And That Happened: Monday's Scores and Highlights


Mike Krukow.jpgGiants 6, Reds 5: Jose Juan Uribe gave the Giants a 4-1 lead with a two-run single in the third and their 6-5 lead with a two-run single in the seventh. Your moment of random, from the game story: “A man wearing a Mike Krukow Giants jersey and waving a ‘Go Buster’ sign
dived over a row of seats to get a foul ball hit by Posey in the second
inning.”  Question: did he buy the Krukow jersey off the rack in 1986 or did he spend good money to have a custom one made more recently? Because God knows you can’t just run down to Dick’s Sporting Goods and find a Mike Krukow jersey these days. Well, at least outside of the imaginary world I’ve created known to me as “Kickassville, U.S.A.”

Padres 3, Phillies 1: Cole Hamels had a no-no into the seventh inning, but it didn’t hold up. And given how these Phillies bats are hitting these days, it damn nigh would have had to in order to give them the win. Two homers for Adrian Gonzalez. The Phillies haven’t had two home runs in a game since May 21st.

Cubs 6, Pirates 1: I hit this one up yesterday. Not known at the time: Silva was pitching this game with the stomach flu, which necessitated several trips to the restroom during the game. The Pirates, in contrast, could not get any runs.

Angels 4, Athletics 2: The Angels win their sixth straight and take over first place. As I said in the Power Rankings last week, in the future, every team will be in first place in the AL West for 15 minutes.

Mariners 4, Rangers 2: Cliff Lee is pretty ridiculously good (CG, 7 H, 2 ER, 7K). Indeed he’s so good that the fact that there is a decent chance that he’ll be playing for his fourth team in the space of a calendar year sometime soon is one of those things about which historians will one day write long, heavily footnoted articles.

Red Sox 4, Indians 1: A surprisingly aggressive Dice-K throws eight shutout innings.  Manny Acta on his starter, Fausto Carmona, who gave out six free passes in six innings: “I thought Fausto did well despite all the walks.” Kind of reminds me of that Marion Barry quote about how the D.C. crime rate wasn’t too bad despite all the killings.

Rockies 5, Astros 1: Jason Hammel and Dice-K are going to get together and do a seminar on how to pitch against terrible lineups without breaking a sweat. Seven and a third shutout innings for Hammel vs. the Astros.

Diamondbacks 7, Braves 4: Anything is possible against the Diamondbacks’ bullpen, but there are some holes too large to climb out of, and Derek Lowe dug one last night for Atlanta. Lowe, after totally handcuffing the Phillies last week, gave up seven runs and eight hits in four innings. Blah.

Dodgers 12, Cardinals 4: Blake DeWitt hit a homer and drove in five as the Dodgers win in a laugher. Of course if the Dodgers were actually seen laughing during the game it would have been an unwritten rules violation and their players would be subject to plunkings going forward. So no, maybe it was more of an “I’m smiling on the inside” kind of game.

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.

Pirates’ Nick Leyva selected as senior advisor of baseball ops

BRADENTON, FL - FEBRUARY 17:  Coach Nick Leyva #16 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a photo during photo day at Pirate City on February 17, 2013 in Bradenton, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
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Former first base and infield coach Nick Leyva was promoted to senior advisor of baseball operations on Saturday, per a report by Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The Pirates also fired third base coach Rick Sofield, with no named successor as of yet.

Leyva joined the Pirates’ organization in the 2011 offseason as a third base coach under manager Clint Hurdle. He shifted to his role as the first base coach and infield coach in 2014, when first base coach Rick Sofield was reassigned to third base prior to the 2015 season. According to Biertempfel, the swap was made in order to optimize the team’s baserunning strategies, all of which appeared to fall flat during the 2015 and 2016 seasons:

The results this season were awful. The Pirates ranked 13th in the National League with a minus-7.0 BsR — a metric that measures how many runs above or below league average a team gets via its baserunning.

In 2013 and 2014, the Pirates had one of the top five BsR ratings in the NL. In 2015, they were seventh with a 2.8 BsR.

This season, the Pirates made the second-most outs at third base in the league and were last in taking extra bases on singles and doubles. Their baserunners went from first to third base on hits a league-low 63 times.

Sofield, in particular, highlighted the Pirates’ poor baserunning choices in games like this one, when he sent Sean Rodriguez home too early during the last vestige of a ninth inning rally against the Phillies.

Following the announcement, Pirates’ GM Neal Huntington issued a statement elaborating on Leyva’s role within the organization:

We have great respect and appreciation for both men. We thank them for their time and effort as part of our Major League team and the Pirates organization. It was a difficult decision, but we felt it was the right time to make this change on our Major League staff. We look forward to Nick’s continued impact in his future role with the Pirates. Nick has held nearly every coaching position at the major league level and at the minor league level, including Major League manager, in his extensive career and will be a quality mentor for our minor league managers, coaches and players.