And That Happened: Sunday's Scores and Highlights

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Phillies 7, Nationals 6: The Phillies are white hot and may very well be the best team in baseball at the moment. They were down 6-3 in the ninth but, hey, no problem: They got a two-run single by Ryan Howard and a two-run homer by Jayson Werth and with that they won their seventh in a row. Philly has only dropped three games in September, and now they have their number one, number one-A and number one-B starters going against the Braves at home this week.

Giants 9, Brewers 2: The NL West has been tighter than a duck’s butt lately (note: I think Dan Rather said that one once about an election. I’m not
really sure), but the Giants take over the top spot. Jose Guillen hit a grand slam in the first and the
Giants never looked back. Thanks to the run support — which he has not
had a hell of a lot of recently — Barry Zito got his first win since
July 16th.

Cardinals 4, Padres 1: Adam Wainwright shut the Padres down to win his
19th. San Diego falls into second place, a half game behind San Francisco and 2.5 back of the
Braves in the wild card.

Dodgers 7, Rockies 6: The Rockies jumped all over Clayton Kershaw,
grabbing a 6-1 lead after two innings. That’s all they’d get, though, as
L.A. chipped away at the lead, tying it on a Matt Kemp double in the
ninth and winning it on an A.J. Ellis — A.J. Ellis? — yes, A.J. Ellis
RBI single in the 11th. This one ended in a brisk four hours and
twenty-one minutes.

Angels 6, Rays 3: A couple of homers from Bobby Abreu and a win for Scott Kazmir give the Angels a series win. Not exactly the way Tampa Bay wanted to enter the Yankees series.

Orioles 4, Yankees 3: Luke Scott hits the tying homer off Mariano Rivera in the ninth and comes around to score the winning run on an RBI single in the 11th. Not exactly the way New York wanted to enter the Rays series.

Braves 6, Mets 3: The Mets took a 2-0 lead in the first inning and then decided to go to sleep or watch football games on their iPhones or something. Derrek Lee smacked a grand slam off double-agent Manny Acosta to help the Braves complete the sweep.

Astros 4, Reds 3: Who ever would have guessed that Brett Myers would be having the season he’s having? Another sharp outing: 7 IP, 6 H, 0 ER. He lowered his ERA to 2.76 on the season. He’s 8-0 with a 2.01 ERA at home.

Pirates 4, Diamondbacks 3: I don’t know that Kirk Gibson is managing for the permanent gig right now or if the front office has already made up its mind on the matter. But to the extent his destiny is in his own hands, getting swept by the Pirates ain’t gonna help him.

Mariners 2, Rangers 1: The Mariners have lost a ton of games this year due to their failure to score runs. This past weekend they won two of three despite only scoring five times.

Athletics 6, Twins 2: Losing the game sucks, but losing Joe Mauer to “a jammed knee,” whatever the hell that is, sucks worse. Ron Gardenhire was ejected in the fourth after Jim Thome flew out to center and Delmon Young was called out at second for failing to tag up at first. Gardenhire’s argument was that the centerfielder dropped the ball — which he did — but the ump said it was after the catch and on the transfer, not a drop of the fly itself. Which seems right based on the replay. Just the latest bit of evidence for the need for an outfield fly rule.

Royals 6, Indians 4: This one was alright — Yuniesky Betancourt stole home on a double steal — but Saturday night’s game was the real gem: Time of game: 2:57. Time of rain delays: 3:40.

Cubs 13, Marlins 3: Tyler Colvin’s injury is nothing short of horrific — the bat shard punctured his chest wall and required a chest tube to keep his lung from collapsing.  It was also nothing short of avoidable. Ban maple bats now.

Red Sox 6, Blues Jays 0: Jon Lester won his fifth straight and upped his win total to 18 on the year. Jose Bautista homered on Friday and Saturday — he’s at 49 on the season now — but he grounded out with the sacks jacked twice in this one. The loss officially eliminated the Jays from playoff contention.

