Stay For a Nightcap - The Human Element

The Human Element

Anything else that I possibly could have lead with had to be thrown out the window thanks to the Pirates-Braves game. The oblique injury to Brian McCann would have been enough for the lead, but then the game morphed into epic stage. It was notable not only because of how long it went, but because of the vast amount of glorious #FAIL that it featured. To wit:

- The Pirates were shut out over the final 17 innings of the game
- The Braves didn't have any extra-base hits in the game.
- Martin Prado managed to go 0-for-9.
- The Pirates laid down three sacrifice bunts in extra innings, twice with Scott Proctor on the mound.
- Joel Hanrahan was the only non-starting pitcher to not get into the game. Good thing there weren't any high-leverage situations in the game or anything. Instead, Daniel McCutchen, who had pitched three of the previous four nights, was left in there to throw 92 pitches.
- DirecTV's feed on Extra Innings went out after the six-hour window expired, leaving a ton (well, let's not exagerate, at this point it was a select few watching) of viewers hanging in the balance. Fortunately I was able to watch it on the channel reserved for the Pittsburgh Fox Sports (or ROOT, I think) affiliate, after some searching.
- Scott Proctor did a total face plant getting out of the batter's box on the play that decided the game. Had the Pirates seen that, they could have easily turned the double play and gotten out of the inning. Don't get me wrong - Pedro Alvarez made the right decision in the time he had to make it, and made a great throw to boot.
- And then there's the call by home plate umpire Jerry Meals. Insert whatever argument you have in favor of getting real instant replay in, because it obviously applies here. I'd also argue that if you can replay the Pine Tar Game from the point of the bad call, you can replay this game from that point. This call was way worse than Jim Joyce's call last year, if for no other reason than it decided the outcome of the game, for two teams that are in playoff contention.

Trade Week Begins ...

... with Jonny Gomes? So much for lowering the surplus of available outfielders.

Major Injuries:

Brian McCann (oblique), Lance Berkman (shoulder), Jose Bautista (head - not serious), Gaby Sanchez (hamstring)

Marlins 11, Nationals 2

- Greg Dobbs was a late addition to the lineup after Gaby Sanchez was scratched with a hamstring injury. He ended up going 3-for-5 with a homer and five RBI. He has been losing a lot of playing time lately, whenever the Marlins decide to play Emilio Bonifacio at third base. Sanchez will likely sit again Wednesday.
- One interesting dynamic from the Jonny Gomes trade is that he's paired up with Laynce Nix again as part of a left field platoon.
- Jordan Zimmermann gave up six runs for the second consecutive start.
- Chien-Ming Wang will get called up to start Friday for the Nats.
- HR: Greg Dobbs (4), Logan Morrison (16), John Buck (11), Laynce Nix (13); SB: Hanley Ramirez (18).

Phillies 7, Giants 2

- Tim Lincecum was scratched due to a stomach virus, leaving Barry Zito out there to take his ritualistic beating from the Phillies, who hit three homers off of him. Zito allowed six runs over seven innings. Lincecum could start instead Wednesday.
- Vance Worley improved to 7-1 with a 2.02 ERA after going the distance. He allowed just three hits and a walk while striking out five.
- Cody Ross has gotten an opportunity to play more in LF and has now gone 1-for-17 with it. He's marginalized quite a bit if the Carlos Beltran trade happens. Meanwhile, Brandon Belt was nowhere to be found despite the Phillies starting a right-hander in Worley.
- HR: Aaron Rowand (4), Chase Utley (7), Ryan Howard (20), Raul Ibanez (14), John Mayberry Jr. (6); CS: Mayberry (2).

Yankees 4, Mariners 1

- CC Sabathia was the story, throwing a perfect game until Brendan Ryan got the Mariners' lone hit in the seventh inning. He struck out 14 in the command performance. One interesting issue popped up - there were two short rain delays in the game. But say, for example, that the delay had been about 45 minutes to an hour, and Sabathia were still perfect. Would the Yankees have let him continue after the delay? What's the realistic cut-off?
- If there was ever a night to extend a losing streak to 17 under the radar, this was definitely it.
- This just in - Doug Fister did not get good run support again!
- HR: Curtis Granderson (28), Mark Teixeira (28); SV: (26).

