And That Happened: Thursday's scores and recaps

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Cardinals 6, Marlins 5:
Cody Ross let one get through the wickets in the eighth and it rolled
all the way back to the 434′ sign in center, allowing the tying runs to
score and putting the eventual winning run, in the person of Ryan
Ludwick, on third. It happens. Trever Miller on the home run he gave up
to Pujols: “That wasn’t a situation where I was going to nibble on
[Pujols] at 3-1. He’s too good of a hitter, he’s not going to chase a
bad pitch. He’s going to get his pitch and hit it. Unfortunately, he
did.” Wait, why exactly don’t you nibble on Pujols there? He’s only
going to get his pitch to hit if you give it to him, and once you’ve
gone 3-1 on the guy, you really have no business giving it to him
unless the bases are juiced, and maybe even then you don’t. Wait . . .
unless Pujols has finally developed telekinetic powers which enable him
to will fat pitches into his wheelhous (as many of us have long
expected he might some day). Crap. That’s it. We’re all doomed. All
hail our Pujolsian overlord.

White Sox 4, Tigers 3:
The White Sox almost frittered this one away, but then Joel Zumaya
slipped on some wet grass while fielding a bunt in the ninth and then
Scott Podsednik singled in Brian Anderson to eke out the win. Anderson
after the game: “Had that gone the other way, it definitely would not
have been as fun a bus ride.” It’s 97.4 miles from U.S. Cellular Field
to Miller Park so a bus makes sense, but I haven’t thought too much
about this before and now I’m wondering what the cutoff is. Do the
Tigers take a bus to Cleveland (167 miles)? How about L.A. to San Diego
(124)? Sure, you and I always drive those, but these are rich, pampered
baseball players here. How about Philly-Queens? It’s 111 miles, but
there’s lots of traffic. But back to the White Sox: do you think they
considered carpools for the Milwaukee trip? I bet Ozzie Guillen never
drives. And he probably calls shotgun even when the car isn’t within
eyeshot yet. I get the feeling Jim Thome’s music collection is just
awful. Probably a lot of modern female pop country artists. On
cassette. I’d probably want to ride with Buehrle. I bet he hauls ass.

Astros 2, Cubs 1:
Game story: “Geoff Blum is the first Houston player with winning hits
in back-to-back games since Derek Bell did it on July 20-21, 1996,
against Atlanta.” I call B.S. on that. I watched virtually every Braves
game there was while Bell played in the National League, and I never
once recall Derek Bell getting a big hit. Ever. He was a total bust
against Atlanta, at least in my memories. In fact, I can’t think of a
supposedly decent opposing hitter that I, as a Braves fan, feared less
than Derek Bell. OK, fine, I’ll look: Hmmm . . . .270/.322/.405
lifetime against the Braves. That’s only slightly below his career
averages. I hate to say this, Forman, because you usually do such a great job, but you seem to have somehow screwed up Derek Bell’s page.

Phillies 6, Mets 3:
Raul Ibanez hit a three-run homer with two outs in the 10th inning to
win the game. I wonder what could make him do that. I mean, he’s old,
it was late in the game and it was past dinner time, so he was probably
tired too. Maybe a little something to help a ballplayer gain an extra
step when he might otherwise be flagging? Some sort of unnatural
fountain of youth, hmmm? Yeah, I’m just gonna come out and say it, and
I don’t care what anyone says: Ibanez is clearly doin’ the Dew.

Rockies 5, Brewers 4:
The problem with the Rockies’ winning streak is that if it goes on much
longer, it’s going to fool someone in the front office into taking the
“interim” tag off of Jim Tracy. Even a blind hog finds an acorn once in
awhile.

Pirates 3, Braves 1:
Javier Vazquez was brilliant (8 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 12K) but got the no
decision because the Pittsburgh staff was, on the whole, brillianter.
Odd things: Francoeur led the Braves’ offensive onslaught, getting two
hits and even walking once. See above note about blind hogs. Also,
Bobby Cox was ejected. That’s not news — he’s the record holder after
all — but this was very un-Bobbylike. I’m pretty sure Cox premeditates
most of his ejections, because they’re usually quick (i.e. he goes
straight to the magic word — God, he’s so romantic . . .) and because
they usually happen early in the game to ensure plenty of couch time in
the clubhouse. This one came in the ninth inning, so he really got no
leisure/beer time out of it to speak of. Just not like him, ya know? I
hope he’s alright.

Indians 4, Royals 3:
Greinke rebounded from his previous shelling, but he needed to be
better than good on a night when his offense didn’t really show up.
Shin Soo Choo hit a single off a freakin’ seagull in the 10th, driving
in the winning run. Learning to play the seagull carom in Progressive
Field is one of those things visiting defenders just don’t have time to
master in a short series. Oh, and now that the memories of the Royals’
early-season friskiness have long since passed, can we just get to the
end game on Trey Hillman and save everyone a lot of hassle?

