137th Kentucky Derby

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights


Yankees 6, Red Sox 2; Red Sox 7, Yankees 4: Early game: when you get beat by a strong outing from A.J. Burnett and a big homer from Jorge Posada, maybe the universe is trying to tell you something, Red Sox. Late Game: Wowzers. Jacoby Ellsbury is getting all the glory — as he should — but let’s not overlook the fantastic job the Sox pen did in that game. Jonathan Papelbon went way past his usual allotment.  Franklin Morales and Felix Doubront likewise came up big. Boston retains a one-game lead in the wild card.

Rays 5, Blue Jays 2: Tampa Bay takes two of three from Toronto as the Red Sox falter. All Rays runs came on homers, including an inside-the-parker for Ben Zobrist.

Nationals 3, Braves 0: OF COURSE the Nats took two of three from the Braves. There have been less certain things than that carved into stone by ancient civilizations possessing Oracles of Seeing. Ross Detwiler shut ’em out for six innings and the bullpen did the rest.

Cardinals 3, Cubs 2: OF COURSE the Cubs blew a lead in two of three games to the Cardinals. There have been less certain things than that done by the Nationals to the Braves. Late homers for Yadier Molina and Rafael Furcal pull the Cardinals to within a game of Atlanta with three to play.

Diamondbacks 5, Giants 2: Talk about an F-U series. The Dbacks didn’t need these games at all — they had clinched — and then they sweep the Giants anyway. Cold, man. Ice water. Assassin-like.

Tigers 10, Orioles 6: Miguel Cabrera went 2 for 3 with a homer and a couple of RBI. He could still win the batting title and has an OPS of 1.025. But he can’t be mentioned as an MVP candidate — no sir! — because to do so would ruin the whole “Justin Verlander is a one-man gang” narrative with which everyone seems so smitten.

Phillies 9, Mets 4: Philly breaks a nine-game losing streak. You guys can now immediately go from “we’re doomed!” back to “we’re the best team evah!”

Dodgers 6, Padres 2: Matt Kemp’s 1 for 5 didn’t help his triple crown case, but hey, the win is what is important. Wait. Not at this point of the season it isn’t. Damn.

Brewers 9, Marlins 5: Ryan Braun went 2 for 3 with a homer. But to hear Milwaukee fans tell it — when they’re denigrating Matt Kemp’s MVP case — that homer shouldn’t count. I mean, after all, since the Brewers have already clinched, that game was meaningless, right?

Athletics 6, Angels 5: Just wasn’t meant to be for the Angels this year. Blowing leads of 3-0 and 5-2 in the eighth and ninth innings would probably have hurt more if they were another game or two closer. Now they need both Tampa Bay and the Red Sox to get swept in the season’s final series. Not bloody likely.

Rangers 12, Mariners 5: Anyone besides me hoping against hope for a Rangers-Tigers ALCS?  Seems like the two best clubs goin’ right now.  Yorvit Torrealba hit two homers, one of which was a grand slam.

Reds 5, Pirates 4: Dontrelle Willis wins his first game of the year. He also doubled in two runs. Perhaps he can build on this into his next … oh, wait.

Royals 2, White Sox 1: Luis Mendoza allowed one run over seven and two-thirds.

Twins 6, Indians 4: All kinds of guys I’ve never heard of and most of us will not hear much about again any time soon figured in this one. Rene Tosoni with a big homer in tenth which stood up as the game-winner. Kyle Waldrop got the win in relief. Hunter McKenzie had a nifty defensive play to help send it to extra innings. One of those three was made up. I bet without looking most of you couldn’t say which one it was.

Rockies 19, Astros 3: Take comfort, Atlanta! Houston looks primed to give the Cardinals a big fight in the season’s final series! Oy. Two homers for Kevin Kouzmanoff. Five RBI a piece for him and Chris Ianetta.

The Cubs clinch World Series berth with NLCS Game 6 win

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 22:  The Chicago Cubs celebrate defeating 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 Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
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After 71 years, the Cubs are headed back to the Fall Classic.

The dominance with which Clayton Kershaw attacked the Cubs in Game 2 of the NLCS was nonexistent in Game 6 as the Dodgers’ ace loaded the bases to start the first inning and scattered five extra bases and five runs over five frames. By the time Dave Roberts pulled his starter in the sixth inning, Kershaw was sitting on a Game Score of 33, the lowest he’s mustered since the start of the 2015 season. Only one of his strikes came via curveball, and whether he was having difficulty locating his off-speed stuff or felt more confident with the fastball-slider combo, it was the fewest curves he’d seen land for strikes all year (per David Adler).

Where the Dodgers were able to give Kershaw the edge in Game 2, they found themselves powerless against opposing hurler Kyle Hendricks. Hendricks turned out 7 1/3 scoreless frames with two hits and six strikeouts, preserving the Cubs’ second shutout of the postseason and the first since they bested the Giants in Game 1 of the NLDS. After his 1-0 loss to the Dodgers early in the NLCS, seeing the MLB ERA leader turn out a gem was a relief for the Cubs, especially one as spectacular as an 88-pitch two-hitter.

With Hendricks effectively stymieing the Dodgers’ best attempts to get on base, the Cubs played to their strengths at the plate. Kris Bryant and Ben Zobrist cleared the bases in the first inning for a two-run lead, followed by a Dexter Fowler RBI single in the second. Willson Contreras came through in the fourth inning for the Cubs, lifting an 87 m.p.h. slider to left field for his first home run of October, while Anthony Rizzo hit his second homer of the postseason on a 1-1 fastball in the fifth.

Neither bullpen allowed a single run from the sixth inning onward. Dodgers’ right-hander Kenley Jansen took the ball from Kershaw in the sixth, scattering four strikeouts over three innings and denying the Cubs so much as a single baserunner through the end of the game. Aroldis Chapman, meanwhile, issued just one walk in 1 1/3 scoreless frames, inducing a Yasiel Puig double play to clinch the Cubs’ 17th franchise pennant.

With the win, the Cubs will face off against the Indians in Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday at 8 PM EDT. And, in case you needed a reminder:

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)
Getty Images

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.