And That Happened: Wednesday's Scores and Highlights


Roger Bernadina.jpgNationals
6, Mets 4
: Roger Bernadina was 3 for 5 with two homers — including
the game-winner — and had a
sweet grab in right field
. And did Rob Dibble really say — in
dialect — “that boy’s good!” after his ninth inning homer?  Why yes, he
. Oy.

Blue Jays 3, Red Sox 2: Tim Wakefield’s knuckler was dancing all day, but it took a bad step in front of Travis Snider’s bat in the seventh. Shaun Marcum, in contrast, made almost no mistakes, allowing only two hits and shutting out the Sox over seven. Worth noting, even in a loss: David Ortiz has hit in five straight and is hitting.310 with three home runs in May.  Still striking out too much and not walking enough, but it’s something.

Rockies 4, Phillies 3: Miguel Olivo caps off a 5 for 5 day with a walkoff homer in the bottom of the tenth. Melvin Mora left the game with a strained butt.  Really. Indeed, it would be wholly accurate to say that Mora is day-to-day with an ass.

Twins 3, White Sox 2: I don’t care if the Twins won. This was a pretty sweet catch.

Cubs 4, Marlins 3: Carlos Silva at 4-0 is but a half-step down on the improbability scale from Ugly Kid Joe coming out with a hit single and selling out arenas.

Tigers 2, Yankees 0:  At least no one can blame this one on Javy Vazquez (7 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 7K). Or can they?

Yankees 8, Tigers 0: Phil Hughes was sharp once again and the Tigers wasted Jeremy Bonderman’s best start of the season. Well, maybe wasted is too strong a word — he stood to be the loser even when he left — but that six-spot the bullpen allowed in the ninth inning was pretty dispiriting all the same.

Braves 9, Brewers 2: Another bullpen catastrophe for the Brewers as Manny Parra and Carlos Villanueva each give up two runs in one inning of work and Trevor Hoffman allows three, raising his ERA to 12.00 on the season.  For the Braves, Eric Hinske may be winning the left field job, as he had his second multi-hit game in a row. Of course, the way the Brewers pitching has been going, this series sweep may not have provided a true read of any Braves hitter’s ability.

Reds 5, Pirates 0Handled this one yesterday afternoon.  Between this ugly and lifeless shutout and the Penguins’ Game-7 loss to the eighth-seeded Habs, yesterday may have been the worst day in Pittsburgh sports since Sid Bream slid home safe.  We now return this blog to another three years of ignoring hockey.

Rays 4, Angels 3: Usually when one team has a starter strike out 12 guys and the other team has to use six pitchers, the 12-strikeout guy’s team wins. Not so yesterday, as David Price and five Rays relievers beat Jered Weaver’s 12 Ks in seven innings. The Rays scored twice on passed balls charged to Angels’ catcher Ryan Budde. Scioscia ought to just pencil his own name into the lineup for day games after night games.

Orioles 5, ______ 2: Brad Bergesen pitched seven and two-thirds innings of one run ball as the Orioles win.  I will not name or talk about the O’s opponent in these recaps until they stop being jackasses and cease their juvenile blackballing of reporter Larry LaRue.

Astros 9, Cardinals 6: Kyle Lohse was on duty when the Astros scored all nine of their runs, but he was only charged with four. This says far more about the randomness of the earned run rule than it does about Loshe’s performance, because he was hit pretty hard, pretty often.

Rangers 10, Athletics 1: Remember that thing I said in the power rankings the other day? About
how the Rangers had been playing with one hand tied behind their back? 
Yeah, this is what I was talking about.Derek Holland struck out seven in six shutout innings in his first start of the season. The offense let loose. It’s not going to take much for a team to separate itself from the pack in the AL West this year. Perhaps the Rangers are doing it.

Padres 5, Giants 2: That sound you hear is the sound of people coming to grips with the fact of how for real this Padres team is. They’re now 5-0 against the Giants this year, the only team in the west who looks poised to put up much of a fight. I’m struggling to think of a team that, in the preseason, looked so bad but once the bell rung looked so good.

Dodgers 6, Diamondbacks 3: Hiroki Kuroda returned to the park where the comebacker smacked him in the head last year and, despite a leadoff walk he chalked up to nerves, cruised, striking out nine and giving up three runs in seven and a third.  Manny Ramirez had three RBI. I’m almost ashamed to admit that I hadn’t even realized that he had returned from the DL. If you can’t depend on ridiculous Manny hype in this world, what can you depend on?

Phillies vs. Rockies (game 2): Postponed: The sky was dark and gloomy, the air was damp and raw, the streets were
wet and sloppy. The smoke hung sluggishly above the chimney-tops as if
it lacked the courage to rise, and the rain came slowly and doggedly
down, as if it had not even the spirit to pour.

Indians 4, Royals 0: Multiple rain delays, so for a while I thought this one was going to be postponed. I even picked out a rain quote before I went to bed and everything: “Up the two terrace flights of steps the rain ran wildly, and beat at the
great door, like a swift messenger rousing those within.”  That’s from A Tale of Two Cities. As entertainments go, it’s far more engaging than a Royals-Indians tilt that stretches late into a Wednesday night and Thursday morning. Um, of course, I watched a lot of the Indians-Royals tilt and relied on Cliff’s Notes for a A Tale of Two Cities back in the day, so what does that say about me?

