Clayton Kershaw no-hitter

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights


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.

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.