And That Happened: Monday's Scores and Highlights

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Earthquake.jpgJust four games, so not a lot happened. That is, unless you count an ally-oop home run, the best player in baseball having a ball bounce off his head and freakin’ earthquake interrupt the eighth inning as “not a lot.”

Blue Jays 6, Padres 3: Nothing notable here other than AN EARTHQUAKE IN
THE EIGHTH INNING. “They happen so fast that there’s nothing you can
do,” Cito Gaston said after the game.  Yeah, if they’d just slow down a bit
we’d be able to get over to the control panel which operates our
inertial dampeners, thereby mitigating the effects of the quake. Two
homers for John Buck, by the way. He’s from Wyoming and cowboys aren’t
afraid of earthquakes.

Giants 10, Orioles 2: For those keeping score at home, the 2010 Orioles
now have an identical record to the 1988 Orioles at the 64-game mark. 
Time to hire Frank Robinson?

Brewers 12, Angels 2: Casey McGehee had a home run, but only because Torii Hunter gave him an assist. Or maybe McGehee gets the assist and Hunter gets the points, because it was basically an ally-oop play. McGehee also took Erik Aybar out of the game with a breakup slide at second. Looked clean to me. The real problem there was the throw from Kevin Frandsen at first base, which required Aybar to reach back for the ball with his leg fully extended. I’m assuming Mike Scioscia had a problem with the throw too, considering that he took Frandsen out of the game immediately after that play.

Cardinals 9, Mariners 3: Rough day at the office for Albert Pujols too, as he took a throw off his head as he was scoring from third. Not that rough, however, as he reached base all five trips to the plate. Overall Tony La Russa’s rejiggered lineup — with Matt Holliday in the two-hole — scored nine runs. I’m sure it had everything to do with La Russa’s genius moves and nothing to do with the fact that the Cards were facing Luke French and Ian Snell.

Matt Carpenter suspended one game for bumping umpire

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Cardinals first baseman Matt Carpenter has been suspended one game for bumping home plate umpire John Tumpane when he didn’t like a called strike three in the seventh inning of Sunday’s game against the Brewers. Manager Mike Matheny was also ejected along with Carpenter.

Carpenter will serve his suspension Tuesday night, per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Through his first 69 nice plate appearances this season, Carpenter is hitting .236/.362/.364 with a pair of home runs and five RBI.

Dave Stewart says Diamondbacks’ early success is proof he was good as GM

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After the completion of the 2016 regular season, the Diamondbacks fired then-GM Dave Stewart and then-manager Chip Hale. Stewart acted as GM for two seasons. His most controversial move occurred in December 2015 when he acquired pitcher Shelby Miller and minor league pitcher Gabe Speier in exchange for outfielder Ender Inciarte and prospects Dansby Swanson and Aaron Blair. After his firing, Stewart blamed his superiors for the trade and said his gut was telling him not to make the trade.

The D-Backs are now led by new GM Mike Hazen and manager Torey Lovullo. The club had a relatively quiet offseason, as its biggest acquisitions were Taijuan Walker and Fernando Rodney. Defying expectations, though, the Diamondbacks enter Tuesday night’s action with a 13-8 record, just a game and a half behind the first-place Rockies. Stewart spoke to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports and said that the D’Backs’ success shows that he knew what he was doing all along.

This means a lot to me because this is the same team, or very close to the one that I put on the field. So basically all of those guys and baseball analysts who said I didn’t know what I was doing, it showed I knew exactly what I was doing.

Everybody was just beat up and not living up to expectations. So all of a sudden, it’s my fault. Well, it’s not my fault. I couldn’t prevent injuries or jump in their bodies to make them pitch better in the starting rotation. We put the right people on the field. So I don’t think anybody should be surprised how well those kids are playing. They’re healthy now. I knew this was going to happen.

Everyone should have seen it coming.

Not to rain on Stewart’s parade, but the Diamondbacks are five games over .500 in a relatively tiny 21-game sample size. Had his team valued analytics during his tenure, he might have known that. Additionally, few of the players performing well for the team right now are players Stewart himself was responsible for bringing to Arizona. Furthermore, the team’s success doesn’t retroactively justify what he gave up for Miller nor does it justify practically giving away Touki Toussaint and signing a 32-year-old Zack Greinke to a six-year, $206.5 million contract.

During and after his tumultuous tenure with the D-Backs, Stewart has appeared very insecure. When he was fired, he quipped, “Quite frankly, I’ve got better things to do.” He appeared on MLB Network Radio in February to deflect any blame directed at him for the team’s failure. And then there’s his most recent quotes in which he heaps praise on himself for the team’s success.

Stewart was an All-Star starter who finished in the top-three in AL Cy Young Award voting three times in his career. He’s understandably competitive and has probably built up a very strong distaste for failure. Sometimes, though, one has to make peace with the fact that things didn’t go one’s way. Stewart simply appears to be tilting at windmills to protect his ego.