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And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

Aug 18, 2014, 5:30 AM EDT

Lloyd McClendon, Tony Randazzp Reuters

Mariners 8, Tigers 1: Chris Young continues a nice stretch of pitching, putting up six shutout innings helping the M’s to the series victory against their strongest competition for the wild card. Kyle Seager drove in three.  Lloyd McClendon was ejected by umpire Tony Randazzo for the second game in a row because, in Randazzo’s words, McCleandon “took his hand and shooed away my call.” In other news, if Tony Randazzo is so easily upset, he is a big friggin’ baby who probably doesn’t have any business umpiring at the major league level.

Brewers 7, Dodgers 2: All the smart kids have been assuming the Brewers were just gonna stop playing well eventually, but they haven’t. To the point where now they’re sending messages about potential October playoff meetings with teams like the Dodgers, sweeping them in this three-game series. And still, I guarantee, sometime in the next week someone will ask me when the Brewers are going to turn into a pumpkin. Welp, maybe they’re not?

Giants 5, Phillies 2: The Phillies had their chances early against a shaky Tim Lincecum, but he never did break. And then Michael Morse just kept doing what he’s been doing lately in getting on base. Indeed, he’s reached base in nine straight plate appearances. Don’t ask him what he’s doing though. His quote after the game was about how he’s looking for pitches to hit. Hope no one gets mad at him for revealing the innermost secrets of the hitting fraternity.

Rangers 3, Angels 2: Huston Street came in to lock down a 2-1 lead in the ninth but couldn’t get the job done. He gave up four straight singles in the ninth without retiring a batter, allowing Adam Rosales to get the walkoff RBI. He was pretty efficient about it, though. Only ten pitches to lose the lead and the game. I’m sure his teammates were grateful that he didn’t drag things out and allowed everyone to get to the airport in a timely fashion.

Cardinals 7, Padres 6Matt Carpenter homered, doubled and drove in three and while Trevor Rosenthal tried his hardest to give up the lead in the ninth, the Cards held on. Adam Wainwright got his 15th win, tying him with Johnny Cueto for the league lead.

Royals 12, Twins 6: Seven runs in the second innings — invoking ATH’s patented seven-run inning rule — and five more for good measure for the Royals. Alex Gordon, Salvador Perez and Josh Willingham homered, and Kansas City has now won 20 of 25. And their lead in the Central is now a game and a half.

Marlins 10, Diamondbacks 3: Giancarlo Stanton homered and drove in four. He has 32 homers and 88 RBI on the season. The homer total leads all of baseball. The RBI total leads the National League. He went 7 for 14 with four walks and six RBI against the Dbacks in the four game series.

White Sox 7, Blue Jays 5: The Chisox jumped out to a 6-1 lead in the first thanks in part to a Conor Gillaspie grand slam. The real hero of this game, however, was the throwback uni the Sox wore. Which are always awesome:

source: Reuters

Cubs 2, Mets 1: Starlin Castro hit a tiebreaking homer on the first pitch of the ninth inning to put the Cubs ahead to stay. And of course the game story is focused on how good he’d look in a Mets uniform because that’s how it always goes with New York teams for some reason. Yes, I get that the Cubs could deal Castro given the value he has now and given the infield prospects they have coming up through the system, but rarely do you hear such open covetousness about other team’s players for the non-New York teams.

Yankees 4, Rays 2: Hiroki Kuroda gave up two runs and four hits in six and two-thirds and Brett Gardner drove in two. The Yankees are three back in the loss-column from the second wild card. I keep figuring they’ll slide out of it, but they sort of keep hanging around. I figure we’ll start to see a lot of “Derek Jeter has willed a flawed team to stay in contention” stories soon. Can’t wait.

Astros 8, Red Sox 1: Jose Altuve hit a grand slam. He got the chance to do it because Xander Bogaerts fired the ball to first base early — before stepping on the second base bag — on what should have been a double play. Instead he only got the force out at first, leaving two men on with two outs. A walk later and Altuve went yard. After that the game was never close again. Oops.

Orioles 4, Indians 1: The O’s avoid being swept for the first time since May. Kevin Gausman allowed one run over six. Despite the bad overall weekend the O’s still sport a seven-game lead in the East.

