Tag: Drew Storen

Clayton Kershaw

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights


Dodgers 2, Giants 1: Kershaw: Complete game, one earned run, 15 strikeouts. He also got a hit. That’s 251 Ks on the year for Kershaw and he still has five or even possibly six starts left, barring him being skipped a time or two to get ready for the postseason. And given that the Dodgers just swept the Giants and opened up a six and a half game lead in the West, I’d say the postseason looks pretty certain.

Nationals 4, Cardinals 3: Ryan Zimmermann homered twice and the Nationals managed to hold a slim lead in the late innings for once. Max Scherzer struck out 11 but gave up 11 hits while clinging to a 3-2 lead, forcing him out after six innings. Matt Williams decided that, rather than letting a bad reliever blow the save, he’d just let everyone in a Nats uniform pitch. Matt Grace, the third pitcher of the seventh inning, did the save-blowing honors here. allowing an inherited runner to score to tie things up. Williams used four pitchers in the seventh in all. Zimmermann thankfully tied things up with an eighth inning double and in the eighth and ninth Williams went with Drew Storen and Jonathan Papelbon who did their usual jobs. I shudder to think what Williams might’ve done if he DIDN’T have a lead in the ninth on the road. Maybe have Zimmerman pitch? Could be cool?

Marlins 7, Braves 3: Marlins sweep the Braves, who just lost the last eight games of a nine-game homestand. That’s the longest home losing streak for Atlanta since 1988. Which is wonderful, because the 1988 Braves were the best Braves team ever.

Reds 7, Cubs 4: The Cubs were down by two in the eighth inning when Kris Bryant hit a game-trying home run. Yay! Then, in the ninth, with the score tied, Bryant let a Jay Bruce grounder go through the wickets on what would’ve and should’ve been out number three. That extended the inning and allowed Joey Votto to come to the plate and he promptly hit a three-run homer. Oops! Votto on the season: .316/.457/.567 and 27 homers. He could easily make the list my friends Mike and Bill at the Platoon Advantage did several years ago of The Greatest Individual Seasons on Terrible Teams.

Angels 9, Athletics 4: Albert Pujols had an RBI singe and a two-run homer. The homer was his 35th, giving him 10 35-home run seasons in his first 15 years. Only four guys have done that before. The only other ones: Willie Mays, Mike Schmidt and Alex Rodriguez.

Yankees 13, Red Sox 8: The Yankees scored eight times in the second inning, with homers from Greg Bird, John Ryan Murphy and Carlos Beltran in that inning and added dingers from Stephen Drew and Didi Gregorius later in the game. Bird’s homer came off Henry Owens, a lefty, so maybe all that talk about the need to platoon Bird at first base is overstated. Twenty-one runs in this game and it still lasted “only” three and a half hours. Which is something for a Yankees-Red Sox game. Back in the day a 2-1 game with complete games from both starters would push four hours. Viva La Innings Clock.

Mariners 8, Astros 3: Shawn O’Malley had three hits, including a tiebreaking RBI single in a two-run eighth inning. Not bad for his Mariners debut. A Seattle kid, O’Malley said after the game that “my grandpa and father were huge Mariners fans.” Given that I remember when people still invariably referred to the Mariners as “an expansion team,” I find it hard to get my brain around the idea of anyone’s grandfather being a Mariners fan. Of course I’m an old fart, so whatever.

Rangers 4, Padres 3: Mitch doubled in the go-ahead run in the 10th inning, cutting first-place Houston’s lead in the AL West to two games. Which, holy moly, it’s crazy enough that Houston is the team they’re chasing, but the Rangers getting close is just as amazing given what everyone was thinking back in the spring.

Orioles 7, Rays 6: Two homers from Chris Davis including the walkoff bomb in extras. Watch that second one as it enters the stands.

It’s very nice of Davis to wake up that man sleeping in the center field bleachers, no?

Blue Jays 5, Indians 1: R.A. Dickey went the distance, allowing only one run on four hits. In case you were looking for even more data points about how the Blue Jays have surged, how about R.A. Dickey being  7-0 with a 2.78 ERA in the second half?

Mets 9, Phillies 4: Ruben Tejada hit an inside-the-park home run on a ball when outfielder Domonic Brown flipped over the wall down the right field line trying to field it:


Oops. Yoenis Cespedes and rookie Michael Conforto had homers that didn’t make Phillies fielders look silly.

