And That Happened: Thursday's scores and highlights

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Fourteen teams get a day off after they just had three days off. That’s like calling in sick the day after Memorial Day.

Phillies 4, Marlins 0: Man, old people love Florida. Moyer: 7
IP, 1 H 0 ER; Ibanez: 2-4, 2 HR 3 RBI. Manuel: hit the early bird
special before the game, found a nice close spot to park the Buick.

Indians 4, Mariners 1: Cliff Lee spun a gem (CG, 9 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, K) and, while it’s still nothing to write home about, he got at least a little
run support. While randomly surfing I found this Indians’ notes column
that went live just as the game was ending. In it, Eric Wedge gets the
quote of the day: “Regarding when the Indians might recall
recently-demoted relievers Rafael Perez and Jensen Lewis, Wedge said,
‘We need to let them pitch down there.'” I presume that the reporter
merely cut off the part where Wedge added “mostly because it’s not up
here.”

Cubs 6, Nationals 2: The Jim Riggleman Era begins much like the
Manny Acta era ended. I could probably say a few words about Rich
Harden pitching well, or Derek Lee going 3-4, but I’ve decided that
this is the point in the post where I complain about the fact that my
wife wouldn’t let me watch “Ghostbusters” on the big TV downstairs last
night because she had recorded something else and wanted to watch it
just then. And because I’ve seen it 150 times and, after each time I
see it, I quote the Rick Moranis lines for three straight days which
annoys her to no end, I can tell you. Still, very weak on her part.

Brewers 9, Reds 6: Reports of Homer Bailey’s resurrection have
been greatly exaggerated (5.1 IP, 6 H, 7 ER, 4 BB). Oh, and Prince
Fielder would like you to know that there is nothing to that post-HR
Derby falloff theory (1-3, HR 3 RBI).

Braves 5, Mets 3: Welcome back, Jeff Francoeur! What with the
hitting into a double play, striking out, and grounding weakly to
shortstop — not to mention your seeing 14 total pitches in four at
bats — it’s as if you never left!

Angels 6, A’s 2: Given how he’s been rollin’ lately, we couldn’t
have necessarily expected Ervin Santana to pitch eight innings of
one-run ball. But he did, and if he’s better post-break than he was
pre-break, the Angels have a big leg up on Texas in this thing. As for
the A’s, this might be the most depressing paragraph I’ve seen in quite
a while:

Oakland looked sluggish as it kicked off a grueling stretch of 28
games in as many days and 34 in 35. Nomar Garciaparra is scheduled to
get the start at first base on Friday night for the A’s, and manager
Bob Geren plans to use him once a series in place of the struggling
Jason Giambi to keep Giambi fresh.

Rockies 10, Padres 1: Aaron Cook is just livin’ right, I guess.
You must be if you give up eight hits and walk four guys and come away
with it only giving up one run. Oh, and when you’re a pitcher and you
walk with the bases loaded, which as Pinto notes, is happening an awful lot lately.

Astros 3, Dodgers 0: Forget Manny, it was Wandywood in L.A. last
night (6 IP, 5 H, 0 ER). Um, OK, that’s stupid, but say “Wandywood” a
few times. It’s fun!

Bartolo Colon ain’t doing so hot this year

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If he wasn’t 44 years-old we’d just call it a slump, but the way Bartolo Colon is pitching right now makes you wonder if the end is nigh.

Colon was shelled this afternoon, giving up seven runs on ten hits and walking three in five innings of work to take the loss against the Pirates. That brings his ERA up to 6.96 on the year. He’s allowed five or more runs in five of his ten starts and opposing batters are hitting .320 against him. One of the big reasons he had been so effective into his 40s had been his low walk rate — he led the NL in this category for the past two seasons — but he’s walking more guys this year than last.

The Braves picked up Colon for the reasons a lot of rebuilding teams pick up veteran starters: to provide innings and stability until the younger arms of the future can mature. Colon, however, has been the weakest link of the Braves rotation.

At some point, every baseball player reaches the end. Almost all of them do it before the age of 44. One hopes, given his history and popularity that Colon is just experiencing a rough patch and that, by mid season, he’ll be reliably pumping strikes into the zone the way he has the past few seasons. But with each bad start he registers this year, that’s seeming like more and more of a stretch.

Braves designate Josh Collmenter for assignment

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Last night Braves reliever Josh Collmenter surrendered three homers and seven runs in the 10th inning of a loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He came into the game when it was tied 5-5 so, yeah, ouch. Today Collmenter is on his way to no longer being a Braves reliever as he has been designated for assignment.

Collmenter made 11 appearances for the Braves, going 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in 17 innings. If he doesn’t latch on someplace else he can take heart that his final act in the big leagues was striking out former MVP Andrew McCutchen. If only he hadn’t surrendered consecutive homers to David Freese, Jose Osuna and Jordy Mercer just before that. Oh well. Take the good with the bad.

Right-hander Matt Wisler, who has been no great shakes in the bigs himself, was called up from Triple-A Gwinnett before today’s series finale against the Pirates. He’s currently throwing mopup duty for Bartolo Colon, who got shelled for seven runs in four innings.

Given how Colon is going, maybe the Braves will be thinking about some more transactions soon.