And That Happened: Sunday's Scores and Highlights

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Blue Jays 1, Rays 0: A single by Evan Longoria with two outs in the ninth saved the Rays from being no-hit for the third time this year.  What can you say about Brandon Morrow? Seventeen Ks, a one-hitter and the highest game score by a pitcher since Randy Johnson’s perfect game back in 2004. The only negative is that he threw 137 pitches in this one. Hopefully Cito Gaston gives him some extra rest in the coming weeks.

Braves 6, Giants 3: Atlanta threw out a JV lineup — no Heyward, no Chipper, no McCann, and of course Prado is still hurt — but it didn’t matter as Derek Lowe and a cast of relievers kept the Giants’ bats pretty darn quiet. Query: has anyone ever done a study of the Giants’ and Athletics’ won-loss record based on temperature? It was damn hot in Atlanta over the weekend. In San Francisco, however, the highs are only in the upper 60s at best this time of the summer.  I watched a lot of the action over the weekend and can’t say the Giants’ looked gassed — maybe Sandoval at times — but I can’t help but think an August series in Atlanta has to bug a team that hails from a place where there’s virtually no weather.

Phillies 6, Mets 5: The R.A. Dickey Express was bound to hit a bump in the road at some point, and this was it. The Phillies scored six runs on eight hits against the knuckler, including a Raul Ibanez rocket shot to dead center in the third that scored three. Ibanez has been insanely hot lately, by the way.

Reds 11, Cubs 4: The Reds had an 8-0 lead in the seventh before the Cubs broke through for all four of their runs with the help of some bad Reds defense. Cincy got three of the four back though and won this one pretty easily. Reds pitchers needed only 107 pitches compared to the Cubs’ 174. Jonny Gomes walked four times. The Reds have won nine of 11 and now head into a three-game series at home against the Cardinals.

Brewers 11, Astros 6: Milwaukee effectively ended this one quickly, scoring all 11 of its runs before the end of the fourth inning. Which was considerate of them inasmuch as it gave the citizens of Houston that much more time to attend to personal matters on Sunday afternoon.

Speaking of personal matters, I ordered a bunch of fun baseball shirts yesterday. A Columbus Jets number, and from the old PCL a Hollywood Stars t-shirt and a San Francisco Seals 3/4 length sleeve job. I was going to get a Portland Beavers one but I figured that would make me look like that guy who’s trying to hard to be clever. Anyway, no reason for sharing this here other than that I’m quite excited about my new shirts and felt like sharing and no one in my house gives a crap about it.

Orioles 4, White Sox 3: The Orioles won’t win their way out of the AL East cellar this year, but if Buck’s boys keep winning like this they may give 2011’s season tickets sales a boost. Baltimore has won five of six since Showalter took over. Mark Buehrle — who took the loss — said this after the game: “You’re playing one of the worst teams in baseball. We should come in here and beat these guys.”  Any given Sunday, dude. Any given Sunday.

Twins 5, Indians 4: Jim Thome hit a two-run shot against his old team to help the Twins pull to a half game of another one of his old teams. The Phillies and Dodgers are safe for now, but there’s a definite pattern here, so they best watch their backs.

Rockies 8, Pirates 4: Carlos Gonzalez went 4 for 5 with a homer and continues to be absolutely ridiculous this year. Dude’s at .327/.355/.579, and I bet that unless you live in Denver, none of the casual fans you talk to at the office know who the hell he is.

Tigers 9, Angels 4: Detroit avoids a sweep. Will Rhymes had three hits and two RBI and was sent down right after the game. I’d like to think he spent last night in a bar in Toledo talking about “damn politics, man. That’s all it is.”

Mariners 3, Royals 2: Jason Vargas and Kyle Davies had a little pitchers duel that probably said more about the teams’ respective offenses than it did about Vargas and Davies.

Athletics 3, Rangers 2: Trevor Cahill does it again: Only three strikeouts, but he (a) didn’t walk anyone; (b) got more grounders than fly balls; and (c) kept the ball in the yard.

