Miguel Cabrera

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Tigers 10, Indians 8: I was at this game, and I gotta tell ya, until the 9th inning it was one of the more lame, butt-dragging tie games you’ll ever see. Omar Infante and Austin Jackson kept hitting, but apart from that the highlight until then was Joe West getting all ejecty for no good reason. But then a runner on third, no-out situation in the bottom of the ninth led to no runs for Detroit and the Indians’ three-run tenth inning rally was trumped by the Tigers’ five-run tenth inning rally, capped with a Miguel Cabrera walkoff homer. That sent the Tribe to their ninth straight loss and ended what had to have been one of the more dispiriting weekends that team has had in some time. With the exception of a couple of moments late in this one, the Indians spent the entire three-game series applying postage to the 2012 season and preparing to drop it at the nearest mailbox.

Pirates 6, Reds 2: The Pirates salvage one behind A.J. Burnett’s 14th win. Actual Clint Hurdle quote following the game: “I’ve never had an ace before.”  I wonder if anyone asked Burnett if he’d ever been one.

Orioles 1, Rays 0: How do you find yourself in second place in the AL East despite having -57 run differential? You win 10 consecutive one-run games while getting blown out whenever you lose. Ladies and gentlemen, your 2012 Baltimore Orioles!

Dodgers 7, Cubs 6: Hanley Ramirez knocked in the game winner in the bottom of the ninth to help L. sweep Chicago. Nice bounceback for the Dodgers after getting themselves swept by Arizona earlier in the week. And a nice way to keep pace after the Giants …

Giants 8, Rockies 3: … swept the Rockies. Actually this was less of a sweep and more of a shop-vac kind of job. Except it was the Rockies doing the sucking. Like, all weekend along. Tim Lincecum won two in a row for the first time since April.

Padres 7, Mets 3: After his first outing, Terry Collins compared Matt Harvey to Justin Verlander and Stephen Strasburg. After Harvey gave up five runs on eight hits in five innings to one of the leagues least impressive offenses, I’m thinking that Collins needs to think of some different comps.

Nationals 4, Marlins 1: Meanwhile, the real Stephen Strasburg threw six shutout innings against Miami. He also singled in two runs. He was kinda like a one man force eh, like Charlton Heston in Omega Man. Did ya see it, it was beauty, eh.

Royals 7, Rangers 6: In the tenth inning, Alberto Gonzalez made an error on one play and Mike Olt made one on the next, giving the Royals the game. I’m guessing that, come playoff time, those balls will be hit to Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre.

White Sox 4, Angels 2: A.J. Pierzynski homered in his fifth consecutive game. The White Sox have won nine of 12 and still have a 1.5 game lead over the Tigers who have taken four straight. Chicago was my top candidate for a second half letdown, but so far it hasn’t happened.

Cardinals 3, Brewers 0: Der Sweep. Kyle Lohse and three relievers combine for the shutout.

Blue Jays 6, Athletics 5: Two RBI a piece for Edwin Encarnacion and Yunel Escobar and Rajai Davis scored from second base on a sacrifice bunt, which is kind of nifty. The Jays split the series.

Phillies 5, Diamondbacks 4: Ryan Howard has been slumping like crazy, but he singled in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth to seal the comeback win. Cue the Phillies people calling him underrated again.

Red Sox 6, Twins 4: The good news: the Red Sox averted the sweep by the Twins. The bad news: they were in a position to where they had to avert a sweep by the Twins. Adrian Gonzalez hit a two run homer. Carl Crawford had three hits and a leaping catch. The drawing board, for one game at least, was validated.

Braves 6, Astros 1: Chipper Jones continues to impress in his final season. He was 2 for 4 with an RBI double and scored the winning run on a wild pitch. This is a lot of fun now, but it’s gonna be kind of a bummer when Satan comes back and claims Jones’ soul in exchange for the four months of good health and 1990s-era production he was granted.

Yankees 6, Mariners 2: Until I read the game story it had not dawned on me that Freddy Garcia and Raul Ibanez each played for the 1999 Seattle Mariners. And that Ichiro was Garcia’s teammate in 2001. And now these three gray-hairs are all part of a 2012 Yankees team that has just as good a chance as anyone to win it all. And that’s before you shuffle-in Seattle-era A-Rod. There’s gotta be some sort of “Mariners of a dozen or so years ago are the new inefficiency” theory afoot here.

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.