And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

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Two teams without wins enter the weekend and each of them sweep their series. This, my friends, is why baseball does not lend itself well to two-hour pregame shows and hours and upon hours of talk radio breaking things down to the nth degree. Things change fast in this sport and what happened yesterday has little bearing on what happens today. Baseball isn’t prone to IN DEPTH BREAKDOWNS. Baseball just . . . happens. Maybe someone should do a show about that. About how that just happened. Hmmm . . .

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights.

Yankees 4, Mariners 3: A-Rod was 0-for-19 and then hit a two-run homer. Maybe he’s done. I have no idea. 40-year-olds are often toast before they realize it, but he got around on that one. Masahiro Tanaka beat Hisashi Iwakuma. They used to play together for Rakuten in NPB. All the stories about this make some reference to “his old friend . . . ” in some way. They probably are friends. I’m going to choose to believe, however, without reading further, that they actually have a long-simmering feud over, say, a woman. Or a promise one made to another over strong drink, later broken. “Ah, yes, I beat my old friend,” Tanka says to the press. But deep down there are scars that will never heal. Sorry, just makes it all the more interesting for me.

Mets 6, Indians 0: Steven Matz was declared dead and there was much panic after his first start but then came back and struck out nine and allowed three hits over seven innings, which makes me think that the Mets coverage tends to skew toward unreasonable extremes. He was just mostly dead, I guess. There’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Mostly dead is slightly alive. With all dead, well, with all dead there’s usually only one thing you can do . . . go through his clothes and look for loose change.

Braves 6, Marlins 5: Braves win three in a row! They gonna go 153-9 now, I presume. In other news, on Friday night as I was watching them win their first game of the season, one of my Twitter correspondents informed me that Peter Buck of R.E.M. came up with the idea for — and the mandolin line to — “Losing My Religion” while watching the 54-106 1988 Atlanta Braves on TV with the sound down. I was probably watching the same games as him at the time and all I came up with were increasingly implausible fantasies about how I was gonna get some sophomore girl to notice me. Oh well, genius works in varying ways. OK, the 2016 Braves aren’t going to win 153 games. But here’s hoping they, like their similarly futile 1988 counterparts, inspire a great song in a couple of years.

Twins 3, Angels 2: Oswaldo Arcia walked ’em off with a single to score Byron Buxton in the 12th inning, giving the Twins a three-game sweep. I’m going to assume that Prince or the Replacements or someone wrote a great song while watching the Twins lose 91 games in 1986 and that someone will likewise do so in Minneapolis this summer.

Rays 3, White Sox 2: Matt Moore struck out 10 over six and a third innings and Brandon Guyer had four hits. It seems like forever ago that Moore had Tommy John surgery, but he’s still just coming back from it, having made only 12 starts last year in that “man, I just don’t have my command back yet” phase of TJ recovery.

Blue Jays 5, Red Sox 3: The Jays salvage one. Edwin Encarnacion has two singles and an RBI and Jose Bautista went long. Aaron Sanchez allowed two hits in seven innings of one-run ball.

Phillies 4, Nationals 2: Jonathan Papelbon came into the game in the bottom of the 10th for the one-run save against his former team. And his former team shoved it down his throat, with Andres Blanco hitting an RBI single and Freddy Galvis hitting an RBI double as Papelbon gave up three hits in all.

Pirates 9, Brewers 3: The Buccos rattled off 17 hits against Brewers pitchers. Andrew McCutchen homered for the second day in a row, Sean Rodriguez had a two-run homer and Josh Harrison and John Jaso each had two hits as the Pirates took two of three from Milwaukee to end a brief four-game skid.

Astros 5, Tigers 4Jose Altuve hit a leadoff home run and had three RBI while George Springer hit a solo shot. While it came in a loss, Ian Kinsler had a helluva day. He hit a two-run homer and then, in the field, he let a Tyler White pop up fall in front of him in order to throw out Colby Rasmus at second. The announcers thought it was an infield fly rule situation at first but it wasn’t because that only applies with force outs at multiple bases. This was just a thing where Kinsler made it so the faster runner, Rasmus, was exchanged for a slower runner in White. Some good deep diving on this play here, including some history as to how this kind of play actually led to the creation of the infield fly rule, even though it didn’t actually apply in this case.

