And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Twins 3, Indians 0: In only his second major league start Andrew Albers spins a two-hit shutout on a mere 102 pitches. This goes with his eight shutout innings in his first start. As a person who has been writing about baseball professionally for nearly four years, I can tell you with absolute certainty and authority that that’s pretty spiffy.

Phillies 5, Braves 1: The good: Cole Hamels went the distance allowing only one run on six hits and striking out nine and, in the process, Charlie Manual won his 1,000th career game. The awful: a fan died after falling from the upper deck at Turner Field during the rain delay prior to the game’s start.

Diamondbacks 7, Orioles 6: The O’s held the lead from the first inning through the top of the seventh, lost it in the bottom of the seventh, tied it in the top of the eighth, lost the lead again in the bottom of the eighth, tied it in the top of the ninth and then lost the game on a walkoff homer from Adam Eaton that landed in that pool they have in the outfield at Chase Field. Whew.

Athletics 5, Blue Jays 1: This game ended yesterday before I even knew it was on and games had started. Alberto Callaspo had the go-ahead hit in the ninth. That’s two days in a row he played the hero for Oakland, and I bet it’s before even most people knew he was on the A’s.

Reds 2, Cubs 0: Mat Latos beat Travis Wood in a pitchers duel, throwing eight shutout innings. Brandon Phillips’ two-run homer was the only violence done to baseballs in this contest.

Rangers 2, Astros 1: Yu Darvish was perfect into the sixth and had a no-hitter into the eighth before Carlos Corporan turned on a 93 m.p.h. fastball and sent it over the right field wall. That was it, though, as Darvish struck out 15. He’s 4-1 with a 1.31 ERA and 50 strikeouts in five starts since returning from the disabled list.

Rockies 14, Padres 2: Hey, some offense. Someone named D.J. LeMahieu — who I was pretty sure was a winger for the Canucks —  had three hits, including a homer, a double and two RBIs. fourteen runs is a season high for the Rockies.

Yankees 2, Angels 1: Hiroki Kuroda is having a tremendous season but no one is really talking about it. Eight shutout innings here gives him his 11th win and lowers his ERA to 2.33.

White Sox 6, Tigers 2: Chris Sale went the distance, allowing two runs while scattering nine hits. Josh Phegley had a couple of RBI singles. Miguel Cabrera hit another homer.

Dodgers 4, Mets 2: L.A. wins its sixth in a row. Since June 22 — the date everyone has decided is the turnaround date for this Dodgers season — they have gone 38-8, which is their best stretch of 46 games since the team was called the Brooklyn Superbas in 1899. It’s the best stretch of 46 games since Oakland went 38-8 in 2001.

Royals 6, Marlins 2: Indians lose, Tigers lose, the Royals keep humming along. They’re now in second place, slipping ahead of Cleveland, 6.5 back of Detroit. I know it’s crazy to even think it, but the Royals — thanks to a really dumb schedule this year — still have 11 head-to-head games against the Tigers. For now they’re four out of the wild card.

Bonds, Clemens left out of Hall again; McGriff elected

John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO – Moments after Fred McGriff was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, almost two decades after his final game, he got the question.

Asked if Barry Bonds belonged in Cooperstown, a smiling McGriff responded: “Honestly, right now, I’m going to just enjoy this evening.”

A Hall of Fame committee delivered its answer Sunday, passing over Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling while handing McGriff the biggest honor of his impressive big league career.

The lanky first baseman, nicknamed the “Crime Dog,” hit .284 with 493 homers and 1,550 RBIs over 19 seasons with six major league teams. The five-time All-Star helped Atlanta win the 1995 World Series.

McGriff got 169 votes (39.8%) in his final year on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot in 2019. Now, he will be inducted into Cooperstown on July 23, along with anyone chosen in the writers’ vote, announced Jan. 24.

“It’s all good. It’s been well worth the wait,” said McGriff, who played his last big league game in 2004.

It was the first time that Bonds, Clemens and Schilling had faced a Hall committee since their 10th and final appearances on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot. Bonds and Clemens have been accused of using performance-enhancing drugs, and support for Schilling dropped after he made hateful remarks toward Muslims, transgender people, reporters and others.

While the 59-year-old McGriff received unanimous support from the 16 members of the contemporary baseball era committee – comprised of Hall members, executives and writers – Schilling got seven votes, and Bonds and Clemens each received fewer than four.

The makeup of the committee likely will change over the years, but the vote was another indication that Bonds and Clemens might never make it to the Hall.

This year’s contemporary era panel included Greg Maddux, who played with McGriff on the Braves, along with Paul Beeston, who was an executive with Toronto when McGriff made his big league debut with the Blue Jays in 1986.

Another ex-Brave, Chipper Jones, was expected to be part of the committee, but he tested positive for COVID-19 and was replaced by Arizona Diamondbacks President Derrick Hall.

The contemporary era committee considers candidates whose careers were primarily from 1980 on. A player needs 75% to be elected.

“It’s tough deciding on who to vote for and who not to vote for and so forth,” McGriff said. “So it’s a great honor to be unanimously voted in.”

In addition to all his big hits and memorable plays, one of McGriff’s enduring legacies is his connection to a baseball skills video from youth coach Tom Emanski. The slugger appeared in a commercial for the product that aired regularly during the late 1990s and early 2000s – wearing a blue Baseball World shirt and hat.

McGriff said he has never seen the video.

“Come Cooperstown, I’ve got to wear my blue hat,” a grinning McGriff said. “My Tom Emanski hat in Cooperstown. See that video is going to make a revival now, it’s going to come back.”

Hall of Famers Jack Morris, Ryne Sandberg, Lee Smith, Frank Thomas and Alan Trammell also served on this year’s committee, which met in San Diego at baseball’s winter meetings.

Rafael Palmeiro, Albert Belle, Don Mattingly and Dale Murphy rounded out the eight-man ballot. Mattingly was next closest to election, with eight votes of 12 required. Murphy had six.

Bonds, Clemens and Schilling fell short in January in their final chances with the BBWAA. Bonds received 260 of 394 votes (66%), Clemens 257 (65.2%) and Schilling 231 (58.6%).

Palmeiro was dropped from the BBWAA ballot after receiving 25 votes (4.4%) in his fourth appearance in 2014, falling below the 5% minimum needed to stay on. His high was 72 votes (12.6%) in 2012.

Bonds has denied knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs, and Clemens maintains he never used PEDs. Palmeiro was suspended for 10 days in August 2005 following a positive test under the major league drug program.

A seven-time NL MVP, Bonds set the career home run record with 762 and the season record with 73 in 2001. A seven-time Cy Young Award winner, Clemens went 354-184 with a 3.12 ERA and 4,672 strikeouts, third behind Nolan Ryan (5,714) and Randy Johnson (4,875). Palmeiro had 3,020 hits and 568 homers.

Schilling fell 16 votes shy with 285 (71.1%) on the 2021 BBWAA ballot. The right-hander went 216-146 with a 3.46 ERA in 20 seasons, winning the World Series with Arizona in 2001 and Boston in 2004 and 2007.

Theo Epstein, who also served on the contemporary era committee, was the GM in Boston when the Red Sox acquired Schilling in a trade with the Diamondbacks in November 2003.

Players on Major League Baseball’s ineligible list cannot be considered, a rule that excludes Pete Rose.