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And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights


Tigers 5, Athletics 4: I would have to think that a walkoff grand slam when you’re down by three is, if one scored such things on style and drama points, the highest possible scoring walkoff there is. And get this: the Tigers last had a walkoff grand slam June 27, 2004. Before that: June 21, 1994. So basically, late June, every ten years, someone does this for Detroit. I’m calling June 2024’s to be done by either Nick Castellanos or some kid in the ninth grade someplace.

Nationals 7, Rockies 3: Bryce Harper went 1 for 3 with an RBI single on Bryce Harper bobblehead/Everyone hates Bryce Harper night. Adam LaRoche homered, Ryan Zimmerman had three hits and Ian Desmond hit two doubles. Denard Span, the guy Harper implied he did not want in the lineup during his controversial comments yesterday, went 0 for 3.

Rays 4, Yankees 3: The Rays had a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the ninth but Joel Roberts blew it by giving up a game-tying Brian Roberts homer. Tampa Bay got a Logan Forsythe RBI single in the 12th to win it, though, because Mystique and Aura have apparently retired and have opened up a craft store or something back in the small town they came from.

Braves 5, Mets 3: The Braves were down 3-1 in the eighth, but they were playing the Mets, and this is their theme song, so you never really felt the game was out of hand. In that eighth Mets pitcher Jeurys Familia center fielder Juan Lagares and third baseman Eric Campbell all committed errors as the Braves rallied for four runs. Familia’s error could’ve been a double play. If he converts that and Lagares doesn’t commit his error, the Mets escape the inning with no runs scoring. But then again, if that happens we’re deprived of all of the comedy.

Orioles 7, Rangers 1: Steve Pearce hit two homers and drove in four. In other, crazy-unexpected news Ubaldo Jimenez pitched well and won at home and that never happens.

Dodgers 1, Indians 0: Dan Haren and the bullpen combine to one-hit the Indians. The only hit: a Michael Bourn single that was originally called an out but overturned on replay review. Probably for the best, though. Haren left the game after seven with 103 pitches. If he had a no-no going he’d probably have stayed in the game, eventually tired out and, more importantly, wouldn’t have been pinch-hit for by Clint Robinson, who ended up plating the game’s only run.

Padres 1, Reds 0: Not a great offensive day for Ohio teams in Southern California. This one featured a one-hitter too. Except it was the winning team notching only one hit. And it wasn’t even an RBI. Their run scored on a sac fly. Jesse Hahn and four relievers combine for the shutout. Mat Latos, back in San Diego where his career got going, gets the loss despite allowing that lone hit in seven innings.

Cubs 2, Red Sox 0: No offense for the home team in Boston, as the Red Sox were no-hit by Jake Arrieta until there were two outs in the eighth. Arrieta has been crazy-good lately. On his last outing six days ago he carried a perfect game into the seventh.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $35,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Tuesday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $6,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on TuesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Royals 6, Twins 1: Alcides Escobar had two doubles and four RBI. Kansas City has won three of four.

Mariners 10, Astros 4: Robinson Cano had a three-run blast and the M’s had four homers in all, supporting Taijuan Walker in his 2014 debut. Walker allowed three runs over six.

Angels vs. White Sox: POSTPONED:

“The rain to the wind said,
You push and I’ll pelt.’
They so smote the garden bed
That the flowers actually knelt,
And lay lodged–though not dead.
I know how the flowers felt.”

The Yankees were booed last night. Did they deserve it?

Masahiro Tanaka

The boos came raining down from the Yankee Stadium faithful last night. They started when Brett Gardner grounded out in the eighth inning. More came later. A lot of it was, no doubt, based on Gardner’s disappointing performance late in the season. A lot of it was because, around that time, it seemed like the Yankees had zero shot whatsoever to mount a comeback. Which, in fact, they didn’t. A lot of it was pent-up frustration, I assume, from a late season skid which saw the Yankees lose their lead in the AL East and wind up in the Wild Card Game in the first place.

Anyone who buys a ticket has a right to boo. Especially when they buy a ticket as expensive as Yankees tickets are. It’s obviously understandable to be disappointed when your team loses. Especially when your team is eliminated like the Yankees were. And last night’s game was particularly deflating, with that 3-0 Astros lead feeling more like 10-0 given how things were going.

But isn’t booing something more than a mere manifestation of disappointment? Isn’t a step beyond? Booing isn’t saying “I’m sad.” It’s saying “you suck!” It’s not saying “I’m disappointed,” it’s saying “you should be ashamed of yourselves!” And with all respect to Yankees fans, the 2015 Yankees have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.

This was a club expected to miss the playoffs, full stop. Maybe some people allowed for an if-everything-breaks-right flight of fancy, but hardly anyone expected them to play meaningful games late in the year, let alone a playoff game. They were too old. Too injured. There weren’t enough young reinforcements to fill the gaps. Some even went so far as to claim that they were about to spend years in the wilderness.

But then A-Rod broke out of the gate strong. And Michael Pineda had a really nice first couple of months. And Mark Teixeira put up numbers that wouldn’t have been out of place for him several years ago. The bullpen did what it was supposed to do and more, Masahiro Tanaka held together somehow and, eventually, a couple of young players like Greg Bird and Luis Severino came in to reinforce things. The not-going-anywhere Yankees were contenders. And they led the division for a good while. Of course they stumbled late. And of course they lost last night, but by just about any reasonable measure, this was a good team — better than expected — and, unlike a lot of Yankees teams in the past, was pretty darn enjoyable to watch.

Then the boos. I just can’t see how this Yankees team deserved that.

I realize a lot of people in the media have duped a lot of people into thinking that a team with a high payroll is supposed to be dominant. And I realize George Steinbrenner duped a whole lot of people into thinking that anything less than a World Series championship for the New York Yankees is failure. But that’s rhetoric and branding, not reason. In the real world where baseball players play baseball games World Series titles are rare, even for the Yankees. At the end of the season all but one of 30 teams are either at home for the playoffs or went home after suffering a gut-wrenching playoff loss. The Yankees are the most dominant franchise in the history of American professional sports yet they still have finished their year without a title over 75% of the time.

With that as a given, fans are left to judge their team’s performance based on its talent, its health, its heart, its entertainment value and the strength of the opposition which ultimately vanquished it. The Yankees weren’t nearly as talented as many, yet made the playoffs anyway. They were a walking hospital ward, let limped on. They never quit and never got pulled down into the sort of muck a lot of New York teams find themselves in when things start to go sideways. And, ultimately, they were simply beat by a better team. By any reasonable measure the 2015 Yankees were a good story, a successful enterprise, a resilient bunch and no small amount of fun.

It’s OK to be sad that it ended as it did. But that doesn’t deserve to be booed. Not by a long shot.

Collin McHugh will start Game 1 of the ALDS for the Astros

Collin McHugh Astros

After using ace left-hander Dallas Keuchel to get past the Yankees in the Wild Card game the Astros will turn to right-hander Collin McHugh in Game 1 of the ALDS versus the Royals.

McHugh had an up-and-down year, posting a 3.89 ERA compared to his 2.73 mark last season, but thanks to good teammate support he had a 19-7 record and his 171/53 K/BB ratio in 204 innings was solid. He was particularly good down the stretch, posting a 2.89 ERA and 69/20 K/BB ratio in 72 innings after August 1.

McHugh will match up against Royals right-hander Yordano Ventura in Game 1. Houston hasn’t named a starter for Game 2 yet, while Kansas City is going with Johnny Cueto. And then the Game 3 matchup figures to be Dallas Keuchel versus Edinson Volquez.