Marcus Stroman

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And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Dodgers 5, White Sox 4: Yu Darvish was OK, but not great in his Dodger Stadium debut and his teammates could only manage two runs off of White Sox starter Carlos Rodon, so they found themselves down 4-2 heading into the bottom of the ninth. As has so often happened this year, however, L.A. rallied. Cody Bellinger singled, Logan Forsythe doubled him in, Austin Barnes singled to put men on second and third and then Yasiel Puig came up to bat and doubled both Forsythe and Barnes in for the tying and winning runs. In so doing, Puig — who has been both hot and a consummate team player of late, will wonders ever cease? — becomes the ninth different Dodger to have a walkoff hit in their ten walkoff wins this year. They’re now on pace for 116 wins, which would match the all-time record.

 

Ok, let us all note right now that four games finished with the final score of 7-6 last night. This is important. This means something.

Brewers 7, Pirates 6: Milwaukee hit five homers yesterday, with Manny Pina‘s two-run shot in the eighth putting them over and giving the Brewers their fourth straight win. Keon Broxton homered twice and Neil Walker and Travis Shaw also went deep as Milwaukee moves into sole possession of second place in the central, a game and a half back of the Cubs.

Royals 7, Athletics 6: Oakland tied it in the bottom of the eighth with a Matt Chapman two-run homer but Alex Gordon hit a go-ahead RBI single in the top of the ninth to give the Royals the win. Here’s A’s manager Bob Melvin after the game, offering comments which basically mirror my internal monologue every time I have to recap a 7-6, 9-8, 10-7 (or something like that) game with lots of lead changes and crap pitching:

“It just was an ugly game all the way around. There was no pace to the game, and it just seemed like one of those games that was just blah.”

I’ve been recapping scores for a decade now and I can say that such games are the hardest to recap, mostly because there’s no great through-narrative. The easiest to recap are ones where a starter dominates. Not the best, just the easiest (“Shlabotnik tosses eight shutout innings, striking out 11 as . . .”). The best are ones are ones with big dumb fights and controversies or bad ump calls or something. Dramatic walkoffs are a close second. I should probably do a post some time with a bunch of bullet points discussing all of the dumb little things about writing these recaps that y’all probably don’t realize. The only thing stopping me is that you probably don’t care.

Mariners 7, Orioles 6: Yonder Alonso hit his first homer for Seattle and drove in three runs, Leonys Martin homered to give the M’s what would be their winning run and Marc Rzepczynski struck out Chris Davis with the bases loaded to end an O’s threat and the game.

Cubs 7, Reds 6: This game had everything. A first-inning grand slam, a stolen base from John Lackey (followed by Lackey getting picked off because he flew too close to the sun, apparently) and a walkoff wild pitch:

Mercy. I mean, really, how often do you see a game end when a catcher can’t handle a throw to the plate?

Red Sox 5, Cardinals 4: Oh, well, more often than I imagined, I suppose:

That was Mookie Betts lining that two-run double off the Green Monster with two outs in the ninth inning, capping Boston’s three-run game-winning rally. Xander Bogaerts opened the ninth with a solo homer. In between all of that, one of the weirdest things I can recall happening went down: Cards reliever John Brebbia was in his motion, when home plate umpire Chris Segal called timeout, negating the pitch and, you assume, messing with Brebbia’s rhythm. It wasn’t because the batter called time and Segal simply granted it too late — that happens a lot. No, it was Segal calling time on his own because “needed a break.” Really. That’s what he said to Mike Matheny when he came out to ask for an explanation. Matheny understandably went nuts and got ejected, saying “it’s not your show.” I’m no Matheny fan, but I’d be just as pissed in his place.

Padres 3, Phillies 0: Clayton Richard had a three-hit, complete game shutout. See: those are easy to write up. That’s really the whole story of the game. Next!

Ah, damn, not the whole story:

Wil Myers‘ feat marks the first time a player has stolen all three bases in the same inning since Dee Gordon did it in 2011.

Yankees 5, Mets 3: Aaron Judge hit a massive homer into the third deck of Citi Field — I’ve been up there, brother, and let me tell you it’s far — and Didi Gregorius broke a seventh-inning tie with a two-run double. I was watching this game at someone else’s house as I had been drafted to babysit their toddler. Observations: (1) it’s been almost ten years since I had a toddler, and no matter how cute and adorable they are (and this one is) I forgot how much is sucks to not be able to turn on a game until the fifth inning or so because of the playing and bedtime rituals and all of that, but I managed it; and (2) being forced to watch a Rick Sutcliffe-called game because you’re in a place where you can’t access your MLB.tv account is a high class problem to have but, buddy, it’s a problem. Lord he’s awful.

