Screen Shot 2014-06-01 at 8.58.25 PM

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights


Mariners 4, Tigers 0: Not a ton of people outside of Seattle knew what a Roenis Elias was before this game, but now they have a positive ID. He’s the beast that tossed a three-hitter while striking out eight Tigers. The game story says he’s the first Mariners rookie to record a shutout since Freddy Garcia on Aug. 24, 1999. But I’m calling b.s. on that. Freddy Garcia could not have been a rookie in 1999. He’s at least 67-years-old and I’m pretty sure he pitched some middle relief for the Pilots in ’69.

Brewers 9, Cubs 0: Kyle Lohse pitched a Roenis Elias. Which is what I’m going to start calling three-hit shutouts. Think it’ll stick? For once Jeff Samardzija got no run support in a game he unequivocally deserved to lose. The Brewers touched this season’s premiere rent-a-starter-to-be for eight runs in three innings.

White Sox 4, Padres 1: Chris Sale pitched a Roenis Elias Lite. That’s a complete game in which you allow only two hits, but you just miss the shutout because you give up a 420 foot+ homer to a dude back in the fifth. Hmm, starting to think this system is going to break down.

Indians 6, Rockies 4: A three-game sweep of the Rockies capped off with Michael Bourn hitting a walkoff homer. After the game Bourn actually said “In that situation you just look for a pitch to hit.” As opposed to those other situations when you look for a pitch with which to discuss world affairs. Perhaps over a cup of coffee.

Braves 4, Marlins 2: At times this season it has seemed as if no team really feels all that invested in winning the NL East. For one weekend at least someone at least sorta acted like it. The Braves sweep the Marlins with help from Evan Gattis’ two-run bomb in the ninth. His homer actually hit the home run sculpture thingie. You’d think that even though he’s a visiting player that they’d crank the thing up for him, but no. How petty.

Twins 7, Yankees 2: Phil Hughes tossing eight solid innings and not allowing a single dinger in Yankee Stadium is about as good as it gets these days for those of you who like to partake in Yankeefreude.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $35,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Monday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $6,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on MondayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Rangers 2, Nationals 0: Yu Darvish: eight shutout innings and 12 Ks. Nationals bats: nine shutout innings and 14 Ks. Darvish is pretty hard to beat on nine-days’ rest.

Blue Jays 4, Royals 0: Mark Buehrle won again. Edwin Encarnacion homered again. So far June is looking a lot like May for Toronto. The Royals got shut out, so I suppose the same can be said about them.

Mets 4, Phillies 3: Lucas Duda’s two-run homer in the 11th gives the Mets the game and series win. They’ve won 5 of 6, by the way. But because they’re the Mets I presume this morning’s papers are full of all kinds of stories about their dysfunction. That’s just how these things go down.

Red Sox 4, Rays 0: A week ago at this time we were all writing our “what’s wrong with the Red Sox?” posts as they skidded to ten straight losses. Since then they’ve won seven straight. Call me crazy, but I’m getting the feeling this team is streaky. Jon Lester is one of about a gabillion pitchers yesterday who pitched [pretty impressive number of] shutout innings. Brock Holt — BROCK HOLT! — had four doubles.

Giants 8, Cardinals 0: That’s five of six for the Giants in the win column, four of five for the Cardinals in the loss. Tim Hudson with seven shutout innings. I’m tellin’ ya: bald dudes born on July 14th are the new inefficiency.

Orioles 9, Astros 4: Manny Machado hit his first career grand slam as part of a six-run sixth. Nelson Cruz was hit on the hand and left the game but it’s just a bruise so he’s day-today.

Reds 4, Diamondbacks 3: Four runs on solo shots from Chris Heisey, Zack Cozart, Todd Frazier and Ryan Ludwick. All off Wade Miley. After the game manager Kirk Gibson said this about Miley’s outing: “He pitched well except for the four pitches.” And apart from all of that, Mrs. Lincoln quite enjoyed the play,

Athletics 6, Angels 3: The Angels were charging and surging and stuff and then they got to Oakland and dropped three straight. Jed Lowrie homered and drove in two and Josh Donaldson drove in two more. Time for the Angels to roll that boulder back up the hill.

Pirates 5, Dodgers 3: Andrew McCutchen had a homer and a pair of doubles, Pedro Alvarez drove in three and the Pirates won a series at Dodger Stadium for the first time in seven years.

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
1 Comment

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.