And That Happened: Tuesday's Scores and Highlights


Johnny Cueto.jpgReds 9, Pirates 0: Johnny Cueto tosses a one-hitter. He was one single and one HBP away from a perfect game, but the fact that he hit the same guy who got the single — Ronny Cedeno — probably made him feel better.

Red Sox 6, Blue Jays 1: Who are you, Mr. hard-throwing, efficient pitcher, and what have you done with Daisuke Matsuzaka?! (7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9K, 106 pitches).

Mariners 5, Orioles 1: More controversy: Larry LaRue reports that Don Wakumatsu wanted to use Mike Sweeney to pinch hit in the seventh inning, but he was found raging in the clubhouse.

Marlins 3, Cubs 2: The Cubs have now lost four in a row and seven of eight. Another error for Starlin Castro.

Mets 8, Nationals 6: The Nats had a 6-2 lead entering the eighth when the wheels fell off thanks to the bullpen. Newly called-up Chris Carter hit a clutch two-run double for the Mets and David Wright and Jason Bay each had three hits. Ike Davis had another one of those pretty swell catches in which he leans over the dugout railing. Frankly, I’m beginning to think that he’s just showing off. Kind of like Ric Flair doing that little flip up and over the turnbuckle thing. Except Davis sells his move better.

White Sox 5, Twins 2: The Sox did all of their damage in the fifth inning. And hey, look who got the save! Why, it’s Bobby Jenks, who was supposed to have been demoted or forgotten about or whatever. Just the latest example of one of baseball’s most important maxims: don’t ever listen to what Ozzie Guillen says unless he’s just sort of pontificating about stuff that doesn’t relate directly to him in which case you really should listen because that dude is totally raw and totally hilarious, brother.

Indians 8, Royals 2: Two homers for Russell Branyan. Trey Hillman was ejected in the seventh inning for arguing a play at third, thereby requiring him to retire to the clubhouse and watch the remainder of the game on a video monitor. Hey Trey: get used to watching Royals games on TV.

Astros 6, Cardinals 3: Jason Motte is like an offensive lineman in that you only notice him when he screws up. We all remember that blowski against the Reds back on April 8th because it was, like, the only day game everyone was paying attention to that afternoon. We recognize this performance — homers given up to both Berkman and Pence — because it was also notably awful. We missed the mostly admirable work he did in between, however. Motte had gotten his ERA down to 1.69 as recently as a week ago. He got lit up last night. It happens.

Braves 11, Brewers 3: Troy Glaus and Eric Hinske each had three RBI and the Braves had their first laugher of a win all season. Dave Bush wasn’t horrible for the Brewers, but the pen was.

Athletics 7, Rangers 6: Daric Barton homered in the 11th and hit the winning RBI single in the 13th, as the A’s win a wild one. Andrew Bailey and Neftali Feliz blew saves. Pinch runners were thrown out at the plate, Eric Chavez hit a homer. Really, nothing in this game was particularly ordinary.

Rays 7, Angels 2: Scott Kazmir is Tampa Bay’s career leader in wins, starts, innings, and
strikeouts. He faced the Rays for the first time last night and they made it clear to him that he is of a different era in team history (5 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2K.)

Dodgers 13, Diamondbacks 3: Lots of runs and stuff for L.A., but the thing that jumps out at me the most is the fact that Dan Haren had ten strikeouts in six and a third innings, but also gave up ten hits. there’s a combination you don’t see every day.

Padres 3, Giants 2: Barry Zito was lost, walking seven guys and giving up six hits. It’s a wonder the Padres didn’t score more off him.

Phillies vs. Rockies: Half a mile from the county fair and the rain keep pourin down.

Yankees vs. Tigers: Oh, the water. Hope it don’t rain all day.

The Cubs clinch World Series berth with NLCS Game 6 win

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 22:  The Chicago Cubs celebrate defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 in game six of the National League Championship Series to advance to the World Series against the Cleveland Indians at Wrigley Field on October 22, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
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After 71 years, the Cubs are headed back to the Fall Classic.

The dominance with which Clayton Kershaw attacked the Cubs in Game 2 of the NLCS was nonexistent in Game 6 as the Dodgers’ ace loaded the bases to start the first inning and scattered five extra bases and five runs over five frames. By the time Dave Roberts pulled his starter in the sixth inning, Kershaw was sitting on a Game Score of 33, the lowest he’s mustered since the start of the 2015 season. Only one of his strikes came via curveball, and whether he was having difficulty locating his off-speed stuff or felt more confident with the fastball-slider combo, it was the fewest curves he’d seen land for strikes all year (per David Adler).

Where the Dodgers were able to give Kershaw the edge in Game 2, they found themselves powerless against opposing hurler Kyle Hendricks. Hendricks turned out 7 1/3 scoreless frames with two hits and six strikeouts, preserving the Cubs’ second shutout of the postseason and the first since they bested the Giants in Game 1 of the NLDS. After his 1-0 loss to the Dodgers early in the NLCS, seeing the MLB ERA leader turn out a gem was a relief for the Cubs, especially one as spectacular as an 88-pitch two-hitter.

With Hendricks effectively stymieing the Dodgers’ best attempts to get on base, the Cubs played to their strengths at the plate. Kris Bryant and Ben Zobrist cleared the bases in the first inning for a two-run lead, followed by a Dexter Fowler RBI single in the second. Willson Contreras came through in the fourth inning for the Cubs, lifting an 87 m.p.h. slider to left field for his first home run of October, while Anthony Rizzo hit his second homer of the postseason on a 1-1 fastball in the fifth.

Neither bullpen allowed a single run from the sixth inning onward. Dodgers’ right-hander Kenley Jansen took the ball from Kershaw in the sixth, scattering four strikeouts over three innings and denying the Cubs so much as a single baserunner through the end of the game. Aroldis Chapman, meanwhile, issued just one walk in 1 1/3 scoreless frames, inducing a Yasiel Puig double play to clinch the Cubs’ 17th franchise pennant.

With the win, the Cubs will face off against the Indians in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday at 8 PM EDT. And, in case you needed a reminder:

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)
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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.