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And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Braves 7, Nationals 1: I spilled a lot of ink complaining about Ronald Acuna not being with the big club early — and I stand by that complaining — but let it be known that the guy keeping left field warm for him, Preston Tucker, has raked on the young season. Here he hit a three-run homer — his second such dong in as many days — and his 9-for-21 with eight driven in in six games. Not saying that’s sustainable, but I am saying that when Acuna comes up, perchance Atlanta might consider whether whatever is sustainable for Tucker is better than what can be expected from Nick Markakis. In other news, Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz outpitched Max Scherzer, allowing one run in five and a third and (all together now) helped his own cause by doubling in two runs in the fourth inning. The Braves are 4-2. It’s the first time they’ve been two games over .500 in three years.

Yankees 7, Rays 2: For the first time since they got together, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez all homered in the same game, all of which were two-run shots. That was more than enough run support for Luis Severino, who allowed two while pitching into the eighth before handing it over to the pen. This is the Platonic idea of a 2018 Yankees win, I’d say. Expect many to follow this general arc this year.

Mets 4, Phillies 2: The most notable thing about this game is that it was streamed on Facebook. Like, exclusively. No local TV of any kind. Which means that if you wanted to watch this game you had to click a little box that said “YES: I agree to handing over all of my personal information to shady gray market data miners.” Hey, if you really love your Mets and Phillies, you’d do it. As for the game itself, Noah Syndergaard couldn’t make it past four innings, but the Mets bullpen was strong, facing the minimum over the final five frames, shutting Philly out in that span. Yoenis Cespedes went deep. Oh, And Amed Rosario hit a two-run triple that should NOT have been a triple but was because Gabe Kapler had right fielder Nick Williams playing roughly 50 feet shallower than the average right fielder would play, assuming Rosario couldn’t hit to the opposite field with authority. Watch:

 

I’m not gonna say Kapler’s data-driven innovations are bad ideas, full stop. I get the theory. I am gonna say, though, that when they backfire like they have so far, he’s gonna take the heat for it and deservedly so.

Astros 3, Orioles 2: Give the O’s pitching staff props for only giving up three runs I guess. Give Dallas Keuchel props for allowing only two — one unearned — and Brad Peacock for tossing three innings of scoreless relief. Josh Reddick had three hits and Alex Bregman hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the seventh to help Houston complete the sweep.

Diamondbacks 3, Dodgers 0: Patrick Corbin shut the boys in blue down, striking out 12 in a little over seven innings of work and the Dbacks bat, while mostly contained by Alex Wood, chipped off three in the first three innings. That’s a three-game series sweep for Arizona and their ninth straight regular season over Los Angeles overall.

Angels 3, Indians 2: Andrelton Simmons is a man after my heart for bunting to break up Corey Kluber’s no-hit bid in the fifth inning. To the extent that had the potential to be slammed as an Unwritten Rules violation, Shohei Ohtani nipped it in the bud by taking a Kluber fastball out to center field for a two-run home run, tying the game at 2-2. It was Ohtani’s second homer in as many days. That didn’t end things, of course. The game would be tied after regulation and eventually make it into the 13th inning, where Zack Cozart walked ’em off with this blast:

The Angels are 4-2 to start the season for the first time since 2007.

Twins 7, Pirates 3: The warm sunshine. The smell of the green grass. The fresh breezes. The relief pitcher catching snowflakes in his mouth as he’s trying to lock down the game in the ninth:

Brian Dozier hit his fourth homer in as many days and the Twins put up a four-spot in the sixth inning to hand the Pirates their first loss of the year. Miguel Sano had three hits and two RBI. Eduardo Escobar drove in two as well.

White Sox 4, Blue Jays 3: Jose Abreu‘s eight inning homer on a 3-0 pitch broke a 3-3 tie and gave the Chisox the game. Earlier Matt Davidson hit his fourth homer on the season. Sox starter Carson Fulmer held Toronto to three runs and five hits over five innings, and I continue to refuse to believe that that’s his name as opposed to the name of a backup quarterback someplace that an agitated fan base doesn’t severely overvalue in the way that backup quarterbacks are overvalued. I mean, yeah, he looks good on the sidelines and had some nice college numbers, but Trent Whoeverthehell is this club’s best option at QB, even with the current rough patch.