Blue Jays 3, Rays 2: Marcus Stroman allowed two runs while pitching into the seventh inning and Steve Pearce homered and scored twice. The Rays have scored two or fewer runs in nine of their past 12 games. They’re 1-8 in those games, which makes a lot of sense.

Rangers 12, Tigers 6: Texas sweeps the three game series thanks to Elvis Andrus‘ four RBI, which included the go-ahead run in the form of a solo homer. Joey Gallo (natch), Nomar Mazara and Adrian Beltre also went deep for the Rangers.

Astros 9, Diamondbacks 5Josh Reddick hit a two-run homer in a four-run eighth inning and Charlie Morton allowed one run in six and a third. The Astros win back-to-back games for the first time in three weeks.

Rockies 17, Braves 2: Well that was a beatdown. Trevor Story had two homers and knocked in six, Mark Reynolds homered and drove in four, knocking four hits in all, and Gerardo Parra added three hits and four RBI. This was only the second-highest run total for the Rockies this year because Rockies.

Marlins 8, Giants 1: Giancarlo Stanton‘s home run streak ended but he still had two hits, scored a run and stole a base, so maybe he’ll now go on some crazy small-ball tear. Tomas Telis drove in three for Miami. Jose Urena allowed only one unearned run over five and three Marlins relievers held San Francisco scoreless for the final four frames.

Angels 3, Nationals 2: Ryan Zimmerman hit a two-run homer in the first but Luis Valbuena hit a solo shot for the Angels in the fifth and Cole Calhoun hit a two-run blast in the sixth and that was all the scoring there was. The Angels have won seven of eight and sit alone in the second Wild Card spot in the American League. Who woulda thunk it?

Indians vs. Twins — POSTPONED:

I’ve been loving you a long time
Down all the years, down all the days
And I’ve cried for all your troubles
Smiled at your funny little ways
We watched our friends grow up together
And we saw them as they fell
Some of them fell into Heaven
Some of them fell into Hell
I took shelter from a shower
And I stepped into your arms
On a rainy night in Soho
The wind was whistling all its charms

And That Happened: Friday’s Scores and Highlights

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

Yankees 5, Red Sox 4: Aaron Hicks found Addison Reed‘s weak spot on Friday, working a full count before unleashing a 335-foot bomb off of Reed’s slider:

The homer uncorked a five-run rally in the eighth inning, giving the Yankees just enough fuel to outpace the Red Sox and spoil the lofty plans John Farrell had for his new setup man.

Mets 7, Phillies 6: Dominic Smith may have had a whirlwind rise to the big leagues, but he delivered with all the poise of a professional Major Leaguer on Friday, collecting his first MLB hit off of the Phillies’ Nick Pivetta in the fourth inning.

He wasn’t the only rookie to steal the show, as the Mets’ go-ahead run was delivered by No. 1 prospect Amed Rosario with his first career homer in the ninth:

Pirates 4, Blue Jays 2: The Pirates found some equilibrium behind Jameson Taillon‘s big night, reaching .500 for the first time in August and sitting just three games back of the division lead. Taillon couldn’t hang on as long as opposing starter Marcus Stroman, who let four unearned runs slip through the cracks over eight innings, but emerged with the win after six innings of two-run, seven-strikeout ball.

Indians 5, Rays 0: It’s been almost exactly five years since the Rays found themselves on the wrong end of a no-hitter, and on Friday, they narrowly avoided another such incident with Carlos Carrasco. Carrasco blanked Tampa bay through 6 2/3 spotless innings, striking out seven batters before Logan Morrison prevailed with a line drive in the seventh.

It isn’t the first attempt Carrasco has made against the Rays — his first was in July 2015 — but completing a nine-inning no-no would put him in rare company, as no Indians’ pitcher has managed the feat since Len Barker’s perfect game in 1981.

Marlins 6, Rockies 3: Giancarlo Stanton became the first Major Leaguer to reach 40 home runs this season, mashing another solo shot off of Jon Gray in the eighth inning:

Given Aaron Judge‘s compelling case for Rookie of the Year, not to mention the blistering pace at which Mike Moustakas and Cody Bellinger have been collecting homers, Stanton may not be atop the leaderboard for long. His knock helped decide the game on Friday, however, as the Marlins capitalized on their slugger’s efforts to rout the Rockies with a three-run spread in the eighth. They’ll look for their first win streak since July 29 on Saturday.

Twins 9, Tigers 4: The Twins steamrolled their division rivals with their sixth straight win, eclipsing both the Angels and Mariners to slide into the second American League wild card spot. While it wasn’t Kyle Gibson’s finest night (five hits, three runs, two walks and six strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings), a solid backing from the bullpen and a steady stream of run support gave the team the boost they needed to top the fourth-place Tigers.

