And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Cardinals 3, Brewers 2: A walkoff single in the 13th for Tony Cruz in the 13th inning gives the Cards two of three in a series the Brewers really needed to sweep in order to keep their playoff hopes alive. Between both teams, 12 runs were scored all series long. And, thanks to two extra innings games, that amounted to 36 innings. Milwaukee is now down three and a half for the second wild card which, no, does not look doable with a bit more than a week to play.

Rangers 7, Athletics 2: Just when you think the A’s have hit rock bottom they show you that they still have farther to fall. Oakland was swept by the worst team in baseball and now they find themselves out of the first wild card slot and into the second, only one game ahead of Seattle. Here Sonny Gray was touched for four runs in the first inning and five overall. Not that it matters. If and when this collapse is complete, most A’s fans will think of it as one giant blur of a collapse, unable to truly pin it on any one guy. Believe me, I know from experience.

Mariners 3, Angels 1: The A’s loss is Seattle’s gain, as they beat what was pretty much a Salt Lake City lineup the day after the Angels clinched. Not that they had an easy time of it. They were shut out by Wade LeBlanc and four relievers until the ninth when they got through against Kevin Jespen with a three-run homer from Logan Morrison. Felix Hernandez, meanwhile, was right in his element, getting a no decision after striking out 11 in seven shutout innings. Unlike in years past, however, hardly anyone in Seattle gives a rip about King Felix’s W-L record. They can taste the playoffs, sitting only one game out with a dead team walking in Oakland in front of them.

Pirates 3, Red Sox 2: Fortune smiles on Pittsburgh as Sox baserunner Jemile Weeks, who was on third base, was called out when he was hit by Will Middlebrooks’ infield single to third. That’s an out, of course. The Sox went on to score one more run meaning that if Weeks hadn’t been hit, welp, they probably would’ve tied the game. It’s been that kind of season for the Red Sox.

Nationals 6, Marlins 2: The Nats keep winning, now with the best record in the NL in their sights. Gio Gonzalez allowed two runs in seven innings, Bryce Harper had three hits. They put up five runs in the fourth, all with two outs. That’s the kind of hitting that plays well in October. Just think back to all of those annoying Yankees teams in the late 90s doing that kind of thing just as it looked as if their opponents were out of the inning.

Yankees 3, Blue Jays 2: Derek Jeter hit a home run. This is not a drill. Please report to your nearest fallout shelter and tune all radios to the emergency band and await further instructions.

Dodgers 8, Cubs 4: A big inning for L.A, plating five in the seventh thanks to RBI doubles from Dee Gordon and Andre Ethier. Crazy stat: this was only the second time this year the Dodgers won a game when trailing after six innings. Second win in in 56 such games. I can’t imagine there are playoff-bound teams with fewer late inning comebacks than that.

Indians 2, Astros 1: A thirteen inning game featuring three total runs between two teams playing out the string that ends on a sac fly. Feel the excitement. OK, Cleveland would tell you that they’re not merely playing out the string. But while five games doesn’t feel like a lot in, say, June, it is damn nigh insurmountable with a week to go and multiple teams in front of you. Why people — mostly reporters who cover these games — don’t make that more clear rather than talk up playoff implications is beyond me, but it happens every year. I’ll say it now: if the Indians make the playoffs I’ll do the HBT Daily video the next day while wearing my daughter’s dance recital costume and an Cleveland Indians cap.

Rockies 7, Diamondbacks 6: Willin Rosario hit a two-out, two-run walkoff homer and had four hits in all to lead the Rockies past the Snakes. Arizona blew a five-run lead overall. If I was a betting man, I’d say we are seeing the final few games of Kirk Gibson’s tenure managing the Diamondbacks,

Padres 7, Phillies 3: This feels like the 10th straight game these two have played. It’s a ten-game series, is it not? Robbie Erlin pitched well — he’s a Padres pitcher, by the way, which you would be forgiven for not knowing — and Alexi Amarista and Will Venable homered.

 

Myles Garrett and Mason Rudolph: meet Juan Marichal and John Roseboro

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Last night the Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the Cleveland Browns. No one is gonna be talking nearly as much about the outcome today, however, as they are the carnage.

Specifically, the carnage that led to Browns defensive end Myles Garrett getting ejected from the game after ripping Steelers’ quarterback Mason Rudolph’s helmet off, swinging it at him and connecting with Rudolph’s skull as the game came to a close. Things were already chippy as all get-out, but that obviously led to a brawl which will lead to a ton of suspensions, including a possibly record-breaking one for Garrett. For all your analysis on that, check out PFT, obviously.

The incident will dominate the sports shows today because malicious attempts to injure another player with a piece of equipment are pretty rare in professional sports. There was at least one incident in baseball history, however, that was analogous to what went down in Cleveland last night.

