Geovany Sot

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Sorry it’s coming a bit late this morning. Your author was under the weather last night and decided that rather than stay up watching baseball and reading box scores that an early bedtime was in order. Anyway:

Cubs 4, Phillies 3: Ryan Madson had been gold in save situations, but came up pyrite last night: Geovany Soto hit a game-tying homer off him in the ninth. Then in the 11th, Tyler Colvin scored from second when Placido Polanco threw away what would have been the third out of the inning. Colvin actually thought he had a homer in the ninth too, but it was overturned when replay showed that a Philly fan interfered with it, rendering it a ground rule double.  I can’t find a replay of that, but I’m going to assume, based on ample historical evidence, that the fan reached over the railing and barfed santa clause-themed batteries on the ball, with his nausea caused by excessive booing and cheese steak consumption.

Red Sox 8, Yankees 3: Finally, the plunkings happen. Josh Beckett hit Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia hit David Ortiz. If you’re the kind of person who keeps a ledger of these sorts of things it strikes me that Ortiz would still require about three more plunkings under the rules people like to espouse about when you hit someone. But really, given the woodshedding that the Yankees got in this series, it would come off kinda desperate and sad.  And let’s face it: that’s just not how the Yankees have ever really rolled. They tend to get their revenge by signing your free agent target and then winning a championship and acting all smug about it, not by throwing at people.

Braves 3, Marlins 2: The eighth straight loss for Florida, seven of which have been one-run games. Just awful luck for them. The law of averages — one run game edition — usually treats you more fairly than that. Jair Jurrjens is now tied with a number of fellows for the MLB lead in wins. Not bad considering he missed the first two weeks of the season on the DL.

Royals 3, Blue Jays 2: Hey, I’m not made of stone, so I gotta give Jeff Francouer some love here. Two RBI for the guy I love to loathe, while Luke Hochevar picks up his first win since May 1st.

Reds 3, Giantos 0: Seven shutout innings for Johnny Cueto. On Wednesday the Reds played a game in 90+ degree temperatures at home. Game time temperature for this one in San Francisco: 59 degrees.

Padres 7, Nationals 3: Anthony Rizzo debuts with by going 1 for 2 with a triple, two walks and a run scored. Not bad. Meanwhile, the Aaron Harang rejuvenation tour of Petco Park continues apace. He’s 7-2 now with a 3.71 ERA. In other news, it seems like Washington has been on this west coast swing for a month.

Rockies 9, Dodgers 7: Troy Tulowitzki drove in four and the Rockies finally got to Clayton Kershaw, who had thrown five shutout innings at them before stumbling though the sixth and seventh.

Mets 4, Brewers 1: A nice bounceback win after having their guts ripped out the night before. Jonathon Niese was solid into the eighth inning. Terry Collins’ actual quote after the game:

“This team was flat last night, they just came back today and just realized today was another day. I think with all that’s happened, it just rolls off their back now. It’s another obstacle they’ve got to climb over. They’re just kind of getting immune to it.”

I’m assuming that he has a metaphor/cliche punch card that he’s trying to get filled up before the end of the month so he can get a free sub or something.

Cardinals 9, Astros 2: St. Louis put up a 5-spot in the sixth inning when Lance Berkman continued to haunt his old mates with an RBI single to kick the scoring off. Berkman has played six games at Minute Maid Park this year. In those games he’s hitting .480 with five home runs and 12 RBI.

Twins 5, Rangers 4: Minnesota blew an early three-run lead, but Alexi Casilla hit an RBI single with two outs in the ninth inning to salvage it. The Twins have won seven of ten.

White Sox 9, Athletics 4: Bob Melvin’s debut didn’t look any different than Bob Geren’s last nine games, but I guess A’s players were happier about it. Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko each had two-run homers. Mark Buehrle started for the Sox and the game lasted 2:51. Which for him had to feel like 11 hours. He’s 5-1 with a 3.00 ERA in his last seven starts.

Tigers 4, Mariners 1: Justin Verlander faced a Mariners’ lineup that featured Adam Kennedy starting at first base and hitting in the three-hole, and the results were fairly predictable: 8 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 10K. Alex Avila hit two triples. The game took 2 hours, 17 minutes.

Diamondbacks 2, Pirates 0: A zero-zero tie until Chris Young hit a two-run homer in the eighth and — surprise surprise — the Dbacks’ bullpen made it stand up.

Collins worried David Wright might go on disabled list

Washington Nationals v New York Mets
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NEW YORK (AP) Mets manager Terry Collins is worried David Wright may wind up on the disabled list because of a neck injury.

New York’s captain and third baseman was out of the starting lineup for the third straight day Monday because of his neck. He was given anti-inflammatory medicine over the weekend.

Now 33, Wright was on the disabled list from April 15 to Aug. 24 last year when he strained his right hamstring and then developed spinal stenosis. He has a lengthy physical therapy routine he must go through before each game.

“With the condition he’s been playing in and the condition he’s in right now, yeah, I’m concerned about it,” Collins said Monday. “Is it going to happen? I can’t tell you. I don’t know. I’m not a doctor. I know this guy plays with a lot of discomfort. He always has. And when he can’t play, he’s hurt.”

Wright homered in three straight games last week before getting hurt. He is batting .226 with seven homers, 14 RBIs and 55 strikeouts in 137 at-bats.

Settling the Scores: Memorial Day edition

ARLINGTON, VA - MAY 21:  American flags are shown after being placed by members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment at the graves of U.S. soldiers buried at Arlington National Cemetery, in preparation for Memorial Day May 21, 2015 in Arlington, Virginia. "Flags-In" has become an annual ceremony since the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) was designated to be an Army's official ceremonial unit in 1948  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
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Memorial Day commemorates the men and women who died in military service. At some point in the past couple of decades, however, it has become an all-purpose flag-waving, patriotism-declaring, civilians-in-camouflage holiday. It’s understandable why this is the case. We, as a country, haven’t always done mourning well. I think it’s part of our national cultural DNA that we don’t and it’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it does make days like this difficult.

