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And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Hope you had a quiet, enjoyable Easter Sunday with family and loved ones. And hope that you either have the day off or can get away for a few minutes today, as we have morning baseball thanks to Patriots Day in Boston.

Anyway, here are yesterday’s scores. Here are the highlights:

Tigers 4, Indians 1: If the Indians were stealing signs to beat up on Justin Verlander on Saturday, they must’ve stopped stealing them yesterday. Or else the Tigers changed ’em. Here they couldn’t do anything against Matt Boyd, managing only one run in his six innings of work, and doing jack against the pen. Alex Avila hit a two-run homer. Miguel Cabrera knocked in a run but had to leave early due to a bad back. Worth watching.

Orioles 11, Blue Jays 4: Last week I mused that the name “Trey Mancini” sounded like it came from a Ross Macdonald novel. That maybe he was a third or fourth banana bad guy who Lew Archer braces for information but then sets straight. He’s much bigger than that now, having hit two homers in the O’s romp yesterday. Easily moved up to the “boyfriend of the heriess who ran away and who Archer has been hired to find.” Mancini is a bit shady, but only a little. Mostly he’s just out of his league with that heiress and, while he thought he was protecting her, she was protecting him all along by leaving him and keeping his parents, who have a deep, dark secret, from hurting him like they hurt her.

Brewers 4, Reds 2: Four homers led to all six of the runs scored here, with the winners’ homers coming from Ryan Braun, Travis Shaw and Eric Thames.

Marlins 4, Mets 2: A game in which a one team was held hitless until the eighth would be notable enough — here, Dan Straily and three relievers no-hit the Mets until there were two down in the eighth — but this one was notable for a wild ninth inning as  well. That’s when the Mets tied things up at two with a two-run single from Asdrubal Cabrera. But then in the bottom half JT Riddle walked the Marlins off with a two-run bomb. It was only his second hit in the majors, too. Crazy town.

Red Sox 7, Rays 5: Mitch Moreland was not a pickup that a ton of people outside of Boston thought much about over the winter, but he’s been a pretty fantastic pick up for the Sox so far. Here Moreland hit a go-ahead, two-run single in the seventh inning and drove in three runs, helping Boston to a come from behind victory.

Braves 9, Padres 2: The Padres had a 1-0 lead until the fifth but then the Braves got home from Easter brunch and started piling on the runs. Bartolo Colon made his major league debut the same day the Braves’ old park, Turner Field, opened. Yesterday he made his debut in their new park, allowing only one hit and one run in seven dominant innings. Not many players’ careers are longer than the time entire stadiums are in use, but we do live in interesting times.

Nationals 6, Phillies 4: Have yourself a day, Bryce Harper. The 2015 MVP hit a two-run home run in the third inning, breaking a 1-1 tie. In bottom of the ninth with the Nats trailing by one, Harper hit his second bomb, a deep drive to center, for a walk-off three-run homer. I think that kid may be a pretty decent ballplayer one day.

Royals 1, Angels 0: Yet another walkoff, this off the bat of Alcides Escobar, who singled in the game’s only run to break a 0-0 tie. The scoreless game before that left Ian Kennedy and Tyler Skaggs out of the decision, but each of them were fantastic, tossing eight and seven shutout innings, respectively.

Pirates 6, Cubs 1: And the Pirates sweep the world champs. Pittsburgh scored all six of their runs in the final two frames, notching three — two earned — off of Koji Uehara and three off of Justin Grim. For Chicago, it certainly was grim.

Rockies 4, Giants 3: All the scoring here was over after the top of the second, with Jeff Samardzija allowing four and Antonio Senzatela allowing three. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, Samardzija, Senzatela, Hasenpfeffer Incorporated! We’re gonna do it . . .

White Sox 3, Twins 1: Not a walkoff, but it there were late inning/last inning heroics from Avisail Garcia, who hit a two-run bomb in the top of the 10th. Garcia, after the game:

“I said to myself, `Hey, don’t try to do too much. Just put the barrel on the ball because he throws hard. That’s what I do. I just tried to put a good swing, see the ball and hit it.”

Which puts lie to the idea that ballplayers come up with the cliches in response to reporters’ questions. They apparently inner-monologue in cliche too.

Mariners 8, Rangers 7: Yet another wild finish. Nelson Cruz singled in the tiebreaking run to cap a two-run, ninth-inning rally. The M’s overcame a five-run deficit in all. Most of that deficit had been made up before embattled Rangers closer Sam Dyson got the ball, but he was unable to hold a 7-6 lead and got yet another blown save. Dyson has allowed 13 runs in four and a third innings this season. Ouch.

Diamondbacks 3, Dodgers 1: Rich Hill‘s blister nightmare continues. He was activated from the 10-day disabled list before this start but made it only three innings into this one before having to leave. No such problems for Dbacks’ starter Taijuan Walker, who allowed one run and struck out seven over five, handing it over to the pen, which allowed no runs on one hit over five.

Yankees 9, Cardinals 3: The Yankees are on fire, winning their seventh straight and sweeping the Cardinals. Greg Bird and Aaron Hicks hit homers. Michael Pineda allowed only two runs over seven innings, following up his near no-no from last week.

Astros vs. Athletics — POSTPONED:

Talkin’ to myself and feelin’ old
Sometimes I’d like to quit
Nothin’ ever seems to fit
Hangin’ around
Nothin’ to do but frown
Rainy days and Mondays always get me down

How Yu Darvish tipped his pitches during the World Series

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You hear a lot about pitchers tipping pitches. It’s often offered up post-facto as an excuse for poor performance by the pitcher himself or his own team. It’s sort of like the “best shape of my life” thing being offered in the offseason to talk about why the player got injured or played badly the previous year. “Smitty’s stuff is still great, he was just tipping his pitches,” said a source close to the player whose stuff is not really great anymore.

Which isn’t to say that pitchers don’t tip pitches. Of course they do. Opposing teams look for it, pick up on it and take advantage of it whenever they can. It’s just that (a) the opposing team has an interest in not talking about it, lest the pitcher STOP tipping its pitches; and (b) the guy actually tipping his pitches doesn’t want to talk specifically about it lest he starts doing it again.

Which is what makes this article at Sports Illustrated so interesting. In it Tom Verducci talks to an anonymous Houston Astros player who explains how Dodgers starter Yu Darvish was tipping his pitches during the World Series, leading to him getting absolutely shellacked in Games 3 and 7. The upshot: the Astros knew when a slider or a cutter was coming, they waited for it and they teed off.

Darvish is a free agent now. I’m guessing, whoever signs him, knows exactly what they’ll gave him work on the first day of spring training.