Nationals 6, Pirates 5: Both closers — Rafael Soriano and Mark Melancon — blew leads in the ninth. Then pinch-hitter Scott Hairston hit a sacrifice fly with one out in the 11th to give the Nats the sweep. the Pirates have lost five straight. Pittsburgh is falling out of the NL Central race. And if they’re not careful, they’re going to fall out of the wild card race too.

Braves 4, Athletics 3: Just when I’m about to declare the Braves dead and start to transition into the acceptance stage of grieving this season they do something like sweep the best team in baseball, capped by defeating Jon Lester. That keeps the A’s — who have lost five straight — in a tie with the Angels. And keeps the Braves within a game and a half of the wild card. Not going to declare Atlanta alive or anything, but I suppose that’s not dead.

Rockies 10, Reds 9; Reds vs. Rockies: Colorado rallied for five runs in the ninth of game one, overcoming a 9-5 deficit with a three-run homer from former Red Drew Stubbs. Four of those runs came off of Aroldis Chapman, who didn’t record an out, walking all four batters he faced. Which, holy crap, that never happens. Three hits overall for Stubbs. The nightcap: Michael Cuddyer hits for the cycle as the Rockiesput up another 10-spot. In other news, Michael Cuddyer is still alive and playing.

  1. kiwicricket - Aug 18, 2014 at 6:13 AM

    Is this going to be a full week of ATH or is Craig going to skylark in his underpants and watch ‘Tales of the Gold Monkey’ ???

  2. suckittrebek76 - Aug 18, 2014 at 6:17 AM

    Adam Wainwright got his 15th win, tying him with Johnny Cueto for the league lead.

    No love for Peralta?

    • greenandgoldgirl - Aug 18, 2014 at 7:20 AM

      We’re lucky the Brewers were even mentioned. They have a 15 game winner, two viable MVP candidates and the best closer in the game and they are barely mentioned except that everyone is waiting for them to fall apart.

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 18, 2014 at 7:54 AM

        Lucroy and Gomez are totally legit MVP candidates, even though it’s probably going to go to Cutch.

        K-Rod on the other hand, is only the 5th best closer in the NL.

        For me, the reason they are where they are has more to do with depth. Khris Davis and Scooter Gennett have produced a ton of value, and most baseball fans don’t know who they are. When they go down to the minors to come up with a starter, they have a guy like Mike Fiers available.

        The casual fan knows Ryan Braun as the face of the Wallbangers, but he hasn’t produced all that much this season. They are where they are because of a little luck and a lot of depth. I’m not waiting for them to fall apart.

      • stex52 - Aug 18, 2014 at 8:43 AM

        I agree with most of what you said. Milwaukee has some top players and they are pretty much under the radar. Media market probably has a lot to do with that.

        But for NL MVP I think we may see some momentum building for Stanton.

  3. uyf1950 - Aug 18, 2014 at 6:39 AM

    The Yankees continue to hang around that wild card spot so it ain’t over yet. Looks like that extra day or 2 rest Kuroda got before this start did him some good. He looked a lot better in this game.

    To quote Martin Luther King: “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

    • sdelmonte - Aug 18, 2014 at 8:56 AM

      The problem remains how many other teams are in contention for the wild cards. There is no reason to think that KC, the Angels and Seattle all fall by the wayside. And give that the first two are in first now, I think securing a wild card spot is that much harder if the Tigers and A’s are in the scrum, too.

      Would be really wild, though, if in the end the Tigers or the A’s don’t make it after the blockbuster trades. If the Yankees make on what they have and the Tigers don’t…

  4. brewcrewfan54 - Aug 18, 2014 at 6:55 AM

    While its still possible the Brewers fall apart the fact is most of this team has proven in the past they are quality players at the MLB level. The people expecting them to fall apart must not be real familiar with their roster.

  5. Old Gator - Aug 18, 2014 at 7:16 AM

    Craig doesn’t understand the concept of “undead,” apparently. And for all that, he never seems to drink….wine.

