Andrew McCutchen

Getty Images

And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

17 Comments

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Giants 8, Dodgers 6: This game ended a little over an hour before I started these recaps and the San Francisco and L.A. writers covering the game were still at the ballpark, awake and beefing about whatever writers beef about. Good times! The delay was due to rain and lightning that twice hit AT&T Park last night, causing the game not to get started until super late. The teams stuck it out, however, because the forecast doesn’t look all that better for today and tomorrow and the Dodgers didn’t want to give up their travel day on Thursday. As it was, they gave up their 11th straight game, extending this death spiral. Denard Span — batting third — hit a homer into McCovey Cove and drove in three. Hunter Pence — leading off — had three hits and scored twice. Between the two delays the teams ended up having to use 15 pitchers combined and 40 players overall. What a night.

Rockies 5, Diamondbacks 4: Nolan Arenado hit a tie-breaking three-run home run in the eighth inning and drove in four on the evening in what seems like a preview of the NL Wild Card game. After their 13-game winning streak, the Diamondbacks have dropped three of four.

Indians 11, Tigers 0: That’s 19 straight for Cleveland, which took a 5-0 lead by the second inning — three of those coming on a bases loaded triple from Francisco Lindor — and never looked back.  Carlos Carrasco tossed six shutout innings. Lindor knocked in four on the night. Jose Ramirez hit a long two-run homer and drove in three. It’s getting ahead of things to say the Indians will make the World Series — and the way they’re playing now it looks silly to say the Dodgers will make it — but if they both do, know that Cleveland has closed 15 and a half games in the standings between them and L.A. in 17 days and now stand four games behind for the best record in baseball which would, in turn, determine home field advantage in the World Series.

Blue Jays 4, Orioles 3: The Orioles are scuffling again, and are likely playing their way out of Wild Card contention. Ryan Goins hit a solo home run, Marco Estrada was solid and Darwin Barney had two hits and an RBI. He also did this on a double, advancing to third on a throwing error:

Yankees 5, Rays 1: This one was played in Citi Field because of Hurricane Irma, so the “visiting” team won. Todd Frazier hit a three-run homer in a five-run fourth inning made possible by Trevor Plouffe’s two-out error. The Yankees closed to within three games of Boston in the AL East and now have a four-game lead over Minnesota for the top AL Wild Card spot. The Rays are all but done, falling four back of the Wild Card with 17 to play and with five teams ahead of them.

Pirates 7, Brewers 0Steven Brault allowed one hit over six shutout innings, striking out six, and left with a 6-0 lead, two runs of which came off of his own bat with an RBI single. Nice night at the office. Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte each hit two-run shots. Milwaukee falls to 2.5 back of the idle Cubs and two back of the idle Cards in the NL Central.

White Sox 11, Royals 3: Jose Abreu hit for the cycle on Saturday, hit two homers on Sunday and had four hits last night, falling a homer short of another cycle. He also walked. Adam Engel hit a three-run homer as the Chisox won easily.

Rangers 5, Mariners 3: In the second inning Delino DeShields reached on bunt single and then scored from first base on a Shin-Soo Choo double, running through the third base coach’s stop sign to do it. In the fourth inning he hit a home run. In closing, Delino DeShields is a land of contrasts.

And That Happened: Tuesday’s Scores and Highlights

Getty Images
18 Comments

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Indians 4, Rockies 1: Nolan Arenado made a clever play but Yan Gomes won the game with a walkoff three-run homer. This is the baseball equivalent of some smarty pants dropping a droll bon mot over a classmate’s mispronunciation of a word only to walk out of the building at three o’clock and get decked in front of the whole school. Corey Kluber, meanwhile, tossed a complete game, allowing only one run on three hits and striking out 11. Ace stuff, right there.

Red Sox 2, Rays 0: Chris Sale tossed eight shutout innings allowing only two hits and striking out 13. In the American League it’s him and Kluber, then there’s 50 feet of crap, then there’s the rest of the pitchers. OK, there’s, like, Luis Severino and some other dudes too, but I wanted to use that Brad Pitt quote from “Moneyball” for a while and I haven’t had any good chances. Either way: if there’s any justice in the world (spoiler alert: there isn’t, but go with me here) Sale and Kluber will face off in a deciding game in the playoffs this year. It will go eight and two-thirds innings, tied at zero, and then the home team will win on a walkoff inside-the-park homer. Everyone would love that except guys who write gamers on deadlines and their problems aren’t our problems.

