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And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Red Sox 9, Braves 8: I wrote this one up yesterday and would prefer not to re-live it. The long version is here. The short version: the Red Sox are really good and they can beat you even if they rest their MVP candidates on getaway day, even if they spot you six or seven runs. And my God, where does Brandon Phillips get off making his season debut in September and hitting a go-ahead, come-from-behind two-run homer when the Sox are down to their last out? And here’s a fun fact, at least if you were not rooting for Atlanta: before this game teams were 0-487 when down by six or more runs entering the eighth inning. Now they are 1-487. Good effort, Braves!

Marlins 2, Phillies 1: The Braves suffered one of the most back-breaking losses of the season but the Phillies could not capitalize on it because, apparently, no one really wants to win the NL East. Sandy Alcantara tossed seven shutout innings against them, allowing only three hits while Austin Dean knocked in two, one with a single, one on a fielder’s choice. Not bad for a guy whose name would seem more at home in some bad, derivative neo-western novel or, perhaps, erotica.

Indians 3, Royals 1: Corey Kluber wins his 18th game of the season after striking out 10 and allowing only one run on two hits while working into the seventh inning. Brad Keller of the Royals lost, but let us tip our caps to him for somehow giving up 11 hits over seven innings and still allowing only one earned run. Or don’t. I don’t care. I just find it interesting when guys live out on a thin line like that. Tell me now, what is he, supposed to do?

Cardinals 7, Nationals 6: Matt Adams was with the Nationals until a couple of weeks ago — and he has struggled since returning to St. Louis — but he came back to Washington last night and smacked two home runs. That’s gotta feel great for Nats fans who, I assume, did not fill the seats at Nats Park because they were all waiting in line to buy season tickets for 2019. Yairo Munoz also homered and Marcell Ozuna had four hits.

Pirates 3, Reds 2: Colin Moran doubled in a run and Gregory Polanco and Francisco Cervelli hit back-to-back RBI singles in the third to snap a 1-all tie and give the Pirates the cushion they needed. Their starter, Jameson Taillon, allowed one run while scattering eight hits over five innings. The Reds stater, Homer Bailey, took the loss and is now 1-14 on the season. What’s more, the Reds are 1-19 when he pitches. In other news, Bailey is in year five of a six-year, $105 million contract that most people were even surprised he got at the time and which now stands as one of the worst deals in the game.

Blue Jays 10, Rays 3: Yesterday, the morning after seven Rays pitchers combined for a three-hit shutout, I wrote a big thing on the Rays’ strategy of bullpenning. Last night the Rays went with a guy who is projected to be a more traditional starter in Tyler Glasnow. He was knocked out in the first inning after allowing seven runs, so maybe expect some more bullpenning from the Rays going forward. Aledmys Diaz hit a three-run homer in that first frame for the Jays. Devon Travis had two hits in the inning. Kevin Kiermaier had two homers in a losing cause for Tampa Bay.

Mets 7, Dodgers 3: Zack Wheeler took a comebacker off the bat of Justin Turner in the fourth inning that required him to go get X-Rays and and a CT-scan after the game but he nonetheless stayed in the game and finished off seven innings of three-run, three-hit ball. Wilmer Flores knocked in two and Amed Rosario got three hits for the Mets. New York finishes up a nine-game road trip that took them to both Chicago to face the Cubs and L.A. to face these Dodgers and finished it at 5-4. Indeed, they’ve been fairly respectable for a couple of months now, relatively speaking.

Rockies 5, Giants 3: The Rockies take advantage of the Dodgers’ loss thanks to Trevor Story‘s three-homer night. They were all solo shots but I don’t think we’ll hold that against him. One of his homers was an absolute moonshot that StatCast is saying went 505 feet.* Just a real big boy bomb:

Cubs 6, Brewers 4: Chicago salvages one against their division rival — psst! someone ask Cole Hamels if it’s OK to call the Brewers a rival — and push their lead back up to four games in the NL Central. Daniel Murphy hit a homer and had three hits in all. Kyle Schwarber hit a long homer of his own. Ben Zobrist knocked in two. Jose Quintana gave up two runs in six and two-thirds.

Angels 9, Rangers 3: Mere hours after Shohei Ohtani learned that he’d be having Tommy John surgery he hit two homers on a 4-for-4, three-RBI night while scoring three times and stealing a base as the Angels’ DH. Billy Eppler shot the idea down in no uncertain terms yesterday, but I wonder who, if anyone, in the Angels organization has advocated to simply make him a full-time position player rather than mess around with his elbow. Not saying that’s what I’d do — I have no idea — but it’s a defensible position, I bet. Anyway, Andrelton Simmons also homered for the Angels and drove in three runs as their very weird and very disappointing season winds to an eventual close.

