.

  2. Old Gator - Aug 12, 2014 at 7:03 AM

    Not a bad night for the Iron Giant. Aside from the aforementioned dingers and dive, he also drew a walk. But it feels like he hasn’t singled in over a month. The catch was terrific, too – he laid out face-first in the warning track after kicking up a dust devil with his slide, drew a long standing-O and offered the fans a “Be Seeing You” salute (cult of The Prisoner take note).

    Other positive news for the Feesh: Casey McGehee seems to have shaken orf his mini-slump, picking up a pair of hits for himself and pulling back away from that dreaded .300, his personal Mendoza line. And Adeiny Hechavarria made a terrific play in the fifth to get a double play rolling, sliding into second base territory to snag a hard hit grounder, running to the bag for the out and throwing a bullet on the run to first to complete the twofer. Very nice.

    The Feesh publicity machine has been cranking up the Brad Penny VETERAN PRESENCE thing since yesterday, along with more delusional commentary about “being in contention.” Hope lives eternal and all that.

    • unclemosesgreen - Aug 12, 2014 at 7:28 AM

      Nothing keeps turning up like Bad Penny.

      1978. He’s been traveling for 36 years to get to Macondo – and now he’s there.

      He stands to win everything.

      • Old Gator - Aug 12, 2014 at 8:40 AM

        Yeah, he’s in a no-lose situation now. Oh by the way, looks like the Thumb Harpy is between jobs again – this morning he chaired a board meeting for Eastern Airlines, now he has some time to reaffirm his abysmal uselessness, and this afternoon he’ll be chairing a board meeting for Lehman Brothers.

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 12, 2014 at 9:55 AM

        Thumb-job gum-jobs more likely.

      • groupofsevenrules - Aug 12, 2014 at 9:22 AM

        ROFL – and can an opening for the chairmanship of Sears/K-Mart be far behind?

        I’ve never been to Marlins Park, of course, but that second shot of Stanton’s looked like it had at least 550 feet in it – the way you folks down there measure things.

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:00 AM

        Truly majestic tater – I think the high amplitude robbed it of straight line distance.

  3. NatsLady - Aug 12, 2014 at 7:20 AM

    The O’s won this game.. But not this inning.
    [mlbvideo id="35281417" width="400" height="224" /]

    • NatsLady - Aug 12, 2014 at 7:21 AM

      I guess the embedding doesn’t work here? You can click the link.

  4. NatsLady - Aug 12, 2014 at 7:29 AM

    Craig can say “dude”? Oh, he’s a du##, so it’s okay for him to say “dude” but not for me?

    If the Rangers allowed three earned runs, isn’t that pretty much dog bits dude–er, man? Actually, the Rangers allowed three UNEARNED runs, but that’s probably dog bites dude at this point, too.

    I’m saying dude if I wanna say dude. So there.

    • unclemosesgreen - Aug 12, 2014 at 7:31 AM

      Dude – you must chill.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 12, 2014 at 8:38 AM

        Duuuuuuuuude

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 12, 2014 at 9:58 AM

        Sure, you know, that or uh, “His Dudeness” or uh, “Duder” or “El Duderino” if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.

    • girardisbraces - Aug 12, 2014 at 8:58 AM

      I’m offended. ;)

  5. nvl004 - Aug 12, 2014 at 7:32 AM

    potassium benzoate? A food preservative, I don’t follow?

    • southpaw2k - Aug 12, 2014 at 7:40 AM

      That threw me for a loop as well. I didn’t get the punch line either.

      But hey, if adding potassium benzoate to every Chris Davis at-bat leads to 2-run bombs, sign me up for it.

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 12, 2014 at 7:42 AM

        It would be awesome if home-runs contained potassium benzoate – they would make a whistling noise while flying out of the park.

      • nvl004 - Aug 12, 2014 at 7:49 AM

        I also saw the fireworks thing as a use. But that would be a good thing, not a bad thing….I dunno

    • Eutaw's Finest - Aug 12, 2014 at 8:29 AM

      Simpsons Tree House of Horror. Us pop culture nerds have this one covered for you.

    • sophiethegreatdane - Aug 12, 2014 at 8:57 AM

      I’m convinced that Craig is researching new and better ways to troll O’s fans, ever since he labelled us untrollable in his recent trolling blog. He got some action from the Bud Norris Statement Game in Toronto last week, and I expected some trollable snark around this game since Bud pitched again last nite. But alas, no. So now I think he’s trying his best not to say anything substantive about the games, thinking that will cause us to get all riled up. Oh well.

