And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Braves 8, Nationals 1: That’s nine straight wins by the Braves over the Nats dating back to last season. Someone should ask Danny Espinosa if he’s impressed by the Braves yet. Tim Hudson notched his 200th career win. In pretty grand style, too: he homered and doubled in addition to pitching seven strong innings.

Indians 14, Phillies 2: Ryan Raburn hit two of the Indians’ seven homers as Cleveland obliterated Roy Halladay and three Philly relievers. Delmon Young came back for the Phillies and homered.

Marlins 2, Mets 1: A two-run rally in the bottom of the ninth with the winning run scoring on a wild pitch for the Marlins. The run before that came in the form of Chris Coghlan, who may very well have been out just before that when he overslid the third base bag. Viva The Human Element. The Mets have dropped six straight. The Marlins have won three in a row, two via walkoff.

Yankees 7, Astros 4: Three RBI singles from Travis Hafner and a bunch of small ball supported Hiroki Kuroda. Phil Humber uncorked four wild pitches. Note: the word “uncorked” is only used in reference to wild pitches, just a “ensuing” is used only in reference to kickoffs. I think that’s in the Chicago style guide.

Padres 13, Cubs 7: Quentin was 3 for 4 with a home run, two doubles and three driven in. The Padres have won five of six. Seven homers were hit in all.

Blue Jays 9, Red Sox 7: Man, that first Encarnacion shot was impressive. His second homer but the Jays ahead. Jon Lester, who had been so good so far, had a Number of the Beast line: six runs on six hits in six innings.

Brewers 12, Pirates 8: Rickie Weeks had a three run homer and five RBI. The Brewers have beat the Pirates nine straight times and are 46-7 against them in Miller Park. Milwaukee so thoroughly owns Pittsburgh at home that the Pirates are gonna have to ask permission to leave after today’s game.

Tigers 6, Twins 1: Cabrera and Fielder homered, Verlander was Verlander and the Tigers have won five straight. I have this feeling that they’re not gonna play that derp-around-until-September-before-taking-control-of-the-division game this year like they did last year.

Cardinals 2, Reds 1: The redbirds snap their three-game losing streak. Jaime Garcia tossed eight strong, Matt Holliday had a two-run jack.

Rangers 10, White Sox 6: Last time out Yu Darvish got a lot of offense behind him and I called him the recipient of the Run Support Award. That was somewhat misleading because he pitched extremely well that night and didn’t really need that support. Last night he sorta needed it, as he gave up four runs and was in a close one until the Rangers broke out for six in the sixth.

Giants 2, Diamondbacks 1: Pablo Sandoval with a two run homer in the ninth. Those two runs were the only ones San Francisco needed as Madison Bumgarner pitched seven shutout innings, besting Trevor Cahill on a pitchery night.

Royals 8, Rays 2: James Shields faces the Royals and scatters two runs and five hits over seven innings. Well, the runs weren’t scattered — they both came on a homer in the first — but that was about all the damage the Rays could do against him. The Royals were stymied by Alex Cobb until the sixth, when they broke through for four runs. By the way: anyone remember Stymie? Whatever happened to him anyway? Totally underrated.

Dodgers 6, Rockies 2: Hanley Ramirez comes back and homers. Hyun-Jin Ryu stuck out 12. Also: Psy was at Dodger Stadium for some reason. Which I liken to M.C. Hammer showing up at your dorm party in 1994. “Sure, we totally remember you, dude. Just … why?” Ryu gave his game-worn jersey to Psy after the game. You’ll probably be able to buy it from Psy in a year or two.

Athletics 10, Angels 6: Yikes the Angels stink.  Yoenis Cespedes drove in four. After the game he said:

“The reason I was so good was because when I got here, I drank (an energy drink),” said Cespedes, who doubled and tripled to pace Oakland’s 10-hit outburst. “I was ready for the game.”

But don’t listen to him. Stimulants players use to wake them up for a game are in no way performance-enhancers. When Mickey Mantle swallowed a handful of greenies after a long night, he was just allowing himself to play at his native ability.

Orioles 7, Mariners 2: Bandon Maurer surrendered four runs in the first and the rest was mere detail. Nate McLouth led off the game with a homer. He’s hitting close to .500 over his past 10 games and has scored 14 runs. Manny Machado has hit in nine straight.

Rays lose, clinching postseason berth for Athletics

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The Rays lost 4-1 to the Yankees on Monday night, which clinched a postseason berth for the Athletics just as they began their own game against the Mariners. For the 94-62 A’s, it’s their first postseason appearance since 2014 when they lost the AL Wild Card game to the Royals.

Major League Baseball celebrated the Athletics’ achievement by tweeting this fact: The A’s are the first team since 1988 to make the postseason with baseball’s lowest Opening Day payroll ($66 million).

Yay?

John J. Fisher, who has owned the A’s since 2005, has a net worth approaching $3 billion. The Athletics franchise is valued at over $1 billion. Yet the A’s have never had an Opening Day payroll at $90 million or above and have consistently been among the teams with the lowest payrolls. The cultural shift towards embracing analytics has allowed the A’s to get away with investing as little money as possible into the team. Moneyball helped change baseball’s zeitgeist such that many began to fetishize doing things on the cheap and now the league itself is embracing it.

What the fact MLB tweeted says is actually this: John J. Fisher was able to save a few bucks this year and the A’s still somehow made it to the postseason.

The Athletics’ success is due to a whole host of players, but particularly youngsters Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea, Daniel Mengden, Lou Trivino, among others. All are pre-arbitration aside from Manaea. When it comes time to pay them something approaching what they’re actually worth, will the A’s reward them for their contributions or will they do what they’ve always done and cut bait? After reaching the postseason in 2014, the A’s traded away Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Jeff Samardzija, and John Jaso. Each was a big influence on the club’s success. Athletics fans should be happy their favorite team has reached the postseason, but if the team’s history is any precedent, they shouldn’t get attached to any of the players. Is that really something Major League Baseball should be advocating?