I feel like the flag-waving and troop-supporting stuff is some sort of subconscious reaction to death. It’s our way of instantly trying to justify those deaths or to explain how they were not in vain, much the same way we might tell someone upon the death of a loved one that they’re in a better place or that they had a full life. Feeling the pain of loss is hard. We want to soften it in any way we can and make our pain serve a larger, better purpose. And so we get today, when Major League Baseball puts its players in camouflage caps and in jerseys with camouflage logos. They’ll sell them too, with proceeds going to good and noble veterans charities. The intent is noble and the ultimate effect of it all is beneficial. But it’s also a little beside the point. Maybe not beside the point as much as mattress sales or big celebratory barbecues which have come to characterize Memorial Day for so many, but still not exactly the purpose of the holiday.

I don’t condemn it. As I wrote last year, the men and women who actually fought and died in wars were hoping that they were, ultimately, making a better and happier world for those they left behind. And they no doubt hoped, among everything else they hoped, that others didn’t have to face what they were facing. They wanted our lives to be happy and our country to be safe and part of a happy and safe country involves 300 million people doing whatever it is they damn please, even if it’s just having barbecues and wearing camo at the ballpark.

I won’t say have a happy Memorial Day because that seems odd. Have any kind of Memorial Day you want, really, even if it includes barbecuing, drinking beer and wearing a cam ballcap. But as you do, please make sure you take some time to think about those who died in military service. And remember that they didn’t get to have as many days like the one you’re having as they were meant to have. And make at least some effort to offset your happy, patriotic or silly pursuits with some mourning and reflectiveness. It’s OK for that to stand on its own.

The scores:

Red Sox 5, Blue Jays 3
Orioles 6, Indians 4
Yankees 2, Rays 1
Nationals 10, Cardinals 2
Brewers 5, Reds 4
Royals 5, White Sox 4
Cubs 7, Phillies 2
Rangers 6, Pirates 2
Astros 8, Angels 6
Athletics 4, Tigers 2
Twins 5, Mariners 4
Giants 8, Rockies 3
Diamondbacks 6, Padres 3
Marlins 7, Braves 3
Dodgers 4, Mets 2

 

Should Dave Roberts have taken Clayton Kershaw out of Sunday’s game?

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 29:  Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers delivers a pitch in the first inning against the New York Mets at Citi Field on May 29, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts will likely be second-guessed heavily during tomorrow’s news cycle. Starter Clayton Kershaw had pitched a terrific ballgame, as is his tendency, but with 114 pitches to his name, Roberts decided to pull him from the game in the eighth inning with two outs and a runner on first base.

Roberts opted not for closer Kenley Jansen, who hasn’t pitched since Wednesday, but for another lefty in Adam Liberatore. He was playing the numbers, with the left-handed-hitting Curtis Granderson coming up. Liberatore, much to Roberts’ chagrin, served up what turned out to be a game-tying triple to Granderson, hitting a rocket to right-center just out of the reach of a leaping Yasiel Puig.

Jansen has, for six years, been one of the game’s elite relievers. Kershaw, though at a high pitch count, doesn’t seem to suffer from the times through the order penalty like most pitchers. Kershaw’s opponents’ OPS facing him for the first time was .525 coming into Sunday. Twice, .597. Three times, .587. Four times, .526 (but this suffers from survivorship bias so it’s not exactly representative).

Furthermore, Kershaw held lefties to a .546 OPS over his career. Liberatore, in 99 plate appearances against lefty hitters, gave up a .575 OPS. Jansen? .560. It seems that, faced with three decisions, Roberts arguably made the worst one. Playing conservative with Kershaw at 114 pitches is defensible, but only if Jansen comes in. If Roberts wanted the platoon advantage, Kershaw should have stayed in.

Luckily for the Dodgers, Mets closer Jeurys Familia didn’t have his best stuff. He loaded the bases with one out in the top of the ninth on a single and two walks, then gave up a two-run single to Adrian Gonzalez, giving the Dodgers a 4-2 lead. Jansen came on in the bottom half of the ninth and retired the side in order to pick up his 15th save of the season.

Royals sweep White Sox over the weekend on three late rallies

KANSAS CITY, MO - MAY 28:  Brett Eibner #12 of the Kansas City Royals celebrates his game-winning RBI single with teammates in the ninth inning against the Chicago White Sox at Kauffman Stadium on May 28, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. The Royals won 8-7. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Ed Zurga/Getty Images
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The Royals had themselves a pretty good weekend. The quickly fading White Sox, not so much.

On Friday, the Royals fell behind 5-1 after the top of the sixth. They would score once in the bottom of the sixth, four times in the seventh, and once in the eighth to steal a 7-5 win facing pitchers Miguel Gonzalez Dan Jennings, Matt Albers, Zach Duke and Nate Jones.

On Saturday, the Royals entered the bottom of the ninth down 7-1. They scored seven runs on closer David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle to win 8-7.

On Sunday, the Royals were down 4-2 after the top of the eighth. They plated three runs in the bottom half of the eighth against Jones and Albers, going on to win 5-4.

Coming into the weekend, the Royals were 24-22 in third place. The White Sox were 27-21, a half-game up in first place. Now the Royals are in first place by a game and a half, and the White Sox are in third place, two games out of first.

Here’s video of the Royals’ comeback on Saturday, since it was so unlikely: