And That Happened: Sunday's Scores and Highlights

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Francisco Rodrigues Jose Reyes.jpgMets 6, Yankees 4: I ain’t gonna lie to you: I was watching the “Lost”
finale, not Mets-Yankees. Kind of glad I missed this one too, because I just don’t think my senses could take something as implausible as the Mets taking 2 of 3 from the Bombers. Better off staying in the realm of the possible: magic tropical islands with polar bears and malevolent smoke monsters and all of that stuff.

Tigers 6, Dodgers 2: I think Jim Leyland misses the NL. In the ninth he
pinch hit Dontrelle Willis for Phil Coke, but then when Joe Torre
switched pitchers Leyland called back Willis and went with Adam Everett,
and then put on the old squeeze play to score Brandon Inge. He then did
six double switches, changed out the ballpark’s grass for Astroturf and
said that if you had any problem with that you can take it up with league
president Chub Feeney
.

Marlins
13, White Sox 0
: Brett Carroll stole second base with a 7-0 lead,
so Ozzie Guillen had Randy Williams plunk him. Says Ozzie: “I don’t know
what happened there. This is baseball, you have to
respect. I was up by eight a couple days ago, and that’s just the way we
learned how to play the game. We had to do something
about it, and we did. We just told the guy not to play like that.”  With
all due respect, Ozzie, your team is 18-25 and just had its ass handed
to it 13-0. No one is going to listen to you at this moment about “how
to play the game.”

Cardinals 6, Angels 5: A comeback win for the Cardinals. Albert Pujols
continues to slump, but was part of a double steal that put him on
second base and allowed him to score the tying run in the eighth inning.
“That was Albert reading and making it happen,” manager Tony La Russa
said.  “That quote was Tony La Russa trying to make up with Albert after
stupidly angering him by having guys steal in front of him like he did
on Saturday night
,” I said.

Padres 8, Mariners 1: Close until the eighth inning and then the Mariners bullpen blew up.  The Mariners scored 15 runs on Friday night, but scored one run a piece yesterday and Saturday, so they’re feeling much more like themselves now.

Athletics 3, Giants 0: Of course, the Mariners’ offense looks like freakin’ murderer’s row compared to the Giants, who scored one run in the entire three-game series with the Athletics. Not to take anything away from the A’s, but five pitchers combined on this shutout, and the fact that San Francisco couldn’t touch a single one of them tells you that it’s more about bad hitting than it is good pitching. Jonathan Sanchez received no run support for the fifth time in his nine starts, so he pretty much can punch whoever he wants in the Giants clubhouse right now.

Blue Jays 12, Diamondbacks 4: Just your standard five home run three-game series for Edwin Encarnacion, with three on Friday night and one each the last two games.  The Jays avoid the sweep.

Brewers 4, Twins 3: Trevor Hoffman returned and pitched a scoreless, hitless eighth inning. The Twins had tons of chances, but left boatloads of runners on base.

Rays 10, Astros 6: The Astros managed to score five runs in five inningss off AL ERA leader David Price, but the Tampa Bay bats bashed Houston to make up for it. The Rays are now 32-12, one game off the 2001 Mariners’ record at this point of the season. I’m not gonna say that the Rays will win 116 games, but I remember that 2001 season very well and this Rays team looks stronger in almost every facet of the game than the M’s did.

Rockies 11, Royals 7: Zack Greinke takes a lot of tough-luck losses. This was not one of them (3.1 IP, 9 H, 8 R).

Red Sox 8, Phillies 3: Roy Halladay can’t blame bad luck for yesterday’s game either (5.2 IP, 8 H, 7 R). Tim Wakefield, however, pitched eight scoreless.  Between that and what Dice-K did to them on Saturday, one could say that the Phillies may need to worry about their offense a bit.  Of course, one could also say that there aren’t two pitchers in baseball that screw with your timing more than the eminently deliberate Dice-K and the Knuckle Knuckle King, so maybe it was just one of those weekends.

Cubs 5, Rangers 4: The fact that Carlos Silva is 6-0 is far harder to believe than anything that ever happened on Lost.

Nationals 4, Orioles 3: Walkoff job for Josh Willingham. Drew Storen had a hit too, and is batting 1.000 on the season. If used conventionally, he may not have another plate appearance all year, thereby making him a total beast in all the video games next year. That is, if they haven’t improved the video games any since that old Lance Hafner simulation where a guy with a 1 for 1 career batting line will get a hit every single time he bats no matter what.

Indians 4, Reds 3: The Indians salvage one and stop their losing skid. Homer Bailey left this one early with tightness in his shoulder. Is someone about to be very, very wrong?

