And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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I’ll preface all of this by saying that I felt like I needed a break from watching baseball last night so rather than turn on any games I watched “Billy Madison” for the 100th time. Fact: the kids from Miss Lippy’s class are now 26-years-old. Now that that’s out of the way, on to the scores.

Dodgers 5, White Sox 2: Clayton Kershaw didn’t allow any hits for the first three innings, then gave up a two-run homer to the now-recovered and returned Jose Abreu, then settled back down and gave up no more runs the rest of the way while striking out nine.

Indians 3, Red Sox 2: The Red Sox’ winning streak is over thanks to seven shutout innings and ten strikeouts from Justin Masterson. Masterson had one start and a 0.00 ERA in March and now has one start and a 0.00 ERA in June. April and May were tire fires, but those one start months are pretty awesome for him.

Mets 11, Phillies 2: Hey there, Wilmer Flores. His first homer — and only his second big league homer ever — was a grand slam and he drove in six runs in all. Bartolo Colon posted his third straight strong start in a row. With the makeup game added this was a five-game series. The Mets won four.

Mariners 10, Yankees 2: Felix Hernandez improves to 8-1 with seven strong innings. David Phelps was touched for six runs in six and Alfredo Aceves gave up four runs in mopup duty. In the meantime Michael Saunders and Kyle Seager each drove in three. The Yankees have dropped four of the past six games

Marlins 3, Rays 1: Randy Wolf picks up his first win since 2012. The Rays have lost seven straight and now have the worst record in the American League.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $30,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Tuesday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $5,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on TuesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Brewers 6, Twins 2: Matt Garza took a shutout into the seventh and Mark Reynolds hit a two-run homer. Reynolds is on pace for 36 homers while hitting .208 and posting an OBP below .300. In other words, he continues to be Mark Reynolds.

Royals 6, Cardinals 0: The Missouri teams traded zeros until the seventh. Problem was that while the Royals quit that game, the Cardinals kept up with it and ended up being shut out. It was the Cardinals’ fifth loss in six games and second shutout in a row.

Pirates 10, Padres 3: It was a four hour, four minute game in which the home team surrendered ten runs and was forced to throw 249 pitches. In only nine innings! How many souls do you figure were left in Petco by the time the thing ended? A few dozen? Jordy Mercer homered and had four hits. Neil Walker had three hits and three driven in. Padres pitchers surrendered 16 hits in all.

MLB suspends Tim Anderson for using the n-word

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This is weird.

As you no doubt recall, on Wednesday White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson hit a two-run home run off of Royals starter Brad Keller. Anderson celebrated by throwing his bat back towards his dugout. The next time Anderson stepped to the plate Keller threw a fastball at him. The benches emptied. Keller and Anderson were ejected, as was White Sox manager Rick Renteria.

Why Anderson was ejected was something of a mystery. He did not charge the mound. He did not throw a punch and he did not shove anyone or anything. At most you figure he said something intemperate and, sure, saying intemperate things can sometimes get you ejected. Only sometimes, of course, as many a blue streak-swearing manager has gotten a pass as long as he doesn’t say some magic words “Bull Durham” taught us about. But that’s usually the end of that.

MLB just announced via press release that Keller has been suspended for five games for throwing at Anderson. We’ve argued that that’s too light a sentence for pitchers in the past, but let’s leave that aside for now. What’s interesting is that Anderson has been suspended too. For one game.

Why? Major League Baseball’s press release merely says “for his conduct after the benches cleared.” Which isn’t very helpful as, again, there was nothing apparent in his conduct that seemed to warrant a suspension. Before the release came out, however, Jeff Passan reported that it was “language”:

I can’t recall a player ever being suspended merely for “language” before. Guys drop F-bombs and say aggressive things to one another fairly often when tempers flare, but that’s not the stuff of suspensions. What has been the stuff of suspensions — two games, specifically — are homophobic slurs, with players such as Kevin Pillar and Matt Joyce, among others paying the price for saying such things. There has been no report at all, however, that Anderson said such a thing. And, if he did, why would he only get one game?

There’s gotta be more to this. A player getting one game just for cussing makes no sense. If we hear any more about it, we’ll certainly provide an update.

UPDATE: And here it is:

Again, specifics definitely matter, and I presume we’ll get them soon, but I strongly suspect that this is a case where Anderson, who is black, used a word that is historically acceptable when used by and among black people and always unacceptable when used by non-black people. If that is the case, MLB has thrown itself into the insanely controversial and likely indefensible position of presuming that it can and should police a black person’s use of that term. I hope I’m wrong about this, but I feel like I’m not.

UPDATE: Nope, I’m not.

Bold move, MLB. But not a wise one I don’t think.

And it goes without saying that you all had best mind yourself in the comments on this one.