And That Happened: Tuesday's Scores and Highlights

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Strasburg walks off.jpgNationals 5, Pirates 2: A star is born.

Giants 3, Reds 0: Not to be a killjoy or anything, but Matt Cain’s game score (76) was one better than Strasburg’s (75). Cain was dancin’ with the Devil, though, recording 16 fly ball outs in a park where you don’t want to be giving up a ton of fly balls.

Rays 9, Blue Jays 0:  And not to be a further killjoy, but Jeff Niemann was better than both Strasburg and Cain, shutting out the bashingest team in baseball on two measly hits.

Mets 2, Padres 1: And while we’re listing outstanding pitching performances, let’s not forget Mike Pelfrey, who went nine and gave up a single
run on five hits. Ike Davis hit a walkoff tater in the 11th too, which means that Strasburg wasn’t the only NL East rookie to have a nice night either.

Phillies 10, Marlins 8: Speaking of NL East rookies, how about Mike Stanton’s big league debut? It was a good one — 3 for 5, all singles and a run scored — but the Marlins’ pitchers and defensive game decided not to show up, basically gifting this game to the Phillies.

Brewers 3, Cubs 2: More great starts! Ted Lilly (8 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB,
8K, higher game score than Strasburg) and Yovani Gallardo (7 IP, 4 H, 0
ER, 2 BB, 7K). Of course neither of them figured in the decision.

Rangers 7, Mariners 1: King Felix decided that he wasn’t going to be one of those sheeple, mindlessly joining in last night’s pitching party. No, he was his own man: 6 IP, 8 H, 7 ER.  Colby Lewis was game, though (7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER).

Twins 7, Royals 3: Hey, yet another kickass pitching performance: Kevin Slowey, seven shutout innings in which he gave up only three hits.  Meanwhile, Zach Greinke joins Felix Hernandez in the non-conformists club (5 IP, 9 H, 6 ER).  I guess those two are just the toast of 2009 compared to this Strasburg kid.

Dodgers 1, Cardinals 0: I’m struggling to recall a night with more great pitching lines. Let’s add Hiroki Kuroda and Chris Carpenter to the mix: 7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER 6K for Kuroda, 7 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 5K for Carpenter.

Athletics 10, Angels 1: The A’s pitching was more of a group effort, with Vin Mazzaro going only five innings and four relievers joining him in collectively allowing one run on eight hits. The real star of the game was Kurt Suzuki, who went 4 for 5 with a homer and four RBI.

Red Sox 3, Indians 2: Tim Wakefield not only baffled the Tribe and got
the win, but he passed up Roger Clemens as the all-time Red Sox innings
pitched leader. Assuming Strasburg stays on regular rest, he gets the
Indians next. For those of you who think he only had a great night
because he faced a crappy lineup in the Pirates, well, you can just go
on thinking it, because there will be no evidence to the contrary
presented for a couple of weeks.

Tigers 7, White Sox 2: Armando Galarraga wasn’t perfect but he was good enough to win, scattering seven hits and two runs over five innings. Matt Thornton imploded for the Sox, giving up five runs on three hits and two walks in a mere third of an inning.

Yankees 12, Orioles 7: The Bombers bash the Orioles into submission, led by a Curtis Granderson grand slam and Nick Swisher’s five RBI night. Chad Gaudin coming in and giving up four runs in garbage time can’t be too comforting, though.

Braves 7, Diamondbacks 5: The Braves should have had a hell of a lot more runs than this, but they stranded 14 runners. Between that and Kris Medlen hurting his non-pitching shoulder while running the bases this could have been a disastrous night. Instead it was merely bad with a silver lining. Medlen should be fine. If he slides like that again, however, he’ll probably be fined until Hell won’t have it.

Astros 4, Rockies 3: Here’s the downside of following the draft: As a Braves fan I remember when they drafted Matt Belisle and I followed his career for a good while. Then he shows up and loses a game like this one and my first thought is “Matt Belisle? He’s got to be 42 years old now.”  He just turned 30.  I invested a lot of time in his development years and I’m not sure what I got out of it besides a misleading impression of the guy’s age.  Sometimes it’s just better to be surprised by some guy who shows up in the big leagues.  Now get off my lawn.

Rob Manfred says Tampa Bay must pick up pace on new stadium

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred wants Tampa Bay to work a little quicker on getting the Rays a new ballpark.

Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg has been working for nearly a decade to get a new stadium for the club and signed a three-year agreement with the City of St. Petersburg early in 2016 to search for a site in the Tampa Bay area. Manfred wants that search to pick up some steam.

“I think it’s fair to say we want the process to take on a better pace moving forward,” Manfred said Wednesday night at Tropicana Field, home of the Rays since their first season in 1998.

The Rays were averaging 15,815 fans per game before Wednesday night’s contest against the Toronto Blue Jays. That is just over half the major league average of 30,470. Tropicana Field and its location have been almost universally blamed as the reason for the poor attendance.

“I’ve been pretty clear that they need a new facility here, a major league quality facility in an A-plus location,” Manfred said. “It is time to move that decision to the front burner here in Tampa.”

The matter of how a stadium would be financed has been tabled until a site is determined, but Sternberg continued to express confidence in the Tampa Bay market.

“I’ve had the opportunity to bail on it many times over the years,” he said. “I won’t say this is a slam dunk, it’s certainly not. But I think we can do something that’ll at least double our attendance. That’s a lot to ask for.”

Manfred said Major League Baseball “doesn’t have a firm timetable” for what steps to take if the Rays fail to get an agreement to build a new stadium in the Tampa Bay area, but but added that “it is a topic of discussion in the industry, the lack of progress.”

More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

Robinson Cano leaves game with hamstring tightness

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Bad news for the Mariners this evening: Robinson Cano left Seattle’s game against the Atlanta Braves with tightness in his left hamstring.

Cano walked off the field after legging out a double — his second of the game — in the third inning. He pulled up as he approached second base and walked off the field, accompanied by a trainer. There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury. The Mariners have a day off Thursday before opening a series at the Yankees on Friday night, so they have some time to evaluate him.

Cano is hitting .277/.377/.460 with 19 homers and 78 RBI on the year.