Pirates 3, Braves 2: Cox gives Jason Heyward, Chipper Jones and Brian McCann the day off with expected results.

And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

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Happy Memorial Day, everyone.

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Blue Jays 10, Padres 1: Cavan Biggio had three hits, including his first career home run, giving the Biggio family 292 combined career homers. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a homer too. He, his brother Yulieski and their father Lourdes Gurriel Sr. have a combined 299, depending on how much credence you want to give to Cuban stats from the 1970s-90s when dad played. No matter the exact number their dad was amazing, jack. He substantially outhit both Barry Bonds and Jason Giambi head-to-head in amateur play back in the day, even though he was older than Bonds and much older than Giambi. He would’ve been a certified stud in the majors. Vlad Guerrero Jr. had three hits on the day. He and his dad have a combined 2,610 hits now. Justin Smoak hit two homers. I have no idea if his dad ever hit any. For all I know he’s a dentist or a tool and die guy or something.

Can’t wait until the Jays call up Dante Bichette’s kid, Bo Bichette, and every recap of their games is about dads. Dads rule.

Mets 4, Tigers 3: The homer explosion in baseball over the past few years has drastically increased the percentage of runs scored via the longball. Which, as a guy who does recaps and tends to focus on the runs that are scored, I must admit it makes things somewhat . . . boring at times. Or at lease repetitive. But it is what it is, and if you write about what happens in games you gotta write about what, you know, happened.

Unless you’re the AP beat writer who covered this game, in which case you spend the first 178 words of a 500-word story talking about Todd Frazier dropping down a bunt against the shift. It was a pretty nifty bunt — it scored the Mets’ first run of the game — but given that two batters later Adeiny Hechavarría hit a three-run homer that brought the Mets back from behind and gave them what proved to be the game’s winning runs, it seems, I dunno, a bit unrepresentative. I get it. I really do. It’s more fun to talk about a bunt-against-the-shift in which the “long-time pro” “cleverly” pushed that punt into right field than it is the 10,000th home run of the past week, but I feel like you gotta give Hechavarría his props there before you go on about wily veterans doing wily veteran things. Anyway: New York takes two out of three from the Tigers and wins the sixth of seven overall.

Twins 7, White Sox 0: Jake Odorizzi tossed one-hit, shutout ball into the sixth, striking out nine, and the Twins’ powerful lineup continued to be powerful, with Max Kepler and Eddie Rosario each hitting three-run homers. Minnesota sweeps Chicago for the team’s seventh series sweep this year. They’ve won 11 of their past 12 games too and have built a big lead in their division because . . .

Rays 6, Indians 3: . . . Cleveland kinda stinks. Trevor Bauer‘s struggles continue. He coughed up four runs on five hits in six innings while the Rays’ bullpenning brigade shut Cleveland out until eighth, by which time Tampa Bay was up 5-0. Austin Meadows, meanwhile, led off the game with a home run and was 4 for 4 with three RBI and the Rays took three of four from the Tribe. Cleveland is now at .500, a full ten games — 10! — behind the Twins. I guess allowing the team to get worse in the offseason because they felt like the division was gonna be a cakewalk isn’t working out all that well for the Indians, huh?

Nationals 9, Marlins 6: On Friday I observed on Twitter that if the Marlins win streak were to continue against the Nats and Washington were to get swept out of this series that it’d be a mortal certainty that Dave Martinez would get fired. That hypothesis was not tested as the Nats have taken the first three games of this four-game set. Here Howie Kendrick homered, had three hits and drove in three. If you want to look for a the gray lining on this otherwise fluffy white cloud, note that while Washington built up a 9-0 lead, the bullpen coughed up six runs in the final two innings which is not what you want.

Dodgers 11, Pirates 7: Justin Turner had five hits and scored three times, Matt Beaty had four RBI, and Corey Seager homered and drove in two and Joc Pederson went deep as well. The Dodgers scored six runs in the sixth. Two of them came via back-to-back bases loaded plunkings. I guess what I’m saying is that the Buccos’ pitchers weren’t exactly sharp in this one. L.A. sweeps Pittsburgh in three.

Red Sox 4, Astros 1: Eduardo Rodríguez allowed a first inning run but that’s all he allowed in six innings of work as he outdueld Justin Verlander. The Sox didn’t exactly pummel JV — Rafael Devers homered but the other runs came on an error, a groundout and a sac fly — but they did enough. The win allowed Boston to avoid a sweep. The season series between these two is over, with Houston taking four of six. Wouldn’t be shocking to see them meet in the playoffs once again.

