Toronto Blue Jays' Bautista watches his homerun off Minnesota Twins' Hoey during their American League baseball game in Minneapolis

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights


Blue Jays 11, Twins 3:  Jose Bautista is not a man. He’s a machine. A Terminator. A Cyberdyne Systems Model 101. Not a robot. A cyborg. A cybernetic organism (3 for 5 3 HR, 4 RBI).

Braves 3, Phillies 2: The second straight complete game loss for Roy Halladay.  How the Braves manage to take two of three from the Phillies on successive weekends and then drop two of three to Washington in the middle of that is beyond me.

Reds 9, Cardinals 7: Just when it started feeling like the Cardinals were going to give themselves some breathing room in the division, they come in to Cincinnati and get themselves swept. But the Reds can’t be totally happy because they had yet another horrific outing from Aroldis Chapman. Coming in with a seven-run lead in the ninth inning, Chapman walked four of the five batters he faced, forcing Dusty Baker to use arms he never would have had to, opening the door for a little plunking/fracas action and allowing the Cards to make a game of it. Time for a time-out for Chapman.

Brewers 9, Pirates 6: We all have cities that are our kryptonite, I suppose. Mine in Cincinnati. Nothing good has ever happened to me either personally or professionally in Cincinnati and I’d sooner spend a weekend in Hell than have to do accomplish something important in the Queen City because at this point the place is in my head. Same goes for the Pirates and Milwaukee, where the Brewers have taken 33 of the last 36 meetings between these two. In this one Zack Greinke was good until the fifth when he hit a wall and have up five runs, but Ryan Braun homered, tripled and drove in four and his buddies drove in five more to bail Greinke out and give him the win.

Padres 8, Rockies 2:  Mat Latos snaps his 10-game losing streak and the Padres continue to pile on the runs in a far above average fashion for anyone, but in a damn nigh astonishing fashion for the San Diego Padres.

White Sox 4, Athletics 3: Trevor Cahill loses his first game. Two of the four runs he allowed were unearned, but they were unearned because of his own throwing error, so clearly they should not be charged to him at all.

Mets 7, Astros 4: Justin Turner homered and drove in five which was not something a lot of people making prop bets in the sports book made money on yesterday, I’d imagine.  Carlos Beltran sat out Saturday with some eye problems but was back yesterday. His quote: “I woke up this morning and I could see clear. I came to the ballpark and went to the cage to make sure I saw the ball good.”  Jeez, all of this “I, I, I, eye” stuff with him. It’s all about Beltran. So, so selfish.

Rangers 5, Angels 4: Chris Davis hit a homer and drove in the go-ahead-for-good run with an eighth inning single. Texas takes two of three from the Angels and now sit a half game back.

Orioles 9, Rays 3: J.J. Hardy hit a grand slam and the O’s take their fifth game in their last six. Sam Fuld left the game in the seventh inning with a cut to his lip that required some stitches. You shoulda seen the other guy.

Nationals 8, Marlins 4: Jason Marquis got the win and hit a two-run double. He said this of his hitting after the game: “”It can help you win ballgames. It can help make two-run games, four-run games and make it a little easier.”  Next start: Marquis will work on subtraction and multiplication. Pfun Pfact: last weekend the Nats took two of three from Florida in Miami, this weekend the Marlins took two of three in D.C.

Diamondbacks 4, Dodgers 1: Ian Kennedy remains hot. On the heels of his tough loss to the Giants in which he pitched eight shutout innings, Kennedy gets the W this time, allowing one run on four hits in six innings while striking out eight. Back to back homers in the second by Xavier Nady and Ryan Roberts were all the support he needed, though he got one more on a sac fly.

Red Sox 7, Yankees 5: The sweep, and the Sox are at .500. In other news, with a bunch of walks, home runs, pitching changes, an it-would-only-be-a-big-story-if-it-happened-in-New York-or-Boston drama, and three hours and forty-one minutes to play a nine inning game, this was one of the more Red Sox-Yankees games you’ll ever see.

Gians vs. Cubs; Royals vs. Tigers; Mariners vs. Indians: POSTPONED: Many people don’t realize this, but the official record keeper of Major League Baseball keeps highly-detailed records of the specific types of rain that postpone games. So far he has two hundred and thirty-one different types of rain entered in his little book, and he doesn’t like any of them.

Indeed, just since this season has started, he’s noted that baseball has been canceled due to type 33 (light picking drizzle which made the roads slippery), 39 (heavy spotting), 47 to 51 (vertical light drizzle through to sharply slanting light to moderate drizzle freshening), 87 and 88 (two finely distinguished varieties of vertical torrential downpour), 100 (postdownpour squalling, cold), all the sea-storm types between 192 and 213 at once, 123, 124, 126, 127 (mild and intermediate cold gusting, regular and syncopated press box-drumming), 11 (breezy droplets), and, yesterday, his least favorite of all, 17.

And as the season progresses on, the rain clouds drag down the sky after him for, though he does not know it, the official record keeper of Major League Baseball is a Rain God.  All he knows is that his working days are miserable and that he has a succession of lousy ballgames.  All the clouds know is that they love him and want to be near him, to cherish him and to water him.

The Mets break out the whuppin’ sticks, rout the Dodgers 13-7

Cespedes d'Arnaud

So often in life the anticipation of something outpaces its reality. For Mets fans tonight, it was the exact opposite. They had a grand old time. The Mets broke out the lumber and overwhelmed the Dodgers 13-4 to take a 2-1 lead in NLDS.

So much of that anticipation was about revenge, really. Hitting Chase Utley if he was in the lineup, perhaps, or at the very least sending some sort of retaliatory message the Dodgers’ way in response to Utley breaking Ruben Tejada‘s leg on Saturday. But with Utley out of the lineup — and the notion that base runners matter a whole heck of a lot in a playoff game — Matt Harvey just set out to pitch, not plunk. And Mets hitters set out to beat the living heck out of Brett Anderson and a couple Dodgers relievers. Living well is the best revenge, and for a major league team, winning baseball games is living well.

It didn’t start out so well for Harvey, as Yasmani Grandal singled in two runs in the top of the second with a third run scoring on a Curtis Granderson error on the same play. It was 3-0 Dodgers early and Mets’ fans sphincters’ clenched. But only momentarily.

The Mets came right back in the bottom of the second with four runs with a Travis d'Arnaud single and a bases-loaded, bases-clearing double from Curtis Granderson. In the next inning d’Arnaud hit a two-run shot. In the fourth Daniel Murphy singled in a run and Yoenis Cespedes hit a three-run bomb to left to make it 10-3. The Dodgers got one back in the top of the seventh but New York scored three more of their own in the bottom half. It was never a ballgame after the third inning.

Brett Anderson was the author of the damage through three, Alex Wood gave up the four runs in the fourth and hung on in the fifth in what became mop-up duty. Harvey was done after five and took the win. He wasn’t necessarily sharp, but he did strike out seven and was good enough. Some late damage from the Dodgers, including a three-run homer in the ninth from Howie Kendrick, was too little, too late. Granderson and d’Arnaud did the damage for New York, driving in five and three runs, respectively.

Once the competitive portion of this game was over, the Mets’ crowd turned to more important matters. Chanting things like “We want Utley!” Don Mattingly didn’t give him to ’em, probably because there was no downside to smacking him after the game got out of hand. But no upside either. Because of that stuff about living well, remember?

Now it’s on Clayton Kershaw to save the Dodgers from elimination [looks at watch] tonight, technically. If he doesn’t, his detractors will write another page in their Big Book of Clayton Kershaw Playoff Failures. If he does, we get a Game 5 back in Los Angeles.

Maybe Chase Utley gets into one of those.

Jake Arrieta beatable, but still unbeaten

Jake Arrieta
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Jake Arrieta gave up as many earned runs Monday against the Cardinals as he had in his previous 13 starts combined, yet the Cubs still won 8-6.

It’s the 15th straight time the Cubs have won a game started by Arrieta, who is set to finish first or second in the Cy Young balloting announced next month. Their last loss in an Arrieta-pitched game was when the Phillies’ Cole Hamels no-hit them on July 25. They won the previous four before that, too, so make it 19 of 20.

The outing could go down as Arrieta’s last of the season, though that would require the Cardinals beating the Cubs in back-to-back games to finish the NLDS. The more likely scenario at this point is that Arrieta starts Game 1 of the NLCS against the Dodgers or Mets.

Arrieta, though, was vulnerable in this one, turning in his shortest start since June. Even in the shutout of Pittsburgh in the wild card game, the Pirates had chances in the middle innings (most notably before Starling Marte‘s well-hit grounder with the bases loaded turned into a double play in the sixth).

Tonight, he walked two in a row at one point, after not walking a single batter in his previous three starts. He gave up his first homer in six starts. The wind was a factor in tonight’s eight-homer barrage, but Jason Heyward‘s two-run shot off Arrieta went against the grain in left-center.

So, if nothing else, the illusion of impenetrability is now gone. Arrieta can be gotten to, if primarily in short bursts. That’s not going to do anything for the Cardinals — at least not unless Arrieta is called on to pitch an inning or two in Game 5 — but it’ll probably come into play later in the postseason.

Ding-Dong! The Cubbies ride homers to a 2-1 series lead

Jorge Soler

The wind was blowing out of Wrigley Field on Monday night, but mostly for the home team. Makes you think that maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t all about the wind.

The Cubs hit six homers off of Cardinals pitching, one each from each of the first six batters in their lineup. Three of them came against Michael Wacha, who Mike Matheny inexplicably let bat for himself in the top of the fifth and take the hill in the bottom of the fifth and on to a third time through the Cubs’ order. He was shaky as it was, and quickly put a runner on and then allowed a two-run homer to Kris Bryant to make it 4-2. One batter later Kevin Siegrist came in and let Anthony Rizzo take him VERY deep to right field to make it 5-2.

Jason Heyward made it interesting in the top of the sixth with a two run shot to make it a one-run game but then Jorge Soler hit a two run shot in the bottom half and Dexter Fowler hit one in the eighth to make it 8-4. You can’t trade solo shots for multiple two-run jobs. You wanna get the Cardinals? Here’s how you get ’em. They pull a knife, you pull a gun. They send one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue! They hit a solo homer, you hit a bunch of two-run shots. That’s the Chicago way, and that’s how you get the Cardinals!

Not that the Cardinals didn’t do a lot. They scored four runs in five and a third against Jake Arrieta, who hadn’t been damaged like that since June 16. But five Cubs relievers held mostly firm. You tell me before the game that they got to Arrieta like that and I tell you they won. But nope.

Now it’s 2-1 Cubs in a best of five. They go tomorrow with Jason Hammel and try to eliminate the Cards. Who had best figure out how to counter the Cubs’ power.