And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Tigers 10, Athletics 1: Austin Jackson was 4 for 6 with three RBI. Prince Fielder is now hitting .429/.527/.833. Once this team gets its bullpen figured out, man, watch out.

Diamondbacks 1, Dodgers 0: When Nick Swisher hit a walkoff homer single in a 1-0 game the other day I thought to myself, “man, you don’t see that happen all that often.” Then it happened again, this time with Paul Goldschmidt hitting a game-winning single to win a 1-0 game. If it happens one more time in the next week I’m going to take it as a sign of something important and meaningful and will use the experience to examine everything I thought I knew.

Braves 9, Nationals 0: Impressed yet, Danny Espinosa and Gio Gonzalez? No? What do you need to see, then?

Mariners 4, Rangers 3: Rookie Brandon Maurer was shellacked by the Astros in his last start but tamed the Rangers in this one. Mildly unexpected stuff like this, multiplied by the thousands upon thousands of times they occur during a baseball season, is why I spend most of my energy reacting to things rather than predicting things or acting like I have some key to understanding this game that no one else has. Stuff happens. In a couple thousand games a year. Anyone who ever claims that they know what’s gonna happen in any one, or really, any small handful of games is a liar or a fool.

Red Sox 5, Rays 0: Clay Buchholz took a no-hitter into the eighth. Pity the Rays broke it up, as it puts them behind their usual schedule of getting no-hit. They’re really gonna have to work to get back on pace.

Rockies 2, Padres 1: Todd Helton’s two-run, pinch-hit homer in the seventh would’ve fallen about ten feet in front of the wall a year ago. Hope you like the new dimensions at Petco Park, Padres. You asked for ’em.

Giants 10, Cubs 7: The Cubs threw five wild pitches while giving up four runs in the sixth. Then Shawn Camp balked in what would be the winning run in the tenth. Strong effort, fellas.

Angels 4, Astros 1: Josh Hamilton singled, tripled and homered. That and taking two out of three from Houston is a nice way to make up for Friday night’s embarrassing effort. Perchance that was the low point and now the ship is righted. Or perhaps anyone can take two of three from the Astros.

Brewers 4, Cardinals 3: This guy was probably happy after Jonathan Lucroy hit a homer in the tenth. All Brewers fans were probably happy to see Milwaukee’s 32-inning scoreless streak end in the eighth when Ryan Braun went deep.

Royals 3, Blue Jays 2: Kansas City avoids being swept with Alex Gordon’s walkoff RBI single. Ervin Santana pitched eight strong innings. Jays’ manager John Gibbons said this after the game: “They’re scrappy. They battle you.” If the Royals meet the Diamondbacks in the World Series the narrative-construction is going to be so thick and insufferable I’m probably just gonna give the whole thing a miss and take a vacation someplace instead.

Pirates 10, Reds 7: Michael McKenry hit two homers. The Pirates were down by five heading into the seventh and then scored ten runs in the seventh and eighth. I credit the sweet, sweet pullover jerseys and yellow caps they were wearing.

White Sox 3, Indians 1: Jake Peavy struck out 11 and gave up a lone run helping the pale hose break their five-game losing streak. In other news, I think after a couple years worth of using “Chisox” as this team’s third reference (following “the White Sox” and “Chicago,”) I’m now gonna try hard to use pale hose more often.

Phillies 2, Marlins 1: Roy Halladay gets his 200th career win. Assuming you count wins against minor league teams like Miami too.

Yankees 3, Orioles 0: Hiroki Kuroda shut ’em out on five hits without walking a soul. The Yankees continue not to be doomed somehow.

Mets vs. Twins: POSTPONED: The wind it was howling and the snow was outrageous. We chopped through the night and we chopped through the dawn. When he died I was hoping that it wasn’t contagious. But I made up my mind that I had to go on.

Astros push ALCS to Game 7 with 7-1 stunner against Yankees

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There’s just something about playing in your home ballpark. The Astros decimated the Yankees at Minute Maid Park on Friday, riding seven scoreless innings from Justin Verlander and a pair of big runs from Jose Altuve to win 7-1 and force a Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.

Through the first four innings, however, the teams looked equally matched. Luis Severino no-hit the Astros through 3 2/3 innings, losing his bid on Carlos Correa‘s line drive single in the fourth. The Astros returned in the fifth to do some real damage, drawing two walks and plating the first run of the night with Brian McCann‘s ground-rule double off of the right field wall. Things didn’t get any easier for Severino. Jose Altuve lined a two-RBI base hit into left field, upping Houston’s advantage to three runs.

Verlander, meanwhile, muted the Yankees’ offense with seven innings of five-hit, eight-strikeout ball. While he didn’t come close to matching his complete game effort in Game 2, he was still plenty dominant against a struggling New York lineup. No player reached past first base until the sixth inning, when a pair of base hits from Chase Headley and Didi Gregorius gave the Yankees their first runner in scoring position. That didn’t last long, though, as Gary Sanchez grounded out on a 3-0 slider to end the inning.

In the seventh, Houston’s ace got into another spot of trouble. He walked Greg Bird on six pitches to start the inning, then plunked Starlin Castro on the wrist. Aaron Hicks struck out, in part thanks to a questionable call by home plate umpire Jim Reynolds, but it was Todd Frazier who presented the biggest threat after returning an 0-1 fastball for a 403-foot fly out to left field. Luckily for Verlander, George Springer was there to bail him out with a leaping catch at the wall.

The Yankees kept things exciting in the eighth, too. Aaron Judge ripped his third postseason home run off of Brad Peacock, taking a 425-footer out to the train in left field to spoil the Astros’ shutout. That was the only real break the Yankees got, however, as Altuve, Alex Bregman and Evan Gattis returned in the bottom of the inning to tack on another four runs, including Altuve’s solo shot off of David Robertson:

Ken Giles handled the ninth, expending 23 pitches and giving up a base hit and a walk before retiring Frazier and Headley to end the game. Thanks to Houston’s winning efforts, the two teams will compete in their first seven-game Championship Series since 2004 — and this time, at least one of them is guaranteed to come away with a win.

Game 7 of the ALCS is set for Saturday at 8:00 PM ET. Houston right-hander Charlie Morton (14-7, 3.62 ERA) is scheduled to face southpaw CC Sabathia (14-5, 3.69 ERA).