Royals 12, Tigers 1: Yordano Ventura struck out 11 in seven innings and Royals batters formed conga lines around the bases against Tigers pitching. Not long until the Wolverines, Wings and Lions get started, Michigan people. Yes, even the Lions are worth looking forward to this year.

Brewers 9, Pirates 4: The Brewers have been owning the Pirates lately, notching their fifth straight win against them. Jonathan Lucroy drove in three runs. Lucroy has a ten game hitting streak in which he’s 18 for 40 (.450) with three homers and 14 RBI.

Twins 3, White Sox 0: Tommy Milone tossed seven shutout innings and Miguel Sano hit a long homer. As Aaron drooled yesterday, Sano  is hitting .295/.403/.608 with 14 homers, 13 doubles, 33 walks, 41 RBI and 32 runs through 50 games. Extrapolated to 162 games that works out to 45 homers, 42 doubles, 107 walks, and 133 RBIs. And, as we noted the other day, he’s only 22 friggin years old.


Rockies 9, Diamondbacks 4: Two homers for Carlos Gonzalez, including a grand slam and seven driven in. Nolan Arenado also hit a homer. The two of them are tied for the team lead with 33. They’re also the only two reasons to really watch Rockies games.

Matt Williams puts up another strong performance in his quest to get himself fired

Washington Nationals' manager Matt Williams looks on from the dugout during a baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies, Friday, May 2, 2014, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)

It’s like watching a car crash. Wait, that’s not quite right. A car crash happens quickly and, in the moment, there’s a sense that you can’t do anything to stop it, so that’s not it.

This is more like watching someone slowly pedal a tricycle over a cliff. Only you notice them heading toward the edge 200 feet before they get there, you keep yelling at them to stop, at first panicked and then almost amused at just how determined they are to roll over the edge. But they don’t stop so instead of trying to stop them you just sit back and marvel at their suicidal determination. Hey, if they have no sense of urgency or regard for their own well-being, why in the hell should you?

I’m talking about Matt Williams and his performance behind the handlebars of the Radio Flyer that is the 2015 Washington Nationals. Last night he wheeled them and himself ever closer to the edge, wheels squeaking, horn honking and bell ringing. At this rate, we’ll soon see the little orange flag attached to the back flutter and then watch them disappear entirely.

The Nats carried a 5-3 lead into the eighth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals last night. As Williams said after Monday’s late innings loss, the eighth inning belongs to Drew Storen. Except Storen didn’t have anything. He allowed the first two batters to reach, one via a plunking, and then allowed a run to score on his own throwing error. After an intentional walk he induced a double play which scored a run — fair enough tradeoff I suppose — and then got out of the inning. The game was tied 5-5.

In the ninth inning, Matt Williams had a choice. He could go to Jonathan Papelbon, one of the best closers in baseball history and the big piece for which Mike Rizzo traded at the deadline, or he could go with Casey Janssen, who imploded to give up four runs in Monday night’s debacle, throwing 26 pitches. Williams went with Janssen. Who, after getting two outs, gave up a double and a walk, likely due to the fatigue of throwing 45 high-leverage pitches in two nights to that point.

Why not go with Papelbon, either to start the inning or after it was clear that Janssen was tiring? Here’s Williams:

“We want him closing games out, yeah. So we’re down to two guys. We need a one inning guy there because we’re going to have to hit for the pitcher anyway and we’re going to have to go long with Sammy [Solis] in that regard.”

Which is to say that Jonathan Papelbon, as a closer, needs to pitch only with a lead and can never come in a game in the middle of an inning. Never mind that he’s your best relief pitcher and has hardly been used in the second half. Never mind that Janssen authored the previous night’s loss. Never mind that Williams already knew the Mets lost and that this game gave him a GOLDEN opportunity to make up some ground. And never mind that the Cardinals have scored 10 runs in the seventh through ninth innings over the past two nights, with Jonathan Papelbon not once getting into the game.

The book says you don’t use your closer in a tie game on the road, dammit. And that holds even if the alternative is letting a known arsonist into the fireworks shop and asking him to make sure the place is locked up before he leaves.

The result:


Credit to Brandon Moss and the Cardinals, of course. They’re the best team in the game this year and they’re gonna get theirs more often than they don’t. But they didn’t need to get this one. Or the one the night before. Those are games that even the good teams in the Cards’ position lose and even the bad teams in the Nats’ position win more often than not.

