Tampa Bay Rays v Boston Red Sox

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Rays 16, Red Sox 5: After scoring 20 runs in their first nine games, the Rays asplode for 16. The most damage was inflicted by leadoff hitter Sam Fuld who went 4 for 6 — all extra base hits — with three RBI.  If this was the NBA Fuld would have stopped on first with that last double of his to get the cycle. Thank God this isn’t the NBA. Oh, and Fuld has some sweet catches in left, too. Before the season started there were Red Sox fans who liked to mock the Yankees’ pitching problems. Well, the Red Sox have now given up 69 runs in 10 games, so there isn’t anyone this side of that team of guys with handlebar mustaches who played the Gashouse Gorillas in the Bugs Bunny cartoon who Red Sox fans can mock for their pitching. And at least they signed Bugs later.

Mariners 8, Blue Jays 7: Wow. You figure that if you get seven runs and 12 hits in six innings off Felix Hernandez that you’re going to win. And the Jays had to figure they would given that they were up 7-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh. But nope: the M’s came back. Luis Rodriguez’s two-run single with two outs in the ninth was the game-winner. Milton Bradley was a key part of the comeback too, homering in the seventh and walking in a run and scoring the following inning. After this debacle, I’m guessing John Farrell is going to be loathe to go to his pen tonight.

Indians 4, Angels 0: Break up the Indians. That’s eight straight for Cleveland, this one coming on eight shutout innings from Mitch Talbot of all people. Asdrubal Cabrera’s solo homer in the first was all the Indians would need, but Matt Laporta added a three-run jack in the second.  Are the Indians this year’s version of last year’s Padres?

Rockies 7, Mets 6: Stop me if you’ve heard this one: the Mets took the lead but the bullpen blew it. Stop me if you’ve heard this one: the Rockies were powered by Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez, each of whom drove in three. Jason Isringhausen pitched for the Mets. It was his first action in a Mets uniform since 1999.  Man, 1999 was a long time ago.

Rangers 2, Tigers 0: I thought that putting Neftali Feliz in the pen in favor of Alexi Ogando was a dumb move. And the part of that in which Neftali Feliz is not currently a starter is still dumb. Overall, however, the Ogando-in-the-rotation thing has been straight aces. He shut out the Tigers for seven innings running his scoreless innings streak to 13 in his two starts.  He left with a blister problem in this one and had a blister in his first start as well. Here’s hoping that isn’t a recurring theme.

Athletics 2, White Sox 1: Man, this one has to hurt. Mark Buehrle pitched eight innings of two-hit, shutout ball only to get the no-decision because his offense couldn’t do much of anything against Dallas Braden and Tyson Ross and because a Juan Pierre error in the ninth inning allowed the A’s to tie it up. Into the 10th and Kurt Suzuki homers off Jesse Crain for the game winner. Anyone have surveillance on Crain to make sure he’s not really a double agent, still on the Twins’ payroll?

Cubs 5, Astros 4: The Cubbies jumped all over Nelson Figueroa for 5-0 lead and then held on as the Astros chipped away but fell short. Starlin Castro was 3 for 5 with three runs scored. Second smallest crowd in the history of Minute Maid Park (20,175). I’m not going to say that baseball has come a long way in the past 25 years, but I remember some random promotional giveaway night at Atlanta Fulton County Stadium in the late 80s that drew a little over 20,000 and Skip Caray went on and on about how weird it was to play in front of such a big crowd. And while the Braves drew particularly poorly then, it wasn’t uncommon for teams to routinely have four digit attendance nights without anyone saying much about it.  Only a handful of teams back then would think of a 20K night as some dire low.

Dodgers 6, Giants 1: For the second time on the young season, Clayton Kershaw shut the Giants down. Shutting them out, in fact, through six and two-thirds anyway. Including Opening Day and his last start against the G-men last September, he hasn’t allowed a run over his last 23 and two-thirds innings against San Francisco. The game was dedicated to Bryan Stow, who was beaten in the Dodger Stadium parking lot on Opening Day. Before the game the players came together on the mound, offering a joint statement about how the rivalry needs to stay on the field. It was a nice gesture as was the fund raising to benefit Stow that each team has done in recent days. Sadly, however, the type of people who attacked Stow are likely immune to this message. After all, if the example of sportsmanship baseball players typically exemplify and the nature of baseball itself doesn’t set the proper example, the words of players likely won’t either. Like the man said: there’s a meanness in this world.

Reds 3, Padres 2: Once again Edinson Volquez was shaky in the first, allowing two runs, but once again he settled down and that’s all the Padres would muster all night. Mat Latos was the opposite in his season debut: he started strong, notching five strikeouts in his first three innings, but then made mistakes to Jonny Gomes and Chris Heisey, whose homers accounted for all of the Reds’ scoring.

