And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights


An abbreviated version of ATH today. Apologies. I had a late night and thus a late start this morning and on days like this I have come to feel like you all would prefer to have the comment thread up for the previous night’s games sooner as opposed to waiting for my not 100% observations on last night’s games up late (my not 100% observations early, however, are still cool I hope).

For those who care, my late night was because I went to go see Heart and Joan Jett play at the Ohio state fair. That’s right, don’t hate. Heart and Joan Jett are awesome and I will accept no argument to the contrary. I even dig the 80s power ballad version of Heart. I mean, I was a 12 or 13-year-old boy when that stuff was coming out and I had MTV so, you know.

Only complaint about last night’s show: you can tell Ann and Nancy Wilson aren’t big fans of their 80s output. They sort of introduced that portion of the show with a half-apology and then reworked the instrumentation on “Alone,” “These Dreams” and “What About Love.” Ann still has the pipes and hit every big note, but there was, like, mandolin and acoustic guitar as opposed to power ballad bombast. I think we’re all mature enough and confident in our tastes, however, to be able to handle the full power ballad bombast, right? Even if it’s not cool? We won’t think less of you, Ann and Nancy, if you own that period of your careers. If you didn’t then most of us wouldn’t have even heard of you. You’d be like Foghat and Grand Funk and all of those other bands that petered out in 1979 and only our moms and dads know. Better, to be sure, but confined to that one decade and likely not able to fill a 10,000 person room like you did last night.

Um, OK, I think I’ve gone on long enough. And revealed far too much about myself. Now the scores:

(oh, Joan Jett kicked butt too)

Mets 11, Phillies 2
Brewers 5, Rays 0
Diamondbacks 5, Reds 4
Astros 8, Athletics 1
Nationals 4, Marlins 3
Orioles 4, Angels 3
Giants 7, Pirates 5
Indians 2, Mariners 0
Rockies 6, Cubs 4
Tigers 7, White Sox 2
Dodgers 3, Braves 2
Blue Jays 6, Red Sox 1
Padres 12, Cardinals 1
Rangers 3, Yankees 2
Royals 3, Twins 2

NL Wild Card Game: Cubs vs. Pirates lineups

Jake Arrieta

Here are the Cubs and Pirates lineups for tonight’s Wild Card game in Pittsburgh:

CF Dexter Fowler
RF Kyle Schwarber
LF Kris Bryant
1B Anthony Rizzo
3B Tommy La Stella
2B Starlin Castro
C Miguel Montero
SS Addison Russell
SP Jake Arrieta

Cubs manager Joe Maddon wanted Tommy La Stella in the lineup over Jorge Soler or Chris Coghlan, so he starts at third base and Kris Bryant shifts to left field. Bryant started just four games in left field all season, compared to 136 starts at third base. Also of note: After batting Addison Russell ninth–behind the pitcher–116 times this season Maddon has him in the more traditional eighth spot tonight.

RF Gregory Polanco
3B Josh Harrison
CF Andrew McCutchen
LF Starling Marte
C Francisco Cervelli
2B Neil Walker
SS Jordy Mercer
1B Sean Rodriguez
SP Gerrit Cole

Pedro Alvarez started 119 games at first base for the Pirates and with right-hander Jake Arrieta on the mound he was the presumed starter tonight, but instead manager Clint Hurdle has benched the 27-homer slugger in favor of utility man Sean Rodriguez. Alvarez is vastly superior to Rodriguez offensively, especially versus a righty, but he’s also very shaky defensively. During the regular season Rodriguez started a grand total of one game at first base against a right-hander, so this qualifies as a hunch by Hurdle.

The Cardinals are optimistic about Yadier Molina’s status

St. Louis Cardinals' Yadier Molina celebrates as he arrives home after hitting a solo home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants Monday, Aug. 17, 2015, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
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Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina‘s bum thumb responded well after participating in baseball activities Tuesday, including catching, hitting, blocking balls and the like.

This morning Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said that he’s now even more optimistic that Molina will be on the NLDS roster. The Cards’ first game will be Friday against the winner of tonight’s Cubs-Pirates tilt.

Having Molina would obviously be a boon for the Cardinals on the field. For a look at what Molina means to the Cardinals off the field, however, take some time to go read Derrick Goold’s excellent story about what Molina’s teammates think of him. Short version: the world. It’s worth your time, even if you’re not a citizen of Cardinals Nation.