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And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Here’s the first ever installment of And That Happened. It’s from April 2008. At the time I said I may not keep the feature going because I was worried I might get bored with it quickly.

Let’s begin year 10:

Rays 7, Yankees 3: I didn’t watch this game because, as a rule, the first game of Opening Day shouldn’t take place in a dome. So, yes, the game counts, but without grass and sunshine, it didn’t really happen. According to the box score, Masahiro Tanaka only lasted two and two-thirds and got shelled for seven runs. The Yankees lost on opening day for the sixth consecutive year. I’m guessing they themselves wish this one didn’t count.

Diamondbacks 6, Giants 5: It takes everyone a bit of time to get into midseason form. Even the wise-asses on Twitter. Like this joker, who was agitated at Zack Greinke for pitching around Madison Bumgarner in the top of the second, committing the venial sin of walking the opposing pitcher:

Then the dude hit two big homers. Never analyze anything, people. Never have an opinion. Just let the world wash all over you and observe it. It’s much safer. And this even holds true for those who are hardcore experts about the teams in question:

Grant wrote that after Derek Law blew the save for Bumgarner in the eighth. Mark Melancon blew a save himself in the ninth as the Dbacks won in walkoff fashion, which means that they’re actually on pace for 324 blown saves this year. Again: never analyze.

Wait, what’s this?

I really mean it.

Cardinals 4, Cubs 3: Two out of three Opening Day games were walkoffs. Not too shabby. Here it was Randal Grichuk singling in Jose Martinez to end things. Earlier he hit a two-run homer. That spoiled Willson Contreras’ heroism in the top of the ninth — dude hit a three-run homer to tie things up — but to be fair, that homer had already spoiled the heroism of Carlos Martinez, who had tossed seven and a third innings of shutout ball with ten strikeouts before that.

Today we get 1pm baseball, outside, under the sun, kicking off around 12 straight hours of action. No offense to the six team in these three games, but I’m gonna consider this Opening Day too.

José Ramirez’s 17-pitch at-bat kickstarts Indians’ five-run comeback in ninth inning

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With his team trailing 8-3 to begin the bottom of the ninth inning of Sunday’s game against the Astros, Indians third baseman José Ramirez eventually won a 17-pitch at-bat against closer Ken Giles, ripping a double off of the wall in right field. The Indians would go on to score five runs on seven hits to tie the game against Giles and Hector Rondon. Ramirez almost won the game in his second at-bat of the ninth inning, but first basebamn Yuli Gurriel made a terrific diving catch on a line drive otherwise headed for the right field corner.

Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record for the longest at-bat last month, seeing 21 pitches against the Angels’ Jaime Barria. The Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez sfaw 20 pitches from the Indians’ Bartolo Colon on June 26, 1998, which was the previous record. Kevin Bass saw 19 pitches from the Phillies’ Steve Bedrosian in 1988. There have also been five 18-pitch at-bats from Brian Downing, Bip Roberts, Alex Cora, Adam Kennedy, and Marcus Semien.

Sunday’s game wound up going 14 innings. The Astros pulled ahead 9-8 in the top of the 13th on a solo home run from Evan Gattis. However, the Indians’ Yonder Alonso responded with a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the 13th to re-knot the game at 9-9. Greg Allen then lifted a walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the 14th to give the Indians a 10-9 win.

After Sunday’s effort, Ramirez is batting .292/.389/.605 with 15 home runs, 37 RBI, 34 runs scored, and seven stolen bases. According to FanGraphs, his 3.5 Wins Above Replacement ranks third across baseball behind Mike Trout (4.4) and Mookie Betts (4.1). They’re the only players at three wins or above.