And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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For those who care, I had an excellent weekend at the Kentucky Derby. Well, in terms of fun and mint julep drinking anyway. My gambling didn’t go so hot. I tried to find baseball-related bets wherever I could find them. The Derby itself had two that caught my eye: General A Rod which, for cryin’ out loud, if I’m not betting on that horse I’m not betting at all. Also: Commanding Curve, which I bet on for Clayton Kershaw reasons. A Rod was, not surprisingly, history’s greatest monster, finishing 11th. Commanding Curve placed, but I bet on him to win. I also threw a karma bet to Vicar’s In Trouble because I liked that he had a woman jockey. He finished 19th out of 19 so, well, blah.

I won with the bourbon every single time, however. I also looked absolutely effing amazing in my Derby finery, so it was a successful weekend. If you want to read my extended thoughts on the Derby and my weekend there, feel free to head over to this writeup at my personal blog. Now, on to the baseball:

Rays 5, Yankees 1: A standup, three-run inside-the-park home run for Wil Myers. Which, hey, great for him. But can someone tell me where the heck Carlos Beltran was as that play was unfolding and why it took him so long to get to the ball after Ellsbury missed it? I know we don’t call errors when fielders some nowhere near the ball — and even if we did, it’s not like any reasonable system would actually charge Beltran with an error here such that Myers was deprived of his homer — but there is no way on Earth that play goes down like that if Beltran is properly playing his position. Guess it doesn’t matter, though given that the Yankees could only muster one run off Erik Bedard and the Rays’ pen. And that CC Sabathia gave up ten hits and couldn’t even make it out of the fourth.

White Sox 4, Indians 3: With the Tribe leading 3-1 in the ninth, Dayan Viciedo hit a three-run homer off John Axford. That’s a big ol’ “WELP” for the home crowd. Up to that point Corey Kluber had allowed only one run on three hits in eight innings while striking out 13, including one point where he struck out seven White Sox in a row. That and 50 cents gets him a bag of chips. Hell, may not even get him a bag of chips these days. I haven’t worked in an office with vending machines for a long time. What do chips cost?

Marlins 5, Dodgers 4: Giancarlo Stanton homered twice and drove in three and Jeff Baker hit the game-winning single to help the Marlins walk off in the ninth. The ball ricocheted off the wall and hit Yasiel Puig in the face as he went up to try to make the grab. He needed help getting off the field. Jose Fernandez was said to be lacking his normal command yesterday but still struck out ten dudes and was in line for the win until the pen blew it.

Giants 4, Braves 1: A week ago yesterday the Braves won a 1-0 game in ten innings and baseball scribes looking for something to write settled on “The Braves are surging and their rotation is frickin’ awesome,” or words to that effect. They haven’t won a game since. Brandon Crawford’s two home runs and Madison Bumgarner’s six strong innings sent the Braves down to their six straight defeat. They’ve scored ten runs in those six losses. Meanwhile, the Giants have won five straight and nine of ten.

Blue Jays 7, Pirates 2: A Colby Rasmus grand slam in the second and a Melky Cabrera two-run homer in the fifth made this one a laugher. Rasmus doubled and singled too, putting him [altogether now] a triple short of the cycle. With it the Blue Jays prevent the Pirates from sweeping, but they’ve still lost nine of thirteen.

Twins 5, Orioles 2: The Twins take two of three from Baltimore with the help of a bases-loaded walk and a two-run triple from Kurt Suzuki and six and two-thirds surprisingly good innings from Phil Hughes. Joe Mauer left the game with back spasms. He’s day-to-day.

Athletics 3, Red Sox 2Yoenis Cespedes drove in the go-ahead run with a bases-loaded single in the 10th helping the A’s avert a sweep. Jim Johnson saved it in the tenth with the help from a sweet play by Daric Barton to gun down Will Middlebrooks at third base and then from a game-ending double play to squelch the would-be rally.

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

Mets 5, Rockies 1: Gee. No, GTE. No, Gee, you old man who remembers more 1980s and 90s TV commercials than he does stuff someone told him an hour ago. Dillon Gee with six shutout innings. Which I originally wrote as “shoutout innings,” which would have been cool too.

Mariners 8, Astros 7: Robinson Cano and Willie Bloomquist each drove in two, helping Collin McHugh to is first major league humbling in this three-start season (4 IP, 8 H, 5 ER).

Padres 4, Diamondbacks 3: The Padres avoid the sweep. Even in the loss, though, the Dbacks have to be pretty encouraged by their weekend.

Reds 4, Brewers 3: Tenth inning, score tied at 3 with two outs. Chris Heisey draws a four-pitch walk from Tyler Thornburgh and Todd Frazier follows with the game-winning double. Three of four for the Reds. If the Brewers have another series or two like this no one will be asking all of those “are the Brewers for real?” questions.

