Raul Ibanez, Brian McCann

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Phillies 14, Braves 1: Like I’ve always said: you give Cole Hamels 14 runs to work with, and he’s probably going to win. Raul Ibanez drove in five runs in the entire month of June. He drove in six in this game. Oh, and watch the comments here: some readers/Braves fans foolishly bet some Phillies fans that, if the Phillies won this series, they’d write some variation of “Phillies Rule” in their comments today. I kept out of that because I’m neither a betting man nor am I deluded regarding the relative power of these two teams. But for those of you who did bet: keep your word, folks. Keep your word.

Yankees 1, Rays 0: CC Sabathia gets his 13th win with a four-hit shutout. James Shields’ throwing error led to the only run scored in the game.

Cardinals 4, Diamondbacks 2: Albert Pujols had a couple of hits to make for a pretty productive weekend and David Freese hit a homer because, well, he’s got to occasionally, right?

Tigers 2, Royals 1: I went outside for, like, ten minutes yesterday and almost collapsed from heat exhaustion. Justin Verlander allowed no earned runs over seven and two-thirds, and threw 119 pitches on a brutally hot day in Kansas City. Other than that, he and I are alike in all kinds of ways.

Brewers 4, Reds 3: Francisco Cordero came in to close things out with a one-run lead in the ninth but couldn’t get it done. An RBI single for Mark Kotsay tied it and a sacrifice for Craig Counsell won it for Milwaukee. In other news, I have mixed up Mark Kotsay and Craig Counsell for years, often referring to one when I meant the other. So, heck, maybe click through to the box score to make sure I’m right. Maybe Kotsay had the sac fly.

Twins 6, White Sox 3: Jake Peavy was eminently hittable. Anthony Swarzak pitched six strong innings. By the way, Anthony Swarzak is a pretty solid Midwestern name. Kind of has a Bill Brasky thing going on with it, so I hope he stays in Minnesota and pitches well for a long time.

Pirates 9, Cubs 1:  Andrew McCutchen homered and drove in five. The Pirates are 47-43, which is their best record at the break since Barry Bonds played there.

Red Sox 8, Orioles 6: A four-game sweep of the O’s for Boston. Baltimore is skidding out of control, having lost 12 of 13 and seven in a row. Both managers were ejected as there was more chin music in this one. Just an pug ugly series in a lot of ways.

Rangers 2, Athletics 0: An Adrian Beltre two-run homer took care of all of the offense. Matt Harrison and a couple of relievers took care of the shutout.

Nationals 2, Rockies 0: Much like the Rangers-A’s game. Jordan Zimmermann and three relievers combined for the shutout here. The Nationals are at .500 at the break, which wasn’t something a ton of people were expecting.

Marlins 5, Astros 4: I love the lede from the AP game story for this one:

With his enthusiasm and veteran leadership, center fielder Mike Cameron has helped rejuvenate the Florida Marlins, who are undefeated since he joined the team. On Sunday he contributed a hit, too.

I’ve read that a couple of times, and I can’t decide if the writer is being sincere about the value of Cameron’s leadership and enthusiasm or if he’s making a somewhat sly comment on that, noting the coincidence between Cameron’s presence and the Marlins’ wins in his first three games there.  Has me looking like this.

Blue Jays 7, Indians 1: A five-run third inning off Carlos Carrasco helped the Jays win their third in a row. The Indians fall a half-game back of Detroit at the break. I’m mildly pleased by this. Not because I’m rooting against Cleveland or anything, but I get mild pleasure from knowing that everyone writing their “first half in review” stories can’t go with the easy “well look who’s in first place” lead-in.

Angels 4, Mariners 2: Three straight games with a homer for Mark Trumbo. Who, whenever I hear his name, makes me think of Dalton Trumbo, which in turn makes me think of either (a) the Hollywood Blacklist; or (b) “Spartacus.”

Dodgers 4, Padres 1: Two homers for Andre Ethier and four wins in a row for the Dodgers. Almost enough to make you forget that the franchise is an utter train wreck. But just almost, or else I wouldn’t have typed that.

Giants 4, Mets 2: Pablo Sandoval extended his hitting streak to 21 games, hitting an RBI double. Matt Cain pitched six scoreless. Both All-Stars, you know, but then again, who isn’t an All-Star these days? I’m pretty sure I’m on the team too.

Sean Doolittle: “Refugees aren’t stealing a slice of the pie from Americans.”

ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 25:  Sean Doolittle #62 of the Oakland Athletics pitches during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on June 25, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images
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In the past, we’ve commented on Athletics reliever Sean Doolittle and his girlfriend Eireann Dolan’s community service. In 2015, the pair hosted Syrian refugee families for Thanksgiving and their other charitable efforts have included LGBTQ outreach and help for veterans.

Athletes and their significant others have typically avoided stepping into political waters, but Doolittle and Dolan have shown that it’s clearly no concern to them. In the time since, the Syrian refugee issue has become even more of a hot-button issue and Doolittle recently discussed it with Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times.

I think America is the best country in the world because we’ve been able to attract the best and brightest people from all over the world. We have the smartest doctors and scientists, the most creative and innovative thinkers. A travel ban like this puts that in serious jeopardy.

I’ve always thought that all boats rise with the tide. Refugees aren’t stealing a slice of the pie from Americans. But if we include them, we can make the pie that much bigger, thus ensuring more opportunities for everyone.

Doolittle, of course, is referring to Executive Order 13769 signed by President Trump which sought to limit incoming travel to the United States from seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. A temporary restraining order on the executive order was placed on February 3, a result of State of Washington v. Trump.

Doolittle spoke more about the plight refugees face:

These are people fleeing civil wars, violence and oppression that we can’t even begin to relate to. I think people think refugees just kind of decide to come over. They might not realize it takes 18-24 months while they wait in a refugee camp. They go through more than 20 background checks and meetings with immigration officers. They are being vetted.

They come here, and they want to contribute to society. They’re so grateful to be out of a war zone or whatever they were running from in their country that they get jobs, their kids go to our schools, they’re paying taxes, and in a lot of cases, they join our military.

Around this time last year, Craig wrote about Doolittle and Dolan not sticking to baseball. They’re still not, nor should they be. Hopefully, the duo’s outspokenness inspires other players and their loved ones to speak up for what’s right.

[Hat tip: Deadspin’s Hannah Keyser]

Russell Martin is not a fan of the automatic intentional walk

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 15:  Russell Martin #55 of the Toronto Blue Jays reacts after being struck out in the fourth inning against the Cleveland Indians during game two of the American League Championship Series at Progressive Field on October 15, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images
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On Tuesday, it was announced that Major League Baseball instituted a new rule allowing for a dugout signal in order to issue an intentional walk rather than having the pitcher throw four pitches wide of the strike zone. It’s commissioner Rob Manfred’s attempt to help improve the game’s pace of play.

As Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reports, Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin is certainly not a fan of the change.

My thing is, if they really want to speed up the game, then when a guy hits a home run, to speed up the game should a guy, just like in softball, when he hits it, should he just walk to the dugout? It’d be quicker. I’m just wondering, at what point do we just keep the game, the game? Or, how about this calculation: take all the intentional walks that were made in the last couple years and calculate – or maybe just ask to see if they have that information, to see if they really did their homework. Is it really that important to speed up the game (with this rule)? Because how many games did we play last year where we didn’t have one intentional walk? That’s something I’d like to know.

Martin also expressed concern that eliminating the four-pitch intentional walk will hurt teams’ ability to buy time for their relievers to warm up.

It’s called getting your bullpen ready so the guy doesn’t blow out his arm on the mound. Speed up the game, speed up the game.’ How about we just give guys – the human being – time to warm up on the mound after maybe something’s happened in the game? I’m not a manager, but I’m just trying to put myself in the position of a manager. OK, we’re up by one run or two runs and our bullpen’s been taxed and we’re trying to save their arms, and then the other team walks, ball gets away, guy gets to second base. When the coach visits the mound to talk to his player, it’s not like the player necessarily needs somebody to talk to him.

It’s because the guy (in the bullpen) needs time to warm up, man. It’s the same thing when you throw over to first base, like, eight times in a row. It’s not like we’re trying to keep the guy close. The guy maybe has two stolen bases in 18 years. It’s because the guy needs time to warm up. At what point does that become a problem with guys warming up in the bullpen? Sometimes it’s just strategy to give guys a little bit of time to warm up.

The Jays’ backstop then said he’d prefer if Manfred were honest about the intent behind this rule change and others which have been proposed. Martin said, “Save it. I’m tired of hearing that same lame excuse all the time. Just be honest. If they’re honest about it, we’ll get over it. But don’t hide behind the fans.”

We should be hearing from a handful of players about the new intentional walk rule in the coming days. I can’t imagine the rule is very popular among the players.