Tampa Bay Rays v Texas Rangers

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights


Rangers 6, Rays 5: Adrian Beltre was last week’s player of the week after hitting for the cycle one night and hitting three bombs on another. He’s off to a good start for that award again, going 3 for 3 with a homer a double and four RBI. David Price had one of his worst outings of the season (4 IP, 10 H, 6 ER).

Cardinals 4, Pirates 3: Also continuing his hot streak: Matt Holliday. He hit his 24th homer, breaking a 2-2 tie in the sixth. The Pirates have dropped six of their last seven. Are we allowed to talk about them playing to break the streak of sub-.500 seasons yet, or do we still have to act like they’re in the wild card hunt?

Mariners 1, Twins 0: Felix Hernandez is ridiculously good (CG SHO, 5 H, 5K). Later this morning we’ll hear more about how the Yankees should trade for him. His fifth shutout of the year, by the way. Tough luck loss for Liam Hendricks who allowed one run over nine innings.

Athletics 3, Indians 0: Brett Anderson’s return continues to be stellar. He shut the Tribe out over seven, allowing only two hits. Oakland has won 9 of 11.

Padres 3, Braves 0: Casey Kelly’s major league debut: fantasitc (6 IP, 3 H, 0 ER). He also hit a single. I think it’s now officially safe to say, if it wasn’t already, that the Padres won the first Adrian Gonzalez trade. Yasmani Grandal accounted for all of the Padres’ runs, with a homer and a single. San Diego has won eight straight.

Blue Jays 8, Yankees 7: Colby Rasmus put his hair in some seriously stupid looking cornrows recently. He took them out before this game, however, and hit a three run homer with two outs in the ninth to put the Blue Jays in front. There’s a lesson in there for you kids. Of course, Derek Jeter tied it in the bottom half, so there’s a lesson in there too. Basically, just don’t be a total douche and instead be a professional and good things will happen. In extras, Derek Lowe threw a ball away putting the go-ahead run on third, which eventually scored. Darren Oliver beats Derek Lowe, because it’s 1999 or something. Oh, and Mark Teixeira left with a calf strain and he’s gonna miss a couple of weeks.

Orioles 4, White Sox 3: Baltimore wins another one-run game their 13th straight. And Nate McLouth hit a two-run homer. They should be called the Batlimore Oh Reallys?

Red Sox 5, Royals 1: Dice-K with his first win since the Cold War or thereabouts. Forgive me if I assume this had more to do with the Royals bats than Matsuzaka’s skillz.

Rockies 10, Dodgers 0: Josh Beckett’s debut for the Dodgers looked a lot like most of his starts for the Red Sox. Inefficient, deliberate and, while not a total disaster, not particularly effective either. Didn’t matter much, though, given that Jeff Francis and the bullpen didn’t allow a run. And even if they had, the Dodgers’ pen got violated for seven runs in the eighth.

Brewers 15, Cubs 4: Five homers for the Brewers including two from Aramis Ramirez. Ryan Braun had four hits and drove in five.

Reds 3, Diamondbacks 2: Bronson Arroyo pitched well and hit a home run to put the Reds ahead. Sometimes you gotta do everything yourself.

Yoenis Cespedes and his bat flip say good morning

Yoenis Cespedes

It was a late night last night. Especially for old farts like me. I turned on my TV at 12:30 yesterday afternoon and there was baseball on it for just about 12 hours straight. Not too shabby unless you happen to root for the Astros, Rangers, Cardinals or Dodgers. Oh well, today is another day. Or tomorrow if today is a travel day.

In the meantime, we have Yoenis Cespedes to keep us happy, alert and occupied. Again, unless you’re a Dodgers fan. Of course, if you are a Dodgers fan you got absolutely no right to be upset at a bat flip following a homer. And if I catch you complaining, you’re getting a time out.

