And That Happened: Tuesday's Scores and Highlights

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Mariano River irked.jpgRed Sox 7, Yankees 6: For the second time in three days Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera blew a game. This one was way more on Chamberlain — he came into the eighth with a 5-1 lead and the inning ended with things knotted at 5 — but Rivera came in and gave up two of his own.  I’m sure you’ll hear absolutely nothing else about this game today, however, so please, pay it no mind.

Giants 7, Padres 6: Matt Downs had three hits in the game, all coming from the ninth inning on, none bigger than the two-run double in the 12th that proved to be the game winner. The Giants finally take one from San Diego. I think the last time they won one in San Diego the Padres were wearing brown and yellow.

Braves 3, Mets 2: Fundamentally unsound baseball decided this one. First the Braves couldn’t bunt over the pinch runner on two attempts, with such “failure” leading to a walk and a chopper that ended up scoring the winning run when David Wright threw the ball away. I’m willing to bet my 1986 Hank Aaron Donruss Diamond Kings puzzle that, had the Braves gotten the first bunt down, they never would have gotten the runner home.  In other news, Johan Santana not getting run support against the Braves is a tale as old as time. Well, a tale as old as his time in the National League, but we’ve all heard it by now. He deserved a better fate, but he usually does, doesn’t he?

Pirates 2, Phillies 1: Zach Duke + Pirates bullpen > Roy Halladay all
by his lonesome. At least for last night, anyway. Chase Utley missed his second game in a row with “flu-like symptoms,” which either means (a) that old saw about “flu-like symptoms” being a euphemism for a hangover isn’t true; or (b) Utley is on one HELL of a bender.

Orioles 4, Royals 3: Nice line for Luke Scott: 2 AB, 2 R, 2 H, 2 RBI, 2 BB and 2 HR.  And hey, a Bryan Bullington sighting!  He’s like that cat in the nursing home that curls up on the terminal patients right before they die. When he shows up on your roster, good night Irene.

Marlins 8, Diamondbacks 0: I hit this one yesterday afternoon, but let me just add: I have never won the “you can’t come out of your room until you apologize” game with my son. It’s way easier to be bad than it is to be good. I wish that weren’t true, but it is.

Rays 6, Indians 2: The fundamental problem with the Cleveland Indians is that they don’t have good players like David Price (6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER) and Evan Longoria (2 for 4, 2B, 3B, 3 RBI), and they have a lot of bad players like David Huff.  Don’t spread that one around though — that’s my scoop, babies.

Reds 5, Brewers 4: Gotta agree with Broseph Gleeman on this one: Trevor Hoffman is toast. Hate to see it go down like this, but that’s usually what happens. John Wetteland is the last elite closer I can think of who left on his own two feet. Tom Henke did too. Billy Wagner looks poised to do it, and probably Rivera, but most guys have the ball taken from them.

White Sox 6, Tigers 2: Freddy Garcia was referred to in the AP game story as “the crafty right hander.”  The writer has been fined $50 and ordered to take a lap after violating the clear style-book rule which specifies that only lefties can be described as “crafty.” I realize this is harsh, but if we don’t enforce this now we’ll soon be up to our eyeballs in grizzled rookies, scrappy black guys and balls hit to the opposite field that are not described as “nice pieces of hitting.” In other words: chaos.

Cardinals 3, Nationals 2: Five straight losses for Washington. Methinks they’re turning back into a pumpkin. Oh, and Tyler Clippard may have seven wins, but he still stinks, so take that you Blyleven haters. Oh, wait, sorry. I thought it was December there for a second. I promised myself I wouldn’t start that crap up again until December. Time and place, Craig. Time and place.

Blue Jays 11, Twins 2: Among the carnage yesterday afternoon was an Edwin Encarnacion two-run homer. I always take note of what he does in a game. Why? Because in June of 2005, I was checking into the Marriott in downtown Cleveland, and right in front of me was Edwin Encarnacion, fresh from the airport after being called up to join the Reds for his major league debut against the Indians.  He told the person at the counter his name and they handed him a big envelope with “E. Encarnacion” written on it in magic marker. They explained to him that everything he needed was in that envelope. After I checked in and started walking towards the elevator, I saw him sitting on a bench, looking through the envelope — filled with tickets and cash and all kinds of stuff — basically overwhelmed at everything.  I always sort of wished that he had gone on to a Hall of Fame career so that I could tell that story in more important settings — it could make a great introduction to a motivational speech of some kind — but I’ll take it for what it is.

Rangers 8, Angels 7: C.J. Wilson and Jered Weaver each gave up seven runs in four innings and change, opening up the proceedings to a parade of relievers and rendering this the sort of game I enjoy watching the least. Look closely, and you’ll likely see at least two guys from your high school in the pitchers’ portion of the box score.

Cubs 6, Rockies 2: Six strong innings from Carlos Silva, who remains unbeaten. I haven’t seen a career turnaround like this since Bobby Shelton met Harry O. Tophet.

Athletics 6, Mariners 5: Kurt Suzuki got the RBI single in the 10th to win it, but it was made possible by some sloppy play by the M’s and some heads up base running by Cliff Pennington. Specifically, a poor throw back to the infield allowing Pennington to advance from first to second on a fly out, and then a wild pitch allowing him to take third. Sixteen hits for the A’s offense, which is their season high.

Dodgers 7, Astros 3: Not having Andre Ethier around is a lot easier when the Astros are the opponent. Manny Ramirez, James Loney and Casey Blake each had two RBI.

30 years ago, Dave Kingman sent a live rat to a female reporter

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Someone on Reddit’s /r/baseball page linked to this New York Times article from June 1986.

Dave Kingman, then with the Athletics, was 37 years old and playing in what would be his final season. He was fined $3,500, which is a little over $7,600 in 2016 dollars, for sending a live rat in a pink box to a female reporter, Susan Fornoff of The Sacramento Bee. The rat wore a tag that said “my name is Sue.”

Kingman refused to apologize, saying, “I’ve pulled practical jokes on other people and I didn’t apologize to them.”

According to Fornoff, Kingman had said to her that women don’t belong in the clubhouse, and Kingman had been harassing her since she began covering the team in ’85. The Athletics didn’t keep Kingman around after the season, and he ended up hanging up the spikes.

Pete Dexter wrote in more detail about the incident at Deadspin a few years ago. It’s a good read.

I wasn’t familiar with this story as I was still more than two years from being born when it happened. Sports media has made strides towards being more inclusive of non-white cisgender straight men, especially compared to 30 years ago. But, of course, we’re still a long ways away from an ideal world in which everyone is treated equally and everyone has equal access. Some of the best baseball reporting and analysis these days is being done by women and it’s nice to see sites, especially FanGraphs recently, make a concerted effort towards diversification.

D-Backs mulling optioning Shelby Miller to the minors

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 24:  Shelby Miller #26 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches in the first inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on May 24, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
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Diamondbacks starter Shelby Miller continued to struggle on Tuesday, serving up six runs on eight hits and four walks with three strikeouts over five innings against the Pirates. His ERA, in 10 starts this season, stands at an unsightly 7.09 with 30 strikeouts and 29 walks in 45 2/3 innings.

The D-Backs acquired him from the Braves over the winter, sending 2015 first overall pick Dansby Swanson to Atlanta along with pitching prospect Aaron Blair and outfielder Ender Inciarte. It’s a trade they’d most likely take back if they had the luxury.

Instead, GM Dave Stewart is considering optioning the right-hander to Triple-A Reno to figure things out, Jack Magruder reports for Today’s Knuckleball. Stewart said, “We want to get him on track the best way we can. We will figure it out and do what’s needed.”

Miller is currently slated to start against the Padres on Sunday, so the club has a few more days to consider what to do. Josh Collmenter will likely be activated over the weekend, which would create a convenient way to put him back on the roster and deal with Miller.

Jackie Bradley, Jr. and Xander Bogaerts both extend their hitting streaks

BOSTON, MA - MAY 24:  Jackie Bradley Jr. #25 of the Boston Red Sox returns to the dugout after scoring in the second inning during the game against the Colorado Rockies at Fenway Park on May 24, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. Extending his hitting streak to 28 games.  (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
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Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. and shortstop Xander Bogaerts both extended their hitting streaks on Wednesday night against the Rockies, and both did it in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Bogaerts led off the inning with a solo home run to left-center off of Chad Bettis. After David Ortiz walked and Hanley Ramirez grounded into a fielder’s choice, Bradley laced a single to left field. Bogaerts’ streak now stands at 18 games and Bradley’s is at 29. Bradley is tied with Johnny Damon for the fourth-longest streak in Red Sox history. He trails Tris Speaker and Nomar Garciaparra at 30 and Dom DiMaggio at 34.

The Red Sox entered Wednesday’s action averaging 5.87 runs per game, the best mark in baseball. The major league average is 4.28. Bogaerts and Bradley, unsurprisingly, have been a big part of the offense’s success thus far.

Nick Castellanos upset at being quick-pitched by Hector Neris

DETROIT, MI - MAY 25: Nick Castellanos #9 of the Detroit Tigers argues with home plate umpire Brian Gorman after a called third strike to end the seventh inning of the inter-league game against the Philadelphia Phillies on May 25, 2016 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
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Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos struck out in a big spot for the Tigers during Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Phillies. Trailing 7-5 with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Castellanos had a full count with runners on first and second base facing reliever Hector Neris.

Castellanos had just gotten set in the batter’s box when he watched Neris sneak in an 87 MPH splitter for strike three to end the inning. Castellanos wanted home plate umpire Brian Gorman to intervene because of the quick-pitch, but he didn’t.

Here’s what Castellanos said after the game, via Catherine Slonksnis of Bless You Boys:

“He did. That’s the first time I’ve been quick-pitched, probably since A ball,” Castellanos said, visibly frustrated after the game. “It is what it is. I was frustrated that it happened. Usually, it’s been attempted, but it’s always been stopped. Usually (the umpires) give the hitter that courtesy, but just, learn, and move on.”

And here’s the MLB.com video.

The Tigers also took issue with Gorman for what they feel was unequal treatment in giving batters time out. The Phillies were granted time — some late, as Slonksnis notes — but the Tigers weren’t afforded the same luxury. Mike Aviles also believes he was quick-pitched in the fifth inning.

The Tigers lost the game 8-5 but won the series, taking two out of three from the Phillies. Manager Brad Ausmus missed the game due to his mother’s death, so bench coach Gene Lamont took the role on Wednesday afternoon. Ausmus is also expected to miss Friday’s game for his daughter’s graduation.