Craig Calcaterra

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MAY 18: Tyler Goeddel #2 of the Philadelphia Phillies reacts after hitting a home run in the bottom of the eighth inning against the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park on May 18, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies defeated the Marlins 4-2. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
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And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Phillies 4, Marlins 2Tyler Goeddel hit his first career homer and Jeremy Hellickson was sharp. For a few hours anyway, until the Nationals won their game, the Phillies were tied for first place. I don’t think that necessarily means anything — I still suspect that they’ll fade as the spring turns to summer — but what a nice couple of months it has been for the Phillies, eh?

Tigers 6, Twins 3: Justin Verlander notched his 2,000th career strikeout and Ian Kinsler homered for the fourth straight game. Verlander trails only Mickey Lolich on the Tigers all-time strikeout list. Lolich is one of those guys people who aren’t Tigers fans or aren’t, like, 50, may not have heard much about. He was super solid pitcher who had some very nice career highlights, including a homer in the 1968 World Series. He was also part of that crop of 1970s pitchers who were absolutely ABUSED as far as workload goes. Still, fairly anonymous for a guy who won 25 games one time. Check out his Baseball-Reference.com page for an overlooked guy.

Royals 3, Red Sox 2; Red Sox 5, Royals 2Ah, the split doubleheader. Nature’s way of saying “eh.” Jarrod Dyson had a nice game in the opener, putting to rest that “maybe the platoon in right field won’t be a platoon anymore given Paulo Orlando‘s run of late” talk. In the nightcap David Price allowed two runs in seven and a third, putting to rest the “what’s wrong with our ace?” talk in Boston. At least for the next four days.

Athletics 8, Rangers 1: Khris Davis hit his fourth homer in less than 24 hours as the A’s sweep the Rangers. Marcus Semien and Danny Valencia each drove in two.

Nationals 7, Mets 1: Mets pitchers struck out 11. That’s good! They also walked 11. That’s bad! Daniel Murphy drove in two! That’s go– wait, no it’s not, at least not for Mets fans, because he doesn’t play for them anymore. Sorry, dudes. Gio Gonzalez, meanwhile, allowed one run while pitching into the seventh. Bartolo Colon‘s day started poorly with tabloid stories about his personal life all over the place and ended poorly when he couldn’t even make it out of the fifth inning.

Orioles 5, Mariners 2: Chris Tillman allowed two runs on four hits with six strikeouts while pitching into the seventh and winning his fifth straight start. I had forgotten until reading the game story that he was part of the Adam Jones-Erik Bedard trade which was disastrous for Seattle. And which continued to be disastrous, at least on this night.

Braves 3, Pirates 1: Julio Teheran pitched into the eighth and Tyler Flowers homered. It was Brian Snitker’s first ever win as a big league manager. He’ll have more. At least, like, a couple dozen. I won’t guarantee three dozen.

Rays 6, Blue Jays 3: Kevin Kiermaier hit a homer, making him the Cool Clutch Cat of the game! Yay! As a reward, here’s a picture of my kitties from some time over the winter. I was letting them drink the milk from my cereal when I was done. They really liked it! I had to stop, though, because it wasn’t agreeing with their digestive systems very much and that made the litter box stink. One day I hope to interview Kiermaier and I’ll tell him all about it:

Cats

Indians 8, Reds 7Rajai Davis hit a tying, two-run homer in the ninth and Francisco Lindor led off the 12th with what proved to be the game-winner. So yeah, the Reds’ bullpen continues to be amazing and inspiring. To wit: it has given up 33 homers and has blown nine of 13 save chances. The Tribe was won 10 of 15. Jay Bruce hit two homers in a winning effort in a losing cause.

Astros 5, White Sox 3Jose Altuve had three hits, walked and drove in two, continuing his MVP-level season going. Colby Rasmus and Jason Castro each homered. The fast-starting White Sox have now dropped four games in a row and six of seven. The White Sox may have lost, but they did turn a triple play here.

Cubs 2, Brewers 1: Travis Wood got the win in relief and likewise drew a walk with the bases loaded in the 13th inning for the go-ahead run in this five-hour affair. Poor Jimmy Nelson pitched shutout ball into the eighth for the Brewers but was forgotten in the outcome thanks to no run support and the bullpen blowing Milwaukee’s 1-0 lead in the ninth.

Cardinals 2, Rockies 0: Adam Wainwright pitched shutout ball into the seventh and Matt Holliday doubled in both of the Cardinals’ runs against his old mates. Well, actually, they’re not his old mates given that he hasn’t played for the Rockies in eight years. Jorge De La Rosa was on that team and I guess they could’ve hung out, gone in together on a wine club membership or do whatever chill bros do while playing for the Rockies, but otherwise I’m guessing he doesn’t know anyone there all that well anymore.

Yankees 4, Diamondbacks 2Nathan Eovaldi allowed a leadoff double and a couple of groundouts later that led to a run but, those groundouts included, he retired the other 18 souls he faced, going six innings for the win. His stuff is so amazing. He’s going to put it all together at some point and be pretty special, I reckon.

Angels 8, Dodgers 1: The Freeway Series heads down to Anaheim and the Angels win easily, thanks to a five-run fifth inning. Nick Tropeano allowed one run in seven innings. He pitched in some trouble but always got out of it.

