And That Happened: Sunday's scores and recaps

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Red Sox 6, Braves 5: First time I got to watch the Braves on TBS in like forever,
and they just stink up the joint. All of that bad defense combined with
weather imported from Scotland made this game about the only bad thing
that happened to me on Father’s Day. If it wasn’t for home plate umpire Bill Hohn’s AMAZING mustache, this game would have been a total loss for me.

Cardinals 12, Royals 5:
Albert Pujols (4-5, 2 HR, 2B, 6 RBI) can’t be bargained with. He can’t
be reasoned with, He doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And he
absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.

Padres 4, A’s 1:
According to the game story, the fathers of Brian Giles, Edgar and
Adrian Gonzalez, Luke Gregorson, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Cla Meredith, Edward
Mujica, Joe Thatcher, Tony Gwynn and Kevin Correia threw out the first
pitch to their respective sons before the game in honor of Father’s
Day. Then, in the true spirit of baseball fathers everywhere, they all
got drunk and paced behind the backstop while angrily yelling at the
coach to put their boys in.

Marlins 6, Yankees 5:
Sabathia left the game early with tightness in his left bicep. He says
it’s not serious, and given that (a) it was 95 degrees and humid; and
(b) Sabathia sweats barbecue sauce, you have to figure it was some kind
of heat-induced cramping or something. According to the game story Alex
Rodriguez — playing in his hometown of Miami — said he reserved about
100 tickets for family and friends. I’m dubious. I read a book last
month that said he had no friends, and they couldn’t have printed such
a thing if it weren’t true, right? In other news, the Yankees dropped
four of six to the Nats and Marlins in the past week, though I suppose
if Girardi’s protest succeeds there’s a chance to improve that to three of six (note: protests never, ever succeed).

Rockies 5, Pirates 4:
The Rockies begin to rip off another winning streak, winning this one
behind Clint Barmes (2-3, 2B, HR, 2 RBI). All of this winning has them
doing things like taking one of their more marketable commodities off the market.
I still say it’s ultimately in vain — Colorado will be watching the
playoffs on TBS and FOX just like you and me — but in the meantime,
mazel tov for the Rockies fans.

White Sox 4, Reds 1:
Mark Buehrle just went out and acted all Mark Buehrle-y: seven strong
innings, very little b.s. He looked good, but nowhere near as good as
the Sox looked on Saturday night in those blue roadies.

Tigers 3, Brewers 2: Justin Verlander likes pitching against Milwaukee. The first time he faced them he threw a no-hitter. The second time — yesterday — he struck out eight and gave up two runs in seven and two-thirds.

Rays 10, Mets 6:
Upton, Crawford and Longoria went 11 for 16 with seven RBIs, and the
Rays have now won eight of eleven. The Mets, on the other hand, are in
a one-step-forward-two-steps-back kind of rut, having dropped an awful
lot of series lately.

Blue Jays 9, Nationals 4:
Someone finally douses the red-hot Nats. Well, relatively speaking
anyway. It was Ricky Romero stepping up for Toronto, giving up two over
seven innings on a day when the bullpen needed a rest following a
couple of extra innings games.

Orioles 2, Phillies 1:
Man, has Cole Hamels pitched in some bad luck lately. Last time out he
got the no-decision after giving up only two runs in six innings, and
yesterday it was two runs in eight innings with ten strikeouts. The
Phillies lineup — minus Ryan Howard, who didn’t play for the first
time in 343 games because he has some nasty sinus infection — just
couldn’t do a thing against Jeremy Guthrie, mustering only four hits on
the day. Hamels after the game: “I think the key is we’re in first
place. We’re fortunate everyone in the NL East is playing really bad.”
Man, the Nats can’t any props even when things are going good for them.

Cubs 6, Indians 2:
You know, if Jeremy Sowers could figure out a way to fix that little
hitch in his delivery, the only thing keeping him from stardom would be
his complete and utter inability to get anyone out.

Astros 4, Twins 1:
Despite his teammates’ best efforts to kill him — Darin Erstad lined a
ball off Rodriguez’s left side during batting practice on Saturday —
Wandy Rodriguez was pretty spectacular yesterday (7 IP, 2H, 1 ER). “We
need to keep playing good baseball. That’s the biggest key for us,”
manager Cecil Cooper said after the game. Astute observations like that
are why Cooper makes the big bucks.

Mariners 3, Diamondbacks 2:
The game ended when, with two outs and the score tied, first basemen
Tony Clark simply dropped a routine throw from the third baseman,
turning what would have been out number three into the game-losing
error. I’ve been watching baseball for over 30 years, and I can’t
recall ever seeing a game end like that.

Dodgers 5, Angels 3:
I can’t tell if Clayton Kershaw is trying to grow mutton chops or if he
simply has the most pathetic mustache in the history of baseball. He’s
certainly no Bill Hohn, that’s for sure. He can pitch, however,
shutting out the Angels over seven innings. Juan Pierre keeps up the
good work two, hitting a couple of RBI doubles. At first I thought that
Pierre’s 50 games in the sun would allow him to rest contently, knowing
that he proved a lot of naysayers wrong about his ability to start on a
winning team. Now I’m wondering if he’ll overplay his hand and demand
all kinds of playing time based on his track record once Manny returns.

Giants 3, Rangers 2:
Barry Zito had a no-hitter going until he gave up a two-run homer to
Andruw Jones in the seventh, but an RBI single by Randy Winn in the
bottom of the inning preserved the win for Zito and the Giants.
Watching Zito face Jones in 2009 has to be a lot like watching Flair
face Steamboat in 1995. Something that you would have once paid a lot
to see, but now you just hope no one gets too terribly injured.

