Jered Weaver

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Angels 4, Rangers 1: Jered Weaver remains insanely good, winning his fifth while pitching a complete game, striking out eight and walking no one while allowing a lone run. Your move, Dan Haren.

Marlins 6, Pirates 0:  Man, they were right about Charlie Morton looking just like Roy Halladay! Both of them got beat up while surrendering six runs on ten hits in their most recent starts. The resemblance is uncanny, really.

Tigers 3, Mariners 2: Rick Porcello had his strongest outing of the year so far, getting tons of groundouts and pitching into the seventh. It ended up being a decent enough west coast swing for Detroit, which has somehow won six of nine despite seeming to have the air of a team in crisis. That sometimes happens when teams from back east head out west. We sort of ignore their games unless there’s a real reason to focus on them the next morning, be it a big win or an ugly loss. Win 3-2 games? Eh, that may have been on Mars, and we thus pay little attention.

Phillies 4, Brewers 3: This was a fun one to watch live while simultaneously surfing the web yesterday. Chris Narveson was cruising and a bunch of people were tweeting about how deceptive he was and effective he was and how people should take notice. And I swear, just as I was reading one of these pro-Narveson pieces, he gave up the three-run jack to Placido Polanco, which tied the game. This is my favorite moment from the game, though. Braun ended up being safe at home, but I feel kind of Ed Sedar. You get the sense that he’s used to being overruled. Maybe by Mrs. Sedar. The exact moment of mental detachment is so easy to see. It wears so sadly comfortably on him.

Nationals 8, Cardinals 6; Cardinals 5, Nationals 3; The Nats should have won the first one in a walk, seeing as though they jumped out to a 7-0 lead by the third. It was somewhat close, though, thanks to some bad defense and bullpen work by the Nats in the middle innings. Jake Westbrook is a mess right now. Mitchell Boggs got his first save as the Cardinals new closer in the second game. At this time I would like to remind everyone that split doubleheaders always make me feel like life is nothing but a futile and pointless struggle. I like doubleheaders — don’t get me wrong — but the natural order of things demands that baseball players go to sleep having moved one step forward or one step back. A split doubleheader opens the door to too much existential thought.

Rockies 10, Giants 2: Lincecum and Sanchez stymied the Rockies, but they got to Cain (4.2 IP, 9 H, 6 ER). For those who care, Jorge De La Rosa got the best of Mark DeRosa in the battle of the De/Rosas.

Cubs 2, Padres 1; Padres 5, Cubs 4: Reed Johnson hit a walkoff homer in the 11th inning for the first game. A game in which Dustin Moseley got no run support for the fourth straight outing. He’s got a 1.40 ERA and nothin’ to show for it. The Padres got back at the Cubbies in the nightcap, jumping out to a four-run lead against James Russell, who showed once again that, as a fill-in starter, he makes a pretty good reliever. And yes, more existential thought here.

Astros 4, Mets 3: Where do you go from “blah, blah, blah, blah?”  I mean, as I explained I liked that approach, but it seems that with a team like the 2011 Mets, you may not want to shoot the wad with your apathy and disgust in game 17. Anyway, maybe you don’t leave R.A. Dickey in as long as Terry Collins did. Or maybe that’s hindsight. R.A. Dickey is awesome.

Orioles 5, Twins 4: The Twins were the cure for whatever ailed the Orioles. Baltimore has taken two in a row from Minnesota after dropping eight straight. Matt Weiters had a two-run homer and has six RBI over his last two games. The Twins need special graphing calculators with an extra battery pack to calculate six RBI.

Yankees 6, Blue Jays 2: Bartolo Colon made his debut as a Yankees starting pitcher and he did better than Phil Hughes had done (6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 7K).  Curtis Granderson had a homer, a triple and a couple RBI as he continues to hit with some serious power in the early going.

Red Sox 5, Athletics 3: Hey, the Sox won a road game! Against Gio Gonzalez, no less, who had been as hot as any pitcher in baseball not named Jered Weaver. Homers by Kevin Youkilis and Jed Lowrie did him in.

Diamondbacks 3, Reds 1: The once-hot Reds have lost six of seven and are now a .500 team.  Ian Kennedy was smacked with a comebacker on the mound but stayed in the game and got the win.

