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And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Indians 19, Reds 4: A day after Terry Francona used the wrong pitcher in a key situation, the game plan was, apparently, to score so many runs that it didn’t matter who was pitching. As for the Reds, the best pitcher they trotted out there all night was shortstop Alex Blandino, who tossed an inning of shutout ball, striking out two dudes. Before that, though, Jose Ramirez homered twice, driving in five, all before the fifth inning when he was given the rest of the night off. Jason Kipnis went deep too, Francisco Lindor and Tyler Naquin drove in three a piece in the Indians 19-run-on-19-hit blowout.

Rockies 19, Diamondbacks 2: The Rockies likewise scored 19 runs on 19 hits. Carlos Gonzalez hit two homers and drove in six and Ian Desmond went deep and drove in five. The Dbacks used not just one, but two position players to pitch, with Daniel Descalso coming in in the dang FOURTH inning and pitching two and two-thirds and Alex Avila handling the final two innings. Descalso gave up three runs but Avila shut the Rockies out while he was on the bump.

Mets 3, Phillies 0: Jacob deGrom was once again dominant (8 IP, 0 ER, 7K) and once again got no run support. Vince Velasquez had a fine day himself (6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER) and got no run support himself, and this one went to extras tied at zero. That changed in the tenth when Brandon Nimmo socked a pinch-hit, walkoff three-run homer off of Mark Leiter Jr. to give the Mets the win. It was New York’s third walkoff homer in the last week, with Jose Bautista doing it las Friday and Wilmer Flores doing it on Monday.

Pirates 2, Nationals 0: Trevor Williams and four Buccos relievers combine to shut out the Nats and an early Starling Marte homer was all of the scoring on the day. The game lasted two hours and thirty-four minutes. Classic getaway day stuff. That’s how Rob Manfred is gonna solve the pace of play and game length problem, by the way: one-game series, with every day being getaway day.

Giants 5, Cubs 4: Buster Posey won this one with a walkoff RBI single in the bottom of the 13th. That salvaged an early blown lead in which the Giants led 4-0 after the first inning. Homers from Jason Heyward, Kris Bryant and Javy Baez brought Chicago back by the seventh, forcing extras. The game lasted over four and a half hours so, no, maybe not all getaway days are the same.

Rays 4, Tigers 2C.J. Cron‘s hit a three-run home run in the seventh to help the Rays sweep the Tigers in their three-game series. That’s five straight wins for Tampa Bay and 14 of their last 18.

Twins 8, Royals 5: Brian Dozier hit a two-run homer and the bottom third of the Minnesota lineup — Max KeplerJake Cave and Bobby Wilson — combined to go 6-for-11 with five runs scored. Logan Morrison went deep as the Twins take their sixth win in their last seven games.

Red Sox 4, Rangers 2Chris Sale struck out 12 in seven innings of shutout ball as the Bosox win their ninth straight game and their 14th in their last 16 contests. Rangers batters struck out 18 times in all, in fact. Mookie Betts had two hits, Xander Bogaerts had three and J.D. Martinez drove in two.

Yankees 9, Orioles 0: The Orioles had been giving the Yankees fits and Sonny Gray has been on the hot seat, so of course New York wins behind six shutout innings and eight strikeouts from Gray. Greg Bird hit a grand slam and Tyler Wade and Austin Romine each went deep. Giancarlo Stanton didn’t homer but he knocked in two.

Marlins 5, Brewers 4: Starlin Castro singled in a run in the bottom of the 12th to give Miami the walkoff win. The Marlins took two of three from Milwaukee, winning twice in extra innings. Jesus Aquilar, added to the NL All-Star roster before the game via the Final vote, had three hits and drove in three but this is a team game, folks.

Braves 9, Blue Jays 5: Ozzie Albies hit two homers and drove in four as the Braves win for only the second time in eight games, moving back into a tie for first in the NL East. The homers were Albies 19th and 20th on the year. Which is a good thing, because after the game he revealed that his mom was in the stands — she flew in from Curacao — and that before he left Curacao for spring training back in February, she told him she wanted him to hit 20.  Given that he hit six last year that seems like an unreasonable request, but some moms are like that I suppose.

White Sox 4, Cardinals 0: Carlos Rodon pitched three-hit shutout ball into the eighth and Tim Anderson tripled and drove in two as the Chisox beat the Cards to end their six-game losing streak. Joakim Soria got the save. Not gonna say I don’t look at White Sox box scores too carefully, but if you had put a gun to my head an hour ago and asked me where Joakim Soria was playing at the moment I probably couldn’t have told ya.

Athletics 8, Astros 3Chad Pinder hit a three-run homer and Khris Davis added three RBI as the A’s built a 6-0 lead by the top of the fourth inning. Davis has a 13-game hitting streak. Those six runs came off of Lance McCullers. After the game A.J. Hinch said, “you could just tell he was battling himself,” thereby breaking the first and second rules of Fight Club.

Mariners 3, Angels 0: Marco Gonzalez won his 10th game on the year after twirling a two-hit, seven shutout innings gem. David Freitas homered — his first ever in the bigs — while Nelson Cruz doubled in two. Freitas’ mom, wife and son were all in attendance. He’s 29 and he’s been up and down from the minors to the majors over the past few years. Hopefully he has bigger baseball highlights in his career, but this could be one of those things he looks back on one day as his greatest day as a ballplayer. It has to be pretty cool to know, just as you’ve done something, that it’s something you’ll always remember. Given how most people’s lives unfold, it doesn’t happen to most of us.

Dodgers 4, Padres 2: Kenta Maeda allowed a run on four hits while pitching into the sixth inning and Matt KempLogan Forsythe and Chris Taylor each had RBI singles. The Dodgers are now only a half game back of the Diamondbacks. With a win today, L.A. — who was heavily favored to win the division this year — can move into first for the first time all year long.

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

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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.