Yu Darvish

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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

Josh Reddick: Astros ‘down in the dumps’ about team standing pat at trade deadline

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The Houston Astros stood pretty much pat at the trade deadline, adding Francisco Liriano but not much else. This despite the fact that key members of their rotation has spent a lot of time on the disabled list and the fact that other American League contenders made moves to improve themselves.

Of course, the Astros had a 16-game lead in their division at the deadline and, even with their current skid, they still possess a 13-game lead. They’re going to win their division and they stand just as good a chance to make noise in the playoffs as anyone. Meaning everyone, because the playoffs are inherently unpredictable and no single acquisition guarantees anyone October glory.

Still, there are many who believe that the Astros failing to land a starting pitcher such as Justin Verlander, Sonny Gray or Yu Darvish bodes ill for the team’s chances and these folks have spent the past two weeks feeling kind of deflated. They’re not just fans, either. Some of the disappointed folks are Houston Astros players.

Astros outfielder Josh Reddick was on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM yesterday and he had this to say about the front office’s lack of moves:

“I think deep down everybody in that clubhouse knew we were going to make some moves to make us a really great team to a team that put us over the edge, especially with all the moves you see moving around the league. It’s nothing against our guys, we are a great team, but any time you can make your team better you feel like should have the opportunity to do that and take full advantage. I think deep down, we all were, I don’t know if you want to say disappointed or upset, I guess we were just kind of down in the dumps because we feel like we had a pretty good shot at getting somebody to help this team get over that hump to where we needed to be.”

The Astros could still make a trade — Justin Verlander has cleared waivers and could be had, albeit for a hefty price in terms of prospects, salary obligations or both — but I find it odd that a player has the same viewpoint of fans who think a strong team MUST make a big deadline deal.

Especially Reddick, who himself was part of a big deadline deal a year ago, going from Oakland to the Dodgers along with Rich Hill. Hill battled blister issues and wouldn’t make a start for L.A. for three weeks after the deal. Reddick struggled down the stretch. That’s no knock on either of them. It’s just an example of how you can’t bank on anything when it comes to a deadline deal.

I think the Astros are going to be fine. I also think that they have the talent in place to be fine for many, many years. No sense in dealing a good bit of it away for two months worth of production and a far-from-certain chance of an enhanced playoff run.

And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Reds 10, Padres 3: Cincy was down 3-2 in the seventh when Scooter Gennett smacked a grand slam followed immediately by a Eugenio Suarez solo shot and that pretty much ended that. Zack Cozart and Joey Votto would add bombs in the eighth inning to add insult to injury.

Pirates 7, Tigers 5: Josh Bell hit his 20th homer of the year and drove in three. Gerrit Cole three runs on six hits in eight innings, his longest outing of the year. Detroit has lost five of six.

Nationals 3, Marlins 2: It was tied at two in the eighth when Brian Goodwin hit a long solo shot. Then, in the ninth, with the Marlins threatening, Dee Gordon hit a ball down the left field line that looked like it’d be trouble. Andrew Stevenson said “no problem” and ended the game with this nice catch:

Mets 10, Phillies 0: The Mets smacked four homers and Jacob deGrom tossed shutout ball into the seventh inning before being forced to leave when he was hit on the arm by a comebacker. Wilmer Flores and Michael Conforto had three run blasts, Curtis Granderson hit a two-run shot and Wilmer Flores had a solo dong. Thank God there weren’t more homers. I’m running out of home run slang.

Blue Jays 4, Yankees 0: Marco Estrada tossed seven shutout innings, winning his first game in 13 starts. Ryan Tepera worked the eighth and Roberto Osuna closed the six-hitter out.

Rays 4, Indians 1: Chris Dickerson was 0-for his last 21 when he came to bat with two men on in the eighth. He broke that slump with a three-run homer that gave the Rays the win. They scored four runs here. They had scored only four runs in their previous five games.

Cardinals 8, Royals 6: That’s six wins in a row for St. Louis, this one powered by a Dexter Fowler grand slam in the seventh that broke a 3-3 tie. The Royals clawed back for three more runs in the eighth to make it close but the Cards held on. Fowler on his big blast: “Just looking for something to hit, something to drive.” And people ask me why I don’t cover more games in person.

White Sox 3, Astros 2: The American League’s best team gets swept by the American League’s worst team. Rookie Yoan Moncada homered to tie the game in the ninth and then walked it off with a single in the bottom of the 11th. Astros closer Ken Giles, who gave up that ninth inning homer: “I have to tip my cap to him. He put a good swing on it and drove it the other way.” Again, the level of original insight and comment being shared in these clubhouses after the game is staggering.

Twins 7, Brewers 2: That’s the fifth straight win for the Twins and the fifth straight loss for the Brewers, who have fallen into third place in the NL Central. Byron Buxton and Joe Mauer each had three singles as the Twins put up a three-spot in both the second and third innings. Keon Broxton homered in a losing cause.

Dodgers 8, Diamondbacks 6: Yu Darvish struck out ten in five innings of work and enjoyed plenty of (needed) run support. The Dodgers take two of three. They have not lost a series since June 5-7, winning or tying 18 straight. Kiké Hernandez drove in three and Justin Turner drove in two.

Orioles 7, Athletics 2: Trey Mancini hit two homers, both solo shots, and Adam Jones and Mark Trumbo added ones of their own. Tim Beckham had two hits, including a triple. That gives him a hit in all ten games since he was acquired from the Rays. Some thought the former number one pick simply needed a change of scenery. I guess so. Meanwhile, Wade Miley allowed only one unearned run in seven innings, allowing only three hits and striking out seven. The Orioles have won nine of 13.

Angels 6, Mariners 3: Mike Trout hit a three-run double with two outs in the ninth inning of a game the Mariners had just tied with a three-run eighth. Even worse for the Mariners: ace James Paxton had to leave the game in the seventh with a strained pectoral muscle. He’ll have an MRI today, but you have to assume he’s going to miss a start or three, and that’s not going to be great for the M’s, who are in the thick of the Wild Card race.