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And That Happened: Monday’s Scores And Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Mets 4, Giants 3: The stories and, perhaps, the clubhouse atmosphere are pretty terrible for the Mets lately, but they’ve won seven of ten. Which means one of three things: either (a) the reports about the acrimony and strife surrounding the team are wrong and overblown; (b) the stories are accurate but and this bit of winning is well and good, but things are gonna turn bad here soon; or (c) the idea that good team chemistry is required for winning is a lie. I suppose time will tell. Either way, playing a reeling Giants team is good for New York right now. The Mets trailed 2-0 and 3-2 but Neil Walker walked things off here with an RBI single in the ninth. Earlier he hit an RBI double.

Orioles 6, Nationals 4: Baltimore jumped on Gio Gonzales for four runs in the first and six runs in the first four innings and that was that. Those first inning runs all came via the longball with Trey Mancini, Joey Rickard and Mark Trumbo going deep. Mancini’s was a two-run shot. The O’s have won five in a row.

Blue Jays 4, Indians 2: Marcus Stroman tossed six shutout innings but this, from Kevin Pillar, was the play of the game. The night. Maybe the season:

[mlbvideo id=”1367670183″ width=”600″ height=”336″ /]

Sorry I didn’t embed the StatCast video of that. I worry that my not doing so means that you will have no way of knowing that it was a good catch. In other news. Ryan Goins hit a two-run homer and Justin Smoak added a two-run single.

Yankees 10, Reds 4: If the Yankees were tired from their marathon game the night before they didn’t show it last night. Brett Gardner and Matt Holliday homered, Masahiro Tanaka won his fifth consecutive start. Such a strong performance undercuts those who spilled ink yesterday writing about how baseball needs to do something to prevent marathon extra innings games. If you missed it, I drafted a comprehensive analysis of that issue with arguments that, I believe, thoroughly assesses all relevant angles of that particular dispute.

Cardinals 9, Marlins 4: Marcell Ozuna hit two homers, but Carlos Martinez hit a three-run double and an RBI single. Carlos Martinez the Cardinals starting pitcher, that is. This is where the anti-DH people cluck about how there’s nothing wrong with pitchers batting. Cluck away. I’m sure it was enjoyable to watch. And, of course, Martinez’s hefty .143 batting average speaks for itself on that score.

Royals 7, Rays 3: The Royals, a day removed from being one-hit, rattled off 13 of ’em. Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, Salvador Perez and Whit Merrifield each had a couple of base knocks and Drew Butera homered and drove in two. Nate Karns allowed two runs while pitching into the seventh inning and striking out ten.

Athletics 3, Angels 2: Jed Lowrie hit two homers, the second of which was a walkoff job in the 11th inning. The first one was a solo shot in the fourth. That’s three straight walkoff wins for Oakland. And this one, unlike the previous two, wasn’t even aided by the Tigers’ crappy bullpen!

Dodgers 12, Pirates 1: Six runs in the first inning capped by Chris Taylor‘s grand slam made this one a laugher for Los Angeles. They had a 10-lead after four. As such, Dodgers fans would’ve been excused for doing what I did last night. Inspired by the trailer for the new “Blade Runner: 2049” movie, I went back and watched the original “Blade Runner” (Final Cut) for the umpteenth time. And when I say “inspired” I sort of mean “concerned.”

I’m sure I’ll go see it the first day it opens, but everything I like about the original “Blade Runner” seems practically impossible for a movie in 2017. The original is a slow, slow burn. Atmospheric. Far less actually happens in terms of action than you either remember or expect. Most of the appeal is this cool and scary universe Ridley Scott and his production designers created out of Philip K. Dick’s inspiration. There is not a lot of exposition or back story or explicit world creating. It just is. You’re allowed, as a viewer, to imagine its rules and limits and its origin in ways filmmakers today never seem to let us. Everything now is told to us. Often by some old man who knows everything or some superfluous computer whiz or whatever.

