And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

16 Comments

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Cubs 5, Tigers 2: Having done game recaps every weekday morning of the season for over ten years now, I hereby declare that games which end with the score 5-2 are the most innocuous games and also the most boring to recap. Generally, 5-2 games are not close enough to be exciting, not high-scoring enough to have an offensive hero but not low-scoring enough to have an exceptional pitching performance. If a 5-2 game doesn’t have a fight, a guy hitting two homers or something else it just . . . is. Usually, anyway. But not here, as the Tigers led 2-1 and the Cubs tied it on a steal of home by Javier Baez of all things. They then went on to take the lead and win the game thanks to the heroics of Willson Contreras who homered in the sixth and then hit a two-run double in the seventh.

Check out Baez’s trip around the bases which ended on the steal of home. Yes, it was a steal that started off with the Tigers pitcher throwing to first — it was not some brazen Jackie Robinson-style thing — but the slide totally makes it:

Athletics 4, Padres 2: Stephen Piscotty had a two-run double and a one-run double while Sean Manaea was solid over seven. There are far more complicated names that “Stephen Piscotty” and “Sean Manaea” to write, but they may be the most low-key hardest to spell in baseball right now. I can never remember if Piscotty is a “v” or a “ph” Ste[v][ph]en and you always run the risk of not putting the second “t” in his last name. You have the “Shawan”/”Sean” issue with Manaea and, even though he’s been in the league a while now, the spelling of his last name just does’t come naturally to me at all. It simply won’t click, even if I can now do “Jeff Samardzija” without looking now.

You guys liking this “inside ATH” content this morning? Riveting stuff, eh?

Red Sox 3, Nationals 0: Eduardo Rodriguez and the pen shut out Washington to complete the sweep. Washington is now a game under .500, seven games out of first place. Indeed, they’re just as close to the Mets, who are 14 back, as they are to the Braves.

Yankees 6, Braves 2: Homers from Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge and Kyle Higashioka, and a solid performance from CC Sabathia, give the Yankees the series in the rubber match. It wasn’t all rosy, though, as Gleyber Torres left the game in the top of the fifth inning because of tightness in his hip and was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right hip strain.

Marlins 3, Rays 0: JT Riddle tripled in a run and homered and Jose Urena led a group-effort shutout. Given that everyone except Urena — who was allowed to go home early during Tuesday night’s 16-inning game due to him being the day game’s starting pitcher — was likely gassed, the advantage was clearly Miami’s.

Phillies 4, Orioles 1: Philly wins thanks to a two-run error by Chris Davis and a two-run homer by Nick Williams. Oh, and Aaron Nola striking out nine over seven innings and allowing one run helped a bunch too. Nola is now 11-2 and has won five straight decisions.

Brewers 3, Twins 2: The Brewers don’t get as many national games as a team of their caliber should, so you may not have seen Keon Broxton play as much as you should’ve by now. Here’s what you’re missing:

That robbed Brian Dozier of a homer in the ninth that would’ve brought the Twins to within one run. Given that Eduardo Escobar did, in fact, homer just after this catch made it matter a lot more than it first seemed too. Rookie Nate Orf homered for Milwaukee, which was his first hit in the bigs. Brad Miller hit a solo shot too.

Angels 7, Mariners 4: The M’s eight-game winning streak came to an end thanks to Kole Calhoun‘s two-run homer and three-RBI game and two driven in by Luis Valbuena. Shohei Ohtani went 2-for-4 in his second game as the Angels’ DH.

Reds 7, White Sox 4: The Reds had a six-run fourth, but it wasn’t all big fireworks. The rally consisted of three RBI singles and a suicide squeeze laid down by pitcher Sal Romano of all things. The Reds have won 13 of 17 and have come from behind in eight of their last 11 wins. They are also 8-2 in interleague play.

Astros 5, Rangers 4: Texas had a 4-0 lead after three innings and wouldn’t score again as the Astros got three in the fourth, one more to tie it in the fifth and then Evan Gattis hit a 10th inning sac fly to seal the win. Houston got homers from Josh Reddick and Yuli Gurriel. Gurriel homered, doubled and scored twice in the game.

Mets 6, Blue Jays 3: The Mets had no trouble with Marcus Stroman, lighting him up for six runs on six hits in less than five innings, capped by a two-run homer from Todd Frazier. Jose Bautista singled in a run off of his old mates in his old stadium as well. Stroman ain’t right, folks.

Indians 3, Royals 2: Trevor Bauer allowed two runs while pitching into the eighth inning, supported by two sac flies and a Michael Brantley RBI double. The Royals have lost six straight and 18 of 21 and they’ve looked really bad doing it.

Dodgers 6, Pirates 4: L.A. sweeps Pittsburgh, with Chris Taylor and Yasmani Grandal each driving in three runs. Rich Hill pitched solidly but he was also a terror on the base paths:

Well, not really, but that was kinda fun to watch. Pittsburgh was outscored 31-8 in the three-game series.

Rockies 1, Giants 0: Tyler Anderson stymied the Giants for eight innings, out-pitching Andrew Suarez, whose only mistake was a gopher ball to Chris Iannetta in the seventh. This was only the tenth 1-0 game that has taken place at Coors Field in its entire history and the first one in over eight years. 

Cardinals 8, Diamondbacks 4: St. Louis was behind but rallied for five in the seventh and two in the eighth, kicked off by Yadi Molina’s three-run shot. Tommy Pham drove in three with a double and two singles and Matt Carpenter doubled twice, singled and drove one in.

MLB executive: Bruce Maxwell’s kneeling may keep him from finding work, not his arrest

Rick Yeatts/Getty Images
41 Comments

In September 2017, former Athletics catcher Bruce Maxwell became the first major league player to kneel during the national anthem, joining the handfuls of NFL players who had been doing the same to protest police brutality and racial inequality. Maxwell’s effort was laudable, but he got into trouble a month later when he was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and disorderly conduct. Maxwell allegedly pointed a gun at a food delivery person.

Maxwell, 27, played sparingly for the Athletics in 2018 and then was designated for assignment at the beginning of September. He officially became a free agent on November 2 and has had trouble finding work in the month-plus since.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Maxwell fired his agent, Matt Sosnick on Thursday because he’s still jobless. According to an unnamed MLB executive Slusser spoke to, “It’s the kneeling thing that might keep him from getting another job, not the arrest. Owners aren’t going to want to deal with that whole anthem issue.”

That makes a lot of since since abusive players haven’t had too much trouble finding new work otherwise. Addison Russell, Jeurys Familia, and José Reyes, among others have either stayed with their teams or quickly found new work. Given the relatively weak catching market, had Maxwell only had the assault charge, there is no doubt he would have been signed to be a backup catcher somewhere.

In the NFL, Colin Kaepernick — who popularized kneeling during the anthem — has remained unsigned even though teams have opted to sign and start clearly inferior quarterbacks like Mark Sanchez, Josh McCown, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jay Cutler, Matt Barkley, and Sam Bradford, among many others. Team owners tend to run conservative in terms of politics, so they may not like the protest to begin with, then there is the public blowback to signing such a player as those who dislike such protesting make up a slight majority in the U.S., according to various polls including one done by the Washington Post.

It’s worth noting that Maxwell has a career .240/.314/.347 triple-slash line in 412 plate appearances. We’re not talking about J.T. Realmuto or Buster Posey here. That being said, there have been 15 other catchers to have put up a lower aggregate OPS since 2016 (min. 400 PA). One of those players, Derek Norris (.600 OPS since 2016), signed a minor league contract with the Tigers just three months after being suspended by Major League Baseball for violating its domestic violence policy. Makes you think.