Los Angeles Dodgers v Philadelphia Phillies

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights


Phillies 3, Dodgers 1: Cliff Lee hadn’t been looking like Cliff Lee lately. In this one, he looked like Cliff Lee (7 IP, 7 H, 0 ER, 10K).  Dee Gordon made his major league debut. He was inserted as a pinch runner in the ninth inning, took third on a single and then scored the Dodgers’ only run on a fielder’s choice.

White Sox 3, Mariners 1: Not many guys have out-pitched Michael Pineda this season, but John Danks did (7.1 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 6K), snagging his first win of the year in the process.

Twins 6, Indians 4: Scott Baker didn’t look like he’d make it out of the first inning, but he settled down. That’s five wins in a row for the Twins. Five losses in a row for the Indians.

Orioles 4, Athletics 2: The Athletics would kill for their losing streak to be as short as five. This one was the seventh straight loss for Oakland. And they lost Mark Ellis to a hamstring strain in the sixth inning, though given how he’s been hitting, they may not notice his loss.

Reds 8, Cubs 2: Things continue to careen out of control for the Cubbies, who also lost their seventh straight. Matt Garza and reliever Jeff Samardzija each got lit up. Jonny Gomes drove in four.

Brewers 7, Marlins 2: Hey, the Feesh didn’t lose a one-run game!  Zack Greinke continues to round into form (7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER) and Prince Fielder drove in four. The Brewers, by the way, have won 13 of 16 games.

Tigers 13, Rangers 7: Colby Lewis didn’t have a lick of nothin’ (3.1 IP, 10 H, 9 ER and 4 — count ’em — 4 home runs).  Brennan Boesch had two of those homers, went 5 for 6 and drove in 5, making him the official RBI whore of the night.  Question: are we tired of that yet? I think we may be tired of it.

Giants 5, Nationals 4: Tim Lincecum needed five strikeouts to reach 1,000 for his career. He got exactly five, though he was not at his sharpest last night, allowing four runs in five innings. San Francisco rallied in the eighth to tie it, however, and Freddy Sanchez’s RBI single won it in the bottom of the 13th.

Rockies 3, Padres 0: Your standard six-pitcher combined shutout for Colorado.

Rays 5, Angels 1: Justin Ruggiano hit homer and drove in three and David Price took a shutout into the eighth inning. Ruggiano wouldn’t have even been playing — it was only his fourth start of the year — if there hadn’t been a bug going through the Rays’ clubhouse.

Royals 3, Blue Jays 2: Eric Hosmer hit a game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the 11th. I have this feeling we’ll hear more about this game soon, as Joe Posnanski — who is moving away from Kansas City — was taking in his last Royals game as a local and said he’d write a post about it. I’m sure his rendering will be better than anything I can spew about it at 5:30 in the morning.

The Cubs clinch World Series berth with NLCS Game 6 win

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 22:  The Chicago Cubs celebrate defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-0 in game six of the National League Championship Series to advance to the World Series against the Cleveland Indians at Wrigley Field on October 22, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
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After 71 years, the Cubs are headed back to the Fall Classic.

The dominance with which Clayton Kershaw attacked the Cubs in Game 2 of the NLCS was nonexistent in Game 6 as the Dodgers’ ace loaded the bases to start the first inning and scattered five extra bases and five runs over five frames. By the time Dave Roberts pulled his starter in the sixth inning, Kershaw was sitting on a Game Score of 33, the lowest he’s mustered since the start of the 2015 season. Only one of his strikes came via curveball, and whether he was having difficulty locating his off-speed stuff or felt more confident with the fastball-slider combo, it was the fewest curves he’d seen land for strikes all year (per David Adler).

Where the Dodgers were able to give Kershaw the edge in Game 2, they found themselves powerless against opposing hurler Kyle Hendricks. Hendricks turned out 7 1/3 scoreless frames with two hits and six strikeouts, preserving the Cubs’ second shutout of the postseason and the first since they bested the Giants in Game 1 of the NLDS. After his 1-0 loss to the Dodgers early in the NLCS, seeing the MLB ERA leader turn out a gem was a relief for the Cubs, especially one as spectacular as an 88-pitch two-hitter.

With Hendricks effectively stymieing the Dodgers’ best attempts to get on base, the Cubs played to their strengths at the plate. Kris Bryant and Ben Zobrist cleared the bases in the first inning for a two-run lead, followed by a Dexter Fowler RBI single in the second. Willson Contreras came through in the fourth inning for the Cubs, lifting an 87 m.p.h. slider to left field for his first home run of October, while Anthony Rizzo hit his second homer of the postseason on a 1-1 fastball in the fifth.

Neither bullpen allowed a single run from the sixth inning onward. Dodgers’ right-hander Kenley Jansen took the ball from Kershaw in the sixth, scattering four strikeouts over three innings and denying the Cubs so much as a single baserunner through the end of the game. Aroldis Chapman, meanwhile, issued just one walk in 1 1/3 scoreless frames, inducing a Yasiel Puig double play to clinch the Cubs’ 17th franchise pennant.

With the win, the Cubs will face off against the Indians in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday at 8 PM EDT. And, in case you needed a reminder:

Video: Willson Contreras blasts first postseason home run off of Kershaw

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 22:  Willson Contreras #40 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates after hitting a solo home run in the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during game six of the National League Championship Series at Wrigley Field on October 22, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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So much for Clayton Kershaw posing a threat tonight. The Cubs got their knocks in early and often against the Dodgers’ ace during Game 6 of the NLCS, racking up three runs in the first three innings before rookie catcher Willson Contreras unleashed his first postseason home run in the bottom of the fourth inning.

According to MLB.com’s Phil Rogers, Contreras became the 10th Cub to homer in the 2016 playoffs, following big hits by Addison Russell, Anthony Rizzo, Dexter Fowler, Miguel Montero, David Ross, Jake Arrieta, Kris Bryant, Travis Wood, and Javier Baez. Of the ten home run hitters, Contreras joins catchers David Ross and Miguel Montero as yet another backstop capable of driving the long ball (and, less importantly, as another player capable of a sweet, sweet bat flip).

Rizzo, whose last homer was a deep drive to right field off of Los Angeles right-hander Pedro Baez in Game 4 of the NLCS, piled on Kershaw’s five-run outing with another home run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Kershaw called it a night after five frames, and the Cubs currently lead the Dodgers 5-0 in the sixth inning.