Angels 2, Indians 1

- Jordan Walden won the rematch against Jason Kipnis, closing the door with a strikeout after first inducing a double play with the bases loaded and no outs. That the bases loaded wasn't totally his fault - there was a high-hop single, then a seeing-eye single, then a fielder's choice on a bunt play with the runner safe.
- This came in relief of Jered Weaver, who was once again superb, allowing one run over seven innings.
- Mark Trumbo had the big hit, a two-run double after the Indians intentionally walked Howie Kendrick in front of him.
- HR: Matt LaPorta (9); SV: Jordan Walden (24).

Orioles 12, Blue Jays 4

- J.J. Hardy and Derrek Lee had monster games, combining for three homers and nine RBI between the two of them.
- Brandon Morrow was on the receiving end of that damage, giving up seven runs (six earned) on nine hits, including three homers.
- Jake Arrieta wasn't much better, but benefited from the early run support. He gave up four runs on five hits, including two homers, before leaving with a foot injury after getting hit by an Edwin Encarnacion line drive. X-rays were negative.
- The big scare in the game was Jose Bautista getting hit in the head by a pitch, but he tested negative for a concussion and might even play Wednesday.
- Vladimir Guerrero was activated from the DL, meaning that Nolan Reimold probably won't get any time at DH. Reimold did get a start, against a right-hander no less, in left field instead.
- Zach Britton will get the call again Saturday, though it's because the O's have a doubleheader against the Yankees that day.
- HR: J.J. Hardy 2 (16), Derrek Lee (11), Nolan Reimold (6), Adam Lind (19), Aaron Hill (5); SB: Adam Jones (8), Corey Patterson (13).

Braves 4, Pirates 3 - 19 innings

- See above for most of the commentary.
- Until I saw the Reds play the Braves this weekend, I didn't realize that Julio Lugo was back in the majors. Yeah, the Braves need to trade for a bat.
- Brian McCann's injury is huge news, certainly in fantasy and also in reality. This should heighten the Braves' urgency to add a bat.
- Thanks to Nate McLouth's ejection, Jordan Schafer had to come in despite getting scratched earlier with a jammed finger.
- Chipper Jones (quad) couldn't play in the field, but did pinch-hit. He's expected to be out of the starting lineup for multiple days.
- HR: Michael McKenry (2); SB: Xavier Paul 2 (12), Neil Walker (7), Ronny Cedeno (2), Nate McLouth (4), Freddie Freeman (3); CS: Andrew McCutchen (6), Michael McKenry (1).

Red Sox 13, Royals 9

- Dustin Pedroia continued the Laser Show he's been on ever since getting the clean bill of health on his knee, going for 4-for-5.
- After going 14 innings the previous night, the Royals' bullpen was so tapped out that Mitch Maier had to pitch. Mitch Maier is an outfielder, by the way. Mitch Maier was the only guy to retire Pedroia.
- Andrew Miller's major league spot is very tenuous at best - he gave up seven runs (five earned) over 3.2 innings, allowing nine hits and two walks while striking out just one.
- HR: Alex Gordon (12), Billy Butler (8), Jason Varitek (6); SB: Darnell McDonald (2).

Mets 8, Reds 6

- Even though Yonder Alonso got the call-up after the Gomes trade, it'll be Chris Heisey that gets most of the starts in left field, as he did Tuesday.
- The Reds kicked the ball around with style Tuesday, committing three errors (and it should have been four). All six runs that Johnny Cueto allowed were unearned as a result.
- Tim Byrdak got a one-out save, striking out Jay Bruce to end the game. Neither Bobby Parnell nor Jason Isringhausen were used, as both had a heavy workload recently.
- Joey Votto homered for the first time since the All-Star break, hitting a Great American Ballpark opposite field special, on a ball that just kept on drifting.
- Angel Pagan didn't start, but did have a pinch-hit single.
- HR: Joey Votto (14); SB: Brandon Phillips (7); SV: Tim Byrdak (1).

Twins 9, Rangers 8

- Uh oh, Neftali. Neftali Feliz had started to come around a little lately, but Tuesday's blown save was an ugly one. He gave up two runs on three hits and a walk, without striking out a batter, and failed to even finish the inning. The asking price for Heath Bell just went up.
- Joe Nathan had to work out of trouble, allowing two baserunners, but was able to throw his breaking ball for a strike to work out of it, striking out two in the process.
- Neither starting pitcher got into the sixth inning - Carl Pavano gave up eight runs in five innings, and C.J. Wilson gave up six runs (five earned) in four innings.
- Justin Morneau had a workout shut down due to a migraine headache, though the team said it wasn't related to his neck and concussion issues.
- HR: Yorvit Torrealba (4); SB: Alexi Casilla 2 (15), Michael Cuddyer (8), Elvis Andrus (30), Nelson Cruz (6); SV: Joe Nathan (8); BSV: Neftali Feliz (5).

