Anthony Rendon

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Nationals 3, Diamondbacks 2: Yet another win for the Nationals. Their ninth in a row. Yet another walkoff. Fourth in five games, I think. Anthony Rendon hit the single that scored Bryce Harper in the ninth. Afterwards Harper described the Nats current run: “It’s absolutely epic. That’s the best word I can put out there.” Isn’t that two words? Ah, forget it, he’s rolling.

Tigers 6, Rays 0: A good way to test to see how close attention someone is paying to the Tigers is to ask them who their best pitcher and best hitter have been this season. If they don’t say Rick Porcello and Victor Martinez, they haven’t been paying attention. Porcello tosses a three-hit shutout for his 14th victory and Martinez drove in five.

Rangers 5, Marlins 4: Nick Martinez allowed two runs over six innings and got the win in front of what, for him anyway, was a hometown crowd. After the game he said that it was a big deal winning in Miami because he “grew up watching” the Marlins. I realize the math works out and that I’m an old fart and everything, but it’s hard for me to get my head around anyone growing up watching a team that, to me anyway, feels like it just showed up yesterday. I suppose people in their 50s feel the same way when I talk about growing up watching the Blue Jays come play the Tigers and stuff. Time marches on, though.

Blue Jays 9, Brewers 5: Milwaukee had a five game winning streak of its own snapped. Jose Bautista had a three-run homer in a five-run sixth inning. Here is Brewers manager Ron Roenicke describing the Jays scoring those six and Carlos Gomez hitting a two-run homer to pull Milwaukee closer:

“So tough inning, you know we come back and Gomey gets the two points and we get a little closer, and we give up another homer.

I’m not sure if I’m more disturbed by the “two points” or the “Gomey,” really.

Indians 5, Twins 0: Five Indians pitchers, led by T.J. House, combined to shut out Minnesota on six hits. For whatever reason I get all the Indians transaction news sent directly to me from their front office — I guess I got on the right mailing list a couple of years back — so I see every little option and purchased contract they do, even if it’s not at all newsworthy to most people. Four of the five pitchers in this one — House, C.C. Lee, Nick Hagadone and Bryan Shaw — are regularly featured in those, to the point where I actually spend a lot of time worrying about them. Wondering if they get bored or lonely driving up and down I-71 all the time. Wondering where they live when they’re going back and forth like that all the time. Good to see them go all Voltron like this for a night.

Pirates 3, Braves 2: Atlanta’s five game winning streak comes to an end and Pittsburgh’s seven game losing streak halts at the same time. The winning run came around in part to Justin Upton dropping a routine fly ball. The Upton giveth on Tuesday, taketh away on Wednesday.

Phillies 4, Mariners 3: Cole Hamels has lost a lot when he’s pitched well. Yesterday he won when he didn’t have his best stuff. He probably deserves that more than anyone.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $25,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Thursday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $5,000. Starts at 7:10pm ET on ThursdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Mets 8, Athletics 5: Lucas Duda hit a three-run homer. He has hit a LOT of homers in the past couple of months. The Mets and A’s split two. Remember a few years back when there were two-game series all the damn time? God, I hated that. Sometimes it’s good to remember that not everything baseball does is aggravating. Sometimes they fix the aggravating things they did before. In baseball, that’s vision.

Padres 4, Dodgers 1: Eric Stults won and said that he “executed pitches better” than he had. After the Mariners-Phillies game, James Paxton said “I probably could’ve executed pitches a little bit better.” I wish I had the technology to keep a running count for terms like that after games. I think they come and go in cycles. We’re in a big “executing pitches” era these days. It has surpassed “make pitches” by quite a margin, I think.

Rockies 5, Royals 2: The Royals lead in the Central drops to one thanks in part to a Matt McBride grand slam. Not bad for a guy who just got called up a couple of days ago. McBride doesn’t even get a chance to bat that inning if it wasn’t for a Christian Colon error at third that should’ve been out number three.

Giants 8, Cubs 3: First they win the protest over Tuesday night’s washout then they win the game. Not a bad day for San Francisco. Of course, commenters told me all day yesterday that the Cubs grounds crew made no mistake worth noting, so how they won the protest is beyond me. Oh, wait:

Available video of the incident, and conversations with representatives of the Cubs, demonstrate that the Cubs’ inability to deploy the tarp appropriately was caused by the failure to properly wrap and spool the tarp after its last use.  As a result, the groundskeeping crew was unable to properly deploy the tarp after the rain worsened.

Nope, no one screwed up there.

