And That Happened: Tuesday's scores and highlights

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Phillies 1, Giants 0: Philadelphia was cruising before Cole Hamels woke up. Now they’re positively terrifying. Two hitter. Nine Ks. Dear God.

Braves 4 Marlins 3: Tim Hudson is back, pitched well, etc. etc.
OK, with that out of the way, let’s get down to brass tax. This from
reader Matt H.:

The SportSouth broadcast of the Braves-Marlins tonight
showed the jumbotron at Landshark Stadium while Omar Infante was at
bat. In the foreground was the obligatory head shot, with his name and
number. In the background was–I kid you not–a picture of the General
Lee in mid-jump. Yes, that General Lee. I am as big a Braves fan as
there is, and I have no idea why the Marlins put that graphic up. Is
slick and sophisticated Miami poking fun at backwoods Georgia? That
doesn’t make sense, since any linkage of the General Lee with the
Braves is a net win for the Braves.

Seriously. Was that supposed to be a slam? Why don’t you just call the
Braves handsome and give them some free pie while you’re at it, because
there is nothing cooler than being associated with The General Lee.
Maybe the Bandit’s Trans-Am. Maybe.

Tigers 8, Indians 5: Aubrey Huff was 2-2 with 3 RBI. Sadly,
David Huff did not pitch for the Tribe or else I’d be forced to go
Groucho for the second time this year. Cleveland gave up 13 hits and
walked six guys and that lead to the loss. A child of five would
understand this. Quick, send someone to fetch a child of five. Carlos
Carrasco was called up from my hometown of Columbus to pitch in this
disaster. You’re a brave man, Carlos. And remember, while you were out
there risking your life and limb through shot and shell, we were all in
here thinking what a sucker you are. Oh crap, I did it again.

Twins 4, White Sox 3: The White Sox lose. They were probably
discombobulated from having the team’s average age plummet by eight
years since Monday night’s trades. Jeff Manship gave up one run over
five innings. He didn’t figure in the decision, but boy howdy do I like
to say “Manship.”

Cardinals 7, Brewers 6: Joel Pineiro is the only dude in
baseball who can get away with striking out no one. St. Louis is 30-4
since July 1st in starts by Wainwright, Carpenter and Pineiro. I
predict one awesome NLCS, assuming we can dispose of L.A. and whoever wins the wild card quickly enough.

Rangers 5, Blue Jays 2; Rangers 5, Blue Jays 2: Fill my eyes with that double vision. No disguise for that double vision.

Cubs 4, Astros 1: In the fifth, Jeff Baker hit what appeared to
be an inning-ending double play, but Miguel Tejada made an errant throw
to second, allowing Soriano to advance to third. I had no idea that
Baker was from the Dominican Republic.

Red Sox 8, Rays 4: The return of Andy Sonnanstine was less than
fabulous (4 IP, 8 H, 5 R), and I think it’s gettin’ time to bid adieu
to the Rays in 2009. Papelbon pulled a Gossage and pitched a two-inning
save. Then he grew a ridiculous mustache and went on a rant about
pitchers today are wusses.

Reds 11, Pirates 5: Game story: “Pittsburgh is four defeats shy
of becoming the first major American professional team to string
together 17 straight losing seasons.” What happens first: the Pirates
break .500, or Sid Bream dies of old age?

Rockies 8, Mets 3: Lance Broadway pitches two scoreless innings
in relief for the Mets. In other news, “Lance Broadway” was the name I
used on vacations to Las Vegas between the years 1996 and 2002.

Yankees 9, Orioles 6: Two homers for Posada and another shaky performance from Burnett that is likely to fly under the radar.
According to the game story, Posada lost track of the count twice. The
second time he hit a homer after mistakenly thinking he struck out.
You’d think that a catcher of all people wouldn’t lose track of the

Dodgers 4, Diamondbacks 3: Matt Kemp homered for the fourth
straight game. The last Dodger to do that was Hee Seop Choi so, you
know, heady company. A spectacular catch by Andre Ethier in the eighth
inning followed his bases-loaded walk in the seventh which brought in
the winning run.

Royals 4, Athletics 3: The A’s had their chances, but they stranded 11, going 1 for 10 with men in scoring position.

Padres 4, Nationals 1: I’m guessing no one outside of Padre or
National Nation knew this, but apparently the Padres have owned the
Nationals over the years, having gone 30-9 against them since they
ceased to be the Expos.

Mariners 2, Angels 1: A week or so ago Ken Griffey, being
interviewed by a Cincinnati magazine, said that he was going to make it
so that music from “The Nutcracker” played when Adrian Beltre returned
from his injured testicle stint on the DL. I thought that was harsh and
I didn’t think he’d actually do it, but I’ll be damned if he didn’t in
this game. I think something about that should make up the final line
on his Hall of Fame plaque.

Piscotty returns to Cardinals lineup after concussion

Stephen Piscotty
AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar
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Stephen Piscotty took the brunt of a frightening outfield collision last week at PNC Park, but he only suffered a mild concussion and was cleared for baseball activities a couple days later.

Now he is back in the Cardinals’ starting lineup, batting second and playing right field Sunday in the first half of a doubleheader against the Braves at Atlanta’s Turner Field.

Piscotty has an impressive .867 OPS with seven home runs and 39 RBI over his first 62 major league games. He should be a big part of the Cardinals’ postseason push, drawing starts in the corner outfield spots and at first base.

St. Louis will get either the Pirates or Cubs in the NLDS.

What to watch for on the final day of the regular season

Cole Hamels
AP Photo/LM Otero

Here we are, the final day of the regular season. And every game with playoff implications will start at the same time: 3:05 p.m. ET. What to watch …

American League Wild Card


This is where the most intrigue lies heading into the day. We have the Yankees currently in position for hosting duties, but they’re only one game up on Houston. And then Houston is only one game up on Anaheim. Also at play here is that the Astros are just one game back of the Rangers in the American League West standings. If the Yankees, Astros, and Rangers all win on Sunday the current postseason map stays the same — the AL Wild Card Game on Tuesday will be at Yankee Stadium with the Astros visiting. And the Angels would obviously be out. But if the Angels win and the Astros lose, we’ll have a play-in game Monday. And if the Yankees lose, the location of the Wild Card Game on Tuesday could change.

American League West


As we touched on above, the Astros are still in a position to force a tiebreaker for the division if the Angels beat the Rangers again in Arlington. It’ll be Garrett Richards against Cole Hamels in that one. Houston is throwing Lance McCullers vs. Robbie Ray in Arizona.

American League Best Record


If the AL Central-champion Royals (94-67) beat the Twins on Saturday behind deadline acquisition Johnny Cueto, they’ll get the Wild Card Game winner in the ALDS and clinch homefield advantage throughout the postseason. But if they lose, the Blue Jays (93-68) could move into that top seed because they won their season series against Kansas City 4-3. Mark Buehrle is pitching for Toronto in what is supposed to be his final major league game.

National League Wild Card


Pittsburgh losing and Chicago winning on Saturday kept Wild Card Game hosting duties alive for Wrigley Field. If the Pirates fall again to the Reds and the Cubs win at Miller Park, the game Wild Card Game Wednesday will be in Chicago because the Cubs have the season-series edge (11-8) over the Bucs. Pittsburgh can wrap up clinching duties with a victory behind J.A. Happ.

Stay tuned. We’ll be covering all angles as the 2015 regular season comes to a close.