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And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

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With six games washed out yesterday, that brings us to 21 weather-related postponements so far this season. Actually, make it 22, because todays’s early Orioles-Red Sox Patriot’s Day game was called last night too. That’s the most in a month since 2006, when we had 26 postponements in April. Of course, the month is just halfway over.

That stinks, but we’re way past the point where we can blame the schedule for this stuff. We’ve always played games in mid-April, so yesterday could’ve happened in 2008, 1978 or 1948. It happened yesterday because, welp, it happens. Someone ought to name a daily feature out of stuff just happening. I’ll put some thought to it.

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Dodgers 7, Diamondbacks 2: After the Dodgers had scored just three runs in three previous starts, Clayton Kershaw finally got a little dang run support. In so doing, the Dodgers finally won a dang regular season game against the dang Diamondbacks, snapping an 11-game skid against Arizona. Not that Kershaw needed a lot of dang run support, given that he struck out 12 and pitched two-hit ball over seven innings. Chris Taylor homered, doubled and drove in three dang runs. Dang.

Red Sox 3, Orioles 1: The game-time temperature was 34 degrees and the wind chill put it down in the mid-20s, but since today’s forecast was so crappy they pushed hard to get this one in and they did. Dylan Bundy pitched OK for Baltimore, but Chris Sale pitched better for Boston, allowing one run over five. Andrew Benintendi and Mitch Moreland each had three hits as the Bosox go to 13-2, which is their best start in their 118-year history.

Padres 10, Giants 1: Joey Lucchesi was great, even on a day he didn’t have to be given how many runs the Padres scored. Their stater held the Giants to one run over six while striking out nine as the San Diego bats took young Tyler Beede to the woodshed. Christian Villanueva homered, doubled and drove in three and Jose Pirela tripled, doubled, singled and drove in three himself.

Cardinals 3, Reds 2: Carlos Martinez put up seven shutout innings, striking out 11 and Harrison Bader hit a two-run home run as the Cardinals sweep the four-game series. It was their first four-game series sweep in Cincinnati since 1949. The Reds have lost eight in a row. Bryan Price is probably buying groceries on a daily basis at this point.

Mets 3, Brewers 2: Brandon Nimmo‘s homer in the sixth tied the game up at two and Wilmer Flores‘ walkoff homer gave the Mets their 12th win in the season’s first 14 games. Noah Syndergaard dominated for five and a third innings, striking out 11 — at one point fanning eight in a row — and allowing only an unearned run. Just filthy.

Pirates 7, Marlins 3: Starlin Marte went 5-for-5, scored four times and hit a homer while Josh Bell drove in three. Bad news, though: Josh Harrison was hit with a pitch on the left forearm while leading off the third inning and left the game for precautionary reasons. He’ll be evaluated further today. After that there was some retaliatory plunking, but everyone kept their cool for the most part.

Phillies 10, Rays 4: Aaron Altherr hit a three-run homer in the Phillies five-run eighth inning and Scott Kingery had a three-run double. Remember when Gabe Kapler was catching hell? Me neither. I guess winning six in a row and eight of nine will change the narrative a bit.

Rockies 6, Nationals 5: Ian Desmond hit a tiebreaking, two-out homer in the ninth against his former team, Charlie Blackmon homered and drove in three and the Rockies took three of four from the Nats in Washington. The Nats just finished a ten-game home stand in which they dropped seven. Woof.

Athletics 2, Mariners 1: Oakland scored two in the first on a Jed Lowrie two-run homer and it held up thanks to Sean Manaea‘s seven innings of one run ball. Blake Treinen got a four-out save.

Rangers 3, Astros 1: Bartolo Colon was perfect through seven innings and, even though he lost both the perfecto and the no-hitter in the eighth via a walk to Carlos Correa and then a double to Josh Reddick, the old dude was pretty amazing last night (7.2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 7K, 1BB). He didn’t even get the win, though, because Justin Verlander was amazing himself, allowing only one run on one hit over eight innings while striking out 11. This one was decided in the tenth when, tied at 1, Joey Gallo singled, Ronald Guzman hit a ground rule double and then Robinson Chirinos doubled, scoring then both. all off of Hector Rondon.

Blue Jays vs. Indians, Yankees vs. Tigers, Yankees vs. Tigers (Game 2), White Sox vs. Twins, Angels vs. Royals, Braves vs. Cubs — POSTPONED:

Talkin’ to myself and feelin’ old
Sometimes I’d like to quit
Nothin’ ever seems to fit
Hangin’ around
Nothin’ to do but frown
Rainy days and Mondays always get me down
What I’ve got they used to call the blues
Nothin’ is really wrong
Feelin’ like I don’t belong
Walkin’ around
Some kind of lonely clown
Rainy days and Mondays always get me down

MLB’s juiced baseball is juicing Triple-A home run totals too

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There has been considerable evidence amassed over the past year or two that the baseball used by Major League Baseball has a lower aerodynamic profile, leading to less drag, which leads directly to more home runs. If you doubted that at all, get a load of what is happening in Triple-A right now.

The minors have always had different balls than the majors. The MLB ball is made in Costa Rica at a Rawlings facility. The minor league balls are made in China. They use slightly different materials and, by all accounts, the minor league balls do not have the same sort of action and do not travel as far as the big league balls. Before the season, as Baseball America reported, Major League Baseball requested that Triple-A baseball switch to using MLB balls. The reason: uniformity and, one presumes, more accurate analysis of performance at the top level of the minor leagues.

The result, as Baseball America reports today, is a massive uptick in homers in the early going to the Triple-A season:

Last April, Triple-A hitters homered once every 47 plate appearances. As the weather warmed up, so did the home run rate. Over the course of the entire 2018 season, Triple-A hitters homered every 43 plate appearances. So far this year, they are homering every 32 plate appearances. Triple-A hitters are hitting home runs at a rate of 135 percent of last year’s rate.

Again, that’s in the coldest, least-homer friendly month of the season. It’s gonna just get worse. Or better, I guess, if you’re all about the long ball.

Which you had better be, because if they did something to deaden the balls and reduce homers, we’d have the same historically-high strikeout and walk rates but with no homers to provide offense to compensate. At least unless or until hitters changed their approach to become slap hitters or something, but that could take a good while. And may still not be effective given the advances in defense since the last time slap hitting was an important part of the game.

In the meantime, enjoy the dingers, Triple-A fans.