And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Cubs 9, Rockies 8: Kris Bryant hit two-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and the Cubs trailing by one. That’s about as big as a walkoff comes. This negated Carlos Gonzalez’s two-homer game, one of which gave the Rockies the lead in the top of the inning. After the game the Rockies shipped Troy Tulowitzki and LaTroy Hawkins to Toronto. Read the details of the trade here. And here is our analysis of this very, very strange deal. For the record, Tulo’s last game as the Rockies shortstop: 0-for-5 and an RBI on a groundout.

Orioles 2, Braves 1: Matt Wieters with a walkoff homer in the 11th. This in a game that was 0-0 until the ninth. In that frame Adonis Garcia — apparently the Braves’ new hero — homered. Jim Johnson couldn’t lock down the 1-0 lead in the bottom of the frame, however, giving up a couple of singles and a sac fly, setting the stage for Wieters’ heroics a couple of innings later.

Royals 9, Indians 4: Eric Hosmer drove in four runs and Kendrys Morales knocked in three as the Indians continue to spiral into oblivion. The Royals are just great, though. They even had some fans representing for them in Cleveland. The game story put it this way: “Downtrodden for so many years, these Royals are being treated like rock stars.” Personally, I’ve never been overly taken with the romance of rock stardom. When I hear that I think “they’re being taken advantage of by shady advisors and being screwed out of their publishing rights; they’re indulging too much in excess under the false assumption the money and stardom will keep flowing and then, later, they’ll crash. On the upside, we’ll all be able to see the Royals at a state fair or something in about 15-20 years.

Rays 5, Tigers 2: Curt Casali, which sounds like an alias my brother Curt would use, homered twice and Nathan Karns took a one-hit shutout into the seventh. An uninspiring Tigers performance which led to a closed-door meeting after the game with Dave Dombrowski in attendance. No word on what was discussed then the doors opened again and no news spun out of it. Maybe Dombrowski gave the old law school “look to your left, look to your right, this time next week one of you will be gone” speech. Maybe, like Rajai Davis yesterday, Dombrowski was just trolling the media.

Yankees 6, Rangers 2: A-Rod homered on his 40th birthday. Which leads to a cool factoid: he became the fourth player in major league history to homer as a teen and in his 40s. The others: Ty Cobb, Rusty Staub and Gary Sheffield. Cobb, Sheffield and A-Rod all took major criticism for being horse’s asses. I don’t know about Staub’s reputation in the game in general, but I once talked to Mickey Lolich who, for whatever reason, went on and on about how Staub was a prima donna. It could be that Lolich is just a crank. Or maybe baseball longevity and being a horse’s ass have a lot of things in common.

Cardinals 4, Reds 1: I hate calling homer’s “dongs,” but part of me really wants to say that the story of this game was a “Wong dong.” What kind of dong? A grand salami! The saddest part is that it went out to right center. If it went to left, we could’ve called it an “oppo taco!” That is, if we’re horrible, horrible people who like to use the worst and dumbest slang around. Not saying we’re better than that, of course.

Diamondbacks 4, Mariners 3: Seattle native and University of Washington produce Jake Lamb won the game with a sac fly. Paul Goldschmidt homered in this one as he continues one of the quietest .346/.465/.611 seasons in baseball history.

Giants 4, Brewers 2: Heston stars, Crawford shines in a supporting role. No, I’m not talking about season five, episode 39 of Matin and Lewis’ Colgate Comedy Hour, which was the only time both Charlton and Joan appeared in a production together. I’m talking about Brandon, who hit a homer and Chris, who allowed two runs over seven.

White Sox 10, Red Sox 8: Sox wi–

Well crap. It’s no fun now. Thanks. You totally ruined one of my hackier jokes. 😦

Haha, just kidding. Sox win! Sox win! Adam Eaton, playing DH because of a sore left shoulder, had three hits and drove in two. Which is cool, even if a bunch of you dead-enders would rather have had John Danks hit and Eaton be benched. Yeah, that’s right: old jokes AND dredging up arguments from three or four months ago.

And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

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Hope you had a nice weekend. Mine consisted of a lot of sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching stuffy head, fever and, thus, NyQuil and bed rest which (a) meant I went to bed too early Saturday night to see Sean Manaea‘s no-hitter but which allowed me to (b) lay in bed most of yesterday afternoon and see a bunch of games. Not exactly a wash, but if you have to be sick thank God for day baseball. And thank God for NyQuill.

