And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Giants 3, Dodgers 0: The season nadir for the Dodgers who got swept by their arch rivals in three straight shutouts and lost their lead in the division. And, to add insult to injury, Andre Ethier got hurt. Wait, that’s adding injury to insult I suppose. Ah, you know what I mean. Oh, and Timmay is apparently back (7 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 8K). It’s a brand new race in the NL West. And the Dodgers have two broken legs.

Mets 17, Cubs 1: Wow, that wind was really blowing out at Wrigley, eh? At least in the top half of the middle innings anyway. David Wright, drove in five while Ike Davis, Scott Hairston and Daniel Murphy each drove in four. That’s bloody efficient, yes?

Athletics 2, Mariners 1: Jarrod Parker pitched a gem while Kevin Millwood went down with a groin injury. Oh, and the A’s sported an infield with three Brandons in it: Moss, Hicks and Inge. When I saw Matthew’s headline to that effect there were a few seconds before I remembered who the Brandons would have been. My first thought: a bunch of 20-22 year-old rookies, all of whom were named by parents who were big fans of the “Beverly Hills 90210.” Sadly, all of these three are too old for that.

Brewers 8, Reds 4: Milwaukee breaks its four-game losing streak. If they turn their season around from this point, perhaps they’ll have Nyjer Morgan getting into it with some random Cincinnatian to credit.

Royals 5, Rays 4: Billy Butler hit what proved to be the game-winning homer in the eighth. And thank God, because it was hotter than, well, if we’re thanking God we can’t say it was hotter than Hell I suppose, but it was pretty darn hot. And Bill Butler knew it:

“It was really, really hot out there,” said Butler, who greeted reliever Burke Badenhop with his 15th home run. “It was over 100 degrees. Guys were starting to get dehydrated. It was not a good day to go extra innings.”

We all love day baseball, I realize, but I wonder if it’s at all possible to make some sort of flexible scheduling thing for places like Kansas City or Texas or wherever, allowing the games to be moved into the evening when the forecast calls for triple digits. Because no one can enjoy that except the swells in the luxury boxes.

Red Sox 10, Blues Jays 4: That’s the ninth win in the past 11 games for Boston and five straight series wins too. The Sox scored five off Ricky Romero in the first inning, who was all over the place. Four starters down, one wild as all get-out. One gets the sense that the Jays season is spiraling out of control.

White Sox 12, Twins 5: The Sox rattled off 21 hits. Chris Sale cruised through seven, never having to face more than four batters in an inning. Adam Dunn had three hits including a homer and drove in four. He was 0 for his last 24 coming in to the game.

Yankees 5, Indians 4: A win that felt like a loss for the Yankees, what with Andy Pettitte going down for six weeks after breaking his leg on a comebacker. Old Timers Day is coming up in New York pretty soon. The team may assign extra scouts when Ron Guidry and Whitey Ford take the mound.

Angels 13, Orioles 1: That’s a whuppin’ right there. And in addition to going 4 for 6, Mike Trout did this. Watch through to the slo-mo. That’s some serious air.

Astros 1, Padres 0: A six-hit shutout for Lucas Harrell. Clayton Richard didn’t do much worse. The whole affair was over in 1:58.

Marlins 5, Cardinals 3: John Buck and Logan Morrison went back-to-back in the seventh and the Cards’ win streak is snapped.

Braves 6, Diamondbacks 4: Jason Heyward stays hot, hitting a homer and Chipper Jones went long too. I suppose that will mean four days on the bench with ice packs on his knees, but it’s worth it. Craig Kimbrel has 47 strikeouts in 28 innings, by the way.

Rangers 13, Tigers 9David Murphy went 4-for-5 with two home runs. Roy Oswalt got the W, because he apparently just knows how to win, never mind the five runs on 13 hits.

Nationals 11, Rockies 5: Washington jumped out to an 8-0 lead by the third inning and everything else was pretty much academic after that. The 75-pitch limit for Rockies starters in that new four-man rotation is working out swell. Evereth Cabrera only threw 65 pitches. They came in two and a third innings, but the standards were adhered to!

Pirates 11, Phillies 7: Nice debut for Chase Utley — a homer in his first at bat and three hits overall — but the Pirates went crazy against the Phillies pen, which pitched the whole game as a bullpen special. Homers from Michael McKenry, Andrew McCutchen and Casey McGehee.

Javier Baez: “This is a game. It’s not as serious as a lot of people take it.”

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Infielder Javier Baez is back in camp with the Cubs after helping Puerto Rico to a second-place finish in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. He was the focal point of what was, to many, the most memorable play of the entire tournament: Baez pointed at catcher Yadier Molina, who was attempting to throw out a would-be base-stealer, before applying the tag for the final out of the eighth inning.

While Baez didn’t receive much criticism for his theatrics, aside from an insignificant handful of spoilsports, he is one of the players who most exemplifies the emotional, celebratory culture that foreign players bring to Major League Baseball. U.S. (and Tigers) second baseman Ian Kinsler is on the other side of that spectrum, as he said prior to the WBC final that he hopes kids mimic the solemn way U.S. players play the game rather than the emotional, passionate way players from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic play the game.

Baez isn’t about to apologize for the way he and his teammates play the game. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney, Baez said, “We do a great job playing and having fun out there. That’s what it’s all about. This is a game. It’s not as serious as a lot of people take it. but, you know, everybody’s got their style and their talent. I have a lot of fun.”

He continued, “It’s their choice to look at how we play, how excited we get. To us, it’s really huge what we did, even though we didn’t win. All of Puerto Rico got really together. We were going through a hard time over there and everything got fixed up for at least three weeks. Hopefully, they keep it like that.”

Mike Trout proposes change to spring training umpiring

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Angels outfielder Mike Trout came up with an idea that would allow less experienced umpires an opportunity to call some major league spring training action. As ESPN’s Buster Olney reports, Trout thinks the veteran umpires should only call five or six innings as they get back into regular season shape. The rest of the innings could be called by minor league umpires.

According to Olney, baseball officials loved Trout’s idea when they heard about it last week. One official said, “It makes a lot of sense for a lot of different reasons.” Another said, “That’s Trout — he’s always paying attention to stuff beyond what he’s doing.”

Of course, I have to agree that the suggestion is a great one. As Olney notes, the turnover rate for umpires every year is relatively low, so younger, less-experienced umpires have few opportunities to get a feel for what it’s like calling major league action. Even beyond the actual interpretation of the rules, interacting with big league personalities would also be helpful for minor league umpires.