And That Happened: Tuesday's Scores and Highlights

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Giants 7, Dodgers 5: So the pitching matchup I was so looking forward to kind of fizzled out, but that didn’t keep this one from being interesting.  Clayton Kershaw hit Andres Torres in the first. Then Tim Lincecum smacked Matt Kemp and Denny Bautista threw some inside heat to Russell Martin. Kershaw then did the expected thing and hit Aaron Rowand. The upshot of all of that was Joe Torre, bench coach Bob Schaefer and Kershaw were all ejected.

Don Mattingly took over as the Dodgers’ manager and — just like he did the last time he had the reins — he screwed up. This time he accidentally turned one mound visit in the ninth into two when he turned around on his way back to the dugout, thereby losing Jonathan Broxton. George Sherrill had to come in — cold, because he wasn’t warming up — and he promptly gave up a two-run double to Torres, which ended up giving the Giants the game. Look, I love Mattingly, but is this really the guy everyone considers to be Torre’s heir apparent?

Rockies 10, Marlins 0: I was reading some Nate Robertson/trade deadline speculation yesterday afternoon. This ain’t gonna help it. The Rockies crush the rec-spectacled one, led by Melvin Mora’s five RBI. Melvin Mora had a big game? Quick! Someone call President Bush! It’s 2003 and we can still avoid blundering into the quagmire that is the Iraq war!

Rangers 8, Tigers 0: All Tommy Hunter does is win ballgames. That’s seven straight in the toilet for the Tigers. Armando Galarraga and Casey Fien combine to give up seven runs right after being called up from Toledo. All I can figure is that they both stopped in at some bar in Monroe on the way back up to the ballpark and weren’t 100% at go time.

Braves 4, Padres 1: The Padres threatened in the first inning, but a potential run was killed when David Eckstein was thrown out at the plate by Melky Cabrera to end the inning. You can’t win, Melky. If you strike Eckstein down, he shall become more
powerful than you could possibly imagine
. Braves now have the best record in the NL.

Angels 10, Yankees 2: As I write this particular entry it’s about 10:45 P.M. Eastern time last night, so I haven’t yet had the benefit of reading the New York tabloids yet, but I’m going to go out on a limb and guess the day’s meme: Phil Hughes has now pitched 100 innings! His arm is going to fall off! Pettitte’s hurt! Burnett is a basket case! The Yankees must trade all warm bodies for Roy Oswalt, Ted Lilly and the corpse of Red Ruffing! Maybe that’s not it, but you know there will be a meme. See, the Yankees are expected to go 162-0, and if they lose, writers must search for the root cause. Every. Single. Time.

Cardinals 7, Phillies 1: Jamie Moyer had to leave after one inning due to an elbow strain. Overheard in the clubhouse after the game: Moyer arguing with the training staff about whether to treat the strain with some Lister’s Carbolic Unguent, a Balasam Specific or Smeckler’s Powder. And I’m not going to say that Phillies fans are starting to lose faith or anything, but last night one of the biggest Phillies partisans I know tweeted “I just took a dump. I named it Baez.”

Pirates 11, Brewers 9: It was 9-0 Pirates at the end of the first inning, but the Brewers had gotten within one run by the 6th. That and $8 gets you a domestic beer in a plastic cup, however, and the Brew Crew weren’t able to complete the comeback. Oh, and no one is paying attention because it’s the Pirates and everything, but Pedro Alvarez is having a hell of a July. Last night adds to it: 2 for 4, 2 HR, 5 RBI and a walk.

Indians 4, Twins 3: Travis Hafner doubles in Carlos Santana in the seventh to but the Tribe over the top. In case you haven’t noticed, and judging by the attendance you haven’t,
the Indians have managed to win a few here and there, and are
threatening to climb out of the cellar.

Blue Jays 13, Royals 1: Royals’ starter Anthony Larew left the game early when he was drilled by a comebacker. Just kind of set the tone for the beating the Royals took.

Cubs 14, Astros 7: Anyone else notice that Aramis Ramirez has basically been Ted Williams in July? Three for seven, three homers and seven RBI last night to add onto what has already been a stellar month.

Diamondbacks 3, Mets 2: Like I’ve always said: when Barry Enright takes
the hill, you probably should just pack it in and save your energy to
fight another day. OK, that’s not totally fair — Enright has been good
this year — but the Mets only getting one run off him in eight innings
doesn’t exactly bathe them in glory. Their best shot to break through in
this one came in the first when they had the bases loaded and only one
out, but both Ike Davis and Jason Bay whiffed and the threat was over. 1
for 6 with runners in scoring position overall last night. Just some
bad baseball from New York lately.

White Sox 4, Mariners 0: John Danks shuts down the punchless Mariners over seven and two-thirds and Chicago beats Seattle in a cool 2:11. One of the only really crisp games in all of baseball last night.

