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And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

Apr 10, 2014, 7:06 AM EDT

Victor Martinez Getty Images

Tigers 7, Dodgers 6: I went to see Captain America last night, got home and turned this one thinking that a Marvel movie-Vin Scull-called game would be an awesome double feature. At least the first half was good. What I was able to see of the second half involved Josh Beckett pitching as slowly and annoyingly as usual and Anibal Sanchez apparently thinking that emulating Beckett was somehow a good idea. Oh, and a rare Victor Martinez start behind the plate which reminded us why Victor Martinez doesn’t start much anymore. Since it was a late start I couldn’t stay up for much of it but what I saw was ugly. What came after I went to bed saved Martinez’s night, of course: he hit the go-ahead homer in the 10th. But the fact that it was necessitated by Joe Nathan blowing a three-run lead in the ninth probably means that Brad Ausmus is still lying awake in his hotel room, staring at the ceiling. Hail, Hyrdra.

Diamondbacks 7, Giants 3: Paul Goldschmidt so thoroughly owns Tim Lincecum that he is strongly considering an offer to put out a series of instructional videos with Cesar Millan called “The Freak Whisperer.” Goldschmidt hit a three-run homer off Lincecum here and is now hitting .542 (13-for-24) with seven homers and 17 RBIs all-time against him.

Angels 2, Mariners 0: Garrett Richards was fantastic, tossing seven one-hit innings. Albert Pujols had his back with a two-run homer in the third. That was basically it.

Orioles 5, Yankees 4: The absence of David Robertson means Shawn Kelley was the closer which led to him giving up two runs on four hits in the ninth. I expect New York columnists to respond to this with a calm and sober realization that, hey, sometimes things don’t work out well when you’re trying to account for injuries to key players and th— hahaha. Just kidding. I expect “BRING BACK MARIANO!!!” headlines in a 72pt font.

Cubs 7, Pirates 5: Four hits for Anthony Rizzo and seven strong innings for Jason Hammel. He’s got two wins in two starts, both against Pittsburgh.

Blue Jays 7, Astros 3: Brandon Morrow won for the first time since May of last year, pitching six workmanlike innings. Seriously: he had on a Carhart jacket and ate a box lunch after the third. Playing against Houston makes guys do weird things.

Braves 4, Mets 3: Ervin Santana allowed only three hits over eight scoreless innings. His first 20 pitches were strikes. he threw one ball in the first three innings. That, my friends, is command. After the game he said it was better than the no-hitter he tossed in 2011. It wouldn’t have been, I suppose, if Jordan Walden and Craig Kimbrel had succeeded in what they seemed hellbent on doing in the ninth, and coughing the game away, but they fell just short of their goal in that regard. Jason Heyward homered and drove in a run with an RBI. B.J. Upton rode the pine and Andrelton Simmons had two hits taking his place batting second. Amazing what happens when you don’t punt the two-slot in the lineup.

Red Sox 4, Rangers 2: David Ortiz had a three-run homer in the eighth to bring the Sox back from behind. The homer, which went over the Pesky Pole, was reviewed on replay. I figure a lot of Pesky Pole homers will be reviewed this year. You can never really see those well given the angle and given that it being so close in means a lot of balls go over it rather than past it.

Brewers 9, Phillies 4: Everyone who had the Brewers starting out with a 6-2 record, please raise your hand. Yeah, if your hand is up you’re lying. Carlos Gomez and Mark Reynolds homered and Ryan Braun hit a two-run triple. The Phillies, who were put through a lot of extra infield practice by manager Ryne Sandberg this spring, have nine errors in eight games this year.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $40,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Thursday’s evening MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $6,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on ThursdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Indians 2, Padres 0; Padres 2, Indians 1: Zach McAllister shut out the Padres on two hits over nearly eight innings in game one and was backed by a Jason Kipnis two-run homer. Trevor Bauer looked good striking out eight in the second game of the doubleheader, but the Padres’ Robbie Erlin was better, allowing one run over six. The total game time for the doubleheader was five hours and 21 minutes. The one Tigers-Dodgers game was four hours sixteen minutes.

Nationals 10, Marlins 7: Jayson Werth hit a grand slam with the Nats down by one in the eighth inning to win this one. It was his first homer and his second through fifth RBI of the season. Bryce Harper also hit his first homer — a three-run job — and in doing so collected his first three RBI of the year.

Royals 7, Rays 3: Speaking of first homers, Alex Gordon hit his first — and the entire Kansas City Royals team’s first — homer of the year, driving in four overall. The five-run fifth inning and seven overall was Kansas City’s first real offensive breakout all year.

