And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

70 Comments

White Sox 3, Orioles 2: A walkoff homer for Adam Dunn won it, but seven shutout innings — with 11 strikeouts — from Jose Quintana helped make it possible.

Athletics 1, Cubs 0: Offense-lovers need not apply. Dan Straily allowed only one hit in seven shutout innings. Travis Wood had six shutout innings of his own. The only run of the game scored on a passed ball.

Rays 7, Astros 5: Yunel Escobar drove in three runs, including a tiebreaking double in the 11th. The Rays have won five of six.

Yankees 9, Twins 5: A trip to Target Field was just what the doctor ordered for the Yankees, who sweep the four-game series. Yankees hitters beat the tar out of Kyle Gibson, led by Vernon Wells’ three-RBI day.

Royals 10, Indians 7: The Tribe had a five-run lead in the sixth inning but they gagged it away in the bottom half of that inning when Lorenzo Cain hit a grand slam and George Kottaras hit a solo shot. The pen continued to bleed like a stuck pig as the Royals added five more in the seventh and eighth. Now Cleveland heads home to host the Tigers in a four game series which will maybe tell us if the Indians are going to, once again, hit the skids after a good first half.

Phillies 6, Pirates 4: Cole Hamels allowed one earned run in seven and a third and the bullpen — try as it did to blow it — held on and Hamels won his first game in a month. Gerrit Cole lost his first game ever. The Pirates dropped two of three to the Phillies.

Diamondbacks 5, Mets 4: Well that was pretty nuts. Game-tying homers in the 13th and 14th innings but still not enough for the Mets. Thanks to the extras and overall slow play this series was the longest four-game series played — in terms of actual game-time — in 24 years.

Red Sox 8, Padres 2: Sox batters rattled off 18 hits and the Padres lost their sixth in a row. Boston has won 12 of 14.

Nationals 8, Brewers 5: Wilson Ramos came back after 44 games on the DL and hit the go-ahead three-run homer in the seventh. That on top of a two-run single in the fifth. Welcome back, Wilson.

Marlins 4, Braves 3: Craig Kimbrel came into a 3-3 tie in the ninth, walked two of the first three batters he faced and the gave up an RBI single to pinch hitter Donovon Solano which proved to be the game-winner. Or loser, depending on your point of view.

Rockies 9, Dodgers 5: Michael Cuddyer’s great season continues as he hit a homer and drove in three. Carlos Gonzalez left the game with a strained back. He’s supposed to be OK.

Tigers 11, Blue Jays 1: No Miguel Cabrera? No Omar Infante? No problem. Justin Verlander tossed seven shutout innings and the Tigers bats, led by Austin Jackson’s 4 for 5, 3 RBI night, had no problem beating up on Esmil Rogers and the rest of the Jays staff.

Rangers 5, Mariners 4: Two solo homers for Adrian Beltre. The second one kicked off a four-run seventh inning which brought Texas back from behind.

Angels 6, Cardinals 5: Josh Hamilton hit a tying two-run homer in the ninth and then Erick Aybar singled in the game-winner to complete Edward Mujica’s blown save as the Angels take two of three from St. Louis.

Giants vs. Reds: POSTPONED: The rain to the wind said, ‘You push and I’ll pelt.’ They so smote the garden bed That the flowers actually knelt, And lay lodged–though not dead. I know how the flowers felt.”

Report: Astros’ assistant GM yelled ‘Thank God we got Osuna!’ at female reporters

Mike Stobe/Getty Images
7 Comments

Last year, then-closer for the Blue Jays Roberto Osuna was arrested in Toronto on an assault charge. He allegedly assaulted the mother of his then three-year-old son. The charge was eventually withdrawn in exchange for a peace bond, but Major League Baseball still suspended Osuna for 75 games without pay.

