And That Happened: Tuesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Nationals 11, Mets 10: Hoo boy. It was a run-of-the-mill 4-2 Mets lead after seven innings. Then 5-2 in the eighth and then a close 5-4 thanks to a Juan Soto homer in the bottom half. In the ninth, however, all Hell broke loose, with New York victimizing the Nats bullpen for five runs to give them a comfortable 10-4 lead that, clearly, would be safe.

Nah.

The Nats blitzed Mets relievers for seven runs in the bottom of the ninth, capped with a walkoff three-run homer from Kurt Suzuki for a huge, huge comeback win. Bill wrote up the goriest of the details here. You can watch the walkoff blast and celebration here:

The world is a crazy place and it’s been really hard to find one’s gravity these past few years. So thank goodness we still have the Mets out there, serving as the baseball version of that little spinny thing Leo DiCaprio has in “Inception” to let us all know that we’re still tethered to reality. As long as they keep providing us with ignominious accomplishments like this one, I think things are gonna be OK.

Orioles 4, Rays 2; Rays 2, Orioles 0: A split doubleheader in which both teams scored four total runs really screws up my split double header/aggregate run tiebreaker rule. Maybe they should’ve just stayed home and caught up on TV? I’ve been watching “The Rockford Files” a lot lately. I’d totally recommend that to the Rays and Orioles.

Anyway,Rio Ruiz and Anthony Santander homered and Mark Trumbo had a pinch-hit RBI double in the first one. In the second one seven Rays relievers combined to toss a five-hit shutout while Austin Meadows went deep. Total velocity of this doubleheader: zero. That’s just math. Or physics I guess. I dunno. I was a liberal arts major.

Yankees 10, Rangers 1: I guess the Yankees were none too pleased about being shutout on Monday so they took Rangers pitchers to the woodshed last night. A Yankees pitcher did too, as James Paxton pitched one-hit ball for seven shutout innings, striking out 12 while five Yankees homers were hit. Gary Sánchez hit two of them while Edwin Encarnación, Didi Gregorius and Brett Gardner also went deep in this laugher.

Phillies 6, Reds 2: Bryce Harper singled in a run, giving him 100 RBI on the year. He also has 30 homers on the season making him the first Philly since Ryan Howard in 2011 to accomplish those feats in the same season. J.T. Realmuto doubled, singled, and knocked in a run with sacrifice fly. Scott Kingery homered. Philly remains two and a half behind the Cubs for the second Wild Card.

Marlins 5, Pirates 4: Miami was down 4-3 heading into the ninth inning but Miguel Rojas hit a tying solo homer to force extras and Garrett Cooper hit one in the 10th to end Miami’s 15-game road losing streak. José Ureña pitched the bottom of the tenth for the save. I wonder how many pitchers have recorded saves in the same season that they started the Opening Day game. Probably more than I’d guess but probably not a huge number either. Like, Tom Seaver wasn’t doing it, ya know?

White Sox 6, Indians 5: Big night for blown leads. This was no Mets-Nats game, but the Indians did have a 5-2 lead heading into the eighth when the Chisox put up a four-spot via a three-run homer from James McCann and a solo shot from Eloy Jiménez. Unfortunately those homers came off of Carlos Carrasco, which kind of messes with the whole inspirational comeback story a tad, but life ain’t a Hallmark Movie I suppose.

Braves 7, Blue Jays 2: Mike Foltynewicz gave Atlanta five shutout innings. If he can be effective like that down the stretch and in the postseason the Braves will be getting a bonus. Josh Donaldson doubled and drove in three, as the Braves scored their seven runs without the benefit of a homer. I wasn’t sure that was allowed, actually, but it checks out.

Cardinals 1, Giants 0: An outstanding start from Jack Flaherty: eight innings, one hit, one walk and eight Ks for the win. And he needed to do that too, as Dereck Rodríguez nearly matched him, allowing one over seven. I didn’t know pitchers duels like this were still allowed in Major League Baseball either, but last night was an odd one all around.

Brewers 4, Astros 2: Zack Greinke lost his first game since joining Houston, giving up an RBI single to Ryan Braun and a three-run homer to Eric Thames. Meanwhile Jordan Lyles continues his post-trade transformation, giving Milwaukee yet another solid start, allowing only two while pitching into the seventh. The big takeaway from this game, though, was George Springer being carted off the field following an amazing catch and, unfortunately, a hard hit into the wall:

Springer will be evaluated further today, but this just screams concussion. We’ll see and we’ll update when more is known.

Cubs 6, Mariners 1: Nicholas Castellanos homered and drove in four and now has 12 homers and 24 RBI in 31 games since being traded to Chicago. Willson Contreras and Kyle Schwarber went deep as well. Jon Lester worked out of a good deal of trouble here and there but tossed six shutout innings.

Twins 6, Red Sox 5: Nelson Cruz and Miguel Sanó homered to help Minnesota build a 6-0 lead after five and they’d hold on. Just atrocious starting pitching from the Red Sox once again, this time from Rick Porcello (4 IP, 8 H, 6 ER). Once again.

