And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Giants 4, Padres 1: Madison Bumgarner keeps rolling (7.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 6K). After the game he explained his recent success by saying “I’m just trying to make pitches.”  I’ve heard that for 30 years and I’m still not quite sure what it means but I always like hearing it for some reason. It’s a satisfying answer to me on some level. I think I’m going to start using it in everyday conversation:

Mookie: Dad, why do you keep putting strawberries in my lunch. You know I don’t like strawberries.

Me: Hey, I’m just trying to make pitches.

Dodgers 2, Nationals 0: Chris Capuano outpitches Gio Gonzalez as the Dodgers sweep the Nationals. They’re now 0-2 with Bryce Harper. Let’s pretend that’s a thing because it will probably annoy the hell out of him.

Twins 7, Royals 4: Single, double and a triple for Josh Willingham in his first game back from paternity leave. Man, I remember going back to work after my kids were born. Most relaxing place to be on the planet after a few days of that noise. Don’t look at me like that. The people with parents know what I’m talking about.

Mets 6, Rockies 5: Johan Santana was pretty awesome again, but he had a big lead blown when Tim Byrdak gave up an 8th inning pinch hit grand slam to Todd Helton. The Mets pull it out in extras, however, when Ike Davis singled home David Wright.

White Sox 4, Red Sox 1: Gavin Floyd took a no-hitter into the seventh but then he eased up on that stuff because he realized that if you throw a no-hitter you’re gonna suck on your next outing and he didn’t want any part of that. Just ask Phil Humber. Adam Dunn hit a two-run homer. He’s at .231/.368/.513 and is on pace for 35+ homers. So I guess that means Adam Dunn is back to being Adam Dunn.

Brewers 3, Cardinals 2: Zack Greinke scattered seven hits and gave up one run over six to help the Brewers avoid the sweep. The game ended on a strike-em-out, throw-em-out at the plate on a delayed double steal thing, which was kinda interesting.

Orioles 5, Athletics 2: The A’s led the O’s 2-0 entering the bottom of the ninth, but then Matt Wieters doubled home two runs to tie it and then Wilson Betemit walks off with a three-run homer. For the first place Orioles.

Cubs 5, Phillies 1: Matt Garza allowed one hit over seven innings and struck out ten. The hit was to Jimmy Rollins leading off the game and he wasn’t touched after that. Philly only got two hits all day. There is just little if any light to be seen with their offense right now. They just don’t have the talent in that lineup to get the job done. It’s that simple.

Blue Jays 7, Mariners 2: Edwin Encarnacion has homered in three straight games. The M’s were 0 for 14 with runners in scoring position.

Braves 4, Pirates 3: Welcome back Tim Hudson. He was rusty, but he survived and stranded a bunch of Pirates runners. Bad defense hurt Pittsburgh too. Andrew McCutchen just plain dropped a fly ball Hudson hit in the third, and Hudson eventually came around to score. In other news, I was reminded, as I am reminded every year, that Pirates games are blacked out in Columbus, Ohio. Which makes all kinds of friggin’ sense.

Indians 4, Angels 0: The best thing about the Angels since the callup of Mike Trout: outfield defense. Trout is great with the glove, Peter Bourjos is probably the best in baseball and Torii Hunter has a gajillion gold gloves. So of course the Indians scored two runs when Hunter done lost one in the sun. Manny Acta after the game: “The mighty sun was on our side today.”  I can just picture how he said it too. I love Manny Acta so much.

Diamondbacks 8, Marlins 4:  Wade Miley had a no hitter going into the sixth. In other news, I learned who Wade Miley was yesterday. Jason Kubel drove in three. Kubel is hitting .333/.400./528 this season. Guess he doesn’t miss Target Field all that much.

Yankees 6, Tigers 2: CC Sabathia was solid for eight innings and despite stranding a ton of runners early, the Yankees won easy. The Tigers have lost eight of ten.

Reds 6, Astros 5: Jay Bruce has hit four homers in four games. Joey Votto drove in four runs. The Reds entered April like a lamb but are leaving it like a lion.

Rays 5, Rangers 2:  David Price had struggled against Texas his entire career, but he beat ’em last night. Three hits for Ben Zobrist. Josh Hamilton left with back stiffness. Ron Washington left because he got ejected.

Matthew Stafford audibles with “Kershaw! Kershaw!”

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Last night the Detroit Lions played the New York Giants. During the game Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford called an audible. The call itself referenced Stafford’s childhood friend and high school baseball teammate, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. From the Freep:

Matthew Stafford stepped to the line of scrimmage late in the third quarter and surveyed the Giants defense.

With five pass rushers across the front and three Giants cornerbacks showing a press-man look, Stafford looked at his two receivers to the left and invoked the name of his childhood friend, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw.

“Give me Kershaw here, Kershaw,” Stafford said, repeating his friend’s name two more times as he spun around at the line of scrimmage.

The audible did not result in a pick-4 to Aaron Altherr. It called for a run up the middle. And it worked nicely, gaining eight yards.

You may suggest the results of other starting pitcher-themed audibles in the comments. I’ll start: “Harvey! Harvey!” is where the QB fakes a handoff, drops back, looks deep and then his arm falls completely off. Damndest thing.

Matt Harvey has a 13.19 ERA since coming back from the disabled list

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Matt Harvey‘s season was mostly a loss due to extended time on the disabled list. He’s been given a chance, however, to end the season strong and make a case for himself in the Mets’ future plans. Unfortunately, he has been unable to make that case. He was shelled again last night, and his late season opportunity has been a disaster.

Last night Harvey gave up seven runs on 12 hits and struck out only two batters in four innings against a Marlins team that, until facing him anyway, had been reeling. It was his fourth start since going on the shelf in mid-June and in those four starts he’s allowed 21 runs, all earned, on 32 hits in 14.2 innings, for an ERA of 13.19. In that time he’s struck out only eight batters while walking seven. His average fastball velocity, while ticking up slightly in each of his past four starts, is still below 95. Back when he was an ace he was consistently above that. His command has been terrible.

Injury is clearly the culprit. He had Tommy John surgery just as he was reaching his maximum level of dominance in 2013. While he came back strong in 2015, he was used pretty heavily for a guy with a brand new ligament. Last year he was felled by thoracic outlet syndrome and this year a stress injury to his shoulder. Any one of those ailments have ended pitchers’ careers and even among those who bounce back from them, many are diminished. To go through all three and remain dominant is practically unheard of.

Yet this is where Matt Harvey is. He’s 28. He’s still arbitration eligible, for a team that is, to put it politely, sensitive to large financial outlays. While his 4-5 start opportunity to end the year may very well have been seen as a chance to shop Harvey to another team, his trade value is at an all-time low. It would not be shocking if, on the basis of his recent ineffectiveness, the Mets considered non-tendering him this offseason, making him a free agent.

Someone would probably take a chance on him because famous names who once showed tremendous promise are often given multiple chances in the big leagues (See, Willis, Dontrelle). But at the moment, there is nothing in Harvey’s game to suggest that he is capable of taking advantage of such a chance. All one can hope is that an offseason of rest and conditioning will allow Harvey to reclaim at least a portion of his old form.