Rockies 10, White Sox 4: Fourteen runs scored, none with a home run. I fully thus fully expect Frank Thomas to get on Twitter this morning to talk about how something is fishy with the baseball and that the league has somehow deadened it. Bonus points for a “Wake up, Sheeple!” in the tweet.

Athletics 7, Twins 4: A wacky ninth inning — which I’m sure Jim Johnson didn’t really feel was wacky given that he gave up two runs and walked two — led to extras. Derrick Norris’ three-run homer in the 11th won it for Oakland. And here’s the beauty of the save/blown save rules: Johnson came in with a two-run lead, loaded the bases with a single and a couple of walks, then allowed the Twins to single in a run, leaving the bases loaded. Dan Otero comes in and allows a sac fly and retires the rest of the guys he faces, and HE gets the blown save.

Reds 4, Cardinals 0: The Billy Hamilton show: two steals, three hits and that crazy play where he scored on a shallow fly ball behind second base to score. If he keeps that kind of stuff up, the Reds can turn things around.

  1. ashot - Apr 10, 2014 at 7:13 AM

    The only other significant event in the Angels game was Hamilton idiotically sliding into first and injuring his himself. In current parlance Hamilton is out 6-8 weeks with a thumb.

    • angel48fan - Apr 10, 2014 at 11:33 AM

      Um, that happened Tuesday, not last night. But yeah, great move there, idiot (Hamilton, not you).

      • ashot - Apr 10, 2014 at 12:48 PM

        Thanks for the kind correction. (not being sarcastic)

  2. Eutaw's Finest - Apr 10, 2014 at 7:16 AM

    Okay I’ll admit- Tanaka is good. I still stand my ground that he needs more time to truly say whether or not he will be great, but he’s definitely good. Can’t argue with 10 K’s. BUT… he got some help there in the end. You could see him wearing down once he hit the 80 pitch mark, and in his last inning (7th) he was helped out by a long drive to the warning track falling just short, and 2 absolutely stellar defensive plays by Soriano and Roberts. They saved a double and a single, and likely a run.

    On the O’s, I was a little flustered when they pulled Gonzo after 85 pitches in 6 innings. I thought he could go one more. But I can appreciate Meek coming in and holding down the fort for the 7th (and nearly blew it in the 8th). I also heard a stat this morning that Matusz has held something like 61 of his last 68 inherited runners? I like it.

    • Kevin S. - Apr 10, 2014 at 7:37 AM

      I love how hard it is for some people to admit a Yankees’ signing is working out so far, even when “so far” is a measly two games. Tanaka will make his mistakes, but if he keeps posting those Schilling-esque K/BB numbers, they won’t typically cost him three runs a pop. Oh, and that splitter is legit. Big boy pitch right there.

      • ienjoysensi - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:00 AM

        Yeah, well it doesn’t seem to logical to take a 2 game sample size, one were he did in fact get ALOT of defense help, and say he is posting “Schilling-esque” k/bb numbers. Give him a year or maybe two before you even mention him and Curt in the same sentence.

      • Kevin S. - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:18 AM

        Learn to read, twit.

      • Eutaw's Finest - Apr 10, 2014 at 10:43 AM

        I’m pretty sure I admitted he was good. Let me check…

        “Okay I’ll admit it- Tanaka is good.”

        Yep. How ’bout that? Although I did provide my caveat: he did get some serious defensive help there. K’s are nice but at the end of the day it’s only game 2. And 3 run dinger aside, he gave up 8 hits, which again, a few stellar plays go the other way and it’s 10-12 hits and a few more runs on the board. I said it after his first start and I’ll say it again- bats will adjust. They always do. What will determine how good Tanaka is, is whether or not he can adjust when hitters adjust. You can’t figure that out after 2 games. Buck said it best before the game regarding Tanaka: “How can you hit what you’ve never seen?” Let him settle in before we dub him anything other than “off to a solid start.”

    • historiophiliac - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:32 AM

      I totally called it last night about sensitive Yankee homer response. Yes, Tanaka was very good, but I found it interesting that he has given up HR’s in both games now. If that pace holds, he will likely exceed his record from Japan in number of homers given up. Anyway, I’m tempted to say something snarky about knowing how to win just to watch Yankee fans spazz. Good game, O’s.

      • Kevin S. - Apr 10, 2014 at 9:31 AM

        Does he get to keep the 18-1 K/BB too?

