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And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights


Brewers 3, Pirates 2: FISTICUFFSMANSHIP! No one distinguishes themselves here, but this much is true: if Gerrit Cole simply takes the ball and goes back to the mound without jawing at Gomez, (a) Gomez looks like a guy who misjudged his hit and almost got thrown out foolishly; and (b) no brawl happens. But in baseball it’s not enough to let someone look a bit silly and take the high road. No, you must tell the other guy that his looking silly somehow offended your honor or some crazy crap and you must escalate things because, well, that’s how it’s done. “How dare you think that ball you just hit 399 feet was about to go 400 feet?!” you must exclaim. “You are a bad person for doing that!” I wish Gomez didn’t respond to Cole’s provocation with dumbass hostility of his own (and he’s gonna get righteously suspended or fined for throwing his helmet).But how awesome would it have been if he had simply smiled and said “yeah, I shouldn’t have assumed that triple I just smoked off of your crappy pitch was a home run. How WRONG of me,” and then blown Cole a kiss? He didn’t do that, of course, but the fact remains that no fight happens if Cole doesn’t decide to start hurling F-bombs at Gomez because Honor and Rules and bullcrap like that which doesn’t belong in 21st century sports.

Reds 8, Cubs 2: Hope you all had a happy Easter. Or, as we refer to it at our house, Spring Thanksgiving. That’s not an attempt to secularize it for anyone else. I get how important Easter is to Christians and don’t mean to denigrate their faith. It’s just an acknowledgment that my family isn’t religious so we basically just treat Easter as a family meal and coming together thing. Oh, it’s also the one time every year my mom tells the “Peter . . . I can see your house from up here . . .” joke, which is her absolute favorite joke ever. Kinda odd because, really, my mom is the only one of us who still considers herself a Catholic and goes to mass and stuff. I guess you have more of a right to be sacrilegious if it’s actually your religion than someone else does. Anyway, in a major shocker, my mom did not tell the “Peter . . . I can see your house from up here . . .” joke this year. Guess she forgot. Kind of a surprise. Not a surprise? The Reds taking two of three from the Cubs at Wrigley, where they’ve won 17 of the last 19.

Giants 4, Padres 3: San Francisco only had three hits — and none after the second inning — but that’s all they needed because one was a two-run homer and the other a two-run single. Tim Lincecum got his first win of the year.

Dodgers 4, Diamondbacks 1: Puig hit a three-run homer and threw Miguel Montero the heck OUT at second base when he tried to stretch for a double. Which, to be fair, would be a double against most right fielders, but like I said, he got thrown the heck OUT. Note: Puig did not hit the cutoff man in throwing Montero. He threw it right over him. Because, in this case, hitting the cutoff man would’ve slowed things down. But if anyone wants to lecture Puig about it, go ahead. I’ll be over here rolling my eyes and doing that wanking motion thing.

Athletics 4, Astros 1: The sweep. Josh Donaldson homered and doubled twice. The A’s have won 11 of 13. The Astros have lost seven in a row. None of this is particularly surprising.

White Sox 16, Rangers 2: Jose Abreu and Jordan Danks each hit two homers and the Sox win in a laugher. That ends the Rangers’ five-game winning streak.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $15,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Monday night’s MLB games. It’s just $10 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on MondayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Nationals 3, Cardinals 2Mets 4, Braves 3: The Nationals won on a walkoff sac fly, the Braves lost on a walkoff sac fly. This is important. This means something. [Craig sculpts things out of his mashed potatoes]. In the Nats-Cards game, Denard Span hit the sac fly against the Cardinals’ five-man infield. Span:

“I counted: one, two, three, four, five,” Span said. “Right there I told myself a groundball probably not going to do it. Try to get the ball in the air somehow.”

That he counted so quickly is proof positive that activating him from the seven-day concussion DL was the right call. If he saw ten infielders they would’ve put him back on there.

Twins 8, Royals 3: Phil Hughes got a win. It’s the first time that’s happened since last July. Which means Phil Hughes’ wins have the same frequency as, like, Christmas.

Marlins 3, Mariners 2: The Marlins sweep Seattle. Christian Yelich hit a double and scored the tying run in the eighth, which was official only replay overturned the initial out call. That brings Yelich’s hitting streak to 14 games. The double, I mean. He’d still have the hitting streak even if he was out at home. That’s a baseball rule. 