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Phillies 3, Pirates 2: It was 2-2 from the fifth until the bottom of the 11th, and that’s when Aaron Knapp tripled and Aaron Altherr singled him in for the walkoff win. The Phillies completed a four-game sweep of the Pirates. It was their first four-game sweep of Pittsburgh in 24 years. There was a time when “in 24 years” seemed like a long time ago — like, that should be in the 1980s or something — but it was 1994 and I had just finished my junior year of college. You lose decades after a certain age. Oh well, the Phillies have won 13 of 16 since we all decided Gabe Kapler didn’t know what he was doing. Guess he figured it out.

Rays 8, Twins 6: The Rays had a 6-3 lead, blew it, and it was tied 6-6 in the bottom of the ninth when Carlos Gomez came up to bat and hit a two-run walkoff homer. Gomez said that he told his son that he’d hit a homer for him in this game. He was 0-for-his-first 4, though, with three strikeouts before the blast. Phew. For the Twins, Brian Dozier extended his hitting streak to 23 games, dating back to September 22 of last year. It’s weird that we count hitting streaks that way. Of course it’d be weird if we didn’t count them that way too, as everyone would still be talking about last year’s games, so I dunno. The world isn’t always perfect and there aren’t always satisfying answers. You may lose decades when you get older but you gain the ability to deal with ambiguity and even embrace a lack of cosmic resolution in things. That sort of zen is one of the best parts of getting older, even if people tend to fight it rather than accept it.

Athletics 4, Red Sox 1: A day after getting no-hit by Sean Manaea, Daniel Mengden and his twirly mustache held the Red Sox to one run on six hits in six and a third and the bullpen took it the rest of the way. I’d say who woulda thunk that the A’s of all teams would cool off the red hot Red Sox bats, but it’s not like any team is going to continue to score 7-10 runs a game ad inifinitum. Khris Davis knocked in all four of the A’s runs, the first one on a ground ball single in the first and the last three with a three-run homer in the eighth, both coming off of David Price. As for Mengden, I like him a lot, but not because of his mustache. I like the way he works from the full windup. This is from a game last year, but check this out:

I was watching him yesterday and he seems to have cut down a bit on that rocking motion, but he still goes both-arms-over-the-head like that. I love it because, even though I know not every pitcher did that back in the 1970s and 80s when I was beginning to watch baseball, it sort of felt like everyone did. It was how kids would pitch when emulating pitchers back then and it didn’t seem weird. I don’t know when that went out of style in favor of the bring-the-arms-in-towards-the-chest thing. I know Paul Byrd pitched like that his whole career and it didn’t feel weird when he did it. I don’t know, maybe I’m just remembering three random dudes who did that and I’m totally misrepresenting baseball history here. You misremember a lot of stuff when you get older too. Anyway: I’m on team Mengden.

Royals 8, Tigers 5: The Tigers took a 2-0 lead but Whit Merrifield hit a solo shot and Abraham Almonte hit a grand slam in the sixth inning to make it 5-2. Then the Tigers tied it up but Mike Moustakas hit a three-run shot in the seventh inning to make it 8-5. “And STAY down,” he said. Or thought. Maybe.

Yankees 5, Blue Jays 1: Top prosepct Gleyber Torres made his big league debut and went 0-for-4. He’ll have better days. Maybe days like Miguel Andujar, who went 4-for-4, had. Austin Romine doubled in a couple and Didi Gregorius smacked a dinger. Luis Severino didn’t need that much support, as allowed only one run on three hits over seven.

Indians 7, Orioles 3: Jose Ramirez hit two homers — a solo shot in the fourth inning and a two-run drive in the ninth — to help Corey Kluber get his third win of the season. Manny Machado homered twice in a losing cause. The O’s have lost nine of ten.

Astros 7, White Sox 1: Lance McCullers scattered a bunch of hits while allowing one run over six, while Marwin Gonzalez and Evan Gattis each drove in a couple. Houston sweeps the White Sox, outscoring Chicago 27-2 in the three-game series. The Sox have lost seven in a row, giving up 53 runs on those games.

