Minnesota Twins v Houston Astros

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights


Twins 10, Astros 6: Rookie and independent league veteran Chris Colabello homered twice including a grand slam to break a 6-6 tie in the ninth. Entering Sunday he was on an 0 for 23 skid and now here he is having the best day of his life. Probably the best day he’ll ever have at a ballpark.

Athletics 4, Rangers 2: Coco Crisp broke a 2-2 tie with a two-run homer in the fifth and now the AL West is tied. I feel like it’s going to go down to the last day once again.

Blue Jays 4, Diamondbacks 1: Esmil Rogers pitched six and a third innings of one-hit ball, winning his first game since June 18. The Dbacks hit into four double plays, including twin killings that ended the seventh, eighth and ninth innings.

Dodgers 10, Rockies 8: Clayton Kershaw didn’t have a great day, allowing five runs on 11 hits in five innings. And Yasiel Puig left with a strained knee. Still, the Dodgers won because the Dodgers always seem to win. Well, that and because the Rockies are pretty bad. Andre Eithier homered, doubled and drove in three.

Padres 4, Giants 1: For the first time in 12 starts against NL West opponents this year, Ian Kennedy got the win. Not exactly what you’d expect for a guy who won 20 for an NL West team just two years ago, but the Padres will take it. Barry Zito lost his eighth straight decision as he winds down his career in San Francisco.

Orioles 7, Indians 2: Justin Masterson left early with a sore side and the Indians wild card chances feel like they’re leaving with him. Nate McLouth homers and had three RBI. Bud Norris allowed only one run in seven, improving to 4-1 as an O. The Orioles are one and a half back in the wild card.

Marlins 4, Cubs 3: Henderson Alvarez hit his first career home run, helping his own cause as he pitched six innings allowing three runs. He also pulled his hamstring so, yeah, kind of a mixed bag day.

Pirates 5, Brewers 2: Pittsburgh regains sole possession of first with this win — thanks to a solid effort from Charlie Morton — and the Cardinals’ loss. This was win number 80 for the Pirates. One more to break the string of losing seasons, two more to have their first winning season since 1992.

Royals 4, Mariners 1: Felix Hernandez loses his fourth straight start and left the game with a sore back in the seventh. Royals starter Danny Duffy wasn’t any great shakes either, but he was relieved by Will Smith who struck out eight in four and a third innings of relief. Five of Smith’s strikeouts came on three pitches so, hey, great effort Seattle.

Reds 7, Cardinals 2: An awful day for the Cards as Yadier Molina left early due to a sore left wrist and Adam Wainwright got shelled by the Reds for the second straight start. Meanwhile Mat Latos was sharp. The Cards fall a game behind Pittsburgh. The Reds are 3.5 out.

Tigers 3, Red Sox 0: So Miguel Cabrera? No problem. At least once the seventh inning started and the Tigers were finally able to get to John Lackey a bit. No Red Sox bat got to Doug Fister, who tossed seven shutout innings.

Braves 13, Mets 5: Freddie Freeman hit a homer and had five RBI. Daisuke Matsuzaka was shelled and was his usual slow, frustrating inefficient self. You have to wonder if this wasn’t his last major league start.

Yankees 9, White Sox 1: Man the White Sox look awful. Derek Jeter had a couple of RBI singles and the Yankees scored eight in the fourth inning. Bad defense by the Sox, lots of rain, lots of overall sloppy play. This looked like Tampa in February, not New York in September.

Phillies 3, Nationals 2: Hamels beats Strasburg despite a sore back and a crappy bullpen session, allowing only two hits with eight strikeouts and no walks in seven innings. The Nats little surge toward the wild card seems to have been somewhat illusory.

Angels 11, Rays 2: Erick Aybar drove in four and the entire Angels lineup had a nice night roughing up the heretofore reliable Chris Archer. Not that Garrett Richards was much better for the Angels. He walked seven dudes, but the Rays couldn’t take advantage and now find themselves the losers of five straight.

The Mets break out the whuppin’ sticks, rout the Dodgers 13-7

Cespedes d'Arnaud

So often in life the anticipation of something outpaces its reality. For Mets fans tonight, it was the exact opposite. They had a grand old time. The Mets broke out the lumber and overwhelmed the Dodgers 13-4 to take a 2-1 lead in NLDS.

So much of that anticipation was about revenge, really. Hitting Chase Utley if he was in the lineup, perhaps, or at the very least sending some sort of retaliatory message the Dodgers’ way in response to Utley breaking Ruben Tejada‘s leg on Saturday. But with Utley out of the lineup — and the notion that base runners matter a whole heck of a lot in a playoff game — Matt Harvey just set out to pitch, not plunk. And Mets hitters set out to beat the living heck out of Brett Anderson and a couple Dodgers relievers. Living well is the best revenge, and for a major league team, winning baseball games is living well.

