And That Happened: Sunday's scores and highlights

Leave a comment

Phillies 5, Mets 4; Phillies 1, Mets 0: The Phillies win the
second one behind eight shutout innings from Pedro Martinez. Next up:
Tom Glavine comes out of retirement on Tuesday and throws a three
hitter at the Mets, getting run support from Mo Vaughn, who hits for
the cycle, while Vince Coleman coaches third base and Bobby Bonilla
coaches first.

Red Sox 3, Rays 1; Red Sox 4, Rays 0: The Rays drop their 10th
and 11th straight. This is the most unexpected losing streak since
Eddie Murphy went on his 19-movie skid following “Coming to America.”
If we try to match these up, the first game of the doubleheader was the
equivalent of “Holy Man” and the second was “Life.” In the former,
we’ll credit Matt Garza as Robert Loggia, for putting in a quality
performance in what was otherwise a lost cause. In the latter, we’ll
credit Willy Aybar as Martin Lawrence for his 0-4, 3K showing, which
made a stink bomb even more unbearable. And for those of you playing at
home, (a) I’m not counting Murphy’s voice roles or that weird Michael
Jackson music video compilation; and (b) I’m counting his supporting
role in “Dreamgirls” as the streak breaker. I think he was a bit
overrated for that, but if I didn’t count it, we’d be up in the 30s.

Giants 7, Dodgers 2: It’s odd to say it, but this week’s series
with Colorado is bigger than this past weekend’s series against the
Dodgers. The Giants salvage one to pull within four and a half of the
Rockies for the Wild Card.

Padres 7, Rockies 3: After all three of them dropped two of
three to San Diego in consecutive series, as far as the Dodgers,
Rockies and Giants are concerned, the Padres are just a fly in the
ointment. The monkey in the wrench. The pain in the ass, Hans.

Angels 3, White Sox 2: Torii Hunter hit a tie breaking homer off
of Buehrle in the seventh. Hunter said that as the pitch came in, he
was looking changeup because that’s what Buehrle threw him in the same
situation earlier in the game, but that for some reason his hands
reacted to the cutter that he actually received. “My mind said
something else, but my hands said, ‘No,'” Hunter said. Hunter’s alien hand syndrome bears watching going forward. Will it turn horrific like it did for Michael Caine in “The Hand,”
or it will it merely be funny like it was for Peter Sellers in “Dr.
Strangelove?” In other news, my Dad told me that spending every single
weekend between 1988 and 1991 renting awful, awful horror movies like
“The Hand” was a colossal waste of time. It may have taken 20 years,
but it’s starting to pay off, baby. Next up: I try to find some way to
slip in a reference to “April Fool’s Day.”

Twins 8, Athletics 0: Brian Duensing wins the battle of rookie
lefthanders over Gio Gonzalez. “Gio just didn’t have command of his
pitches today,” A’s manager Bob Geren said. “It seems when he missed he
walked guys, and then he’d come in and it would hit the fat part of the
plate.” With the exception of a brief stretch in early August this
could describe any Gio Gonzalez start this year.

Braves 9, Cardinals 2: Please explain to me how you get your
lunch handed to you by the Reds a week ago and then turn around and
sweep the Cardinals in their own ballpark? The Braves hung seven on
Chris Carpenter. I’d like to think that this was a gift on their part
to former Braves’ farmhand Adam Wainwright in his effort to win the Cy
Young Award.

Yankees 13, Orioles 3: CC Sabathia didn’t have his best stuff,
but with his teammates scoring 13 runs on 20 hits, he could have had
Gio Gonzalez’s stuff and still notched the win. The Yankees’ favorite
umpire — Marty “he didn’t have to tag you since the ball beat you”
Foster — ran A-Rod with seemingly no warning and then ran Girardi
after he bolted out of the dugout to argue the A-Rod ejection. Johnny
Damon almost threw a ball into the stands with two outs because he
thought there were three, and his brain lock allowed a run to score.
But again, you score 13 on 20, and none of that garbage really matters.

Pirates 2, Astros 1: Matt Capps got mad because he thought Miguel Tejada and Astros’ first base coach Jose Cruz were stealing signs. Apparently Capps hasn’t read Tejada’s press clippings.
He gives signs, he doesn’t steal them. Tejada, who popped out to end
the at bat, said “I just made an out. That is the first time I have
ever seen a guy mad, yelling at a guy for getting out.” I guess Tejada
didn’t see Game 2 of the 2000 World Series.

Royals 7, Indians 0: The Indians have lost 10 of their last 13,
and have looked really, really bad in most of those games. Carlos
Carrasco gave up five runs on eight hits in six innings, but to read the quotes from Eric Wedge in this game story,
you’d think he pitched a three hit shutout. I can only assume that
Wedge is visiting some self-help/life affirmation guru who has
counseled him to say five nice things a day in order to maintain a
“penumbra of positivity” or to keep his Lifeline oriented more towards
“love” instead of “fear” or some such nonsense.

Tigers 7, Blue Jays 2: Rick Porcello: twenty year-old stopper.
Deep thought: when the Tigers clinch the division, will Porcello be
cited for underage drinking if he partakes in the champagne shower?
Will anyone in Tigers’ management be arrested for contributing to the
delinquency of a minor?

Brewers 5, Diamondbacks 3: Prince Fielder ties Cecil Cooper’s
single season team RBI record at 126 and the Brewers sweep the series.
Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is one of my favorite
beat writers, and one of the reasons is that he live blogs every game.
There’s always something interesting in there too. Little stuff that
never makes the game story and which doesn’t matter in the grand
scheme, but that you’d like to know anyway. Yesterday he had this from the Brewers’ half of the seventh inning: “Braun fouls out to left. The ball was only a foot or so foul and Braun didn’t run. Interesting.”

