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And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Reds 2, Cardinals 1: Man, what a night in Great American Ballpark!

Cardinals starter Daniel Poncedeleon was making his major league debut. Not just that, he was doing so 14 months after a head injury suffered on a comebacker nearly killed him, fracturing his skull, causing bleeding on the brain and leading to emergency surgery. The fact that he was on the mound is a testament to his fortitude. The fact that he tossed seven no-hit innings is just next-level amazing. He was never going to hang around for the full no-no — he was at 116 pitches when he left — but it was an amazing night for him anyway.

Unfortunately for him and the Cardinals it did not end in a win, however, as Luis Castillo and the Reds relievers allowed only one run, which was enough to win it thanks to Eugenio Suarez‘s ninth inning solo shot, which was followed up by a pinch-hit, walkoff RBI single from Dilson Herrera.

Rays 7, Yankees 6: Gary Sanchez‘s lack of hustle allowed the Rays to score one run in the first and cost the Yankees a run and likely the ballgame in the ninth. Bill wrote about it all last night if you want to read it. Where you can’t read that much about it is at the New York Daily News, which you may have heard eviscerated their sports coverage yesterday in a cost-savings mass layoff. The result: as of this writing the only story on the Daily News’ website about it is an AP wire report. There is not a single local story or column about it at all. In the New York Daily freakin’ News.

I know I have written a lot of critical things about tabloid sports coverage in New York in the past. A WHOLE lot. But I also know that that coverage is not intended for me, back here in Ohio and that New Yorkers have a very, very different and higher set of expectations for their Yankees coverage. When a game ends because a Yankee doesn’t hustle, they expect AT LEAST a local gamer talking about it and providing context for it and have come to expect a fire breathing column or two about it the next morning. Again, the column may have been one that I rolled my eyes at but the column is not intended for me. It’s intended for people who love to read that stuff and who feel closer to their team and their fellow fans by virtue of reading it. The old Daily News knew that, by the way, which is why they happily dismissed critics like me when we were critical.

By the way, some are noting, likely correctly, that a big reason for the layoffs is to help the paper’s parent company pay off its CEO, who is leaving amidst a sexual harassment scandal. $15 million bucks, for a person who should be pilloried and who should spend the rest of their professional life in utter disgrace. That is why half of the Daily News’ editorial staff got fired yesterday. But nope, he gets a check for more money than a few dozen of the fired editorial staff will see in their lifetimes put together. That’s the sort of thing our system encourages.

Pirates 7, Indians 0: This one was shortened by rain but not before being made non-competitive by the Pirates beating up Corey Kluber for seven runs — only three earned — on nine hits in four innings. Just because there were a lot of unearned runs does not mean Kluber didn’t get hammered, by the way. Josh Harrison hit a three-run homer and Gregory Polanco had a two-run triple off of the struggling Cy Young winner, who says he feels fine physically after skipping a start due to a bum knee. Color me skeptical. The Pirates have won ten in a row, by the way. And 12 of 13. And 52 of 101 if you wanna get logical conclusiony about it all.

Red Sox 5, Orioles 3Rick Porcello tossed scoreless innings, Mitch Moreland homered and Andrew Benintendi drove in a couple. It’s really not fair that the Red Sox get to play the Orioles, man.

Dodgers 7, Phillies 6: It was 5-5 heading into the ninth when a wild pitch with runners on and a Matt Kemp RBI single gave the Dodgers their winning margin. Earlier it was a homer fest with Max Muncy, Yasmani Grandal, Chris Taylor and Joc Pederson going deep for Los Angeles. Muncy’s blast was a solo shot, he’d later hit a sac fly and he was part of that ninth inning rally too. Ross Stripling was bad, allowing five runs in four and two-thirds, but the Dodgers pen tossed three and a third scoreless innings after that, with Kenley Jansen allowing one run but closing it out.

