And That Happened: Tuesday's Scores and Highlights


Yankees 8, Phillies 3:  All I heard all day yesterday was about how totally Roy Halladay owned the Yankees so, like, look out Yankees. Then he gives up six runs on eight hits in six innings. All of which goes to show you why I’ve laughed off every editor who has ever suggested that I do single-game preview pieces. It’s baseball. I don’t know what’s going to happen. Neither does anyone else. And that’s why it’s wonderful.

Rangers 3, Marlins 2: Mike Stanton makes his home debut for Florida. Unlike Strasburg, he does not inspire a sellout. Shocking, I know. He also goes 0 for 4 with three strikeouts, but we knew that would happen soon enough given his strengths and weaknesses. As for the outcome: If I had a nickle for every game I’ve seen end on a pinch-hit RBI triple by the backup catcher, well, I’d probably have about ten cents. Though I couldn’t for the life of me tell you when I got the first five. Oh, and Josh Johnson continues to be totally sick (7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 7K). Watch out Ubaldo, here comes Josh.

Cardinals 4, Mariners 2: Jeff Suppan returns and gives up a run in four innings. He actually hit for himself in the bottom of the fourth, doubled and came around to score. He didn’t come out to start the fifth inning, however, despite having a lead and having thrown only 73 pitches, most likely because he was gassed, so no W for him.

Twins 9, Rockies 3: Rare: Matt Tolbert hit a home run for the Twins. More rare: Todd Helton hit a home run for the Rockies. Well, maybe not more rare in the aggregate, but I was more surprised to see it in the box score than I was to see Tolbert’s. And not entirely because I give less than a nanosecond’s thought to Tolbert in any given season.

Red Sox 6, Diamondbacks 3: Dustin Pedroia had a couple of hits and scored three runs. Not quite a laser show yet, but after a rough May he’s heating up in June. And hey look: close play at first, Jim Joyce calls the runner safe . . . you make the call! OK, forget it, Joyce got the call right.  I promise we media people will stop talking about this thing sometime before October.

Royals 15, Astros 7: Aviles! (4-5, 4 RBI); Bentancourt! (3 RBI). You can’t stop them, you can only hope to contain them!  In all seriousness, readers will pile on any positive comment I make about the Royals’ bats for the rest of the year, likely ignoring the fact that they’re a basically respectable offense, all things considered.

White Sox 6, Pirates 4: Ninth loss in a row for the Pirates. Mr. Rosenthal says that John Russell is toast.  Mr. Olney says that’s not true. I don’t know who’s right and who’s wrong on that, but given how quick Buster is to jump in and harsh everyone’s buzz each time a fun rumor comes out these days I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that he was never asked to be anyone’s wingman back when he was at Vanderbilt:

Dude: Hey honey, I saw you from across the room and just knew I had to talk to you!

Buster [interrupting]: Actually that’s not true. He’s had a crush on you for weeks and is just now getting up the nerve to say something to you.

Dude: Um, yeah, so, I was wondering if you’d like to go out this Saturday. I know this great little Italian place . . .

Buster: That’s not true either. He has never been there. One of the seniors in our frat said it would make him look classy to take women there. Oh, and the car he plans to pick you up in is not his. It’s his father’s. And by the way, I don’t find your friend all that attractive, so I’m not going to pretend to be interested in her while my friend tries to hit on you.

Dude: Wait! Baby! Come back! I don’t even know this guy! [to Buster]: Thanks. I hope you’re proud of yourself.

Buster: [on dance floor; doing white guy overbite dance to Foghat song, surrounded by the honeys]

Tigers 7, Nationals 4: Ryan Raburn had two hits and drove in four. Magglio Ordonez had four hits. Max Scherzer struck out nine. John Lannan demonstrated that the Nationals probably have the greatest disparity between their top pitching talent and their bottom pitching talent than anyone in the league.

Mets 7, Indians 6: Johan Santana and the Mets were down 4-1 entering the fifth, but then the bats woke up, the Mets put up a five spot and then held on for the win. The Tribe’s ninth inning rally fell short, but Shelley Duncan hit a two-run homer which will make my six year-old daughter happy when I tell her today. Of course, my daughter still thinks that Shelley Duncan leaving the Columbus Clippers and going to Cleveland meant that he did something wrong and is being punished, so she might not really understand. Not that’s she’s wrong about that.