Yankees 5, Rays 1: Two five inning starts and some solid bullpen work from each team had this one tied at one in the 12th. Then Dean Anna walked with the bases loaded to put the Yankees ahead. The Rays are “The Extra 2%” team. In that instance the had a 25% surplus of walks and/or base runners. Subsequent RBI singles from Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann took the math out of the equation. Wait, if you take math out of the equation, is it still an equation? I think I just blew my mind thinking about this. Probably shouldn’t write game recaps on 4/20.

Tigers 2, Angels 1: Clown shoes defense by the Angels and heads-up base running by Ian Kinsler gave the Tigers their first run. A second error by Hank Conger led to the Tigers’ second run. Remember back when Mike Scioscia teams used to be lauded for being fundamentally sound and all that? That was cool. Feels like a million years ago, but it was cool.

Indians 6, Blues Jays 4: The Indians avoid a sweep. The AP gamer credits a pep talk by Terry Francona for the win. If there was anything to that I’d totally give pep talks before every game, dude.

Phillies 10, Rockies 9: Jimmy Rollins hit a homer and then drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth. This was a pretty significant offensive outburst for a team which had gone four games without an extra base hit.

Red Sox 6, Orioles 5: On a day when dumb defense impacted a couple of games dumb defense decided this one. Here, Dustin Pedroia scored the winning run on a David Lough throwing error. Lough caught a liner, Pedoria tagged from third but then headed back realizing Lough would likely nail him at the plate. Then Lough sailed one home. The O’s gave this game away in a lot of ways, and not just by virtue of blowing a five-run lead. Pedoria was able to advance to third in the first place thanks to a wild pitch.

Clayton Kershaw, Jacob deGrom create MLB first with 11 strikeouts each in the playoffs

Jacob deGrom
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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For the first time in major league history, both pitchers in a playoff game have struck out at least 11 batters, per’s Paul Casella. Mets starter Jacob deGrom has pitched just a hair better than Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw overall. deGrom has blanked the Dodgers on five hits and a walk. Kershaw made one mistake, resulting in a solo home run to Daniel Murphy in the fourth inning. He’s allowed four hits and two walks total.

The last time opposing starters each struck out 10 in a post-season game was back in 1944 in Game 5 of the World Series when Mort Cooper of the St. Louis Cardinals struck out 12 and Denny Galehouse of the St. Louis Browns struck out 10.

Michael Cuddyer not shining in left field early in NLDS Game 1

Michael Cuddyer
AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek

Mets outfielder Michael Cuddyer has already made a pair of mistakes in left field and he’s only four innings into the first game of the best-of-five NLDS against the Dodgers.

Leading off the second inning, Justin Turner sent a well-struck liner to Cuddyer which was quite catchable, but the ball clanked off of the veteran’s glove. Turner was credited with a double. Mets starter Jacob deGrom was able to work around the misplay, striking out Andre Ethier, A.J. Ellis, and Clayton Kershaw to close out the frame.

With two outs in the third inning, Corey Seager sent a fly ball down the left field line. Cuddyer took an inefficient route and the ball bounced about a foot inside the foul line, then into the stands, giving Seager a ground-rule double. To add insult to injury, Cuddyer ended up tumbling over the fence. deGrom, again, worked around Cuddyer’s mistake, striking out Adrian Gonzalez to end the inning.

Because he bats right-handed, Cuddyer got the start in left field over the left-handed-hitting rookie Michael Conforto against Kershaw, a southpaw. Conforto mustered only a .481 OPS against lefties this season compared to Cuddyer’s .698. Despite the batting disparity, one wonders how short a leash manager Terry Collins has on Cuddyer given his defense.

Mets take lead during NLDS Game 1 with Daniel Murphy’s solo homer

Daniel Murphy
AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek
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Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy broke a scoreless tie in the fourth inning, belting a solo home run to right field at Dodger Stadium off of starter Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw threw a 2-0, 94 MPH fastball and Murphy didn’t miss it.

Both teams’ starters are pitching quite well overall. Kershaw has allowed the one run on three hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Jacob deGrom started off the game with six consecutive strikeouts and has struck out seven total while blanking the Dodgers on three hits and a walk in three innings.

Kershaw doesn’t have the most impressive post-season track record, owning a career 5.12 ERA across eight starts and three relief appearances spanning 51 innings. Aside from the homer, the lefty appears to be putting that notion aside.