And That Happened: Sunday's scores and recaps

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Red Sox 6, Braves 5: First time I got to watch the Braves on TBS in like forever,
and they just stink up the joint. All of that bad defense combined with
weather imported from Scotland made this game about the only bad thing
that happened to me on Father’s Day. If it wasn’t for home plate umpire Bill Hohn’s AMAZING mustache, this game would have been a total loss for me.

Cardinals 12, Royals 5:
Albert Pujols (4-5, 2 HR, 2B, 6 RBI) can’t be bargained with. He can’t
be reasoned with, He doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And he
absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.

Padres 4, A’s 1:
According to the game story, the fathers of Brian Giles, Edgar and
Adrian Gonzalez, Luke Gregorson, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Cla Meredith, Edward
Mujica, Joe Thatcher, Tony Gwynn and Kevin Correia threw out the first
pitch to their respective sons before the game in honor of Father’s
Day. Then, in the true spirit of baseball fathers everywhere, they all
got drunk and paced behind the backstop while angrily yelling at the
coach to put their boys in.

Marlins 6, Yankees 5:
Sabathia left the game early with tightness in his left bicep. He says
it’s not serious, and given that (a) it was 95 degrees and humid; and
(b) Sabathia sweats barbecue sauce, you have to figure it was some kind
of heat-induced cramping or something. According to the game story Alex
Rodriguez — playing in his hometown of Miami — said he reserved about
100 tickets for family and friends. I’m dubious. I read a book last
month that said he had no friends, and they couldn’t have printed such
a thing if it weren’t true, right? In other news, the Yankees dropped
four of six to the Nats and Marlins in the past week, though I suppose
if Girardi’s protest succeeds there’s a chance to improve that to three of six (note: protests never, ever succeed).

Rockies 5, Pirates 4:
The Rockies begin to rip off another winning streak, winning this one
behind Clint Barmes (2-3, 2B, HR, 2 RBI). All of this winning has them
doing things like taking one of their more marketable commodities off the market.
I still say it’s ultimately in vain — Colorado will be watching the
playoffs on TBS and FOX just like you and me — but in the meantime,
mazel tov for the Rockies fans.

White Sox 4, Reds 1:
Mark Buehrle just went out and acted all Mark Buehrle-y: seven strong
innings, very little b.s. He looked good, but nowhere near as good as
the Sox looked on Saturday night in those blue roadies.

Tigers 3, Brewers 2: Justin Verlander likes pitching against Milwaukee. The first time he faced them he threw a no-hitter. The second time — yesterday — he struck out eight and gave up two runs in seven and two-thirds.

Rays 10, Mets 6:
Upton, Crawford and Longoria went 11 for 16 with seven RBIs, and the
Rays have now won eight of eleven. The Mets, on the other hand, are in
a one-step-forward-two-steps-back kind of rut, having dropped an awful
lot of series lately.

Blue Jays 9, Nationals 4:
Someone finally douses the red-hot Nats. Well, relatively speaking
anyway. It was Ricky Romero stepping up for Toronto, giving up two over
seven innings on a day when the bullpen needed a rest following a
couple of extra innings games.

Orioles 2, Phillies 1:
Man, has Cole Hamels pitched in some bad luck lately. Last time out he
got the no-decision after giving up only two runs in six innings, and
yesterday it was two runs in eight innings with ten strikeouts. The
Phillies lineup — minus Ryan Howard, who didn’t play for the first
time in 343 games because he has some nasty sinus infection — just
couldn’t do a thing against Jeremy Guthrie, mustering only four hits on
the day. Hamels after the game: “I think the key is we’re in first
place. We’re fortunate everyone in the NL East is playing really bad.”
Man, the Nats can’t any props even when things are going good for them.

Cubs 6, Indians 2:
You know, if Jeremy Sowers could figure out a way to fix that little
hitch in his delivery, the only thing keeping him from stardom would be
his complete and utter inability to get anyone out.

Astros 4, Twins 1:
Despite his teammates’ best efforts to kill him — Darin Erstad lined a
ball off Rodriguez’s left side during batting practice on Saturday —
Wandy Rodriguez was pretty spectacular yesterday (7 IP, 2H, 1 ER). “We
need to keep playing good baseball. That’s the biggest key for us,”
manager Cecil Cooper said after the game. Astute observations like that
are why Cooper makes the big bucks.

