And That Happened: Wednesday's scores and highlights

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Braves 4, Giants 2: “Ladies and gentlemen: the part of Tim Lincecum will be performed tonight by Jair Jurrjens.” (7.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 9K).

A’s 16, Twins 1: The A’s scored so much so early that starter
Trevor Cahill had to run down to the bullpen to warm up again while his
teammates were up to bat. Or maybe the fact that they were actually
scoring like this just blew his effing mind and he needed some alone
time to get it together. This is like a fortnight’s worth of offense
for this team. Yeah, forsooth I said fortnight.

Nationals 3, Mets 1: Bad: the Mets losing two of three to the
Nats. Worse: rumor has it that, after the game, V.P. of player
development Tony Bernazard drove a Cadillac into the hotel swimming
pool, blew up a toilet with cherry bombs, and challenged the security
staff to an “I quit” match, Tully Blanchard vs. Magnum T.A.-style.
Bernazard is expected to be fired later this week, and replaced by
either former Small Faces drummer Kenney Jones or by Lex Luger.

Dodgers 6, Reds 2: Pinch hit grand slam for Manny in the sixth
to break a 2-2 tie! Wow! Oh, wait, I forgot: We’re not supposed to be
enjoying this. Bad Manny. Bad, bad, bad. You have ruined baseball.

Yankees 6, Orioles 4: The Bombers are rolling. If you don’t
believe it, just read the game stories which talk about how they’ve won
six in a row, 16 of their last 19, 19 of their last 26, LVII of their
last XCIV, etc. I’m sure there are other ways that could be expressed,
but I don’t know how to do exponents and quadratic equations and all of
that stuff.

Blue Jays 10, Indians 6: I’m glad I didn’t stick with that
“Major League”-quote-until-a-three-game-winning-streak gag from a few
weeks ago, because I’d be out of material and moving on to the Tony
Danza version of “Angels in the Outfield” by now. And man, between the
Indians putridity and the sense of foreboding surrounding the Jays at
the deadline, this series is more depressing than watching “Requiem for
a Dream” while listening to a Morrissey box set.

Rangers 3, Red Sox 1: Don’t worry, Red Sox Nation. Chris Duncan
will be there in time for Friday’s game against the Orioles and make
all the hurtin’ go away. And how is it that Buchholz was so dominating
in Pawtucket but can’t avoid throwing 90 pitches in four innings in the
bigs? Do they just offer up at any weak, nibbling crap down in the
International League, or is he pitching scared?

Astros 4, Cardinals 3: If Chris Carpenter thinks he was betrayed by his bullpen, just wait until he has Julio Lugo playing behind him in five days.

Mariners 2, Tigers 1: Felix Hernandez bottles up the Tigers (7
IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 8K) and Russell Branyan hits a two-run homer in the
eighth to take a close one. Also, as my CTB homey Matt Casey noted yesterday,
David Aardsma is pretty Aawesome. On the year he has converted 23 of 25
saves, has an ERA of 1.79 and has struck out 55 in 45.1 IP.

Rockies 4, Diamondbacks 3: From the “fast facts” section of ESPN’s version of the game story:
“Todd Helton’s 11th homer of the season and 500th double of his career
carried the Rockies. Helton joined Stan Musial, Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth
and Ted Williams as the only players with 500 doubles, 320 homers and a
.325 batting average since 1900.” Talk about trying to make a good
player seem better than he is via selective endpoints. I haven’t seen
that much gerrymandering since Patrick Henry and the Anti-Federalists
drew the boundaries of Virginia’s 5th Congressional district in such a
way as to keep James Madison out of the House of Representatives in
1788!

White Sox 4, Rays 3: Chad Bradford had a line that you don’t see
every day: 0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0K, 0 pitches. Unfortunately it was
because he hurt himself after he was announced but before he completed
throwing his warm-up pitches. An Alexi Ramirez triple followed by a
Jermaine Dye RBI single in the seventh was the difference maker for the
Sox.

Marlins 5, Padres 0: I think they scheduled this one as a
matinee simply so I wouldn’t mail in the recap as I so often do with
the late games. Probably should have kept it a night game, San Diego,
because now that I have more time and alertness to comment on this
tilt, I can truly focus on just how wretched a club you have become.
Three hits. All singles. Ten strikeouts. Barf. Yet they were still in
the game until the late innings. At least until the bullpen coughed up
three more runs. Man, if only they had a moderately effective reliever
to help out. Oops.
Well, trades mean tradeoffs, right? Oops, the guy they got for Meredith
didn’t even play. The Padres are 12-33 since the first of June, which
is the worst in baseball. I repeat: for nearly half of the season, the
Padres have been worse than the Nats and the Royals.

