And That Happened: Sunday's Scores and Highlights


Dave Bush has a sad.jpgCubs
12, Brewers 2
: The Cubs sweep the Brewers in convincing fashion,
outscoring them 25-4. It’s like they’re the Pirates’ older brother or
something, kicking the bully’s butt after that 20-0 beatdown.

10, Pirates 3
: Of course at some point the best way to defend your
little brother is to let him get his butt kicked a bit so as to toughen
him up. The sixth straight loss for Pittsburgh, most of which have been
ugly. Brett Myers allowed 12 base runners in six innings, yet the Buccos
could still only score two runs off him.  And this has to be the last
start for Charlie Morton, doesn’t it? His earned runs allowed in each
game: 8,6,5 and 5.

8, Yankees 4
: I’ll concede this much: we’re several days closer to
the day when it is acceptable to boo Javy Vazquez than we were when I
started complaining about it a couple of weeks ago. Vazquez was hit up
for five runs on five hits in three and two-thirds.

Mets 1, Braves 0: I suppose you could say that the fact the game was rain-shortened foreclosed the possibility of a comeback or something, but the Braves had ample opportunity to score before this one was called and couldn’t deliver so they don’t deserve any benefit of the doubt. Mike Pelfrey extends his scoreless innings streak to 24 and the Mets sweep the free-falling Braves.

4, Twins 3
: Jose Guillen homered and drove in two, continuing his
hot start (.352/.371/.716). This would be encouraging for Royals fans if
they they had any faith that Dayton Moore would do the right thing
(i.e. shop Guillen while he’s hot) instead of the Dayton Moore thing
(i.e. announce a new organizational strategy built around the slugging
prowess of Jose Guillen).  Brian Bannister had a Brett Myersy kind of
day: oodles of base runners in his 6+ innings, but only two runs

8, Tigers 4
: Pre-season optimism for the Tigers had a lot to do
with the emergence of Rick Porcello last year. His last two starts: six
earned runs in each of them, going four and a third innings against the
Angels last Tuesday and four innings against Texas yesterday. Ten hits
allowed as well, and his ERA is up to 7.91 on the season. Five RBI for
Michael Young, on a three-run double and a two-run single.

Nationals 1, Dodgers 0: An exciting one for pitching perverts like me,
but boring for everyone else. Scott Olsen, Tyler Clippard and Matt Capps
combine to shut out the Dodgers. Chad Billingsely was great too, giving
up only the one run on four hits in six innings and allowing the game’s
only run scored on an Adam Dunn ground out. It was Olsen’s first
victory since July 5th of last year.

Rays 6, Blue Jays 0: When the story of the Tampa Bay Rays season is told, the emergence of David Price is going to be a big part of it. Price dominated the Jays, pitching a four-hit shutout and striking out 9. The highlight of the day for the Blue Jays was Jose Molina throwing out would-be base stealers in four consecutive innings. Alex Anthopoulos, you have a Mr. Epstein holding on line two . . .

Cardinals 2, Giants 0: Combine Dave Duncan’s genius with Brad Penny’s stuff and the San Francisco Giants’ offense and this sort of thing is gonna happen once in a while. Penny is now 3-0 with a 0.94 ERA on the season.  Nine total runs were scored in this series.

Orioles 7, Red Sox 6: The O’s were down 4-1 entering the seventh, having not been able to figure out Tim Wakefield, but then the Bosox’ bullpen collapsed, with Okajima and Atchinson throwing gas on the fire. Rhyne Hughes and Matt Weiters were the 10th-inning heroes for Baltimore, each with RBI singles. The Sox made a valiant effort to come back in the 10th with RBIs from J.D. Drew and Bill Hall, but it was too little, too late. It was a 4-6 homestand for Boston.

Reds 5, Padres 4: The Reds come from behind to end the Padres’ 8-game winning streak. Scott Rolen was 2 for 3 and scored three times. Jay Bruce was 3 for 4 with two doubles and an RBI.

White Sox 3, Mariners 2: A crisp one after a 42-minute rain delay, with John Danks throwing a strong eight innings and a Paul Konerko homer breaking a 2-2 tie in the eighth. Konerko leads all of baseball with eight homers. The won all three of their games against Seattle on late homers, with Andruw Jones and Alexis Rios providing walkoff jobs on Friday and Saturday.

Athletics 11, Indians 0: Gio Gonzalez didn’t have to shut out the Indians over seven innings, but he did it anyway. Three RBI a piece for Eric Chavez, Kevin Kouzmanoff and Eric Patterson. Cleveland lost 10-0 to the A’s on Friday, so this loss bookended their 6-1 victory on Saturday quite nicely.

Diamondbacks 8, Phillies 6: Mark Reynolds had four RBI including a three-run homer and an RBI double.  Justin Upton left the game after fouling a ball off his shin.

Rockies 8, Marlins 4: The third 8-4 game of the day yesterday which means . . . well, nothing, but you just sort of notice that sort of thing when you look at box scores all evening like I do. Seth Smith hit two homers and had 4 RBI. With Brad Hawpe on the DL now, viva outfield depth.

Blue Jays have to beat Hamels after losing Game 1

David Price
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With their rented ace on the mound and the home crowd riled up, this was supposed to be the Blue Jays’ game. After all, they’re the one overwhelming favorite to win their LDS. Well, they were. After a 5-3 loss to the Rangers on Thursday, the Blue Jays face an uphill climb to advance in the best-of-five series.

It’s not over, obviously. For one thing, the Blue Jays get to face left-handers in at least two of the next three games, and the Jays destroy southpaws. The Jays will have the pitching advantages in Texas after Friday’s Game 2 showdown against Cole Hamels, and they’ll probably have a sharper David Price out there next time if the series goes five games.

How Toronto’s lineup shapes up in the coming days will hinge on the health of Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista. Donaldson passed his initial concussion tests after colliding with Rougned Odor‘s knee, but he’d be far from the first player to experience lasting effects after initially getting the all clear. Bautista, too, is expected to be ready to play Friday after leaving with a hamstring cramp. At this point, there’s no reason to suspect that the Jays are understating the extent of the problem.

If Donaldson is fine, the Jays will have a much better chance of taking down Hamels. Game 2 starter Marcus Stroman has looked outstanding since returning from his torn ACL, and he should be able to hold down the Rangers’ offense better than Price did. He might not even have to face Adrian Beltre, who left Thursday’s game with a back problem.

The Rangers have yet to announce the rest of their rotation, though it sounds like Martin Perez is the favorite to get the ball opposite Marco Estrada in Game 3. It would then be either Colby Lewis, Derek Holland or Yovani Gallardo on three days’ rest in Game 4 (with the Jays starting knuckleballer R.A. Dickey). Lewis seems the more likely choice because of Holland’s inconsistency and the Jays’ dominance of left-handers. Those would both be winnable games for Toronto.

So, what it comes down to is beating Hamels. If the Jays head to Texas tied 1-1, they’re still the favorites to advance to the ALCS. If it’s 2-0 Rangers, three in a row is going to be a lot to ask.

Cubs to start Kyle Hendricks in Game 2 of NLDS vs. Cardinals

Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Kyle Hendricks delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh, Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar
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Jon Lester is lined up to pitch against John Lackey in Game 1 of the NLDS against the Cardinals on Friday, but Patrick Mooney of reports that the Cubs will start Kyle Hendricks in Game 2 on Saturday.

Hendricks got the nod over Jason Hammel, would could start Game 4 if he isn’t used out of the bullpen this weekend. Jake Arrieta, coming off his brilliant performance in the Wild Card game against the Pirates, is scheduled to pitch in Game 3 when the series shifts to Chicago.

Hendricks posted a 3.95 ERA and 167/43 K/BB ratio in 180 innings over 32 starts this season. He pitched well down the stretch, including back-to-back scoreless outings to finish the regular season. That ultimately gave him the edge over Hammel, who had a 5.10 ERA during the second half.

Rangers take Game 1 of ALDS against Blue Jays

Texas Rangers's Robinson Chirinos, right, is congratulated by teammate Rougned Odor on his two-run home run against the Toronto Blue Jays in the top of the fifth inning of baseball Game 1 of the American League Division Series in Toronto on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP

With their ace on the mound in front of an electric home crowd, the Blue Jays seemingly came into Game 1 of the ALDS with the advantage over the Rangers. However, as these things often go during the playoffs, it didn’t work out that way.

Robinson Chirinos and Rougned Odor each homered off David Price as the Rangers beat the Blue Jays 5-3 in Game 1 of the ALDS on Thursday.

Price gave up five runs over seven innings in the loss. The Rangers grabbed an early 2-0 lead in the third inning before Chirinos connected for a two-run homer in the fifth. Odor added a solo blast in the seventh inning for some insurance. Playoff success continues to elude Price. He’s now owns a 4.54 ERA in the postseason and is 0-6 as a starter.

Yovani Gallardo got the win after holding the powerful Toronto lineup to two runs over five innings. Jose Bautista took Keone Kela deep in the sixth inning to draw the Blue Jays closer, but Jake Diekman followed with two perfect frames before Sam Dyson tossed a scoreless ninth inning for the save.

A big story in this game was injuries to key players. The Rangers lost Adrian Beltre in the third inning due to lower back stiffness. Meanwhile, Josh Donaldson exited for precautionary reasons in the fifth inning after he took a knee to the head on a takeout slide. The Blue Jays announced that Donaldson passed concussion protocol, but will be reevaluated Friday. Jose Bautista also exited the game after eight innings due to cramping in his right hamstring, but he’s expected to be OK.

Game 2 will take place Friday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. ET. Cole Hamels will pitch for the Rangers while Marcus Stroman will attempt to keep the Blue Jays from going down 0-2 in the series.