Royals 6, Tigers 5: Jorge Soler hit his 39th homer which, in 2019 is only good for second in the American League at the moment. It does put him at the top of the Royals record books, however, breaking Mike Moustakas‘ single-season home run record. Ryan O'Hearn homered too, and his was more dramatic: a walkoff bomb to send Royals fans home happy:

For your sake I hope you didn’t watch enough of that clip to hear the Royals broadcaster say “he went oppo with some poppo,” but if you did, my condolences.

Diamondbacks 2, Padres 1: Another fine pitching performance, this one from Merrill Kelly of the Snakes, who tossed seven shutout frames. Both of Arizona’s runs scored in the first inning. San Diego’s only run came in the ninth. Here’s a visual representation of that scoring pattern.

Athletics 7, Angels 5: A’s rookie Seth Brown hit two triples, knocking in a run with each one. His second one put Oakland ahead after they had preciously blown a three-run lead. He’s now hitting .448 with nine RBI in eight games since being called up by the A’s. Not too shabby. Matt Chapman hit a three-run shot. Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Justin Upton homered for the Angels in a losing cause.

Dodgers 5, Rockies 3: Colorado led 2-0 into the seventh inning but Russell Martin hit a three-run blast to end that while David Freese and Justin Turner added solo shots for insurance. The play of the game came from a fan, though, who ranged over to the batter’s eye to make a leaping grab of Nolan Arenado‘s homer:

Wild night, man. Wild night.

Swanson, Olson go deep vs Scherzer, Braves take NL East lead

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ATLANTA — Dansby Swanson and Matt Olson homered off Max Scherzer, lifting the Atlanta Braves to a crucial 4-2 victory Saturday night over the New York Mets and a one-game lead in the NL East.

The defending World Series champions beat aces Jacob deGrom and Scherzer on consecutive nights to take their biggest lead of the season in the division. New York, which held a 10 1/2-game cushion on June 1, faces its biggest deficit of the year with four games remaining.

Atlanta will try for a three-game sweep Sunday night, with the winner earning the season-series tiebreaker between the teams. Even though both teams are headed to the postseason, that’s important because the NL East champion gets a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Swanson’s 24th homer, a go-ahead, two-run shot in the fifth inning, touched off a frenzy among the sold-out crowd at Truist Park, the ball sailing a few rows up into the seats in left-center to make it 3-2. Olson hit his 32nd homer in the sixth, a solo shot into Chop House seats in right to put Atlanta up 4-2.

Austin Riley led off the fourth with a double and scored on Olson’s single to make it 1-all.

Kyle Wright (21-5) gave up two runs and seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts in five innings as he won his eighth straight decision. The Braves have won 16 of his last 17 starts.

New York went up 2-1 in the fifth when Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil hit consecutive two-out singles.

The Mets led 1-0 in the first when Brandon Nimmo singled, advanced on a walk and a single and scored on Eduardo Escobar‘s groundout. Wright, who threw 30 pitches in the first, stranded two runners in scoring position to prevent further damage.

Scherzer (11-5) allowed a first-inning single to Riley and a third-inning infield single to Ronald Acuna Jr., who advanced to third on a fielding error by Lindor at shortstop but was stranded when Michael Harris II lined out to center. Scherzer patted his glove and pumped his fist as he walked off the mound.

Scherzer was charged with nine hits and four runs with no walks and four strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings as the Mets were knocked out of first place for only the third day all season.

The Braves have won five of the last six against New York to tie the season series 9-all, outscoring the Mets 37-16 over that stretch.

Atlanta’s bullpen, which posted a 1.70 ERA in September, got a perfect inning from Dylan Lee in the sixth. Jesse Chavez faced four batters in the seventh, Raisel Iglesias faced the minimum in the eighth and closer Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth for his NL-leading 39th save in 46 chances.

Since the Braves were a season low-tying four games under .500 at 23-27 after play on May 31, they have gone 76-32, tying the Los Angeles Dodgers for the best record in the majors over that span. They were a season-worst 10 1/2 games behind the first-place Mets on June 1.

Wright, the only 20-game winner in baseball this season, hasn’t officially become the first Braves pitcher to lead the league in wins outright since Russ Ortiz had 21 in 2003, but the Dodgers’ Julio Urias has 17 and can’t reach 20 before the regular season ends.

Wright will become the first Braves pitcher since Hall of Famer Tom Glavine in 2000 to lead the majors in wins. Houston ace Justin Verlander also has 17.

Wright began the game 1-4 with a 6.75 ERA in six career starts and one relief appearance against the Mets.

The Braves, who got homers from Riley, Olson and Swanson off deGrom on Friday, lead the NL with 240 homers.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Mets: All-Star RF Starling Marte (right middle finger fracture) has yet to begin swinging or throwing. Manager Buck Showalter said Marte is experiencing less pain but not enough to take the next step in his recovery. Marte has been sidelined since Sept. 7.

Braves: RHP Spencer Strider still has not thrown as he gets treatment on a sore left oblique. Manager Brian Snitker said there is no timetable for the rookie’s return. Strider has been sidelined since Sept. 21.

NICE GLOVE

Harris ran back and jumped to catch Nimmo’s fly against the wall in center field for the first out of the third.

UP NEXT

Mets RHP Chris Bassitt (15-8, 3.27 ERA) will face RHP Charlie Morton (9-6, 4.29) as the teams conclude a three-game series.