And That Happened: Wednesday's Scores and Highlights


Jim Joyce looks on.jpgTigers 3, Indians 0: So, did anything notable happen in this game?

Mariners 2, Twins 1: Between a tornado warning (see the Cubs-Pirates recap at the bottom) and the Armando Galarraga stuff I was unable to pay any attention to Ken Griffey’s retirement before this game.  I will remedy that later today.

Dodgers 1, Diamondbacks 0: I watched way more of this game than I should have. Guess it was morbid fascination combined with being lulled into a state of happy by Vin Scully’s voice. It totally screwed with my judgment too. In the 14th inning, Scully, after the second out, said something to the effect of “hope you don’t have any plans everybody . . .” before catching himself and saying ” . . . because unless Garret Anderson can do something here we’ll be heading to the 15th.”  My comment on Twitter at the time wasIt’s possible that Vin thought there were already
three outs there, but more likely that he’s just realistic about Garret
Anderson’s chances
.” Of course Anderson then singled in Matt Kemp, ending the game.

Braves 2, Phillies 1: Hit this one up yesterday afternoon.  Atlanta now goes to face a Dodgers pitching staff that (a) hasn’t given up a run in forever, but (b) has to be tired after consecutive extra-inning performances.

Yankees 9, Orioles 1: The whole Yankees starting lineup was back for the first time in forever last night. Now that they’re done with that practice squad in the orange, black and gray uniforms they get to see how they play against real teams. UPDATE:  Oops, sorry about that. They have one more game against the practice squad. Forgive me, but my brain is a bit fried this morning.

Rays 7, Blue Jays 3: Lord Almighty, the Rays like the late-inning drama, no? Carl Crawford’s ninth-inning grand slam didn’t put the Rays ahead, but it certainly put the game out of reach, as Tampa Bay puts up a six spot in the final frame for a come-from-behind victory.

Padres 5, Mets 1: At some point, just before I went to bed early, early this morning (yeah, I’m functioning on almost no sleep right now) I suffered this moment of panic, wondering if, between the Armando Galarraga thing, Griffey’s retirement, the Braves sweep of the Phillies and all of the amazing late-night action, if there was just too much baseball drama to handle. This one may have put me over the edge. Adrian Gonzalez 11th inning grand slam. Just an unreal day of baseball yesterday.

Red Sox 6, Athletics 4: Big Papi — we can call him that now that he’s hitting like Big Papi again — hit the go-ahead two-run homer in the fifth. He was 2 for 2 with a double, that homer and two walks. Can a guy win Comeback Player of the Year for coming back from adversity that occurred in the same season?

Brewers 7, Marlins 4: Where would the Brewers be without Yovani Gallardo? In addition to giving up two runs in seven innings with four strikeouts, he hit a dinger.

Rangers 9, White Sox 5: Vlad Guerrero was scratched after getting popped in the eye by a ball at the batting cage during BP (the practice kind of BP, not the kind that spilled all that oil). He was not needed, however, as Matt Treanor homered and drove in four and Michael Young had three hits.

Astros 5, Nationals 1: Back-to-back wins for the Astros for the first time in nearly a month. Three errors for Ian Desmond, who now has 14 on the year.

Angels 7, Royals 2: Torii Hunter homered, doubled, singled and drove in three runs as the Angels take their sixth win in eight games.

Cardinals 4, Reds 1: Chris Carpenter allows only one run on four hits over eight innings to bring the Cards back into a tie for first place. Big boo-boo here: runner on first and third in the seventh, and Scott Rolen — the guy on first — got smacked by a ground ball. Just one of them things.

Giants 4, Rockies 1: A two-run double for the slumping Aaron Rowand and one run on four hits over eight innings for Chris Carpenter Matt Cain helps the Giants avoid the sweep.

Cubs vs. Pirates: Postponed. I’m assuming this was the same weather system that blew threw my town a few hours earlier. We had tornado warnings and all kinds of fun stuff. My wife and kids and I were the basement for a while. While down there, my son found an old wooden Louisville Slugger I’ve had since I was a kid. My daughter looked at the name on it and asked “Daddy, who’s Gorman Thomas?”  My answer: “He was one of Harvey’s Wallbangers, dear.”  The my wife made me explain a little more thoroughly.

Clayton Kershaw can win in the postseason! Who knew?