Dodgers 12, Reds 0: Big romp, blah, blah, blah, but the craziest thing about this game was that Hiroki Kuroda came back out to pitch following a two-hour, twenty-four minute rain delay.  He hadn’t yet gone five at the time, so was Torre just trying to get him the win, or is it that Torre owns stock in Dr. James Andrews’ medical practice?

Rays 10, Braves 4: The Braves’ Chris Resop was doing great down in AAA and had a contract provision which required that he be called up by June 15th or else he could opt-out. There was a fair amount of speculation as to whether Atlanta would trade him before then, but they didn’t, the Braves called him up and he pitched last night. Whatever teams held off pulling the trigger on a trade are to be commended, because he got shelled in relief of what was, at the time, a winnable game. Not the Braves deserved to win. They committed four errors. They stranded 14 runners. They only lost one game to the Mets, but if there was any justice in the world they would have lost two games in the standings last night. Just blah.

Brewers 7, Angels 1: Corey Hart continues his torrid pace. He hit a three-run double, giving him 35 RBI in the last 30 games. Dave Bush allows one run and seven hits in seven and change for his first win since late April.

Orioles 4, Giants 1: Jake Arrieta gave up one run on three hits over seven innings, winning his second in a row to start his career.

Athletics 9, Cubs 5: One of a handful of games which featured long rain
delays. Derrek Lee probably wishes it never got underway, as he had
back-to-back errors, allowing four runs to score in the fourth. Fans
booed Lee and then gave him a sarcastic cheer when he next made a play
without an error. Which is total horsesh–, but the way.

Padres 8, Blue Jays 2: Some worker had to change the sign last night to read “We have gone 1 game(s) without an earthquake interruption.” Aaron Cunningham was called up when Matt Stairs went on the DL and last night he hit a grand slam. Shades of Gehrig and Pipp!

Jacob deGrom outduels Clayton Kershaw, Mets take 1-0 NLDS lead

Jacob de Grom
AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Jacob deGrom put together one of the best post-season starts in Mets history, outdueling three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw to pitch his team into a 1-0 NLDS lead. The right-hander fanned 13 over seven shutout innings, holding the Dodgers to five hits and a walk as the Mets won 3-1.

deGrom’s game score of 79 is the fifth-best by a Mets starter in the playoffs, behind Jon Matlack, Mike Hampton, Bobby Jones, and Tom Seaver, according to Baseball Reference. As Katie Sharp notes on Twitter, deGrom is one of three pitchers to hold the opposition scoreless on 13 or more strikeouts and one or fewer walks. The other two are Tim Lincecum and Mike Scott.

In the eighth inning, reliever Tyler Clippard allowed a one-out double to Howie Kendrick followed by an RBI single to Adrian Gonzalez as the Dodgers finally got on the board. Closer Jeurys Familia entered and recorded the final out of the eighth inning by inducing a weak line out from Justin Turner. In the ninth, Familia worked a 1-2-3 frame to wrap up the game.

Kershaw remains winless in the post-season since Game 1 of the 2013 NLDS, a span of seven starts. He gave up a solo home run to Daniel Murphy in the fourth inning, then walked the bases loaded in the seventh inning before departing with two outs. Reliever Pedro Baez entered and allowed two of his inherited runners to score when David Wright lined a single to center field. On the evening, Kershaw was on the hook for three runs on four hits and four walks with 11 strikeouts. Though he lost his command a bit towards the end of his start, the lefty pitched quite well and will be on the receiving end of some unnecessary criticism as a result of taking another post-season loss.

deGrom and Kershaw both struck out 11 batters, the first time that has happened in a major league post-season game.

Michael Cuddyer didn’t look too good out in left field for the Mets.

Game 2 of the NLDS will continue on Saturday at 9:00 PM EDT. Noah Syndergaard will start for the Mets opposite Zack Greinke of the Dodgers.

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

Jacob deGrom
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

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.