And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Braves 10, Cubs 3: Chipper Jones was named to the All-Star team and then went out and put up a 5-for-5, 4 RBI night. Dude even stole a base. Which is nuts considering he was rejected from the leg transplant list as an unsuitable recipient at least five years ago. Of course I talk about him like he’s an doddering old man when he’s just over a year older than me. Either way, glad to see him leaving this game with something still left in the tank, even if the body is rusting a fair amount.

Brewers 13, Marlins 12: Wildness. The Marlins were down 9-2 entering the seventh, came back to tie it at 11 in the eighth and  took a one-run lead in the 10th. Then Aramis Ramirez tore their guts out with a two-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the tenth to walk it off. Of course the game took four hours and twenty-eight minutes, so Rick Reilly probably missed his dinner reservation. Pity.

White Sox 19, Rangers 2: Um, yeah. Let us not dwell only on Roy Oswalt being drawn and quartered to the tune of 11 runs on 13 hits in four and two-thirds. Let us also note that Chris Sale won his 10th game and lowered his ERA to 2.19. Didn’t need 16 runs of that support he got.

Mets 11, Phillies 1: Daniel Murphy and David Wright each drove in four and Jon Niese outdueld Vance Worley. What? I can use the word “outdueled” even if Worley got rocked. Just think of it as a duel between a master swordsman and a fat kid holding a piece of licorice

Rays 7, Yankees 4: Yankees had a 3-0 lead, blew it and lost. But they are in Tropicana Field, and it’s their own personal Hell, so I understand.

Pirates 8, Astros 7: Walkoff for Drew Sutton. The Pirates are eight games over .500 for the first time since 1992. Some of you probably weren’t born in 1992.

Blue Jays 6, Royals 3: Lots of blown leads/big comebacks last night. This one by the Jays, who were down 3-0 and then scored six unanswered runs. Well, unanswered by other runs. I suppose the Royals answered it with a lot of profanity and stuff.

Nationals 9, Giants 3: Remember last time out when we thought Tim Lincecum had finally figured it out? Yeah, turns out that was merely a function of the Dodgers sucking. Last night he was beat up again, allowing eight runs and nine hits in three and a third for one of the worst starts of his career. We gotta ask: is the dude hurt or what? Because this is not natural.

Dodgers 3, Reds 1: Luis Cruz doubled home the go-ahead run in the seventh, took third on the relay throw and then on a squeeze play that wasn’t — Johnny Cueto threw the ball too high for the hitter to make contact — Cruz was credited with a steal of home. Never mind that the throw went skipping to the backstop and could have been a wild pitch, it’s a steal of home because Cruz was running first. I’d say 75% of all steals of home plate don’t really look like we imagine what a steal of home looks like.

Padres 9, Diamondbacks 5: Young Trevor Bauer is highly touted, but if you get beat around by the Padres, you need a little more seasoning. Not that it was all good news for the Padres: Andrew Cashner had to leave after two innings due to a strained side.

Orioles 5, Mariners 4: Robert Andino homered in the top of the ninth to put the O’s over. Wei-Yin Chen was perfect for six and a third innings.

Rockies 3, Cardinals 2: Tyler Colvin is one of the few recent bright spots for Colorado. He’s 24 for 67 his last 18 games with seven homers and 22 RBIs. Last night his three-run blast was all the offense the Rockies needed.

Athletics 3, Red Sox 2: Alfredo Aceves blew a 2-1 lead in the ninth by allowing three singles and a sac fly. The Sox had a chance to pad that lead in the top of the inning but ran their way out of it when Nick Punto popped up a bunt which caused Mike Aviles to get doubled off first and then Ryan Kalish was caught stealing third base. Viva small ball.

Indians 9, Angels 5: Zach McAllister, who I got to see in Columbus earlier this year, so I’m gonna like him, showed some moxie. He was staked to a 4-0 lead, blew it in the fifth and was down 5-4, but regrouped and held on as his teammates scored some more and saved him. Lots of rookies would crumble in that situation.

Twins 8, Tigers 6: Trevor Plouffe and Josh Willingham each hit homers. Those two have been the freakin’ Bash Brothers for Minnesota this year. Good story for the Tigers though: Darin Downs pitched a scoress ninth inning. Downs fractured his skull and suffered brain swelling after getting hit by a line drive while pitching for Tampa Bay’s Double-A team in 2009. Guy could have died, and here he is now in the majors. Pretty incredible.

Matthew Stafford audibles with “Kershaw! Kershaw!”

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Last night the Detroit Lions played the New York Giants. During the game Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford called an audible. The call itself referenced Stafford’s childhood friend and high school baseball teammate, Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. From the Freep:

Matthew Stafford stepped to the line of scrimmage late in the third quarter and surveyed the Giants defense.

With five pass rushers across the front and three Giants cornerbacks showing a press-man look, Stafford looked at his two receivers to the left and invoked the name of his childhood friend, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw.

“Give me Kershaw here, Kershaw,” Stafford said, repeating his friend’s name two more times as he spun around at the line of scrimmage.

The audible did not result in a pick-4 to Aaron Altherr. It called for a run up the middle. And it worked nicely, gaining eight yards.

You may suggest the results of other starting pitcher-themed audibles in the comments. I’ll start: “Harvey! Harvey!” is where the QB fakes a handoff, drops back, looks deep and then his arm falls completely off. Damndest thing.

Matt Harvey has a 13.19 ERA since coming back from the disabled list

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Matt Harvey‘s season was mostly a loss due to extended time on the disabled list. He’s been given a chance, however, to end the season strong and make a case for himself in the Mets’ future plans. Unfortunately, he has been unable to make that case. He was shelled again last night, and his late season opportunity has been a disaster.

Last night Harvey gave up seven runs on 12 hits and struck out only two batters in four innings against a Marlins team that, until facing him anyway, had been reeling. It was his fourth start since going on the shelf in mid-June and in those four starts he’s allowed 21 runs, all earned, on 32 hits in 14.2 innings, for an ERA of 13.19. In that time he’s struck out only eight batters while walking seven. His average fastball velocity, while ticking up slightly in each of his past four starts, is still below 95. Back when he was an ace he was consistently above that. His command has been terrible.

Injury is clearly the culprit. He had Tommy John surgery just as he was reaching his maximum level of dominance in 2013. While he came back strong in 2015, he was used pretty heavily for a guy with a brand new ligament. Last year he was felled by thoracic outlet syndrome and this year a stress injury to his shoulder. Any one of those ailments have ended pitchers’ careers and even among those who bounce back from them, many are diminished. To go through all three and remain dominant is practically unheard of.

Yet this is where Matt Harvey is. He’s 28. He’s still arbitration eligible, for a team that is, to put it politely, sensitive to large financial outlays. While his 4-5 start opportunity to end the year may very well have been seen as a chance to shop Harvey to another team, his trade value is at an all-time low. It would not be shocking if, on the basis of his recent ineffectiveness, the Mets considered non-tendering him this offseason, making him a free agent.

Someone would probably take a chance on him because famous names who once showed tremendous promise are often given multiple chances in the big leagues (See, Willis, Dontrelle). But at the moment, there is nothing in Harvey’s game to suggest that he is capable of taking advantage of such a chance. All one can hope is that an offseason of rest and conditioning will allow Harvey to reclaim at least a portion of his old form.