Also, Chase Utley is making his final appearance in Citizens Bank Park this series. Not surprisingly, he got a standing O from the Philly Pfaithful:

Athletics 15, Rangers 3: It was 100 degrees once again at game time in Arlington, but that’s nowhere near as hot as the Oakland A’s have been. They won their 24th game in their last 31, with Jonathan Lucroy‘s grand slam leading the way. Stephen Piscotty also went deep, as the A’s hammered Cole Hamels for seven runs and nine hits in five innings. It’s probably worth noting that the Yankees are in the market for a starter and some have said they should look at Cole Hamels. If the New York Daily News hadn’t been Thanos’d by a greedy and shortsighted company yesterday, someone would’ve probably written at least a sidebar about Hamels’ start too.

Tigers 5, Royals 4: The Tigers rallied for three in the top of the ninth to complete a comeback win when Jim Adduci doubled in two runs and then James McCann doubled in Adduci. “Jim Adduci,” by the way, should not be a modern ballplayer’s name. It is, however, totally the name of a first baseman from the American League in the early-to-mid 1960s. He was your dad or your grandfather’s favorite player. Not fast, not too powerful, but he stuck and he seemed like an upstanding guy. After an OK but nothing fancy six-year career he opened up Jim Adduci Chevrolet, just outside of town where they were building the new bypass. It prospered for years, and Adduci retired to the Florida Gulf coast with his wife Helen — of course it was Helen — in the early 90s. Adduci passed peacefully in his sleep on October 19, 2007, surrounded by loved ones. He is missed by all.

Twins 8, Blue Jays 3: One in the first, two in the third, two in the fourth and three in the fifth put the Twins up 8-1 and the rest was just details. Logan Morrison drove in three of those runs with a two-run single and a solo homer. Max Kepler hit a two-run shot. Minnesota snaps a three-game losing streak.

Padres 3, Mets 2: Jacob deGrom pitched eight innings, struck out ten and allowed only two earned runs but he and the Mets lost because he’s the only dude on that team who seems to know how to play baseball. The Padres big blow came when Manuel Margot hit a go-ahead triple in the fifth inning, but the reason it was a go-ahead run was because, just before, a runner scored on a single who shouldn’t have even been on base but was so because Mets right fielder Jose Bautista dropped a fly ball. The Padres made it 3-1 in the sixth when Wil Myers scored when shortstop Amed Rosario let a chopper get under his glove and bounce into the outfield. That should’ve been an out too. deGrom has given up three runs or fewer in 17 consecutive appearances. He’s 5-5. No jury would convict him if he took a flamethrower to the Mets’ clubhouse. Well, at least if there weren’t people in it. He could be excused of some heavy property damage is what I’m saying. 

Braves 12, Marlins 1: Freddie Freeman homered and doubled, Charlie Culberson had four hits, including a pair of doubles, driving in three, and Dansby Swanson homered as the Braves unleashed a 16-hit attack on the Marlins. Freeman’s two-run homer, by the way, was to the opposite field, as he was hitting against the shift. He said afterward, “I was trying to hit the shortstop and it went up in the air.” Maybe we don’t need rules to deal with defensive shifting. Maybe we need better, smarter ballplayers.

Diamondbacks 7, Cubs 1: The Dbacks put up five in the third, capped by Jeff Mathis‘ two-run double and Paul Goldschmidt‘s second inning homer made it 6-0, ending things before they really got going. That was more than enough for Patrick Corbin, who allowed one run on six hits and struck out nine.

Brewers 6, Nationals 1: Jhoulys Chacin was solid Christian Yelich smacked a bases-loaded triple and Erik Kratz drove in a pair of runs as the Brewers pick up a game on the Cubs. Things are going splendidly for the Nats. They lose a game on the Braves, their hitting coach gets ejected for yelling crap from the dugout and Trea Turner had a ball hit his bat land in fair territory — which the ump immediately called fair, making it a bunt — but failed to run out of the batter’s box at all, leading manager Dave Martinez to say that hey’ll probably bench Turner today. Guessing the Washington Post didn’t go with wire copy on that this morning.

White Sox 5, Angels 3: Jose homered and drove in two runs and Lucas Giolito allowed three over six. Shohei Ohtani hit a solo homer that put the Angels up 3-1, but that obviously did not hold.

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.