Watching the trailer for the new one makes me suspect, however, that there will be big scenes in which someone explains how the world became a dystopia or in which big secrets are revealed. Hopefully Deckard/Harrison Ford isn’t in it simply to be Old Man Exposition. I also see that there will be a bunch of action and explosions despite the fact that the original one was content with a couple of surprisingly brief and simple action scenes and a final fight in which one guy basically gets his butt kicked for a minute and then the bad guy just stops because, eh, what’s the point? And then there’s the Jered Leto factor which, eh, let’s just say I’m not a big fan of his.

Eh, I’m overthinking this. The original “Blade Runner” is a dang masterpiece and I’m glad I watched it, regardless of the inspiration. And I bet the Pirates wished they stayed in their hotel last night and did the same thing.

Padres 5, Rangers 1: Trevor Cahill allowed one hit in five and a third scoreless innings and Ryan Schimpf, Austin Hedges and Cory Spangenberg.

Cubs vs. Rockies — POSTPONED:

I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.

Astros owner Crane expects to hire new manager by Feb. 3

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HOUSTON (AP) — Houston Astros owner Jim Crane expects to hire a new manager by Feb. 3.

The Astros need a new manager and general manager after AJ Hinch and Jeff Luhnow were fired Monday, hours after both were suspended by Major League Baseball for a year for the team’s sign-stealing scandal.

Crane said Friday that he’s interviewed a number of candidates this week and has some more to talk to in the coming days.

Crane refused to answer directly when asked if former Astros player and Hall of Famer Craig Biggio was a possibility for the job. But he did say that he had spoken to Biggio, fellow Hall of Famer Jeff Bagwell and former Astros star Lance Berkman in the days since the firings.

“We’ve talked to all of our Killer B’s,” Crane said referring to the nickname the three shared while playing for the Astros. “They’ve contacted me and they’ve all expressed that they would like to help. Berkman, Bagwell, Biggio have all called and said: ‘hey, if there’s anything I can do, I’m here for you.’”

“So we’ll continue to visit with those guys and see if there’s something there.”

Crane says his list is still rather extensive and that he hopes to have it narrowed down by the end of next week. He added that he expects most of Hinch’s staff to stay in place regardless of who is hired.

Crane has enlisted the help of three or four employees to help him with the interview process, including some in Houston’s baseball operations department.

“We compare notes,” he said. “I’ve learned a long time ago that you learn a lot if four or five people talk to a key candidate and you get a lot more information. So that’s what we’re doing.”

Crane’ top priority is finding a manager with spring training less than a month away, but he said he would start focusing on the search for a general manager after he hires a manager. He expects to hire a GM before the end of spring training.

“We should have another good season with the team pretty much intact … so I don’t know why a manager wouldn’t want to come in and manage these guys,” he said. “They’re set to win again.”

The penalties announced by MLB commissioner Rob Manfred on Monday came after he found illicit use of electronics to steal signs in Houston’s run to the 2017 World Series championship and again in the 2018 season. The Astros were also fined $5 million, which is the maximum allowed under the Major League Constitution, and must forfeit their next two first- and second-round amateur draft picks.

The investigation found that the Astros used the video feed from a center field camera to see and decode the opposing catcher’s signs. Players banged on a trash can to signal to batters what was coming, believing it would improve the batter’s odds of getting a hit.

With much still in flux, Crane was asked what qualities are most important to him in his next manager.

“Someone mature that can handle the group,” he said. “Someone that’s had a little bit of experience in some areas. We’ve just got to find a leader that can handle some pressure and there’s going to be a little bit of pressure from where this team has been in the last few months.”

Despite his comment about experience, Crane said having been a major league manager before is not mandatory to him.

“We made some mistakes,” he said. “We made a decision to let that get behind us. We think the future is bright. We’ll make the adjustments … people think we’re in crisis. I certainly don’t believe that.”