And That Happened: Monday's Scores and Highlights


Rays 1, Yankees 0: Zeros through ten innings, eight a piece for CC Sabathia and David Price. Then the bullpens took over. Joe Girardi had everyone scratching their heads with his choice of relievers for the ninth and extras: Kerry Wood, Boone Logan, Chad Gaudin and Sergio Mitre. Girardi said after the game that Joba needed more rest, which is strange, given that he hasn’t pitched since Friday. Same with Robertson, though that’s a bit more understandable given that he threw 36 pitches on Saturday and he usually gets a couple of days off after games like that. Rivera? Being held out in case a save situation arose. Whatever, Joe, it’s not like this was a series that’ll decide the division or anything . . . Still, Wood, Logan and Gaudin got it done, more or less. Mitre was a palooka too far, though, and he gave up the walkoff homer to Reid Brignac.

Mets 1, Pirates 0: This one was 0-0 through nine as well. Then Joe Girardi telepathically willed John Russell to put in Chan Ho Park for the tenth, allowing Tejada to double and Evans to single him home. Dillion Gee went six and three relievers combined for the other four shutout innings for the Mets.

Padres 6, Rockies 4: A big win for San Diego keeps the Rockies at bay and pushes the Padres ahead of the Giants by a half game. Miguel Tejada drove in four. It’s the first time the Padres have scored five runs or more in weeks. Colorado’s winning streak ends at ten.

Phillies 11, Marlins 4: Four RBI for Chooch Ruiz and homers from Werth, Utley and Dobbs (one of these things/is not like the others/one of these things/just isn’t the same).

Braves 4, Nationals 0: My reverse-jinx/whatever from HBT Daily continues, as yesterday I said Derek Lowe wasn’t very good and last night he threw eight shutout innings with 12 strikeouts. I also said that Jair Jurrjens was running out of gas, so I fully expect him to throw 13 shutout innings tonight.

Athletics 3, Royals 1: Bobby Cramer made his MLB debut and got the win,
allowing one run on four hits in five and a third. According to the game
story, Cramer was out of baseball in 2005-06 and during that time was a
substitute high school teacher and worked on oil pipelines. Then
he played in the independent leagues and then on to the Mexican League. I
haven’t seen a picture of the guy yet, but are we sure Cramer isn’t
really Kenny Powers?

Astros 4, Brewers 2: Houston is 29-16 since trading Roy Oswalt away, which is not exactly what I would have expected. Going all-in with Brett Myers is definitely paying off as he has yet another damn fine start (7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 10K). Prince Fielder sat this one out with flu-like symptoms. It’s the first action he’s missed in 327 games.

Reds 7, Diamondbacks 2: Two bombs for Jay Bruce in his first game back in two weeks. With this win the Reds (a) clinch a winning season; and (b) eliminate the Cubs from the playoff hunt. It’s a math thing. I know the Cubs didn’t think they were hunting anymore.

Cubs 5, Cardinals 1: The Cards have been thinking they were hunting, but they’re pretty much out of ammo at this point. How they got blanked by Jeff Samardzija is a friggin’ mystery.

Orioles 4, Blue Jays 3: Another extra innings affair, this one with some actual runs scored in regulation. Luke Scott hits the walkoff RBI single. The Orioles bat the Jays for the first time in 13 tries this season. All of those were back in the Trembley/Samuel dark ages, though.

Red Sox 5, Mariners 1: Jon Lester was tough: he struck out 12 Mariners and surrendered only three hits over eight innings. The start put him over 200 Ks for the year for the second straight year.

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.