And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Nationals 5, Diamondbacks 4: That Nationals have won seven in a row, with the last three being of the walkoff variety. This time courtesy of Adam LaRoche’s homer in the 11th inning. Leading up to it was a lot of fun: Wilson Ramos put the Nationals in front in the bottom of the seventh inning with a two-run homer and the Dbacks went back into the lead when Didi Gregorius did the same in the top of the eighth. The Nats came back in the ninth only to see Tyler Clippard blow the save in the ninth. In the Arizona half of the 11th they loaded the bases with no one out and then didn’t score, which is about the most annoying thing on the planet. If anything the LaRoche homer put them out of their misery.

Cubs 4, Mets 1: Kyle Hendricks and two relievers combined to allow one run on four hits and got all the support they’d need thanks to homers from Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez. The three of them will, hopefully for Cubs fans, represent a winning combination for years and years.

Angels 4, Red Sox 2: Mike Trout and Albert Pujols hit RBI doubles. The Sox threatened in the ninth against fill-in closer Kevin Jepsen, but Jepsen worked around trouble, allowing only one run to score.

Orioles 8, White Sox 2: An uncharacteristically poor outing for Chris Sale, who needed 121 pitches just to make it through six. The O’s took advantage, led by Nick Markakis who was 3 for 5 with a homer. He also had a pretty darn swell catch.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $125,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Tuesday night’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $15,000. Starts at 7:05pm ET on TuesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Phillies 4, Mariners 1: Jerome Williams allowed one run and three hits while pitching into the eighth. Andres Blanco had a three-run homer. Before coming up at the end of June, Blanco had not played in the majors since 2011.

Royals 6, Twins 4: Erik Kratz came in to replace Sal Perez in the seventh and homered twice. That’s kinda how it’s been going for the Royals. Jason Vargas allowed one run on four hits in seven innings.

Braves 7, Pirates 3: Six runs in the first — kicked off by back-to-back homers from Jason Heyward and Andrelton Simmons to lead things off — pretty much ended this one before it started. Six in a row dropped by the Pirates. Whose season looks like it could be ending before it’s even technically finished.

Cardinals 6, Reds 5: Jhonny Peralta hit a walkoff single in the tenth. This after Trevor Rosenthal blew the save in the ninth. Jay Bruce homered, doubled and drove in four in a winning effort in a losing effort.

Mike Piazza presided over the destruction of a 100-year-old soccer team

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Mike Piazza was elected to the Hall of Fame in January of 2016 and inducted in July of 2016. In between those dates he purchased an Italian soccer team, A.C. Reggiana 1919, a member of Italy’s third division. In June of that year he was greeted as a savior in Reggio Emilia, the small Italian town in which the team played. He was the big American sports star who was going to restore the venerable club to its past and rightful place of glory.

There were suggestions by last March that things weren’t going well, but know we know that in less than two years it all fell apart. Piazza and his wife Alicia presided over a hot mess of a business, losing millions of dollars and, this past June, they abruptly liquidated the club. It is now defunct — one year short of its centennial — and a semipro team is playing in its place, trying to acquire the naming rights from Piazza as it wends its way though bankruptcy.

Today at The Athletic, Robert Andrew Powell has a fascinating — no, make that outrageously entertaining — story of how that all went down from the perspective of the Piazzas. Mostly Alicia Piazza who ran the team in its second year when Mike realized he was in over his head. She is . . . something. Her quotes alone are worth the price of admission. For example:

Alicia, who refers to Mike’s ownership dream as “his midlife crisis,” offered up a counter argument.

“Who the f**k ever heard of Reggio Emilia?” she asked. “It’s not Venice. It’s not Rome. My girlfriend said, and you can quote this—and this really depressed me. She said, ‘Honey, you bought into Pittsburgh.’ Like, it wasn’t the New York Yankees. It wasn’t the Mets. It wasn’t the Dodgers. You bought Pittsburgh!”

In their Miami living room, Mike tried to interject but she stopped him.

“And imagine what that feels like, after spending 10 million euros. You bought Pittsburgh!”

At this point it may be worth remembering that Piazza is from Pennsylvania. Eastern Pennsylvania to be sure, but still.

Shockingly, it didn’t end all that well for the Piazzas in Reggio Emilia:

One week later, the Piazzas returned to Reggio Emilia, and were spotted at the team offices. More than a hundred ultras marched into the office parking lot, chanting and demanding answers. Carabinieri—national police aligned with the military—showed up for the Piazzas’ safety. The police advised the Americans to avoid the front door of the complex and exit through the back. Mike assured them it wouldn’t be necessary—he had always enjoyed a good relationship with the fans.

The carabinieri informed him that the relationship had changed. The Piazzas slipped out the back door, under police escort.

The must-read of the week. Maybe the month. Hell, maybe the year. The only thing I can imagine topping it is if someone can tell this story from the perspective of the people in Reggio Emilia. I’m guessing their take is a bit different than the Piazzas.