And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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source: AP

Brewers 4, Reds 3: I usually don’t put up a feature photo like that but that’s such a cool one I can’t not. Occasioned by Jonathan Lucroy’s walkoff homer to lead off the bottom of the ninth. He hit one in the sixth inning too. It wasn’t a walkoff, though. If it was, whichever team was left on the field would have won due to a forfeit. Might not’ve been the worst thing for the Reds, though. They’re 0-5 since the break. A forfeit would look pretty sweet at the moment.

Giants 9, Phillies 6: A save in this one for proven closer Tim Lincecum. He was needed in relief as this one went 14 innings. Brandon Crawford gave the Giants the lead that frame with a bases-clearing double. This whole thing went as long as it did thanks to Buster Posey hitting a homer off Jonathan Papelbon in the ninth. It was the first homer anyone had hit off him all season. Posey had four hits, including two doubles, two runs and an RBI. Crawford drove in four.

Yankees 2, Rangers 1: Another marathon. Sort of a marathon of ineptitude, as each of these teams made the other’s starters look like Koufax and Drysdale as opposed to Chase Whitley and Nick Martinez. But the new guy came through: Chase Headley, just acquired earlier in the day and only having landed in New York at 6:30pm for a 7pm start, hit the game-winning single in the 14th. I suppose that’s the record for becoming a True Yankee.

Blue Jays 7, Red Sox 3: The Sox’ winning streak ends at five as Dioner Navarro and Jose Reyes homered and J.A. Happ tossed six shutout innings. After the game John Farrell was asked about the poor night at the plate for Sox’ hitters a day after rattling off 18 hits:

“There’s no bank that we can take runs and put them in and take a loan out the next day, unfortunately,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “It would have been nice to be able to do that today.”

Some people see things that are and ask, Why? Some people dream of things that never were and ask, why not? If you’ll excuse me, I have a business to start.

Royals 7, White Sox 1: It was Greek Heritage Night at U.S. Cellular Field. Mike Moustakas is of Greek Heritage. Mike Moustakas also hit two homers. Opa!

Cubs 6, Padres 0: It was a big night for guys hitting two homers. Here Anthony Rizzo did it against his old organization. I’d say that would really steam the Padres GM, but at the moment the Padres GM is, like, a temp from Adecco or a team of monkeys at typewriters or something.

Marlins 6, Braves 5: Mike Minor was smacked around, giving up six runs on 10 hits and walking two. The Braves are looking sluggish just as the Nats are embarking on a pretty favorable part of their schedule. Washington now has a two-game lead in the division. My prediction that the Nats would pull away in the second half is looking pretty good, unfortunately.

Pirates 12, Dodgers 7: Gregory Polanco hit a solo home run and a two-run single in the sixth that broke a 4-4 tie. Neil Walker and Ike Davis also came up big. Josh Beckett looked rusty coming back from a hip injury and ended up lasting only three and two-thirds and giving up three homers.

Indians 8, Twins 2: Carlos Sanata homered and collected four hits and Danny Salazar, who had been exiled to Columbus of all places, made his first start in the bigs since May 15. It was a good one too, as he allowed one earned run and struck out six while pitching into the sixth. Columbus is a great place to get your head together, allowing you to go on and do better things elsewhere. Just ask James Thurber or George Bellows if you happen to run into them.

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

Orioles 4, Angels 2: Miguel Gonzalez took a two-hit shutout into the eighth against one of the best offenses in baseball. Jonathan Schoop homered and J.J. Hardy hit two RBI doubles. The loss means that the Angels’ streak of ten consecutive home series wins is over.

Rays 7, Cardinals 2: Six in a row for the Rays whose hot streak is going on two months now. That’s pretty great, and they’re better off now than they were in early June when they were 15 games back. But they still have only gained a game and a half on the division leader in the month of July and still sit eight back. Such is the difficulty of digging out of holes several months into the season. Five and a half out of the wild card but, again, a lot of teams to climb over.

Astros 3, Athletics 2: L.J. Hoes with a homer in the 12th. It was a requested home run. Hoes after the game:

“It’s a really good feeling considering it was my mom’s birthday, and that was the last thing she told me to do, to get a homer for her,” Hoes said. “To be able to do that for her was a special thing.”

I got my mom a set of those wireless headphones old ladies who are going deaf can use so they can hear the T.V. I suppose a homer is nice too, but my mom can now watch “Jeopardy!” cranked to 11 in the living room while my dad watches documentaries about trains in the bedroom without being disturbed. Who got the better gift L.J.? Hmmm?

Nationals 7, Rockies 4: Adam LaRoche with a tiebreaking homer in the seventh. It was the Nats’ fourth straight win. Some bad news though: Ryan Zimmerman left the game with a strained hamstring. He’ll have an MRI this morning.

Mets 3, Mariners 1: Jacob DeGrom continues his nice run of late, allowing one run in seven innings while striking out seven. Over his last six starts he’s 4-1 with a 1.59 ERA. He’s 3-0 with a 0.86 ERA over his past three, walking three and striking out 26.

Diamondbacks 5, Tigers 4: Three RBI and a game-ending gem of a play at second base for Aaron Hill. David Peralta had two triples and continued the streak of “Every Player in Major League Baseball Named Peralta Reminding Me of the Giant Powell-Peralta Bones Brigade Poster I Had on my Wall in High School:

source:

No, I wasn’t a big skater. But a lot of my friends were and I hung out with them at the skate store with the half-pipe in the back. While they were skating I found out the store was going out of business and was able to buy the poster off the owner super cheap. Then I flipped it to a kid I knew who was a real skater when I left home for college. Since then I just wait for a baseball team to pair up a player named Powell and a player named Peralta in a double play combo so I can call them the “Bones Brigade” which will amuse around five readers. At most.

 

La Russa steps down as White Sox manager over heart issue

tony la russa
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CHICAGO — Tony La Russa stepped down as manager of the Chicago White Sox on Monday because of a heart issue, ending a disappointing two-year run in the same spot where the Hall of Famer got his first job as a big league skipper.

La Russa, a three-time World Series champion who turns 78 on Tuesday, missed the final 34 games with the underachieving White Sox. He left the team on Aug. 30 and doctors ultimately told him to stay out of the dugout.

La Russa has a pacemaker implanted in February and doctors later found another heart problem that he has not detailed.

“It has become obvious that the length of the treatment and recovery process for this second health issue makes it impossible for me to be the White Sox manager in 2023,” he said in a statement. “The timing of this announcement now enables the front office to include filling the manager position with their other offseason priorities.”

Chicago began the season with World Series aspirations but was plagued by injuries and inconsistent play. It was 79-80 heading into Monday night’s game against Minnesota.

“Our team’s record this season is the final reality. It is an unacceptable disappointment. There were some pluses, but too many minuses,” La Russa said. “I was hired to provide positive, difference-making leadership and support. Our record is proof. I did not do my job.”

Bench coach Miguel Cairo took over after La Russa stepped away. The White Sox showed a spark right after the change, winning 10 of 14. But they dropped eight straight in late September, dashing their playoff hopes.

La Russa, who is close friends with White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, was a surprise hire in October 2020, and he directed the team to the AL Central title last year.

But the White Sox sputtered throughout much of 2022, and there were chants of “Fire Tony! Fire Tony!” at Guaranteed Rate Field.

“At no time have I been disappointed or upset with White Sox fans, including those who at times chanted `Fire Tony,”‘ La Russa said. “They come to games with passion for our team and a strong desire to win. Loud and excited when we win, they rightly are upset when we play poorly.”

All-Star shortstop Tim Anderson and sluggers Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert missed significant time because of injuries. Catcher Yasmani Grandal and third baseman Yoan Moncada also had health issues, and they underperformed when they were on the field.

There were embarrassing breakdowns, too, like when the White Sox ran themselves into the first 8-5 triple play in major league history during a loss to Minnesota on July 4.

La Russa continued to be a lightning rod for fans who weren’t thrilled with his hiring in the first place. His lineups came under question as did his decisions in games.

Some fans chanted for La Russa’s dismissal following a strange call for an intentional walk to to the Dodgers’ Trea Turner despite a 1-2 count on June 9. Bennett Sousa had just bounced an 0-2 slider, allowing the runner to advance from first to second.

With the base open, La Russa chose to walk Turner even though there were two strikes. It backfired when Max Muncy smacked a three-run homer, propelling Los Angeles to an 11-9 victory.

Another moment that raised eyebrows happened early in the 2021 season.

During a 1-0 loss to Cincinnati, La Russa was unaware of a rule that would have allowed him to use Jose Abreu as the automatic runner at second base rather than closer Liam Hendriks in the 10th inning.

With a 2,900-2,514 record over 35 years with Chicago, Oakland and St. Louis, La Russa trails only Connie Mack on baseball’s career wins list. He moved past John McGraw last season.

But there were big questions about whether La Russa was the right person for the job when the White Sox hired him to replace Rick Renteria. He hadn’t filled out a lineup card since 2011, when St. Louis beat Texas in the World Series. There were doubts about how someone known more for his scowl than smile would mesh with a fun-loving team that had just delivered the White Sox’s first playoff appearance since 2008.

Then, shortly after his hiring, news surfaced of an arrest on misdemeanor DUI charges.

La Russa blew out a tire on the Lexus he was driving in a collision with a curb that February in Arizona, after going to dinner with friends. The case was filed on Oct. 28, one day before the White Sox announced La Russa’s hiring.

He ended up pleading guilty to a lesser charge of reckless driving and was sentenced to one day of home detention, a fine of nearly $1,400 and 20 hours of community service.

La Russa also pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in Florida in 2007 after police found him asleep and smelling of alcohol inside his running sport-utility vehicle at a stoplight.

La Russa captured championships with Oakland in 1989 and the Cardinals in 2006 and 2011. The former big league infielder and Sparky Anderson are the only managers to win the World Series in the American and National leagues.

He got his first major league managing job at age 34 when the White Sox promoted him from Triple-A to replace the fired Don Kessinger during the 1979 season. He took over that August and led them to a 522-510 record over parts of eight seasons.

The 1983 team won 99 games on the way to the AL West championship – Chicago’s first playoff appearance since the 1959 Go-Go White Sox won the pennant. But La Russa was fired in 1986 by then-general manager Ken Harrelson after the White Sox got off to a 26-38 start, a move Reinsdorf long regretted.