Javier Baez

And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Indians 12, Orioles 0: Corey Kluber tossed a three-hit complete game shutout while striking out 11. He could’ve allowed 11 and still won this one, however, as Indians bats beat up on Dylan Bundy and Vidal Nuno. Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana homered and the Tribe rattled off 17 hits in all. The Orioles’ pitching has allowed five or more runs in 16 consecutive games, setting a new AL record. If they do this four more times they’ll catch the 1924 Phillies for the all-time record.

Marlins 8, Nationals 7: The Nats had a 6-0 lead after their hacks in the third innings but Tanner Roark coughed up six runs of his own in the bottom half, with four of them coming on a Justin Bour grand slam. Each team would score once more before the ninth, setting up Marcell Ozuna‘s walkoff single to end it. After the game, Don Mattingly provided all the commentary on the Nats that you need at the moment:

“These guys have been giving up runs late. You get into that bullpen, you never know what’s going to happen, but you know you have a chance to score some runs.”

That’s a far cry from the usual “they’re a tough bunch of guys over there and we’re happy to come away with a win” stuff. Thank you, Don Mattingly, for saving us from cliches.

Cubs 3, Padres 2: A couple of homers put the Padres up early but a Willson Contreras homer and then an outfield error which scored Javier Baez put the Cubs ahead in the seventh. The play everyone is talking about though was one in which Anthony Rizzo was thrown out at home, but not before barreling in to Padres catcher Austin Hedges, forcing Hedges out of the game with a bruised thigh.

The Cubs think the play was clean and the Padres thing it was dirty. If you watch the play, I think it’s pretty clear that Rizzo had a path to the plate he could’ve taken without slamming into Hedges but chose not to, making it a bad slide in my view. If you can even call it a slide. I mean, look at this:

And from another angle:

He had a country mile to his right which was a more correct patch to the plate but chose not to take it in an effort to knock the ball out of Hedges’ glove.

Rizzo said this after the game:

“It’s one of those plays where it’s very sensitive,” Rizzo said. “It’s a play where I’m out by two steps. If I slide, he runs into me.

“I’ve talked to a lot of umpires about this rule. It’s my understanding if they have the ball, it’s game on.”

That is not the rule. At all. The inquiry is whether the catcher is blocking the plate and whether the runner goes out of his way to initiate contact. Hedges was not blocking the plate, Rizzo went out of his way. It was a bad slide.

Reds 7, Rays 3: The Reds finally put an end to their losing skid, halting it at nine games. Scott Schebler and Scooter Gennett homered. Joey Votto had three hits including an RBI single in the eighth that put the Reds up for good.

Braves 9, Giants 0: R.A.Dickey threw seven scoreless innings and retired 13 Giants in a row at one point. It was only 2-0 when he left, but the Braves exploded for seven runs in the eighth to to give him all the insurance he’d need. Matt Adams homered. Since being picked up as an emergency replacement for the injured Freddie Freeman, Adams has hit .306/.361/.658 with ten homers in 28 games. The Braves have won three in a row. The Giants have lost seven straight.

Pirates 8, Brewers 1: Gerrit Cole allowed one run on three hits in seven innings as the Pirates win in one of many blowouts last night. Andrew McCutchen hit a two-run homer and added an RBI single. He’s hitting .377/.435/.705 in the month of June.

Blue Jays 7, Rangers 6: An ALDS rematch, except now both teams are under .500. Oh well, that doesn’t matter, it’s only the game at hand which counts. As for that, it started ugly with both team’s starters pitching lousy — the Jays blew an early 5-1 lead — and ended ugly for Texas with their closer, Matt Bush, blowing a one-run lead. RBI singles from Josh Donaldson and Kendrys Morales brought the Jays from behind and then ahead, respectively, in the top of the ninth.

Royals 4, Red Sox 2: Jason Hammel allowed two runs over seven innings of work and Whit Merrifield singled in a run to break a 2-2 tie in the seventh. The Royals, who many wrote off after a miserable April, have won eight of nine.

Mariners 6, Tigers 2: Mike Zunino hit a two-run homer to break a 2-2 tie in the sixth and homered again — another two-run shot — in the eighth. Zunino was sent down to the minors early in the season because he couldn’t hit his way out of a wet paper bag. Since being called back up on May 23 he’s hitting .338 with nine home runs and 28 RBI. That’s a tear.

Astros 4, Athletics 1: The Astros get homers from George Springer — his 20th — Jake Marisnick and Derek Fisher. Houston leads all of baseball with 112 homers. They also have the second fewest strikeouts in the game. That’s a pretty spiffy combination.

Dodgers 10, Mets 6: Rookie slugger Cody Bellinger continues his rampage through NL pitching, hitting two homers and driving in four while going 3-for-5. He’s the fastest to 20 homers — and now 21 homers — doing so in only 51 games. In those 51 games he’s hitting .269/.340/.658. He’s on a pace for 48 homers and 107 RBI and he didn’t even play his first game until April 25.

And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Pirates 10, Nationals 4: Adam Frazier had a heck of a game out of the leadoff spot for the Buccos, going 3-for-5 with four RBI. Tanner Roark started for the Nationals but gave up seven runs in five-plus frames. Roark finished 10th in NL Cy Young Voting last year with a 2.83 ERA, but he’s now sporting a 4.73 ERA this season over nine starts.

