And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Dodgers 1, Rangers 0: One run in the game and it came via a walkoff balk. It was caused by pinch runner Enrique Hernandez faking out Rangers reliever Keone Kela, making him think he was pulling a straight steal of home. No need to steal a base, I guess, when the pitcher is gonna give it to you. A no-decision for Zack Greinke despite seven shutout innings. He’s 0-2 with a 1.99 ERA in his past eight starts. That takes some serious doing.

Yankees 9, Marlins 4: Down 3-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth, the Yankees put up eight runs over the next three innings, thanks in part to Brett Gardner and Carlos Beltran each hitting two-run homers.  A-Rod had two hits and an RBI and now stands one hit away from 3,000. He was cheered wildly throughout the game. He had one more plate appearance after 2,999 but Marlins pitcher Sam Dyson didn’t give him anything to hit, causing the crowd to boo and jeer Dyson. A-Rod, as things currently stands, is the most popular and, possibly, the best-loved current Yankees player. This has to drive the folks up in the press box absolutely bonkers.

Royals 3, Brewers 2: Ned Yost becomes the Royals’ all-time winningest manager and did so by beating his old employer. Behind him on the list: Whitey Herzog and Dick Howser. Which, man, baseball is weird when two of the best managers in the past couple of decades are behind a guy like Yost. Who I’m sure is a nice man, but he ain’t no Herzog or Howser. And that’s not me hating. Yost agrees:

“It’s nice, but again I don’t look at it as an individual achievement,” Yost said “First of all, I don’t feel like I’m in the same class as Whitey Herzog and Dick Howser, one. Two, this is an organizational-wide achievement and I’m proud to be part of that. Everybody is involved.”

Giants 7, Mariners 0: Ryan Vogelsong and three relievers combined on a five-hit shutout. He got good run support two and talked about it afterward:

“It’s always nice to have some points on the board,” said Vogelsong,

“Runs,” Ryan. We call them “runs” in baseball.

Blue Jays 7, Mets 1: The battle of the ancients, with R.A. Dickey facing Bartolo Colon. It was the first time in seven years that two 40-year-old+ pitchers faced off. Back in 2008 it was Greg Maddux and Jamie Moyer. Here it was Dickey certainly getting the better of Colon, allowing one run on three hits and somehow surviving five walks.

Rays 5, Nationals 3: The loss stinks for the Nats, but the hamstring injury to Bryce Harper is way worse news. All the worse because it appeared to happen due to Harper slipping on wet grass. As for the Rays, Chris Archer has been Cy Young-worthy all year. Last night he wasn’t — he allowed three runs over five innings — but he was still good enough to get the win. Yunel Escobar notched five hits.

Indians 4, Cubs 3: Giovanny Urshela drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh and Terry Francona got creative with the pen, using Cody Allen to get out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth inning following a rain delay. Imagine: using your best reliever in the toughest spot your club might face all game long.

Phillies 2, Orioles 1: Ryan Howard hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the sixth, which represented the first time the Phillies held a lead in the whole series. And the lead held up, allowing Philly to snap their nine-game losing streak. Wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles.

Twins 2, Cardinals 1: Kennys Vargas hit a walkoff solo shot an inning after Joe Mauer hit a solo shot to tie it. That was the first time in 35 games that the Cardinals lost when leading after seven. And the first time in 25 games the Twins won when trailing after seven. The baseball season is long. Everything happens eventually.

Astros 8, Rockies 4: Houston is the first team to 40 wins in the American League, just as everyone expected. Domingo Santana hit a three run homer to put this one out of reach late. He was just called up this week. The Astros don’t lack for reinforcements from the minors, do they?

Padres 3, Athletics 1: For the first time since 2006 someone besides Bud Black notches a win as manager of the Padres, with interim manager Pat Murphy finally getting a W. The last guy to do it was Bruce Bochy. Well, maybe there was some fill-in manager at some point over the years because Bud Black, I dunno, had his wisdom teeth out or something, but you get the idea. Matt Kemp and Derek Norris each went deep.

Angels 7, Diamondbacks 1: C.J. Wilson struck out nine over eight scoreless innings while allowing only one run and not walking a batter. He also did this:

 

Kind of funny? Also kind of the thing Mike Scioscia should really yell at Wilson for doing because, jeez, dude, he’s a pitcher.

Red Sox 5, Braves 2: The Red Sox split with the Braves, thanks to Clay Buchholz allowing only two runs — neither earned — in seven innings of work. He also had a tough, 10-pitch at bat against his counterpart, Shelby Miller, which caused Miller to have to throw a lot more pitches than he would have otherwise and which Miller said was his toughest out of the game. The next inning Miller was touched for three runs.

Pirates 3, White Sox 2: Gerrit Cole continues to make a case for the Cy Young Award, winning his 11th game and allowing only two runs over seven innings. His ERA actually went up from 1.71 to 1.78 after this game.

Tigers vs. Reds: POSTPONED: Send us a blindfold, send us a blade

Tell the survivors help is on the way

I was a blindfold, never complained
All the survivors singing in the rain
I was the one with the world at my feet

Got us a battle, leave it up to me

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.