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And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights


Indians 7, Red Sox 4: A three-run walkoff homer for Asdrubal Cabrera in the 12th inning to give the Tribe a three-game sweep. With rain delays and extra innings the game took seven hours, ending at 2:02AM. Six straight wins for the Indians.

Mariners 2, Braves 0:  Hisashi Iwakuma and two relievers combined for a six-hit shutout. Stefan Romero ,who came into the game hitting .204, hit cleanup. Lloyd McClendon was asked about it and he said “Somebody has got to hit there. I don’t have Bonds, so it’s going to be Romero.” Romero hit a triple a single and scored a run. When things are going well they’re going well. Five straight wins for Seattle.

Athletics 7, Yankees 4: Two homers for Yoenis Cespedes and the A’s bounce back from a 4-0 deficit to win going away. Four straight losses for New York, which has been outscored 21-0 in the seventh inning-on over that span. They’ve lost 12 of 16 at home.

Padres 3, Pirates 2: San Diego scored three runs and won the game despite getting just one hit. And it wasn’t even an RBI hit. It was a bunt single in the first inning. You can do that when you take nine walks from Pirates pitchers. Their runs came via a sac fly, an error and a bases-loaded walk. Viva the smallest of small ball.

Nationals 8, Phillies 4: Stephen Strasburg struck out 11 in seven innings and the Nats’ bats beat up on A.J. Burnett and the reeling Phillies. Anthony Rendon had a homer and a two-run single. The Nats have won four of five and are a game and a half out of first. Perhaps this is the run everyone expected but which never came last year.

Blue Jays 8, Tigers 2: Ugly loss for the Tigers. After falling behind 3-2 in the sixth they loaded the bases with nobody out and then the next three hitters went down in ignominious and unproductive fashion. Maybe it’s just as well, as it would’ve been slightly more dispiriting to have the bullpen surrender five runs in the final two innings to blow a lead than it was to see the bullpen surrender five runs in the final two innings to merely increase a previously-existing deficit.

Giants 3, Reds 2: Juan Perez and Michael Morse homered in the sixth inning to account for all the Giants’ runs. The Giants win their 10th of 13 and have the best record in baseball. Bay Area World Series, anyone?

Marlins 5, Rays 4: That’s nine straight losses for the Rays, though it obviously wasn’t their greatest loss last night.

Cubs 5, Mets 4: Starlin Castro made an error in the first inning that cost the Cubs three runs, but then he proceeded to go 3 for 4 with three RBI to make up for it. Edwin Jackson won this ugly game. But then again, pretty much all Edwin Jackson games are ugly. That’s kind of his thing.

Orioles 6, Rangers 5: Chris Davis had a three-run shot for the O’s to make two games in a row in which former Texas-sluggers-turned-Orioles-sluggers abused the Rangers. They should’ve had Rafael Palmeiro throw out the first pitch to Sammy Sosa or something. Adrian Beltre had two homers in a winning personal effort despite a losing team effort.

Diamondbacks 16, Rockies 8: Trying to think how much money you’d have to pay me to watch an entire four hour, nine inning game featuring 24 runs on 34 hits. Just not my cup of tea. It was Miguel Montero’s cup of tea, however. According to the game story, Montero said before the game that he felt like he’d get five or six RBI. He got six RBI. I feel like that’s the sort of brash prediction he’d disparage if a young teammate made it, but let’s leave that alone for now.

Cardinals 5, Royals 2: Matt Carpenter had five hits including the go-ahead double in the 11th, helping to end the Cards’ three-game losing streak. That’s the Cardinals’ eighth straight win at Kauffman Stadium, however.

White Sox 2, Dodgers 1: John Danks and three relievers combined for a two-hitter. The Dodgers are skidding out of control, having lost six of eight while watching the Giants take an eight-game lead in the division. The worst it ever got last season — when Don Mattingly was almost fired before the Dodgers’ summer surge — was nine and a half games.

Twins 6, Brewers 4:  Oswaldo Arcia homered and drove in four. That’s three homers in ten games for Arcia since being called up.

Angels 4, Astros 0: Garrett Richards tossed eight shutout innings and in one of those innings struck out the side on nine pitches. He’s the second guy to do that this week.

Playoff Reset: The AL Wild Card Game

Wild Card

Each day throughout the playoffs we’re going to be doing what we’ll call a reset. Not always a preview, not always a recap, but a generalized summary of where we stand at the moment and what we have to look forward tonight.

