And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Nats 5, Cubs 4: Jayson Werth was getting booed like crazy — especially when he struck out with two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh — but then he unexpectedly steals third base in the 10th inning and subsequently scores on a wild pitch, winning the ballgame, and the cheers rained down. His postgame quote is the sort of thing that’s gonna come back on him, I think, be it for good or for ill: “Cheer me, boo me, whatever. I’m still going to go out there and play my game.”

Diamondbacks 8, Brewers 6: Oh, Milwaukee’s bullpen, you are giving Wisconsin a sad. I mean, no Shaun Marcum was no great shakes — at least on the mound; he hit a grand slam — but no one called after him could do anything to stop the bleeding. Seventeen hits for the snakes.

Pirates 5, Astros 3: I think the most impressive part of all of this is not that the Pirates are winning, but that the fans are certainly responding. Four home sellouts in a row, and this one against the worst team in baseball.  Pirates fans have waited a long time for a good product. But I bet they remember how to support it when it arrives.

Mariners 2, Athletics 1:  Brandon McCarthy returned from the DL, but there wasn’t much doin’ for A’s hitters against Michael Pineda and the M’s pen, which allowed only three hits.

Twins 7, Rays 0: A six-hit shutout for Brian Duensing. A three-run homer for Danny Valencia. A shattered bat went back and hit the home plate umpire too, but he was alright. One of these days someone won’t be alright.

Blue Jays 9, Red Sox 7: John Lackey continues to look utterly lost out there, allowing seven runs in two and a third. Travis Snider hit three doubles and drove in a couple. He must have communed with some sort of mysterious sensei when he was down on his minor league stint.

Padres 5, Giants 2: The Padres got to Lincecum early and, with the exception of a Pablo Sandoval two-run homer, the Giants’ bats had no magic in ’em.

Braves 4, Rockies 1: The last time Atlanta faced Ubaldo Jimenez he no-hit them. This time? Not so much. Can I tell you that this Freddie Freeman kid is starting to grow on me? Two homers for the 21-year-old, who is now hitting .272/.347/.448 on the year.

White Sox 5, Royals 4: Aaron Crow — correction, the All-Star Aaron Crow — commits the walkoff balk. I think that’s the second one this year after the Mets lost one that way to the Braves.

Cardinals 1, Reds 0: Chris Carpenter vs. Johnny Cueto in St. Louis and no one lost their heads. It was a shame that either of them had to lose, though, as both pitchers were fantastic. An RBI infield single for St. Louis was the only run in the game as Carpenter continues to make up for a poor early season. Cueto is only 5-3, but he has a 1.77 ERA on the year.

Indians 6, Yankees 3: It took hitters from both teams a long time to settle in — it was 0-0 when the seventh began with the Yankees being no-hit — but big homers from Austin Kearns and Carlos Santana changed all of that. Derek Jeter went 0 for 4 in his return.

Phillies 1, Marlins 0: I said something in the Power Rankings yesterday about how the Phillies would be doing if they really had four aces. Well heck, Vance Worley has been a reasonable facsimile of one in his last couple of outings. Seven two-hit shutout innings for him in this one.

Angels 5, Tigers 1: The Angels keep rolling, taking their ninth win in 11 games. Homers from Vernon Wells and Torii Hunter.

Mets 5, Dodgers 2: Rubby De La Rosa had a no-hitter going through five, but Angel Pagan, Carlos Beltran and Daniel Murphy each had RBI doubles in the sixth inning.

UPDATE:  Wow, forgot a game! first time I did that this year. Which has to be a record for me, because in past years I did this at least once every couple of weeks. Anyway:

Rangers 13, Orioles 4: Two homers for Mark Reynolds, but that was the only bright spot for the O’s as they’re throttled by Texas. Endy Chavez drove in four, including a two-run homer and a two-run double. Which is rather surprising considering I bet that, among people who have heard of Endy Chavez, 85% of them assumed he was out of baseball.

The Yankees attendance and revenue is down, but it makes sense

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There’s a long article in the New York Times today noting that the Yankees attendance is down and that, based on financial figures released as part of their stadium bond disclosures, ticket and suite revenues through last season have fallen by $166 million since the end of 2009.

There is a lot of talk in the article about the exciting young team the Yankees have put together and how much they’ve won so far in the early going. And there is a lot of talk about marketing and demographics — Hal Steinbrenner talks about baseball’s “millennial problem” — but the story of the Yankees’ box office issues, such as they are, is pretty straightforward.

All teams suffer attendance and revenue decline when they play poorly. While the Yankees have not been bad for a long, long time, that’s a somewhat relative thing. They Yankees have sold themselves and sold their fans on the idea that nothing short of a championship is acceptable, so missing the playoffs for three of the past four years is bad for them. Fans don’t want to go see a bad team, be it Yankees fans, Rays fans, Royals fans or whoever.

Despite the recent lack of success, the Yankees have still, perversely, continued to price their tickets, concessions, parking and everything else as though they’re the only game in town. When demand falls and prices remain super high, fewer people are buying your product. Even if you’re the New York Yankees.

The Yankees are good this year. What’s more, they’re good in that exciting way that only young promising players bursting out onto the scene can deliver. It’s a wonderful thing for marketing and stuff, but even under the best of circumstances, ticket sales tend to lag on field success, often by as much as a year. Go back and look at World Series winning teams — especially the surprise winners — and you’ll see that it’s the year after on-field success when the real attendance bumps happen. I expect, if the Yankees continue to play well, their gate will get really nice by the end of the summer, but I suspect we’ll also see a more dramatic bump next year.

Taken all together, this is a dog-bites-man story. The Yankees are not some transcendent institution, immune from market forces. They’re just one of 30 Major League Baseball teams competing against other entertainments for a finite amount of the public’s money and attention. Nothin’ to see here.

David Price had a rocky rehab start last night

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Red Sox starter David Price has been rehabbing a left elbow injury since early March. Last night he made his latest rehab outing for Triple-A Pawtucket. It didn’t go well.

Price allowed six runs — three earned — on seven hits in three and two-thirds innings, requiring 89 pitches to do it. His velocity was good, but otherwise it was a night to forget. This was supposed to be Price’s last rehab start before returning to the Sox’ big league rotation, but one wonders if he’s ready for it.

Price didn’t talk to the media after the game, but Pawtucket’s manager said he was “upbeat” and “felt good.” For his part, John Farrell, upon hearing about the outing, said this:

“There’s no announcement at this point. We’ve got to sit with him and talk about what’s best for him, best for us as we move forward.”

The Sox could really use Price back in the rotation given their injury problems, but rushing him back if he’s not ready is certainly not ideal.

Stay tuned.