There are eight days remaining in the 2019 regular season. Saturday brought us a full slate of 15 big league games, including games with major postseason implications in Cleveland, Milwaukee, Oakland, St. Pete, on Chicago's North side. Here is everything you need to know about the day's MLB action.
Select games can be streamed regionally via fuboTV (Try for free). For more on what channel each game is on, click here.
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Baseball scores for Saturday, Sept. 21
- FINAL - Yankees 7, Blue Jays 2 (box score)
- FINAL - Cardinals 9, Cubs 8 (box score)
- FINAL - Reds 3, Mets 2 (box score)
- FINAL/10 - Nationals 10, Marlins 4 (box score)
- FINAL - White Sox 5, Tigers 3 (box score)
- FINAL/11 - Rays 5, Red Sox 4 (box score)
- FINAL/13 - Mariners 7, Orioles 6 (box score)
- FINAL - Brewers 10, Pirates 1 (box score)
- FINAL - Angels 8, Astros 4 (box score)
- FINAL - Phillies 9, Indians 4 (box score)
- FINAL - Royals 12, Twins 5 (box score)
- FINAL - Braves 8, Giants 1 (box score)
- FINAL - Diamondbacks 4, Padres 2 (box score)
- FINAL - Athletics 12, Rangers 3 (box score)
- FINAL - Rockies 4, Dodgers 2 (box score)
Castellanos becomes 10th player ever with 58 doubles; Cubs lose again
Another day, another double for Nicholas Castellanos. The Tigers-turned-Cubs slugger inside-outed his 58th -- 58th! -- double of the season in the first inning of Saturday's game against the Cardinals. Here's the video:
Castellanos is the first player with 58 doubles in a season since Todd Helton had 59 with the 2000 Rockies. He is only the 10th player in history with 58 doubles in a single season. The single-season doubles leaderboard:
- Earl Webb, 1931 Red Sox: 67
- George Burns, 1926 Indians: 64
- Joe Medwick, 1936 Cardinals: 64
- Hank Greenberg, 1934 Tigers: 63
- Paul Waner, 1932 Pirates: 63
- Charlie Gehringer, 1936 Tigers: 60
- Chuck Klein, 1930 Phillies: 59
- Tris Speaker, 1923 Indians: 59
- Todd Helton, 2000 Rockies: 59
- Nicholas Castellanos, 2019 Tigers/Cubs: 58
Awful lot of Hall of Famers on that list. Castellanos has a good chance to become the first player with 60 doubles since before World War II.
As for the rest of the game, it was one of the bigger gut punches the Cubs have suffered in a season that has seen many. They were able to take a one-run lead in the bottom of the seventh on something you almost never see. Tony Kemp appeared to strikeout, but a balk was called, so he got another chance and hit a home run.
The Cubs would hold that lead until the ninth, when closer Craig Kimbrel gave up back-to-back homers to Yadier Molina (wind-aided, like Kemp's) and Paul DeJong (not even remotely wind-aided).
Kris Bryant would draw a leadoff walk in the bottom half, but Robel Garcia struck out, Ben Zobrist flew out, leading the way to Javier Baez surprisingly pinch hitting. He was thought to only be available as a pinch runner until maybe the end of the season. He got his money's worth on his swings, but he struck out to end the game.
In order to have a shot at the division, the Cubs probably had to win out, starting Saturday. Now they are six back of the Cardinals with eight games left. It's over. They'll have to nearly win out now and hope for help to crawl into the second wild card. The Cubs have lost five straight at home for the first time since 2013. With the Brewers crushing the hapless Pirates, the Cubs now trail the second wild card by three games. It's looking like they'll miss the playoffs for the first time since 2014.
Astros have a fourth playoff starter problem
Behind their trio of aces for the playoffs, the Astros looked like they had a fine fourth starter in Wade Miley. Three of his last four starts have been disasters.
Sept. 5: 0 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 1 HR
Sept. 10: 1/3 IP, 7 H, 7 ER, 1 BB
He did give up just two runs in six innings last time out, but that was against the Royals and they aren't exactly a murderer's row.
Saturday, Miley had another clunker. He recorded just three outs, allowing four runs on four hits and was removed with no out in the second.