Cardinals 7, Reds 3: The Cards got to Johnny Cueto for five runs in five and Lance Lynn was solid. The Cards have won eight of nine and are almost singlehandedly bringing respectability to the NL Wild Card race. Someone’s gotta.

Orioles 4, White Sox 3: Nelson Cruz took the MLB lead in homers with his 33rd as the O’s sweep the Chisox. The O’s hit three homers in all off Hector Noesi. They lead all of baseball in bombs.

Astros 5, Yankees 2: I probably follow a disproportionate number of Yankees fans on Twitter for whatever reason. And Yankees fans — or these Yankees fans, not sure which — probably gave the Astros disproportionate criticism for all that “2017 World Series champs!” and front office hype that they were getting a little while back. As such, watching them come to grips with the Astros beating the Yankees all the damn time recently has been somewhat amusing. Four of five on the season for Houston. Now: let us see whether the talk about the Yankees still being in the playoff hunt abates any. Because dudes, if Houston is eating your lunch, you’re not a playoff team.

Angels 8, Red Sox 3: A win, yes, but losing Garrett Richards, almost certainly for the season, is a huge, huge blow for the Angels. Josh Hamilton had three RBI. Right now it’d be better if he could throw 98 miles per hour, because the Angels are going to need that way more in the season’s final month and change.

 

San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus asks for fired DJ to be reinstated

SAN DIEGO - APRIL 06:  The grounds crew works on the field before the start of the game between the Colorado Rockies and the San Diego Padres during Opening Night at Petco Park on April 6, 2007 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
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OK, I lied. Earlier I said we had the final word on the National Anthem dustup in San Diego from over the weekend. The final word, it seemed, was the Padres apologizing, the revelation that the screwed up Anthem thing was a mistake by a DJ hired to run the music and the DJ then being fired. Oh, and then the DJ apologizing.

Now a new twist! The San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus said today that they’d like to see the DJ rehired by the Padres! Their statement, in relevant part:

We also would like to publicly accept the sincere apology of DJ ARTFORM and recognize his support for the LGBT community and equality for all people. We do not wish to see him lose his job with the San Diego Padres and kindly ask the Padres to reinstate him. Everyone deserves a second chance.”

That’s quite a shift in the past few days, as all of this was came into the public eye via a Facebook post by a Gay Men’s Chorus official saying that this whole thing was part of a pattern of troublesome homophobia. Now we’ve come full circle. Or maybe around the circle a few times and back again. I don’t know. I’m dizzy.

Whatever the case: everyone’s all happy now, and that’s way better than everyone being all mad.

Great Moments in Dealing with Hecklers: Bartolo Colon edition

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - MAY 7:  Bartolo Colon #40 of the New York Mets pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on May 7, 2016 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
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Last week the news broke that a lawsuit was filed against Bartolo Colon for back child support for two children he apparently fathered out of wedlock. As we noted repeatedly at the time, the case was sealed and the facts were mostly unknown. Still, the possibility at least exists that Colon has been a deadbeat dad to some degree. And the underlying facts are no doubt a sensitive matter to his family, right? I hope we can all agree on that.

As we’ve all seen in the past, this sort of stuff is what hecklers thrive on. Ask Chipper Jones or any other athlete who have been caught up in scandal, especially sexual scandal, in the past. Fans of the opposition are going to pounce on it. And the fans in Washington for the Mets-Nationals series are no different in that regard:

I wish fans didn’t use stuff about the personal lives of ballplayers like this, especially when it involves their families, but I suppose it’s inevitable. And hey, Colon got him back right? Quickly showed the heckler that he couldn’t be gotten to. The first impulse in reading this is to laugh for just that reason. Indeed, the first impulse in reading a lot of things dealing with Colon these days is to laugh because he’s become a pretty popular and affable figure.

But I also wish Colon, even if this was meant flippantly in order to deflect a jerk, didn’t respond this way in this situation. Why? Because it seems to diminish what, for his family and the woman with whom he fathered a couple of children out of wedlock, is a pretty serious and personal situation. And possibly one with some negative legal consequences in the offing. At the very least Colon’s comment will bring him an extra question or two at a deposition from the lawyer for the mother of his children, putatively to probe him for any other similar situations but, in reality, just to get under his skin. For that reason it was kind of a dumb comment.

More broadly, however, it just doesn’t look great to treat this whole situation flippantly. Maybe Bartolo Colon gets away with this way easier than someone else might because of his current popularity, but how would we feel if another, less popular player were accused of something unseemly and he treated it as a joke like this? I feel like the knives would be out for him in ways they’ll likely never be out for Bartolo Colon based solely on how we feel about the player in question.

