And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Yankees 4, Reds 2; Reds 10, Yankees 2: A twin bill thanks to Tuesday night’s rain. We start with the second one because that has the coolest thing in it: Chris Heisey hitting three homers and driving in five. Like a boss. New York takes the first one with an effective outing from Freddy Garcia and a two-run homer from Jorge Posada, his first since April 23rd.

Nationals 2, Mariners 1: Look who’s sittin’ at .500. Danny Espinosa drove in the first run and scored the second while five Nats pitchers combined to stifle the M’s bats. Erik Bedard struck out 10 and didn’t allow any earned runs over six innings, so he really deserved a better fate. At least from a baseball perspective. I mean, we don’t know for sure that he didn’t kill a hobo on a dare when he was in high school and thus everything bad that happens to him isn’t something he totally has coming to him. We don’t really know any of these guys that well, do we?

Astros 5, Rangers 3: Whoa. Neftali Feliz blew a 3-1 lead in the ninth inning, with the capper coming on a pinch-hit two-run homer by Matt Downs.  Maybe the fact that he had a 35-pitch outing in the Texas heat the night before had something to do with it?

Pirates 5, Orioles 4: Blake Davis, 27-year-old rookie makes his major league debut and his error — a Josh Harrison grounder through the wickets — ends up costing the O’s the game.  George Burns was right: baseball is a horrible bitch goddess.

Rays 6, Brewers 3: David Price pitched well — struck out ten — but his game was more notable for a nasty slide into second that drew blood and the fact that he wore his shinguard on the wrong shin during one of his at bats. Kelly Shoppach’s assessment after the game: “There’s a lot of baseball purists out there that love the pitchers hitting, but oh my gosh.”  Well, yeah.

Tigers 7, Dodgers 5: Homers from Casper Wells,  Miguel Cabrera, Don Kelly and Magglio Ordonez and a nifty game-ending catch from Austin Jackson with the bases jacked in the bottom of the ninth. Observed: the Dodgers both look bad and play bad in their baby blue throwback uniforms.

Braves 5, Blue Jays 1: Brandon Beachy returned from the DL and struck out 11 over six innings. The only blemish was a homer allowed to Jose Bautista. Of course. he’s not alone in allowing that particular blemish. And if you missed it, Bautista made a helluva catch, robbing Jordan Schafer of a homer.

Padres 5, Red Sox 1: A wise man once said: “sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains so damn much that you have four rain delays and then the game ends up being called after seven and a half innings anyway.” Clayton Richard stuck it out through two of the delays, giving up one run and eight hits over five innings. Four hits for Adrian Gonzalez, who is more machine than man.

Indians 4, Rockies 3: For the second night in a row a Rockies player hits two homers off the Indians. This time it’s Ty Wigginton. Unlike the night before, however, this time it’s in a losing effort, as Josh Tomlin beats Jason Hammel. One of the Tribe’s runs scored on a Hammel balk, so that’s special.

Phillies 4, Cardinals 0: A six-hit shutout for Cliff Lee, who has been absolutely incredible in June. One earned run in 33 innings.

Giants 5, Twins 1: Ryan Vogelsong has been damn spiffy too, and threw yet another gem: one run on three hits in seven inning, lowering his ERA to 1.86. Eli Whiteside had a triple, single and three RBI.

Angels 6, Marlins 5: As has been the case throughout this series, the Angels had a ton of chances. And they failed to capitalize on them early. As the game wore on, however, things started to fall for them. The most important being a Mark Trumbo RBI single in the 10th. Torii Hunter left the game after slamming into the right field wall, though x-rays were negative. Which is a positive thing.

Diamondbacks 3, Royals 2: Ian Kennedy keeps on keeping on, winning his eighth game and lowering his ERA to 2.90.

Mets 3, Athletics 2: Last week the Mets lost on a walkoff balk. Last night they won on a walkoff plunk. Justin Turner on the pitch that hit him:

“I’m staying in and holding my ground. Unless it’s at my face or around my ankle or something, I’ll stay in there and take the bruise and get that game over with.”

Dude: at least pretend that you tried to get out of the way but couldn’t, as is your obligation as a hitter.

White Sox 4, Cubs 3: Jake Peavy and his catcher A.J. Pierzynski exchanged some words when Peavy was pulled from the game and the dispute spilled into the dugout a bit after the inning was over. I’m having a hard time processing the fact that, from what I can tell, it was Peavy being the jerk in this thing, not Pierzynski.  Oh well, they made nice afterwards and they won the game, so it doesn’t matter.

Marlins clinch 1st playoff berth since 2003, beat Yanks 4-3

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK (AP) Forced from the field by COVID-19, the Miami Marlins returned with enough force to reach the playoffs for the first time since their 2003 championship.

An NL-worst 57-105 a year ago, they sealed the improbable berth on the field of the team that Miami CEO Derek Jeter and manager Don Mattingly once captained.

