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And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Giants 4, Nationals 2; Nationals 6, Giants 2: In Game 1 of the day-night twin bill Chris Stratton struck out 10 in six and two-thirds shutout innings and the Nats couldn’t break through until Anthony Rendon hit a two-run homer in the eighth, but it was too little, too late. Game 2 was much more dramatic as the clubs took a 2-2 tie into the 11th — Pablo Sandoval of all people tied it up with a homer to send it to extras — before Howie Kendrick hit a walkoff grand slam. Daniel Murphy and Ryan Zimmerman also homered and Max Scherzer struck out ten in seven innings.

Blue Jays 7, Pirates 1: Josh Donaldson hit a two-run homer and Darwin Barney and Justin Smoak each hit solo shots. J.A. Happ won his third in a row. Manager John Gibbons won his 700th game. Not in a row, though. That would be a record.

Indians 4, Rays 3: Corey Kluber won again, striking out nine in seven innings and working around trouble. Austin Jackson made him a winner by hitting a solo homer to break a 3-3 tie in the top of the eighth while Kluber was still the pitcher of record. Jay Bruce and Carlos Santana hit RBI doubles and Edwin Encarnacion hit his 24th homer.

Twins 6, Tigers 4Brian Dozier and Miguel Sano homered to help give Minnesota a 4-0 lead. They blew it, though, before Byron Buxton singled in a run to put the Twins up 5-4 in the eighth. The Twins win their seventh of eight. The Tigers, ah, who cares, lose their 64th in their last 117.

Marlins 5, Rockies 3: Stop me if you’ve heard this one, but Giancarlo Stanton homered again. It was his 42nd. He’s hit homers in the past four games and his 21st in his past 33 games. Even worse for Colorado was Nolan Arenado leaving the game in the fifth inning with a bruised left hand after being hit by a Vance Worley fastball. Imagine how bad it’d be if Worley actually threw hard.

Mets 6, Phillies 2: Michael Conforto and Curtis Granderson hit two-run homers as the Mets take three of four from the Phillies. Odubel Herrera singled in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to 16 games. That’s the longest hit streak for a Phillies player in seven years. He’s also hitting .342 with a .970 OPS since June 1. Nonetheless, he was booed the rest of his at-bats following a brain lock on the base paths in the fifth inning, helping to kill a rally, with some fans yelling at him that he should go back to the minors. I get the anger at the mental mistakes, but I’ll never understand why, on crappy teams, the best player tends to draw the most ire. Fine, he’s frustrating. He’s also better than anyone else out there, so maybe cut him some slack?

Royals 14, White Sox 6: Merrifield hit a three-run homer and drove in a five and Drew Butera had four hit. Jason Vargas bounced back from a terrible start, allowing three runs and six hits in six innings, stricking out seven and walking two. He got his 14th win, which ties his career high.

Brewers 7, Reds 4: Neil Walker got traded from the Mets to the Brewers on Saturday, got three and a half hours of sleep after making it to Milwaukee, was penciled in at third base, which he doesn’t play often, and knocked a couple of hits and scored a run. Domingo Santana got more sleep, presumably, and hit a three-run bomb. Joey Votto‘s 17-game hitting streak was snapped.

Braves 6, Cardinals 3: The Cardinals eight-game winning streak ends — as does the Braves’ five-game losing streak — as Brandon Phillips hit a two-run homer and R.A. Dickey allowed one run and seven hits in seven innings.

Astros 2, Rangers 1: Keuchel took a shutout into the sixth inning and ended up allowing one run over six-and two-thirds as Jose Altuve homered and Carlos Beltran knocked in a run to end the Astros’ five-game losing streak. It was still just their third win in 12 games, but they still hold a 12-game lead in the West.

Athletics 9, Orioles 3: Baltimore took a 2-0 lead, but Matt Chapman hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in a five-run fourth inning as the A’s won going away. Wait, Kansas City comes in to town tomorrow. The A’s aren’t going anywhere.

