And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Braves 2, Mets 1: A three-hour and fifty-two minute rain delay? Really? Despite that, Dillon Gee shut the Braves out through eight and a third and drove in the Mets’ only run. And despite that he gave up a walkoff two-run homer to Freddie Freeman just before 1:30 AM. Now they play a day-night doubleheader. Expect many yawns.

Tigers 5, Orioles 1: Max Scherzer is now 10-0 as he struck out ten Orioles in six innings of work. The biggest coming against Chris Davis with the bases loaded in the top of the fifth and home plate umpire Tim Timmons apparently trying to make a point about the randomness of nature and strike zones. Blew a couple of 96-97 m.p.h. fastballs by the AL home run leader.

Blue Jays 2, Rockies 0: Josh Johnson tossed seven and a third five-hit shutout innings fanning 10 and the Jays won their sixth straight. A week ago Monday they were at their nadir, 12 games back in the AL East. They’re not close now — 8.5 back — but that’s a decent gain in a short amount of time. Worth watching.

Cardinals 5, Cubs 4: Yadier Molina had two hits including a two-run double to raise his average to .355, which is nutso. Shelby Miller threw five shutout innings and then left with leg cramps. Bananas, Shelby. Eat more bananas. Trust me on this one.

Royals 2, Indians 1: The Royals get to .500 and move into second place, taking their 11th win in 13 games. Victory here came when the go-ahead run scored from third base on a wild pitch by reliever Matt Albers in the ninth.

Phillies 5, Nationals 4: Jonathan Papelbon vultures a win, blowing his first save of the season but giving up a two-out, two-strike homer to Chad Tracy, then but notching the win when Domonic Brown hit a two-out walkoff single in the bottom of the ninth. Off Fernando Abad, because one cannot use a closer in a tie game on the road, even if one is Davey Johnson, apparently.

Reds 4, Pirates 1: Homers from Zach Cozart, Todd Frazier, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce. Bruce has three homers in his last five games. The Reds stay a game and a half ahead of Pittsburgh for second place. They are off to their best start in 18 years.

Rangers 8, Athletics 7: Texas breaks its six-game hitting streak behind two Nelson Cruz homers and five and a third one-run innings from the bullpen following Nick Tepesch’s poor start. The AP gamer frames this as the Rangers responding to Ron Washington’s pep talk during a closed-door meeting on Sunday. If closed-door meetings worked that way managers would have them every day, yes?

Marlins 3, Diamondbacks 2: Giancarlo Stanton vs. Paul Goldschmidt. Each accounted for all of his team’s runs. Goldschmidt’s came on a solo homer and an RBI singleStanton’s, however, game on two homers which drove in three. Stanton’s second homer was the 100th of his career. The Marlins had three hits total.

White Sox 4, Astros 2: Chicago avoids a sweep in this wraparound series. All the Sox’ runs came in the sixth, topped with a Dayan Viciedo bases-loaded triple.

Angels 11, Mariners 3: Albert Pujols and Alberto Callaspo each had four hits and Josh Hamilton had a two-run homer. They rattled off 21 hits in all, their most in four years. Just like they drew it up, huh?

Padres 5, Giants 3: Seven wins in a row for the Pads, this one coming in 13 innings, with the tie-breaking run coming on an Andrew Cashner pinch-hit bunt. The Giants thought they had this one won in the 12th when Juan Perez drove one to the warning track but Will Venable made a fantastic diving catch.

Justin Verlander laughed at after saying Astros were “technologically and analytically advanced”

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Justin Verlander was at the annual Baseball Writers Association of America banquet last night, on hand to accept the 2019 Cy Young Award. Normally such things are pretty routine events, but nothing is routine with the Houston Astros these days.

During his acceptance speech, Verlander made some comments about the Astros’ “technological and analytical advancements.” The comments were greeted by some laughter in the room as well as some groans. At least one person on hand claimed that other players present were visibly angry.

It’s hard to tell the context of it all without a full video — maybe Verlander meant it as a joke, maybe the reactions were more varied than is being described — but here’s how reporters on hand for it last night are describing it:

If it was a joke it was ill-timed, as not many around the game think the sign-stealing stuff is funny at the moment. Especially in light of the fact that, despite having several opportunities to do so, Astros players have failed to show any accountability for their cheating.

And yes, that includes former Astros Dallas Keuchel, who was praised for “apologizing” at a White Sox fan event on Friday, but whose “apology” was couched in a lot of deflection and excuse-making about how it was just something that was done at the time and about how technology was to blame. Keuchel also tried to minimize it, saying that the Astros didn’t do it all the time. Which is rich given that the most prominent video evidence of their trash can-banging scheme came from a blowout Astros win in a meaningless August game against a losing team. If they were doing it in that situation, please, do not tell me they weren’t doing it when games really mattered.

Anyway, I’d like to think Verlander was just trying to take a stab at a joke here, because Verlander is the wrong guy to be sending to be sending any kind of messages diminishing the cheating given that he has a pretty solid track record of holding other players’ feet to the fire when they get busted.

For example, here he was in 2018 after Robinson Canó got busted for PEDs:

Of course, consistency can be a problem for Verlander when his teammates are on the ones who are on the hook. Here was his response to Tigers infielder Jhonny Peralta being suspended in the wake of the Biogenesis scandal:

“Everybody makes mistakes. He’s my brother. We fight and bleed and sweat together on the baseball field. If my brother makes a mistake, especially if he owns up to it and serves his time, I don’t see how you can hold a grudge or anything like that. “It’s one thing to step up and be a man and own up to his mistake.”

Verlander, it should also be noted, was very outspoken about teams engaging in advanced sign-stealing schemes once upon a time. here he was in 2017, while still with the Tigers, talking about such things in a June 2017 interview with MLive.com.

“We don’t have somebody, but I’m sure teams have a person that can break down signals and codes and they’ll have the signs before you even get out there on the mound.  It’s not about gamesmanship anymore. It used to be, ‘Hey, if you can get my signs, good for you.’ In the past, if a guy on second (base) was able to decipher it on a few pitches, I guess that was kind of part of the game. I think it’s a different level now. It’s not good.”

Which makes me wonder how he felt when he landed on the Astros two months later and realized they had a sophisticated cheating operation underway. If the feelings were mixed, he was able to bury the part of them which had a problem with it, because he’s said jack about it since this all blew up in November. And, of course, has happily accepted the accolades and the hardware he he has received since joining Houston, some of which was no doubt acquired by virtue of a little extra, ill-gotten run support.

Anyway, wake me up when someone — anyone — associated with the Astros shows some genuine accountability about this.