And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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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.

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).