Giants 5, Diamondbacks 1: Yusmeiro Petit tossed a complete game with 84 pitches with only a solo homer blemishing things. Nine strikeouts. That has to be one of the most pitch-efficient complete games in recent history.
Tigers 4, Royals 2: And the Tigers tie the Royals. Anyone wanna tell me why Jarrod Dyson was stealing — or at least looking very much like he was stealing — third base with the Royals down two with two on and one out in the ninth? He ended up getting picked off/caught stealing. Have to assume that was a called play too, as Dyson was just inserted as a pinch runner before then. If it was called, and Dyson wasn’t just freelancing and/or falling asleep at the switch, it sorta tells you a lot about why Ned Yost was fired in late September the last time he had a team heading into the playoffs. It’s like you can hear him thinking “I’m gonna manage the HELL out of this game! I’m gonna make things happen!” Meanwhile, anyone not thinking that would’ve realized that Joe Nathan was on the mound, that he’s been shaky and that it’s way better to hit your way to a rally than to try to manufacture your way to one. Gee whiz.
Twins, 4, Indians 3: I’m not 100% sure when it was proper to stop talking about the Indians as if they were playoff contenders, but it was probably before this loss. In the event you were still holding out, however, I think this loss should take care of it for you. The Twins are using September rosters in a major way and trotted a guy out on the mound in Trevor May whose ERA was pushing ten, yet they rallied on offense in the fourth and May more or less shut down the Indians bats. It’s been nice but, eh.
Blue Jays 9, Cubs 2: It was close until the seventh, when Jose Bautista hit a go-ahead, three-run double. Toronto would tack on five insurance runs in the eighth. Bautista has a 13-game hitting streak. Makr Buehrle got the win, scattering ten hits. Reader Ross C. wrote me and said Buehrle’s appearance here made him feel old:
I had a moment today when I realized Buehrle was pitching against the Cubs, and that I still think of him as being with the White Sox. Which was only three years ago. Yet I still had to sit back and think of who on the Cubs would have even been on the roster when he was still with the Sox. Starlin Castro. And he was a rookie . . . The mere thought that Starlin Castro is the longest serving Cub.
I only bring up this moment because you frequently mention having moments similar to this in ATH. I just wanted you to know that you are not alone. There are support groups out there who can help you get through it, but unfortunately there is no cure.
I feel ya, Ross. I mean, I’m so old that I remember when digital watches were the stuff of mockery and U2 was actually good. Yet yesterday’s Apple stuff made that seem like a distant memory.
Nationals 6, Braves 4: The Nats sent nine hitters to the plate in the first inning and scored four runs. The Braves had their chances later, but as is so often the case with these guys, they did not take advantage of their chances. Early in the season and stretching into last season the Braves had had the Nats’ number. No more. Washington as won 5 of the last 7 against the Braves head-to-head. Not that these much matter to Washington at the moment. Their lead in the East is insurmountable. The Braves, though, have had every opportunity to make up ground in the wild card race but have continued to fail to do so.
Phillies 4, Pirates 3: The Phillies cool off the recently-hot Pirates as Maikel Franco hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning and Freddy Galvis singled, doubled and homered. Galvis stole a base, too. Pirates probably don’t need to worry, though, as no one behind them for the second wild card seems all that threatening at the moment.
Rays 4, Yankees 3: A play at the plate in the fifth inning in which Stephen Drew was tagged out was the first test of the new clarification to the collision rules at home plate. It seems like the umps failed the test. Drew was called out, with the umpires’ reasoning being, presumably, that the ball beat the runner by a decent amount of time, thereby allowing some leeway in the plate blocking rule. Except, no, this was not one of those situations where the tag was a formality. Drew had no place to go and Rays catcher Ryan Hanigan was clearly blocking. I have no idea how Drew isn’t called safe here. After the game Joe Girardi said that in the future he’ll tell his runners just to plow over the catcher in this situation. Hanigan didn’t disagree with that. Clean it up, guys.
Reds 9, Cardinals 5: Devin Mesoraco homered and drove in three runs as the Reds got a rare victory. After the game Bryan Price said “the good thing was we stayed resilient.” Yeah, sorry Bryan, but the Reds’ second half has been a lot of things but “resilient” is not one of them.
Mets 2, Rockies 0: Jacob deGrom continues to be as impressive as all get-out. He tossed eight innings of three-hit, shutout ball while striking out nine. He’s 8-6 with a 2.62 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 121/39 in 127.1 innings. I imagine laziness and early season memories will help Billy Hamilton get a lot of Rookie of the Year votes, but I’m not sure how anyone can argue that deGrom isn’t the better choice.
Marlins 6, Brewers 3: Milwaukee continues its epic skid. Tied at three, Casey McGehee and Marcel Ozuna went back-to-back. Milwaukee is still tied with Atlanta, one and a half behind Pittsburgh for the second wild card.
Orioles 4, Red Sox 1: Alejandro De Aza hit two homers in the first three innings and Adam Jones tacked on one of his own in the third. Chris Tillman and four relievers shut down the mailing-it-in-Red Sox.
Padres 6, Dodgers 3: San Diego snaps a six-game skid. Andrew Cashner pitched seven innings, allowing two runs and scattering nine hits for his first win since April.
Angels 9, Rangers 3: A seven-run eighth inning put this one away. The Angels score runs in an era when no one scores runs. That’s a big deal. They’ve won 12 of 14 and have scored 55 runs in their current six-game winning streak.
Athletics 11, White Sox 2: That will shut up the critics for a day, I guess. Jon Lester allowed only two runs over eight innings. Josh Donaldson was 5 for 6 and drove in four via an RBI double and RBI single.
Astros 2, Mariners 1: Jonathan Villar hit a tiebreaking single in the ninth and Collin McHugh pitched eight strong innings to pick up the win. Even with a fired manager and another losing season, it’s good to see the Astros not phoning it in.