Jay Bruce

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights


Reds 1, Phillies 0: CONTINUED FROM TUESDAY NIGHT: Nine minutes, a quick score and then the whole thing was over. About as good a night as you coulda hoped for when you were 17, but for the Phillies this had to be disappointing.

Reds 11, Phillies 2: Well, maybe not as disappointing as this. The Reds complete their first sweep of Philly in 17 years. John Lannan was pummeled. So too was the rest of the Phillies pitchers. Heck, Mike Leake had three hits including a triple. The Phillies only scored four runs in the series.

Royals 1, Braves 0: I was tempted to say that Doug Eddings and Wade Davis combined on a shutout, but that’s just petty I suppose. There were A LOT of bad ball and strike calls, sure. But watching Dan Uggla swing at everything from the dirt to the bill of his cap in the ninth inning made me think, well, some days it’s just not your day. Game’s lone RBI goes to Jeff Francouer. Which I presume will lead to some Francouer fans down in Georgia to start up that “we never shoulda gotten rid of him” chatter they’re prone to down there. Doesn’t matter who’s in the Braves’ outfield. There’s always a group of dead-enders who pine for Jeffy.

Pirates 5, Cardinals 0: A.J. Burnett allowed one hit, taking the no-no into the seventh. He also notched his 2,000th career strikeout.  Not a bad night for Shelby Miller either, but tough luck is part of the game, yo.

Nationals 6, Marlins 1: Bryce Harper went 4 for 5 and Ross Detwiler allowed only one run in seven innings. And the Marlins went back to remembering that they are, in fact, the Marlins.

White Sox 7, Blue Jays 0: Jose Quintana tamed the Jays. Tyler Flowers hit a three-run homer. Old friend Alex Rios hit one too.

Rays 6, Orioles 2: Tampa Bay snaps its four-game losing streak. Matt Moore got the win. He has three on the season. The entire Rays team has five.

Red Sox 6, Indians 3: Five straight wins for the Bosox. Alfredo Aceves, pressed into service as a starter, took a shutout into the sixth, but then he hit a wall. After three solid starts Justin Masterson hit a wall of his own, surrendering 11 hits.

Yankees 4, Diamondbacks 3: Down 3-0 entering the bottom of the seventh, the Yankees tied it up and then Travis Hafner hit a pinch-hit homer in the eighth to cap off a four-run rally. New York has won seven of eight, which is really messing with a lot of predictions of doom out there. Pretty inconsiderate, you guys.

Athletics 7, Astros 5: Six runs in the first was a less than gracious homecoming for Marin County’s Bud Norris, but such is life for the Astros. Meanwhile, the A’s have played approximately 193 games against Houston so far this year. I think it’s time they move up a level.

Padres 7, Dodgers 2: Clayton Kershaw gave up three homers in three innings. Because baseball. Even the best ones get rocked on random Wednesday nights.

Tigers 2, Mariners 1: 14 innings. Batters combined for 14 strikeouts. Prince Fielder led the pack with five. The only runs in the game scored on a couple of fielder’s choices and an RBI single. But there was some goodness here in the starting pitching. Indeed, it’s a shame neither starter could win this one, with Max Scherzer striking out 12 while allowing only one run in eight innings and Felix Hernandez striking out 12 while allowing only an unearned run in his eight.

Brewers 4, Giants 3: Pinch hitter Blake Lalli — who has a name that I’d sooner place on some actress in her early 20s who stars in some new show that is decidedly not aimed at my demographic — hit the first pitch he saw for the game-winning single in the ninth. Runners hit second and third just before that thanks to a Brandon Crawford throwing error.

Angels vs. Twins: POSTPONED: Three, four: Hey mr. rain. Ain’t you follow me down. Hey mr. rain. Ain’t you follow me down. I’ve been working baby oh! so hard. Stayin up in the sky. Hey mr. rain. Ain’t you follow me down

Rangers vs. Cubs: POSTPONED: See the sky about to rain, broken clouds and rain. Locomotive, pull the train, whistle blowing through my brain. Signals curling on an open plain, rolling down the track again. See the sky about to rain.

Mets vs. Rockies: POSTPONED: Dreamed I was an eskimo. Frozen wind began to blow. Under my boots and around my toes. The frost that bit the ground below. It was a hundred degrees below zero…

Who will be the 2016 World Series’ breakout star?

