And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Mariners 4, Indians 3: The M’s just keep on winning. That’s eight in a row, with this one ending interestingly. The Indians had runners on the corners with no one out in the ninth. Then Drew Stubbs got caught in a rundown he probably shouldn’t have gotten caught in between third and home, ending the play out in a double play which erased both baserunners. Michael Bourn struck out, game over.

Reds 3, Giants 9Giants 5, Reds 3: A weird doubleheader in which the Giants were the home team in the first one and the Reds were the home team in the nightcap, batting last and wearing their home uniforms and everything. Imagine my disappointment when I learned that both games were in AT&T Park and that the Reds had agreed to make up a home rainout in San Francisco as opposed to the teams chartering jets and traveling to Ohio in between games. There was a time in this country where people had vision and ambition and such a thing would not have seemed so crazy. Thanks, Obama.

Red Sox 6, Rays 2: An eight strikeout performance from Jon Lester, who was making the start on extra rest. He gave up two runs and seven hits with no walks in six and a third. He needed that.

Dodgers 10, Blue Jays 9: Toronto had a five-run lead in the sixth and piddled it away. Adrian Gonzalez hit a three-run homer, he Andre Ethier and Mark Ellis each had three RBI. Five straight for L.A., 22 of 27 overall.

Pirates 5, Nationals 1: Gerrit Cole had no problems with the Nats, pitching seven strong and driving in a run. The Nats have lost five straight. Jayson Werth after the game: “Things aren’t going our way and we’re not winning games. We need to find a way to win a game.” That’s some keen insight there, Jayson.

Mets 4, Braves 1: Bright side for the Nats: The Braves have sucked too. Carlos Torres allowed a leadoff homer to Andrelton Simmons but nothing else of consequence. I was so depressed watching this game that I turned it off and watched episode 6 of “Sherlock” for the fourth time or so. I feel like I know how Holmes did that thing at the end now. But thanks to the BBC I’ve been waiting over a year for the resolution and will be waiting a lot longer. British TV is weird.

Yankees 5, Rangers 4: Two runs off Joe Nathan in the ninth is not the sort of thing one can count on very often, but that’s what the Yankees got thanks to an RBI triple by Eduardo Nunez who was then driven in on a Brent Lillibridge single. Weirdest part: the tying run came in the form of Vernon Wells who actually drew a walk. He doesn’t do that terribly often.

Padres 6, Brewers 2: Nick Hundley was 3 for 4 with a homer and three RBI. Just before the game Milwaukee traded Francisco Rodriguez. This has been quite a week for unloading jerks in Milwaukee. Anyone gonna argue that the team now has better chemistry? Nah, of course not. They’re not winning.

Tigers 6, White Sox 2: Seven scoreless for Rick Porcello. The White Sox committed four errors. This one night after they had three. More like the Chicago White Slops, amirite?

Cardinals 4, Phillies 1: Make that three teams in the NL East “hunt” stinking up the joint. Shelby Miller struck out six in six shutout innings to nab his tenth win. Allen Craig drove in a couple. More like the NL Least, amirite?

OK, sorry. I’ll cut that out now.

Royals 3, Orioles 2: Bruce Chen is now 4-1 with a 1.97 ERA. Only two starts and a lot of relief work in that, but you have to assume these are showcase starts for a trade, right? Of course that assumes Dayton Moore knows what he’s doing.

Marlins 4, Rockies 2: No matter how poorly the P.R. end of the offseason purge was for the Marlins, you have to admit that this team is more interesting giving a showcase to the kids while losing than it is trotting out highly-paid veterans and losing. Jose Fernandez gave up two runs over seven innings while striking out eight. Christian Yelich makes his debut after yesterday’s callup going 3 for 4 with a couple driven in.

Astros 5, Athletics 4: A three-run ninth for the Astros, with runs scoring on a Matt Dominguez homer then a passed ball/throwing error combo gave them the walkoff win. It was Grant Balfour’s first blown save in a long, long time.

Diamondbacks 10, Cubs 4: A.J. Pollock doubled, tripled and drove in three, Eric Chavez tripled and drove in three and Patrick Corbin kept the Cubs more or less contained.

Twins 10, Angels 3: Your standard seven-run 10th inning, highlighted by a Chris Herrmann grand slam. Herrmann was filling in for Joe Mauer, who high-tailed it out of there for the birth of his twins.

Astros claim AL pennant with walk-off win against the Yankees

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Following a rollercoaster performance on Saturday, the Astros clinched the American League Championship Series with a decisive 6-4 walk-off win against the Yankees, claiming their second AL pennant and earning a well-deserved entrance to the World Series.

Both clubs decided to preserve possible Game 7 starters Luis Severino and Gerrit Cole, electing to have a “bullpen day” for a pivotal Game 6. Chad Green took the mound for the Yankees, tossing one inning before handing the ball off to a long line of relievers, while Brad Peacock‘s rare playoff start was capped at 1 2/3 innings. According to ESPN Stats & Info, that made it the first postseason game since 1999 in which neither starting pitcher lasted two innings or longer.

All told, the two clubs utilized a total of 13 pitchers to make it through nine innings. The Astros lost Ryan Pressly to a worrisome knee injury in the third, but were able to lean on José Urquidy for 2 2/3 innings of one-run, five-strikeout ball. Although Yankees’ bullpen fought back in every inning, they had considerable difficulty recovering from Yuli Gurriel‘s three-run homer off of Green in the bottom of the first:

Still, New York managed to get in a couple of knocks as well: first, with Gary Sanchez‘s RBI single in the second inning, then with Gio Urshela‘s 395-foot blast in the fourth inning — the second of his postseason career to date. That wasn’t enough to close the gap, however, and Alex Bregman‘s productive groundout in the sixth helped cushion the Astros’ lead as they headed toward the final few innings of the series.

That lead started to look a little shaky in the ninth. Only three outs away from a ticket to the World Series, Houston closer Roberto Osuna gave up a leadoff single to Urshela, which was quickly followed by a jaw-dropping, full-count, game-tying two-run shot from DJ LeMahieu that barely cleared the right field fence.

With the threat of extra innings and a potential loss looming, the Astros engineered a last-minute rally to regain the lead and stake their claim for the pennant. With two outs and no runners on, George Springer took a five-pitch walk from Aroldis Chapman. In the next at-bat, Houston pinned their hopes on José Altuve — and he didn’t disappoint, lifting a 2-1 slider out to left field for a 406-foot, two-RBI homer that confirmed the Astros’ series win.

The 2019 World Series will mark the third Fall Classic appearance for the Astros and the first for the Nationals. It all begins on Tuesday night.