Athletics 5, Red Sox 4: Neither Tim Wakefield nor Dallas Braden were particularly sharp, but the bullpens kept things scoreless between the fourth and the ninth. Kevin Kouzmanoff won it with a walkoff single in the bottom of the tenth. His sac fly in the third had tied the game as well. I want to say that he did the tie-it-up, win-it thing a few weeks ago too, but I’m too lazy to look.

Reds 8, Nationals 7: The game itself lasted two hours and forty-eight
minutes. The rain delay in the middle was two hours, thirty-two minutes.
You had to be a brave and hearty soul to stay for that one. Mike Leake
got the win despite the Reds’ pen giving up six runs as soon as the
delay was over. He’s 7-1 now.

Orioles 11, Rays 10: Seven homers, 13 innings and four hours, thirty-eight minutes of baseball. I guess that’s some people’s idea of a good time. Carl Crawford left the game in the first inning and went to the hospital after getting hit in the groin on a pickoff throw from Jake Arrieta. The game was so long that Crawford came back to the ballpark before it was over and gave this choice quote regarding the throw: “You couldn’t hit it in a better spot.”  Really, Carl? I can think of a hundred places that would be preferable.

Madison Bumgarner began his rehab assignment yesterday

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Giants ace Madison Bumgarner tossed three no-hit innings yesterday in his first minor league rehab start with the Giants’ Arizona Rookie League team. He struck out two and walked a guy, while sitting in the 88-91 m.p.h. range on his fastball.

Bumgarner, who is coming back from a sprained left AC joint in his shoulder suffered in a dirt bike accident in April, will return to San Francisco to throw a bullpen session and then go back on the road for more rehab games. That’s a lot of traveling, but the Giants obviously want to monitor his progress. At the moment he’s expected to build up his strength for the next several weeks and, hopefully, return to the Giants’ rotation some time after the All-Star break.

Of course, there shouldn’t be too much of a rush. The Giants have lost five in a row and 12 of 13 and currently sit in last place, 24.5 games behind the Dodgers. At this point Bumgarner rushing to rejoin the Giants is like an Australian soldier getting a wound dressed to hurry back to the Gallipoli Campaign.

Is it really that weird that Cody Bellinger does not know who Jerry Seinfeld is?

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Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger has been tearing through the league so far this season, blazing a 50-home run pace despite not even making his debut until April 25. His Dodgers are winners of 10 games in a row, sit in first place and have the best record in the National League.

But not everything is rosy in Cody Bellinger land. He’s now at the center of controversy after he revealed on SportsCenter on Friday night that he doesn’t know who Jerry Seinfeld is. Or, at the very least, that he could not put a face with that familiar-sounding name and that in no event did he know why he was famous.

People have been going crazy with this, acting as if he’s from Mars or something for not knowing who starred in one of history’s most popular and influential sitcoms. His teammates, especially, have been getting on his case:

I dunno. On the one hand, sure, the show was amazingly popular and has been in heavy syndication for like 20 years so it would be hard to miss even for a young guy like Bellinger. And, of course, the catchphrases and bits of the show that has seeped into the popular culture have given it a longer shelf life than most TV shows ever manage.

On the other hand the thing ended when he was not yet three years old. For him, “Seinfeld” was like “The Beverly Hillbillies” for someone my age or “M*A*S*H” for someone born in the early 80s. Those shows were just as popular — actually, they got higher ratings and were seen by a larger percentage of the population than “Seinfeld” ever was — and they were just as heavily syndicated for the decade or two after they went off the air. We don’t get on the case of players born in the 70s or 80s for not knowing who Alan Alda or Buddy Ebsen are. And if it’s about the catchphrases, substitute in “Happy Days” and “Welcome Back Kotter,” each of which created a cultural footprint larger than the show itself. Would we freak out if we found out that Jayson Werth — born in 1979 — had never heard the phrase “Up your nose with a rubber hose” or “Sit on it?”

And that’s before you acknowledge how much more fragmented pop culture and entertainment is now. I was 12 in 1985 and back then I had little choice but to watch “M*A*S*H” reruns at 7pm while I was waiting for prime time. It was either that or “Wheel of Fortune” I guess. As a 12-year old in 2007, Bellinger could’ve easily avoided “Seinfeld” reruns. He could’ve avoided TV altogether and just been online. My son is 12 now and he hasn’t watched an actual TV show in years. It’s all You Tube and stuff. The idea that there is any one thing or even a handful of things that, culturally speaking, we can all agree upon or which can serve as a common touchstone is an increasingly obsolete idea.

Maybe “Seinfeld” is different. Maybe this is not the same as not knowing “The Beverly Hillbillies” or “M*A*S*H”. I floated this whole idea on Twitter yesterday and people were outraged, so perhaps something else is going on here that I’m missing. But personally speaking, I feel like we should all calm down a bit about Cody Bellinger and the “Seinfeld” thing. Maybe we should acknowledge that the stuff we like is not going to be culturally prevalent forever. And that young kids like Cody Bellinger are going to be the ones to inform us of this inescapable fact.