New York Mets Lucas Duda reacts after he hit to get winning run against New York Yankees in New York

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights


Mets 2, Yankees 1: Yesterday I cracked that Mariano Rivera, who was asked to throw out the first pitch by the Mets, would likely throw the last pitch in the “Yankees likely victory over the Mets.” Shows ya what I know. The greatest closer in the history of baseball came into the ninth with a one-run lead and promptly gave up a ground rule double and two singles. Those, along with a Brett Gardner error, gave the Mets the 2-1 walkoff win. Matt Harvey gets the no-decision, but he struck out 10 in eight shutout one run innings.

Braves 7, Blue Jays 6: The Braves are representative of the disturbing, destabilizing  growing inequality between rich and poor in this great nation. Except instead of money, they have catchers. Two homers for Brian McCann, one for Evan Gattis.

Nationals 9, Orioles 3: Two homers for players developed by the Braves are the new inefficiency. Adam LaRoche goes yard twice and drove in four. Roger Bernadina and Tyler Moore went deep too. Davey Johnson said he wouldn’t shave until the bats woke up. Now, despite the Nats’ biggest offensive day in a month and a half, he’s saying he won’t shave because he doesn’t want to jinx it. OK.

Rockies 2, Astros 1: Jose Veras, like Mariano Rivera, couldn’t stop the opposition in the ninth. That’s the first and last time anyone makes even the vaguest comparison between Veras and Rivera. Michael Cuddyer had three hits, including an RBI single in the ninth, driving in Troy Tulowitzki, who had doubled just before.

Reds 8, Indians 2: If this was the NBA or NFL some commentator would say the Indians are being “exposed” in recent days. Thankfully the baseball season is so long and varied that such analysis is poppycock. Eh, who am I kidding someone is going to say it anyway, even if it’s just a rough patch for Cleveland. The Reds rapped ten hits off Zach McCallister. Xavier Paul was 3 for 4 with a couple driven in.

Pirates 1, Tigers 0: We’re blacked out of Pirates game here in Cbus, so the girlfriend couldn’t watch this. As we were going to bed she checked the score online and found that it was still 0-0 in the tenth inning. I said “wow, who’s pitching?” She said “Jose Ortega, so they’re probably going to lose soon.” It came one inning later on a Neil Walker bomb. Now, if someone would just explain to me why Pirates games are blacked out here in Cbus. Rick Porcello got a no-decision despite eight impressive shutout innings.

Twins 6, Brewers 5: A long day at work, but a good one for Aaron Hicks in this 14 inning affair. He scored the winning run on a sac fly, doubled and homered in this one. Earlier he made a leaping grab at the center field wall to rob Carlos Gomez of a home run. And what did you do yesterday? Play 15 games of minesweeper, have lottery fantasies and read baseball blogs? Well, heck, if so you actually had a pretty good day too. It’s how I spent the bulk of the years 2001-2009.

Phillies 3, Red Sox 1: Cliff Lee had thrown just 95 pitches in tying up Red Sox bats and he probably coulda finished the game, but Charlie Manuel brought in Jonathan Papelbon to close out out. Why?

“Kind of wanted to see it, if you want to know the truth,” Manuel said after the former Red Sox closer finished off the 3-1 victory over Boston on Tuesday night. “Pap likes drama. Might as well like it with him.”

Charlie Manuel: master troll.  In other news, Terry Francona comes to Boston with the Indians the other day and gets cheered. Papelbon comes to Boston with the Phillies and gets booed. Whatever, Sox fans.

Dodgers 3, Angels 0: Hyun-Jin Ryu with a two-hit shutout in this brisk, two hour, eleven minute affair.

Rays 7, Marlins 6: The Rays were down four, but no lead is safe for the Marlins. Desmond Jennings drove in the winning run with a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth to hand Miami its seventh straight loss. Our friend Old Gator informs us that the Marlins own the worst record in professional baseball in all of North America at this time, including Mexico and the minors. He further informs us that the 1962 Mets were 15-37 through 52 games. The Marlins are 13-39.

Cardinals 4, Royals 1: The 1oth straight home loss for Kansas City. The Cards are now 20-9 on the road. Carlos Beltran with a two-run homer.