Rays 4, White Sox 1: That’s seven straight in the terlet for Chicago and eight wins in nine games for Tampa Bay. The Rays are now at .500 and, unlike the Reds, are happy about that fact. A.J. Pierzynski got ejected in the bottom of the six for arguing balls and strikes. Ozzie Guillen on why A.J. got run: “he said not a nice thing to the umpire.” That’ll getcha every time (NSFW language!)

Indians 7, Royals 5: Luke “Opening Day Starter” Hochevar ran out of gas in the sixth inning and the Tribe made him pay for it. But was it really running out of gas, or was it brain lock on Hochevar’s part? He balked twice in the sixth inning, the second one bringing a run home. Those who saw the balks (I didn’t) said they were legit, non-ticky-tack calls. Then, despite allowing four runs in that ugly sixth, Ned Yost allowed Hochevar to come out for the seventh, and he promptly walked the first two hitters he faced who also came around to score. Not sure what Ned was thinking, but given that the Royals mounted a comeback in the bottom of the ninth, one wonders if the outcome would have been different if Yost had gone to one of the live young arms in his pen a bit more quickly.

Dodgers 6,  Braves 1:  Derek Lowe had nothing going for him other than his usual copious amount of frothy sweat. L.A. treated him like a batting practice pitcher, snagging five runs on nine hits in three innings. Normally this would make me mad, but I feel for the Dodgers. They’re orphans now, so they should be treated with patience and care.

Collins worried David Wright might go on disabled list

Washington Nationals v New York Mets
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NEW YORK — Mets manager Terry Collins is worried David Wright may wind up on the disabled list because of a neck injury.

New York’s captain and third baseman was out of the starting lineup for the third straight day Monday because of his neck. He was given anti-inflammatory medicine over the weekend.

Now 33, Wright was on the disabled list from April 15 to Aug. 24 last year when he strained his right hamstring and then developed spinal stenosis. He has a lengthy physical therapy routine he must go through before each game.

“With the condition he’s been playing in and the condition he’s in right now, yeah, I’m concerned about it,” Collins said Monday. “Is it going to happen? I can’t tell you. I don’t know. I’m not a doctor. I know this guy plays with a lot of discomfort. He always has. And when he can’t play, he’s hurt.”

Wright homered in three straight games last week before getting hurt. He is batting .226 with seven homers, 14 RBIs and 55 strikeouts in 137 at-bats.

Settling the Scores: Memorial Day edition

ARLINGTON, VA - MAY 21:  American flags are shown after being placed by members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment at the graves of U.S. soldiers buried at Arlington National Cemetery, in preparation for Memorial Day May 21, 2015 in Arlington, Virginia. "Flags-In" has become an annual ceremony since the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) was designated to be an Army's official ceremonial unit in 1948  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
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Memorial Day commemorates the men and women who died in military service. At some point in the past couple of decades, however, it has become an all-purpose flag-waving, patriotism-declaring, civilians-in-camouflage holiday. It’s understandable why this is the case. We, as a country, haven’t always done mourning well. I think it’s part of our national cultural DNA that we don’t and it’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does make days like this difficult.

I feel like the flag-waving and troop-supporting stuff is some sort of subconscious reaction to death. It’s our way of instantly trying to justify those deaths or to explain how they were not in vain, much the same way we might tell someone upon the death of a loved one that they’re in a better place or that they had a full life. Feeling the pain of loss is hard. We want to soften it in any way we can and make our pain serve a larger, better purpose. And so we get today, when Major League Baseball puts its players in camouflage caps and in jerseys with camouflage logos. They’ll sell them too, with proceeds going to good and noble veterans charities. The intent is noble and the ultimate effect of it all is beneficial. But it’s also a little beside the point. Maybe not beside the point as much as mattress sales or big celebratory barbecues which have come to characterize Memorial Day for so many, but still not exactly the purpose of the holiday.

I don’t condemn it. As I wrote last year, the men and women who actually fought and died in wars were hoping that they were, ultimately, making a better and happier world for those they left behind. And they no doubt hoped, among everything else they hoped, that others didn’t have to face what they were facing. They wanted our lives to be happy and our country to be safe and part of a happy and safe country involves 300 million people doing whatever it is they damn please, even if it’s just having barbecues and wearing camo at the ballpark.

