And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Dodgers 5, Nationals 0: Zack Greinke with eight more shutout innings to increase his scoreless innings streak to 43 2/3. The record, of course, is Orel Hershisher’s 59. Bryce Harper went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and a walk against him and after the game said “I think he was okay . . .  For me, I don’t think he was very tough,” and said that the key to his winning yesterday was that he was “getting five to six inches off of the plate.” Which makes him just the latest National who, for whatever reason, thinks it’s important to say how unimpressed he was by the team or player who just handed his ass back to him.

Orioles 9, Tigers 3: I was at this game and, in fact, took in the whole series. And while I am always skeptical of narratives and omens and the identification of turning points and watershed moments, it’s hard to escape the feeling that one was happening here for the Tigers. Talking to fans and even some Tigers people revealed this to be the weekend when everyone’s feeling that, if thusandsuch just happens, the season can be saved was disposed of. No one feels that way right now. Indeed, many feel like the run the Tigers have been on the past few years is over and this weekend was when everyone began to accept it.

In the 5th or 6th inning, I saw this from my seats:

source:

It was a car fire in a parking lot a block or two from the ballpark. But it served as a nice symbol for Justin Verlander’s performance and current trajectory. For the bullpen. For the Miguel Cabrera-free Tigers offense. For the season. And maybe even the current mini-dynasty the Tigers have put together. Fire sale, anyone?

Indians 5, Reds 3: Cleveland takes two of three from Cincinnati in the Battle for Ohio. And no, it’s not the case that the loser of this series gets stuck with Ohio. The Reds walked Indians batters with the bases loaded four times. FOUR TIMES. They gave up ten free passes in all, six of which came from the misfiring arm of Johnny Cueto. There are a lot of miserable ways to lose a ballgame, but walking in four of the opponents’ five runs has got to be among the most miserable possible.

Yankees 2, Mariners 1: Mark Teixeira’s homer put the Yankees over the top but the big takeaway here was CC Sabathia not, you know, sucking. One run over six innings and seven strikeouts? That’s what the Yankees need from him to stay in first place.

Blue Jays 4, Rays 0: A couple of two-run homers and eight shutout innings from Marco Estrada, who just loves pitching against the Rays, it seems. Remember this last month? That’s 21 straight scoreless innings for Estrada against the Rays this season.

 

Phillies 8, Marlins 7: Down a run in the 9th, Jeff Francoeur hits a two-run homer to give the Phillies an 8-7 walk-off win over the Marlins:

Best part: as he crosses home plate Freddy Galvis kicks him in the butt. As one does.

Royals 4, White Sox 1: The Royals just keep on humming, taking two of three from the Sox. Danny Duffy, backed by some slick defense, allowed one run over eight innings and somehow rapped 11 hits off of Chris Sale. Lorenzo Cain and Paulo Orlando homered. The Royals are now 20 games above .500.

Brewers 6, Pirates 1: The Pirates were the hottest team in baseball heading into the All-Star break. The time off didn’t do them wonders, as they come in to Milwaukee and get swept by the last place Brewers. Taylor Jungmann improves to 5-1 since his callup.

Astros 10, Rangers 0: Dallas Keuchel struck out a career-high 13 in seven scoreless innings. And afterwards talked about how Rougned Odor “disrespects the game.” So a strong performance from Keuchel in both the pitching and the ballplayer cliche department on Sunday.

Mets 3, Cardinals 1: Eighteen innings and nearly six hours of baseball, most of which featured a score of 1-1 0-0. The Mets finally broke through with a run-scoring sac fly and a squeeze play. Overall the Mets left 25 men on base and went 1-for-26 with runners in scoring position. But they won, which makes those numbers mere conversation pieces.

Athletics 14, Twins 1: Jake Smolinski homered twice for four RBI and Josh Reddick hit a grand slam. Billy Butler and Josh Phegley each hit two-run homers.

Giants 2, Diamondbacks 1: Madison Bumgarner only went five innings as he didn’t have his best stuff, but the Dbacks still could only get one run off of him. Justin Maxwell homered and Hunter Pence doubled in a run in a game where all the scoring was concluded by the third inning.

Cubs 4, Braves 1: Jake Arrieta struck out ten in seven shutout innings, besting Braves All-Star Shelby Miller. Arrieta is 5-0 with a 0.96 ERA over his last six starts.

Rockies vs. Padres: POSTPONED; Red Sox vs. Angels: POSTPONED: It was the first home Padres rain out since 2006. The first Angels home rainout since 1995. Which can mean only one thing:

I haven’t seen your face in a year
I can’t wait till I get there
Just to kiss and squeeze and hug
Girl you know the rest ’cause they tell me

It never rains in southern California
It never rains in southern California

Maybe I’ll take the flight out tonight
and you can pick me up about 8
I don’t know what airline girl
but I know it won’t be late ’cause they tell me

It never rains in southern California
It never rains in southern California

And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Mets 6, Nationals 4: Carlos Gómez hit the big blast here, socking an eighth inning, go-ahead three-run homer. This after the Nats themselves had come behind following Dave Martinez getting ejected. Maybe there’s something to the whole idea of the Nats playing better without Martinez, but it’s trumped by the unreliability of the Washington bullpen, who would probably even make Casey Stengel look bad. So it would seem, at the moment anyway, the conditions for testing that idea are scientifically are not optimal. Washington should probably fix both of those things, though. Maybe they’ll have something if the season is not already lost by now.

