Max Scherzer

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights


If I missed something important in one of these it’s because I was less plugged-in than usual yesterday. My daughter Mookie had her dance recital. Both ballet and jazz, which required me to sit through two (2)  separate shows. I kid you not: four hours of sitting in an auditorium to watch eight minutes of my eight year-old daughter dancing. But hey, to make up for it I paid over $1,500 for dance tuition in the past year, plus tickets to both shows at $25 a pop, plus costumes and everything else. I swear, I can’t dance a lick, but I’m tempted to open up a ballet studio, because it’s a license to print money.

Of course, even if it’s not always pretty, I do it anyway because my girl is precious and cute and even as I bitch like crazy about how much I’m gouged for this kind of thing, I still have to fight back proud tears when she does her thing and then hug her tightly and never let go when she’s done.  Let no one doubt my commitment to Sparkle Motion.  Anyway:

Tigers 4, Pirates 3: Max Scherzer struck out 15 in seven innings. See, that’s what he does: gets totally killed for a few starts and then pulls something like this from where the sun don’t shine. His stuff is such that, if everything breaks right one year, he’ll put together some crazy Cy Young season. But in the meantime, erraticville.

Brewers 16, Twins 4: Jonathan Lucroy hit cleanup, homered twice and drove in seven. After the game he said he was comfortable as a cleanup hitter. The Brewers should bat everyone fourth, really.

Red Sox 5, Phillies 1: Josh Beckett continues to not poison the Red Sox with his horrible attitude and personal worthlessness. Shocking. I almost feel like someone was peddling a b.s. narrative in the wake of that tempest in a Boston teapot non-story a couple weeks ago.  Seven and two-thirds of one-run ball for Beckett. A three-run homer for Saltalamacchia.

Athletics 6, Giants 2: Tim Lincecum’s disaster season continues unabated. Beat by Bartolo Colon after giving up four runs in four innings and ending it with an ugly collision while covering the plate on his own wild pitch. Where is Timmy’s mojo?

Mariners 6, Rockies 4: The ninth inning was shaky, but the M’s held on to sweep the Rockies. Jesus Montero and Justin Smoak hit back-to-back homers, Blake Beavan struck out seven.

White Sox 6, Cubs 0: And the South Siders own Chicago for now, sweeping the Cubs. Jake Peavy threw six and a third shutout innings. Adam Dunn hit a homer. Peavy and Dunn. After last year, who knew?

Diamondbacks 2, Royals 0: I called Brandon Beachy “the best pitcher you’ve never heard of” the other day. How about Wade Miley?  After seven shutout innings he’s 5-1 with a 2.14 ERA.

Braves 2, Rays 0: Tim Hudson outduels David Price. His sinker was working and he wore out the infield carpet with 14 groundball outs. I never thought I’d think of Tim Hudson as crafty, but he was crafty. The Braves have won 7 of 10.

Rangers 6, Astros 1: Colby Lewis scoffs at the DH. In addition to allowing one run over eight innings, he went 2 for 4 with an RBI single. Texas scored five in the first inning, ending this one before it really began.

Nationals 9, Orioles 3: More DH-disrespecting: Stephen Strasburg struck out eight in five innings and went 2 for 2 with a homer. He left the game early with tightness in his biceps. Bicepts. Anyone miss Bicepts? He’s bugging me on Twitter to let him back in the comments. Said he would only comment in ATH and wouldn’t wade into other threads. I’m kinda skeptical, but you guys can offer your views. It’s not a democracy. I’m gonna make up my own mind on this, but your thoughts are welcome.

Mets 6, Blue Jays 5: Mike Baxter singled, doubled, tripled and drove in a run. Ain’t gonna lie: before this game, if you put Mike Baxter in a lineup I wouldn’t have been able to pick him out. I’d be all like, “I can put you in Queens on the night of the hijacking.” And he’d be like “Really? I live in Queens. Did you put that together yourself, Einstein? What, do you got a team of monkeys working around the clock on this?”

Reds 5, Yankees 2: The Yankees have lost five of six and Aroldis Chapman is now the Reds’ closer, which means he’s further ensconced in the bullpen what with the fancy label and all.  Gosh, there are days I wake up and think I don’t understand baseball anymore.

Padres 3, Angels 2: Clayton Richard pinch hit and was running the bases when he scored the winning run in the 13th, but that’s OK because Howie Kendrick was playing left field. No one was doing what they were supposed to do. Least of all the Padres, who were taking two of three from the Angels.

Marlins 5, Indians 3: Josh Johnson allowed one run over seven. Everyone who bought high on Derek Lowe following that shutout he threw last week saw him pitch well but still got the loss. Hey, he’s Derek Lowe, you can only ask so much.

Dodgers 6, Cardinals 5: I’m supposed to be a professional baseball writer with a national focus and I had no idea that Andy Van Slyke’s kid was in the bigs? God, sometimes I feel like I shouldn’t get out of bed in the morning. Scott Andyson (see what I did there?) hit a pinch-hit three-run homer in the seventh to snatch victory from what, for much of the evening, looked like the jaws of defeat for the Dodgers.

Kyle Schwarber is the feel-good story of the 2016 postseason

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 26:  Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Chicago Cubs reacts after hitting an RBI single to score Ben Zobrist #18 (not pictured) during the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Two of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on October 26, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
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Most baseball fans and even the Cubs had resigned themselves to most likely not seeing Kyle Schwarber in game action until spring training next year after he suffered a gruesome knee injury in a collision with teammate Dexter Fowler back in early April. Schwarber suffered a fully-torn ACL and LCL in his left leg.

