Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Cleveland Indians

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights


Angels 3, Indians 1: The no hitter for Ervin Santana.  We told the story as it happened yesterday, broke out some analysis of it a bit thereafter and threw on some perspective a bit after that.  Most notable: man, I had no idea that the game started at noon, so it was the sixth inning before I even knew it was going on yesterday. Made for a very quick ramp-up to the no-no.

Braves 2, Pirates 1: Because what these two teams needed after an emotional 19-inning affair was extra innings.  At least it wasn’t a ton of extra innings. David Ross mercifully ended it with an RBI single in the tenth. There were, to my knowledge anyway, no calls in this game which could be described as “criminal” or “the worst call I’ve ever seen in baseball history.” Although, the fact that Clint Hurdle just managed two nail-biter extra-inning games in a row without once calling on his All-Star reliever Joel Hanrahan is some sort of offense against God and Nature.

Mariners 9, Yankees 2: We hit this one up yesterday as well. The losing streak, she is over. Which is kind of sad for me because (a) I’m not a Mariners fan; and (b) there is a certain beauty to be found in life’s extremes. Mere mediocrity, which the Mariners now hope to embody for a while, is rather dull.

White Sox 2, Tigers 1: Even though I do this for a living, I never portray myself as some kind of baseball expert. I know a good deal about baseball, but many of you know far more. I fancy myself a pretty good writer when I bother to be careful about it. I think I’m a credible observer of human behavior. I’ve been told that I have a somewhat above average wit. By themselves, those traits don’t count for much, but put them together and you have yourself a damn good blogger if I may say so. But no, I’m not going to claim that I’m some baseball savant.  Which is why I have no problem admitting that I had never once heard the name Alejandro De Aza before he hit the two-run homer that proved to be all the runs the Sox would need yesterday.

Mets 8, Reds 2: Who needs Carlos Beltran? Lucas Duda played right and he hit a homer. More useful: David Wright’s three-run homer and four runs batted in overall. A complete game for Mike Pelfrey.

Giants 2, Phillies 1: Pitcher’s duel. Well, every game is technically a pitcher’s duel, only in most games the pitchers really suck at dueling. Here Matt Cain and Cole Hamels each had a handle on things, but Cain had a bit of a tighter grip. Only struck out one dude, though, which is always weird.

Blue Jays 3, Orioles 0: Ricky Romero didn’t get the shutout, but he did pitch eight and a third shutout innings to grab the win.  You don’t get to finish when you uncork a wild one on strike three and then hit a dude in the ninth inning of a close game.

Red Sox 12, Royals 5:  After scoring only once in that 14-inning game on Monday, the Sox hung a quarter-hundred on the Royals over the course of the next two nights.  Bruce Chen was absolutely muderlized: 4 IP, 10 H, 10 ER.

Marlins 7, Nationals 5: Steve Cishek did his best to make it interesting by allowing four runs in the ninth, but the Feesh held on. In other news, I have a friend in Washington — a non-baseball fan — who is going on an office outing to see the Nats-Marlins matinee this afternoon.  She asked me who to watch for. I told her to bring a book.

Brewers 2, Cubs 0: Zack Greinke shut ’em out for six and two-thirds and the pen took them the rest of the way. Rickie Weeks’ ankle injury was a big downer, though.

Rockies 3, Dodgers 1: The Rockies avoid the sweep thanks to a nice outing by Aaron Cook. Hiroki Kuroda pitched for L.A. Maybe for the last time if the trade rumors are to be believed.

Diamondbacks 4, Padres 3: Justin Upton hit two homers. One of them was fueled by anger because Corey Luebke quick pitched him, which my unwritten rule book clearly states is frowned upon. Look, it’s clearly unwritten right here in white and white on invisible page 38: “pitchers shall wait until hitters are ready for the pitch before delivering said pitch.”

Athletics 13, Rays 4: Two teams heading in very different directions. Hideki Matsui and Ryan Sweeney hit homers in the fourth inning — part of a nine-run fourth inning — for the offensive juggernaut Oakland Athletics. Seventeen hits in all, with every starter having at least one. Five runs batted in for Matsui.

Twins 7, Rangers 2: Brian Duensing allowed only one run is six and two-thirds. Bigger news: Joe Mauer hit a homer. An actual home run. First one since last September.

Astros 4, Cardinals 2: And the curse of Colby Rasmus begins.

A fan was attacked, injured outside Dodger Stadium on Friday

Dodger Stadium


The Los Angeles Times reports that there was a fight in the parking lot outside of Dodger Stadium on Friday night that put a fan in critical condition. The fight occurred following the Dodgers Game 1 loss to the Mets when an argument between fans escalated. It is unclear whether the fight was between fans of the rival teams.

Of course fan-in-fan violence is nothing new to Dodger Stadium and everyone recalls the Opening Day 2011 attack of Giants fan Bryan Stow which left him severely injured and brain damaged.

