And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Indians 12, Orioles 0: Corey Kluber tossed a three-hit complete game shutout while striking out 11. He could’ve allowed 11 and still won this one, however, as Indians bats beat up on Dylan Bundy and Vidal Nuno. Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana homered and the Tribe rattled off 17 hits in all. The Orioles’ pitching has allowed five or more runs in 16 consecutive games, setting a new AL record. If they do this four more times they’ll catch the 1924 Phillies for the all-time record.

Marlins 8, Nationals 7: The Nats had a 6-0 lead after their hacks in the third innings but Tanner Roark coughed up six runs of his own in the bottom half, with four of them coming on a Justin Bour grand slam. Each team would score once more before the ninth, setting up Marcell Ozuna‘s walkoff single to end it. After the game, Don Mattingly provided all the commentary on the Nats that you need at the moment:

“These guys have been giving up runs late. You get into that bullpen, you never know what’s going to happen, but you know you have a chance to score some runs.”

That’s a far cry from the usual “they’re a tough bunch of guys over there and we’re happy to come away with a win” stuff. Thank you, Don Mattingly, for saving us from cliches.

Cubs 3, Padres 2: A couple of homers put the Padres up early but a Willson Contreras homer and then an outfield error which scored Javier Baez put the Cubs ahead in the seventh. The play everyone is talking about though was one in which Anthony Rizzo was thrown out at home, but not before barreling in to Padres catcher Austin Hedges, forcing Hedges out of the game with a bruised thigh.

The Cubs think the play was clean and the Padres thing it was dirty. If you watch the play, I think it’s pretty clear that Rizzo had a path to the plate he could’ve taken without slamming into Hedges but chose not to, making it a bad slide in my view. If you can even call it a slide. I mean, look at this:

And from another angle:

He had a country mile to his right which was a more correct patch to the plate but chose not to take it in an effort to knock the ball out of Hedges’ glove.

Rizzo said this after the game:

“It’s one of those plays where it’s very sensitive,” Rizzo said. “It’s a play where I’m out by two steps. If I slide, he runs into me.

“I’ve talked to a lot of umpires about this rule. It’s my understanding if they have the ball, it’s game on.”

That is not the rule. At all. The inquiry is whether the catcher is blocking the plate and whether the runner goes out of his way to initiate contact. Hedges was not blocking the plate, Rizzo went out of his way. It was a bad slide.

Reds 7, Rays 3: The Reds finally put an end to their losing skid, halting it at nine games. Scott Schebler and Scooter Gennett homered. Joey Votto had three hits including an RBI single in the eighth that put the Reds up for good.

Braves 9, Giants 0: R.A.Dickey threw seven scoreless innings and retired 13 Giants in a row at one point. It was only 2-0 when he left, but the Braves exploded for seven runs in the eighth to to give him all the insurance he’d need. Matt Adams homered. Since being picked up as an emergency replacement for the injured Freddie Freeman, Adams has hit .306/.361/.658 with ten homers in 28 games. The Braves have won three in a row. The Giants have lost seven straight.

Pirates 8, Brewers 1: Gerrit Cole allowed one run on three hits in seven innings as the Pirates win in one of many blowouts last night. Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run homer and added an RBI single. He’s hitting .377/.435/.705 in the month of June.

Blue Jays 7, Rangers 6: An ALDS rematch, except now both teams are under .500. Oh well, that doesn’t matter, it’s only the game at hand which counts. As for that, it started ugly with both team’s starters pitching lousy — the Jays blew an early 5-1 lead — and ended ugly for Texas with their closer, Matt Bush, blowing a one-run lead. RBI singles from Josh Donaldson and Kendrys Morales brought the Jays from behind and then ahead, respectively, in the top of the ninth.

Royals 4, Red Sox 2: Jason Hammel allowed two runs over seven innings of work and Whit Merrifield singled in a run to break a 2-2 tie in the seventh. The Royals, who many wrote off after a miserable April, have won eight of nine.

Mariners 6, Tigers 2: Mike Zunino hit a two-run homer to break a 2-2 tie in the sixth and homered again — another two-run shot — in the eighth. Zunino was sent down to the minors early in the season because he couldn’t hit his way out of a wet paper bag. Since being called back up on May 23 he’s hitting .338 with nine home runs and 28 RBI. That’s a tear.

