And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Hi folks. If you weren’t here Sunday or yesterday you’ll notice that everything looks a lot different. Posts explaining and/or apologizing about it can be read here and here. Short version: (1) yes, we know there are issues, we are terribly sorry about them, but they are being addressed; and (2) all of this has happened before and will happen again. Thanks for your patience. 

Mets 8, Nationals 5: In the biggest series of the season for both teams so far, round one goes to the Mets. Yoenis Cespedes homered and doubled twice. Dude is hitting .311/.358/.669 with 13 homers in 34 games since coming over in a trade. You’ll recall that the initial idea for the Mets was to add Carlos Gomez. Since he was traded to Houston he’s hitting . . . not that. Max Scherzer gave up five runs in six innings. His ERA by month: April: 1.26, May: 1.67, June: 2.33, July: 3.40, August: 6.43: September: 5.25. I guess that technically means September shows progress? But seriously, yikes. Mets lead the division by five with 25 left to play.

Yankees 8, Orioles 6: Greg Bird hit a tie-breaking three-run homer in the seventh. Off a lefty called in specifically to face him, so I guess that idea that the Yankees needed to re-sign Chris Chambliss or Moose Skowron or someone to platoon with Bird is no longer as pressing a concern. Alex Rodriguez and John Ryan Murphy also homered.

Tigers 5, Rays 4: Rajai Davis homered twice. Indeed, eight of the nine total runs scored in this game came off of homers. Drew Smyly made his return to Detroit. And James McCann, Smyly’s former college batterymate homered off of him. Those two little innocuous coincidences — and it’s stretching the meaning of the word “coincidences to even call them that; they’re really just factoids — would be enough to fuel a week’s worth of intense coverage if this was football instead of baseball. Which is why paying any attention to football writers and commentators is dumb as hell.

Reds 3, Pirates 1: Bad defense for the Buccos and they got handled by Anthony freakin’ DeSclafani. Labor Day? More like LABORED day! Right? Anyone? . . . Eh, the heck with you all. You don’t know real comedy.

Brewers 9, Marlins 1: Hernan Perez had three hits and three RBI and Zach Davies earned his first major league win in his second career start. The season has definitely improved for Milwaukee. It began with a lot of old guys getting beaten and now it’s a lot of young guys getting beaten. Cool thing about that is when the young guys help you win the occasional game, it’s way more satisfying than seeing the old guys do it.

Red Sox 11, Blue Jays 4: Jackie Bradley Jr. had four hits with a two-run home run and four RBI and the Sox beat the tar out of Mark Buehrle, who was working on a lot of extra rest. Seven days, in fact, which in Buehrle Standard Time is, like, a month? Two? Toronto’s lead over the Yankees is cut to a half game.

Indians 3, White Sox 2: Ryan Raburn hit a pair of solo home runs off Chris Sale of all people. Trevor Bauer, meanwhile, found his mostly-gone-in-the-second-half mojo, allowing two runs over seven innings. His record is now 11-11. Make a wish.

Cubs 9, Cardinals 0: Dexter Fowler had a leadoff home run and two-run double in the first two innings and the Cubs were up 8-0 after three. Nice of them to let everyone leave early and get back home to their barbecues and stuff.

Athletics 10, Astros 9: The A’s had an 8-2 lead after six innings and the Astros nearly battled back, thanks in part to a Carlos Correa homer that had escape velocity and is currently en route to Proxima Centauri. The A’s held on, though, adding some late. Sean Doolittle got the save. His first save since September of last year.

Rockies 6, Padres 4: Nolan Arenado was 1-for-3 with a double and an RBI. But then he left the game after going into the stands to get a foul ball and hit his face. His quote:

“I don’t know what I hit — a chair or an arm rest,” he said. “It hit me deep and it hurt me. I thought if I dove I would land on some people but there was no one sitting there.”

Story of San Diego’s season, right?

Diamondbacks 6, Giants 1: Highlight of the Dbacks season right here:

[mlbvideo id=”462069283″ width=”600″ height=”336″ /]

Or not. Patrick Corbin throwing six scoreless innings and Phil Gosselin and A.J. Pollock homering was good too. The Snakes snap a four-game losing streak.

