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And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Tigers 10, Pirates 0: Are the Astros and Tigers still talking about Justin Verlander? Is he showing off to encourage a trade to Houston? I dunno, but he was fantastic here, allowing only one hit in eight innings of work. He was dealing with a small lead for most of that time, as the Tigers scored seven of their ten runs from the seventh inning on. Nick Castellanos and Ian Kinsler did most of the damage, driving in five and four, respectively.

Nationals 10, Marlins 1: Gio Gonzalez allowed one run over seven while Ryan Zimmerman did heavy damage with two homers on his 4-for-4, two-homer, four-run, five-RBI night. Zimmerman passed Tim Wallach as the all-time RBI leader for the Expos-Nationals franchise, which I realize makes many Nats fans grumpy because they like to pretend the franchise just sprung into existence out of the head of Zeus in 2005 or whatever.

Rockies 3, Indians 2: Jonathan Lucroy doubled in Carlos Gonzalez to tie things up in the ninth and Charlie Blackmon hit a homer in the top of the 12th to give Colorado the win. Blackmon is on pace for 38 homers and 105 runs and has a 1.004 OPS. He’s the leadoff hitter.

Rangers 5, Mets 1: Martin Perez allowed one run on three hits over eight innings and Joey Gallo homered again, a two-run shot. The Rangers’ other three runs scored on a balk, a fielder’s choice and a bases-loaded walk. The Mets are playing inspiring baseball.

Mariners 6, Athletics 3: Kyle Seager hit a three-run homer in the first inning and Nelson Cruz homered twice. Seattle has won four of five and is tied for the second Wild Card.

Angels 5, Orioles 1: Ten-year minor league veteran Cesar Puello got called up to make his debut and, with his first big league hit, singled in the go-ahead run in the fourth inning. Don’t stop doing what you want to do until you’re really, really sure it’s something you don’t want to do anymore.

Giants 3, Cubs 1: Madison Bumgarner allowed one run and struck out seven, scattering five hits over seven innings, Hunter Pence homered and the Giants won. It’s like 2014 or something.

Red Sox 8, Rays 2: Eight wins in a row for Boston. This one broke open when Eduardo Nunez hit a ball that slammed into Rays starter Jake Odorizzi‘s foot, knocking him out of the game and allowing the Sox to feast for five runs off of the Tampa Bay bullpen. Odorizzi’s X-Rays came back negative, which is a positive. Porcello allowed two runs and four hits in six innings. At one point he threw 19 consecutive strikes. Despite nine pitchers being used, the game lasted just less than three hours. That bit about working fast and throwing strikes is still the best pitching advice there is.

 

Reds 8, Padres 3: Joey Votto had a double and a single to extend his hitting streak to 14 games and Stuart Turner homered as the Reds won easily. Asher Wojciechowski got the win for the Reds. He also got his first big league hit. It was a single to right field, but he’s not fast and Padres right fielder Hunter Renfroe almost threw him out at first base. I love that play when the outfielder gets the putout. It has to be the most embarrassing thing for a base runner. Or base jogger, I guess.

Yankees 11, Blue Jays 5: Todd Frazier homered and doubled in a couple more runs for his best game as a Yankee.  Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius homered as well and Garrett Cooper had four hits. They needed all of that offense as Masahiro Tanaka issued five walks and three runs in four innings of work. Five Yankees relievers combined to allow two runs over the final five frames.

Phillies 3, Braves 2Odubel Herrera maintained his hot hitting of late, tripling in a run with another run scoring on the same play due to a Braves error. He’d hit another triple as well. Freddy Galvis singled in the Phillies other run while Jerad Eickhoff pitched into the seventh. The Phillies are 11-2 against Atlanta this year.

White Sox 7, Astros 1: Miguel Gonzalez flummoxed the Astros, allowing one run over eight innings and the Sox beat up on Collin McHugh for seven runs in less than six innings of work. Tim Anderson homered and drove in three and Leury Garcia and Yolmer Sanchez each had two-run singles. Houston has now dropped eight of 11 and are ensured a series loss against one of the worst teams in baseball this year.

Twins 4, Brewers 0: Bartolo Colon looked finished not too long ago, but now he’s won two straight, the last a complete game, and this one consisting of seven shutout innings. A couple more of these and someone may give the dude a major league contract next spring. Brian Dozier homered, doubled and singled.

Cardinals 8, Royals 5: The Royals had a 5-4 lead in the sixth inning when Yadier Molina came up with the bases loaded and deposited one in the left field seats for a grand slam. But don’t thank Yadi: thank the Rally Cat.

Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 2: Joc Pederson doubled in the tying run off of Zack Greinke in the seventh and Yasiel Puig singled in Pederson for the go-ahead run two pitches later to give the Dodgers a comeback win. It was their 80th win of the year. If they go 1-48 in their final 49 games, they’re a .500 team.

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.