Red Sox pitcher Lackey leaves the game in Toronto

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Blue Jays 9, Red Sox 3: Who is hated more in Boston right now: John Lackey or Lebron James? Probably Lackey. Dude even hates himself. His quote after the game — and I am not making this up — “Everything in my life sucks right now, to be honest with you.”  Man, way to take all of the fun out of going after a guy.

Nationals 7, Braves 3: Bullpen go boom and any momentum Atlanta had coming off that Philly series is gone. I’ve had the sneaking suspicion that Craig Kimbrel had been used too much lately (Eric O’Flaherty and Johnny Venters even more so), and perhaps it is catching up with him. Kimbrel was unable to hold a 3-1 lead in the ninth and then Scott Linebrick imploded in the 11th. The latter was far less surprising than the former. Anyway, earlier in the season I said some nice things about Fredi Gonzalez not having too quick a hook with some guys and not having too late a hook with others and that he generally had a good feel for his pitching staff. Yeah, I may be coming off that a bit.

Royals 4, Yankees 3: Things could have been worse. Jeff Francoeur was almost the hero here with a 10th inning RBI double.  If that had held up, you would have found me locking my doors to keep Kent Hrbek, Jim Leyritz and zombie Eric Gregg from breaking down my front door and barging into my house to tackle me, to hit an ill-advised slider over my fence and to call me out on extremely wide strikes, respectively.  As it was, Curtis Granderson hit a clutch two-out RBI single to tie it up again in the 10th and then Eric Hosmer won it with a sac fly in the 11th (he also homered earlier). Way, way more comfortable with Hosmer as the hero.

Rays 8, Indians 2: Cleveland had won 14 straight at home, but Cleveland did not rock for them last night. Detroit is only four and a half back now.

Dodgers 2, Pirates 0: Hiroki Kuroda shut the Pirates out over seven and the bullpen continued the job (Note: Vicente Padilla now has as many saves as Fernando Rodney and Ryan Franklin combined).  May I ask anyone who saw this game: how does a 2-0 contest in which there were nine total hits last over three hours?

Phillies 5, Marlins 3: A day after his error helped cost them the game, Jimmy Rollins hit a two-run single in the ninth inning to complete the Phillies comeback from a 3-0 deficit.  Ah, Jimmy. I suppose we’ll keep you.

Orioles 4, Mariners 2: Felix Pie went 1 for 3 against Felix Hernandez (1 for 4 overall), dropping his career average against pitchers named Felix to .500.  As far as I can tell, this leaves Felix Escalona alone at the top of the all-time Felix-on-Felix leader board, with his cool 1.000 average (a double off Felix Heredia).  For those of you wondering, Neither Felix Mantilla, Felix Fermin nor Junior Felix ever faced a Felix pitcher.  If anyone wants to look up who leads the Octavios or Guillermos, be my guest. UPDATE: it’s done. Check the comments. My readers are the best.

Tigers 9, Twins 7: All Victor Martinez does is get three hits and three RBI. Every game! OK, just the last three, but that’s pretty impressive anyway. I don’t think it’s too early to declare declare the Twins the first team that a non-trivial number of people picked to go to the playoffs dead.

Astros 4, Reds 3: Hunter Pence hit a walkoff double, helping the Astros avoid the sweep. The Reds walked nine Astros hitters. Three of them scored. Walks are bad, mmmkay?  Pence has a 15-game hitting streak, by the way.

Padres 13, Brewers 6: Twenty-three hits and thirteen runs for San Diego is a good way to make the season’s offensive numbers look better.  Jason Bartlett and Cameron Maybin each had four hits.  Chris Denorfia and Ryan Ludwick each had three, including a homer.

White Sox 6, Angels 4: Jake Peavy returns and allows four runs in six innings. Not great, but having him back is a positive. Once he left the Sox bullpen held up nicely and the Angels’ pen didn’t, allowing Chicago to come back from a 4-1 hole, with Omar Vizquel of all people driving in runs in the eighth and ninth.

Cubs 11, Cardinals 4: Chicago opens up a can of whoop-ass on Jake Westbrook and the Cardinals, getting 11 runs on 17 hits. The struggling Starlin Castro was 4 for 4 with three RBI.

Giants 4, Diamondbacks 3: Down 3-0, the Giants woke up and scored four unanswered runs. Miguel Tejada was 3 for 4.

Mets vs. Rockies: POSTPONED:  Coalescence occurs when water droplets in clouds fuse to create larger water droplets, which is known as the Bergeron process. Air resistance typically causes the water droplets in a cloud to remain stationary. When air turbulence occurs, water droplets collide, producing larger droplets. As these larger water droplets descend, coalescence continues, so that drops become heavy enough to overcome air resistance and fall as rain.

Athletics vs. Rangers: POSTPONED: Rain is an Edenian who bears witness to Shao Kahn’s invasion of his homeland Edenia as a youth. Many centuries later, he returns during the invasion of Earthrealm and is forced to join Kahn’s forces in order for him to betray his homeland. During the events of Mortal Kombat: Armageddon, Quan Chi informs Rain that he is a direct descendant of Argus, the protector god of Edenia, making him a half-god.

Mitt Romney’s sons are trying to buy a stake in the Yankees

TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 30:  Tagg Romney son of Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gives an interview during the final day of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 30, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate during the RNC which will conclude today.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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Mitt Romney built his professional life in Massachusetts and was once the governor of the state. As such, it is not surprising that he has long identified as a Red Sox fan. So this has to be troubling to him from a fan’s perspective. From Jon Heyman:

The Romney family is bidding to buy a small stake in the Yankees months after their try for the Marlins stalled. If the deal goes through, it is expected to be $25 million to $30 million per percentage point and thought to be interested in one or two percentage points. The Yankees are valued around $3 billion or more.

The effort is being led by Mitt’s son Tagg, one of his brothers and their business partners. Mitt’s spokesman tells Jon Heyman that he has nothing to do with it personally. Tagg Romney is reported to have been planning a bid for controlling interest in the Marlins, but that has fallen through.

I find this interesting insofar as the M.O. for the Steinbrenners has, for years, been to buy out minority shareholders in the Yankees, not seek more. Indeed, when George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees back in 1973 he held just a bare controlling interest and there were a ton of silent partners, most of which were back in Ohio and knew Steinbrenner from his shipping business. I’ve personally gotten to know some of them over the years as there are a handful of them in Columbus and I crossed paths with them in my legal career. They have almost all been bought out in the past couple of decades. They still get season tickets and World Series rings and stuff. You can tell them by their personalized Yankees plates and the fact that, within the first ten minutes of meeting them, they will tell you that they once owned a piece of the Yankees but got pushed out.

In light of all of that it’s interesting that the Steinbrenners are once again accepting bids for small stakes in the team. Especially from someone whose interest in controlling the Marlins suggests that they do not consider it to be a mere vanity investment. Makes me wonder what the Steinbrenners’ long term plans are.

Max Scherzer still can’t throw fastballs

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals works against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fifth inning during game five of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on October 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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The Nationals will be many people’s favorites in the NL East this season. Not everything is looking great, however. For example, their ace — defending NL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer — can’t even throw fastballs right now.

The reason: the stress fracture he suffered last August is still causing him problems and Scherzer is unable to use his fastball grip without feeling pain in his right ring finger. He will throw a bullpen session tomorrow, but will only use his secondary stuff.

Scherzer has not been ruled out for Opening Day — the fact that he is throwing some means that his timetable isn’t totally on hold — but you have to figure, at some point, not being able to air things out and use his heater will lead to some problems in his spring training routine.