Cubs 5, Reds 2: With this loss the Reds were officially
eliminated from the NL Central race so, you know, I suppose they can
stop trying now. Nice gesture: the Dayton Daily News’ Hal McCoy —
another excellent beat guy — is being forced into retirement after the
season after 27 years covering the Reds. In his honor, the Cubs gave
him a scoreboard panel with a “37” on it after the game. They would
have given it to him on Friday, but since the Reds and their pitching
staff were in town, they wanted to hold back the 37 just in case they
needed it.

Rangers 7, Mariners 2; Mariners 5, Rangers 0: Not going anywhere
for a while? These guys were already playing a doubleheader because of
Friday’s rain out, and then the first one was delayed four and a half
damn hours. Tommy Hunter threw a six hit complete game in the first
which is totally what you want to see in a twin bill. Didn’t carry
over, though, as Texas had no answers to Felix Hernandez (7 IP, 4 H, 0
ER). Ichiro’s hit in the nightcap was his 200th. He does that an awful lot.

Nationals 7, Marlins 2: Another rainy game, this one was called
in the bottom of the ninth following a second lengthy delay. Of course,
if this game was worth a pair of fetid dingo’s kidneys to the playoff
races they probably would have waited it out. Cody Ross: “Tough series
for us. Definitely not what we wanted. When you’re losing the whole
time it just makes it miserable. The steady rain just compounds that
terrible feeling you have inside.” Cody, it’s OK. Have a good cry and
then give Eric Wedge a call. You’ll be smiling in no time.

Republicans accuse Hillary Clinton of being a bandwagon Cubs fan

CHICAGO - APRIL 4:  Hillary Rodham Clinton throws out the first pitch before the Chicago Cubs Opening Day game against the New York Mets at Wrigley Field on April 4, 1994 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Getty Images
1 Comment

This was inevitable: The Republican National Committee published a ridiculously detailed and self-serious opposition-research report accusing Hillary Clinton of being a “bandwagon” Cubs fan.

If you’re of a certain age you’ll recall that Clinton, who grew up in the Chicago suburbs, spoke about being a Cubs fan as a kid. You’ll also recall that when she was running for her senate seat in New York, she gave shoutouts to a heretofore unheard of Yankees fandom. A lot of people have had fun with this at various times — we’ve mentioned it here on multiple occasiosn — but I wasn’t aware that anyone considered it an actually substantive political issue as opposed to an amusing “politicians, man” kind of thing.

The Republicans think it’s serious, though. Indeed, there’s more detail to this oppo-hit than there is any of the party’s candidate’s position papers. And while someone could, theoretically, have a lot of fun with this kind of material, the opposition report is not even remotely tongue-in-cheek. It reads like a poisition paper on nuclear proliferation. If the GOP had been this serious about vetting its own candidate, I suspect they wouldn’t be in the position they’re in today.

As for the substance: eh, who cares? Sports is entertainment and cultural glue. As a kid in Chicago, being a Cubs fan is both fun and makes some sense. As a senator from New York in the early 2000s, you’re gonna get to go to some Yankees games and sit in some good seats and that’s fun too. And, of course, politicians are going to say opportunistic things in order to attempt to connect with their constituents. Think of that what you will, but if you think of that as something which reveals something deep and dark within their soul about what kind of person they are, you probably need to step away from the cable news for a while and get some fresh air. Or you probably need to admit that you already believed the worse about her and that this is just an exercise in confirmation bias.

Heck, at this point I almost hope she finds a third or fourth team to rot for. Indeed, I hope she makes a comic heel turn, puts on a Chief Wahoo hat for tonight’s game and claims that, deep, deep down, she had always rooted for the Indians. Then even I could get on her case about it. And we could all talk about how, in her own way, Hillary was really bringing the nation together.

Video: Jonathan Lucroy who? Roberto Perez homers twice in World Series opener for the Indians

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 25:  Roberto Perez #55 of the Cleveland Indians hits a three-run home run during the eighth inning against the Chicago Cubs in Game One of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on October 25, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Back in July, then-Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy vetoed a trade that would have sent him to the Indians, helping the club make a significant upgrade behind the plate after losing Yan Gomes to an injury. At the time, Roberto Perez had only played in 11 games, batting .043. Gomes had hit .165 before his injury, and Chris Gimenez batted .202 over 42 games. It was not much of a logical leap to think the Indians would eventually falter due to a lack of production at the catching position.

But here the Indians are in the World Series facing the Cubs. In Game 1 on Tuesday night, Perez — who finished the season with a .183 average and three home runs in 184 plate appearances — drilled a pair of home runs, accounting for four of the six runs the Indians would score in a shutout win over the Cubs.

Perez’s first blast was a solo that that just cleared the left field fence at Progressive Field, coming on an 0-1 fastball from starter Jon Lester. That padded the Indians’ lead to 3-0.

The second homer put the game away, as he punished reliever Hector Rondon for hanging a 2-2 slider with two runners on base, slugging this one enough to clear the left field fence by plenty. That doubled the Indians’ lead to 6-0, the score by which they would eventually win.

Perez is the first catcher to homer twice in a World Series game since Gary Carter did it for the Mets against the Red Sox in the 1986 World Series. Perez is the first Indian to homer twice in the same playoff game since Jim Thome in the 1999 ALDS against the Red Sox.