Now let’s watch Carlos Gomez (a) lose his shoe running first to third; and (b) be all Carlos Gomez-y on that home run trot:

Pirates 14, Rockies 6: Pittsburgh was leading 8-0 when the Rockies put up a six-run sixth to make things interesting, but a big seventh featuring homers from Josh BellBryan Reynolds and Starling Marte put things back out of reach. Josh Bell on the season: .339/.408/.718 and he’s on pace for 55 homers and 162 RBI. Holy Moly.

Yankees 6, Orioles 5: New York took a 5-1 lead into the eighth and it looked like another cakewalk, but the O’s at least made it interesting with a four-run eighth to tie things up. Brandon Hyde sent reliever Mychal Givens out for the top of the ninth and . . . it didn’t go well. Well, it went well at first, as Givens struck out the first two batters he faced. Then:

If I’m an Orioles fan I suppose I’m happy that game-losing rally didn’t come via even more dinger — at least in the ninth; Clint Frazier and Luke Voit homered earlier — but I suppose that’s cold comfort. Hell, at this point of the season if I’m an Orioles fan I probably want dingers because the infamy of shattering the all-time single season home runs allowed record is gonna be a season highlight. Of sorts.

Red Sox 8, Blue Jays 2: Close for the first two thirds of the game but, unfortunately for the Jays, we usually play three-thirds in this game. Boston scored two in the sixth, one each in the seventh and eighth and then opened up with a three-run ninth to make this one not-so-close. Sox starter Ryan Weber allowed one run over six to give a breather to a bullpen which pitched in a thirteen inning game the night before and Steve Pearce homered and had three RBI. The highlight of the game, though, came from a Jays player. Watch Vlad Jr. through out Rafael Devers from his butt:

Marlins 5, Tigers 2: Make it six straight wins for the Marlins. This one was particularly fun for the Fish and particularly gutting for the Tigers, as Detroit took a 2-0 lead into the ninth only to see reliever Shane Greene cough up all five of the runs Miami would score on the day. First an RBI single to Neil Walker to made it 2-1. A few batters later Ron Gardenhire intentionally walked Curtis Granderson to load the bases, setting up Garrett Cooper for his two-out grand slam. Cooper hit his first big league dinger on Wednesday, so I guess he’s getting the hang of this game. That’s nine straight losses for Detroit. Could’ve been ten as they were trailing in a game against Oakland last weekend that got suspended. Of course it probably feels like 25.

Phillies 9, Cubs 7: Jean Segura and J.T. Realmuto homered and Andrew McCutchen had two hits and two RBI as a fairly wild series ends up in a split. Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber homered for Chicago but Jon Lester was kinda shaky. Philly has won five of seven.

Braves 5, Giants 4: Austin Riley hit a game-tying home run in the eighth and then drove in the go-ahead run in the 13th with an RBI single. The kid just got called up nine days ago but he’s already got five homers in those nine games while hitting .389/.421/.833. Someone tell him this game at that easy. Riley and Ozzie Albies each had three hits and Tyler Flowers homered too. The Braves have won 10 of 13 and have pulled to within a game and a half of Philly.

Twins 16, Angels 7: The Angels probably would’ve preferred another rainout. No dice, though, and as it was they gave up eight — 8! VIII! — homers to the Twins. Four of those were surrendered by Matt Harvey, who couldn’t get out of the third inning and whose ERA ballooned to 7.50 on the season. So, um, yeah, that whole experiment has not worked out too well. As for the dingers: Miguel Sanó and Jonathan Schoop went deep twice while C.J. Cron, Max KeplerJorge Polanco and Eddie Rosario had a homer a piece. It was the second time this year Minnesota hit eight homers in a game. The Twins are on pace for 324 homers. The all-time record was set by the Yankees last year with 267. Minnesota is likewise only the second team to hit eight homers in a game twice in a season. The last was the 2005 Rangers. Which, yeah, every game these days sort of feels like old Rangers games. Not that that’s really a compliment, aesthetically speaking. Indeed, longtime readers will know that I tend to default to “1990s-2000s Rangers” as a shorthand for rather boring, offense-heavy baseball. Not that Twins fans should mind, of course.

Rays 7, Indians 2: The “highlight” of this one was a Kevin Kiermaeir inside-the-park homer which was, in reality, a real drag of a play given that it only happened because Tribe outfielders Oscar Mercado and Leonys Martín slammed into each other and got hurt:

Each of the outfielders would stay in the game, thankfully. Both for their own sake and because the Indians are probably one injury or cold streak away from activating Cory Snyder or Albert Belle or someone to play outfield. The Rays got more conventional homers from Tommy Pham, Avisail García and Willy Adames.

White Sox 4, Astros 0: Lucas Giolio went the distance, spinning a four-hit shutout while striking out nine to help the Chisox earn a series split. That’s two straight complete games for Giolito. The last one was a rain-shortened four and a half inning number, but CGs are rare these days. He should own it.