Elvis Andrus,Robbie Ross,Adrian Beltre,Michael Young,Joe Nathan

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights


Rangers 11, Angels 10: Holy schnikes! The Angels jumped out to a 6-0 lead and the fans were booing Yu Darvish and the local nine. Then the comeback. Make that the comebacks. Four runs in the fifth and then single runs in the eighth and ninth to force extras. Then, down by three in the tenth, they put up four, capped by a Nelson Cruz homer and Elvis Andrus’ walkoff two-run single. Two homers for Albert Pujols, but in a losing effort. Just when the Angels think they have Texas’ number — bam!

Diamondbacks 4, Dodgers 0: The sweep.  Patrick Corbin was called up and allowed two hits and goose eggs for six innings. Mere days after the Dodgers drubbed the Giants 19-3 in a three game series, the Dbacks drop a 19-4 on the Dodgers. The NL West is gonna be exciting for the next two months.

Yankees 12, Orioles 3: The Yanks avoid a sweep by beating the O’s to a pulp with a seven-run third inning. And Joba Chamberlain came back. Which is freaky, because last I checked he had died from trampoline poisoning or something. And my best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Joba pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I had thought it was pretty serious, but guess not.

Tigers 7, Red Sox 5:  Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder homered on consecutive pitches during a five-run fifth inning. The Tigers avoid the sweep. Now a day off for Detroit. And a day on which I travel up to my ancestral homeland of Detroit, Michigan to take in all three games against the Indians in what will be my first ever trip to Comerica Park. Crazy, I know. I suppose more than a decade-old grudge against them for tearing down Tiger Stadium is enough. Oh, and about that ancestral homeland stuff: don’t anybody tell my extended family up there that I’m coming. They’re all still mad that I went to Ohio State and drive a Japanese car. All of which goes into why, despite my roots, I tell everyone I’m from West Virginia. It’s just easier that way.

Pirates 8, Cubs 4: The Pirates were leading 2-1 going into the eighth and then put up a five spot on seven straight hits. Two of three from the Cubbies and now a weekend series against the first place Reds.

Rays 4, Athletics 1: The Rays have allowed 0 or 1 run in four of their last five games. They’re only one and a half back of Oakland now for the second wild card.

Brewers 13, Astros 4: Ryan Braun hit his 29th and the Astros threw the ball all over the field for their 28th loss in 31 games. The Brewers scored 31 runs in the three-game series.

White Sox 3, Twins 2: Danks is down and Sale has a dead arm but Peavy keeps humming: 8 IP, 5 H 1 ER, 8K.

Marlins 4, Braves 2: Ben Sheets had the longest outing on his comeback so far, but also his least effective. He gave up 11 hits in six and two-thirds. How only four runs scored is a mystery, but four was enough. Carlos Zambrano got the win in relief. Which is weird.

Reds 6, Padres 4: Ryan Ludwick was 3 for 4 with four driven in. Marshall, Broxton and Chapman each pitched a scoreless inning. That’s the pattern Dusty is gonna try to ride all the way through October. A friend of mine was at this game and she moved from upper deck seats to seats behind the dugout early in the game. With kids in tow, while photographing it and posting it to Facebook. Pretty ninja stuff right there.

Phillies 3, Nationals 2: Two homers for Jimmy Rollins and one for newbie Nate Schierholtz, who is probably gonna like playing away from AT&T Park a lot.

Royals 5, Indians 2: Luis Mendoza with seven and a third innings of 2-run ball. I mentioned that my kids watched Tuesday’s game in this series. Thinking about it now, I’m sorta wondering if anyone else was. And if so, why.

Mets 2, Giants 1: Jon Niese gave up one run over seven. Hunter Pence in his Giants debut: 0 for 4 and two strikeouts.

Cardinals 9, Rockies 6: Matt Holliday has another huge night: 3 for 5, two homers and five driven in.

Mariners 5, Blue Jays 3: That’s seven wins in a row for Seattle. And 13 of 17. They have a positive run differential on the year too and are closer to first place than the Brewers, Phillies and Marlins are.

Maybe Alcides Escobar shouldn’t bat leadoff

Alcides Escobar
1 Comment

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
Leave a comment

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.