And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Rockies 7, Phillies 1: In yesterday morning’s recaps I slammed Jason Giambi and declared him dead. Last night he hit three homers and drove in seven.  I see my little foray into reverse psychology worked. Don’t thank me now, Jason. Just let me know where to send my bill.

Mets 1, Nationals 0: Sucks to be Livan Hernandez. Oh, wait, Livan Hernandez pitched in this game? Huh. I was just writing basic declarative sentences about the immutable facts of the universe. What a coincidence. Dillon Gee with the two-hit short shutout. Short shutout? Yes, short shutout.

Red Sox 4, Tigers 3: Carl Crawford comes through with a bases loaded single in a tie-game in the bottom of the ninth to give the Sox the win. It’s his third walkoff hit this month.  What, did you think he’d be totally unworthy of his contract forever?

Blue Jays 3, Rays 2: Two solo homers for the Rays vs. a solo and a two-run homer for the Jays. That’s how all game stories would read if we focused less on the individual and more on the collective. Indeed, I intend to present a paper on this very subject in Vienna this fall. It proposes a view of extending expected utility calculations to both individual and group contexts, using several related cases to illustrate the problems inherent in applying expected utility to group choices. It’s all pretty complicated really, what with Prisoner’s Dilemmas and whatnot, so I won’t bore you with it.

Mariners 2, Angels 1: Since the beginning of time man has yearned to destroy the sun. Torii Hunter now more so.

Cardinals 4, Astros 2: Kyle McClellan did not throw a ball three to any of the batters he faced and picked up his sixth win. The whole shebang took 2:15.

Twins 11, Athletics 1: Break up the Twins, winners of three in a row. Two-run homer for Justin Morneau. A big mess of a day for the A’s staff, who lost Tyson Ross after seven measly pitches due to an oblique attack, which is the name I’m giving oblique injuries from here on out so that people will take them more seriously, awareness can be raised and someday — hopefully — a cure can be found.

Pirates 5, Reds 3: The Buccos have taken five of six from Cincinnati. James McDonald gave up one run in six and two-thirds.

Yankees 13, Orioles 2: Brad Bergesen was foolin’ no one, but even if he did manage to fool a few it wouldn’t have mattered because CC Sabathia was on point.

Cubs 5, Marlins 1: A Mike Stanton homer in the eighth was all the Feesh could muster against the Cubs. Starlin Castro had a two-run double in the top of the ninth to give Chicago some breathing room.

White Sox 8, Indians 2: The Chisox jumped all over Fausto Carmona like it was Opening Day or something, scoring six in the first two innings and eight through five.

Royals 2, Rangers 1: This was like an alternate outcome for that Yankees-Orioles game on Wednesday night. Ron Washington sent Derek Holland out to finish the game in the ninth with a 1-0 lead, but he allowed the first hitter he faced to reach so Washington yanked him for Neftali Feliz. Feliz got a couple outs but allowed a single, then uncorked a wild pitch (note: the word “uncorked” can only be used in connection with wild pitches in much the same way “ensuing” can only be used with kickoffs) and then a game-tying single to Mike Aviles. Into extras we go where Jeff Francoeur was the hero, hitting the game-winning RBI in the bottom of the 10th.

Diamondbacks 2, Braves 1: Josh Collmenter has thrown 21 consecutive scoreless innings. And holy moley, if you haven’t seen him pitch, check out his motion. The Braves, of course, couldn’t hit pitches thrown by a Meatball3000-model pitching machine set to “pansy” right now.

Padres 1, Brewers 0: The signature game of 2011 so far: a 1-0 contest decided by a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth.

Giants 3, D0dgers 1: Madison Bumgarner finally wins a game, pitching a shutout until two outs in the ninth. Brian Wilson came in to get the last out of the game, but he made it interesting, walking two guys first.

Madison Bumgarner began his rehab assignment yesterday

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Giants ace Madison Bumgarner tossed three no-hit innings yesterday in his first minor league rehab start with the Giants’ Arizona Rookie League team. He struck out two and walked a guy, while sitting in the 88-91 m.p.h. range on his fastball.

Bumgarner, who is coming back from a sprained left AC joint in his shoulder suffered in a dirt bike accident in April, will return to San Francisco to throw a bullpen session and then go back on the road for more rehab games. That’s a lot of traveling, but the Giants obviously want to monitor his progress. At the moment he’s expected to build up his strength for the next several weeks and, hopefully, return to the Giants’ rotation some time after the All-Star break.

Of course, there shouldn’t be too much of a rush. The Giants have lost five in a row and 12 of 13 and currently sit in last place, 24.5 games behind the Dodgers. At this point Bumgarner rushing to rejoin the Giants is like an Australian soldier getting a wound dressed to hurry back to the Gallipoli Campaign.

Is it really that weird that Cody Bellinger does not know who Jerry Seinfeld is?

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Dodgers rookie Cody Bellinger has been tearing through the league so far this season, blazing a 50-home run pace despite not even making his debut until April 25. His Dodgers are winners of 10 games in a row, sit in first place and have the best record in the National League.

But not everything is rosy in Cody Bellinger land. He’s now at the center of controversy after he revealed on SportsCenter on Friday night that he doesn’t know who Jerry Seinfeld is. Or, at the very least, that he could not put a face with that familiar-sounding name and that in no event did he know why he was famous.

People have been going crazy with this, acting as if he’s from Mars or something for not knowing who starred in one of history’s most popular and influential sitcoms. His teammates, especially, have been getting on his case:

I dunno. On the one hand, sure, the show was amazingly popular and has been in heavy syndication for like 20 years so it would be hard to miss even for a young guy like Bellinger. And, of course, the catchphrases and bits of the show that has seeped into the popular culture have given it a longer shelf life than most TV shows ever manage.

On the other hand the thing ended when he was not yet three years old. For him, “Seinfeld” was like “The Beverly Hillbillies” for someone my age or “M*A*S*H” for someone born in the early 80s. Those shows were just as popular — actually, they got higher ratings and were seen by a larger percentage of the population than “Seinfeld” ever was — and they were just as heavily syndicated for the decade or two after they went off the air. We don’t get on the case of players born in the 70s or 80s for not knowing who Alan Alda or Buddy Ebsen are. And if it’s about the catchphrases, substitute in “Happy Days” and “Welcome Back Kotter,” each of which created a cultural footprint larger than the show itself. Would we freak out if we found out that Jayson Werth — born in 1979 — had never heard the phrase “Up your nose with a rubber hose” or “Sit on it?”

And that’s before you acknowledge how much more fragmented pop culture and entertainment is now. I was 12 in 1985 and back then I had little choice but to watch “M*A*S*H” reruns at 7pm while I was waiting for prime time. It was either that or “Wheel of Fortune” I guess. As a 12-year old in 2007, Bellinger could’ve easily avoided “Seinfeld” reruns. He could’ve avoided TV altogether and just been online. My son is 12 now and he hasn’t watched an actual TV show in years. It’s all You Tube and stuff. The idea that there is any one thing or even a handful of things that, culturally speaking, we can all agree upon or which can serve as a common touchstone is an increasingly obsolete idea.

Maybe “Seinfeld” is different. Maybe this is not the same as not knowing “The Beverly Hillbillies” or “M*A*S*H”. I floated this whole idea on Twitter yesterday and people were outraged, so perhaps something else is going on here that I’m missing. But personally speaking, I feel like we should all calm down a bit about Cody Bellinger and the “Seinfeld” thing. Maybe we should acknowledge that the stuff we like is not going to be culturally prevalent forever. And that young kids like Cody Bellinger are going to be the ones to inform us of this inescapable fact.