Robinson Cano, Yan Gomes

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights


Yankees 14, Indians 1: “Man, where are the Yankees going to get any offense with all of their big hitters on the DL?” no one is asking today like they asked so much last week. I guess nowadays everybody wanna talk like they got somethin to say, but nothin’ comes out when they move their lips — just a bunch of gibberish — and Yankee haters act like they forgot about Cano (4 for 6, 5 RBI).

Astros 16, Mariners 9: Meanwhile, in the other west coast park with a shorter porch, two teams not known for offense combined to hit eight homers, including two from Chris Carter and another one — a baseball-leading sixth — for Mike Morse. That 16-spot from Houston goes a long way towards covering up some overall offensive ineptitude on the stat sheet.

Phillies 8, Mets 3: Everything else may be going sideways, but Cliff Lee is still Cliff Lee. Two earned runs in eight and two-thirds with six strikeouts. Ryan Howard and Michael Young went back-to-back in the third inning, each their first homer of the year. Miguel Cabrera had his first homer of the year yesterday too, so you can totally say that Howard and Young are on an MVP-pace if you’re so inclined.

Nationals 8, White Sox 7: Adam LaRoche went 0 for 15 until hitting two straight homers in this one. Ian Desmond and Jayson Werth hit bombs too. All needed given some overall sloppiness and bad bullpen play in this one.

Padres 9, Dodgers 3: Will Venable drove in four for the Padres who are happy to finally be home after ugly series in New York and Colorado. The new fences in Petco Park gave Juan Uribe a homer that would have been an out last year.

Tigers 7, Blue Jays 3: Miguel Cabrera went 4 for 5 with four RBI and that homer I mentioned. It’s almost like he’s awesome or something. Worst start since 2004 for the new-look Jays.

Braves 3, Marlins 2: Kris Medlen’s second start looked a lot more like his 2012 second half. I guess facing the Marlins helps (7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER). Justin Upton didn’t go yard, but he did hit a looong RBI double which would have been out in all but two or three parks. Homer for rookie Evan Gattis, who is making it pretty difficult for the front office to figure out what to do when Brian McCann comes back.

Rangers 6, Rays 1: Rangers’ fifth starter Nick Tepesch makes his major league debut and all he does is go seven and a third allowing one run on four hits.

Royals 7, Twins 4: Jeremy Guthrie won his seventh straight decision, getting all the run support he needed in a five-run first inning. The Royals are 5-3, by the way. It’s the tenth anniversary of that Mike Sweeney-led Royals team which made everyone think they were back in contention, only to falter later. Same thing going on again, or have they truly turned the corner and become the 2012 Orioles, redux?

Cubs 6, Brewers 3: Kiwicricket sent me the part of the box score which makes your head explode: “W: Marmol (1-1, 12.27) ; L: Axford (0-2, 24.30) ; SV: Fujikawa (2).” Always fun to see a game come down to a battle of Proven Closers. And Axford wasn’t even closing.

Athletics 9, Angels 5: Five runs in the seventh for Oakland, led by John Jaso’s pinch-hot three-run homer. A seesaw game, as Oakland had a 4-0 lead once, fell behind 5-4 and then this rally. Josh Hamilton went 0 for 4 and is now hitting a cool .138. The Angels join the Jays in 2-5 land. I guess winning the Hot Stove League doesn’t carry over.

Cardinals 5, Reds 1: The new-and-improved Lance Lynn struck out ten in six innings while allowing only one run. Bronson Arroyo cruised into the sixth and then gave up a pinch hit homer to Matt Adams.

Pirates 6, Diamondbacks 5: Garrett Jones had three hits and two RBIs. The Pirates had 11 hits overall, winning their second straight game and finally waking up on offense. Brandon McCarthy has surrendered 19 hits in 11 and two-thirds innings thus far.

Giants 9, Rockies 6: Tim Lincecum was shaky as all get-out for one inning, acceptable for four others, but overall allowed six runs in six innings while walking four. The Giants’ bats rescued him, however, led by a Brandon Crawford three-run homer in the sixth and then some general hit-parade fun. Lincecum got the win in his first outing despite walking the park and a no-decision here despite melting down for a while. You feel like he’s walking on the edge of a knife, though.