Athletics 4, Twins 3:
It’s a shame about that lead Blackburn lost. It was. That was really a
shame. To go so suddenly. Ah, he was tiring for innings. But the very
end, when he actually gave it up . . . was extremely sudden.

Nationals 3, Reds 2:
The eighth inning throwing error by Brandon Phillips that allowed
Christian Guzman to score the winning run wasn’t as ugly as the second
inning throwing error by Ryan Zimmerman that allowed Alex Gonzales to
score the Reds’ first run. Phillips had a dude bearing down on him and
just misfired. Zimmerman’s was an air mail job that, at last report,
was entering Canadian airspace.

Mariners 6, Orioles 3: 3 RBI for Russell “how in the hell is he still at .317/.413/.614” Branyan.

Diamondbacks 2, Giants 1:
Max Scherzer gave up only three hits while shutting out the Giants over
seven and two thirds. Mark Reynolds struck out three times to raise his
total to 87. In 1948, Hank Sauer led the NL with 85 for the whole
season. The year before, Chris Nicholson led the league with 83. In
fact, since the end of the deadball era, guys have led the league in
strikeouts with 87 Ks or fewer on 21 occasions. Just thought you’d like
to know that.

Rays 11, Angels 1:
The Angels have given up 33 runs in their last four games. David Price
left in the fourth because he had already thrown 105 pitches. Dude’s
gonna have to figure out how to reign that in, because hanging around
long enough to take advantage of offensive outbursts like this is the
stuff that 18-win (and better) seasons are made of.

Rangers 1, Blue Jays 0:
Two good offenses collide in one of the most offense-friendly parks in
baseball. It’s 80 degrees at game time, so sit back, babies, and watch
the horsehide fly! Or, if that’s not your speed, all of the scoring in
the game can happen on a second inning sacrifice fly.

Red Sox 4, Yankees 3:
What a miserable night for the Yankees. Getting beat by the Red Sox for
the eighth time in a row is bad enough, but having it happen in a cold
rain via a blown lead has to add some extra pain. I guess someone has
to win a game in the Mets-Yankees series this weekend, but the way
things are going, I can’t feature either team doing it.

Video: Minor leaguer bounces a home run off of an outfielder’s head

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Jose Canseco hit 462 homers, was the 1986 Rookie of the Year, the 1988 MVP and played for 17 years in the big leagues, winning two World Series rings and making the playoffs five times. Yet he’s not remembered for any of that. At least not very often.

No, he’s remembered for his ignominy. For his role in participating in and, subsequently, exposing baseball’s PED-fueled world of the 1990s. For his continued insistence that he was blackballed by Major League Baseball and his continued attempts to play via the independent league route. For his crazy post-playing career antics in which he spent a few years tweeting about aliens, conspiracy theories and non-sequiturs of every stripe.

Mostly, though, people remember Canseco for one random play: the time he helped the Indians’ Carlos Martinez to a home run when a fly ball bounced off of Canseco’s head and over the wall back in 1993:

 

Well, Canseco now has a friend in infamy. That friend: Zach Borenstein of the Reno Aces, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Triple-A affiliate. Yesterday Borenstein pulled a Canseco on what should’ve been an Alex Verdugo F-9:

Borenstein’s glove may have gotten a piece of that — the announcer seemed to think so anyway — and I have a hard time figuring that his head would give it that much bounce. I mean, look how far he was from the wall! He wasn’t even to the warning track. That’s a serious assist.

Still: gonna rule this a Canseco anyway. It’s too good not to.

And That Happened: Tuesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Cubs 7, White Sox 2: Chicago wins! Willson Contreras hit a three-run homer and drove in four in all. The talk of the game, though, was John Lackey who plunked four White Sox batters. Three of them in the fifth inning. It put me in mind of Dock Ellis’ famous “do-the-do” game, except Lackey is about as far from Dock Ellis-level cool as one can possibly get. Sox pitcher Carlos Rodon struck out 11 batters but lasted only four innings. Should’ve given up some more ground balls. It’s more democratic. The Cubs have won nine of 11.

Yankees 4, Reds 2: Todd Frazier hit into a triple play in his first at bat as a Yankee in Yankee Stadium. A run scored on the play — out number three came on a time-buying rundown — and the Yankees still won, so I suppose he doesn’t mind much. Jordan Montgomery allowed one run while pitching into the seventh. Didi Gregorius hit a sac fly and homered. Here’s the triple play:

Brewers 8, Nationals 0: Zach Davies pitched shutout ball into the eighth and Oliver Drake took it the rest of the way. Travis Shaw, Eric Thames and Manny Pina all homered. Shaw’s was a three-run blast. “Oliver Drake” sounds like a fake name a guy gives to the police after the party gets raided. He’s a little drunk and has to think fast, scans the room, sees his DC comic book collection and just blurts it out.

