Jack McKeon

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights


Marlins 5, Angels 2: The Feesh win! How they did it while allowing 13 hits is something you’d have to ask the Angels, who went 1 for 15 with runners in scoring position. Mike Stanton was 3 for 4 with 2 RBI and Hanley Ramirez had a multi-hit game himself.

Brewers 5, Rays 1: Zack Greinke struck out ten dudes over seven innings and the Brewers are back in first place. Why? ….

Phillies 10, Cardinals 2: That’s why. Placido Polanco was hit by a pitch with the bases juiced to kick off a nine-run rally in the eighth inning. And get this: Philly didn’t have one extra base hit in the game. They walked nine times, however.

Athletics 7, Mets 3: Oakland is streaky. They take their sixth in a row, and they seem to credit their gold jerseys as good luck charms. But hey, winning ugly is still winning. Like the Cardinals, the Mets issued nine free passes.

Nationals 6, Mariners 5: Doug Fister threw eight innings of three-hit ball, but the M’s bullpen totally woofed it away. A three run homer for Wilson Ramos capped a five-run ninth inning rally. Oy.

Twins 9, Giants 2: An eight run first inning for Minnesota. It seems like we’ve had a lot of games with those kinds of early big innings lately, ending things before they start.

Dodgers 6, Tigers 1: Three wins in a row for L.A., who must be like vampires who feed off of negative vibes from the front office. Matt Kemp stole his 20th base, putting him the 20/20 club on June 21st, which is kind of cool.

Braves 5, Blues Jays 1: On Monday night, Ricky Romero sort of kind of called his offense out for not scoring runs. Then, before this game, manager John Farrell had Romero talk to the team about his comments behind closed doors. I presume there was some level of apology at play.  After this game, though, you think Romero can issue a retraction on that apology? Mike Minor tied the Jays’ bats up for seven innings, striking out eight.

Diamondbacks 7, Royals 2: Wily Mo Pena hit a home run that left Missouri air space and violated multiple international treaties during its flight. He also struck out twice, which is pretty much Wily Mo Pena in a nutshell. Joe Saunders pitched seven strong for the Dbacks.

White Sox 3, Cubs 2: Paul Konerko hits yet another homer, the fifth straight game in which he has done so.  In other news, the gods apparently did not approve of something going on in Chicago and brought down their wrath during the game.

Rangers 5, Astros 4: Mitch Moreland with a walkoff homer in the 11th, which came just before giant storms hit Arlington. Man, the gods were pissed off at something last night, huh?

Padres 5, Red Sox 4: Oh, and the devil must have been around too. My evidence: David Ortiz had to have made a deal with him to have stolen a base. Less devilishly, Anthony Rizzo — he who, among others, was traded for Adrian Gonzalez — hit a bases loaded groundout in the seventh that plated the go-ahead run. So that has to feel nice for Padres fans.

Pirates 9, Orioles 3: The Pirates’ win was pretty cool, but nowhere near as cool as their 1971 throwbacks. The Orioles’ ’71 duds were pretty cool too. I, for one, like and miss the cartoon bird.

Rockies 4, Indians 3: Cleveland was held hitless into the sixth but clawed back from a 3-0 hole. But two homers for Seth Smith, the second of which came in the ninth inning to snap the tie as a storm approached, carried the day.

Yankees vs. Reds: POSTPONED: Kentucky rain keeps pouring down. And up ahead’s another town that I’ll go walking through, with the rain in my shoes, searchin for you … In the cold Kentucky rain.  Well, Kentucky is right across the river from Cincinnati, so I guess it’s close enough.

Report: Justin Turner and Kenley Jansen could return to the Dodgers in 2017

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 22:  Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers warms up prior to game six of the National League Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on October 22, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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With their 2016 season and 11-game playoff run in the books, the Dodgers are refocusing their attention on the upcoming 2017 season. Two outstanding performers, third baseman Justin Turner and right-handed closer Kenley Jansen, are on the cusp of free agency heading into the offseason. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Dodgers intend to make qualifying offers to both Turner and Jansen, but may not be prepared to go the distance to keep both of them on the 2017 roster.

Turner finished his third season in Los Angeles with a .275/.339/.493 batting line and a career-best 27 home runs, riding a hot streak that made him one of the most productive players on the Dodgers’ squad this October. He started in all 11 games of the NLDS and NLCS, engineering a .286 average and two home runs — one of which was the difference-maker in a 4-3 win during Game 1 of the NLDS. His glove has become a much-needed asset within the Dodgers’ organization as well, as he currently ranks sixth among qualified third basemen with seven Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and second with a 14.1 Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) in 2016.

