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Settling the Score: Saturday’s results

Sep 15, 2013, 8:57 AM EDT

gerrit cole getty Getty Images

There are only two weeks remaining on the 2013 regular season schedule and the National League Central remains a heated three-team race.

The Cardinals couldn’t solve Mariners left-hander James Paxton on Saturday night in St. Louis and fell 4-1. The Pirates beat the Cubs 2-1 in an afternoon game at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park with young righty Gerrit Cole twirling a gem. The Reds also played in the afternoon and stomped the Brewers 7-3 in Milwaukee behind big offensive days from Shin-Soo Choo and Joey Votto.

St. Louis and Pittsburgh are now tied for first place in the division with the exact same record (86-62) and the Reds are just 2 1/2 games back at 84-65. The teams that finish second and third will likely meet in the National League Wild Card Game.

Your Saturday box scores and recaps:

Yankees 1, Red Sox 5

Reds 7, Brewers 3

Athletics 1, Rangers 0

Orioles 3, Blue Jays 4

Marlins 3, Mets 0 (Game 1)

Phillies 5, Nationals 4

Cubs 1, Pirates 2

Royals 1, Tigers 0

Indians 8, White Sox 1

Padres 1, Braves 2

Angels 6, Astros 2

Mariners 4, Cardinals 1

Marlins 1, Mets 3 (Game 2)

Rockies 2, Diamondbacks 9

Rays 7, Twins 0

Giants 19, Dodgers 3

  1. proudlycanadian - Sep 15, 2013 at 9:04 AM

    Congratulations to Canuck, James Paxton on a fine performance.

    Baltimore has forgotten how to win 1 run games. Holding a 3 to 2 lead, Tillman walked Sierra on 4 pitches. Obviously the next Blue Jay hitter was going to expect a fastball down the middle. Rasmus proceeded to hit a towering home run for a 4 to 3 Jays win. Rasmus has homered in both his games since coming off the DL.

    • proudlycanadian - Sep 15, 2013 at 9:45 AM

      By the way, the Orioles tried to fool Rasmus with a changeup; however, it was right down the middle and that was all he needed. By the way, I assume that the first thumbs down I received was from a St. Louis fan (triaxfusion?) as a lot of St. Louis fans do not seem to like Rasmus. Despite missing a month due to his injury, Rasmus became the 5th Blue Jay to reach the 20 home run mark.

      • spudchukar - Sep 15, 2013 at 11:01 AM

        I think I speak for most Cards fans when I say, Rasmus is not missed by the St. Louis organization or fan base.

      • proudlycanadian - Sep 15, 2013 at 11:35 AM

        I am sure that he feels the same way about St. Louis. That was a trade that was best for St. Louis and Rasmus. He seems to be happier and more relaxed. It does help that he is farther removed from his father.

      • spudchukar - Sep 15, 2013 at 12:07 PM

        Rasmus was given a honest try-out in St. Louis. He was uncoachable, dense, immature, and not particularly admired by his teammates. While I am sure you are correct that he is more comfortable in Toronto, perhaps because he has more distance from his overbearing father, perhaps less is expected.

        But in the end, he is a .260 hitter, with holes in his swing. Occasional power, but 20 HRs in Toronto isn’t particularly productive. He has speed, but cannot steal bases. He has range, but gets a poor jump, and is prone to misjudgements and shies away from plays. Has a pretty good arm, but often throws to the wrong base.

        Don’t want to sound like Harry, but he plays more like a Bluejay than Cardinal.

      • proudlycanadian - Sep 15, 2013 at 12:29 PM

        You do not sound like Harry at all. Rasmus has played well for the Jays. He has played better than most center fielders in the league.

      • nbjays - Sep 15, 2013 at 12:42 PM

        That’s ok, Spud… we have no problem with him and will gladly keep him.

  2. triaxfusion - Sep 15, 2013 at 9:37 AM

    The cards continue to do very poorly against left handed starters. They are running out of time to get this figured out.

    • spudchukar - Sep 15, 2013 at 11:06 AM

      It is because they do a Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. When they face righties, they take the ball up the middle and to the opposite way, but put a lefty in and they become the Atlanta Braves, swinging for the fences, rolling over on balls away, and making them easy to pitch to.

      It is a mystery to me why the hitting coaches cannot convince the hitters to take the righty approach, but to date they continue to flail.