    The Feesh stuck their flag atop the strange attractor (there’s a little socket there for the flagpole, not unlike the one in the cup at your local putting green) and cried “Excelsior!/i> like twenty five exultant Bullwinkles, all at once. It took them three tries to make that leap from one under to pure mediocrity, but the third was indeed the charm. Now they get to spend an entire day resting, enjoying the view from the uncluttered middle ground, before the Texas Rangers come riding into town from the south side, slowly lookin’ all around….The Iron Giant had a teddybear’s picnic against the Snakes yesterday and seems pretty well recovered from his July funkengrooven. When he goes on tears like this he’s a force of the unnatural. Meanwhile, Scrooge McLoria sat up all night with an icepack on his head and a thermos of cafe Cubano, trying to stave orf sleep and avoid the horror of dreaming about that impending arbitration.

    The Pitvipers, on the other hand, go home to work on their fielding basics and take a few rounds of football practice in hopes of getting meaner. And Kirk Gibson warned his infielders that he’ll order his batting coach to throw at them if he ever catches them playing with stringballs on the floor of the clubhouse again.

    • mckludge - Aug 18, 2014 at 7:49 AM

      Mostly dead is slightly alive, Craig.

    • recoveringcubsfan - Aug 18, 2014 at 8:12 AM

      Slight correction, Skeeter: the DBacks are in DC for 4. No rest for the wicked.

      Given how well things are going in Nats Town at the moment, I fully expect Gibson to start a blood feud with, oh, let’s pick someone totally innocent…Wilson Ramos. My guess is that Ramos will irritate Gibby by using a special glove, with padding (!!), to catch the ball, which will make Gibson accuse him of being a pansy, which Ramos will laugh about, and then Delgado will bean Ramos, Michael Taylor, and Stephen Strasburg, in order, before the umps figure out that something is up and have to go to the replay to figure it out. In the end, they will eject Delgado and Gibson for minor uniform infractions, thus proving the value of replay! and a foaming Gibby (gibbering) will swear vengeance on the Buffalo’s lineage until time immemorial. 1000 years hence, a morlock will emerge from underground and chuck a white orb at a surface-dweller who, it turns out, is vaguely related to the Nats’ current backstop.

      • natstowngreg - Aug 18, 2014 at 9:43 AM

        Yeah, pretty much like that. :)

        Should be interesting, Gibby vs. his former coach. Gibson should know better than to annoy Matt Williams, but may not be able to help himself.

        I can see alternative outcomes to the one presented above: (1) Gibby lays off the phony macho out of respect for Matt; (2) managerial fisticuffs at the pitcher’s mound.

  6. Paper Lions - Aug 18, 2014 at 7:35 AM

    I am pretty sure the O’s have avoided being swept in every series since may….which is quite different from saying that they “avoided being swept for the first time since May.” (which literally means that this is the first time since May they haven’t been swept).

  7. nvl004 - Aug 18, 2014 at 7:41 AM

    So teams can send messages but can’t make statements?

    • Craig Calcaterra - Aug 18, 2014 at 8:36 AM

      A three-game series sweep says something more than one game does.

  8. unclemosesgreen - Aug 18, 2014 at 7:48 AM

    Look at me, I’m Craig, I’m all anti-authority, you can tell because of that Bones Brigade poster I bought once without knowing what it meant but hey it looked cool and the store was going out of business so I negotiated the price downward in a totally sk8’er fashion. I like talking crap about umpires, because they represent authority. Aren’t I cool?

    • Craig Calcaterra - Aug 18, 2014 at 8:37 AM

      If you want to go ahead and defend this whiny ump, why don’t you do so? Or would you rather just act like a dick here? Whatever you want.

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 18, 2014 at 8:53 AM

        I was watching the YES feed as it happened, and it was really weird. Paul O’Neill was incensed. I watch a lot of baseball and wasn’t familiar with Randazzo in particular, so I googled him. He’s on the low end of ejections in MLB, grades out well, but gets a high amount of “bad attitude” comments from players and managers for a “good grade” umpire with consistently low ejection numbers.

        Your over the top rant about how the guy should lose his job for one bad moment (and who among us wants to be judged on our worst moments) was truly dickish.

        Also, there is such a thing as an Umpire Ejection Fantasy League. That’s a thing. I can only assume that blacksables is the Commish.