Angels 4, Mariners 2: That’s six straight wins for the Angels. Parker Bridwell allowed one run over six, C.J. Cron homered and Martin Maldonado hit a two-run single. Andrelton Simmons did this:

Dodgers 6, Padres 4: Justin Turner hit two homers and drove in four. The Dodgers won for the 28th time in 33 games. They now lead the NL West by 18 games, which is the largest lead the team has had in its franchise history. They are 16-0-3 in their last 19 series, and haven’t lost one since June 5-7 to Washington.

Cubs 7, Diamondbacks 2: Jake Arrieta allowed one run in six innings and Javier Baez and Ian Happ hit back-to-back home runs in the Cubs’ four-run eighth inning and Kris Bryant went deep in the ninth. Chicago’s win and the Cardinals’ loss gives the Cubs a one-game lead in the central.

Red Sox 3, Yankees 2:  Rafael Devers homered off of Aroldis Chapman — it was a fastball that clocked in at 103 m.p.h. — to tie the game up in the ninth and force extras and Andrew Benintendi singled home the go-ahead run in the 10th. Chris Sale didn’t figure in the decision but he struck out 12 in seven innings of one-run work, and that definitely figured in the result. Boston took two of three from New York in the Bronx and now have a five and a half game lead in the East.

Robin Ventura, other familiar names come up in Mets managerial search

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Terry Collins is still the manager of the New York Mets, but all signs point to that state of affairs ending some time soon after Sunday afternoon. To that end, the New York Post reports a handful of familiar names being mentioned in connection with their impending managerial search:

Early persons of interest, according to industry sources, all have ties to the organization: Robin Ventura, Alex Cora and Kevin Long. Two others with ties to the organization — Bob Geren and Chip Hale — are also in the conversation, according to sources.

By the way: can we talk about how great it is that a term that is normally associated with criminal suspects — “persons of interest” — is being used in connection with potential future New York Mets managers? OK, we just talked about it.

These names, with the exception of Cora, all belong to former managers with Mets connections. Hale was the Mets third base coach and was passed over for the managerial gig when Collins was hired and eventually managed the Diamondbacks. Ventura, of course, played for the Mets for three seasons before retiring and becoming the White Sox’ manager. Geren was the Mets bench coach when they won the 2015 pennant but moved to the Dodgers to be closer to his family in California. He’s formally a manager with the Oakland A’s. Cora played a season and change with the Mets and has served as the bench coach for the Astros in the 2017 season.

In the recent past, as recently-retired players with little or no coaching or managerial experience were hired to manage teams, some people may have referred to these candidates as “retreads.” With Dusty Baker’s success in Washington after a few years of semi-retirement and with a number of inexperienced managers showing that they were not all that they were cracked up to be, however, the pendulum seems to be swinging back toward looking for experienced candidates.

Obviously the whole offseason will determine if I’m imagining that or if it does, in fact, becomes the trend. And, of course, the Mets actually have to formally let Collins go before hiring someone else. Not that I would put it past them to mess that up.

Pete Mackanin doesn’t know if he’ll be back as Phillies manager next year

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Back in May the Phillies gave Pete Mackanin a contract extension covering the remainder of 2017, all of 2018 and created a team option for 2019. Yesterday, however, Mackanin said he had no idea if the Phillies were going to bring him back as manager next season:

“I assume I’ll be here, but you never know. You never know what they’re going to do. So you just keep moving on. I just take it a day at a time and manage the way I think I should manage and handle players the way I think I should handle them. That’s all I can do. If it’s not good enough then … fine. I hope it’s good enough. I hope he thinks it’s good enough.”

Maybe that’s just cautious talk, though, as there doesn’t seem to be any signals coming from the Phillies front office that Mackanin is in trouble. If anything things have looked up in the second half of the season with the callups of Rhys Hoskins and Nick Williams each of whom have shown that they belong in the bigs. The team is 33-37 since the All-Star break and is certainly a better team now than the one Mackanin started with in April. And it’s not his fault that they don’t have any pitching.

I suspect Mackanin will be back next year, but Mackanin has been around the block enough times to know that nothing is guaranteed for a big league manager. Even one under contract.