Cardinals 4, Reds 3: Subbing for Yadi Molina, Eric Fryer had three hits, including a go-ahead double with two outs in the eighth inning. He’s 6-for-6 on the year. He should retire now, tied for the all-time highest single-season batting average.

Rockies 2, Cubs 0: Two homers for Nolan Arenado who continues to remind everyone that he’s a ridiculously good baseball player trapped on an otherwise bad team. Also good: Tyler Chatwood, who had seven shutout innings while allowing only two hits. He’s had two TJ surgeries, by the way. It’s always good to see a guy like that come up big.

Athletics 3, Royals 2Josh Reddick hit a sacrifice fly to score the go-ahead run in the eighth, but that run came in the form of Billy Burns, who had just tripled to set it all up. Reddick gets the RBI, but Burns would get the assist if this was somehow basketball.

Diamondbacks 7, Padres 3: Yasmany Tomas homered twice, drove in three and scored three. This all came hours after the Dbacks dropped a 14-inning game that took 5 hours, 25 minutes, so you figure they were all gassed. Probably felt like I did all day Sunday after giving blood on Saturday. I’ve given blood a bunch of times before, but for some reason this time it made me crazy-fatigued. So basically I’m just like a professional ballplayer who just played a 14-inning game.

Dodgers 3, Giants 1: Down 1-0 in the fifth, Joc Pederson hit a two-run homer that ended up being enough to win the game even if L.A. added an insurance run later. Kenta Maeda allowed his first run of the year, but only that run, to get the win. He’s now 2-0 with 0.47 ERA and 15 strikeouts and four walks in 19 innings.

Orioles vs. Rangers — POSTPONED: I feel the toxins fill my blood stream as I’m walking through the parking lot
Over and over and over and over and over and over
The clouds hanging over
Choking the life out of me
The motto seems to be
“We work in order to be free”

It’s the black sheets of rain
Following me again
Everywhere I go
Everywhere I’ve been
Following me again

Myles Garrett and Mason Rudolph: meet Juan Marichal and John Roseboro

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Last night the Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the Cleveland Browns. No one is gonna be talking nearly as much about the outcome today, however, as they are the carnage.

Specifically, the carnage that led to Browns defensive end Myles Garrett getting ejected from the game after ripping Steelers’ quarterback Mason Rudolph’s helmet off, swinging it at him and connecting with Rudolph’s skull as the game came to a close. Things were already chippy as all get-out, but that obviously led to a brawl which will lead to a ton of suspensions, including a possibly record-breaking one for Garrett. For all your analysis on that, check out PFT, obviously.

The incident will dominate the sports shows today because malicious attempts to injure another player with a piece of equipment are pretty rare in professional sports. There was at least one incident in baseball history, however, that was analogous to what went down in Cleveland last night.

It took place on August 22, 1965 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco during a Dodgers-Giants game. That’s when Giants ace Juan Marichal, playing the role of Garrett, took a baseball bat to the head of Dodgers catcher John Roseboro, standing in for Rudolph.

The Dodgers and Giants are rivals, of course, and in 1965 the two teams were in a pitched battle for the N.L. pennant, with the Dodgers leading San Francisco by a game and a half as the day began.

Pitchers in 1965 were a bit more aggressive about claiming the inside part of the plate than they are today, and on that day, everyone seemed cranky. Marichal knocked Dodgers shortstop Maury Wills down with some chin music in the top of the second for, it appears, committing the terrible transgression of bunting for a single in his first at bat of the game. In response Koufax fired a fastball over Willie Mays’ head, sending the ball to the backstop. So everyone was even, yeah?