Behind Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Zack Greinke the Astros will need a fourth playoff starter. With Lance McCullers, Aaron Sanchez, Collin McHugh and Brad Peacock all hurt, Miley was their last hope. I suppose they could try a bullpen game with relievers like Jose Urquidy going multiple innings. It's tough to empty the bullpen once every four playoff games, but deep outings from the Big Three might afford A.J. Hinch that luxury.
Regardless, they need to get it figured out. With their loss and the A's win, the AL West clinching champagne needs to stay on ice. The magic number remains one.
Twins magic number down to four
Thanks in part to a big Bryce Harper home run ...
... the Indians took the L at home against the Phillies Saturday night.
The Twins were tasked with facing the Royals at home and had a shot to move the magic number down to three with a five game lead, which is pretty insurmountable. Instead, the Twins' 5-2 lead was coughed up with a three-run sixth from the Royals and then Cheslor Cuthbert broke the tie with a two-run shot in the ninth.
Things completely unraveled from there.
For the Twins, it's a four-game lead with a magic number of four. They should get the job done here, but it's not over.
Rays walk it off, take lead
With the Indians' loss, the Rays had a shot to take a one-game lead for the second AL wild card, but a two-run Rafael Devers homer in the eighth tied things up. The Red Sox would grab a run in the top of the 11th, but Nate Lowe came through with the two-run walkoff homer.
The Rays now have a one-game lead over the Indians for the second AL wild card.
Paxton wins 10th straight start, Stanton hits first homer since return
The ALDS begins in one week and six days and, when it does, James Paxton will likely be on the mound for the AL East champion Yankees. Paxton is peaking at the right time and he turned in another gem Saturday.
Paxton is now a perfect 10-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his last 10 starts. He has 68 strikeouts in 60 innings in those 10 starts. Paxton is the first Yankee to win 10 consecutive starts since Ron Guidry won 11 straight in 1979.
Among those providing the offense for Paxton was Giancarlo Stanton, who doubled in a run in the fourth inning and hit a solo home run in the sixth inning. It was his first homer since being activated off the injured list this past Wednesday.
Saturday was only the 12th game of the season for Stanton. He's been out with biceps, shoulder, and most recently knee injuries. Aaron Hicks and Mike Tauchman are done for the year, so Stanton is set to play left field in October.
Also of note: Aaron Boone was ejected for the fifth time this season on Saturday. The Yankees skipper was not pleased with home plate umpire Jeremie Rehak's strike zone. As far as we know, there was no profanity-laced tirade this time.
Stat of the Day: Pujols moving up doubles list
Angels first baseman/designated hitter Albert Pujols doubled on Saturday night. It was the 661st double of his career. Here's the all-time doubles list through Pujols:
1. Tris Speaker, 792
2. Pete Rose, 746
3. Stan Musial, 725
4. Ty Cobb, 724
5. Craig Biggio, 668
6. George Brett, 665
7. Pujols, 661
Notable here is the only right-handed hitter above Pujols is Biggio. I know we don't separate records for righties and lefties, but it's kind of cool that he's closing in on that.
- The Red Sox are at a crossroads after being eliminated from postseason contention. The team needs a new baseball operations head and RF Mookie Betts is one only year away from free agency.
- The Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday. The team went 274-366 in his four seasons at the helm. Here are some possible candidates to become San Diego's next manager.
- Cubs LHP Cole Hamels is still experiencing shoulder fatigue and there is no timetable for his return, reports MLB.com. Hamels last pitched this past Monday and is said to be feeling better.
- Reds CF Nick Senzel will have surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder next week, reports MLB.com. He suffered the injury crashing into the wall a few weeks ago. The timetable for his return is unclear.
- Yankees IF Gleyber Torres had an MRI on his hamstring Saturday and it came back negative, according to NJ.com. Torres left Friday night's game after slipping while making a play at shortstop. He is day-to-day.
- Yankees DH Edwin Encarnacion is expected to return to the lineup this coming week, according to MLB.com. Encarnacion has been sidelined by a minor oblique strain the last week or so.
- The Rays activated RHP Yonny Chirinos off the injured list, the team announced. He'd been out since early August with a finger issue. Chirinos will pitch out of the bullpen the rest of the season.