Minnesota Twins v Chicago White Sox

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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White Sox 3, Twins 0: Mark Buehrle threw seven and two-thirds shutout innings. And the game came in at two hours four minutes. Knock me over with a feather. Most underrated pitcher of the past decade?

Cubs 7, Giants 0: Great pitching all-around for the Chicago clubs last night. A two-hit shutout for Randy Wells. Once you adjust for the fact that it came against the Giants, it’s worth, oh, a 9-hit, 3-run performance, which is still very, very good.

Diamondbacks 5, Rockies 1: The Diamondbacks win their seventh straight and open up a five game lead in the west. Given that the Giants don’t seem to have a first gear let alone an extra one, is this thing over?

Phillies 3, Reds 2: Cole Hamels looked really, really good in his return from the DL (6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 7K, 0 BB). He got the no decision, but it was the right call by Manuel to pull him when he did. The pen was rested and there’s no sense taxing that arm now when it will be needed in October. Shane Victorino’s two-run homer in the eighth was the big blow. Yonder Alonso, sadly, didn’t have any opportunities for adventure down at third base for the Reds. Placido Polanco did for the Phillies, though, and he let a run in on a throwing error, so take that Alonso-haters.

Mets 2, Marlins 1: Mets 5, Marlins 1: A four game winning streak for the Mets. These two came behind nice outings from R.A. Dickey in the first game and Dillon Gee in the second.

Indians 2, Athletics 1: Tough luck loss for Brandon McCarthy, who struck out ten and gave up two runs in eight innings. But David Huff was sharp himself, shutting out the A’s on three hits over six and then letting four relievers seal the deal.

Yankees 3, Orioles 2: I think New York has been in Baltimore for seven or eight weeks now. A two-run homer for Nick Swisher. David Robertson gave up his first home run all year, but it ended up not mattering. Six strong innings from Freddy Garcia.

Blue Jays 7, Rays 3: Johnny Damon hit two homers, but Jose Bautista hit one and his teammates played better and they won, so that makes him more valuable. At least I think that’s how that works. I’m actually kind of confused about it all.

Royals 9, Tigers 5: The Royals rapped out 18 hits, pummeling Max Scherzer. Kansas City is only 17 and a half back!

Astros 7, Pirates 4: Wandy Rodriguez struck out 13 and Carlos Lee hit a three-run homer. Probably worth noting that since the Pirates little mid-season surge ended they’ve actually been no better than the Astros.

Dodgers 4, Padres 1: A complete game for Clayton Kershaw. Three hits for the now-contrite and perhaps not-as-hurt-as-he-initially-let-on Andre Ethier.

Mariners 5, Angels 3: A two-run eighth inning homer by Mike Carp puts the M’s over the top. Sadly, the Angels did not have Trout available to counter Carp. And if you think I’m not gonna beat that one into the ground in the coming years, well, you’re just not familiar with my work.

Yordano Ventura represented the best and worst of baseball’s culture

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 28:  Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals delivers in the first inning during a game against the Boston Red Sox on August 28, 2016 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Adam Glanzman/Getty Images
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It was reported this morning that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. Former prospect Andy Marte was also killed in a separate car accident. Along with Jose Fernandez and Oscar Taveras, the baseball world has lost a lot of young, exciting talent in a very short amount of time.

Ventura was, like all of us, a complex human being. At his best, he was an exciting, talented, emotive pitcher who featured an electric fastball which sat in the mid-90’s and occasionally touched 100 MPH. At his worst, he was an immature, impressionable kid trying to fit in by exacting revenge against batters he felt had wronged him by slinging those electric fastballs at vulnerable areas of their bodies.

Baseball needed Ventura when he was at his best. It is players like him and Fernandez, not Mike Trout, that bring in new fans to the sport. To baseball die-hards, Angels outfielder Mike Trout is the pinnacle of entertainment because we know he’s an otherworldly talent. But to the average fan, Trout is just another player who hits a couple of homers and doesn’t do anything particularly interesting otherwise. Trout is milquetoast. Ventura was never an All-Star, but fans knew who he was because he made his presence felt every time he made a start. He was fun, if sometimes vengeful.

Ventura’s baseball rap sheet is rather lengthy for someone who only pitched parts of four seasons in the big leagues. Early in the 2015 season, Ventura found himself in a handful of benches-clearing incidents in quick succession. On April 12, he jawed with Trout, apparently misunderstanding the motivation behind Trout yelling, “Let’s go!” Though catcher Salvador Perez intervened, Trout’s teammate Albert Pujols ran in from second base and the benches cleared shortly thereafter. On the 18th, some drama between the Athletics and Royals continued. Ventura fired a 99 MPH fastball at Brett Lawrie, resulting in his immediate ejection from the game. More beanball wars ensued in the series finale the following day. Finally, on the 23rd, Ventura hit White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu with a 99 MPH fastball in the fourth inning. Ventura was not ejected… until after the completion of the seventh inning. Walking back to the dugout, Ventura barked at White Sox outfielder Adam Eaton and — you guessed it — the benches cleared. All told, Ventura was fined for his behavior with the Athletics and suspended seven games for the White Sox incident.

In August 2015, Ventura called Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista a “nobody” and accused him of stealing signs. He apologized shortly thereafter. Two months later, during his start in Game 6 of the ALCS against the Blue Jays, Ventura got into it with Jays first base coach Tim Leiper. Nothing happened beyond that, but apparently it was part of the Jays’ plan to try to put Ventura “on tilt.”

Most recently, in June this past season, Ventura hit Orioles third baseman Manny Machado with a pitch. Machado charged the mound and got in at least one punch before the players spilled out onto the field in a blob of royal blue and orange. Ventura was suspended for eight games.

Ventura was by no means a model of civility, but he was a product of baseball’s intransigent culture forcing players to assimilate or be ostracized. The old culture taught players to never show emotion. Hit a home run? Put your head down and circle the bases in a timely fashion or risk taking a fastball to the ribs. Players like Fernandez and Bautista — typically players from Latin countries — challenged those old cultural norms and are, as a result, the vanguard of the new culture. Ventura displayed aspects of each, the worst of the old culture and the best of the new. He was not a one-dimensional person; he was strikingly complex. At one moment willing to use a fastball as a weapon, the next stopping by some kids’ lemonade stand and giving out fist bumps. Baseball is made more entertaining and more interesting by its personalities and Ventura’s was a behemoth, for better or worse. His absence from the sport will be felt.

MLB remembers Yordano Ventura and Andy Marte

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 28:  Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals delivers in the first inning during a game against the Boston Red Sox on August 28, 2016 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
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Following the tragic passing of 25-year-old Yordano Ventura and 33-year-old Andy Marte, both of whom were killed in separate car crashes on Sunday morning, players and executives from around Major League Baseball expressed an outpouring of grief and support for the players’ families and former teams.

Fans have gathered at Kauffman Stadium in memory of the former pitcher.