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And That Happened: Friday’s Scores and Highlights

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There were quite a few oddities during Friday’s games, from the Joey Gallo‘s record-setting home run to an inning that granted the Rockies both a grand slam and an inside-the-park homer. You can find the full scores here and the rest of the highlights below:

Phillies 4, Braves 3: The Braves took their fourth consecutive loss on Friday, and according to MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki and Mark Bowman, their first loss to the Phillies since July 30, 2016. Bartolo Colon pitched through seven innings, his longest outing of the season, allowing 11 hits, four runs and striking out four of 32 batters. The Braves made a concerted effort in the ninth after Adonis Garcia went yard (in the pouring rain, no less) and Nick Markakis and Brandon Phillips put runners on first and second with back-to-back singles, but right-hander Hector Neris caught Tyler Flowers swinging on an eight-pitch at-bat to preserve the Phillies’ lead and take the win.

Pirates 6, Yankees 3: The Pirates got off to a quick start on Friday, amassing four runs in the first two innings after a pair of home runs from Jordy Mercer and Josh Bell and an RBI single from David Freese. The same could not be said for the Yankees:

Orioles 2, Red Sox 0: It’s worth mentioning, if only in passing, the quality of Dylan Bundy‘s start. The right-hander delivered seven shutout innings in his fourth start of the season, issuing six hits, a walk and three strikeouts in the Orioles’ 2-0 win. The outing fed into Bundy’s 1.37 ERA and the Orioles’ continued dominance in the AL East, but was ultimately overshadowed by a disputed takeout slide by Manny Machado in the eighth inning.

Cubs 6, Reds 5 (11 innings): The defending World Series champs reclaimed their position atop the NL Central division after orchestrating three dramatic comebacks to win their last three games this week. Those wins snapped a four-game losing streak, during which the Cubs had blown three leads against the Pirates and Brewers.

Whether or not this come-from-behind strategy will hold much longer is yet to be determined, but the Cubs don’t seem too concerned. “[Winning] is always fun; when you come back, it just makes it a little bit better,” Chicago left-hander Jon Lester told reporters following the game. “It doesn’t matter how it looks, we got it done.” Cubs’ skipper Joe Maddon shared the sentiment: “It’s so entertaining, isn’t it? We like the tough games, the big series. We like that stuff.”

Astros 6, Rays 3: For once, the preseason predictions got something right: the Astros are running away with the AL West this season. They capped their eighth win in nine games, returning from a two-run deficit with two RBI base hits from Brian McCann and Yuli Gurriel, two productive, game-winning outs from George Springer and Josh Reddick and a run-scoring wild pitch in the ninth inning.

Nationals 4, Mets 3 (11 innings): After cycling through ten pitchers and four home runs, it seemed only fitting that the 11-inning marathon would end on a bases-loaded walk:

Rangers 6, Royals 2: On a day full of a variety of record-breaking and -setting homers, Joey Gallo raised the bar for any aspiring home run hitter in 2017. He went deep against Royals’ right-hander Nathan Karns in the second inning, nearly driving the ball into a concourse popcorn stand:

Per Statcast, the ball left Gallo’s bat at a speed of 116.1 m.p.h. and traveled an estimated 462 feet. It’s both the longest and hardest-hit home run so far this year, though it still falls a little shy of the records set by Giancarlo Stanton (504 feet) and Carlos Gonzalez (117.4 m.p.h.) in 2016.

Indians 3, White Sox 0: After putting up a 6.38 ERA during his first three starts of the season, Corey Kluber finally regained some equilibrium on the mound. He leveled the White Sox with his first complete game shutout since June 21, 2016, firing nine scoreless innings with three hits, two walks and nine strikeouts. The reemergence of his cutter may have had something to do with his successful outing, as MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian pointed out:

Twins 6, Tigers 3: The Tigers have undoubtedly seen better days. Justin Verlander collapsed against the Twins, handing over four run, six walks and four strikeouts in his second loss of the season. Victor Martinez and Justin Upton put the Tigers on the board in the third inning with an RBI single and double, respectively, but a six-run rally by the Twins unraveled the Tigers’ lead.

