Jayson Werth

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Nats 5, Cubs 4: Jayson Werth was getting booed like crazy — especially when he struck out with two outs and the bases loaded in the seventh — but then he unexpectedly steals third base in the 10th inning and subsequently scores on a wild pitch, winning the ballgame, and the cheers rained down. His postgame quote is the sort of thing that’s gonna come back on him, I think, be it for good or for ill: “Cheer me, boo me, whatever. I’m still going to go out there and play my game.”

Diamondbacks 8, Brewers 6: Oh, Milwaukee’s bullpen, you are giving Wisconsin a sad. I mean, no Shaun Marcum was no great shakes — at least on the mound; he hit a grand slam — but no one called after him could do anything to stop the bleeding. Seventeen hits for the snakes.

Pirates 5, Astros 3: I think the most impressive part of all of this is not that the Pirates are winning, but that the fans are certainly responding. Four home sellouts in a row, and this one against the worst team in baseball.  Pirates fans have waited a long time for a good product. But I bet they remember how to support it when it arrives.

Mariners 2, Athletics 1:  Brandon McCarthy returned from the DL, but there wasn’t much doin’ for A’s hitters against Michael Pineda and the M’s pen, which allowed only three hits.

Twins 7, Rays 0: A six-hit shutout for Brian Duensing. A three-run homer for Danny Valencia. A shattered bat went back and hit the home plate umpire too, but he was alright. One of these days someone won’t be alright.

Blue Jays 9, Red Sox 7: John Lackey continues to look utterly lost out there, allowing seven runs in two and a third. Travis Snider hit three doubles and drove in a couple. He must have communed with some sort of mysterious sensei when he was down on his minor league stint.

Padres 5, Giants 2: The Padres got to Lincecum early and, with the exception of a Pablo Sandoval two-run homer, the Giants’ bats had no magic in ’em.

Braves 4, Rockies 1: The last time Atlanta faced Ubaldo Jimenez he no-hit them. This time? Not so much. Can I tell you that this Freddie Freeman kid is starting to grow on me? Two homers for the 21-year-old, who is now hitting .272/.347/.448 on the year.

White Sox 5, Royals 4: Aaron Crow — correction, the All-Star Aaron Crow — commits the walkoff balk. I think that’s the second one this year after the Mets lost one that way to the Braves.

Cardinals 1, Reds 0: Chris Carpenter vs. Johnny Cueto in St. Louis and no one lost their heads. It was a shame that either of them had to lose, though, as both pitchers were fantastic. An RBI infield single for St. Louis was the only run in the game as Carpenter continues to make up for a poor early season. Cueto is only 5-3, but he has a 1.77 ERA on the year.

Indians 6, Yankees 3: It took hitters from both teams a long time to settle in — it was 0-0 when the seventh began with the Yankees being no-hit — but big homers from Austin Kearns and Carlos Santana changed all of that. Derek Jeter went 0 for 4 in his return.

Phillies 1, Marlins 0: I said something in the Power Rankings yesterday about how the Phillies would be doing if they really had four aces. Well heck, Vance Worley has been a reasonable facsimile of one in his last couple of outings. Seven two-hit shutout innings for him in this one.

Angels 5, Tigers 1: The Angels keep rolling, taking their ninth win in 11 games. Homers from Vernon Wells and Torii Hunter.

Mets 5, Dodgers 2: Rubby De La Rosa had a no-hitter going through five, but Angel Pagan, Carlos Beltran and Daniel Murphy each had RBI doubles in the sixth inning.

UPDATE:  Wow, forgot a game! first time I did that this year. Which has to be a record for me, because in past years I did this at least once every couple of weeks. Anyway:

Rangers 13, Orioles 4: Two homers for Mark Reynolds, but that was the only bright spot for the O’s as they’re throttled by Texas. Endy Chavez drove in four, including a two-run homer and a two-run double. Which is rather surprising considering I bet that, among people who have heard of Endy Chavez, 85% of them assumed he was out of baseball.

