Craig Calcaterra

Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
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And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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The Manny MachadoYordano Ventura fight was all about two young men paying tribute to the late Muhammad Ali. Watch as Ventura misses with his first punch, which Machado dodges and then quickly counters. That’s classic Ali right there. The taller guy with the better reach luring his opponent into over committing while relying on his ability to evade and then, bam, hitting him with the counter. To be fair, Ali never gave an opponent a DDT like Machado kinda gave Ventura, but RIP, Ali all the same.

The secondary takeaway was Sal Perez and the empathy we should all have for him. Poor Sal. You can almost hear his inner monologue during this thing: “[Sigh] Yordano. Here we go again. So young. So talented. But that temper, oy!” Watching the video, I feel like a super determined Perez could’ve subdued Machadao as he headed toward the mound. I feel, however, that in this case Perez was like that father who realizes, well, sometimes his son needs to learn things the hard way. I mean, he’s had many, many opportunities to learn things more easily. It just didn’t take.

I don’t expect Ventura to learn much during his inevitable suspension. He seemed to hit the bigs fully formed as a pissed-off guy. Machado, meanwhile, will probably get several days off himself due to charging the mound. Maybe he’ll use them more productively. Anyway, here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Pirates 3, Mets 1; Pirates 3, Mets 1: Both games of the double header were 3-1 Pirate wins. The Pirates had ten hits in each game. The Mets had five in one, four in the other. Neat.

Orioles 9, Royals 1: Come for the fight, stay for the continuing skid of the World Series champs. They’ve dropped six straight.

Tigers 3, Blue Jays 2: Ian Kinsler with a walkoff RBI single in the 10th. This after a two-run ninth inning rally in which he doubled in one run and scored on a subsequent Miguel Cabrera double. Kinsler is hitting .320/.371/.524 on the year and is on a 31-homer, 98 RBI pace. He’s hitting leadoff.

Reds 7, Cardinals 6: Another walkoff, via a Joey Votto homer, saving the Reds’ bullpen from even more ignominy after it blew a five-run lead. Again. Wait. What’s that? No, I stand corrected. There is still heaping helpings of ignominy for the Reds bullpen despite Votto’s homer.

Twins 6, Marlins 4: Another walkoff. This one featured Brian Dozier hitting a two-out, two-run home run in the 11th. Earlier Robbie Grossman hit a home run in the eighth to bring the Twins back from behind and force extras.

Padres 4, Braves 3: Yet another walkoff. Atlanta led 3-2 in the ninth but then Derek Norris tied the game with a leadoff home run and Wil Myers singled in the winning run

Dodgers 4, Rockies 3: Yet another walkoff, this a homer from Trayce Thompson. Also good news for the Dodgers: Jose Urias’ third start went better than his first two. He still only went four innings, requiring 86 pitches, but he only allowed one run and struck out seven.

Yankees 6, Angels 3: Carlos Beltran and Starlin Castro homered for the second consecutive game. Beltran is on a 42-homer pace. His OBP and average are down but he’s still got those old man hurtin’ bombs.

Phillies 3, Cubs 2: Ryan Howard hit a homer. I feel like he’s going to be DFA’d soon either way. Maybe let him go out with a nice memory?

 

Rangers 4, Astros 3: Someone ask Ken Giles if the Rangers are better than the Astros yet. Maybe it takes more than eight straight wins. Maybe it’s a best of 17 situation and Houston plans on rallying now.

Nationals 10, White Sox 5: Bryce Harper drove in three runs and Anthony Rendon homered as the Nats win their sixth of eight. I mentioned the Royals skidding, but the White Sox’ skid has been something to behold. They started out 23-10. Since then they’ve gone 6-19 and they’re sitting in fourth place, looking up at everyone except the lowly Twins. That talk of a North Side-South Side World Series seems like it was 100 years ago.

Brewers 5, Athletics 4Zach Davies took a no-hitter into the seventh inning, issued a one-out walk to Jed Lowrie, then watched Billy Butler drill a two-out, two-run home run to center field. Oh well. Milwaukee held on anyway.

 

Diamondbacks 5, Rays 0: Zack Greinke‘s early season struggles continue to be an ever-fading memory. Here he tossed a three-hit shutout, needing only 104 pitches to do it. He’s now 8-3 with a 3.84 ERA.

Mariners 7, Indians 1: A bad day at the office for Cody Anderson, who was lit up for six runs on seven hits in three and two-thirds. Nelson Cruz socked two homers, one off of Mr. Anderson. That came early but was, eventually, the sound of inevitability. The sound of his death. Goodbye, Mr. Anderson.

 

Red Sox 5, Giants 3: Not a walkoff, but late inning heroics all the same as Xander Bogaerts hit a two-run single in the 10th inning. Bogaerts drove in another run on a single earlier in the game.

Ken Giles says the Astros have more talent than the Rangers do

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The Rangers beat the Astros with a walkoff double by Rougned Odor last night. That hit came off of Astros reliever Ken Giles. After the game, Giles vented about both this game and about how the Rangers have totally owned the Astros of late, having lost all seven meeting between the clubs this year:

“We have more talent than this team does,” Giles said. “That’s what I believe, and we shouldn’t be losing these kind of ballgames.”

The writer of that story, Jake Kaplan of the Houston Chronicle, noted something in the Rangers’ clubhouse this afternoon:

Even though the words are on a video monitor, I think we can still call it bulletin board material.

Giles may be correct in the sense that some analysts or scouts or armchair GMs may think, in the aggregate, and on paper, the Astros are the more talented team. In the abstract I tend to think the Astros have slightly more talent, I guess. But that’s a characterization that requires all kids of qualification and agreement on terms. Who may be better over the next several years vs. who is set up better this year. The weighing of offense and pitching. There are all manner of subjective factors.

It’s the stuff of preseason or pregame analysis, though, not the stuff of postgame analysis. When you got beat — and when you’ve been beat by one team as many times as the Rangers have beat the Astros — they’re thoughts that are both beside the point and better left unsaid. At some point the subjective assessment of “talent” must give way to the objective assessment of “better.” The Rangers are right now and have been all year, better than the Astros, full stop.

But nice job making the bulletin board, Ken.

Latest American League All-Star voting returns are in

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The second update of All-Star Game balloting for the American League is in. The most notable news is Jackie Bradley Jr. moving into a starting position among outfielders, passing Mark Trumbo for third place and trailing Mike Trout and Lorenzo Cain.

Salvador Perez continues to be the leading overall vote-getter in the AL with 1,605,922 votes. Perez has the largest lead of anyone at any position in the AL, outpacing Matt Wieters by well over a million votes. The Super Delegates have yet to weigh in, but I think it’s fair to say he’s going to be the guy behind the plate. The next highest vote-getter is David Ortiz at DH with 1,460,339. He also has the second largest margin, with Kendrys Morals some 800,000 votes behind.

Here are the results:

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