Robinson Cano, Yan Gomes

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Yankees 14, Indians 1: “Man, where are the Yankees going to get any offense with all of their big hitters on the DL?” no one is asking today like they asked so much last week. I guess nowadays everybody wanna talk like they got somethin to say, but nothin’ comes out when they move their lips — just a bunch of gibberish — and Yankee haters act like they forgot about Cano (4 for 6, 5 RBI).

Astros 16, Mariners 9: Meanwhile, in the other west coast park with a shorter porch, two teams not known for offense combined to hit eight homers, including two from Chris Carter and another one — a baseball-leading sixth — for Mike Morse. That 16-spot from Houston goes a long way towards covering up some overall offensive ineptitude on the stat sheet.

Phillies 8, Mets 3: Everything else may be going sideways, but Cliff Lee is still Cliff Lee. Two earned runs in eight and two-thirds with six strikeouts. Ryan Howard and Michael Young went back-to-back in the third inning, each their first homer of the year. Miguel Cabrera had his first homer of the year yesterday too, so you can totally say that Howard and Young are on an MVP-pace if you’re so inclined.

Nationals 8, White Sox 7: Adam LaRoche went 0 for 15 until hitting two straight homers in this one. Ian Desmond and Jayson Werth hit bombs too. All needed given some overall sloppiness and bad bullpen play in this one.

Padres 9, Dodgers 3: Will Venable drove in four for the Padres who are happy to finally be home after ugly series in New York and Colorado. The new fences in Petco Park gave Juan Uribe a homer that would have been an out last year.

Tigers 7, Blue Jays 3: Miguel Cabrera went 4 for 5 with four RBI and that homer I mentioned. It’s almost like he’s awesome or something. Worst start since 2004 for the new-look Jays.

Braves 3, Marlins 2: Kris Medlen’s second start looked a lot more like his 2012 second half. I guess facing the Marlins helps (7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER). Justin Upton didn’t go yard, but he did hit a looong RBI double which would have been out in all but two or three parks. Homer for rookie Evan Gattis, who is making it pretty difficult for the front office to figure out what to do when Brian McCann comes back.

Rangers 6, Rays 1: Rangers’ fifth starter Nick Tepesch makes his major league debut and all he does is go seven and a third allowing one run on four hits.

Royals 7, Twins 4: Jeremy Guthrie won his seventh straight decision, getting all the run support he needed in a five-run first inning. The Royals are 5-3, by the way. It’s the tenth anniversary of that Mike Sweeney-led Royals team which made everyone think they were back in contention, only to falter later. Same thing going on again, or have they truly turned the corner and become the 2012 Orioles, redux?

Cubs 6, Brewers 3: Kiwicricket sent me the part of the box score which makes your head explode: “W: Marmol (1-1, 12.27) ; L: Axford (0-2, 24.30) ; SV: Fujikawa (2).” Always fun to see a game come down to a battle of Proven Closers. And Axford wasn’t even closing.

Athletics 9, Angels 5: Five runs in the seventh for Oakland, led by John Jaso’s pinch-hot three-run homer. A seesaw game, as Oakland had a 4-0 lead once, fell behind 5-4 and then this rally. Josh Hamilton went 0 for 4 and is now hitting a cool .138. The Angels join the Jays in 2-5 land. I guess winning the Hot Stove League doesn’t carry over.

Cardinals 5, Reds 1: The new-and-improved Lance Lynn struck out ten in six innings while allowing only one run. Bronson Arroyo cruised into the sixth and then gave up a pinch hit homer to Matt Adams.

Pirates 6, Diamondbacks 5: Garrett Jones had three hits and two RBIs. The Pirates had 11 hits overall, winning their second straight game and finally waking up on offense. Brandon McCarthy has surrendered 19 hits in 11 and two-thirds innings thus far.

Giants 9, Rockies 6: Tim Lincecum was shaky as all get-out for one inning, acceptable for four others, but overall allowed six runs in six innings while walking four. The Giants’ bats rescued him, however, led by a Brandon Crawford three-run homer in the sixth and then some general hit-parade fun. Lincecum got the win in his first outing despite walking the park and a no-decision here despite melting down for a while. You feel like he’s walking on the edge of a knife, though.

Wade Boggs embroiled in non-controversy over his Yankees World Series ring!

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The Red Sox held a ceremony honoring the 1986 team last night and one of the key members of that team, Wade Boggs, was in attendance wearing  his Red Sox jersey. He also wore his Yankees World Series ring.

When I heard about this controversy a few minutes ago I did something that neither I nor most people who are a part of the Internet Industrial Complex usually do: wondered whether this was actually a controversy.