Tigers 9, Royals 4: Justin Verlander had a no-hitter into the sixth and was staked to a 7-0 lead before he faltered. So, no, this one was not in doubt. Torii Hunter drove in three with a couple of RBI singles.

Phillies 1, Nationals 0: Seven and a third shutout innings for Fauxsto Carmona, besting Gio Gonzalez in a pitchers’ duel. A Chase Utley RBI single in the first was all of the scoring in this one.

Rangers 14, Angels 3: Two RBI doubles for Prince Fielder and four RBI including a three-run homer for Michael Choice to lead the Rangers’ hit parade. Not the prettiest outing ever for Yu Darvish but with that kind of run support he could afford it. Ugly all around for the Halos.

Cardinals 5, Cubs 4: Too exhausted to do anything put put up the score. I’ll update the specifics in the morning.

 

Cardinals beat Brewers, both clinch postseason berths

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
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ST. LOUIS (AP) Harrison Bader tripled and homered to help the St. Louis Cardinals clinch a postseason berth on the final day of the regular season with a 5-2 win over Milwaukee, and the Brewers also earned a playoff spot Sunday via help on the West Coast moments later.

St. Louis (30-28) will be the fifth seed in the NL and open a three-game wild-card series at San Diego on Wednesday. By winning, the Cardinals avoided having to travel to Detroit for two makeup games Monday. St. Louis finished the regular season with 23 games in 18 days as it made up a slew of postponements caused by a coronavirus outbreak in the clubhouse.

“You had to throw some of the expectations out the window not knowing what to expect after taking those couple weeks off and all those doubleheaders and so many new guys,” Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt said. “It was very different, very fulfilling to make the playoffs.”

The Brewers (29-31) locked up the eighth seed and a third consecutive postseason berth after the Padres beat San Francisco 5-4 in a game that ended about 15 minutes after St. Louis’ victory. The Giants finished with an identical record as the Brewers but lost out on a tiebreaker due to an inferior intradivision record.

“It’s fitting for 2020 and everything we went through,” Brewers left fielder Christian Yelich said. “It felt just as good as past years. This year’s a unique one. There’s so many challenges we had to go through on a daily basis behind the scenes, things you don’t deal with in a normal year.”

Milwaukee will face the top-seeded Dodgers in Los Angeles in a three-game series that also starts Wednesday.

The Brewers haven’t had a winning record at any point this season. Milwaukee and Houston will be the first teams ever to qualify for the playoffs with a losing mark.

“It’s a celebration,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “We’re in the playoffs. That’s how you see it. There’s no reason to apologize for getting into the playoffs.”

Cardinals starter Austin Gomber allowed one run, one hit and two walks and struck out three over four innings.

Giovanny Gallegos (2-0), Genesis Cabrera and Alex Reyes combined to pitch the final five innings. Reyes got his first save.

“We’d have been happy getting in as the eight seed,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. “We’d have been happy being the one seed, but people can say we got in if there was no expanded playoffs so that’s even another feather in this group’s cap.”

Brett Anderson (4-4) surrendered a triple to Bader and a walk to Tyler O'Neill to start the third inning before departing with a blister on his left index finger. Anderson opened the season on the injured list with a blister on the same finger and did not make his debut until Aug. 3.

Freddy Peralta replaced him a day after being activated from the paternity list, and O’Neill promptly stole second. Kolten Wong then hit a line drive off Peralta’s leg that Peralta threw into right field to score Bader and O’Neill.

Paul Goldschmidt and Paul DeJong each added RBI singles to push the St. Louis lead to 4-0.

After Milwaukee scored in the top of the fifth, Bader hit his fifth home run of the season.

“That was a big counterpunch,” Shildt said of Bader. “Got them on their heels again.”

THREE TIMES THE FUN

Yadier Molina grounded into a triple play in the eighth inning when he hit a one hop grounder to Jace Peterson at third base in the eighth inning. It was Milwaukee’s first triple play since Sept. 23, 2016, when Cincinnati’s Joey Votto lined out to first base. Molina was also the last Cardinals player to hit into a triple play when he grounded out to third base at Boston on Aug. 15, 2017.

TRAINING ROOM

Brewers: Counsell said it was too early to prognosticate Anderson’s status after departing with the blister.

Cardinals: St. Louis president of baseball operations John Mozeliak announced that RHP Dakota Hudson will have Tommy John surgery on his right elbow Monday. Hudson went 3-2 with a 2.77 ERA in eight starts before leaving his start on Sept. 17 at Pittsburgh with right elbow discomfort after two innings.

UP NEXT

Brewers: The Brewers head to Los Angeles and will likely be without two of their top starters in Anderson and Corbin Burnes, who sustained a left oblique injury on Thursday.

Cardinals: This will be the fourth postseason series between St. Louis and San Diego, who faced each other in 1996, 2005, and 2006 in the Division Series.