And That Happened: Tuesday's Scores and Highlights

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Mariners 7, Yankees 4: Cliff Lee throws his third straight complete game. How Nick Swisher managed to hit two homers off him I have no idea, but West Virginia boys who go on to Ohio State are cunning and resourceful by nature. Phil Hughes got beat up. I’m sure all sorts of people will be wringing their hands over the new “Phil Rules” in which his starts are getting pushed back to give him extra rest. Hopefully they can (a) accept the fact that sometimes pitchers just have bad games; and (b) realize how sick to death most of us get at every Yankees loss bringing forth some big Situation of the Day that must be discussed and analyzed to the nth degree until the next Yankees win.  One or two more of these and I’m sure they’ll be campaigning for Hughes to go back to being a setup guy or something.

Phillies
9, Reds 6
: First Brad Lidge got smacked around, blowing a three-run
lead in the ninth and then Arthur Rhodes got smacked around, giving up
three runs of his own in the tenth, snapping his 30-game scoreless
streak and losing the ballgame. Wilson Valdez started at second base for
the Phillies in place of the injured Chase Utley and all he did was hit
a three-run homer and drive in four overall. So Phillies fans can stop
freaking out for at least one day.

Marlins 7, Mets 6: The Mets blow a 3-0 lead and lose a chance to make up a game on the Braves. That’s two straight troubling starts for Hisanori Takahashi. Who — and I’m just sayin’ here — is currently on the same schedule as Cliff Lee.

Nationals 7, Braves 2: The Braves’ 3-7 hitters combine to go a cool 0 for 19. This used to happen a lot when the Braves’ 3-7 hitters included guys like Gerald Perry, Andres Thomas and Ozzie Virgil. I just have to remember how I used to cope with that.

Cubs 3, Pirates 1: Alfonso Soriano had a couple of homers and Ted Lilly pitched seven strong innings. The Pirates have scored a mere five runs in their last four games.

Red Sox 8, Rays 5: Boston is now only one game behind the Yankees. They also happen to lead the AL in runs per game. Still plenty of room on the “well, maybe I was too quick to make those ‘run prevention is no substitute for run scoring’ jokes I spent all April and May writing” bandwagon, Boston media. Plenty of seats available!

Indians 5, Blue Jays 4: Three straight wins for the Tribe, this one on the back of a nice outing by Fausto Carmona and the first homer for Matt LaPorta since his callup. Appropos of nothing other than the fact that this involves Cleveland, LeBron James flashed across the TV at Chez Calcaterra last night. I’m not the biggest NBA fan in the world, but Mrs. C. knows next to nothing about it. This was our conversation:

Mrs. C: So, is he staying in Cleveland?

Me: I have no idea.

Mrs. C: Won’t he a make boatload of cash if he stays in Cleveland?

Me: He’ll make a boatload of cash no matter where he goes. He’s a free agent.

Mrs. C: Where might he go?

Me: New York. Chicago. Miami.

Mrs. C: If he’s going to make millions anywhere he goes, he should just go to Miami. It’s nicer there during the basketball season than it is in Cleveland.

Brewers 7, Astros 5: So we’re working up an agenda for this week’s HBT Extra segment, and the idea of underachieving players comes up. I pencil in the notion of mentioning Prince Fielder. Not because he’s having a terrible year, really, but just that as a superstar approaching free agency or a trade, the hope had to have been for him to just go crazy this season. We’re also thinking of talking about under-the-radar trade candidates, and I pencil in Brett Myers because he’s pitched well for a team going nowhere. So of course, the night before we tape, Fielder goes off and hits two homers and Myers gets his ass shelled.

White Sox 4, Royals 3: Sometimes you hear that every starter on a given team got a hit and imagine that they beat the tar out of the other guys. The Royals had every starter get a hit, but no one had more than one and all but one of the hits were singles. This is how you “lead the league in hitting” as the Royals are, but rank in the bottom half of the league in, you know, actually scoring.

Cardinals 8, Diamondbacks 0: Seriously, at what point will the Dontrelle Willis torture end? Yet another awful outing for D-Train (4 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 6 BB, 2 HR).  He can’t pitch anymore and just because the Diamondbacks aren’t in the race doesn’t mean that its acceptable to keep running him out there.

Twins 11, Tigers 4: Detroit held onto first place for approximately 24 hours.  Denard Denard Denard Span Span Span had had had three three three triples triples triples.

Athletics 4, Orioles 2: Dallas Braden was scratched before the game with elbow problems, extending his “only bad things have happened since he threw the perfect game” streak to 52 days.  Vin Mazzaro filled in admirably, however, Kurt Suzuki had three RBI and Coco Crisp had three hits, stole two bases and scored twice. Four wins in a row for the Athletics.

Angels 6, Rangers 5: Vlad Guerrero had a homer and three RBIs in his return to Anaheim. Him having a great night but the Rangers losing is how most Angels fans probably hoped it would go in a having your cake and eating it too kind of way.

Rockies 6, Padres 3: The Rockies are certainly challenging that whole “the Padres have awesome pitching and Petco Park is an offense-killer” conventional wisdom this series. Clint Barmes and Carlos Gonzalez went deep for Colorado.

Dodgers 4, Giants 2: Stat that shocked me: Matt Cain is now 0-8 in 14 career starts against the Dodgers. I haven’t seen a record that bad in a rivalry setting since John Cooper was fired from the Ohio State coaching job.

Giants place Hunter Pence on 10-day disabled list with right thumb sprain

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The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.

Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).

Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.