Settling the Score: Saturday’s results

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Baseball’s top team is having a blast in Philadelphia.

Randal Grichuk homered twice and John Lackey hurled seven innings of one-run ball as the Cardinals routed the Phillies on Saturday for the second night in a row. Friday’s score was 12-4. Saturday’s was 10-1.

St. Louis boasts the very best run differential in MLB at +84 and the best record at 45-23. Philadelphia has the worst run differential (by a wide margin) at -129 and Sunday’s matchup of Michael Wacha vs. Adam Morgan doesn’t bode well for a quick bounceback.

With the Pirates getting no-hit Saturday by Max Scherzer and the Nationals, the Cardinals’ lead in the National League Central is back up to six games.

If the Cardinals play .500 ball the rest of the way, they will still finish the season with 92 wins. Hack that. Or something.

Your box scores and AP recaps from Saturday …

Orioles 5, Blue Jays 3

Rangers 2, White Sox 3

Cubs 4, Twins 1 (10 innings)

Angels 1, Athletics 4

Pirates 0, Nationals 6

Brewers 1, Rockies 5

Cardinals 10, Phillies 1

Rays 4, Indians 1

Red Sox 4, Royals 7

Mets 4, Braves 6

Marlins 5, Reds 0

Tigers 3, Yankees 14

Giants 6, Dodgers 2

Astros 3, Mariners 6

Padres 8, Diamondbacks 1

Giants hire Gabe Kapler as new manager

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The Giants announced on Tuesday the hiring of Gabe Kapler as manager. Kapler, filling the extremely large shoes of future Hall of Famer Bruce Bochy, inked a three-year deal, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Kapler was one of three finalists for the job, beating out Astros bench coach Joe Espada and Rays bench coach Matt Quataro.

Following his 12-year playing career, Kapler was a coach for Israel’s team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifier. He then became an analyst for FS1 before joining the Dodgers’ front office as the director of player development in November 2014. He was involved in three scandals there: one in which he tried to handle a sexual assault incident involving two Dodgers minor league players without telling police, one in which he allegedly discriminated against Nick Francona, a veteran and former baseball operations employee, and an incident that implicated most of the Dodgers’ front office concerning the recruiting of international free agents. The Dodgers reportedly kept a spreadsheet of employees and their level of criminality.

Despite Kapler’s background, the Phillies hired him as their manager ahead of the 2018 season. He would lead the Phillies to an 80-82 record that year and then helped them improve by one game in 2019, finishing at exactly .500 before being fired. Kapler’s tenure in Philly was tumultuous, often drawing ire from the local media and subsequently the fan base for not being tough enough on his players. The Phillies also reportedly had a clubhouse issue in 2018 in which players were playing video games in the clubhouse during games, prompting Carlos Santana to smash a TV with a bat.

Kapler has a history with Farhan Zaidi, the Giants’ president of baseball operations. They worked together in the Dodgers’ front office as Zaidi served as GM from November 2014-18.