Kyle Schwarber is the feel-good story of the 2016 postseason

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 26:  Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Chicago Cubs reacts after hitting an RBI single to score Ben Zobrist #18 (not pictured) during the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Two of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on October 26, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
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Most baseball fans and even the Cubs had resigned themselves to most likely not seeing Kyle Schwarber in game action until spring training next year after he suffered a gruesome knee injury in a collision with teammate Dexter Fowler back in early April. Schwarber suffered a fully-torn ACL and LCL in his left leg.

To the surprise of everyone, including manager Joe Maddon, Schwarber was cleared by doctors to play if the Cubs wanted to put him on the World Series roster. So they did. And, boy, are they glad they did it. In preparation, Schwarber saw over 1,000 pitches from machines and pitchers in the Arizona Fall League.

Schwarber essentially crammed for the final exam and unlike most students who do it, it has panned out well thus far. No one was expecting him to look outstanding against Indians ace Corey Kluber in Game 1, but in his first at-bat — his first in the majors since suffering the injury in April — Schwarber worked a 3-1 count before eventually being retired on strikes. Schwarber came back up in the fourth and drilled a Kluber sinker to right field for a two-out double.

In the seventh inning, facing one of the American League’s two scariest left-handed relievers in Andrew Miller, Schwarber worked a full count before drawing a walk. During the regular season, Miller walked exactly one lefty batter. Schwarber made it two. Schwarber would face Miller again in the eighth, going ahead 2-1 before ultimately striking out. He finished 1-for-3 with a walk and a double in the Cubs’ 6-0 loss. Considering the circumstances, that’s amazing.

Schwarber continued his great approach in Game 2 in what turned out to be a 5-1 victory. He struck out against Trevor Bauer in the first inning, but returned to the batter’s box in the third inning and singled up the middle to knock in the Cubs’ second run. Schwarber made it 3-0 in the fifth when he singled up the middle again, this time off of Bryan Shaw, to make it 3-0. Facing Danny Salazar in the sixth, Schwarber drew a four-pitch walk to put runners on first and second base with two outs. Finally, he struck out against Dan Otero in his eighth-inning at-bat, finishing the evening 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI singles and a walk.

But now, as the Cubs return to Chicago for World Series Games 3, 4, and 5 at Wrigley Field, they have to contest with National League rules, a.k.a. no DH. Will Maddon risk Schwarber’s subpar defense to put his dangerous bat in the lineup? Even if Schwarber is not put in the starting lineup, he can at least serve as a dangerous bat off the bench late in the game when the Indians send out their trio of relievers in Shaw, Miller, and closer Cody Allen. At any rate, what Schwarber has done already in the first two games of the World Series is mighty impressive.

Jake Arrieta flirts with no-hitter, pitches Cubs past Indians 5-1 in World Series Game 2

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 26:  Jake Arrieta #49 of the Chicago Cubs throws a pitch during the first inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Two of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on October 26, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gene Puskar - Pool/Getty Images)
Gene Puskar - Pool/Getty Images

Cubs starter Jake Arrieta pitched into the sixth inning before allowing his first hit. Behind his strong performance, the Cubs were able to take down the Indians 5-1 in Game 2 of the World Series to even things up at one game apiece.

Unlike their Game 1 performance against Corey Kluber, the Cubs’ offense was ready early. Kris Bryant singled with one out in the first inning against Indians starter Trevor Bauer and promptly scored when Anthony Rizzo drilled a double down the right field line. The Cubs would score again in the third with a two-out rally as Rizzo walked, then Ben Zobrist and Kyle Schwarber hit consecutive singles to center field, plating one run to make it 2-0.

With Zach McAllister returning to the mound for the fifth after relieving Bauer in the fourth, he walked Rizzo, then gave up a triple to Zobrist. The Cubs continued to press their foot on the gas, with Schwarber hitting another RBI single. After Jason Kipnis committed a fielding error on a Willson Contreras grounder — what should’ve been the final out of the inning — McAllister walked Jorge Soler to load the bases, then walked Addison Russell to force in a run, pushing the Cubs’ lead to 5-0.

Arrieta had a first-inning scare, issuing back-to-back two-out walks, but he escaped the jam and seemed to be on cruise control until the sixth inning. He got Carlos Santana to fly out to lead off the sixth, continuing his no-hit bid, but Kipnis broke it up with a double to right field. After getting Francisco Lindor to ground out, pushing Kipnis to third base, Arrieta uncorked a wild pitch, helping the Indians score their first run of the game. Arrieta then served up a single to Mike Napoli, which proved to be the end of the line. Manager Joe Maddon came out to replace him with lefty Mike Montgomery. Montgomery ended the bottom of the sixth by inducing a weak ground out from Jose Ramirez.

Montgomery struck out the first two batters he faced in the seventh, then got into a bit of hot water by yielding a single to Brandon Guyer, then walking Game 1 hero Roberto Perez. Carlos Santana, however, struck out to end what would be the Indians’ last real chance to get back in the ballgame.

Montgomery remained in the game in the bottom of the eighth. He struck out Kipnis, got Lindor to ground out, then gave up a line drive single to Napoli before Maddon pulled the plug. Closer Aroldis Chapman entered to face Ramirez. As expected, Chapman got Ramirez to whiff on a fastball to send the game to the ninth.

In the bottom of the ninth, Chapman fanned Rajai Davis and got Coco Crisp to ground out for two quick outs. He walked Guyer on five pitches but ended the game as rain drizzled onto Progressive Field by getting Perez to ground out to shortstop.

The World Series is now headed back to Wrigley Field. The two clubs will enjoy a day off on Thursday to travel. Game Three will be played at 8:00 PM EDT on Friday. The Indians will send Josh Tomlin to the hill while the Cubs will counter with Kyle Hendricks.