HBT Weekend Wrapup

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I feel like I’ve been in the house too much lately. Indeed, I realized on Saturday morning that I hadn’t left the house once in the previous five days. I’m a hermit by nature, but this was extreme, so I made a point to go out into the world on Saturday, mix with people and generally act like a social human being.

I really enjoy interacting with people on the Internet, but it turns out that people are rather overrated in person. After some moderate socializing which kind of gave me the heebie jeebies, I ended up getting a yogurt and going to a book store and reading all three bound volumes of the Batman “Knightfall” series in those cushy chairs that seem to invite freeloaders like me.  I’m back in my fortified compound on the outskirts of town now, happy to retreat again into the little virtual reality I’ve created for myself, and happy to be catching up on what I missed during my ill-advised social adventure:

  • Jayson Werth expressed remorse for yelling at that fan who got in his way. Which, contrary to what some of you commenters were saying, doesn’t change the fact that the fan should have gotten the hell out of the way. The fan screwed up and Werth overreacted. These are not mutually-exclusive occurrences;
  • Dodgers’ reliever Ronald Bellisario is on the restricted list for a drug problem. He was originally referred to as suffering from “anxiety” issues. Many around baseball suspect that “anxiety” is trotted out as a cover for problems such as a player’s ineffectiveness. I hope using the term to cover for a drug problem is unique to Bellisario’s case.
  • HBT’s own Bob Harkins is in Anaheim this week, grokking the All-Star Game Zeitgeist. I just woke up and haven’t read his first post yet, but it has Erin Andrews and bacon listed in the headline, so it’s probably the best post in the history of the Internet.

In the absence of real baseball, I’ll be spending some time and some posts over the next couple of days trying to figure out what, exactly, the All-Star Game is all about these days, whether it means anything anymore and, frankly, whether it really ever did.

And if you think that no baseball means that there will be no “And That Happened” recaps to greet you when you wake up tomorrow, well, then you don’t know me very well, do you.

Astros stave off AL West elimination, beat the Diamondbacks

Colby Rasmus, Gary Pettis
AP Photo

Facing an elimination number of one, the Astros staved off elimination in the AL West by beating the Diamondbacks on Friday night by a 6-1 margin. The Rangers suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Angels on Saturday afternoon, which temporarily put the Astros’ fate in their own hands.

Colby Rasmus hit a pair of solo homers and Jose Altuve added a solo shot of his own. Starter Collin McHugh tossed seven innings of one-run ball, limiting the Diamondbacks to six hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Reliever Will Harris allowed a solo home run to Paul Goldschmidt in the eighth, but Luke Gregerson closed out the game with a scoreless ninth.

The Astros trail the Rangers by one game in the AL West and lead the Angels by one game for the second AL Wild Card slot. The Rangers can clinch the AL West on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Astros loss. The Astros can clinch the second AL Wild Card on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Angels loss.

The Yankees lost both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Orioles and lead the Astros by only one game for the first AL Wild Card slot.

If the Astros win and the Rangers lose on Sunday, they will play an AL West tiebreaker in Texas. The winner will win the second AL Wild Card if the Yankees win on Sunday, or the first AL Wild Card if the Yankees lose on Sunday.

If the Astros lose and the Angels win on Sunday, the two teams will be tied for the second AL Wild Card. They would play a tiebreaker in Houston, and the winner would play the Yankees in New York in the Wild Card game.

Video: Kelby Tomlinson slides in for an inside-the-park home run

Kelby Tomlinson
AP Photo
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Giants second baseman Kelby Tomlinson looked more like Ladainian Tomlinson the way he was running during Saturday afternoon’s game against the Rockies. In the first inning with one out against starter Chris Rusin, Tomlinson hit a fly ball into the right-center field gap at AT&T Park, a great place to go if you’re in the mood for an inside-the-park home run.

Neither Carlos Gonzalez nor Chris Dickerson could corral the ball before it rolled all the way to the 421-foot marker at the fence. Tomlinson motored around the bases, but Gonzalez made a strong throw into cut-off man D.J. LeMahieu, and LeMahieu made a great throw in to catcher Tom Murphy, but Tomlinson slid in safely just ahead of the tag.

It was an exciting play and the hit proved important as the Giants eked out a 3-2 win against the Rockies.