And That Happened: Thursday's scores and recaps

Leave a comment

Red Sox 3, Twins 1:
Varitek homers twice and gets run for getting up in the ump’s face
arguing balls and strikes. I can’t criticize him; I like to go home
early on days on which I get a lot done too. Mike Redmond, Terry
Francona and Ron Gardenhire were also ejected, and I picture all four
of them pounding the Budweiser together while watching the rest of the
game on a plasma TV in one of the clubhouses. Oh, and the Captain is
now at .248/.320/.541, which is more than respectable for a guy who was
basically in a coffin this time last year.

Indians 2, Rays 1:
The Rays were just swept 4-0 by one of the five or six worst teams in
baseball, which I think relieves us all of the obligation of pretending
they are one of the five or six best, as we have been since
last year. And it could have been worse: thanks to a nearly three-hour
rain delay, the Rays were spared from further embarrassment at the
hands of a rookie starting pitcher who had an ERA of 17.55 entering the
game. As it was, young David Huff shut Tampa Bay down for four innings,
with a random assemblage of Cleveland’s bullpen fodder coming in to
finish off the job.

Orioles 5, Tigers 1:
Let the record reflect that on this night, Greg Zaun joined (1) Chuck
Diering; (2) Mark Belanger; and (3) the Earth, without form and void
and darkness upon the face of the deep, as the last things which
preceded an appearance of God in Baltimore.

Dodgers 2, Cubs 1:
Another day, another multi-hit game for Juan Pierre. Randy Wolf was the
real story, though, as he goes seven strong innings giving up a single
run. The bullpen got out of a bases loaded jam in the ninth to preserve
the win. Bobby Scales was sent down to Iowa on Wednesday and called
back up yesterday because Ryan Freel went on the DL. Despite being
jerked around, dude hit a homer, so the fairy tale continues.

Diamondbacks 5, Braves 2:
Danny Haren allowed two runs and seven hits in eight innings, striking
out eight and now has a K/BB ratio of 71/9 on the season. He’s pretty

Video: Willson Contreras blasts first postseason home run off of Kershaw

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 22:  Willson Contreras #40 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates after hitting a solo home run in the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during game six of the National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field on October 22, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Getty Images

So much for Clayton Kershaw posing a threat tonight. The Cubs got their knocks in early and often against the Dodgers’ ace during Game 6 of the NLCS, racking up three runs in the first three innings before rookie catcher Willson Contreras unleashed his first postseason home run in the bottom of the fourth inning.

According to’s Phil Rogers, Contreras became the 10th Cub to homer in the 2016 playoffs, following big hits by Addison Russell, Anthony Rizzo, Dexter Fowler, Miguel Montero, David Ross, Jake Arrieta, Kris Bryant, Travis Wood, and Javier Baez. Of the ten home run hitters, Contreras joins catchers David Ross and Miguel Montero as yet another backstop capable of driving the long ball (and, less importantly, as another player capable of a sweet, sweet bat flip).

Rizzo, whose last homer was a deep drive to right field off of Los Angeles right-hander Pedro Baez in Game 4 of the NLCS, piled on Kershaw’s five-run outing with another home run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Kershaw called it a night after five frames, and the Cubs currently lead the Dodgers 5-0 in the sixth inning.

Pirates’ Nick Leyva selected as senior advisor of baseball ops

BRADENTON, FL - FEBRUARY 17:  Coach Nick Leyva #16 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a photo during photo day at Pirate City on February 17, 2013 in Bradenton, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Former first base and infield coach Nick Leyva was promoted to senior advisor of baseball operations on Saturday, per a report by Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The Pirates also fired third base coach Rick Sofield, with no named successor as of yet.

Leyva joined the Pirates’ organization in the 2011 offseason as a third base coach under manager Clint Hurdle. He shifted to his role as the first base coach and infield coach in 2014, when first base coach Rick Sofield was reassigned to third base prior to the 2015 season. According to Biertempfel, the swap was made in order to optimize the team’s baserunning strategies, all of which appeared to fall flat during the 2015 and 2016 seasons:

The results this season were awful. The Pirates ranked 13th in the National League with a minus-7.0 BsR — a metric that measures how many runs above or below league average a team gets via its baserunning.

In 2013 and 2014, the Pirates had one of the top five BsR ratings in the NL. In 2015, they were seventh with a 2.8 BsR.

This season, the Pirates made the second-most outs at third base in the league and were last in taking extra bases on singles and doubles. Their baserunners went from first to third base on hits a league-low 63 times.

Sofield, in particular, highlighted the Pirates’ poor baserunning choices in games like this one, when he sent Sean Rodriguez home too early during the last vestige of a ninth inning rally against the Phillies.

Following the announcement, Pirates’ GM Neal Huntington issued a statement elaborating on Leyva’s role within the organization:

We have great respect and appreciation for both men. We thank them for their time and effort as part of our Major League team and the Pirates organization. It was a difficult decision, but we felt it was the right time to make this change on our Major League staff. We look forward to Nick’s continued impact in his future role with the Pirates. Nick has held nearly every coaching position at the major league level and at the minor league level, including Major League manager, in his extensive career and will be a quality mentor for our minor league managers, coaches and players.