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And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Cardinals 2, Pirates 1: Dexter Fowler homer. Josh Bell homer. Dexter Fowler homer. Advantage: Cardinals.

Cubs 7, Brewers 4: Addison Russell hit a walkoff three-run homer off of Neftali Feliz to cap a four-run ninth inning and the Cubs comeback from a three-run deficit. Earlier in the inning Kris Bryant had singled in Jon Jay to tie things up. Russell is the marquee hero, but there was some low-key heroism from the Cubs bullpen, with Mike Montgomery, Pedro Strop, Koji Uehara and Wade Davis combining for four scoreless innings. That made up for Kyle Hendricks‘ shaky start and allowed the Cubs to remain within comeback range.

Athletics 9, Rangers 1: The A’s jumped on Martin Perez four four in the first and it wasn’t a contest after that. Khris Davis hit his seventh homer of the young season. He hits well at home, and he was asked about life at the Coliseum after the game:

“I like coming to this ballpark. It’s a grungy stadium, but I don’t need the fancy art, high-tech stadium to perform. I just go out there and play.”

Has anyone ever described Davis as a gritty or a blue collar or a lunch bucket-type player? Because that’s the kind of quote that gets you labeled that.

Mariners 10, Marlins 5: Mitch Haniger had three hits, reached base five times and drove in four. The Mariners right fielder now has a 13-game hitting streak. The Marlins right fielder, however, got all the attention. And for good reason.

Yankees 9, White Sox 1: Starlin Castro drove in three but everyone was talking about the one run Aaron Judge drove in. On a long, long homer. Nearly 450 feet. That kid is strong.

Blue Jays 3, Red Sox 0: Francisco Liriano and three relievers combine to shut out the Sox. Defense was just as much a liability as the bats were for Boston, as all three of the Jays’ runs were unearned thanks to a throwing error by Pablo Sandoval. and a fielding error by Mitch Moreland in the second inning which set up RBI singles from Darwin Barney and Ezequiel Carrera.

Orioles 2, Reds 0: Ubaldo Jimenez continues to be one of the more baffling and frustrating pitchers in baseball. He gave up five runs in his first start of the year and five runs in his second but here tosses shutout ball into the eighth, allowing only two hits. Reds rookie Amir Garrett continued to shine in a losing effort, striking out 12 in seven innings and allowing only two runs. This one was done in a crisp two hours twenty-eight minutes.

Mets 5, Phillies 4: The Mets break a four-game losing streak thanks to the heroics of Jay Bruce, who didn’t bring the Mets down, homering twice and driving in all five of the Mets’ runs. The first homer brought the Mets back from behind and the second one broke a tie and gave them the lead for good.

Rays 8, Tigers 7: An ugly game ends with an ugly play, as Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias allowed the tying and winning runs to score due to a throwing error while trying to turn what should’ve been a game-ending double play.  Iglesias was run into and threw off balance on the play, but after the game Brad Ausmus said “that double play gets turned nine times out of 10” and that it was just bad luck.

Nationals 14, Braves 4: Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman each hit grand slams. Earlier in the game Harper hit a solo homer too. Harper finished 4-for-4 with a walk, a single, a double, and the two homers. Zimmerman went 3-for-5 with two singles and the slam. Mercy.

Astros 5, Angels 1: Every preview for the Astros this season was required, by law, to mention that Houston’s chances hinged on Dallas Keuchel returning to ace-like form. So far this year he has been an ace. He’s gone exactly seven innings in each of his first four starts. He allowed zero runs in his first start of the year and one each in the next three, including this one. He’s 3-0 with 22 strikeouts and only six walks in 28 innings. It’s no accident that the Astros are tied for the most wins in baseball.

Royals 2, Giants 0: Madison Bumgarner in Kansas City against the Royals brings back memories of 2014. And he did pitch well, allowing only one run in six innings. He just didn’t pitch as well as Jason Vargas, who shut the Giants out and struck out nine over seven. Joakim Soria and Kelvin Herrera handled the final two innings, holding the Giants hitless in the final two frames. The Royals scored their runs on a couple of singles.

Dodgers 4, Rockies 2: Clayton Kershaw struck out ten and allowed two runs in seven innings of work. Kershaw was pissed too, because he had to wait to start the first inning as Rockies starter Tyler Anderson was late walking out of the bullpen from pregame warmups and to the Rockies dugout. Kershaw on the delay:

“That was one of the more disrespectful things I’ve been a part of in a game,” Kershaw said. “Really didn’t appreciate that. The game starts at 7:10. It’s started at 7:10 here for a long time. Go around or finish earlier but that wasn’t appreciated, for sure. I’m not going to say any more or I’ll get in trouble.”

