Albert Almora

Associated Press

And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Indians 5, Tigers 3: They keep on winning. I wrote the game up here yesterday. Last night I got an email from an old colleague I haven’t heard from in years and years. He said the following:

“The Indians are on pace to win 100 games, which is 62% of their games (100/162). All else being equal (which is admittedly an unrealistic assumption), a team winning 62% of its games has a 62% chance of winning any one game. The chance of such team winning 21 games in a row is:

“0.62 raised to the 21st power, which is 0.000044, or 1 in 22,896.

“Usually about two teams a year win 100 games in MLB. So the likelihood of a 21-game MLB win streak is about once in every 10,000 seasons.”

I have no idea if that is accurate but it’s too good to check. Or, well, to have someone who knows anything about math to check. I’m just gonna say “neat.”

Dodgers 4, Giants 1: Two in a row! Not exactly a winning streak on par with Cleveland’s, but for the Dodgers it’s their longest winning streak since August 25. Cody Bellinger led the way here, hitting a two-run homer and tripling in a run as Yu Darvish tossed seven shutout innings. This is what the Dodgers we have come to know look like.

Athletics 7, Red Sox 3: Matt Olson hit a two-run homer in the A’s four-run first and Doug Fister and the Sox never recovered. All the talk here, of course, was the banner that someone unfurled over the Green Monster saying  “Racism is as American as Baseball.” As Bill noted last night there’s some ambiguity to that statement. It’s probably an anti-racism sign, but it’s worded somewhat poorly and, as a rule, one should not include sarcasm in a banner, which is not a tool of subtle communication. When I first saw it, my thoughts went to an old Saturday Night Live sketch from, like, 1983 or 1984, in which Ed Asner plays a retiring nuclear power technician who, as he’s leaving, tells his colleagues to always remember that “you can never put too much water in a nuclear reactor.” He leaves and they all disagree as to whether too put tons of water in or to be careful not to put too much. Anyway, that sketch is taking up brain cells that could be used to remember useful things but here we are.

Yankees 3, Rays 2: Not a pretty win — it can’t be when the starting pitcher and manager are seen arguing in the dugout during the game — but a win all the same. New York did all of its scoring in the second via RBI singles from Todd Frazier and Brett Gardner Aroldis Chapman struck out four in a four out save, even though he walked two and allowed a hit.

White Sox 5, Royals 3: Break up the White Sox, who have won five of six games and took two of three from the Royals. This one was tied at three in the ninth when Jose Abreu hit a sac fly and Avisail Garcia singled in a run. Lucas Giolito allowed only one run in six and a third. He’s been pretty good of late. The Sox are a bad team but they’ve had a lot to build on this year and have been interesting at times. That’s about all you can ask for from a club in their situation.

Braves 8, Nationals 2: The Braves scored six runs in the seventh inning, five of which were chargeable to Max Scherzer, who the Nats were trying to stretch. Guess they stretched him too far as he allowed a two-run, bases-loaded single to Dansby Swanson and then loaded the bases before reliever Brandon Kintzler gave up a grand slam to Matt Kemp. Braves starter Luiz Gohara allowed two runs — one earned — in six innings of work.

Phillies 8, Marlins 1Rhys Hoskins homered again — that’s now 17 dingers in only 33 games — and drove in three. Hoskins is the fastest player in major league history to get to 17 career homers, breaking the old record — 42 games — which was held by Boston Braves outfielder Wally Berger, set in 1930. Aaron Nola allowed only one run in seven innings, striking out 11.

Orioles 2, Blue Jays 1: Baltimore breaks its six-game losing streak, picking up two quick runs in the first inning thanks to an Adam Jones RBI double and a Trey Mancini RBI triple, which in his case they should call a “trey” because, like duh. Kevin Gausman allowed one run over seven and Zach Britton got the save, rebounding from his bad night on Tuesday.

Cubs 17, Mets 5:  Albert Almora Jr. pulled a Dante — he wasn’t even supposed to be here today — coming off the bench in the seventh inning to hit a three-run homer and then hit a bases-loaded triple in the eighth. Javier Baez had four hits, including a homer. Kris Bryant had three hits and scored four runs. Ben Zobrist also scored four times. Willson Contreras had two hits and three RBI. It was a train wreck for the Mets in every conceivable way, all the way down to Matt Harvey having yet another shaky start.

Brewers 8, Pirates 2: Milwaukee keeps pace with the Cubs as Eric Thames homered, Chase Anderson pitched well on short rest and last minute replacement Brett Phillips had two hits, three RBI and nailed a runner at home plate who was trying to score on a sac fly. It was David Freese and your aunt Tilly could probably nail him even if he was sprinting, but an out is an out, man.

Reds 6, Cardinals 0: The Cardinals did not keep pace, getting shut out by Tyler Mahle and three Reds relievers. Eugenio Suarez hit a fifth inning grand slam.

Twins 3, Padres 1Eddie Rosario hit a walkoff two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th. Rosario was also responsible for the Twins’ only other run thanks to his leadoff double in the second inning. He made it to third on a wild pitch and then scored when Austin Hedges tried to throw him out but sailed the ball into left field. The Twins maintain a two-game lead for the second Wild Card.

