And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Angels 11, Red Sox 0: Not the best 22 hours or so for the Red Sox. After Wednesday night’s marathon they come in bleary-eyed and get utterly shellacked by the Halos. Eight runs on ten hits in four innings for John Lackey who, to be honest, should have been the best rested of all of the Red Sox given that he was probably sent home early the night before.  Speaking of rest: I almost wonder if the road team has an advantage bouncing back for a day game 11 hours after the night game ended. Since they don’t have a drive and are staying at an in-town hotel instead of their suburban mansions — and since they don’t have family with them who they want to see in the morning — I’m guessing it’s a shorter time from the ballpark to head-on-the pillow for the visitors, and I bet they got more sleep.

Tigers 6, Yankees 3: Know what I really don’t want to hear much more of? “What will they do about Derek Jeter” talk. Because here’s what they can do: nothing. They give him a day off here and there and each time Eduardo Nunez comes in and throws the ball all over the place. I guess he hits a little, but the fact is that Jeter doesn’t have an heir at short. He’s not getting moved any time soon. The talk about moving him up and down the lineup seems like deck chairs on the Titanic stuff. Eduardo Nunez. Ick.  Three out of four for the Tigers who, at times anyway, look like the only team who even remotely has it in them to make a run at Cleveland. Meanwhile, the Yankees’ lead over Tampa Bay is down to one game.

Reds 10, Astros 4: Homer Bailey returns from the DL and looks good: six innings, four hits, a run and seven strikeouts. Jay Bruce is heating up too (3 for 4, HR 3 runs).

Cardinals 6, Marlins 3: It’s not often you see Josh Johnson get beat up, but the Cardinals did it. Four runs batted in for Lance Berkman, including three on a tie-breaking home run in the eighth. Colby Rasmus, Albert Pujols and Matt Holliday all had nice days too.  Those four in the middle of the lineup can do some damage.

Indians 4, Athletics 3: Oakland had a ton of chances here, stranding runners in scoring position in extra innings twice and leaving a bunch of other guys on base.  The Indians, however, got the hits when it mattered with 12th inning RBI singles from Jack Hannahan and Lou Marson.  The Tribe is 21-9, matching their best start in franchise history. They’ve done that a few times, actually. One notable time: 1948. Which, if you’re an Indians fan, should mean something to you.

Mets 5, Giants 2: Mike Pelfrey helps the Mets avoid a sweep, allowing one earned run (and another unearned) on four hits in seven and two-thirds. Don’t get too excited, though, Mets fans. This was a very getaway day lineup for the Giants. Oh, and this is fun: K-Rod allowed three baserunners but none scored. He’s been doing a lot of that recently, giving him a strange looking 1.35 ERA but a 1.88 WHIP.

Royals 9, Orioles 1: Melky Cabrera went 3 for 4 with 4 RBI and a walk. Bruce Chen allowed one run on five hits over seven. And most significantly of all: the Royals called up Eric Hosmer after the game.

Rays 3, Blues Jays 1: David Price was rough stuff, striking out ten in eight innings. Johnny Damon got his 2,600th career hit.

Braves 2, Brewers 1: Brandon Beachy continues to impress (6 IP, 0 ER, 9K) as he makes homers from Martin Prado and Eric Hinske hold up.

Phillies 7, Nationals 3: Philly jumped out to a 6-0 lead. Yeah, I think that was enough for Roy Halladay, who struck out 10 in seven innings.

Mariners 3, Rangers 1: Justin Smoak’s hot streak continues with a home run against his former club. Since coming back to the team after the death of his father he is batting .353 with three homers, four doubles and 13 RBI.  The Mariners are 7-2 during that stretch.

Diamondbacks 3, Rockies 2: Down 2-0 in the bottom of the ninth, Arizona rallied for two runs off Huston Street. In the bottom of the 11th Justin Upton singled home Chris Young. The Diamondbacks finish a pretty respectable homestand in which they took two of three from the Rockies and Phillies and split four with the Cubs.

There was another miscommunication between the Phillies and Pat Neshek

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Back in June 2017, then-manager of the Phillies Pete Mackanin and reliever Pat Neshek had some miscommunication. In a series against the Cardinals, Neshek worked a five-pitch eighth inning and it was believed he would come back out for the ninth inning, but he never did. Mackanin said Neshek said he didn’t want to pitch another inning. Neshek said he was never asked. There was also some miscommunication the game prior. Neshek thought he had the day off; Mackanin said Neshek said he wasn’t available to pitch.

Mackanin is no longer the Phillies’ manager, but the miscommunication between Neshek and the team apparently persist. Neshek was notably absent during the Phillies’ hard-fought 5-4 win over the Cubs on Monday night. The game featured a struggling Seranthony Domínguez pitching two innings, yielding three crucial runs in his second inning of work.

Manager Gabe Kapler called the bullpen and instructed Neshek to begin warming up to prepare to face Albert Almora, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Kapler rang the bullpen after Domínguez walked Jason Heyward, who batted ahead of Almora. Neshek wasn’t warmed up yet. Domínguez was able to retire Almora on a sacrifice bunt, which was reviewed and gave Neshek some extra time to get ready. He was ready for the next batter, Daniel Descalso, but at this point Kapler no longer wanted to bring Neshek into the game. Descalso lined a triple to left-center field, scoring two runs and came home himself when shortstop Jean Segura‘s throw caromed off of his foot out of play.

Recounting the situation, Neshek said, “I got on the mound and threw two pitches. [Kapler] said, ‘Is he ready?’ And I said, ‘No. I’m not ready yet. I’ve thrown two pitches.” Neshek was asked how long it takes him to get ready. The veteran said, “A minute. Not 20 seconds. I’m, like, the best in the league at getting ready. My whole career has been coming in like that.”

The Phillies were able to eke out a 5-4 win. Had they lost the game, Kapler and Neshek would likely have been under the microscope for the awkward situation leading to a crushing defeat. Kapler drew plenty of criticism over his bullpen management last year in his rookie managerial season. That included bringing in lefty reliever Hoby Milner into a game in which he hadn’t yet warmed up.

Maybe it’s just a coincidence that the manager who struggled with bullpen management last year nearly mucked up a win last night, and maybe it’s just a coincidence that a reliever who’s had prior issues with communication had another communication mix-up. Maybe it’s not. It’s worth noting that the Phillies needed three innings from the bullpen to protect a 2-1 lead over the Cubs on Tuesday. Kapler called on rookie Edgar Garcia for two outs, lefty José Álvarez for four, and then brought in Juan Nicasio to close things out in the ninth. No Neshek, even as Nicasio got into trouble. Nicasio would surrender the tying and go-ahead runs, resulting in a deflating 3-2 loss.