And That Happened: Tuesday's Scores and Highlights

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Yankees 8, Phillies 3:  All I heard all day yesterday was about how totally Roy Halladay owned the Yankees so, like, look out Yankees. Then he gives up six runs on eight hits in six innings. All of which goes to show you why I’ve laughed off every editor who has ever suggested that I do single-game preview pieces. It’s baseball. I don’t know what’s going to happen. Neither does anyone else. And that’s why it’s wonderful.

Rangers 3, Marlins 2: Mike Stanton makes his home debut for Florida. Unlike Strasburg, he does not inspire a sellout. Shocking, I know. He also goes 0 for 4 with three strikeouts, but we knew that would happen soon enough given his strengths and weaknesses. As for the outcome: If I had a nickle for every game I’ve seen end on a pinch-hit RBI triple by the backup catcher, well, I’d probably have about ten cents. Though I couldn’t for the life of me tell you when I got the first five. Oh, and Josh Johnson continues to be totally sick (7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 7K). Watch out Ubaldo, here comes Josh.

Cardinals 4, Mariners 2: Jeff Suppan returns and gives up a run in four innings. He actually hit for himself in the bottom of the fourth, doubled and came around to score. He didn’t come out to start the fifth inning, however, despite having a lead and having thrown only 73 pitches, most likely because he was gassed, so no W for him.

Twins 9, Rockies 3: Rare: Matt Tolbert hit a home run for the Twins. More rare: Todd Helton hit a home run for the Rockies. Well, maybe not more rare in the aggregate, but I was more surprised to see it in the box score than I was to see Tolbert’s. And not entirely because I give less than a nanosecond’s thought to Tolbert in any given season.

Red Sox 6, Diamondbacks 3: Dustin Pedroia had a couple of hits and scored three runs. Not quite a laser show yet, but after a rough May he’s heating up in June. And hey look: close play at first, Jim Joyce calls the runner safe . . . you make the call! OK, forget it, Joyce got the call right.  I promise we media people will stop talking about this thing sometime before October.

Royals 15, Astros 7: Aviles! (4-5, 4 RBI); Bentancourt! (3 RBI). You can’t stop them, you can only hope to contain them!  In all seriousness, readers will pile on any positive comment I make about the Royals’ bats for the rest of the year, likely ignoring the fact that they’re a basically respectable offense, all things considered.

White Sox 6, Pirates 4: Ninth loss in a row for the Pirates. Mr. Rosenthal says that John Russell is toast.  Mr. Olney says that’s not true. I don’t know who’s right and who’s wrong on that, but given how quick Buster is to jump in and harsh everyone’s buzz each time a fun rumor comes out these days I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that he was never asked to be anyone’s wingman back when he was at Vanderbilt:

Dude: Hey honey, I saw you from across the room and just knew I had to talk to you!

Buster [interrupting]: Actually that’s not true. He’s had a crush on you for weeks and is just now getting up the nerve to say something to you.

Dude: Um, yeah, so, I was wondering if you’d like to go out this Saturday. I know this great little Italian place . . .

Buster: That’s not true either. He has never been there. One of the seniors in our frat said it would make him look classy to take women there. Oh, and the car he plans to pick you up in is not his. It’s his father’s. And by the way, I don’t find your friend all that attractive, so I’m not going to pretend to be interested in her while my friend tries to hit on you.

Dude: Wait! Baby! Come back! I don’t even know this guy! [to Buster]: Thanks. I hope you’re proud of yourself.

Buster: [on dance floor; doing white guy overbite dance to Foghat song, surrounded by the honeys]

Tigers 7, Nationals 4: Ryan Raburn had two hits and drove in four. Magglio Ordonez had four hits. Max Scherzer struck out nine. John Lannan demonstrated that the Nationals probably have the greatest disparity between their top pitching talent and their bottom pitching talent than anyone in the league.

Mets 7, Indians 6: Johan Santana and the Mets were down 4-1 entering the fifth, but then the bats woke up, the Mets put up a five spot and then held on for the win. The Tribe’s ninth inning rally fell short, but Shelley Duncan hit a two-run homer which will make my six year-old daughter happy when I tell her today. Of course, my daughter still thinks that Shelley Duncan leaving the Columbus Clippers and going to Cleveland meant that he did something wrong and is being punished, so she might not really understand. Not that’s she’s wrong about that.

Dodgers 12, Reds 0: Big romp, blah, blah, blah, but the craziest thing about this game was that Hiroki Kuroda came back out to pitch following a two-hour, twenty-four minute rain delay.  He hadn’t yet gone five at the time, so was Torre just trying to get him the win, or is it that Torre owns stock in Dr. James Andrews’ medical practice?

Rays 10, Braves 4: The Braves’ Chris Resop was doing great down in AAA and had a contract provision which required that he be called up by June 15th or else he could opt-out. There was a fair amount of speculation as to whether Atlanta would trade him before then, but they didn’t, the Braves called him up and he pitched last night. Whatever teams held off pulling the trigger on a trade are to be commended, because he got shelled in relief of what was, at the time, a winnable game. Not the Braves deserved to win. They committed four errors. They stranded 14 runners. They only lost one game to the Mets, but if there was any justice in the world they would have lost two games in the standings last night. Just blah.

Brewers 7, Angels 1: Corey Hart continues his torrid pace. He hit a three-run double, giving him 35 RBI in the last 30 games. Dave Bush allows one run and seven hits in seven and change for his first win since late April.

