And That Happened: Sunday's Scores and Highlights

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Mets 4, Giants 3: Umpire Phil Cuzzi didn’t hand a win to the Mets, but he sure as hell took one away from the Giants.  Travis Ishikawa was safe on this play — even Henry Blanco said so after the game — but Cuzzi called him out. It was clearly the wrong call and it cost the Giants the winning run in the bottom of the ninth. Earlier Cuzzi was in a screaming match with Francisco Rodriguez, which was also out of line. If for no other reason that it should have been Johan Santana yelling at Rodriguez for blowing a 3-1 lead in the ninth, thereby costing Santana a W. Oh, and check out K-Rod’s game-ending strikeout celebration. Dude: you get to pump your fist like that if you save it, not if you vulture a win.

Cardinals 5, Dodgers 4: The Cardinals’ five runs come in the eighth and ninth and they win it on a walkoff RBI single from Matt Holliday. The Dodgers wasted six shutout innings by Padilla during which he only allowed one hit.  Only 80 pitches too, so you wonder why he wasn’t allowed to go another inning or two. Anyway, the Cards sweep the Dodgers and take over first place in the NL Central.

Padres 6, Diamondbacks 4: Chris Denorfia smacks two homers as Edwin Jackson turns in his third straight blah start after his no-hitter. Fun little mix-up between Everth Cabrera and Mark Reynolds down at third base when Cabrera was picked off. Cabrera got ejected, but I’m not sure it wasn’t the case that both he and Reynolds were equally aggressive here. Cabrera’s foot in Reynolds’ face was a bit much, but so too was Reynolds rolling over Cabrera and planting an elbow in his back beforehand, not to mention the fact that Reynolds was the one who came up swinging. Seems like you either eject both of them or neither of them. Could be worse, though. If Phil Cuzzi was working this game he probably would have ejected Steve Garvey and then barked at you if you told him he was wrong.

Mariners 2, Angels 1: It’s really not possible to watch highlights from a Mariners-Angels matchup without thinking of the Enrico Pallazo game. And while we’re on the subject, does it bother anyone that the the Enrico Pallazo game was quite obviously played in Dodger Stadium?

Twins 7, White Sox 6: Bobby Jenks joins K-Rod and Jonathan Broxton on the big-name-closers-who-got-shelled-yesterday list after allowing four runs without getting a single man out. The Twins almost didn’t survive yet another poopy performance by Nick Blackburn, after which he sounded like he knows he’s about to lose his job: “I don’t know how much longer they’re going to keep putting up with this
stuff.”  That aside, it was a nice weekend for Minnesota, taking three of four from the Chisox when it looked like they were about ready to keel over and die.

Pirates 9, Astros 0: Paul Maholm tossed a three-hitter, helped out by a Houston lineup that probably wouldn’t qualify as formidable in a Texas League game. It probably didn’t make any difference, though, because the flood gates opened for the Pirates when Roy Oswalt had to leave after taking a comebacker off his ankle.

Athletics 9, Royals 6: So much for all of those “hey, those Royals are looking frisky” articles we’ve been reading lately, as they drop their sixth straight. Oakland, on the other hand, has won five in a row and 12 of 18 and they’re now back to .500 for the first time in over a month. Nice game for Vin Mazzaro, who gave up one run in seven and two-thirds. It then took four pitchers for the A’s bullpen to get the final four outs.

Braves 11, Brewers 6: Brian McCann just loves having the sacks jacked. He had that bases-loaded RBI double in the All-Star Game, and in this one he had a grand slam and was later walked with three men aboard. This is strange: on Saturday the Braves’ Jonny Venters went after Prince Fielder, throwing near his head and then plunking him. Both he and Bobby Cox were ejected. Fine. Then yesterday, Manny Parra hits Jason Heyward. Warning issued: still fine. Sure, Parra could have been immediately ejected if the ump thought it was retaliation, but the warning is how it’s usually handled. Two batters later David Riske hits Troy Glaus but isn’t ejected. Why not? What was the point of the warning?

Rangers 4, Red Sox 2: Losing three out of four is not the way the Sox wanted to come out of the All-Star break. Well, at least not unless they’re running some weird rope-a-dope gambit to which we’re all simply not hip. Ten strikeouts for C.J. Wilson who I never would have guessed would be having such a nice year as a starter before the season began.

Marlins 1, Nationals 0: The Marlins shut out the Nats for the second straight day (and after they themselves were shut out on Friday). This was a committee job, with Alex Sanabia starting and going five and a third and four relievers finishing it out. Indeed, Florida needed three relievers to finish up the shutout on Saturday too. A pretty bullpen-taxing couple of days for having given up zero runs.

