And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Rockies 12, Reds 4: The Colorado Wrecking Crew: Carlos Gonzalez hit three home runs and drove in six. Troy Tulowitzki hit two of his own. Pedro Villarreal had no idea what hit him.

White Sox 7, Mariners 5: You figure if you score five runs in the top of an extra inning that you’re gonna win that extra inning game. The White Sox did that in the top of the 14th inning of this one, but then immediately coughed up that five run lead in the bottom half, thanks to a Kyle Seager grand slam and an Endy Chavez RBI single of Addison Reed. Robin Ventura stuck with Reed for some reason after that, however. Well, probably for the reason of “who the hell else are we gonna pitch in a 16-inning game?” It paid off as Reed settled down in the 15th and 16th and the Sox pulled it out in the end. Whew.

Blue Jays 4, Giants 0: The Giants couldn’t do Dickey against R.A. Dickey. The knuckler tossed eight and a third two-hit shutout innings. He also doubled in the Jays’ first run of the game. I think that if a pitcher has what turns out to be the game-winning RBI and gets the win that we should call it a “Baseball Bugs.”

Rays 3, Tigers 0: Started watching this one, got bored, then decided to switch to that Liberace movie, “Beyond the Candelabra.” Rob Lowe’s drugged out, plastic surgery addicted plastic surgeon should have his own spinoff. It was LITERALLY the BEST performance I have EVER seen. Oh, Alex Cobb pitched seven and two-thirds of shuout ball. Doug Fister matched him into the ninth but then ran out of gas as the Rays put up three in the ninth.

Braves 5, Pirates 0: Julio Teheran was four outs from a no-hitter before Brandon Inge — who should be summarily suspended by Bud Selig for 100 games and his contract voided — broke it up. Still, eight shutout innings with 11 strikeouts for the Braves’ breakout pitcher of 2013.

Mets 10, Nationals 1: Marlon Byrd had two homers and three RBI, Anthony Recker had three RBI of his own and Dillon Gee pitched seven solid. The Nats — this and many other writers’ pick in the NL East and as the best team in baseball back in March — stink on ice.

Phillies 6, Marlins 1: And because the Nats stink on ice, they have allowed the Phillies to slide into second place. Philly brings their record to 30-30 — their first time at .500 since they were 6-6 — thanks in part to finally scoring Cole Hamels some runs. Their ace struck out 11 and won his first game in a dog’s age. Ryan Howard hit a triple. You don’t see that every day. You do seem to see Domonic Brown hitting home runs every day, however. He hit his 10th in 12 games and leads the NL with 18 overall.

Yankees 6, Indians 4: CC Sabathia went the distance after being staked to a 6-0 lead by the end of the second inning. I suppose this is what pitching to the score looks like?

Athletics 6, Brewers 1: Guess the A’s decided that they just weren’t going to lose anymore. Neat trick if you can pull it off. Bartolo Colon is 7-2 with a 3.14 ERA and he’s only walked six guys in 77.1 innings. He turned 40 two weeks ago.

Rangers 3, Red Sox 2: A day after the Red Sox got 13 extra base hits and scored 17 runs, five Rangers pitchers combined to limit them to two runs on five hits. Alexi Ogando came back off the DL for the start and was solid. The Rangers have the best record in the AL and their best record through 58 games in franchise history.

Cubs 8, Angels 6: Two homers for Mark Trumbo, including one to tie it in the eighth and force extras, but he can’t do it alone. A three-run double for Anthony Rizzo in the tenth was enough to put Chicago over.

Royals 4, Twins 1: Three runs in the first and a nice combo performance by Jeremy Guthrie and four relievers help the Royals snap their 11-game home losing streak.

Diamondbacks 10, Cardinals 3: Paul Goldschmidt is a friggin’ beast. He hit his second grand slam in five days and ups his season line to .336/.417/.608 and is on pace for 36 homers and 146 RBI. Arizona has won four of five. It was the first time the Cards lost back-to-back games since the end of April.

