Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
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October 2 is it: Vin Scully will not do any Dodgers playoff games

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Vin Scully told the Los Angeles Times yesterday that, unlike in some past years, he will not call any Dodgers playoff games on the radio. That means that the Dodgers final regular season game — October 2, against the Giants in San Francisco — will be the last game he calls. September 25 with be his last game called from the booth at Dodger Stadium.

Scully gave two reasons: first, if he’s doing playoff games, he really doesn’t have a definitive end date. He equated it to an opera singer giving multiple encores, and said that’s really not his style. More poignantly, as he told Jon Weisman of Dodger Insider, he noted that October 2, 1936 was a special day for him: it was the day that he saw the New York Giants’ line score from the World Series which made the then eight-year-old Scully a baseball fan for life. Scully said “My last game, my wonderful last game after 67 years with the ballclub, will be against the San Francisco Giants. It will be October the 2nd, 2016. Exactly 80 years from when that little kid saw that Giants score.”

Most of us don’t get to pick how we’ll go out, professionally, personally or otherwise. Scully gets to and I like that he’s sticking to his guns about his last game.

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Rangers 3, Astros 2: Texas did it again to the Astros, who are probably gonna spend the entire winter having nightmares about the Rangers. Down 2-1 in the ninth, the wheels fell off again. Ken Giles retired the first batter he faced and struck out the second in Rougned Odor but . . . wild pitch, Odor on first. That led to Odor stealing second, Elvis Andrus tripling him home and Jurickson Profar plating Andrus with a single. The Astros are now 3-15 against the Rangers, four and a half back in the Wild Card with five teams ahead of them. Their October free time is going to be pretty much the direct result of their inability to beat the Rangers.

Padres 6, Giants 4: The Giants’ second half nightmare continues. This particular monster came in the form of a blown 4-1 lead in the ninth inning, thanks to a five-run Padres rally. Hunter Strickland poured the kerosene, allowing two runs via three singles and a bases-loaded walk. Then Steven Okert lit the match by giving up a three-run homer to Ryan Schimpf with two outs. Brutal.

Yankees 3, Dodgers 0: Jacoby Ellsbury and Didi Gregorius didn’t start but they came off the bench to give the Yankees their first runs in the seventh via the longball. Gary Sanchez went deep himself in the eighth. CC Sabathia pitched shutout ball into the seventh. Julio Urias pitched shutout ball too, but only into the fourth, and when you’re 20 and throw 80 pitches in that short a time you’re not gonna have a long night.

Mets 4, Nationals 3: T.J. Rivera gave the Mets their first run with an RBI single, their third run with a sac fly in the fifth and their last run with a homer in the 10th. Noah Syndergaard struck out 10 over seven innings. The game went 10, though, because Jeurys Familia coughed up a two-run lead in the ninth. Everyone gets to have an off day from time to time I suppose.

Pirates 5, Phillies 3: Down 3-2 in the ninth, The Pirates’ Sean Rodriguez hit a pinch-hit three-run homer. Yesterday I mentioned the Phillies’ Roman Quinn as being one of those guys whose future is unpredictable. Well, he had two more hits last night, so maybe he won’t be an accountant in 2022 or whatever it was I said.

Rays 6, Blue Jays 2: Alexi Ramirez and Steven Souza Jr. hit home runs. The last homer Ramirez hit was when he played for the Padres. He hit off of Drew Smyly, who got the win in this one. And, even more amazing, Smyly’s secretary is named Ramirez and Ramirez’s secretary’s name is Smyly!

Orioles 6, Red Sox 3: Most games last night seemed to be defined by a couple of homers from the winning team and a solid but not spectacular start from the pitcher. This, in the morning recap business, is what you call “boring.” It’s way more fun to write up a 16-6 game or a 1-0 pitcher’s duel. These “J.J. Hardy hit a three-run homer and Nolan Reimold hit a two-run shot while Dylan Bundy gave them five serviceable innings” things are the ham sandwich with mayo of recaps.

