And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Dodgers 6, Twins 4: Zack Greinke struck out six and allowed no earned runs in six innings. He’s on a run of 18 straight starts in which he has gone five innings while allowing two runs or fewer and no one has done that since 1914.I would have bet my life that Bob Gibson or Greg Maddux or someone had done that before, but nope. This was the Dodgers’ 10,000th win as a franchise. Although, obviously many of those wins came before they moved to Los Angeles. Before that they were known as the Minneapolis Dodgers. George Mikan, coincidentally enough, was the guy who sit that five innings/two runs record back in 1914. True story.

Nationals 7, Astros 0: Anthony Rendon had four hits and was a triple short of the cycle. He’s from Houston and thus had a bunch of friends in the crowd, most of whom were his classmates at Rushmore Academy before he was expelled for attempting to break ground on an aquarium without the school’s approval and was forced to attend Grover Cleveland High. Also a true story.

Diamondbacks 5, Rockies 4: Miguel Montero with the walkoff homer in the tenth. He then spent 20 minutes after the game talking smack about the ball he hit and saying that, really, no one on the Diamondbacks was all that impressed with the ball before it was pitched. Open secret, really, and everyone is now better of that it’s gone. OK, in all seriousness? Montero DID slide into home on his walkoff bomb. Which seems like the sort of thing he’d complain about former teammates doing. Doesn’t seem very gritty and businesslike.

Cardinals 9, Brewers 3: The Cardinals avoid the sweep by winning this one in a laugher. Allen Craig homered, drove in three and had four hits and Matt Adams had a three-run bomb. Brewers catcher Martin Moldanado pitched the eighth inning, allowing only one hit, so good for him. Of course, back in the original days of the franchise — when they were known as the Ominowakiing Beermakers, then taking on the original Ojibwe Indian name for the area — catchers used to pitch to themselves and routinely had shutout performances. It was a very different game for a very different time. Once again, true story.

Cubs 9, Reds 4: Anthony Rizzo had a two-run homer and walked four times, helping pace the Cubs’ offensive output. I wonder if all the people who get on Joey Votto’s case watched Rizzo take all of those walks and admit to themselves that, hmm, maybe that kind of thing helps the team some?

Athletics 12, Rangers 1: The sweep. Which answers the Rangers’ sweep of Oakland last week. Four errors for the Rangers including two by Elvis Andrus. Jesse Chavez allowed only one hit in seven scoreless innings and struck out eight. The A’s are 6-0 when he starts.

Giants 3, Padres 2: Tim Hudson was on point, carrying a shutout into the ninth. Indeed, he had a Maddux going (a complete game with fewer than 100 pitches) only to give up a two-run homer to Yasmani Grandal on his 89th and final pitch of the game. Sergio Romo came in and got the last out on five pitches.

Royals 4, Blue Jays 2: Alcides Escobar is a glove man, but he had a two-run double in the seventh here to put the Royals ahead to stay. Eric Hosmer drove in the other two and Yordano Ventura pitched five shutout innings.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $45,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Thursday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $7,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on ThursdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Tigers 5, White Sox 1: Max Scherzer tossed six scoreless, winning his third start in a row. He then got into a feud with reporters for calling him “Max Scherzer” in the game story when he was specifically promised they would call him by his full first name of Maxwell.

Marlins 9, Braves 3: Aaron Harang entered the game with a 0.85 ERA. He left it with a 2.97 ERA after giving up nine runs on ten hits. He couldn’t make it through five innings. It’s the second straight night the Marlins have battered heretofore dominant Braves starters. It’s almost as if that deadball era pace they had been keeping wasn’t sustainable. Meanwhile, Atlanta has managed only five hits in the past two games, facing Nate Eovaldi and Jose Fernandez.

Angels 7, Indians 1: C.J. Wilson pitched two-hit ball over eight innings, striking out eight, walking one and retiring his last 18 batters. That’s six straight losses for the Indians. They seemed to concede this one pretty early too.

Mariners vs. Yankees; Pirates vs. Orioles; Rays vs. Red Sox; Mets vs. Phillies: POSTPONED:

In this decayed hole among the mountains
In the faint moonlight, the grass is singing
Over the tumbled graves, about the chapel
There is the empty chapel, only the wind’s home.
It has no windows, and the door swings,
Dry bones can harm no one.
Only a cock stood on the roof-tree
Co co rico co co rico
In a flash of lightning. Then a damp gust
Bringing rain
Ganga was sunken, and the limp leaves
Waited for rain, while the black clouds
Gathered far distant, over Himavant.
The jungle crouched, humped in silence.
Then spoke the thunder

Kershaw-Sale anything but a pitcher’s duel

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World Series Game 1 was billed as a battle of aces, the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw against Chris Sale of the Red Sox. Between them, they have 14 All-Star Game nominations. Kershaw has won three Cy Young Awards. Sale could his first Cy Young Award this year. Among his 10 seasons with at least 110 innings pitched, Kershaw has never posted a sub-2.92 ERA. Sale has been at 2.90 or below in each of the last two seasons. The two have combined for over 4,000 career strikeouts and both have averaged better than a strikeout per inning over their careers.

And yet Tuesday’s Game 1 was anything but a pitcher’s duel between Kershaw and Sale. Though a couple of fielding mistakes weren’t of any help to Kershaw in the first inning, Red Sox batters were squaring him up good. Of the five balls put in play in the first inning, three had exit velocities of 100 MPH or higher. Of the 12 total balls put in play against him overall, five reached triple digits in exit velo.

Kershaw gave up a pair of runs in the first, another run in the third on a J.D. Martinez double to straightaway center field, and another two in the fifth. Kershaw led off the fifth by walking Mookie Betts, then giving up a single to Andrew Benintendi, ending his night. Ryan Madson relieved Kershaw and proceeded to allow both inherited runners to score. All told, Kershaw yielded five runs on seven hits and three walks with five strikeouts on 79 pitches in four-plus innings.

Sale, meanwhile, was on the hook for individual runs in the second, third, and fifth. Dodger hitters weren’t squaring him up quite as well as the Red Sox batters squared up Kershaw, but Sale was still more hittable than usual. Of the eight balls put in play against him, four were at least 90 MPH in exit velo. One of the runs was a no-doubt solo home run to Matt Kemp in the second. The Dodgers chased Sale in the fifth when he issued a leadoff walk to Brian Dozier. Matt Barnes relieved him allowed the inherited runner to score. Overall, Sale threw 91 pitches in four-plus innings, serving up three runs on five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts.

The game is now, as has been generally the case throughout this postseason, a battle of the bullpens.