Milwaukee Brewers v San Francisco Giants

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Five of the seven losing teams on Thursday scored one run. This means something. This is important. [sculpts Devil’s Tower out of his mashed potatoes, scares family]

Giants 4, Brewers 1: Tim Lincecum looked like the Timmy of old yesterday, tossing eight shutout innings and allowing only one hit. These past several performances are likely to keep him from clearing waivers this month and thus are likely to keep him in San Francisco.

Tigers 10, Indians 3: The idea of a “statement game” or “statement series” in baseball is pretty weak, but these past four game pretty much sounded like the Tigers telling the Indians “Perhaps you will win the AL Central someday. But not today.” Max Scherzer gets his 17th win. Ryan Raburn gives the Indians some extra value in the form of an inning on the mound, but I don’t imagine that’s what they had in mind when they signed him to that extension. Twelve straight wins for Detroit.

Pirates 5, Marlins 4: Down 4-0 in the fifth? No problem. Pittsburgh scored two in the fifth, two in the seventh and then Russell Martin hit a two-out pinch hit single in the tenth to walk the Pirates off. It’s the Pirates’ 28th come-from-behind win this year. Their 70th overall. They went six seasons in a row without winning 70 games between 2005 and 2010. Since 1994 they’ve won fewer than 70 11 times.

Royals 5, Red Sox 1: Kansas City wins their 16th of 20 since the All-Star break, moving them to 4.5 back of the wild card. Bruce Chen was phenomenal, pitching shutout ball for seven and two-thirds and not allowing a runner past first base until the eighth.

Phillies 12, Cubs 1: Cody Asche had three hits, including his first big league homer. Ethan Martin pitched five innings and allowed one run and four hits for his first big league win. Darin Ruf homered too. Look at those baby Phillies go.

Dodgers 5, Cardinals 1: Hyun-Jin Ryu was great for seven innings and A.J. Ellis hit a three-run homer. Ellis also had high praise for Ryu, saying after the game “He pitches to the scoreboard as well as anyone I’ve caught.” A regular Jack Morris.

Mets 2, Rockies 1: New York sweeps Colorado. Dillon Gee allowed one run while pitching seven and two-thirds. The Rockies lost nine of ten on this road trip, thus ending the “could they make a run in the NL West?” portion of their season.

Report: Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on Sonny Gray

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 06: Sonny Gray #54 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 6, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images
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The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.

Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.

Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.

President Obama Welcomes the Cubs to the White House

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As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.

Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.

Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.