And That Happened: Wednesday's scores and recaps

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Cubs 3, Braves 2: It’s understandable that the Braves lost given
all of yesterday’s activity. Half the team was probably pissed that
Glavine was released and the other half was wondering if they were
going to be traded. As it was, Jeff Francouer struck out with the bases
loaded in the sixth, killing the Braves’ chances to break things open.
Francoeur, however, was not released. Later, in the eleventh inning,
Derek Lee tagged up at first and made it to second on a routine fly to
left field to set up the winning run. Left fielder Matt Diaz, however,
was not released. Finally, despite the loss, Bobby Cox was not fired.

Brewers 9, Marlins 6: Marlins’ reliever Hayden Penn issued three
straight bases loaded walks in the fifth inning, which is something you
don’t see every day. Walked a guy when he came in too. It’s the kind of
thing that makes me wish there was a 12 hour cooling off period before
post game interviews, because I’ve always wanted to ask pitchers who
have those kinds of outings whether they simply refused to groove a few
pitches just to get one over or if they tried but simply couldn’t. You
know Penn won’t talk about it in the locker room a half hour later, but
he might the next morning. Except by the next morning, no one really
cares that much.

Rays 9, Royals 0: Jeff Niemann shut the Royals down with
authority (CG, SHO, 2 H, 9K). Brian Bannister was shelled (3.2 IP, 9 H,
8 ER). Such balance appeals to me for some strange reason.

Rangers 4, Yankees 2: Mark Teixeira missed the game with a
bruised right ankle following that hard slide into Andrus I mentioned
yesterday. Minor correction: “grit” and “fire” is completely canceled
out by “ice pack” and “disabled list.” Don’t get yourself injured. It
can only hurt the ballclub.

Red Sox 10, Tigers 5: Not as close as the score indicates, as
the Beckett no-hit the Tigers into the seventh and all five of the
Tigers runs (a) came after they were trailing 10-0; and (b) were
unearned due to three errors. Curtis Granderson hit a bases-loaded
triple, which some people think is the most exciting play in baseball.
Great moments in enforcing unwritten rules: Gerald Laird tried to break
up the then-in-progress no-hitter by laying down a bunt in the sixth.
The next time he was up, Beckett hit him. The Sox were up 4-0 then so I
suppose it’s not inconceivable that Laird could hide behind the
“I was just trying to get something going” argument, but it was
probably a close enough call to where Laird had to expect he’d get
plunked.

Indians 10, Twins 1: Cliff Lee in 2008 form, goes eight innings,
giving up a single run and jawing hard at Carlos Gomez after Gomez
flied out in the fifth which almost started a fight. Lee has a 2.96 ERA
on the season but his record stands at 3-6. Jhonny Peralta, back at
short following Asdrubal Cabrera’s injury, hit a three-run homer.

Athletics 5, White Sox 3: Bobby Crosby and Landon Powell hit
back-to-back homers in the fourth and Josh Outman scattered seven hits
over six and two thirds on a cold night in Chicago.

Angels 8, Blue Jays 1: Jered Weaver (7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 10K) is hot of late, having given up a single earned run each of five of his last six starts.

Reds 9, Cardinals 3: Johnny Cueto was strong over six innings
and Laynce Nix homered twice with four RBIs. Bad news for the
Cardinals, as Kyle Lohse left after pitching only two innings due to
tightness in his forearm. Alabama here we come?

Astros 6, Rockies 4
: Hunter Pence had a solo homer and two RBI singles, and the Astros have won five of six.

Dodgers 1, Diamondbacks 0: Four Dodgers pitchers, led by Chad
Billingsley, shut out the Dbacks. Their lead in the West is now a
season-high nine and a half games.

Mariners 3, Orioles 2: Ichiro’s hitting streak is now at 27
games. Luke Scott hit another homer for Baltimore, and is currently
putting up the quietest .323/.399/.661 season we’ve seen in a long
time.

Phillies 5, Padres 1: J.A. Happ shut the Padres down over seven
and then handed it off to J.C. Romero. They should probably trade for
R.A Dickey or CC Sabathia so they can go all initials on the
opposition. Romero was making his first appearance since his Hall of
Fame-destroying PED suspension.

Mets-Pirates: Postponed. I never meant 2 cause u any sorrow. I never meant 2 cause u any pain.

Giants-Nats: Postponed. I only wanted 2 one time see u laughing. I only wanted 2 see u laughing in the purple rain.

Athletics hire third base coach Matt Williams

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The Athletics have hired former MLB manager Matt Williams, the team announced Friday. Williams will take over third base coaching duties under manager Bob Melvin, filling the vacancy left by Nationals’ bench coach Chip Hale after the 2017 season.

Williams is no stranger to the Bay Area, but this will be his first time sporting the green and gold. He got his start in pro ball with the rival Giants in 1987, where he manned third base and collected four All-Star nominations before jumping ship to the American League in 1997. After a one-year stint in the Indians’ organization, he returned to the NL to finish off his 17-season career and eventually hung up his cleats with the Diamondbacks in 2003.

Post-retirement, Williams has crafted a resume that almost over-qualifies him for a coaching gig. He led the Nationals to a cumulative 179-145 record from 2014 to 2015 and earned props as NL Manager of the Year after bringing the team to a first-place finish in 2014. In 2016, he split the season as a first and third base coach in the D-backs’ organization, then accepted a studio analyst position with the Giants for the 2017 season. Although he has yet to suit up for the Athletics in any role, he’s not unfamiliar with skipper Bob Melvin. The two were teammates on the Giants’ 1987-88 roster and spent some time in Arizona together when Melvin took a coaching job there in the early 2000s.

While next year’s reunion will be fun to watch (unless, I suppose, you’re a Giants fan with a long memory), Williams may not have his sights set on a coaching role forever. As the San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea reported back in July, the 51-year-old knows what it feels like to win as a manager, and it’s a position he might be open to pursuing in the future.

“For me, my most comfortable space is in uniform,” he told Shea. “I’ve done the ownership thing and front-office stuff, and that’s fun. The most gratification I get is swinging a fungo and throwing batting practice and being on the field. It’s what you know and love. I look at myself as a teacher first and foremost. At the end of the day, I think that’s how I have my greatest influence.”