Minnesota Twins v New York Yankees

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights


Twins 6, Yankees 5: Justin Morneau hit two homers. That’s four homers in six games, which hopefully means that Morneau is back to his mashing ways. Jason Marquis, who missed most of spring training when his daughter was seriously injured in a bicycle accident, made his first ever start in Yankee Stadium and got the win with his daughter — now healthy — looking on.

Rockies 8, Padres 4: Chase Headley had two homers too, though they were in a losing effort. Still count, though. It says so right there in the rules.

Cardinals 11, Reds 1: The Cards’ bats continue to go nuts, touching Matt Latos for eight runs in five and two-thirds. Carlos Beltran and Tyler Greene homered. Jaime Garcia, in addition to handcuffing the Reds, tripled in a couple of runs. This was Adam Wainwright’s reaction to it. I think the Cardinals are having fun.

Rangers 6, Red Sox 3: Mike Napoli hit a two-run homer — his fourth bomb in three games — and drove in four. Bobby Valentine got booed when he made a pitching change in the eighth. Kevin Youkilis hit a home run, but his heart wasn’t in it, I hear.

Marlins 9, Cubs 1: Miami racked up 14 hits including a dinger from Hanley Ramirez, his third in as many games. Four straight losses for the Cubs.

Nationals 3, Astros 2: Three Astros relievers combined to walk three Nationals and allow two runs in the eighth inning. One of them was on a bases loaded walk to Jayson Werth. Washington pitching was good again, but they only struck out four in nine innings. Dudes: we’re used to K Street here, not 6-3 street, OK?

White Sox 8, Orioles 1: Jake Peavy and Adam Dunn have, at various times over the past year or so, looked like they had giant forks sticking out of their backs. Last night Peavy pitched seven strong innings and Dunn doubled in three runs to break it open late and walked a couple of times.

Pirates 2, Diamondbacks 1: Pittsburgh started the west coast swing poorly but finished strong. Pedro Alvarez hit a homer and, as the game story noted, “he raised his batting average 32 points to .074.” Good times.

Rays 12, Blue Jays 2: Four homers for the Rays including a Luke Scott grand slam. He asked the official scorer to only grant him three RBI for it because even numbers are socialist.

Braves 14, Mets 6: Atlanta knocked R.A. Dickey out early and kept piling on runs. This with Chipper Jones and Brian McCann out of the lineup (though Jones did pinch hit, doubling in a run and scoring). The offensive outburst overshadowed a poor outing by Jair Jurrjens, who couldn’t make it to the fifth inning.  His performance this season has thus far been … worrisome.

Tigers 4, Royals 3: I could tell you all about what went down here, but I’ll just note that Prince Fielder stole a friggin’ base and let you pick the pieces of your mind up off the floor for the remainder of the morning.

Brewers 3, Dodgers 2: A walkoff sacrifice fly for Ryan Braun in the 10th. More impressive: Zack Greinke hit a double. Him and Jaime Garcia: making the case against the DH last night.

Giants 1, Phillies 0: Holy crap. Cliff Lee threw ten shutout innings and got a no decision. That’s because Matt Cain threw nine shutout innings and three Giants relievers combined for a tenth and eleventh while Melky Cabrera singled home Brandon Belt in the Giants’ half of the eleventh inning for the win. More on this one later this morning.

Athletics 6, Angels 0: Meanwhile Bartolo Colon shut the Angels out on four hits over eight innings himself. Yoenis Cespedes hit a three-run homer. The Angels are kinda reeling, yes?

Mariners 4, Indians 1: Jason Vargas was on it, striking out seven in seven innings in front of the smallest crowd in Safeco Field history (11,343). Apparently seeing Eric Wedge’s old team come to town is not a big deal to some people. The Indians’ four-game winning streak comes to an end.

There’s no one to blame in Yankees’ loss

Joe Girardi

You’re going to boo All-Star Brett Gardner for striking out against a Cy Young contender?

You’re going to bash Alex Rodriguez for going hitless in another postseason game, three years after his last one?

Maybe you’d prefer to put it all on Masahiro Tanaka for giving up two solo homers to a lineup full of 20-homer guys?

The truth is that the Yankees were supposed to lose tonight. They were facing an outstanding left-hander with their forever-lefty-heavy lineup, and they simply didn’t have anyone pitching like an ace to set themselves up nicely for a one-game, winner-take-all showdown. The 3-0 result… well, that’s how this was supposed to go down.

It didn’t necessarily mean it would; what fun would it be if the better team always won? And the Astros might not even be a better team than the Yankees. However, the Astros with Dallas Keuchel on the mound were certainly a better team than the Yankees with whoever they picked to throw.

I just don’t see where it’s worth putting any blame tonight. Joe Girardi? He could have started John Ryan Murphy over Brian McCann against the tough lefty, but he wasn’t willing to risk Tanaka losing his comfort zone by using a backup catcher.

The front office could have added more talent, perhaps outbidding the Blue Jays for David Price or the Royals for Johnny Cueto, and set themselves up better for the postseason. However, that would have cost them Luis Severino and/or Greg Bird, both of whom went on to play key roles as the Yankees secured the wild card. Would it really have been worth it? I don’t think so.

Tanaka gave the Yankees what they should have expected. Had Keuchel’s stuff been a little off on short rest, Tanaka’s performance would have kept the Yankees in the game.

Keuchel, though, was on his game from the first pitch. The Astros bullpen might have been a bit more vulnerable, and late at-bats from Gardner, Carlos Beltran, Rodriguez and McCann definitely left something to be desired. Still, on the whole, the lack of offense was quite a team effort.

The Yankees got beat by a better team tonight.  I’m not sure the Astros would have been better in Games 2-7 in a longer series, but they had everything in their favor in this one.

Keuchel, Astros cruise past Yankees in AL Wild Card Game

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Dallas Keuchel faced the Yankees two times during the regular season and was fantastic in each outing, striking out 12 in a complete-game shutout on June 25 and whiffing nine batters over seven scoreless frames on August 25.

The 2015 Cy  Young Award candidate continued that trend in Tuesday night’s American League Wild Card Game, limiting the Yankees to three hits and one walk over six innings of scoreless ball as the Astros earned a 3-0 win and advanced to a best-of-five ALDS with the top-seeded Royals.

Keuchel was working on three days of rest but didn’t show very many signs of fatigue, whiffing seven and needing only 87 pitches to get through six. He sure looked like he could have gone an inning longer, but Astros manager A.J. Hinch decided to turn the game over to his bullpen and they added three more big zeroes to the scoreboard at a very loud then very boo-heavy Yankee Stadium. Tony Sipp worked around some early jitters to throw a scoreless seventh, Will Harris kept the Yankees off the bases entirely in a scoreless eighth, and closer Luke Gregerson went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth.

Impending free agent outfielder Colby Rasmus provided the first burst of offense for the Astros in the top of the second inning with a leadoff homer against Masahiro Tanaka. And then deadline acquisition Carlos Gomez, who missed a bunch of time down the stretch with an intercostal strain, got to Tanaka for another solo shot in the top of the fourth. Houston scored its third run on a Jose Altuve RBI single in the top of the seventh.

This is a young, talented Astros team with an ace at the head of its rotation.

Kansas City could have a problem.