It all goes back to what I wrote about all of this last week: we have a sliding scale for behavior for certain athletes and public figures based on their preexisting popularity. We shouldn’t have such a sliding scale. Personally, I think we should be far more hands-off and lenient when it comes to judging these men than we currently are because there is so little we truly know and so little of it is truly the business of fans. But if we do get in the business of judging these guys, we need to be fair about it.

I don’t think we should have the knives out for Colon over this, especially given how little is known about his case and his situation. But I feel like we’d treat someone who was not Bartolo Colon very differently under the same exact facts and that it would do us well to contend with that some.

Report: James Loney’s representatives to contact the Mets

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - MARCH 14:  James Loney #21 of the Tampa Bay Rays swings at a pitch during the first inning of a spring training game against the Atlanta Braves at Champion Stadium on March 14, 2016 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images
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Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that representatives of Padres first baseman James Loney are expected to contact the Mets, who are in need of first base help after losing Lucas Duda to a back injury on Monday.

Loney, 32, has spent the season with the Padres’ Triple-A affiliate in El Paso. In 155 plate appearances, he’s hitting .333/.368/.417 with a pair of home runs and 23 RBI. Loney hit slightly below the league average last year with the Rays and has generally played a solid first base defensively. He wouldn’t begin to replace Duda’s power, but he would be a good stopgap on short notice.

Loney has the privilege of opting out of his deal with the Padres if he can find a major league job elsewhere. The Rays are paying the balance of his $8 million salary, so the Mets would only need to pay the prorated major league minimum.

Duda is dealing with stress fractures in his lower back and said “it will be a while” before he returns. The Mets had Eric Campbell start at first base on Monday, and he figures to be the club’s short-term solution.

What’s on Tap: Previewing Tuesday’s action

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 20:  Manager Joe Girardi of the New York Yankees watches batting practice before a game against the Oakland Athletics at O.co Coliseum on May 20, 2016 in Oakland, California.  The Yankees won 8-3.  (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Brian Bahr/Getty Images
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Last Wednesday night, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner gave a vote of confidence for manager Joe Girardi. The Yankees entered the day 16-22 in last place in the AL East. They beat the Diamondbacks that night to salvage the series. Starting on Thursday, the Yankees would go on to complete a four-game sweep of the Athletics in Oakland and enter tonight’s action in third place at 21-22, on a five-game winning streak.

The Yankees have been hitting well lately, but it’s the pitching that’s responsible for the turnaround. The starting pitcher in four of those five wins went at least six innings and yielded exactly one run, which gave the Yankees the privilege of handing the game off to Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, and Aroldis Chapman for the final three innings. That’s exactly the way the Yankees want to win ballgames — play to their strengths.

Nathan Eovaldi will toe the rubber for the Yankees tonight, opposing Blue Jays knuckleballer R.A. Dickey at Yankee Stadium starting at 7:05 PM EDT.

The rest of Tuesday’s action…

Arizona Diamondbacks (Shelby Miller) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (Francisco Liriano), 7:05 PM EDT

New York Mets (Matt Harvey) @ Washington Nationals (Stephen Strasburg), 7:05 PM EDT

Chicago Cubs (Jason Hammel) @ St. Louis Cardinals (Michael Wacha), 7:10 PM EDT

Colorado Rockies (Jorge De La Rosa) @ Boston Red Sox (David Price), 7:10 PM EDT

Milwaukee Brewers (Jimmy Nelson) @ Atlanta Braves (Julio Teheran), 7:10 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies (Jeremy Hellickson) @ Detroit Tigers (Justin Verlander), 7:10 PM EDT

Los Angeles Angels (Jhoulys Chacin) @ Texas Rangers (Martin Perez), 8:05 PM EDT

Baltimore Orioles (Chris Tillman) @ Houston Astros (Doug Fister), 8:10 PM EDT

Cleveland Indians (Josh Tomlin) @ Chicago White Sox (Chris Sale), 8:10 PM EDT

Kansas City Royals (Edinson Volquez) @ Minnesota Twins (Ervin Santana), 8:10 PM EDT

Cincinnati Reds (Daniel Wright) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (Mike Bolsinger), 10:10 PM EDT

Oakland Athletics (Kendall Graveman) @ Seattle Mariners (Nathan Karns), 10:10 PM EDT

San Diego Padres (Andrew Cashner) @ San Francisco Giants (Jeff Samardzija), 10:15 PM EDT