Jason Bourgeois

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Cubs 5, Astros 4: The Astros should be bottled like some 19th Century patent medicine, guaranteed to cure all!  They can call it “Dr. Mills’ Blood, Liver and Stomach Invigorational Tincture” or something. Jeff Baker took a swig of it, obviously, and it gave him the gumption and pep to hit the game-winning single in the 10th. Or maybe Hunter Pence forgot to take it, causing bad humours and vexation to build up in his ocular region, this leading to him missing Marlon Byrd’s fly ball, which put Byrd on third base for the waiting Baker.  The Cubs take all three from Houston.

Reds 4, Braves 3: Drew Stubbs: walkoff homer. And for the second time in a week, when the game was on the line, the Braves lost it because Fredi Gonzalez has a pathological aversion to using his best reliever in a tie game on the road.  But hey, at least the feelings of whoever wrote The Book weren’t hurt.

Giants 2, Brewers 1: Madison Bumgarner outduels Yovani Gallardo. Pfun Pfact: I misspell Bumgarner’s and Gallardo’s names 100% of the time I write them, having to go back and change them. Every single time. And half the time I change them to another misspelling.

Yankees 7, Athletics 5: Bartolo Colon had a nice outing, suggesting that the “oh noes, he’s turning back into a pumpkin” fears are either overstated or premature.  Oakland had a chance to tie or win this one in the ninth, loading the bases against Mariano Rivera. The one-out line drive off the bat of David DeJesus found Mark Teixeira’s glove, however, and he turned the double play.

White Sox 4, Indians 2: Ezequiel Carrera woofed a simple Adam Dunn fly ball with two runners on in the sixth, scoring the Sox’ second and third runs of the game. But hey, when you’re a household name like Ezequiel Carrera, you can shake those sorts of things off, secure in the knowledge that you won’t get benched tomorrow or anything.

Diamondbacks 7, Rockies 0:  Justin Upton went 4 for 4 with two doubles, a triple and three RBIs and Micah Owings — really? — threw five shutout innings. He also had an RBI single, natch, because that’s what Micah Owings does.

Pirates 4, Cardinals 3: The Pirates needed this one. And they got the winning run small-ball style, which is about the only style they have at the moment: infield hit, steal of second, advance to third on a throwing error and in to score on a sac fly.

Rays 5, Royals 0: Alex Cobb throws seven shutout innings and three relievers carry the final two.

Red Sox 12, Mariners 8: The Red Sox were none too impressed with Michael Pineda (4.1 IP, 8 H, 7 ER).  Tim Wakefield got beat up too, but he’s been taking punches like that for years, so it was no sweat to him. Fifteen (15) (XV) straight losses for the M’s.

Phillies 5, Padres 3: Five in a row for Philly and seven of nine since the break. They’re just making it look easy.

Marlins 5, Mets 4: A great day for David Wright — homer, double and a single — but Bobby Parnell went kablooey in the eighth, giving up a Logan Morrison homer and a John Buck RBI double.

Angels 9, Orioles 3: The Angels put up a five-spot in the eighth, turning a close one into a not-so-close one, thanks in part to Mike Trout and Torii Hunter homers. Trout’s first one, by the way.

Dodgers 3, Nationals 1: Chad Billingsley struck out 10 over seven innings. The Nats have dropped six of nine since the break.

Blue Jays 4, Rangers 0: Brett Cecil threw a four-hit shutout against the Rangers in Arlington? All singles? Only one runner reaches second base? That’s pretty cool.

 

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.