Twins 8, Tigers 1: OK, this is a little more like it. A bad team rolling up eight on a contender while the normally pedestrian starter like Kyle Gibson was stingy for eight innings and the unheralded shortstop like Jorge Polanco drove in four sings a bit more.

Marlins 7, Braves 5: Ichiro went 2-for-4, scored two and drove in a run. Freddie Freeman and Matt Kemp homered for the Braves. They’re sort of like the camp counselors at the end of the summer on this club. The Marlins are technically still alive for the Wild Card, but the odds are pretty long.

Reds 6, Brewers 4: Break up the Reds! They’ve won five in a row. Dan Straily went eight innings, allowing two runs and striking out eight. Four of the Reds’ six runs were unearned thanks to two errors by the Brewers to start off the bottom half of the third inning.

Athletics 5, Royals 4: Oakland mounted a four-run rally in the eighth, courtesy of Joakim Soria, who ain’t exactly a 2014-15 vintage Wade Davis or Kelvin Herrera, to push the dagger a little deeper into the Royals’ gut. They’re now five games out of the wild card with 18 to play. Yonder Alonso‘s two-run pinch hit double put the A’s ahead for good.

White Sox 8, Indians 1: It was a 1-1 game heading into the bottom of the sixth when the wheels fell off for Trevor Bauer. The Chisox rallied that frame with three RBI singles, a triple and a ground rule double. Meanwhile Jose Quintana did Jose Quintana things, allowing one run over eight innings and wondering how nice life would be if he always got run support.

Cardinals 4, Cubs 2: The Cubs are going to win the NL Central, but they won’t get to have their champagne celebration at Busch Stadium. Not after the Cardinals bullpen tossed seven and a third scoreless innings against them and Aledmys Diaz and Brandon Moss hit a pair of two-run homers. Those bullpen innings, by the way, were necessitated by Jaime Garcia‘s ineffectiveness, which has become something of a problem lately, at least in home starts.

Diamondbacks 11, Rockies 4: These two sure are playing some ugly games of late. Jean Segura homered twice and Brandon Drury hit a homer for the second game in a row. Drury’s went into that pool in right field. Paul Goldschmidt had three hits, scored three runs and stole a base.

Mariners 8, Angels 0: Taijuan took a no-hitter into the seventh and ended up with a three-hit shutout, striking out 11. He had three homers and a sac fly from his mates in support. The M’s have won seven in a row and eight of nine to pull to within two and a half of the second Wild Card.

A Yasiel Puig-Ryan Braun trade was 20 minutes from happening . . . and still could happen.

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Bob Nightengale of USA Today lets this little nugget drop about the recently-passed waiver trade deadline:

[Ryan] Braun and [Yasiel] Puig were about 20 minutes from being traded to the Dodgers two weeks ago, according to several executives with direct knowledge of their trade talks, but the teams ran out of time at the Aug. 31 trade deadline.

Nightengale says that the Dodgers would’ve taken Braun and his full contract in exchange for Puig, Brandon McCarthy and prospects. He also says that the clubs “vowed to revisit the talks again this winter.”

He goes so far as to say that “in 2017, Braun will likely don the traditional blue and white colors of the Los Angeles Dodgers.” He’s a bit more guarded, however, about where Puig will play, saying “the next uniform Dodgers embattled outfielder Yasiel Puig might be wearing next season are the blue and gold colors of the Brewers.”

It makes me suspect that the Dodgers wanted Braun but were balking, perhaps worrying that they were selling Puig too low. Maybe they pry Braun away because the Brewers would love to be rid of his contract, but it may take a lesser or, at the very least, a different package, to get him.

Puig is 5-for-14 with three homers, six RBI and four walks since coming back up from his stint in the minors, where he totally raked. He is being praised in the pages of the Los Angeles Times as well for his maturity and approach. For the first time since June, Puig is batting cleanup in tonight’s game.

The Dodgers may still wish to be rid of Puig, at least assuming he doesn’t help carry them to a World Series title. If they do, however, they’ll probably demand more from him than a veteran on the wrong side of 30 with a big contact.