Giants 2, Padres 1: Johnny Cueto continues to show how great a pickup he was this offseason, going the distance, allowing one run and striking out eight. Hunter Pence‘s two-run shot in the fourth was all the G-men needed. Wait — do we call the Giants the G-men? Or is that just a Chris Berman, “New York Football Giants” thing? Someone help out here. I feel like we don’t call the San Francisco Giants the G-men, but I’m prepared to admit ignorance on the matter.

Ian Kinler homers for the fourth consecutive game

DETROIT, MI - MAY 18: Ian Kinsler #3 of the Detroit Tigers looks into the dugout after hitting a single during the first inning of the game against the Minnesota Twins on May 18, 2016 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
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The Tigers played a day game today and their second basement continued his torrid pace.

Ian Kinsler went 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored in this afternoon’s 6-3 victory over the Twins. In the bottom of the sixth he hit a solo home run, which makes it four straight games in which Kinsler has gone deep. On the year he’s hitting .319/.367/.554 with 10 homers, 24 RBI, and 37 runs scored in 39 games.

Second base in the American League is quite a thing this year. Kinsler is just fourth in OPS at the position in his league, actually. Jose Altuve is hitting .338/.427/.618 and Robinson Cano is hitting .302/.347/.591. Logan Forsythe, though having significantly fewer plate appearances than the other three, is hitting .308/.328/.523.

The All-Star voting is gonna be kind of complicated.

Inside the 2014 World Series Homeland Security Panty Raid

royals logo
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You may recall that just before the 2014 World Series Department of Homeland Security agents raided a small clothing store in Kansas City because it was committing the heinous crime of . . . selling panties with an unauthorized Royals logo on them. Like, an actual raid by law enforcement with confiscations and the whole deal.

At the time we noted how crazy it was that government agents were out there enforcing private copyrights like it was a criminal matter. We noted that, for most of our history, copyrights were enforced through the civil justice system, not by a unit of government agents dedicated to fighting “intellectual property crime.” A unit that was created at the behest of entertainment companies, not because there was any sort of public outcry or criminal scourge imperiling the general peace and welfare, but because the government is, apparently, supposed to proactively protect corporate profits, not just impose penalties for the violation of a law after the fact. Protect those profits, by the way, via use of the same governmental department which is tasked with leading the fight against terrorism.

That whole episode was quickly forgotten by most. But it wasn’t forgotten by Aaron Gordon of Vice Sports. He sent out Freedom of Information Act requests about the incident. FOIA requests, it should be noted, that the government sat on forever because that’s just how the government treats FOIA requests specifically and transparency of operations in general these days. He finally got his documents, however, and he presents his findings today.

Go read Gordon’s story, where the documents are produced. Know, in the meantime, however, that a lot of taxpayer money and a lot of wrongheaded effort was expended to address what appears to be about $40 in phony Kansas City Royals panties. Then ask yourself, why on Earth this wasn’t a matter for the courts, following a copyright infringement suit, as opposed to a matter for armed law enforcement raiding businesses.

The Padres are dangling Matt Kemp

Matt Kemp
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This is not a shocker by any stretch of the imagination: the Padres are letting it be known that outfielder Matt Kemp can be had in a trade.

The hope going into the season from the Padres front office had to be that Kemp would start hot and look like an appealing offensive upgrade to a contender. On that count things are a mixed bag. Kemp’s power numbers are really nice — 10 homers and a .500 slugging percentage — but he’s only hitting .250 and has only walked four times in 39 games.

That could appeal to someone — power is always valuable — but given that he’s owed $21.5 million this year, next year and for two more years after that, it’s unlikely anyone will give up anything worth a thing unless the Padres eat a ton of that salary. And even then it may not be a lot.

Good luck, Padres. Maybe someone bites. But they’re not going to bite big.

What’s on Tap: Previewing Wednesday’s afternoon action

This undated image released by AMC shows Jon Hamm as Don Draper in a scene from Season 5 of "Mad Men."  AMC announced Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, that a two-hour premiere will kick off the acclaimed drama series' sixth season on April 7.  (AP Photo/AMC, Michael Yarish)
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Back in the day they used to call weekday day games “businessmen’s specials.” The idea being that some Don Draper-type might take the afternoon off from work and take in a ballgame. Or use the ballgame as an excuse, telling Betty Draper he’d be there while he was really at that Greenwich Village apartment with the beatnik greeting card artist woman who ended up being strung out on H or whatever happened later on. That was first season stuff, so I forget. You get the idea, though.

We don’t call them “businessmen’s specials” anymore because it’s 2016 and a lot has changed. Women being taken seriously as an important part of the workforce is the obvious one, but I think it’s also because the idea of a “businessman” is inherently ridiculous. Remember those “Kids in the Hall” sketches where literally the only joke was that things like “businessmen” exist? I couldn’t take that word seriously anymore after that, even if Skip Caray kept using the term well into the 1990s.

Anyway, we have a few day games today. They’re not businessmen specials. Let’s call them “work from home people’s distractions.” Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Miami Marlins (Tom Koehler) @ Philadelphia Phillies (Jeremy Hellickson), 1:05 PM EDT, Citizens Bank Park

Minnesota Twins (Ricky Nolasco) @ Detroit Tigers (Justin Verlander), 1:10 PM EDT, Comerica Park

Boston Red Sox (Steven Wright) @ Kansas City Royals (Ian Kennedy), 2:15 PM EDT, Kauffman Stadium

Texas Rangers (Martin Perez) @ Oakland Athletics (Rich Hill), 3:35 PM EDT, Oakland Coliseum

Hold my calls, Peggy.