      So, here’s my preservative-free recap:

      Bud struggled early.
      Beltran stole home (!!)
      Bud settled in.
      Manny got hurt.
      Chris Davis took over at third and smacked a dinger.
      Light rain happened.
      Bullpen took over, and the Yankees were limited to five hits, IIRC
      O’s bats pounded out 14 hits and 11 runs, mostly off the Yankee ‘pen.
      And the O’s committed three errors, and yet won handily.

      The last time the Orioles beat the Yankees while committing three errors in the game?
      1961.

  6. ranoversquarells - Aug 12, 2014 at 7:42 AM

    Sticking with the Simpson theme:

    Detroit’s playoff chances “it’s just a little airborne. It’s still good, it’s still good”

  7. nvl004 - Aug 12, 2014 at 8:05 AM

    I know every team has to deal with injuries, but this Machado knee injury sucks. Feel bad for him and feel bad for the team. I thought this was the year the O’s could really make some noise. But if they don’t have Machado and Weiters it will be a first round exit at best.

    • Eutaw's Finest - Aug 12, 2014 at 8:34 AM

      Hey now- no need for negativity all up in this clubhouse! Look at it this way-

      Wieters (2013)- .237/.417/.704
      Caleb Joseph (2014)- .228/.426/.711

      And Joseph is throwing out 50% of runners as well. He’s a very fine replacement at catcher while Wieters is down. As for 3B, we have no idea what the status of Manny is just yet. Doesn’t look good. BUT. We have guys like Flaherty and Davis who are ample defensive 3rd baseman, the only major loss is the bat, so hopefully the pitching keeps doing what they’ve been doing as of late. In the meantime, we should enjoy the ride!

      • sophiethegreatdane - Aug 12, 2014 at 8:59 AM

        Love the optimism Johnny Eutaw. :)

      • nvl004 - Aug 12, 2014 at 9:07 AM

        Joseph is no Wieters. You can show me all the numbers you want. Take away the last 9 days and Joseph’s numbers are not very good at all. Not to mention all the balls that he lets get by him behind the plate. Don’t get me wrong I love what he’s done and love his story. But if this MRI reveals bad news, it’s hard to imagine this team going deep in the playoffs when you don’t have Wieters and machado, and you have Davis hitting below the Mendoza line.

  8. gloccamorra - Aug 12, 2014 at 8:36 AM

    Just remember, 45 games to go. A month and a half of regular season left. The actual fighting in the Spanish American War lasted a month and a half, so anything can happen.

  9. Eutaw's Finest - Aug 12, 2014 at 8:42 AM

    The O’s now sit 6 up Toronto and 7 up on New York, and are a half game behind the Angels for 2nd best record in MLB. They’ve scored 10+ runs in 3 of their last 4 games. And quite frankly if it wasn’t for the red hot Royals (or blue hot I guess?) the O’s would be the hottest team in baseball right now.

    Here’s to hoping today’s MRI on Manny’s knee comes back clean and he’s just taking a few weeks on the bench to heal up a sprain.

  10. someguyinva - Aug 12, 2014 at 8:48 AM

    “The Braves … are four games behind Washington in the increasingly non-competitive NL East,” says Craig.

    Meanwhile, the comment section on the Washington Post website is filled with wailing, garment rending, and gnashing of teeth over the Nats’ alleged pitiful performance to date; there’s an expectation there amongst some of the fans that the Nats must win every game against teams with worse records, or else they are failing. Never has a four game lead in August felt more like a ten game deficit in late September to hear some tell it.

    I guess the Marlins will be the ones winning the NL East?

    • NatsLady - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:36 AM

      Eh, fans. 90% chance for the playoffs, 96% if you like Fangraphs. 18.1% chance of winning the WS (more than any other team)…

      It’s not as if fans are still traumatized by losing a 6-0 lead in an NLDS game, or a 2-run lead in the 9th inning of said game…Oh, wait.