Blue Jays 10, Orioles 1: Yunel Escobar hit a grand slam and drove in five. He’s six for his first 13 with a walk since coming over from Atlanta, but at least four of those hits were really annoying and displayed a bad attitude.

Rockies 1, Reds 0: How does a 1-0 game last more than three hours? When nine pitchers are used between the two teams, I guess. Aaron Cook three seven of those shutout innings. For the Reds, Travis Wood pitches on the wrong end of a 1-0 loss for the second time in a row.

Yankees 9, Rays 5: A win is nice when you beat David Price but you really regret it when you lose Andy Pettitte. OK, that was terrible and I’m going to go kill myself now. But not for the bad rhyme. I’m going to kill kill myself because I spent ten minutes trying to think of something good to rhyme with “groin” before I ended up going with what I wrote.

Indians 7, Tigers 2: Jhonny Peralta’s inside-the-parker was helped by Ryan Rayburn missing the leaping catch, pulling a Bump Bailey and going through the bullpen door. Well, he didn’t really pull a Bump Bailey in that he didn’t die or anything, but it was still kind of neat. And you know what? After watching the replay a few times, I’m pretty sure that’s an inside-the-parker even if the bullpen door doesn’t open. But if I admitted that beforehand I probably wouldn’t have gone with the Bump Bailey reference.

Cubs 11, Phillies 6: Either Roy Halladay’s radar was off last night, or else he consulted Joey Votto when putting together his strategy for getting Marlon Byrd out, because Doc plunked him twice. And each time he did he gave up a two-run home run shortly thereafter.

And That Happened: Tuesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Phillies 6, Dodgers 2: Rhys Hoskins drove in four. The first one came on an RBI single off of Yu Darvish in the sixth. The next three came in an epic at bat against Pedro Baez in the sixth in which Baez threw Hoskins ten straight fastballs in the high 90s. Baez got Hoskins to a full counts and Hoskins fouled off four straight pitches before delivering a bases-clearing double. The Phillies, one of baseball’s worst teams, have now beaten the Dodgers, the team with baseball’s best record, on two straight nights when they trotted their two best pitchers out to the mound in Clayton Kershaw and Darvish. This is why no one is a guarantee to do anything in the postseason, by the way. If a team like the Phillies can put you down 0-2 despite you going with your aces, anyone can. And if you’re down 0-2, there’s a great chance you’re not making it to the next round.

Red Sox 1, Orioles 0: Bupkis until Jackie Bradley Jr. scores on a Brad Brach wild pitch in the 11th inning for Boston’s second straight 11-inning win over the O’s in a row. Before all of that  Drew Pomeranz and Kevin Gausman tossed six and a third and eight innings, respectively, of shutout ball. Gausman, who retired the first 14 batters he faced, deserved better. Boston has won 10 of 13.The Orioles have lost 11 of 13.

Brewers 1, Pirates 0: Domingo Santana hit a solo home run off of Trevor Williams in the top of the fourth for the game’s only scoring. Chase Anderson tossed six shutout innings for Milwaukee, struck out eight and didn’t walk a batter. The Brewers won for the ninth time in 11 games and, because of the Rockies’ loss, are now only one game behind the Rockies for the second Wild Card.

Blue Jays 5, Royals 2: Marcus Stroman allowed one run over seven innings to snap a personal five-game winless streak. Darwin Barney drove in three, the first two coming on a two-run shot to open the game’s scoring. Alex Gordon hit baseball’s 5,694th home run in 2017 in the top of the eighth inning, setting a new single-season record.

Cardinals 8, Reds 7: Big night for Dexter Fowler, who hit a game-tying homer in the eighth inning and a go-ahead double in the 10th. He’d then come around to score on an error by the Reds to give the Cards a two-run margin, which was necessary given that Scooter Gennett hit a homer in the bottom of the tenth that would’ve otherwise tied the game again. Yadier Molina and Paul DeJong also homered for St. Louis.

Marlins 5, Mets 4: The Marlins rallied for three runs against their old friend A.J. Ramos in the ninth to tie things up and force extras and then J.T. Realmuto hit a walkoff solo homer in the bottom of the tenth. After the game Don Mattingly said that he knew they could get to Ramos:

“We’ve seen him have innings like that,” Mattingly said. “He gets himself in a little bit of a mix and usually gets out of those.”

Am I the only one getting the “dude talking smack about his ex-girlfriend after he sees her out with another guy but is trying not to sound upset” vibe here?

