Jordan Zimmermann

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights


Nationals 6, Padres 0: Jordan Zimmermann struck out 12 Padres in the course of a two-hit shutout. The Nationals have won seven of their past nine and are now tied for first place with both Miami and Atlanta. This is the Washington team we all expected last year. Now we’re getting them this year.

Giants 6, Mets 4: Curtis Granderson hit two homers, but that’s still five wins in a row for the Giants and 14 of 17 overall. Gregor Blanco doubled, singled and drove in three runs. They already have a nine and a half game lead in the NL West and it’s not even Flag Day. What? You’re not aware of the traditional “once Flag Day comes it’s OK to not say ‘it’s early, but . . .'” rule?

Mariners 5, Rays 0: Striking out 15 dudes in seven shutout innings is usually enough to get you the win, but Felix Hernandez is used to no decisions in games like that. The M’s scored all five of their runs off Grant Balfour in the ninth. His ERA is now 6.46. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that stuff about the Orioles flunking him on his physical this past offseason was not as much b.s. as Balfour made it out to be at the time.

Reds 4, Phillies 1: Homer Bailey pitched eight one-run innings and drove in the Reds’ first two runs with an RBI single. Billy Hamilton added an insurance two-run homer. They say you shouldn’t let the other team’s best hitters beat you, and Philly definitely took that to heart.

Athletics 11, Orioles 1: The A’s kicked the O’s butt, with John Jaso and Brandon Moss each driving in four, but Manny Machado’s bat-throwing baloney dominated the day. He’s going to wind up getting a suspension out of this I would presume. And it will be well-deserved.

Angels 4, White Sox 2: C.J. Wilson was battling flu symptoms but still allowed only one run while pitching into the seventh. Josh Hamilton drove in three. Hamilton is 8 for 23 and has driven in five since coming off the DL.

Indians 3, Rangers 2: Lonnie Chisenhall singled and scored in the fifth and sixth innings. Granted he’s got 80+ fewer at bats than most of the league leaders, but Chisenhall is now hitting .365/.413/.538 on the year.

Dodgers 6, Rockies 1: Rain shortened this one to six innings, with Matt Kemp and someone named Jamie Romak — filling in for the injured Puig — each drove in two.

Astros 14, Twins 5:Chris Carter and Jon Singleton each hit grand slams. Bud Norris thinks Singleton should’ve hit a five-run homer instead. Dexter Fowler and George Springer also homered. It’s amazing what power will do to make a joke of a team into a respectable team.

Marlins 4, Cubs 3: Chicago lost for the first time in six games. Henderson Alvarez pitched well for the fish, but left the game early after stepping/reaching/landing awkwardly while covering first base in the sixth. He should be back for his next start, however.

Royals 2, Yankees 1: A passed ball put a runner on third and a groundout scored him. That was the only offense the Yankees could muster against James Shields and the Royals’ pen.

Brewers 1, Pirates 0: Yovani Gallardo outduels Jeff Locke. Both went seven and all that really separated them was the RBI single Locke surrendered.

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.

Diamondbacks 6, Braves 5: Chase Anderson has five major league starts. He has won all five of them. David Peralta and Paul Goldschmidt each hit two-run homers in the Dbacks’ six-run seventh innings. The Braves have fallen back into a first place tie with the Nats and Marlins.

Cardinals 5, Blue Jays 0: Seven shutout innings for Jaime Garcia led to the Cards shutting out one of the most explosive offenses in baseball for two straight games with identical 5-0 scores. Even in a loss on Friday Cardinals pitchers held the Jays to three runs. Nice effort.

Red Sox 5, Tigers 3: David Ortiz hit a three-run homer in the ninth to put the Sox ahead. The blast came off Joba Chamberlain, not Joe Nathan, so the Tigers’ bullpen woes continue in widespread, as opposed to limited and specific fashion.

NL Wild Card Game: Cubs vs. Pirates lineups

Jake Arrieta

Here are the Cubs and Pirates lineups for tonight’s Wild Card game in Pittsburgh:

CF Dexter Fowler
RF Kyle Schwarber
LF Kris Bryant
1B Anthony Rizzo
3B Tommy La Stella
2B Starlin Castro
C Miguel Montero
SS Addison Russell
SP Jake Arrieta

Cubs manager Joe Maddon wanted Tommy La Stella in the lineup over Jorge Soler or Chris Coghlan, so he starts at third base and Kris Bryant shifts to left field. Bryant started just four games in left field all season, compared to 136 starts at third base. Also of note: After batting Addison Russell ninth–behind the pitcher–116 times this season Maddon has him in the more traditional eighth spot tonight.

RF Gregory Polanco
3B Josh Harrison
CF Andrew McCutchen
LF Starling Marte
C Francisco Cervelli
2B Neil Walker
SS Jordy Mercer
1B Sean Rodriguez
SP Gerrit Cole

Pedro Alvarez started 119 games at first base for the Pirates and with right-hander Jake Arrieta on the mound he was the presumed starter tonight, but instead manager Clint Hurdle has benched the 27-homer slugger in favor of utility man Sean Rodriguez. Alvarez is vastly superior to Rodriguez offensively, especially versus a righty, but he’s also very shaky defensively. During the regular season Rodriguez started a grand total of one game at first base against a right-hander, so this qualifies as a hunch by Hurdle.

The Cardinals are optimistic about Yadier Molina’s status

St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina celebrates as he arrives home after hitting a solo home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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Jenifer Langosch of reports that Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina‘s bum thumb responded well after participating in baseball activities Tuesday, including catching, hitting, blocking balls and the like.

This morning Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said that he’s now even more optimistic that Molina will be on the NLDS roster. The Cards’ first game will be Friday against the winner of tonight’s Cubs-Pirates tilt.

Having Molina would obviously be a boon for the Cardinals on the field. For a look at what Molina means to the Cardinals off the field, however, take some time to go read Derrick Goold’s excellent story about what Molina’s teammates think of him. Short version: the world. It’s worth your time, even if you’re not a citizen of Cardinals Nation.