And That Happened: Monday's Scores and Highlights

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Rays 1, Yankees 0: Zeros through ten innings, eight a piece for CC Sabathia and David Price. Then the bullpens took over. Joe Girardi had everyone scratching their heads with his choice of relievers for the ninth and extras: Kerry Wood, Boone Logan, Chad Gaudin and Sergio Mitre. Girardi said after the game that Joba needed more rest, which is strange, given that he hasn’t pitched since Friday. Same with Robertson, though that’s a bit more understandable given that he threw 36 pitches on Saturday and he usually gets a couple of days off after games like that. Rivera? Being held out in case a save situation arose. Whatever, Joe, it’s not like this was a series that’ll decide the division or anything . . . Still, Wood, Logan and Gaudin got it done, more or less. Mitre was a palooka too far, though, and he gave up the walkoff homer to Reid Brignac.

Mets 1, Pirates 0: This one was 0-0 through nine as well. Then Joe Girardi telepathically willed John Russell to put in Chan Ho Park for the tenth, allowing Tejada to double and Evans to single him home. Dillion Gee went six and three relievers combined for the other four shutout innings for the Mets.

Padres 6, Rockies 4: A big win for San Diego keeps the Rockies at bay and pushes the Padres ahead of the Giants by a half game. Miguel Tejada drove in four. It’s the first time the Padres have scored five runs or more in weeks. Colorado’s winning streak ends at ten.

Phillies 11, Marlins 4: Four RBI for Chooch Ruiz and homers from Werth, Utley and Dobbs (one of these things/is not like the others/one of these things/just isn’t the same).

Braves 4, Nationals 0: My reverse-jinx/whatever from HBT Daily continues, as yesterday I said Derek Lowe wasn’t very good and last night he threw eight shutout innings with 12 strikeouts. I also said that Jair Jurrjens was running out of gas, so I fully expect him to throw 13 shutout innings tonight.

Athletics 3, Royals 1: Bobby Cramer made his MLB debut and got the win,
allowing one run on four hits in five and a third. According to the game
story, Cramer was out of baseball in 2005-06 and during that time was a
substitute high school teacher and worked on oil pipelines. Then
he played in the independent leagues and then on to the Mexican League. I
haven’t seen a picture of the guy yet, but are we sure Cramer isn’t
really Kenny Powers?

Astros 4, Brewers 2: Houston is 29-16 since trading Roy Oswalt away, which is not exactly what I would have expected. Going all-in with Brett Myers is definitely paying off as he has yet another damn fine start (7 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 10K). Prince Fielder sat this one out with flu-like symptoms. It’s the first action he’s missed in 327 games.

Reds 7, Diamondbacks 2: Two bombs for Jay Bruce in his first game back in two weeks. With this win the Reds (a) clinch a winning season; and (b) eliminate the Cubs from the playoff hunt. It’s a math thing. I know the Cubs didn’t think they were hunting anymore.

Cubs 5, Cardinals 1: The Cards have been thinking they were hunting, but they’re pretty much out of ammo at this point. How they got blanked by Jeff Samardzija is a friggin’ mystery.

Orioles 4, Blue Jays 3: Another extra innings affair, this one with some actual runs scored in regulation. Luke Scott hits the walkoff RBI single. The Orioles bat the Jays for the first time in 13 tries this season. All of those were back in the Trembley/Samuel dark ages, though.

Red Sox 5, Mariners 1: Jon Lester was tough: he struck out 12 Mariners and surrendered only three hits over eight innings. The start put him over 200 Ks for the year for the second straight year.

Reds sign Ryan Raburn to minor league deal

DENVER, COLORADO - APRIL 10:  Ryan Raburn #6 of the Colorado Rockies rounds the bases on his solo home run off of James Shields #33 of the San Diego Padres to take a 4-2 lead in the seventh inning on April 10, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies defeated the Padres 6-3.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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Veteran infielder/outfielder Ryan Raburn has a minor league contract with the Reds, the club announced on Sunday. The deal was reported last week, but had been pending a physical. It includes an invitation to spring training, where Raburn is expected to compete against Desmond Jennings for a major league utility role. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer’s C. Trent Rosecrans, there’s a $900,000 base salary waiting for him if he makes the big league roster by Opening Day.

Raburn, 35, is coming off of a down year with the Rockies in 2016. He slashed .220/.309/.404 for the team last season, clubbing nine home runs as he struggled to stay above the Mendoza line. Raburn was stationed in left field for much of the season, but also saw some time at DH, first base and right field toward the end of the year. Assuming he can turn out a production rate that skews closer to the .301 average and .936 OPS he put up with the Indians in 2015, however, the Reds should have little trouble finding a place for him off the bench or as a platoon option with Scott Schebler in right field.

Dexter Fowler unhappy with President Trump’s attempts to institute a travel ban

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 01:  Dexter Fowler #24 of the Chicago Cubs looks on during the first inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Six of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 1, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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ESPN’s Mark Saxon reports that new Cardinals outfielder Dexter Fowler isn’t a fan of President Trump’s ongoing effort to institute a travel ban. Trump signed Executive Order 13769 on January 27, 2017, which limited incoming travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. However, a temporary restraining order was placed by Judge James L. Robart following Washington v. Trump.

Fowler’s wife was born in Iran. Fowler said that her sister delayed her return from a business trip to Qatar to avoid potentially being detained. Fowler and his wife have also delayed traveling to visit her relatives in Iran.

Fowler said, “It’s huge. Especially any time you’re not able to see family, it’s unfortunate.”

The response by Cardinals fans was predictably terrible. Via the BestFansStLouis Twitter account:

One of the commenters wrote, “He signed a contract with the Cardinals so that makes him property of stl cardinals and mlb so he needs to keep his mouth shut. His personal opinions, problems, beliefs and political views should be kept to himself as long as he’s under a mlb contract…” He continued, “It’s not our fault he married someone from another country.”

Fowler caught wind of this and other responses to his statement, so he tweeted:

Fowler, of course, is one thousand percent correct.

These same “stick to sports,” “keep your politics out of my sports” people either said nothing or cheered when athletes and coaches espoused political views from the other side of the spectrum. Like when Patriots quarterback Tom Brady hung a “Make America Great Again” hat in his locker. Or when reliever Jonathan Papelbon played a pro-Trump song in the clubhouse. Or when former NFL head coach and ESPN commentator Mike Ditka said last year, “Obama’s the worst president we’ve ever had.”

Even Saxon and Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch have received myriad “stick to sports” comments simply for acknowledging that Fowler made a comment on the matter.

As we’ve pointed out here countless times, it is impossible to separate sports from politics. It is irresponsible to pretend like it’s even possible. Sports and politics intersect in so many ways, including race, religion, gender, sexuality, and class. This particular situation with Trump’s executive order impacts baseball quite a bit as Fowler’s individual situation shows. He’s certainly not the only player to have a loved one who came from one of the seven aforementioned countries. Non-white players are also much more likely to have a bad experience at the airport — consider how often players are at the airport during the season — and their family and friends may be subject to one of the many ugly ICE raids that have taken place over the last three weeks.

Kudos to Fowler for speaking up and kudos for Saxon and others for reporting on it. This is certainly not a time during which we should pretend we can keep sports and politics separate.