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And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Giants 5, Pirates 3: The Giants are hotter than all get out, having won 12 of 14. Who saw this coming? Oh wait: me. Me saw this coming when I predicted them to win the World Series this year. Yeah, you bet your butt I’m not gonna shut up about that as long as they’re still a viable contender this year. If and when they are eliminated from contention or knocked out of the playoffs, I’ll totally shut up about it, pretend I never said anything and possibly delete old posts which reference my prediction. I am, after all, a professional sports writer and there is a long and rich history of my ilk being utterly unaccountable. I shall not stand in the way of that.

Tigers 5, Mariners 4: Detroit wins on a walkoff wild pitch by Steve Cishek. That’s one that stays with you on the long flight back to Seattle. The bases were loaded and it was the bottom of the tenth so I guess there were several other ways for that one to end poorly — a walkoff walk is always fun — but a wild pitch it was. The Tigers sweep the Mariners. It was the first Detroit sweep of Seattle in a four-game series since August 1980. The first game in that four-game series was a walkoff win for the Tigers too. In a 1-0 game won by Al Cowens hitting a bases loaded single off of Shane Rawley to score Rick Peters. Jack Morris went nine shutout innings, allowing six hits. Floyd Bannister almost matched him but ran out of gas in the ninth. Peters was his responsibility so he got the tough luck loss. Just figured you’d want to know that. I probably listened to it on WJR as a seven year-old kid, though I have no memory of it.

Phillies 7, Twins 3: The Phillies end a nine-game losing streak. Freddy Galvis drove in five runs. Cesar Hernandez had four hits and Ryan Howard homered. Afterward Major League Baseball’s scheduling computer was arrested by international authorities for putting this series together. It will be tried for crimes against humanity in The Hague.

Red Sox 8, White Sox 7: Sox win! Red, that is, avoiding the sweep. Xander Bogaerts hit a walkoff single in the 10th. Craig Kimbrel came into a tie game and pitched two innings for the win. I presume that John Farrell will be fined by the Old Managers Society for bucking conventional wisdom like that. He’ll avoid expulsion because it wasn’t on the road — that would shock the conscience — but the two-inning/tie game combo is definitely gonna leave his wallet lighter.

Braves 4, Mets 3: Adonis Garcia hit a two-run homer in the eighth to put the Braves over. The Mets are 5-5 against the Braves this year. 0-3 against the Rockies. 3-3 against the Phillies. It’s not hard to put together an alternate season history that does not have them back of the Nats by four games.

Padres 7, Reds 4: Derek Norris his a three-run homer in the sixth inning to bring the Friars back from behind. The Reds bullpen has given up 54 home runs this year. The next highest on the list: the Twins and Phillies, tied with 40. The major league average is 27.

Marlins 4, Cubs 2: Giancarlo Stanton homered in the fourth inning and singled home the go-ahead run with two outs in the eighth. He’s been lost for so much of the year, but he’s had a pretty nice week or so. Four losses in a row for the Cubs.

Diamondbacks 7, Rockies 6Nick Ahmed had a two-out RBI single in the ninth, salvaging what would’ve been a dispiriting loss given that Arizona had a 6-3 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth. From the “Stuff you don’t think about” department: in the ninth, Rockies reliever Carlos Estevez struck out Paul Goldschmidt before he ran into the trouble that led to Ahmed’s hit. It took him 12 pitches to do it, though, which both tired Estevez out a bit, probably physically and mentally, and gave Ahmed a chance to watch Estevez for a good while, a fact which he noted in the postgame interview. Most of us are pretty bad about just looking at the results and the numbers — the ATH feature relies on that heavily — but little stuff like that matters more than we acknowledge.