Kyle Schwarber is the feel-good story of the 2016 postseason

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 26:  Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Chicago Cubs reacts after hitting an RBI single to score Ben Zobrist #18 (not pictured) during the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Two of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on October 26, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Most baseball fans and even the Cubs had resigned themselves to most likely not seeing Kyle Schwarber in game action until spring training next year after he suffered a gruesome knee injury in a collision with teammate Dexter Fowler back in early April. Schwarber suffered a fully-torn ACL and LCL in his left leg.

To the surprise of everyone, including manager Joe Maddon, Schwarber was cleared by doctors to play if the Cubs wanted to put him on the World Series roster. So they did. And, boy, are they glad they did it. In preparation, Schwarber saw over 1,000 pitches from machines and pitchers in the Arizona Fall League.

Schwarber essentially crammed for the final exam and unlike most students who do it, it has panned out well thus far. No one was expecting him to look outstanding against Indians ace Corey Kluber in Game 1, but in his first at-bat — his first in the majors since suffering the injury in April — Schwarber worked a 3-1 count before eventually being retired on strikes. Schwarber came back up in the fourth and drilled a Kluber sinker to right field for a two-out double.

In the seventh inning, facing one of the American League’s two scariest left-handed relievers in Andrew Miller, Schwarber worked a full count before drawing a walk. During the regular season, Miller walked exactly one lefty batter. Schwarber made it two. Schwarber would face Miller again in the eighth, going ahead 2-1 before ultimately striking out. He finished 1-for-3 with a walk and a double in the Cubs’ 6-0 loss. Considering the circumstances, that’s amazing.

Schwarber continued his great approach in Game 2 in what turned out to be a 5-1 victory. He struck out against Trevor Bauer in the first inning, but returned to the batter’s box in the third inning and singled up the middle to knock in the Cubs’ second run. Schwarber made it 3-0 in the fifth when he singled up the middle again, this time off of Bryan Shaw, to make it 3-0. Facing Danny Salazar in the sixth, Schwarber drew a four-pitch walk to put runners on first and second base with two outs. Finally, he struck out against Dan Otero in his eighth-inning at-bat, finishing the evening 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI singles and a walk.

But now, as the Cubs return to Chicago for World Series Games 3, 4, and 5 at Wrigley Field, they have to contest with National League rules, a.k.a. no DH. Will Maddon risk Schwarber’s subpar defense to put his dangerous bat in the lineup? Even if Schwarber is not put in the starting lineup, he can at least serve as a dangerous bat off the bench late in the game when the Indians send out their trio of relievers in Shaw, Miller, and closer Cody Allen. At any rate, what Schwarber has done already in the first two games of the World Series is mighty impressive.

Jake Arrieta flirts with no-hitter, pitches Cubs past Indians 5-1 in World Series Game 2

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 26:  Jake Arrieta #49 of the Chicago Cubs throws a pitch during the first inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Two of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on October 26, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gene Puskar - Pool/Getty Images)
Gene Puskar - Pool/Getty Images

Cubs starter Jake Arrieta pitched into the sixth inning before allowing his first hit. Behind his strong performance, the Cubs were able to take down the Indians 5-1 in Game 2 of the World Series to even things up at one game apiece.

Unlike their Game 1 performance against Corey Kluber, the Cubs’ offense was ready early. Kris Bryant singled with one out in the first inning against Indians starter Trevor Bauer and promptly scored when Anthony Rizzo drilled a double down the right field line. The Cubs would score again in the third with a two-out rally as Rizzo walked, then Ben Zobrist and Kyle Schwarber hit consecutive singles to center field, plating one run to make it 2-0.

With Zach McAllister returning to the mound for the fifth after relieving Bauer in the fourth, he walked Rizzo, then gave up a triple to Zobrist. The Cubs continued to press their foot on the gas, with Schwarber hitting another RBI single. After Jason Kipnis committed a fielding error on a Willson Contreras grounder — what should’ve been the final out of the inning — McAllister walked Jorge Soler to load the bases, then walked Addison Russell to force in a run, pushing the Cubs’ lead to 5-0.

Arrieta had a first-inning scare, issuing back-to-back two-out walks, but he escaped the jam and seemed to be on cruise control until the sixth inning. He got Carlos Santana to fly out to lead off the sixth, continuing his no-hit bid, but Kipnis broke it up with a double to right field. After getting Francisco Lindor to ground out, pushing Kipnis to third base, Arrieta uncorked a wild pitch, helping the Indians score their first run of the game. Arrieta then served up a single to Mike Napoli, which proved to be the end of the line. Manager Joe Maddon came out to replace him with lefty Mike Montgomery. Montgomery ended the bottom of the sixth by inducing a weak ground out from Jose Ramirez.

Montgomery struck out the first two batters he faced in the seventh, then got into a bit of hot water by yielding a single to Brandon Guyer, then walking Game 1 hero Roberto Perez. Carlos Santana, however, struck out to end what would be the Indians’ last real chance to get back in the ballgame.

Montgomery remained in the game in the bottom of the eighth. He struck out Kipnis, got Lindor to ground out, then gave up a line drive single to Napoli before Maddon pulled the plug. Closer Aroldis Chapman entered to face Ramirez. As expected, Chapman got Ramirez to whiff on a fastball to send the game to the ninth.

In the bottom of the ninth, Chapman fanned Rajai Davis and got Coco Crisp to ground out for two quick outs. He walked Guyer on five pitches but ended the game as rain drizzled onto Progressive Field by getting Perez to ground out to shortstop.

The World Series is now headed back to Wrigley Field. The two clubs will enjoy a day off on Thursday to travel. Game Three will be played at 8:00 PM EDT on Friday. The Indians will send Josh Tomlin to the hill while the Cubs will counter with Kyle Hendricks.