And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Diamondbacks 4, Reds 0: Josh Collmenter with the three-hit shutout. And not just a shutout, but a Maddux, as he needed only 94 pitches to do it, while facing the minimum 27 hitters. The only other Dback who has gone a whole game while facing the minimum was Randy Johnson who did it while pitching a perfect game. Aaron Hill had a homer and an RBI single in support.

Mets 4, Phillies 1: A lot of people have been talking about the Mets’ struggles at Citi Field. They do just fine at Citizens Bank Park, thank you. They won their sixth straight in Philly to open up a five game series here this weekend. Zack Wheeler pitched into the seventh and struck out nine.

Rangers 5, Twins 4: Leonys Martin doubled twice and scored three times. One of his runs was the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, when he came hope on a sac fly, just barely beating the throw from Danny Santana, who was playing center field despite the fact that he’s a shortstop because, hey, you gotta have 13 pitchers on staff or else the friggin’ world will end.

Angels 7, Mariners 5: Erik Aybar’s three-run homer have the Angels a 5-0 lead in the fourth and they held on from there. The Angels rattled off 15 hits. They’re a game and a half behind Oakland and if the season ended today, well, that would be really damn weird considering it’s May 30 and I suppose we wouldn’t have a baseball playoffs because I’m guessing only national tragedy of some sort would cause the season to end today so forget that whole idea of the Angels being in the playoffs if it did. God, now I’m all depressed, even though I started this thought in order to say something uplifting about the Angels. Some sort of nuclear disaster, I’m guessing. Maybe two teams’ planes colliding. Not sure. Oh my God this is horrible.

Red Sox 4, Braves 3: The Braves had a bullpen and defensive meltdown late, allowing the Sox to rally for their fourth straight win and the series sweep. I, thankfully, did not see this. I was at an Eddie Izzard show downtown. When I turned on my phone after the show, it was full of people asking me stuff like “is Brooks Conrad now the Braves’ defensive coordinator?” and offering sarcastic “BARVES!” texts. Really glad I was at the show instead.

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

Giants 6, Cardinals 5: Michael Morse homered and drove in three runs and Pablo Sandoval homered too. The Giants are third in all of baseball in homers. I know I said that a week or two ago, but man, it’s still pretty darn notable.

Tigers 5, Athletics 4: Rick Porcello was shaky but won his eighth game. Joe Nathan was shaky but held on for the save. The A’s and Tigers split their four-game series.

Royals 8, Blue Jays 6: Edwin Encarnacion had two more homers — that’s 15 and 16 for May — but it wasn’t enough to extend the Jays’ winning streak. Every Royals hitter had a hit including Omar Infante’s two-run single in the 10th. Obviously it was new batting coach Dale Sveum’s work here. Quick, someone go ask Sveum what he did to make the Royals hit.

Pirates 6, Dodgers 3:  Russell Martin and Pedro Alvarez homered and the Pirates put up three in the seventh to back Gerrit Cole. It was just the Pirates third win in 20 games at Dodger Stadium.

Astros 3, Orioles 1: Holy crap, George Springer is on a rampage. He hit a tie-breaking two-run homer in the seventh, which was his seventh homer in seven games and ten for the month of May. Brad Peacock allowed one run on six hits with eight strikeouts in six innings.

 

UPDATE: WEEI denies it will change Red Sox broadcasts to a talk show format

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UPDATE: WEEI is pushing back on this report, denying that it is true. Finn’s source for the story was the agency posting job listings which said that, yes, WEEI was looking to do the talk show format. WEEI is now saying that the agency was merely speculating and that it will still be a traditional broadcast.

Both WEEI and Finn say they will have full reports soon, so I guess we’ll see.

9:47 AM: WEEI carries Boston Red Sox games on the radio in the northeast. For the past three seasons, Tim Neverett and Joe Castiglione have been the broadcast team. Following what was reportedly a difficult relationship with the station, Neverett has allowed his contract with WEEI to end, however, meaning that the station needs to do something else with their broadcast.

It seems that they’re going to do something radical. Chad Finn of the Boston Globe:

There were industry rumors about possible changes all season long. One, which multiple sources have said was a genuine consideration, had WEEI dropping the concept of a conventional radio baseball broadcast to make the call of the game sound more like a talk show.

That was yesterday. Just now, Finn confirmed it:

I have no idea how that will work in practice but I can’t imagine this turning out well. At all.

Hiring talk show hots to call games — adding opinion and humor and stuff while still doing a more or less straightforward broadcast — would probably be fine. It might even be fun. But this is not saying that’s what is happening. It says it’s changing it to a talk show “format.” I have no idea how that would work. A few well-done exceptions aside, there is nothing more annoying than sports talk radio. It tends to be constant, empty chatter about controversies real or imagined and overheated either way. It usually puts the host in the center of everything, forcing listeners — often willingly — to adopt his point of view. It’s almost always boorish narcissism masquerading as “analysis.”

But even if it was the former idea — talk show hosts doing a conventional broadcast — it’d still be hard to pull off given how bad so many talk show hosts are. There are a couple of sports talk hosts I like personally and I think do a good job, most are pretty bad, including the ones WEEI has historically preferred.

Which is to stay that this is bound to be awful. And that’s if they even remember to pay attention to the game. Imagine them taking a few calls while the Red Sox mount a rally, get sidetracked arguing over whether some player is “overrated” or whatever and listeners get completely lost.

My thoughts and prayers go out to Red Sox fans who listen to the games on the radio.