Getty Images

And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

26 Comments

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Braves 5, Dodgers 3Tyler Flowers hit a tiebreaking, pinch-hit, two-run home run in the eighth inning to give the Braves the victory.  The Dodgers have lost only three games since the All-Star break. All three have come against the Braves, strangely enough. L.A. lead this one 3-2 in the fifth but still lost. That’s not a shocking thing based on the score alone — a lot of teams lost games when they had one-run leads at one point — but it is the first time in 54 games that the Dodgers lost a game that, at one point or another, they had once led. That was an all-time record.

Rangers 5, Mariners 1: For the second straight night Joey Gallo hit a crazy-long homer to center in Arlington. Gallo’s take on these monster dongs: “I just feel like I’m getting a pitch to hit and not missing it.” Thanks for the insight, Joey. Delino DeShields and Elvis Andrus also homered. Presumably they too were just looking for a pitch to hit. Seriously, though, just once would I like to hear a baseball player say “Man, I knocked the living crap outta that ball! Just DESTROYED that bad boy! New it as soon as I swung too. Hot damn!”

Diamondbacks 3, Cubs 0: Six shutout innings from Dbacks starter Zack Godley. I’d like him to throw a no-hitter one day so I can use the headline “More like Zack GodMODE, amirite?” Jake Lamb drove in all three of the Snakes’ runs.

Cardinals 5, Brewers 4: Molina hit two solo home runs. He also doubled. After the game, Kolten Wong said this about Molina:

“He is our captain, he is our leader, he is the St. Louis Cardinals. We are going to hop on his back whenever he is going. He is our man. When he goes, we go.”

It’s hard, based on the couple of Instagram incidents of the past week in which Molina has undercut Mike Matheny, to not hear stuff like that as players taking a side.

Twins 5, Padres 2: Ervin Santana tossed a complete game — his fifth on the year — while allowing two runs on four hits and striking out nine. His five complete games lead all of baseball. Right now two guys, Max Scherzer and Ivan Nova, are tied for the NL lead with two. Never in baseball history has a league leader in CGs had fewer than four. On five occasions in baseball history has a league leader in complete games had exactly four: NL and AL 2015; AL 2013; NL 2009 and NL 2007. Which means that, yeah, the NL leader this year may have the lowest number complete games for a league leader in baseball history.

Tigers 2, Yankees 0: Jordan Zimmermann tosses seven shutout innings and — after a three hour rain delay — Bruce Rondon and Shane Greene handle the final two innings to complete the job. I guess the Tigers should’ve just traded away their best reliever in April if they wanted to stabilize their bullpen. Justin Upton and James McCann drove in the Tigers runs.

Orioles 6, Royals 0: Jeremy Hellickson shuts the Royals out for seven and Mychal Givens and Darren O'Day handle the rest of it. I wonder if the Tigers pitching staff plans to sue the Orioles’ pitching staff for copyright infringement over all of this. Tim Beckham doubled in one run and tripled in another. Nice day for the O’s new pickups.

Reds 5, Pirates 2: A Jesse Winker solo homer broke a 2-2 tie in the seventh and an Adam Duvall two-run homer in the ninth gave the Redlegs some insurance. Winker’s homer came off of Joaquin Benoit. Not a nice day for the Pirates’ new pickup. Not a nice couple weeks or so for the Pirates as a team, really. They had a six-game winning streak that got some people raising their eyebrows a while back and since then they’ve lost eight of ten.

Marlins 7, Nationals 0: Vance Worley tossed seven shutout innings allowing only two hits and Christian Yelich and Derek Dietrich hit homers. Yelich drove in three in all. Giancarlo Stanton ended the game with a home run robbery.

Blue Jays 5, White Sox 1: J.A. Happ struck out ten dudes in seven innings. Steve Pearce and Josh Donaldson hit homers and Justin Smoak reached base three times. The Jays have won three of four. The Blue Jays now get their first day off since the All-Star break. They have to spend it in Houston, but I guess it’ll still be OK.

 

 

Rays 3, Astros 0: Austin Pruitt and three relievers combined to shut out the Astros. It’s the second time in a week that the Astros — who lead all of baseball in scoring — have been shut out in a week. Everyone goes through stretches like this. Houston would obviously rather have it happen in early August with a 15-game division lead than in early October in a best-of-five series.

Mets 10, Rockies 5: The Rockies had a 5-0 lead heading into the fourth. Then they watched the Mets plate ten runs over the next three innings while they themselves would not score again. Curtis Granderson hit a tiebreaking, three-run homer in the sixth, Jay Bruce homered and Asdrubal Cabrera had three hits.

