Minnesota Twins v Texas Rangers

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights


Rangers 20, Twins 6:  A lot of people will probably make a football joke here like “heh, Texas missed the extra point and held Minnesota to two field goals!”  That’s hacky.  Try this: in the first five innings the Rangers scored like so:  3 3 3 5 4. Or, birdie, par, birdie, par, par! Lol! Hilarious, right!  Seriously, though, we done with that “watch out for Minnesota” talk yet?

Padres 5, Phillies 4: You don’t see a guy steal home very often. I guess that’s what you get when you lollygag the ball to first base. You don’t see the Padres beat the Phillies very often either, but Aaron Harang continued his nice run and that’s just what happened.

Indians 3, Angels 2: True story: if “Cowboys vs. Aliens” makes good money at the box office, they’re gonna greenlight its sequel, “Indians vs. Angels.”  Though I’m guessin’ people might protest that one based on the title alone. And Dan Haren should probably protest his offense and his bullpen after they combined to render his 10K, 1 ER performance moot.

Mets 4, Reds 2: Jason Isringhausen and the Mets defense made it a bit interesting in the ninth, but Brandon Phillips struck out with the bases loaded to end it.

Yankees 10, Mariners 3: Sixteen straight. How bad is it? They even allowed Derek Jeter to hit a homer and drive in three.

Pirates 3, Braves 1: I probably deserve this for calling Pittsburgh smoke and mirrors in yesterday’s Power Rankings. I still believe it, though, so don’t get too much satisfaction there, Cruel Fate.

White Sox 6, Tigers 3: Chicago, who at times has looked like a train wreck this year, is now only three and a half back of Detroit. Man the AL Central is nuts.

Cardinals 10, Astros 5: Yadier Molina is on fire. He homered for his third straight game and — though we’re not supposed to say it lest we reveal our ignorance of the commonality of the event — he was a triple short of the cycle.

Athletics 7, Rays 5: Oakland continues to score some runs and get some breaks. Here they come back from a 5-2 deficit to win it. Pity none of that happened earlier this season, because they’re back more than a dozen.

Royals 3, Red Sox 1: Tied at one in the 14th, the Royals pulled an accidental squeeze play when Eric Hosmer and Jeff Francoeur both broke on a Mike Aviles bunt attempt. Hey, whatever works. Tons of missed opportunities for the Red Sox who threatened often in extra innings but couldn’t cash anything in.

Dodgers 8, Rockies 5: L.A. took an 8-1 lead into the ninth and had thoughts of frittering it away. In the end, though, they only gave up four runs to the Rockies before closing it down. But hey, unexpected save for Jay Guerra. And that’s all that really matters.

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.

Pirates’ Nick Leyva selected as senior advisor of baseball ops

BRADENTON, FL - FEBRUARY 17:  Coach Nick Leyva #16 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a photo during photo day at Pirate City on February 17, 2013 in Bradenton, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
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Former first base and infield coach Nick Leyva was promoted to senior advisor of baseball operations on Saturday, per a report by Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The Pirates also fired third base coach Rick Sofield, with no named successor as of yet.

Leyva joined the Pirates’ organization in the 2011 offseason as a third base coach under manager Clint Hurdle. He shifted to his role as the first base coach and infield coach in 2014, when first base coach Rick Sofield was reassigned to third base prior to the 2015 season. According to Biertempfel, the swap was made in order to optimize the team’s baserunning strategies, all of which appeared to fall flat during the 2015 and 2016 seasons:

The results this season were awful. The Pirates ranked 13th in the National League with a minus-7.0 BsR — a FanGraphs.com metric that measures how many runs above or below league average a team gets via its baserunning.

In 2013 and 2014, the Pirates had one of the top five BsR ratings in the NL. In 2015, they were seventh with a 2.8 BsR.

This season, the Pirates made the second-most outs at third base in the league and were last in taking extra bases on singles and doubles. Their baserunners went from first to third base on hits a league-low 63 times.

Sofield, in particular, highlighted the Pirates’ poor baserunning choices in games like this one, when he sent Sean Rodriguez home too early during the last vestige of a ninth inning rally against the Phillies.

Following the announcement, Pirates’ GM Neal Huntington issued a statement elaborating on Leyva’s role within the organization:

We have great respect and appreciation for both men. We thank them for their time and effort as part of our Major League team and the Pirates organization. It was a difficult decision, but we felt it was the right time to make this change on our Major League staff. We look forward to Nick’s continued impact in his future role with the Pirates. Nick has held nearly every coaching position at the major league level and at the minor league level, including Major League manager, in his extensive career and will be a quality mentor for our minor league managers, coaches and players.