I can think of a few more disrespectful things in baseball history, but I suppose Kershaw gets the benefit of the doubt as maybe he wasn’t part of any of ’em.

Padres 1, Diamondbacks 0: The good news for the Dbacks? Zack Greinke was fantastic, allowing only one run on five hits in eight innings. The bad news? He wasn’t as good as Jhoulys Chacin, who allowed three hits and zero runs in that same span. Greinke’s only mistake was a solo homer allowed to Erick Aybar in the bottom of the eighth. This game lasted only two hours and thirteen minutes. It’s like Greg Maddux came out of retirement.

Indians vs. Twins — POSTPONED:

The rain falls hard on a humdrum town
this town has dragged you down
oh the rain falls hard on a humdrum town
this town has dragged you down

And everybody’s got to live their life
and God knows I’ve got to live mine
God knows I’ve got to live mine

William, William it was really nothing
William, William it was really nothing
it was your life

Sandy Alderson: It’s “highly unlikely” the Mets will non-tender Matt Harvey

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As we noted the other day, Matt Harvey has been terrible since coming off the disabled list. In his last four starts he’s allowed 21 runs, all earned, on 32 hits in 14.2 innings, for an ERA of 13.19. In that time he’s struck out only eight batters while walking seven. It’s fair to ask whether his accumulation of injuries — Tommy John surgery, thoracic outlet syndrome and a stress injury to his shoulder — has rendered him ineffective for more than just the short term.

In light of that, many have speculated that the Mets may not tender the arbitration-eligible Harvey a contract for 2018, making him a free agent. The thinking being that, as he makes $5.125 million right now, he’s going to make at least that and likely a bit more next year via arbitration, even in his diminished state. While many times may accept that for a chance to see if Harvey could rebound, the Mets are not in the habit of spending money they aren’t obligated to spend.

Yesterday Mets Sandy Alderson called b.s. on that, however, telling the New York Post that “it’s highly unlikely that we’re not going to bring him back next year.” The Post story adds this, though it’s unclear if it’s the reporter’s sentiment or that of the Mets:

A significant factor for the Mets, not to be underestimated, is avoiding the potential embarrassment that would come if Harvey were non-tendered by the team and then regained his form pitching elsewhere next season.

The Mets have, in the past, cut off their nose to spite their face in similar fashion. Just this summer they reportedly declined to trade Jay Bruce to the Yankees, sending him to Cleveland instead, despite was claimed to be a substantially better offer from the Yankees. The suggestion was that Mets brass did not want to see their former player helping their cross-town rival, even if the trade would be better for the Mets.

If the Mets, as Sandy Alderson says, legitimately believe that Harvey will rebound, cool: take a $6-7 million chance on him for 2018. It’d be pretty pathetic, though, if they don’t think he’ll be effective again but are simply going to keep him around to keep anyone else from lucking out on an unlikely Harvey rebound.

Either way: I hope Harvey does rebound. When he was dominant he was a special pitcher to watch. Having him return to dominance would be a good thing. No matter who he’d do it for.

 

 

And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Yankees 11, Twins 3: The Twins took a 3-0 lead, but after that it was all Yankees. Aaron Judge hit his AL-leading 45th home run and crossed the 100 RBI mark. Gary Sanchez went back-to-back with him in the third. Didi Gregorius hit a three-run shot. The Yankees are rolling at just the right time. Or at least that’s what I’m reading everywhere, despite the fact that momentum is a false construct. And despite the fact that, hey, the world is probably going to end on Saturday.

Athletics 3, Tigers 2: Daniel Mengden tossed seven scoreless innings and continued to test my theory that, if they wanted to, sports writers could totally make up names for Oakland A’s players and most of us would nod and say “hmm, OK . . . Mengden.” Marcus Semien homered and drove in three as the A’s swept the Tigers. Who, after a decade or so of being a team full of famous players, is about to enter a period when we could play the same game with their relatively anonymous players as we’ve played with teams like the A’s for so long.

Marlins 9, Mets 2: Giancarlo Stanton hit his 56th homer and drove in three. In keeping with the silly trend of people pretending that passing Roger Maris at 61 would somehow be a significant record as opposed to merely a neat accomplishment, I am going to officially proclaim that Stanton NOW has the home run record. Hey, if subjectivity matters for things like this, so too does my personal subjectivity. The rundown:

  • Ken Griffey Jr. hit 56 twice, but he once used a Bed Bath and Beyond coupon that was expired, sullying it;
  • Luis Gonzalez and A-Rod at 57? They were Freemasons;
  • Four players hit 58 in a season once — Foxx, Greenberg, Howard and McGwire — but that sounds like a law firm, undermining the purity of the accomplishment;
  • Babe Ruth hit 59 and 60, but he purchased alcohol during prohibition, setting a terrible example for lack of temperance;
  • Roger Maris’ 61 was hit in front of a half-empty Yankee Stadium crowd. The Yankees were amazing in 1961 and everyone was talking about him passing Ruth, so something fishy was going on. I’m going to guess radiation contamination on site scared people away and, in turn, powered Maris artificially, like someone in a comic book;
  • That just leaves Sosa, McGwire and Bonds and they murdered all of those people so it’d be wrong to honor them.

