And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Cubs 2, Dodgers 0: The second no-hitter against the Dodgers in 10 days, this one courtesy of Jake Arrieta. The best part of this is that the final inning required him to strike out two past-their-prime former Phillies stars. No, wait, the best part of this was not having to listen to Curt Schilling weigh in on it as it was happening. Arrieta, for what it is worth, is now 17-6 with a 2.11 ERA on the year. The only two guys in the NL who have as good or better a shot at him for the Cy Young Award this year were watching this from the opposing team’s dugout. Our coverage of the no-no can be read here and here.

And yes, he’s wearing pajamas in this pic. Joe Maddon had one of his crazy-Joe Maddon getaway dressup days he’s famous for, which is why Arrieta had to give interviews about the biggest moment of his professional life while wearing longjohns with mustaches on them.

Blue Jays 9, Tigers 2: Four more homers for the Blue Jays including another one from the on-fire Edwin Encarnacion. That gives the Jays 184 homers on the year. That’s seven more than they had as a team all last year and it ain’t even September yet. Russell Martin after the game:

“If this isn’t the feel of a championship team, I don’t know what is. I feel like we’re great offensively, we’re great on defense, we’re pitching great, our bullpen has depth. I like what we have going right now.”

If the baseball was a 19th century melodrama, now would be the time someone would contract a case of dreaded consumption. Or maybe a dark figure would emerge from the Blue Jays’ collective past to bring shame upon them in the community, forcing them to retire to a dark room in their mansion as recluses.

Mets 5, Red Sox 4: The Mets avert a sweep. Michael Cuddyer was 3-for-3 with a walk and singled in the go-ahead run in the seventh. Juan Uribe had a big hit too. If you knew nothing else about the Mets season and I told you a year ago that Uribe and Cuddyer would be big Mets offensive weapons in the second half of 2015 you’d probably assume they were 23 games out of first place or something, yet here they are.

Indians 9, Angels 2: Abraham Almonte hit a grand slam and Josh Tomlin was solid, leading the Indians to their fifth straight win. The Angels, meanwhile, have dropped three in a row, are at .500 and stand three and a half out of the second wild card position. On any other team people would be talking about Mike Scioscia being fired after the season, but I’d sooner expect Arte Moreno to force a Mike Trout trade than to see that happen.

Rays 3, Royals 2: The Rays salvage one against K.C. thanks in part to Brandon Guyer and Kevin Kiermaier homers. That was the first win by Tampa Bay over the Royals in the seven games they’ve played them this season.

Yankees 20, Braves 6: Well that was an ugly slaughter. You may think that this bothers me, but nah. I’m all-in on the Braves tanking the rest of year. They’re only two and a half games “behind” in the race for the number one pick next year. Yes, there are four teams “ahead” of them and it’s always hard to “climb” over that many teams in the season’s final month, but I have “confidence” in this “baseball team.”

Nationals 7, Marlins 4: Jayson Werth homered and drove in three and the Nats came back after being down by three to in by three. Three three three three.

Padres 9, Phillies 4: James Shields got the win. It was his first road win since May. Hey, I wouldn’t want to leave San Diego if I lived there either, so it’s hard to blame him. Matt Kemp, Justin Upton and Yangervis Solarte all hit homers as the Padres avoid a season sweep by the Phillies. Which would’ve been a somewhat more dubious proposition than the Rays being swept for the season by the Royals.

Rockies 5, Pirates 0: Jorge De La Rosa tossed six shutout innings and struck out seven. The Rockies scored their runs on a double, a triple and a two-run throwing error by Pirates pitcher Charlie Morton. That’s a homer, a single and a bases-loaded walk short of the dubious outing cycle.

White Sox 6, Mariners 5: The White Sox tied it in the ninth thanks in part to to a Brad Miller throwing error and than walked it off in the eleventh inning with a Tyler Saladino RBI single. David Robertson tossed two scoreless innings in relief and got the win. That’ll be the upper right hand story in the Closer Newsletter this week. Subscribers will be thrilled with that tale of transgression, adventure and the limits of human endurance.

