Henderson Alvarez

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Marlins 1, Rays 0: Henderson Alvarez tosses his third shutout of the season. Last year the league leaders in that category — Justin Masterson and Bartolo Colon — had three for the whole season. Heck, the league leader had three in five of the past 11 seasons.

Nationals 7, Phillies 0: Ryan Zimmerman had two doubles and handled the only two balls hit to him in left field cleanly in his debut as an outfielder. Jordan Zimmermann pitched eight scoreless innings. Larry Bowa probably blames Dom Brown and then his head probably exploded.

Indians 5, Red Sox 3: Five straight for Cleveland, with the big hit coming on Michael Bourn’s two-run double in the seventh. The Indians, considered dead not too long ago, have made up six games in the AL Central standings since May 18 and trail first-place Detroit by four and a half games.

Mariners 7, Braves 5: Homers done it. Stefen Romero hit a three-run pinch-hit homer in the fourth to tie it at five and then John Buck hit a two-run shot in the seventh. Buck had three hits in all. His homer was his fourth against Atlanta since the start of 2013. He joins Mike Redmond on the Mount Rushmore of Mostly Pedestrian Catchers Who Inexplicably Kill The Braves. Not sure who the other two are, but I’m sure they exist.

Athletics 5, Yankees 2:  A three-run 10th kicked off by Brandon Moss’ second homer of the game gives this one to the A’s. The key to the win, according to Sean Doolittle, is your typical Oakland A’s Moneyball techno-spreadsheet explanation:

“The way the guys were swinging in the 10th inning, it was like they could smell the victory and found a way to get it done,” the A’s reliever said. “That’s typical Oakland A’s baseball.”

God, dude. Get your head out of you computer screen and watch some baseball.

Reds 8, Giants 3: Four straight for the Reds. Four errors for the Giants, mostly caused by Bill Hamilton getting in Tim Lincecum and Hector Sanchez’s heads.

Blue Jays 5, Tigers 3: A five-run ninth for Toronto, four of which were charged to Joe Nathan, though three scored on a Brett Lawrie homer given up by Al Alburquerque. Anyone got John Hiller’s phone number?

Orioles 8, Rangers 3: Nelson Cruz always hit well in Arlington and he did so again last night hitting a three-run shot to give him his 21st homer of the season. Adam Jones added four hits and a homer.

Royals 8, Cardinals 7: Kolten Wong’s grand slam ended a 20-inning scoreless streak for St. Louis, but Eric Hosmer’s tie-breaking RBI single in the ninth extended their losing streak to three. The Cards have lost six of seven overall.

Astros 7, Angels 2: Jon Singleton made his major league debut with a couple of strikeouts a couple of errors and his first-ever homer. He also walked with the bases loaded to give him two-RBI on the game. Bud Norris thinks Singleton should’ve gotten four RBI. It would have been better for everyone else, Norris says.

Cubs 2, Mets 1: One in the eighth and one in the ninth for Chicago. The run in the ninth came on a Nate Schierholtz single, for the Cubs’ first walkoff win of the year. Chris Coghlan’s solo shot accounted for the other run. The Mets had a lot of chances to score more than just their one run but failed to capitalize.

Twins 6, Brewers 4: Josh Willingham stays hot, hitting a three-run homer. Since coming off the DL on May 26 he’s hit four of ’em. Also: a dude fell the hell out of a TGI Friday’s and into the bullpen, so that was special.

Diamondbacks 4, Rockies 2: Back to back homers for Nick Evans and Chris Owings. Evans was filling in for Paul Goldschmidt, who was given the night off. It was Evans’ first homer since 2011.

White Sox 4, Dodgers 1: Jose Abreu went deep again and drove in three overall. Hector Noesi got his first win in 19 starts.

Pirates 4, Padres 1: Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez hit two-run homers and Gerrit Cole and four relievers combined to allow one run. A day after a nine-inning game between these two teams lasted over four hours, this one was done in 2:43.

The Mets are set to host the NL wild card game

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 01: James Loney #28 of the New York Mets is congratulated after hitting a two-run home run against the Philadelphia Phillies during the sixth inning of a game at Citizens Bank Park on October 1, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
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In the end, the Mets’ march into the playoffs played out just how they imagined: three innings of a Bartolo Colon perfecto, four combined innings of one-run ball from five different relievers, a James Loney home run. Well, maybe it looked a little different when they drew it up.

Colon guided the Mets through five innings for his 15th win of the year, striking out six and giving up a two-run homer in the fifth. Behind him, the Mets combined for five runs off of RBI base hits from T.J. Rivera and Jose Reyes, finding an edge with Loney’s go-ahead homer in the sixth and a bonus RBI single from Asdrubal Cabrera in the ninth inning. Despite a pair of well-placed home runs by Ryan Howard and Darin Ruf, the Phillies found themselves in scoring position just twice and were unable to close the two-run gap to tie the game.

The Mets’ 5-3 win over the Phillies clinched their spot in the postseason, sans tiebreaker. They also secured home-field advantage for Wednesday’s wild card game, during which they’ll face either the Cardinals or the Giants. On Friday, the wild card winner will advance to the Division Series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

As MLB.com’s Jeff Passan and Joe Trezza simultaneously pointed out, it will be an unconventional playoff run for the Mets, who approach October without Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz, Neil Walker, David Wright, Zack Wheeler, or Ben Zobrist. Now, if ever, seems like an appropriate time for some champagne.

Indians’ postseason rotation is still up in the air

CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 16: Starting pitcher Corey Kluber #28 of the Cleveland Indians pitches during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Progressive Field on September 16, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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With Game 1 of the Red Sox-Indians ALDS set to commence on Thursday, there’s no better starter for the job than Corey Kluber. The only question is whether or not the right-hander will be up to the task after sustaining a mild quadriceps strain earlier this week.

Indians’ manager Terry Francona appeared optimistic about Kluber’s chances of recovering in time for the Division Series, but admitted that he doesn’t have his rotation set in stone for the first couple of postseason games. Complicating matters is Monday’s potential make-up game between the Indians and the Tigers, which they’ll be forced to play if the outcome has bearing on playoff seeding.

Per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, Francona doesn’t have a starter for the make-up game, either, though he clarified that rehabbing right-hander Danny Salazar would not be eligible. Salazar is still working his way back from a forearm injury in hopes of joining the Indians for their postseason run, and needs to toss another simulated game before he can be expected to return to the mound. Kluber, meanwhile, will throw off the mound on Sunday.

With Kluber or Salazar limping out of the gate, the Indians will likely have to fall back on right-handers Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin. Bauer is slated for Saturday’s face-off against the Royals and confirmed his willingness to pitch on short rest through the playoffs. The 25-year-old also spoke to the Indians about his ability to pitch out of the bullpen, though it’s an option they appear unlikely to exercise. While Francona’s comments on Friday stressed the club’s patient approach toward their rotation, Bauer appeared revved and ready to go:

If it was up to me, […] I’d pitch and be ready to start or be available out of the ‘pen every game. In the playoffs, there’s really no reason to save anything. So, whenever I can get in there, whenever they want me to get in there, I’ll be ready.