And That Happened: Tuesday's Scores and Highlights


Nationals 3, Braves 0: Stephen Strasburg was scratched, but at least he showed up at the ballpark. Can’t say the same for the Braves. Hell, I think they’re still stuck in the Miami airport waiting for their charter to D.C. Whoever it was playing in the road uniforms last night didn’t seem to give a rat’s patootie about this game, though. Two of the three Nats’ runs were unearned because the dudes wearing the Brian McCann and Chipper Jones replica jerseys threw the ball all over the place. Give a hand to Miguel Batista, though, for stepping in on short notice and throwing five innings of shutout ball. Whether it was against impostors or not, that’s some gutsy baseball right there.

Mets 8, Cardinals 2: Home sweet home for the Mets as they lay the beatdown on Adam Wainwright. Jeff Francoeur had a three-run homer because God wanted my Tuesday night to be as crappy as possible from a baseball perspective. In related news my dream last night was Kent Hrbek, Jim Leyritz and the ghost of Eric Gregg ganging up on me in an alley while Lonnie Smith yelled at me to “Run! Run! Run like your life depends on it, Craig!”

Indians 4, Yankees 1: Josh Tomlin makes his major league debut and shuts
down the Yankees over seven innings. At this point I would like to
mention that I saw Tomlin pitch here in Columbus back in May and
at the time I said that he looked better than anyone the Indians had on
their roster at the time, so maybe they should call him up
. I would also like to point out that Tomlin is facing felonious assault charges right now, — UPDATE: the charges were recently reduced to “disorderly conduct” — so maybe he figured “screw it; no reason to save any energy for tomorow because there may be no tomorrow for me.”

Phillies 9, Diamondbacks 5: Six straight for the Phillies behind homers from Werth and Howard. Bad news though too: Shane Victorino left the game with an oblique injury. Bad news for Arizona too as Justin Upton left with a bum hip.

White Sox 11, Mariners 0: Know how I know the Mariners suck? They had nearly a dozen runs scored on them by a team who was using Juan Pierre as their DH. That’s how I know the Mariners suck. Ryan-Rowland Smith keeps getting starts for these guys too. I mean, I keep telling Don Wakamatsu that Smith is bluffing and that he’d never release the pictures to the media because they’d be just as damning for him, but he apparently doesn’t believe me.

Rays 3, Tigers 2: Carlos Pena and Matt Joyce account for all the Rays runs. Joyce had the big hit on Monday night too. Given how charitable Detroit is to former Tigers, I expect Joe Maddon to employ the following lineup for tomorrow night’s game:

1. Ron LeFlore CF
2. Lou Whitaker 2B
3. Rusty Staub DH
4. Darrell Evans 1B
5. Kirk Gibson RF
6. Larry Herndon LF
7. George Kell 3B
8. Lance Parrish C
9. Ray Oyler SS

Yeah, it’s not perfect –Ray Oyler turns 72 next week and couldn’t hit when he was 30 and George Kell is dead for cryin’ out loud — but I like their chances against the current Tigers squad, don’t you?

Oh, and B.J. Upton got hurt too. Bad night for the Uptons. I’m going to assume that it was like Cheech and Chong in the Corsican Brothers and that each felt the others’ pain.

Rangers 3, Athletics 1: The Rangers just got done putting the Angels in
their place as would-be competitors and now they’re doing the same thing
to the A’s, who are tied with Anaheim for second. Cliff Lee was his
usual astounding self: Complete game nine innings (of course). No walks (of course).
Thirteen strikeouts (of course). Game score for pitchers isn’t the
be-all end-all, but it’s fun. Lee’s game score of 88 was the same as
Ubaldo Jimenez’s score for his no-hitter and the same as Armando
Galarraga’s for his near-perfect game.

Astros 6, Cubs 1: All this effort to trade Roy Oswalt when Brett Myers is (a) having a better year; and (b) is way more tradeable given his contract. Another great outing for him last night (CG 4 H, 1 ER, 12K). Ted Lilly did nothing to hurt his trade stock either, as he threw five and two-thirds shutout innings. They weren’t the most efficient innings on the planet, but good is good. The score is a function of a bullpen implosion.

Blue Jays 8, Orioles 2: Jose Bautista clubbed two more homers, bringing his league leading total to 30. It’s probably time for the O’s to shut Kevin Millwood down for the year following yet another awful outing. He’s either still injured or else he has a giant fork sticking out of his back.

Giants 6, Marlins 4: I declared the Giants dead a few weeks ago. Which goes to show you that you should never listen to anything I have to say about anything ever.

Dodgers 2, Padres 0: We should all probably thank the Padres and the Braves for taking one for the team and giving us all a couple of nice tight races this summer when they really didn’t have to. Billingsley Kuo and Broxton combine for the shutout.

Red Sox 4, Angels 2: John Lackey gives up two runs in seven and a third against his old mates. He was booed lustily by the Anaheim crowd in his second game against the Angels since leaving via free agency, though first in California.

Pirates 4, Rockies 2: Colorado is 2-10 since the All-Star break. It’s like the bizarro version of one of those incredible runs like they went on last year or in 2007.Clint Barmes after the game: “We’ve been playing bad baseball. We’re not doing the little things.”  That’s not fair, Clint. You guys aren’t doing the big things either.

Twins 11, Royals 2: Another day against the Royals another double-digit offensive output for the Twins. Another big day for Danny Valencia too, who went 4 for 5 with three RBI.  And the 13th win for Carl Pavanostache.

Reds 12, Brewers 4: Cincinnati raps out 19 hits and pull back into a tie in the NL Central. This was probably the ugliest game of the night. Eleven pitchers allow 28 hits, neither starter goes four innings and the whole shebang lasts 3:41. Edinson Volquez is probably back from surgery too soon, by the way. He may feel good but he has no command.

There’s no one to blame in Yankees’ loss

Joe Girardi

You’re going to boo All-Star Brett Gardner for striking out against a Cy Young contender?

You’re going to bash Alex Rodriguez for going hitless in another postseason game, three years after his last one?

Maybe you’d prefer to put it all on Masahiro Tanaka for giving up two solo homers to a lineup full of 20-homer guys?

The truth is that the Yankees were supposed to lose tonight. They were facing an outstanding left-hander with their forever-lefty-heavy lineup, and they simply didn’t have anyone pitching like an ace to set themselves up nicely for a one-game, winner-take-all showdown. The 3-0 result… well, that’s how this was supposed to go down.

It didn’t necessarily mean it would; what fun would it be if the better team always won? And the Astros might not even be a better team than the Yankees. However, the Astros with Dallas Keuchel on the mound were certainly a better team than the Yankees with whoever they picked to throw.

I just don’t see where it’s worth putting any blame tonight. Joe Girardi? He could have started John Ryan Murphy over Brian McCann against the tough lefty, but he wasn’t willing to risk Tanaka losing his comfort zone by using a backup catcher.

The front office could have added more talent, perhaps outbidding the Blue Jays for David Price or the Royals for Johnny Cueto, and set themselves up better for the postseason. However, that would have cost them Luis Severino and/or Greg Bird, both of whom went on to play key roles as the Yankees secured the wild card. Would it really have been worth it? I don’t think so.

Tanaka gave the Yankees what they should have expected. Had Keuchel’s stuff been a little off on short rest, Tanaka’s performance would have kept the Yankees in the game.

Keuchel, though, was on his game from the first pitch. The Astros bullpen might have been a bit more vulnerable, and late at-bats from Gardner, Carlos Beltran, Rodriguez and McCann definitely left something to be desired. Still, on the whole, the lack of offense was quite a team effort.

The Yankees got beat by a better team tonight.  I’m not sure the Astros would have been better in Games 2-7 in a longer series, but they had everything in their favor in this one.

Keuchel, Astros cruise past Yankees in AL Wild Card Game

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Dallas Keuchel faced the Yankees two times during the regular season and was fantastic in each outing, striking out 12 in a complete-game shutout on June 25 and whiffing nine batters over seven scoreless frames on August 25.

The 2015 Cy  Young Award candidate continued that trend in Tuesday night’s American League Wild Card Game, limiting the Yankees to three hits and one walk over six innings of scoreless ball as the Astros earned a 3-0 win and advanced to a best-of-five ALDS with the top-seeded Royals.

Keuchel was working on three days of rest but didn’t show very many signs of fatigue, whiffing seven and needing only 87 pitches to get through six. He sure looked like he could have gone an inning longer, but Astros manager A.J. Hinch decided to turn the game over to his bullpen and they added three more big zeroes to the scoreboard at a very loud then very boo-heavy Yankee Stadium. Tony Sipp worked around some early jitters to throw a scoreless seventh, Will Harris kept the Yankees off the bases entirely in a scoreless eighth, and closer Luke Gregerson went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth.

Impending free agent outfielder Colby Rasmus provided the first burst of offense for the Astros in the top of the second inning with a leadoff homer against Masahiro Tanaka. And then deadline acquisition Carlos Gomez, who missed a bunch of time down the stretch with an intercostal strain, got to Tanaka for another solo shot in the top of the fourth. Houston scored its third run on a Jose Altuve RBI single in the top of the seventh.

This is a young, talented Astros team with an ace at the head of its rotation.

Kansas City could have a problem.