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 18, 2014 at 9:01 AM

        TBS feed – some guy (not Paul O’Neill) was mad about it.

      • blacksables - Aug 18, 2014 at 9:20 AM

        See, you make a reasonable argument and then say something stupid at the end of it.

        Why would I be the commissioner of anything to do with ejecting umpires? Or fantasy anything?

        You did the good and the bad here. Your bi-polar disorder must be acting up.

      • blacksables - Aug 18, 2014 at 9:23 AM

        Also, as always, I said nothing to you, but you felt the need to attack me without provocation.

        If you want to dance, I’ll be your huckleberry.

        But you’re attacking a person who is only defending themselves. That’s the same thing Custer did, and look what happened to him.

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 18, 2014 at 9:30 AM

        Sables – I still think that’s funny. I used your name because you’re the only other one I ever see defending umpires.

      • blacksables - Aug 18, 2014 at 9:32 AM

        Sorry, you’ve lost me. Maybe I mis-understood your meaning. A little clarification, please?

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 18, 2014 at 9:44 AM

        Sables – you’re the only other one that I see defending umpires, so I joked that you would be the commissioner of the Fantasy Umpire Ejection League. It’s not a slam, it was a joke.

        I found the league because I looked at their database to see how many guys Randazzo had ejected year by year to see if he was a serial offender. And he’s not. Also surprisingly – Joe West gets a lot of flack but he’s only tossed two guys this season.

      • blacksables - Aug 18, 2014 at 10:06 AM

        Fair enough, and good one. My apologies.

    • historiophiliac - Aug 18, 2014 at 8:41 AM

      In all fairness, that McClendon tossing was crap. The bonus for those watching at home was that we got to watch video from the best tossing ever though!

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 18, 2014 at 8:56 AM

        I watched it live, I didn’t care for it.

        What I dislike much more is seeing Randazzo called “a big friggin’ baby who probably doesn’t have any business umpiring at the major league level.”

        That’s mean-spirited and juvenile crap, and I expect better of Craig.

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 18, 2014 at 8:58 AM

        Oops – duh – TBS feed – whoever was talking was incensed about the ejection.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 18, 2014 at 11:14 AM

        For the record, when I said best tossing, I did not mean the one from yesterday. I meant the one where McClendon took the plate and stalked off.

  9. philliesblow - Aug 18, 2014 at 7:49 AM

    The Tigers are a lifeless bunch. They bounced back from a bad stretch mid May to Mid June, but I just don’t see it happening this time as the pitching injuries pile up and Miggy continues to look like a mortal.

    15 of the next 18 are on the road. At least Joe Nathan will hear fewer boos over the next couple weeks.

    • historiophiliac - Aug 18, 2014 at 8:42 AM

      Booooo!

      /throws popcorn

    • jeffchadwick - Aug 18, 2014 at 9:06 AM

      It’s August 18, and this Tigers fan is officially ready to call the Tigers done. Stick a fork in them. I want Smyly and Austin Jackson back.

      • NatsLady - Aug 18, 2014 at 11:07 AM

        But not Doug Fister?

        YOU CAN’T HAVE DOUG FISTER BACK.

  10. karlkolchak - Aug 18, 2014 at 7:55 AM

    Just had to mention what Jayson Werth did last night. Came off the bench to pinch hit in the bottom of the 9th having not had an at bat and faced live pitching in a week (and just having gotten a cortisone shot in his shoulder). He walked to start a rally and scored the tying run. Then in the 11th, he doubled to start a rally and scored the winning run. The man didn’t decide to just start cashing paychecks when he got that $127 million deal.

    • natstowngreg - Aug 18, 2014 at 10:10 AM

      And, those in the park got to do the “Woo!” thing. I didn’t do the “Woo!” thing, but a lot of our fellow Nats fans find it entertaining. Whatever. [Note to fans of other teams: It involves one of Jayson Werth's walkup songs.] More important, I got a Bill Taft bobblehead.

      Seriously, it was a game where both starting pitchers deserved better, and both defenses and closers failed. I can say with some confidence, I had not not seen that many failures to execute simple throws to home plate in one game. Meanwhile, Rafael Soriano, who executed a near-fail Friday, went the whole way yesterday.

