And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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  • Latest Standings
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  • Orioles 3, Yankees 2:If I told you before the season that the Orioles would lose Manny Machado and Matt Wieters to injuries and that Chris Davis would hit below .200 and then be suspended for PEDs, you’d probably assume that they’d be in fourth or fifth place this year. Yet here they are, poised to clinch their first division title in 17 years. As for this game: with Davis suspended, the Orioles are going to need Kelly Johnson. Johnson was just dandy last night, hitting a walkoff double. He did that just after Steve Pearce hit an RBI double to tie it. Viva La Fill-Ins who have made this season for Baltimore.

    Tigers 6, Indians 4: Homers from Ian Kinsler and Victor J.D. Martinez as the Tigers sweep the Indians and win their sixth of seventh and take a one and a half game lead in the Central. They have a series against Kansas City next weekend. If they tread water through the week they can put this thing away when they face the Royals.

    Red Sox 8, Royals 4: Speaking of the Royals, they deserve whatever they get with Ned Yost. The game was lost in the sixth inning when Aaron Crow gave up a walk and a homer after coming in with men on. Yost said after the game that he was frustrated because they were “one out away from getting to Kelvin Herrera.” Asked why he didn’t just go to Herrera an out earlier: “Aaron Crow’s inning is the sixth inning. Kelvin’s is the seventh.” You see why this guy got fired just before the playoffs the last time he had a team this close.

    Marlins 5, Phillies 4: Jonathan Papelbon blew a three-run lead in the top of the ninth, allowing four runs on four hits and a walk. As he left the mound he was booed by Phillies fans, then he appeared to grab his crotch and was ejected. He said he was just adjusting his cup. Joe West thought it was a rude gesture came in and rather forcefully ejected Papelbon, so who knows who was worse here. Man, it is so totally the end of the season.

    Rays 6, Blue Jays 5: Yunel Escobar walked, singled, doubled and homered. And when he homered he played it up to the crowd with a big “safe” gesture and pointed and taunted as he crossed home plate. They don’t much care for Escobar in Toronto.

    Nationals 3, Mets 0: Wilson Ramos hit a two-run homer and Jordan Zimmermann pitched shutout ball into the seventh. The Nats have taken 13 of 16 from the Mets this year.

    Pirates 7, Cubs 3: Josh Harrison hit a two-run double and started a triple play. Harrison is .317/.351/.508 on the year and has come on like crazy lately. Edinson Volquez allowed one earned run over seven innings. The Cubs are officially eliminated. In case you were still holding out hope that they’d make a playoff push.

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

    Twins 6, White Sox 4: Trevor May struck out ten in six innings. On Saturday Phil Hughes struck out 11 while Jose Quintana struck out 13. All kinds of Ks in these meaningless games.

    Brewers 9, Reds 2: Matt Clark his a three-run homer and Mark Reynolds hit a solo shot. The Brewers have won four of five and remain a game and a half back.

    Cardinals 4, Rockies 1: Marco Gonzales struck out nine in five and two-thirds, allowing one run, and five relievers shut out the rockies the rest of the way. Jhonny Peralta hit a two-run homer. Colorado has lost six straight. They’ve scored eight runs in those games. Wheeeee!

    Rangers 10, Braves 3: The Rangers sweep the Braves, who have done more in the past few weeks to show they got no business being mentioned as part of a playoff race than any team that still gets mentioned as being part of a playoff race. Now they’re four out of the wild card, which puts them out of it for good, I reckon. Just a terrible second half for a team that should not be this bad, even with the injuries to the rotation. Whether anyone actually pays for this failure of a season is an open question, but I’m not holding my breath.

    Dodgers 4, Giants 2: L.A. takes two of three from the Giants and extending its lead to three games. Clayton Kershaw picked up his 19th win, tossing eight effective innings. Matt Kemp’s sixth inning, two-run homer helped seal it.

    Astros 6, Angels 1: Dallas Keuchel allowed one run over seven and the Angels’ ten-game winning streak ends, but at this point what does it matter?

    Athletics 4, Mariners 0: Six shutout innings for Jon Lester despite him not having his best stuff with three relievers finishing off the shutout. The A’s take two of three in a critical series with Seattle. The A’s have a one and a half game lead over Kansas City and two and a half over the Mariners.

    Diamondbacks 8, Padres 6: Trevor Cahill wasn’t too effective, but the Snakes’ bullpen was up to the task for awhile. Then in the ninth Addison Reed faltered, but not enough to cost ’em the game.