Here’s hoping the hospitalized fan recovers quickly.

Playoff Reset: The Cards and Dodgers have their backs against the wall

Clayton Kershaw

Historically speaking, the Cardinals and Dodgers are the class of the National League. A couple of organizations which have won a ton, have had a lot of classy alpha-types running their respective shows over the years, no shortage of glory, no shortage of history and enough evocative and grand footage in the can to make Ken Burns sepia with envy.

Meanwhile, the Cubs and Mets, while they’ve won some and have some wonderful history too, are far better known for their failures. For dubious achievements and fan bases which have, collectively, spent far more time smacking their own foreheads than high-fiving the guy in the seat next to them. Nevertheless, by the time we go to bed tonight it’s quite possible that the classy organizations with the long resumes of winning baseball will have been eliminated by the sad sacks and that we’re going to be treated to a Mets-Cubs NLCS.

In short: today’s NLDS contests are “the big game” sequences in any late-70s-mid-90s “slobs vs. snobs” comedy movie. Camp Mohawk vs. Camp Northstar. Lane Meyer vs. Roy Stalin skiing the K-12. Thornton Mellon vs. Chas in the diving meet. Once these things are over don’t be surprised to see someone on the Mets or Cubs kissing some girl way out of their league and to be asking yourself, “wait, why are there cheerleaders at a diving meet?”

Of course baseball isn’t as scripted as all of that and William Zabka is, according to IMDb, in pre-production on some Civil War project, so he can’t make it. I have no idea what that’s about. I can only assume he’s playing some stuck-up Confederate General who will lose to Curtis Armstrong’s disheveled Union general in The Big Battle, after which we cut to credits over some tossed-off Dave Edmunds song he wrote for the soundtrack just for the money.

Which is to say: we have to watch these games to see what happens:

The Game: St. Louis Cardinals vs. Chicago Cubs
The Time: 4:37 p.m. ET
The Place: Wrigley Field
The Channel: TBS
The Starters: John Lackey vs. Jason Hammel
The Upshot: Wow, those were a lot of dingers given up by Michael Wacha and his friends last night, huh? The good news is that they’re running Lackey out there this afternoon and Lackey has owned the Cubs of late, going 3-0 with a 0.93 ERA in four starts against them, including his gem in Game 1 on Friday night. The bad news: even a half dozen recent starts aren’t great predictively speaking, and Lackey is on short rest. TBS will show highlights of Lackey pitching on short rest in the 2002 World Series today, but think about what you were doing in 2002 and whether you’d be just as good at it today as then. Hammel has the ball for the Cubs. He has not fared well against the Cardinals this season (5.37 ERA) but the same small sample stuff applies.

Injuries could be a key consideration here, as Addison Russell may be on the shelf for the Cubs following his hamstring tweak in last night’s game. Likewise Yadier Molina left early, apparently having aggravated his thumb injury. Otherwise: wear a helmet if you’re in the Bleachers at Wrigley this afternoon. Balls may be flying out your way.

The Game: Los Angels Dodgers vs. New York Mets
The Time: 8:07 p.m. ET
The Place: Citi Field
The Channel: TBS
The Starters: Clayton Kershaw vs. Steven Matz
The Upshot: The Clayton Kershaw Legacy Game. It’s not fair to Kershaw that, after eight years of completely dominating Major League Baseball people will deem him worthy or unworthy of, well, whatever, based on his 10th postseason start, but they will. If he falters today on short rest, with no reliable bullpen to bail him out, people will call him some sort of choke artist. If he dominates he’ll be considered redeemed, though he’s never been a guy in need of redemption. I don’t care much for that game, but it’s inevitable it will be played so let’s just silently roll our eyes and go with it. The Mets may have a bigger question mark on the mound in Steven Matz, who hasn’t pitched in a couple of weeks thanks to a tweak in his back in the last week of the season.

This should feel like a totally different game. The Utley drama has to subside now, especially given that he’s unlikely to get the start against a tough lefty. And that tough lefty is, with all due respect, no Brett Anderson. You can bet against Clayton Kershaw and win, but it’s not the sort of thing I’d make a habit of.

In any event, the Cubs and Mets should play this on a loop in the Clubhouse before today’s games. Because . . . it just doesn’t matter!

Yoenis Cespedes and his bat flip say good morning

Yoenis Cespedes

It was a late night last night. Especially for old farts like me. I turned on my TV at 12:30 yesterday afternoon and there was baseball on it for just about 12 hours straight. Not too shabby unless you happen to root for the Astros, Rangers, Cardinals or Dodgers. Oh well, today is another day. Or tomorrow if today is a travel day.

In the meantime, we have Yoenis Cespedes to keep us happy, alert and occupied. Again, unless you’re a Dodgers fan. Of course, if you are a Dodgers fan you got absolutely no right to be upset at a bat flip following a homer. And if I catch you complaining, you’re getting a time out.