Blood on the Tracks

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Giants 4 Padres 0: Most of what has been said about Tim Lincecum’s no-hitter has been said. I’ll add this though, which a Twitter correspondent told me and which I find kinda neat: Lincecum joins Sandy Koufax as the only pitchers to have two or more no-hitters two or more Cy Young Awards and two or more World Series championships. Also: Lincecum’s closest comp: Bob Dylan. Early dominance and greatness followed by a falloff, but still punctuated by occasional brilliance. Let’s call this no-hitter Lincecum’s “Blood on the Tracks,” as it’s a clear high point after a considerable time of confusion and lack of direction.

Braves 4, Astros 0: Justin Upton homered for the second day in a row and drove in three. Alex Wood and the pen combined for a three-hit shutout. It was Wood’s start since May 4, as he had been shifted to the pen then and then sent down to be stretched out again. I guess the stretching worked.

Athletics 8, Mets 5: Maybe it’s the uniforms? Because it sorta doesn’t matter who these guys are or where they come from, if the A’s run ’em out there, they do OK. Take Brad Mills. He was in Nashville and, given how easily he was obtained from the Brewers, was basically, by definition, a spare part. In his second start as an Athletic, though, he proved to be effective, pitching into the seventh inning and allowing three runs to pick up his first win in two years. He was helped along by a Yoenis Cespedes bases-clearing double.

Yankees 5, Blue Jays 3: I linked a story the other day about how the Associated Press is going to reduce game stories to a couple of short paragraphs and then bullet points. For the reasons I stated I think that’s a good thing. That said, once in a while I stumble across something like this from the AP and I can’t help but smile:

Mark Teixeira made sure the New York Yankees had something to declare at customs on their way home from Canada: a victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

That’s “so bad it’s good” stuff right there, and I will kinda miss it when it’s gone.

Marlins 3, Phillies 2: Henderson Alvarez only one earned run on seven hits in six and two-thirds to keep up his hot streak. He’s 3-0 with a 0.78 ERA in his last seven starts. Remember that time about five days ago when people actually thought the Phillies had turned it around? Since then they’ve dropped four of five.

Rays 5 Pirates 1: In what could possibly be David Price’s last game as a Ray — I don’t think it is as it usually takes big trades longer to come together, but a lot of people suggested it yesterday — he did the Rays a solid by (a) winning the game; and (b) showing potential suitors that they should and probably will have to pay a big price to land him. He struck out 11 batters and allowed five hits in eight and a third. That’s five straight starts in which he has struck out ten or more.

Reds 4, Cubs 1: Mat Latos picks up his first win of the year, allowing one run on five hits. Jay Bruce drove in two on a pair of RBI doubles. Marty Brennaman did not die alone in his hotel room.

Cardinals 9, Rockies 6: Both Marco Gonzalez and Yohan Flande were making their major league debuts, for the Cardinals and Rockies, respectively. Neither of them had a game worth writing home about. The best part of this game was the second-to-last at bat in the bottom of the ninth. Trevor Rosenthal had walked two batters to bring the tying run to the plate in the form of Troy Tulowitzki. Tulo battled for 11 pitches but then struck out on a 100-mph fastball. That’s some serious sh*t right there, friends.

Brewers 9, Nationals 2: Scooter Gennett drove in five with the help of a grand slam. Stephen Strasburg got beat up for seven runs in four and two-thirds. I wonder if it was someone else’s fault this time too.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $25,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Thursday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $5,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on ThursdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Red Sox 5, Mariners 4: The Sox avoid a sweep thanks in part to Clay Buchholz, who was making his first start in a month. He wasn’t great, but he did pitch into the eighth inning and, given how badly the Mariners had battered Sox pitching the past two games, allowing only four runs was a moral victory.

Angels 6, Twins 2: Garrett Richards pitched four-hit ball into the eighth inning to win his fourth straight win and the Angels won their fifth in a row. Richards has a 1.06 ERA in June and has allowed only four runs over his last five starts.

Indians 6, Diamondbacks 1: A day after playing a long extra innings game, the winner here was going to be the team that got the most innings out of its starter. Well, usually the winner of any game is the one which gets the most wins out of its starter, but you know what I mean. Here Corey Kluber pitched seven shutout innings for Cleveland, striking out eight.

