And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

26 Comments

Blue Jays 11, Twins 3:  Jose Bautista is not a man. He’s a machine. A Terminator. A Cyberdyne Systems Model 101. Not a robot. A cyborg. A cybernetic organism (3 for 5 3 HR, 4 RBI).

Braves 3, Phillies 2: The second straight complete game loss for Roy Halladay.  How the Braves manage to take two of three from the Phillies on successive weekends and then drop two of three to Washington in the middle of that is beyond me.

Reds 9, Cardinals 7: Just when it started feeling like the Cardinals were going to give themselves some breathing room in the division, they come in to Cincinnati and get themselves swept. But the Reds can’t be totally happy because they had yet another horrific outing from Aroldis Chapman. Coming in with a seven-run lead in the ninth inning, Chapman walked four of the five batters he faced, forcing Dusty Baker to use arms he never would have had to, opening the door for a little plunking/fracas action and allowing the Cards to make a game of it. Time for a time-out for Chapman.

Brewers 9, Pirates 6: We all have cities that are our kryptonite, I suppose. Mine in Cincinnati. Nothing good has ever happened to me either personally or professionally in Cincinnati and I’d sooner spend a weekend in Hell than have to do accomplish something important in the Queen City because at this point the place is in my head. Same goes for the Pirates and Milwaukee, where the Brewers have taken 33 of the last 36 meetings between these two. In this one Zack Greinke was good until the fifth when he hit a wall and have up five runs, but Ryan Braun homered, tripled and drove in four and his buddies drove in five more to bail Greinke out and give him the win.

Padres 8, Rockies 2:  Mat Latos snaps his 10-game losing streak and the Padres continue to pile on the runs in a far above average fashion for anyone, but in a damn nigh astonishing fashion for the San Diego Padres.

White Sox 4, Athletics 3: Trevor Cahill loses his first game. Two of the four runs he allowed were unearned, but they were unearned because of his own throwing error, so clearly they should not be charged to him at all.

Mets 7, Astros 4: Justin Turner homered and drove in five which was not something a lot of people making prop bets in the sports book made money on yesterday, I’d imagine.  Carlos Beltran sat out Saturday with some eye problems but was back yesterday. His quote: “I woke up this morning and I could see clear. I came to the ballpark and went to the cage to make sure I saw the ball good.”  Jeez, all of this “I, I, I, eye” stuff with him. It’s all about Beltran. So, so selfish.

Rangers 5, Angels 4: Chris Davis hit a homer and drove in the go-ahead-for-good run with an eighth inning single. Texas takes two of three from the Angels and now sit a half game back.

Orioles 9, Rays 3: J.J. Hardy hit a grand slam and the O’s take their fifth game in their last six. Sam Fuld left the game in the seventh inning with a cut to his lip that required some stitches. You shoulda seen the other guy.

Nationals 8, Marlins 4: Jason Marquis got the win and hit a two-run double. He said this of his hitting after the game: “”It can help you win ballgames. It can help make two-run games, four-run games and make it a little easier.”  Next start: Marquis will work on subtraction and multiplication. Pfun Pfact: last weekend the Nats took two of three from Florida in Miami, this weekend the Marlins took two of three in D.C.

Diamondbacks 4, Dodgers 1: Ian Kennedy remains hot. On the heels of his tough loss to the Giants in which he pitched eight shutout innings, Kennedy gets the W this time, allowing one run on four hits in six innings while striking out eight. Back to back homers in the second by Xavier Nady and Ryan Roberts were all the support he needed, though he got one more on a sac fly.

Red Sox 7, Yankees 5: The sweep, and the Sox are at .500. In other news, with a bunch of walks, home runs, pitching changes, an it-would-only-be-a-big-story-if-it-happened-in-New York-or-Boston drama, and three hours and forty-one minutes to play a nine inning game, this was one of the more Red Sox-Yankees games you’ll ever see.

Gians vs. Cubs; Royals vs. Tigers; Mariners vs. Indians: POSTPONED: Many people don’t realize this, but the official record keeper of Major League Baseball keeps highly-detailed records of the specific types of rain that postpone games. So far he has two hundred and thirty-one different types of rain entered in his little book, and he doesn’t like any of them.

Indeed, just since this season has started, he’s noted that baseball has been canceled due to type 33 (light picking drizzle which made the roads slippery), 39 (heavy spotting), 47 to 51 (vertical light drizzle through to sharply slanting light to moderate drizzle freshening), 87 and 88 (two finely distinguished varieties of vertical torrential downpour), 100 (postdownpour squalling, cold), all the sea-storm types between 192 and 213 at once, 123, 124, 126, 127 (mild and intermediate cold gusting, regular and syncopated press box-drumming), 11 (breezy droplets), and, yesterday, his least favorite of all, 17.

And as the season progresses on, the rain clouds drag down the sky after him for, though he does not know it, the official record keeper of Major League Baseball is a Rain God.  All he knows is that his working days are miserable and that he has a succession of lousy ballgames.  All the clouds know is that they love him and want to be near him, to cherish him and to water him.

Why Ryan Zimmerman skipped spring training

Getty Images
Leave a comment

All spring training there was at least some mild confusion about Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman. He played in almost no regular big league spring training games, instead, staying on the back fields, playing in simulated and minor league contests. When that usually happens, it’s because a player is rehabbing or even hiding an injury, but the Nats insisted that was not the case with Zimmerman. Not everyone believed it. I, for one, was skeptical.

The skepticism was unwarranted, as Zimmerman answered the bell for Opening Day and has played all season. As Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal writes today, it was all by design. He skipped spring training because he doesn’t like it and because he thinks it’ll help him avoid late-season injuries and slowdowns, the likes of which he has suffered over the years.

It’s hard to really judge this now, of course. On the one hand Zimmerman has started really slow this season. What’s more, he has started to show signs of warming up only in the past week, after getting almost as many big league, full-speed plate appearances under his belt as a normal spring training would’ve given him. On the other hand, April is his worst month across his entire 14-year career, so one slow April doesn’t really prove anything and, again, Zimmerman and the Nats will consider this a success if he’s healthy and productive in August and September.

It is sort of a missed opportunity, though. Players hate spring training. They really do. if Zimmerman had made a big deal out of skipping it and came out raking this month, I bet a lot more teams would be amenable to letting a veteran or three take it much more easy next spring. Good ideas can be good ideas even if they don’t produce immediately obvious results, but baseball tends to encourage a copycat culture only when someone can point to a stat line or to standings as justification.

Way to ruin it for everyone, Ryan. 😉