Brewers 9, Phillies 1: Brandon Woodruff allowed a solo homer in the sixth but was otherwise perfect — like, literally perfect; no hits, walks, runs or errors — in eight innings of work. If not for that dinger he’d almost certainly have come out for the ninth given that he was only at 97 pitches. No need for that here, of course, as the Brewers’ bats gave him nine runs of support. Ben Gamel had two homers, Hernan Pérez, Yasmani Grandal and Christian Yelich also went deep. Yelich’s was his major league-leading 21st home run on the year. Gamel now has four homers in his first year in Milwaukee. That puts him two homers behind Mat Gamel on the Brewers’ All-Time Gamel home run list.

Royals 8, Yankees 7: The Royals had a 7-1 lead after five and blew it, with a three-run ninth inning rally capped off by a two-run RBI single from Aaron Hicks forcing extras. Yankees reliever Jonathan Holder failed to live up to his name in the 10th, though, as he walked Billy Hamilton — and, really, who the hell walks Billy Hamilton? — who then did the obvious thing and stole second base. With two down in the inning Whit Merrifield came to the plate and scored Hamilton for the walkoff win.

Merrifield got an eat-the-third-baseman-alive bounce on this one, but sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good:

Reds 10, Cubs 2: Bad day for the Cubbies. Both because of the loss and because Kris Bryant — starting in right field — collided with center fielder Jason Heyward as the two converged to catch a fly ball. Neither caught it and a run scored but, more importantly, Bryant had to leave the game and now he’s on concussion watch. Nick Senzel had three hits and scored four times for the Reds. Eugenio Suárez finished with two hits and three RBI and Joey Votto banged out a couple of hits as well. Tanner Roark tossed five shutout innings and the Reds too two of three from the Cubs in Wrigley.

Rockies 8, Orioles 7: Colorado scored twice in the bottom of the ninth to come from behind and snag the walkoff win. The first run of the ninth came on a bases-loaded walk to Ian Desmond, which again, who walks Ian Desmond? The second run came on a sac fly from Tony Wolters which, hey, you load the bases and you don’t have much margin for error. Before all of that Nolan Arenado homered for the third straight game and Rockies starter German Márquez tripled and drove in three runs on the day. The triple was kind of a cheapie, if such a thing exists, as the O’s had pulled the outfield way in against him and he just lofted one to the wall and trotted in to third without a play. Colorado takes two of three from Baltimore.

Athletics 7, Mariners 1: Brett Anderson allowed one run while pitching into the seventh, leading the A’s to a three-game sweep of the M’s. Matt Chapman and Josh Phegley hit bombs. Oakland has won nine in a row. Though, actually, that winning streak could later be taken away because in the middle of it is a suspended game against the Tigers which they could end up losing when they finish it later this year. It’s the closest thing baseball has to time travel. 

Diamondbacks 6, Giants 2: Arizona came into this series on a five-game losing streak and swept the Giants in three. Here they sent San Francisco to its fifth straight loss. Ketel Marte homered and Eduardo Escobar had three hits. Rookie Mike Yastrzemski had three hits. I was at one of his minor league games a couple of years ago and a guy behind me said “ah, it’s Carl Yastrzemski’s son.” I didn’t have the heart to tell him it was his grandkid. Life comes at you fast and all of that, but jeez, Carl Yastrzemski is gonna turn 80 this summer.

Holy crap. I’ve seen a guy who is almost 80 play in person. He’s not the only one who’s old.

Angels 7, Rangers 6: Texas had a 5-1 lead heading into the seventh when the Angels put up a six-spot. Mike Trout homered early and then doubled in a run and scored on a wild pitch in the Halos’ big seventh. Two runs scored on wild pitches in that inning, in fact, both by Kyle Dowdy. L.A. took two of three from Texas.

Braves 4, Cardinals 3: This one has to hurt if you’re a Cards fan. St. Louis took a 3-0 lead into the ninth and Jordan Hicks came out to get the easiest of all saves. He couldn’t record a single out, though, and ended up being charged with three runs. The third run came when Ozzie Albies singled to conclude a ten-pitch at bat against Shelby Miller in which he fouled off pitch after pitch.  In the tenth Tyler Webb put two on — one via an unintentional walk — and then Mike Shildt called for an intentional walk of rookie Austin Riley to load the bases. Next batter up was Brian McCann who, yep, walked to force in the go-ahead run. Atlanta takes two of three from the Cards. They’ve won 12 of 16 overall. They’re a game and a half behind the Phillies.