And That Happened: Thursday's Scores and Highlights


Trey Hillman OK.jpgRoyals 6, Indians 4: Look on the bright side, Trey: not many managers can say they went out a winner.

Marlins 2, Mets 1: Johan Santana and Josh Johnson each went seven innings allowing a single run. I’m going to assume that Fernando Nieve’s pitch in the dirt that allowed the winning run to score was a function of overuse making it impossible for him to simply throw a ball sixty feet any longer.

Padres 1, Giants 0: Work fast? Check. Change speeds? Check. Throw strikes? Check.  Mat Latos follows Ray Miller’s rules to the letter, one-hitting the Giants in a cool two hours and five minutes. He singled in the game’s only run too. Oh, and that one hit he gave up? Infield single that bounced off his glove, and they almost got the runner anyway.

Rangers 2, Athletics 1: Two balks were called on the Rangers by home plate umpire Bob Davidson. The second one was ticky tack according to Ron Washington: “That was Balkin’ Bob back there. That’s all I can tell you.”  Maybe its his rehab or something, but I like the new, 100% honest Ron Washington.  If he and Charlie Manuel got a film crew and went on a cross country tour together during which they basically just talk about stuff I’d watch that every week.

Astros 4, Cardinals 1:  Getting swept by Houston isn’t going to go on the postseason highlight reel, that’s for sure. Chris Carpenter and Carlos Lee jawed at each other after Lee popped out in the third inning. It was ostensibly about yelling or emotions or something, but I’ll be damned if I can figure it out.  All I can figure is that there was some unwritten rules violation or another involved. Really, baseball is becoming as complicated as Byzantine tax law or Bolero dancing or something these days.

Tigers 6, Yankees 0: Just about every game yesterday had “getaway day” written all over it, this one included. Sure, most of these teams did actually have flights waiting for them, but they were charters. It’s not like anyone had to play as though they were in such a hurry.

Nationals 14, Rockies 6: The Rockies bullpen is lucky they called this one after eight innings, because there is a limit to how much embarrassment anyone can take. Ryan Zimmerman hit two homers and drove in six.  That was nice and all, but they probably shouldn’t have been playing this one in the first place. The rain was just too hard, the basepaths became filled with puddles and someone could have gotten hurt.

Orioles 6, Mariners 5: King Felix handed Brandon League a 5-1 lead in the eighth inning, but
League frittered it away via a leadoff homer to Corey Patterson — Corey
Patterson?! — yes, Corey Patterson, a bunch of base runners and then a
grand slam to Luke Scott. Mike Sweeney homered, and then he threatened all of his teammates into giving him high fives in the dugout.

Oh, and in case you’re curious, I’ve lifted the ban on using the Mariners’ name because, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Larry LaRue was allowed to stand in the reporters’ scrum in the locker room after this game. Maybe Mike Sweeney is still shunning him — no quotes from him about his homer in LaRue’s story — but apparently some players have decided to get on with their lives. No reason for me not to do the same.

Clayton Kershaw, Jacob deGrom create MLB first with 11 strikeouts each in the playoffs

Jacob deGrom
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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For the first time in major league history, both pitchers in a playoff game have struck out at least 11 batters, per’s Paul Casella. Mets starter Jacob deGrom has pitched just a hair better than Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw overall. deGrom has blanked the Dodgers over six frames on five hits and a walk. Kershaw made one mistake, resulting in a solo home run to Daniel Murphy in the fourth inning. He’s allowed four hits and four walks total in 6 2/3 innings.

The last time opposing starters each struck out 10 in a post-season game was back in 1944 in Game 5 of the World Series when Mort Cooper of the St. Louis Cardinals struck out 12 and Denny Galehouse of the St. Louis Browns struck out 10.

Michael Cuddyer not shining in left field early in NLDS Game 1

Michael Cuddyer
AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek

Mets outfielder Michael Cuddyer has already made a pair of mistakes in left field and he’s only four innings into the first game of the best-of-five NLDS against the Dodgers.

Leading off the second inning, Justin Turner sent a well-struck liner to Cuddyer which was quite catchable, but the ball clanked off of the veteran’s glove. Turner was credited with a double. Mets starter Jacob deGrom was able to work around the misplay, striking out Andre Ethier, A.J. Ellis, and Clayton Kershaw to close out the frame.

With two outs in the third inning, Corey Seager sent a fly ball down the left field line. Cuddyer took an inefficient route and the ball bounced about a foot inside the foul line, then into the stands, giving Seager a ground-rule double. To add insult to injury, Cuddyer ended up tumbling over the fence. deGrom, again, worked around Cuddyer’s mistake, striking out Adrian Gonzalez to end the inning.

Because he bats right-handed, Cuddyer got the start in left field over the left-handed-hitting rookie Michael Conforto against Kershaw, a southpaw. Conforto mustered only a .481 OPS against lefties this season compared to Cuddyer’s .698. Despite the batting disparity, one wonders how short a leash manager Terry Collins has on Cuddyer given his defense.

Mets take lead during NLDS Game 1 with Daniel Murphy’s solo homer

Daniel Murphy
AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek
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Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning, belting a solo home run to right field at Dodger Stadium off of starter Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw threw a 2-0, 94 MPH fastball and Murphy didn’t miss it.

Both teams’ starters are pitching quite well overall. Kershaw has allowed the one run on three hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Jacob deGrom started off the game with six consecutive strikeouts and has struck out seven total while blanking the Dodgers on three hits and a walk in three innings.

Kershaw doesn’t have the most impressive post-season track record, owning a career 5.12 ERA across eight starts and three relief appearances spanning 51 innings. Aside from the homer, the lefty appears to be putting that notion aside.