And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Dodgers 6, Twins 4: Zack Greinke struck out six and allowed no earned runs in six innings. He’s on a run of 18 straight starts in which he has gone five innings while allowing two runs or fewer and no one has done that since 1914.I would have bet my life that Bob Gibson or Greg Maddux or someone had done that before, but nope. This was the Dodgers’ 10,000th win as a franchise. Although, obviously many of those wins came before they moved to Los Angeles. Before that they were known as the Minneapolis Dodgers. George Mikan, coincidentally enough, was the guy who sit that five innings/two runs record back in 1914. True story.

Nationals 7, Astros 0: Anthony Rendon had four hits and was a triple short of the cycle. He’s from Houston and thus had a bunch of friends in the crowd, most of whom were his classmates at Rushmore Academy before he was expelled for attempting to break ground on an aquarium without the school’s approval and was forced to attend Grover Cleveland High. Also a true story.

Diamondbacks 5, Rockies 4: Miguel Montero with the walkoff homer in the tenth. He then spent 20 minutes after the game talking smack about the ball he hit and saying that, really, no one on the Diamondbacks was all that impressed with the ball before it was pitched. Open secret, really, and everyone is now better of that it’s gone. OK, in all seriousness? Montero DID slide into home on his walkoff bomb. Which seems like the sort of thing he’d complain about former teammates doing. Doesn’t seem very gritty and businesslike.

Cardinals 9, Brewers 3: The Cardinals avoid the sweep by winning this one in a laugher. Allen Craig homered, drove in three and had four hits and Matt Adams had a three-run bomb. Brewers catcher Martin Moldanado pitched the eighth inning, allowing only one hit, so good for him. Of course, back in the original days of the franchise — when they were known as the Ominowakiing Beermakers, then taking on the original Ojibwe Indian name for the area — catchers used to pitch to themselves and routinely had shutout performances. It was a very different game for a very different time. Once again, true story.

Cubs 9, Reds 4: Anthony Rizzo had a two-run homer and walked four times, helping pace the Cubs’ offensive output. I wonder if all the people who get on Joey Votto’s case watched Rizzo take all of those walks and admit to themselves that, hmm, maybe that kind of thing helps the team some?

Athletics 12, Rangers 1: The sweep. Which answers the Rangers’ sweep of Oakland last week. Four errors for the Rangers including two by Elvis Andrus. Jesse Chavez allowed only one hit in seven scoreless innings and struck out eight. The A’s are 6-0 when he starts.

Giants 3, Padres 2: Tim Hudson was on point, carrying a shutout into the ninth. Indeed, he had a Maddux going (a complete game with fewer than 100 pitches) only to give up a two-run homer to Yasmani Grandal on his 89th and final pitch of the game. Sergio Romo came in and got the last out on five pitches.

Royals 4, Blue Jays 2: Alcides Escobar is a glove man, but he had a two-run double in the seventh here to put the Royals ahead to stay. Eric Hosmer drove in the other two and Yordano Ventura pitched five shutout innings.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk‘s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $45,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Thursday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $7,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on ThursdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Tigers 5, White Sox 1: Max Scherzer tossed six scoreless, winning his third start in a row. He then got into a feud with reporters for calling him “Max Scherzer” in the game story when he was specifically promised they would call him by his full first name of Maxwell.

Marlins 9, Braves 3: Aaron Harang entered the game with a 0.85 ERA. He left it with a 2.97 ERA after giving up nine runs on ten hits. He couldn’t make it through five innings. It’s the second straight night the Marlins have battered heretofore dominant Braves starters. It’s almost as if that deadball era pace they had been keeping wasn’t sustainable. Meanwhile, Atlanta has managed only five hits in the past two games, facing Nate Eovaldi and Jose Fernandez.

Angels 7, Indians 1: C.J. Wilson pitched two-hit ball over eight innings, striking out eight, walking one and retiring his last 18 batters. That’s six straight losses for the Indians. They seemed to concede this one pretty early too.

Mariners vs. Yankees; Pirates vs. Orioles; Rays vs. Red Sox; Mets vs. Phillies: POSTPONED:

In this decayed hole among the mountains
In the faint moonlight, the grass is singing
Over the tumbled graves, about the chapel
There is the empty chapel, only the wind’s home.
It has no windows, and the door swings,
Dry bones can harm no one.
Only a cock stood on the roof-tree
Co co rico co co rico
In a flash of lightning. Then a damp gust
Bringing rain
Ganga was sunken, and the limp leaves
Waited for rain, while the black clouds
Gathered far distant, over Himavant.
The jungle crouched, humped in silence.
Then spoke the thunder

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

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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.”