Jacob deGrom

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights


Mets 9, Marlins 1: How about this Jacob deGrom kid? He follows up a seven inning, zero run performance against the Braves with a seven inning, one run outing here. Plus he [altogether now] helped his own cause by hitting what we would have called the Game-Winning RBI if it was the 1980s and we still tracked things like Game-Winning RBI. Then we’d go watch “Alf” or “Night Court.” Or do some coke in our Wall Street office or posture against the Soviet Union. I dunno, I was just a kid then. That whole decade blurs together for me.

Giants 8, Diamondbacks 4: Madison Bumgarner gave up four runs. But he also drove in four runs, so I guess that’s OK. A grand slam for a pitcher. Don’t see that very often. Well, unless it’s Madison Bumgarner. He’s done it twice this year. It’s the first time a pitcher has done it twice in a year in 48 years. Oh, and Buster Posey hit a grand slam too. It’s the first time each member of a battery hit grand slams in the same game in the history of Major League Baseball.

Brewers 11, Cardinals 2: The Brewers arrest a seven-game skid and reclaim sole possession of first place. It was a 19-hit attack, led by Elian Herrera, who had five hits, including a double, and scored three times. Carlos Martinez had a forgettable game, giving up four runs in four innings and getting yelled at by the umpire for tossing his bat in frustration. Take a few days off, Carlos.

Nationals 10, Phillies 3: Jayson Werth homered and knocked in four. Ryan Zimmerman homered and drove in two. Ian Desmond drove in two without a homer. If you extend that pattern out long enough you run into a Zeno’s Arrow situation, I assume. Not gonna check, though. I already clicked out of the box score.

Braves 10, Cubs 7: Chris Johnson hit his third homer in two days, accounting for three of the runs in Atlanta’s four-run third inning. The Braves and Nats finish the first half tied for first place. Washington is one better in the loss column.

Royals 5, Tigers 2: The Royals avoided a four-game sweep thanks to a five-run seventh inning. Still, they blew an opportunity to gain ground on the Tigers and hit the break six and a half back.

Rays 3, Blue Jays 0: David Price, who is still a Ray for some reason, shut ’em out over eight. It’s his fourth win in four starts. Toronto is skidding into the break, having lost eight of ten.

Reds 6, Pirates 3: Kris Negron hit a three-run homer — his first ever — and Todd Frazier added a two-run shot. Frazier is in the Home Run Derby and you all are totally sleeping on him. He’s grip-it-and-rip it. Giancarlo Stanton is the safe bet, but I bet Frazier does really damn well. You heard it here first. And if he does poorly? Hell, I’ll just delete this comment. I have total control of this website.

Indians 3, White Sox 2: Yan Gomes drove in all three runs, including a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth. Then, since he’s from Brazil, the White Sox scored seven straight goals off of him.

Red Sox 11, Astros 0: Remember when Clay Buchholz was dead back in May? Well, he’s back to life now. Three-hit shutout with 12 strikeouts. Brock Holt had five hits including a leadoff homer. Boston wins four of five heading into the break. Still nine back, but at least now their mini-vacation will be more pleasant.

Athletics 4, Mariners 1: Sonny Gray was on point once again, allowing nothin’ but an unearned run in seven and two-thirds.

Angels 10, Rangers 7: Mike Trout doubled twice and drove in four. He’s hitting .310/.400/.606 with 22 homers, 73 RBI and 10 stolen bases. And he’s younger than 14 of the 50 guys in yesterday’s Futures Game.

Twins 13, Rockies 5: Two homers for Brian Dozier. Maybe don’t sleep on him in the Home Run Derby either. It felt weird being in Target Field for baseball all day yesterday while the Twins were in Colorado. It was like having a party when your parents are out of town.

Dodgers 1, Padres 0: Four Dodgers pitchers combine to toss a four-hit shutout. I am picturing Bud Black throwing a bag of bats into the showers and telling his Padres hitter “it’s a miracle we got four.”

Orioles 3, Yankees 1: A rain-shortened win, featuring a Chris Davis two-run homer that was hit several hours before the rain shortened it. I’m sure Major League Baseball loved that the man of the week, Derek Jeter, is going to be getting to Minneapolis so late — or early, whichever — and be tired for all of the festivities.