Athletics 5, Angels 4Kendall Graveman allowed only two runs and eight hits in six and two-thirds innings. It was the first win for an A’s starter since June 1. In that time their rotation combined to go 0-9 in 17 winless games.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Hey, y’all. I’m going on vacation next week. Bill will be putting up a Settling the Scores post in the morning and will be handling normal blogging duties on a somewhat altered schedule. You’ll see a couple of old friendly faces pitching in with some posts here and there too. I’ll be at the Giants-A’s game on Tuesday night. If anything cool happens there, I’ll not tell you because, remember, I’m on vacation, so why in the heck would I be working? Anyway: have a nice week. See you back here with ATH on July 5. It’ll stink, though, because my head will still be on vacation. You know how it is.

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Orioles 6, Yankees 3: Tim Beckham hit two homers and drove in three to help the Orioles come back from a 3-0 deficit to win the game and avoid the series sweep. Baltimore finishes the year 7-12 against the Yankees which, given how bad they are overall, is actually pretty dang good. If the Yankees fall behind the A’s in this last week and end up having to travel to Oakland for the Wild Card game, I think the Orioles should take credit for that. Print up t-shirts and everything.

Rays 5, Blue Jays 2: Blake Snell tossed shutout ball into the seventh, struck out 11 dudes and won his 21st game on the season. His ERA went down to 1.90 too, and his Cy Young chances, I suspect, went up to about 98%. Snell has not lost since before the All-Star break. C.J. Cron and Brandon Lowe homered for the Rays and Tommy Pham reached base three times. The season will, effectively, be over for them in the next couple of days, but it has been a hell of a second half. That’s worth celebrating if you’re a Rays fan. It’s probably also worth wondering if they couldn’t have done a couple of things differently early in the season to have made them a few games better. Rays fans get pissed at me for saying stuff like that, but sorry, fans of every team should think that way in these sorts of situations. To not do so is to be a fan of a front office, not the fan of a baseball team.

Cardinals 9, Giants 2: Miles Mikolas had no trouble with a Giants lineup which looked like it was already in offseason mode, Matt Carpenter homered and St. Louis swept San Francisco. They’ve won six of seven overall. They’re two back of the Brewers and host them for three games starting tonight. I’m in St. Louis right now and I caught the game in Busch on Saturday. I’m here tagging along with my wife who’s on a conference for work and I have to play dutiful spouse at various social functions in the evenings so I don’t think I’ll get to any of these games before I go home, but the cool thing about St. Louis is that Cards games are on virtually everywhere you go. Living in Columbus, where you have to beg bartenders in sports bars to devote even one TV to a baseball game, I forget that that’s not the case everywhere else. Seriously: in Columbus, if there is no football on, the TVs will put on ESPN talk shows and crap before baseball. Even with the sound down. Which, now that I think about it is probably an improvement, but still. Not the case in St. Louis of course. I feel like I watched the whole game yesterday simply by walking around and in and out of places.

Royals 3, Tigers 2: Brad Keller allowed one run over seven, Adalberto Mondesi homered and Cam Gallagher hit a two-run single to give the Royals the win. Thus ends the Tigers home season. It wasn’t great. As I write this I’m watching the Lions game. They’re at home and they’re leading the Patriots in the fourth quarter. I have no idea why I’m watching this — I’m in a hotel room and everything is weird right now, so that’s probably why — but I can’t remember the last time the Lions had more to be proud of than the Tigers. Maybe it’s the End Times? I dunno. Maybe me just watching football is a sign of the End Times.

Marlins 6, Reds 0: It must’ve been “dude most of you have never heard of tossed seven shutout innings” day yesterday because it feels like several of them did so. Here it was Trevor Richards doing it. Yes, THE Trevor Richards. Chad Wallach hit a three-run homer. I probably should’ve known that Tim Wallach’s kid was a ballplayer but I did not and I do this for a living, so don’t feel too bad about you not knowing who Trevor Richards was. Also: the Marlins had traded Wallach to the Reds back in 2014 in the Mat Latos deal. They got him back on waivers last winter. It’s gotta hurt Cincinnati a little to have a castoff beat you like this.

