And That Happenedby Craig Calcaterra
September 18, 2013
Rangers 7, Rays 1: The Rangers finally snap the skid. Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus homered and drove in three runs each to pull Texas back into a tie with Tampa Bay at the top of the Wild Card standings.
Indians 5, Royals 3: Kansas City took a 3-0 lead into the sixth with the Indians being able to do little if anything against rookie Yordano Ventura. They were able to do much more after it was handed off to the normally reliable K.C. pen, however, scoring five unanswered runs. Not that the pen was used optimally here. At least one of the runs came when Ned Yost stuck with Ventura a bit too long. Others came when the Royals failed to match the leverage of the situation with the talent of the relievers available. Cleveland is a half game back in the Wild Card. Kansas City three and a half.
Orioles 3, Red Sox 2: The O's committed a bunch of errors and Scott Feldman walked six dudes but they somehow figured out how to get to Koji Uehara. Chris Davis hit his 51st homer, giving him sole possession of the Orioles' team record. The Orioles are two back. Despite the loss, the Red Sox' magic number for the AL East is now three thanks to the Rays' loss.
Blue Jays 2, Yankees 0: Four straight losses for the fading Yankees as they were totally stymied by R.A. Dickey. Homers from Colby Rasmus and Rajai Davis were all the Jays got but all the Jays needed.
Cardinals 11, Rockies 4: The Cardinals break the first place tie in the NL Central by tattooing the Rockies. Four hits including a two-run homer for Matt Holliday, who also robbed Todd Helton of extra bases on a play in the field. It was 10-0 before Colorado even put a run on the board.
Padres 5, Pirates 2: San Diego continues to play spoiler, taking its second straight from Pittsburgh. Jed Gyorko had three hits including a three-run homer. His family lives in Morgantown, W. Va., which is about an hour away and many made the trip. I hope they stopped at the Eat 'n Park in Kirwin Heights on the way there. I know people there.
Reds 10, Astros 0: Happy 100th loss, Houston. Mike Leake shut 'em out for eight innings. Jay Bruce drove in five, hitting his 30th homer.
Nationals 6, Braves 5; Nationals 4, Braves 0: Kind of depressing (and surprising) if you're a Braves fan. But the silver lining here is seeing all the Nats fans bringing out their "Natitude!" and "you just gotta believe!" and "no one will want to play us in October!" stuff on Twitter yesterday. I just want to hug them and tell them how great it is to see them again after five and a half months of silence. Don't cancel your dinner reservations for Wild Card night, however, OK?
Phillies 6, Marlins 4: Six effective innings for Roy Halladay and four RBI for Chase Utley. Seems like old times. Well, except for the part where Halladay is a crafty nibbler with an 88 mph. This may very well have been his last start ever for the Phillies at home.
Tigers 6, Mariners 2: Miguel Cabrera hit his 44th homer. It was his first since late August. The Tigers' magic number is Al Kaline. Someone in the comments tell me what's weird about that linked image, BTW. No prizes for a correct answer, but be satisfied that you learned something interesting.
Giants 8, Mets 5: Angel Pagan homered and tripled and drove in three. Walked twice too. Not a bad return to Citi Field for the former Met. Not so great for the former Giants property, Zack Wheeler, who gave up four runs in five innings.
White Sox 4, Twins 3: Effing Quintana ... that creep can roll, man (6 IP, 8 H, 1 ER).
Brewers 4, Cubs 3: Just your run-of-the-mill walkoff suicide squeeze, executed by Logan Schafer. Check out Ron Roenicke after the game, talking up how much of a baller he is to call that squeeze there:
"Bases loaded, it's not ideal. I have to think about it when we have the bases loaded because it's a flip and a force play at home," Roenicke said. "It's so much easier than having to tag at home so most guys won't do it there."
I think we've found Roenicke's new theme music. Also, his official logo.
Dodgers 9, Diamondbacks 3: L.A.'s magic number is now two. More important than that given that the playoffs are inevitable? Matt Kemp going 4 for 4 with two doubles and three RBI. If he's a factor in the lineup, the Dodgers are gonna be fierce come October.
Athletics 2, Angels 1: Josh Donaldson's fantastic season continues with a walkoff bases-loaded single with two outs in the ninth. I can't remember who said it, but someone I follow on Twitter recently said that Donaldson is the absolute best player in baseball whom you would not recognize if he was standing next to you on the subway.
Craig writes the HardballTalk blog for NBC Sports.com