What’s on Tap: Previewing Thursday’s action

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 16: Starting pitcher J.A. Happ #33 of the Toronto Blue Jays delivers a pitch in the seventh inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on June 16, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
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Did you know J.A. Happ is in the thick of the American League Cy Young Award race? Of all the contenders, he may be the biggest surprise, even ahead of Drew Pomeranz. Happ leads the league with 17 wins and only has three losses to go with it. He’s holding a 3.05 ERA and a 133/44 K/BB ratio in 150 1/3 innings.

It wasn’t all that long ago that Happ was struggling to stay in a starting rotation. In 2011, his first full season with the Astros, he finished with a 5.35 ERA. In 2012, he put up a 4.79 ERA with the ‘stros and Blue Jays. The next year? 4.56 followed by 4.22, both with the Jays. Then, with the Mariners, he continued the mediocrity with a 4.64 ERA before he was traded to the Pirates.

Under the tutelage of Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage, Happ turned his career around. In 11 starts in Pittsburgh, the lefty had a microscopic 1.85 ERA. That came with significant improvements in his strikeout and walk rates. Even the ERA retrodictors like FIP and xFIP, which had so often agreed with his uninspiring ERA’s, agreed that he had thrown like an elite hurler. So that’s how we arrived at J.A. Happ, Cy Young Award contender.

Among AL starters, Happ is fifth-best in ERA behind Cole Hamels, Jose Quintana, Aaron Sanchez, and Steven Wright. However, his 17-3 record is equaled only by Rick Porcello. As there are still a significant number of voters in the Baseball Writers Association of America who consider won-lost record, Happ is sitting in a good position and will be even better if he can cross the coveted 20-win threshold. He’ll get a bit of a boost as well if he can help the Jays return to the postseason for a second consecutive season.

Happ’s Jays will host the hapless — and Happ-less — Angels on Thursday evening. He’ll take on veteran Jered Weaver in a 7:07 PM EDT start.

The rest of Thursday’s action…

Baltimore Orioles (Ubaldo Jimenez) @ Washington Nationals (Max Scherzer), 7:05 PM EDT

Kansas City Royals (Edinson Volquez) @ Miami Marlins (Tom Koehler), 7:10 PM EDT

New York Mets (Seth Lugo) @ St. Louis Cardinals (Adam Wainwright), 7:15 PM EDT

Cleveland Indians (Josh Tomlin) @ Texas Rangers (Cole Hamels), 8:05 PM EDT

Pittsburgh Pirates (Chad Kuhl) @ Milwaukee Brewers (Wily Peralta), 8:10 PM EDT

Seattle Mariners (James Paxton) @ Chicago White Sox (Anthony Ranaudo), 8:10 PM EDT

Atlanta Braves (Matt Wisler) @ Arizona Diamondbacks (Robbie Ray), 9:40 PM EDT

San Francisco Giants (Matt Moore) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (Ross Stripling), 10:10 PM EDT

Let’s play the “how long has it been since the Cubs won the World Series?” game!

1908 Cubs
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It started with a no-good St. Louis Cardinals fan being a troublemaker. That no-good Cardinals fan was Drew Silva, who began things innocently enough, noting that, despite their dominance this season, any team can theoretically beat the Chicago Cubs in a short series because that’s just how baseball goes:

Cubs fans started giving him guff for that, so Drew gave some back:

And with that it was on like Donkey Kong (a super old video game which was not invented for another 73 years after the Cubs last won the World Series). I tweeted this:

And with that, my followers went crazy. Here’s a sampling of some of the best ones:

And, for that matter . . .

Too soon. Unlike the last Cubs World Series title.

Like I said, this was just a sampling. I’ve retweeted a ton more on my timeline and those I didn’t retweet can be seen in the replies here. My favorite one may have been “literally the invention of sliced bread,” which debuted in 1912, but I can’t find that tweet.

Please, Cubs fans, have a sense of humor about this. You have a wonderful ballpark that is not named after a third tier mortgage company, a grand history that is fantastic even if it hasn’t featured any championships and a future that is as bright or brighter than any other team out there. Maybe even come up with some of your own in the comments! History is fun! As is self-deprecation! What I’m saying is don’t be salty about this sort of thing. Salty is a bad look.

In other news, the Morton Salt Company was incorporated in 1910, two years after the Cubs last World Series victory.