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And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights


Red Sox 2, Cardinals 1: Joe Kelly pitched against the guys who, this time last week, were his teammates. And he did well: one run on three hits over seven. Shelby Miller was just as good, but the Sox got to Trevor Rosenthal in the ninth, loading the bases with no one out before a Xander Bogaerts sac fly. The Cardinals were lucky they only gave up one run there, but one run was enough.

Blue Jays 5, Orioles 1: But I was told Tuesday night was a “statement game” from the Orioles. Huh. Maybe the statement has been hereby recanted? Maybe, for some reason, this game did not count as much as Tuesday’s, making it far less important? Tell me, Orioles fans who got on my case for doubting Bud Norris’ assessment of Tuesday’s night game, why is this one different? While I wait, I’ll just tell everyone that Drew Hutchison almost went the distance, allowing just the one run.

Yankees 5, Tigers 1: Chris Capuano of all people tied up the Tigers, allowing only one run over six and two-thirds. And it wasn’t even earned. Meanwhile Justin Verlander held ’em close, but the bullpen was pretty stinky, allowing three in the eighth. The contrast between Tuesday, when Brad Ausmus could use Chamberlain, Soria and Nathan, and last night when he had to go with Blaine Hardy and Phil Coke, is pretty major. It’ll behoove the Tigers to rest up those latter three as much as possible between now and the playoffs so the Tigers don’t have their soft underbelly exposed in close games like this one.

Rays 7, Athletics 3: The Rays avoid a sweep thanks to Jeremy Hellickson allowing just two hits in seven innings and Sonny Gray having his worst day as a major leaguer (4.1 IP, 10 H, 7 R, 4 BB). Well, I dunno, maybe he’s had worse days. Like, if he had to put his dog down on the same day he tossed a three-hitter that would probably be a way worse day, all things considered. But this was his worst pitching performance.

Royals 4, Diamondbacks 3: Mike Moustakas hit a two-run homer and drove in four. His fourth RBI — which provided the winning margin — came in the ninth when he beat out a play at first on a would-be double play. He was initially called out but the call was overturned on review. The game story I read praised Moustakas for his hustle in beating that throw, but it wouldn’t have been as close if he didn’t flop on his belly for the head first slide which is a really idiotic way to go into a bag which you are allowed to overrun. But hey, god for him.

Rockies 13, Cubs 4: Gonzalez homered, doubled and singled and Corey Dickerson drove in three runs on four hits. And this was fun: Despite being down nine runs in the ninth inning, Cubs manager Rick Renteria challenged a play at first on the final out of the game. Which is totally what MLB had in mind when it initiated the replay system. But hey, their fault. They’re the ones who made it all about manager challenges instead of something sensible.

Mariners 7, Braves 3: Down 3-1 in the third, the Mariners turned on the power: Dustin Ackley led off with a homer and Logan Morrison hit a three-run shot of his own. Chris Young got the win and after the game said “you can’t get caught up in wins and losses as a starting pitcher. One day the media will stop evaluating us on that.” I heart him. I don’t heart the Braves lately. They’ve lost eight straight. But I do hope they are enjoying their visits to San Diego, Los Angeles and Seattle. They’re lovely cities in August. Perhaps they will bring back souvenirs!

Nationals 7, Mets 1: And now the Nats have a four-game lead in the division, validating my prediction at the break that they would slowly pull away and take control of the division. Wish, like with so many other things, I was wrong about that, but alas. Doug Fister allowed one earned run in seven and a third and Adam LaRoche drove in three.

Rangers 3, White Sox 1: Adam Rosales hit two homers, providing all of the Rangers’ runs. He was then waived and claimed by the A’s, sent back to the Rangers and had the process repeat ten times before going to sleep. This joke is brought to you by the year 2013.

Reds 8, Indians 3: Mat Latos pitched shutout ball into the eighth inning before running out of gas and the Reds got a three run homer from Zack Cozart and a two-run shot from Kristopher Negron.