The Nats are not a bad team as we tend to think of bad teams. They just have a bad manager. A bad manager who will be looking for a job soon. As soon as early this afternoon if I or anyone with anything approaching a sense of urgency was running the Washington Nationals.

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

Matt Williams

Cardinals 8, Nationals 5: The Cards mounted a five-run rally in the seventh that had the Nationals fans in my Twitter timeline saying unspeakable things about Matt Williams, the Nationals and, in some cases, the very dilemma of human existence. Really, they started to get kinda deep about the philosophic abyss that confronts us all. I almost felt bad for them but then I remembered that they’re Nationals fans, so who gives a rip? OK, that’s not fair. Even Nats fans don’t deserve Matt Williams. Which perhaps might hurt Matt Williams’ feelings to hear, but given that he’s peacefully dozing in the dugout, he’s really not hearing it at all. Shhh! Don’t tell him to bring in Drew Storen during the rally! It’s only the seventh inning! Williams’ little analog alarm clock with Goofy’s arms as the hands doesn’t start ringing for Storen until the eighth!

Dodgers 5, Giants 4: Adrian Gonzalez hit a bases loaded single in the 14th inning to walk it off. It was a long game. How long? It started in August and ended in September! Wow! In other news, the Giants really can’t be losing head-to-head games with the Dodgers if they wanna make the playoffs. It’s now a four and a half game lead for L.A.

Red Sox 4, Yankees 3: Old: David Ortiz hits career homer 495. Young: Mookie Betts homered and Jackie Bradley Jr. had three hits and scored twice. He’s been up and down and people have been expecting a lot from him for more than a couple of years now, but in 43 big league games this year Bradley is hitting .277/.358/.555 with outstanding outfield defense.

Rays 6, Orioles 3: Six shutout innings aided by an amazing grab by Kevin Kiermaier to rob Manny Machado of a homer.

Baltimore has lost 11 of 12. Asdrubal Cabrera, Evan Longoria and Tim Beckham homered for Tampa Bay.

Indians 4, Blue Jays 2: Danny Salazar struck out ten and Jerry Sands singled home the go-ahead run in the seventh. Sands’ failure to pan out as a prospect over the past couple of years has obscured the fact that he is the best 1950s-60s-era Vegas comedian to ever play Major League Baseball. And it’s all the more impressive given that he wears a sequined tuxedo jacket and a ruffled shirt when he plays in the outfield.

Marlins 4, Braves 0: It was obvious that the Braves were going to lose here given that they traded away their clubhouse leader Jonny Gomes last night. You laugh, but when the Royals win the World Series and some baseball writer credits Gomes’, like, 11 ineffective plate appearances but his excellent top-step-of-the-dugout fist-pumping for “providing the leadership they lacked in 2014,” try not to injure yourself as you violently roll your eyes into your head. In other news, stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Shelby Miller pitched well, allowing one run on six hits and no walks over seven innings yet failed to win for the 19th straight outing because the Braves provided him zero in the form of run support. He has a 2.56 ERA on the year and a 5-12 record.

Mets 3, Phillies 1: Eight shutout innings for Bartolo Colon. Which, to be fair to the Phillies, is understandable as Colon was wearing camouflage:


Given his stealthy appearance, to Phillies batters it had to look like the ball was floating in mid air and suddenly hurled in their direction as if propelled by an otherworldly spirit.

Reds 13, Cubs 6: Adam Duvall and Eugenio Suarez hit two-run homers in a four-run sixth inning. Those four runs all came against Justin Grimm. Who actually came in with a lead and gave up those four runs in one third of an inning. If only there was a word to describe Grimm’s performance. Bleak? Ghastly? Gruesome? Give me a few minutes, I’ll think of one.

Astros 8, Mariners 3: Dallas Keuchel got his 16th win and Carlos Correa hit his 16th homer.




Rockies 5, Diamondbacks 4: No one cares about this game at this point of the season so let’s watch Brandon Barnes eat dirt.

Athletics 11, Angels 5: The Angels got slaughtered, the details of which you can read in the box score. The important part here is that Shane Victorino broke the Oakland Coliseum when he ran into the dang wall:


The A’s really need to find the receipt for that place.

Padres 7, Rangers 0: Tyson Ross tossed seven shutout innings and had an RBI single to [all together now] help his own cause. Texas’ lead in the race for the second wild card slot is down to one game over the Twins.