Cardinals take 1-0 NLDS lead over the Cubs behind John Lackey’s brilliant outing

John Lackey
AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

John Lackey flirted with a no-hitter but settled for 7 1/3 terrific, shutout innings to beat the Cubs in Game 1 of the NLDS on Friday. The right-hander held the opposition to two hits and a walk while striking out five. Lefty reliever Kevin Siegrist struck out two to finish the eighth without issue. Closer Trevor Rosenthal worked around a one-out walk and a two-out single in the ninth to seal the 4-0 win, recording all three outs on called strike threes.

Lackey brought a no-hitter into the sixth inning, but lost it quickly when Addison Russell hit a ground ball single up the middle to lead off the frame. Russell would steal second base but was stranded.

Opposing starter Jon Lester wasn’t too shabby himself, relenting three runs on five hits while walking one and striking out nine in 7 1/3 innings. The first run came around in the first inning on Matt Holliday‘s RBI single, which followed a one-out double by Stephen Piscotty. Tommy Pham pinch-hit in the pitcher’s spot in the eighth inning and launched a solo home run off of Lester to double the Cardinals’ lead. Lester walked Matt Carpenter before exiting. Pedro Strop came in and promptly served up a two-run home run to Stephen Piscotty.

The closest the Cubs came to scoring was when Dexter Fowler sent a deep fly ball to right field with a man on base and two outs in the sixth inning, but Randal Grichuk caught it with a foot or two to spare in front of the fence on the warning track.

The two clubs will play Game 2 of the NLDS on Saturday at 5:30 PM EDT. Kyle Hendricks will start for the Cubs and oppose Cardinals lefty Jaime Garcia.

Astros err in letting Scott Kazmir start sixth

Scott Kazmir
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Scott Kazmir went winless with a 6.52 ERA in six September starts. He allowed 41 hits, eight of them homers, in 29 innings, posting an 18/11 K/BB ratio. When the Astros got five innings of two-run ball from him Friday against the Royals, they should have thanked their good fortune and moved right along to the pen.

And they knew this. They must have. Josh Fields got up in the pen after Kazmir issued a one-out walk in the fifth. The left-hander got out of the frame, making himself eligible for the victory in what was then a 4-2 game, but it was still very surprising to see him come back out for the sixth, particularly with the switch-hitting Ben Zobrist (.926 OPS against lefties) and right-handed Lorenzo Cain due up.

Kazmir retired Zobrist, but he gave up a double to Cain. He was then pulled, even with the left-handed Eric Hosmer coming up. Manager A.J. Hinch had committed my biggest baseball pet peeve: he sent his starter back to the mound with the idea of pulling him after his first mistake.

It worked out terribly. Oliver Perez gave up a pair of soft hits to Hosmer and Kendrys Morales before walking Mike Moustakas. Fields then entered and walked the unwalkable Salvador Perez to tie the game at 4. The Astros gave up another run in the seventh and lost the game 5-4.

Maybe that’s the way it would have worked out anyway. Kazmir did give up just the one baserunner. It might not have even harmed the Astros if Perez had better luck.

Still, the thinking that went into the decision was disturbing. It’s always better to bring that reliever in with no one on base when you can. That’s especially the case with this Astros pen, which lacks a double-play specialist, much less a Wade Davis. But anyone in that pen would have been a better choice than sending Kazmir out to face Zobrist and Cain for a third time. Hinch needs to be more aggressive going forward.

Cardinals’ giveaway incorrectly claims ownership of 2001 division title

cardinals logo

The Cardinals have won so many division titles, it’s tough to keep track of them all. At least, it would be tough if it weren’t for Baseball Reference.

40,000 rally towels were given away to fans at Busch Stadium ahead of Friday’s NLDS Game 1 against the Cubs. The towel listed all of the years the Cardinals won the NL Central… and 2001. That year, they tied with the Astros for the best record in the National League at 93-69. However, because the Astros won the season series 9-7, they were awarded first place and the Cardinals took the Wild Card.