And That Happened: Monday's Scores and Highlights


Rockies 10, Reds 5: Ubaldo Jimenez won his first one in over a month, but it had a lot more to do with the offense behind him because he was all over the place. He walked six, allowed seven hits and was a hair’s breadth from getting the hook early on. Tulowitzki homered, tripled and drove in three runs and Carlos Gonzalez was 3 for 5 with a couple of RBI.

Cardinals 8, Brewers 6: The Cards pick up a game — they’re now six back — thanks to a six-spot in the eighth inning, capped by a Yadier Molina grand slam. After the game, Molina said “from now on, we have to win, that’s a rule.” Jeez, bro, if you had simply made that rule a month ago y’all wouldn’t be down six games right now, would ya?

Padres 4, Dodgers 2: The streak, she is broken. San Diego lost five and a half games of their lead in the process, but they retain a one-game advantage over the Giants. The win may have been significant from a historical perspective as well, as at least one team — the 1982 Braves — lost ten in a row and still made the playoffs, but no one has dropped eleven straight and done so. Not that it couldn’t have happened to the Padres, of course, but The Fates, man, they don’t like to be tempted like that.

Giants 2, Diamondbacks 0: Just your typical seven-pitcher shutout for the Giants, led by Madison Bumgarner. Ian Kennedy certainly deserved a better fate than his no decision (8 IP, 2 H, 0 ER). Certainly deserving better were two children who were hurt in the fourth inning, one by a flying bat, one by a foul ball, with each child being taken to the hospital.

Athletics 6, Mariners 2: We must give a golf clap to Brett Anderson for a nice outing, but really, shutting down Seattle these days is no big trick. Indeed, it’s been 12 games since they scored more than three runs.

Cubs 5, Astros 4: Geovany Soto got barreled over blocking home plate in the fourth — he held on to the ball to make the out — and then hit the game winning homer in the eighth. But then again, he’s a catcher, and that’s what they do.

Twins 5, Royals 4: Jim Thome hit a home run in the fifth inning that went so far it had to clear Canadian customs before it could land. Jason Kubel’s, however, was the go-ahead homer. The Twins have won 17 of 20.

Blue Jays 7, Rangers 2: Rangers manager Ron Washington, talking about the Jays’ offense after the game: “They got seven and six came via the long ball.” Hey Ron: I’ll refrain from filling our your lineup card if you refrain from doing my job, OK? Thanks.

Pirates 3, Braves 1: The Braves strand so many guys at first or second base that I’m beginning to think that their hitting coach is Lysistrata.

Marlins 7, Phillies 1; Phillies 7, Marlins 4: A split doubleheader combined with the Braves loss pulls Philly to within a half game of Atlanta. Marlins rookie Adalberto Mendez shut the Phils down before leaving the first game with a leg injury. Roy Oswalt continued his winning ways in the nightcap, allowing four runs and six hits and striking out seven in seven innings.

Orioles 4, Yankees 3: Brian Matusz won his fourth straight start, allowing three runs and five hits in six innings. Alex Rodriguez surpassed 100 RBI for the 13th straight season. Note: when a player people like hits a lot of RBIs, he’s a “run producer.” When Alex Rodriguez does it, he’s a selfish stat-hound.

White Sox 5, Tigers 4: A.J. Pierzynski hit the go-ahead single in the 10th inning and had three RBIs overall as the Sox with their seventh in a row. According to the game notes, Vizquel passed Rafael Palmiero for most games by a player born outside the United States in baseball history. I don’t know that I would have gotten that one right if you had given me five guesses. I would have probably guessed Tony Perez and maybe Julio Franco or someone like that ahead of those guys. Which makes no sense, because intellectually I realize that Vizquel has had a longer career than them. I think it’s a mental block because I’ve been an adult for basically all of Vizquel’s entire career so it doesn’t seem as long. Time, time, time, see what’s become of me.

Nationals 13, Mets 3: Rookie Danny Espinosa had a grand slam, a solo shot, a double, a single and six RBI. The Nats won their 60th game of the year, which is something they hadn’t done since 2007.

Red Sox 12, Rays 5: Boston jumped out to a 6-1 lead and never really looked back. Not a bad output for a lineup that only had four Opening Day starters in it.

Indians 3, Angels 2: Shin-Soo Choo broke a 2-2 with an RBI single in the ninth. The Angels’ offense continues to sputter. From the AP game story: “Cleveland’s starters have a 3.20 ERA over the last 12 games, allowing
three runs or fewer in all but one start. Every starter in the past 14
games has gone at least five innings.” [Dana Carvey doing Johnny Carson’s voice]: I did not know that. That’s some wild, wild stuff.

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.