Chris Young celebrates solo home run against the Milwaukee Brewers in Phoenix

Chris Young powers Diamondbacks past Brewers and into Game 5

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Three of the four Divisional Series are going the distance, as the Diamondbacks topped the Brewers 10-6 on Wednesday night to create a decisive Game 5 on Friday.

Both starters lasted exactly three innings in this offensive showcase.  Randy Wolf was pulled for a pinch-hitter in the top of the fourth having given up seven runs, and Joe Saunders was hit for in the bottom of the fourth having allowed three.

Micah Owings, who pitched scoreless fourth and fifth innings, was credited with the victory.

Ryan Roberts and Chris Young led the way for Arizona’s offense.  Roberts hit a grand slam in the bottom of the first, and Young immediately followed with the first of his two homers on the night.  Aaron Hill also homered for Arizona, and Paul Goldschmidt, Tuesday’s hero, went 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored.

Milwaukee’s lone homer came off the bat of the much-maligned Carlos Gomez.  Gomez, who didn’t even have an at-bat in the first three games of the series, also singled in his start over Nyjer Morgan.

Yuniesky Betancourt went 3-for-4 for the Brewers.  Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder both had lone doubles in four at-bats.

After combining to score 38 runs the last three games, the Diamondbacks and Brewers will get their aces back on the mound Friday in Milwaukee. Ian Kennedy and Yovani Gallardo are set for a rematch of the Game 1 that the Brewers claimed 4-1.

Notes

– If the Diamondbacks can come all of the way back, they’d be the first team since the 2003 Red Sox (vs. Oakland) to win a best-of-five after going down 0-2.

– The Diamondbacks are just the second team ever to hit grand slams in consecutive postseason games (Goldschmidt had one Wednesday). The 1977 Dodgers were the first.

– Young now has three homers in the series and five in 11 career postseason games. He has an extremely impressive .333/.458/.769 line in 39 at-bats overall in October.

– His two-homer game was the first in Arizona’s postseason history.

– Diamondbacks phenom Jarrod Parker struggled in his postseason debut. A somewhat surprising addition to the roster after just one regular-season appearance, he gave up one run and retired only one of the four hitters he faced in the sixth inning tonight.

– Arizona left fielder Gerardo Parra went hitless again, leaving him 0-for-15 with six strikeouts in the series. The Diamondbacks could make a change there in Game 5, perhaps going to Collin Cowgill in his place. Cowgill delivered a two-run single as a pinch-hitter tonight.

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)
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.