Cardinals 8, Diamondbacks 2: Kyle McClellan allowed one run over six innings. He also doubled in a run in the third and singled in a run in the fourth to — wait for it! — help his own cause. Yadier Molina scored on the double, so without looking I’m going to say he was on third or else the double lodged in the wall or something. It was the most runs the Cards have scored all season. Oh, and Albert Pujols hardly contributed, going 1 for 5 with no runs scored.

The Cardinals had a “statement loss” yesterday

ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 25: Manager manager Mike Matheny #22 congratulates Matt Adams #32 of the St. Louis Cardinals as he enters the dugout after scoring a run during the fourth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium on May 25, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Scott Kane/Getty Images)
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I’ve always been critical of the concept of “statement games” in Major League Baseball. Maybe it matters more in football where there are far fewer games and thus each one means much more, but in baseball a win lasts, at best, 48 hours and usually less. Like Earl Weaver said, we do this every day, lady. When you’re constantly talking, as it were, any one statement is pretty unimportant.

I’ll grant that a “statement win” is a thing players use to motivate or validate themselves, of course. We on the outside can roll our eyes at the notion, but we can’t know the minds of a major league player. If they think that they made a statement and it’s important to them, hey, it’s important to them. I’ll admit, however, that a statement loss is a new one to me:

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Kolten Wong provided the basis of that headline. Here is what he said:

“I think we still made a statement. We were down 6-1 right off the bat. The game before, we were kind of in the same situation. We were tired of it,” second baseman Kolten Wong said. “Our pitchers have been our go-to these past few years. It was time for us to step up and I think we all kind of felt that, too. We just wanted to make this a game and show that we have our pitchers’ backs.”

In context it makes sense. A moral victory, as it were. They got to one of the best pitchers in the game after finding themselves down by several runs thanks to their starting pitching betraying them. The hitters didn’t go into a shell when most folks would excuse them for doing so against a guy like Jake Arrieta.

Makes sense and no judgments here. Moral victories matter. Still, it’s hard not to chuckle at the headline. I can’t remember a big leaguer talking quite that way after a loss.

Julio Urias to be called up, make his MLB debut tomorrow

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 20:  Starting pitcher Julio Urias #78 of the Los Angeles Dodgers participates in a spring training workout at Camelback Ranch on February 20, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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The Dodgers have been mulling this for a long time, but they just announced that they plan on calling up top prospect Julio Urias. He’ll be making his major league debut against the Mets tomorrow evening in New York.

Urias is just 19 years-old, but he’s shown that he’s ready for the bigs. In eight Triple-A games this year — seven starts — he’s 4-1 with a 1.10 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 44/8 in 41 innings. He has tossed 27-straight scoreless innings to boot. While the Dodgers and Urias’ agent are understandably wary of giving the young man too much work too soon, he has nothing left to prove at Oklahoma City.

Urias turns 20 in August. Tomorrow night he will become the first teenager to debut in the majors since 2012 when Dylan Bundy, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, and Jurickson Profar each made their debuts.

 

Fox asked Vin Scully to work the All-Star Game. Vin said no.

vin scully getty
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Richard Dietsch of Sports Illustrated reports that Fox officials asked Vin Scully if he wanted to work the All-Star Game, be it calling the full game, doing an inning, making a guest appearance or whatever. Scully, though appreciative, said no thanks.

We’ve been over this, but for however much it might make people happy for Scully to make this kind of national appearance, there’s nothing in his history or in his apparent nature that would make such a thing appeal to Scully. For as much as an institution he has become, he still thinks of himself as an employee who calls Dodgers games, goes home and that is that. He has shown considerable discomfort, however politely he has communicated it, at being treated as something different or more special than that. And that’s before you remember that (a) it would be a totally different setup for him which would require a lot of extra work; and (b) the All-Star Break is a time when most baseball people take a couple of days off.

As I said the last time we discussed this, if baseball at large wants to give Scully some sort of national sendoff, the best bet would be for the powers that be to figure out how to get the final Dodgers games of the season nationally televised without blackout restrictions. That way we can all watch him doing his thing, in his element, for a final time without it being gimmicky.

Brad Ausmus’ rage hoodie sells for over $5,000

DETROIT, MI - MAY 16:  Manager Brad Ausmus #7 of the Detroit Tigers covers home plate with his jacket after being ejected for arguing when Nick Castellanos #9 of the Detroit Tigers was called out on strikes by home plate umpire Doug Eddings in the fourth inning of a game against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park on May 16, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
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We wrote recently that the hoodie Brad Ausmus was wearing during his May 16th ejection from a Tigers game was up for auction. Ausmus removed the hoodie during his little rant and draped it over home plate, fomenting both an ejection and a suspension. For what it’s worth, the Tigers are 6-2 since the incident, so go Ausmus Rage.

Anyway, the auction for the hoodie has closed and a winning bid declared. The bid: $5,010. The proceeds will go to the Tiny Tigers t-ball program funded by the Detroit Tigers Foundation and the Detroit Police Athletic League.

Who says rage is a negative emotion?