Tigers 10, White Sox 2Ronny Rodriguez hit a two-run homer and Jeimer Candelario, Mikie Mahtookand JaCoby Jones each hit solo shots as the Tigers beat the poop out of Sox rookie Michael Kopech (3.1 IP, 9 H, 7 R). Detroit has won three of four.

Astros 9, Twins 1: Alex Bregman‘s fantastic season continued as he homered, doubled and knocked in five. Evan Gattis went deep too and Framber Valdez and five relievers held Minnesota to one run on six hits. Houston has won five in a row and 12 of 15.

Athletics 8, Yankees 2: Oakland keeps pace by beating up on Luis Severnio for six runs — five earned — on six hits in two and two-thirds. Two of the A’s four first-inning runs came on Severino wild pitches. Matt Chapman and Steven Piscotty each knocked in a couple. Mike Fiers took a shutout into the seventh before giving up a two-run homer to Gary Sanchez. The cake was baked by then, however.

Mariners 5, Orioles 2Nelson Cruz and Denard Span hit back-to-back home runs in the fifth to take a one-run lead and Span knocked in another run for some insurance in the seventh. Mitch Haniger also went deep for Seattle as Mike Leake allowed only two unearned runs in six innings of work. No Mariners engaged in in-house brawling in this game either. At least that we know of.

*Earlier this recap made reference to a box score showing it at 460-something feet, which it did, but the box score I look at for such things has updated to 505. I don’t think I was hallucinating that, but either way, it is now consensus that it was a 500-plus foot homer. 

And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

Associated Press
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Here’s where we stand:

  • The Cardinals won and the Brewers and Cubs lost, putting St. Louis’ lead in the NL Central back up at three;
  • The Twins lost and the Indians won, dropping the Twins lead in the AL Central to four;
  • The top three teams in the NL Wild Card race lost and the next three all won. That means the Nationals are in top Wild Card position, a game and a half ahead of the Brewers and Cubs, who in turn are both three games ahead of the Phillies and Mets. The Diamondbacks are four and a half back; and
  • The A’s, Rays and Indians and Rays all won, keeping the AL Wild Card race at status quo with Oakland two games over the Rays who are a half game ahead of Cleveland.

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Cardinals 5, Nationals 1: Adam Wainwright allowed one run over seven, out-pitching Max Scherzer. Dexter Fowler robbed a home run too:

The Cards beating the Nationals reduces the Braves’ magic number to clinch the NL East to two. Which means that, for one of the first times in 16 years, the Braves trading Adam Wainwright to the Cardinals actually paid off some for ’em.

Mets 7, Rockies 4: The Mets were down 4-2 in the eighth but rallied for five runs in the final two frames for the win. The rally was pretty much all small ball too, with Pete Alonso — who had homered earlier — walking with the bases loaded and runs coming on ground outs and double play balls and a couple of singles. Jeff McNeil also homered for the Mets who passed their single season team record for dingers with 225. Something like half of all of the teams will set new home run records this year.

Athletics 1, Royals 0: Homer Bailey and Danny Duffy traded zeros for seven innings and the their relievers continued to do so into the eleventh. Jurickson Profar led off the bottom of the eleventh with a walk, however, stole second base and then scored when Mark Canha hit a walkoff double to end it. When the dust settled, A’s pitchers had gone 11 shutout innings striking out 19 Royals batters in all.

Diamondbacks 5, Marlins 4: Abraham Almonte and Christian Walker homered and Mike Leake bent but didn’t break in six and two-thirds mostly effective innings to give the Snakes the win. But who cares about a Marlins-Dbacks game? What you really should know is that I watched season 2, episode 1 of “Columbo” last night and it was great. John Cassavetes was the killer. I love him in everything. Blythe Danner played his wife. She was pregnant with Gwyneth Paltrow during the filming of this one and it aired ten days before Paltrow was born. They put Danner in bulky sweaters and stuff to hide it. The great Myrna Loy, from “The Thin Man” movies, was in it as Danner’s mom. Pat Morita had a bit part as the “house boy” even though he was like 40 when it was made. Racist much? Yeah, well, it was the 70s. George Gaynes — the guy from “Punky Brewster” and the “Police Academy” movies was in it too. The director of the episode was Nicholas Colasanto, who later played Coach on “Cheers.” And the mansion Cassavetes character lived in was the “Benson” mansion:

And yeah, that Jag served as a plot point too. Lovin’ “Columbo” these days, you guys.

