And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Athletics 6, Rangers 5: Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: the Rangers had a big lead and the A’s came back late to win it. Stop me if you’ve heard this one: Khris Davis was the hero, hitting two late homers — a three-run shot in the seventh and a two-run shot in the ninth — to bring the A’s back from a 5-1 deficit. Davis now has 27 homers on the year. According to the AP gamer, he has more homers than anyone in baseball since the start of the 2016 season — 112 to Giancarlo Stanton‘s 109. Bet you didn’t know that. Oakland has won 26 of 33 and, having taken three of the first four in this series, have now won 10 of their last 11 series, with the other being a split. They’re only one and a half games behind Seattle for the second Wild Card and six and a half behind the Astros, with a record of 60-43.

Rockies 3, Astros 2: Charlie Blackmon hit a walkoff homer to give the Rockies the win. Carlos Gonzalez hit an earlier homer and Jon Gray was sharp, allowing only one hit over seven innings, yet someone allowing two runs too. It was a weird game, as the Rockies scored their tying run on a pop foul and, Some controversy here, though, as Alex Bregman thought he hit a triple to lead off the sixth, but on replay it was ruled that a fan — wearing Astros gear, if you’re curious — reached out and touched the ball, altering its trajectory. That’s fan interference and rather than have a potential insurance run on third base with no one out, Bregman was called out. He didn’t like the call at all. You decided for yourself:

My guess is that Parra does not make that catch but, yeah, the fan did touch the ball.

Mets 6, Padres 4: Clayton Richard retired his first 12 batters on 36 pitches and enjoyed a 2-0 lead into the fifth, as the Mets appeared as though they’d just roll over in the series finale. Then they decided to wake up, however, as Kevin Plawecki, Phillip Evans, and Amed Rosario all hit RBI singles to give the Mets the lead. Jose Bautista then hit a two-run homer in the sixth and, I’ll be damned, the Mets won a series for the first time since late May.

Rays 3, Yankees 2:  Scheduled starter Nathan Eovaldi was traded before the game so the Rays did what they do a lot of the time: threw out a bunch of bullpen arms, did some unconventional stuff, and got pretty good results, holding the Yankees to seven hits and, for the third straight game, no homers. Come October a lot of people are gonna beef about a presumably 100-win Yankees team having to play in a Wild Card game and just how unfair that is, but the Yankees are 6-6 against the Rays this year and 5-5 against the Orioles. If you can’t take care of your business in the division, well, though crap, enjoy your Wild Card game.

Reds 7, Cardinals 3: Eugenio Suarez homered for the third straight game — a first inning two-run shot — and Tucker Barnhart and Adam Duvall hit homers of their own. Sal Romano allowed two runs on seven hits over six innings and then got his bing break directing the commercial for the new weight loss cola, Patio. Sadly, however, the client did not like the “Bye-Bye Birdie” concept, so it was back to the drawing board, literally, for poor Sal. The Cardinals left 11 men on base.

Phillies 7, Dodgers 3: Everyone was tired after the previous night’s 16-inning marathon, but Scott Kingery Rhys Hoskins and Carlos Santana were less tired, with the former two homering and the latter hitting a three-run triple to lead the Phillies. Jake Arrieta (allowed two earned runs on five hits in six innings. Barring these teams meeting in the postseason — and assuming then that he would be on the Dodgers’ postseason roster — it was Chase Utley‘s final bow in Philadelphia. He went 0-for-3 but everyone will remember the standing ovations more.

Indians 4, Pirates 0: Trevor Bauer tossed seven shutout innings, allowing only two hits, and striking out ten. Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run single and Yonder Alonso hit a two-run blast.

Nationals 7, Brewers 3: Tanner Roark pitched eight scoreless innings, striking out 11, and Bryce Harper hit a three-run homer that tied him Jesus Aguilar, Nolan Arenado and Matt Carpenter for the NL home run lead at 25. Juan Soto went deep too.