Clayton Kershaw
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Sometime after their Game 2 loss to the Rangers last week, the Blue Jays decided they trusted Marcus Stroman more than Cy Young candidate David Price in a potential Game 5 start. Such is the power of a postseason slump.

It can lead to one of the best hitters in the world being dropped to the eighth spot in the lineup. It can lead to quality regulars sitting at highly irregular times. In the postseason, what you did yesterday matters 10 times as much as what you did last month, usually not for the better.

Fortunately, Clayton Kershaw never had to worry about being skipped because of his postseason struggles. Even calling them struggles overstate the reality. In his previous three postseason starts, Kershaw had:

  • Allowed two runs over six innings in Game 1 of the 2014 NLDS against the Cardinals before being left in to give up a whopping six runs in the seventh
  • Pitched six scoreless innings on three days’ rest in Game 4 of the 2014 NLDS before giving up a three-run homer in the seventh
  • Allowed one run over 6 2/3 innings in Game 1 against the Mets before his two inherited runners came around to score off the pen
So, yes, Kershaw entered Tuesday’s outing against the Mets with a 4.99 postseason ERA, but he had turned in six quality starts in nine tries, allowing one earned run or fewer three times. It wasn’t nearly regular-season Kershaw, but it also wasn’t as bad as the ERA suggests, not when he’d been the victim of slow hooks and lousy bullpen support.

And, really, Tuesday’s win over the Mets didn’t seem much different at all than Kershaw previous couple of postseason starts, at least through six innings. Maybe the fastball was amped a bit. The real difference this time was that he made it through the seventh. Best of all, since he was on three days’ rest, Don Mattingly wasn’t tempted to send him back out for the eighth at 94 pitches, as he probably would have done had Kershaw been on normal rest. The bullpen took over and turned in two hitless innings in the 3-1 win, sending the NLDS back to Los Angeles for a decisive Game 5 on Thursday.

It’s completely unnecessary redemption for Kershaw, who had nothing in need of redeeming. But it’ll keep the trolls quiet for now and also all winter if Kershaw doesn’t get the chance to pitch again. He’d surely prefer to risk the chance of failure again next week in the NLCS.

Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers top Mets in Game 4 of NLDS to force a Game 5

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

There will be a decisive NLDS Game 5 on Thursday evening in Los Angeles.

Clayton Kershaw yielded just three hits and struck out eight batters over seven innings of one-run ball and Justin Turner hit his fourth double of the series — a two-run poke down the left field line in the top of the third inning — as the Dodgers defeated the Mets 3-1 in Game 4 of the National League Division Series on Tuesday night at Citi Field.

Kershaw’s past postseason demons peaked their head out when Yoenis Cespedes reached on an infield single to lead off the bottom of the seventh, but there was no Matt Adams or Matt Carpenter to make him pay this time around. Kershaw retired the next three batters in order and then gave way to reliever Chris Hatcher for the eighth inning having thrown 94 pitches on short rest.

The only run Kershaw allowed was on a Daniel Murphy solo shot in the fourth inning. The other two hits he surrendered were singles.

Los Angeles’ bullpen answered the call after Kershaw’s departure, with Hatcher and closer Kenley Jansen combining to post two big zeroes on the scoreboard in Queens. Jansen secured the final four outs, earning his fifth career postseason save and second this October.

Jacob deGrom is lined up for the Mets and Zack Greinke will be on the hill for Los Angeles in the loser-goes-home tilt Thursday at Dodger Stadium. This series is shaping up to be a classic.

The winner Thursday will face the Cubs in the National League Championship Series.

Video: Justin Turner gives Dodgers early Game 4 lead with two-run double

AP Photo/Julie Jacobson
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Clayton Kershaw has looked sharp on the mound and at the plate so far in this must-win NLDS Game 4 at New York’s Citi Field.

After no-hitting the Mets in the first two frames, Kershaw smacked a one-out single to left-center field in the top of third inning. Howie Kendrick followed soon after with a two-out single to left and then Adrian Gonzalez blooped a ball to shallow center that drove in Enrique Hernandez, who had reached earlier on a fielder’s choice grounder to second base.

That all set up this Justin Turner two-run double down the left field line that put Los Angeles up 3-0

That’s now four doubles this postseason for Turner, which is a Dodgers franchise record for the Division Series. Los Angeles is trying to force a Game 5.