And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Diamondbacks 4, Reds 0: Josh Collmenter with the three-hit shutout. And not just a shutout, but a Maddux, as he needed only 94 pitches to do it, while facing the minimum 27 hitters. The only other Dback who has gone a whole game while facing the minimum was Randy Johnson who did it while pitching a perfect game. Aaron Hill had a homer and an RBI single in support.

Mets 4, Phillies 1: A lot of people have been talking about the Mets’ struggles at Citi Field. They do just fine at Citizens Bank Park, thank you. They won their sixth straight in Philly to open up a five game series here this weekend. Zack Wheeler pitched into the seventh and struck out nine.

Rangers 5, Twins 4: Leonys Martin doubled twice and scored three times. One of his runs was the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, when he came hope on a sac fly, just barely beating the throw from Danny Santana, who was playing center field despite the fact that he’s a shortstop because, hey, you gotta have 13 pitchers on staff or else the friggin’ world will end.

Angels 7, Mariners 5: Erik Aybar’s three-run homer have the Angels a 5-0 lead in the fourth and they held on from there. The Angels rattled off 15 hits. They’re a game and a half behind Oakland and if the season ended today, well, that would be really damn weird considering it’s May 30 and I suppose we wouldn’t have a baseball playoffs because I’m guessing only national tragedy of some sort would cause the season to end today so forget that whole idea of the Angels being in the playoffs if it did. God, now I’m all depressed, even though I started this thought in order to say something uplifting about the Angels. Some sort of nuclear disaster, I’m guessing. Maybe two teams’ planes colliding. Not sure. Oh my God this is horrible.

Red Sox 4, Braves 3: The Braves had a bullpen and defensive meltdown late, allowing the Sox to rally for their fourth straight win and the series sweep. I, thankfully, did not see this. I was at an Eddie Izzard show downtown. When I turned on my phone after the show, it was full of people asking me stuff like “is Brooks Conrad now the Braves’ defensive coordinator?” and offering sarcastic “BARVES!” texts. Really glad I was at the show instead.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $45,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Friday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $7,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on FridayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Giants 6, Cardinals 5: Michael Morse homered and drove in three runs and Pablo Sandoval homered too. The Giants are third in all of baseball in homers. I know I said that a week or two ago, but man, it’s still pretty darn notable.

Tigers 5, Athletics 4: Rick Porcello was shaky but won his eighth game. Joe Nathan was shaky but held on for the save. The A’s and Tigers split their four-game series.

Royals 8, Blue Jays 6: Edwin Encarnacion had two more homers — that’s 15 and 16 for May — but it wasn’t enough to extend the Jays’ winning streak. Every Royals hitter had a hit including Omar Infante’s two-run single in the 10th. Obviously it was new batting coach Dale Sveum’s work here. Quick, someone go ask Sveum what he did to make the Royals hit.

Pirates 6, Dodgers 3:  Russell Martin and Pedro Alvarez homered and the Pirates put up three in the seventh to back Gerrit Cole. It was just the Pirates third win in 20 games at Dodger Stadium.

Astros 3, Orioles 1: Holy crap, George Springer is on a rampage. He hit a tie-breaking two-run homer in the seventh, which was his seventh homer in seven games and ten for the month of May. Brad Peacock allowed one run on six hits with eight strikeouts in six innings.

 

Cincinnati Reds fire Bryan Price

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The Cincinnati Reds have fired manager Bryan Price. He’ll be replaced on an interim basis by bench coach Jim Riggleman. The team also fired pitching coach Mack Jenkins. The club also added Louisville manager Pat Kelly to the staff as the new bench coach and Double-A pitching coach Danny Darwin as the new big league pitching coach.

It was only a matter of time for Price, whose Reds have begun the season 3-15. This was Price’s fifth season at the helm and the Reds never won more than 76 games in any of his previous seasons, doing so in his first year, in 2014. They won 68 games in both 2016 and 2017 and 64 games in 2015. While that’s far more attributable to the Reds talent level than anything Price ever did or did not do, at some point the manager will take the fall for a team that makes no progress.

Price’s tenure will likely be considered largely forgettable in the view of history, but he did have a pretty memorable moment as Reds manager in April of 2015, when he went on a profanity-laced tirade at the media because they reported the availability or lack thereof of certain players for an upcoming game. Which is part of the media’s job, even if Price didn’t fully grok that at the time. The tirade itself was pretty epic, though, with then Cincinnati Enquirer reporter C. Trent Rosecrans reporting that “there were 77 uses of the “F” word or a variant and 11 uses of a vulgar term for feces (two bovine, one equine).” 

Taking over will be Jim Riggleman, who last managed in the big leagues with the Washington Nationals, resigning in June of 2011 because he was unhappy that he did not get a contract extension. It was a weird episode, the sort of which a lot of guys couldn’t have come back from, perhaps being considered quitters. Riggleman took a job managing the Reds’ Double-A team, however, then moved on to Triple-A and then the Reds’ big league coaching staff. There’s something to be said for persistence. And for being a big league lifer.

Anyway, Price’s exit is not likely to change the Reds’ course too much in 2018. But, as it is so often said in baseball, sometimes you gotta make a change all the same.