I quickly scanned around and found a good dozen or so articles talking about it and people talking about them talking about it. I noticed people making reference to how, theoretically, this could upset some Red Sox fans or be seen as a sign of disrespect. But I could not find anyone who actually cared. Anyone who was actually upset about it. I can’t say that I read every comment to every article, but you usually don’t have to dig deep to find people mad about something on the Internet and I could not immediately find anyone who was mad about this. Lots of jokes and comments about the idea of being mad, but no one who actually cared. It was like an obligatory ceremonial function the meaning of which everyone has forgotten.

There are a lot of “controversies” like that. They tend to be more common in the entertainment world than the sports world — people referencing a “scandalous” thing some singer or actor did which, in reality, scandalized no one — but it happens in sports too. In sports it’s when a convention or custom is not followed or when someone doesn’t otherwise conform to some set of expectations. A lot of the time no one cares at all. It’s all about the politics of recognizing situations in which someone might, in theory, care. Or once did long, long ago.

Maybe someone is genuinely mad at Wade Boggs over this If so, I’d love to hear from that person and wonder why on Earth they’d care. But I sort of feel like such a beast does not exist. And for that I’m pretty glad.

The Cardinals had a “statement loss” yesterday

ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 25: Manager manager Mike Matheny #22 congratulates Matt Adams #32 of the St. Louis Cardinals as he enters the dugout after scoring a run during the fourth inning against the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium on May 25, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Scott Kane/Getty Images)
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I’ve always been critical of the concept of “statement games” in Major League Baseball. Maybe it matters more in football where there are far fewer games and thus each one means much more, but in baseball a win lasts, at best, 48 hours and usually less. Like Earl Weaver said, we do this every day, lady. When you’re constantly talking, as it were, any one statement is pretty unimportant.

I’ll grant that a “statement win” is a thing players use to motivate or validate themselves, of course. We on the outside can roll our eyes at the notion, but we can’t know the minds of a major league player. If they think that they made a statement and it’s important to them, hey, it’s important to them. I’ll admit, however, that a statement loss is a new one to me:

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Kolten Wong provided the basis of that headline. Here is what he said:

“I think we still made a statement. We were down 6-1 right off the bat. The game before, we were kind of in the same situation. We were tired of it,” second baseman Kolten Wong said. “Our pitchers have been our go-to these past few years. It was time for us to step up and I think we all kind of felt that, too. We just wanted to make this a game and show that we have our pitchers’ backs.”

In context it makes sense. A moral victory, as it were. They got to one of the best pitchers in the game after finding themselves down by several runs thanks to their starting pitching betraying them. The hitters didn’t go into a shell when most folks would excuse them for doing so against a guy like Jake Arrieta.

Makes sense and no judgments here. Moral victories matter. Still, it’s hard not to chuckle at the headline. I can’t remember a big leaguer talking quite that way after a loss.

Julio Urias to be called up, make his MLB debut tomorrow

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 20:  Starting pitcher Julio Urias #78 of the Los Angeles Dodgers participates in a spring training workout at Camelback Ranch on February 20, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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The Dodgers have been mulling this for a long time, but they just announced that they plan on calling up top prospect Julio Urias. He’ll be making his major league debut against the Mets tomorrow evening in New York.

Urias is just 19 years-old, but he’s shown that he’s ready for the bigs. In eight Triple-A games this year — seven starts — he’s 4-1 with a 1.10 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 44/8 in 41 innings. He has tossed 27-straight scoreless innings to boot. While the Dodgers and Urias’ agent are understandably wary of giving the young man too much work too soon, he has nothing left to prove at Oklahoma City.

Urias turns 20 in August. Tomorrow night he will become the first teenager to debut in the majors since 2012 when Dylan Bundy, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, and Jurickson Profar each made their debuts.

 

Fox asked Vin Scully to work the All-Star Game. Vin said no.

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Richard Dietsch of Sports Illustrated reports that Fox officials asked Vin Scully if he wanted to work the All-Star Game, be it calling the full game, doing an inning, making a guest appearance or whatever. Scully, though appreciative, said no thanks.

We’ve been over this, but for however much it might make people happy for Scully to make this kind of national appearance, there’s nothing in his history or in his apparent nature that would make such a thing appeal to Scully. For as much as an institution he has become, he still thinks of himself as an employee who calls Dodgers games, goes home and that is that. He has shown considerable discomfort, however politely he has communicated it, at being treated as something different or more special than that. And that’s before you remember that (a) it would be a totally different setup for him which would require a lot of extra work; and (b) the All-Star Break is a time when most baseball people take a couple of days off.

As I said the last time we discussed this, if baseball at large wants to give Scully some sort of national sendoff, the best bet would be for the powers that be to figure out how to get the final Dodgers games of the season nationally televised without blackout restrictions. That way we can all watch him doing his thing, in his element, for a final time without it being gimmicky.