Cardinals 6, Brewers 3: With Madison Bumgarner on the disabled list, another member of the #PitchersWhoRake club was called upon to deliver the goods on Friday night. Adam Wainwright blew past the Brewers with five innings of two-run, nine-strikeout pitching, then turned around and blasted his first home run of the season, a two-run, double-deck shot that put the Cardinals up 2-1 in the third inning.

Wainwright later returned for another two-run single in the fourth and now officially leads all pitchers with three hits and four RBI in 2017.

Rockies 6, Giants 5: According to MLB.com’s Owen Perkins, the Rockies’ grand slam/inside-the-parker combo was only the second such combination of events since September 19, 2011, when the Red Sox’ Conor Jackson and Jacoby Ellsbury tag-teamed for the two unusual home runs against the visiting Orioles. The grand slam was a career first for both Trevor Story and Giants’ right-hander Johnny Cueto, who enjoyed an 8-2 record against the Rockies prior to his meltdown on Friday afternoon.

Diamondbacks 13, Dodgers 5: The Diamondbacks’ offense took approximately eight innings to heat up during Friday’s series opener, but no one was complaining when they constructed a nine-run comeback in the bottom of the eighth inning. Against an ailing Dodgers’ bullpen, the D-backs pulled five walks, six hits, and best of all, a tie-breaking balk from right-handed reliever Sergio Romo.

Athletics 3, Mariners 1: The Mariners are 1-8 on the road so far this season, a record that was underscored by the Athletics’ dominant showing on Friday. Sean Manaea turned in six solid innings, allowing one run and striking out six of 24 batters, while Ryan Dull, Sean Doolittle and Santiago Casilla combined for three scoreless frames to clinch the A’s ninth win and push them just over .500.

Blue Jays 8, Angels 7 (13 innings): There wasn’t a better moment for Jose Bautista‘s first home run of the season:

Padres 5, Marlins 3: Trevor Cahill enjoyed a triumphant return to his hometown during Friday’s series opener, delivering seven innings of one-run, six-strikeout ball for his first win of the season. He kept the game scoreless after allowing a solo home run to Marcell Ozuna in the second inning, shutting down 15 consecutive batters before allowing the Marlins a final base hit in the seventh. The Marlins did their best to contribute to Cahill’s win, issuing four hits, four runs and a run-scoring double play in the seventh to boost the Padres to a four-run lead.

And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 1: Chris Sale was ridiculously dominant, striking out 13 over eight shutout innings. Unfortunately, the Boston offense only managed one run while he was the pitcher of record and Craig Kimbrel gave up a homer in the bottom of the ninth, forcing extras and giving Sale the no-decision. A bases-clearing doubly by Mookie Betts in the 10th gave the game to Boston. Pitcher wins aren’t important, we know that. And his team won the game. But that’s still some tough luck for Sale. Oh, in other news, Jose Bautista went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts and is now hitting .109/.242/.145 on the season. Yikes.

Brewers 7, Cardinals 5Jett Bandy and Eric Thames hit two-run homers and Travis Shaw hit a three-run blast. Milwaukee leads all of baseball with 29 homers on the year — the next closest team has 22 — and that’s putting them in the same company as some blastin’ Brewers teams of the past. Last night their beat writer sought a nickname for this crew:

Naming them after the manager, Craig Counsell, is in keeping with historical Brewers’ nicknames like “Harvey’s Wallbangers,” named after manager Harvey Keunn, and “Bambi’s Bombers” named after manager George Bamburger. Personally, however, I’d go with . . . The Thamesmen. As long as it’s OK with Chris Bosio and John Lackey.

Indians 6, Twins 2:  Trevor Bauer struck out seven and pitched into the seventh and Carlos Santana had two doubles and two RBI. Bauer balked in a run once. That’s probably a funny thing to do if you win and a thing that keeps you up late at night if you lose.

