And That Happened: Thursday's scores and highlights

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Royals 9, Tigers 2: Five shutout innings by Greinke lowers his
ERA to 2.14. No starter has been that low to finish the season since
Clemens in 2005. No non-jackass starter has had one that low since
Pedro in 2000. Allow me to echo Aaron in asking for someone to please explain to me again the basis for not
giving this man the Cy Young award.

Brewers 7, Cubs 4: Prince Fielder hit a triple to lead off the fifth. I’m as shocked as you are, but it’s not like this sort of thing wasn’t predicted. Note: scroll down to read the lefthand column before reading the portion that appears at the top of the page.

Reds 3, Marlins 2: A first inning Darnell McDonald homer and a
bases loaded single by Jay Bruce held up all night. Random game story
goodness: “Reds RHP Aaron Harang bought a souped-up golf cart as a gift
to clubhouse attendants, to help them transport equipment and players
around the ballpark.” I’m not sure why Bob isn’t impressed with this. Word on the street is that it’s got a cop motor,
a 440 cubic inch plant, it’s got cop tires, cop suspensions, cop shocks
and it’s a model made before catalytic converters so it’ll run good on
regular gas.

Angels 4, Red Sox 3: Brian Fuentes bounces back and holds the
lead in the ninth after his compadres break a tie in the top of the
ninth. I guess the umps were timid or scared last night like they were
on Wednesday.

Rays 3, Orioles 0: Wade Davis was destroyed by the Red Sox in
his second career start, but dismantled Baltimore in his third (CG SHO
4 H 10K). He three 124 pitches, but struck out the side in the ninth,
so either he wasn’t tired of the Orioles gave the hell up.

Phillies 4, Nationals 2: Cole Hamels was perfect into the sixth
inning and finished with ten strikeouts and one earned run over eight
innings. Manuel allowed Lidge to pitch in a save situation. He got the
save, but still gave up a run on a triple and a fielder’s choice. If
the Phillies bats are alive in the playoffs they’re my choice to win
the NL. If they play a lot of close games that are decided late, well,
forget it.

Mariners 4, White Sox 3: Jon Danks only gave up one run over
eight innings, but ended up getting hosed out of the win after this
baby went 14. A 14 inning game, by the way, that was eight minutes
shorter than Wednesday night’s nine-inning Red Sox-Angels affair.

Braves 7, Mets 3: The Braves have won seven straight. The Mets
have lost nine of their last 10. These are things that will keep me
warm all winter even in the very likely event that the Braves fall
short of the playoffs.

Athletics 5, Indians 2: “We’re going through a tough stretch
right now,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said after the game. We know. It
began in early April.

Yadier Molina scratched from Cardinals’ lineup

molina getty

Yadier Molina was in the Cardinals’ initial, posted lineup for Game 4 of the NLDS this afternoon, but the injured catcher has been scratched and replaced by backup Tony Cruz.

Molina has been playing through a significant thumb injury and exited Game 3 early in obvious discomfort. He no doubt talked his way into the lineup, but manager Mike Matheny told reporters that Molina was removed due to “considerable weakness in his hand.”

Not only will the Cardinals try to stave off elimination without Molina behind the plate, if they are able to advance past the Cubs in the NLDS they could be without the seven-time All-Star catcher in the NLCS.

Robinson Cano underwent sports hernia surgery

Robinson Cano

The Mariners announced today that second baseman Robinson Cano underwent surgery on his “core muscles” today, to repair that which we more commonly refer to as a sports hernia.

Cano played through the injury during the second half of what was a below par season. Hit hit .387/.334/.486 on the year though, surprisingly, did much better in the second half, posting a line of .331/.387/.540. The hernia may have been bothersome, but it didn’t really hamper him, it would seem.

He’ll need six weeks of recovery time, but should be good to go by spring training, looking for a bounce back year.

NLDS, Game 4: Cardinals vs. Cubs lineups

John Lackey

Here are the Cardinals and Cubs lineups for Game 4 of the NLDS in Chicago:

3B Matt Carpenter
1B Stephen Piscotty
LF Matt Holliday
RF Jason Heyward
SS Jhonny Peralta
CF Randal Grichuk
2B Kolten Wong
C Yadier Molina Tony Cruz
SP John Lackey

Yadier Molina is in the lineup despite leaving Game 3 early with obvious discomfort in his injured thumb. Randal Grichuk starts in center field after Tommy Pham played there in Game 3, which is interesting because in Game 1 the Cardinals used Grichuk in right field and Jason Heyward in center field. John Lackey is starting on short rest after winning Game 1, as manager Mike Matheny bypassed Lance Lynn with the season on the line.

UPDATE: Molina has been scratched from the lineup and replaced by Tony Cruz.

CF Dexter Fowler
RF Jorge Soler
3B Kris Bryant
1B Anthony Rizzo
2B Starlin Castro
LF Kyle Schwarber
C Miguel Montero
SP Jason Hammel
SS Javier Baez

Addison Russell is out of the lineup after injuring his hamstring in Game 3, so Javier Baez is taking his place at shortstop and batting ninth behind the pitcher. Jorge Soler’s hot streak gets him another start in the No. 2 spot, with Kyle Schwarber batting sixth again. Jason Hammel makes his first start in 12 days.