Dodgers 5, Royals 4: The Dodgers scored the go-ahead run in the eighth when Wade Davis hit A.J. Ellis with a pitch with the bases loaded. Obviously not intentional. And I obviously did not need to say that, but given that the Diamondbacks set new precedent with that kind of crap last week I suppose I need to be 100% clear about these things. Anyway, that was the first run Davis had given up since April.

Tigers 8, Rangers 6: Six in a row for Detroit. Martinez homered. So did Martinez. On back to back pitches. That Martinez sure is good. So is the other one.

Orioles 5, White Sox 4: Nelson Cruz hit a game-tying grand slam in the eighth inning and David Lough scored the winning run on a walkoff wild pitch in the 12th. The O’s take two of three from the Pale Hose, with both wins coming in their final at bat.

 

Video: Holliday’s home run a fitting goodbye for Cardinals

ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 30: Matt Holliday #7 of the St. Louis Cardinals hits a solo home run against the Pittsburgh Pirates in the seventh inning at Busch Stadium on September 30, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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If tonight was his last night in a Cardinals uniform, Matt Holliday made the most of it.

After sitting out most of the second half with a fractured thumb, the 36-year-old was activated from the disabled list on Friday and slotted in as a pinch-hitter during the seventh inning of the Cardinals’ 7-0 shutout. What happened next could hardly have elicited more sentiment had it been scripted:

The solo shot was Holliday’s first home run as a pinch-hitter, and his first home run of any kind since August 9. The triumphant moment might have been the last of its kind in St. Louis, as it was reported earlier today that the Cardinals do not plan to exercise Holliday’s option in 2017.

Prior to the game, the left fielder released a statement in which he expressed his gratitude for the past eight seasons with the Cardinals’ organization:

I would like to thank Mr. Dewitt, Mo and the entire ownership group for the opportunity to play for the St. Louis Cardinals.

I am proud of what we have accomplished on and off the field during the past seven years. I have also been humbled by the incredible support and participation in our Homers for Health program.

It has been an honor to play in front of such great fans and for such a historic organization. I can honestly say it has been a dream come true.

While I’m disappointed this could be it here in St. Louis, I understand that it might be time to move on.

I’d like to express my love and admiration for Tony, Mike and all of the coaches and staff that I have had the pleasure to do life with these past seven-plus years.

The most emotional part of this is my teammates and the relationships I’ve built with some of these guys over the years. Particularly, Adam and Yadi, to be considered part of the core with two of the finest human beings I’ve ever known.

Finally, I’m eternally thankful for the Lord bringing me to the city of St. Louis in August of 2008. Lots of cool stuff has happened since then. On behalf of my wife Leslee and our children Jackson, Ethan, Gracyn and Reed: Thank you!

Angel Pagan body-slammed a fan on the field

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - SEPTEMBER 13: Angel Pagan #16 of the San Francisco Giants argues with umpire Jerry Meals #41 after a called third strike during the first inning against the San Diego Padres at AT&T Park on September 13, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Don’t interrupt Angel Pagan in the middle of a wild card race. Better yet, don’t interrupt him at all.

A fan learned that the hard way during Friday’s Giants-Dodgers game. In the fourth inning, a group of fans ran onto the field with white flowers in their hands, presumably to hand to Giants players. According to eyewitness accounts, one player was reprimanded by San Francisco starter Madison Bumgarner, while Buster Posey fended off another.

Angel Pagan, however, took more extreme and inventive measures.

On-field security started closing in on the fan as he approached Pagan, but didn’t appear to pick up the pace until the outfielder dropped him on the field.

Vin Scully, who was wrapping up the third-to-last game of his career, provided play-by-play of the incident.

A couple of kids, trying to steal a moment, slow down the game, running on the field and just taking a big moment on the big stage. They’ve got one of them in right field, and the other one is nailed down by Pagan in left field. And the crowd loved that! They went up to do something with Angel Pagan, but [Pagan] grabbed him and slammed him to the ground, and they’re taking him off the field. […] Doesn’t that bring you back to the ’60s, and the flower children? Oh what, you don’t remember the ’60s? Okay.

The next time you want to send a message to a player, maybe try a tweet (throw in a flower emoji or two if you feel so inclined). Just don’t make a showy display of affection in the middle of a game. It’s bound to go badly, at least where Angel Pagan is concerned.