Marlins 7, Nationals 3: Giancarlo Stanton hit a three-run shot to break a 1-1 tie in the fifth. It was his 38th bomb of the year, setting a personal record and extending his league lead in dingers. Derek Dietrich also homered and drove in three. The Marlins scored seven runs on only six hits. Earl Weaver was right about three-run homers being awesome. He was also right about Alice Sweet’s tomato plants, but I suppose that’s best left for another time.

Pirates 6, Tigers 3: Chad Kuhl took a shutout into the sixth striking out six and walking one. He also (all together now) helped his own cause with a two-run single in the fourth to give the Pirates a 4-0 lead which they would not relinquish. Andrew McCutchen hit his 23rd homer of the year. The Tigers have lost four in a row.

Blue Jays 4, Yankees 2: Josh Donaldson homered twice, each of which were two-run shots. Garrett Cooper hit a sac fly and an RBI single, each of which were good for one run. 2 x 2 > 1 x 2, ergo the Blue Jays won. That’s just math. CC Sabathia left the game after three innings due to a recurrence of his old knee problems. That’s just age.

Padres 7, Reds 3Jose Pirela had four hits and scored three times and Yangervis Solarte had three hits including a homer, driving in three. Luis Perdomo pitched in and out of trouble into the seventh, inducing three double plays. The Padres got a fourth double play on a strike-em-out, throw-em-out with the throw-em-out nabbing Billy Hamilton. That doesn’t happen very often.

Mets 5, Rangers 4: The Mets snap their four-game losing streak. Chris Flexen allowed three runs over five and two-thirds for his first big league win. He was backed by homers from Michael Conforto, Yoenis Cespedes and Travis d'Arnaud which staked him to a 4-0 lead after two innings, so that helps.

Phillies 5, Braves 2: Zach Eflin — one of the increasingly hard to find Zachs in baseball who spell it with an “h” — allowed two runs on seven hits over seven and (all together now) helped his own cause by singling in the go-ahead run in the fourth. Odubel Herrera hit a two-run shot on a 3-for-4 night.

White Sox 8, Astros 5: Kevan Smith hit a two-run homer and a two-run double as the White Sox hand the Astros their fifth loss in seven games. Question: when the White Sox and Astros face off do they do any “remember the 2005 World Series” bits on the local broadcasts, or do we all pretend that never happened now that Houston is in the AL?

Twins 11, Brewers 4: Brian Dozier hit a grand slam and Max Kepler and Eddie Rosario each homered twice. The three of them went a combined 9-for-13, with seven runs and 10 RBI. According to the AP, the last time the Twins had multiple players hit multiple homers in one game was Aug. 3, 2011, when Delmon Young and Michael Cuddyer each went deep twice. Blast from the past. Note: the last time Delmon Young was mentioned on this blog, apart from us talking about him either being released or arrested, was when we posted this:

Cardinals 10, Royals 3Yadier MolinaJedd Gyorko and Randal Grichuk each went deep in the service of the Cardinals’ 14-hit attack. Jason Vargas was beat up for six runs in four and two-thirds for the Royals. In the first half he was Cy Young material. In the second half Vargas is 1-3 with a 6.94 ERA and has allowed 31 hits, has walked 12 dudes and has surrendered six homers in 23.1 innings across five starts. You can’t run away and hide from a 162-game season. It will come and find you eventually and reveal you for who you truly are.

Diamondbacks 6, Dodgers 3: The Dodgers had a 3-2 lead heading into the bottom of the seventh. Such things have been pretty safe for them in this charmed season, but Jake Lamb‘s grand slam off of Tony Watson flipped the usual script. In Watson’s defense, he’s only been with the team for a little over a week so maybe no one told him how things are supposed to work yet. Hard to fault the matchup of a lefty specialist and a guy in Lamb who struggles against lefties. Stuff just happens sometimes.