The Mets break out the whuppin’ sticks, rout the Dodgers 13-7

Cespedes d'Arnaud

So often in life the anticipation of something outpaces its reality. For Mets fans tonight, it was the exact opposite. They had a grand old time. The Mets broke out the lumber and overwhelmed the Dodgers 13-4 to take a 2-1 lead in NLDS.

So much of that anticipation was about revenge, really. Hitting Chase Utley if he was in the lineup, perhaps, or at the very least sending some sort of retaliatory message the Dodgers’ way in response to Utley breaking Ruben Tejada‘s leg on Saturday. But with Utley out of the lineup — and the notion that base runners matter a whole heck of a lot in a playoff game — Matt Harvey just set out to pitch, not plunk. And Mets hitters set out to beat the living heck out of Brett Anderson and a couple Dodgers relievers. Living well is the best revenge, and for a major league team, winning baseball games is living well.

It didn’t start out so well for Harvey, as Yasmani Grandal singled in two runs in the top of the second with a third run scoring on a Curtis Granderson error on the same play. It was 3-0 Dodgers early and Mets’ fans sphincters’ clenched. But only momentarily.

The Mets came right back in the bottom of the second with four runs with a Travis d'Arnaud single and a bases-loaded, bases-clearing double from Curtis Granderson. In the next inning d’Arnaud hit a two-run shot. In the fourth Daniel Murphy singled in a run and Yoenis Cespedes hit a three-run bomb to left to make it 10-3. The Dodgers got one back in the top of the seventh but New York scored three more of their own in the bottom half. It was never a ballgame after the third inning.

Brett Anderson was the author of the damage through three, Alex Wood gave up the four runs in the fourth and hung on in the fifth in what became mop-up duty. Harvey was done after five and took the win. He wasn’t necessarily sharp, but he did strike out seven and was good enough. Some late damage from the Dodgers, including a three-run homer in the ninth from Howie Kendrick, was too little, too late. Granderson and d’Arnaud did the damage for New York, driving in five and three runs, respectively.

Once the competitive portion of this game was over, the Mets’ crowd turned to more important matters. Chanting things like “We want Utley!” Don Mattingly didn’t give him to ’em, probably because there was no downside to smacking him after the game got out of hand. But no upside either. Because of that stuff about living well, remember?

Now it’s on Clayton Kershaw to save the Dodgers from elimination [looks at watch] tonight, technically. If he doesn’t, his detractors will write another page in their Big Book of Clayton Kershaw Playoff Failures. If he does, we get a Game 5 back in Los Angeles.

Maybe Chase Utley gets into one of those.

Jake Arrieta beatable, but still unbeaten

Jake Arrieta
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Jake Arrieta gave up as many earned runs Monday against the Cardinals as he had in his previous 13 starts combined, yet the Cubs still won 8-6.

It’s the 15th straight time the Cubs have won a game started by Arrieta, who is set to finish first or second in the Cy Young balloting announced next month. Their last loss in an Arrieta-pitched game was when the Phillies’ Cole Hamels no-hit them on July 25. They won the previous four before that, too, so make it 19 of 20.

The outing could go down as Arrieta’s last of the season, though that would require the Cardinals beating the Cubs in back-to-back games to finish the NLDS. The more likely scenario at this point is that Arrieta starts Game 1 of the NLCS against the Dodgers or Mets.

Arrieta, though, was vulnerable in this one, turning in his shortest start since June. Even in the shutout of Pittsburgh in the wild card game, the Pirates had chances in the middle innings (most notably before Starling Marte‘s well-hit grounder with the bases loaded turned into a double play in the sixth).

Tonight, he walked two in a row at one point, after not walking a single batter in his previous three starts. He gave up his first homer in six starts. The wind was a factor in tonight’s eight-homer barrage, but Jason Heyward‘s two-run shot off Arrieta went against the grain in left-center.

So, if nothing else, the illusion of impenetrability is now gone. Arrieta can be gotten to, if primarily in short bursts. That’s not going to do anything for the Cardinals — at least not unless Arrieta is called on to pitch an inning or two in Game 5 — but it’ll probably come into play later in the postseason.