Braves 2, Phillies 1: The Braves put out the post-clinch hangover lineup against the Phillies ace and still finished off the sweep. Gotta say, I thought the Phillies were gonna have more fight than this but the late season whimper from this club has been quite the thing. Lane Adams homered and drove in both of the Braves’ runs and Anibal Sanchez of all people got the win after allowing just one run five innings. The Braves have a chance to earn home field for the NLDS against, probably, the Dodgers by holding up in the final week. If they have a great week and the Cubs crater they could get home field in the NL playoffs. Doubtful, but still possible.

Mets 8, Nationals 6Michael Conforto hit a go-ahead, bases-loaded triple in the fourth inning and just piled on from there. Jeff McNeil had four hits too, and the Mets took three of four from the Nats. This offseason a lot of people are going to note that the Mets, absent their disastrous May and June, were actually not terrible for most of the year and that with a little more luck with health and some help from the front office they could be a contender in 2019. Then the front office won’t make any moves and they’ll disappoint next season and everyone will act as if it was inevitable even though it isn’t.

Brewers 13, Pirates 6Christian YelichTravis Shaw and Mike Moustakas all hit homers to help Milwaukee win three of four and maintain its two game lead over the Cardinals for the top Wild Card spot. They are two and a half behind the Cubs. Fun play — the Brewers scored three runs on a wild pitch:

My favorite part of that highlight is watching Clint Hurdle chew his gum. I’d be punching walls but I guess that’s why he’s been around so long.

Cubs 6, White Sox 1: Kyle Hendricks pitched one-run ball into the eighth. Kyle Schwarber homered. Ben Zobrist had three hits. Kanye West threw out the first pitch for some reason:

It was also White Sox broadcaster Hawk Harrelson’s final game. He wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but he was an institution for the Sox.

Astros 6, Angels 2Yuli Gurriel hit a two-run homer and Evan Gattis had three hits and two RBI as the Astros sweep the Angels, but the real story here was Charlie Morton, who left early due to shoulder discomfort which is not what you want this close to the playoffs.

Rangers 6, Mariners 1: Texas put up a four-run sixth inning to take a lead they would not relinquish and Joey Gallo hit a two-run homer in the eighth. Once the Rangers had a safe lead, they took Adrian Beltre out of the game. It may very well have been his final game in Texas, and the fans gave him an ovation for it:

Twins 5, Athletics 1Kyle Gibson allowed one run while pitching into the eighth, Jake Cave hit a two-run homer and the Twins prevented the A’s from celebrating a Wild Card clinch at home. The need one more win or one Rays loss to be ensured of a game next week. They remain one and a half games back of the Yankees and need to catch up in order for that one game to be in Oakland rather than the Bronx.

Dodgers 14, Padres 0: It was Matt Kemp‘s birthday and it was a pretty good one: he went 3-for-4 with a single, double and a homer and drove in three. Everyone on the Dodgers partied yesterday, in fact, as the team banged out 16 hits in a walkover. Even Hyun-Jin Ryu got into the act, pitching six scoreless innings and getting three hits of his own. Max Muncy drove in four runs and he didn’t even start in the game.

Rockies 2, Diamondbacks 0: Kyle Freeland tossed seven shutout innings, scattering seven hits, as the Rockies keep their playoff hopes alive. They remain a game and a half behind both the Dodgers in the NL West and the Cardinals in the Wild Card race. The good news for them is that they get to take on Philly and Washington, each of which is sort of mailing things in right now, in their final two series and they’re at home. The bad news is that they need some help.

Indians 4, Red Sox 3: Greg Allen hit a bases-loaded single to give the Tribe a walkoff win. It was the second 11th inning walkoff win for Cleveland in as many nights, in fact, with Michael Brantley doing the honors on Saturday. There’s a chance these two teams could meet in the ALCS — Boston will have to beat the Wild Card winner in a division series and Cleveland will have to beat Houston — but if this past weekend was any indication, such a matchup could be kinda fun.