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And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Yankees 6, Red Sox 2: Gary Sanchez homered and singled in a run and Greg Bird hit a three-run homer as the Yankees took the first game in a critical four-game set with the Red Sox. That backed CC Sabathia who was solid, allowing one run on four hits in six innings. He was less solid in his reaction to Eduardo Nunez, who attempted to bunt for a hit in the first inning. It’s not a dumb play given that Sabathia has a bad knee and may struggle to field his position. And, in fact, Nunez reached when Sabathia threw the ball away. Sabathia didn’t like it, though:

“Just kind of weak to me. It is what it is. It shows what they got over there,” Sabathia said. “It just gets you fired up. It makes you want to beat them. Obviously, I want to win every time I go out there, but even more so after that.”

Sabathia walked his next two batters. After getting consecutive strikeouts to escape a bases-loaded jam , he shouted in the direction of Boston’s dugout.

He said the Red Sox show him “too much respect.”

“Swing the bat,” the veteran pitcher said.

Only in baseball would such a thing be considered an issue of “respect” or “class” or whatever Sabathia is getting at here. In any other sport it’d just be assumed to be good strategy. Cornerback gimpy? Of COURSE the quarterback is gonna pick on him. Goalie have a weak glove hand? Of course the other team is gonna shoot to his glove hand side. They’re in it to win it, it’s not dirty and it’s not a matter of respect. In baseball, though it’s a thing. Whatever Sabathia needs to motivate himself, fine, but after reading those words I rolled my eyes so hard that I injured myself. Calcaterra: 10-day disabled list (eyes).

Blue Jays 11, Orioles 8: Kendrys Morales hit three homers and drove in seven. He shouldn’t have disrespected the ball like that. Yet he did, hitting a two-run homer in the third, an RBI single in the fifth, a three-run shot in the sixth and a solo shot in the eighth. This after the Jays fell behind 3-0 and 5-2 early. Big night.

Twins 5, White Sox 4: Max Kepler was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and two outs in a tied game in the bottom of the ninth inning. That’s a walkoff plunk, babies. The plunk followed Eddie Rosario tying the game up at four with a ninth inning RBI single. It was the Twins’ first game-ending HBP since Paul Molitor was plunked in the 10th at the Metrodome in 1996 to beat Kansas City. So you have to assume he drew that play up between innings saying “This’ll work, fellas. Been waitin’ for a chance to unleash this one.”

Astros 5, Rangers 1Jose Altuve homered, Josh Reddick hit an RBI single and the Astros’ bullpen pitched four and a third scoreless innings as Houston salvages one in their series-in-exile. Now they return to Houston and their homes and families. And they get to meet their new friend, Justin Verlander.

Reds 7, Mets 2Scooter Gennett drove in three runs with a homer and a double. Joey Votto hit a homer, but that wasn’t his best play of the day:

The young fan is Walter Herbet. He’s six and he met Votto last week via the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Nice move, Joey. Get well, Walter.

Diamondbacks 8, Dodgers 1: Five straight losses for the Dodgers, who have apparently decided to get their annual skid in now instead of during the NLCS. Smart! Chris Iannetta and A.J. Pollock homered. Paul Goldschmidt doubled twice and drove in two. Gregor Blanco had three hits, two of them doubles, drove in a run and scored twice. Old friend Zack Greinke allowed one run over six innings. The Dbacks have won nine of 10.

Phillies 3, Marlins 2: Phillies starter Ben Lively allowed two runs over six innings and (all together now) helped his own cause by hitting a two-run single to give Philly a 3-1 lead which they’d not relinquish. Not a bad day. Know who did have a bad day? Giancarlo Stanton. He was 0-for-5, struck out twice, failed to get the ball out of the infield and flied out in the ninth with two men on base and the Marlins trailing by one. Still, by other measures, he had a better day than all of us.

Cubs 6, Braves 2: The Cubs win their fourth in a row as Kyle Hendricks allowed one earned run on five hits while striking out five and walking three in six and two-thirds. Jon Jay had four hits and Kris Bryant homered.

Brewers 6, Nationals 3: The Brewers keep pace. Jonathan Villar went 3-for-5 and homered and Zack Davies allowed two runs over seven to give him his 16th win on the year, tying him for the league lead with Greinke.

Cardinals 5, Giants 2: Michael Wacha allowed one run over six strong innings, Randal Grichuk homered and Tommy Pham drove in two via a single and a bases loaded HBP. The highlight — lowlight? — of the game, however, was a blown replay call which overturned a ninth inning homer from Brandon Crawford:

If a ball hits that green metal overhang in AT&T Park, it’s a homer. If it hits the foul pole, it’s a homer. If it lands in the stands, it’s a homer. On what planet was one of those three things NOT going to happen if the fan hadn’t grabbed it? The umps on the field got this one right. The replay officials overturned it, I suspect because they messed up the ground rules in San Francisco and incorrectly assumed that the green metal was a double. It probably didn’t cost the Giants the game — and at this point no game truly matter for the Giants — but that’s just poor.

Padres fire Andy Green

Andy Green
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The Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday, per an official team release. Bench coach Rod Barajas will step into the position for the remaining eight games of the 2019 season.

Executive Vice President and GM A.J. Preller gave a statement in the wake of Green’s dismissal:

I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.

In additional comments made to reporters, Preller added that the decision had not been made based on the Padres’ current win-loss record (a fourth-place 69-85 in the NL West), but rather on the lack of response coming from the team.

“Looking at the performance, looking at it from an improvement standing, we haven’t seen the team respond in the last few months,” Preller said. “When you get to the point where you’re questioning where things are headed … we have to make that call.”

Since his hiring in October 2015, Green has faced considerable challenges on the Padres’ long and winding path to postseason contention. He shepherded San Diego through four consecutive losing seasons, drawing a career 274-366 record as the club extended their streak to 13 seasons without a playoff appearance. And, despite some definite strides in the right direction — including an eight-year, $144 million pact with Eric Hosmer, a 10-year, $300 million pact with superstar Manny Machado, and the development of top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. — lingering injuries and inexplicable slumps from key players stalled the rebuild longer than the Padres would have liked.

For now, they’ll prepare to roll the dice with a new skipper in 2020, though any potential candidates have yet to be identified for the role. It won’t come cheap, either, as Green inked a four-year extension back in 2017 — one that should have seen him through the team’s 2021 campaign.