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And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights


Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Rangers 5, Athletics 1: A nice day from Colby Lewis who took a perfect game into the eighth, then lost it, the no-hitter and the shutout in pretty short order. Still, he pitched a complete game allowing that lone run on two hits and a walk with four strikeouts on 109 pitches. What did you do that was so good yesterday? Unless your name is LeBron James or maybe Victor Martinez, see below, not much.

Blue Jays 13, Phillies 2: I’d say “J.A. Happ faced his old friends in Philly,” but I think literally the only dude still there from when Happ was in Philly is Ryan Howard and he’s had his bags packed and his car running since mid-April. Happ allowed only three hits and an unearned run in seven. The Jays had five homers and 17 hits in all. The dingers came from Kevin Pillar, who hit two, and one each from Edwin Encarnacion, Michael Saunders and Devon Travis.

Nationals 8, Padres 5: The Nats win their ninth game in the past 11. Bryce Harper and Wilson Ramos hit back-to-back homers. Anthony Rendon added a solo shot. Harper on his homer:

“I’m looking for balls that I can crush. Swing at pitches that are down and over the plate and do some damage with them.”

Good strategy. Way better than that “looking for balls on which I can muster only weak, glancing contact and try not to offend the pitcher with them” plan that so many in the game are employing today. Really, I think this “crush” strategy is going to give Harper something to work with.

Mets 6, Pirates 4: Bartolo Colon pitched well, but he also hit a double. I’ve been mildly critical of the StatCast folks at MLB for giving us somewhat context-free stats about exit velocity and speed and stuff, but I think it’s worth knowing that the land speed of a wild Bartolo Colon is upwards of 16 m.p.h.

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Yankees 4, Twins 1: It was tied 1-1 in the seventh until Didi Gregorius hit a three-run homer. And how about CC Sabathia: one run on six hits in six innings with seven strikeouts. Since the beginning of May he has cut his ERA down from 5.06 to 2.20 on the power of four starts in which he allowed no earned runs, two starts with one earned run and one start in which he allowed two. The Yankees still don’t impress me as a strong playoff contender overall, but Sabathia has been keeping them in the conversation almost singlehandedly.

Braves 7, Reds 2: A day after hitting for the cycle Freddie Freeman hit a two run homer and knocked a couple of singles. Freeman was 10-for-18 with three homers and six RBI in the series. I guess someone around here knows how to play this game.

Mariners 6, Rays 4: The Rays had two come-from-behind victories in this series. They would not get a third. Dae-Ho Lee drove in three runs as the Mariners salvage the finale.

Orioles 5, Red Sox 1: Tyler Wilson pitched eight shutout innings and Adam Jones homered and drove in three. Baltimore takes two of three in the series and has taken six of ten from them this season. They have a one-game lead in the East.

Tigers 10, Royals 4: Bad news from one Martinez — J.D., who fractured his elbow while running into a wall chasing a foul ball — but good news for another as Victor hit three home runs. The Bengals — yes, that was an alternate nickname for them I forgot when I wrote that post the other day — hit a total of six homers here.

Brewers 8, Dodgers 6: Jonathan Villar played the hero, hitting a tie-breaking two-run homer in the top of the ninth. The Dodgers had a chance to win it in the bottom half, but Jeremy Jeffress struck out Corey Seager with the bases loaded and two outs to end the game.


No, the Astros aren’t being targeted for HBPs in spring training

Alex Bregman
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On Wednesday, Astros third baseman Alex Bregman was hit by Cardinals pitcher Ramon Santos. It marked the seventh time an Astros batter had been hit in spring training exhibition games thus far, the highest total among all teams. As expected, teams are exacting revenge for the Astros’ cheating ways!

Well, not quite. The pitch Santos hit Bregman with was a 3-2 breaking ball that got away. Usually, if a pitcher is going to hit a batter as an act of revenge, he’ll attempt to do it with a first-pitch fastball.

José Altuve was also hit by a pitch against the Tigers on Sunday. The pitch, which looks to be the off-speed variety, appeared to graze his uniform as opposed to hitting him flush, so it was likely unintentional on the part of pitcher Nick Ramirez.

Other Astros to have been hit in spring training thus far: Alex De Goti, Aledmys Díaz, Osvaldo Duarte, Dustin Garneau, and Jake Meyers. Not exactly a who’s-who list of Code Breaker operatives.

Will some pitchers intentionally throw at the Astros this year? Almost certainly, despite commissioner Rob Manfred’s warning. Have they been doing it from the moment exhibition games began earlier this month? Certainly not.