And That Happened: Wednesday's Scores and Highlights

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Jim Joyce looks on.jpgTigers 3, Indians 0: So, did anything notable happen in this game?

Mariners 2, Twins 1: Between a tornado warning (see the Cubs-Pirates recap at the bottom) and the Armando Galarraga stuff I was unable to pay any attention to Ken Griffey’s retirement before this game.  I will remedy that later today.

Dodgers 1, Diamondbacks 0: I watched way more of this game than I should have. Guess it was morbid fascination combined with being lulled into a state of happy by Vin Scully’s voice. It totally screwed with my judgment too. In the 14th inning, Scully, after the second out, said something to the effect of “hope you don’t have any plans everybody . . .” before catching himself and saying ” . . . because unless Garret Anderson can do something here we’ll be heading to the 15th.”  My comment on Twitter at the time wasIt’s possible that Vin thought there were already
three outs there, but more likely that he’s just realistic about Garret
Anderson’s chances
.” Of course Anderson then singled in Matt Kemp, ending the game.

Braves 2, Phillies 1: Hit this one up yesterday afternoon.  Atlanta now goes to face a Dodgers pitching staff that (a) hasn’t given up a run in forever, but (b) has to be tired after consecutive extra-inning performances.

Yankees 9, Orioles 1: The whole Yankees starting lineup was back for the first time in forever last night. Now that they’re done with that practice squad in the orange, black and gray uniforms they get to see how they play against real teams. UPDATE:  Oops, sorry about that. They have one more game against the practice squad. Forgive me, but my brain is a bit fried this morning.

Rays 7, Blue Jays 3: Lord Almighty, the Rays like the late-inning drama, no? Carl Crawford’s ninth-inning grand slam didn’t put the Rays ahead, but it certainly put the game out of reach, as Tampa Bay puts up a six spot in the final frame for a come-from-behind victory.

Padres 5, Mets 1: At some point, just before I went to bed early, early this morning (yeah, I’m functioning on almost no sleep right now) I suffered this moment of panic, wondering if, between the Armando Galarraga thing, Griffey’s retirement, the Braves sweep of the Phillies and all of the amazing late-night action, if there was just too much baseball drama to handle. This one may have put me over the edge. Adrian Gonzalez 11th inning grand slam. Just an unreal day of baseball yesterday.

Red Sox 6, Athletics 4: Big Papi — we can call him that now that he’s hitting like Big Papi again — hit the go-ahead two-run homer in the fifth. He was 2 for 2 with a double, that homer and two walks. Can a guy win Comeback Player of the Year for coming back from adversity that occurred in the same season?

Brewers 7, Marlins 4: Where would the Brewers be without Yovani Gallardo? In addition to giving up two runs in seven innings with four strikeouts, he hit a dinger.

Rangers 9, White Sox 5: Vlad Guerrero was scratched after getting popped in the eye by a ball at the batting cage during BP (the practice kind of BP, not the kind that spilled all that oil). He was not needed, however, as Matt Treanor homered and drove in four and Michael Young had three hits.

Astros 5, Nationals 1: Back-to-back wins for the Astros for the first time in nearly a month. Three errors for Ian Desmond, who now has 14 on the year.

Angels 7, Royals 2: Torii Hunter homered, doubled, singled and drove in three runs as the Angels take their sixth win in eight games.

Cardinals 4, Reds 1: Chris Carpenter allows only one run on four hits over eight innings to bring the Cards back into a tie for first place. Big boo-boo here: runner on first and third in the seventh, and Scott Rolen — the guy on first — got smacked by a ground ball. Just one of them things.

Giants 4, Rockies 1: A two-run double for the slumping Aaron Rowand and one run on four hits over eight innings for Chris Carpenter Matt Cain helps the Giants avoid the sweep.

Cubs vs. Pirates: Postponed. I’m assuming this was the same weather system that blew threw my town a few hours earlier. We had tornado warnings and all kinds of fun stuff. My wife and kids and I were the basement for a while. While down there, my son found an old wooden Louisville Slugger I’ve had since I was a kid. My daughter looked at the name on it and asked “Daddy, who’s Gorman Thomas?”  My answer: “He was one of Harvey’s Wallbangers, dear.”  The my wife made me explain a little more thoroughly.

Giants closer Mark Melancon is heading to the disabled list once again

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The Giants have placed closer Mark Melancon on the 10-day disabled list with a right pronator strain.

This is the same injury that sent him to the disabled list last month. He came back from that quickly, but it can’t be great that this is happening again. You have to assume he’ll miss more time given the recurrence of trouble. He’s going to get an MRI too. Sam Dyson is expected to serve as the Giants’ closer while Melancon is sidelined.

Melancon has a 4.35 ERA and 11 saves in 22 appearances this year. He signed a four-year, $62 million deal with San Francisco last December.

The Cubs visited the White House. Again.

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Last January, the World Champion Chicago Cubs visited the White House. It was a bit unorthodox, as World Series winners typically wait until the following summer and make the trip during a road series in Washington or Baltimore.

They did it, however, because when the Cubs won the Series, then-President Obama asked the Cubs to visit before he left office. He’s a White Sox fan but a Chicago guy and said he was rooting for the Cubs. So the Cubs visited.

Today they’re back again. It’s been characterized as an “informal” visit. No suits and ties or big official photo-ops in front of the White House. It was even unclear until this afternoon if they’d even meet with President Trump. The visit was inspired in part by Maddon’s longtime friend, U.S. Congressman Lou Barletta, and partially by the Ricketts family’s ties to the Trump administration. The Ricketts are significant Republican donors and one of the Cubs’ co-owners, Todd Ricketts, is Trump’s deputy commerce secretary.

So to the White House the Cubs went. At least some of them. Many decided not to go for a number of reasons, ranging from “no-comment” to game preparation considerations (the visit just happened, much later in the day than usual White House visits). At least one vocal Trump supporter, Jake Arrieta, did not go. Another, John Lackey, did go, but declined to give any comment on it, expressing concern that his quote would be used for political purposes. I’ve yet to see anyone say they weren’t going specifically because they do not support Trump, though I presume some felt that way. The man isn’t exactly popular at the moment.

Nevertheless, the political overtones of all of this are hard to ignore. The Cubs already had their official White House visit, so a second one has to mean something, right? Teams don’t just get invited to the White House whenever they happen to be passing through town. Some of this is probably about the Trump administration smarting a bit over Obama swooping in for that visit in January. Some of it is probably about the Ricketts family either wanting to send the team for a non-Obama visit, to do a favor for Trump or some combination of those things.

Joe Maddon was defensive about it all yesterday, saying it wasn’t political. Trump obviously didn’t hear him as he used the time when the Cubs were standing next to him for photos to take questions about the health care legislation and slag on Obamacare:

Maybe Maddon and the Cubs wanted to keep out of politics, but politics makes no such agreement with anyone.