And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Twins 5, Yankees 4: CC Sabathia was one of many pitchers who were dominant on this night — the big man shut out the Twins on two hits over seven innings — but his bullpen betrayed him. Rafael Soriano, to be specific, who loaded the bases on two walks and a single when he came in for the eighth. He was pulled after one more walk gave the Twins their first run and was replaced by Dave Robertson, who promptly allowed a bases-clearing double to Delmon Young. Mariano Rivera did his job in the ninth, but Boone Logan walked the leadoff batter in the 10th and then gave up two straight singles for the loss.  And if you think this will be brushed off as a mere bullpen blip by the New York media, know this: Soriano bailed from the clubhouse after the game before the press could talk to him. The New York media doesn’t like that:

I can’t tell you how Soriano will handle his implosion. He bolted the clubhouse before talking to reporters, leaving his teammates to answer for his mess. Nick Swisher, Dave Robertson and Boone Logan all stood by their lockers like men and took accountability for their part in the loss. Soriano can’t say the same.

Jo-no-show-Mo?

Indians 3, Red Sox 1: But hey, for as bad as it is in New York, at least they’ve won a couple of games so far. Boston — anointed by everyone as the 2011 World Series Champions — is now 0-4 after being stymied by Josh Tomlin on a cold night in a near-empty Progressive Field. Tomlin gave up one run on three hits in seven innings. Terry Francona after the game: “It’s not a lot of fun, but I don’t think anyone is going to feel sorry for us.”  That’s for damn sure. Indeed, I think we’re one more loss before the Soxenfreude reaches maximum levels.

Mets 7, Phillies 1: Cole Hamels didn’t last long, allowing six runs on seven hits in two and two-thirds, including two hits to Mets pitcher Chris Young in a single inning. He then left the game to a chorus of boos from baseball’s allegedly most loyal fans. Which I’m sure will be explained away by my Phillies commenters as “passion” or some such. Which it may be, but it seems that the “loyal” and the “passionate” titles are often at odds.

Brewers 1, Braves 0: Yovani Gallardo was rough stuff, allowing only two hits — one in the first inning, one in the eighth — while shutting out the Braves on a mere 111 pitches. The Braves were less overpowered than completely and utterly flummoxed, seemingly unable to get anything approaching good wood on Gallardo’s stuff. Derek Lowe was nearly as good for the Braves, but with the way Gallardo was going, he could have shut ’em out for another two or three innings if he had to.

Rangers 3, Mariners 2: Alexi Ogando didn’t figure he’d be starting this year, but he took the ball in this one and pitched six scoreless innings while allowing only two hits. For Seattle, Michael Pineada acquitted himself well enough in his first major league start. I mean, he at least kept the Rangers from hitting any homers and that’s better than Boston could do.

Rockies 3, Dodgers 0: Jhoulys Chacin was sharp, shutting out the Dodgers on five hits over seven innings before turning it over to the bullpen. Troy Tulowitzki and Chris Ianetta homers did most of the damage for Colorado, who accomplished no mean feat in beting Clayton Kershaw.

Cardinals 3, Pirates 2: A couple of RBI for the Cardinals as they beat the Pirates. As usual, it was Regis’ fault.

Padres 3, Giants 1: The champs are reeling like Rocky Balboa in the first Clubber Lang fight. Aaron Harang did exactly what he hoped he’d do upon coming to Petco Park: pitching confidently in a pitcher-friendly environment, knowing that all of the fly balls he’s prone to allowing won’t fly over the fence like they did in Cincinnati. He allowed only one run on six hits, struck out six and walked two.

Angels 5, Rays 3: Tampa Bay is keeping Boston company at the bottom of the AL East, remaining winless after Jered Weaver gave them nothing through six and two-thirds. For the Angels, Jordan Walden’s debut as closer was exactly what Mike Scioscia wanted: he set the Rays down in order for the save. Johnny Damon and Manny Ramirez are now a combined 2 for 27 on the young season.

Blue Jays 7, Athletics 6: Yunel Escobar provided the heroics with a two-run homer in the tenth, but the Athletics’ porous defense continued to be a problem for the men in green, as they blew an early 5-0 lead. Oakland has nine errors in its first four games, and this was a team that was supposed to have a pretty decent defense. Well, Kevin Kouzmanoff is a weak link and his miscues were central to the Jays’ four-run sixth inning, so let’s just forget I said anything.

Royals 7, White Sox 6: As usual, Melky Cabrera was the offensive hero. He was 3 for 6 with 3 RBI, including the game-winner in the bottom of the 12th. But screw Melky, the real heroics came from the Royals’ bullpen once again: six innings of shutout ball.

Marlins 3, Nationals 2: The Feesh win it with a Donnie Murphy bases-loaded single in the 10th. The runner who scored — All-Star Omar Infante — reached base when Jayson Werth dropped a pop fly in right.  The Marlins had a bunch of chances to put it away before then, but until Murphy’s hit they were 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position. So, no, it wasn’t an altogether pretty night of baseball in Miami.

Reds 8, Astros 2: The Reds keep rolling, extending their record to 4-0, which is their best start since the wire-to-wire Reds of 1990 began the year winning their first eight. This one was just about over as soon as it began, when J.A. Happ walked the ballpark. His actual quote after the game: “They definitely took some quality pitches.” Yeah, well, that’s just your opinion, man.

Cubs 6, Diamondbacks 5: There are still dead-enders who think pitcher wins matter. They never explain how games like this fit into the calculus. Cubs reliever James Russell came into a bases-loaded jam in the seventh. He struck out Russell Branyan and then gave up a two-run single to Willie Bloomquist of all people, blowing the Cubs’ lead. Chicago took the lead back in the bottom of the inning, however, and Mike Quade sent Russell out for the eighth allowing him to vulture the win. James Russell just knows how to win, baby!

Yankees star Judge hits 61st home run, ties Maris’ AL record

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TORONTO — Aaron Judge tied Roger Maris’ American League record of 61 home runs in a season, hitting a tiebreaking, two-run drive for the New York Yankees in the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night.

The 30-year-old slugger drove a 94.5 mph belt-high sinker with a full-count from left-hander Tim Mayza over the left-field fence at Rogers Centre. The 117.4 mph drive took just 3.8 seconds to land 394 feet from the plate, and it put the Yankees ahead 5-3.

Judge watched the ball clank off the front of the stands, just below two fans who reached over a railing and tried for a catch. He pumped an arm just before reaching first and exchanged a slap with coach Travis Chapman.

The ball dropped into Toronto’s bullpen and was picked up by Blue Jays bullpen coach Matt Buschmann, who turned it over to the Yankees.

Judge’s mother and Roger Maris Jr. rose and hugged from front-row seats. He appeared to point toward them after rounding second base, then was congratulated by the entire Yankees team, who gave him hugs after he crossed the plate.

Judge moved past the 60 home runs Babe Ruth hit in 1927, which had stood as the major league mark until Maris broke it in 1961. All three stars reached those huge numbers playing for the Yankees.

Barry Bonds holds the big league record of 73 for the San Francisco Giants in 2001.

Judge had gone seven games without a home run – his longest drought this season was nine in mid-August. This was the Yankees’ 155th game of the season, leaving them seven more in the regular season.

The home run came in the fourth plate appearance of the night for Judge, ending a streak of 34 plate appearances without a home run.

Judge is hitting .313 with 130 RBIs, also the top totals in the AL. He has a chance to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012.

Maris hit No. 61 for the Yankees on Oct. 1, 1961, against Boston Red Sox pitcher Tracy Stallard.

Maris’ mark has been exceeded six times, but all have been tainted by the stench of steroids. Mark McGwire hit 70 home runs for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1998 and 65 the following year, and Bonds topped him. Sammy Sosa had 66, 65 and 63 during a four-season span starting in 1998.

McGwire admitted using banned steroids, while Bonds and Sosa denied knowingly using performing-enhancing drugs. Major League Baseball started testing with penalties for PEDs in 2004, and some fans – perhaps many – until now have considered Maris the holder of the “clean” record.

Among the tallest batters in major league history, the 6-foot-7 Judge burst on the scene on Aug. 13, 2016, homering off the railing above Yankee Stadium’s center-field sports bar and into the netting above Monument Park. He followed Tyler Austin to the plate and they become the first teammates to homer in their first major league at-bats in the same game.

Judge hit 52 homers with 114 RBIs the following year and was a unanimous winner of the AL Rookie of the Year award. Injuries limited him during the following three seasons, and he rebounded to hit 39 homers with 98 RBIs in 2021.

As he approached his last season before free agent eligibility, Judge on opening day turned down the Yankees’ offer of an eight-year contract worth from $230.5 million to $234.5 million. The proposal included an average of $30.5 million annually from 2023-29, with his salary this year to be either the $17 million offered by the team in arbitration or the $21 million requested by the player.

An agreement was reached in June on a $19 million, one-year deal, and Judge heads into this offseason likely to get a contract from the Yankees or another team for $300 million or more, perhaps topping $400 million.

Judge hit six homers in April, 12 in May and 11 in June. He earned his fourth All-Star selection and entered the break with 33 homers. He had 13 homers in July and dropped to nine in August, when injuries left him less protected in the batting order and pitchers walked him 25 times.

He became just the fifth player to hold a share of the AL season record. Nap Lajoie hit 14 in the AL’s first season as a major league in 1901, and Philadelphia Athletics teammate Socks Seabold had 16 the next year, a mark that stood until Babe Ruth hit 29 in 1919. Ruth set the record four times in all, with 54 in 1920, 59 in 1921 and 60 in 1927, a mark that stood until Maris’ 61 in 1961.

Maris was at 35 in July 1961 during the first season each team’s schedule increased from 154 games to 162, and baseball Commissioner Ford Frick ruled if anyone topped Ruth in more than 154 games “there would have to be some distinctive mark in the record books to show that Babe Ruth’s record was set under a 154-game schedule.”

That “distinctive mark” became known as an “asterisk” and it remained until Sept. 4, 1991, when a committee on statistical accuracy chaired by Commissioner Fay Vincent voted unanimously to recognize Maris as the record holder.