Settling the Scores: Tuesday’s results

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source: AP

Dodgers 2, Giants 1: I don’t believe in “statement games” in baseball because I don’t believe baseball works like that. The season is too long and too random and there are just too many variables involved for any one person, let alone 25 people, to be able to collectively will themselves to a notable victory in some particular, certain terms. When we say such-and-such a game was a “statement game” in the sense that the players actually came out with the specific intent to make a specific statement, we’re grafting post-hoc narrative onto things.

That being said — and at the risk of splitting hairs — I do think we can note when a game, however it was approached by the player or team, did, in fact, make a statement via the results of things. This, it seems to me is one of those games. The statements being made:

  • Zack Greinke is winning the dang Cy Young Award; and
  • The Dodgers, however flawed and injured they may be, ain’t letting the Giants off the mat. Not this year.

Gereinke outdueled Bumgarner, tossing one-run ball into the eighth to Bumgarner’s two-run ball over seven. The Dodgers have won seven of eight and have a five and a half game lead over San Francisco. And, for all of the talk about how Madison Bumgarner is better than Clayton Kershaw in the big games, it’s worth noting that Greinke is 7-0 in seven starts against the Giants since coming to the Dodgers before the 2013 season. That’s not the sort of thing that defines a pitcher or his greatness, but if, like a lot of Giants fan, you think that head-to-head stuff is super important, give credit where it is due.

Sorry for the abbreviated recaps today. Some morning things are happening at Chez Craig. The rest of last night’s results are below. Box scores here.

Diamondbacks 6, Rockies 4; Diamondbacks 5, Rockies 3
Rays 11, Orioles 2
Blue Jays 5, Indians 3
Yankees 3, Red Sox 1
Marlins 7, Braves 1
Phillies 14, Mets 8
Cubs 5, Reds 4
Tigers 6, Royals 5
Brewers 7, Pirates 4
Twins 8, White Sox 6
Mariners 7, Astros 5
Cardinals 8, Nationals 5 — yeah, this will get its own post later.
Angels 6, Athletics 2
Rangers 8, Padres 6

A.J. Hinch: “If it was any other time of the year, [José Altuve] wouldn’t be in the lineup.”

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It has been evident throughout the playoffs that Astros second baseman José Altuve’s right knee is bothering him. Altuve battled a right knee issue in July, then banged it up again in Game 2 of the ALDS and it’s been a problem ever since.

Manager A.J. Hinch said that if it were the regular season, he wouldn’t put Altuve in the lineup. Per MLB.com’s Richard Justice, the full quote:

He’s hurt. And if it was any other time of the year, he wouldn’t be in the lineup or wouldn’t be playing. He’d probably be on the DL. … But he’s showing up every day in good spirits, ready to go, giving 100 percent of what he’s got. He should be commended.

Hinch also said of Altuve, “His teammates revere him. The production that he’s doing on one leg is pretty incredible. And he’s trying not to talk about it. And therefore I am.”

During the ALCS, Altuve has hit .250/.368/.313 in 16 at-bats. He has just one extra-base hit but he has racked up three singles and drawn three walks while scoring four runs. Hinch has had Marwin González start at second base Games 3 and 4 and is doing so again on Thursday night in Game 5.