Astros 5, Phillies 0: Houston can bash your brains in or they can shut you out. Well, they can shut Philly out at least. Old friend Charlie Morton did the honors here with seven shutout frames. Speaking of Morton and the Phillies, remember when he was supposed to have turned into a Roy Halladay clone? For that matter, remember Roy Halladay? That was some Ric Flair-Buddy Landel falloff there, brother. In other news, Jose Altuve only went 1-for-4, so I assume he had a compound fracture or something.

Blue Jays 4, Athletics 1: Fun with earned runs. A’s starter Sonny Gray gave up four runs in the second — all the runs the Jays would score in the game — but they were all unearned. Tough luck? Well, they were unearned because Gray himself made the throwing error that caused them to be unearned. Oh, and he also uncorked a wild pitch that put a runner in scoring position. He gave up four hits in the inning — two doubles — but all the runs were “unearned.” Stats are dumb.

Indians 11, Angels 7: You don’t see many walkoff grand slams, but Edwin Encarnacion hit one here in the bottom of the 11th. All three of the baserunners reached via a Bud Norris-issued walk, one intentional, two accidental. That was the second grand slam allowed by Angels pitchers in the game, by the way, as Bradley Zimmer hit one in the second. The Indians had a 7-0 lead after two and blew it before Encarnacion’s heroics. In other news, the AP gamer reads like Coppola’s discarded first draft of “Apocalypse Now”:

CLEVELAND — Bradley Zimmer didn’t care one bit that his mouth was filled with talcum powder.

To the rookie, it tasted like victory.

Royals 3, Tigers 1Whit Merrifield homered on the game’s first pitch and Danny Duffy was solid into the seventh. That’s seven straight for Kansas City. Meanwhile, Ned Yost just rendered every studio analyst and color commentator’s job obsolete with what is, really, the only commentary you need:

The Kansas City Royals are keeping the pressure on in the AL Central, and manager Ned Yost has no big secrets to offer about their impressive winning streak. “There’s no key to staying in it. You just keep playing good,” Yost said. “If there was a key to staying in it, then we would stay in it forever. You just play good. That’s all you do.”

Rays 5, Orioles 4: Baltimore closed the gap late and threatened in the ninth but the Rays held on to break their five-game losing streak. Tim Beckham hit a three-run homer. Rookie starter Jake Faria pitched into the eighth inning and pitched well before running out of gas and stalling out.

Rangers 10, Marlins 4Joey Gallo hit two homers and Mike Napoli and Rougned Odor each had one as well. Christian Yelich had a three-run homer and drove in all four of Miami’s runs in a losing cause. Adrian Beltre went 0-for-3 and the Rangers have a day off on Thursday, so, barring a 16-inning game in which Beltre goes 7-for-7 today, the march to 3,000 will go at least into this weekend. That’s unreasonable, of course. The Rangers could never play a 16-inning game with their bullpen. If they did. Beltre’s 7-for-7 and 3,000th hit would be the sidebar story.

Cardinals 3, Rockies 2: The Cardinals called up top prospect Harrison Bader yesterday. He made a good first impression, doubling to lead off the ninth inning and then scoring the walkoff run on Jedd Gyorko‘s sacrifice fly. He had to slide and everything:

Braves 8, Diamondbacks 3: Kurt Suzuki homered twice and Matt Kemp homered and tripled. Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz allowed two runs over six, striking out nine. He hasn’t lost any of his last nine starts, going 6-0 in that time.

Mariners 6, Red Sox 5: The Red Sox took a one-run lead in the 13th inning with a Sandy Leon RBI single, but Seattle came back in the bottom half via a walk-fielder’s choice-single-wild pitch-walk-infield single combination, proving that you don’t have to bash anyone’s brains in to win this crazy game. Jean Segura hit the walkoff single. Doug Fister was the Sox pitcher responsible for those thousand cuts.

Dodgers 6, Twins 2: Chris Taylor hit two run-scoring doubles and continued his torrid post-All-Star Game hitting. Dude’s 23-for44 in those 11 games and is at .321/.388/.545 on the year. Dude can play five or six positions too. The Dodgers win their 70th game.

Mets 6, Padres 5: Yoenis Cespedes homered, doubled and tripled, driving in three. He scored on that triple too, thanks to a Wil Myers throwing error. Cespedes even threw a bullpen session before the game, so even if the Mets can’t contend in the last two months of the season, maybe they can be fun and let Yo pitch:

Giants 11, Pirates 3: Madison Bumgarner finally earned his first win of the year, allowing one run over five innings. The San Francisco bats were winners too, as Bumgarner singled and scored, Buster Posey had three hits and an RBI, Joe Panik added a bases-loaded triple and the now-departed Eduardo Nunez drove in two before he started hugging his mates.