Indians 2, Tigers 1: Death, taxes, Columbo acting befuddled, getting under the hubristic murderer’s skin with his constant questioning and then, just as the episode is about to end, putting it all together and catching the criminal in their web of lies and deception, and the Indians beating the Tigers. This time in extras with Yasiel Puig hitting a walkoff RBI single.

Angels 3, Yankees 2: CC Sabathia only lasted two and two-thirds innings in what was his final regular season start in Yankee Stadium. Maybe even his final game there period as there’s no guarantee he makes the postseason roster. He allowed two and Adam Ottavino gave up an unearned run in the sixth, but it was via his own throwing error and that was the difference in the game. The Angels bullpen tossed five shutout innings.

Mariners 4, Pirates 1: Four M’s pitchers combined to allow one run on six hits while Kyle Lewis and Tom Murphy each homered. The M’s have won four in a row.

Blue Jays 11, Orioles 10: Baltimore led 7-1 heading into the sixth, the Jays rallied to make it close, the O’s scored a couple more to make it 9-5 heading into the ninth but the Jays rallied even bigger, scoring six in the final inning — four of which came on a Randal Grichuk grand slam with two outs — to take an 11-9 lead and then held on 11-10. All of that offense saved Clay Buchholz‘s bacon. He allowed 10 hits, seven for extra bases, in three and two-thirds innings but got the no-decision. His ERA on the season is now 6.48 in ten starts. His nice 2018 season in Arizona seems like it was a hundred years ago. His heyday in Boston seems like a million.

Giants 11, Red Sox 3: The Giants win gave Bruce Bochy his 2,000th victory as a manager. That puts him in pretty exclusive company as he’s only the 11th guy to do that. Every single guy ahead of him on that list is in the Hall of Fame as Bochy will be too one day. Giants starter Jeff Samardzija took a no-hitter into the sixth inning while Boston pitchers for tagged for 15 hits. The Giants scored two runs in the eighth and five more in the ninth to make it a laugher. They go for the sweep this afternoon.

Phillies 4, Braves 1: Zach Eflin allowed only an unearned run while working into the seventh and was backed by homers from Bryce Harper and César Hernández. Jean Segura drew a bases-loaded walk too. The Braves have dropped three in a row.

Padres 2, Brewers 1: Padres starter Dinelson Lamet, who missed all last season with Tommy John surgery — struck out 14 dudes in six one-run innings and got just enough offense behind him — in the form of a two-run homer from rookie Seth Mejias-Brean — to make that stand up.

White Sox 3, Twins 1: Eight Sox pitchers took a combined no-hitter into the sixth inning and ended up allowing only one run on three hits in all. Zack Collins homered and Yoan Moncada doubled twice. And check out this play-off-the-wall and throw to third by Adam Engel, cutting down Eddie Rosario who was trying to stretch a double into a triple:

Worth noting that Rosario would’ve made it if he didn’t take a moment to admire what the initially thought was a homer. And, of course, if he stays on second he’s fine and the Twins have a chance to draw closer in a tight game.

Reds 3, Cubs 2: The Cubs came into this series having won five straight but the Reds have dropped them twice in a row. That’s not idea. Here José Iglesias smacked an RBI double in the top of the tenth to give Cincinnati the win. Reds pitchers played a big part too, of course, with five of them, led by Tyler Mahle, combining on a four-hitter.

Rays 8, Dodgers 7: An eighth inning Cody Bellinger homer gave L.A. a 6-4 lead but the Rays rallied for two runs off Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen in the ninth. Which sort of resets the recent “Jansen is back!” narrative that had begun to form. Austin Meadows led off the 11th inning with a homer and Ji-Man Choi hit a sac fly for an insurance run that, thanks to one more Dodgers run in the bottom half, ended up being needed, as the Rays held on for the victory. Just one more thing: eighteen more pitchers used in this one, which went four hours and forty minutes. At least this one was closer, seemingly more riveting baseball than the previous night.

Astros 3, Rangers 2: Gerrit Cole struck out ten and allowed only two runs in eight innings to pick up his 18th win. And, en route, picked up his 300th strikeout on the season. Cole has not lost a game since May 22, you guys. Yuli Gurriel and José Altuve each homered, supplying all of the offense.