And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Marlins 7, Rockies 4: Jamie Moyer pitched in his 50th different major league park. But he may have given up his longest most hellacious homer ever. Giancarlo Stanton hit a grand slam that went 438 feet in basically a straight line and broke the friggin’ scoreboard. Roy Hobbs stuff, there. Gave the Marlins the lead and, eventually, the game.

Nationals 2, Phillies 1: Ian Desmond drove in both Washington runs, one on a homer, and Gio Gonzalez pitched six scoreless for his sixth win. Bryce Harper had two hits, a stolen base and scored a run. No word on whether he was hit with any batteries.

Pirates 5, Mets 4: Michael McKenry hit a two-run homer in the seventh to tie it up and to chase Johan Santana. A Clint Barmes sac fly was the game winner. In other news, Clint Barmes still draws a major league paycheck. Who knew?

Reds 4, Braves 1: Mike Leake pitched eight strong innings and hit a homer. Drew Stubbs didn’t pitch at all but had two of his own. Cincinnati takes their third in a row and keeps the pressure on the Cardinals. Oh, and about that Aroldis Chapman arrest? It happened in Grove City, Ohio. Which is a Columbus suburb, 100 miles from Cincinnati. This on the morning after the Reds got back from a road trip and before a home game. I’m struggling to think what’s so appealing about my fair city for Chapman that he had to make a 200-mile+ road trip in such a short amount of time. But hey, at the speeds he was driving, I guess it’s a short trip.

Cardinals 4, Padres 3: St. Louis needed this one to avoid falling behind the Reds in the Central. They got it via a two-run Tyler Greene home run in the eighth. Clayton Richard pitched seven and a third, Jaime Garcia pitched seven, but they each gave up two runs on seven hit with one walk. Garcia struck out more. I wonder how often two starters have had the same exact pitching line. Had to have happened a few times before, right?

Astros 8, Cubs 3: A laugher. Matt Garza turned in his worst start of the year (3 IP, 5 H, 7 ER) and was countered by Bud Norris’ seven innings of shutout ball. Norris left with an 8-0 lead.

Blue Jays 6, Rays 2: I’ll let the box score speak for this one and instead note something that caught my eye in the scoring summary. Second inning: “E Thames singled to center, J Arencibia scored, E Thames out stretching at second.”  I read that and I pictured this for some reason. Just put Eric Thames’ head on the body.

Royals 6, Yankees 0: I’m not saying it would be nice for Royals fans to make “contract the Yankees” jokes like so many Yankees fans have done to them over the years, but I understand it if they do. The Yankees offensive impotence — 0 for 13 with runners in scoring position — hits bottom, they hope. I have this feeling today is gonna be super crazy in the tabloids.

Red Sox 8, Orioles 6: And part of that super crazy tabloid thing is gonna be based on the fact that the Yankees now have the same 21-21 record as do the Boston Red Sox who, as we’ve all been told to believe, are in utter chaos and whatnot. Not that we should be glib about that. They fell behind early before a six-run rally put them ahead and they still weren’t comfortable here.

Mariners 6, Rangers 1: The M’s are not impressed with Yu Darvish, who issued six walks. Felix Hernandez, in the meantime, allowed one run over eight. Ichiro tripled in a run and singled in two. I’m guessing that, in light of all of this, my friends in the Japanese media have a lot to write about today.

Dodgers 6, Diamondbacks 1: Matt Treanor, Andre Ethier and James Loney all homered. Chris Capuano is now 6-1. When people ask later why no one thought the Dodgers would contend, folks like me in the analysis business will say things like “we didn’t expect Chris Capuano to post an ERA more than two runs lower than his career norms.”

Giants 4, Brewers 3: Ryan Braun hit a two-run homer in the eighth to tie things up, but Hector Sanchez with a 14th inning homer to win it.  Lost in no-decision land was Madison Bumgarner who struck out 10 over seven and a third.

Athletics 2, Angels 1: The A’s have now won 5 of 7 matchups against the Angels. And we’re running out words to describe the Angels offense. Just perusing the thesaurus, I got: anemic, debilitated, decrepit, delicate, effete,enervated, exhausted, faint, feeble, flaccid,flimsy, forceless, fragile, frail, hesitant,impuissant, infirm, insubstantial, irresolute,lackadaisical, languid, languorous, limp,makeshift, out of gas, powerless, prostrate,puny, rickety, rocky, rotten, senile, shaky, sickly,sluggish, spent, spindly, supine, tender, torpid,uncertain, undependable, unsound, unsteady,unsubstantial, wasted, wavering, weakened,weakly, wobbly.

Pick a winner.

Imagining Theo Epstein in politics

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“When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.”

Or: “When Theo Epstein won World Series championships with the two most championship-starved franchises in baseball history, he got bored, and decided to run for the Senate or something.”

That latter bit is the premise of a Politico piece speculating that the Cubs president could go into politics one day. The story features an interview with former Obama chief strategist David Axlerod, who thinks Theo has what it takes. Mostly what he has is fame, popularity, good looks and money. No idea what his positions on issue are, but that other stuff goes a long way in politics these days.

Bonus: given what we just elected last fall, a guy who once had a little temper tantrum and dressed up in a gorilla suit is just as viable a candidate as anyone.

Another interestingly named player is promoted by the Pirates

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When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.

The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.

Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.

It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.

Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.