And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Pirates 4, Brewers 3: Andrew McCutchen with a walkoff bomb in the 12th. John Axford surrendered the lead in the eighth. He’s got a nifty 9.20 ERA now.

Dodgers 2, Nationals 0: Clayton Kershaw stuck out 11 in eight and two-thirds shutout innings. He tossed 132 pitches: the most in his career and the most in baseball since Justin Verlander threw the same amount last August.

Padres 3, Orioles 2: Yesterday on a radio spot I did we talked about how automatic Jim Johnson has been, having converted 35 straight saves. Sorry for jinxing you, dude. The Padres rallied for two in the ninth giving Johnson his first blown save of the year, as Johnson couldn’t quite wriggle out of the jam he created for himself. Single, single, double play, HBP, single, single, blown save. Death by, well, four or five cuts.

Phillies 6, Indians 2: Jonathan Pettibone got to the bigs because of injuries but he’s staying there because he’s getting the job done. Two runs allowed in six and two thirds. A three for four night with three RBI for John Mayberry.

Yankees 4, Mariners 3: Felix Hernandez was cruising until he tweaked his back in the sixth and had to leave after allowing only one run. The Yankees capitalized, scoring three off Yoervis Medina and Charlie Furbush. CC Sabathia struck out ten. Allowed ten hits too. But he kept New York close, which was good enough last night.

Reds 6, Marlins 2: Homer Bailey went the distance, striking out ten. Ricky Nolasco, in contrast, walked two dudes with the bases loaded and just had a miserable night. But hey, it’s Miami.

Blue Jays 10, Giants 6: Melky Cabrera welcomed his former teammates with a 4 for 5, two RBI night. R.A. Dickey struck out ten in six innings. The Jays put up a six-spot in the first inning off Barry Zito and that was almost all she wrote.

Rockies 9, Cubs 4: Carlos Gonzalez went 5 for 5 with two homers. And he was — all together now — a triple shy of the cycle.

Tigers 6, Astros 2: Miguel Cabrera had a homer, but it came after the game was effectively decided. The night before he didn’t do much of anything as the Tigers routed Houston. Basically, the Tigers could be sending out a team full of Don Kellys and Andy Dirkseseseses and still be sweeping this series. Really, it’s like watching an exhibition series between the big club and Triple-A or something.

Cardinals 10, Mets 4: The Mets are … not good. Carlos Beltran is, though. He drove in four, reminding those in New York who still think he’s a bum that in fact he’s arguably a borderline Hall of Famer. John Gast pitched well for five innings before running into some trouble in the sixth. Still, impressive for the kid. Who, if he really takes off, we can start calling “The Great Gastby” or something. [dodges thrown fruit] or maybe not.

Rays 5, Red Sox 3: Matt Moore was smacked around for three runs in the first but then settled down and moved to 7-0 on the year. Six straight wins for the Rays.

Diamondbacks 2, Braves 0: This Patrick Corbin kid continues to impress, winning his sixth straight start to kick off the year despite walking five dudes. Double plays helped, as he had three turned behind him to get him out of jams. The Braves have lost four of five.

White Sox 4, Twins 2: Adam Dunn and Dayan Viciedo hit back to back homers. Jake Peavy was solid again. The Sox win despite two pretty clearly blown calls by umps, one at first base one at home.

Angels 6, Royals 2: I guess Jeremy Guthrie is mortal after all. The Angels tagged him for five runs on 11 hits in seven innings. Homers from Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton. This is how it was supposed to go.

Rangers 6, Athletics 5: Two homers from Mitch Moreland, including one that helped ice it in the tenth inning. Adrian Beltre hit one in the tenth as well. Joe Nathan was shaky as all get-out in the bottom of the inning but finally nailed it down, needing 31 pitches to do so.

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.