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And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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It’s always weird, after the trade deadline, when games actually happen. It’s simultaneously anti-climatic and refreshing if that makes any sense. “Oh yeah, games.” I dunno.

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Yankees 6, Mets 5: For this I’m going to defer to the Associated Press:

Starlin Castro hit a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning and the Yankees, after selling off stars at the trade deadline, showed plenty of spunk while rallying past the Mets 6-5 on Monday night in their Subway Series opener.

No. No. We are NOT doing that. We are not, on the first day after the Yankees trade off some veterans, going to cast them as spunky and scrappy underdogs. They do NOT get to be the Evil Empire for 20 years and then immediately transform into the friggin’ Bad News Bears. I will not stand for this. Nor should you. They cannot be spunky until, I dunno, three more high-priced veterans are gone and they lose badly for a year while a couple of prospects emerge. Then, and only then, can they be “spunky.” There are rules, people.

Twins 12, Indians 5: Wunderbar! Max Kepler hit three homers, had four hits in all and drove in six runs. For the Indians, panic time: Danny Salazar was roughed up for six runs in two innings and now will undergo an MRI on his elbow, which he says has been bothering him for some time and has certainly affected his last two starts. In other news, Andrew Miller made his first appearance for Cleveland. He gave up a homer to Joe Mauer. Yankees win the trade?

Royals 3, Rays 0: Danny Duffy had absolutely electric stuff, taking a no-hitter into the 8th inning and setting a team record by striking out 16 batters in the game. Kevin Kiermaier was on deck when Desmond Jennings got the only hit of the game, breaking up the no-no. I had the game on and was prepared to flood the Internet with cat photos if it was Kiermaier who did it. Missed opportunities.

Cubs 5, Marlins 0: Kyle Hendricks pitched a complete game shutout, scattering seven hits. He also threw 123 pitches, which was his highest total of the year, but it was pretty necessary given that the Cubs used every player who wasn’t nailed down the day before. Anthony Rizzo singled, doubled, tripled and reached base five times. Adam Conley of the Marlins  walked six and hit a guy, needing 97 pitches to make it through four innings.

Astros 2, Blue Jays 1: This one went 14 innings and ended when new Blue Jay reliever Scott Feldman came in to face the team who traded him earlier in the day. He immediately gave up a single and a game-ending double and that was that. This should trigger a thorough review of the Blue Jays’ debriefing protocols. If a defector turns out to be a sleeper agent, someone has messed up in counterintelligence. Everyone who watches “The Americans” knows this.

Nationals 14, Diamondbacks 1: I haven’t checked the stats yet, but I am confident that Stephen Strasburg is undefeated when his team scores 14 runs on 19 hits. Three of those hits were his and he drove in a run. He picked up his 15th win of the season. He also leads the NL in WAR for starting pitchers. I feel like Clayton Kershaw still has time to claim his Cy Young Award if he comes back eventually, but if he misses much more time the support is going to shift to Strasburg. Like Woody Allen said, eighty percent of success is showing up.

Red Sox 2, Mariners 1: The M’s took a 1-0 lead into the eighth but it’s not 1968 and 1-0 leads don’t hold up too terribly often. Aaron Hill homered to tie things up that inning and Mookie Betts added a solo shot to give the Sox the lead for good in the top of the ninth. Craig Kimbrel returned for Boston and got the save, though he did allow two baserunners.

Padres 7, Brewers 3: A five-run fifth inning sunk the Brewers and snapped their four game losing streak. Travis Jankowski had three hits and two walks. Padres pitcher Jarred Cosart, making his Padres debut after being traded from Miami, only made it into the fourth after walking six dudes and hitting a guy. It’s not often a starter can do that and not pay for it, but the Brewers couldn’t capitalize. Four Padres relievers took it the rest of the way.

Battle of the Aces: Max Scherzer takes on Clayton Kershaw tonight

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I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.

Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.

This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.

Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.