Mariners 3, Diamondbacks 2:
The game ended when, with two outs and the score tied, first basemen
Tony Clark simply dropped a routine throw from the third baseman,
turning what would have been out number three into the game-losing
error. I’ve been watching baseball for over 30 years, and I can’t
recall ever seeing a game end like that.

Dodgers 5, Angels 3:
I can’t tell if Clayton Kershaw is trying to grow mutton chops or if he
simply has the most pathetic mustache in the history of baseball. He’s
certainly no Bill Hohn, that’s for sure. He can pitch, however,
shutting out the Angels over seven innings. Juan Pierre keeps up the
good work two, hitting a couple of RBI doubles. At first I thought that
Pierre’s 50 games in the sun would allow him to rest contently, knowing
that he proved a lot of naysayers wrong about his ability to start on a
winning team. Now I’m wondering if he’ll overplay his hand and demand
all kinds of playing time based on his track record once Manny returns.

Giants 3, Rangers 2:
Barry Zito had a no-hitter going until he gave up a two-run homer to
Andruw Jones in the seventh, but an RBI single by Randy Winn in the
bottom of the inning preserved the win for Zito and the Giants.
Watching Zito face Jones in 2009 has to be a lot like watching Flair
face Steamboat in 1995. Something that you would have once paid a lot
to see, but now you just hope no one gets too terribly injured.

Aroldis Chapman is pitching himself out of a job

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Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman looked shaky again last night, coming in to the game with a three-run lead before allowing a two-run homer to the Mets’ Amed Rosario. He would nail down the save eventually, giving Sonny Gray his first win as a Yankee, but Chapman’s struggles were the talk of the game afterward.

It was the third appearance in a row in which Chapman has given up at least one run, allowing five runs on three hits — two of them homers — and walking four in his last three and a third innings pitched. He’s also hit a batter. That’s just the most acute portion of a long slide, however. He posted a 0.79 ERA in his first 12 appearances this year, before getting shelled twice and then going on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation, missing over a month. Since returning he’s allowed 12 runs — ten earned — in 23 appearances, breaking out to a 4.09 ERA. He’s also walked ten batters in that time. At present, his strikeout rate is the worst he’s featured since 2010. His walk rate is up and he’s allowing more hits per nine innings than he ever has.

It’s possible that he’s still suffering from shoulder problems. Whether or not that’s an issue, he looks to have a new health concern as he appeared to tweak his hamstring on the game’s final play last night when he ran over to cover first base. Chapman told reporters after the game that “it’s nothing to worry about,” and Joe Girardi said that Chapman would not undergo an MRI or anything, but he was clearly grimacing as he came off the mound and it’s something worth watching.

Also worth watching: Dellin Betances and David Robertson, Chapman’s setup men who have each shined as Yankees closers in the past and who may very soon find themselves closing once again if Chapman can’t figure it out. And Chapman seems to know it. He was asked if he still deserves to be the closer after the game. His answer:

“My job is to be ready to pitch everyday. As far as where I pitch, that’s not up to me. If at some point they need to remove me from the closer’s position, I’m always going to be ready to pitch.”

That’s a team-first answer, and for that Chapman should be lauded. But it’s also one that suggests Chapman himself knows he’s going to be out of a closer’s job soon if he doesn’t turn things around.

And That Happened: Tuesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Astros 9, Diamondbacks 4: The Astros built an 8-0 lead in the first four innings thanks to six extra-base hits and then put it on cruise control. It wasn’t all rosy, though. Astros starter Brad Peacock hit a double that plated a run, but he didn’t do so well in is primary task, failing to get past the fifth inning. Houston won here, but they’ve scuffled of late and still aren’t where they’d like to be once the playoffs start.

Yankees 5, Mets 4: Good news: Sonny Gray allowed two runs over six and got his first win in pinstripes. Bad news: Aroldis Chapman was terrible again, allowing two runs on two hits in his just-barely-a-save and then winced coming off the mound, which later was revealed to be due to a tweaked hamstring. It’s unclear if he’ll miss any time. If he doesn’t, he going to need to figure out how to miss some bats, because he ain’t been doing that lately.

Nationals 3, Angels 1: Gio Gonzalez snaps the Angels’ winning streak at six thanks to six innings of two-hit, shutout ball. He was backed by two Howie Kendrick solo homers. Kendrick has been on fire since coming over from Philly at the deadline. Since the trade he’s hitting .386/.413/.727 with four homers and 11 RBI in 14 games. Nice pickup.

Rays 6, Blue Jays 4Lucas Duda hit a two-run homer and Wilson Ramos added a solo shot to help the Rays end their four-game losing streak and giving them what, for them anyway, is an absolute offensive explosion. Josh Donaldson homered for the third straight game in a losing cause.

Red Sox 10, Cardinals 4: An eight-run fifth inning by the Sox did in the Cards. Xander Bogaerts had three hits and Hanley RamirezSandy Leon and Jackie Bradley Jr. each knocked in two. The play of the game was a defensive one, though, as the Sox turned an around-the-horn triple play:

Boston has won 11 of 13.

Giants 9, Marlins 4: Giancarlo Stanton homered in his sixth straight game. The record for consecutive games with a home run is eight, held by Stanton’s manager, Don Mattingly, Dale Long, and Ken Griffey, Jr., so keep watching. That was it for the Marlins, though, as the Giants offense did some damage. Denard Span had three hits including a homer. He and Hunter Pence each drove in a pair. Ryder Jones homered. Madison Bumgarner may have given up that shot to Stanton, but he knocked in a run of his own with a single while scattering nine hits and allowing four runs in six innings.

Brewers 3, Pirates 1: Zach Davies outdueled Ivan Nova, allowing one run over six. Manny Pina drove in two and Keon Broxton hit a pinch hit solo homer for the Brew Crew.

Rangers 10, Tigers 4: Texas beat up Justin Verlander for three homers and five runs over six innings, with the dingers coming off the bats of Joey Gallo (natch), Mike Napoli and Robinson Chirinos. Gallo’s homer was estimated at 459 feet, but the most impressive part of it was that the strikeout friendly slugger did it after coming back from an 0-2 count and laying off some high heat from Verlander, who had struck him out on three pitches in his previous at bat.

Reds 2, Cubs 1: Starters Luis Castillo and Kyle Hendricks each tossed six scoreless innings, but Scooter Gennett drove in Joey Votto with a sacrifice fly in the eighth to break a scoreless tie and Billy Hamilton singled home the go-ahead run in the ninth. Votto reached base three times, all on walks, to bring himself to within a game of Ted Williams’ record for the most consecutive games of reaching twice.

Indians 8, Twins 1: Carlos Santana hit two homers and teammates Jason Kipnis, Edwin Encarnacion and Austin Jackson each went deep as well. Danny Salazar allowed one run over seven, striking out ten. Maybe this year will be the opposite of last year for Cleveland, and they’ll peak late instead of early with healthy starting pitching heading into the playoffs.

Braves 4, Rockies 3: Nolan Arenado committed a rare throwing error which allowed Brandon Phillips to score the go-ahead run for Atlanta in the eighth inning. Nick Markakis homered as the Braves get a rare win in Coors Field. Back in the day (like, 20 years ago) they owned Colorado, but the Rockies had taken 11 straight from the Braves in Denver before this one.

Athletics 10, Royals 8: The teams combined to score 11 runs in the eighth inning. Viva bullpens. Matt Joyce hit a three-run double that inning, pulling the A’s from behind. Ned Yost walked Rajai Davis to load the bases to get to minor, too which, oops. Joyce had homered earlier in the game which made it all the more questionable, but managers like their lefty-lefty matchups and their theoretical double plays. Drew ButeraEric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas all homered in the Royals half of the run-happy eighth.

Mariners 3, Orioles 1: Andrew Albers allowed one run over five for his first win in just over four years. The last came on August 12, 2013. Don’t make any plans for mid-August, 2021 if you’re an Albers fan. He had some serious help from Jarod Dyson. Look at this throw, off friggin’ balance, too:

Dodgers 6, White Sox 1: Seems unfair to let the White Sox play the Dodgers, but that’s what the schedule called for. It looked close for a while, actually, as the game was tied 1-1 in the eighth. That’s when L.A. unloaded for five runs, with the go-ahead run coming on a bases loaded hit-by-pitch of Joc Pederson followed by two-run singles from both Austin Barnes and Corey Seager. The Dodgers are no 50 games over .500.

Padres 8, Phillies 4: Cory Spangenberg homered for the third time in four games and drove in four and starter Dinelson Lamet allowed two runs over seven innings of work, striking out seven. He also leads the league in Names That Should Totally Be That Of The Main Character In Magical Realist Novels.