And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Diamondbacks 6, Giants 1: Rookie Paul Goldschmidt hit his first major league home run and he did it off Tim frickin’ Lincecum. Justin Upton hit his own two-run shot, the Dbacks have won four in a row and they are now tied for first place with the Giants.  Now how about we divert some of that love we gave the Pirates for being frisky to Arizona? Because 20 years of history aside, they weren’t expected to be any better in 2011 than Pittsburgh was.

Cardinals 8, Brewers 7:  When Yadier Molinas attack. He’s got a suspension coming. Mostly for the bumping. Though note the theatrics of the home plate umpire Rob Drake, wiping his face, making it clear to everyone in the ballpark that a little spittle got on him when Molina started jawing. Like Molina’s rant needed to be up-sold.

Cubs 11, Pirates 6: Homers flyin’ everywhere. Six for the Cubs. Two for Garrett Jones. Seventeen runs and 31 hits between them.

Nationals 9, Braves 3: Rick Ankiel is on fire, hitting his third homer in two days, this one a grand slam. Of course, the Nats beating the Braves is nothing notable. They’ve been doing it pretty darn consistently for a couple of years now. Maddening.

Blue Jays 3, Rays 1: Other than a homer to Desmond Jennings in the sixth, Ricky Romero cruised. And that homer was the first and only hit he gave up in his eight innings. A homer for Jose Bautista as the Jays beat David Price for the first time in nine tires. Toronto is three games over .500 now.

Marlins 4, Mets 3: Two homers for All-Star Omar Infante, but that wasn’t enough to get the job done. The Mets led 3-2 heading into the ninth, but then Jason Isringhausen loaded the bases via a walk, a single and a HBP. Then a Justin Turner throwing error allowed two runs to score and that, as they say, was that. On the bright side: any one player can load the bases and any one player can make a key error, but it really takes teamwork for both of those things to happen for guys to blow a game in that fashion.

Reds 5, Astros 1: Homer Bailey had an impressive outing (8 IP, 5 H, 1 ER), but then again, he’s always been impressive against minor leaguers. Grand slam for Edgar Renteria.

Dodgers 1, Padres 0: Hiroki Kuroda shut out the Friars on four hits over seven. Matt Kemp’s RBI single in the fourth is all that was required.

Mariners 4, Athletics 2: Based on this play alone, the Athletics’ entire infield should be suspended for a week. For those who can’t watch the video, Brendan Ryan reached third on an infield single because no A’s player really felt like covering second or third, even as a token gesture. That’s kid’s T-ball-bad.

Phillies 5, Rockies 0: Two homers for Ryan Howard, eight shutout innings for Kyle Kendrick. Remember back before the season started when I said that this team would be sort of boringly dominant in that, you wouldn’t necessarily pay attention every night, but then you’d look up in August and they’d have a double-digit lead?  Yeah, this is exactly what I was talking about.

Angels 5, Twins 1: No post-no-hitter hangover for Ervin Santana. He pitches a complete game, scattering eight hits and allowing only one run.

Orioles 8, Royals 2: Five RBI for Mark Reynolds, who homered, doubled and singled. Game time temperature: 107 degrees. Mercy.

Yankees 6, White Sox 0: Mark Teixeira sets the record for games in which a guy homers from both sides of the plate. His 12th, passing Eddie Murray and Chili Davis. Phil Hughes pitches six-innings of three-hit shutout ball in a rain-shortened game. Hmm. Does this still mean he’s heading to the bullpen?

Red Sox 3, Indians 2: Jacoby Ellsbury with the walkoff RBI single. With Jarrod Saltalamacchia running as a pinch-runner. Of course.

Tigers 6, Rangers 5: Welcome to the American League, Mike Adams. Where it rains. And where guys hit go-ahead homers against you in the eighth inning from time to time.

The Indians are unveiling a Frank Robinson statue on Sunday

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The Cleveland Indians will unveil a Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field on Saturday.

Robinson’s tenure in Cleveland was not long, but it was historic. On April 8, 1975, he became the first African-American manager in Major League history. He was a player-manager. One of the last ones, in fact. He spent two years in that role and then a third year — a partial year anyway — as a manager only. Robinson would go on to manage the Giants, Orioles and the Expos/Nationals, compiling a career record of 1065-1176 in 16 seasons. He is now a top MLB executive.

Robinson was, of course, a Hall of Fame player as well, lodging 21 seasons for the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians. He won two MVP awards and hit for the Triple Crown in 1966. Overall he hit 586 home runs – 10th all time – and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. For an inner-circle Hall of Famer with that kind of resume he is still, strangely enough, underrated. I guess that happens when your contemporaries are Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle.

Anyway, congrats to Frank Robinson for yet another well-deserved honor in a career full of them.

Hey kids: don’t swing a weighted bat in the on deck circle

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Here’s an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal. It’s about some studies of hitters who use weighted bats or doughnuts on their bats in the on deck circle. Turns out that, contrary to conventional wisdom, using a weighted bat for practice hacks does not speed up one’s swing when one uses a naked bat in the batter’s box. In fact, it slows it down.

There are lots of caveats here. The sample size in the studies are small and they all involve college and high school players, not big leaguers. The results, however, are consistent with previous studies and they do make some intuitive sense. This is particularly the case with batting doughnuts, which add weight to a very concentrated portion of the bat, thereby changing the center of gravity and thus the swing mechanics of the hitter.

Whether this is applicable at large or to higher level hitters or not, I still find it kind of neat. I always like it when people scrutinize ingrained habits and ask whether or not that thing we’ve always done is, in fact, worth doing.