And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and hghlghts


Mariners 6, Blue Jays 3: Yesterday was all about Kansas City. Let’s now look at what Seattle is doing. The M’s have now won seven of eight and are tied with the Tigers for the second wild card spot. They’re nine games over .500. There’s a lot of baseball left to be played, but can you imagine a world in which the Royals and Mariners both make the playoffs and the Yankees, Red Sox and Tigers do not?

White Sox 3, Giants 2: Chicago blew a two-run lead in the ninth, but then Gordon Beckham hit a two-out RBI single in the 10th. Tough no-decision for Chris Sale who struck out 12 over eight shutout innings.

Padres 4, Rockies 1: The Padres have won four in a row. Odrisamer Despainge tossed shutout ball for seven innings, striking out eight. Not bad a for a junkballer.

Cubs 3, Brewers 0: Kyle Hendricks with seven and a third shutout innings. In six starts since making his big league debut, he is 4-1 with a 1.73 ERA with only nine walks in 41 and two-thirds innings. Everyone talks about the Astros collection of young talent. The Cubs’ is not too bad.

Angels 7, Phillies 2: I haven’t checked the stats but I bet teams which put up seven-run sixth innings don’t lose a lot of games. I bet that goes for teams that put up seven run any inning. Or seven runs across any number of innings. Basically, scoring seven runs is a good way to win baseball games. The Angels needed this. It was just their second win in seven games and the offense had been struggling.

Marlins 3, Cardinals 0: Jared Cosart outpitches Adam Wanwright, posting seven shutout innings. I’m getting to the point here where I’m about to simply write “the pitcher for the winning team tossed seven shutout innings” for every recap. I could save a lot of time with that approach. Use it to watch cartoons and stuff in the morning.

Astros 10, Twins 4: Chris Carter homered twice and drove in five. He has 15 homers since July 1. Too bad the season doesn’t start on July 1. He was hitting .181 on that date and is now up to .230.

Nationals 7, Mets 1: Four homers backed Doug Fister, who — guess what? — had seven shutout innings. Rookie Michael Taylor, making his big league debut, hit one of the homers. Then — and I am not making this up — a ballboy tossed it to a fan in the stands, not realizing it was a keepsake for Taylor. They got it back, though. I hope the kid in the stands drove a hard bargain.

Athletics 11, Royals 3: Jon Lester struck out nine over six innings and Jeremy Guthrie got knocked around pretty badly, halting the Royals’ winning streak at eight. But they remain in first place because  . . .

Pirates 4, Tigers 2: . . . the Tigers keep losing. Edinson Volquez kept Detroit in check as Tigers starter Robbie Ray couldn’t make it beyond five. Robbie Ray last night. A guy named “Buck Farmer” today. On a team that less than two weeks ago it had more starters than it knew what to do with.

Red Sox 3, Reds 2: Jonathan Broxton threw a ball high-and-inside to Yoenis Cespedes, brushing him back. Next pitch: Cespedes hit a 433-foot home run. Someone send the video of that to Tony La Russa and explain to him that that’s how you retaliate for chin music. Cespedes has reached base in every game as a Red Sox. Red Sock? Um, as a player for Boston.

Rangers 3, Rays 2: The walkoff walk in the 14th inning. Four straight balls from Cesar Ramos to Adam Rosales. Ramos didn’t make Joe Maddon happy. After the game he said, “Just throw a strike there. Give us a chance.” Yikes.

Dodgers 4, Braves 2: We’ve now reached the “Craig needs to find a team to root for in the playoffs this year” portion of the season. Please leave your submissions in the comments. I will not root for the Nationals on division rival grounds and I won’t root for the Yankees or Red Sox on general principle, but that does not appear to be an issue this season. Anyone else is fair game at the moment. Probably not the Cardinals, though, actually. I have nothing against them but so many Cardinals fans think I hate their team and have it in for them that I’m not going to give them an excuse to let go of their derangement. It’s too hilarious.

Yankees vs. Orioles; Diamondbacks vs. Indians: POSTPONED: Come on take a walk on the wild side.  Let me kiss you hard in the pouring rain. You like your girls insane. Choose your last words, this is the last time. Cause you and I, we were born to die

Clayton Kershaw can win in the postseason! Who knew?

