And That Happened: Wednesday's scores and highlights

Leave a comment

All manner of pathetic offensive/excellent pitching performances last
night, characterized by multiple 1-0 games. Many of these games can be
broken down into three categories: the pitcher who pitched great and
won; the pitcher who pitched great and got boned; and the blind pig of
a batter who managed to find the one stinkin’ truffle of a run that
made the difference. Oh, and there’s a nice Monty Python bit down in
the Yankees-Mariners recap and some totally uncalled for Canada bashing
down in the Blue Jays-Rays item. Enjoy!

Dodgers 1, Rockies 0: Won:
Ramon Troncoso, but he was a reliever. Clayton Kershaw started but
couldn’t hang around for the win because he walked too many guys and
threw 97 pitches in five innings. Boned: Jason Hammell (8 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 5K), who pitched way better than Kershaw but had no blind pig on his side. Blind Pig: Rafael Furcal with an RBI single.

Reds 1, Diamondbacks 0: Won: Johnny Cueto (6 IP, 1 H, 0 ER 8K); Boned: Jon Garland (6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER); Blind Pig: Joey Votto with an RBI single.

Mets 1, Brewers 0: Won: Mike Pelfrey (7.2 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 6K). Boned: Yovani Gallardo (7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 12K). Blind Pig: Ryan Church, RBI single.

OK, so it was only three, but I don’t recall any days in the past couple of years with even that many 1-0 games. Anyway:

Yankees 4, Mariners 2: Bring out your dead! Bring out your dead!

Buster Olney: Here’s one
Cart-master: Ninepence.
Alex Rodriguez: (feebly) I’m not dead!
Cart-master: (surprised) What?
Buster Olney: Nothing! Here’s your ninepence….
Alex Rodriguez: I’m not dead!
Cart-master: ‘Ere! ‘E says ‘e’s not dead!
Buster Olney: Yes he is.
Alex Rodriguez: I’m not!
Cart-master: ‘E isn’t?
Buster Olney: Well… he will be soon– he’s very ill…
Alex Rodriguez: I’m getting better!
Buster Olney: No you’re not, you’ll be stone dead in a moment.
Alex Rodriguez: I feel happy! I feel happy! (2-4, HR, 2 RBI)

Red Sox 6, Orioles 5:
Back atcha, Baltimore! The O’s blow a 5-1 lead in the ninth and woof it
away in the 11th. “I thought today was a great opportunity for our
bullpen to come show the league what we’re really made of,” Papelbon
said after the game. “I think we answered that with flying colors.” And
that answer is that the bullpen is made out of mixed metaphors until
the cows come home to roost.

Braves 11, Phillies 1:
Following up on yesterday’s comment, I did tell Bill at Crashburn Alley
that the Braves would lose the Hamels-Jurrjens game, so I was
technically wrong. Still, I predicted Atlanta winning two of three, so
they can vindicate me with a loss tomorrow. Jair Jurrjens pitched
better than the guys up in the 1-0 games (7 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 6K) and the
Braves actually got some offense for a damn change.

Cubs 4, Pirates 1:
That’s three straight wins for Randy Wells (7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER). Some
other good news: Aramis Ramirez is ready to rehab, and now the Cubs get
to see how he plays in Peoria.

White Sox 6, Indians 2:
Oh come on cut the rah rah sh*t Taylor! Year after this I go free
agent. Plus me and my agent got a couple of plans for life after
baseball. So I am not about to risk major injury or displace this
property for a collection of stiffs!

Athletics 5, Tigers 1:
This is kind of how the A’s drew it up in the offseason: Bombs from
Giambi and Cust, a solid start from Dallas Braden and a nice win at
home. Two facts from the game story: (1) “The 38-year-old Giambi, who
has been dealing with sore legs . . .”; and (2) “[Giambi] was in a
2-for-28 stretch before the homer after striking out in his first two
at-bats.” How in the hell are his legs getting sore? Turning on his
heel and walking back to the bench too hard?

Twins 5, Royals 1:
Joe Mauer was 3 for 3, knucklebaler R.A. Dickey was perfect for an
inning and a third, the Twins won, and Justin Morneau experienced
tightness in his groin. Only one of these facts is truly significant in
the grand scheme of things, but good for Mauer and the Twins and bad
news for Morneau all the same.