Mariners 7, Athletics 6:  The A’s took a 6-2 lead into the sixth inning but the M’s rallied to tie it and Leonys Martin hit a solo shot in the top of the 10th to give Seattle the win. Khris Davis was 2-for-4 with a home run, a triple and four RBI in the losing cause. The M’s comeback was aided by some bad Oakland defense. The A’s lead the majors with 95 errors and 70 unearned runs allowed so, yeah.

Angels 3, Orioles 2: Every time I say “Angels and Orioles” to myself I think it sounds like the title of a 1990s art house movie. This should play before the game starts:

After that — and some pretentious, pre-credits sequence in which, I dunno, some British kids in the 1960s lose something in some tall grass — former Oriole Parker Bridwell threw seven innings of one-run ball, outdueling Jeremy Hellickson. C.J. Cron singled in the Halos’ first run and singled in their last run. Then the game ended on a dissonant note with, like, Juliette Binoche looking longingly at something, I know not what.

Giants 6, Cubs 3: Buster Posey hit a three-run homer in the first inning. He’s hitting .322/.411/.485 on the year. He’s one of the few good things going for the Giants in 2017. Ty Blach allowed two runs on seven hits over seven innings and (all together now) helped his own cause with an RBI single.

And That Happened: Friday’s Scores and Highlights

Getty Images
4 Comments

Here are the rest of Friday’s scores and highlights:

Nationals 4, Cubs 2: The Nationals have to be pretty pleased with their trade deadline acquisitions after Brandon Kintzler, Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle helped secure a win over the Cubs on Friday. The club’s new relievers combined for 2 2/3 scoreless frames, quashing the Cubs’ seventh-inning rally and preserving a narrow lead to give the Nats a 13-game advantage in the NL East.

Reds 3, Cardinals 2: Down 1-0 in the third inning, Greg Garcia skied a 3-2 heater from Asher Wojciechowski to deep right field that ricocheted off the top of the wall and back into the outfield. Garcia hustled to third base, prompting a crew chief review to determine whether a) the ball had been affected by a fan beyond the perimeter of the field for a home run, or b) the ball only touched the top of the fence, upholding Garcia’s triple.

In the end, the details didn’t matter too much. Mike Leake plated Garcia on an RBI single for the Cardinals’ first run of the day, and Joey Votto‘s fifth-inning RBI single gave the Reds the one-run lead they needed to clinch their 45th win of the year.

Tigers 5, Orioles 2: Justin Verlander cleared revocable waivers on Friday, and while it might take a while to find a suitor for the remaining $60 million owed on his seven-year contract, his decisive win against the Orioles only boosted his trade value. The righty shut down the Orioles on seven innings of 10-strikeout, two-run ball, setting down his seventh win of the year while the Tigers exploded in the eighth inning to give their ace a three-run cushion.

Pirates 10, Padres 6: A two-hour, five-minute rain delay did little to dampen the Pirates’ spirits — or their bats. In the seventh inning, down 6-4, Andrew McCutchen laced a single off of Kirby Yates, followed by a David Freese double and Gregory Polanco‘s pinch-hit, three-RBI home run:

The go-ahead homer was supplemented by another three runs, putting the Bucs ahead 10-6 by the end of the seventh and giving their bullpen enough of a cushion to coast to a win in the wee hours of the morning. Following the game, Polanco dedicated his first career pinch-hit blast to his nephew Ismael:

Dodgers 6, Mets 0: It’s been just five days since Yu Darvish donned a Dodgers jersey, and he’s already breaking records and dazzling National League competition. He posted seven shutout innings in his Dodgers’ debut on Friday, becoming the first L.A. pitcher to debut with 10 strikeouts since Kazuhisa Ishii whiffed 10 batters back in 2002. The win, Darvish’s seventh of the season, snapped a worrying streak of eight winless starts for the right-hander, including a messy 10-run affair against the Marlins last week.

Brewers 2, Rays 0: Nothing was going to spoil Brandon Woodruff’s pristine Major League debut: not a bases-loaded threat in the first inning, not a bases-loaded threat in the second inning, not Travis Shaw‘s defensive miscues, not even Jose Alvarado’s immaculate inning. The rookie right-hander worked in and out of trouble during Friday’s series opener, scattering seven hits, two walks and six strikeouts over 6 1/3 scoreless innings.