Astros 11, Orioles 7: Houston launches six homers and wins its seventh game in its last eight. Jason Castro, Carlos Pena and J.D. Martinez had two-run homers, Jose Altuve, Matt Dominguez and Marwin Gonzalez had solo shots. I hope the three slackers in the lineup who didn’t go yard have to pay fines in kangaroo court today or something.

Padres 6, Dodgers 2: Jason Marquis’ deal with the devil continues as he takes a no-hitter into the sixth and notches his seventh win of the year. My daughter will be thrilled. Marquis tied up the Rangers in the first major league game she ever went to last season and now she thinks he’s really good. Maybe this is all about one child’s willingness to believe or some hokey crap like that. [music swells].

It’s the tenth anniversary of the biggest rout in baseball history

Associated Press
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Ten years ago today the Rangers and the Orioles squared off at Camden Yards. The Orioles built a 3-0 lead after three innings and then all hell broke loose.

The Rangers scored thirty (30!) unanswered runs via a five-spot in the fourth, a nine-spot in the sixth, a ten-spot in the eighth and a six-spot in the ninth. That was . . . a lot of spots.

Two Rangers players — Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ramon Vazquez — hit two homers and drove in seven runs a piece. The best part: they were the eighth and ninth hitters in the lineup. There was plenty of offense to go around, however as David Murphy went 5-for-7 and scored five times. Travis Metcalf hit a pinch-hit grand slam. Marlon Byrd drove in four. It was a bloodbath, with Texas rattling out 29 hits and walking eight times.

On the Orioles side of things, Daniel Cabrera took the loss, giving up six runs on nine hits in five innings. That’s not a terribly unusual line for a bad day at the office for a pitcher — someone will probably get beat up like that in the next week or so — but the Orioles’ relievers really added to the party. Brian Burres was the first victim, allowing eight runs on eight hits in only two-thirds of an inning. Rob Bell gave up seven in an inning and a third. Paul Shuey wore the rest of it, allowing nine runs on seven hits over the final two.

The best part of the insanely busy box score, however, was not from any of the Orioles pitchers or any of the Rangers hitters. Nope, it was from a Rangers relief pitcher named Wes Littleton. You probably don’t remember him, as he only pitched in 80 games and never appeared in the big leagues after 2008. But on this day — the day of the biggest blowout in baseball history — Wes Littleton notched a save. From Baseball-Reference.com:

Three innings and 43 pitches is a lot of work for a reliever and, per the rules, it’s a save, regardless of the margin when he entered the game. Still, this was not exactly a game that was ever in jeopardy.

When it went down, way back on August 22, 2007, it inspired me to write a post at my old, defunct independent baseball blog, Shysterball, arguing about how to change the save rule. Read it if you want, but know that (1) no one has ever paid attention to such proposals in baseball, even if such proposals are frequently offered; and (2) the hypothetical examples I use to illustrate the point involve an effective Joba Chamberlain and Joe Torre’s said use of him, which tells you just how long ago this really was.

Oh, one final bit: this massacre — the kind of game that the Orioles likely wanted to leave, go back home and go to sleep afterward — was only the first game of a doubleheader. Yep, they had to strap it on and play again, with the game starting at 9PM Eastern time. Baltimore lost that one too, 9-7, concluding what must have been one of the longest days any of the players involved had ever had at the office, both figuratively and literally.

Hall of Fame baseball announcer Rafael ‘Felo’ Ramirez dies

Associated Press
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MIAMI (AP) Rafael “Felo” Ramirez, a Hall of Fame baseball radio broadcaster who was the signature voice for millions of Spanish-speaking sports fans over three decades, has died. He was 94.

The Miami Marlins announced Ramirez’ death Tuesday.

Ramirez, who died Monday night, began his broadcasting career in Cuba in 1945 before calling 31 All-Star games and World Series in Spanish. He was the Marlins Spanish-language announcer since their inaugural season in 1993 and was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame in 2001.

He was known for an expressive, yet low-key style and his signature strike call of “Essstrike.”

Several Spanish-language broadcasters, including Amury Pi-Gonzanez of the Seattle Mariners and San Francisco Giants, have admitted to emulating his style.