Angels 7, Phillies 0: All seven Angels runs came in the third inning with five of them coming via three longballs. Mike Trout and C.J. Cron hit two-run shots and Kaleb Cowart hit a solo shot. JC Ramirez tossed eight shutout innings, scattering six hits.

Athletics 6, Giants 1Daniel Gossett allowed one run on three hits over seven innings and got plenty of offense to back him. Ryon Healy homered Jed Lowrie doubled twice and scored, Matt Chapman got two hits and an RBI and Chad Pinder singled twice

Indians vs. Red Sox — POSTPONED: No lyrics today, but there’s a good reason for it:

Young Blue Jays say they aren’t intimidated by top seed Rays

Blue Jays roster and schedule
Getty Images
Leave a comment

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) When the Tampa Bay Rays and Toronto Blue Jays opened the pandemic-delayed season a little over two months ago, there was little to indicate the AL East rivals might meet again to begin the playoffs.

While the Rays launched the truncated 60-game schedule with expectations of making a strong bid for their first division title in a decade, the Blue Jays generally were viewed as an immensely talented young team still years away from postseason contention.

Tampa Bay didn’t disappoint, shrugging off a slow start to go a league-best 40-20 and claim the No. 1 seed in the AL playoffs that begin Tuesday.

Lefty Blake Snell, who’ll start Game 1 of the best-of-three wild-card series against Toronto at Tropicana Field, also isn’t surprised that the eighth-seeded Blue Jays earned a spot, too.

The Rays won six of 10 games between the teams during the regular season, but were outscored 48-44 and outhomered 17-11.

And while Toronto (32-28) lacks the playoff experience Tampa Bay gained last season when the Rays beat Oakland in the AL wild-card game before falling to Houston in the divisional round, the Blue Jays are building with exciting young players such as Cavan Biggio, Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

“They’ve got a lot of young guys who can ball over there,” Snell said. “It’s going to be fun to compete and see how we do.”

Rays defensive whiz Kevin Kiermaier said Tampa Bay, in the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the second time franchise history, will not take the Blue Jays lightly.

“We know we’re playing a real good team,” Kiermaier said. “It’s not going to be easy, regardless of what a team is seeded.”

The Blue Jays, who’ll start right-hander Matt Shoemaker, aren’t conceding anything.

Bichette said he and his teammates respect how good Tampa Bay is, but are not intimidated by facing the No. 1 seed.

“I would say that we didn’t care who we played. I would say that we didn’t mind playing Tampa, that’s for sure. We’re familiar with them. We’ve played them well,” Bichette said.

“I think we’re confident in our ability against them. Our talent matches up well,” Bichette added. “We think if we play well we’ve got a good chance.”

NO FANS

The stands at Tropicana Field will be empty, leaving players to wonder what the atmosphere will be like for the playoffs.

Tampa Bay routinely rank at or near the bottom of the majors in attendance, but usually pack the stands in the domed stadium during the postseason.

“It will be different,” Bichette said. “Normally when you think of your first postseason you think 40,000, you think about not being able to think it’s so loud, stuff like that.”

The Blue Jays open the playoffs near where they hold spring training in Dunedin, Florida. It’s been a winding road for Toronto, which played its home games in Buffalo, New York, at the site of its Triple-A affiliate after the Canadian government barred the Blue Jays from hosting games at their own stadium because of coronavirus concerns.

CONFIDENT RAYS

Tampa Bay’s five-game loss to Houston in last year’s divisional round was a source of motivation during the regular season.

“It definitely lit a fire under everybody. It really showed us we belong. … We gave them a tough series,” second baseman Brandon Lowe said.

“We won the wild-card game. We belong in the postseason. I think that did a lot for us to understand that we should be in the postseason and we can go a lot farther. We know what to expect this time around. I think everyone in our clubhouse expects to be playing until the end of October,” he said.

CLOSE FRIENDS

Tampa Bay manager Kevin Cash has the Rays in the playoffs for the second time. His close friend and former Rays third base and bench coach Charlie Montoyo is in his second year as manager of the Blue Jays, who last made the playoffs in 2016.

“Pretty special,” Cash said of his relationship with Montoyo.

“I really learned a lot from him being around him. The way he carried himself. His hand print is throughout this organization,” Cash added. “A pretty big impact and a positive one. … When they clinched I talked to him, we face-timed at 1:30 in the morning. I’m so happy for him.”