Getty Images

And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

18 Comments

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Yankees 6, Red Sox 2: Gary Sanchez homered and singled in a run and Greg Bird hit a three-run homer as the Yankees took the first game in a critical four-game set with the Red Sox. That backed CC Sabathia who was solid, allowing one run on four hits in six innings. He was less solid in his reaction to Eduardo Nunez, who attempted to bunt for a hit in the first inning. It’s not a dumb play given that Sabathia has a bad knee and may struggle to field his position. And, in fact, Nunez reached when Sabathia threw the ball away. Sabathia didn’t like it, though:

“Just kind of weak to me. It is what it is. It shows what they got over there,” Sabathia said. “It just gets you fired up. It makes you want to beat them. Obviously, I want to win every time I go out there, but even more so after that.”

Sabathia walked his next two batters. After getting consecutive strikeouts to escape a bases-loaded jam , he shouted in the direction of Boston’s dugout.

He said the Red Sox show him “too much respect.”

“Swing the bat,” the veteran pitcher said.

Only in baseball would such a thing be considered an issue of “respect” or “class” or whatever Sabathia is getting at here. In any other sport it’d just be assumed to be good strategy. Cornerback gimpy? Of COURSE the quarterback is gonna pick on him. Goalie have a weak glove hand? Of course the other team is gonna shoot to his glove hand side. They’re in it to win it, it’s not dirty and it’s not a matter of respect. In baseball, though it’s a thing. Whatever Sabathia needs to motivate himself, fine, but after reading those words I rolled my eyes so hard that I injured myself. Calcaterra: 10-day disabled list (eyes).

Blue Jays 11, Orioles 8: Kendrys Morales hit three homers and drove in seven. He shouldn’t have disrespected the ball like that. Yet he did, hitting a two-run homer in the third, an RBI single in the fifth, a three-run shot in the sixth and a solo shot in the eighth. This after the Jays fell behind 3-0 and 5-2 early. Big night.

Twins 5, White Sox 4: Max Kepler was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and two outs in a tied game in the bottom of the ninth inning. That’s a walkoff plunk, babies. The plunk followed Eddie Rosario tying the game up at four with a ninth inning RBI single. It was the Twins’ first game-ending HBP since Paul Molitor was plunked in the 10th at the Metrodome in 1996 to beat Kansas City. So you have to assume he drew that play up between innings saying “This’ll work, fellas. Been waitin’ for a chance to unleash this one.”

Astros 5, Rangers 1Jose Altuve homered, Josh Reddick hit an RBI single and the Astros’ bullpen pitched four and a third scoreless innings as Houston salvages one in their series-in-exile. Now they return to Houston and their homes and families. And they get to meet their new friend, Justin Verlander.

Reds 7, Mets 2Scooter Gennett drove in three runs with a homer and a double. Joey Votto hit a homer, but that wasn’t his best play of the day:

The young fan is Walter Herbet. He’s six and he met Votto last week via the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Nice move, Joey. Get well, Walter.

Diamondbacks 8, Dodgers 1: Five straight losses for the Dodgers, who have apparently decided to get their annual skid in now instead of during the NLCS. Smart! Chris Iannetta and A.J. Pollock homered. Paul Goldschmidt doubled twice and drove in two. Gregor Blanco had three hits, two of them doubles, drove in a run and scored twice. Old friend Zack Greinke allowed one run over six innings. The Dbacks have won nine of 10.

Phillies 3, Marlins 2: Phillies starter Ben Lively allowed two runs over six innings and (all together now) helped his own cause by hitting a two-run single to give Philly a 3-1 lead which they’d not relinquish. Not a bad day. Know who did have a bad day? Giancarlo Stanton. He was 0-for-5, struck out twice, failed to get the ball out of the infield and flied out in the ninth with two men on base and the Marlins trailing by one. Still, by other measures, he had a better day than all of us.

Cubs 6, Braves 2: The Cubs win their fourth in a row as Kyle Hendricks allowed one earned run on five hits while striking out five and walking three in six and two-thirds. Jon Jay had four hits and Kris Bryant homered.

Brewers 6, Nationals 3: The Brewers keep pace. Jonathan Villar went 3-for-5 and homered and Zack Davies allowed two runs over seven to give him his 16th win on the year, tying him for the league lead with Greinke.

Cardinals 5, Giants 2: Michael Wacha allowed one run over six strong innings, Randal Grichuk homered and Tommy Pham drove in two via a single and a bases loaded HBP. The highlight — lowlight? — of the game, however, was a blown replay call which overturned a ninth inning homer from Brandon Crawford:

If a ball hits that green metal overhang in AT&T Park, it’s a homer. If it hits the foul pole, it’s a homer. If it lands in the stands, it’s a homer. On what planet was one of those three things NOT going to happen if the fan hadn’t grabbed it? The umps on the field got this one right. The replay officials overturned it, I suspect because they messed up the ground rules in San Francisco and incorrectly assumed that the green metal was a double. It probably didn’t cost the Giants the game — and at this point no game truly matter for the Giants — but that’s just poor.

Joey Votto: “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently.”

Andy Lyons/Getty Images
2 Comments

We’ve poked fun often at the spring training trope of players showing up to camp in the “best shape of [their] life.” Reds first baseman Joey Votto has turned that entirely on its head. Talking about his offseason, the 2010 NL MVP said, “I tried to get fatter. I succeeded at that apparently. We did all the testing and I am fatter,” Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto, of course, wasn’t trying to say he’s not in shape; he was just using some of his trademark self-deprecating humor.

Votto did get serious when discussing the state of the rebuilding Reds. As Buchanan also reported, Votto said, “I think we’re starting to get to the point where people are starting to get tired of this stretch of ball. I think something needs to start changing and start going in a different direction. I’m going to do my part to help make that change.”

Votto, 34, is under contract with the Reds through at least 2023, so he still has plenty of incentive to help see the rebuild through. He has been nothing short of stellar over the last three seasons. This past season, he hit .320/.454/.578 with 36 home runs, 100 RBI, and 106 runs scored in 707 appearances across all 162 games. Votto led the majors in walks (134) and on-base percentage and led the National League in OPS (1.032).

Despite Votto’s presence, both FanGraphs and PECOTA are projecting the Reds to put up a 74-88 record. The club had a pretty quiet offseason, expecting to enter 2018 with largely the same roster as last year.