Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.

Cleveland invaded by midges again

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One of the more memorable scenes from recent playoff history is when Joba Chamberlain was attacked by midges during the 2007 ALDS at Progressive Field. The midges, little flying insects which love the muddy, marshy areas around Lake Erie and come flying out when it’s good and hot and muggy, love to attack people’s heads and eyes. Kind of not ideal if you’re trying to pitch.

Indians starter Carlos Carrasco learned this last night:

 

Normally when a pitchers breaks off a 20-foot curve ball, it’s because something snapped in his arm. This was not so dire, even if it was annoying.

At least Carrasco had someone offering him sage advice from afar about all of this:

Empathy is beautiful. It can make the worst situations better.

The Mets sign Tim Tebow to a minor league deal

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Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the New York Mets are signing Tim Tebow to a minor-league contract. He’ll report to the Instructional League or Arizona Fall League. UPDATE: The Mets have announced that Tebow will take part in the fall instructional league which runs from September 18 through October 8 in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

The Braves had been rumored to be interested in him. Guess the Mets moved quickly to block this undeniable baseball talent from going to a division rival.

In other news, Tebow played for the Jets for a time. He wasn’t very popular with Jets fans. A lot of Jets fans are Mets fans. So this should go over well.

Official:

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Your fact of the day: There have only been three players in Major League Baseball history who were named Aurelio. Aurelio Lopez, Aurelio Rodriguez and Aurelio Monteagudo. All three were killed in car accidents.

I just thought you all needed to know that.

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Mets 6, Reds 3: Yesterday was a big day for Mets fans to find a tweet of mine from back in June in which I said that, whatever you think about the domestic violence stuff, people considering Jose Reyes had to contend with the fact that he kind of sucks now. I roll my eyes at their hindsight-fueled mocking of my tweet now — they can’t seem to find tweets of their own in which they correctly predicted he’d be putting up the best season he’s had in five years at the time — but it’s certainly the case that Reyes has not sucked for the Mets. Far from it. Here he hit a leadoff homer, scored twice and stole a base. On the season he’s hit .287/.341/.485 in 40 games and has been a big part of the Mets second half push for the Wild Card.

Rays 7, Orioles 6: This one was tied at six in the seventh inning when Corey Dickerson had a go-ahead RBI double. The O’s lose a game on the first place Red Sox and remain a game ahead of Detroit for the second Wild Card as they head to the Motor City for a pivotal seres with the Tigers who . . .

White Sox 7, Tigers 4: . . . lost to Chicago. Like the O’s, it was a late rally that did them in, albeit a bigger one. The Chisox scored four runs in the eighth inning thanks to Shane Greene and Justin Wilson being totally hittable. Avasail Garcia, Adam Eaton, Tyler Saladino and Justin Morneau did the hitting with three RBI singles and an RBI double, respectively.

Athletics 4, Angels 1: Jharel Cotton, who came to Oakland in the trade which sent Rich Hill and Josh Reddick to Los Angeles, made his major league debut. And it was impressive. He shut out the Angels through six and exited after allowing a solo homer to C.J. Cron in the seventh. That was only the second hit he gave up in the game, by the way. Nice pickup.

Pirates 4, Cardinals 3: The Pirates finally won a game. Their first since August 29, which covered eight games, their longest losing streak in five years. Jung Ho Kang eighth inning home run was the game winner. With the Cards’ loss and the Mets’ win the Mets and Cards are now tied for the second wild card in the National League. Though they might both make it to the playoffs given that . . .

Rockies 6, Giants 5: . . . The Giants continue to struggle. They took a two-run lead into the bottom of the ninth but the Rockies rallied with a Nolan Arenado homer off of Santiago Casilla and a two run double by pinch hitter Cristhian Adames off of Joe Nathan for the walkoff win. Josh Osich contributed to that for the Giants too, by the way, hitting the only dude he faced with a pitch. The Giants used eight relievers in this game. Six in the final two innings. More is not better. And the Giants are not good, going 17-32 since the All-Star break.

Yankees 2, Blue Jays 0: The Yankees traded away the two best relief pitchers in the game, released a should-be future Hall of Famer and called up a bunch of rookies, all of which are things you do when you rebuild. Then the Yankees put on a pretty convincing push for the Wild Card because nothing makes sense in baseball. Here they beat the Jays thanks to a Starlin Castro homer and a Brian McCann RBI single in the third inning and a combined shutout from Bryan Mitchell, Luis Severino and Tyler Clippard. New York is two and a half back from a playoff slot.

Red Sox 7, Padres 2: This win, combined with the Blue Jays loss gives the Sox sole possession of first place in the AL East. Which, given how this season has gone in that division won’t last long, but dang it, they have it today. Travis Shaw, Hanley Ramirez and Brock Holt homered and David Price allowed two runs over seven innings.

Nationals 5, Braves 4: Good news: the Nats win on a walkoff single from Wilson Ramos in the 11th. Bad news: mere hours after activating Stephen Strasburg, he leaves the game with a pinch in his elbow after throwing 42 pitches, grimacing in obvious discomfort following pitch 41. He’ll have an MRI today. It sounds pretty ominous. Seventeen pitchers were used in this game. Criminey!

Indians 6, Astros 5: A Joba Chamberlain-style midge attack at Progressive Field briefly felled Carlos Carrasco in the fourth inning but rallied from that and ended up pitching into the eighth. All the players had to fight the bugs, but Mike Napoli managed a two-run homer and Brandon Guyer added a two-run double, both in the fifth inning, to boost the Indians to victory.

Marlins 6, Phillies 0: Andrew Cashner and four Miami relievers combined for the shutout. Martin Prado drove in three via a sac fly, a fielder’s choice and a double.

Brewers 2, Cubs 1Jonathan Villar homered twice, once from the left side of the plate, once from the right, and Keon Broxton saved what would’ve been a tying homer with this play to preserve the win:

Twins 6, Royals 5: Minnesota avoids the sweep. Brian Dozier didn’t hit a homer, though, so I’m not sure how to get through this day. Everything seems different and weird.

Mariners 8, Rangers 3: A five-run first inning for Seattle ended this one before it really began. Adam Lind his a three-run homer in the first and added a second homer in the third.

Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 1: Yasiel Puig drove in two, one via a homer, one via a sac fly, as the Dodgers extend their lead in the West over the Giants to five games. When giving radio interviews recently I said that the last week of the season will be big given that the Giants and Dodgers will play each other a bunch of times. At this rate, however, the game could be virtually meaningless.