And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Braves 8, Brewers 3; Braves 8, Brewers 0: A day the Brewers would like to forget. The Braves scoring eight runs is rare enough, but doing it — in the first game at least — with no homers is even more rare for this station-to-station team. Tim Hudson threw a 102-pitch one-hitter in the nightcap, spoiling Zack Greinke’s Brewers’ debut.  Tim Hudson may be one of the more overlooked awesome pitchers in baseball.  It’s like everyone forgot about him when he went down for Tommy John surgery a few years ago. But since he’s been back: quiet excellence.

Blue Jays 3, Rays 2: Joe West and his crew are a joke.  They tossed Joe Maddon after the ump got together and reversed West’s safe call on a tag play at first by Adam Lind on Sam Fuld, calling him out. Except they had it right the first time. The rest of the game was characterized by a crappy strike zone and multiple ejections when people complained about it. Joe Maddon on Twitter after the game:  “If ever a play screamed for instant replay we saw it at first base in the 7th inning tonight. I think Joe West got it right the first time.” Watch Maddon get fined now while West gets … nothing.  But not everything sucked in this game. Check out this relay throw by Yunel Escobar and plate block by Jose Molina. Mercy.

Giants 2, Mets 0: The Giants discover that you don’t have to fix your offensive woes when Tim Lincecum takes the hill and shuts out the opposition for seven innings while striking out 12. If there was any doubt that Bruce Bochy wanted this one badly it was put to rest when he used four relievers to pitch the final two innings, with three of them getting to retire one batter each and Brian Wilson taking the entire ninth.

Phillies 7, Nationals 4: Vance Worley: the fifth ace. In his second start, Worley allows one over six innings, brining his total to one run allowed in 12 innings on the year.

Pirates 7, Padres 4: Kevin Correia sat in the lotus position and vowed revenge before this game. “For what, Kevin?” asked Clint Hurdle before the game. “You left them via free agency. It’s not like they did you dirty or anything.”  Correia trained an intense look on his manager and then slowly walked away, a lonely pan flute playing in the distance. He knew what he must do (6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER).  As far as revenge goes it was rather mediocre, but a win is a win. Or so said Correia’s sensei before their final battle, which each knew had to end in the death of the vanquished.

For the uninitiated in the ways of And That Happened, now would be a good time to let you know that as the season wears on I find it harder and harder to find interesting things to say about kind of blah teams like the Pirates and Padres, so I go off on these sorts of flights of fancy. Which is to say that, no, I have no real proof that Kevin Corriea killed his sensei. It’s just what a lot of people are saying is all.

Tigers 4, Yankees 0: Max Scherzer blanks the Yankees for eight innings and someone woke Magglio Ordonez up to hit a two-run homer. Derek Jeter leaves with a sore hip. If I were in the situation Jeter’s in I’d probably be happy to have a sore hip right now.

Orioles 3, Royals 2: Luke Scott went two for three with two walks. So he says.

Twins 3, White Sox 2:  The White Sox have lost 17 of 21 games. And I picked them to win the Central. Good thing I’m not a betting man.

Cubs 5, Dodgers 1: Carlos Zambrano gave up one run on five hits over eight innings. And boy, did the Cubs look spiffy in their throwbacks doing it. Check out those socks.  An off-day for Andre Ethier as his elbow is wonky, so the hitting streak counter remains at 29.

Reds 3, Astros 2: I hit this one up yesterday. If the Astros’ closer continues to be Lyon, Astros fans will be dyin’.

Angels 5, Red Sox 3: Two and a half hours of rain delays plus a five hour, thirteen inning game that ended at 2:45 AM? That ended with Daisuke Matsuzaka pitching in relief and giving up a two-run RBI single to Bobby Abreu? Plus a 1:35 PM start today?  Oh yeah!

Rockies 6, Diamondbacks 4: Chris Ianetta had a two-run homer. His line on the year is weird: .188/.388/.453.  Not many hits — 12 — but he has made the most of them, with eight going for extra bases.

Marlins 8, Cardinals 7: A two-run homer from Mike Stanton in the ninth broke a 6-6 tie. He hit it off an Eduardo Sanchez fastball. This a night after Sanchez dusted Stanton with sliders in a key ninth inning matchup. Hey Eduardo: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Rangers 5, Mariners 2: C.J. Wilson totally handcuffed Seattle, pitching a complete game and striking out 12.

Athletics 3, Indians 1: David DeJesus hadn’t hit any homers all year. In this one he hit two. Overall the A’s only had four hits, but it was enough to stand up for Trevor Cahill, who gave up one run on five hits over seven innings.

The Astros gave the Yankees an opening. Keuchel and Verlander will try to close the door.

Associated Press
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If Game 4 of the ALCS had been even remotely conventional, it’d stand at 3-1 in favor of Houston right now. The Yankees’ starter pitched well but got no run support. A mighty Astros team with an ordinarily good closer in Ken Giles had a 4-0 lead in the late innings. As the Yankees set out to mount a comeback, a base runner fell down in between first and second and should’ve been dead to rights. This is playoff baseball, however, so stuff, as they say, happens. The runner was safe, the closer struggled, the Yankees rallied and now we’re tied 2-2.

But are we even at 2-2?

On paper, no, because the Astros now will send Dallas Keuchel and Justin Verlander out in Games 5 and 6, and that gives them a clear advantage. Keuchel dominated the Yankees in Game 1, tossing seven scoreless innings and striking out ten batters. Verlander struck out 13 batters in a 124-pitch complete game in which he allowed only a single run. Beyond the mere facts of the box scores, however, the Yankees have looked profoundly overmatched by both of the Astros’ aces, in this postseason and on other occasions on which they’ve faced off against them. Most notably in the 2015 wild-card game at Yankee Stadium when Keuchel pitched six scoreless innings in the 3-0 victory.

But remember: stuff happens.

Stuff like Aaron Judge‘s and Gary Sanchez‘s bats waking up. The two most important sluggers in the Bombers lineup combined to go 3-for-6 with two doubles, a homer, a walk and five RBI in last night’s victory. Each of them had been silent for the first three games of the series but if they’re heating up, the Yankees will be a lot harder to pitch to.

Stuff like Masahiro Tanaka showing that he can tame the Astros’ lineup. Which he did pretty well in Game 1, giving up only two runs on four hits in six innings. He was overshadowed by Keuchel in that game, but it was a good performance against a strong lineup in a hostile environment. Tanaka pitches much better at Yankee Stadium than he does on the road, so don’t for a second think that the Astros bats will have an easy time of it today.

Stuff like the Yankees bullpen still being the Yankees bullpen. Yes, the Astros got to David Robertson yesterday, but it’s still a strong, strong group that gives the Yankees a clear advantage if the game is close late or if they hold a lead.

All of which is to say that we have ourselves a series, friends. While, 48 hours ago, it seemed like we were on our way to an Astros coronation, the Yankees have shown up in a major way in Games 3 and 4. If you’re an Astros fan you should feel pretty confident with Keuchel and Verlander heading into action over the next two games, but we have learned that absolutely nothing is guaranteed in the postseason.