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And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Cubs 7, Phillies 5: Jose Quintana left with a 3-0 lead in the sixth, but Aaron Altherr hit a three-run shot to tie things up. In the ninth, the Phillies’ Dylan Cozens hit a two-run homer to put the visitors up by two. The Cubs loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth. It was dicey, but there were two outs and Gabe Kapler had a lefty, Adam Morgan, facing a lefty who has trouble with lefties in Jason Heyward. The odds favored Morgan, as Heyward had not had an extra base hit against a lefty all year and often looks lost against them. Never tell Jason Heyward the odds:

Walkoff grand slam. That’ll do.

Yankees 3, Blue Jays 0: Nothing but goose eggs for 12 innings as Sonny Gray tossed eight shutout frames, Sam Gaviglio tossed seven and the bullpens kept up the work for five more innings a piece. The problem was that the Jays pen had to pitch six innings of relief, and that sixth one went sideways, when Aaron Judge hit a two-run homer and Giancarlo Stanton followed it up with a solo shot. Judge, you’ll recall, struck out eight times on Monday and was given a blow on the bench for Tuesday’s game against the Jays. The rest did him well. You can’t keep those bats down for long, I suppose.

Nationals 11, Rays 2: Over before it began as the Nats scored 5 runs in the first innings off of he Rays reliev–, er, I mean “starter,” Jonny Venters. Venters, who had never started a game following 244 relief appearances and three Tommy John surgeries, began things because the Rays did that thing where they begin with a reliever as their “opener” for the eighth time in 17 games. I’m sure it makes everyone feel clever, but it hasn’t been working very well so far. Tampa Bay is 3-5 in those games and has lost six overall. Anthony Rendon had four hits and drove in three runs, Michael Taylor had three hits and three RBI. Trea Turner and Juan Soto had two hits each and even starter Tanner Roark drove in a couple. In other news, Taylor stole third base with a 9-2 lead while Sergio Romo was pitching, the throw to get him went wild and Taylor scored. You’ll be shocked to hear Romo didn’t like it:

“I’m just pretty sure no one is stealing with Scherzer on the mound with a seven-run difference, no matter what the inning . . . I understand it. It’s foot on the gas pedal. I get it . . . There’s just things that were here before you and will be here after you that definitely don’t need to be said or written about . . . I’ve got no quarrels. I just didn’t like that he took off.”

Counterpoint: Scherzer wouldn’t be down by seven runs or let a guy reach third base because he’s Scherzer.

Indians 3, Brewers 1: The Indians Chased Chase Anderson with a three-run fifth inning and Carlos Carrasco allowed one run over seven while striking out ten. Brewers manager Craig Counsell got ejected for complaining about a strike call. In describing it he noted that he did not use profanity and that there had not been any previous barking back and forth with the umps. “Nothing was brewing all day,” he said, in a phrase that, if you think about it, could’ve been the whole recap here.

Orioles 1, Mets 0: Dylan Bundy tossed seven shutout innings and two relievers helped finish the shutout of the listless Mets. In other news, I watched the Orioles’ Triple-A affiliate, the Norfolk Tides, take on the Columbus Clippers last night. It was beautiful out so I had fun, but there were three disconcerting things about the evening:

  1. Mike Yastrzemski is the Tides’ left fielder. He is the grandson of Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski, who I saw play in person once or twice in the early 80s. I realize Yaz was, like, 132 years-old at the time, but it’s still rather sobering to realize that I was watching the GRANDSON of someone I had seen play baseball himself;
  2. Seeing Orioles minor leaguers was kind of sad. The Tides are a winning team this year and they looked like they were having fun, but every once in a while you detected their underlying feelings of horror that, one day soon, they might have to go be Baltimore Orioles. The pitchers, particularly, seemed to be filled with this dread; and
  3. The game was tied at two after regulation and, per the new rules, extra innings started with a runner on second base. The Clippers won on a Francisco Mejia RBI single in the 10th, but it was, of course, preceded by a bunt and an intentional walk, which about 95% of these situations are likely going to do because it’s a dumb setup which dictates boring strategy, all in the name of pace of play, which was not really affected by this at all.