Tigers 9, White Sox 7: The Tigers had a 7-3 lead as late as the seventh but blew it, only to win it in extras. Brandon Inge scored the winning run, but he probably shouldn’t have been in a position to do so: he ran to first on a wild pitch on strike three, A.J. Pierzynski threw down to try and nail him and actually did — on the foot — and the ball went flying, sending Inge to third. Oh, and Manny struck out with the bases loaded to end the game. I have this feeling some Chicago writers (and maybe some Boston and L.A. writers) will consider that symbolic of something.

Ichiro was happy to see Pete Rose get defensive about his hits record

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 14:  Ichiro Suzuki #51 of the Miami Marlins warms-up during batting practice before a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on June 14, 2016 in San Diego, California.   (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
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You’ll recall the little controversy last month when Ichiro Suzuki passed Pete Rose’s hit total. Specifically, when Ichiro’s Japanese and American hit total reached Rose’s American total of 4,256 and a lot of people talked about Ichiro being the new “Hit King.” You’ll also recall that Rose himself got snippy about it, wondering if people would now think of him as “the Hit Queen,” which he took to be disrespect.

There’s a profile of Ichiro over at ESPN the Magazine and reporter Marly Rivera asked Ichiro about that. Ichiro’s comments were interesting and quite insightful about how ego and public perception work in the United States:

I was actually happy to see the Hit King get defensive. I kind of felt I was accepted. I heard that about five years ago Pete Rose did an interview, and he said that he wished that I could break that record. Obviously, this time around it was a different vibe. In the 16 years that I have been here, what I’ve noticed is that in America, when people feel like a person is below them, not just in numbers but in general, they will kind of talk you up. But then when you get up to the same level or maybe even higher, they get in attack mode; they are maybe not as supportive. I kind of felt that this time.

There’s a hell of a lot of truth to that. Whatever professional environment you’re in, you’ll see this play out. If you want to know how you’re doing, look at who your enemies and critics are. If they’re senior to you or better-established in your field, you’re probably doing something right. And they’re probably pretty insecure and maybe even a little afraid of you.

The rest of the article is well worth your time. Ichiro seems like a fascinating, insightful and intelligent dude.

There will be no criminal charges arising out of Curt Schilling’s video game debacle

Curt Schilling
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In 2012 Curt Schilling’s video game company, 38 Studios, delivered the fantasy role-playing game it had spent millions of dollars and countless man hours trying to deliver. And then the company folded, leaving both its employees and Rhode Island taxpayers, who underwrote much of the company’s operations via $75 million in loans, holding the bag.

The fallout to 38 Studios’ demise was more than what you see in your average business debacle. Rhode Island accused Schilling and his company of acts tantamount to fraud, claiming that it accepted tax dollars while withholding information about the true state of the company’s finances. Former employees, meanwhile, claimed — quite credibly, according to reports of the matter — that they too were lured to Rhode Island believing that their jobs were far more secure than they were. Many found themselves in extreme states of crisis when Schilling abruptly closed the company’s doors. For his part, Schilling has assailed Rhode Island politicians for using him as a scapegoat and a political punching bag in order to distract the public from their own misdeeds. There seems to be truth to everyone’s claims to some degree.

As a result of all of this, there have been several investigations and lawsuits into 38 Studios’ collapse. In 2012 the feds investigated the company and declined to bring charges. There is currently a civil lawsuit afoot and, alongside it, the State of Rhode Island has investigated for four years to see if anyone could be charged with a crime. Today there was an unexpected press conference in which it was revealed that, no, no one associated with 38 Studios will be charged with anything:

An eight-page explanation of the decision concluded by saying that “the quantity and qualify of the evidence of any criminal activity fell short of what would be necessary to prove any allegation beyond a reasonable doubt and as such the Rules of Professional Conduct precluded even offering a criminal charge for grand jury consideration.”

Schilling will likely crow about this on his various social media platforms, claiming it totally vindicates him. But, as he is a close watcher of any and all events related to Hillary Clinton, he no doubt knows that a long investigation resulting in a declination to file charges due to lack of evidence is not the same thing as a vindication. Bad judgment and poor management are still bad things, even if they’re not criminal matters.

Someone let me know if Schilling’s head explodes if and when someone points that out to him.