And That Happened: Wednesday's Scores and Highlights


Pagan slides.jpgNationals 5, Mets 3: Triple plays and inside the park homers are pretty cool. Sadly, they only count for three outs and one run, respectively. Hats off to Angel Pagan all the same.

Royals 8, Indians 4: Kerry Wood came into a save situation in the ninth
and gave up a triple, a single, a double, two straight walks, and
another double before Manny Acta took him out of the game. By that time
the Tribe’s one-run lead had turned into a four-run deficit, whatever was
left of Kerry Wood’s trade value evaporated and the fates reserved Wood
a one-bedroom apartment next door to Trevor Hoffman’s new place in
Sunny Acres: An Active Community for Active Former Closers.

Pirates 6, Brewers 4: Nine straight losses for the Brew Crew. Ask not
for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for Ken Macha.

Cubs 4, Phillies 1: 20 year-old Starlin Castro hit a single off 47
year-old Jamie Moyer which I think means that Castro is now only one
degree removed from Cap Anson.

Angels 3, White Sox 2: Joe Saunders out-duels John Danks. Literally: they
chose main-gauche daggers and thrusted and parried until Danks lay
bloody and dead on the U.S. Cellular Field pitcher’s mound. It was a
harsh sight, but Danks died with his dignity and honor intact. Saunders
indicated after the game that, in light of his noble opponent’s display
of pluck and courage, he would wait the customary fortnight before
courting the Widow Danks.

Braves 5, Reds 4: The Reds have been the league’s biggest comeback artists all year and almost pulled it off again last night, but Jason Heyward wasn’t having it.  After blowing a four-run lead, Heyward doubled in Martin Prado with the winning run for Atlanta’s second walkoff win in a row.  Heyward was a beast — two doubles and a triple, two runs scored and an RBI — and the mind reels at where this team would be without him this year.

Red Sox 3, Twins 2: Clay Buchholz played stopper, giving the Sox their first decent starting pitching performance since the last time Clay Buchholz pitched (8 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 7K).  A two-run homer for Big Papi, who’s now up to .367/.407/.755 for the month of May.

Astros 7, Rockies 3: Clint Barmes threw away what should have been out number three in a tie ballagme in the eighth, opening the floodgates for four unearned runs. Jeff Keppinger had four RBI for the Astros, who plated the most runs they’ve had in a single game in a week.

Rays 10, Yankees 6: Not as close as the score suggests, as the Rays had a 10-2 lead entering the ninth after batting around in the fourth and eighth
While, sure, the Yankees made it kinda interesting with four runs in the final frame, it was just too big a deficit to cause anyone to get too worked up about it.  In other news, I could have sworn that putting Berman and Sutcliffe in the same booth was outlawed at the Third Geneva Convention, so how no one is on trial for it this morning is a mystery to me.

Marlins 5, Cardinals 1: Hanley Ramirez apologized, gets three hits and life goes on.

Rangers 4, Orioles 3: I guess you can still call it a “walkoff” if it’s a sacrifice fly, so hey: walkoff sac fly for Nelson Cruz. Dave Trembley used seven pitchers, six of which pitched in the final three innings. Maybe he has a personal quota of some kind and suspects that he won’t be around in July, August and September in order to fulfill it.

Padres 10, Dodgers 5: San Diego (a) snaps the Dodgers’ win streak; and (b) busts out some unheard of for them levels of offense.  Six RBI for Adrian Gonzalez on a homer and a couple of singles. And if this isn’t Ramon Ortiz’s last start in a Dodgers uniform, something is seriously wrong (3.1 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 3 BB).

Diamondbacks 13, Giants 1: I was totally unaware of who started this game for the Giants, but when I
saw the score I said “Wellemeyer.” Although to be fair, six of the Dbacks’ runs came in a nightmare eighth inning, and were the responsibility of Brian Medders.  That’s what you call takin’ one for the team. Adam LaRoche hit two of the Dbacks’ six homers.

Blue Jays 3, Mariners 2: Milton Bradley came back and had a couple of hits, but nothin’ else good happened here for Seattle, which lost its fifth in a row and seventh of ten.

Tigers 5, Athletics 1: Justin Verlander out-duels Dallas Braden. No knifes this time, just pitches. Complete game four-hitter for Verlander. Braden gave up two runs over six, but then left because he wasn’t feeling well and had to have an IV after the game. Except in the 209 they don’t use a syringe and a saline drip. They use a rusty nail and motor oil.

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.