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And That Happened: Saturday’s Scores and Highlights

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These are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Red Sox 10, Orioles 3: The Red Sox are officially the winningest team in the AL East, and second only to the 13-win Astros in the American League. Hanley Ramirez helped reached that goal on Saturday, lining a single, double and home run into left field to boost the Sox’ 10-run spread. Even more impressive? This no-holds-barred catch from Jackie Bradley Jr. to preserve the shutout in the sixth:

Nationals 6, Rockies 2: Max Scherzer looked untouchable on Saturday afternoon, which is exactly what you want to see from one of the league’s best pitchers. (In case you missed it, this was Scherzer’s third outing in which he’s registered 10+ strikeouts and two or fewer runs this season.)

Something else you probably want to see: plenty of run support for said pitcher. The Nationals didn’t disappoint, delivering six runs on Matt Wieters‘ two-RBI performance (including his first home run of 2018), a Wilmer Difo RBI single and a pair of controversial plays in the sixth.

Cardinals 6, Reds 1: Seven straight losses isn’t a good look for anyone. The Reds’ unlucky streak was extended with another loss to the Cardinals on Saturday, this one at the hands of Miles Mikolas, Greg Holland and Jordan Hicks. The silver lining: Tucker Barnhart spared the Reds another shutout, muscling his second home run of the season on a 391-foot shot in the fifth.

Rangers 6, Astros 5 (10 innings): Despite their best attempts to move upward in the AL West standings, the Astros sat pat with their 10-3 record after losing in extras with Ronald Guzman’s walk-off base hit. They squandered a perfectly good five-run lead, too, backing starter Charlie Morton‘s six quality innings of two-run, one-walk, 12-strikeout ball with a Carlos Correa 2-RBI double and three-run knock from Yuli Gurriel in the fourth.

Cubs 14, Braves 10: Speaking of comebacks, none was more dramatic than the eight-run rally the Cubs staged against the Braves. The good? The Cubs proved they could overcome even the most skewed of games, plating nine runs in the eighth to tie the game and reverse the score with a four-run lead in their favor.

The bad? They might not have retained any stamina for Sunday’s series finale against Julio Teheran.

(ETA: Scratch that. The Braves/Cubs game has been postponed due to inclement weather. They’ll replay the game on May 14 at 2:10 PM ET.)

Phillies 9, Rays 4: Don’t look now, but the Phillies are riding a five-game winning streak. They improved to a .615 wining percentage on Saturday — good for second place behind the 11-2 Mets — during a nine-run affair that hinged on a tremendous six-run effort in the second. Jake Arrieta held on for his first win of the year, too, rattling off 6 2/3 innings of three-run, one-strikeout ball.

Brewers 5, Mets 1: The Mets, meanwhile, finally saw their nine-game win streak fizzle out during a decisive performance from Milwaukee’s Chase Anderson. Anderson limited the Mets to a single run — an RBI single from Yoenis Cespedes in the sixth — while the Brewers worked up a four-run lead against Matt Harvey.

Pirates 1, Marlins 0: So much for the Marlins’ bout of good luck. The Pirates returned in fine form to even the series on Saturday, crafting a combined six-hitter on the back of Jameson Taillon‘s quality start and an airtight performance from the bullpen. Corey Dickerson put up the first and only run of the game: an RBI bunt to score Starling Marte in the top of the ninth.

Padres 5, Giants 4: Hunter Renfroe‘s seventh-inning go-ahead home run may have been the difference-maker on Saturday, but Brad Hand was the one who inked his name in the Padres’ history books. Hand entered in the eighth inning to strike out Hunter Pence, then closed out his sixth save of the year with three more strikeouts in the top of the ninth to preserve the Padres’ one-run advantage. Per MLB.com’s AJ Cassavell, no San Diego reliever has managed to strike out every single batter in a save of 1+ innings.

Diamondbacks 9, Dodgers 1: Luckily for the Diamondbacks, runs weren’t in short supply on Saturday. If they had been, it would have made this home-run-turned-single even more frustrating:

Mariners 10, Athletics 8: Safeco Field’s “Hit It Here” sign, perched just above the second deck in right field, is really intended as more of a suggestion than a challenge. That didn’t stop Daniel Vogelbach from using it as target practice, however:

Vogelbach’s 433-footer wasn’t the only blast of the night. Jean Segura opened the game with his first home run of the year, followed by another long ball from Mitch Haniger and a game-tying homer from Kyle Seager. Who knew the Mariners could make hitting home runs at Safeco Field look so effortless?

