And That Happened: Monday's Scores and Highlights


Dana Eveland.jpgRed Sox 13, Blue Jays 12: Just your standard 25 run, 34 hit, 4+ hour nine inning game. Lyle Overbay, Jose Bautista and Jason Varitek each had 4 RBI, Bill Hall, Jeremy Herminda and Travis Snider all had 0-fers, and the starting pitchers — Josh Beckett and Dana Eveland — were each tied up and were placed, sitting backwards, on the backs of donkeys while wearing giant carnival masks and then led out into some forbidding desert to die.

Brewers 17, Pirates 3: The Milwaukee Brewers! What a rotten name! We were trapped. There they stood,
between us and the alley. The Milwaukee Brewers staring out at us with their yellow
eyes. They had yellow eyes! So, help me, God! Yellow eyes!

Royals 3, Mariners 1Kyle Davies beats Felix Hernandez? OK, that’s unexpected, but weird things happen from time to time. Yuniesky Betancourt goes 2-4 and is now hitting close to .350 on the year? Well, that is a little peculiar. Bruce Chen gets a save? Screw it, I’m maxing out my credit cards and pulling the kids out of school, because the end is friggin’ nigh.

Marlins 10, Padres 1: Josh Johnson pitched a complete game, striking out 12 and giving up a lone earned run and he went 3-4 driving in three.  A guy who can do that on a regular basis is worth $25 million a year. Ryan Howard? Not so much.

Tigers 8, Rangers 6: Neftali Feliz gives up back-to-back homers to Miguel Cabrera and Brandon Inge in the ninth to lose the game. I hate to see Feliz struggle, but any little thing that may push him out of Certified Closer land and back into being a starting pitcher is fine by me.

Cubs 4, Nationals 3: The Nats battled back from 3-0 to send the game to extras, and then Brian Bruney comes in and allows a single, a walk, a single and a walk to end it. His former team, the World Champion New York Yankees, were in Washington yesterday meeting President Obama. There’s a reason he did not accompany them.

Cardinals 4, Braves 3: “Commonly, people believe that defeat is characterized by a general bustle and a feverish rush. Bustle and rush are the signs of victory, not of defeat. Victory is a thing of action. It is a house in the act of being built. Every participant in victory sweats and puffs, carrying the stones for the building of the house. But defeat is a thing of weariness, of incoherence, of boredom. And above all of futility” — Antoine de Saint-Exupery, noted observer of the Atlanta Braves.

Diamondbacks 5, Rockies 3: Dan Haren was on: 8 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 10K. Adam LaRoche’s three-run homer in the first was a the big blast.

Giants 5, Phillies 1: Yes, of course it makes perfect sense that the Giants would score the most runs they had in a over week — 5 — on the night they face Roy Halladay. Wait, it actually does. Before last night Halladay had faced the Giants twice in his career and on each occasion they had scored . . . five runs.

Angels 5, Indians 2: The first several paragraphs of the game story are spent here comparing Jered Weaver to Jeff Weaver. Am I the only one who finds this odd? Hideki Matsui had his 1000th major league hit last night. I saw his performance. I would like to have a player like him in my lineup.
Mets vs. Dodgers: Postponed:  Remember that “Happy Days” episode where the Fonz performed in “The Rainmaker?” What the hell was up with that?

Cardinals take 1-0 NLDS lead over the Cubs behind John Lackey’s brilliant outing

John Lackey
AP Photo/Jeff Roberson
1 Comment

John Lackey flirted with a no-hitter but settled for 7 1/3 terrific, shutout innings to beat the Cubs in Game 1 of the NLDS on Friday. The right-hander held the opposition to two hits and a walk while striking out five. Lefty reliever Kevin Siegrist struck out two to finish the eighth without issue. Closer Trevor Rosenthal worked around a one-out walk and a two-out single in the ninth to seal the 4-0 win, recording all three outs on called strike threes.

Lackey brought a no-hitter into the sixth inning, but lost it quickly when Addison Russell hit a ground ball single up the middle to lead off the frame. Russell would steal second base but was stranded.

Opposing starter Jon Lester wasn’t too shabby himself, relenting three runs on five hits while walking one and striking out nine in 7 1/3 innings. The first run came around in the first inning on Matt Holliday‘s RBI single, which followed a one-out double by Stephen Piscotty. Tommy Pham pinch-hit in the pitcher’s spot in the eighth inning and launched a solo home run off of Lester to double the Cardinals’ lead. Lester walked Matt Carpenter before exiting. Pedro Strop came in and promptly served up a two-run home run to Stephen Piscotty.

The closest the Cubs came to scoring was when Dexter Fowler sent a deep fly ball to right field with a man on base and two outs in the sixth inning, but Randal Grichuk caught it with a foot or two to spare in front of the fence on the warning track.

The two clubs will play Game 2 of the NLDS on Saturday at 5:30 PM EDT. Kyle Hendricks will start for the Cubs and oppose Cardinals lefty Jaime Garcia.

Astros err in letting Scott Kazmir start sixth

Scott Kazmir
1 Comment

Scott Kazmir went winless with a 6.52 ERA in six September starts. He allowed 41 hits, eight of them homers, in 29 innings, posting an 18/11 K/BB ratio. When the Astros got five innings of two-run ball from him Friday against the Royals, they should have thanked their good fortune and moved right along to the pen.

And they knew this. They must have. Josh Fields got up in the pen after Kazmir issued a one-out walk in the fifth. The left-hander got out of the frame, making himself eligible for the victory in what was then a 4-2 game, but it was still very surprising to see him come back out for the sixth, particularly with the switch-hitting Ben Zobrist (.926 OPS against lefties) and right-handed Lorenzo Cain due up.

Kazmir retired Zobrist, but he gave up a double to Cain. He was then pulled, even with the left-handed Eric Hosmer coming up. Manager A.J. Hinch had committed my biggest baseball pet peeve: he sent his starter back to the mound with the idea of pulling him after his first mistake.

It worked out terribly. Oliver Perez gave up a pair of soft hits to Hosmer and Kendrys Morales before walking Mike Moustakas. Fields then entered and walked the unwalkable Salvador Perez to tie the game at 4. The Astros gave up another run in the seventh and lost the game 5-4.

Maybe that’s the way it would have worked out anyway. Kazmir did give up just the one baserunner. It might not have even harmed the Astros if Perez had better luck.

Still, the thinking that went into the decision was disturbing. It’s always better to bring that reliever in with no one on base when you can. That’s especially the case with this Astros pen, which lacks a double-play specialist, much less a Wade Davis. But anyone in that pen would have been a better choice than sending Kazmir out to face Zobrist and Cain for a third time. Hinch needs to be more aggressive going forward.

Cardinals’ giveaway incorrectly claims ownership of 2001 division title

cardinals logo

The Cardinals have won so many division titles, it’s tough to keep track of them all. At least, it would be tough if it weren’t for Baseball Reference.

40,000 rally towels were given away to fans at Busch Stadium ahead of Friday’s NLDS Game 1 against the Cubs. The towel listed all of the years the Cardinals won the NL Central… and 2001. That year, they tied with the Astros for the best record in the National League at 93-69. However, because the Astros won the season series 9-7, they were awarded first place and the Cardinals took the Wild Card.