Brandon Moss

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Athletics 14, Tigers 4: We had this game on for a bit, got bored and decided to watch some random stuff we had recorded. When the show ended we went back to the game to see the A’s up 14-1. Allison let’s out a big “oh for f***’s sake!” and quickly turns on the “Awesom-O” episode of “South Park.” So what I’m saying is, she salvaged the evening for herself a little bit.  Brandon Moss with two homers. Brett Anderson comes back and gets a save because he pitched three innings, coming in to protect a 13-run lead. Saves are the best, you guys.

Dodgers 4, Cubs 0: The story here is all Puig-Puig-Puig, but the better story is Ricky Nolasco, who tossed eight shutout innings while striking out 11. He has given up just four runs over his last 25.1 innings, spanning four starts. He’s 5-0 with a 2.01 ERA since the break. Kershaw, Greinke, Nolasco is no one you want to see in games 1-3 of the NLDS.

Rangers 12, Mariners 4: You’re not gonna see Felix Hernandex give up nine runs (eight earned) in three innings while allowing 11 hits very often. Even the best ones have their bad days.

Nationals 4, Marlins 3: The Nats are playing their best ball of the season, having won seven of eight. Do they have a shot at the wild card? Maybe. Seven games is hard to make up — and the’d have to jump over the Dbacks too — but their schedule is insanely weak right now. They are in a stretch where they’ve beaten the Cubs, Royals and Marlins. Then, in order, they have series against the Mets-Phillies-Marlins-Mets-Phillies. After that they still have yet ANOTHER series against the Marlins and one head-to-head against the Dbacks. It’s doable.

Red Sox 4, Orioles 3: A pinch-hit bloop single in the bottom of the eighth by Mike Carp gave the Sox the winning margin. Victorino got another RBI. Chris Davis hit his 47th homer.

Pirates 7, Brewers 1: Welcome to the club, Marlon Byrd. The Pirates’ newest player hits a three-run homer. Give him a second t-shirt night.

Blue Jays 7, Yankees 2: The Jays leapt out to a seven-run lead after three with help from an Edwin Encarnacion homer and a passed ball/throwing error combo by Yankees catcher Chris Stewart. Hiroki Kuroda was the best starter the Yankees had going for most of the year but now he’s lost four of five. Mark Reynolds got an emergency start at second base and managed to not make any errors. I haven’t seen game highlights yet, but given how these things usually go, the guy we all mocked when he was penciled in at second probably probably had three web gems or whatever.

Braves 3, Indians 2: A walkoff single for Chris Johnson and a nice night from leadoff man Jordan Schafer (3 for 4, BB, 2 RBI) who singled and stole second to set up Johnson’s heroics. Cleveland is now four back in the wild card race.

Phillies 6, Mets 2: Cole Hamel in a helped-his-own-cause special. Seven strong innings and a two-run single for the Phillies starter. Daisuke Matsuzaka was in vintage Dice-K form: 4.1 IP, 6 H, 4 BB, 4 ER, 5K and contributed greatly to the game’s three and a half hour running time.

Rays 4, Angels 1: With a losing streak afoot and the Rays coming off a dispiriting late-inning loss, Chris Archer played stopper. He allowed one run in seven innings while the offense scored on singles, sacrifices and an error.

Reds 10, Cardinals 0: Brandon Philips started the day with a rather unfortunate rant at a reporter who criticized his on-base skills. He then managed to get on base twice which totally killed all the snark I had saved up for him. Oh well. The Reds romp behind Jay Bruce’s five-RBI night and Homer Bailey’s solid outing.

White Sox 6, Astros 1: Chris Sale’s fantastic year continues. He struck out 12 in eight innings and allowed just the one run. Avisail Garcia launched a three-run homer.

Rockies 5, Giants 4:  Jhoulys Chacin pitched six and two-thirds no-hit innings and struck out nine. It coulda been a no-decision, what with the Giants staging a rally in the eighth, but it fell just short.

Royals 8, Twins 1: Two homers for Sal Perez. Danny Duffy comes up and takes over Wade Davis’ rotation spot and showed just why he was the better choice, throwing six and two-thirds shutout innings while striking out seven.

Padres 5, Diamondbacks 1: Three driven in for Will Venable, including a two-run homer to help the Padres avoid the sweep.

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.