Mariners 8, Rangers 1Mike Zunino hit two solo homers and Kyle Seager and Jean Segura drove in two as well. Mike Leake, who I forgot got traded to Seattle, allowed two runs and pitched into the sixth.

Diamondbacks 8, Rockies 2A.J. Pollock homered and drove in four runs, Paul Goldschmidt notched his 1,000th career hit and Patrick Corbin allowed one run, striking out seven in six and two-thirds. The Snakes snapped the Rockies’ six-game winning streak.

Angels 9, Astros 1: The Angels scored five runs in the first and never looked back. They scored three more in the fourth, abusing Astros starter Mike Fiers for eight runs on ten hits in all. The Angels attack featured eight extra base hits, including six doubles and homers from Luis Valbuena and Justin Upton.

And That Happened: Tuesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Red Sox 12, Indians 10: The wildest game of the year. The Indians somehow scored seven runs off of Chris Sale. The Red Sox beat up Carlos Carrasco too, and after two innings it was 5-5. Then some of the game’s best relievers got got. The Sox somehow scored three runs off of Bryan Shaw. The Indians somehow scored two runs off of Craig Kimbrel. The Red Sox scored a run off of Andrew Miller, causing him to blow a save and they scored three runs off of Cody Allen, beating him with a Christian Vasquez three-run walkoff home run.

Oh yeah, and this happened too:

Craziness. Pure craziness. Hell, the Vasquez homer shouldn’t have even happened, except Mitch Moreland, who struck out for what should’ve been the game’s last out right before it, reached first base when strike three went wild.

Marlins 7, Nationals 6: Max Scherzer hit his first career homer, followed son after by a Howie Kendrick homer, which gave the Nats a 6-0 lead in the second inning. But then Scherzer left the game right after that with neck spasms, opening the door for a Marlins comeback. They walked through that door, scoring one in the third, two in the fourth and four runs in the fifth off of a team of Nats relievers. Marcell Ozuna‘s three-run homer tied it up and Derek Dietrich‘s RBI triple put the Fish ahead. Five Marlins relievers combined to shut the Nats out for six innings. As for Scherzer, he said he just slept funny on his neck the other night and that it’d been bothering him. He should be fine.

Cubs 16, Diamondbacks 4: Jon Lester joined Max Scherzer in the First Time To Ever Hit a Homer Club. He did not leave the game afterward like Scherzer did, but he was inefficient enough on the mound to only last four innings, failing to qualify for the win on a night his team scored 16 runs. He did get his 2,000th career strikeout, though, so that’s something. Anthony Rizzo went deep twice and Ian Happ and Javier Baez also homered. Rizzo, Baez and Albert Almora Jr. each drove in three runs, and Kris Bryant and Willson Contreras had two RBI apiece.

Blue Jays 8, White Sox 4: Justin Smoak homered for the second straight night. Josh Donaldson homered for the second straight night as well and drove in three runs. Tempers flared and benches emptied briefly in this one after Marcus Stroman started barking at Tim Anderson, who had just struck out and was muttering to himself. Here’s Stroman:

“It seemed like he wanted to talk the entire way back to the dugout after striking out. I got the ball back from Donaldson after throwing the ball around, and he was still continuing to talk, so I asked him what he was saying. He continued to talk more, so I walked toward the dugout. I thought he had a problem. I don’t understand why he would be running his mouth walking back to the dugout. It made zero sense to me.”

Whatever Marcus:

In other news, Stroman was ejected from a game last week when he was talking to himself after not getting some calls he wanted. I presume Stroman thought that he himself was out of line in that instance and took no issue with his ejection.

Orioles 7, Royals 2: The O’s win their fourth in a row as Dylan Bundy allowed three hits over eight innings — a career high for him — and newest Oriole Tim Beckham had two hits and scored twice. Baltimore is three and a half games out of the Wild Card with four teams ahead of them. Too early to call them true contenders in my book, but the win streak is nice.

Tigers 4, Yankees 3John Hicks — just called up from Toledo — hit a three-run homer and Justin Upton hit a solo shot off of CC Sabathia and the Tigers new-look bullpen made it hold up. It was Sabathia’s 500th career start if you care about such things.

Reds 9, Pirates 1Billy Hamilton went 2 for 4 with a triple and a three-run homer. Rookie Jesse Winkler and Eugenio Suarez homered as well. Winkler would’ve had another one if it wasn’t for this Starling Marte catch, which if it wasn’t for Jackson’s, would’ve been the catch of the night:

Dodgers 3, Braves 2: The Braves debuted a couple of rookies in infielder Ozzie Albies and starter Lucas Sims. Albies was 0-for-2 but walked and scored and Sims pitched six decent innings. Decent is not enough to beat baseball’s best team, however, as Kenta Maeda shut the Braves out on two hits over seven innings and Cody Bellinger went deep. The Braves threatened late with a Johan Camargo homer, but it was too little too late.

