Los Angeles Dodgers v Miami Marlins

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Marlins 6, Dodgers 2: Jose Fernandez vs. Yasiel Puig in a potential Rookie of the Year matchup. Advantage: Fernandez, who allowed one earned run (two total) in six innings of work with eight strikeouts. He’s 9-5 with a 2.41 ERA and 156 Ks. The Dodgers dropped their second straight. Which hasn’t happened very often lately.

Mets 6, Twins 1: Dillion Gee with no earned runs and nine strikeouts over seven and a third, thanks in part to some amazing defense from Juan Lagares in center.

Phillies 5, Rockies 4: Homers from John Mayberry and Carlos Ruiz. Jonathan Papelbon got his first save since before the All-Star break, which is kinda nuts when you think about it.

Reds 5, Diamondbacks 3: The Reds win their seventh of nine. That pushes Arizona six back in the race for the final wild card slot, currently occupied by these same Reds.

Rays 4, Orioles 3: Evan Longoria and Matt Joyce homered and David Price, while certainly not sharp, toughed out a win. Tampa Bay stays one back of Boston.

Rangers 16, Astros 5: You don’t lose many games when you put up an 11-run third inning. Indeed, that was the biggest single inning of runs any team has put up in the majors this year. It started with a bunt single, the first couple of runners were put into scoring position with a no-out sac bunt and only one batter had an extra base hit.

Cubs 11, Nationals 1Nate Schierholtz was non-tendered last season and spent a good deal of the winter looking for work. He hit two homers last night, drove in six and is hitting. .277/.330/.524 on the year with 18 homers. Funny how that works.

Indians 5, Angels 2: Lonnie Chisenhall hit a two-run homer, Nick Swisher homered and Zach McAllister pitched into the seventh on the first day of the rest of the season without Albert Pujols. Anaheim has lost 11 of 15 and if you could just put up a white flag and end your season early, I figure they would.

Cardinals 8, Brewers 5: Kolten Wong got his first two major league hits after ten hitless at bats to start his major league career, so that’s nice.  He stole a couple of bases too. The Cards have won 9 of 11.

Athletics 2, Mariners 1: Brandon Moss with a walkoff solo shot. Jarrod Parker with a complete game in which he scattered eight hits, struck out eight and allowed one run. A crisp 2:19 for this one.

Red Sox 7, Giants 0: When Tim Lincecum has been good this year he’s been very, very good but when he’s been bad he’s been horrid. The Sox rung him up for five runs on nine hits in five innings. Jon Lester, meanwhile, shut out the Giants for eight and a third.

Pirates 3, Padres 1: The best pitching award of the night goes to Francisco Liriano, who had thirteen strikeouts in seven shutout innings. Not sure what one wins for the best pitching award of the night. Maybe some steak knives.

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.