      Still, the Nats prevailed, that being the thing of real importance. Well, not as important as a Bill Taft bobblehead; one must have one’s priorities. Props not only to Werth, but to Asdrubal Cabrera for the critical hit and Web Gem(tm), starting a DP with a behind-the-back toss to second; and Ross Detwiler, who continued his adjustment to relieving with two solid innings.

      The Nats and Braves faced struggling teams this weekend, and swept. The status remains quo at +6 games. This week, the Nats continue the homestand–D-backs for 4, Giants for 3. The Braves visit the Pirates and Reds. Between them, they have opportunities to mess with the wild card race.

  11. uuddlrlrbastart - Aug 18, 2014 at 8:08 AM

    Re: The New York media – Now that they’re openly rooting for Starlin Castro to become a Met, should it not come to pass it will be declared a failure for Sandy Alderson.

    • sdelmonte - Aug 18, 2014 at 8:59 AM

      Not everyone is thinking that way. Here is a quote from Joel Sherman (via Adam Rubin):

      “Nevertheless, the sense I get currently from the Mets is they would like to protect Harvey, Syndergaard and probably Wheeler and use other elements to solve positional problems. So I could see the Mets shooting a little lower on the shortstop food chain by trying to use Dillon Gee, [Jon] Niese, Sunday’s starter Rafael Montero or others from their deep trove to see if they could get, say, the White Sox’s Alexei Ramirez or try for an Arizona shortstop — the Diamondbacks seem much more willing to talk Didi Gregorius than Chris Owings, but while a defensive whiz, Gregorius might not project to hit enough for the Mets.”

      Seems like a fair assessment. And a viable plan.

      • stex52 - Aug 18, 2014 at 9:02 AM

        The Astros have Jonathon Villar. Sure they can’t tempt you with him? I bet they would even throw in Matt Dominguez as a sweetener! :-)

  12. stex52 - Aug 18, 2014 at 8:59 AM

    Altuve grand slam. Any other signs of the Apocalypse this week end? Someone must have pointed out to him that Chris Carter (he of the .233 batting average and 129 K’s) actually had a higher OPS+ than he did. Such is the power of the home run. Well, he dealt with that one for now. I just wish I had had the prescience to draft Altuve for my fantasy team. Perhaps familiarity does breed contempt.

    But Fowler is back, and that – combined with a really listless week end by Boston – propelled the Astros past their win total from last year. A double digit loss year is definitely in sight for the season, exceeding my 100 game over/under I predicted back in April. Springer may be back in a week, and it keeps looking like Singleton is getting a bit better with MLB pitching. Looking for a breakout there.

    Who knows? Maybe in 2015 the Strange Attractor looms for the first time in a long while.

    • Francisco (FC) - Aug 18, 2014 at 10:48 AM

      Signs of the Apocalypse? Wait till A-Rod gets back next year and hits no. 666.

      • stex52 - Aug 18, 2014 at 11:28 AM

        That’ll be cool. We need to have a special celebration that day. I’ll bring the monkey brains.

  13. wittenisgod - Aug 18, 2014 at 9:11 AM

    Stanton is a stud!! Love that guy.

  14. sportsdrenched - Aug 18, 2014 at 9:27 AM

    I keep wondering if this Royals season is for real. I keep expecting them to implode. A generation of historically strange and bad baseball will do that to a fanbase. But they keep winning, so I’ll keep enjoying it.

  15. clydeserra - Aug 18, 2014 at 9:39 AM

    tough week to be an A’s fan.

    • historiophiliac - Aug 18, 2014 at 9:51 AM

      *A’s and Tigers fans

      FTFY

      • clydeserra - Aug 18, 2014 at 10:09 AM

        yeah, that might be worse. Sorry about that

  16. historiophiliac - Aug 18, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    Hey, hey, anyone want to bet at how Jim Johnson’s gonna do when he comes in? sigh

    DD, you have to accept them for what they are — not what you want them to be. Let me tell you, you can’t change dudes. Quit hiring them for their potential.

    • unclemosesgreen - Aug 18, 2014 at 10:05 AM

      I see what you did there, and you’re right as far as it goes. Sometimes though, once in a long while, you can actually fix a pitcher. I’m not saying that’s what’s going to happen here, just saying that changes to pitching mechanics, pitch arsenal and/or pitcher attitude can make a big difference.

      An old adage in scouting is that once a player has demonstrated an elite ability level, that potential exists within the player no matter what hard times said player may go through.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 18, 2014 at 10:09 AM

        Of course, potentiality and actuality are two different things, and if said pitcher has had multiple chances and bombed them, you’re better off trying something new. It’s not just the old partners.

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 18, 2014 at 10:24 AM

        At this point there’s nothing on the market, so it’s “throw some spaghetti at the fridge” time. Again – I’m not saying it’s going to work. Just that there’s not a whole lot out there that will improve matters.

        The cost for acquiring players before this trade deadline was very high, big sellers’ market. Andrew Miller (who would have been perfect for the Tiggers) cost the Orioles a left handed pitching starter prospect who was rated more highly than anyone in the Tiggers’ farm system.

        I guess what I’m saying is that the situation sucks and there’s no good way to fix it.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 18, 2014 at 10:46 AM

        Except DD has had almost 3 years to fix it now and has not. He has upgraded a ton of other things (and downgraded a few), but not the death pen. And, it has been our weakness since 2012. This is not a sudden thing. I understand injuries have sidelined some of our options, but frankly, he could pick up some cheap filler instead of someone else’s cast off. How long did it take him to learn about V-Wiggles?

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 18, 2014 at 11:08 AM

        Yep – bullpen depth is an ongoing Tigger problem.

        FYI – the average cost of having a bad bullpen (as opposed to a good one, not a mediocre one) is 3 games per season.

      • historiophiliac - Aug 18, 2014 at 11:12 AM

        …and an ALCS/WS win.

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 18, 2014 at 11:14 AM

        I thought that was all Brandon Inge’s fault. ;-)

      • historiophiliac - Aug 18, 2014 at 11:15 AM

        That jackhole!

      • happytwinsfan - Aug 18, 2014 at 11:24 AM

        “FYI – the average cost of having a bad bullpen (as opposed to a good one, not a mediocre one) is 3 games per season.”

        That seems really low. How is it arrived at?

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 18, 2014 at 11:26 AM

        I’m not smart enough to explain it.

        I just took it from here.

        http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=347

      • happytwinsfan - Aug 18, 2014 at 11:49 AM

        I didn’t attempt to follow its arguments in detail, but it does seem reasonable and carefully thought out. However, although I can’t rebut it, I’m still skeptical. Would the Tigers really be only couple or so wins better off if they had a solid middle innings work horse, followed by a top flight setup man, and concluding with a Mariano Riveria instead of the likes of Joba, Phil Coke and a used up Nathan?

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 18, 2014 at 12:12 PM

        Would the Tiggers only be a couple of wins better with good relief? Maybe not – maybe it would be a bigger number. We’re only talking about an average here.

        Good bullpens blow games too, and bad bullpens do the job sometimes.

        Like you – I can’t rebut the math that they did. I’m definitely from the liberal arts wing of the baseball statistical world.

  17. alankelly2013 - Aug 18, 2014 at 10:24 AM

    A’s and Angels better look out, the Mariners are coming. The team with the #1 pitching staff and the #1 defense with a suddenly improved offense is about to run them down. This is going to be fun.

    • unclemosesgreen - Aug 18, 2014 at 10:26 AM

      Austin Jackson and Chris Taylor have given them a real shot in the arm. Also, Kendrys Morales appears to have finished up his spring training.

  18. happytwinsfan - Aug 18, 2014 at 11:34 AM

    Mauer’s hitting streak is over but he did hit another dinger yesterday. Kennys Vargas is a really big guy and he’s starting to do some damage. I’ll try taking off my glasses tonight with the hope that May will look like a right handed Randy Johnson.

    Hope springs eternal, but it looks like there’s some snow shoveling that will have to be done first.

    My apologies to Tiger fans for apparently having jinxed them with my temporary honorary Tiger fandom.

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