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And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Orioles 7, Yankees 4: Comebacks, excitement, etc. I don’t care about that. I’m mostly fascinated by Yankees reliever Bryan Mitchell pitching an inning, moving to first base for an inning and then coming back to pitch another inning. Or, as we in the business call it, “Pulling a Grover Cleveland.” This is not to be confused with “Pulling a William Henry Harrison,” which is when a pitcher gets the Opening Day start and then dies of pneumonia 31 days later. The Mets have had, like, four guys do that I think.

Blue Jays 3, Rays 1: A three-run rally in the eighth salvages what started out as a crappy day for Toronto, thanks to starter Aaron Sanchez leaving early due to a split fingernail. Six Jays relievers combined to allow Tampa Bay to score only one run in eight innings, however, as Toronto puts together it’s first two-game winning streak all season. Which is quite the damn thing, ain’t it?

Indians 12, Mariners 4: Michael Brantley singled and hit a two-run homer. Francisco Lindor hit a two-run double. That’d be a great day, but both of those dudes did that in the third inning alone, so yeah, the Indians rolled. Lindor also hit a solo homer earlier in the game. Catcher Roberto Perez drove in three.

Tigers 7, White Sox 3: Detroit snaps a four-game losing streak. Starter Jordan Zimmermann wasn’t great — he allowed three runs on seven hits and two walks in five innings — but the Tigers bullpen put up four scoreless innings, which is not something you see every day.

Marlins 10, Pirates 3: Justin Bour knocked in six runs in this rout. That’s not very common. Indeed, normally if someone knocks in six runs in a game they will have knocked in more runs than anyone in baseball on that day. You could safely bet a lot of money on such a feat, in fact, comfortable that you have won the individual RBI pool of the day, if such a thing existed. Unfortunately, if you put your money on Bour in such a pool yesterday, you lost. Why? Because . . .

Nationals 23, Mets 5:

Anthony Rendon went 6-for-6 with three home runs along with the 10 RBIMatt Wieters hit two bombs and drove in four. Bryce Harper and Adam Lind hit one dinger each. Ryan Zimmerman, Michael Taylor, and Lind knocked in two each. The Nationals have now scored double-digit runs in four out of their last six games. The Mets are a disaster. The Nats should start resting starters for the playoffs.

Brewers 4, Braves 3: I feel sort of ripped off for having missed most of the Braves four-game winning streak due to me doing other things this weekend, but at least I didn’t see it end. “Hello! My name is Domingo Santana. You killed my father. Prepare for me to hit two homers and drive in four!”

Astros 7, Athletics 2: Dallas Keuchel tossed seven and two-thirds of one-run ball, finishing the month of April with a 5-0 record and a 1.21 ERA. Today or tomorrow the Pitcher of the Month Award will be announced. Unless Anthony Rendon somehow gets entered into the running, I’d bet the mortgage on Keuchel getting the honors. Keuchel becomes the second Astros starter to win five games in the month of April. The first: Roger Clemens. Keuchel still trails Clemens in indictments, however.

Twins 7, Royals 5: Miguel Sano homered and drove in five. Or, as we in the business call it, “pulling a half-a-Rendon.” Sano is hitting .316/.443/.684 and is on a 50-homer, 143-RBI pace.

Reds 5, Cardinals 4: Adam Duvall hit three doubles and a single. Joey Votto hit a tiebreaking, bases-loaded single in the eighth. In other news, the other things I did this weekend, in case it wasn’t obvious from the photo linked above, was the Rolex Three Day Event in Lexington, Kentucky. Horsey stuff. They do the jumping in Rolex Stadium, which as I sat in it, I could only think would make a really cool old-timey baseball stadium if they wanted it to. The field is roughly cut out for a ballpark to be laid out in it:

The beam kind of sucks, but I grew up going to Tiger Stadium, so it was easy to get used to. The Reds should play an exhibition down there. It’d be fun as hell.

Angels 5, Rangers 2Jefry Marte homered and hit a tiebreaking, two-run single. JC Ramirez got his first win as a starter after 111 relief appearances over four-plus seasons. Bud Norris, who has 185 career starts, got the save. We’re living in the Upside Down.

Padres 5, Giants 2: Wil Myers hit a three-run homer in the 12th to give the Padres the win. They got to extras thanks to former Giant Hector Sanchez hitting a pinch-hit, two-run homer in the ninth. Even the Tigers are looking at the Giants pen and saying “damn.”

Dodgers 5, Phillies 3: Andrew Toles hit a three-run homer and Hyun-Jin Ryu tossed three-hit ball into the sixth inning as the Dodgers sweep the Phillies. It was Ryu’s first win since August 2014.

Diamondbacks 2, Rockies 0: Four hours of scoreless ball ended when Daniel Descalso hit a two-run homer into the Chase Field swimming pool in the 13th inning to give the Dbacks the walkoff win. Seven Arizona pitchers, led by Patrick Corbin‘s six and a third scoreless innings, combined to shut out the Rockies on only five hits.

Red Sox 6, Cubs 2: I’m glad I was traveling last night because I imagine ESPN narrative’d and storyline’d the Sox-Cubs to death. I bet multiple innings passed without the broadcast crew actually talking about the game in front of them, choosing instead talking about franchise histories and player personalities and all of that jazz. The Sox rode a four-run eighth inning to victory. During which, I presume, you learned about players’ dads, historical coincidences and heard all kinds of crap about the “futility” of two franchises which are extraordinarily successful and popular in large part because of that perceived futility.

Yasmani Grandal signs a four-year, $73 million deal with the White Sox

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The first truly big free agent signing of the offseason has gone down: the Chicago White Sox just announced that they have signed catcher Yasmani Grandal to a four-year, $73 million deal.

Grandal, 31, was the best catcher available in free agency. He is coming off a fine year with the Milwaukee Brewers, with whom he had to settle for a one-year pact in 2019. He hit .246/.380/.468 with 28 homers and 77 driven in. It was his fourth straight season with 20+ homers. While his catching has been criticized due to some high-profile mistakes in the postseason, the two-time All-Star once again proved himself to be one of the best pitch-framers in the game if not the best. Between the bat and the glove he has a claim to being one of the best all-around catchers in baseball.

The signing leaves open the question of what happens to James McCann, who was himself an All-Star this year. It’s not that hard a question, of course, as Grandal is a far superior catcher to McCann in every respect. The Sox could make McCann a backup. Alternatively, they could try to trade him to fill other holes on the roster.

The White Sox finished 72-89 in 2019 but are showing signs of coming out of rebuilding mode and into contention mode. This signing pushes them a big step into that direction.