And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

59 Comments

Angels 5, Dodgers 0: You don’t hear about this much nationally or anything, but I’ve done some radio in Los Angeles lately and they’ve been asking me about a possible Freeway Series. Like, Freeway World Series, not just this interleague matchup in midseason. It’s probably a fair question to ask. The Angels have gotten less ink than just about any legit contender this year. But they keep winning and stand one game back of Oakland for the division lead and the best record in baseball. And here they are taking it to their would-be Freeway Series foes. Garrett Richards tossed a five-hit shutout, striking out nine and flashing a 98 m.p.h. heater. Trout and Pujols both had RBI doubles in a four-run first. Watch out for Anaheim, dudes.

Indians 7, Reds 1: The Battle of Ohio. The loser of which has to stay in Ohio, I assume. Corey Kluber follows up his dominant outing from last week with another dominant outing, allowing one run while pitching into the eighth inning. Lonnie Chisenhall drove in three and Michael Brantley two.

Orioles 7, Nationals 3: The Battle of the Baltimore-D.C. Area. The loser of which has to, I dunno, keeps their team owner. This wasn’t really a battle anyway. It was a makeup game from a July 8 rainout. Why it was played at night when the Orioles have a game today in another city is the kind of question I’d be asking if I was the Orioles’ shop steward, by the way, but no one listens to me. Anyway, Baltimore rallied in the seventh and added a couple of insurance runs in the eighth. Caleb Joseph homered and drove in three runs while J.J. Hardy had four hits.

Giants 4, Mets 3: Last game of a wraparound series, but at least people had the sense to schedule it for the afternoon. Pablo Sandoval drove in three runs on three hits, capped by the go-ahead double with two outs in the ninth inning. Sandoval is on fire, having gone 32 for 93 over his past 23 games and hitting .500 in with runners in scoring position over his last 25 at bats in that situation.

Yankees 2, Tigers 1: Brandon McCarthy continues his roll in New York, allowing only an unearned run into the sixth inning. Four Yankees relievers took it the rest of the way home. Great timing for McCarthy’s surge, by the way. Not only has it been a lifeline to a Yankees team in the wild card race, but it may be making McCarthy a boatload of cash. He’s a free agent after this season and this is serving as a nice audition for a Yankees team with rotation uncertainty. Or, for that matter, any other number of teams which often ask of free agent pitchers “can they handle the AL East?”

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $100,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Tuesday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $10,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on TuesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Athletics 3, Rays 2: Derek Norris with the walkoff single in the 10th with the bases juiced against Grant Balfour. Who may have been agitated from a previous ball called against Josh Donaldson that led to a Joe Maddon argument and ejection. Balfour said after the game that he felt like he had to get “five outs.” Welp, maybe. But go get them then. In other news, a possum wandered out on to the field during the 10th inning. Which, OK, squirrels and bunnies and the occasional cat is cute. But possums are gross and disgusting. No word on whether the A’s call him “bitey.”

White Sox 5, Rangers 3: Tyler Flowers homered and tripled. The triple was almost a homer, bouncing off the top of the wall. He should probably cherish that more. He may hit two homers in a game again at some point, but triples for a catcher are rare things. That was only his second in his career. This one was shortened by rain. Anything to reduce the amount of Rangers baseball this year is welcome, however.

Anthony Alford to miss 4-6 weeks following wrist surgery

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Blue Jays’ outfielder Anthony Alford will miss at least 4-6 weeks after undergoing surgery on his left wrist, the team announced on Saturday. Alford was placed on the 10-day disabled list earlier in the week after sustaining a left hamate fracture on a foul pitch, and could miss significant time in what looks to be a lengthy rehab process. MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports that the procedure has been scheduled for next week and will be performed by Dr. Donald Sheridan in Arizona.

Alford, 22, was called up to the majors from Double-A New Hampshire last Friday. He went hitless in his first three outings, finally catching a break against the Brewers on Tuesday when he pinch-hit a leadoff double in the seventh. The injury occurred two innings later when Alford fouled off a pitch in the ninth inning, fracturing his wrist in the process.

Alford will join eight other players on the Blue Jays’ disabled list, including outfielders Steve Pearce (calf strain), Dalton Pompey (concussion) and Darrell Cecillani (partial shoulder dislocation). He’s expected to be replaced by 24-year-old outfield prospect Dwight Smith Jr.

Stephen Strasburg hit a new career high today

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Good luck getting a hit against the Nationals this weekend. Stephen Strasburg followed Max Scherzer‘s 13-strikeout performance on Friday with a dazzling outing of his own on Saturday afternoon. The right-hander whiffed a career-best 15 batters in seven innings, allowing just three hits and a walk in the Nats’ 3-0 win.

It took Strasburg several innings to get into a groove after pitching into (and out of) a jam in the first inning. The Padres loaded the bases with Allen Cordoba‘s leadoff single, a throwing error by Ryan Zimmerman and a four-pitch walk to Cory Spangenberg. By the third, Strasburg was cruising, striking out the side on 18 pitches and keeping the Padres off the basepaths until the sixth. He recorded his 15th and final strikeout in the seventh inning, catching Padres’ prospect Franchy Cordero swinging on a 1-2 pitch to effectively end his outing.

While 15 strikeouts set a new career record for the Nationals’ ace, he came close to reaching the mark twice before. The first time, he struck out 14 of 24 batters during his major league debut against the 2010 Pirates, though the 5-2 win did little more than keep the Nationals neck-and-neck with the Marlins at the bottom of the NL East. Five years later, he tied his 14-strikeout record against the 2015 Phillies, tossing a one-hitter in eight innings to cement his ninth victory of the season.

The only one who doesn’t seem overly enthused by the new record? Strasburg himself, who told MLB.com’s Jamal Collier and AJ Cassavell: “It’s pretty cool, but there’s another game five, six days from now. I’ll enjoy it tonight, but back to work tomorrow.”