Blood on the Tracks

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights


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.


Wilson Ramos is seeking a 4-5 year deal

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 07: Wilson Ramos #40 of the Washington Nationals celebrates after driving in the game winning run with a single in the 11th inning against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park on September 7, 2016 in Washington, DC. Washington won the game 5-4. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
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Wilson Ramos’ agent tells the Washington Post that Ramos still plans to seek a four- or five-year contract this winter in free agency despite the fact that he’s recovering from knee surgery.

Yikes, good luck with that. Ramos suffered ACL and meniscus tears in late September 26 and his rehab will extend well into the 2017 season, when he will turn 30. This coming off a career year that may or may not be a fluke. It’d be hard to commit to him for more than, say, three years under the best of circumstances but given the knee injury it seems unlikely he’ll get offers of that length.

My guess is that he’ll get a lot of two-year offers which give him some rehab time and then a chance for a make-good year with incentives or vesting options. A straight multi-year deal, however, may be very hard to come by for Ramos. Who may very well be a DH very, very soon.

World Series Reset: Indians vs. Cubs Game 3

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 24:  Chicago Cubs fans visit Wrigley Field on October 24, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs will face off against the Cleveland Indians in the World Series beginning tomorrow. This will be the Cubs first trip to the series since 1945. The Indians last trip to the series was 1948.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
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The Game: Cleveland Indians @ Chicago Cubs, World Series Game 3
The Time: 8:00 PM EDT
The Place: Wrigley Field, Chicago
The Channel: FOX
The Starters: Josh Tomlin (Indians) vs. Kyle Hendricks (Cubs)

The Upshot:

As you may have heard, this is the first time a World Series has been played at Wrigley Field in 71 years. Cubs fans have had a lot of time to think about this one, but I assure you, they’re ready. Wrigley is going to be complete bedlam. Or a complete train wreck. Depends on your point of view and, probably, what time you’re walking around Wrigleyville.

The cold and rain of Cleveland is being replaced by some moderately unseasonable warmth in Chicago today. It’ll be in the 60s this afternoon and isn’t projected to cool down after the sun goes down. Between that and clear skies, it should be a lovely night for baseball. Unless you’re a pitcher, that is: strong winds are forecast to be blowing out tonight. That bodes poorly for Indians starter Josh Tomlin, who gave up 36 homers this season, which was just one behind Jered Weaver for most in baseball. The Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks is far better suited to such conditions, as he’s a groundball machine. Look for the Cubs batters to be taking some big uppercuts all night.

The Cubs won’t have Kyle Schwarber taking uppercuts, at least not all game long, but he could pinch hit. The Indians are strongly considering putting Carlos Santana in left field so they can keep both his and Mike Napoli‘s bats in the lineup in the DH-free NL park. The Cubs won 103 games this year without Schwarber, so they should be OK, even if he was a nice addition in Cleveland. Santana, on the other hand, has played exactly one game in the outfield in his major league career. That came in 2012. Do not expect Santana to be . . . smooth.

Cleveland is still looking at pitching Corey Kluber on short rest in tomorrow’s Game 4 and, if it goes that long, bringing him back again in Game 7. The “win all of Kluber’s starts and steal one elsewhere” approach is defensible, but this matchup seems less-than-ideal for the Indians in the “steal one” department. Hendricks has been solid as a rock down the stretch and in the postseason. Between his vexing stuff and a crazy crowd at Wrigley tonight Chicago seems poised to grab the momentum in this series tonight.