    • paperlions - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:34 AM

      That splitter is crazy good. Everything else he has is hittable, but the splitter is so good that it has hitters letting straight FBs go by unmolested because they are guessing and can’t tell the difference between the two pitches until it is far too late. The only two viable strategies seem to be: swing at everything in case it is a FB or swing at nothing in case it is a splitter.

      • spudchukar - Apr 10, 2014 at 1:00 PM

        However time is not on Tanaka’s side. Hitters will learn to recognize his splitter and lay off of it. Closers can get away with one dominant pitch, but it is tougher for starters. If Tanaka struggles, my fantasy teams are in for a long year, but he needs to improve on his other pitchers or he will hover in the #3 position as a starter, and for the money he needs to be a very good #2.

        He is smart, willing to challenge hitters; therefore walk few, but will continue to give up dingers. Many great starters allow Big flies, but they need to be mostly solo shots. To date, reviews should be positive, but not yet glowing. My guess is Tanaka will adjust and make the transition to MLB just fine, but he will have his ups and downs. His fastball is too straight and doesn’t move enough to be his primary pitch, and his breaking balls’ too flat, a place where he must improve, but the splitter is nasty and if he can make hitters respect his other two pitches, he should develop into a top-flight starter.

    • clydeserra - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:59 AM

      I like how he went to the yankees thinking they would be THE YANKEES and , now, yeesh, they look terrible for a while.

    • cmoney4949 - Apr 10, 2014 at 9:36 AM

      Tanaka will be an average pitcher at best. He can’t dominate the MLB hitters like he did over in Japan. I love it more wasted money from the stankees. The AARP stankees will finish in last place in the AL east.

      • sandwiches4ever - Apr 10, 2014 at 10:32 AM

        Now this is some cutting edge analysis you won’t find elsewhere, my friends. “Stankees”? That’s priceless!

      • dillongeeescapeplan - Apr 10, 2014 at 10:36 AM

        Such originality, too.

  3. chip56 - Apr 10, 2014 at 7:21 AM

    The Astros game did a 0.0 rating. No one watched it. Go Stros!

    • proudlycanadian - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:26 AM

      I watched it. Go Jays Go!

    • clydeserra - Apr 10, 2014 at 9:02 AM

      I love listening to the jays radio guys, am an AL west fan, had the opportunity to tune in, and didn’t.

      I am part of the problem

  4. chip56 - Apr 10, 2014 at 7:24 AM

    To clarify. No one watched the local broadcast of the game in Houston. I’m sure it was watched elsewhere.

    • nbjays - Apr 10, 2014 at 7:47 AM

      It was watched here.. at least the last half was, once I got home from my meeting. Nice to see Neil Wagner back with the big club to add some smoke to the ‘pen. That kid has a helluva good arm. Morrow was Morrow… nigh on untouchable early on then coughs up 3 runs in the 6th. Fortunately, he had a 5-run lead to work with.

      • Old Gator - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:06 AM

        I had a smoked meat sandwich with a side of poutine at Frenchy’s in Hallandale yesterday. So of course, your guys had to win.

      • nbjays - Apr 10, 2014 at 9:39 AM

        You keep right on doing that, Gator… ok? Damn the cholesterol levels.

      • Old Gator - Apr 10, 2014 at 12:29 PM

        Research has shown that an entire lifetime of ingesting poutine does far less damage to the circulatory system than a single horrible horsemeat and Velveeta™ sandwich. There are sterols in the gravy and yeasts in the curds that offset the fats in the cheese and emulsify the simple starches in the fries.

  5. Kevin S. - Apr 10, 2014 at 7:31 AM

    Frediot deserved to have that game blown on him for denying Ervin Santana his shot at the Maddux. 88 pitches through eight innings. Why not give your pen the night off?

  6. southpaw2k - Apr 10, 2014 at 7:52 AM

    Tommy Hunter is going to take years off my life. I think Matusz would be awesome as the closer if Hunter continues raising Buck’s blood pressure.

    • Eutaw's Finest - Apr 10, 2014 at 10:46 AM

      I know it’s unlikely BUT… I want to see Gamboa. Big time. That knuckle is sick nasty and his fast ball counters it very well. Like I said, I don’t see him making it up, but a knuckle ball closer who just picked the pitch up less than 2 years ago would be sweeeeeet!

  7. chad10 - Apr 10, 2014 at 7:56 AM

    You forgot to mention that Johnson got a hold. Now there’s a meaningful stat. A few more of those and the A’s will move him to setup and he’ll make the All-Star team because “people are finally starting to recognize the value of a good setup man.”

