And That Happened: Sunday's Scores and Highlights


It’s gonna take me a few hours to get back up to speed after a week off, so bear with me.  Can’t wait to fire up my DVR and check out those couple of Stephen Strasburg starts I missed! That kid is fantastic!

Braves 7, Marlins 6: If you thought that after a week off I wasn’t going to come back leading with a Brian McCann walkoff jack to bring the Braves back from a 6-1 eighth inning deficit then you’re just not familiar with my work.

Phillies 5, Padres 0: Swept by the Astros at home, sweep the Padres at home. I dunno man, you figure the Phillies out.

Brewers 8, Pirates 4: The Brewers have so thoroughly owned the Pirates at Miller Park the past couple of years (28-2) that they’re considering taking out an equity loan on their asses and adding a deck. Or maybe a gazebo. Save number 599 for Trevor Hoffman. I hope he gets to an even 600 and shuts himself down for good so he can (a) have a nice round number next to his name in the books; and (b) end his career with a fist pump and a high five from his catcher after closing one out, because that’s the only way it should be.

Mariners 2, Twins 1: Nice outing for Carl Pavano, but as people have been saying for years, there’s just not a hell of a lot you can do when you’re facing Luke French (7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER). Well, I’m guessing someone said that once or twice. Like, his mom or his Legion coach or someone like that.

Nationals 4, Cardinals 2: The Cards are 2-5 in their last seven. Those seven were against Washington and Pittsburgh. Gettin’ your butt handed to you by last place teams is no way to win the NL Central, son.

Reds 7, Cubs 5: The Reds take advantage of the Cardinals’ loss, extending their division lead to five games. They’re now 11-4 since getting swept by the Cardinals at home. The lesson: trash talking and kicking dudes in the face = victory.

Rockies 10, Dodgers 5: For the first time in six starts since coming over to L.A. in the trade, Ted Lilly loses. In fact, he gets pummeled (4 IP, 9 H, 7 ER). Three of those seven runs came on a pair of Carlos Gonzalez bombs.

Orioles 1, Angels 0: The O’s took all six this year from the defending AL West champs. And this series was your basic flogging: the Angels scored one run on Friday night and were shut out both yesterday and Saturday night. The O’s will finish the month with a winning record and, in fact, will have the best August of any AL East team. Sadly, however, the Yankees’ and Ray’s victories yesterday eliminated them from playoff contention.

Athletics 8, Rangers 2: The A’s take two of three to pull within seven and a half of Texas. Doesn’t seem very doable for Oakland, especially with only one series left between these guys. Not impossible, I guess. In 2002 the A’s were down four and a half at the beginning of that 20-game win streak and found themselves up three and a half when they lost their next game. Now, if Oakland can find that extra run or so a game that 2002 team had over the 2010 team, they’ll be in business.

Giants 9, Diamondbacks 7: San Francisco avoids the sweep at the hands of Arizona. They did their best to lose it, though. Adam LaRoche hit a two-run RBI double to right in the seventh inning. The time it took Jose Guillen to get to that ball is best measured in epochs. Guillen got the two runs back on his own RBI single, but really, no team that considers itself a contender should be playing that guy in right every day.

Yankees 2, White Sox 1: Frank Thomas Day, as The Big Hurt gets his number retired. The Sox could have used him in the lineup, though, as Ivan Nova allowed one run and five hits and struck out seven.

Tigers 10, Blue Jays 4: Dave Stieb Day, as the Blue Jays honor Sir David. The Jays could have used him the rotation, though, as Ryan Raburn hit two homers and the Tigers rattled off 12 hits. By the way, Dave Stieb was better than Jack Morris, and no one ever goes all crazy making his Hall of Fame case.

Royals 6, Indians 2: You can’t stop Bruce Chen and Kila Ka’aihue, you can only hope to contain them.

Mets 5, Astros 1: As of 7:30 P.M. last night, the little AP game story headline was “Dickey Handcuffs Astros.”  Heh heh, “Dickey handcuffs.”  Heh heh heh heh.

Rays 5, Red Sox 3: The season is growing short for Boston. Um, wait, that’s kind of an oxymoron. But you know what I mean. They’re 6.5 back. Carlos Pena and Carl Crawford hit dingers off John Lackey.

Kenny Lofton, Carlos Baerga to throw out first pitches in Games 1 and 2

CLEVELAND - OCTOBER 05:  Kenny Lofton #7 of the Cleveland Indians runs to first base against the New York Yankees during Game Two of the American League Divisional Series at Jacobs Field on October 5, 2007 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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Major League Baseball just announced the details for the ceremonial and off-field stuff in connection with Games 1 and 2 of the World Series. The one most people were wondering about was the ceremonial first pitch. Sorry, Charlie Sheen fans. Sorry fans of “Major League” in general. Two real baseball stars are handing first pitch duties: Kenny Lofton before Game 1, Carlos Baerga for Game 2.

Lofton needs no introduction. He should be a Hall of Famer but is criminally overlooked, perhaps because he bounced around to a lot of different clubs. He made his name in Cleveland, however, doing three separate tours with the Indians, leading the AL in stolen bases for five straight years early in his career and putting up a line of .300/.375/.426 in ten seasons on the shores of Lake Erie.

Baerga played for the Tribe between 1990 and 1996 and was, for a time, quite the superstar, even if people don’t talk about him much anymore. His career fell off pretty quickly in that way that often happens for second basemen and/or stars who end up on the Mets, but there was a time when he was perhaps the biggest star on some excellent Indians teams. People had “will Carlos Baerga be a Hall of Famer?” conversations and stuff. The mid-90s were a special time.

Beyond the first pitches, the National Anthem will be sung by Rachel Platten before Game 1 and by the group Locash before Game 2. As I am an old man out of touch with most things, I have no idea who they are, but I am sure their fans are passionate and their renditions of the Anthem will be fine and non-controversial. Fox, MLB and the folks at major record labels are pretty good about that sort of thing and everyone will be especially vigilant in light of what happened with that Canadian tenors group at the All-Star Game. If nothing else, I bet you pick up the check for the Anthem performance after the song, and not before these days.

I guess the White Sox don’t count

CHICAGO - APRIL 04: General Manager Ken Williams of the Chicago White Sox shows off his World Series Championship ring during ceremonies prior to the start of a game against the Cleveland Indians on April 4, 2006 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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I realize everyone is super excited about the Cubs being in the World Series for the first time since 1945, with the chance to win it for the first time since 1908. But you’d think folks would remember that it’s just the Cubs — and not Chicago as a whole — who have been away from the Fall Classic for so long.

I know their recent struggles makes it seem like a long, long time ago, but the White Sox won the World Series in 2005. They were in the World Series in 1959 too. You wouldn’t know that, though, if you looked at some prominent media outlets:





I understand the impulse to tell the “a whole city is coming together!” story every time stuff like this happens, but there are a lot of White Sox fans in Chicago. A good number of them don’t give a crap about the Cubs. Many even resent them for being the glory franchise in the city in the eyes of many. They certainly don’t feel like there’s a championship drought afoot, and I imagine they’re somewhat cranky about having their team’s glory plastered over like this.