And That Happened: Wednesday's Scores and Highlights

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Dodgers
6, Reds 2
: Clayton Kershaw gave up one run on seven hits with seven
strikeouts. At least one of those strikeouts was baloney, though.  Check out the call here by Hunter Wendelstedt.
Rolen and Dusty Baker got run, sure, but it’s not like they didn’t have
a beef. Bonus: lip readers among you can easily figure out exactly what
Dusty thought of that call!

Braves 6, Rays 2:  Things I haven’t had to say in several years: the Braves win, staying just ahead of the Mets in the race for the N.L. East lead. Seven scoreless innings for Tommy Hanson, who looked pretty damn dominant.

Mets 8, Indians 4: I totally should have gone up to Progressive Field to watch this one from the Tribe Social Deck. Why? Because for the first time this year a home run was hit into the assembled bloggeratti. What’s more, it was hit by Shelley Duncan!  If I had been there, my daughter Anna would have gotten a souvenir from her favorite player. That is, if I could have fought off the vicious, vicious bloggers.

Rangers 6, Marlins 3: Michael Young broke the Rangers’ all-time hit record, passing Ivan Rodriguez.  I’m going to go out on a limb and guess 3-5:  Pete O’Brien, Bump Wills and Cesar Tovar. Am I right? Nah, don’t bother looking. I’m pretty sure I’m right.

Red Sox 6, Diamondbacks 2: The young starter goes seven strong, many contribute on offense and the home team wins 6-2. So this was pretty much a carbon copy of the Braves-Rays game. Well, except for Dustin Pedroia hitting a home run and then, after the game saying I’m strong – I drink milk.”

Angels 5, Brewers 1: Pfun stupf: Brandon Wood played shortstop. I did not know he did that. Were it the late 1960s or early 19-teens, his bat might even play there.

Blue Jays 7, Padres 1: John Buck hit his third home run of the series. Yesterday’s smacked off the balcony on the fourth floor of the Western Metal Supply Co.
Building in the left-field corner. You can hit the ball farther than that to other parts of the park and not get a homer, but it’s more impressive to measure home runs in building-based units such as supply companies, railroad warehouses and the like.

Phillies 6, Yankees 3: Jamie Moyer goes eight innings, allowing only three hits and Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth hit back-to-back homers for the first time in forever. By the way, the thing in all the game stories — Jamie Moyer is the oldest pitcher to ever beat the Yankees! — is another of those silly, “we’re only talking about it because it’s a New York team” things. Moyer is the oldest pitcher to beat a whole bunch of teams, I’d imagine, and we generally don’t care. But because he’s facing New York, which means that there are a bunch more writers covering it, all of whom are looking for an angle, we get factoids disguised as records like this one.

Giants 6, Orioles 3: Lincecum allowed eight hits, walked four and got smacked in the shoulder with a batted ball, but he also struck out ten Orioles and got the win.  His shoulder will be OK — Bruce Bochy says ’tis but a scratch; a mere flesh wound — but he certainly ain’t making anything easy for himself this year.

Tigers 8, Nationals 3: I’ve been waiting, not eagerly or anything, but waiting all the same, for the real Livan Hernandez to show himself this year. And that he did, giving up eight runs on seven hits in six and two-thirds, while issuing six free passes. Verlander had 11K. Brennan Boesch continues being a beast, going 3-4 with a homer and 4 RBI.

White Sox 7, Pirates 2: Pedro Alvarez was 0-2 with a strikeout, a walk and scored a run in his debut, but that and $5.79 will get you a knockwurst & cheese at Primanti Bros., because the Pirates lost again. Alvarez had an error too, but he wasn’t alone as Pittsburgh committed six of them. John Danks handcuffed the Pirates all night, but these days so too would the pitching machine from a fun-park batting cage. Yellow balls and everything.

Cubs 6, Athletics 2: Derek Lee was 2-4 with a homer, breaking up his current slump. Or maybe just interrupting it. When does anything really begin, anyway? And let us not forget, today is the first day of the rest of your life.

Twins 2, Rockies 1: Scott Baker was positively Strasburgian: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 12K.  And he needed to be as the Twins couldn’t do much more off the Rockies.

Mariners 2, Cardinals 1: Matt Holliday struck out with the tying run at third in the eighth inning and went 0 for 4 on the night. You have to assume he’ll hit soon enough, but its understandable why Cardinals fans are starting to get restless about him.

Astros 4, Royals 2: Oswalt holds the Royals — who unleashed a 15-run attack the night before — to two runs on six hits. If he can get two more wins before he gets traded, he’ll be the Astros’ all-time win leader. Joe Niekro holds the mark right now at 144.

Kirk Gibson home run happened 30 years ago

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With the Dodgers trying to make it back to the World Series for the second year in a row — and trying to win it for the first time in 30 years — it’s worth looking back at the last time they won it. More specifically, it’s worth looking back at the signature moment from the last time they won it. Which, really, was one of baseball’s all-time signature moments.

Yep, I’m talking about Kirk Gibson’s famous game-winning home run off of Dennis Eckersley of the Oakland Athletics in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, which happened 30 years ago tonight.

All playoff magic for anyone too young to remember Bill Mazeroski’s homer in 1960 is measured against Gibson taking Dennis Eckersley downtown to turn a 4-3 deficit into a 5-4 win. Heck, even if you were around in 1960, it’s far less likely that you saw Mazeroski’s homer than it was for you to have seen Gibson’s. Nationally broadcast in prime time to a nation of millions who had not yet fragmented into viewers of hundreds of obscure cable channels and various forms of streaming entertainments, it was a moment that sent shockwaves through the world of sports.

For my part, I was fifteen years-old, sitting in my living room in Beckley, West Virginia watching it as it happened. Like most of the rest of the country, I was convinced that the Dodgers had no chance to beat the mighty Bash Brothers and the 104-win Oakland A’s. Especially given that the Dodgers’ leader, MVP-to-be Gibson, was hobbled and not starting. Even when he was called on to pinch hit, I had no faith that he’d be able to touch Eckersley, the best relief pitcher on the planet, let alone hit the ball with any kind of authority.

But, as Vin said when he called it, the Dodgers’ year was so improbable that, in hindsight, it made perfect sense for Gibson to have done the impossible: