And That Happened: Monday's Scores and Highlights

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Braves 9, Diamondbacks 4: Max Scherzer’s arm is probably going to fall off after starting two games in this series. Oh wait, the first game was back in May and this was a makeup? Forget I said anything. Also forget the fact that only three of Scherzer’s nine runs allowed in this one were “earned.” Six unearned runs in the third inning resulted from his own throwing error. For Atlanta, Tommy Hanson pitched six innings, struck out seven, walked no one, and otherwise kept out of trouble.

Giants 10, Mets 1: Giving up ten runs on eighteen hits to the Giants is a very special feat indeed, but with Livan, all things are possible.

Angels 8, Orioles 5: Vlad Guerrero hit two homers and drove in five. And because I know you were all wondering, Cesar edged Maicer in the battle of the Izturises, three hits to two, though one of Maicer’s was a home run so we probably have to call it a draw.

Pirates 9, Brewers 5: An offensive outburst for a team that has been playing pretty offensively as of late. And it was a fairly democratic outburst at that, with nine different Pirates getting hits, seven scoring runs and seven driving in at least one. The game story notes that the Brewers have fallen seven games back of the Rockies in the wild card race. Given that there are five teams ahead of the Brewers in that particular race, however, the implication that they’re a contender is charitable at best. I mean, no one noted that, with this win, the Pirates have climbed to within 17.5 of the wild card. And by my reckoning, the Brewers are just as out of it as the Pirates are.

Cardinals 3, Dodgers 2: The important thing here is that even though he lost, knuckleballer Charlie Haeger (7 IP, 5 H, 3 ER) earned another start out of this. Not his fault that Chris Carpenter is a stud (8 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 8K). Sure, the HBP followed by the Rick Ankiel homer was regrettable, but there’s no shame in the fact that Pujols hit a home run off of him. Game story: “Pujols led off the fourth with a high shot to left field.” A couple of Dodgers fans in the stands were arguing about that one. “Too high . . . too high” said the first guy. “‘Too high?’ What does that even mean, ‘too high?'”

Padres 4, Cubs 1: 1-0 entering the bottom of the ninth and in comes Kevin Gregg, who quickly allows four runs on a walk, a double, an intentional walk and a walkoff dinger to Kyle Blanks. Lou Piniella: “I think we are going to make some changes as far as what we’re going to do late innings.” On the bright side, Kevin Gregg, Iowa can be very beautiful in late summer. The Padres signed first round draft pick Donovan Tate. I hadn’t realized that he’s former Bucs running back Lars Tate’s son. I suddenly feel very, very old.

Athletics 3, Yankees 0: Brett Tomko was released by the Yankees a month ago, turned around and threw five shutout innings against them last night. Joe Girardi, speaking in oddly declarative sentences: “We’re surprised we got shut out. We have a good offensive team.”

White Sox 8, Royals 7: Mark Buehrle continues to be profoundly unimpressive in the wake of his perfect game, getting knocked around by a particularly feeble Royals’ lineup, but Brian Bannister was roughed up even more, and ultimately Buehrle’s teammates bailed him out.

Rangers 8, Twins 5: Tommy Hunter is now 6-2 with a 2.64 ERA in ten starts, and the Rangers have won five of six. Francisco Liriano should investigate a malpractice suit against the guy who did his surgery (2 IP, 7 H, 7 ER).

Report: Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on Sonny Gray

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 06: Sonny Gray #54 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 6, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.

Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.

Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.

President Obama Welcomes the Cubs to the White House

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As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.

Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.

Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.