Athletics 6, Giants 3: Five in a row for the A’s and 10 of 11. Giants starter Michael Kickham was tattooed. “Michael Kickham” would also be an excellent name for the lead character in a straight-to-video martial arts movie from the late 80s.

Padres 6, Mariners 1: Eric Wedge is flat wrong in saying that sabermetrics ruined Dustin Ackley. Sabermetricians hate Edinson Volquez and he ruined the M’s bats last night. So QED or whatever. Who ruined Brandon Maurer last night? I’m gonna say some combination of anarchists and the environmentalist movement.

Cubs vs. White Sox: POSTPONED: You must be somewhere in London. You must be lovin’ your life in the rain. You must be somewhere in London walking Abbey Lane.

There’s no one to blame in Yankees’ loss

Joe Girardi
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You’re going to boo All-Star Brett Gardner for striking out against a Cy Young contender?

You’re going to bash Alex Rodriguez for going hitless in another postseason game, three years after his last one?

Maybe you’d prefer to put it all on Masahiro Tanaka for giving up two solo homers to a lineup full of 20-homer guys?

The truth is that the Yankees were supposed to lose tonight. They were facing an outstanding left-hander with their forever-lefty-heavy lineup, and they simply didn’t have anyone pitching like an ace to set themselves up nicely for a one-game, winner-take-all showdown. The 3-0 result… well, that’s how this was supposed to go down.

It didn’t necessarily mean it would; what fun would it be if the better team always won? And the Astros might not even be a better team than the Yankees. However, the Astros with Dallas Keuchel on the mound were certainly a better team than the Yankees with whoever they picked to throw.

I just don’t see where it’s worth putting any blame tonight. Joe Girardi? He could have started John Ryan Murphy over Brian McCann against the tough lefty, but he wasn’t willing to risk Tanaka losing his comfort zone by using a backup catcher.

The front office could have added more talent, perhaps outbidding the Blue Jays for David Price or the Royals for Johnny Cueto, and set themselves up better for the postseason. However, that would have cost them Luis Severino and/or Greg Bird, both of whom went on to play key roles as the Yankees secured the wild card. Would it really have been worth it? I don’t think so.

Tanaka gave the Yankees what they should have expected. Had Keuchel’s stuff been a little off on short rest, Tanaka’s performance would have kept the Yankees in the game.

Keuchel, though, was on his game from the first pitch. The Astros bullpen might have been a bit more vulnerable, and late at-bats from Gardner, Carlos Beltran, Rodriguez and McCann definitely left something to be desired. Still, on the whole, the lack of offense was quite a team effort.

The Yankees got beat by a better team tonight.  I’m not sure the Astros would have been better in Games 2-7 in a longer series, but they had everything in their favor in this one.

Keuchel, Astros cruise past Yankees in AL Wild Card Game

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Dallas Keuchel faced the Yankees two times during the regular season and was fantastic in each outing, striking out 12 in a complete-game shutout on June 25 and whiffing nine batters over seven scoreless frames on August 25.

The 2015 Cy  Young Award candidate continued that trend in Tuesday night’s American League Wild Card Game, limiting the Yankees to three hits and one walk over six innings of scoreless ball as the Astros earned a 3-0 win and advanced to a best-of-five ALDS with the top-seeded Royals.

Keuchel was working on three days of rest but didn’t show very many signs of fatigue, whiffing seven and needing only 87 pitches to get through six. He sure looked like he could have gone an inning longer, but Astros manager A.J. Hinch decided to turn the game over to his bullpen and they added three more big zeroes to the scoreboard at a very loud then very boo-heavy Yankee Stadium. Tony Sipp worked around some early jitters to throw a scoreless seventh, Will Harris kept the Yankees off the bases entirely in a scoreless eighth, and closer Luke Gregerson went 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth.

Impending free agent outfielder Colby Rasmus provided the first burst of offense for the Astros in the top of the second inning with a leadoff homer against Masahiro Tanaka. And then deadline acquisition Carlos Gomez, who missed a bunch of time down the stretch with an intercostal strain, got to Tanaka for another solo shot in the top of the fourth. Houston scored its third run on a Jose Altuve RBI single in the top of the seventh.

This is a young, talented Astros team with an ace at the head of its rotation.

Kansas City could have a problem.