All that aside, it was a nice night out at the old ball game.

Padres 3, Braves 1: A bullpen game — by necessity, not by some bold new strategic plan — worked out well for the Padres, as Johnny Wholestaff allowed a Freddie Freeman homer in the first but nothing the rest of the way. Cory Spangenberg, who himself pitched in relief the night before, tripled in a run and would then come in to score three batters later. The Padres take two of three from the first place Braves who, as a result of this one and the Nats’ win, became the tied-for-first-place Braves.

Giants 5, Diamondbacks 4: The Dbacks led 4-2 in the bottom of the ninth when Alen Hanson came in and hit a pinch-hit two-run jack with two outs to force extras. In the tenth came another two-out rally when Andrew McCutchen doubled and then Brandon Crawford singled him home to give the Giants the walkoff win. All of those late heroics spoiled Clay Buchholz‘s pretty nice start for Arizona (6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 7K). One of those strikeouts came against Pablo Sandoval, which predictably caused a lot of Boston people on Twitter to make jokes because Boston, for all of the culture, history, glory and success which embodies that city and its sports teams, are the most provincial people on the planet.

Pirates 11, Dodgers 9Josh Harrison went 2-for-3 with a three-run double , David Freese and Gregory Polanco drove in two runs each and Corey Dickerson had three hits and scored four times. Matt Kemp homered and drove in five, but the Dodgers four-game winning streak came to an end. Not that it ended easily: the Pirates had four-run leads three times in this game, blew the first one, came close to blowing the second one and were halfway to blowing the third one when the final bell rang. Figuratively speaking, of course, as there are no bells in baseball. Well, except at Columbus Clippers games:

Red Sox 7, Tigers 1: Andrew Benintendi, Xander Bogaerts and Christian Vazquez each drove in a pair — Benintendi and Vazquez both dingered and doubled — as the Sox romped. Eduardo Rodriguez pitched into the sixth allowing one and the bullpen put up zeroes for three and a third.

Rockies 6, Reds 3: Ian Desmond hit a two-run homer and Gerardo Parra and Tony Wolters each drove in a pair. That accounted for all six of the Rockies runs. It was the one-year anniversary of Scooter Gennett hitting four homers in a game. He still had a nice night — he drove in a pair of runs with a double and a sac fly — but it was, predictably, a tad less dramatic.

Rangers 8, Athletics 2: Bartolo Colon got his 243rd career win, tying him with Juan Marichal for the most wins for a Dominican-born player. He tossed five innings allowing two runs and did not attack John Roseboro with a bat. He’s two more wins away from the all-time record for a Latin American player. Dennis Martinez holds that mark. In non-Bartolo news, Jurickson Profar homered twice and Joey Gallo and Ronald Guzman each went deep as well.

White Sox 5, Twins 2: Hector Santiago faced his old mates and he wasn’t screwing around, allowing just two runs on six hits in five innings pitched. Actually, he was screwing around because he throws a screwball. Get it. I made a screwball joke. I’m pretty sure I’ve never done that even though Santiago has pitched for eight years. What a terrible oversight on my part.

[Editor whispers to me].

My apologies, but I will never make that joke again.

Astros 7, Mariners 5: Houston was down but a four-run seventh inning put ’em up. Evan Gattis hit a two-run homer and Yuli Gurriel‘s two-run single helped fuel that rally. Nelson CruzDenard Span and Kyle Seager all homered for the Mariners, but the loss snaps a three-game skid for Houston and a five-game win streak for Seattle.

Marlins 11, Cardinals 3Lewis Brinson hit two solo homers and Derek Dietrich had four hits including a homer of his own, driving in three, as the Marlins pound the Cardinals. The top of the order did a lot of damage here, as Starlin Castro, Dietrich and J.T. Realmuto combined for 11 hits, seven runs and four RBI. The Marlins scored three unearned runs, thanks in part to three errors from St. Louis shortstop Yairo Munoz. Munoz has made six errors in his last five games. That’s not what you want.

