And That Happened: Tuesday's Scores and Highlights


Yankees 9, Athletics 3: I suppose it’s inevitable that the Yankees will soon start getting burned by their starters only going four or five innings, but right now it’s working. And hey: they’re all alone in first place. Why?

Blue Jays 13, Rays 5: Because the Rays got annihilated when the Jays put up a 10-spot in the sixth inning. I was going to make that “Gashouse Gorillas doing a conga line around the bases” joke I do a few times a year here, but I did it just a month ago!  And it involved the Blue Jays then too!  I’m starting to worry that I’m not as clever and original as I like to think I am.

Astros 3, Cardinals 0: Land sakes, this is getting ugly. That’s four straight in the crapper for St. Louis, seven of eight and, of course, two straight listless shutouts in a row to the Astros, who are the spoilingest spoilers this side of Spoilsburg.

Reds 8, Brewers 4: And that makes for a seven game lead for the Redlegs. Aroldis Chapman made his major league debut. And see, I told you that 105 miles per hour business was totally fraudulent. He only hit [gulp] 102. Joey Votto got “MVP!” chants. I think those Cincy fans got a point.

Marlins 1, Nationals 0:  I didn’t see any highlights from this as I was convinced by the missus that I needed to watch “True Blood.” I dunno. Ask me after I’ve seen more than the first two episodes.  Anyway, it seems that Nyjer Morgan could have scored a run for the Nats in the 10th inning, but he decided he’d rather try to plow over catcher Brett Hayes than slide like a normal human being.

Pirates 14, Cubs 7: The Pirates were cruising and then Sean Gallagher came in and allowed five quick runs. The outcome was never really in doubt, but the Pirates can’t even rest when they’re up 14-2.

Twins 4, Tigers 3: Detroit clung to a 3-2 lead into the seventh but then Phil Coke walked one dude and then plunked two more to load the bases. Ryan Perry came in and walked in a run, and then he gave up an RBI single to Delmon Young. That’s teamwork!

White Sox 4, Indians 3: Manny’s White Sox debut will wait another day. He was on deck, though, waiting to pinch hit in the ninth when A.J. Pierzynski hit a three-run homer to break the 1-1 tie. I just hope that trip to the on deck circle didn’t gas poor Manny, thus making him unavailable for this afternoon’s game.

Braves 9, Mets 2: Luis Castillo bobbled what could have been a double play ball in the fifth and after that the floodgates opened. I’m guessing there will be a lot of folks who want to kill Castillo over that, but (a) there still would have only been two outs in the inning, and the Braves scored a couple of runs before what would have been out number three; and (b) Jon Niese still had to serve up that fat pitch David Ross deposited in the seats for a grand slam.

Orioles 5, Red Sox 2: The O’s just keep rolling along. Baltimore went 17-11 in August (17-10) with Buck Showalter. This season is always going to look ugly in the standings, but there is some serious hope for 2011 being built here.

Phillies 8, Dodgers 4: Ryan Howard and Brian Schneider each had three-run homers as the Phillies find some of that long lost offense. Carlos Monasterios, the Dodgers starter, said this through his translator after the game: “I was trying to pitch my game, but they were able to read all my pitches.” Gentlemen: there’s a spy among us. Sitting in this very room!

Diamondbacks 7, Padres 4: Six straight losses for the Padres. The losses to Philly I get. These to the Dbacks I don’t.

Giants 5, Rockies 2: Andres Torres led off the eighth inning with what proved to be the winning home run. Only four back of San Diego now.

Mariners 3, Angels 1: KIng Felix allowed only three hits and no runs through seven while striking out eight. No decision, though, because he got no run support while he was in the game. That’s the story of his season.

Royals 10, Rangers 9: Ties 9-9 in the ninth, Willie Bloomquist stole third with one out and then came home with the winning run when Alexi Ogando threw a wild pitch. Wait . . . what’s that? Um, I’m sorry everyone. The guild just informed me that I am obligated to say that Ogando “uncorked” a wild pitch. If you have any questions about this please consult the rulebook you’ve all been provided. The wild pitch stuff comes right after the chapter on “ensuing kickoffs.”

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.