Rangers 6, Astros 4: A sharp comebacker struck Cole Hamels in the left knee during Friday’s contest, but the Rangers’ left-hander powered through the pain to complete seven scoreless frames and hand the Astros their fourth consecutive loss of the week. Credit for the assist goes to Adrian Beltre, who helped pad the Rangers’ lead with an RBI double and coordinated his defensive efforts with Elvis Andrus by shoving his teammate in the face:

Reds 11, Brewers 10: No lead is safe until the game is over, and never was that illustrated better than during the Reds’ nail-biter on Friday night. They constructed an eight-run lead by the fourth inning, then watched it implode during the Brewers’ seven-run rally in the sixth with a handful of RBI singles and Eric Thames‘ 26th home run of the year. Jonathan Villar‘s ninth-inning blast brought Milwaukee to the cusp of a much-needed win, but Raisel Iglesias managed to strand Thames on first base and hang on for his 20th save.

White Sox 6, Royals 3: If Reynaldo Lopez was feeling jittery during his Major League debut, he masked it well. The 23-year-old rookie played it cool against the Royals, subduing the competition with four hits, two runs, three walks and six strikeouts. Mike Moustakas proved his one and only foil, delivering not one, but two solo home runs in the fourth and sixth innings to put the Royals on the board. With the loss, the Royals have taken five consecutive losses and nine in their last 11 games.

Cardinals 8, Braves 5: The Cardinals’ Rally Kitten has been officially recovered, as confirmed by the St. Louis Feral Cat Outreach on Friday, and the Cardinals are looking similarly revived after taking a decisive win over the Braves during their series opener. Well, perhaps “revived” is the wrong word. The win marked the Cardinals’ seventh consecutive victory, their longest streak of the year and enough to keep them within one game of the division-leading Cubs. Adam Wainwright pulled off an impressive win despite failing to register a single strikeout or throw a ball faster than 90 MPH, and clocked the competition with four hits, a run and three walks over five innings.

Cubs 8, Diamondbacks 3: Speaking of the Cubs, they’re looking to reverse their fortunes after dropping three back-to-back-to-back series against the Diamondbacks, Nationals and Giants. They returned to Chase Field for a little revenge on Friday, blurring Taijuan Walker‘s pitching line with five innings of five-run, two-homer ball and handing John Lackey his 10th win of the season. It was a reassuring effort for the defending champs, who lost starting catcher Wilson Contreras to a four-week DL stint earlier in the day.

Angels 6, Mariners 5: The Mariners had plenty to celebrate on Friday night, from the kickoff of Edgar Martinez Weekend to Nelson Cruz‘s three extra bases, but still couldn’t find that elusive final run in their one-run loss to the Angels. Righty reliever Andrew Moore singlehandedly unraveled Seattle’s four-run lead in the seventh, blowing his first save of the season after RBI singles from Albert Pujols and C.J. Cron and an Andrelton Simmons’ double helped the Angels tie the game. Cron retuned for the go-ahead run in the ninth, capitalizing on an error from Jean Segura to plate Mike Trout and move within a game of the second AL wild card.

Athletics 5, Orioles 4: It was a bittersweet way to kick off the weekend for Ubaldo Jimenez, who registered a season-best 11 strikeouts before a line drive felled him in the sixth inning:

While he didn’t appear to be in a great deal of pain at the time of the incident, he was removed from the mound immediately following the at-bat and left the rest of the game in the less-than-capable hands of Baltimore’s bullpen. Brad Brach registered his fifth blown save of the year after a two-run effort from Jed Lowrie and Chad Pinder, whose combined productivity got the job done for the A’s in the eighth.

Padres 4, Dodgers 3: There are some moments that remind us how pure this game can be, how simple the thrill is of taking in a game at the ballpark, looking up from your seat and watching one of your heroes seamlessly execute a routine play:

Other plays, like Yasiel Puig‘s 270-foot laser to catch Hunter Renfroe at home plate, offer the crowd a less intimate (but no less impressive) view of the game:

(And honestly, at 96 MPH, this is a play that belongs nowhere near the stands.)

Despite their run-saving acrobatics in the field, the Dodgers took home a rare loss after Jose Pirela unleashed a go-ahead homer in the eighth inning. The win moved San Diego within 13 games of an NL wild card spot, but they’ll still have to vault over seven other teams to earn a chance to compete in the postseason.

Giants, Nationals (postponed): The Giants and Nats are set for a twin bill on Sunday, when the two teams will do their best not to repeat the Hunter Strickland/Bryce Harper fracas that disrupted their last meeting.

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.