And That Happened: Tuesday's Scores and Highlights

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Giants 7, Dodgers 5: So the pitching matchup I was so looking forward to kind of fizzled out, but that didn’t keep this one from being interesting.  Clayton Kershaw hit Andres Torres in the first. Then Tim Lincecum smacked Matt Kemp and Denny Bautista threw some inside heat to Russell Martin. Kershaw then did the expected thing and hit Aaron Rowand. The upshot of all of that was Joe Torre, bench coach Bob Schaefer and Kershaw were all ejected.

Don Mattingly took over as the Dodgers’ manager and — just like he did the last time he had the reins — he screwed up. This time he accidentally turned one mound visit in the ninth into two when he turned around on his way back to the dugout, thereby losing Jonathan Broxton. George Sherrill had to come in — cold, because he wasn’t warming up — and he promptly gave up a two-run double to Torres, which ended up giving the Giants the game. Look, I love Mattingly, but is this really the guy everyone considers to be Torre’s heir apparent?

Rockies 10, Marlins 0: I was reading some Nate Robertson/trade deadline speculation yesterday afternoon. This ain’t gonna help it. The Rockies crush the rec-spectacled one, led by Melvin Mora’s five RBI. Melvin Mora had a big game? Quick! Someone call President Bush! It’s 2003 and we can still avoid blundering into the quagmire that is the Iraq war!

Rangers 8, Tigers 0: All Tommy Hunter does is win ballgames. That’s seven straight in the toilet for the Tigers. Armando Galarraga and Casey Fien combine to give up seven runs right after being called up from Toledo. All I can figure is that they both stopped in at some bar in Monroe on the way back up to the ballpark and weren’t 100% at go time.

Braves 4, Padres 1: The Padres threatened in the first inning, but a potential run was killed when David Eckstein was thrown out at the plate by Melky Cabrera to end the inning. You can’t win, Melky. If you strike Eckstein down, he shall become more
powerful than you could possibly imagine
. Braves now have the best record in the NL.

Angels 10, Yankees 2: As I write this particular entry it’s about 10:45 P.M. Eastern time last night, so I haven’t yet had the benefit of reading the New York tabloids yet, but I’m going to go out on a limb and guess the day’s meme: Phil Hughes has now pitched 100 innings! His arm is going to fall off! Pettitte’s hurt! Burnett is a basket case! The Yankees must trade all warm bodies for Roy Oswalt, Ted Lilly and the corpse of Red Ruffing! Maybe that’s not it, but you know there will be a meme. See, the Yankees are expected to go 162-0, and if they lose, writers must search for the root cause. Every. Single. Time.

Cardinals 7, Phillies 1: Jamie Moyer had to leave after one inning due to an elbow strain. Overheard in the clubhouse after the game: Moyer arguing with the training staff about whether to treat the strain with some Lister’s Carbolic Unguent, a Balasam Specific or Smeckler’s Powder. And I’m not going to say that Phillies fans are starting to lose faith or anything, but last night one of the biggest Phillies partisans I know tweeted “I just took a dump. I named it Baez.”

Pirates 11, Brewers 9: It was 9-0 Pirates at the end of the first inning, but the Brewers had gotten within one run by the 6th. That and $8 gets you a domestic beer in a plastic cup, however, and the Brew Crew weren’t able to complete the comeback. Oh, and no one is paying attention because it’s the Pirates and everything, but Pedro Alvarez is having a hell of a July. Last night adds to it: 2 for 4, 2 HR, 5 RBI and a walk.

Indians 4, Twins 3: Travis Hafner doubles in Carlos Santana in the seventh to but the Tribe over the top. In case you haven’t noticed, and judging by the attendance you haven’t,
the Indians have managed to win a few here and there, and are
threatening to climb out of the cellar.

Blue Jays 13, Royals 1: Royals’ starter Anthony Larew left the game early when he was drilled by a comebacker. Just kind of set the tone for the beating the Royals took.

Cubs 14, Astros 7: Anyone else notice that Aramis Ramirez has basically been Ted Williams in July? Three for seven, three homers and seven RBI last night to add onto what has already been a stellar month.

Diamondbacks 3, Mets 2: Like I’ve always said: when Barry Enright takes
the hill, you probably should just pack it in and save your energy to
fight another day. OK, that’s not totally fair — Enright has been good
this year — but the Mets only getting one run off him in eight innings
doesn’t exactly bathe them in glory. Their best shot to break through in
this one came in the first when they had the bases loaded and only one
out, but both Ike Davis and Jason Bay whiffed and the threat was over. 1
for 6 with runners in scoring position overall last night. Just some
bad baseball from New York lately.

White Sox 4, Mariners 0: John Danks shuts down the punchless Mariners over seven and two-thirds and Chicago beats Seattle in a cool 2:11. One of the only really crisp games in all of baseball last night.

Athletics 5, Red Sox 4: Neither Tim Wakefield nor Dallas Braden were particularly sharp, but the bullpens kept things scoreless between the fourth and the ninth. Kevin Kouzmanoff won it with a walkoff single in the bottom of the tenth. His sac fly in the third had tied the game as well. I want to say that he did the tie-it-up, win-it thing a few weeks ago too, but I’m too lazy to look.