  3. steelers88 - Sep 15, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    Is it me or are the Pirates getting everything together at the right time. It doesn’t seem like the Cardinals are not.

  4. Stiller43 - Sep 15, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    Its you.

    • spudchukar - Sep 15, 2013 at 11:08 AM

      Beat me to it. The Cards certainly have had their slip ups, but they still have the schedule advantage, and have been winning just as much as the Pirates. It was only a week ago the Cards swept the Pirates.

  5. drone501 - Sep 15, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    if the pirate game was an afternoon game, why were they playing at 10 pm last night?

    • apkyletexas - Sep 15, 2013 at 12:29 PM

      Because you live in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

  6. emdash01 - Sep 15, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    Though it’s all but a certainty the Nationals won’t make the playoffs this year, it’s been fun to watch them play so much better over the last month and a half or so. For a long period to start this season, whenever they were down by more than two runs or so, you knew the game was pretty much over. Even when they lose, they generally make it competitive now.

    It also demonstrates that their problems are generally to do with depth – it’s no coincidence that they’ve been a better offensive team since all their regulars came back. They have had one of the worst benches in the majors, with wRC+ ranging from 64 down to 22 (!), and those guys got a lot of plate appearances in the first three months of the season. The bench – and bullpen – should be the major focuses in the offseason.

  7. jwbiii - Sep 15, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    Updated playoff percentages:

    Team   Cool   B-Pro
    TBR*   73.2    78.6
    Tex*   71.3    69.4
    Cle    41.2    37.7
    KCR     8.0     2.9
    NYY     5.0     6.9
    Bal     1.5     3.0
    WsN     1.0     1.5

    I was wondering if some team was going to catch the Rays. Well, it happened yesterday, only not quite as expected. The plummetting Rangers caught them from above.

    Sometimes you win (Indians, Royals), sometimes you lose (Rangers, Yankees, Orioles, Nationals), and sometimes it rains for a couple of hours and then you win (Rays).

    Elimination news: The Padres, Phillies, and Mariners are out. The Blue Jays have a tragic number of two.

    *Holds wild card berth

    • emdash01 - Sep 15, 2013 at 10:56 AM

      Wow, that’s a pretty big difference for Kansas City.

      • jwbiii - Sep 15, 2013 at 11:13 AM

        Beating a superior opponent, especially on the road, does two good things for a team. It gives them a win that they weren’t “supposed” to get and it lowers the strength of their remaining schedule.

        The Baseball-Prospectus % for the Royals should be 4.6%. I slept in and my eyes are kind kind of blurry.

    • proudlycanadian - Sep 15, 2013 at 11:23 AM

      In the all important loss column, Texas and Tampa Bay have 66, Cleveland has 68. NY, Baltimore and KC have 70. It does not look good for NY, Baltimore and KC.

      • jwbiii - Sep 15, 2013 at 11:55 AM

        True, but the Rangers have a four game set in Tampa Bay next week, so that loss number could change rather dramatically for one of the AL leaders.

      • indaburg - Sep 15, 2013 at 12:38 PM

        The Indians have a favorable schedule (Astros, White Sox, Twins) for the rest of the season. In addition to the Rangers, the Rays have to face the Yankees and O’s. I’m not feeling optimistic despite what the playoff percentages say.

      • jwbiii - Sep 15, 2013 at 12:50 PM

        If it makes you feel any better, the Rangers don’t look like they can beat eggs at this point and the Yankees haven’t won a series against a team with a better record in a month and a half.

      • proudlycanadian - Sep 15, 2013 at 1:02 PM

        The Rangers are going through the sort of streak that Tampa Bay and Cleveland went through recently. Can’t write them off.

  8. raysfan1 - Sep 15, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    After today’s finale vs the Twins, the Rays have 4 series remaining–O’s and Rangers at home, then finish the season on the road vs the Yanks and Jays. 3 of their opponents are competing with them for a wild card. No matter what happens, the Rays cannot complain about not controlling their own fate.

  9. APBA Guy - Sep 15, 2013 at 1:45 PM

    Bravo El Capitan. Out-dueling Yu Darvish, Bartolo Colon repeatedly touched 95 mph on his out-away fastballs in the 95 degree heat. Nervous moment for A’s fans when Balfour walked a batter with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9yh. Normally we like to see a little more cushion with him on the mound, but it was the A’s day yesterday. Darvish has lost 4 1-0 games this year. This is not the same Rangers offense as in previous years.

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