Angels 4, Royals 3: Shohei Ohtani left early with a blister on his finger but the Angels didn’t fold, as Ian Kinsler hit a two-run homer in the sixth and Justin Upon hit a solo shot an inning later.

And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Mets 6, Nationals 1: Max Scherzer tossed six shutout innings and the pen blanked the Nats in the seventh, but Washington clung to only a 1-0 lead thanks to an almost-as-good start from Jacob deGrom. In the eighth, Dave Martinez called on Kyle Barraclough to hold things down. He got two out but also put two runners on, so Martinez called on Sean Doolittle to get a four-out save in a tight game. Tough order, but Doolittle’s good. Usually.

Doolittle hit the first batter he faced to load the bases, gave up a bases-clearing double to Juan Lagares, intentionally walked a guy and then gave up a three-run jack to Rajai Davis. The best part: Davis was just called up the Mets mere hours before. Hell, he had already taken batting practice for Syracuse, who was playing at Lehigh Valley. He took an Uber to New York, got there by the third inning, got lost and was finally suited up not long before entering the game as a pinch hitter.

As I wrote once upon a time, an essential part of living life is dealing with stuff when you’re basically unprepared. When you’re just thrown into a situation for which you didn’t have time or opportunity to gear up. Here’s a salute to Rajai Davis, who may not have been prepared to face a big league pitcher in a big league stadium when he woke up yesterday morning but who rose to the occasion because, really, what else can you do?

Cubs 8, Phillies 4: Cole Hamels took on the Phillies for the first time but, more importantly, he took on Cole Irvin in what I’m going to assume was a “Highlander” situation. Hamels didn’t pitch that well or get the win but he did a lot better than Irvin, so I assume Irvin’s head was cut off. There can only be one. Albert Almora Jr. hit a grand slam. Anthony Rizzo hit a three-run bomb to help the Cubs get out of an early hole. Let’s call it a Cole hole.

[Ed. — Let’s not]

White Sox 9, Astros 4: Not a great night for Coles. The White Sox beat up on Cole, Gerrit for six runs on seven hits. Eloy Jiménez hit two homers in this one and the Chisox even turned a triple play. A good one, too! Around-the-horn, bang-bang-bang, not one of those janky “baserunner screwed up and stood in the baseline as a guy caught a pop fly, stepped on the bag, and tagged out the confused runner” things. Watch:

Brewers 11, Reds 9: Zach Davies, with a 1.54 ERA, faced off against Luis Castillo, owner of a 1.90 ERA. So naturally 20 runs were scored. The Reds led 6-1 and blew it, then led 8-6 and blew it before the Brewers pulled away. The 8-6 lead went away when Yasmani Grandal hit a two-run homer to tie it. He also started a double play when, with the bases loaded, a strikeout pitch got past him but ricocheted right back to him. The guy on first took off but no one else did because they saw the ricochet. Grandal threw down to first to retire the struck out batter then the Brewers got the baserunner out in a rundown. Just how they drew it up.

Yankees 7, Orioles 5: The Bombers hit five more homers against an Orioles pitching staff that is going to do some ghastly things to the record books before this season is out. Thairo Estrada, D.J. LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres went deep in the first three innings go give New York a 5-0 lead. Gary Sánchez homered in the fourth to make it 6-1 and Torres homered again in the fifth to make it 7-2. Sánchez has homered in three straight games. Torres has 12 homers on the year. Ten of them have come against the Orioles.

Red Sox 6, Blue Jays 5: This thirteen-inning game ended twenty minutes before midnight. Today they get started at 12:37PM. Look for some super crisp play from the Sox and Jays today! Here Michael Chavis hit a tiebreaking homer in the 13th inning to give Boston the win. Rafael Devers homered earlier for his third blast in as many games. That gave Boston a lead that Marcus Walden could not hold thanks to a ninth inning rally from Toronto that made everyone stay up late. Meanwhile, Craig Kimbrel was, I imagine, tucked into bed back wherever he calls home and will be a fresh as a daisy this morning.

Athletics 7, Indians 2: Jefry Rodríguez didn’t fool A’s batters, who touched him for five runs in four innings while Frankie Montas blanked the tribe for six while striking out nine. Mark Canha homered and drove in three and Nick Hundley on a three-hit day as the A’s won their sixth game in a row and took their 10th of 14 overall.

Royals 8, Cardinals 2; Cardinals 10, Royals 3: New rule idea: when teams split a doubleheader the team which outscores the other in the aggregate gets some sort of bonus in the standings. So, here, since the Cards “beat” the Royals 12-11, each team gets one win and the Cards get, um, a point on top. Wait, that would require some sort of hockey-style points system too. OK, we can work with that. It might require some more changes. Like, when you lose a getaway day game in under two and a half hours, you lose a point as a “phoning it in tax.” There are all kinds of variations we can come up with here. Let’s blow this dang game up!

Oh, here: Brad Keller tossed two-hit, two-run baseball and the Royals — boosted by a Jorge Soler three-run homer — beat up on Michael Wacha in the first game. In the second game Homer Bailey got shelled, failing to make it out of the second inning, while Marcell Ozuna, Matt Carpenter, Dexter Fowler and Kolton Wong all went deep. Adam Wainwright was shaky but John GantAndrew MillerCarlos Martinez and John Brebbia combined for four innings of scoreless relief to disabuse Kansas City of any notions of a comeback.

Rockies 9, Pirates 3: For the second time in a couple of weeks Josh Bell hit a homer into the Allegheny River on the fly. That was nice but, at least until my points-system rules changes come into effect which would provide Bell a “cool factor” bonus, it was just a solo shot. Meanwhile, Rockies batters Daniel Murphy and Tony Wolters each hit three-run homers in the early going. Rockies starter Jon Gray allowed three runs and seven hits with seven strikeouts in seven innings. One of those strikeouts was of Bell, on three pitches no less, in his next plate appearance after the splash homer. That would take a half point away, by the way.

Rangers 2, Mariners 1: The sweep. And the seventh win in eight games for Texas. Hunter Pence homered. Seattle is now in last place where most people expected them to be. That opening series in Japan seems like a thousand years ago.

Padres 5, Diamondbacks 2: Eric Lauer allowed one run on four hits over seven frames Eric Hosmer drove in a couple. Kirby Yates got his 20th save of the year. That’s a 65-save pace for a team that’s just above .500.

Rays 8, Dodgers 1: A couple of solo homers had this one tied at one entering the bottom of the seventh, with Dylan Floro taking over for the Dodgers to start the inning. He hit a guy, gave up two straight singles, then a homer and just like that L.A. was down 5-1. The homer — a three-run shot — came from Avisail García and chased Floro. Caleb Ferguson then came in, walked a guy, struck out two, then hit a guy and surrendered a three-run bomb to Kevin Kiermaier. Not what you want out of your bullpen.

Marlins 6, Tigers 3: The Marlins were down 3-0 entering the sixth before coming back. Brian Anderson hit a two-run shot for Miami, Neil Walker doubled in a couple and Garrett Cooper hit his first career homer to power the comeback. That’s five straight wins for the Fish. Eight straight losses for the Tigers, whose early season friskiness has long since passed.

Braves 9, Giants 2: Jeff Samardzija allowed six unearned runs but, as we said the other day, not all unearned runs are created equally. He put a couple of guys on and the would-be out number three of the inning was postponed due to an error, but before it was finally recorded he gave up a run on a wild pitch and coughed up homers to Dansby Swanson and Freddie Freeman. So, yeah, take that “unearned” stuff with a grain of salt. The Giants couldn’t do much against Max Fried, who allowed two over six, and nothing against the Atlanta pen which tossed two shutout innings.

Twins vs. Angels — POSTPONED:

Got on board a westbound seven forty-seven
Didn’t think before deciding what to do
Oh, that talk of opportunities, TV breaks and movies
Rang true, sure rang true
Seems it never rains in southern California
Seems I’ve often heard that kind of talk before
It never rains in California, but girl, don’t they warn ya?
It pours, man, it pours