And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Red Sox 9, Yankees 5: I was watching this game until Curt Schilling and Nomar Garciaparra started talking about intangibles and how so-and-so has them “off the charts.” Which, given that they’re INTANGIBLE, what freaking chart could possibly measure them?  And another thing: Schilling talked about the game changing, saying that Dustin Pedroia never would have been drafter 15, 25 years ago. Of course he wouldn’t have! Baseball teams HATED good players back then and they never, ever, ever drafted short middle infielders. They were all talent-free giants! That was the style at the time! So yeah, this is why I didn’t watch the rest of the game. Rage issues. Sorry. Red Sox won. Whoop-dee-doo.

Rays 4, Rangers 1: Joe Maddon didn’t let James Shields get the complete game — he was at 110 pitches after eight — but I got this feeling that he coulda pulled it off. Fantastic season for Shields.

Giants 4, Cubs 0: I guess the Giants will always have enough offense if their pitchers shut out the other team. Madison Bumgarner allowed two hits and struck out 11 in eight innings.

Twins 7, White Sox 6: “All it takes is one bad inning to reduce the sanest man alive to lunacy. That’s how far the world is from where I am. Just one bad inning. You had a bad inning once. Am I right? I know I am. I can tell. You had a bad inning and everything changed.” — Jake Peavy.

Indians 4, Athletics 3: Jack Hannahan hit an RBI single with one out in the 16th inning to win it. Cleveland is back in second place, having won three in a row.

Dodgers 4, Padres 2: A two-run homer for Rod Barajas helps the Dodgers to their eighth win in nine games. Insane: the Dodgers could theoretically finish at .500. Didn’t see that coming a couple of months ago.

Tigers 5, Royals 4: A three-run eighth inning brought the Tigers back from behind. Austin Jackson went 4 for 4 and scored three times.

Braves 3, Nationals 1: Chipper Jones hit his 450th career home run.  Derek Lowe hit his first career home run, however, ensuring that Chipper gained no additional ground. Craig Kimbrel breaks the rookie saves record.

Blue Jays 13, Orioles 0: Damn.  The four homers were bad, but getting shut the hell out for eight innings by Henderson Alvarez just adds insult to, well, insult. For the third or fourth time this year I must write that this is a low point for the Orioles. This time I really do think I mean it.

Mets 3, Marlins 2: Jason Bay had three hits, including an RBI single that tied the game. He’s just excited about all of that center field talk, I’m sure.

Phillies 3, Reds 0: Cliff Lee shut out the Reds for eight and two-thirds but loaded the bases in the ninth. Three Ryan Madson pitchers later, the game was over.  Dude totally has a closer’s mentality. Amirite?

Astros 2, Pirates 0: Seven shutout innings for J.A. Happ? Sure. Why not?

Diamondbacks 4, Rockies 2: Nine straight for Arizona. Miguel Montero was 2 for 4 with a homer and three driven in.

Cardinals 8, Brewers 3: Jake Westbrook hit his first career homer — a grand slam no less — to help the Cards take their second straight from division-leading Milwaukee. Solo shots from Rafael Furcal and Albert Pujols too.  This isn’t yet critical for Milwaukee — they could drop two of three in both this series and next week’s series and will still have only lost two games’ ground on the Cards — but they really don’t need to be swept by them.

Mariners 2, Angels 1: A great pitching matchup between Felix Hernandez and Dan Haren that makes me wish I could stay up late and sleep in the next morning in order to catch it. But alas, such is not my lot nor my geography in life. Hernandez goes the distance allowing one run on five hits while striking out nine.

Biden praises Braves’ ‘unstoppable, joyful run’ to 2021 win

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said the Atlanta Braves will be “forever known as the upset kings of October” for their improbable 2021 World Series win, as he welcomed the team to the White House for a victory celebration.

Biden called the Braves’ drive an “unstoppable, joyful run.” The team got its White House visit in with just over a week left before the 2022 regular season wraps up and the Major League Baseball playoffs begin again. The Braves trail the New York Mets by 1.5 games in the National League East but have clinched a wildcard spot for the MLB playoffs that begin Oct. 7. Chief Executive Officer Terry McGuirk said he hoped they’d be back to the White House again soon.

In August 2021, the Braves were a mess, playing barely at .500. But then they started winning. And they kept it up, taking the World Series in six games over the Houston Astros.

Biden called their performance of “history’s greatest turnarounds.”

“This team has literally been part of American history for over 150 years,” said Biden. “But none of it came easy … people counting you out. Heck, I know something about being counted out.”

Players lined up on risers behind Biden, grinning and waving to the crowd, but the player most discussed was one who hasn’t been on the team in nearly 50 years and who died last year: Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.

Hammerin’ Hank was the home run king for 33 years, dethroning Babe Ruth with a shot to left field on April 8, 1974. He was one of the most famous players for Atlanta and in baseball history, a clear-eyed chronicler of the hardships thrown his way – from the poverty and segregation of his Alabama youth to the racist threats he faced during his pursuit of one of America’s most hallowed records. He died in January at 86.

“This is team is defined by the courage of Hank Aaron,” Biden said.

McGuirk said Aaron, who held front office positions with the team and was one of Major League Baseball’s few Black executives, was watching over them.

“He’d have been there every step of the way with us if he was here,” McGuirk added.

The president often honors major league and some college sports champions with a White House ceremony, typically a nonpartisan affair in which the commander in chief pays tribute to the champs’ prowess, poses for photos and comes away with a team jersey.

Those visits were highly charged in the previous administration. Many athletes took issue with President Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric on policing, immigration and more. Trump, for his part, didn’t take kindly to criticism from athletes or their on-field expressions of political opinions.

Under Biden, the tradition appears to be back. He’s hosted the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks and Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the White House. On Monday he joked about first lady Jill Biden’s Philadelphia allegiances.

“Like every Philly fan, she’s convinced she knows more about everything in sports than anybody else,” he said. He added that he couldn’t be too nice to the Atlanta team because it had just beaten the Phillies the previous night in extra innings.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was later questioned about the team’s name, particularly as other professional sports teams have moved away from names – like the Cleveland Indians, now the Guardians, and the Washington Redskins, now the Commanders – following years of complaints from Native American groups over the images and symbols.

She said it was important for the country to have the conversation. “And Native American and Indigenous voices – they should be at the center of this conversation,” she said.

Biden supported MLB’s decision to pull the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to protest Georgia’s sweeping new voting law, which critics contend is too restrictive.