Bonds, Clemens left out of Hall again; McGriff elected

John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO – Moments after Fred McGriff was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, almost two decades after his final game, he got the question.

Asked if Barry Bonds belonged in Cooperstown, a smiling McGriff responded: “Honestly, right now, I’m going to just enjoy this evening.”

A Hall of Fame committee delivered its answer Sunday, passing over Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling while handing McGriff the biggest honor of his impressive big league career.

The lanky first baseman, nicknamed the “Crime Dog,” hit .284 with 493 homers and 1,550 RBIs over 19 seasons with six major league teams. The five-time All-Star helped Atlanta win the 1995 World Series.

McGriff got 169 votes (39.8%) in his final year on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot in 2019. Now, he will be inducted into Cooperstown on July 23, along with anyone chosen in the writers’ vote, announced Jan. 24.

“It’s all good. It’s been well worth the wait,” said McGriff, who played his last big league game in 2004.

It was the first time that Bonds, Clemens and Schilling had faced a Hall committee since their 10th and final appearances on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot. Bonds and Clemens have been accused of using performance-enhancing drugs, and support for Schilling dropped after he made hateful remarks toward Muslims, transgender people, reporters and others.

While the 59-year-old McGriff received unanimous support from the 16 members of the contemporary baseball era committee – comprised of Hall members, executives and writers – Schilling got seven votes, and Bonds and Clemens each received fewer than four.

The makeup of the committee likely will change over the years, but the vote was another indication that Bonds and Clemens might never make it to the Hall.

This year’s contemporary era panel included Greg Maddux, who played with McGriff on the Braves, along with Paul Beeston, who was an executive with Toronto when McGriff made his big league debut with the Blue Jays in 1986.

Another ex-Brave, Chipper Jones, was expected to be part of the committee, but he tested positive for COVID-19 and was replaced by Arizona Diamondbacks President Derrick Hall.

The contemporary era committee considers candidates whose careers were primarily from 1980 on. A player needs 75% to be elected.

“It’s tough deciding on who to vote for and who not to vote for and so forth,” McGriff said. “So it’s a great honor to be unanimously voted in.”

In addition to all his big hits and memorable plays, one of McGriff’s enduring legacies is his connection to a baseball skills video from youth coach Tom Emanski. The slugger appeared in a commercial for the product that aired regularly during the late 1990s and early 2000s – wearing a blue Baseball World shirt and hat.

McGriff said he has never seen the video.

“Come Cooperstown, I’ve got to wear my blue hat,” a grinning McGriff said. “My Tom Emanski hat in Cooperstown. See that video is going to make a revival now, it’s going to come back.”

Hall of Famers Jack Morris, Ryne Sandberg, Lee Smith, Frank Thomas and Alan Trammell also served on this year’s committee, which met in San Diego at baseball’s winter meetings.

Rafael Palmeiro, Albert Belle, Don Mattingly and Dale Murphy rounded out the eight-man ballot. Mattingly was next closest to election, with eight votes of 12 required. Murphy had six.

Bonds, Clemens and Schilling fell short in January in their final chances with the BBWAA. Bonds received 260 of 394 votes (66%), Clemens 257 (65.2%) and Schilling 231 (58.6%).

Palmeiro was dropped from the BBWAA ballot after receiving 25 votes (4.4%) in his fourth appearance in 2014, falling below the 5% minimum needed to stay on. His high was 72 votes (12.6%) in 2012.

Bonds has denied knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs, and Clemens maintains he never used PEDs. Palmeiro was suspended for 10 days in August 2005 following a positive test under the major league drug program.

A seven-time NL MVP, Bonds set the career home run record with 762 and the season record with 73 in 2001. A seven-time Cy Young Award winner, Clemens went 354-184 with a 3.12 ERA and 4,672 strikeouts, third behind Nolan Ryan (5,714) and Randy Johnson (4,875). Palmeiro had 3,020 hits and 568 homers.

Schilling fell 16 votes shy with 285 (71.1%) on the 2021 BBWAA ballot. The right-hander went 216-146 with a 3.46 ERA in 20 seasons, winning the World Series with Arizona in 2001 and Boston in 2004 and 2007.

Theo Epstein, who also served on the contemporary era committee, was the GM in Boston when the Red Sox acquired Schilling in a trade with the Diamondbacks in November 2003.

Players on Major League Baseball’s ineligible list cannot be considered, a rule that excludes Pete Rose.