“I think this is a good lesson for everyone. It really goes back to the players believing,” Mattingly said Friday night after a 4-3, 10-inning win over the New York Yankees.

Miami will start the playoffs on the road Wednesday, its first postseason game since winning the 2003 World Series as the Florida Marlins, capped by a Game 6 victory in the Bronx over Jeter and his New York teammates at the previous version of Yankee Stadium.

“We play loose. We got nothing to lose. We’re playing with house money.,” said Brandon Kintzler, who got DJ LeMahieu to ground into a game-ending double play with the bases loaded after Jesus Aguilar hit a sacrifice fly in the top of the 10th. “We are a dangerous team. And we really don’t care if anyone says we’re overachievers.”

Miami (30-28), second behind Atlanta in the NL East, became the first team to make the playoffs in the year following a 100-loss season. The Marlins achieved the feat despite being beset by a virus outbreak early this season that prevented them from playing for more than a week.

After the final out, Marlins players ran onto the field, formed a line and exchanged non socially-distant hugs, then posed for photos across the mound.

“I can’t contain the tears, because it’s a lot of grind, a lot of passion,” shortstop Miguel Rojas said. “It wasn’t just the virus. Last year we lost 100 games. But we came out this year with the hope everything was going to be better. When we had the outbreak, the guys who got an opportunity to help the organization, thank you for everything you did.”

Miami was one of baseball’s great doubts at the start of the most shortened season since 1878, forced off the field when 18 players tested positive for COVID-19 following the opening series in Philadelphia.

“Yeah, we’ve been through a lot. Other teams have been through a lot, too,” Mattingly said “This just not a been a great situation. It’s just good to be able to put the game back on the map.”

New York (32-26) had already wrapped up a playoff spot but has lost four of five following a 10-game winning streak and is assured of starting the playoffs on the road. Toronto clinched a berth by beating the Yankees on Thursday.

“I don’t like any time somebody celebrates on our field or if we’re at somebody else’s place and they celebrate on their field,” Yankees star Aaron Judge said. “I’m seeing that too much.”

Mattingly captained the Yankees from 1991-95 and is in his fifth season managing the Marlins, Jeter captained the Yankees from 2003-14 as part of a career that included five World Series titles in 20 seasons and is part of the group headed by Bruce Sherman that bought the Marlins in October 2017.

Garrett Cooper, traded to the Marlins by the Yankees after the 2017 season, hit a three-run homer in the first inning off J.A. Happ.

After the Yankees tied it on Aaron Hicks‘ two-run double off Sandy Alcantara in the third and Judge’s RBI single off Yimi Garcia in the eighth following an error by the pitcher on a pickoff throw, the Marlins regained the lead with an unearned run in the 10th against Chad Green (3-3).

Jon Berti sacrificed pinch-runner Monte Harrison to third and, with the infield in, Starling Marte grounded to shortstop. Gleyber Torres ran at Harrison and threw to the plate, and catcher Kyle Higashioka‘s throw to third hit Harrison in the back, giving the Yankees a four-error night for the second time in three games.

With runners at second and third, Aguilar hit a sacrifice fly.

Brad Boxberger (1-0) walked his leadoff batter in the ninth but got Luke Voit to ground into a double play, and Kintzler held on for his 12th save in 14 chances.

Miami ended the second-longest postseason drought in the majors – the Seattle Mariners have been absent since 2001.

Miami returned Aug. 4 following an eight-day layoff with reinforcements from its alternate training site, the trade market and the waiver wire to replace the 18 players on the injured list and won its first five games.

“We’re just starting,” said Alcantara, who handed a 3-2 lead to his bullpen in the eighth. “We’ve got to keep doing what we’re doing.”

TOSSED

Yankees manager Aaron Boone was ejected for arguing from the dugout in the first inning. Plate umpire John Tumpane called out Judge on a full-count slider that appeared to drop well below the knees and Boone argued during the next pitch, to Hicks, then was ejected. Television microphones caught several of Boone’s profane shouts.

“Reacting to a terrible call and then following it up,” Boone said. “Obviously, we see Aaron get called a lot on some bad ones down.”

ODD

Pinch-runner Michael Tauchman stole second base in the eighth following a leadoff single by Gary Sanchez but was sent back to first because Tumpane interfered with the throw by catcher Chad Wallach. Clint Frazier struck out on the next pitch and snapped his bat over a leg.

SLOPPY

New York took the major league lead with 47 errors. Sanchez was called for catcher’s interference for the third time in five days and fourth time this month.

REMEMBERING

Mattingly thought of Jose Fernandez, the former Marlins All-Star pitcher who died four years earlier to the night at age 24 while piloting a boat that crashed. An investigation found he was legally drunk and had cocaine in his system. The night also marked the sixth anniversary of Jeter’s final game at Yankee Stadium.

UP NEXT

RHP Deivi Garcia (2-2, 4.88) starts Saturday for the Yankees and LHP Trevor Rogers (1-2, 6.84) for the Marlins. Garcia will be making the sixth start of his rookie season.