Nah. Marichal responded in the top of third with an inside fastball that sent Dodgers first baseman Ron Fairly sprawling to the dirt. At that point home plate umpire Shag Crawford issued a warning, indicating that that the next close pitch from either team would result in an ejection. Walter Alston’s Dodgers, though, were a clever bunch. Sure, maybe a close pitch was going to get an ace ejected in a pennant race, but there are other ways to buzz someone’s tower, right?

Pitchers batted in every game back then, of course, and Marichal came to bat in the bottom of the third. Koufax didn’t throw at him, though. Instead, Roseboro, catching for L.A., threw the ball back to Koufax in such a way as to have it sail close to Marichal’s head as he stood in the batter’s box. He later admitted in his autobiography that it was no accident, he was trying to intimidate Marichal.

Marichal flipped out, clubbing Roseboro with his bat, after which all hell broke loose (all photos, and the original caption from 1965, are from Getty Images):

 

Juan Marichal holding bat, John Roseboro attacked, and Sandy Koufax closes in.

 

Roseboro throws a punch at Marichal while latter swings bat and Koufax comes in to try and break it up.

 

On deck batter Giant Tito Fuentes pulls Roseboro away while Marichal wields bat at Koufax while umpire Shag Crawford and Giant coach Charlie Fox try to break it up.

 

Umpire Shag Crawford wrestles with Marichal while Dodgers Jim Gilliam (19) and Koufax come in. Rear is Giants coach Charlie Fox. Marichal falls to the ground on top of Shag Crawford while Giants Orlando Cepeda joins the melee.

 

Umpire Shag Crawford is shown here wrestling with Marichal as Dodgers Jim Gilliam (#19) and Sandy Koufax join in. In the rear is Giants’ coach Charlie Fox.

 

Identifiable L-R: Dodger Jim Gilliam (19); John Roseboro (with chest protector); Giants Orlando Cepeda (30); Cap Peterson (17); Warren Spahn; and Mgr. Herman Franks (3).

Willie Mays was credited with keeping the brawl from getting worse. Roseboro had military and martial arts training and, as you can see in the second photo, he was not slowed by his head injury — an injury that would require 14 stitches — from trying to take Marichal apart. Mays was the one who ultimately pulled Roseboro away and out of the fracas. He even held a towel to Roseboro’s head which by then had begun to bleed profusely. The fight eventually ended, with several players sustaining injuries due to kicks and accidental spikings of hands and legs and stuff.

The incident delayed the game for 14 minutes but the fallout beyond that was pretty tame compared to today’s standards. Marichal got an eight day suspension which, because of scheduled doubleheaders, caused him to miss ten games. He was also fined $1,750, which is around $15,000 today. Roseboro only missed two games due to his injury. The Dodgers would lose this game thanks to a big homer from Mays off of Koufax, but the Dodgers would go on to win the pennant and defeat the Minnesota Twins in the World Series.

There was additional fallout: Roseboro sued Marichal for $110,000 in damages. They’d eventually settle, with Roseboro receiving $7,500 from Marichal.

But there was no lingering bad blood. In interviews after the incident both players admitted that there was much more on their minds in 1965 that might’ve contributed to their aggression on that day. There was the rivalry, of course, and the pennant race. But Marichal had been much more personally distracted by a civil war in his native Dominican Republic that raged in 1965 and would not end until September. Roseboro had been, understandably, affected by the Watts Riots in Los Angeles which had taken place just over a week before this game. When you feel helpless about situation A, you often channel your feelings into situation B and both men said that something like that was probably simmering.

Marichal would play for the Dodgers for two games in 1975, the final year of his career. Roseboro had already retired, but Marichal’s cup of coffee with L.A. allowed them to meet up at a Dodgers old-timers game in 1982. There they posed for this photo: 

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“There were no hard feelings on my part,” Roseboro told the L.A. Times in 1990. Roseboro died in 2002. Marichal was an honorary pallbearer at his funeral.

Let’s check in with Garrett and Ruldolph in 37 years to see how they’re doing.