Apologies for an abbreviated version of ATH this morning. Chalk this one up to a first-thing-in-the-morning, first-ever orthodontist appointment for the official daughter of HardballTalk. She’s totally cool with it, of course. I’ve been in a fetal position regarding how much the braces are gonna cost me for about 72 hours right now. Guess I shouldn’t have gave in on that dental plan and gone with the keg every union meeting during the last NBC-HBT collective bargaining session. Though really Gleeman, Pouliot, Short, Silva and Baer are the ones who pushed for it. They don’t have kids.
Anyway, Adam Jones had a great night, smacking two two-run homers as the O’s west coast swing continues. David Ortiz had two of his own and he passed Carl Yastrzemski on the all-time homer list. The Yankees committed five errors in a loss that, based on the Twitter convo among Yankees people, may constitute that cold bucket of water in the face that convinces them that, no, the Yankees aren’t gonna be doing much contending in the second half. Hyun-Jin Ryu notched his 11th win, giving the Dodgers three starters with 11.
See you later this morning.
Orioles 4, Angels 2
Giants 7, Phillies 4
Rangers 4, Yankees 2
Dodgers 5, Pirates 2
Red Sox 14, Blue Jays 1
Marlins 3, Braves 1
White Sox 3, Royals 1
Brewers 5, Reds 2
Twins 4, Indians 3
Nationals 7, Rockies 2
Tigers 4, Diamondback 3
Mariners 5, Mets 2
Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $35,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Tuesday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $6,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on Tuesday. Here’s the FanDuel link.
In the end, the Mets’ march into the playoffs played out just how they imagined: three innings of a Bartolo Colon perfecto, four combined innings of one-run ball from five different relievers, a James Loney home run. Well, maybe it looked a little different when they drew it up.
Colon guided the Mets through five innings for his 15th win of the year, striking out six and giving up a two-run homer in the fifth. Behind him, the Mets combined for five runs off of RBI base hits from T.J. Rivera and Jose Reyes, finding an edge with Loney’s go-ahead homer in the sixth and a bonus RBI single from Asdrubal Cabrera in the ninth inning. Despite a pair of well-placed home runs by Ryan Howard and Darin Ruf, the Phillies found themselves in scoring position just twice and were unable to close the two-run gap to tie the game.
The Mets’ 5-3 win over the Phillies clinched their spot in the postseason, sans tiebreaker. They also secured home-field advantage for Wednesday’s wild card game, during which they’ll face either the Cardinals or the Giants. On Friday, the wild card winner will advance to the Division Series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
As MLB.com’s Jeff Passan and Joe Trezza simultaneously pointed out, it will be an unconventional playoff run for the Mets, who approach October without Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz, Neil Walker, David Wright, Zack Wheeler, or Ben Zobrist. Now, if ever, seems like an appropriate time for some champagne.
With Game 1 of the Red Sox-Indians ALDS set to commence on Thursday, there’s no better starter for the job than Corey Kluber. The only question is whether or not the right-hander will be up to the task after sustaining a mild quadriceps strain earlier this week.
Indians’ manager Terry Francona appeared optimistic about Kluber’s chances of recovering in time for the Division Series, but admitted that he doesn’t have his rotation set in stone for the first couple of postseason games. Complicating matters is Monday’s potential make-up game between the Indians and the Tigers, which they’ll be forced to play if the outcome has bearing on playoff seeding.
Per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, Francona doesn’t have a starter for the make-up game, either, though he clarified that rehabbing right-hander Danny Salazar would not be eligible. Salazar is still working his way back from a forearm injury in hopes of joining the Indians for their postseason run, and needs to toss another simulated game before he can be expected to return to the mound. Kluber, meanwhile, will throw off the mound on Sunday.
With Kluber or Salazar limping out of the gate, the Indians will likely have to fall back on right-handers Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin. Bauer is slated for Saturday’s face-off against the Royals and confirmed his willingness to pitch on short rest through the playoffs. The 25-year-old also spoke to the Indians about his ability to pitch out of the bullpen, though it’s an option they appear unlikely to exercise. While Francona’s comments on Friday stressed the club’s patient approach toward their rotation, Bauer appeared revved and ready to go:
If it was up to me, […] I’d pitch and be ready to start or be available out of the ‘pen every game. In the playoffs, there’s really no reason to save anything. So, whenever I can get in there, whenever they want me to get in there, I’ll be ready.