And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlight

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Mets 2, Brewers 0: Jacob deGrom was fantastic, pitching eight shutout innings. He kind of had to given the Mets’ offense these days.

White Sox 8, Tigers 7: Tied in the tenth, Joba Chamberlain came into the game. The White Sox weren’t impressed. Melky Cabrera walked, Chamberlain hit Avisail Garcia with a pitch, J.B. Shuck’s hit an infield single to shortstop and then Carlos Sanchez tripled into right to clear the bases and put Chicago ahead 8-5. The Tigers plated two in the bottom half but two was not enough.

Orioles 8, Red Sox 6: The Orioles put up a a six-run fourth inning, capped by a Matt Wieters two-run homer. J.J. Hardy had a two-run double and Steve Pearce had three hits. The bigger deal for Baltimore is that Miguel Gonzalez came off the DL and made it through five innings. Not five great innings — he gave up four runs — but five healthy innings.

Athletics 6, Rangers 3: The sweep for Oakland. The A’s have won five in a row and, while they still have a pretty poor record and have a ton of teams ahead of them, they are only six games out of the wild card. Everyone is assuming they’ll have a fire sale. With parity and two wild cards, does anyone have a fire sale anymore? At least in the middle of the season?

Dodgers 4, Cubs 0: The Dodgers’ rotation does not look like they thought it would before the season began, but occasionally they get some decent results. Carlos Frias gave them some yesterday, tossing five shutout innings before handing it over to the pen. Jon Lester gave up all four Dodgers runs and didn’t make it past the fourth inning. He hasn’t won in seven starts.

Rockies 6, Diamondbacks 4: Despite all of the runs scored in the first couple of games of this series, it was only 2-1 heading into the bottom of the eighth. Then Colorado put up a five-spot, kicked off with a Troy Tulowitzki pinch-hit homer. Dbacks pitchers walked five guys that inning, two intentionally. Putting guys on base in Colorado is a good way to die.

Giants 13, Padres 8: Brandon Belt hit two triples and the Giants had four in all, which is not the sort of thing you see everyday. Then again, you don’t get to play the Padres and their sub-par outfield every day. A couple likely would’ve been triples with anyone playing out there, but Matt Duffy’s came “past a diving Kemp.”  Brandon Belt’s second triple likewise went to right. It was over Kemp’s head and would’ve been over anyone’s, but it’s not like Kemp was The Flash getting to the ball and getting it back in.

Nationals 7, Braves 0: Man the Braves stink. That’s eight in a row they’ve dropped to Washington, whose starters have put up 41 and a third consecutive shutout innings. Now Max Scherzer is going to pitch against the poor-hitting Phillies, so expect more of the same. Or maybe even a Johnny Vander Meer.

Reds 5, Pirates 4: A pretty decent game from Brandon Phillips, who hit the go-ahead homer in the 13th inning and did this:

 

Todd Frazier had himself a decent game too, with three hits, including a tying homer in the seventh

Cardinals 5, Marlins 1: I’m sure the Cardinals have lost at some point this season, I just can’t really picture it in my mind. Lance Lynn came off the DL to toss six shutout innings. Pete Kozma came off the bench to go 3-for-3 and score two runs. St. Louis is basically the Terminator this year.

Astros 4, Yankees 0: The Astros won a game and didn’t hit any homers? Wild. Of course they didn’t need to with Dallas Keuchel tossing a six-hit shutout and striking out 12. Jose Altuve had three hits and scored three times. Evan Gattis drove in a couple.

Straight-away center field will be 385 feet at London Stadium

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Marley Rivera of ESPN has a story about some of the on-field and in-game entertainment, as well as some aspects of the field conditions, for this weekend’s London Series.

The fun stuff: a mascot race, not unlike the Sausage Race at Miller Park or the President’s race at Nationals Park. The mascots for London: Winston Churchill, Freddie Mercury, Henry VIII and the Loch Ness Monster. I suppose that’s OK but, frankly, I’d go with Roger Bannister, Shakespeare, Charles Darwin and Guy Fawkes. Of course no one asks me these things.

There will also be a “Beat the Streak”-style race which had better use the theme to “Chariots of Fire” or else what the heck are we even doing here.

They’ve also taught ushers and various volunteers who will be on-site to sing “Take me out to the ballgame,” which is a pretty good idea given how important that is to baseball. As a cultural exchange, I think some major league team should start using “Vindaloo” by Fat Les during the seventh inning stretch here. It’s a banger. It also seems to capture England a bit more accurately than, say, “Downton Abbey” or “The Crown.”

That’s all good fun I suppose. But here’s some stuff that actually affects the game:

The end result will have some interesting dimensions. The field will be 330 feet down each foul line, and it will have a distance of 385 feet to center field, which will feature a 16-foot wall. Cook also said it would have an expanded, “Oakland-like” foul territory, referencing the Athletics’ Oakland Coliseum expanse.

Those dimensions are unavoidable given that the square peg that is a baseball field is being shoved into the round hole that is a soccer stadium. As Murray Cook, MLB’s senior field coordinator tells Rivera, that sort of thing, while perhaps less than ideal, is at least in keeping with baseball’s strong tradition of irregular field conditions. It will, however, be one of the shortest dead center distances in baseball history.

Oh, and then there’s this:

Protective netting was also an important issue addressed when building the ballpark, with Cook stressing that his team has implemented netting that “is the largest you’ll ever see in any major league ballpark.”

[Craig makes a mental note to bookmark this for the next time MLB says it won’t mandate extended netting in the U.S. because doing so is too difficult]