Orioles 4, Giants 1: Jake Arrieta gave up one run on three hits over seven innings, winning his second in a row to start his career.

Athletics 9, Cubs 5: One of a handful of games which featured long rain
delays. Derrek Lee probably wishes it never got underway, as he had
back-to-back errors, allowing four runs to score in the fourth. Fans
booed Lee and then gave him a sarcastic cheer when he next made a play
without an error. Which is total horsesh–, but the way.

Padres 8, Blue Jays 2: Some worker had to change the sign last night to read “We have gone 1 game(s) without an earthquake interruption.” Aaron Cunningham was called up when Matt Stairs went on the DL and last night he hit a grand slam. Shades of Gehrig and Pipp!

Julio Urias is on his way back to the majors

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 27:  Julio Urias #78 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the New York Mets during their game at Citi Field on May 27, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images
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Dodgers 19-year-old rookie Julio Urias is coming back to the majors and Alex Wood is headed to the 15-day disabled list with left elbow soreness, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. Urias will likely start Saturday against the Braves, which will mark his debut in front of the home crowd.

Urias made his major league debut on Friday against the Mets at Citi Field, but lasted only 2 2/3 innings. He yielded three runs on five hits and four walks with three strikeouts.

Urias came into the season rated as the Dodgers’ #1 prospect and the #2 overall prospect in baseball. Prior to his promotion, he had compiled a 1.10 ERA with 44 strikeouts and eight walks over 41 innings with Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Mookie Betts enjoys a three-homer game against the Orioles

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 31: Mookie Betts #50 of the Boston Red Sox follows his three run homer against the Baltimore Orioles in the second inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on May 31, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
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The Red Sox seem to have hit the jackpot on all of their young players so far this year. Jackie Bradley, Jr. just had a 29-game hitting streak snapped. Xander Bogaerts extended his hitting streak to 24 games on Tuesday night. And Mookie Betts has been quite productive batting leadoff for the Red Sox this year, entering Tuesday with an even .800 OPS.

Betts, 23, hit 18 home runs in his first full season last year. With a three-homer night against the Orioles on Tuesday, he’s already up to 12 in 2016 with four months of season left. The first was of the solo variety, a line drive to center field off of Kevin Gausman in the first inning. Betts followed up in the third with a liner to left field for a three-run dinger off of Gausman. He made it three in the seventh, drilling a Dylan Bundy offering to right field.

Here’s video of homer number two:

Betts finished 3-for-5 as the Red Sox won 6-2 at Camden Yards.

The stats show the Pirates as an outlier in throwing “headhunter” pitches

ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 5: Reliever Arquimedes Caminero #37 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the seventh inning at Busch Stadium on September 5, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
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Last week at ESPN Sweetspot’s Inside the Zona, Ryan Morrison looked into the data and found that the Pirates stand out among the rest when it comes to throwing “headhunter” pitches. Those are defined as fastballs 3.2 feet or higher and 1.2 feet towards the batter from the center of the plate.

The research was prompted because Diamondbacks second baseman Jean Segura was hit in the helmet by Pirates reliever Arquimedes Caminero last Tuesday in the seventh inning. The next inning, Caminero hit shortstop Nick Ahmed in the jaw with a pitch and was instantly ejected.

Morrison illustrated the data in a nice chart, which you should check out. The Pirates have thrown 93 of those pitches, which is way more than any other team. The next closest team is the Reds at 68 pitches. The major league average is approximately 48 pitches.

The Pirates have had an organizational philosophy of pitching inside since at least 2013, as MLB.com’s Tom Singer quoted manager Clint Hurdle as saying, “We’re not trying to hurt people, just staying in with conviction.”

Morrison goes on to suggest that the Diamondbacks should have forfeited last Wednesday and Thursday’s games against the Pirates in protest, out of concern for their players’ safety. As it happened, the D-Backs lost both games anyway, suffering a series sweep. The two clubs don’t meet again this season.

D-Backs manager Chip Hale said after last Tuesday’s game that Caminero “shouldn’t be at this level”. Caminero responded to those comments today, Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports. “I’m actually glad you asked me about that,” Caminero said. “The only thing I’ve got to say about (Hale) is that he is a perfect manager. And he was a perfect player, too. That’s it. I know what I did wasn’t good, but it happens in baseball. I wasn’t trying to hit anyone.”

I realize I’m late on pointing out Morrison’s terrific article and the whole debacle between the two teams, but I felt it was worth highlighting.

Jose Bautista: “I’d be stupid to leave” Toronto

TORONTO, CANADA - MAY 29: Jose Bautista #19 of the Toronto Blue Jayshits a two-run home run in the fifth inning during MLB game action against the Boston Red Sox on May 29, 2016 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
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Also included in a recent report on Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista by Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated — along with his belief that Rougned Odor was the only bad guy in the May 15 debacle — was the slugger’s desire to remain a Blue Jay. Per Verducci, Bautista said, “I love the city. I’d be stupid to leave” Toronto.

Bautista, 35, is in the final year of a five-year, $65 million extension signed in February 2011. Back in November, the Jays exercised their 2016 club option for $14 million. Bautista isn’t willing to discuss contract details during the season, so the two sides will have to wait until at least October to come to an agreement.

Entering Tuesday’s game against the Yankees, Bautista is hitting .237/.371/.489 with 11 home runs, 37 RBI, and 40 walks, the latter of which leads the American League.