Rays 8, Tigers 1: The Rays sweep Detroit. Steven Souza homered, tripled and doubled, driving in three. Erasmo Ramirez made a rare start and allowed one run and two hits in five innings with five strikeouts. He and a couple of relievers combined to allow only five hits.

Astros 2, Angels 1: We talked a lot about Dallas Keuchel yesterday, but Lance McCullers is just as important for the Astros’ chances this year. With him pitching like this, their chances look good. McCullers shut the Angels out into the seventh. Carlos Beltran and Jake Marisnick hit solo homers for Houston’s two runs. A ninth inning Mike Trout solo shot was the only run for the Halos.

Orioles 2, Reds 1: Wade Miley allowed only one run on two hits, striking out 11. It was like a mini-Chris Sale performance, as he got the no-decision as well. In the 10th J.J. Hardy singled in Mark Trumbo for what would prove to be the winning run.

Phillies 6, Mets 4: Maikel Franco homered and doubled, ending an 0-for-22 streak as the Phillies take two of three from the Mets. It was their first series win against New York in a dog’s age. Bad news for the Mets: Yoenis Cespedes limped off the field with pain in his left hamstring. He’ll be reevaluated today, but he’s gonna miss some time.

Nationals 3, Braves 2: Washington sweeps Atlanta. R.A. Dickey was doing pretty well until the sixth when Ryan Zimmerman hit one of his flutterballs for a a two-run homer. Stephen Strasburg struck out 10 while allowing two runs on six hits in seven innings. Worth watching, again, is the back end of the Nats’ pen. Shawn Kelley, now apparently closing for Dusty Baker, retired the first two batters he faced but then allowed two runners to reach before the game ended with an Ender Inciarte flyout. There will be bullpen adventures for Washington aplenty this season.

Rangers 1, Royals 0: A 0-0 tie into the 13th inning as Andrew Cashner and Danny Duffy traded zeroes. Eight relievers between the two teams also put up goose eggs, but in the 13th Travis Wood retired one batter before Joey Gallo doubled to right Delino DeShields singled him in for the walkoff win.

Padres 4, Diamondbacks 1: Clayton Richard allowed one run while scattering nine hits in six and two-thirds. Wil Myers and Austin Hedges homered and Erick Aybar doubled in two.

Athletics 9, Mariners 6: Ten pitchers used and 15 runs scored yet the game took just over three hours. I feel like that many pitching changes and runs scored would usually lead to a much longer game elsewhere. There have been a lot of short games in the Coliseum so far this year. I wonder if they do something different there than they do everyplace else. Some psychological thing that makes pitchers want to work faster or batters stay in the box longer.

And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Cardinals 2, Pirates 1: Dexter Fowler homer. Josh Bell homer. Dexter Fowler homer. Advantage: Cardinals.

Cubs 7, Brewers 4: Addison Russell hit a walkoff three-run homer off of Neftali Feliz to cap a four-run ninth inning and the Cubs comeback from a three-run deficit. Earlier in the inning Kris Bryant had singled in Jon Jay to tie things up. Russell is the marquee hero, but there was some low-key heroism from the Cubs bullpen, with Mike Montgomery, Pedro Strop, Koji Uehara and Wade Davis combining for four scoreless innings. That made up for Kyle Hendricks‘ shaky start and allowed the Cubs to remain within comeback range.

Athletics 9, Rangers 1: The A’s jumped on Martin Perez four four in the first and it wasn’t a contest after that. Khris Davis hit his seventh homer of the young season. He hits well at home, and he was asked about life at the Coliseum after the game:

“I like coming to this ballpark. It’s a grungy stadium, but I don’t need the fancy art, high-tech stadium to perform. I just go out there and play.”

Has anyone ever described Davis as a gritty or a blue collar or a lunch bucket-type player? Because that’s the kind of quote that gets you labeled that.

Mariners 10, Marlins 5: Mitch Haniger had three hits, reached base five times and drove in four. The Mariners right fielder now has a 13-game hitting streak. The Marlins right fielder, however, got all the attention. And for good reason.

Yankees 9, White Sox 1: Starlin Castro drove in three but everyone was talking about the one run Aaron Judge drove in. On a long, long homer. Nearly 450 feet. That kid is strong.