Reds 8, Nationals 7: The game itself lasted two hours and forty-eight
minutes. The rain delay in the middle was two hours, thirty-two minutes.
You had to be a brave and hearty soul to stay for that one. Mike Leake
got the win despite the Reds’ pen giving up six runs as soon as the
delay was over. He’s 7-1 now.

Orioles 11, Rays 10: Seven homers, 13 innings and four hours, thirty-eight minutes of baseball. I guess that’s some people’s idea of a good time. Carl Crawford left the game in the first inning and went to the hospital after getting hit in the groin on a pickoff throw from Jake Arrieta. The game was so long that Crawford came back to the ballpark before it was over and gave this choice quote regarding the throw: “You couldn’t hit it in a better spot.”  Really, Carl? I can think of a hundred places that would be preferable.

Yordano Ventura represented the best and worst of baseball’s culture

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 28:  Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals delivers in the first inning during a game against the Boston Red Sox on August 28, 2016 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Adam Glanzman/Getty Images
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It was reported this morning that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. Former prospect Andy Marte was also killed in a separate car accident. Along with Jose Fernandez and Oscar Taveras, the baseball world has lost a lot of young, exciting talent in a very short amount of time.

Ventura was, like all of us, a complex human being. At his best, he was an exciting, talented, emotive pitcher who featured an electric fastball which sat in the mid-90’s and occasionally touched 100 MPH. At his worst, he was an immature, impressionable kid trying to fit in by exacting revenge against batters he felt had wronged him by slinging those electric fastballs at vulnerable areas of their bodies.

Baseball needed Ventura when he was at his best. It is players like him and Fernandez, not Mike Trout, that bring in new fans to the sport. To baseball die-hards, Angels outfielder Mike Trout is the pinnacle of entertainment because we know he’s an otherworldly talent. But to the average fan, Trout is just another player who hits a couple of homers and doesn’t do anything particularly interesting otherwise. Trout is milquetoast. Ventura was never an All-Star, but fans knew who he was because he made his presence felt every time he made a start. He was fun, if sometimes vengeful.

Ventura’s baseball rap sheet is rather lengthy for someone who only pitched parts of four seasons in the big leagues. Early in the 2015 season, Ventura found himself in a handful of benches-clearing incidents in quick succession. On April 12, he jawed with Trout, apparently misunderstanding the motivation behind Trout yelling, “Let’s go!” Though catcher Salvador Perez intervened, Trout’s teammate Albert Pujols ran in from second base and the benches cleared shortly thereafter. On the 18th, some drama between the Athletics and Royals continued. Ventura fired a 99 MPH fastball at Brett Lawrie, resulting in his immediate ejection from the game. More beanball wars ensued in the series finale the following day. Finally, on the 23rd, Ventura hit White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu with a 99 MPH fastball in the fourth inning. Ventura was not ejected… until after the completion of the seventh inning. Walking back to the dugout, Ventura barked at White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton and — you guessed it — the benches cleared. All told, Ventura was fined for his behavior with the Athletics and suspended seven games for the White Sox incident.

In August 2015, Ventura called Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista a “nobody” and accused him of stealing signs. He apologized shortly thereafter. Two months later, during his start in Game 6 of the ALCS against the Blue Jays, Ventura got into it with Jays first base coach Tim Leiper. Nothing happened beyond that, but apparently it was part of the Jays’ plan to try to put Ventura “on tilt.”

Most recently, in June this past season, Ventura hit Orioles third baseman Manny Machado with a pitch. Machado charged the mound and got in at least one punch before the players spilled out onto the field in a blob of royal blue and orange. Ventura was suspended for eight games.

Ventura was by no means a model of civility, but he was a product of baseball’s intransigent culture forcing players to assimilate or be ostracized. The old culture taught players to never show emotion. Hit a home run? Put your head down and circle the bases in a timely fashion or risk taking a fastball to the ribs. Players like Fernandez and Bautista — typically players from Latin countries — challenged those old cultural norms and are, as a result, the vanguard of the new culture. Ventura displayed aspects of each, the worst of the old culture and the best of the new. He was not a one-dimensional person; he was strikingly complex. At one moment willing to use a fastball as a weapon, the next stopping by some kids’ lemonade stand and giving out fist bumps. Baseball is made more entertaining and more interesting by its personalities and Ventura’s was a behemoth, for better or worse. His absence from the sport will be felt.

MLB remembers Yordano Ventura and Andy Marte

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 28:  Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals delivers in the first inning during a game against the Boston Red Sox on August 28, 2016 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
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Following the tragic passing of 25-year-old Yordano Ventura and 33-year-old Andy Marte, both of whom were killed in separate car crashes on Sunday morning, players and executives from around Major League Baseball expressed an outpouring of grief and support for the players’ families and former teams.

Fans have gathered at Kauffman Stadium in memory of the former pitcher.