Due to the off-the-field ugliness, the Astros were able to acquire Osuna on the relative cheap, sending Ken Giles, David Paulino, and Hector Perez to the Blue Jays. Osuna has been mostly great for the Astros since the trade, finishing the 2018 season with 12 saves, a 1.99 ERA, and a 19/3 K/BB ratio in 22 2/3 innings in his new uniform. This year, Osuna racked up an American League-high 38 saves with a 2.63 ERA and a 73/12 K/BB ratio in 65 innings.

With the Astros holding a 4-2 lead in the top of the ninth in ALCS Game 6 against the Yankees, manager A.J. Hinch called on Osuna to get the final three outs to send his team to the World Series. He ended up allowing a leadoff single to Gio Urshela, then a game-tying two-run home run to DJ LeMahieu. Nevertheless, the Astros won it in the bottom of the ninth thanks to José Altuve’s walk-off two-run homer off of Aroldis Chapman.

In the postgame celebration, Stephanie Apstein of Sports Illustrated reports that Astros assistant general manager Brandon Taubman yelled towards a group of three female reporters, “Thank god we got Osuna! I’m so … glad we got Osuna!” Taubman repeated the phrase half a dozen times. One of the reporters was wearing a purple domestic violence awareness bracelet.

The Astros declined to comment on the issue and did not make Taubman available for an interview. That shouldn’t come as a shock because the Astros have organizationally failed repeatedly to meaningfully address Osuna’s behavior. GM Jeff Luhnow released a poorly thought out statement last July about Osuna, claiming that the Astros’ due diligence was “unprecedented,” and citing that Osuna is “remorseful” and “willingly complied with all consequences,” despite pleading not guilty and not having had his day in court yet, thus no consequences. The Astros released another statement in August defending their belief that “Roberto deserved a second chance.”

Later that month, Osuna went after his critics, saying, “Everybody is judging me for things they don’t know. I don’t like that.” In the postseason, teammate Ryan Pressly defended Osuna from a heckler, telling the fan, “You can talk all the sh– you want. Just don’t bring that stuff up.”

The Astros also kicked out a fan who protested Osuna’s presence by holding up a sign displaying a domestic violence hotline number. After receiving plenty of criticism for that, the Astros decided to display flyers, featuring the National Domestic Violence Hotline number, in women’s restrooms at Minute Maid Park.

Taubman’s behavior is not the first strike for the Astros on this issue. Acquiring Osuna was strike one. Luhnow’s statement and the club’s subsequent statement were strikes two and three. Osuna’s backlash was strike four, Pressly’s defense of him was strike five, and the whole issue over the DV hotline sign was strike six. The Astros are in danger of having the side strike out on this issue.

It’s also worth mentioning that Luhnow worked for McKinsey and Company, a management consulting firm, before getting into baseball. McKinsey has been consulting for the Astros since 2017, The Athletic’s Evan Drellich reported in July. McKinsey has, ahem, a checkered past.

The Astros have clearly and intentionally thrown ethics to the side in order to run a baseball-related business. That they have repeatedly mishandled a very serious domestic violence issue within the sport shouldn’t come as a surprise, and it shouldn’t be surprising that the Astros are hoping the issue goes away with the World Series set to begin on Tuesday.

Update: The Astros released a statement. Via Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle:

The story posted by Sports Illustrated is misleading and completely irresponsible. An Astros player was being asked questions about a difficult outing. Our executive was supporting the player during a difficult time. His comments had everything to do about the game situation that just occurred and nothing else — they were also not directed towards any specific reporters. We are extremely disappointed in Sports Illustrated’s attempt to fabricate a story where one does not exist.

The Astros had an initial chance to respond to the story before publication and didn’t take Sports Illustrated up on it. They also didn’t deny that Taubman said what was reported. They’re disputing the context and the intended audience, but that doesn’t really make them look that much better. Perhaps an organization with a less spotty history would get the benefit of the doubt, the Astros certainly haven’t earned it.

Furthemore, Hunter Atkins of the Houston Chronicle and Hannah Keyser of Yahoo Sports both confirmed Apstein’s report. Atkins tweeted, “The Astros called this @stephapstein report misleading. It is not. I was there. Saw it. And I should’ve said something sooner.”