    • southpaw2k - Apr 10, 2014 at 7:59 AM

      If MLB ever decides to create an award for the Best Set-up Man in each league, I doubt they’ll name the AL edition after Jim Johnson.

    • clydeserra - Apr 10, 2014 at 9:05 AM

      if he is not in a set up roll starting today until he goes on a 10 inning no walk streak, I will buy fancy seats and personally give Bob Melvin the worst stink eye ever on their next homestand.

  8. Old Gator - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:02 AM

    In a pregame ceremony at Macondo Banana Massacre Field last night (well, it did take place before the next game, which is next week some time), the new Feesh brainstem trust unveiled the 2014 model Strange Attractor before a paid crowd of 6,246 absent season ticket holders and an assortment of clerical employees and utility workers. This new version beeps in your face while backing up, so it was enunciating like a roadrunner with logorrhea as the Feesh dropped their third straight up in Washington (call it spooky action at a distance). Now squatting at 5-4, with no Keed pitching tonight, the Feesh obviously have the Strange Attractor on their minds. Last night’s travesty was vintage 2013 Rainbow Warriors: when they pitch, they don’t hit. When they hit, they don’t pitch. The boolpen – Carlos Marmol, specifically, barfed back leads of 5-3 and 7-6, most spectacularly on an eighth inning grand slam by Jayson Werth. Watching Marmol saunter to the mound to open the eighth, you felt queasy unless you were a Gnats fan. It was a lot like watching a hypothetical Ukranian counterattack against the Russian expeditionary force in Crimea, and ended up pretty much the same way.

    Mike Redmond really needs to remember who Carlos Marmol is before bringing him into a pressure situation, like asking him to protect a one run lead in the eighth on the road. First of all, this guy is an ex-Cub. He was surely at Wrigley long enough to contract that horrible prion-vectored Indonesian neurological disease die Vloek van der Geitbok. Of course he’s going to throw nineteen balls and ten strikes. Of course he’s going to load the bases. Of course he’s going to hang a beachball to Jayson Werth. After Slobbering Ozzie (so far), he’s already the most disastrous import from Chicago since the new stadium opened. At least he hasn’t expressed his love for Fidel yet. But before this is over, I bet you he will.

    • voteforno6 - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:38 AM

      To be fair to Marmol, the third base runner was an intentional walk, so that wasn’t entirely his fault. Also, no wild pitches with the bases loaded, so there’s that. You never know – this might just speed the promotion of the gloriously-named Arquimedes Caminero to setup man. Or, even better, they call up Henry Rodriguez, who could out-Marmol Marmol. I think he’s hit everybody on the field, except for himself (although he came very close to doing that a couple of years ago).

      Still, I have to question the wisdom of walking Rendon to face Werth. That just seemed like it was tempting the fates too much. I get that Redmond wanted the chance for a groundball into a double play. But, it seems more likely for Marmol to throw one in the dirt that skips away from the catcher than for him to actually induce a ground ball.

      It was a fun game if you’re a Nats fan, though.

      • NatsLady - Apr 10, 2014 at 10:26 AM

        Werth doesn’t hit into a lot of doubleplays. He’ll either walk or sac-fly in that situation. The slam was just, GRAVY, because Jayson was insulted.

      • Shayna - Apr 10, 2014 at 11:33 AM

        Voteforno6, you mention “the promotion of the gloriously-named Arquimedes Caminero to setup man”.

        It’s been a great few years for baseball names. For pure euphony I’m sticking with Aramis Ramirez, which is a poem all by itself. But you have to admire Xander Bogaerts, Jurrickson Profar, and the delightful Yonder Alonso (was there ever a name better suited to home run calls?!). Then there are the hitters Smoak and Belt, whose names make claims that their owners will be expected to make good. The internationalization of baseball has provided a great set of new candidates for baseball’s best names.

      • Old Gator - Apr 10, 2014 at 12:34 PM

        No6: Bah, you’re just trying to encourage Redmond to use Marmol against the Gnats again. As for the intentional walk, who was it who put himself in a position to need to do that in the first place?

        When I read here that the Feesh had acquired Marmol, I felt something very much akin to what I felt when I read that they had hired Slobbering Ozzie, except more kinesthetically. I came this close (holds thumb and forefinger just barely far enough apart to permit passage of a split quantum photon) to finding out if it was possible to laugh and throw up at the same time.

  9. nymets4ever - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:10 AM

    joe nathan is so overrated

    • kiwicricket - Apr 10, 2014 at 9:23 AM

      Take a look at his previous 10yrs of work. I think he might just be getting older and having a crappy start to the season.

