And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Indians 8, Rays 1: So close to a no-hitter for Carlos Carrasco, but not quite. And maybe it was inevitable given his pitch count, which was up over 100 to begin the ninth inning, which happens when you strike out as many guys as he did (13 by the time he was pulled). In the ninth he walked Asdrubal Cabrera and then plunked Brandon Guyer before a fielder’s choice and a strikeout. Then Joey Butler singled on Carrasco’s 124th and final pitch of the game. Still a great start for the guy and crazy-dominant given how many swings and misses he generated by Rays hitters: 30, which is a BIG number. Who knows, maybe this is a look ahead to a great second half in 2015 like he had in 2014.

 

Reds 2, Twins 1: Johnny Cueto gave the Twins nothing to work with, holding them to one run over eight innings while striking out eight. Given the schedule and the All-Star break, there is a chance this was the last home start for Cueto as a Red. If so, he left the hometown folks happy.

Blue Jays 11, Red Sox 2: Yesterday everyone made jokes about how Bobby Bonilla is still being paid by the Mets for doing nothing. Maybe the bigger scandal is that the Red Sox are paying Rick Porcello for this. The Jays teed off on him — Justin Smoak hit two homers — and now Porcello has given up 16 homers on the year. This from a sinkerballer who is supposed to leave things on the ground. Mercy. And Happy Canada Day!

Athletics 4, Rockies 1: Remember the other day when Billy Butler fell a triple short of the cycle and I made some joke about how he’d die on the base paths if he had tried to leg out a triple? Well, Billy Butler hit a triple. To be fair, the only reason he could do it was because the outfielder crashed into the wall and hurt himself, leaving the ball to roll around forever. Still: box score says it’s a triple, so it’s a triple. The fifth of his career. I assume the previous four also involved injured and incapacitated fielders. Watch:

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Mariners 7, Padres 0: Taijuan Walker shut the Pads out on one hit over six innings and the bullpen did the rest, allowing only two more hits the rest of the way. Robinson Cano doubled, homered an drove in three, proving that he may not, in fact, be in a coma. The second shutout in a row for the M’s over the Padres.

Yankees 3, Angels 1: An inefficient start for Nate Eovaldi pitch count-wise, but a good one results-wise, as he shut the Angels out into the sixth inning. Chase Headley and Didi Gregorius each hit RBI singles. I watched the first couple of innings of this game in a bar. Early on Alex Rodriguez came up and singled. A guy down the bar from me said, with disgust “guy gets caught with his hands in the cookie jar and he’s still here.” I turned to him and said “you know he missed a year and lost over $20 million in salary, right?” The guy, still digusted and unimpressed said “Yet here he is!” I guess nothing short of a literal execution would be enough for some people. In other news, don’t tell me that sports columnists and talk radio dudes don’t have influence.

Orioles 4, Rangers 2: Wei-Yin Chen mostly tamed the Rangers boomsticks and JJ Hardy hit a tie-breaking two-run homer in the seventh. Oh, and this happened:

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Brewers 9, Phillies 5: Adam Lind homered and Scooter Gennett doubled twice, tripled and drove in three runs. The Phillies will certainly cure what ails ya.

Pirates 9, Tigers 3: Neil Walker drove in the go-ahead run in the 14-inning on Tuesday night and then, comes into this game and hits two homers among his four hits overall. Alfredo Simon, who started for the Tigers, gave up 15 hits in five and two-thirds innings. Which is a lot of dang hits to give up. He’s lucky he only allowed six runs.

Braves 4, Nationals 1: The Braves beat the franchise that is now the Nationals for the first time since Rusty Staub played for ’em. At least that’s what it feels like. A.J. Pierzynski and Juan Uribe, who I have come to think of as colorful mercenaries on a team that is otherwise not that fun to watch, hit back-to-back homers in the fourth. Rookie Matt Wisler — one of the young guys who are actually likely to be part of the next winning Braves team — only allowed one hit and no runs in five and a third, atoning for his start against the Nats last week which was . . . not as good.

Cubs 2, Mets 0: Mets pitchers have allowed three runs in two games and the Mets have lost both games because their offense is basically chipped beef on toast. Everyone was scoreless until the 11th in this one, when the Cubs scratched across two runs on singles. Both Jon Lester and Bartolo Colon shut the opposition out for seven innings and deserved better fates in this one. Mets pitchers always deserve better fates.

Marlins 6, Giants 5: There are walkoff homers and then there are three-run homers when your team is down two. That’s the kind Justin Bour smacked to win the game for Miami. The Giants turned five double plays in this one to keep that lead late, but it wasn’t enough.

Astros 6, Royals 5: The sweep, as Jose Altuve had three hits and scored the tiebreaking run, Chris Carter and Marwin Gonzalez hit solo homers and Evan Gattis drove in two. Bad news, though: George Springer was plunked on the wrist and may be missing some serious time. Updates on this when we hear them.

White S0x 7, Cardinals 1: Jose Quintana allowed one run over six. Effin’ Quintana, man. That creep can roll. A five-run ninth turned this one into a laugher, though. St. Louis had a six-game winning streak heading into this series but were limited to one run in both games.

Dodgers 4, Diamondbacks 3: With Joc Pederson out Kike Hernandez got the start. All he did was triple, double, scored twice and drive in a run. The Dodgers have taken nine of ten from the Dbacks. Both Arizona and Atlanta should get together and have a discussion of what a “rival” is.

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.