Masahiro Tanaka

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Yankees 4, Mets 0: Remember how when the season started Masahiro Tanaka was the Yankees’ fourth starter? Haha, yeah, he’s so totally the ace right now that it’s not even funny. Like, he’s the ace by leaps, bounds, mile and parsecs. The man who simply won’t lose tossed a shutout, allowing four hits, walking none and striking out eight.

Rays 2, Mariners 0: Tampa Bay wins but they lose Ben Zobrist to a dislocated thumb, so that sucks. Both Rays scored in anti-climatic fashion: a bases loaded walk and a wild pitch.

White Sox 4, Athletics 2: A three-run homer by Jose Abreu n the eighth was the big blow. That gives him 15 on the year. “On pace” stuff is usually lame, but if you’re into that sort of thing Abreu is on pace for 58 homers and 158 RBI. The fact that he’s also only on pace for 39 walks is good evidence that those previous on pace numbers aren’t likely to hold. But it’s fun for now.

Giants 10, Braves 4: It’s pretty crazy what some changes in the weather will do to a park. I mean, the Giants win this game regardless because they simply hit better and pitched better than the Braves, but AT&T Park is a rather different place when it’s an uncharacteristic 90 degrees and there’s no wind. The ball flies all over that joint when it’s like it was yesterday afternoon. Just one to put in the back of one’s mind when that ice shelf in the Antarctic melts and we’re all living in some shorefront Otisburg in Ohio or Nevada or whatever.

Royals 3, Rockies 2: It’s amazing what a few days of saying a guy is a bum and we should send him to Omaha does to someone. Mike Moustakas went 2 for 3 and drove in all three of the Royals’ runs.

Nationals 5, Diamondbacks 1: Ian Desmond and Tyler Moore each hit two-run singles off Brad Ziegler in the ninth inning. The Nats take two of three from Arizona.

Tigers 7, Orioles 5: Justin Verlander didn’t have his best day but the offense picked him up and the Tigers notched the sweep. Detroit is just cruising through 2014. They’re on pace for, like, a 108-win season.

Angels 3, Phillies 0: Garrett Richards shut out Philly for seven innings with eight strikeouts and five hits. The Angels have won five of six. The Phillies fall to four games below .500. They have the same record through 38 games in 2014 as they had in 2013 so, like, progress.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $35,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Thursday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $6,000. Starts at 7:07pm ET on ThursdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Indians 15, Blue Jays 4: Well, that escalated quickly. I mean, that really got out of hand fast. Especially toward the end. David Murphy drove in five. Neil Wagner ended up wearing this one for the Jays, which is pretty noble. Really, if someone said “you can play one major league game only” and then disappear into oblivion, I would be tempted for that one game to be me wearing a blowout for the benefit of my team and my bullpen. To go out there and give up a bunch of runs and accept it with equanimity. Granted, in this masochistic fantasy I’m doing it for, like, four innings. But you see what I’m getting at. 

Astros 5, Rangers 4: Texas had a 4-0 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth but then Houston chipped away and won it on a Matt Dominguez RBI single in the ninth. The Astros took two of three from the Rangers, winning their first series against their cross-state rival after dropping the last 15 against them. Fifteen series, that is. Not games.

Red Sox 9, Twins 4: David Ortiz homered twice for the second straight night. He’s 28 for 53 in 13 career games at Target Field. In 56 career games against the Twins he’s 75 for 214 with 19 homers and 49 RBI.

Pirates 4, Brewers 1: Chris Stewart and Starlin Marte combined to drive in three in the ninth off Francisco Rodriguez who, after getting the first out in a tie game gave up four consecutive hits. Not the sort of thing he’s done much of this year.

Marlins 13, Dodgers 3: Anthony DeSclafani was making his big league debut for the Marlins. He’ll not get run support like this one very often, especially considering he drove in two of Miami’s 13 runs himself. Reed Johnson had a two run homer and Jeff Mathis smacked a three run bomb. Randy Wolf, just signed by Miami, got a three-inning save. Saves are totally important when you come into the game with an 11-run lead.

Padres vs. Reds; Cubs vs. Cardinals: POSTPONEDI know we can walk through rain, But I don’t want to end up drowned again. Too much dancing in bad weather. Makes it hard to stay together 

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

MIAMI, FL - MAY 21: Jose Fernandez #16 of the Miami Marlins pitches during the first inning of the game against the Washington Nationals at Marlins Park on May 21, 2016 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Marlins 9, Rays 1: Jose Fernandez struck out 12 in seven innings. After the game he said “it’s time for me to learn how to manage myself on the mound and learn how to pitch.” Wow, he’s doing all of this in ignorance? Just imagine how many dudes he’d strike out if he learned to pitch. It’s like Barry Allen in season 1 of “The Flash” when he still didn’t even know what he was doing but was still pretty impressive. I mean, look at Fernandez in the picture above. He even sorta looks like The Flash.

Astros 4, Orioles 2: George Springer hit two solo homers, but the real story was, once again, just how strikeout-tastic the Astros pitching staff was. Astros pitchers combined for 15 strikeouts on the night. That goes with their 18 strikeouts on Wednesday night and their 19 strikeouts on Tuesday to set a new major league record for strikeouts in a three-game series with 52. The New 52, as it were.

Pirates 8, Diamondbacks 3: Gerrit Cole hit a three-run homer but the Pirates blew the lead he gave them. Luckily Josh Harrison, who didn’t start because he was sick, came off the bench to hit  two-run double in the bottom of the sixth to give them back the lead for good. They’d add some insurance later. Always gotta be careful not to add too much insurance, though, as it may inspire Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray to bump you off. Or maybe Kathleen Turner and William Hurt.

Blue Jays 3, Yankees 1: J.A. Happ allowed one run over seven innings and notched his sixth win. He outdueled CC Sabathia who turned in his best outing of the season (7 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 7K) but simply didn’t get the run support. Sabathia allowed one earned run in 20 innings in the month of May.

Nationals 2, Cardinals 1: Homers from Bryce Harper and Danny Espinosa backed Joe Ross, who is quite quietly having a sweet season at the back end of the Nats’ rotation, boasting a 2.52 ERA in nine starts. OK, he’s probably not boasting. He seems like a fine young man who lets his actions speak rather than his words. That’s what my source tell me, anyway. My source is Joe Ross’ mom. I’m worried that she may be biased, however, so I’m using a second source: his grandma. I’m gonna get to the bottom of this Joe Ross character controversy, that I can promise you.

Rockies 8, Red Sox 2: Jackie Bradley Jr.’s hitting streak ends at 29. And with that, Joe DiMaggio cracks open the bottle of champagne he saves for the end of every hitting streak of 25 games or more. Mercury Morris taught him that trick and you can never go wrong with doing something Mercury Morris thinks is cool. Trevor Story hit his 13th homer.Carlos Gonzalez and Dustin Garneau went deep too. Clay Buchholz‘s ERA is now 6.35.

Brewers 6, Braves 2Ryan Braun and Jonathan Villar each homered as the Brewers swept the Braves. They have three wins in Turner Field in three games this year. Atlanta has two wins in Turner Field in 22 games this year.

White Sox vs. Royals — POSTPONED: I don’t care if it rains

(Let’s all go to the bar)
I don’t care if there’s a hurricane
(Let’s all go to the bar)
And I don’t care if I’m the one to blame
(Let’s all go to the bar)

Video: Bryce Harper launches a homer into the upper deck

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 24: Bryce Harper #34 of the Washington Nationals looks on against the New York Mets at Nationals Park on May 24, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper has had a tough month of May. Opposing pitchers have become increasingly unwilling to throw hittable pitches in the strike zone for him, and he’s had trouble adjusting. Entering Thursday’s action, Harper was hitting .194/.454/.306 with two home runs in 97 plate appearances this month. 31 of those plate appearances ended in a walk, nine intentionally.

Harper finally got a pitch to hit in the sixth inning against Cardinals starter Mike Leake. Leake threw a 1-1 curve and Harper promptly launched into the upper deck at Nationals Park. It’s Harper’s 12th homer of the year.

Jackie Bradley, Jr.’s hitting streak ends at 29 games

BOSTON, MA - MAY 25:  Blake Swihart #23 of the Boston Red Sox congratulates Jackie Bradley Jr. #25 after he scored a run against the Colorado Rockies  during the fifth inning at Fenway Park on May 25, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. was unable to continue his hitting streak on Thursday night, going 0-for-4 out of the leadoff spot against the Rockies in an 8-2 loss. He hit a deep fly ball to right field in the first inning, missing a home run by a few feet. He hit another deep drive in the fifth, but it was caught in front of the wall in center field at Fenway Park by Charlie Blackmon. In his final at-bat, Bradley weakly grounded out on the first pitch from Jon Gray to lead off the eighth inning.

Bradley’s 29-game streak tied Johnny Damon for the fourth-longest streak in Red Sox history. Dom DiMaggio still has the longest in club history at 34 games.

Shortstop Xander Bogaerts was able to extend his hitting streak streak to 19 games. He went 1-for-3, hitting a line drive single in the first.

Softball legend Jennie Finch to manage a professional men’s baseball team

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 03:  Jennie Finch attends a press conference at Marathon Pavilion in Central Park on November 3, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Andy Kropa/Getty Images)
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Softball legend Jennie Finch will make history on Sunday when she will serve as a guest manager for the Bridgeport Bluefish of the independent Atlantic League. She will become the first woman to manage a men’s professional baseball team.

In the club’s announcement, GM Jamie Toole said, “We are really excited to have Jennie come out and manage the team. She is an incredible athlete and a wonderful person, and we hope our fans will enjoy seeing her in a Bluefish uniform for the day.”

Finch won the 2001 Women’s College World Series with the University of Arizona. She won the gold medal with Team USA in the 2004 Summer Olympics and silver in the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Finch is only managing one game, but it’s still a positive step for inclusiveness in professional sports. Hopefully, in the future, we see more women in sportswriting, broadcasting, coaching, and front office positions.