To the surprise of everyone, including manager Joe Maddon, Schwarber was cleared by doctors to play if the Cubs wanted to put him on the World Series roster. So they did. And, boy, are they glad they did it. In preparation, Schwarber saw over 1,000 pitches from machines and pitchers in the Arizona Fall League.

Schwarber essentially crammed for the final exam and unlike most students who do it, it has panned out well thus far. No one was expecting him to look outstanding against Indians ace Corey Kluber in Game 1, but in his first at-bat — his first in the majors since suffering the injury in April — Schwarber worked a 3-1 count before eventually being retired on strikes. Schwarber came back up in the fourth and drilled a Kluber sinker to right field for a two-out double.

In the seventh inning, facing one of the American League’s two scariest left-handed relievers in Andrew Miller, Schwarber worked a full count before drawing a walk. During the regular season, Miller walked exactly one lefty batter. Schwarber made it two. Schwarber would face Miller again in the eighth, going ahead 2-1 before ultimately striking out. He finished 1-for-3 with a walk and a double in the Cubs’ 6-0 loss. Considering the circumstances, that’s amazing.

Schwarber continued his great approach in Game 2 in what turned out to be a 5-1 victory. He struck out against Trevor Bauer in the first inning, but returned to the batter’s box in the third inning and singled up the middle to knock in the Cubs’ second run. Schwarber made it 3-0 in the fifth when he singled up the middle again, this time off of Bryan Shaw, to make it 3-0. Facing Danny Salazar in the sixth, Schwarber drew a four-pitch walk to put runners on first and second base with two outs. Finally, he struck out against Dan Otero in his eighth-inning at-bat, finishing the evening 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI singles and a walk.

But now, as the Cubs return to Chicago for World Series Games 3, 4, and 5 at Wrigley Field, they have to contest with National League rules, a.k.a. no DH. Will Maddon risk Schwarber’s subpar defense to put his dangerous bat in the lineup? Even if Schwarber is not put in the starting lineup, he can at least serve as a dangerous bat off the bench late in the game when the Indians send out their trio of relievers in Shaw, Miller, and closer Cody Allen. At any rate, what Schwarber has done already in the first two games of the World Series is mighty impressive.

Jake Arrieta flirts with no-hitter, pitches Cubs past Indians 5-1 in World Series Game 2

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 26:  Jake Arrieta #49 of the Chicago Cubs throws a pitch during the first inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Two of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on October 26, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gene Puskar - Pool/Getty Images)
Gene Puskar - Pool/Getty Images

Cubs starter Jake Arrieta pitched into the sixth inning before allowing his first hit. Behind his strong performance, the Cubs were able to take down the Indians 5-1 in Game 2 of the World Series to even things up at one game apiece.

Unlike their Game 1 performance against Corey Kluber, the Cubs’ offense was ready early. Kris Bryant singled with one out in the first inning against Indians starter Trevor Bauer and promptly scored when Anthony Rizzo drilled a double down the right field line. The Cubs would score again in the third with a two-out rally as Rizzo walked, then Ben Zobrist and Kyle Schwarber hit consecutive singles to center field, plating one run to make it 2-0.

With Zach McAllister returning to the mound for the fifth after relieving Bauer in the fourth, he walked Rizzo, then gave up a triple to Zobrist. The Cubs continued to press their foot on the gas, with Schwarber hitting another RBI single. After Jason Kipnis committed a fielding error on a Willson Contreras grounder — what should’ve been the final out of the inning — McAllister walked Jorge Soler to load the bases, then walked Addison Russell to force in a run, pushing the Cubs’ lead to 5-0.

Arrieta had a first-inning scare, issuing back-to-back two-out walks, but he escaped the jam and seemed to be on cruise control until the sixth inning. He got Carlos Santana to fly out to lead off the sixth, continuing his no-hit bid, but Kipnis broke it up with a double to right field. After getting Francisco Lindor to ground out, pushing Kipnis to third base, Arrieta uncorked a wild pitch, helping the Indians score their first run of the game. Arrieta then served up a single to Mike Napoli, which proved to be the end of the line. Manager Joe Maddon came out to replace him with lefty Mike Montgomery. Montgomery ended the bottom of the sixth by inducing a weak ground out from Jose Ramirez.

Montgomery struck out the first two batters he faced in the seventh, then got into a bit of hot water by yielding a single to Brandon Guyer, then walking Game 1 hero Roberto Perez. Carlos Santana, however, struck out to end what would be the Indians’ last real chance to get back in the ballgame.

Montgomery remained in the game in the bottom of the eighth. He struck out Kipnis, got Lindor to ground out, then gave up a line drive single to Napoli before Maddon pulled the plug. Closer Aroldis Chapman entered to face Ramirez. As expected, Chapman got Ramirez to whiff on a fastball to send the game to the ninth.

In the bottom of the ninth, Chapman fanned Rajai Davis and got Coco Crisp to ground out for two quick outs. He walked Guyer on five pitches but ended the game as rain drizzled onto Progressive Field by getting Perez to ground out to shortstop.

The World Series is now headed back to Wrigley Field. The two clubs will enjoy a day off on Thursday to travel. Game Three will be played at 8:00 PM EDT on Friday. The Indians will send Josh Tomlin to the hill while the Cubs will counter with Kyle Hendricks.