Cubs 10, Phillies 6: The Phillies Phinally lose. “Zambrano
pitched well. He had good stuff,” Piniella said after the game. OK,
Lou, whatever you say (6.2 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 3 BB). I guess if you win you
had “good stuff” by definition?

Pirates 8, Brewers 7: Who the hell is Adam LaRoche? Garrett
Jones: 3-4, HR; Andy LaRoche: 1-3, 2B, RBI. The fans are happy. His
brother kept it together. They’ll all soldier on somehow.

Angels 9, Royals 6: Do you get full credit for a big rally when
it comes against the Royals? I mean, first you have to fall behind this
pathetic team, and that’s kind of embarrassing, and knocking around
this bullpen to erase the deficit is easier than knocking around any
other bullpen. I guess what I’m saying is that we need some kind of
handicapping system here.

Matt Holliday wants to return in 2017

ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 30: Manager Mike Matheny #22 of the St. Louis Cardinals congratulates Matt Holliday #7 of the St. Louis Cardinals after he hit a solo home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the seventh inning at Busch Stadium on September 30, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Matt Holliday might not have a landing spot with the Cardinals in 2017, but that doesn’t mean he’s ready to hang his cleats up just yet. Prior to the Cardinals’ afternoon set against the Pirates on Saturday, the 36-year-old expressed his desire to further his career elsewhere, even if staying in St. Louis is not a possibility.

It’s been a down year for the outfielder, who batted .242/.318/.450 through 107 games before landing on the disabled list with a fractured right thumb. His 0.6 fWAR is the lowest mark of his career to date. Notwithstanding two injury-riddled seasons (he was sidelined through most of 2015 with a right quadriceps strain), he’s performed admirably for the Cardinals over the past eight years, putting up a .292/.379/.494 batting line, 156 home runs, and 26.8 fWAR with the club. With a return to full health, he might not be on the market for long.

What’s on Tap: Previewing Saturday’s action

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 24:  Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws a pitch in the first inning against the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium on September 24, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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It’s the last Clayton Kershaw start of the regular season. Prepare yourselves accordingly.

The Dodgers already have the NL West in the bag, but they’re still fighting for home-field advantage against the Nationals. Should the two teams end up with the same regular season record by Monday morning, the edge will go to the Dodgers, who have a better head-to-head record this year. Kershaw has already been announced as the starter for Game 1 of the NLDS, while the Nationals have kept their lineup close to the vest for the time being.

Facing the Dodgers is Giants’ left-hander Ty Blach, who is poised to make the second major league start of his career this afternoon. The Giants are in a precarious position heading into the last two games of the year and have the potential to force a three-way tie among NL wild card contenders. A thorough breakdown of the wild card and home-field advantage possibilities has been outlined here.

You can find more from Saturday’s action below.

New York Mets (Bartolo Colon) @ Philadelphia Phillies (Phil Klein), 1:05 PM EDT

Pittsburgh Pirates (Chad Kuhl) @ St. Louis Cardinals (Michael Wacha), 1:05 PM EDT

Baltimore Orioles (Wade Miley) @ New York Yankees (Luis Severino), 4:05 PM EDT

Los Angeles Dodgers (Clayton Kershaw) @ San Francisco Giants (Ty Blach), 4:05 PM EDT

Miami Marlins (Wei-Yin Chen) @ Washington Nationals (Tanner Roark), 4:05 PM EDT

Chicago Cubs (Jon Lester) @ Cincinnati Reds (Tim Adleman), 4:10 PM EDT

Cleveland Indians (Trevor Bauer) @ Kansas City Royals (Edinson Volquez), 4:15 PM EDT

Detroit Tigers (Jordan Zimmerman) @ Atlanta Braves (Aaron Blair), 7:10 PM EDT

Minnesota Twins (Hector Santiago) @ Chicago White Sox (James Shields), 7:10 PM EDT

Toronto Blue Jays (J.A. Happ) @ Boston Red Sox (Eduardo Rodriguez), 7:10 PM EDT

Tampa Bay Rays (Jake Odorizzi) @ Texas Rangers (Colby Lewis), 8:05 PM EDT

Milwaukee Brewers (Wily Peralta) @ Colorado Rockies (Jeff Hoffman), 8:10 PM EDT

San Diego Padres (Clayton Richard) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (Archie Bradley), 8:10 PM EDT

Houston Astros (Collin McHugh) @ Los Angeles Angels (Tyler Skaggs), 9:05 PM EDT

Oakland Athletics (Jharel Cotton) @ Seattle Mariners (Hisashi Iwakuma), 9:10 PM EDT