And That Happened: Thursday's scores and highlights

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Nationals 11, Astros 10: Everyone will be writing this morning
about how Joel Hanrahan got the win in this game despite no longer
playing for the Nats and how Nyjer Morgan scored the winning run even
though he was playing for the Pirates when the game started. Even
trippier, though, is that (a) both men were succeeded by
vice-presidents named Johnson who were southern Democrats and former
senators; and (b) Hanrahan had a secretary named Morgan, and Morgan had
a secretary named Hanrahan!

Astros 9, Nationals 4: While this one wasn’t a continued game
like the previous on, Jose Cruz somehow drove in the winning run and
Bob Knepper got the win. Strange, really.

Indians 10, White Sox 8: They’re replaying this on STO as I
write this, but looking at this box score makes me want to run away
screaming. A 3:43 nine-inning game, the winning team’s starting
pitcher gave up eight runs on eleven hits in four and a third, and a
game story in which the manager says that he thought it was OK for the
closer to pitch a four-out save because, hey, he’s had four days off?
Nah, you can keep this one.

Yankees 6, Twins 4: The Alfredo Aceves-as-starter gambit didn’t
go quite according to plan (3.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R), but a win’s a win.
Actually, against the Twins this year, a win’s a win a win a win a win
a win a win a win.

Cardinals 5, Brewers 1: I suppose you could blame the Brewers’
bullpen for this — they gave up five runs in the eighth — but Joel
Pineiro pretty much had Milwaukee handcuffed (CG, 3 H, 1 R, 5 K, 100
pitches). The Cards are now 4-2 over the first six games of a ten game
road trip, and will enter the break after four against the Cubbies.

Rays 3, Blue Jays 2: How did David Price bounce back from his
awful start against the Rangers last week to beat Roy Halladay and the
Jays last night?

“Like every team, the Rays compile lots of data on opposing batters
and share it with pitchers before games. Maddon asked pitching coach
Jim Hickey not to go over the reports with Price. “We have so much
information, and it’s good. It’s good to utilize it and we do utilize
it,” he said. “But there are certain moments when you really want to
walk away from it and just permit your instincts” to take over.

That’s probably smart and all, but didn’t Price go to Vanderbilt?
They’re supposed to be pretty smart down at that place, so you’d think
he could handle the scouting reports too.

Phillies 9, Reds 6: Inside the park homerun for Chase Utley, but then again, you know how I feel about those.

Royals 8, Red Sox 6: David DeJesus hit a go-ahead two-run homer
in the sixth inning, pulling the Royals back from a four run deficit.
The loss pulls the Sox down into a first place tie with the Yankees.

Dodgers 11, Mets 2: The Dodgers rap out 17 hits and take 2 of 3
from the Mets, who have lost 10 of 13. 10 of 13. How’d they ever win
three? It’s a miracle!

By the way, here’s a great example of why I don’t get enough sleep
on nights I write these things. Looking at the Dodgers-Mets box score,
I notice that Manny Ramirez has a bunch of twos. Two hits, at bats,
runs, RBIs, walks, etc. I immediately think, “hmm, maybe I can say
something funny about that.” The first thing that pops into my mind is
Doublemint gum, which is almost immediately followed by some vague
memory of Mel Brooks telling a set of twins to “chew your gum” in one
of his movies. Wondering if there was any worthy context around that, I
search for “Mel Brooks” and “chew your gum.” I didn’t find what I was
looking for, but I did find the “Memorable Quotes” page for “Blazing Saddles.”
Forgetting that I have recaps to write, I read every single quote on
there, laughing my head off because I had forgotten just how funny
“Blazing Saddles” is. By the time I’m done I’m (a) wondering how many
protests and carefully-crafted damage control statements the release of
a movie half as explosive as “Blazing Saddles” would cause today; (b)
missing Madeline Kahn an awful, awful lot (It’s twue! It’s twue!); and
(c) many, many long minutes have passed and I’ve got nothing else to
write about the Dodgers-Mets game. So I punt, go with that vague
allusion to the “Bull Durham” quote, because really, that’s about 95%
of my material these days, and I move on.

Multiply that by 15 games a night, five nights a week, and you see where my sleep deficit comes from. Moving right along:

Giants 9, Padres 3: Lincecum continued to be ridiculous in the
way he’s been ridiculous lately into the seventh inning, but then he
ran into trouble. Relatively speaking, of course, because to him,
giving up three runs is like most pitchers getting touched for, like,
six. His scoreless innings streak ends at 29.

Marlins 14, Diamondbacks 7: This looks like the NL version of that Cleveland game.

Rockies 7, Braves 6: Some of the pixie dust comes off of Tommy
Hanson, as he gives up four runs on six hits in five innings. Still, he
stood to be the winner until Pete Moylan and Mike Gonzales got into the
game. I feel obligated to acknowledge the fact that Jeff Francoeur had
a good game, going 3-4 with a double and a couple of RBI. This in no
way constitutes an endorsement, however. Garrett Atkins, who has had a
hell of a time this year, came through with a two-out, two-run,
pinch-hit double in the eighth inning that proved to be the winner.

Mariners 3, Rangers 1: How interesting and unexpected would it
be if the Mariners sweep Texas and the AL West goes into the break as a
log-jam of a three-way race? It’s been a couple of years since that
division has been really exciting, but when it is — like it was back
in 2002, say — it’s always fun for those of us back east to wake up in
the morning and see what crazy stuff happened while we were sleeping.

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.

Rockies sign 30-year lease to stay in Coors Field

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Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.

As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.

Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”

The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.