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 22:  Javier Baez #9 of the Chicago Cubs looks on prior to game six of the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field on October 22, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Watching baseball most every day between April and October is a lot of fun, but it also can be a bit desensitizing. People like me and like many of you see some of baseball’s biggest stars every night and some of those same stars multiple times a week. We appreciate them but, after a little while, we tend to take them a little bit for granted.

The World Series, however, is a time when a lot of people who only watch their own team on a regular basis start watching other teams. It’s also when a lot of people who don’t watch a lot of baseball in general pay closer attention to a sport that may only be their second or third love. These people are getting a first glimpse, in many cases, of some truly special players performing on baseball’s biggest stage for the first time. They’re seeing stars break out. Their very act of paying attention to them now contributes to the breakout. It’s a cliche, but October is when stars are born.  It’s like relativity or something: they’re born because so many people are looking on, seeing their light for the first time.

The Indians have a handful of exciting young players who have not fully captured national attention as of yet. Sure, Francisco Lindor has been on the radar of baseball obsessives for a few years now, but he’s just completing his second big league season and is, for all practical purposes, entering the national spotlight for the first time this postseason. Jason Kipnis has played for six seasons and, for many of those seasons, was one of baseball’s most underrated and overlooked stars. Eventually, as happens with a lot of players like that, hardcore baseball fans came to truly appreciate him . . . but is he that well known to casual fans and those who have not seen much of the Indians over the past few years? Could his playing this World Series with a sprained ankle turn him into something bigger than he already is in the public consciousness?

The Cubs have a bit more of a national following and have had players in advertising campaigns and the like. As a result, even casual fans know who Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo are. But have they seen them play as much as they’ve seen their images in TV commercials? Even if they have, there are still some generally overlooked and relatively unknown players on that Cubs roster. Catcher Willson Contreras didn’t come up until the middle of June. If you’re a Cubs fan or a fan of one of the many teams the Cubs have vanquished on their way to the World Series you know and love (or, possibly, loathe) Contreras well, but most people haven’t had a chance to see him much. Now he’s poised to play in the Fall Classic. Second baseman Javier Baez has been up and down in his brief major league career, but he’s been electric down the stretch and in the postseason, having drastically cut down on his strikeouts and having flashed some serious leather of late. There’s something about him that just screams “superstar,” and he now has the chance to show that to the world.

The idea of a “breakout star” is a bit amorphous. It could be someone young who shows himself and his talents to the world for the first time, like a Lindor or a Baez. It could, on the other hand, be someone who has been around for a long time — say, a David Ross or a Rajai Davis — who creates a signature moment for himself in the Fall Classic with one big swing of the bat. Heck, Edgar Renteria did both of those things in two different World Series, announcing his presence on the national stage with a big hit in the 1997 Series and bowing out gracefully with a big hit in the 2010 Series. Someone could create a prologue or an epilogue to a wonderful career, starting tonight.

Ultimately the question in the headline above is a rhetorical one, not a predictive one. We don’t know who will make the 2016 World Series his own and who will, in turn, make himself into a household name. But a short series, laden with drama like the World Series, all but guarantees that we’ll have one. A player who, after the next five to nine days, will forever be known by both the baseball obsessives and the casual fans. Watching that star being born will be just as enjoyable as watching the overall content at hand.

World Series Game 1 Lineup: Schwarber and Coghlan in, Heyward out

LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 18:  Chris Coghlan #8 of the Chicago Cubs reacts after lining out to end the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the ninth inning of game three of the National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium on October 18, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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The Cubs and Indians have released their lineups for Game 1 of the World Series.

Joe Maddon makes two notable changes: Kyle Schwarber as the DH and Chris Coghlan in right, with Jason Heyward on the bench.

Heyward has been close to a lost cause at the plate all season for the Cubs and is 2-for-24 in the playoffs this year. While his defense is a plus, Maddon has decided that he’d rather have the lefty Coghlan facing Corey Kluber.

1. Dexter Fowler (S) CF
2. Kris Bryant (R) 3B
3. Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
4. Ben Zobrist (S) LF
5. Kyle Schwarber (L) DH
6. Javier Baez (R) 2B
7. Chris Coghlan (L) RF
8. Addison Russell (R) SS
9. David Ross (R) C

For the Indians:

1. Rajai Davis (R) CF
2. Jason Kipnis (L) 2B
3. Francisco Lindor (S) SS
4. Mike Napoli (R) 1B
5. Carlos Santana (S) DH
6. Jose Ramirez (S) 3B
7. Brandon Guyer (R) LF
8. Lonnie Chisenhall (L) RF
9. Roberto Perez (R) C