And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Astros 8, Rangers 0: Dallas Keuchel tossed a seven-hit shutout. I’m obligated by The Guild to say he scattered those hits. L.J. Hoes drove in three. Meanwhile, Matt Harrison left the game with back stiffness early.

Angels 4, Phillies 3: There was an awful lot of Philly-based press about Mike Trout yesterday, seeing as though he’s from nearby Millville, New Jersey. It was like a kid from nearby coming to play a game in May was Philly’s World Series or something. As it was, Trout’s slump continued and he was a non-factor here. Defense was a factor, as in Cody Asche committing not one, but two errors in the sixth inning allowing all four of Anaheim’s runs to score and all of them to be unearned.

Tigers 4, Orioles 1: A 1-0 lead in the ninth and Tommy Hunter on the hill was not enough here. Hunter surrendered back-to-back homers to Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez and — bam! — that was that. Really, it sounded like “bam!” when the home runs were hit. That’s not me trying to add color here.

Padres 2, Reds 1: That stuff I said on Monday about Aroldis Chapman being the Terminator or whatever? Well, anyway. Chapman surrendered a ninth inning homer to Chase Headley after entering a tied game. That was only the third hit of the game for the Padres, but it was enough to give them their fourth straight win.

Mets 12, Yankees 7: Being in Yankee Stadium sure has cured the Mets’ offensive woes. Curtis Granderson hit a three-run homer in the first and Daniel Murphy hit one in the fifth. This game fell two minutes shy of four hours, so it was good an agonizing for masochistic Yankees fans, who now root for a .500 ballclub.

Brewers 5, Pirates 2: Gerrit Cole hit Carlos Gomez with a pitch in the third inning because of course he did. No ill-will sprung from it, however and everyone moved on. Gomez came around to score, so viva the unwritten rules. Cole sure showed Gomez. Marco Estrada didn’t have any grudges to deal with. All he did was win the game with six serviceable innings.

Blue Jays 5, Indians 4: R.A. Dickey won for the third time in four starts. Juan Francisco hit a homer. Melky Cabrera gunned the would-be tying run down at the plate in the eighth, but I suppose we’re not supposed to mention that because he tested positive for drugs a couple of years ago and now “questions have arisen” in bored and suspicious people’s minds.

Cardinals 4, Cubs 3: A 12th inning walkoff plunking, as Justin Grimm hit Greg Garcia with the bases loaded in the 12th of a 3-3 game. Rough inning for Grimm as he gave up a single and two walks to load the bases before the game-ender. Kinda deflating for Chicago, which had rallied off Trevor Rosenthal to tie it in the ninth.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $18,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Wednesday night’s MLB games. It’s only $2 to join and first prize is $2,000. Starts at 7:07pm ET on WednesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Royals 5, Rockies 1: James Shields allowed one run over seven while striking out eight. One of those eight was his 1,500th career strikeout.

Diamondbacks 3, Nationals 1: “I have a Strasburg.” “Oh yeah, well we have an Arroyo.” I dunno, just trying to dramatic that all up. A one run complete game for Bronson Arroyo. A two-run double by Paul Goldschmidt in the fifth put Arizona up for good.

Twins 8, Red Sox 6: Two homers for David Ortiz but a walkoff homer for Chris Parmalee was better. Had to feel good for Parmalee, who has spent part of the season in the minors.

Dodgers 7, Marlins 1: Josh Beckett gets his first win since 2012 and it comes against his old team. Yasiel Puig had an RBI double and extended his hitting streak to 13 games. Miami has lost five in a row.

Braves 5, Giants 0: Mike Minor pitched shutout baseball into the seventh. Ryan Vogelsong  . . . didn’t. Two RBI for Freddie Freeman. The Braves’ three-run sixth was keyed by Jason Heyward who tagged up to take second base on one play and managed to duck under a tag at home to score even though the ball beat him there by ten feet.

Athletics 11, White Sox 0: Drew Pomeranz and three relievers combined on a four-hit shutout. Josh Reddick and Brandon Moss hit homers — two for Moss, actually. The A’s are tied for the most wins in baseball and lead everyone in baseball in run differential with a +73.

Rays 2, Mariners 1: As in the Orioles-Tigers game, a 1-0 lead wasn’t enough as Fernando Rodney blew the save by allowing all of the opponents’ runs in the ninth. That (and some pretty awesome pitching) allowed David Price to get the win. Price went the distance and struck out 12. Hisashi Iwakuma had eight shutout innings flushed down the toilet.

Magic Johnson says the Dodgers will win the World Series

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Baseball, as we so often note around here, is unpredictable. Especially when it comes to the playoffs. You can be the best team in the land for six months but a few bad days can end your season once October hits.

In 2001 the Seattle Mariners won 116 games in the regular season but lost the ALCS to the Yankees, four games to one. In 1906 the Cubs won 116 games in a 152-game season and lost the World Series. In 1954 the Indians won 111 games in a 154-game season and lost the World Series. In 1931 the Philadelphia A’s won 107 games and lost the World Series.

More recently, with the advent of expanded playoffs, the chances for the team with the best record to win the World Series have been pretty dang terrible. Since the beginning of the wild card era, only five times has the team with the game’s best record gone on to win the World Series: The 1998 and 2009 Yankees, the 2007 and 2013 Red Sox and the 2016 Cubs. That’s it.

At the moment, the Los Angeles Dodgers have baseball’s best record. They’re 71-31 and sit 12 games up in their division. Their playoff chances are almost 100%. The above examples notwithstanding, if you had to make a prediction as to who might win the World Series, it would not be unreasonable to pick the Dodgers. Sure, you’d want to make sure they got Clayton Kershaw back by early September or thereabouts to make it a safer prediction, but it’d be a totally defensible pick. Maybe even the one most people make.

But it’d be the utmost in magical thinking to presume that one could make such a prediction with any degree of certainty, right? The Los Angeles Times, however, passes along some Magical thinking:

Magic Johnson called his shot Thursday night, and he wasn’t shy about it. The Dodgers’ co-owner did not hesitate when he predicted how the team would finish this year.

“The Dodgers are going to win the World Series this year,” Johnson said. “This is our year.”

The headline calls it a “guarantee.” I don’t know if I’d call it that — I think it’s more of a confident prediction — but it is a bold statement whatever you call it.

If I had to pick one team at the moment — and we could assume a healthy Clayton Kershaw — I suppose I would make them my World Series favorites too. And, yes, if I had an ownership interest in the Dodgers, I’d probably say what Johnson said.

But given the example of history, I think “field” would be a much safer bet.

Mariners trade Steve Cishek to the Rays for swingman Erasmo Ramirez.

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The Tampa Bay Rays have acquired reliever Steve Cishek from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for reliever Erasmo Ramirez.

Cishek had appeared in 23 games this season for Seattle after recovering from major offseason hip surgery. He’s 1-1 with a 3.15 ERA, with a 15/7 K/BB ratio in 20 innings. He’s a setup man right now, but he has experience as a closer, saving 25 games for Seattle last year and as many as 39 back when he pitched for the Marlins in 2014.

Ramirez has appeared in 26 games for the Rays and has started eight games. He’s 4-3 with a 4.80 ERA and a 55/16 K/BB ratio in 69.1 innings. This will be his second stint with the Mariners, having played for them from 2012-14.

Sort of a surprising deal given that both Tampa Bay and Seattle are competing for a wild card spot, but needs are needs.