Brewers 4, Marlins 2: Junior Guerra allowed one run — unearned — in five innings and the bullpen allowed one more run — also unearned — in the final four frames. Both of the unearned runs were attributable to the catcher, as the guy who scored in the first inning reached on a catcher’s interference and the runner who scored in the eighth got into scoring position on a passed ball. Of course, it still took hits in both cases for the runs to come in, so it’s not like the pitcher wasn’t at least partly responsible. I am fairly fascinated with blame apportionment when it comes to unearned runs. It makes me wonder which pitcher benefitted most from runs which, while technically unearned because of an error, were really on him anyway because he gave up a bunch of hits later, failing to limit the damage. Or which were unearned because of his own error. Like, I know Bob Gibson’s ERA in 1968 would not have risen to 3.68 if you analyzed things that way, but I’m sure someone, somewhere, got just under 3.00 to 2.98 or something due to the unearned run rules, thereby changing the way he was viewed in a given year as a result. Someone give me a $250,000 advance on a book to study this, please.

Cardinals 9, Reds 2: Close until the seventh when the Cards put up three thanks to a Paul DeJong three-run homer and then added three more in the eighth. Miles Mikolas allowed two runs — one earned — over seven. I’m too lazy to analyze the unearned run situation in this game, though, and no one has given me the advance I mentioned above just yet. Not doing it for free, folks.  Anyway, the Reds got swept and now they go home to play the Braves today. Maybe. I have tickets to that game so, of course, the forecast calls for a lot of rain. Maybe the Reds need a rainout, but I sort of hope Mother Nature doesn’t let them have one. It’s like 100 miles in the car each way for me and I don’t wanna waste the trip.

Diamondbacks 4, Padres 2: The Snakes scored all four of their runs in the fourth, two on a Nick Ahmed homer, one on Patrick Corbin single and one on a delayed steal thingie in which Padres pitcher Joey Lucchesi threw the ball away. In addition to knocking in that run, Corbin dominated the Padres, winning his fourth game of the year with 11-strikeouts over six two-hit, two-run innings.

Rangers 7, Mariners 4: Nomar Mazara and Joey Gallo each hit dongs in the fourth inning as the Rangers avoid a sweep at the hands of the M’s. Rangers starter Martin Perez allowed two over six innings, lowering his ERA from 13.14 to 9.82. Yay, progress!

Cubs 9, Rockies 7: Chicago built up a 6-0 lead after three innings, let the Rockies back in it and then added three more later and held on. In other words, just another afternoon at Coors Field. Javier Baez homered and later doubled in two. He also got cute and blocked D.J. LeMahieu when the latter was trying, it seemed, to steal signs. LeMahieu didn’t like that, but well, tough:

Kris Bryant left this one in the first inning after getting beaned — the ball hit the bill of his helmet and spun the dang thing around without it even falling off his head — but he passed his initial concussion tests, so here’s hoping it’s not serious.

Giants 4, Angels 2: There was some history here as Brandon Belt and Jaime Barria faced off in a 21-pitch at bat, which was the longest since they began keeping track of such things 30 years ago. Barria ended up winning that battle when Belt lined up to right field for the game’s first out. Here you go if you like foul balls and/or building tension:

The Giants won the war, however, as Barria couldn’t make it out of the third inning, having tossed 77 pitches. As soon as he left Evan Longoria hit a two-run homer and Belt would add a solo shot later. Johnny Cueto, meanwhile, was more economical and shut the Angels down for six innings.

Dodgers 4, Nationals 3: Washington took a 3-0 lead over Alex Wood and the Dodgers by the top of the sixth but L.A. came back when Yasmani Grandal and Cody Bellinger hit RBI doubles of the two-run and one-run variety, respectively. Corey Seager put the Dodgers up for good with a sac fly in the seventh and the bullpen held on. The Dodgers won their sixth in seven games and climbed back to .500 after a slow start to the season.

Mets vs. Braves — POSTPONED:

Tried to get your attention all night long
Asked you once, I asked you twice, asked you four times
If you’d like to dance to that song
Front crawled the crowd down the stairs
And I followed you out in the rain, nowhere to be found
Never mind, you’ll probably never look that pretty again

You’re not nineteen forever, pull yourself together
I know it seems strange but things, they change
Older woman and an ever so slightly younger man
God bless the band, they’re doing all they can

You’re not nineteen forever
You’re not nineteen forever
You’re not nineteen forever
It’s not big, it’s definitely not clever