Tigers 8, Royals 4Jose Iglesias hit a three-run homer, Victor Martinez had three hits, driving in a couple and Matt Boyd allowed two runs over six innings. Mike Moustakas had two hits, including an RBI double, in what might have been his final home game for the Royals given that he’s on the trading block. Danny Duffy may or may not be traded himself, but he didn’t shine like his teammate did, allowing seven runs on nine hits in five and two-thirds.

Cubs 2, Diamondbacks 1: Jon Lester allowed one run over six innings, striking out seven. He didn’t outduel his opponent, Robbie Ray, who likewise allowed only one run and went an inning longer, but the Snakes fell anyway thanks to a couple of throwing errors in the eighth inning which allowed the Cubs to score the go-ahead run.

Twins 12, Blue Jays 6: Minnesota blew a three-run lead in the eighth inning that ended up sending it to extras but they made up for it with a six-run eleventh inning. Max Kepler drove in the tie-breaking run when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and after that the conga line kept moving. Mitch Garver went 4-for-6 with a homer and five RBI and Joe Mauer had three hits and three RBI. Ervin Santana made his season debut — he had surgery on his finger back in February — allowing three runs and seven hits in five innings.

Mariners 3, Giants 2:  Ryon Healy hit his 21st home run of the year and Jean Segura hit an early sac fly and a late chop single to put the M’s ahead. Mike Leake and Derek Holland were each effective, allowing a couple of runs over six and six and a third, respectively.

Angels 11, White Sox 3Mike TroutAlbert Pujols and Shohei Ohtani all homered — Trout homered twice, actually and Pujols’ was a milestone dinger — as the Angels cruised thanks to nine runs in the middle innings. Tyler Skaggs had nine strikeouts in six innings. His first five Ks came against the first five batters he faced. Pujols even stole a base in this one. Third base, in fact. Did it standing up too, as the Sox’ pitcher was clearly paying zero attention to him whatsoever:

Red Sox vs. Orioles — POSTPONED:

Rain down, rain down
Come on rain down on me
From a great height
From a great height, height
Rain down, rain down
Come on, rain down on me
From a great height
From a great height
Rain down, rain down (that’s it, sir, you’re leaving, the crackle of pigskin)
Come on rain down on me (the dust and the screaming, the yuppies networking)
From a great height (the panic, the vomit, the panic, the vomit)
God loves his childrean
God loves his children, yeah

Myles Garrett and Mason Rudolph: meet Juan Marichal and John Roseboro

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Last night the Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the Cleveland Browns. No one is gonna be talking nearly as much about the outcome today, however, as they are the carnage.

Specifically, the carnage that led to Browns defensive end Myles Garrett getting ejected from the game after ripping Steelers’ quarterback Mason Rudolph’s helmet off, swinging it at him and connecting with Rudolph’s skull as the game came to a close. Things were already chippy as all get-out, but that obviously led to a brawl which will lead to a ton of suspensions, including a possibly record-breaking one for Garrett. For all your analysis on that, check out PFT, obviously.

The incident will dominate the sports shows today because malicious attempts to injure another player with a piece of equipment are pretty rare in professional sports. There was at least one incident in baseball history, however, that was analogous to what went down in Cleveland last night.

It took place on August 22, 1965 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco during a Dodgers-Giants game. That’s when Giants ace Juan Marichal, playing the role of Garrett, took a baseball bat to the head of Dodgers catcher John Roseboro, standing in for Rudolph.

The Dodgers and Giants are rivals, of course, and in 1965 the two teams were in a pitched battle for the N.L. pennant, with the Dodgers leading San Francisco by a game and a half as the day began.

Pitchers in 1965 were a bit more aggressive about claiming the inside part of the plate than they are today, and on that day, everyone seemed cranky. Marichal knocked Dodgers shortstop Maury Wills down with some chin music in the top of the second for, it appears, committing the terrible transgression of bunting for a single in his first at bat of the game. In response Koufax fired a fastball over Willie Mays’ head, sending the ball to the backstop. So everyone was even, yeah?

