And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

19 Comments

Holiday weekends weird me out. Sunday night doesn’t feel like Sunday night so doing the recaps of Sunday games doesn’t feel natural. That’s especially true when Monday is a big honkin’ hardly-anyone-goes-to-work-holiday like today.  Which means it’s a big honkin’ hardly-anyone-reads-the-blog day too.

But there are a few of you out there, I’m sure, who still have to wake up today and would like a forum in which you talk about yesterday’s games, so this is it.  It’s a somewhat abbreviated And That Happened, but it’s better than staring at the wall.  At least I think it is.

Reds 7, Indians 5: The Reds win this one, but Cleveland took five of six in the season series, which means that they now technically own Ohio. At least that’s how I think the terms of the all-Ohio series go. The Cleveland Indians team actually owns, in full, the state of Ohio and all of the real and personal property contained therein, and possess the right to exercise complete and total dominion over it.  At least that’s what Manny Acta told me when he rang my doorbell last night. He then proceeded to sit on the lounge chair in my living room, drink my wine, pet my cat and change all of the recordings on my DVR.  I don’t know that I had the legal right to stop him, so I let him do it.

Mariners 3, Padres 1: San Diego scored two runs in this series. And one of them shouldn’t have even scored thanks to Cameron Maybin’s three-ball walk on Saturday.

Athletics 7, Diamondbacks 2: Scott Sizemore had a homer. That doesn’t happen very often.

Twins 9, Brewers 7: A four-run seventh inning to bring the Twinkies back from behind.

Royals 16, Rockies 8: Melky Cabrera hit two home runs and drove in five, Eric Hosmer hit one homer and drove in four.  If this was the LSAT, you’d then have to answer what the next two players who hit no homers drove in, and then six months from now you’d have a set of scores keeping you from your first choice of law schools, and you’d always wonder what in the hell these little patterny word problems had to do with your legal career.

Rays 8, Cardinals 3: Johnny Damon had three hits and drove in four. Dude is gonna get 3000 hits, isn’t he. And when he does, we’re gonna have a real fun Hall of Fame conversation. My guess is that he won’t make it — and won’t really deserve it — but he’ll be kept out for the wrong reason. Specifically, because he never really had a strong identity with one team. If the bulk of his prime is played on either the Yankees or the Red Sox instead of being split up in a few places, there’s probably a group of people lobbying for him who won’t lobby for him now.  And all the while no one will really grok the fact that, really, he just doesn’t have the credentials.

Mets 3, Yankees 2: The Mets get to Mariano Rivera in the ninth and then Jason Bay comes through with a clutch hit in the 10th. You tell me which of those two things is more improbable.

Blue Jays 7, Phillies 4: Huh. Cliff Lee is mortal. I guess it technically ain’t June anymore, so I’ll chalk it up to that.

Cubs 3, White Sox 1: Rodrigo Lopez had seven shutout innings. Of course, the way things have been going for the Cubs, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they were going to win it.  Aramis Ramirez’s two-run homer took care of the run support, however.

Tigers 6, Giants 3:  The Tigers salvage one against the Giants and then afterwards they fired pitching coach Rick Knapp. This strikes me as a weak move. The Tigers’ defense — which is poor — has an awful lot to do with what’s been going on with the pitching staff. Both Jim Leyland and Dave Dombrowski are in the last years of their contracts, however, so everyone has to look like they’re trying to do something, right?

Red Sox 2, Astros 1: The Sox scored the go-ahead run in the ninth on a bases loaded walk. Josh Beckett struck out 11 in eight innings.

Orioles 5, Braves 4: Five hits for Nick Markakis and homers from Mark Reynolds and Zach Britton — Zach Britton? — yes, Zach Britton. Who needs the DH?

Pirates 10, Nationals 2: Kevin Correia won his 11th game and Andrew McCutchen had three hits.  In the series, McCutchen had nine hits, six of which went for extra bases.

Angels 3, Dodgers 1: Ervin Santana out-pitches Chad Billingsley. A two-run homer for Russell Branyan who, I gotta be honest, I hadn’t realized signed with the Angels. I wish there was some blog out there I could read that would keep me up-to-date on this kind of crap.

Marlins 6, Rangers 4: Three of the Feesh’s runs come in on errors. So there’s that.

Astros push ALCS to Game 7 with 7-1 stunner against Yankees

Getty Images
5 Comments

There’s just something about playing in your home ballpark. The Astros decimated the Yankees at Minute Maid Park on Friday, riding seven scoreless innings from Justin Verlander and a pair of big runs from Jose Altuve to win 7-1 and force a Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.

Through the first four innings, however, the teams looked equally matched. Luis Severino no-hit the Astros through 3 2/3 innings, losing his bid on Carlos Correa‘s line drive single in the fourth. The Astros returned in the fifth to do some real damage, drawing two walks and plating the first run of the night with Brian McCann‘s ground-rule double off of the right field wall. Things didn’t get any easier for Severino. Jose Altuve lined a two-RBI base hit into left field, upping Houston’s advantage to three runs.

Verlander, meanwhile, muted the Yankees’ offense with seven innings of five-hit, eight-strikeout ball. While he didn’t come close to matching his complete game effort in Game 2, he was still plenty dominant against a struggling New York lineup. No player reached past first base until the sixth inning, when a pair of base hits from Chase Headley and Didi Gregorius gave the Yankees their first runner in scoring position. That didn’t last long, though, as Gary Sanchez grounded out on a 3-0 slider to end the inning.

In the seventh, Houston’s ace got into another spot of trouble. He walked Greg Bird on six pitches to start the inning, then plunked Starlin Castro on the wrist. Aaron Hicks struck out, in part thanks to a questionable call by home plate umpire Jim Reynolds, but it was Todd Frazier who presented the biggest threat after returning an 0-1 fastball for a 403-foot fly out to left field. Luckily for Verlander, George Springer was there to bail him out with a leaping catch at the wall.

The Yankees kept things exciting in the eighth, too. Aaron Judge ripped his third postseason home run off of Brad Peacock, taking a 425-footer out to the train in left field to spoil the Astros’ shutout. That was the only real break the Yankees got, however, as Altuve, Alex Bregman and Evan Gattis returned in the bottom of the inning to tack on another four runs, including Altuve’s solo shot off of David Robertson:

Ken Giles handled the ninth, expending 23 pitches and giving up a base hit and a walk before retiring Frazier and Headley to end the game. Thanks to Houston’s winning efforts, the two teams will compete in their first seven-game Championship Series since 2004 — and this time, at least one of them is guaranteed to come away with a win.

Game 7 of the ALCS is set for Saturday at 8:00 PM ET. Houston right-hander Charlie Morton (14-7, 3.62 ERA) is scheduled to face southpaw CC Sabathia (14-5, 3.69 ERA).