Cubs 2, Rays 1: Seven straight wins for the Cubs, this one as Joe Maddon makes his return to Tropicana Field for the first time since leaving the Rays for the Cubs. If this is also an ex-girlfriend thing, the Rays were much bigger men about it, giving Maddon a video tribute and all of that before the game. Maybe it’s more like the quintessential “California Divorce” where everyone stays friends and stuff. God, who does that? Anyway, Cubs starter Mike Montgomery took a no-hit bid into the sixth inning, Kyle Schwarber hit his 28th home run of the season.

Nationals 4, Braves 2: Max Scherzer allowed two runs on five hits over seven and struck out seven. Only seven? He must’ve been sick. He did cross the 250 strikeout threshold, however, and he did avenge last week’s loss, also to the Braves, in which he gave up seven runs. It’s the fourth straight year he has struck out at least 250 batters. he’s only the fourth pitcher to ever do that, following Ferguson Jenkins, Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson. Nope, Nolan Ryan never did it. You can look it up. Ryan Zimmerman drove in two to give him 101 RBI on the year.

Astros 3, White Sox 1: Jose Altuve homered and drove in two and Alex Bregman hit an RBI double. Collin McHugh allowed one run over five and four relievers finished the job.

Yankees 5, Twins 2: CC Sabathia allowed Minnesota to load the bases on his first four pitches, including two bunt singles, which likely ticked him off. He got out of that jam and then worked from behind for a bit, but ultimately righted the ship and went six inning, allowing the two runs on six hits with one walk and five strikeouts. Brett Gardner drove in a couple. That’s nine of 11 for the Yankees. The Twins have lost four of five, but remain a game and a half ahead of the Angels who . . .

Indians 6, Angels 4: . . . lost to Cleveland. Everyone loses to Cleveland, though, right? That’s 25 of 26 wins for them, in fact. Jay Bruce had a triple and a double among his three hits and Austin Jackson singled four times. Mike Clevinger allowed one run over six.

Athletics 9, Tigers 8: The A’s were down 8-5 in the eighth when Jed Lowrie hit a go-ahead grand slam. The A’s were down by four runs at one point, in fact, but no lead is safe when you’re the Tigers. Oakland’s Matt Olson homered for the fifth straight game and has 15 dongs in his last 21 games. As I wrote yesterday, you really should be paying attention to this guy.

Rangers 3, Mariners 1: It was 1-1 in the eight following a Martin PerezMike Leake pitchers’ duel. That’s when Carlos Gomez hit a leadoff double, Shin-Soo Choo hit a sac fly to plate the go-ahead run and Elvis Andrus knocked in Delino DeShields with a single for some insurance. DeShields wasn’t just an innocent bystander, though. He reached on a bunt that put Will Middlebrooks, Gomez’s pinch-runner, on third and in position to score on Choo’s sac fly.

Padres 6, Diamondbacks 2: A.J. Pollock hit two homers, including a leadoff blast, but Padres starter Travis Wood settled down and allowed only the two runs over six innings. He also (all together now) drove in two runs himself on an RBI single in the bottom of the third to give the Padres a 5-1 lead.

Giants 4, Rockies 3: The Rockies held an early lead but the Giants tied it and won it with a walkoff sac fly from Hunter Pence. Fun thing about that: the Rockies were playing a five-man infield, leaving only two men in the outfield, so Pence’s fly ball had a really good chance of dropping for a hit. And, given that it was a walkoff situation, it made no difference to the outcome of the game whether the ball was caught or not. Carlos Gonzalez ran hard to catch it, though, almost certainly out of instinct, turning it into a sac fly instead. I picture Pence and Gonzalez on the dinner speech circuit one day, long after they retire, beefing or bragging about that play to the laughter of crowds.

Report: Blue Jays and Marco Estrada nearing agreement on contract extension

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Jon Morosi reports that the Blue Jays and starter Marco Estrada are nearing an agreement on a contract extension. The deal is expected to be for one guaranteed year, Morosi adds.

Estrada, 34, was set to become a free agent after the season. He earned $26 million on a two-year contract signed with the Jays in November 2015. While the right-hander has a subpar 4.84 ERA on the season, he has a solid 170/67 K/BB ratio in 176 2/3 innings and has looked much better since the end of July. Between July 31 and his most recent start on Saturday, Estrada owns a 3.75 ERA.

J.A. Happ is the only other starter technically under contract with the Jays next season. Marcus Stroman will be eligible for his second year of arbitration and the Jays will certainly agree to give him a raise on his $3.4 million salary for the 2017 season. The Jays will likely be active this offseason in adding rotation help and they’re starting early by locking up Estrada.