      • nymets4ever - Apr 10, 2014 at 9:25 AM

        Can never get it done in a big spot + he’s scared of the Yankees

  10. Jason Lukehart - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:10 AM

    Ervin Santana was pulled after 8 shutout innings, having thrown only 88 pitches. Fredi Gonzalez denied us a decent chance at the first Maddux of 2014.

    • wonkypenguin - Apr 10, 2014 at 9:52 AM

      I was super excited at the prospect of a Maddux only to have it flummoxed for approximately no reason. Santana was owning the Mets… which doesn’t seem like a feat or anything but still worth leaving the guy in for what probably would have been the last 8 pitches.

  11. detroitr1 - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:15 AM

    Calcatera is being generous by casually mentioning Nathan’s blown save. Here’s a rundown of the Tigers bullpen situation for 2014. If you think your team’s bullpen is a dumpster fire, consider the following:

    Joe Nathan has blown 2 save opportunities and has an ERA north of 12. He’s 39 and was paid 20 million for two years of service and yesterday he casually mentioned that he has a dead arm. You know it’s bad when fans are getting sentimental for Valverde.

    Phil Coke is the lefty “specialist.” He specializes in looking like an extra from Breaking Bad (Meth head #2) and has an ERA north of 54.

    Joba Chamberlin is your right hand guy for the 7th. His Tiger career so far is growing a beard and looking like he’s employed at a microbrewery in midtown Detroit.

    Evan Reed. Live arm. hard slider. Hobbies include date rape.

    Al Albuquerque. I think he’s the 8th inning guy. I think. Wipeout slider. Generous with handing out fans souvenir baseballs with men on base. Likes to kiss balls and soft toss to first base.

    Luke Putkonen. Hasn’t been seen out of the bullpen. Probably should put out an Amber alert.

    Ian Krol. Welp, the Fister trade was universally panned, but at least we got something out of trading a top 10 ten starter. A lefty specialist. That’s a good deal-right Tiger fans? Crickets?

    Drew Smyly. Our bullpen is so bad, he might lose his starting job and become a new 4 inning reliever…who has to pitch every other night.

    • Old Gator - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:33 AM

      Luke Putkonen. With a name like that, they ought to let him Finnish.

      • voteforno6 - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:52 AM

        Would he use something by the Leningrad Cowboys for his walkout music?

      • stlouis1baseball - Apr 10, 2014 at 9:34 AM

        You had a side of Vladimir Putin yesterday at Frency’s? Traitor!
        Jeesh…and I thought Edward What’shisface was a Benedict Arnold.

      • Old Gator - Apr 10, 2014 at 12:51 PM

        What a thought – french fries, sour cream and beet gravy, otherwise known as “Vladimir Poutine.” Well, why not? There are Russians with names like Andre and Marc, aren’t there?

    • historiophiliac - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:36 AM

      I’m pulling your fan card.

      • detroitr1 - Apr 10, 2014 at 9:21 AM

        Well, I’m not trying to be Debbie Downer. There are some things are clicking…our starters (Sanchez will be fine–just missed too much ST) are doing what they do…as always. Castellanos is exceeding projections…We have real infield defense when Gonzales doesn’t play SS.

        Kinsler? That’s looking like we won that trade.

        It’s just that our bullpen looks like it was designed by my 5 year old niece.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 10, 2014 at 10:04 AM

        I won’t deny that I think our bp is still a problem and makes me nervous. I like that Beautiful Brad isn’t going to stick to canon and is willing to pull a closer to someone else, if he thinks it’s right. I wish Leyland had done that. If you are longing for Valverde, well, that’s just foolish. Nathan doesn’t make me miss him at all. That’s like longing for a crappy ex every time you fight over the covers with the current one.

        Let’s wait to get the facts on the Reed situation, shall we? If it turns out to be bad, trust me, I’m in line before you. I think our biggest issue is Coke. Why do we still have him? Why do we pay him $1 mil? Why? Joba has been less lousy, in my mind. I’m hoping he ends up being passable. I like Lu-Pu and Al-Al is okay. I was a little surprised to see Smyly in relief last night — but I like (again) that Beautiful Brad is trying to think outside the box in when he’s using guys and in using days off to keep Smyly and Porcello from pitching back to back.

        But, anyway, we got the win, so stop being so grumbly. It worked out okay this time. Enjoy it. Plus, Little Nicky went BOOM! for the first time. Awwww.