Giants 10, Mariners 1: The San Francisco offense finally work up, jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first and making it 9-0 after five. Pablo Sandoval walked with the bases loaded in the first to drive in a run and later it a three-run homer on his four-RBI day. Gorkys Hernandez, Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford also went deep for the Giants. Gorkys should change his name to “Brandon” so we can refer to this offensive attack as “The Three Brandons.” Wait, never mind. That sounds like a craft beer only boring white dudes drink. He can stay “Gorkys.”

Cardinals 6, Brewers 0: Carlos Martinez shut the Brewers out through eight and a third, striking out ten while Yadi Molina homered and hit a sac fly. At one point Martinez retired 16 straight. The Brewers threatened in the ninth but Bud Norris got out of a bases loaded jam to end it. St. Louis takes two of three from Milwaukee on the road.

Athletics 6, Rangers 2: Sean Manaea was in control here, tossing eight innings of three-hit, one-run ball, which allowed the A’s four-run fourth inning to more than hold up. Bob Melvin did not allow Manaea to go out for the ninth despite the fact he was only at 94 pitches. Manaea was OK with that:

“Obviously I wanted to finish the game, but talking to BoMel it kind of wasn’t the right idea this early in the season,”

“BoMel?” No. Uh-uh. We are not doing this. Do you hear me, Oakland? If I hear “BoMel” one more time, I’m stopping this car.

Rockies 5, Padres 2: Jon Gray tossed seven shutout innings, striking out seven and walking none, while the Rockies $108 million man, Charlie Blackmon, got two hits and scored twice. Ian Desmond and Trevor Story each drove in two. Nolan Arenado doubled in a run. The game took just 2 hours and 41 minutes, and neither team used a mound visit. Progress? I dunno.

Royals vs. Tigers — POSTPONED:

The rain falls hard on a humdrum town
This town has dragged you down
Oh, the rain falls hard on a humdrum town
This town has dragged you down
Oh, no, and everybody’s got to live their life
And God knows I’ve got to live mine
God knows I’ve got to live mine

And That Happened: Tuesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Angels 8, Astros 7: Charlie Morton and Shohei Ohtani have been two of the most talked about pitchers to start the season and they faced off in this one. Not too stellar a faceoff, unfortunately, as Mike Trout homered off of the first pitch Morton threw him and Andrelton Simmons followed him in the act. The Angels would score two more off of him in the third and he wouldn’t last four. Meanwhile, Ohtani gave up four runs, including a homer to Derek Fisher and would see another run for which he was responsible score on a Brian McCann go-ahead blast. His night would end having given up four runs as well. Anaheim tied it back up on an Albert Pujols single and then Simmons would hit his second homer of the night — a three-run shot — to give the Angels a lead they would not surrender. Fun fact: Mike Scioscia ran out of mound visits in this one. Unless I missed one, he was the first manager to do so in a game since the mound visit rule was established.

Cubs 10, Indians 3🎶Kyle Schwarber came back to Ohio . . . and his city was gone . . . but the guy who wrote about it . . . was a Republican pawn . . . A, oh, way to go O-hi-o . . .🎶 Two homers for the best thing to come out of Middletown, Ohio over the past decade or so. A homer each for Willson Contreras and Ian Happ. Same result as Game 7 in 2016. Pretty much the same weather too. Unfit for man or beast or Josh Tomlin

Yankees 8, Twins 3: Gary Sanchez hit two homers and Aaron Judge and Didi Gregorius each went deep as well, with Sanchez and Gregorius each driving in three. Didi has been having such a fantastic year that, eventually, I’m assuming the people who run the ads at Yankee Stadium will spell his name right:

Mets 6, Cardinals 5: Jay Bruce‘s tenth inning homer gave the Mets a lead they’d hold on to for the win. Yoenis Cespedes hit a homer earlier that I’m pretty sure killed (a) a baseball; and (b) Luke Weaver:

463 feet, my man.

In other news, Matt Harvey entered in the top of the fifth inning of this one for his first relief appearance since his demotion to the pen. It didn’t go great. He gave up a run on back-to-back two-out doubles and left after throwing 35 pitches, only 20 of which were strikes. In still other news, the Cardinals initiated a replay challenge after Bruce’s homer, claiming he missed first base. He didn’t miss first base and it wasn’t even particularly close, so I have no idea what the Cardinals were doing there. La Russa may be gone but part of his essence still lingers, I suppose.

