Clayton Kershaw no-hitter

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.

Oakland A’s officials taking a tour of a possible waterfront ballpark site

OAKLAND, CA - FEBRUARY 19:  A Maersk Line container ship sits docked in a berth  at the Port of Oakland on February 19, 2015 in Oakland, California. International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) longshoremen at the Port of Oakland took the day shift off today to attend a union meeting amidst ongoing contract negotiations between dockworkers and terminal operators at west coast ports. The port closure, the seventh one this month, has left 12 container ships stuck at the dock with no workers to load and unload them. The ILWU members at 29 West Coast ports have been without a contract for 9 months. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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The Oakland Athletics’ ballpark saga has gone on for years now, with false starts in Fremont and San Jose, lawsuits and seemingly interminable talks with the City of Oakland over a new place on the current Coliseum site. That’s all complicated, of course, by the presence of the Raiders, on whose address — be it Oakland, Las Vegas or someplace else — the A’s future is still largely contingent.

The city has tried to get the A’s interested in a waterfront site for several years now. There are a lot of problems with that due mostly to zoning and regulatory matters, as well as proximity to transit and other practical concerns. The artist’s renderings are often pretty, but it takes more than artist’s renderings to make a good ballpark plan.

But no one is giving up on that and, it seems, even the A’s are willing to at least listen to such proposals now:

Oakland A’s co-owner John Fisher is expected to join officials Thursday for a hush-hush tour of the Port of Oakland’s Howard Terminal, a cargo-loading area near Jack London Square that Mayor Libby Schaaf tirelessly promotes as “a fantastic site for a ballpark.”

Guess it ain’t so “hush-hush” anymore. As with all Oakland ballpark stories, however, feel free to continue snoozing until someone gives us a real reason to wake up.

Note: The above photo is from the Port of Oakland. I have no idea what the proximity of the working part of the city’s port is to where they’d build a ballpark, but I used this picture because I love the story about how George Lucas spotted those things from an airplane as he was leaving Oakland or San Francisco or whatever and used them as inspiration for the AT-AT Imperial Walkers in “Empire Strikes Back.” Which may be a totally aprocyphal story, but one I love so much that I told it to my kids when we flew in to Oakland back in June and will choose to believe despite whatever evidence you provide.

Wade Davis? Greg Holland? Who needs ’em?

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 21: Joakim Soria #48 of the Kansas City Royals throws in the eighth inning against the Minnesota Twins at Kauffman Stadium on August 21, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
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The story of the two-time defending AL champion and current defending World Series champ Kansas City Royals cannot be told without talking at length about their bullpen.

In 2014, Wade Davis, Greg Holland and Kelvin Herrera formed a shutdown brigade that not only made it next to impossible for the opposition to mount late rallies, but managed something which seemed utterly impossible before 2014: they turned Ned Yost into a tactical genius. Indeed, the only time Yost got criticism at all that fall was when he messed with the autopilot formula that had that three-headed monster handling the 7th, 8th and 9th innings.

Much the same happened in 2015, of course, despite Holland’s sharp decline and eventual injury. Davis and Herrera continued their dominance. They were joined by Ryan Madson and a cast of other effective relievers who, along with timely hitting, great defense and good health, helped propel the Royals to the title.

This year had not been quite the same story. Holland has been out all year and Davis, while effective when he’s pitched, has missed time due to injury. As has longtime contributor and presumptive next-man-up Luke Hochevar. Herrera is basically still Herrera, but Ned Yost has been presented with a decidedly different set of choices. Lots of choices and Ned Yost don’t always go together well, but lately that hasn’t mattered.

Last night the Royals’ bullpen came in to a close game and tossed three scoreless innings. That set a franchise record with 32 straight scoreless frames, besting the previous record set back in the club’s inaugural season in 1969. The streak is a huge part of why the Royals have won nine games in a row.

Unlike the success of 2014-15, the streak is not a three-man show. As Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star notes, eight different relievers have appeared for Kansas City during the streak, with Joakim Soria and Matt Strahm leading the crew with five and a third innings pitched. Herrera has tossed five scoreless. Otherwise it’s been a group effort with even Peter Moylan offering a couple of scoreless frames. And here you thought Moylan was, I dunno, gearing up for the upcoming Brisbane Bandits season. Nope.

The Royals are still not, in my view anyway, a lock to make the postseason. It’s a a crowded field right now. They’re seven and a half back in the AL Central and four back in the Wild Card with a bunch of teams in front of them. But they’re certainly playing themselves back into the conversation. They’re interesting. And they’re doing it in much the same way they’ve done it the past two years. Only with different dudes doing the do.