Nah. Marichal responded in the top of third with an inside fastball that sent Dodgers first baseman Ron Fairly sprawling to the dirt. At that point home plate umpire Shag Crawford issued a warning, indicating that that the next close pitch from either team would result in an ejection. Walter Alston’s Dodgers, though, were a clever bunch. Sure, maybe a close pitch was going to get an ace ejected in a pennant race, but there are other ways to buzz someone’s tower, right?

Pitchers batted in every game back then, of course, and Marichal came to bat in the bottom of the third. Koufax didn’t throw at him, though. Instead, Roseboro, catching for L.A., threw the ball back to Koufax in such a way as to have it sail close to Marichal’s head as he stood in the batter’s box. He later admitted in his autobiography that it was no accident, he was trying to intimidate Marichal.

Marichal flipped out, clubbing Roseboro with his bat, after which all hell broke loose (all photos, and the original caption from 1965, are from Getty Images):

 

Juan Marichal holding bat, John Roseboro attacked, and Sandy Koufax closes in.

 

Roseboro throws a punch at Marichal while latter swings bat and Koufax comes in to try and break it up.

 

On deck batter Giant Tito Fuentes pulls Roseboro away while Marichal wields bat at Koufax while umpire Shag Crawford and Giant coach Charlie Fox try to break it up.

 

Umpire Shag Crawford wrestles with Marichal while Dodgers Jim Gilliam (19) and Koufax come in. Rear is Giants coach Charlie Fox. Marichal falls to the ground on top of Shag Crawford while Giants Orlando Cepeda joins the melee.

 

Umpire Shag Crawford is shown here wrestling with Marichal as Dodgers Jim Gilliam (#19) and Sandy Koufax join in. In the rear is Giants’ coach Charlie Fox.

 

Identifiable L-R: Dodger Jim Gilliam (19); John Roseboro (with chest protector); Giants Orlando Cepeda (30); Cap Peterson (17); Warren Spahn; and Mgr. Herman Franks (3).

Willie Mays was credited with keeping the brawl from getting worse. Roseboro had military and martial arts training and, as you can see in the second photo, he was not slowed by his head injury — an injury that would require 14 stitches — from trying to take Marichal apart. Mays was the one who ultimately pulled Roseboro away and out of the fracas. He even held a towel to Roseboro’s head which by then had begun to bleed profusely. The fight eventually ended, with several players sustaining injuries due to kicks and accidental spikings of hands and legs and stuff.

The incident delayed the game for 14 minutes but the fallout beyond that was pretty tame compared to today’s standards. Marichal got an eight day suspension which, because of scheduled doubleheaders, caused him to miss ten games. He was also fined $1,750, which is around $15,000 today. Roseboro only missed two games due to his injury. The Dodgers would lose this game thanks to a big homer from Mays off of Koufax, but the Dodgers would go on to win the pennant and defeat the Minnesota Twins in the World Series.

There was additional fallout: Roseboro sued Marichal for $110,000 in damages. They’d eventually settle, with Roseboro receiving $7,500 from Marichal.

But there was no lingering bad blood. In interviews after the incident both players admitted that there was much more on their minds in 1965 that might’ve contributed to their aggression on that day. There was the rivalry, of course, and the pennant race. But Marichal had been much more personally distracted by a civil war in his native Dominican Republic that raged in 1965 and would not end until September. Roseboro had been, understandably, affected by the Watts Riots in Los Angeles which had taken place just over a week before this game. When you feel helpless about situation A, you often channel your feelings into situation B and both men said that something like that was probably simmering.

Marichal would play for the Dodgers for two games in 1975, the final year of his career. Roseboro had already retired, but Marichal’s cup of coffee with L.A. allowed them to meet up at a Dodgers old-timers game in 1982. There they posed for this photo: 

Getty Images

“There were no hard feelings on my part,” Roseboro told the L.A. Times in 1990. Roseboro died in 2002. Marichal was an honorary pallbearer at his funeral.

Let’s check in with Garrett and Ruldolph in 37 years to see how they’re doing.