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And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Brewers 2, Reds 1: Eleven total innings, twelve total hits and thirteen total pitchers led to only three total runs, the last of which came on a Lorenzo Cain dinger in the final inning to give Milwaukee the win. This a day after these two beat the tar out of each other. Baseball, man.

Indians 5, Twins 3: Jason Kipnis hit a three-run homer in the Tribe’s four-run sixth inning to break a 2-2 tie. Mike Clevinger pitched into the seventh allowing only two unearned runs. Both of those unearned runs, however, came on a two-run homer that, no matter what preceded it, was Clevinger’s fault. Which just bolsters my long-held view that earned/unearned runs are mostly bullcrap and that we should just call every run earned unless the run literally would not score absent some Three Stooges action. Which, yes, I will define in the rules if I am made Commissioner.

Tigers 8, Yankees 7: Victor Martinez tied the game in the ninth with a two-run homer — his second homer and this third and fourth RBIs of the game — and the very next batter, Niko Goodrum, put the Tigers up for goodrum with a solo shot. That was possibly the last great night of Martinez’s fine career, which is likely to end in a month. Nice to see him have (at least) one more moment of glory. Anyway, both of the ninth inning homers came off Dellin Betances. Think the Yankees miss Aroldis Chapman?

Cardinals 5, Pirates 0: Six Cardinal pitchers combine to shut out the Buccos, led by John Gant who started and took the shutout into the sixth. Gant homered too, as did Harrison Bader. Jose Martinez drove in two on a single. The Cardinals have won 17 of 21 and have won ten consecutive series.

Cubs 5, Braves 4: Chicago took a 3-0 lead early, lost the lead in the fifth when Freddie Freeman tripled in two and Kurt Suzuki knocked in a run but Tommy La Stella‘s two-run pinch-hit homer in the sixth brought the Cubs back to a one-run lead that held up over the final four frames. Chicago won for the eighth time in nine games, Atlanta lost for the fourth time in six.

Red Sox 9, White Sox 4: Sox win! Some late inning drama on a night with a good deal of it. Mookie Betts tied it with a two-run homer in the seventh and then in the ninth the Sox rallied for five thanks to RBI singles from Jackie Bradley Jr. and Andrew Benintendi and a three-run homer from J.D. Martinez capping things off. The Red Sox have dominated all year, but lately they’ve shown that they can come back late too. Indeed, they’ve trailed late in each of their last three games yet have won each time.

Angels 5, Astros 2: For the second game in a row Tyler White homered in the ninth inning but when your team is down 5-0 that’s not quiiiiite as dramatic as a walkoff situaish. That deficit came largely courtesy of Andrelton Simmons, who hit a bases-loaded double in the sixth inning which plated all three runners and gave the Halos a 4-0 lead that proved to be enough.

Mariners 7, Athletics 1: Unlike many of the other games last night this one featured an early rally rather than a late one, with the M’s plating five in the opening inning, all on a couple of singles, a bases loaded walk and an error. Somehow A’s starter Frankie Montas stayed in the game after that and didn’t allow too much more damage, but Wade LeBlanc wasn’t allowing any damage for Seattle, twirling seven shutout innings. The Mariners pulled to four and a half games of the A’s for the second Wild Card. Oakland remains two and a half back of Houston in the AL West.

Diamondbacks 3, Dodgers 1: The Dodgers came into this big series hot but the Dbacks cooled them down and pushed their lead over L.A. back to two games. All of Arizona’s runs came on a three-run homer from David Peralta in the fifth inning. Manny Machado hit a solo shot in the sixth but that’s all Robbie Ray would allow on the game and five Snakes relievers finished off the night for him.

Padres 3, Rockies 2: Arizona gained a game on the Rockies too, who they now lead by a game and a half, thanks to a two-out, 13th inning walkoff homer from Franmil Reyes. The game featured only nine total hits between the teams, with the Rockies having only three all night. Again, 13 innings. There were 13 pitchers too. That walkoff jack was cool, but sometimes I wonder if baseball isn’t broken lately.

Cody Bellinger named NLCS MVP

Cody Bellinger
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Following a dominant 5-1 win to clinch the National League Championship Series on Saturday night, the Dodgers named outfielder Cody Bellinger their MVP of the series.

Bellinger, 23, made noise when it mattered. Entering Saturday’s game, he carried a meager .190/.227/.238 batting line with just four hits and two RBI, but his hits in Games 4 and 7 became the difference-makers the Dodgers needed to keep pace with the Brewers and clinch the NL pennant. In Game 4, it was Bellinger’s 13th-inning base hit off of Junior Guerra that put the Dodgers over the top for the walk-off 2-1 win. The outfielder returned to put the finishing touches on the series with a go-ahead home run — his first of the postseason — in the second inning of Game 7.

Bellinger wrapped his second season in the Dodgers’ organization in 2018, slashing .260/.343/.470 with 25 home runs, an .814 OPS, and 3.6 fWAR across 632 PA and all 162 games. He’s the youngest Dodgers player to receive the award to date.