It didn’t start out so well for Harvey, as Yasmani Grandal singled in two runs in the top of the second with a third run scoring on a Curtis Granderson error on the same play. It was 3-0 Dodgers early and Mets’ fans sphincters’ clenched. But only momentarily.

The Mets came right back in the bottom of the second with four runs with a Travis d'Arnaud single and a bases-loaded, bases-clearing double from Curtis Granderson. In the next inning d’Arnaud hit a two-run shot. In the fourth Daniel Murphy singled in a run and Yoenis Cespedes hit a three-run bomb to left to make it 10-3. The Dodgers got one back in the top of the seventh but New York scored three more of their own in the bottom half. It was never a ballgame after the third inning.

Brett Anderson was the author of the damage through three, Alex Wood gave up the four runs in the fourth and hung on in the fifth in what became mop-up duty. Harvey was done after five and took the win. He wasn’t necessarily sharp, but he did strike out seven and was good enough. Some late damage from the Dodgers, including a three-run homer in the ninth from Howie Kendrick, was too little, too late. Granderson and d’Arnaud did the damage for New York, driving in five and three runs, respectively.

Once the competitive portion of this game was over, the Mets’ crowd turned to more important matters. Chanting things like “We want Utley!” Don Mattingly didn’t give him to ’em, probably because there was no downside to smacking him after the game got out of hand. But no upside either. Because of that stuff about living well, remember?

Now it’s on Clayton Kershaw to save the Dodgers from elimination [looks at watch] tonight, technically. If he doesn’t, his detractors will write another page in their Big Book of Clayton Kershaw Playoff Failures. If he does, we get a Game 5 back in Los Angeles.

Maybe Chase Utley gets into one of those.

Jake Arrieta beatable, but still unbeaten

Jake Arrieta
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Jake Arrieta gave up as many earned runs Monday against the Cardinals as he had in his previous 13 starts combined, yet the Cubs still won 8-6.

It’s the 15th straight time the Cubs have won a game started by Arrieta, who is set to finish first or second in the Cy Young balloting announced next month. Their last loss in an Arrieta-pitched game was when the Phillies’ Cole Hamels no-hit them on July 25. They won the previous four before that, too, so make it 19 of 20.

The outing could go down as Arrieta’s last of the season, though that would require the Cardinals beating the Cubs in back-to-back games to finish the NLDS. The more likely scenario at this point is that Arrieta starts Game 1 of the NLCS against the Dodgers or Mets.

Arrieta, though, was vulnerable in this one, turning in his shortest start since June. Even in the shutout of Pittsburgh in the wild card game, the Pirates had chances in the middle innings (most notably before Starling Marte‘s well-hit grounder with the bases loaded turned into a double play in the sixth).

Tonight, he walked two in a row at one point, after not walking a single batter in his previous three starts. He gave up his first homer in six starts. The wind was a factor in tonight’s eight-homer barrage, but Jason Heyward‘s two-run shot off Arrieta went against the grain in left-center.

So, if nothing else, the illusion of impenetrability is now gone. Arrieta can be gotten to, if primarily in short bursts. That’s not going to do anything for the Cardinals — at least not unless Arrieta is called on to pitch an inning or two in Game 5 — but it’ll probably come into play later in the postseason.

Ding-Dong! The Cubbies ride homers to a 2-1 series lead

Jorge Soler

The wind was blowing out of Wrigley Field on Monday night, but mostly for the home team. Makes you think that maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t all about the wind.

The Cubs hit six homers off of Cardinals pitching, one each from each of the first six batters in their lineup. Three of them came against Michael Wacha, who Mike Matheny inexplicably let bat for himself in the top of the fifth and take the hill in the bottom of the fifth and on to a third time through the Cubs’ order. He was shaky as it was, and quickly put a runner on and then allowed a two-run homer to Kris Bryant to make it 4-2. One batter later Kevin Siegrist came in and let Anthony Rizzo take him VERY deep to right field to make it 5-2.

Jason Heyward made it interesting in the top of the sixth with a two run shot to make it a one-run game but then Jorge Soler hit a two run shot in the bottom half and Dexter Fowler hit one in the eighth to make it 8-4. You can’t trade solo shots for multiple two-run jobs. You wanna get the Cardinals? Here’s how you get ’em. They pull a knife, you pull a gun. They send one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue! They hit a solo homer, you hit a bunch of two-run shots. That’s the Chicago way, and that’s how you get the Cardinals!

Not that the Cardinals didn’t do a lot. They scored four runs in five and a third against Jake Arrieta, who hadn’t been damaged like that since June 16. But five Cubs relievers held mostly firm. You tell me before the game that they got to Arrieta like that and I tell you they won. But nope.

Now it’s 2-1 Cubs in a best of five. They go tomorrow with Jason Hammel and try to eliminate the Cards. Who had best figure out how to counter the Cubs’ power.