    • NatsLady - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:46 AM

      Anyway, I’ll take angst over hubris any day of the week.

      http://www.blessyouboys.com/2014/5/7/5690084/forget-the-central-race-these-tigers-are-too-good-to-be-challenged

      • historiophiliac - Aug 12, 2014 at 1:22 PM

        Good Lord, that’s annoying. I’m all for being a homer, but that was dumb. I hope everyone he knows emails him the link to that today. Sheesh.

  11. happytwinsfan - Aug 12, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    I would like to take this moment to point out that I famously, and fearlessly in that I had no rational justification whatever, on this very site prior to the season start, picked the Royals to win the AL Central.

    On another note, Mauer got two hits yesterday bringing his hitting streak to 13. Only 43 to go as the nation holds its collective breath.

    • dluxxx - Aug 12, 2014 at 9:49 AM

      I noticed that after you started cheering for the Tigers they took a nosedive. Maybe you should start cheering for everyone but the Twins to see if the jinx works that way….

      • historiophiliac - Aug 12, 2014 at 9:57 AM

        Yes, please.

      • happytwinsfan - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:18 AM

        Would be a cruel irony indeed should the baseball gods be punishing my fecklessness as a Twins fan by cursing the Tigers.

        Or perhaps they are enriching what will be the ultimate triumph of the Tiger, with preceding pain and suspense.

        Truly, Amos Otis was a fine baseball player.

  12. sportsdrenched - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:05 AM

    After the Royals took over first place last night I drug an old couch out into the street and was about to set it on fire while drinking all of the Boulevard, but then I realized I have to work today, and I should probably save that couch for September when the Royals actually clinch something that’s couch burning worthy.

    • happytwinsfan - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:20 AM

      Can’t you just tip over a bus or something like a normal sports fan?

  13. historiophiliac - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:06 AM

    It was a double tragedy last night. V left the game injured. How do I find this out? From phone alerts while I’m at the hair salon getting a TERRIBLE haircut. I asked for a trim on the bottom and then some length off the layers to give the top lift. Now, my hair that was a good way down my back is at my shoulders and it’s not even either. Meanwhile, my phone kept buzzing to alert me that the Pirates were killing us. The only redeeming thing from that game is that our offense did contribute. Be honest, when we were down 8-1 in the 5th still, did anyone really think we’d get as close as we did? Considering the deficit, I was good with how they recovered. A win would’ve been nice, but having runs on the board that could win a different game was a good salve.

    • proudlycanadian - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:22 AM

      Condolences on your bad hair day.

    • happytwinsfan - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:24 AM

      Take heart. I learned while passing through the Detroit airport that the Tigers are “armed and ready” and that “the Price was right”. The Tiger shall soon turn with an awesome wrath.

    • philliesblow - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:29 AM

      I feel your pain. Due to rain in the forecast we ended vacation a day early and ended up with a trip almost 3 hours longer than planned due to flooded streets. The only word that can fully describe yesterday is shazbot.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:39 AM

        That….blows…

  14. doctorofsmuganomics - Aug 12, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    So this is what first place in the AL Central feels like

  15. penguins87and71 - Aug 12, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    Even with McCutchen and Walker out the Pirates are 4-3 without both of them. They also have a 63-55 record, which is good for the 1st place Wild Card. This team is one one of the most resilient teams I have seen in any sport in a long time. Look out for the Pirates once they get healthy, they will be a very dangerous team. Walker should be back this week, Cole this Saturday, and McCutchen next week.

    • pnelelm - Aug 12, 2014 at 12:04 PM

      And hopefully Alvarez can figure out his mental issues and be the same hitter from 1b that he was down the stretch and in the playoffs last year. That would go a long way.

  16. APBA Guy - Aug 12, 2014 at 1:56 PM

    Why you must get ahead of the Royals before the 7th, amply demonstrated in yesterday’s game. If those 3 arms don’t fall off before October, the Royals will be tough, as Ventura looks like he’s matured enough to go 6 innings, and Duffy and Shields are effective to very good as well. But I’d worry about overuse of Herrera, especially Davis, and Holland if I were a Royals fan.

    Sonny Gray recovered, sort of, from his poor last outing, but he put the ball in the same spot twice with two strikes against Escobar and the result was identical as well. The guy has a decent .280 average, but only a .316 OBP, meaning he won’t walk. So don’t throw him a strike. But I got the feeling that Gray was overthrowing yesterday, maybe feeling a bit of macho competitiveness or something, rather than pitching. Maybe Lester can show him how it’s done today.

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