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.

Rick Ankiel drank vodka before a start to deal with the yips

9 Apr 2000: Rick Ankiel #66 of the St. Louis Cardinals winds back to pitch the ball during the game against the Milwaukee Brweers at the Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals defeated the Brewers 11-2. Mandatory Credit: Elsa Hasch  /Allsport
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The story of Rick Ankiel is well known by now. He was a phenom pitcher who burst onto the scene with the Cardinals in 1999 and into the 2000 season as one of the top young talents in the game. Then, in the 2000 playoffs, he melted down. He got the yips. Whatever you want to call it, he lost the ability to throw strikes and his pitching career was soon over. He came back, however, against all odds, and remade his career as a solid outfielder.

It’s inspirational and incredible. But there is a lot more to the story that we’ve ever known. We will soon, however, as Ankiel is coming out with a book. Today he took to the airwaves and shared some about it. Including some amazing stuff:

On drinking in his first start after the famous meltdown in Game One of the 2000 National League division series against the Braves:

“Before that game…I’m scared to death. I know I have no chance. Feeling the pressure of all that, right before the game I get a bottle of vodka. I just started drinking vodka. Low and behold, it kind of tamed the monster, and I was able to do what I wanted. I’m sitting on the bench feeling crazy I have to drink vodka to pitch through this. It worked for that game. (I had never drank before a game before). It was one of those things like the yipps, the monster, the disease…it didn’t fight fair so I felt like I wasn’t going to fight fair either.”

Imagine spending your whole life getting to the pinnacle of your career. Then imagine it immediately disintegrating. And then imagine having to go out and do it again in front of millions. It’s almost impossible for anyone to contemplate and, as such, it’s hard to judge almost anything Ankiel did in response to that when he was 21 years-old. That Ankiel got through that and made a career for himself is absolutely amazing. It’s a testament to his drive and determination.

 

Justin Turner talks “Easy D”

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 22:  Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers warms up prior to game six of the National League Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on October 22, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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A couple of weeks ago our president wrote one of his more . . . vexing tweets. He was talking about immigration when he whipped out the phrase . . . “Easy D”:

No one was quite sure what he meant by Easy D. Was it the older brother of N.W.A.’s founder? The third sequel to that Emma Stone movie from a few years back? So many questions!

Baseball Twitter had fun with it, though, with a lot of people wondering how they could work it in casually to their commentary:

It wasn’t a scout who did it, but twelve days after that, a player obliged Mr. McCullough:

I have no more idea what Turner was talking about with that than Trump was. We’ll have to wait for the full story in the L.A. Times. But I am going to assume Turner was doing McCullough a solid with that one rather than commenting on the president’s tweet. Either way, I’m glad he made the effort.

And before you ask: yes, it’s a slow news day.