And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Angels 5, Athletics 0: Jered Weaver continues his early season dominance with a seven-hit, ten-strikeout shutout. Last week I said that he and Haren are like Dback-era Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. That comp was off the top of my head, but it has some validity at the moment as Weaver is the first pitcher to have six wins in his team’s first 23 games since The Big Unit did it in 2002. Overall, he’s the sixth pitcher since 1900 with six wins by the end of April. That list includes Johnson in 2002 and 2000, Dave Stewart in 1988, Vida Blue in 1971 and Brandon Webb in 2008.

Diamondbacks 4, Phillies 0: Ian Kennedy dominated the Phillies, pitching a three-hit shutout and striking out 10. Crazy couple of days for Kennedy: his daughter was born at 2AM on Sunday and then this a little over 40 hours later.

White Sox 2, Yankees 0: Phil Humber — Phil Humber? — took a no-hitter into the seventh against the Bombers and Chris Sale and Sergio Santos took the shutout the rest of the way home. The Yankees’ silent bats waste a strong performance from A.J. Burnett (8 IP, 3 H, 1 ER).  Who is this Phil Humber anyway?  A former Mets draft pick who was part of the Johan Santana deal, did his time in Minnesota, spent a season in Kansas City and then was waived to the A’s who in turned waived him to the White Sox, that’s who. He was born in Nacogdoches. That’s in east Texas. Not far from the border. But he likes to tell everybody that he’s from Lake Charles.

Marlins 5, Dodgers 4: Don Mattingly is damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t. Last Thursday he stretched Clayton Kershaw into the ninth inning against the Braves because he apparently didn’t trust Jonathan Broxton to lock it down, Kershaw tired, the Braves tied it up and on they went into extra innings. Last night he goes to Broxton in the ninth and he allows four baserunners — all of whom reached after there were two outs — and blows the game. Granted, he had help from Jamey Carrol whose error prolonged the game and allowed the tying run to score, but there’s something to be said about prophecies and chickens and eggs and all of that here. Or you can just say that Jonathan Broxton stinks.

Padres 5, Braves 3: Two homers from Ryan Ludwick, including a two-run walkoff job in the 13th inning. In other news, giving up five runs to the Padres these days is like giving up 10 runs to any other team.

Pirates 4, Nationals 2: Brandon Wood’s first action in a Pirates uniform and he hits a two-run double and later comes around to score. This will be kind of cool if it leads to Wood making a fresh start in Pittsburgh and regaining some of the luster he had a few years ago. It won’t be cool, however, if his playing time comes at the expense of Pedro Alvarez, who stands a much better chance of being the part of the next winning Pirates team than Wood does (if indeed, such a beast ever comes to pass).

Blue Jays 6. Rangers 4: You can’t stop Corey Patterson, you can only hope to contain him (2 for 4, HR, 3 RBI).

Reds 9, Brewers 5: A six-run third inning against Chris Narveson from a revamped Reds’ lineup. Brandon Phillips was three for four with a double and three RBI. He’s 11 for 28 with a homer and four doubles since missing three games with a sore groin a couple of weeks ago.

Rockies 5, Cubs 3: A defensive disaster for Chicago, with four errors — three from Starlin Castro — leading to four unearned runs for the Rockies. They were sloppy against L.A. over the weekend too.

Bartolo Colon Watching the Eclipse Is Your Moment of Zen

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A Solar Eclipse

by Ella Wheeler Wilcox

In that great journey of the stars through space
About the mighty, all-directing Sun,
The pallid, faithful Moon, has been the one
Companion of the Earth. Her tender face,
Pale with the swift, keen purpose of that race,
Which at Time’s natal hour was first begun,
Shines ever on her lover as they run
And lights his orbit with her silvery smile.

Sometimes such passionate love doth in her rise,
Down from her beaten path she softly slips,
And with her mantle veils the Sun’s bold eyes,
Then in the gloaming finds her lover’s lips.
While far and near the men our world call wise
See only that the Sun is in eclipse.

The umps have dropped their Ian Kinsler protest

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Over the weekend the World Umpires Association — the umpire’s union —  launched a protest in response to what it feels is Major League Baseball’s failure to adequately address the “escalating attacks” on the men in blue. They were specifically upset that Ian Kinsler didn’t get suspended for his remarks in which he said that Angel Hernandez should get out of the umpiring business because he’s terrible. Apparently to umpires truth is no defense. In any event, they wore white wristbands Saturday night as a sign of solidarity or whatever.

Now that’s over, it seems. At least for the time being. The Association released this statement yesterday afternoon:

“Today, WUA members agreed to the Commissioner’s proposal to meet with the Union’s Governing Board to discuss the concerns on which our white wristband protest is based. We appreciate the Commissioner’s willingness to engage seriously on verbal attacks and other important issues that must be addressed. To demonstrate our good faith, MLB Umpires will remove the protest white wristbands pending the requested meeting.”

As many noted over the weekend — most notably Emma Span of Sports Illustrated — this protest was, at best, tone deaf. While officials are, obviously, due proper respect, a player jawing at an umpire is neither unprecedented nor very serious compared to, well, almost anything that goes on in the game or in society. At a time when people are literally taking to the streets to protest white supremacy, Neo-Nazis and the KKK, asking folks to spare thoughts for some people who sometimes have to take guff over ball and strike calls is not exactly a cause that is going to draw a ton of sympathy. And that’s before you address the fact that the umpires are not innocent when it comes to stoking the animosity between themselves and the players.

I wouldn’t expect to hear too much more out of this other than, perhaps, a relatively non-committal statement from Major League Baseball and a relatively detail-free declaration of victory by the umpires after their meeting.