New York Yankees Robinson Cano walks off the field as the Chicago White Sox celebrate after Brent Lillibridge made a diving catch to win in New York

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights


White Sox 3, Yankees 2: Rafael Soriano’s tenure in New York could not be starting worse. Last night he came in with a 2-1 lead in the eighth and gave up a two-run homer to Paul Konerko that proved to be the game winner. In the ninth Brent Lillibridge saved the day with two game-saving catches in right field.  With one out and runners on first and second he tracked down an A-Rod fly ball at the wall. Then Robinson Cano hit a sinking liner to right, and Lillibridge made a spectacular diving catch. A strong outing from Gavin Floyd (8 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 10K).

Indians 9, Royals 4: This series, as the series in Kansas City was last week, is still a battle for first place in the AL Central. Jack Hannahan had two homers and Shin-Soo Choo drove in four.  In other news, according to the AP game story, the back of the t-shirt worn by winning pitcher Justin Masterson has the Charlie Sheen catchphrase “duh, winning!” written on it.  I was prepared to mock this in some way until I looked at the HardballTalk site stats yesterday and realized that one insignificant little post I did mentioning Charlie Sheen received damn nigh unprecedented traffic. Really, it got over ten times the amount of clicks the next most-viewed post got yesterday. To you and me Charlie Sheen is played out. Not so to many, many people, it seems.

Mets 6, Nationals 4: Five straight for the Mets.  Allow me to eschew the details of the game itself so that I may note that Ryota Igarashi got the win despite throwing four pitches which, while totally in keeping with the rules that govern such matters — he was the pitcher of record when the Mets took the lead and, despite his “brief” appearance, he was effective — it’s yet another argument about how silly it is to measure pitchers by their win totals.

Marlins 4, Dodgers 2: On the bright side: Don Mattingly didn’t need to decide who, among his many conflicting choices, is his closer. Ethier extends his hitting streak to 23.

Blue Jays 10, Rangers 3: Adam Lind has had a rough beginning of the season, but last night he had two homers and five RBI. Matt Harrison had nothing — he gave up seven runs in three innings — but hey, it got Brett Tomko five innings of mop up work. I’ve considered writing a short story or, if it can get any momentum behind it a novel, in which an aging  mop up man plays a role. The details are hazy and, as is the case with most of my fiction ideas, I never get very far with it. But whenever I see something like five innings out of Brett Tomko or someone quite like him, the wheels start turning again.

Brewers 3, Reds 2: A rare occurrence: Brewers beat the Reds. They were 0-4 against them this year coming in and had dropped 19 of 22. Solo homers from Braun, Fielder and Weeks did the trick. The Reds only got two hits off Marco Estrada, one of which was a Brandon Phillips two-run homer. Otherwise Mike Leake pitched well (7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 6 K) and deserved a better fate. Indeed, some might say he was robbed.  Not me, but some might.

Mariners 7, Tigers 3: Oh, Ryan Raburn.

Rockies 4, Cubs 3: Two bombs from Todd Helton off James Russell, who have up three homers in all. In his two starts moving into the rotation due to the Cashner and Wells injuries, Russell has given up eight runs on twelve hits in eight innings and has walked as many as he has struck out (4).  The Cubs need to do something new with the rotation before they get buried.

Giants 3, Pirates 2: Two of the Giants’ runs, including the game-winner, came on sacrifices and the other came on a fielder’s choice. Viva small ball.

Orioles 4, Red Sox 1: Giving up 12 hits and walking two more in six and two-thirds is no way to go through life, Clay Buchholz. Zach Britton, on the other hand, allowed one run on five hits in six innings to pick up his fourth win and, I presume, though I haven’t looked at what other AL rookies are doing, an early lead in the AL Rookie of the Year race. Boston’s five-game winning streak is over. Vlad Guerrero, by the way, is the only man in Major League Baseball with enough at bats to qualify for the batting title at the moment who has not walked once this season. 87 at bats and counting.

Astros 6, Cardinals 5: The bullpen strikes again! The Astros were down 5-4 entering the bottom of the ninth but scored two runs, one on a Mitchell Boggs wild pitch. The runner had reached third on a Yadier Molina passed ball. Hey, anyone who saw it: was it really a passed ball? And, for that matter, was the wild pitch really a wild pitch?  Boggs thought it was after the game, for what it’s worth, but those things are sometimes subjective. Regardless, Boggs didn’t settle down after that, allowing three more singles including the walkoff RBI by Bill Hall.

Braves 8, Padres 2: David Ross was another of many two home run hitters from Tuesday night and Jair Jurrjens tossed a complete game.

Diamondbacks 7, Phillies 5: Roy Oswalt got rocked. On the bright side, the Phillies scored 5 runs for the first time since April 9th!