Astros 4, Athletics 1: The Astros get homers from George Springer — his 20th — Jake Marisnick and Derek Fisher. Houston leads all of baseball with 112 homers. They also have the second fewest strikeouts in the game. That’s a pretty spiffy combination.

Dodgers 10, Mets 6: Rookie slugger Cody Bellinger continues his rampage through NL pitching, hitting two homers and driving in four while going 3-for-5. He’s the fastest to 20 homers — and now 21 homers — doing so in only 51 games. In those 51 games he’s hitting .269/.340/.658. He’s on a pace for 48 homers and 107 RBI and he didn’t even play his first game until April 25.

It’s the tenth anniversary of the biggest rout in baseball history

Associated Press
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Ten years ago today the Rangers and the Orioles squared off at Camden Yards. The Orioles built a 3-0 lead after three innings and then all hell broke loose.

The Rangers scored thirty (30!) unanswered runs via a five-spot in the fourth, a nine-spot in the sixth, a ten-spot in the eighth and a six-spot in the ninth. That was . . . a lot of spots.

Two Rangers players — Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Ramon Vazquez — hit two homers and drove in seven runs a piece. The best part: they were the eighth and ninth hitters in the lineup. There was plenty of offense to go around, however as David Murphy went 5-for-7 and scored five times. Travis Metcalf hit a pinch-hit grand slam. Marlon Byrd drove in four. It was a bloodbath, with Texas rattling out 29 hits and walking eight times.

On the Orioles side of things, Daniel Cabrera took the loss, giving up six runs on nine hits in five innings. That’s not a terribly unusual line for a bad day at the office for a pitcher — someone will probably get beat up like that in the next week or so — but the Orioles’ relievers really added to the party. Brian Burres was the first victim, allowing eight runs on eight hits in only two-thirds of an inning. Rob Bell gave up seven in an inning and a third. Paul Shuey wore the rest of it, allowing nine runs on seven hits over the final two.

The best part of the insanely busy box score, however, was not from any of the Orioles pitchers or any of the Rangers hitters. Nope, it was from a Rangers relief pitcher named Wes Littleton. You probably don’t remember him, as he only pitched in 80 games and never appeared in the big leagues after 2008. But on this day — the day of the biggest blowout in baseball history — Wes Littleton notched a save. From Baseball-Reference.com:

Three innings and 43 pitches is a lot of work for a reliever and, per the rules, it’s a save, regardless of the margin when he entered the game. Still, this was not exactly a game that was ever in jeopardy.

When it went down, way back on August 22, 2007, it inspired me to write a post at my old, defunct independent baseball blog, Shysterball, arguing about how to change the save rule. Read it if you want, but know that (1) no one has ever paid attention to such proposals in baseball, even if such proposals are frequently offered; and (2) the hypothetical examples I use to illustrate the point involve an effective Joba Chamberlain and Joe Torre’s said use of him, which tells you just how long ago this really was.

Oh, one final bit: this massacre — the kind of game that the Orioles likely wanted to leave, go back home and go to sleep afterward — was only the first game of a doubleheader. Yep, they had to strap it on and play again, with the game starting at 9PM Eastern time. Baltimore lost that one too, 9-7, concluding what must have been one of the longest days any of the players involved had ever had at the office, both figuratively and literally.

Hall of Fame baseball announcer Rafael ‘Felo’ Ramirez dies

Associated Press
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MIAMI (AP) Rafael “Felo” Ramirez, a Hall of Fame baseball radio broadcaster who was the signature voice for millions of Spanish-speaking sports fans over three decades, has died. He was 94.

The Miami Marlins announced Ramirez’ death Tuesday.

Ramirez, who died Monday night, began his broadcasting career in Cuba in 1945 before calling 31 All-Star games and World Series in Spanish. He was the Marlins Spanish-language announcer since their inaugural season in 1993 and was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame in 2001.

He was known for an expressive, yet low-key style and his signature strike call of “Essstrike.”

Several Spanish-language broadcasters, including Amury Pi-Gonzanez of the Seattle Mariners and San Francisco Giants, have admitted to emulating his style.