Marlins 5, Nationals 3:
From the game story: “Asked to explain Florida’s baffling mastery of
the Washington Nationals, Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez offered the
simplest explanation. ‘We’ve been lucky,’ he said.” Wait. Since when
did beating the Nationals on a regular basis constitute “baffling
mastery” as opposed to “utter inevitability?”

Cardinals 2, Giants 1:
Both Adam Wainwright (9 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 12K) and Matt Cain (7 IP, 6 H, 1
ER) were kinda boned in what I’m choosing to call Game 3 of “Molina
Fest.” Worth noting in light of my little anti-La Russa bit on Tuesday,
that this is exactly the kind of game where an extra bat or two off the
bench — as opposed to three or four pitchers you have no intention of
using down in the bullpen — might come in handy once in a while. And
for the record, I had this on in the background and found Sutcliffe
somewhat less annoying than he was when I ranted about him last week. I
can only assume that I either missed all of the obnoxious parts or else
the pod people got hold of him the other day and replaced him with a
less-assaulting replica.

Rangers 9, Angels 7:
This looked like a wild one, at least from the box score. How wild?
Jarrod Saltalamacchia struck out yet still scored in the sixth inning.

Astros 7, Padres 1:
Not much interesting here, but this is interesting “The Padres say
Friday night’s game against Manny Ramirez and the Los Angeles Dodgers
is a sellout.” But . . . but . . . Bill Plaschke said we shouldn’t
approve of Manny Ramirez’s vile and wicked ways!

Blue Jays 5, Rays 0:
Ricky Romero (8 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 7K) can join the 1-0 All-Stars along
with Jurrjens. Oh, and yesterday was Canada Day, too. For those of you
who don’t know, Canada Day celebrates the anniversary of the 1 July
1867 enactment of the British North America Act, which defiantly
declared Canada’s independence from the evil British and promised that
blood will be shed in the interests of Canadian freedom if necessary.
Wait . . .what’s that? Oh, I’m sorry, I got that wrong. The Act
actually declared that Canada was requesting to form a federation, with
said request being gradually granted by British fiat over multiple
ensuing decades. All while being overseen by Canada’s Governor General,
who, to this very day, remains in place as a viceregal representative
of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, who still goes by the title The
Queen in Right of Canada. Inspiring, when you think about it.*

*Before Jonah Keri, Pete Toms and the ghost of John Brattain
come after me for this gratuitous anti-Canadian rant, please know that
both of my maternal grandparents hailed from the Great White North.
Maybe that’s a weak (and in and of itself offensive) defense for my
thinly-veiled American exceptionalism, but I’m hoping that this,
combined with my general tolerance/occasional enjoyment of Rush, my
love of Tim Hortons Timbits, and the fact that my family hosted a
visiting table tennis player during the 1984 Canusa Games
will get me off the hook. Though, in the interests of full disclosure,
I feel obligated to say that we all hated that table tennis kid and
were happy when he went back home to Hamilton.

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

MIAMI, FL - MAY 21: Jose Fernandez #16 of the Miami Marlins pitches during the first inning of the game against the Washington Nationals at Marlins Park on May 21, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Marlins 9, Rays 1: Jose Fernandez struck out 12 in seven innings. After the game he said “it’s time for me to learn how to manage myself on the mound and learn how to pitch.” Wow, he’s doing all of this in ignorance? Just imagine how many dudes he’d strike out if he learned to pitch. It’s like Barry Allen in season 1 of “The Flash” when he still didn’t even know what he was doing but was still pretty impressive. I mean, look at Fernandez in the picture above. He even sorta looks like The Flash.

Astros 4, Orioles 2: George Springer hit two solo homers, but the real story was, once again, just how strikeout-tastic the Astros pitching staff was. Astros pitchers combined for 15 strikeouts on the night. That goes with their 18 strikeouts on Wednesday night and their 19 strikeouts on Tuesday to set a new major league record for strikeouts in a three-game series with 52. The New 52, as it were.

Pirates 8, Diamondbacks 3: Gerrit Cole hit a three-run homer but the Pirates blew the lead he gave them. Luckily Josh Harrison, who didn’t start because he was sick, came off the bench to hit  two-run double in the bottom of the sixth to give them back the lead for good. They’d add some insurance later. Always gotta be careful not to add too much insurance, though, as it may inspire Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray to bump you off. Or maybe Kathleen Turner and William Hurt.

Blue Jays 3, Yankees 1: J.A. Happ allowed one run over seven innings and notched his sixth win. He outdueled CC Sabathia who turned in his best outing of the season (7 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 7K) but simply didn’t get the run support. Sabathia allowed one earned run in 20 innings in the month of May.

Nationals 2, Cardinals 1: Homers from Bryce Harper and Danny Espinosa backed Joe Ross, who is quite quietly having a sweet season at the back end of the Nats’ rotation, boasting a 2.52 ERA in nine starts. OK, he’s probably not boasting. He seems like a fine young man who lets his actions speak rather than his words. That’s what my source tell me, anyway. My source is Joe Ross’ mom. I’m worried that she may be biased, however, so I’m using a second source: his grandma. I’m gonna get to the bottom of this Joe Ross character controversy, that I can promise you.

Rockies 8, Red Sox 2: Jackie Bradley Jr.’s hitting streak ends at 29. And with that, Joe DiMaggio cracks open the bottle of champagne he saves for the end of every hitting streak of 25 games or more. Mercury Morris taught him that trick and you can never go wrong with doing something Mercury Morris thinks is cool. Trevor Story hit his 13th homer.Carlos Gonzalez and Dustin Garneau went deep too. Clay Buchholz‘s ERA is now 6.35.

Brewers 6, Braves 2Ryan Braun and Jonathan Villar each homered as the Brewers swept the Braves. They have three wins in Turner Field in three games this year. Atlanta has two wins in Turner Field in 22 games this year.

White Sox vs. Royals — POSTPONED: I don’t care if it rains

(Let’s all go to the bar)
I don’t care if there’s a hurricane
(Let’s all go to the bar)
And I don’t care if I’m the one to blame
(Let’s all go to the bar)

Video: Bryce Harper launches a homer into the upper deck

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 24: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals looks on against the New York Mets at Nationals Park on May 24, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images
5 Comments

Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper has had a tough month of May. Opposing pitchers have become increasingly unwilling to throw hittable pitches in the strike zone for him, and he’s had trouble adjusting. Entering Thursday’s action, Harper was hitting .194/.454/.306 with two home runs in 97 plate appearances this month. 31 of those plate appearances ended in a walk, nine intentionally.

Harper finally got a pitch to hit in the sixth inning against Cardinals starter Mike Leake. Leake threw a 1-1 curve and Harper promptly launched into the upper deck at Nationals Park. It’s Harper’s 12th homer of the year.

Jackie Bradley, Jr.’s hitting streak ends at 29 games

BOSTON, MA - MAY 25:  Blake Swihart #23 of the Boston Red Sox congratulates Jackie Bradley Jr. #25 after he scored a run against the Colorado Rockies  during the fifth inning at Fenway Park on May 25, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
12 Comments

Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. was unable to continue his hitting streak on Thursday night, going 0-for-4 out of the leadoff spot against the Rockies in an 8-2 loss. He hit a deep fly ball to right field in the first inning, missing a home run by a few feet. He hit another deep drive in the fifth, but it was caught in front of the wall in center field at Fenway Park by Charlie Blackmon. In his final at-bat, Bradley weakly grounded out on the first pitch from Jon Gray to lead off the eighth inning.

Bradley’s 29-game streak tied Johnny Damon for the fourth-longest streak in Red Sox history. Dom DiMaggio still has the longest in club history at 34 games.

Shortstop Xander Bogaerts was able to extend his hitting streak streak to 19 games. He went 1-for-3, hitting a line drive single in the first.

Softball legend Jennie Finch to manage a professional men’s baseball team

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 03:  Jennie Finch attends a press conference at Marathon Pavilion in Central Park on November 3, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Andy Kropa/Getty Images)
Andy Kropa/Getty Images
28 Comments

Softball legend Jennie Finch will make history on Sunday when she will serve as a guest manager for the Bridgeport Bluefish of the independent Atlantic League. She will become the first woman to manage a men’s professional baseball team.

In the club’s announcement, GM Jamie Toole said, “We are really excited to have Jennie come out and manage the team. She is an incredible athlete and a wonderful person, and we hope our fans will enjoy seeing her in a Bluefish uniform for the day.”

Finch won the 2001 Women’s College World Series with the University of Arizona. She won the gold medal with Team USA in the 2004 Summer Olympics and silver in the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Finch is only managing one game, but it’s still a positive step for inclusiveness in professional sports. Hopefully, in the future, we see more women in sportswriting, broadcasting, coaching, and front office positions.