Brewers 3, Cubs 2

- The Cubs failed to score with the bases loaded and nobody out in the sixth inning, getting a force out at home on a grounder and then hitting a 5-4-3 double play. Both plays in the field were made by Casey McGehee, who also had the big two-run double to put the Brewers ahead.
- Third base was where it all happened in this game - Aramis Ramirez built up his no-trade leverage further with another homer.
- HR: Ramirez (19); SB: Tony Campana (11); SV: John Axford (28).

Tigers 5, White Sox 4

- The White Sox got to Justin Verlander twice for two-run homers, by Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko respectively. Verlander got his revenge, though, striking both out in an electric 8th inning. The strikeout of Konerko came on Verlander's 120th pitch, a 100-mph fastball. He then snapped off a curve to strike Dunn out to end the inning. Entering this game, he already led all of baseball in pitches thrown by some 300 pitches.
- New acquisition Wilson Betemit came through with the big hit, an RBI single in the eighth.
- Jake Peavy ran out of gas after six, allowing four runs on 10 hits.
- HR: Paul Konerko (24), Adam Dunn (10); SB: Andy Dirks (4); SV: Jose Valverde (27).

Cardinals 3, Astros 1

- Cardinals' manager Tony La Russa threw Colby Rasmus under the bus on Tuesday before the game, a prelude to Wednesday morning's somewhat stunning trade to the Blue Jays.
- Lance Berkman tried to come back from a shoulder injury, but instead aggravated it and had to leave after five innings. He's getting a cortisone shot Wednesday.
- Matt Holliday was a scratch due to illness.
- Yet, in a theme for this season, the Cardinals still found a way to prevail, with a little help from the umpires on Albert Pujols' first-inning homer.
- HR: Albert Pujols (23), David Freese (5); SB: Michael Bourn (38); SV: Fernando Salas (19).

A's 6, Rays 1

- This was the Brandon McCarthy show - he took a shutout into the eighth before allowing one run, outdueling David Price in the process.
- That one run for the A's was courtesy of Ben Zobrist, continuing his recent hot streak while homering for the second day in a row. Little-known fact: He leads the majors in extra-base hits with 51.
- Josh Willingham sat out with a sore neck and needed to have a cortisone shot. This might prevent a pre-waiver deadline trade.
- HR: Ben Zobrist (13); SB: Matt Joyce 2 (8).

Diamondbacks 6, Padres 1

- For the second time this year, Dustin Moseley popped out his left shoulder while batting. This time, however, he remained in the game.
- Justin Upton hit a laser out to left center, a really tough place to go out in Petco.
- Joe Saunders allowed just a two-out solo homer in the ninth to Jesus Guzman while throwing a complete game.
- Willie Bloomquist went 3-for-5 while starting for the injured Stephen Drew at shortstop, batting leadoff.
- Collin Cowgill made his major league debut, starting in left field in place of the injured Gerardo Parra (wrist).
- Justin Upton (18), Jesus Guzman (3); SB: Kelly Johnson (11), Chris Young (14).

Dodgers 3, Rockies 2

- Clayton Kershaw: He's good at baseball.
- Kenley Jansen got the save because Javy Guerra had pitched the three previous games.
- Sometimes having the versatility to play a guy out of position works against you - Ty Wigginton's dropped fly ball was the key play in the game.
- Jason Giambi went on the DL with a strained left quad.
- Juan Uribe was out for the third day in a row with a lower abdominal strain.
- SV: Kenley Jansen (2).


By: jtopper
On: 7/27/2011 3:57:00 PM
I won't complain about Pirates manager Clint Hurdle's handling of closer Joel Hanrahan because he has used him in tied games and multiple-inning save situations throughout the season. Hanrahan has lost a couple miles per hour off his fastball, from 97 mph to 95 mph, on occasion since the All-Star break. I just hope the game doesn't cost Pittsburgh a share of the division championship. Of course I also just hope that they compete for the crown the rest of the way. Actually, I'll be happy if they finish over .500. I better stop while I'm ahead.
By: Erickson
On: 7/27/2011 11:46:00 PM
How about not using him tonight? Is there any defense for using Chris Leroux in the 10th, aside from Hanrahan having an undisclosed injury?

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