And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Yankees 7, Indians 4: Yankees pitcher Domingo German — making his first big league start — tossed no-hit ball for six innings. At 84 pitches and no reasonable chance for him to go the distance, Aaron Boone took him out to start the seventh. Dellin Betances was able to keep things going until the eighth when he ran into trouble, giving up three runs as the Tribe grabbed a 4-0 lead. Rather than wilt, the Yankees came back with three of their own in the bottom half. In the ninth, Neil Walker doubled in a run to tie the game and then Gleyber Torres hit a walkoff three-run homer to give the Bombers the win. It was Torres’ first walkoff hit of any kind at any level and he becomes the youngest Yankees player to ever do that particular deed. Walkoffs have become a thing for New York lately: this was the third time in their past four home games that they won the game in their final at bat. Winning has become a thing for the Yankees too. It’s their sixth straight win and, more impressively, their 15th victory in their past 16 games. They now trail the Red Sox by only one game, with both teams on pace to shatter the record for victories in a season. Buckle up for a hell of a pennant race. Unless the Yankees just decide to never lose again. At this point I’m not sure which is more likely.

Red Sox 6, Rangers 1: Chris Sale allowed one run over seven and struck out 12, so yep, Chris Sale is still pretty amazing. J.D. Martinez and Sandy Leon homered for the Red Sox, who took three of four in Texas and who have won eight of 12 overall. They’re now heading to the Bronx to take on the Yankees. Yeah, you may hear a bit about that series this week.

Giants 4, Braves 3: On Friday a radio station in Atlanta gave me crap on the air while reading my column about how, while the Braves were in first place and while they were exciting and while they were for real, they are not, in my view, likely to hold on to first place. The not-at-all controversial reasoning: they are super young, the pitching is not fantastic and other teams in the division are better than they have shown. Not sure why that was considered such a hot take, but the radio hosts and their mindless followers on Twitter shouted “scoreboard” at me, noting how much better the Braves had been than the Mets in the previous three games and, by golly, this team is poised for immediate greatness! They also called me “biased,” which presumably means they are not aware that I’m a Braves fan, but that’s beside the point. You know, dear reader, and I know, that three games mean jack crap in the big leagues, but I guess these folks all know better. If so, maybe they can go on the radio again today and talk about how the Giants sweeping the Braves in three games in Atlanta means the end is nigh.

Jackwagon homers aside, there was a game at SunTrust Park, and in it Braves rookie Michael Soroka did not have as nice a day in his second big league start as he did in his first, giving up four runs on seven hits in four innings and walking three. Meanwhile the Braves’ bats could only muster an unearned run off of Giants starter Andrew Suarez before a too-little, too-late rally in the bottom of the ninth. It’s a long season folks. Enjoy the highs but accept that, unless you’re the Yankees, apparently, there will always be lows too.

Nationals 5, Phillies 4: Max Scherzer: six and a third, one run, 15 of the 19 men he retired struck the hell out. He didn’t get the win because teammates matter in baseball, but my lord he’s on another level. Jake Arrieta, meanwhile, allowed only one run in six and he’s chopped liver. The Nats were down 4-1 in the eighth because of said teammates, but Anthony Rendon drove in two on a single that inning and then, in the ninth, pinch hitter Pedro Severino walked with the bases loaded and then Wilmer Difo singled in a run to walk ’em off. The Nats have won seven of eight. They’re in fourth place, but they’re only two back of the Braves, who cling to first.

Rockies 3, Mets 2: Kyle Freeland allowed two runs over seven, both coming in the first inning to give the Mets a 2-0 lead. Noah Syndergaard allowed two runs over six, the first being an Ian Desmond solo homer in the second, and the game remained tied at two until the eighth. Having had success with the “have Ian Desmond hit a home run” play earlier in the game, Bud Black asked Desmond to do it again in the eighth. He did, the tie was broken and the Rockies won the game. This is how I think baseball works, anyway.

Blue Jays 2, Rays 1: Marco Estrada and Chris Archer dueled all afternoon but Estrada dueled better, shutting the Rays out for six innings. The Jays manufactured one run off of Archer in the fifth and scored the winning run in the ninth on a double, a runner-advancing groundout and a wild pitch from Alex Colome. That manufactured run was costly, by the way, as it came via an Aledmys Diaz infield single which resulted in Diaz hitting the bag funny to avoid a collision, resulting in a sprained ankle which caused him to be carted off the field.

Pirates 9, Brewers 0: Not everyone knows this, but if a team forfeits, the game goes in the record books as a 9-0 loss. Given that they lost 9-0 anyway, the Brewers should’ve just slept in, taken the L and spent the day at home with their families. Maybe get their spring planting done. That’s what I did yesterday. I’ll let you know if the annuals I planted work out in a few weeks. I have a hell of time with the beds in the front of my house. My wife said snapdragons this year, so snapdragons it is. Happy wife, happy life, right?

Oh, wait, the baseball game: Chad Kuhl tossed seven one-hit, shutout innings and Richard Rodriguez tossed two one-hit innings of his own. Adam Frazier, Jordy Mercer and Josh Bell all went deep for the Buccos.

Royals 4, Tigers 2: Kansas City built a 4-0 lead after three and held on. Mike Moustakas drove in three of those runs and Jakob Junis allowed two runs while scattering eight hits over seven. The Royals took three of four from the Tigers. It was their first series win of the season. That’s pretty amazing when you realize that it’s so late in the season that normie suburbanites are already planting annuals and stuff.

Twins 5, White Sox 3: James Shields took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and the Sox still lost 5-3. My god it has to be rough to be a White Sox fan these days. Or a White Sox player. Eduardo Escobar broke up the no-no in the seventh and then came around on a Logan Morrison two-run double to be one of the three Twins who scored that inning. In the eighth the Twins plated another and then Eddie Rosario sealed it with a dinger.

Padres 3, Dodgers 0: The Padres take two of three from the Dodgers down in Monterrey, Mexico. Four Padres pitchers, led by Eric Lauer and his six innings, combined to shut out L.A. Another Eric — Hosmer — hit a two run blast and Franchy Cordero singled in the third run. Unlike the Erics, there is no other Franchy. That would be absurd, wouldn’t you agree? You can’t have a bunch of Franchys just wandering around.

Athletics 2, Orioles 1: I would’ve bet the “over” on home town team runs what with the Orioles pitchers — particularly Alex Cobb — being the visitors, but I’ll be damned, Cobb held ’em to two.  The Athletics only scored two on Saturday as well. The O’s lost both of those games, but them allowing only two runs in four games is a moral victory and you gotta take your moral victories whenever you can with this team. As for the victories that actually count, the A’s and their starter, Andrew Triggs, were better, with Triggs allowing one run on two hits and striking out nine over seven innings for the sweep. That’s six losses in a row for Bawlmer, four wins in their last five for Oakland.

Diamondbacks 3, Astros 1: Justin Verlander suffered his first regular season loss in 13 starts for the Astros, getting beat by Arizona’s Matt Koch. Only one of the two runs Verlander surrendered were earned, but the unearned run came via an RBI triple and a fielding error, and Verlander was the guy who put that play in motion. In the criminal justice system, you’re usually on the hook for all the bad stuff that happens as even an unexpected result of your behavior. Earned runs are not part of the criminal justice system, but I ascribe him some responsibility here. Anyway, Koch allowed only the one run himself, on an early Alex Bregman homer. Koch won his last start too. That came against Clayton Kershaw. Even if his arm fell off tomorrow, Koch knocking off two Cy Young/MVP guys in a row would be the defining story at Koch family gatherings for the rest of his life. It still may be, even if his arm never falls off. The Dbacks have yet to lose a series this season, by the way.

Angels 8, Mariners 2: Mike Trout was 3-for-4 with a homer and knocked in three, Rene Rivera doubled, singled and drove in three and Zack Cozart and Chris Young each went deep too. That was more than enough for Shohei Ohtani, who allowed two runs over six, striking out six. Ohtani actually had a shutout going into the seventh but gave up a two-run homer before getting yanked. Still, not bad given a two-week layoff and a banged up ankle.

Marlins 8, Reds 5: Starlin Castro drove in three runs for the second game in a row and Cameron Maybin had two hits and two RBI in a rain-delayed game. The Fish have won four straight series. Those series came against two teams who made the playoffs last year — Dodgers and Rockies — one team, the Phillies, who is certifiably frisky this year and, well, the Reds. Still, each of those four teams looked at their schedule a few weeks back, saw the Marlins in late April and early May and made a mental note that they were the superior club. All lost. I don’t want to oversell what the Marlins are doing so far this year — they’re still in last place and I predict they’ll be there all season — but credit to Don Mattingly and his charges for playing respectable baseball of late despite being out-classed in talent on paper in just about every matchup.

Cardinals 4, Cubs 3: It was 2-2 after six and it went to extras like that. It remained 2-2 until the 14th, when Javier Baez hit a homer off of Mike Mayers. In the bottom half, Harrison Bader reached on an infield single off of Luke Farrell and then Dexter Fowler launched a two-out walkoff two-run jack to right. The Cards sweep the Cubs and win their fifth straight game. The Cubs drop their fifth in a row.

MLB crowds jump from ’21, still below pre-pandemic levels

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PHOENIX — Even with the homer heroics of sluggers like Aaron Judge and Albert Pujols, Major League Baseball wasn’t able to coax fans to ballparks at pre-pandemic levels this season, though attendance did jump substantially from the COVID-19 affected campaign in 2021.

The 30 MLB teams drew nearly 64.6 million fans for the regular season that ended Wednesday, which is up from the 45.3 million who attended games in 2021, according to This year’s numbers are still down from the 68.5 million who attended games in 2019, which was the last season that wasn’t affected by the pandemic.

The 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers led baseball with 3.86 million fans flocking to Dodger Stadium for an average of 47,672 per contest. The Oakland Athletics – who lost 102 games, play in an aging stadium and are the constant subject of relocation rumors – finished last, drawing just 787,902 fans for an average of less than 10,000 per game.

The St. Louis Cardinals finished second, drawing 3.32 million fans. They were followed by the Yankees (3.14 million), defending World Series champion Braves (3.13 million) and Padres (2.99 million).

The Toronto Blue Jays saw the biggest jump in attendance, rising from 805,901 fans to about 2.65 million. They were followed by the Cardinals, Yankees, Mariners, Dodgers, and Mets, which all drew more than a million fans more than in 2021.

The Rangers and Reds were the only teams to draw fewer fans than in 2021.

Only the Rangers started the 2021 season at full capacity and all 30 teams weren’t at 100% until July. No fans were allowed to attend regular season games in 2020.

MLB attendance had been declining slowly for years – even before the pandemic – after hitting its high mark of 79.4 million in 2007. This year’s 64.6 million fans is the fewest in a non-COVID-19 season since the sport expanded to 30 teams in 1998.

The lost attendance has been balanced in some ways by higher viewership on the sport’s MLB.TV streaming service. Viewers watched 11.5 billion minutes of content in 2022, which was a record high and up nearly 10% from 2021.