Clayton Kershaw
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Sometime after their Game 2 loss to the Rangers last week, the Blue Jays decided they trusted Marcus Stroman more than Cy Young candidate David Price in a potential Game 5 start. Such is the power of a postseason slump.

It can lead to one of the best hitters in the world being dropped to the eighth spot in the lineup. It can lead to quality regulars sitting at highly irregular times. In the postseason, what you did yesterday matters 10 times as much as what you did last month, usually not for the better.

Fortunately, Clayton Kershaw never had to worry about being skipped because of his postseason struggles. Even calling them struggles overstate the reality. In his previous three postseason starts, Kershaw had:

  • Allowed two runs over six innings in Game 1 of the 2014 NLDS against the Cardinals before being left in to give up a whopping six runs in the seventh
  • Pitched six scoreless innings on three days’ rest in Game 4 of the 2014 NLDS before giving up a three-run homer in the seventh
  • Allowed one run over 6 2/3 innings in Game 1 against the Mets before his two inherited runners came around to score off the pen
So, yes, Kershaw entered Tuesday’s outing against the Mets with a 4.99 postseason ERA, but he had turned in six quality starts in nine tries, allowing one earned run or fewer three times. It wasn’t nearly regular-season Kershaw, but it also wasn’t as bad as the ERA suggests, not when he’d been the victim of slow hooks and lousy bullpen support.

And, really, Tuesday’s win over the Mets didn’t seem much different at all than Kershaw previous couple of postseason starts, at least through six innings. Maybe the fastball was amped a bit. The real difference this time was that he made it through the seventh. Best of all, since he was on three days’ rest, Don Mattingly wasn’t tempted to send him back out for the eighth at 94 pitches, as he probably would have done had Kershaw been on normal rest. The bullpen took over and turned in two hitless innings in the 3-1 win, sending the NLDS back to Los Angeles for a decisive Game 5 on Thursday.

It’s completely unnecessary redemption for Kershaw, who had nothing in need of redeeming. But it’ll keep the trolls quiet for now and also all winter if Kershaw doesn’t get the chance to pitch again. He’d surely prefer to risk the chance of failure again next week in the NLCS.

Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers top Mets in Game 4 of NLDS to force a Game 5

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

There will be a decisive NLDS Game 5 on Thursday evening in Los Angeles.

Clayton Kershaw yielded just three hits and struck out eight batters over seven innings of one-run ball and Justin Turner hit his fourth double of the series — a two-run poke down the left field line in the top of the third inning — as the Dodgers defeated the Mets 3-1 in Game 4 of the National League Division Series on Tuesday night at Citi Field.

Kershaw’s past postseason demons peaked their head out when Yoenis Cespedes reached on an infield single to lead off the bottom of the seventh, but there was no Matt Adams or Matt Carpenter to make him pay this time around. Kershaw retired the next three batters in order and then gave way to reliever Chris Hatcher for the eighth inning having thrown 94 pitches on short rest.

The only run Kershaw allowed was on a Daniel Murphy solo shot in the fourth inning. The other two hits he surrendered were singles.

Los Angeles’ bullpen answered the call after Kershaw’s departure, with Hatcher and closer Kenley Jansen combining to post two big zeroes on the scoreboard in Queens. Jansen secured the final four outs, earning his fifth career postseason save and second this October.

Jacob deGrom is lined up for the Mets and Zack Greinke will be on the hill for Los Angeles in the loser-goes-home tilt Thursday at Dodger Stadium. This series is shaping up to be a classic.

The winner Thursday will face the Cubs in the National League Championship Series.

Video: Justin Turner gives Dodgers early Game 4 lead with two-run double

AP Photo/Julie Jacobson
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Clayton Kershaw has looked sharp on the mound and at the plate so far in this must-win NLDS Game 4 at New York’s Citi Field.

After no-hitting the Mets in the first two frames, Kershaw smacked a one-out single to left-center field in the top of third inning. Howie Kendrick followed soon after with a two-out single to left and then Adrian Gonzalez blooped a ball to shallow center that drove in Enrique Hernandez, who had reached earlier on a fielder’s choice grounder to second base.

That all set up this Justin Turner two-run double down the left field line that put Los Angeles up 3-0

That’s now four doubles this postseason for Turner, which is a Dodgers franchise record for the Division Series. Los Angeles is trying to force a Game 5.