Bartolo Colon

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And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Giants 3, Astros 1: Madison Bumgarner doing Madison Bumgarner things. Allowing one run in a complete game in which he struck out 12. He only threw 105 pitches too, which is hard to do when you strike out that many guys. In support, Belt belted two homers. I’m sure no one has ever used the “Belt/belt” combination with him before. My use of it there was totally novel, I guarantee it.

Blue Jays 4, Athletics 2: Blue Jays fans, for good reason, are getting excited:

Toronto is just a half game back of the Yankees. They were seven back of the Yankees on July 28. I finally submitted that passport application on Monday, so go ahead and make the World Series, Toronto. I’m totally prepared for it.

Indians 5, Yankees 4: Michael Brantley hits a walkoff single in the sixteenth inning. That’s four straight losses for New York. The four runs, though, is something of an offensive outburst for them lately so, um, progress?

Marlins 5, Red Sox 4: The Sox had a 4-0 lead in the sixth and blew it. Which seems to have happened to them a number of times recently. In the tenth Dee Gordon tripled to lead off and then scored on a walk-off single by Justin Bour. After the game Marlins starter Justin Nicolino said this:

“Guys like David Ortiz and (Pablo) Sandoval and growing up watching them was really cool, but actually getting to facing them and seeing them in the batter’s box was pretty cool, too.”

The other day I felt old when someone mentioned their dad liking Bartolo Colon. But for cryin’ out loud, Ortiz didn’t even play 100 games in a season until 2000. Sandoval debuted in 2008. Kids are ruining this game for the rest of us, quite frankly.

White Sox 3, Angels 0: Carlos Rodon struck out 11 Angels in seven shutout innings and Melky Cabrera doubled in a couple of runs. Trayce Thompson hit his first career home run. If you had asked me who “Trayce Thompson” was before this game I probably would’ve said “Um, the woman who replaced Vicki Lawrence as Carol Burnett’s second banana when Lawrence left for her own variety show?” Which is just wrong, as she stayed with Carol until the end, God bless her. Fun Fact: Vicki Lawrence also appeared on “The Love Boat” in five different episodes as five different characters. TV was way different back then, you guys. You know, way before Justin Nicolino was born.

Mets 4, Rockies 0: There were a few starts in there a little while back when people were worrying about Matt Harvey. They need not have worried. Here he shut out Colorado for eight innings on four hits and didn’t walk anyone. In fact, it’s the third straight start in which he hasn’t walked anyone.

 

Rays 2, Braves 0: Kevin Kiermaier hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning and Erasmo Ramirez pitched seven innings of shutout ball and that was basically that. Braves starter Williams Perez tossed a complete game loss. You don’t see a ton of those these days.

Cubs 6, Brewers 3: Chicago has won 11 of 12. With this win and the Pirates’ loss they’re only two and a half behind Pittsburgh for the first Wild Card. Not that that matters a ton, but jeez, a home playoff game for the Cubs in 2015? Could you even imagine that a year ago?

Royals 6, Tigers 1: I had my brother visiting from last Saturday until this morning. He is nominally a Tigers fans and has been since he was a kid, but he has sort of let baseball go in the past decade or so and is really just a hardcore hockey fan now. Yesterday we were in the car for two hours coming back from a trip to an amusement park with the kids and he decided to quiz me about how the Tigers are doing. He is generally aware that they aren’t doing good this year, but wasn’t sure why. When I got to the part about the bullpen he said “is Phil Coke still there?” My first impulse was to laugh. My second impulse was to think “heck, maybe he’d help these guys? Maybe he could even start!” At any rate, they lost again, with Lorenzo Cain going 4-for-4 and homering and Mike Moustakas homering and driving in three. K.C.’s lead in the division is a silly 12 games.

Twins 3, Rangers 2: The Twins may be sliding out of the playoff picture, but they’re not packing it in like some teams we could mention. Here they showed some late fight, scoring all three of their runs in the eighth and ninth inning, capped by Eduardo Escobar’s two-out double in the ninth. Making the playoffs this year was never expected and that they contended as long as they did was a nice surprise, but certainly give them credit for showing some fight and being generally entertaining.

Cardinals 4, Pirates 3: Another of many comeback wins last night as the Cards rallied when down 3-1 in the fifth behind a Jason Heyward RBI single and an RBI double from Yadier Molina. Stephen Piscotty singled in the go-ahead run. Meanwhile Carlos Martinez got stronger as the game went on, pitching eight solid innings. The Cards maintain a six-game lead in the Central.

