HBT Weekend Wrapup

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I needed this weekend wrapup more than usual because I’ve really been out of baseball circulation the past couple of days. My folks took my kids out to the lake on Saturday, so Mrs. Shyster and I had a nice lunch, took in a movie, did a little aimless wandering and then had a nice dinner. Yesterday we had my boy’s fifth birthday party. Over both days I was on an Internet detox regimen that, while not a total blackout, was about as unplugged as I ever get. When you spend as much time in front of a screen as I do you just gotta do that sometimes.

The upshot: I didn’t watch an inning of baseball all weekend, and really didn’t pay attention to what the hell was going on. Thank goodness, then, for D.J. and Drew who documented that which needed to be documented and allowed me to catch up quite nicely this morning. The highlights:

  • Nick Swisher hit a walkoff single on the night the Yankees paid tribute to The Boss. I’m glad this event managed to bring some attention to Steinbrenner’s passing, because I was worried that people were completely missing it.
  • I’m sure a bunch of people heard about Yogi Berra falling down and thought “Oh noes! These things come in threes!”  I had breakfast with my personal mystic this morning, however, and she tells me that Yogi will not form the trio with Sheppard and Steinbrenner. She was insistent, however, that I cancel my bowling date with Joe Pepitone next Thursday.
  • Matt Kemp isn’t being dealt. Of course, the only reason we’re obligated to mention this is because someone ridiculously suggested that he was going to get dealt.

The movie, by the way, was “Inception,” which I liked a great deal. The only thing I don’t like about it is that it will likely make a lot of money and will thereby cause movie studios to try and cash in with copycat psychological thrillers, all of which will almost certainly be muddled disasters because they won’t be written and directed by Chris Nolan.

Anyway, back to baseball for me.  Let’s get on with our week.

And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Where we stand:

  • The Brewers and Cubs both won, giving them each a half-game boost over the Phillies and a full game boost over the Mets, who lost, but keeping the status quo between themselves. Chicago has a one-game lead over Milwaukee for the second Wild Card and a five-game lead over both New York and Philly;
  • The Nationals lost to the Cardinals, reducing their lead for the top spot in the Wild Card race to a half game. We’ve sort of assumed for a couple of weeks that they were a lock at the top but, know what? They’re not;
  • The Twins put a half-game more on their lead over the idle Indians in the AL Central, making the margin five;
  • The Rays and Indians both had the night off while the Athletics lost, putting the Rays a game and a half behind the A’s in second and first, respectively, in the AL Wild Card race while Cleveland trails Tampa Bay by one and a half.

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Tigers 5, Orioles 2: When I did yesterday’s recap I didn’t realize that this was a wraparound series and none of you corrected me so I guess that tells ya how this matchup rates in our collective consciousness. Jordy Mercer hit a two-run homer in the first inning and Victor Reyes hit a two-run double in the second to help Detroit earn the split.

Brewers 5, Padres 1: Corey Spangenberg spent five years with the Padres before this season but he set any residual loyalties aside while facing his old comrades, driving in three runs, including a tie-breaking, two-run triple in the fourth inning. Zach Davies, meanwhile, allowed one run over five and the Milwaukee pen held San Diego scoreless for the final four innings. The Brew Crew has won ten of eleven.

Twins 5, White Sox 3: The Sox took an early 2-0 lead but those were the only two runs Twins starter José Berríros allowed while pitching into the eighth inning. Jorge Polanco hit a sacrifice fly and Nelson Cruz knocked an RBI single in the second to tie things up and Mitch Garver‘s RBI double in the fifth put the Twinkies ahead for good. They didn’t hit a homer in this one. I hope they feel OK.

Cardinals 4, Nationals 2: Marcell Ozuna drove in all four of the Cardinals runs with a two-run homer and a two-run double. He also nailed a runner at home plate in the fourth to keep the Nats from tying things up:

The Nationals are looking over their shoulder and seeing the possibility of three NL Central teams making the postseason while they’re on the outside looking in. Not saying it’s gonna happen, but it could.

Cubs 8, Reds 2: Kyle Schwarber hit a three-run homer and Nicholas Castellanos hit a two-run double while five Cubs relievers tossed five and two-thirds scoreless innings. Schwarber — who we have always identified with stellar defense, right? — also made this diving catch:

Rockies 9, Mets 4: Rockies pitcher Antonio Senzatela hit a tying, two-run single in the fourth after which Trevor Story, a far more usual offensive contributor, smacked a three-run homer to blow things open for Colorado. In all the Rockies roughed up Steven Matz for seven runs on six hits in four innings. Before that single, Senzatela had been 0-for-44 on the year.  Brandon Nimmo and Jeff McNeil each homered in a losing cause for New York.

Diamondbacks 7, Marlins 5: Robbie Ray pitched five and two-thirds innings of no-hit ball and left the game after allowing only one run in six innings. Once he was gone, however, the Fish put up a five-spot in the top of the seventh to come back from being down 3-0. Their lead didn’t last long as the Snakes put up a four-spot in their half of the seventh, including a bases-clearing three-run double by Jake Lamb, to give themselves back the lead and, ultimately, the game. Lamb also knocked in the game’s first run while being hit by a pitch with the bases loaded in the first. There are easier ways to get an RBI but whatever works, right?

Royals 6, Athletics 5: The A’s six-game winning streak comes to an end thanks to some late inning heroics by Royals batters. Specifically, Brett Phillips hit a tying home run off Liam Hendricks in the ninth after which Adalberto Mondesí hit an RBI double to put Kansas City on top. That Mondesí double isn’t an RBI if not for the fact that, one batter earlier, Whit Merrifield reached second thanks to a Ramón Laureano letting the ball simply pop out of his glove. Oops.