    • stex52 - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:41 AM

      I’m not going to argue with your overall point. They are terrible so far this year. But that Smyly kid looks good, doesn’t he?

    • ashot - Apr 10, 2014 at 9:03 AM

      Nathan continues to kill the Tigers which is considerably more problematic now that he’s pitching frequently for the Tigers.

      You were far too kind for Joba. He seems almost incapable of getting an out. Otherwise you nailed the bullpen situation.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 10, 2014 at 10:10 AM

        Really? Because Joba struck out 3 Tuesday night. But, why be factual?

      • ashot - Apr 10, 2014 at 10:26 AM

        Really, because you can’t recognize hyperbole?

        50% of the batters Joba has faced have reached base. It’s early, so I’m not saying he’s a lost cause or anything, but he’s faced 12 batters and has given up 5 hits and 1 BB. Even with my hyperbole, my comment is a more accurate description of his performance than yours.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 10, 2014 at 10:46 AM

        No, my comment was factual. He did, in fact, strike out 3 batters Tuesday night. I was calling you on your hyperbole. I’m glad that you understand you are exaggerating. If only that meant you corrected to be factual yourself. If you want to say that his record so far is not great, that’s fine (and accurate, unlike what you said above). But he is capable of getting outs and has done so. He’s not even our worst reliever, so I’m not sure why you’re focusing on him.

      • ashot - Apr 10, 2014 at 10:55 AM

        Hyperbole is, by definition, an exaggeration so it’s not going to be factual. You seem to want me to only use factual hyperbole which isn’t hyperbole.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 10, 2014 at 11:00 AM

        No, I want you not to say untrue things in order to complain about a pitcher. You don’t have to exaggerate to establish that Joba is not a great pitcher. Just talk about what he’s actually done. What you said was patently untrue.

      • ashot - Apr 10, 2014 at 11:07 AM

        Sorry, I’m going to continue to use hyperbole which is defined as “an extravagant statement or figure of speech not intended to be taken literally.” It’s not supposed to be true and 9 out of 10 readers know I wasn’t presented it as a fact. Why can’t you understand that?

      • historiophiliac - Apr 10, 2014 at 11:20 AM

        Then you should expect someone to correct you when you say untrue things. FYI, you can use hyperbole without making factually incorrect statements like you did.

      • ashot - Apr 10, 2014 at 11:29 AM

        I didn’t make any factual statements at all and no rational person would interpret my comment to be a factual statement. I stated an opinion and I used a rhetorical device, hyperbole, to emphasize my point. Your beef appears to be with hyperbole and its use. If that’s the case I suggest you avoid internet comment boards.
        If I had said “Castellanos is on fire” would you have called me out for making a factually incorrect statement?

      • historiophiliac - Apr 10, 2014 at 11:56 AM

        I always love it when people fall back on “that’s how the internet is.” Maybe if you were funnier, I would care.

      • ashot - Apr 10, 2014 at 12:07 PM

        I always love it when people claim they don’t care but repeatedly comment on said topic.

  12. proudlycanadian - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:37 AM

    The AL East is collectively below the .500 mark. The Jays are first at 5 & 4. The Rays are second at 5 & 5. The other 3 teams are tied at 4 & 5. Every team in the AL East has pitching question marks.

    • Eutaw's Finest - Apr 10, 2014 at 10:56 AM

      My friend you couldn’t be any more wrong. The Orioles have no question marks in our rotation. We are well are that everybody (outside of Tillman) is just awful. A question mark would mean we are unsure of what we are getting. What we have here are what we like to call holes. Possibly an abyss, but let’s see how April ends before we take it that far.

      At least I have high hopes to see Gausman and Britton in that rotation soon and HOPEFULLY Bundy later in the season.

      • proudlycanadian - Apr 10, 2014 at 11:20 AM

        Well said. I stand corrected.

  13. happytwinsfan - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:41 AM

    great psych ops by the twins yesterday. instead of coasting for four and getting killed in the fifth, hughes is killed in the first and then, when the A’s thought they had a laugher going, cruises for four. brilliant. next , after crushing their hearts in the ninth by tying it, they shock the A’s back to life in the 11th. same treatment for the frantically fleeing tigers, who gain a game on the twins. sleep well dear kitty.

  14. sdelmonte - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:56 AM

    – I hope that someone told Cap that one of the things he needed to catch up on is Vin Scully. And if that list had the moon landing, it needed Jackie Robinson, too.

    – Seems like the NY press is so gaga about Tanaka that the bad relief pitching is going unnoticed. That can’t last.

    – Despite Tanaka’s home debut, the stands in the Bronx were rather empty. My first thought is that we might be at the point where tickets are just too pricey no matter what is going on. And then I overheard someone at the bus stop say this morning that “the Yankees wasted their money on Tanaka. He gave up a three run homer in the first. What a joke.” Makes me wonder just how many supposed diehards have no understanding of the sport and no patience for a 162-game season. Fans like this dude are clearly not rushing to buy tickets until the second coming of Babe Ruth.

  15. tigers182 - Apr 10, 2014 at 8:58 AM

    How was Captain America?

  16. bravojawja - Apr 10, 2014 at 9:02 AM

    Kimbrel came in with one out and two on and a four-run lead. He allowed both inherited runners to score (charged to Walden) and just for fun gave up one of his own. And got the save.

  17. sportsdrenched - Apr 10, 2014 at 9:26 AM

    Good to see Alex Gordon break through on the homerless drought. Lack of power has plagued this team since 1986. Think about that. The Royals didn’t even cheat properly during the “Steroid Era”.
    Unfortunately, I think the power outage will continue for the foreseeable future.

    Good thing Guthrie and the starting rotation have been dealing. Alcides Escobar had a couple of spectacular plays in this game too, and his bat is coming around. Hopefully he can rub some of that on Mike Moustakas who is turning into a huge #1 pick bust.

    Won two series at home, now it’s off on a Twins-Astros roady. They need to have a winning record on this road trip, and by more than one game.

  18. dluxxx - Apr 10, 2014 at 9:41 AM

    How is there no mention of the bases clearing “brawl” in the Twins game? Classic Glen Perkins, man. Donaldson hits a loooooooong fly ball and admires it a bit too much. 3 pitches later, Perk fans him and asks him “how far did that “Effin” one go”. Benches clear as Perk continues on to the dugout ignoring the fracas. Unfortunately, it riled up the A’s enough that they decided to hang a crooked number on Burton in the next half inning…

    • historiophiliac - Apr 10, 2014 at 10:31 AM

      Oooh, I’ll have to check it out. Was there lots of chest-puffing?

      • dluxxx - Apr 10, 2014 at 10:46 AM

        Much chest puffing…

      • historiophiliac - Apr 10, 2014 at 10:47 AM

        Love it!

      • dluxxx - Apr 10, 2014 at 10:49 AM

        There was even a bit of posturing…

      • historiophiliac - Apr 10, 2014 at 10:51 AM

        Did the bp run in or saunter?

      • dluxxx - Apr 10, 2014 at 10:58 AM

        They sashayed I think. I honestly only saw a small clip since I was stuck at this place they call “work” when it all went down…

    • clydeserra - Apr 10, 2014 at 2:08 PM

      wait? admired it too much? it was a fouled Ball. He was at the plate hoping it would stay fair, like every batter would.

      It was foul. he got back in the box, struck out and Perkins started yelling at him as he was taking off his gloves/shin guard.

  19. pwshrugged - Apr 10, 2014 at 9:42 AM

    Is Detroit where closers come to die now? Watching Valverde’s career turn into a firebomb was one thing; we all knew Nathan was going to be less than he was, but it’d be tough to watch another closer flame out wearing the Old English D.

    That said, Dombrowski’s offseason continues to look dubious, and the bullpen management is looking like a Leyland-style hot mess. I get that they want some veterans to help the young kids along, but Coke is worthless. Krol actually has looked solid from what I’ve seen of him, and seems the more likely go-to lefty.

    Of course, we’re not in this position if DD doesn’t trade Fister – we might have a different shortstop, but we’d have Fister in the rotation (and perhaps be keying in on keeping him longer, since Scherzer is going to walk) and Smyly would be our lefty specialist in the bullpen, as well as a potential closer option.

    But the bullpen. Ugh. I said it then, I say it now – it was a bad move to sign Nathan and blow that wad of cash on one aged closer. That money could have easily been spread around 3-4 guys and the closer position up for grabs. I know he’s not pitching great in Chicago right now, but I’d feel better if we had Veras around. The bullpen is ridiculously thin, no matter how much faith Beautiful Brad and DD have in some of the young kids. Veras, Crain, Downs, Axford, Bailey, Belisario, Perez, Parra, Qualls, K-Rod… all other solid options that less money could have been spent on. The Tigers could have easily picked up 4 of those guys instead of Nathan and Joba, and I’d feel better in the later innings.

    The Fielder-Kinsler trade, obviously, made sense on all levels and is working out.

    • historiophiliac - Apr 10, 2014 at 10:36 AM

      OMG!!!!! We are not even a month into the season and we have one of the better records in baseball! What is with all you Negative Nelsons???? Chillax. The trades are done. Accept this and just deal with the games as they come. If you want Veras back, then you’re just not thinking. My laws.

      • pwshrugged - Apr 10, 2014 at 10:55 AM

        This was a glaring weakness since last season, and the Tigers failed to address it, instead engaging in overpursuit of a Proven Closer, who happens to be 39. In fact, I’d argue that the bullpen is a greater weakness than last year, with no Smyly or Veras to fall back on. I’m not jumping on a two-week notion here; these concerns date well back to the 2013 season, and what I’m seeing is a continuing pattern.

        Had the Tigers gone out and acquired bullpen depth instead of a single megabucks closer, I would be less concerned about hiccups. But as it stands, there’s no depth behind Nathan or Al-Al if they stumble. We’re locked into relying on Nathan/Al-Al/Coke/Joba/Krol, because every other option past them is essentially a replacement-level Triple-A call-up.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 10, 2014 at 11:02 AM

        Which doesn’t at all preclude picking up someone else later or making trades. Frankly, when we start losing a lot, that’s when this becomes a serious problem.

      • pwshrugged - Apr 10, 2014 at 11:13 AM

        What are we trading? The farm system is almost completely barren due to the win-now pressure of the last couple years. Our best prospect is probably Daniel Fields, who I don’t think we plan to move. Our best pitching prospect is Casey Crosby, who really isn’t all that exciting. There’s no blue-chip prospects to use for major trades, which is a big part of why the Fister trade was so disappointing. We already traded a reliable minor league pitcher (Alvarez) to get Romine.

        Don’t get me wrong; the team can win as it is, even with a very good-looking Royals team. But there’s almost no depth to cover injuries or make serious midseason trades.

        The team just seems prone to having someone, be it Nathan or Al-Al or Joba or Coke, blow a lead on any given day. Recent champs have won because they’ve had deep shutdown bullpens.

    • stex52 - Apr 10, 2014 at 12:28 PM

      You make a lot of points here, pws, but I will just jump on one. Smyly is way to valuable a piece to be relegated to lefty specialist. The kid is probably a middle of the rotation talent. Yeah, pulling him weakens the bullpen, but you should deal with that in other ways.

      • stex52 - Apr 10, 2014 at 12:28 PM

        “too valuable”

      • pwshrugged - Apr 10, 2014 at 2:30 PM

        I agree completely about Smyly, and I admire that he had the patience and fortitude to endure a season and a half as a bullpen guy. He deserves to be a starter and has legit starter stuff; however, my point remains that the situation was poorly handled – there was no burning fire to trade Fister and push Smyly into that role. Had we kept Fister, he could have played a crucial setup or been a rare lefty closer for awhile as we rebuilt the ‘pen.

        It might not have been fair to the guy, exactly, but on some levels… I just have no faith in anyone in our bullpen. I love Al-Al, but his command is just so wonky sometimes. I respect Nathan, but I’m a realist about his age and strength. I’m optimistic that Krol is better-than-expected. But everyone else is essentially an unknown commodity or reclamation. That’s not the bullpen of a contender.

        I don’t mind the Fister trade, all things said. We got a lefty starter prospect who projects as a #3/#4 guy, a young MLB-ready lefty reliever, and (sort of) a starting shortstop. It’s not great, but it works. I just thought it was ill-timed. It didn’t make the Tigers better. They’re a better team today if Fister is still with the team, and Smyly is pitching the 8th or 9th inning. That being the case, Scherzer’s free agency is less of an issue, since Smyly could ascend to the starter’s role next year; likewise, Scherzer could end up trade bait if Smyly stays stretched out.

        Right now, the Tigers are built to win with the guys they have starting… and no one else. They have very little bench depth, very little bullpen depth, and a depleted farm system. Look at last night – Torii Hunter goes out injured, and the replacement player is a guy who before this season had never played above Double-A. Take a gander at the Tigers’ organizational depth; there isn’t much right now. Keeping Fister and using Smyly in the ‘pen for another year would have helped with that.

        I also objected to Leyland using Smyly strictly as a lefty specialist late last year and in the playoffs; in all honesty, Smyly should have been closing over Benoit, or pitching multiple relief innings. Even as a reliever, he was too good and too valuable to simply be a one/two-batter lefty specialist, for sure.

  20. aresachaela - Apr 10, 2014 at 10:07 AM

    I see someone got the eye bags at school today :-).

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