Rockies 5, Twins 1 (Game 1): Nolan Arenado hit a solo home run in the first inning to put the Rockies up early and they never looked back. Arenado also made a sweet backhand play in the bottom half of the first. While he hasn’t had an explosive month and a half the way Bryce Harper has, it still would not be surprising if he once again winds up in the NL MVP race.

Twins 2, Rockies 0 (Game 2): Jose Berrios pitched one of the best games of the year, blanking the Rockies on two hits and a walk with 11 strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings. Berrios looked lost last year, when he put up an 8.02 ERA in 14 starts, but he’s been much better so far this season. He held the Indians to one run in 7 2/3 innings last Saturday. The Twins now have a slight first-place lead in the AL Central now. Who’dathunkit.

Cubs 9, Reds 5: Six losses in a row for the Reds now. Javier Baez gave the Cubs a large early cushion, crushing a grand slam in the first inning off of Amir Garrett. Kris Bryant also crushed a solo home run to center field in the fourth. Ian Happ collected two more hits to raise his average to .353 and his OPS to 1.324 since being called up.

Tigers 6, Orioles 5: J.D. Martinez stays red-hot as he blasted another homer, a three-run shot. He also drew three walks. In six games since making his season debut, Martinez has five homers and 11 RBI in 25 PA. Three Orioles homered: Chris Davis, Adam Jones, and Seth Smith. But the Tigers’ bullpen, surprisingly, was able to hold onto a narrow lead — something that has been a rarity this season.

Rangers 8, Phillies 4: Nine wins in a row for the Rangers now. To be fair, they’ve beaten up on the lowly Padres, Athletics, and Phillies, but still. Ryan Rua struck the big blow in this one, as his fifth-inning three-run home run capped off a five run inning. Martin Perez pitched well, holding the Phillies to two runs on five hits and no walks with eight strikeouts over seven innings.

Brewers 4, Padres 2: The first-place Brewers added to their lead in the NL Central as the Cardinals had the night off. Leadoff man Eric Sogard collected four hits and three RBI. Eric Thames finally made an appearance, but as a pinch-hitter and he made an out, stranding two runners. Zach Davies put up a quality start, yielding two runs in six innings. For the Padres, Hunter Renfroe went yard again, giving him three in his last five ballgames.

Blue Jays 9, Braves 0: After Wednesday’s fracas, the storyline going into Thursday’s game was centered around Jose Bautista, who flipped his bat after hitting a home run last night. Sure enough, Julio Teheran threw an inside fastball and hit Bautista on the thigh. Both benches were warned and nothing else happened. Thankfully, a better narrative emerged as catcher Luke Maile and starter Marcus Stroman hit back-to-back home runs, becoming the first American League battery to go back-to-back since May 9, 1970, per Sportsnet. That’s before the DH era began. As for the pitching, Stroman was solid but inefficient, lasting only 5 2/3 innings after throwing 103 pitches.

Royals 5, Yankees 1: Danny Duffy’s excellence continued, as he tossed seven shutout innings, allowing just three hits and two walks with 10 strikeouts. Mike Moustakas gave the Royals plenty of breathing room with a three-run home run in the fifth.

Athletics 8, Red Sox 3: Red Sox starter Hector Velasquez got knocked around for six runs in five frames in his major league debut. The A’s hit three homers, including Khris Davis who now has 12 on the year. Trevor Plouffe collected three hits. Every regular in the Athletics’ lineup had a hit except Stephen Vogt.

Dodgers 7, Marlins 2: Hyun-Jin Ryu held the Marlins to two runs in 5 1/3 innings. Yasiel Puig crushed a two-run home run halfway up the bleachers in left field off of Edinson Volquez in the second inning. Statcast measured that one at 442 feet. Kenley Jansen turned in an immaculate inning in the ninth to close out the game. There were a total of three immaculate innings in 2015 and ’16 combined, but we’ve already had four this season: Drew Storen, Craig Kimbrel, Max Scherzer, and Jansen.

Mariners 5, White Sox 4: The Mariners picked up their fifth walk-off win of the season as Guillermo Heredia singled to bring in Jarrod Dyson in the bottom of the ninth inning. Jean Segura hit a three-run home run to extend his hitting streak to 17 games. He now has a .359 average and a .915 OPS.

Four of the top five best-selling jerseys belong to Cubs players

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Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association just released their list of the most popular jerseys. Since the end of the 2016 season, more Kris Bryant jerseys have been sold than that of any other player. He has the most since the end of 2015 as well.

Second on the list is his teammate, Anthony Rizzo. Then Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers, at number three. Another Cub, Javier Baez, is fourth. Fifth is yet another Cub, Kyle Schwarber. That’s right: four of the five best-selling jerseys belong to Cubs players.

Here’s the entire top 20:

Major League Baseball’s press release makes a big deal of the fact that the average age of players on this list is 26-and-a-half, which is more than 1.5 years younger than any previous list’s average age. I suppose David Ortiz retiring drops that average age quite a bit.

Baez and Schwarber are two of six new faces cracking the top 20. Also new to the list: Corey Seager, Gary Sánchez, Mookie Betts and Francisco Lindor.

Bartolo Colon was robbed.