I won’t say have a happy Memorial Day because that seems odd. Have any kind of Memorial Day you want, really, even if it includes barbecuing, drinking beer and wearing a cam ballcap. But as you do, please make sure you take some time to think about those who died in military service. And remember that they didn’t get to have as many days like the one you’re having as they were meant to have. And make at least some effort to offset your happy, patriotic or silly pursuits with some mourning and reflectiveness. It’s OK for that to stand on its own.

The scores:

Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 3
Orioles 6, Indians 4
Yankees 2, Rays 1
Nationals 10, Cardinals 2
Brewers 5, Reds 4
Royals 5, White Sox 4
Cubs 7, Phillies 2
Rangers 6, Pirates 2
Astros 8, Angels 6
Athletics 4, Tigers 2
Twins 5, Mariners 4
Giants 8, Rockies 3
Diamondbacks 6, Padres 3
Marlins 7, Braves 3
Dodgers 4, Mets 2

 

Should Dave Roberts have taken Clayton Kershaw out of Sunday’s game?

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 29:  Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers delivers a pitch in the first inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field on May 29, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts will likely be second-guessed heavily during Monday’s news cycle. Starter Clayton Kershaw had pitched a terrific ballgame, as is his tendency, but with 114 pitches to his name, Roberts decided to pull him from the game in the eighth inning with two outs and a runner on first base.

Roberts opted not for closer Kenley Jansen, who hasn’t pitched since Wednesday, but for another lefty in Adam Liberatore. He was playing the numbers, with the left-handed-hitting Curtis Granderson coming up. Liberatore, much to Roberts’ chagrin, served up what turned out to be a game-tying triple to Granderson, hitting a rocket to right-center just out of the reach of a leaping Yasiel Puig.

Jansen has, for six years, been one of the game’s elite relievers. Kershaw, though at a high pitch count, doesn’t seem to suffer from the times through the order penalty like most pitchers. Kershaw’s opponents’ OPS facing him for the first time was .525 coming into Sunday. Twice, .597. Three times, .587. Four times, .526 (but this suffers from survivorship bias so it’s not exactly representative).

Furthermore, Kershaw held lefties to a .546 OPS over his career. Liberatore, in 99 plate appearances against lefty hitters, gave up a .575 OPS. Jansen? .560. It seems that, faced with three decisions, Roberts arguably made the worst one. Playing conservative with Kershaw at 114 pitches is defensible, but only if Jansen comes in. If Roberts wanted the platoon advantage, Kershaw should have stayed in.

Luckily for the Dodgers, Mets closer Jeurys Familia didn’t have his best stuff. He loaded the bases with one out in the top of the ninth on a single and two walks, then gave up a two-run single to Adrian Gonzalez, giving the Dodgers a 4-2 lead. Jansen came on in the bottom half of the ninth and retired the side in order to pick up his 15th save of the season.

Royals sweep White Sox over the weekend on three late rallies

KANSAS CITY, MO - MAY 28:  Brett Eibner #12 of the Kansas City Royals celebrates his game-winning RBI single with teammates in the ninth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Kauffman Stadium on May 28, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. The Royals won 8-7. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Ed Zurga/Getty Images
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The Royals had themselves a pretty good weekend. The quickly fading White Sox, not so much.

On Friday, the Royals fell behind 5-1 after the top of the sixth. They would score once in the bottom of the sixth, four times in the seventh, and once in the eighth to steal a 7-5 win facing pitchers Miguel Gonzalez Dan Jennings, Matt Albers, Zach Duke and Nate Jones.

On Saturday, the Royals entered the bottom of the ninth down 7-1. They scored seven runs on closer David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle to win 8-7.

On Sunday, the Royals were down 4-2 after the top of the eighth. They plated three runs in the bottom half of the eighth against Jones and Albers, going on to win 5-4.

Coming into the weekend, the Royals were 24-22 in third place. The White Sox were 27-21, a half-game up in first place. Now the Royals are in first place by a game and a half, and the White Sox are in third place, two games out of first.

Here’s video of the Royals’ comeback on Saturday, since it was so unlikely: