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.

A must-read oral history of the 1998 home run chase

7 Jul 1998:   American Leaguer player Mark McGwire #25 of the St Louis Cardinals and Sammy Sosa #21 of  the Chicago Cubs answer questions during  the Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Coors Field in Denver,  Colorado.The American  League defeated the
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It’s hard to believe that it’s been 18 years since Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa captivated the nation with their epic chase of Roger Maris’ home run record. But it has been, and after years of reaction, counter-reaction and, of course, baseball’s reckoning with the performance-enhancing drugs which helped fuel the chase, it’s probably finally time to do our best to contextualize it historically.

Today one of my favorite news outlets does that with an oral history. All of the key figures weigh-in on it, from McGwire and Sosa to Bud Selig to Tony La Russa. Randy Johnson makes an appearance as well, reminding us that it wasn’t just the sluggers who had an amazing year in 1998. Indeed, his story, including his being traded to Houston and going on an amazing second-half run, has almost been lost to history.

This is bookmark material, my friends. For savoring later if you can’t read it now. And for revisiting at another time given the depths to the drama which justifies multiple readings. I’ll just warn you that there is some adult language in the story, but that’s to be expected given the passion the 1998 baseball season inspired.

Go check it out.

UPDATE: Asdrubal Cabrera leaves Mets-Nats game with back spasms

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 12:  Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera #13 of the New York Mets throws to first from his knee after diving to catch a ground ball to get Joc Pederson #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the second out of the sixth inning at Dodger Stadium on May 12, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  The Dodgers won 5-0.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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UPDATE: Cabrera was removed from the game due to back spasms.

1:21PM: This is not good: Asdrubal Cabrera was removed from today’s game against the Nationals with an apparent injury.

It’s unclear what the injury was, as Cabrera had yet to even play in the game. Matt Reynolds came on to play shortstop in the bottom of the first inning, but Cabrera didn’t bat in the top of the first. It could be an illness. Or some freak occurrence.

We’ll update when we hear more.

There are apparently unwritten rules about manager replay challenges now

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 05: Manager Joe Maddon #70 of the Chicago Cubs shakes hands with manager Mike Matheny #26 of the St. Louis Cardinals before the Opening Night game at Wrigley Field on April 5, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Last night’s Cardinals-Cubs game was a blowout, with the Cubs beating the Cards 12-3. Apparently, however, in the ninth inning of the game, Reynoldsburg, Ohio’s own Mike Matheny played the Cardinals infield in, which is a move you never see in a blowout. Why did he do that?

He hasn’t said yet, but Cubs manager Joe Maddon just spoke to the media before today’s game and he’s speculating that Matheny did it as a form of protest:

God, I hope that’s true. I hope that manager replay challenges, which are already dumb enough inasmuch as they turn what should be an officiating correction device into a strategic tool, are now turning into another front in the Great Unwritten Rules Wars. I hope that we now have a bunch of people talking about how there’s a right way and a wrong way to use the replay system and that one can disrespect the other side if they do it the wrong way. The way the replay system has been implemented often resembles tragedy. Why not make it farce?

Oh well, I guess it beats throwing at someone for doing that wrong. And I guess it’s just a reminder that no matter what we do, baseball is always gonna give us an opportunity for petty bits of silliness.

The Royals and Cardinals make a minor trade

FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2006 file photo, a freshly painted St. Louis Cardinals logo adorns the grass behind home plate at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. The St. Louis Cardinals have been the toast of their Midwestern town for generations, a source of civic pride as one of baseball's most successful and cherished franchises. Suddenly, they're an embarrassment, under federal investigation for the previously unprecedented crime of hacking into the computer database of an opponent, the Houston Astros, whose general manager, Jeff Luhnow, is a former Cardinals executive. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam, File)
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The St. Louis Cardinals just announced that they have acquired minor league outfielder Jose Martinez from the Royals in exchange for cash considerations.

Martinez was the 2015 Pacific Coast League batting champ, hitting .384 in 98 games. This year he’s hitting .298/.356/.433 in 37 games. He doesn’t have a ton of power — he’s more of a doubles guy — and turns 28 this year so he’s not a prospect but he’s not chopped liver.

Meanwhile, Cash Considerations continues to be well-traveled. It must be hard for him to be dealt so many times a season. So much uncertainty and time away from his family. Feel for the guy.