Wes Helms

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights


Marlins 1, Giants 0: Anibal Sanchez with the shutout and Ryan Vogelsong took a tough loss.  And at the risk of being a big jerk here, am I crazy for thinking that the articles about the Giants that have taken on a tone of mourning over the Posey injury are a bit much? It sucks. It’s awful. You have to love a young talent like Buster Posey and it’s not at all cool to see him get knocked out for the season.  But the “it was tough for Vogelsong to take the mound” and the “with the home fans stunned and grieving” rebop is laying it on a bit thick. It’s sports. Injuries like this happen several times a year. I don’t recall anyone talking about “mourning” Kendrys Morales’ injury last year. Or Jorge De La Rosa’s. Or Stephen Strasburg’s. Please move past this, people …somehow.

Cubs 9, Mets 3: As mentioned yesterday, R.A. Dickey left this one with an injury. No word on whether there will be any rules changes about how pitchers cover first base on a grounder to the right side in the wake of all of this. For the Cubs, Carlos Zambrano pitched six strong innings and went 3 for 3 with a double and an RBI on a cold day in Chicago.

Red Sox 14, Tigers 1: I don’t know about rules changes for barreling over catchers or rules changes for covering the bag, but I do know this: pretty soon we’re going to have to change the rules for Red Sox games. Like, institute the mercy rule or something. Second game in a row with two touchdowns for the Bosox.

Athletics 4, Angels 3: You have a problem with authority, Mr. Anderson. You believe you are special, that somehow the rules do not apply to you.  Well, when you pitch eight shutout innings, you probably have a case for that.

Phillies 10, Reds 4: In a day game after a 19 inning game the night before, you have to figure that the team who can get the most out of their starting pitcher is gonna be the team that prevails. Done and done, with Cliff Lee going eight for the Fightins and Homer Bailey leaving after four with shoulder wonkiness for the Reds. Raul Ibanez continues his May rebound by going 2 for 5 with a homer and three RBI.

Orioles 6, Royals 5: That’s five straight wins for Baltimore, this one coming on a Vlad Guerrero RBI in the 12th. Vlad has hit in 11 straight games, and is at .354/.400/.476 for the month. The bigger hero here, though, was Nolan Reimold, who had four hits, two of which were homers, and four RBI.

Juan Pierre 3, Blue Jays 1: Juan Pierre drove in two runs and the third White Sox run scored on the same play as his second RBI single by virtue of a throwing error. Jose Bautista’s slugging percentage slipped below .800. Gee, I sure hope he’s OK.

Diamondbacks 6, Rockies 3: Miguel Montero drove in three and Micah Owings got his first win in over a year. The Diamonbacks have won nine of ten and are a mere 1.5 games out of first place. If you say you saw this coming, please stop lying.

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.