And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Rangers 7, Rays 1: The Rangers finally snap the skid. Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus homered and drove in three runs each to pull Texas back into a tie with Tampa Bay at the top of the wild card standings.

Indians 5, Royals 3: Kansas City took a 3-0 lead into the sixth with the Indians being able to do little if anything against rookie Yordano Ventura. They were able to do much more after it was handed off to the normally-reliable K.C. pen, however, scoring five-unanswered runs. Not that the pen was used optimally here. At least one of the runs came when Ned Yost stuck with Ventura a bit too long. Others came when the Royals failed to match the leverage of the situation with the talent of the relievers available. Cleveland is a half game back in the wild card. Kansas City three and a half.

Orioles 3, Red Sox 2: The O’s committed a bunch of errors and Scott Feldman walked six dudes but they somehow figured out how to get to Koji Uehara. Chris Davis hit his 51st homer, giving him sole possession of the Orioles’ team record. The Orioles are two back. Despite the loss the Red Sox’ magic number for the AL East is now three thanks to the Rays loss.

Blue Jays 2, Yankees 0: Four straight losses for the fading Yankees as they were totally stymied by R.A. Dickey. Homers from Colby Rasmus and Rajai Davis were all the Jays got but all the Jays needed.

Cardinals 11, Rockies 4: The Cardinals break the first place tie in the NL Central by tattooing the Rockies. Four hits including a two-run homer for Matt Holliday, who also robbed Todd Helton of extra bases on a play in the field. It was 10-0 before Colorado even put a run on the board.

Padres 5, Pirates 2: San Diego continues to play spoiler, taking its second straight from Pittsburgh. Jed Gyorko had three hits including a three-run homer. His family lives in Morgantown, West Virginia, which is about an hour away and many made the trip. I hope they stopped at the Eat ‘n Park in Kirwin Heights on the way there. I know people there.

Reds 10, Astros 0: Happy 100th loss, Houston. Mike Leake shut ’em out for eight innings. Jay Bruce drove in five, hitting his 30th homer.

Nationals 6, Braves 5; Nationals 4, Braves 0: Kind of depressing (and surprising)  if you’re a Braves fan. But the silver lining here is seeing all the Nats fans bringing out their “Natitude!” and “you just gotta believe!” and “no one will want to play us in October!” stuff on Twitter yesterday. I just want to hug them and tell them how great it is to see them again after five and a half months of silence. Don’t cancel your dinner reservations for wild card night, however, OK?

Phillies 6, Marlins 4: Six effective innings for Roy Halladay and four RBI for Chase Utley. Seems like old times. Well, except for the part where Halladay is a crafty nibbler with an 88 m.p.h. This may very well have been his last start ever for the Phillies at home.

Tigers 6, Mariners 2: Miguel Cabrera hit his 44th homer. It was his first since late August. The Tigers’ magic number is Al Kaline. Someone in the comments tell me what’s weird about that linked image, BTW. No prizes for a correct answer, but be satisfied that you learned something interesting.

Giants 8, Mets 5: Angel Pagan homered and tripled and drove in three. Walked twice too. Not a bad return to Citi Field for the former Met. Not so great for the former Giants property, Zack Wheeler, who gave up four runs in five innings.

White Sox 4, Twins 3: Effing Quintana … that creep can roll, man (6 IP, 8 H, 1 ER).

Brewers 4, Cubs 3: Just your run-of-the-mill walkoff suicide squeeze, executed by Logan Schafer. Check out Ron Roenicke after the game, talking up how much of a baller he is to call that squeeze there:

“Bases loaded, it’s not ideal. I have to think about it when we have the bases loaded because it’s a flip and a force play at home,” Roenicke said. “It’s so much easier than having to tag at home so most guys won’t do it there.”

I think we’ve found Roenicke’s new theme music. Also, his official logo.

Dodgers 9, Diamondbacks 3: L.A.’s magic number is now two. More important than that given that the playoffs are inevitable? Matt Kemp going 4 for 4 with two doubles and three RBI. If he’s a factor in the lineup the Dodgers are gonna be fierce come October.

Athletics 2, Angels 1: Josh Donaldson’s fantastic season continues with a walkoff bases-loaded single with two outs in the ninth. I can’t remember who said it, but someone I follow on Twitter recently said that Donaldson is the absolute best player in baseball whom you would not recognize if he was standing next to you on the subway.

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.