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

Consider the Concrete Donut

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Ben Schulman wrote a long, interesting article about stadium architecture over at The Hardball Times today. He asks us to consider the old concrete donut stadiums — multipurpose parks like Three Rivers and The Vet — and to think about what we have gained by their near-extinction. And what we’ve lost.

The article starts out with what I feared would be too much misplaced nostalgia for the Brutalist, functional places that no longer exist outside of Oakland, with the now de rigueur references to astroturf and weird 1970s baseball. It backs away from that early on, though, and presents what I feel is a thoughtful look at the various approaches to building a ballpark. Stadium geeks and architecture geeks will find much to love here.

From a personal perspective, I have a love/hate relationship with newer parks. I spent a good deal of time going to places like Riverfront Stadium when I was a kid and do not miss them at all. But I also think there have been a lot of missteps in the last 25 years or so too.

Most new parks are pleasant and comfortable places to take in a ballgame, but so many of them are totally unimaginative and uninspiring from an architectural point of view. I am not fan of nostalgia, and so many of them — particularly the ones built in the 90s — were fueled by a great deal of misguided retro-ism that looks backwards. I suspect this is the case because either (a) no one had the guts or vision to look forward; and/or (b) they felt they could make easier bucks by catering to people who think everything went to hell once Eisenhower left office than by doing something bold. To be fair, there are examples of newer parks that eschew the faux old-timey vibe to greater degrees — Target Field in Minneapolis and Marlins Park in Miami come to mind — and I tend to prefer those to more backward-looking places. Again, architecturally speaking.

I think the sweet spot — and the linked article touches on this a bit — are ballparks which think bigger than the bland and dreary functionalism of the 1960s and 70s but which eschew derivative, traditionalist approaches. Parks which were built with then-modern sensibilities and saw their vision through without compromise. Dodger Stadium is a fine, modernist example of this. So too is Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, about which I wrote a few years ago. They had a great opportunity to do this in Chicago in the late 80s but muffed it. I think Marlins Park could fall into that category if (a) there is ever anything approaching memorable baseball there; and (b) if they stop being afraid of its bold aspects and stop trying to turn it into a vanilla monument to its vanilla owner. The common denominator, I suppose, is that these parks weren’t and aren’t trying to cater to the childhoods of local fans.

Anyway, good read on a slow news day.