Wes Helms

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Marlins 1, Giants 0: Anibal Sanchez with the shutout and Ryan Vogelsong took a tough loss.  And at the risk of being a big jerk here, am I crazy for thinking that the articles about the Giants that have taken on a tone of mourning over the Posey injury are a bit much? It sucks. It’s awful. You have to love a young talent like Buster Posey and it’s not at all cool to see him get knocked out for the season.  But the “it was tough for Vogelsong to take the mound” and the “with the home fans stunned and grieving” rebop is laying it on a bit thick. It’s sports. Injuries like this happen several times a year. I don’t recall anyone talking about “mourning” Kendrys Morales’ injury last year. Or Jorge De La Rosa’s. Or Stephen Strasburg’s. Please move past this, people …somehow.

Cubs 9, Mets 3: As mentioned yesterday, R.A. Dickey left this one with an injury. No word on whether there will be any rules changes about how pitchers cover first base on a grounder to the right side in the wake of all of this. For the Cubs, Carlos Zambrano pitched six strong innings and went 3 for 3 with a double and an RBI on a cold day in Chicago.

Red Sox 14, Tigers 1: I don’t know about rules changes for barreling over catchers or rules changes for covering the bag, but I do know this: pretty soon we’re going to have to change the rules for Red Sox games. Like, institute the mercy rule or something. Second game in a row with two touchdowns for the Bosox.

Athletics 4, Angels 3: You have a problem with authority, Mr. Anderson. You believe you are special, that somehow the rules do not apply to you.  Well, when you pitch eight shutout innings, you probably have a case for that.

Phillies 10, Reds 4: In a day game after a 19 inning game the night before, you have to figure that the team who can get the most out of their starting pitcher is gonna be the team that prevails. Done and done, with Cliff Lee going eight for the Fightins and Homer Bailey leaving after four with shoulder wonkiness for the Reds. Raul Ibanez continues his May rebound by going 2 for 5 with a homer and three RBI.

Orioles 6, Royals 5: That’s five straight wins for Baltimore, this one coming on a Vlad Guerrero RBI in the 12th. Vlad has hit in 11 straight games, and is at .354/.400/.476 for the month. The bigger hero here, though, was Nolan Reimold, who had four hits, two of which were homers, and four RBI.

Juan Pierre 3, Blue Jays 1: Juan Pierre drove in two runs and the third White Sox run scored on the same play as his second RBI single by virtue of a throwing error. Jose Bautista’s slugging percentage slipped below .800. Gee, I sure hope he’s OK.

Diamondbacks 6, Rockies 3: Miguel Montero drove in three and Micah Owings got his first win in over a year. The Diamonbacks have won nine of ten and are a mere 1.5 games out of first place. If you say you saw this coming, please stop lying.

Jay Bruce: “This is such a fleeting game. It’s so unforgiving.”

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 25:  Jay Bruce #32 of the Cincinnati Reds swings and watches the flight of his ball as he hits a two-run homer against the San Francisco Giants in the top of the fourth inning at AT&T Park on July 25, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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Outfielder Jay Bruce was the catalyst in the Reds’ 7-5 victory over the Giants on Monday night, drilling a pair of two-run home runs. It’s good timing for the Reds, as the trade deadline is six days away. The Reds might prefer to get a prospect or two for Bruce rather than pick up his $13 million club option for 2017 or buy him out for $1 million and let him walk into free agency.

It was only a year ago that it seemed like the Reds would have to settle for next-to-nothing to get rid of Bruce. He posted career-lows across the board in 2014, including a .654 OPS and 18 home runs. He improved last season, returning to 26 home runs, but came with an uninspiring .729 OPS.

This year is another story. Bruce is currently hitting .272/.326/.564 with 23 home runs and a league-best 77 RBI. He’s on pace to set career-bests in a lot of categories if he’s able to stay healthy.

Bruce was honest about his resurgence, though, admitting that he doesn’t know why he’s so much better this year as Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports.

This is such a fleeting game. It’s so unforgiving. You’re never settled. You’ve never got it. You’ve never figured it out. It’s like a puzzle that never has all the pieces to it. You might get close and feel pretty good about your progress, but you never are going to have the puzzle put together.

Bruce, who welcomed a child into the world back in April, also discussed the difficulties of hearing his name bandied about in trade rumors once again.

It’s harder this year. I have a family I have to focus on now. Logistically, it’s much more intricate. I know the skit. I know how it goes. But it will be nice when it’s passed because we’ll have a plan of attack on whether my family is staying where they are in Cincinnati or elsewhere.

This is a point of view that is not often covered. This time of the year can be very difficult for players who may be traded, as they await a phone call that could send their lives into upheaval. It may mean being away from their families for three months. It means living out of a hotel room or finding a place to live on very short notice. Even Bruce’s comments about his success this year are illuminating about the mental strain of the game.

As usual, great reporting by Buchanan. His full article is worth your time.

Chris Sale doesn’t regret protesting wearing White Sox retro uniform

SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 12:  Chris Sale #49 of the Chicago White Sox reacts during the 87th Annual MLB All-Star Game at PETCO Park on July 12, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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White Sox ace Chris Sale was scratched from Saturday night’s start against the Tigers due to a confrontation he had with White Sox coaches and front office staff over the 1976 retro uniforms the club was to wear. Sale used a knife to cut up his uniform as well as the uniforms of some other players, protesting the club’s decision to wear them. The White Sox suspended Sale five games “for violating team rules, for insubordination, and for destroying team equipment.”

Sale spoke about the incident for the first time, as MLB.com’s Scott Merkin reports. The lefty apologized to fans who came to see him pitch and said he regrets “not being there for my guys,” referring to the bullpen, which had to cover for Sale on Saturday. Matt Albers got the spot start and went two innings.

Sale felt the uniform would have impacted his performance, saying, “[The ’76 uniforms] are uncomfortable and unorthodox. I didn’t want to go out there and not be at the top of my game in every aspect that I need to be in. Not only that, but I didn’t want anything to alter my mechanics. … There’s a lot of different things that went into it. Looking bad had absolutely zero to do with it. Nothing.”

Sale was firm that he doesn’t regret standing up for he believes in. “Absolutely not,” he said. He continued, “Do I regret saying business should not be first before winning? Absolutely not.”

With his five-game suspension to end after Wednesday’s game, Sale is on track to start Thursday against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.