And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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source: AP

Dodgers 8, Rockies 0: Clayton Kershaw tossed a no-hitter and came one Hanley Ramirez throwing error away from a perfect game. He struck out 15 Rockies and needed only 107 pitches to get all 27 outs. Kershaw’s outing notched the second highest game score of all time, falling just behind Kerry Wood’s 20 strikeout game back in 1998.

Mets 3, Cardinals 2: Bartolo Colon does it all. Doubles, scores a run, lays down a couple of perfect sacrifices and, oh yeah, allows one run over eight innings. This is your periodic reminder that, while it can be fun to make fun of a guy who looks like Bartolo Colon, he’s 100 times the athlete you are.

Orioles 2, Rays 0: Kevin Gausman, Tommy Hunter and Zach Britton combine on the shutout. Nelson Cruz hit his 22nd homer. Steve Pearce had an RBI double. Pearce, you may recall, was released by the Orioles earlier this season and then re-signed. I know being released isn’t technically dying, but I feel like there’s some sort of zombie/undead analogy here. Or maybe it’s a Doctor Manhattan thing in which one’s seeming death actually bestowed great powers upon him.

Royals 2, Tigers 1: Ten in a row for the Royals and the reeling continues for the Tigers. Neither I nor my Tigers-fan girlfriend watched this one, but yesterday evening we went to the gym together and worked out on machines next to one another. I had SportsCenter on and as they showed the highlights to this game, she gave the TV in front of me the finger, so it was basically worth it. Note: laughing your ass off on a treadmill can, if you’re not careful, cause you to lose your balance.

Diamondbacks 4, Brewers 3: Tony Campana hit a game-winning RBI single with two outs in the ninth inning and Brad Ziegler atoned for the grand slam he gave up on Tuesday by striking out all four batters he faced to get the win. There was no beanball drama this time. I wonder if the Brewers’ failure to retaliate for the Dbacks’ aggressiveness the other night has offended Kirk Gibson’s sense of honor and decorum so that he will now have his pitchers throw at Brewers’ hitters again. I mean, this is not ‘Nam. There are rules here.

Cubs 6, Marlins 1: Jake Arrieta had a career-high 11 strikeouts in seven innings. He has 55 strikeouts in 50 innings and a 1.98 ERA. You’d think that with three pretty awesome starters that the Cubs would be better than they are this year. It’s almost as if those things people say about pitching being everything aren’t correct.

Yankees 7, Blue Jays 3: Brian McCann’s season has been pretty nightmarish so far, but last night was a dream: he had a bases-loaded triple, a homer and five RBI.

Phillies 10, Braves 5: The sweep. The Braves could probably look worse right now, but I’m not exactly sure how. The Phillis rapped out 18 hits. Ryan Howard, who hit homers in each of the first two games of the series, had two hits and drove in three.

Athletics 4, Rangers 2: Sonny Gray needed this and he got it: two runs allowed and seven strikeouts over seven innings and the win. The A’s now have the best record in baseball.

White Sox 7, Giants 6: Five losses in a row for the Giants, this one thanks to homers from Jose Abreu and Adam Dunn. It was Abreu’s 20th and it came in only his 58th game.

Red Sox 2, Twins 1: Nine shutout innings for John Lackey and a no decision. That’s a shame, but I bet he still enjoyed watching David Ortiz and Mike Napoli go back-to-back in the 10th to walk the Twins off.

Padres 2, Mariners 1: The Padres won, but the game was almost secondary. The pre-game tribute to Tony Gwynn will be remembered far longer:

source: AP

 

Reds 11, Pirates 4: Alfredo Simon has ten wins. Not bad for a dude who really wasn’t a starter before this year. Billy Hamilton had three hits and three RBI.

Nationals 6, Astros 5: Unlike the Braves, who were swept by the Phillies, the Nationals swept the last place team they faced this week. Winning the games you’re supposed to win often makes the difference between winning the division and coming in second.

Angels vs. Indians: POSTPONED: Someone send a runner, through the weather that I’m under, for the feeling that I lost today. Someone send a runner, for the feeling that I lost today. You must be somewhere in London. You must be loving your life in the rain. You must be somewhere in London. Walking Abbey Lane.

2017 Preview: The American League Central

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League Central

Do the Indians have a weakness? Do the Tigers and Royals have one more playoff push in them or do they have to start contemplating rebuilds? The White Sox and Twins are rebuilding, but do either of them have a chance to be remotely competitive?

As we sit here in March, the answers are “not really,” “possibly,” and “not a chance.” There are no games that count this March, however, so they’re just guesses. But educated ones! Here are the links to our guesses and our education for all of the clubs of the AL Central:

Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins

2017 Preview: The National League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League East

The Washington Nationals crave a playoff run that doesn’t end at the division series. The Mets crave a season in which they don’t have a press conference about an injured pitcher. The Marlins are trying to put the nightmare of the end of the 2016 behind them. The Phillies and Braves are hoping to move on from the “lose tons of games” phase of their rebuilds and move on to the “hey, these kids can play!” phase.

There is a ton of star power in the NL East — Harper, Scherzer, Cespedes, Syndergaard, Stanton, Freeman — some great young talent on ever roster and, in Ichiro and Bartolo, the two oldest players in the game. Maybe the division can’t lay claim to the best team in baseball, but there will certainly be some interesting baseball in the division.

Here’s how each team breaks down:

Washington Nationals
New York Mets
Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves