Getty Images

And That Happened Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

11 Comments

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Reds 7, Brewers 1: Luis Castillo allowed one run over eight innings and struck out ten. Yesterday Bill explained why we should all be keeping an eye on that guy going forward.

Twins 10, Rays 6: Minnesota ended a three-game skid and took back possession of second Wild Card position from the Angels. Eduardo Escobar had three hits and three RBI and Brian Dozier and Ehire Adrianza both homered

Rangers 12, Braves 8; Braves 5, Rangers 4: The first game of the doubleheader had an announced attendance of over 19,000 based on who bought tickets for the cancelled night before, but there were fewer than 1,000 people in attendance. It just looked and sounded weird, man. I’m used to seeing that at Turner Field on occasion, but in the new ballpark it’s kinda strange. Anyway, Elvis Andrus drove in three runs with four hits, including a homer, which was his 20th on the year. I’d say he did it “against his old mates” but it was about 5,000 years ago that the Braves traded him away. The Braves split the twin bill, somehow surviving five walks from starter Julio Teheran in the second game, Here’s Teheran afterward:

“I know five walks is a lot but I didn’t want to throw the ball over the plate where they could hit it.”

Hmm.

Athletics 3, Angels 1Sean Manaea pitched shutout ball into the seventh inning, Khris Davis homered and the A’s stopped an eight-game losing streak.  A’s third baseman Matt Chapman was ejected after an exchange between him and Angels catcher Juan Graterol in the bottom of the fourth inning triggered by Graterol claiming that Davis was stealing signs from second base. No word on whether he was using an Apple Newton or a Palm Treo or anything to do it. I mean, it’s the A’s. Their budget is going to be lower than the Red Sox’ for such things.

Cubs 1, Pirates 0: Gerrit Cole and Jose Quintana exchanged zeroes — Cole did it for eight innings, Quintana for six, his friends in the pen for three more — but Alex Avila tripled in a run in the top of the ninth to push the Cubs over. It wasn’t some rocket shot to the corner or anything either. The Pirates were shifting on Avila, he broke his bat and blooped one opposite the shift and Leonys Martin scored easily from second base. Tough luck for Cole after allowing only two hits in his start.

Red Sox 6, Blue Jays 1: Doug Fister gave up one run over seven innings and Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a two-run homer and drove in three. It’s crazy that on a team with Chris Sale, David Price and Rick Porcello that Fister has been their most reliable pitcher of late.

Royals 13, Tigers 2: On Tuesday night the Tigers beat the Royals 13-2. Last night Kansas City returned the favor. This game was tied heading into the seventh, by the way, before the Royals scored four in that inning and seven runs in the eighth. That’s bad even for the Tigers bullpen. Sal Perez hit two homers. Brad Ausmus wasn’t literally reading want ads in the dugout last night, but I bet he was doing so mentally speaking.

Mets 6, Phillies 3: Robert Gsellman pitched pretty well until the sixth inning, when he gave up three runs, but thankfully for him and the Mets the game ended after six innings due to rain. Travis d'Arnaud homered. Brandon Nimmo drove in two via two sacrifice flies. I like to call that “pulling a Black Sabbath,” which is to be super great without any hits. OK, I lied, I don’t like to call it that. I just made it up on the spot.

Nationals 8, Marlins 1: Gio Gonzalez tossed five shutout innings and seven different Nats hitters drove in a run.  Ryan Zimmerman and Michael A. Taylor each hit homers. It was the Nats’ eight straight victory over Miami.

Indians 5, White Sox 1: Cleveland keeps on rolling, taking its 14th game in a row to tie a franchise record. Here Carlos Carrasco starred, allowing one run on three hits in a complete game and needing only 97 pitches to do it. The lone run came on a homer with two outs in the ninth. Carlos Santana hit a two-run home run and had three hits in all.

Giants 11, Rockies 3: San Francisco snaps its 10-game losing streak at Coors Field, thanks to Joe Panik‘s five hits. He drove in two, and went 12-for-15 in the series. Nick Hundley and Austin Slater knocked in two runs each as well while Gorkys Hernandez did them one better and knocked in three.

Astros 5, Mariners 3: It was tied 3-3 in the top of the ninth when Cameron Maybin walked up and hit a two-run homer. That gave Houston a sweep and their seventh straight win overall. After the late August skid Houston found themselves on, this little run has to give hope to the Dodgers who . . .

Diamondbacks 3, Dodgers 1: . . . lost once again to the red-hot Diamondbacks, who took their 13th straight. Their streak of innings without trailing ended, but it’s all good, as pinch-hitter Adam Rosales doubled in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning and Taijuan Walker and three relievers held Los Angeles to one run. The Dodgers have lost six in a row and 11 of 12.

Cardinals 3, Padres 1: Jack Flaherty threw five innings of one-run ball and Stephen Piscotty hit a two-run homer in the seventh to give St. Louis their first runs — and only necessary runs — of the game. St. Louis has won four straight and six of seven.

Yankees vs. Orioles — POSTPONED:

Can someone send a runner
Through the weather that I’m under
For the feeling I lost today?
Can someone send a runner
For the feeling I lost today?
You must be somewhere in London
You must be lovin’ your life in the rain
You must be somewhere in London
Walking Abbey Lane

Justin Verlander laughed at after saying Astros were “technologically and analytically advanced”

Getty Images
11 Comments

Justin Verlander was at the annual Baseball Writers Association of America banquet last night, on hand to accept the 2019 Cy Young Award. Normally such things are pretty routine events, but nothing is routine with the Houston Astros these days.

During his acceptance speech, Verlander made some comments about the Astros’ “technological and analytical advancements.” The comments were greeted by some laughter in the room as well as some groans. At least one person on hand claimed that other players present were visibly angry.

It’s hard to tell the context of it all without a full video — maybe Verlander meant it as a joke, maybe the reactions were more varied than is being described — but here’s how reporters on hand for it last night are describing it:

If it was a joke it was ill-timed, as not many around the game think the sign-stealing stuff is funny at the moment. Especially in light of the fact that, despite having several opportunities to do so, Astros players have failed to show any accountability for their cheating.

And yes, that includes former Astros Dallas Keuchel, who was praised for “apologizing” at a White Sox fan event on Friday, but whose “apology” was couched in a lot of deflection and excuse-making about how it was just something that was done at the time and about how technology was to blame. Keuchel also tried to minimize it, saying that the Astros didn’t do it all the time. Which is rich given that the most prominent video evidence of their trash can-banging scheme came from a blowout Astros win in a meaningless August game against a losing team. If they were doing it in that situation, please, do not tell me they weren’t doing it when games really mattered.

Anyway, I’d like to think Verlander was just trying to take a stab at a joke here, because Verlander is the wrong guy to be sending to be sending any kind of messages diminishing the cheating given that he has a pretty solid track record of holding other players’ feet to the fire when they get busted.

For example, here he was in 2018 after Robinson Canó got busted for PEDs:

Of course, consistency can be a problem for Verlander when his teammates are on the ones who are on the hook. Here was his response to Tigers infielder Jhonny Peralta being suspended in the wake of the Biogenesis scandal:

“Everybody makes mistakes. He’s my brother. We fight and bleed and sweat together on the baseball field. If my brother makes a mistake, especially if he owns up to it and serves his time, I don’t see how you can hold a grudge or anything like that. “It’s one thing to step up and be a man and own up to his mistake.”

Verlander, it should also be noted, was very outspoken about teams engaging in advanced sign-stealing schemes once upon a time. here he was in 2017, while still with the Tigers, talking about such things in a June 2017 interview with MLive.com.

“We don’t have somebody, but I’m sure teams have a person that can break down signals and codes and they’ll have the signs before you even get out there on the mound.  It’s not about gamesmanship anymore. It used to be, ‘Hey, if you can get my signs, good for you.’ In the past, if a guy on second (base) was able to decipher it on a few pitches, I guess that was kind of part of the game. I think it’s a different level now. It’s not good.”

Which makes me wonder how he felt when he landed on the Astros two months later and realized they had a sophisticated cheating operation underway. If the feelings were mixed, he was able to bury the part of them which had a problem with it, because he’s said jack about it since this all blew up in November. And, of course, has happily accepted the accolades and the hardware he he has received since joining Houston, some of which was no doubt acquired by virtue of a little extra, ill-gotten run support.

Anyway, wake me up when someone — anyone — associated with the Astros shows some genuine accountability about this.