Masahiro Tanaka

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights


Yankees 4, Mets 0: Remember how when the season started Masahiro Tanaka was the Yankees’ fourth starter? Haha, yeah, he’s so totally the ace right now that it’s not even funny. Like, he’s the ace by leaps, bounds, mile and parsecs. The man who simply won’t lose tossed a shutout, allowing four hits, walking none and striking out eight.

Rays 2, Mariners 0: Tampa Bay wins but they lose Ben Zobrist to a dislocated thumb, so that sucks. Both Rays scored in anti-climatic fashion: a bases loaded walk and a wild pitch.

White Sox 4, Athletics 2: A three-run homer by Jose Abreu n the eighth was the big blow. That gives him 15 on the year. “On pace” stuff is usually lame, but if you’re into that sort of thing Abreu is on pace for 58 homers and 158 RBI. The fact that he’s also only on pace for 39 walks is good evidence that those previous on pace numbers aren’t likely to hold. But it’s fun for now.

Giants 10, Braves 4: It’s pretty crazy what some changes in the weather will do to a park. I mean, the Giants win this game regardless because they simply hit better and pitched better than the Braves, but AT&T Park is a rather different place when it’s an uncharacteristic 90 degrees and there’s no wind. The ball flies all over that joint when it’s like it was yesterday afternoon. Just one to put in the back of one’s mind when that ice shelf in the Antarctic melts and we’re all living in some shorefront Otisburg in Ohio or Nevada or whatever.

Royals 3, Rockies 2: It’s amazing what a few days of saying a guy is a bum and we should send him to Omaha does to someone. Mike Moustakas went 2 for 3 and drove in all three of the Royals’ runs.

Nationals 5, Diamondbacks 1: Ian Desmond and Tyler Moore each hit two-run singles off Brad Ziegler in the ninth inning. The Nats take two of three from Arizona.

Tigers 7, Orioles 5: Justin Verlander didn’t have his best day but the offense picked him up and the Tigers notched the sweep. Detroit is just cruising through 2014. They’re on pace for, like, a 108-win season.

Angels 3, Phillies 0: Garrett Richards shut out Philly for seven innings with eight strikeouts and five hits. The Angels have won five of six. The Phillies fall to four games below .500. They have the same record through 38 games in 2014 as they had in 2013 so, like, progress.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $35,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Thursday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $6,000. Starts at 7:07pm ET on ThursdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Indians 15, Blue Jays 4: Well, that escalated quickly. I mean, that really got out of hand fast. Especially toward the end. David Murphy drove in five. Neil Wagner ended up wearing this one for the Jays, which is pretty noble. Really, if someone said “you can play one major league game only” and then disappear into oblivion, I would be tempted for that one game to be me wearing a blowout for the benefit of my team and my bullpen. To go out there and give up a bunch of runs and accept it with equanimity. Granted, in this masochistic fantasy I’m doing it for, like, four innings. But you see what I’m getting at. 

Astros 5, Rangers 4: Texas had a 4-0 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth but then Houston chipped away and won it on a Matt Dominguez RBI single in the ninth. The Astros took two of three from the Rangers, winning their first series against their cross-state rival after dropping the last 15 against them. Fifteen series, that is. Not games.

Red Sox 9, Twins 4: David Ortiz homered twice for the second straight night. He’s 28 for 53 in 13 career games at Target Field. In 56 career games against the Twins he’s 75 for 214 with 19 homers and 49 RBI.

Pirates 4, Brewers 1: Chris Stewart and Starlin Marte combined to drive in three in the ninth off Francisco Rodriguez who, after getting the first out in a tie game gave up four consecutive hits. Not the sort of thing he’s done much of this year.

Marlins 13, Dodgers 3: Anthony DeSclafani was making his big league debut for the Marlins. He’ll not get run support like this one very often, especially considering he drove in two of Miami’s 13 runs himself. Reed Johnson had a two run homer and Jeff Mathis smacked a three run bomb. Randy Wolf, just signed by Miami, got a three-inning save. Saves are totally important when you come into the game with an 11-run lead.

Padres vs. Reds; Cubs vs. Cardinals: POSTPONEDI know we can walk through rain, But I don’t want to end up drowned again. Too much dancing in bad weather. Makes it hard to stay together 

Astros stave off AL West elimination, beat the Diamondbacks

Colby Rasmus, Gary Pettis
AP Photo

Facing an elimination number of one, the Astros staved off elimination in the AL West by beating the Diamondbacks on Friday night by a 6-1 margin. The Rangers suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Angels on Saturday afternoon, which temporarily put the Astros’ fate in their own hands.

Colby Rasmus hit a pair of solo homers and Jose Altuve added a solo shot of his own. Starter Collin McHugh tossed seven innings of one-run ball, limiting the Diamondbacks to six hits and a walk with six strikeouts. Reliever Will Harris allowed a solo home run to Paul Goldschmidt in the eighth, but Luke Gregerson closed out the game with a scoreless ninth.

The Astros trail the Rangers by one game in the AL West and lead the Angels by one game for the second AL Wild Card slot. The Rangers can clinch the AL West on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Astros loss. The Astros can clinch the second AL Wild Card on Sunday afternoon with a win or an Angels loss.

The Yankees lost both ends of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Orioles and lead the Astros by only one game for the first AL Wild Card slot.

If the Astros win and the Rangers lose on Sunday, they will play an AL West tiebreaker in Texas. The winner will win the second AL Wild Card if the Yankees win on Sunday, or the first AL Wild Card if the Yankees lose on Sunday.

If the Astros lose and the Angels win on Sunday, the two teams will be tied for the second AL Wild Card. They would play a tiebreaker in Houston, and the winner would play the Yankees in New York in the Wild Card game.

Video: Kelby Tomlinson slides in for an inside-the-park home run

Kelby Tomlinson
AP Photo
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Giants second baseman Kelby Tomlinson looked more like Ladainian Tomlinson the way he was running during Saturday afternoon’s game against the Rockies. In the first inning with one out against starter Chris Rusin, Tomlinson hit a fly ball into the right-center field gap at AT&T Park, a great place to go if you’re in the mood for an inside-the-park home run.

Neither Carlos Gonzalez nor Chris Dickerson could corral the ball before it rolled all the way to the 421-foot marker at the fence. Tomlinson motored around the bases, but Gonzalez made a strong throw into cut-off man D.J. LeMahieu, and LeMahieu made a great throw in to catcher Tom Murphy, but Tomlinson slid in safely just ahead of the tag.

It was an exciting play and the hit proved important as the Giants eked out a 3-2 win against the Rockies.