Indians 7, Yankees 2: Two pivotal plays at the plate helped determine the outcome of Friday’s game: one, a second-inning snafu that cost the Yankees a run on Gary Sanchez‘s 12th passed ball of the season, the other, a run-saving gem from Giovanny Urshela that caught Ronald Torreyes at the plate.

Sanchez wasn’t the only culprit in the Yankees’ fourth straight loss — a wild pitch from Chad Green also handed the Indians a run, and the Yankees’ offense couldn’t find a toehold against Trevor Bauer — but he incurred some strong words from manager Joe Girardi following the game.

“He needs to improve. Bottom line. He needs to improve,” the skipper told reporters. “He’s late getting down. That’s what I see sometimes. It’s something we’ve been working on. We need to continue to work on it.”

Red Sox 3, White Sox 2 (11 innings): The Red Sox delivered John Farrell’s 400th career win in epic fashion on Friday night:

It was the team’s 10th win in extras this season and their third straight win of any variety this month. Eduardo Rodriguez was matched pace-for-pace by Carlos Rodon, who fired 11 strikeouts in a losing effort, but found the edge he needed with Mitch Moreland‘s timely blast in the 11th.

Braves 5, Marlins 3: Are you tired of home runs? League-leading, record-breaking blasts? Giancarlo Stanton bombs? No?

Stanton’s mammoth 477-footer stands as the longest home run in SunTrust Park history — a history that only dates back through Opening Day 2017, but still a fun record for competitors to clear in the months to come.

Twins 8, Rangers 4: Bartolo Colon set a number of cool records with his first complete game win for the Twins, becoming the oldest pitcher since 2010 to record the feat. After allowing a ninth-inning solo shot to Carlos Gomez, however, he also set one not-quite-so-cool record:

Astros 16, Blue Jays 7: It’s been a minute since the Astros showed their American League competitors what they’re really capable of. On Friday, they executed their fifth win of the season with 16+ runs, clubbing five home runs and chasing Cesar Valdez out of the game with a nine-run spread in the fourth inning. While the win was the very definition of a group effort, first baseman Tyler White stood out, going 4-for-5 with his first two homers of the year and single-handedly driving in five runs.

Mariners 5, Royals 2: James Paxton is the real deal. The Mariners’ lefty dealt his seventh straight win, tying both Scott Bankhead (1989) and Jamie Moyer (2003) for a franchise-best streak as Seattle topped Kansas City. He issued two runs and seven strikeouts in his 12th win of the year, improving to a 2.70 ERA and positioning himself for a legitimate run at the ERA title.

Things weren’t so sweet for the Royals, whose loss was punctuated with a troublesome injury to Salvador Perez after the catcher appeared to hurt his right side on a strikeout in the sixth.

Rockies 4, Phillies 3: Kyle Freeland lobbed just 11 pitches before something felt off. The rookie southpaw made an early exit after sustaining a left groin strain as he crouched to avoid Jonathan Lucroy‘s pickoff throw to second base. It’s an untimely departure for Freeland, whose standout performance has bolstered the Rockies through their campaign for a wild card berth. While the club doesn’t know how long they’ll be without their rookie ERA leader, they were able to rebound against the Phillies on Friday, taking the one-run nail-biter with DJ LeMahieu‘s clutch RBI single in the eighth inning.

Diamondbacks 2, Giants 1: Now this is the kind of impression Anthony Banda wanted to make in the majors. The rookie left-hander got off to a rough start in his debut against the Nationals last month, but recovered to stun the Giants in his second start with six innings of one-run ball for his first big league win. The Giants, meanwhile, not only dropped their 69th game of the year, but lost first baseman Brandon Belt to the concussion DL after he was felled by Banda’s curveball in the sixth.

Angels 8, Athletics 6: There may be no hope of overtaking the Astros this late in the season, but the Angels kept their wild card hopes alive with another decisive win this weekend. The A’s did their part to support their rivals, supplementing the Angels’ eight-run drive with five walks and a pair of errors in the second inning. Their seventh run, an infield single off the bat of Yunel Escobar, also marked the third baseman’s 1,500th career hit: