james shields getty

Settling the Score: Saturday’s results

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The Kansas City Royals — baseball’s hottest team by far — are suddenly back in the thick of the things in the hunt for the American League Central crown.

James Shields looked ace-like in Saturday’s 5-0 blanking of the Giants, allowing just four hits (and no runs) over nine innings while striking out five for his first shutout since September 2012. And outfielder Alex Gordon, the second-best player in the game this season according to FanGraphs’ WAR, went 2-for-4 with a homer, a single, and two runs scored.

The Royals are 9-1 since July 30 and a mere 1 1/2 games back of Detroit in the AL Central standings.

If the 2014 season ended today, it would be Anaheim hosting Kansas City in the AL Wild Card Game.

Your box scores and recaps from Saturday …

Indians 3, Yankees 0

Tigers 2, Blue Jays 3 (10 innings)

Cardinals 3, Orioles 10

Rays 4, Cubs 0

Padres 2, Pirates 1

Giants 0, Royals 5

Dodgers 1, Brewers 4

Marlins 4, Reds 3

Rangers 3, Astros 8

Mets 2, Phillies 1 (11 innings)

Rockies 4, Diamondbacks 14

Twins 4, Athletics 9

White Sox 2, Mariners 1 (10 innings)

Nationals 4, Braves 1 (11 innings)

Red Sox 4, Angels 5 (19 innings)

The Phillies have shut down Jake Thompson

CLEARWATER, FL - MARCH 03:  Jake Thompson #75 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch during the first inning of a spring training game against the Houston Astros at Bright House Field on March 3, 2016 in Clearwater, Florida.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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Phillies rookie starter Jake Thompson has been shut down for the year. Not that there’s much of the year left, but he will not make what would’ve been his last start.

Thompson allowed three earned runs over four innings in the Phillies’ 17-0 blowout loss to the Mets. That leaves him with a 5.70 ERA in 53.2 innings for the season. Which, while that’s kind of ugly, it was a function of some bad starts mixed in with good starts as opposed to overall badness.

Everything about his 2016 should be viewed as “get yourself used to the big leagues, because you’re going to be part of this rotation in 2017 and beyond,” and from that perspective, you can call 2016 a success.

Congressional candidate uses Jose Fernandez’s death to score political points

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As a horrible Sunday unfolded yesterday there was at least one thing buoying the public mood: the overwhelming outpouring of emotion and love for Jose Fernandez and warm remembrances of his all-too-brief time on Earth.

But it wasn’t a unanimous sentiment. Some people, like this Florida state representative who is currently running for Congress, thought it was a great time to make a political point:

Setting aside the tastelessness of Gaetz’s timing and intent, one wonders if he appreciates that the reason Fernandez risked his life on multiple occasions was specifically so he could live in a country where protesting and not exhibiting a reflexive loyalty and patriotism is a fundamental right and does not get you thrown in jail.

But really, it’s the tastelessness which most galls here.