Diamondbacks 13, Phillies 1: There are some things you just don’t come back from and an 11-run second inning is one of those things. The Dbacks rocked David Buchanan like a hurricane for all 11 of those runs. Not that they needed them all as Jeremy Hellickson allowed only one run in eight. David Peralta hit a grand slam. Hellickson himself went 2-for-3 and drove in three. The 7-8-9 hitters in Arizona’s lineup went 7-for-13 with seven driven in.

Mariners 6, Orioles 5: Austin Jackson singled in the winning run in the tenth. Nelson Cruz and Mark Trumbo homered. Cruz’s homer extended his hitting streak to a career-high 21 games, which is tied for the longest in baseball this season.

Dodgers 5, Nationals 0: The Yasiel Puig show: he tripled with the bases loaded and hit a two-run homer, driving in all five of the Dodgers’ runs. Zack Greinke, meanwhile, recovered from his last rocky start to shut out the Nats for six innings. Puig’s triple should’ve probably been a fly out or, at the very least, should’ve scored one run, as it was a shallow fly down the right field line that Clint Robinson misplayed badly. But that’s how the Nats are rolling these days.

Padres 11, Reds 6: Colin Rea made his MLB debut, pitched well and got a hit. Hard to beat that. And staked to an 8-0 lead after two innings, he could relax some too. Jedd Gyorko drove in two for him, singling home two runs in the first and hitting a two-run homer in the second.

 

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Blue Jays 2, Yankees 0: A pretty darn big sweep here, both in terms of what it means in the standings and what it means for, I dunno, the optics of it all. Three straight games from the team you’re chasing is a big deal, and now the Jays are only a game and a half back of the Yankees. But doing so in three straight low-scoring games in which the Yankees scored only one run is kind of crazy. We’ve gotten used to the Blue Jays bashing the hell out of people. Seeing them hold New York down like this is another thing altogether. That’s eight straight wins overall for Toronto. Look out American League.

Diamondbacks 4, Reds 3: Chris Owings had a walkoff single in the tenth, but the Reds tried to turn this into a Merkle’s Boner game by claiming that the runners didn’t properly advance and finish the play before going to celebrate the win. That didn’t end up washing — Owings and the runner who scored ran out their end of the play — but the discussion about it certainly made the end of things weird. Also, it gives us all the chance to say “boner,” and that’s always good.

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Angels 5, Orioles 4: David Murphy drove in four, including a walkoff single in the 11th inning. Buck Showalter walked both Mike Trout and Albert Pujols with two out to get to Murphy before his game-winning hit, willingly putting a runner on third base to do it. Which ain’t exactly the best strategy I’ve ever seen, but even Buck Showalter is allowed to have a bad day, right? After the game Showalter said “I was just trying to give us the best chance to win.” I get that I guess, but pitching to anyone with the bases loaded seems more dicey to me than trying to retire even really good hitters with a runner on second. Also, someone watch the video of Murphy’s hit and explain to me why the outfield was playing so damn shallow. Anything on the ground scores a runner from third. With two outs, don’t you play straight up? And if you’re playing straight up, doesn’t the left fielder catch that fly from Murphy? Just weird.

Rays 4, Mets 3: Richie Shaffer hit a tie-breaking homer in the seventh inning off of Bartolo Colon. After the game he talked about how it was a big deal for him because his dad is from Cleveland and is a big Cleveland Indians fans and used to like watching Bartolo Colon. If you need me I’ll be in the next room crying all day after realizing just how damn old I am that major league ballplayers talk about how their DADS used to watch old timers who broke into the big leagues two years after I graduated from college and got married.

Red Sox 7, Tigers 2: Jackie Bradley Jr., who has been a non-factor on offense in the majors, homered, tripled and drove in five. Henry Owens got his first big league win. Go Junior Red Sox.

Indians 8, Twins 1: Corey Kluber tossed a three-hit complete game allowing one run and striking out ten in a cool 100 pitches. It was very nice of him to let the Twins get to the airport and back to Minnesota so early like that.