Congratulations, Giancarlo Stanton: The Single Season Home Run Champ!

Giants 4, Rockies 0: The Rockies lose their third in a row. Thanks to the Brewers losing too they keep their one-game lead for the second Wild Card, but they really need to cut this out. Brandon Crawford hit a solo homer and Matt Moore and four relievers combined to shut Colorado out.

Red Sox 9, Orioles 0: Chris Sale tossed eight shutout innings and struck out 13. In so doing he became just the second pitcher to strikeout 300-plus batters in a season in the last 15 years, joining Clayton Kershaw. Before that Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson accomplished the feat in 2002 (Johnson also did it in 2001 and 2000 as well). Sale is just the second Red Sox pitcher to do it, following Pedro Martinez, who did it in 1999. Mookie Betts and Deven Marrero went deep for Boston. The Red Sox have clinched a playoff spot.

Phillies 7, Dodgers 5Aaron Altherr hit a tying, two-run homer in the seventh. The Dodgers added a run, so Altherr hit a tiebreaking, two-run single in the eighth. That’s three in a row over the Dodgers for Philly. They go for the sweep this afternoon. The Dodgers have lost four straight and 20 of 25. Their magic number for the NL West remains at two.

Pirates 6, Brewers 4Adam Frazier hit a two-out, two-run, walkoff homer off of Corey Knebel, averting extra innings and giving the game to the Buccos. Knebel’s streak of 21 consecutive save chances converted ended just before that when his own throwing error allowed the Pirates to tie it. We all have a bad day sometimes.

Royals 15, Blue Jays 5: Mike Moustakas broke the single-season home run record for the Royals. But, like I said above, this is all apparently subjective now, so I’m gonna stick with Steve Balboni’s 36 as the true mark, because this:

Salvador Perez and Whit Merrifield also went deep as the Royals victimized Brett Anderson for eight runs on seven hits in an inning and a third and rattled off 18 hits on the night.

Cardinals 9, Reds 2Dexter Fowler homered for the third straight game. Matt Carpenter and Paul DeJong also went deep, Tommy Pham had three hits and two RBI and Yadier Molina added a two-run double. Luke Weaver allowed two runs in five innings to win his seventh straight start, making him the current active leader in consecutive wins.

Rays 8, Cubs 1: The Cubs seven-game winning streak comes to an end thanks to Blake Snell‘s two-hit, seven shutout inning performance. The Cubs now open a four-game series in Milwaukee. They have a three and a half game lead over the Brewers and can either put them away or give us an exciting last week of the season. So, nothing personal Cubs fans, but let’s go Brewers.

Nationals 7, Braves 3: The Braves had a 2-1 lead heading into the eighth and then the Nats went and put up a six-spot. Three of those runs came on bases loaded walks from Arodys Vizcaino. Maybe Brandon Snitker is a fan of the movie “Tin Cup” or something. I don’t know. I’m just glad I wasn’t feeling well last night and took a NyQuil at 9:30 and missed it.

Astros 4, White Sox 3: That’s six straight wins for Houston. Yuli Gurriel had three hits, including a two-run double, Brad Peacock allowed two runs on only one hit in six innings.

Diamondbacks 13, Padres 7: Hunter Renfroe hit three homers. Wasn’t enough, though, as the Dbacks overcame a 6-2 deficit and scored 11 runs in the final four innings. J.D Martinez, A.J. Pollock, David Peralta and Jake Lamb all went deep for the Snakes.

Indians 6, Angels 5: Four wins in a row for Cleveland who is now 26-1 over their past 27 games. They haven’t lost a road game since August 20. This is just crazy stuff. Francisco Lindor snapped a seventh-inning tie with a two-run homer and  Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Ramirez added RBI singles. The Angels remain one and a half back of the Twins for the second Wild Card.

Rangers 8, Mariners 6Rougned Odor hit a grand slam to cap a seven-run fourth inning and the Rangers held off Seattle. Alex Claudio earned a six-out save. The Puerto Rican native was distracted and worried about his family and homeland in the wake of the destruction wrought by Hurricane Maria. I have no idea how anyone could concentrate under such circumstances, but he did.