And That Happened: Monday's Scores and Highlights


Ubaldo Jiminez windup.jpgRockies
5, Padres 2
: Ubaldo Jimenez? Yeah, Ubaldo Jimenez: 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER,
13K. Your move, Messers Lincecum and Halladay.

Jays 5, Indians 1
: Brett Cecil took a perfect game into the seventh
and ended up giving up only one hit while striking out ten. In other
news, whenever I read the name “Brett Cecil” my brain processes it as
“Brett Ashley” and I begin to wonder whether the Blue Jays’ starter’s
life is aimless and unsatisfying. Whether he too will even find
happiness as he searches in vain for the shattered values he held before
the war.

Rangers 4, Athletics 2: There’s the Rich Harden we were looking for (7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 9K). Ron Washington gets ejected for the second time since Friday in a game his team wins. Maybe he’s on to something!

Red Sox 17, Angels 8: Mike Lowell went 4 for 4 with four RBIs and three doubles, J. D. Drew had four
hits and drove in three runs and Kevin Youkilis, Bill Hall, Adrian Beltre and Dustin Pedroia all went long. In light of how given to hyperbole the Boston media is, I’m sure we can look forward to many a story this morning about how the Sox will break the single season runs record and and accompanying features in the travel section promoting World Series getaway packages.

Cardinals 6, Phillies 3:  A three-run double for David Freese as last week’s player of the week keeps up his torrid pace. Jaime Garcia gave up three hits and struck out six. If it wasn’t for a fellow named Heyward, Freese and Garcia would be having quite the teammate’s battle over NL Rookie of the year, huh? Joe Blanton returned for Philly and he was a bit better than his line indicated — 6.2 IP, 10 H, 4 ER — but it just wasn’t enough. But, hey, this was fun.

Yankees 4, Orioles 1:  See Boston? That’s how you beat Baltimore. All you need is a three-run homer from Randy Winn and eight strong innings from CC Sabathia. You might want to hold the Jorge Posada calf injury, though. That’s purely optional.

Twins 10, Tigers 4: Of course the Twins had to do this on the same day I provocatively put them below the Tigers in the Power Rankings. Wilson Ramos follows up his four-hit major league debut with a 3 for 4 night. I hereby predict that he will play in 2128 more games before being rested and that Joe Mauer will be relegated to historical footnote.  OK, not really. I’m just still coming down from my ballgame buzz.

White Sox 5, Royals 1: The White Sox breathe a sigh of relief as Jake Peavy throws seven shutout innings while striking out nine. With this tuneup out of the way, I’m sure they’ll feel much more confident about him facing major leaguers the next time out.

Reds 3, Mets 2: An 11th inning pinch-hit walkoff job for Lance Nix overshadows a decent-for-him performance from Oliver Perez. Too many baserunners — Perez allowed six hits and walked four — but he did only give up two runs and that’s some kind of progress. Or luck, but let’s not dwell on the negative, shall we?

Diamondbacks 9, Astros 1: That’s seven straight losses for the Astros, as they continue to travel around the league, making teams who have been struggling feel good about themselves. Indeed, in just the past week they’ve lifted the spirits of the Reds, the Braves and now the Dbacks. Good for you, Houston. You’re doing God’s work.

Video: Willson Contreras blasts first postseason home run off of Kershaw

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 22:  Willson Contreras #40 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates after hitting a solo home run in the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during game six of the National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field on October 22, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Getty Images

So much for Clayton Kershaw posing a threat tonight. The Cubs got their knocks in early and often against the Dodgers’ ace during Game 6 of the NLCS, racking up three runs in the first three innings before rookie catcher Willson Contreras unleashed his first postseason home run in the bottom of the fourth inning.

According to’s Phil Rogers, Contreras became the 10th Cub to homer in the 2016 playoffs, following big hits by Addison Russell, Anthony Rizzo, Dexter Fowler, Miguel Montero, David Ross, Jake Arrieta, Kris Bryant, Travis Wood, and Javier Baez. Of the ten home run hitters, Contreras joins catchers David Ross and Miguel Montero as yet another backstop capable of driving the long ball (and, less importantly, as another player capable of a sweet, sweet bat flip).

Rizzo, whose last homer was a deep drive to right field off of Los Angeles right-hander Pedro Baez in Game 4 of the NLCS, piled on Kershaw’s five-run outing with another home run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Kershaw called it a night after five frames, and the Cubs currently lead the Dodgers 5-0 in the sixth inning.

Pirates’ Nick Leyva selected as senior advisor of baseball ops

BRADENTON, FL - FEBRUARY 17:  Coach Nick Leyva #16 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a photo during photo day at Pirate City on February 17, 2013 in Bradenton, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
Getty Images

Former first base and infield coach Nick Leyva was promoted to senior advisor of baseball operations on Saturday, per a report by Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The Pirates also fired third base coach Rick Sofield, with no named successor as of yet.

Leyva joined the Pirates’ organization in the 2011 offseason as a third base coach under manager Clint Hurdle. He shifted to his role as the first base coach and infield coach in 2014, when first base coach Rick Sofield was reassigned to third base prior to the 2015 season. According to Biertempfel, the swap was made in order to optimize the team’s baserunning strategies, all of which appeared to fall flat during the 2015 and 2016 seasons:

The results this season were awful. The Pirates ranked 13th in the National League with a minus-7.0 BsR — a metric that measures how many runs above or below league average a team gets via its baserunning.

In 2013 and 2014, the Pirates had one of the top five BsR ratings in the NL. In 2015, they were seventh with a 2.8 BsR.

This season, the Pirates made the second-most outs at third base in the league and were last in taking extra bases on singles and doubles. Their baserunners went from first to third base on hits a league-low 63 times.

Sofield, in particular, highlighted the Pirates’ poor baserunning choices in games like this one, when he sent Sean Rodriguez home too early during the last vestige of a ninth inning rally against the Phillies.

Following the announcement, Pirates’ GM Neal Huntington issued a statement elaborating on Leyva’s role within the organization:

We have great respect and appreciation for both men. We thank them for their time and effort as part of our Major League team and the Pirates organization. It was a difficult decision, but we felt it was the right time to make this change on our Major League staff. We look forward to Nick’s continued impact in his future role with the Pirates. Nick has held nearly every coaching position at the major league level and at the minor league level, including Major League manager, in his extensive career and will be a quality mentor for our minor league managers, coaches and players.