Reggie Billy

And That Happened: Classic!


Note: due to the All-Star break, we now bring you a special “Classic” version of “And That Happened.” The following originally ran on July 10, 1977

Orioles 6, Yankees 5:  Reggie Jackson went 1 for 3 with an RBI double, but that wasn’t good enough for manager Billy Martin, who tried to physically attack Jackson after the game was over. That keeps a seventeen-game assaulting-Reggie Jackson-streak alive for the Yankee skipper.

Indians 3, Blue Jays 2: This game was delayed for nearly an hour when the home plate umpire’s CB radio malfunctioned. I suppose they could have tried to play without it, but in this day and age, modern technology is just a part of the game and those anti-citizen band people are just trying to deny progress.

Mets 7, Expos 5: This game went 17 innings and ended when Lenny Randle hit a game ending homer. It was only the second most notable hit he’s had all year.

Athletics 7, Royals 1: The game was pretty dismal for Kansas City, but shortstop Freddie Patek did have a great play at short. We have no means of showing you a videotaped recreation of the play, but check out the frame-by-frame photo of it.

Brewers 3, Red Sox 2: The winning run scored when Steve Dillard booted one at second base in the eighth inning. He later explained that the “demons” in his neighbor’s dog that “made him do it,” and has re-christened himself “the Son of Steve.”

White Sox 5, Tigers 2Cardinals 4, Cubs 3: One Chicago team wins and the other loses, but they both remain atop their respective divisions. At this point — exactly 81 games into the season — I think it’s safe to say that the long suffering of Chicago baseball fans is going to end this year, be it from a championship by the Cubs or the Sox.

Mariners 5, Twins 2: Dick Pole gets the win over David Goltz. Jeez, what a name. “Goltz.” I mean, really.

Rangers 7, Angels 2: With the loss, the Angels fall nine and a half back of the division leading White Sox. And there is no future, In California’s dreaming. No future, no future, No future for you, No future, no future, No future for me,  No future, no future, No future for you, No future, no future, For youuuuuuuuu.

Reds 3, Astros 1: Tom Seaver gets the win, allowing only one run in this complete game. It’s been less than a month since the Mets traded him to Cincinnati, but one can already tell that this is going to be the worst personnel move since Larry Linville left M*A*S*H.

Padres 2, Dodgers 1: A beautiful night in Southern California. From the game story:

It’s so clean out here. That’s because they don’t throw their garbage away, they turn it into television shows. I don’t want to move to a city where the only cultural advantage is being able to make a right turn on a red light.

Giants 5, Braves 4: This loss puts the Braves 25 and a half games back in the NL West. Look, I’ve argued this one to death, but at the risk of continuing to do it, I will simply once again note that when Ted Turner managed the team back on May 11, they were only 15 and a half back. You can’t argue the numbers. Bring Ted back!

Pirates 9, Phillies 8: Davey Johnson went 3 for 5 and drove in five. He was hotter than the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire out there! Ooh, sorry. Too soon?

Maybe Alcides Escobar shouldn’t bat leadoff

Alcides Escobar
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Alcides Escobar finished with a .292 OBP this year. He came in at .246 in 117 at-bats in August and .257 in 109 at-bats between September and October, so he wasn’t exactly flying high entering the postseason. Still, that didn’t stop Ned Yost from putting him into the leadoff spot for Thursday’s Game 1 against the Astros.

Yost finally did reconsider hitting Escobar first in September. It took Alex Gordon‘s return to health, plus the previous addition of Ben Zobrist to the lineup, in order to make that happen. However, it didn’t stick. Escobar hit ninth in each of his starts from Sept. 7-26, batting .236 with a .276 OBP during that span. With five games left to go, he was suddenly returned to the leadoff spot. The Royals went on to win all five games. Yost saw it as a sign, even though Escobar went 5-for-22 with no walks in those games.

Escobar went 0-for-4 in Thursday’s loss to the Astros. He did not swing at the first pitch of the game, which probably explains the defeat.

It’s been difficult to argue with Yost since last year’s World Series run and this year’s incredible run out of the game. The blind spot with Escobar, though, gets rather infuriating. One can defend hitting him leadoff against the Astros’ lefties. His career OBP against southpaws is .319 (.316 this year). Against righties, he’s the most obvious No. 9 hitter alive, with a career .258/.290/.342 line (.252/.284/.314 this year). He’s not a pace-setter. He’s not a spark plug. He’s a liability.

Astros top Royals in Game 1 of ALDS

Houston Astros' Jose Altuve, left, celebrates with teammate Luis Valbuena after scoring a run during the first inning in Game 1 of baseball's American League Division Series against the Kansas City Royals, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015, in Kansas City. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

After shutting out the Yankees in the AL Wild Card game on Tuesday, the Astros beat the Royals 5-2 in Game 1 of the ALDS on Thursday at Kauffman Stadium. Road teams are now 4-0 to begin the 2015 postseason.

The Astros grabbed an early 3-0 lead against Yordano Ventura through two innings. Chris Young took over for the Royals after a 47-minute rain delay and was very effective for the most part, allowing just a solo homer to George Springer over four innings while striking out seven batters. Colby Rasmus, who homered in the Wild Card game, took Ryan Madson deep in the eighth inning to give the Astros’ bullpen some extra breathing room.

Collin McHugh stayed in after the rain delay and ended up tossing six innings while allowing just four hits and one walk. Kendrys Morales did all the damage against him with a pair of solo homers. He’s the first Royals player to hit two home runs in a postseason game since George Brett in the 1985 ALCS.

The Royals’ offense showed some signs of life in the bottom of the eighth inning with back-to-back two-out hits against Will Harris, but Oliver Perez got Eric Hosmer to foul out to end the threat. Luke Gregerson tossed a scoreless ninth inning to finish off the victory.

Consistent with their identity during the regular season, the Astros won despite striking out 14 times. The same goes for the Royals, as they struck out just four times. Despite putting the ball into play more often, the Kansas City lineup wasn’t able to muster anything aside from the home runs by Morales.

Game 2 of the ALDS will begin Friday at 3:45 p.m. ET. Scott Kazmir will pitch for the Astros and Johnny Cueto will get the ball for the Royals.

George Springer homers to extend Astros’ lead over Royals

Houston Astros' George Springer (4) celebrates with teammates after scoring a run in the first inning in Game 1 of baseball's American League Division Series against the Kansas City Royals, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015, in Kansas City. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel
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After Kendrys Morales brought the Royals within one run in the bottom of the fourth inning with his second solo home run of the game, George Springer took Chris Young deep in the top of the fifth to extend the Astros’ lead to 4-2 in Game 1 of the ALDS.

According to Statcast, the ball traveled an estimated 422 feet and left Springer’s bat at 109 mph. Royals fans are happy it was just a solo home run. It could have been worse, as Jose Altuve singled to lead off the fifth inning before being thrown out trying to steal second base during Springer’s at-bat.

The Royals will try to answer as we move to the bottom of the fifth inning at Kauffman Stadium.