Pirates 7, Marlins 3: Josh Harrison remains hot. He extended his hitting streak to ten games and is is 20 for 44 over that span. And it ain’t all singles: he’s got six doubles, a triple and five home runs.

Phillies 10, Astros 3: I guess the Phillies’ offense is waking up. Ryan Howard had two hits and two RBIs, Ben Revere had four hits and Chase Utley hit a three-run homer. This one was over after the first inning, really. David Buchanan pitched nicely in Cliff Lee’s spot. I guess it’s really Buchanan’s spot now given that Lee’s season is almost certainly over.

Padres 5, Twins 4: Seth Smith’s solo homer in the 10th put the Padres ahead for good, but if Alexi Amarista doesn’t make this awesome play in center in the bottom of the ninth, the Twins walk off with this one.

Dodgers 2, Angels 1: Dan Haren, who has been awful, wasn’t awful. Indeed, he was pretty good, allowing one run in seven and a third. Might have had a run saved by a sick throw from Yasiel Puig to gun down Hank Conger at third in the sixth inning. Kudos to Justin Turner’s quick tag too.

Giants 7, Brewers 4: Michael Morse and Pablo Sandoval each drove in three runs. The Giants have won 5 of 7.

Photo of the Day: Colby Rasmus just wants to love on everybody

Colby Rasmus

Colby Rasmus hit a big home run last night to set off the scoring and to set the tone for the Astros.

After the game he spoke to Jeff Passan of Yahoo and voiced some nice perspective and maturity as well, acknowledging that his time and St. Louis and Toronto left him with a reputation that he’d rather not have follow him around forever, saying “I don’t want them to say Colby Rasmus was a piece of crap because he had all of this time and just wanted to be a douche. I just try to love on everybody.”

Fair. By the way, this is what Rasmus looked like either just before or just after telling reporters that he “just tries to love on everybody.”


Ready for some lovin’?

There’s no one to blame in Yankees’ loss

Joe Girardi

You’re going to boo All-Star Brett Gardner for striking out against a Cy Young contender?

You’re going to bash Alex Rodriguez for going hitless in another postseason game, three years after his last one?

Maybe you’d prefer to put it all on Masahiro Tanaka for giving up two solo homers to a lineup full of 20-homer guys?

The truth is that the Yankees were supposed to lose tonight. They were facing an outstanding left-hander with their forever-lefty-heavy lineup, and they simply didn’t have anyone pitching like an ace to set themselves up nicely for a one-game, winner-take-all showdown. The 3-0 result… well, that’s how this was supposed to go down.

It didn’t necessarily mean it would; what fun would it be if the better team always won? And the Astros might not even be a better team than the Yankees. However, the Astros with Dallas Keuchel on the mound were certainly a better team than the Yankees with whoever they picked to throw.

I just don’t see where it’s worth putting any blame tonight. Joe Girardi? He could have started John Ryan Murphy over Brian McCann against the tough lefty, but he wasn’t willing to risk Tanaka losing his comfort zone by using a backup catcher.

The front office could have added more talent, perhaps outbidding the Blue Jays for David Price or the Royals for Johnny Cueto, and set themselves up better for the postseason. However, that would have cost them Luis Severino and/or Greg Bird, both of whom went on to play key roles as the Yankees secured the wild card. Would it really have been worth it? I don’t think so.

Tanaka gave the Yankees what they should have expected. Had Keuchel’s stuff been a little off on short rest, Tanaka’s performance would have kept the Yankees in the game.

Keuchel, though, was on his game from the first pitch. The Astros bullpen might have been a bit more vulnerable, and late at-bats from Gardner, Carlos Beltran, Rodriguez and McCann definitely left something to be desired. Still, on the whole, the lack of offense was quite a team effort.

The Yankees got beat by a better team tonight.  I’m not sure the Astros would have been better in Games 2-7 in a longer series, but they had everything in their favor in this one.