Rangers 3, Mariners 0: The Rangers gain a game on the Astros, who lost, and now stand two back in the division and hold on to the second wild card spot. Still not getting my brain around them contending like this. Jeff Bannister has to be the manager of the year in the AL, right? Him or A.J. Hinch?

Braves 7, Phillies 2: If you win a battle between the worst teams in baseball, does that not make you a loser? Interesting philosophical question. Smallest crowd in Citizens Bank Park history at 15,124. I’m shocked these dogs drew that well.

Twins 6, Royals 2: Tommy Milone allowed two runs over seven innings and Eduardo Escobar drove in three. Wait: Paul Molitor has to be in that Manager of the Year running too, no?

Dodgers 7, Angels 5: Getting three runs off of Zack Greinke in six innings in 2015 is the equivalent of pummeling any other guy, but it still wasn’t enough. Scott Van Slyke had four hits and drove in four runs in this wild one that featured 12 runs, 14 relievers, 23 runners left on base, 27 hits and lasted nearly four hours. It was so bad that I was switching back and forth to . . . college football. And I basically gave up college football three years ago or so. Now I gotta turn in my sobriety chip and start over, one day at a time.

Cole Hamels done for year after just 1 start for Braves

Cole Hamels triceps injury
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ATLANTA — After making just one start for the Atlanta Braves, Cole Hamels is done for the season.

Hamels reported shortly before the start of a four-game series against the Miami Marlins that he didn’t feel like he could get anything on the ball. The left-hander was scheduled to make his second start Tuesday after struggling throughout the year to overcome shoulder and triceps issues.

The Braves placed Hamels on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Sept. 18,, but that was a mere formality. General manager Alex Anthopoulos already contacted Major League Baseball about replacing Hamels in the team’s postseason player pool.

“Cole knows himself and his body,” Anthopoulos said. “You trust the player at that point when he says he can’t go.”

The Braves began Monday with a three-game lead in the NL East .and primed for their third straight division title.

Even with that success, Atlanta has struggled throughout the shortened 60-game series to put together a consistent rotation beyond Cy Young contender Max Fried and rookie Ian Anderson.

Expected ace Mike Soroka went down with a season-ending injury, former All-Star Mike Foltynewicz was demoted after just one start, and Sean Newcomb also was sent to the alternate training site after getting hammered in his four starts.

The Braves have used 12 starters this season.

Anthopoulos had hoped to land another top starter at the trade deadline but the only deal he was able to make was acquiring journeyman Tommy Milone from the Orioles. He’s on the injured list after getting hammered in three starts for the Braves, giving up 22 hits and 16 runs in just 9 2/3 innings.

“There’s no doubt that our starting pitching has not performed to the level we wanted it to or expected it to,” Anthopoulos said. “I know that each year you never have all parts of your club firing. That’s why depth is so important.”

Hamels, who signed an $18 million, one-year contract last December, reported for spring training with a sore shoulder stemming from an offseason workout.

When camps were shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic, Hamels was able to take a more cautious approach to his rehabilitation. But a triceps issue sidelined again before the delayed start of the season in July.

The Braves hoped Hamels would return in time to provide a boost for the playoffs. He also was scheduled to start the final game of the regular season Sunday, putting him in position to join the postseason rotation behind Fried and Anderson.

Now, Hamels is done for the year, his Braves’ career possibly ending after he made that one appearance last week in Baltimore. He went 3 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on three hits, with two strikeouts and one walk in a loss to the Orioles.

Hamels reported no problems immediately after his start, but he didn’t feel right after a bullpen session a couple of days ago.

“You’re not going to try to talk the player into it,” Anthopoulos said. “When he says he isn’t right, that’s all we need to hear.”

Atlanta recalled right-hander Bryse Wilson to replace Hamels on the 28-man roster. The Braves did not immediately name a starter for Tuesday’s game.

With Hamels out, the Braves will apparently go with Fried (7-0, 1.96), Anderson (3-1, 2.36) and Kyle Wright (2-4, 5.74) as their top three postseason starters.

Hamels is a four-time All-Star with a career record of 163-122. He starred on Philadelphia’s World Series-winning team in 2008 and also pitched for Texas and the Chicago Cubs.

Last season, Hamels went 7-7 with a 3.81 ERA in 27 starts for the Cubs.