While Turner’s production rate suggests that he’s made a full recovery from the microfracture procedure he underwent in 2015, the Dodgers appear to have reservations about the 31-year-old’s age. Heyman indicated that the veteran infielder prefers to stay in Los Angeles, but the chances of the Dodgers jumping into a fierce bidding war appear to be low for the time being.

Jansen, on the other hand, is expected to incur more interest from the club. The right-hander commanded a 1.83 ERA and 9.45 K/BB rate through 68 2/3 innings in the regular season and was instrumental in closing the door on five wins during the postseason. His 3.2 fWAR performance in 2016 made him the most valuable reliever in the major leagues, eclipsing fellow standouts like the Indians’ Andrew Miller and the Cubs’ Aroldis Chapman. Assuming the Dodgers are as serious about retaining Jansen as they were about pursuing Chapman during the 2015 offseason, the 29-year-old closer should stand a decent chance of returning to Los Angeles for another season.

Should the Dodgers fail to match an offer levied to either Turner or Jansen, they’ll receive compensation in the form of unprotected draft picks.

The Cubs’ NLCS finish was one for the history books

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 22:  Chicago Cubs fans hold a sign after the Chicago Cubs defeated 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 Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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The Cubs obliterated the Dodgers in Game 6 of the NLCS, riding nine shutout innings to their first pennant win since 1945. Here’s what you should know about their historic finish:

  • By virtue of the Cubs’ 71-year World Series drought, Jon Lester and Javier Baez became the club’s first and only postseason MVPs in franchise history. The World Series MVP award was first distributed in 1955, while the NLCS MVP awards have been issued since 1977.
  • Lester and Baez are also the first co-MVPs of the Championship Series since the 1990 Reds celebrated left-hander Randy Myers and right-hander Rob “Nasty Boy” Dibble following the team’s ninth pennant win (per MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch).
  • Anthony Rizzo’s fifth inning solo shot in Game 6 tied him with Miguel Cabrera, Alex Gonzalez, and Kyle Schwarber for the most postseason homers hit at Wrigley Field, with three (per Comcast SportsNet’s Christopher Kamka).
  • Rizzo and Willson Contreras’ home runs were the first Clayton Kershaw had given up in the playoffs since Game 4 of the 2015 NLDS. The twin blasts also accounted for a fifth of the total home runs Kershaw had given up in 2016.
  • Clayton Kershaw’s Game Score of 33 was not only the lowest the left-hander had put up since the start of the 2015 season, but the lowest the Cubs had seen from an opposing pitcher in the postseason since 1989. During Game 4 of the 1989 NLCS, Giants’ right-hander Scott Garrelts pitched 4 2/3 innings with eight hits, four runs, and two homers en route to a 6-4 loss and a 33 Game Score.
  • By contrast, Kyle Hendricks’ Game Score of 86 was the third-highest among Cubs’ postseason starters, ranking just below Jake Arrieta’s 11-strikeout complete game during the 2015 wild card tiebreaker and Orval Overall’s three-hitter in Game 5 of the 1908 World Series.
  • The last major league season to feature an ERA leader on the Cubs’ roster was 1945, also the last season in which the Cubs rode to the World Series. In 2016, the MLB ERA leader is Game 6 winner Kyle Hendricks (2.13 ERA); in ‘45, it was left-hander Ray Prim (2.40 ERA), who capped a dominant year with a loss against the Tigers in Game 4 of the World Series and blown save in Game 6.
  • Not to be overlooked in the lefty’s gem on Saturday night: Hendricks and Aroldis Chapman combined to face the minimum number of batters, at 27. According to MLB Stat of the Day, only the 1956 Yankees had also faced the minimum batters in a postseason game, though they did it with just a bit more panache.
  • With Kris Bryant, Willson Contreras, Albert Almora Jr., Javier Baez, and Addison Russell penciled into the lineup, the Cubs became the first MLB team to utilize five starters under 25 years old to clinch the NLCS (also via MLB Stat of the Day).
  • If you want to talk postseason drought, the Cubs-Indians World Series will set a precedent for combined championship-less streaks, at 174 years between the two clubs (per ESPN Stats & Info).
  • Speaking of unpleasant streaks, there’s this: with the Dodgers’ loss in the NLCS, they’ve now gone to the postseason four consecutive times without participating in a World Series showdown. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, that’s a first in major league history.