Brewers 4, Reds 1: Wily Peralta pitched seven strong innings. Of course these days your aunt Tilly could pitch seven strong innings against the Reds. Do people have aunt Tillys anymore? Did they ever?

Twins 7, Astros 5: Ervin Santana struck out ten Astros in seven shutout innings and got the win even though his bullpen tried to sabotage him in the ninth, allowing a five-run Astros rally. Eduardo Nunez and Miguel Sano homered. Sano is hitting .287/.398/.591 on the year with 13 homers in only 49 games. That’s something like a 42 homer pace for a full season. Sano is 22-years-old.

Rangers 6, Orioles 0:Derek Holland is giving the Rangers exactly what they need as they push for the wild card. Here he struck out 11 in a three-hit complete game shutout. Baltimore is now closer to Boston and Detroit in the AL standings than they are to the second wild card.

Cardinals 7, Giants 5: Brandon Moss, Matt Carpenter and Mark Reynolds all hit homers as the Giants drop two of three to the Cardinals. A lot of people are talking about how the Dodgers are a struggling mess, and they sort of are, but the Giants aren’t exactly taking advantage of it.

Athletics 7, Diamondbacks 4: Marcus Semien hit a two-run bases loaded single with two outs in the top of the 11th. Pat Venditte, the switch-pitcher, got his first ever major league win.

Nationals complete NLCS sweep of Cardinals, punch ticket to World Series

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The Nationals will officially appear in the World Series for the first time in franchise history. The team that had a 19-31 record in late May, putting manager Dave Martinez on the hot seat, improbably fought back to snag a Wild Card slot, won the play-in game, beat the heavily-favored Dodgers in five games in the NLDS, and polished off a sweep of the Cardinals in the NLCS on Tuesday night, winning 7-4.

After Patrick Corbin tossed a scoreless top of the first inning, the Nationals’ offense wasted no time getting to work. Single, double, sacrifice fly, RBI double, intentional walk, reach on error, RBI single, two-run single, sacrifice bunt, two-run single. That’s how the Nats hung a seven-spot in the opening frame against Dakota Hudson and Adam Wainwright.

To the Cardinals’ credit, they cleaned things up from there. The Nationals would not score for the rest of the game while the Cardinals clawed back for a run in the fourth before plating three runs in the fifth. Yadier Molina went yard off of Corbin in the fourth. In the fifth, a Tommy Edman ground out and a José Martínez two-run double accounted for the Cardinals’ runs in the fifth.

Corbin ultimately gave up the four runs on four hits and three walks with, impressively, 12 strikeouts across five innings of work. Tanner Rainey worked a 1-2-3 sixth. Sean Doolittle did the same in the seventh.

Doolittle remained in the game in the eighth, getting the first two outs before relenting a single to Marcell Ozuna. Right-hander Daniel Hudson entered for the four-out save opportunity. Hudson hit Molina with a fastball, bringing the tying run to the plate in the form of Paul DeJong. DeJong worked a full count, then walked to load the bases. Pinch-hitter Matt Carpenter emerged from the dugout to take his cuts against Hudson. After five tense pitches to Carpenter, Hudson got him to ground out to second base to end the inning.

The Nats went down quick in the bottom of the eighth. Hudson emerged from the dugout to send the Nationals into the World Series. He did just that, getting Kolten Wong to fly out to shallow left field for the first out. Matt Wieters popped up to the catcher in fair territory for out number two. At long last, Edman flied out to center field. Nationals win 7-4.

The only other time the franchise reached the Championship Series was in 1981 when the Expos lost three games to two to the Dodgers. The Expos/Nationals then went from 1982-2011 without a playoff appearance. The Nationals lost four Division Series appearances in a row in 2012, ’14, and ’16-17, three of which went the maximum five games. Now they’re in the World Series, improbably. They will await the winner of the ALCS, which the Astros currently lead 2-1.