And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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source: AP

Giants 3, Dodgers 2: Joe Panik hit a walkoff sacrifice fly which scored Gregor Blanco. But dudes, Blanco should’ve been called out just before that when he “stopped” at third base on Brandon Belt’s single. UPDATE: OK, I’ve re-read the rule a couple of times and watched the replay a couple of times, and my view of this now is that, despite the contact, Blanco should not have been called out because third base coach Roberto Kelly did not “physically assist” Blanco in getting back to the bag. Read the whole justification and watch the video of the play here. Anyway, this was a big cluster and people will be, quite understandably, arguing about it for a while.

Mets 3, Braves 2: The Mets will never lose again. Of this I am almost certain. That’s ten straight. Lucas Duda hit a go-ahead single in the eighth inning. Wilmer Flores of all friggin’ people hit a homer and drove in another run on a single. He has three on the year, actually. As for the Braves, it’s amazing how fast a brief hot start is forgotten and the expectations everyone has for you takes hold. Personally I was spared this spectacle as I went to go see The Mountain Goats in concert last night. There wasn’t much about baseball there — a lot about wrestling — but they did play one song that all Braves fans should keep at the ready between now and the first week of October:

Pirates 4, Cubs 3: The most remarkable thing about this game other than the facts that (a) it snowed a bit; and (b) Addison Russell got his first big league hit was the fact that the Pirates used Tony Watson for a two-inning save. And that itself wasn’t the most remarkable part. Clint Hurdle’s quote about it was:

“It wasn’t the plan to use Tony that long but it was a gritty performance on his part”

Rich Gossage just rolled over in his grave. And you may say “hey, Craig, Gossage isn’t dead.” He wasn’t, but he was watching the post-game presser, heard Hurdle say that and immediately died, so now he is and he’s rolling over because he still can’t even. Dan Quisenberry is dead, but he’s not rolling. He got friggin’ sick of all of that rolling and this point he just lies there, disgusted at what passes for gritty these days.

Twins 3, Royals 0: Mike Pelfrey pitched seven scoreless innings to notch his first win since 2013. The Twins scored all three runs in the first inning. Which is a good argument against time machines, really. If we had them someone, somewhere would’ve zapped ahead a couple of hours to see the outcome here, they would’ve texted someone at the ballpark about it, word would’ve spread and then there’d be no one there buying beer and hot dogs and crap. And that’s the real thing about time travel no one ever talks about. Sure, we hear all about, like, going back in time and killing your enemy’s grandfather so your enemy is never born or going forward and getting all of the box scores for the next decade, coming back and growing rich on your gambling “skill,” but the economic dislocation would be the biggest impact. That and everyone losing their ambition and will to live life going forward under the delusion that we can make things happen and otherwise affect some sort of positive change on this doomed world. Time machines would sap us of this fiction. We’d all die in our beds, as unmotivated to carry on as a bunch of flops in some 19th century opium den.

White Sox 6, Indians 0: Jeff Samardzija tossed six shutout innings, the bullpen kept it up for three more and Jose Abreu homered, doubled and drove in three. That is pretty much the Platonic Ideal of a Chicago White Sox win in 2015. They have, like, animated video simulations of this playing on monitors and glossy brochures in this freely available in the lobby of the White Sox offices for everyone to see.

Cardinals 7, Nationals 5: St. Louis jumped out to a 5-0 lead, let the Nats jump back to 5-5 and then pulled away in the eighth on a Kolten Wong double and added some insurance in the ninth because the Nats just don’t have a very good bullpen. Wong’s two-run homer was part of that jumping out part earlier and he ended up 3-for-4 on the night.

Marlins 6, Phillies 1: The Fish end their five-game losing streak. The Phillies are gonna end a lot of losing streaks this year, I reckon. Five unearned runs charged to the Phillies because, woof.

Blue Jays 4, Orioles 2: Homers from Devon Travis and Justin Smoak. Travis has four homers on the year and they’re gonna take the Rookie of the Year line off the board at whatever degenerate casinos allow degenerate gamblers to bet on stuff like “who will win Rookie of the Year.” Jays pitcher Aaron Sanchez walked seven guys. If you, like the Orioles here, walk seven times and lose, man, I can’t help you.

Yankees 13, Tigers 4: Six runs off David Price in the first inning ended this one before it began. Which is a shame given how cold it was — snowed here too — but the rules say you gotta play nine unless it rains. And Price sat in the dugout for all nine, even after he got pulled:

Price said he stayed in the dugout after being pulled, instead of retreating to the warmth of the Detroit clubhouse.

“You throw the ball as bad as I did and you give up more runs than you get outs, you don’t deserve to come up here,” Price said. “That’s why I stayed out there.”

Your sacrifice is bold and brave, good sir knight. Coffee is for closers, etc.

Rays 7, Red Sox 5: Tampa Bay was down 5-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth when Jake Elmore — who just got called up before the game — homered and Brandon Guyer hit a two-run, pinch-hit single in a four-run sixth inning. The Rays break a four-game losing streak. Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz homered in winning efforts in a losing cause.

Reds 2, Brewers 1: Billy Hamilton came home from third on a wild pitch with two outs in the ninth, sending the Brewers to their seventh straight loss. Maybe they need to listed to that Mountain Goats song. And make sure time machines aren’t invented. As for the Reds, that’s three straight wins since Bryan Price’s F-bomb dropping rant. One or two more of these and some jerk is gonna write the “Price’s rant motivated the Reds” column. I mean, there’s a non-zero chance I’m that jerk, but that won’t make such a column any less dumb.

Rockies 5, Padres 4: Corey Dickerson had two homers, with his second one serving to tie the game in the eighth inning. Then, in the ninth, pinch-hitter Daniel Descalso smacked an RBI single for the walkoff. Both Dickerson and Nolan Arenado were out of the game on Tuesday due to various ailments. Both came back last night and came up big. Dickerson for his bombs, Arenado for some of his patented stellar defense, an RBI double and his run scoring on Descalso’s walkoff single.

Diamondbacks 8, Rangers 5: Archie Bradley walked five in the first three innings of work, including one walk with the bases loaded. That normally doesn’t bode well for your evening, but he gutted it out, lasted six innings allowing that lone runs and got the win. Four double plays by the Dbacks’ D helped, as did Chris Owings homering and hitting an RBI single.

Athletics 9, Angels 2: A pitcher’s duel until the seventh when the A’s scored five. They added three more in the eighth. As for the duel part, Sonny Gray allowed one run over seven innings, besting Jered Weaver who allowed one run in six before handing it over to the Angels bullpen to poo all over.

Mariners 3, Astros 2: Houston loaded the bases with two outs in the eighth and put runners on the corners with one out in the ninth, both times coming away with zero runs. That’s how you lose games, folks. J.A. Happ allowed two runs in seven and a third in a much-needed strong start for the Mariners.

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

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — 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 five of six 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.