Angels 5, Royals 3: Snow flurries and 42-degree weather weren’t grounds enough to delay the Angels-Rangers game on Saturday afternoon, and both sides made the best of a chilly situation. Mike Trout, professional slugger and amateur weatherman, slugged a two-run homer in the fifth inning, good for his sixth blast of the season. The Royals eked out a few runs against Garrett Richards and a mostly-impenetrable bullpen, but came up short in the ninth as they cemented their 10th loss of the year.

White Sox, Twins (postponed): It’s looking less and less likely that the Twins will spend any time actually playing baseball at Target Field during their homestand this week. They were forced to postpone three consecutive matches against the White Sox after heavy snowfall compromised playing conditions on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There’s been no word yet on official dates for the make-up games, though an announcement will likely be made sometime next week.

Blue Jays, Indians (postponed): Compared to light snowfall and raging blizzards, a little rainout seems almost laughable. Still, the Blue Jays weren’t taking any chances on Saturday. They’ll make up Saturday and Sunday’s games with a doubleheader on May 3.

Yankees, Tigers (postponed): Ditto for the Yankees/Tigers, who were expected to face off during a doubleheader on Sunday to compensate for time lost to inclement weather. As it currently stands, the teams are scheduled to keep their appointment for Game 2 at 7:10 PM ET on Sunday, while the earlier game has been bumped to Monday afternoon at 1:10 PM ET.

Derek Jeter calls Bryant Gumbel “mentally weak”

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Derek Jeter has not covered himself in glory since taking over the Miami Marlins. His reign atop the team’s baseball operations department has been characterized by the slashing of payroll in order to help his new ownership group make more money amid some pretty crushing debt service by virtue of what was, in effect, the leveraged buyout of the club. A club which is now 5-16 and seems destined for five months more and change of some pretty miserable baseball.

Jeter has nonetheless cast the moves the Marlins have made as good for fans in the long run. And, yes, I suppose it’s likely that things will be better in the long run, if for no other reason than they cannot be much worse. Still, such reasoning, while often accepted when a lesser light like, say, White Sox GM Rick Hahn employs it, isn’t accepted as easily when a guy who has been defined by his hand full of championship rings offers it. How can Derek Jeter, of all people, accept losing?

That’s the question HBO’s Bryant Gumbel asked of Jeter in an interview that aired over the weekend (see the video at the end of the post). How can he accept — and why should fans accept — a subpar baseball product which is not intended to win? Jeter’s response? To claim that the 2018 Marlins are totally expected to win and that Gumbel himself is “mentally weak” for not understanding it:

JETER: “We’re trying to win ball games every day.”

GUMBEL: “If you trade your best players in exchange for prospects it’s unlikely you’re going to win more games in the immediate future–”

JETER: “When you take the field, you have an opportunity to win each and every day. Each and every day. You never tell your team that they’re expected to lose. Never.”

GUMBEL: “Not in so–”

JETER: “Now, you can think — now– now, I can’t tell you how you think. Like, I see your mind. I see that’s how you think. I don’t think like that. That’s your mind working like that.”

. . .

DEREK JETER: “You don’t. We have two different mi– I can’t wait to get you on the golf course, man. We got– I mean, I can’t wait for this one.”

BRYANT GUMBEL: “No, I mean–”

DEREK JETER: “You’re mentally weak.”

I sort of get what Jeter was trying to do here. He was trying to take this out the realm of second guessing among people who know some stuff about sports and subtly make it an appeal to authority, implying that he was an athlete and that only he, unlike Gumbel, can understand that mindset and competitiveness of the athlete. That’s what the “get you on the golf course” jazz was about. Probably worth noting at this point that that tack has never worked for Michael Jordan as a basketball executive, even if his singular competitiveness made him the legend he was on the court. An executive makes decisions which can and should be second-guessed, and it seems Jeter cannot handle that.

That being said, Gumbel did sort of open the door for Jeter to do that. Suggesting that baseball players on the 2018 Marlins don’t expect to win is not the best angle for him here because, I am certain, if you ask those players, they would say much the same thing Jeter said. That’s what makes them athletes.

No, what Gumbel should have asked Jeter was “of COURSE you tell your players to win and of COURSE they try their hardest and think they can win every night. My question to you is this: did YOU try YOUR hardest to get the BEST players? And if not, why not?”

Question him like you’d question Rick Hahn. Not like you’d question Future Hall of Fame Shortstop, Derek Jeter.