Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Lee points towards a pop out by New York Mets Nickeas during the third inning of their MLB National League baseball game in New York

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights


Phillies 9, Mets 2: Cliff Lee stood to lose yet another one, as he and the Phillies were down 2-0 entering the seventh, but three runs in each of the seventh, eighth and ninth innings saved his bacon. First win of the year for Lee.

Marlins 7, Brewers 6: On Tuesday Milwaukee beat Miami in ten so yesterday Miami returned the favor. I didn’t see if Ozzie Guillen unleashed an expletive-filled rant after this one too. Yes, I know they won. It could have been expletives of joy.

Pirates 6, Astros 4: Seven of eight for the Pirates who are quite happy being in first place. Michael McKenry and Pedro Alvarez drove in two runs apiece.

Orioles 4, Mariners 2: Chris Tillman made his first start of the year and was outstanding: Two runs — both unearned — on two hits in eight and a third. But, well, Mariners.

Blue Jays 4, Royals 1: This game looked boring based on the box score, so what I really want to know is whether the people of Canada viewed the Royals wearing hats with the camouflage logos as an act of international aggression.

Cubs 5, Braves 1: Can the Braves rewind the season, regain Randall Delgado’s big time prospect status and trade him for Zack Greinke then? I somehow feel like that would have been a good move and would have led to a better season. Homers for  Bryan LaHair, Jeff Baker and Anthony Rizzo.

Athletics 3, Red Sox 2: David Ortiz hit his 400th homer, but Oakland sweeps the Sox. Brandon Moss had three hits including a dinger. Overall he was 6 for 8 with five RBIs and three runs scored against his old club in this series.

Cardinals 4, Rockies 1: Adam Wainwright allowed one run over six innings on eight hits. I am contractually obligated to note that, because it was eight hits in six innings, those hits were scattered.

Indians 12, Angels 3: Ervin Santana was rocked like a hurricane, allowing eight runs on six hits in an inning and a third. Three-run homers by Michael Brantley and Casey Kotchman.

Yankees 4, Rays 3: Alex Rodriguez drew a bases loaded walk off Kyle Farnsworth, who was making his second appearance of the year. Joe Maddon after the game:

“Kyle Farnsworth is a big part of our present and our future. For us to get to the promised land, he’s got to perform well, which he shall. I’ve never seen him do that before …”

I guess Joe Maddon just met Farnsworth, like, yesterday.

Nationals 9, Giants 4: Madison Bumgarner got shelled, allowing seven runs on nine hits in five innings. The Nationals hit four homers and Ryan Zimmerman drove in three.

White Sox 5, Rangers 4: Kevin Youkilis worked Mike Adams for nine pitches in the bottom of the 10th inning with a man on and then served one to left field for the walkoff. The crowd cried “Yooooooouk!”  Youkilis is six for his last 14 with a homer and six driven in.

Padres 8, Diamondbacks 6:  Yasmani Grandal hit a two-run, pinch-hit homer. Four of his six hits have been home runs. Have we ever had a Three True Outcomes catcher before? I suppose Grandal has to take a walk before get on that subject, but let’s keep it in our back pocket. Jason Kubel hit a three-run homer.

Tigers 5, Twins 1: A lengthy rain/storm delay meant that rather than 100 degrees at game time it was 78 degrees. The Tigers seemed to like that, as Miguel Cabrera hit two homers and Justin Verlander tossed a complete game. This box score is sort of the platonic ideal of a 2012 Detroit Tigers game.

Dodgers 4, Reds 1: L.A. took two of three from the Reds and, with the Giants loss, regained first place in the NL West.

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.