Rockies 8, Padres 0: Eight runs in Colorado — seven of them coming in the first two innings — isn’t news, but seven shutout innings from a starting pitcher is. That’s what Kyle Freeland did for the Rockies, striking out eight and grabbing the win. Trevor Story hit a grand slam. There was a scary moment when Freeland was hit by a comebacker, but he stayed in the game. Rockies manager Bud Black said it may have helped: “It smoothed him out. He didn’t overthrow. His focus might have been more heightened, because he was in a little bit of discomfort.” Sources say that Black plans to kick Freeland square in the beans just before he takes the mound for his next start on Sunday.

Giants 4, Nationals 3: Mac Williamson hit his second big homer in as many nights and once again helped the Giants to a win, with his sixth inning solo shot putting San Francisco up for good. The Giants other three runs came via a Brandon Belt two-run homer and a first inning wild pitch from Tanner Roark. Williamson credited the adrenalin from running into a wall the previous half inning for his homer. In light of that, sources say that Bruce Bochy plans to kick Williamson square in the beans just before his first at bat in his next game this afternoon.

Mariners 1, White Sox 0: Marco Gonzales (6 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 8K) and four M’s relievers combine for a five-hit shutout and Mitch Haniger‘s RBI single in the fourth was all the scoring. Chris Volstad got the start for the White Sox. He did pretty good considering, you know, he isn’t really a starter. The White Sox are off to their worst start in 68 years. I wonder how they’d be doing if they, you know, tried.

Reds 9, Braves 7: Cincy took a 5-0 lead behind some dominant pitching from Tyler Mahle, no-hitting the Braves until the seventh inning, but the Braves finally figured him out and crushed the first couple of relievers who followed him, eventually tying things up with four runs in the ninth. Scooter Gennett put an end to Atlanta’s comeback-win delusions, however, launching a two-run walkoff homer in the 12th. That was Gennett’s second homer of the night and his third and fourth RBI. Freddie Freeman went deep twice for Atlanta, both solo shots.

Diamondbacks 8, Phillies 4: Alex Avila went deep and had three hits and Daniel Descalso and Jarrod Dyson also homered. Dbacks starter Robbie Ray struck out 11 Philly batters but couldn’t escape the fifth inning. I imagine Philly fans either didn’t care or didn’t notice since the Sixers were playing. This is a good time of year for baseball teams in hockey and basketball towns to fly under the radar for a bit.

Blue Jays 4, Red Sox 3: Curtis Granderson threw out the potential go-ahead run at the plate in the top of the ninth inning and then hit a walk-off homer in the 10th — off of Craig Kimbrel no less — to give the Jays the win in the team’s first game since Monday’s deadly terrorist attack killed ten in the city. The Sox lose their third straight game and suffer their first loss to the Jays in Rogers Centre in their last eight meetups.

Athletics 3, Rangers 2: Andrew Triggs allowed only one run over six innings while scattering for hits and punching out six. Mark Canha homered and Jed Lowrie and Matt Olson each doubled in a run to help Oakland to their fourth straight win. Worse news for Texas than the loss was Adrian Beltre straining his left hamstring. No battle plan survives first contact with the enemy, but it’s kind of ridiculous that, 25 games into the season, three of the club’s four Opening Day infielders are hurt and the fourth one is playing left field.

Brewers 5, Royals 2: Lorenzo Cain homered against his old team, but that was just late gravy. Earlier Travis Shaw hit a three-run shot that put the game away in the third inning. Sal Perez made his first appearance of 2018 after coming off the disabled list and hit a solo shot. Zach Davies picked up the win after allowing two over six.

Marlins 3, Dodgers 2: L.A. took a 2-1 lead into the eighth but Starlin Castro doubled in the tying run that inning and Cameron Maybin doubled in the go-ahead run in the ninth. The Fish snap their five-game losing streak.

Rays vs. Orioles; Tigers vs. Pirates — POSTPONED: The 27th and 28th rainouts of the year so far. So it seems appropriate . . .

28 days of rain
Flash floods in February
Back in our boats again
Bath water and the baby
What am I gonna do?
There’s been a lot of drinking
Looking at ghosts of you
While all the world is sinking

10.000 miles into the atmosphere
My body shakes
Is there a welcome here?

Closest thing to heaven
How do you do it?
Closest thing to heaven, heaven