And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Miss me? No? Ah, well. Baseball stops for no one man. Back to the grind then:

Brewers 2, Pirates 1: The walkoff sac fly for Nyjer Morgan. Of course all guys who hit sac flies walk off the field, so whatever. Charlie Morton’s scoreless innings streak was snapped at 24. In other news, Charlie Morton had a sizable scoreless innings streak. The things you miss when you’re sitting and staring at a lake for a week.

Giants 5, Marlins 2: Two homers for Brandon Belt, so I assume he’ll be sent down to AAA now. Ryan Vogelsong ups his record to 10-2. He retired 17 straight Marlins at one point. He also got hit by a pitch and got real mad. Marlins’ manager Jack McKeon actually said this: “Guys get carried away. Vogel … Volkswagen … whatever his name is — he’s lucky he didn’t have to face Drysdale or Gibson or one of those guys. You would get a shave and a haircut real quick.”  And McKeon is basically the only guy who could get away with saying that kind of thing.

Cubs 6, Braves 5: Atlanta blows a four-run lead and Dan Uggla’s hitting streak ends at 33. Fun with line scores: Arodys Vizcaino struck out three in two-thirds of an inning. Wild pitches are the damndest things.

Dodgers 7, Astros 0: The Astros got swept. A shame too. Before the weekend began there was still a technical chance that they could finish above .500. So it goes.

Orioles 8, Tigers 5: Baltimore led 8-1 heading into the ninth and allowed the Tigers to rally for four. I’m guessing fans of most teams wouldn’t have gotten too worried, even if such events upset them. But there’s a certain brand of O’s fan — of whom I meet more and more these days — who probably figured their guys could woof this one away. Especially given that they blew a five-run lead on Saturday.

Mariners 5, Red Sox 3: The M’s take two of three from the Bosox as Charlie Furbush gave up one run over seven innings to the best offense around.

White Sox 6, Royals 2: A three-run homer for Brent Lillibridge pulls the Sox to .500 and to within four games of the Tigers.

Blue Jays 5, Angels 4: A walkoff single in the 10th for Edwin Encarnacion. And unlike Nyjer Morgan’s, this really was a walkoff. Because normally if you walk off the field right after hitting a single, they can tag you out or call you out for being out of the baseline or something. You can look it up.

Diamondbacks 5, Mets 3: A homer for Justin Upton. A couple of doubles for Paul Goldschmidt. A broken fibula for Jason Marquis. Two out of three ain’t bad. Six straight wins for the Dbacks.

Rangers 7, Athletics 6: The A’s have lost eight in a row to Texas. They really should stop scheduling those guys. Everyone complains when you beat up on some small school in August, but you rarely get penalized for it. Oh, sorry. I live in the college football belt, and sometimes this kind of talks just starts filtering in this time of year.

Padres 7, Reds 3: Dontrelle Willis had to leave early with forearm tightness. After the game he said “”This is the first time my arm felt like this. At this point in my career, it’s kind of shocking.”  More shocking: that Willis can talk about his career having any sense of normalcy or predictability to it whatsoever.

Cardinals 6, Rockies 2: With the Rockies down by only two, Octavio Dotel struck out Troy Tulowitzki and Todd Helton with the bases loaded in the seventh inning. Pretty clutch, eh? Dotel? Who knew? Long, long homer for Albert Pujols who now, despite such a poor start, leads the NL in bombs.

Nationals vs. Phillies: POSTPONED: I don’t begrudge the fact that, in large part, the ATH comments have been turned into a Phillies fan forum this year. You guys are passionate and committed and your team is doing well so it’s totally understandable. I must say, though, I am curious to see how you guys use a rainout as the basis to dominate the comments as usual.

Rays vs. Yankees: POSTPONED: See, if Yankee Stadium had a dome like they have down in St. Petersburg, this game would have been played. Why can’t anyone learn from the Rays’ example?

Twins v. Indians: POSTPONED: All three games that were postponed involved sure-thing playoff teams or potential playoff teams. I’m getting excited though, because we’re very close to the time of year when they cancel games and don’t bother to reschedule them in the event they involve a couple of dead-enders.

Texas Rangers fire manager Jeff Banister

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The Texas Rangers just announced that they have fired Jeff Banister as the team’s manager. Bench coach Don Wakamatsu has been named interim manager for the remainder of 2018 season.

Banister was in the last year of his contract with the club, but there was an option for 2019. Rangers brass, obviously, has decided to go in a different direction following what will be the club’s worst finish in Banister’s tenure. At the moment the Rangers are 64-88 and are assured of last place in the AL West.

Banister was hired before the 2015 season and led the Rangers to first place finishes in each of his first two seasons, willing the Manager of the Year Award in 2015. The club fell to a disappointing third place and a 78-84 record last season, however and, after an offseason that neither helped the Rangers rebuild OR reload, this season the descent has continued.

Injuries and under achievement has been the order of the day for the past two years and, with the career of Adrian Beltre nearing its end and the Rangers having been passed up by the Astros as the class of the division, a full rebuild is in the club’s future. Even if that was not the case, however, recently there have been some reports about Banister having trouble communicating with his players, suggesting that, perhaps, the Rangers would move on from him even if the results on the field had been better.

Banister ends his reign as the Rangers’ skipper with a record of 325-313.