Brewers 3, Cardinals 2: Jimmy Nelson allowed two runs over six and a three-run first inning held up for the Brewers. Manny Pina doubled in a run, Domingo Santana knocked one in with a single and Ryan Braun grounded out to plate a run as well. After that first inning outburst Milwaukee would only have two singles for the rest of the game, but they didn’t need any more.

Mariners 8, Rangers 7Robinson Cano doubled twice and drove in three, Nelson Cruz homered and Leonys Martin had two hits and two RBI. Joey Gallo had two homers and four RBI in a losing cause. One of his homers was a moon shot:

MLB’s StatCast said that was 456 feet. I think StatCast is drunk, because that ball traveled way more than 456 feet. Just right of dead center at Globe Life Park is 407 feet. His ball landed on top of that club section way beyond that wall.

Rays 6, Astros 4: Evan Longoria hit for the cycle, driving in three runs. Logan Morrison hit a solo homer and drove in two. Chris Archer allowed six hits, four runs and struck out five in 6-plus innings to get his first win since July 4.

Rockies 5, Mets 4: Nolan Arenado hit a three-run homer in the sixth and then singled in Charlie Blackmon in the ninth to break a 4-4 tie and give the Rockies a walkoff win. Blackmon had made a nice crashing-into-the-wall catch to end the top of the ninth, setting up the heroics.

Giants 10, Athletics 4Jeff Samardzija allowed four runs — three earned — in eight innings of work, backed by a three-run homer from Hunter Pence, a two-run shot from Nick Hundley and a solo blast from Brandon Belt. The Giants’ three homers matched their season high. Which, in a homer happy year like this one seems pretty low. That’s the 2017 Giants for ya, though.

Angels 7, Phillies 1: Albert Pujols hit his 608th career homer and drove in five. He’s had three homers in the past two games, which followed a stretch where he went hitless for five games. He’s a shell of his old self, but he can still put a sock into one once in a while. One more homer and he ties Sammy Sosa. After that, Jim Thome (612) is in his sights.

Padres 3, Twins 0Jhoulys Chacin tossed seven shutout innings and Kirby Yates and Brand Hand completed the blanking of the Twins. Austin Hedges hit a two-run homer for the Padres.

And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Astros 7, Royals 3:  Houston got a three-run homer from Yuli Gurriel and a two-run shot from Brian McCann to win their eleventh straight game. The Astros are one win shy of their franchise record of 12 straight wins, which they did twice: 1999 and 2004. Oh, and it was their eleventh straight road win as well, which is perhaps even more impressive. Business trips suck.

Reds 4, Cardinals 2: Carlos Martinez was dominant through six innings, shutting out the Reds on one hit. But then the seventh happened. The Reds loaded the bases off of him before he gave up a two-run double to Eugenio Suarez. Mike Matheny pulled him for Kevin Siegrist and Scooter Gennett hit a two-run double off of him. All runs were charged to Martinez, of course. Just goes to show you how quickly everything can turn to hell in this world. St. Louis has lost four in a row and seven of ten.

Phillies 11, Braves 4: Bartolo Colon continues his nightmare season. Here one of the worst teams in baseball lit him up for eight runs in three and and two-thirds, puffing his ERA up to an unsightly 7.78. It was a good plan for the Braves to bring in veterans who could eat innings during the rebuild, but the Bartolo Colon/R.A. Dickey experiment has been a failure. Time to cut bait. In other news, I wish like hell that Mac Thomason, the founder of Braves Journal, was still alive. His roasting of Colon right now would be savage. It’d almost be enough to make me want to watch one of his starts.

Giants 7, Brewers 2: Jeff Samardzija was shaky at first, allowing two early runs, but then he settled down and shut the Brewers out for the next seven innings or so, retiring 19 batters in a row at one point. It was close while he was in the game too, as the Giants did not take the lead until pinch hitter Aaron Hill doubled in two in the eighth to break a 2-2 tie.

Cubs 3, Marlins 1: Kris Bryant hit a two-run homer in the first and Albert Almora Jr. hit a solo shot in the fourth to back Eddie Butler, who tossed one-run ball into the sixth. Mike Montgomery took it the rest of the way, working like a piggyback-starter and tossing three and a third shutout innings for the long save. I know the Cubs did this out of necessity — Wade Davis is out on paternity leave — but I’m surprised we don’t see more of this. There are a lot of starters who are good one time through the lineup before getting lit up after three innings or so.

Nationals 4, Dodgers 2:Anthony Rendon hit a solo homer in the second, Matt Wieters hit a two-run single in the fourth and Bryce Harper hit an RBI single in the fifth. Wieters’ and Harpers’ hits came with two outs, which is something managers and broadcasters love. I’m not sure if they love that more than guys hitting the ball to the opposite field, but man do they love two out hits. The Nats have now won six of seven.

Athletics 5, Blue Jays 3: There was a couple of year stretch where it seemed like Khris Davis was hitting multiple homers in a game all the dang time. I guess some of that magic has rubbed off on his teammate Ryon Healy, who homered twice and drove in all five of the A’s runs. This is the second time in three games he has hit two bombs, as he did so Saturday against the Nats. Sean Manaea won his fourth straight start, striking out seven over six innings while allowing two runs on four hits.