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And That Happened: Tuesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

White Sox 4, Yankees 1: The Sox snap the Yankees’ eight-game winning streak thanks to Miguel Gonzalez shutting the Bombers out until the ninth inning. And thanks to the Attack of the Garcias, with Leury homering in the third and Avisail homering in the seventh.

Red Sox 8, Blue Jays 7: The Red Sox had a four run lead heading into the bottom of the ninth, with the recently-promoted Brian Johnson providing some solid work. The Blue Jays rallied for three in the final frame, but fell just short. Mookie Betts, Mitch Moreland and Pablo Sandoval had three hits a piece.

Reds 9, Orioles 3: Adam Duvall hit a grand slam and Bronson Arroyo won his first game since June 15, 2014 with five innings of three-run ball. Arroyo is the first pitcher 40 or over to win a game for the Reds since Boom-Boom Beck beat the Phillies on May 31, 1945. They don’t make nicknames like they used to.

Phillies 6, Mets 2: Extra innings are often nail-biting affairs. Then there’s this one, in which the Phillies scored four runs in the top of the tenth, making the bottom half something of a pro-forma exercise. It wouldn’t have even gotten to extras if it wasn’t for Jose Reyes dropping a two-out popup in the eighth. After that Andres Blanco tied it at 2 with an RBI double. It’d be hard to script a worse beginning to the 2017 season for Reyes.

Rays 5, Tigers 1: Matt Andriese tamed the Tigers with six innings of one-run ball. Miguel Cabrera hit a long homer on his 34th birthday, but that was the only celebrating for the Tigers on this evening.

Nationals 3, Braves 1: The Braves’ five-game winning streak is snapped. Facing Max Scherzer will do that to a team. Scherzer shut ’em out for seven innings, striking out seven. Nats closer Blake Treinen struggled in the ninth and was taken out of the game by Dusty Baker after allowing two hits and walking two dudes. Nice win, but that’s worth watching.

Cubs 9, Brewers 7: The Cubs snap a four-game skid with a comeback win. Chicago rallied for four here, with the go-ahead run coming on a wild pitch. Kyle Schwarber and Miguel Montero each hit two-run homers. Eric Thames had his games-with-a-homer streak snapped, but still had two doubles and three hits in all. Schwarber, after the game, talking about the comeback:

“I just think it shows the character of our team. We’re not gonna give up just because we’re trading blows.”

Just in case you were wondering how, over the years, sportswriters and fans have come to believe that those who win have good character and those who don’t are somehow lacking, it’s quotes like that which do it.

Indians 11, Twins 4: Jose Ramirez homered and drove in two runs and Josh Tomlin gave up three runs in six innings. Tomlin needed that. Francisco Lindor hit a two-run triple in the sixth and Edwin Encarnacion homered. They didn’t need that as bad as Ramirez and Tomlin needed theirs, but they’ll take it.

Angels 5, Astros 2: Albert Pujols hit one of the most memorable home runs of the past couple of decades in Houston back in the 2005 playoffs. He hit another big, big homer in Houston last night. A three-run blast in the fifth that put the Angels ahead and made it to those train tracks the Astros have out in left. Watch:

Giants 2, Royals 1: Matt Cain: one run over seven innings. The dude seems to be back. Still, he didn’t figure in the decision as Jason Hammel only allowed one run as well, sending this to extras. Joe Panik singled in the go-ahead run for the Giants in the 11th.

Cardinals 2, Pirates 1Dexter Fowler tripled and scored and Greg Garcia doubled in a run as Mike Leake twirled six and a third strong innings, allowing only one run against the Starling Marte-free Pirates.

Athletics 4, Rangers 2: Hope the sixth wasn’t the inning during which you decided to walk the dog, because that’s when all of the runs in this game crossed the plate. It was Yu Darvish‘s Waterloo, as he surrendered all four of the A’s runs and left before it ended. Former Ranger Adam Rosales‘ two-run homer was the big blow. Andrew Triggs survived the sixth for Oakland, allowing only two.

Marlins 5, Mariners 0: Miami had a combined no-hitter broken up with one out in the ninth inning when Mitch Haniger doubled off of Kyle BarracloughWei-Yin Chen handled the first seven innings of it, but was lifted for the eighth at the 100-pitch mark. This is the second time in three days the Marlins have had a combined no-hitter go at least seven innings, as Dan Straily and a couple of relievers had one broken up in the eighth on Sunday. Was Chen upset about being taken out even though he probably could’ve gone another inning? Nah. He had this to say after the game, through a translator:

“If given the choice, any pitcher would like to go out there and keep pitching, but Don talked to me and gave me his reasoning and wanted to keep me healthy for the whole season. So under that situation, I try not to think about it too much. It’s his decision to make.”

Not every manager and certainly not all of us would make that choice, but it’s a team game.

Rockies 4, Dodgers 3: Nolan Arenado hit two homers: a two-run shot in the first and a solo shot in the fifth. Kyle Freeland didn’t pitch long enough for the Rockies to qualify for the win but he allowed only one run to the Dodgers in four innings and five relievers helped the lead hold up.

Diamondbacks 11, Padres 2: Shelby Miller pitched seven and a third innings of four-hit ball and has a 3.50 ERA in three starts this year. That’s quite a turnaround. Yasmany Tomas hit a three-run homer. The Padres have dropped five in a row.

Crowd honors Jose Bautista in his last Blue Jays home game

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Jose Bautista ran onto the field on Sunday afternoon, alone, in what was likely his last hurrah as a Blue Jays player. The 36-year-old outfielder signed a one-year, $18 million contract with the club prior to the 2017 season and is not expected to get his $17 million option picked up for 2018. During Sunday’s series finale, he got a fond farewell befitting a decade-long career as one of Toronto’s most prolific hitters, drawing standing ovations every time he stepped up to the plate.

The Blue Jays came out swinging against the Yankees, building an eight-run lead on Teoscar Hernandez’s first-inning home run and a smattering of hits and productive outs from Darwin Barney, Russell Martin, Josh Donaldson and Kendrys Morales. Bautista supplemented the drive with his own RBI single in the fourth inning, plating Hernandez on an 0-2 fastball from reliever Bryan Mitchell.

Later in the inning, he nearly scored a second run on a Kendrys Morales two-RBI single, but was caught at the plate on the relay by Starlin Castro.

It’s an encouraging end to what has overwhelmingly been a disappointing season for the Toronto slugger. Entering Sunday’s finale, he slashed .201/.309/.365 with a franchise single-season record 161 strikeouts in 658 plate appearances, numbers that somewhat obscure the six straight All-Star nominations, four MVP bids and 54-homer campaign he once enjoyed with the team. Even a bounce-back performance in 2018 likely wouldn’t command a $17 million salary, but there’s no denying his impact on the Blue Jays’ last 10 years, from his signature bat flip to his tie-breaking home run in the 2015 ALDS.

The Blue Jays currently lead the Yankees 9-2 in the top of the sixth inning. Expect a few more standing O’s before the end of the game.

Why more baseball players don’t kneel

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Bruce Maxwell was the first baseball player to kneel for the National Anthem. There may be others who do so, but I don’t suspect many will. Indeed, I’m pretty confident that the protests we’re seeing in the NFL today, and will see more of once basketball season begins, will not become a major thing in baseball.

Some will say it’s because baseball or baseball players are more patriotic or something, but I don’t think that’s it. Yes, baseball is a lot whiter and has a lot of conservative players who would never think to protest during the National Anthem or, for that matter, protest anything at all, but I suspect there are many who saw what Colin Kaepernick and other football players have done — or who have listened to what Steph Curry and LeBron James have said — and agreed with it. Yet I do not think many, if any of them will themselves protest.

Why? I think it mostly comes down to baseball’s culture of conformity.

Almost everyone in baseball comes through a hierarchy. Even the big names. Even if you are the consensus number one pick, you do your time in the minors. Once there, conformity and humility is drilled into you. This happens both affirmatively, in the form of coaches telling you to act in a certain way and passively, by virtue of all players being in similar, humbling circumstances. Bus rides, cheap hotels, etc. In that world, even if you are ten times better and ten times richer than your teammates, you fall in with the crowd because doing otherwise would be socially disruptive.

The very socialization of a baseball player is dependent upon them learning to talk, walk and carry themselves like all those who came before. No one is given special treatment. In the rare cases they are, it’s head-turning. Bryce Harper was a more or less normal minor leaguer, but since he got their earlier by bypassing his final years of high school, he was thrown at and challenged in ways no other minor league stars are. It does not take much for a guy to be singled out for punishment or mockery and even the superstars like Harper are not on solid professional ground as long as they’re still in the minors. Indeed, between a player’s education, as it were, in the minors and their pre-free agency residency in the majors, it can be a decade or more before a unique personality or a true showman is able to shine through, and by then few are willing. They’ve been conditioned by that point.

Even budding superstars can be roundly criticized for the tiniest of perceived transgressions or the most modest displays of individuality. Think about all of the “controversies” we have about the proper way to celebrate a home run or run the bases. If that’s a cause for singling out and, potentially, benching or being traded or being given a shorter leash, imagine the guts a baseball player has to have in order to do something like take a knee during the National Anthem. A guy with multiple MVP Awards would likely be in an uncomfortable spotlight over such a thing, so imagine how brave someone like Bruce Maxwell, who has barely 100 games under his belt, has to be to have done it.

CC Sabathia, a 17-year veteran, spoke out yesterday, but I suspect he won’t kneel for the National Anthem when he lines up with his teammates before the Wild Card game next week. Other ballplayers will likely wade into the fray in the coming days. But I suspect baseball’s very nature — it’s very culture — will keep ballplayers from following in the footsteps of the many NFL players who took a knee today.