Padres 10, Diamondbacks 1:  San Diego averts a sweep at the hands of the lowly Dbacks and does so in impressive fashion. Jerry Hairston had three hits, one of which was a homer, scored four times and drove in two. Mat Latos threw six shutout innings and combined with the pen to throw a three hitter.

Dodgers 8, Nationals 3: Jason Marquis made his triumphant return, going four innings, allowing five hits and five runs, but only two of them were earned. OK, I guess that’s not terribly triumphant, but he’s back for whatever that’s worth. Ted Lilly gets his second win in a row in a Dodgers uniform. Jamey Carroll went 3 for 3 with a walk and drove in a couple.

Yankees 7, Red Sox 2: I’m not gonna lie to you: I didn’t watch this one. I watched “Hot Tub Time Machine” instead. I’m not sure if I made the right choice. “Hot Tub Time Machine” wasn’t good, but at times it had some so-bad-it’s-good elements. And the more I think about it, a three hour Yankees-Red Sox game whose outcome wasn’t in doubt after the fifth inning and in which there was a legitimate reason to compare Derek Jeter to Babe Ruth would have been way, way too much for me.

Cardinals vs. Marlins: POSTPONED:  
I opened my eyes and looked up at the rain, and it dripped in my head and flowed into my brain. And all that I hear as I lie in my bed is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head. I step very softly, I walk very slow, I can’t do a handstand– I might overflow. So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said– I’m just not the same since there’s rain in my head.

Clay Buchholz apologized to the Phillies for getting injured

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MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that starter Clay Buchholz is at Citizens Bank Park for Wednesday night’s game against the Marlins. The right-hander recently underwent surgery to repair a partial tear of his flexor pronator mass. The timetable for his recovery is three to five months, but most are expecting him to miss the rest of the season since the Phillies aren’t legitimate contenders.

According to Zolecki, Buchholz apologized to GM Matt Klentak “and others” — presumably other front office staff and/or his teammates — for getting injured. Buchholz hopes to return to pitch in September.

It’s saddening to me, and indicative of the general anti-labor culture in sports, that a player feels obligated to apologize for getting injured on the job. Injuries are nothing new for Buchholz, which might have factored into his decision to apologize. Red Sox fans got on his case quite a bit over the years for his propensity to land on the disabled list. But it wasn’t like Buchholz was taking unnecessary risks; he simply did his job, which entails doing a lot of unhealthy movement with his arm. Buchholz owes no one an apology.

Buchholz isn’t the only player to have apologized for getting injured. Outfielder Hideki Matsui apologized to the Yankees in 2006. Starter Masahiro Tanaka apologized in 2014. Twins reliever Glen Perkins apologized last year. Even Madison Bumgarner sort of apologized for suffering injuries riding a dirt bike on an off-day, saying “It’s definitely not the most responsible decision I’ve made.” Because god forbid an athlete has interests and hobbies outside of his vocation.

Players are brought up in a sports culture that allows exorbitantly wealthy owners to bilk the players — laborers — at every possible turn. They’re mostly underpaid and poorly taken care of in the minors. If and when they reach the major leagues, their salaries are intentionally depressed for six years and their service time is toyed with (just ask Kris Bryant). Buchholz endured that and then endured the criticism that comes with having been a hyped prospect who mostly failed to live up to expectations. He’s gone above and beyond what he needed to do to have a successful career as a professional baseball player, even if it wasn’t as much as fans or front office personnel would have liked.

Eric Thames leaves game with apparent injury

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Update (5:22 PM ET): Thames is dealing with left hamstring tightness. Manager Craig Counsell says it’s “not a big deal,” Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

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Brewers first baseman Eric Thames left Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Reds in the top of the eighth inning with an apparent injury. Thames took his position to start the inning, but was replaced by Jesus Aguilar. Thames had flied out weakly to center field to end the previous inning, so perhaps something happened while he ran that out.

The Brewers should provide an update shortly on the exact nature of Thames’ early exit. Needless to say, losing Thames to the disabled list would be a huge blow to the 11-11 Brewers, as he entered Wednesday leading all of baseball in runs (25), home runs (11), slugging percentage (.929), and OPS (1.411). Thames was 1-for-3 with a single, a pair of walks, and two runs scored before leaving.