Maybe Alcides Escobar shouldn’t bat leadoff

Alcides Escobar

Alcides Escobar finished with a .292 OBP this year. He came in at .246 in 117 at-bats in August and .257 in 109 at-bats between September and October, so he wasn’t exactly flying high entering the postseason. Still, that didn’t stop Ned Yost from putting him into the leadoff spot for Thursday’s Game 1 against the Astros.

Yost finally did reconsider hitting Escobar first in September. It took Alex Gordon‘s return to health, plus the previous addition of Ben Zobrist to the lineup, in order to make that happen. However, it didn’t stick. Escobar hit ninth in each of his starts from Sept. 7-26, batting .236 with a .276 OBP during that span. With five games left to go, he was suddenly returned to the leadoff spot. The Royals went on to win all five games. Yost saw it as a sign, even though Escobar went 5-for-22 with no walks in those games.

Escobar went 0-for-4 in Thursday’s loss to the Astros. He did not swing at the first pitch of the game, which probably explains the defeat.

It’s been difficult to argue with Yost since last year’s World Series run and this year’s incredible run out of the game. The blind spot with Escobar, though, gets rather infuriating. One can defend hitting him leadoff against the Astros’ lefties. His career OBP against southpaws is .319 (.316 this year). Against righties, he’s the most obvious No. 9 hitter alive, with a career .258/.290/.342 line (.252/.284/.314 this year). He’s not a pace-setter. He’s not a spark plug. He’s a liability.

Astros top Royals in Game 1 of ALDS

Houston Astros' Jose Altuve, left, celebrates with teammate Luis Valbuena after scoring a run during the first inning in Game 1 of baseball's American League Division Series against the Kansas City Royals, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015, in Kansas City. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

After shutting out the Yankees in the AL Wild Card game on Tuesday, the Astros beat the Royals 5-2 in Game 1 of the ALDS on Thursday at Kauffman Stadium. Road teams are now 4-0 to begin the 2015 postseason.

The Astros grabbed an early 3-0 lead against Yordano Ventura through two innings. Chris Young took over for the Royals after a 47-minute rain delay and was very effective for the most part, allowing just a solo homer to George Springer over four innings while striking out seven batters. Colby Rasmus, who homered in the Wild Card game, took Ryan Madson deep in the eighth inning to give the Astros’ bullpen some extra breathing room.

Collin McHugh stayed in after the rain delay and ended up tossing six innings while allowing just four hits and one walk. Kendrys Morales did all the damage against him with a pair of solo homers. He’s the first Royals player to hit two home runs in a postseason game since George Brett in the 1985 ALCS.

The Royals’ offense showed some signs of life in the bottom of the eighth inning with back-to-back two-out hits against Will Harris, but Oliver Perez got Eric Hosmer to foul out to end the threat. Luke Gregerson tossed a scoreless ninth inning to finish off the victory.

Consistent with their identity during the regular season, the Astros won despite striking out 14 times. The same goes for the Royals, as they struck out just four times. Despite putting the ball into play more often, the Kansas City lineup wasn’t able to muster anything aside from the home runs by Morales.

Game 2 of the ALDS will begin Friday at 3:45 p.m. ET. Scott Kazmir will pitch for the Astros and Johnny Cueto will get the ball for the Royals.

George Springer homers to extend Astros’ lead over Royals

Houston Astros' George Springer (4) celebrates with teammates after scoring a run in the first inning in Game 1 of baseball's American League Division Series against the Kansas City Royals, Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015, in Kansas City. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel
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After Kendrys Morales brought the Royals within one run in the bottom of the fourth inning with his second solo home run of the game, George Springer took Chris Young deep in the top of the fifth to extend the Astros’ lead to 4-2 in Game 1 of the ALDS.

According to Statcast, the ball traveled an estimated 422 feet and left Springer’s bat at 109 mph. Royals fans are happy it was just a solo home run. It could have been worse, as Jose Altuve singled to lead off the fifth inning before being thrown out trying to steal second base during Springer’s at-bat.

The Royals will try to answer as we move to the bottom of the fifth inning at Kauffman Stadium.