Rockies 6, Nationals 4: That’s a game that’ll bug the Nats for a good long while. Max Scherzer on the mound against a bad team like Colorado and a lead heading into the sixth inning. The Rockies tied it on a Carlos Gonzalez homer, however — they hit three off Scherzer in the game, two from Gonzalez — and then Drew Storen gave up two runs in the eighth inning. Washington mounted something of a rally in the ninth, but nothing came of it. They remain a game and a half behind the Mets.

Royals 5, White Sox 4: On paper, a game in which Danny Duffy couldn’t make it out of the fourth inning, Kelvin Herrera blew a lead and Greg Holland was unavailable would seem like the sort of game the Royals lose. Nah. Because they just don’t lose much these days. The sweep puts the Royals lead in the Central at a hilariously insurmountable eleven and a half games.

Brewers 5, Cardinals 4: I don’t pay that much attention to Khris Davis in the grand scheme of things, but every time he comes to my attention it’s because he’s hit two home runs in a game. Some people never touch your life. Some people you can’t stop thinking about. Some people serve some narrow role in it like “the player you will forever think about when someone says ‘two homers in a game.'” The Brewers’ win snapped the Cardinals four-game winning streak.

Cubs 2, Giants 0: The Cubs sweep the Giants in the four game series. Jake Arrieta pitched shutout ball into the eighth and also [all together now] helped his own cause when he tripled and eventually came in to score in the second inning. The Cubs have won ten of 11 and are now three an a half up on San Francisco for the second wild card. The Giants will be better off looking at the division title, where they trail the Dodgers by only three.

Athletics 5, Astros 4: Newcomer Danny Valencia homered in the fourth inning and singled in the winning run in walkoff fashion. Valencia is 7-for-16 with five RBI since coming over from Toronto. Houston’s loss — their third straight — puts them a mere half game up on the Angels.

Mariners 4, Rangers 2: Nelson Cruz tied Mike Trout for the league lead in homers at 33 and extended his hitting streak to 19 games. During the streak he’s batting .422 with 11 home runs, six doubles and 15 RBI. In addition to leading the league in homers, he’s one point behind Jason Kipnis and Prince Fielder for the lead in batting average and seventh in RBI, 14 behind the leader, Josh Donaldson. That last one may be too hard to make up for the Triple Crown, but he’s at least within shouting distance. Just an amazing season for the guy.

Phillies 5, Padres 3: Phillies sweep the Padres because the Phillies are actually good now and nothing makes sense in the universe. Jerome Williams of all people starred here, allowing one run in seven innings. When Jerome Williams shuts you down, you need to take a good long look in the mirror.

Marlins 4, Braves 1: The Marlins snapped a six-game skid. Brad Hand allowed one run in seven innings and [all together now] helped his own cause by driving in two runs on sacrifices.

Pirates 13, Dodgers 6: The Dodgers took a 5-4 lead into the seventh inning in this one. I suppose, somewhere, someone turned the game off at that point because they were tired or whatever. In which case they missed the Pirates score NINE RUNS in the bottom half of the frame. Dodgers reliever Jim Johnson was charged with eight of those runs in two-thirds of an inning. I swear he was actually halfway decent for Atlanta this year before heading to LA in that three-way trade with the Marlins. But he has stunk up the joint for the Dodgers. Pittsburgh sweeps the three-game series and wins their sixth in seven games.

Mets blow out Marlins, move past Nationals for first place in NL East

Yoenis Cespedes, J.T. Realmuto
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It’s August 3 and the Mets are all alone in first place in the National League East.

After sweeping the Nationals over the weekend, the Mets beat the Marlins in a 12-1 laugher tonight at Marlins Park in Miami. Meanwhile, the Nationals fell 6-4 to the Diamondbacks and now sit a full game back in the division.

The Mets pounded out 15 hits against Miami and the recently-acquired Yoenis Cespedes led the charge by going 3-for-5 with three doubles and four RBI. His three doubles tied a franchise record. Michael Conforto hit a long three-run shot off Tom Koehler for his first major league home run while Curtis Granderson had three hits and drove in a pair.

Bartolo Colon, who has been the Mets’ weakest starter, gave the bullpen a rest by tossing eight innings of one-run ball. He also collected his sixth hit of the season.

Everything is coming up Mets right now. In fact, this is the latest the team has been alone in first place since September of 2008. With their pitching staff and the improvements made by Sandy Alderson before the trade deadline, there’s reason to believe they can keep the pressure on the Nationals. It should be a fun final two months.