Angels 8, Athletics 3: Second baseman Alexi Amarista just got promoted from Salt Lake City. Alexi Amarista is five feet seven inches tall. Alexi Amarista hit a two-run double and added a third RBI with a sacrifice. I know it’s early and we’ve yet to see if he gets his uniform duty a lot, but his size, his position and his quick start may force us to allow a non- American white person into Club Scrappy! For the A’s, Brandon McCarthy didn’t exactly fool anyone (5.1 IP, 7 R, 14 H).

Rays vs. Twins: POSTPONED: Walked in the corner of the room, junkyard fool with eyes of gloom. I asked him time again: Take me in and dry the rain, take me in and dry the rain, take me in and dry the rain, take me in and dry the rain, the rain, the rain, the rain, the rain, my rain now [cool instrumental breakdown].

Terry Francona sets Indians’ World Series rotation for first three games

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 18:  Corey Kluber #28 of the Cleveland Indians throws a pitch in the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during game four of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 18, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that Indians manager Terry Francona has set his starting rotation for the first three games of the World Series against the Cubs. Corey Kluber will start Game One, followed by Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin for Games Two and Three, respectively.

Kluber, the ace of the staff, has had a terrific postseason. He’s made three starts with a 0.98 ERA and a 20/7 K/BB ratio in 18 1/3 innings. The Indians won two of his starts — Game Two of the ALDS and Game 1 of the ALCS.

Bauer was unable to make it out of the first inning of his ALCS Game 3 start against the Blue Jays after the stitches on his pinky opened up and caused blood to pour out. He suffered the injury repairing one of his drones, which he builds as a hobby. Bauer insists he’ll be good to go in Game Two, though he also insisted that the injury wouldn’t be an impediment against the Jays.

Tomlin has made two solid starts for the Indians, allowing a total of three runs over 10 2/3 innings. The Indians won both games he started, Game 3 of the ALDS and Game 2 of the ALCS.’s Jordan Bastian notes that if Bauer can’t go in Game Two, Tomlin will be moved up to start in his place.

Alex Rodriguez credits Tom Ricketts and Theo Epstein with Cubs’ turnaround

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 13:  Tom Ricketts, owner of the Chicago Cubs, celebrates after the Chicago Cubs defeat the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series to win the NLDS 3-1 at Wrigley Field on October 13, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The Chicago Cubs defeat the St. Louis Cardinals with a score of 6 to 4.  (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
Getty Images

It isn’t difficult to see the fingerprints left by Cubs’ president Tom Ricketts and general manager Theo Epstein on the club’s remarkable 2016 season. In a piece for, former Yankee Alex Rodriguez highlighted the duo’s effectiveness in liberating the Cubs from a five-year losing streak and six-year postseason drought, citing both the unrelenting work ethic and passion that Ricketts and Epstein brought to the club as major factors in their success.

Rodriguez’s first brush with sabermetric savant and all-around baseball wizard Theo Epstein came in 2003, when the then- 27-year-old All-Star was eyeing a deal with the Red Sox. The Major League Baseball Players Association eventually nixed the trade, and the Rangers’ young shortstop was sent to the Yankees shortly thereafter, but not before Rodriguez glimpsed the inner workings of Epstein’s mind.

What I remember best about that time was watching Theo furiously scribbling out the Red Sox lineup for the upcoming season on a room-service napkin. That’s when I saw Theo’s baseball mind at work. I saw he had a passion for the game, a depth of knowledge, and a thirst to be great. Theo’s passion was contagious. We were three 20-somethings convinced we were about to turn baseball upside down together. Though I never got a chance to work with Theo, I knew then that he was going to be a force.

A-Rod also referenced Ricketts’ thorough approach to rebuilding the organization. Ricketts, who purchased the franchise for $875 million in 2009, first made it his mission to transform Wrigley Field into a comfortable and enticing playing environment, then targeted top-tier management to run the show behind the scenes. With Ricketts fully backing Epstein’s transformative approaches — including an overhaul of the Cubs’ farm system, investments in international player development, and a comprehensive understanding and practical application of sabermetric advances — the Cubs’ path to a 97-win season in 2015 seemed a natural consequence of the pair’s hard work.

This year, the attention has been even more intensely focused on the Cubs’ elusive third World Series title. Rodriguez, however, believes that winning a championship is secondary to the strides Ricketts and Epstein have taken with the club.

Together, Ricketts and Epstein have built one of the greatest franchises in baseball and transformed 1060 W. Addison St. It’s a task that no one could quite get right for a hundred years. While four more wins would put a giant exclamation point on five years of focused work and determination, I won’t worry if this team doesn’t win the World Series in the next nine days.