Blue Jays 3, Red Sox 0: Francisco Liriano and three relievers combine to shut out the Sox. Defense was just as much a liability as the bats were for Boston, as all three of the Jays’ runs were unearned thanks to a throwing error by Pablo Sandoval. and a fielding error by Mitch Moreland in the second inning which set up RBI singles from Darwin Barney and Ezequiel Carrera.

Orioles 2, Reds 0: Ubaldo Jimenez continues to be one of the more baffling and frustrating pitchers in baseball. He gave up five runs in his first start of the year and five runs in his second but here tosses shutout ball into the eighth, allowing only two hits. Reds rookie Amir Garrett continued to shine in a losing effort, striking out 12 in seven innings and allowing only two runs. This one was done in a crisp two hours twenty-eight minutes.

Mets 5, Phillies 4: The Mets break a four-game losing streak thanks to the heroics of Jay Bruce, who didn’t bring the Mets down, homering twice and driving in all five of the Mets’ runs. The first homer brought the Mets back from behind and the second one broke a tie and gave them the lead for good.

Rays 8, Tigers 7: An ugly game ends with an ugly play, as Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias allowed the tying and winning runs to score due to a throwing error while trying to turn what should’ve been a game-ending double play.  Iglesias was run into and threw off balance on the play, but after the game Brad Ausmus said “that double play gets turned nine times out of 10” and that it was just bad luck.

Nationals 14, Braves 4: Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman each hit grand slams. Earlier in the game Harper hit a solo homer too. Harper finished 4-for-4 with a walk, a single, a double, and the two homers. Zimmerman went 3-for-5 with two singles and the slam. Mercy.

Astros 5, Angels 1: Every preview for the Astros this season was required, by law, to mention that Houston’s chances hinged on Dallas Keuchel returning to ace-like form. So far this year he has been an ace. He’s gone exactly seven innings in each of his first four starts. He allowed zero runs in his first start of the year and one each in the next three, including this one. He’s 3-0 with 22 strikeouts and only six walks in 28 innings. It’s no accident that the Astros are tied for the most wins in baseball.

Royals 2, Giants 0: Madison Bumgarner in Kansas City against the Royals brings back memories of 2014. And he did pitch well, allowing only one run in six innings. He just didn’t pitch as well as Jason Vargas, who shut the Giants out and struck out nine over seven. Joakim Soria and Kelvin Herrera handled the final two innings, holding the Giants hitless in the final two frames. The Royals scored their runs on a couple of singles.

Dodgers 4, Rockies 2: Clayton Kershaw struck out ten and allowed two runs in seven innings of work. Kershaw was pissed too, because he had to wait to start the first inning as Rockies starter Tyler Anderson was late walking out of the bullpen from pregame warmups and to the Rockies dugout. Kershaw on the delay:

“That was one of the more disrespectful things I’ve been a part of in a game,” Kershaw said. “Really didn’t appreciate that. The game starts at 7:10. It’s started at 7:10 here for a long time. Go around or finish earlier but that wasn’t appreciated, for sure. I’m not going to say any more or I’ll get in trouble.”

I can think of a few more disrespectful things in baseball history, but I suppose Kershaw gets the benefit of the doubt as maybe he wasn’t part of any of ’em.

Padres 1, Diamondbacks 0: The good news for the Dbacks? Zack Greinke was fantastic, allowing only one run on five hits in eight innings. The bad news? He wasn’t as good as Jhoulys Chacin, who allowed three hits and zero runs in that same span. Greinke’s only mistake was a solo homer allowed to Erick Aybar in the bottom of the eighth. This game lasted only two hours and thirteen minutes. It’s like Greg Maddux came out of retirement.

Indians vs. Twins — POSTPONED:

The rain falls hard on a humdrum town
this town has dragged you down
oh the rain falls hard on a humdrum town
this town has dragged you down

And everybody’s got to live their life
and God knows I’ve got to live mine
God knows I’ve got to live mine

William, William it was really nothing
William, William it was really nothing
it was your life