Today, of course, is Day One of the playoffs so we can really only look ahead, so let’s look ahead to what’s on tap in tonight’s one and only game.

The Game: Houston Astros vs. New York Yankees, American League Wild Card Game
The Time: 8:08 PM Eastern. Or thereabouts.
The Place: Yankee Stadium, New York
The Channel: ESPN
The Starters: Dallas Keuchel vs. Masahiro Tanaka

The Upshot:

  • Dallas Keuchel is the Astros’ ace and may very well win the Cy Young Award, but he’s (a) pitching on three-days’ rest; and (b) not in Minute Maid Park, where he is clearly superior compared to how he does on the road. At the same time, (a) the Yankees haven’t figured him out this year, going scoreless against him in 16 innings and striking out 21 times, including a poor performance against him in the Bronx a month or so ago; and (b) lefty sinkerballer types are basically the platonic ideal of a pitcher you want to throw against the Yankees to drive them crazy. While, historically, pitchers going on short rest in the playoffs fare poorly — in the past 20 years they are 18-37 — sinkerballers and extreme groundball pitchers fare much better than most. It ain’t a perfect setup for him, but you gotta like Keuchel here.
  • Meanwhile, Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka has made one career start vs. the Astros: this year, back on June 27. He got beat up, allowing six runs in five innings, receiving no decision. Those disclaimers about past performance not being indicative of future results you see in financial services commercials should apply to this and all other past matchup stats you see in the postseason, however. One random start here or there — or two in Keuchel’s case — doesn’t tell us a ton. This is baseball and tomorrow is always another day. At least if you don’t lose the Wild Card Game. More of a concern for Tanaka: rust. He has pitched only once since tweaking his hamstring against the Mets on September 18 and it wasn’t a good outing. At least he’s rested?
  • Both teams are dependent on the longball but both teams have struggled at times on offense down the stretch, with the Yankees’ bats being particular quiet in the season’s last month or so. Someone needs to wake up A-Rod. And Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner, Chase Headley and Brian McCann for that matter too. Of course, all of that firepower may not matter. The playoffs often see offenses go quiet and pitching come to the fore. Both teams have decent bullpens — the Yankees’ far, far more than decent — and given Tanaka’s rust and Keuchel’s short rest, this one is very likely to come down to multiple innings of hard-throwing relief. That favors the Yankees if they can keep it close.
  • Both teams are basically stumbling into the postseason, with the Yankees having lost six of their last seven games. They’re also under .500 since the end of July. The Astros swooned themselves in the second half, going 11-16 in September before rebounding in the season’s last week. Good thing momentum generally isn’t a thing in the playoffs — remember those 2000 Yankees losing 15 of 18 before the playoffs started and then won the World Series! — because neither team here has much of it.

This is the Astros’ first playoff game in a decade. While the Yankees haven’t been in the postseason since 2012, there is a lo tof playoff experience here, making this an interesting study in contrasts from a storyline perspective. At least if you’re into storylines. Personally I’m not. I’m more into baseball games and in this baseball game, I think Keuchel is a tough draw for the Yankees, even on short rest, and that for New York to advance they’re gonna have to be a team they haven’t been for weeks and maybe months: one that lays off junk down low and hits the ball hard.


Mike Scioscia will return as Angels manager in 2016

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 21:  Manager Mike Scioscia #14 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the dugout during batting practice before a game against the Minnesota Twins at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 21, 2015 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
Photo by Jonathan Moore/Getty Images

It was assumed already, but Mike Scioscia made it official during Monday’s press conference for new general manager Billy Eppler that he will return as Angels manager in 2016.

Scioscia, the longest-tenured manager in the majors, has been at the helm with the Angels since 2000. There was a clause in his contract which allowed him to opt out after the 2015 season, but he has decided to stay put. He still has three years and $15 million on his contract, which runs through 2018.

Jerry Dipoto resigned as Angels general manager in July amid tension with Scioscia, so there were naturally questions today about what to expect with first-time GM Eppler in the fold. According to David Adler of, Scioscia isn’t concerned.

“I think we’re going to mesh very well,” Scioscia said. “If we adjust, or maybe he adjusts to some of the things, there’s going to be collaboration that’s going to make us better.”

Eppler is the fourth general manager during Scioscia’s tenure with the team.

After winning the AL West last season, the Angels finished 85-77 this season and narrowly missed the playoffs. The team hasn’t won a postseason game since 2009.