It took place on August 22, 1965 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco during a Dodgers-Giants game. That’s when Giants ace Juan Marichal, playing the role of Garrett, took a baseball bat to the head of Dodgers catcher John Roseboro, standing in for Rudolph.

The Dodgers and Giants are rivals, of course, and in 1965 the two teams were in a pitched battle for the N.L. pennant, with the Dodgers leading San Francisco by a game and a half as the day began.

Pitchers in 1965 were a bit more aggressive about claiming the inside part of the plate than they are today, and on that day, everyone seemed cranky. Marichal knocked Dodgers shortstop Maury Wills down with some chin music in the top of the second for, it appears, committing the terrible transgression of bunting for a single in his first at bat of the game. In response Koufax fired a fastball over Willie Mays’ head, sending the ball to the backstop. So everyone was even, yeah?

Nah. Marichal responded in the top of third with an inside fastball that sent Dodgers first baseman Ron Fairly sprawling to the dirt. At that point home plate umpire Shag Crawford issued a warning, indicating that that the next close pitch from either team would result in an ejection. Walter Alston’s Dodgers, though, were a clever bunch. Sure, maybe a close pitch was going to get an ace ejected in a pennant race, but there are other ways to buzz someone’s tower, right?

Pitchers batted in every game back then, of course, and Marichal came to bat in the bottom of the third. Koufax didn’t throw at him, though. Instead, Roseboro, catching for L.A., threw the ball back to Koufax in such a way as to have it sail close to Marichal’s head as he stood in the batter’s box. He later admitted in his autobiography that it was no accident, he was trying to intimidate Marichal.

Marichal flipped out, clubbing Roseboro with his bat, after which all hell broke loose (all photos, and the original caption from 1965, are from Getty Images):

 

Juan Marichal holding bat, John Roseboro attacked, and Sandy Koufax closes in.

 

Roseboro throws a punch at Marichal while latter swings bat and Koufax comes in to try and break it up.

 

On deck batter Giant Tito Fuentes pulls Roseboro away while Marichal wields bat at Koufax while umpire Shag Crawford and Giant coach Charlie Fox try to break it up.

 

Umpire Shag Crawford wrestles with Marichal while Dodgers Jim Gilliam (19) and Koufax come in. Rear is Giants coach Charlie Fox. Marichal falls to the ground on top of Shag Crawford while Giants Orlando Cepeda joins the melee.

 

Umpire Shag Crawford is shown here wrestling with Marichal as Dodgers Jim Gilliam (#19) and Sandy Koufax join in. In the rear is Giants’ coach Charlie Fox.

 

Identifiable L-R: Dodger Jim Gilliam (19); John Roseboro (with chest protector); Giants Orlando Cepeda (30); Cap Peterson (17); Warren Spahn; and Mgr. Herman Franks (3).

Willie Mays was credited with keeping the brawl from getting worse. Roseboro had military and martial arts training and, as you can see in the second photo, he was not slowed by his head injury — an injury that would require 14 stitches — from trying to take Marichal apart. Mays was the one who ultimately pulled Roseboro away and out of the fracas. He even held a towel to Roseboro’s head which by then had begun to bleed profusely. The fight eventually ended, with several players sustaining injuries due to kicks and accidental spikings of hands and legs and stuff.

The incident delayed the game for 14 minutes but the fallout beyond that was pretty tame compared to today’s standards. Marichal got an eight day suspension which, because of scheduled doubleheaders, caused him to miss ten games. He was also fined $1,750, which is around $15,000 today. Roseboro only missed two games due to his injury. The Dodgers would lose this game thanks to a big homer from Mays off of Koufax, but the Dodgers would go on to win the pennant and defeat the Minnesota Twins in the World Series.

There was additional fallout: Roseboro sued Marichal for $110,000 in damages. They’d eventually settle, with Roseboro receiving $7,500 from Marichal.

But there was no lingering bad blood. In interviews after the incident both players admitted that there was much more on their minds in 1965 that might’ve contributed to their aggression on that day. There was the rivalry, of course, and the pennant race. But Marichal had been much more personally distracted by a civil war in his native Dominican Republic that raged in 1965 and would not end until September. Roseboro had been, understandably, affected by the Watts Riots in Los Angeles which had taken place just over a week before this game. When you feel helpless about situation A, you often channel your feelings into situation B and both men said that something like that was probably simmering.

Marichal would play for the Dodgers for two games in 1975, the final year of his career. Roseboro had already retired, but Marichal’s cup of coffee with L.A. allowed them to meet up at a Dodgers old-timers game in 1982. There they posed for this photo: 

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“There were no hard feelings on my part,” Roseboro told the L.A. Times in 1990. Roseboro died in 2002. Marichal was an honorary pallbearer at his funeral.

Let’s check in with Garrett and Ruldolph in 37 years to see how they’re doing.