Boston Red Sox Beckett pitches against Seattle Mariners during their MLB baseball game in Boston

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Red Sox 5, Mariners 0: That Josh Beckett is such a disgrace! He’s poisoning this team, I tell you, poisoning them! Oh, wait, he pitched well? Seven shutout innings while striking out nine? Well, in that case, I stand corrected.

Cardinals 7, Cubs 6: Jason Motte vultured a win when he gave up a tying homer to Alfonso Soriano in the ninth but then stayed on to be the pitcher of record when Yadier Molina hit the game winning single in the bottom half of the inning. After the game Mike Matheny said “”There’s going to be some loud music playing in the clubhouse, and there’s going to be some crazy stuff on the plane, too.”  Somewhere, wherever he is, Tony La Russa had a pain shoot up his side.

Phillies 4, Astros 3: As we noted yesterday, Hunter Pence hit the walkoff homer. But the real play of the day came from umpire Bob Davidson, who in ejecting Charlie Manuel for no apparent reason apart from his own combative insecurity, truly lived up to his reputation yesterday. Oh, and Cliff Lee was pretty amazing despite the no decision.

Tigers 10, White Sox 8: Ugly all around. An eight-spot for the Tigers in the sixth inning helped them win it, but that was sandwiched by another bad, bullpen-stressing Max Scherzer start and a Jose Valverde injury on the other side. Chicago of course feels bad about it too, what with giving up a six-run lead.

Padres 6, Nationals 1: Strasburg was cold from the get-go. Just icy. The fireballer had to be hot about how bad his start was. Really burned him up, I’m sure. Oh, and Bryce Harper hit another homer, but he’s old news compared to Strasburg’s burning bits and pieces.

Indians 5, Twins 0: Derek Lowe’s shutout — and really, his entire season so far — is basically this to all Braves fans who enjoyed him losing 17 games last year. Not that we’re crying because we’re doing just fine without him, but still.  As for the Twins: currently on a worse pace than the 1962 Mets, so there’s that.

Angels 4, Athletics 0: Albert Pujols broke out, going 3 for 4 with two RBI singles. Ervin Santana pitched seven and two-thirds shuout innings.

Brewers 8, Mets 0: The Travis Ishikawa and Zack Greinke show. The former drove in five with the help of two homers. The latter shut the Mets out for seven innings, striking out seven. Oh, and right after Rickie Weeks hit a homer, Ryan Braun was plunked on the next pitch by D.J. Carrasco. Umpire Gary Darling ejected Carrasco. Darling must be an HBT reader and knows that intentional plunkings should not be tolerated. Good man.

Marlins 6, Pirates 2: Omar Infante went 4 for 5 and is hitting .325/.350/.598.  Remember when everyone made fun of him making the All-Star team a couple of years ago. Tell me: how many teams wouldn’t want that kind of production from their second basemen right now? Josh Johnson: two runs over seven innings for his first win in over a year.

Rays 4, Blues Jays 3: Down 3-0 after four innings, the Rays rallied and David Price won his fifth, retiring 12 of the final 13 he faced. And then there was ugliness, as Brett Lawrie was ejected after losing his sh** and throwing his batting helmet at the umpire. Then manager John Farrell got ejected too. Then:

Police and stadium security were seen pointing into the crowd after an exchange between fans and umpires as the crew headed off the field through the visitor’s dugout.

Canadian players and fans? Acting threateningly? Unpossible! Enjoy your suspension, Mr. Lawrie.

Braves 6, Reds 2: Tim Hudson allowed two runs over seven innings and the Braves had no problems holding the 6-0 lead they had after only four innings. Why are the Braves winning so much? The top seven of last night’s lineup sported OBPs as follows: .399, .374, .368, .360, .331. .348, .362.

Orioles 5, Yankees 2: Chen outduels Sabathia.  Guessing that’s the only time I’m gonna ever write that.

Royals 7, Rangers 4: The last time we saw Vin Mazzaro throw a pitch that counted he was in the process of giving up fourteen runs to the Indians in what was probably the worst single-game performance by a pitcer in baseball history. Last night: surprisingly repectable: he gave up three runs in five innings, which isn’t bad against that Ranger lineup.

Diamondbacks 5, Dodgers 1: Weird: Andre Ethier started in center, which is something he has never done. Chad Billingsley continues to struggle. The Dodgers’ five-game winning streak ends.

Rockies 5, Giants 4: The Rockies blew a 4-1 lead in the eighth inning, but Marco Scutaro’s ninth inning homer broke the 4-4 tie.

A-Rod to host a reality show featuring broke ex-athletes

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 12: Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees answers question in a press conference after the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium on August 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
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Alex Rodriguez’s transition into retirement has featured a serious move into the business world. He has gone back to school, worked seriously on investments and has started his own corporation. Yes, he’s set for life after making more money than any baseball player in history, but even if his bank account wasn’t fat, you get the sense that he’d be OK given what we’ve seen of his work ethic and savvy in recent years.

He’s going to be getting another paycheck soon, though. For hosting a reality show featuring athletes who are not in as good a financial shape as A-Rod is:

Interesting. Hopefully, like so many other reality shows featuring the formerly rich and famous, this one is not exploitative. Not gonna hold my breath because that’s what that genre is all about, unfortunately, but here’s hoping A-Rod can help some folks with this.

Great Moments in Not Understanding The Rules

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Bill Livingston of the Cleveland Plain Dealer is a Hall of Fame voter. In the past he has voted for players who used PEDs, but he’s never been totally happy with it, seeing the whole PED mess as a dilemma for voters.

On the one hand he doesn’t like voting for users and doesn’t like harming those who were clean by shifting votes away from them, but on the other hand, he doesn’t want to pretend history didn’t happen and that baseball hasn’t been filled with cheaters forever. What to do?

This year he decided to abstain altogether. A fair and noble act if one is as conflicted as Livingston happens to be. Except . . . he didn’t actually abstain:

Major league baseball will confer bronzed immortality on a few players Wednesday when the results of the national baseball writers’ balloting for the Hall of Fame will be announced.

I had a 2017 ballot. I returned it signed, but blank, with an explanatory note.

A blank ballot, signed and submitted, is not an abstention. It’s counted as a vote for no one. Each “no” vote increases the denominator in the calculation of whether or not a candidate has received 75% of the vote and has gained induction. An abstention, however, would not. So, in effect, Livingston has voted against all of the players on the ballot, both PED-tainted and clean, even though it appears that that was not his intention.

This is the second time in three years a Cleveland writer has had . . . issues with his Hall of Fame ballot. In the 2014-15 voting period, Paul Hoynes simply lost his ballot. Now Livingston misunderstood how to abstain.

I worry quite often that Ohio is gonna mess up a major election. I guess I’m just worrying about the wrong election.