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And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Yankees 7, White Sox 0: The Yankees played a much less talented Sox team and, nor surprisingly had a far easier time of things. Lance Lynn was excellent in his first start with New York, allowing only two hits and no runs while striking out nine in seven and a third. Gleyber Torres homered and singled in a run and Neil Walker hit a two-run blast to put the Bombers back in the win column for the first time in days. Theory: the Yankees, all of their fans’ hand-wringing over the last several days notwithstanding, are not bad. They’re just not as good as the Red Sox. That’s a thing that can be true.

Mariners 4, Rangers 3: Seattle blew a 3-0 lead when the Rangers strung together three in the seventh but Ryon Healy‘s RBI single in the top of the 12th won it for the M’s. Mike Zunino had three hits and homered. The Mariners are 9-1 in extra innings this year. I suspect it’s because, when they get into extra innings, Scott Servais calls for the “win the game” play most of the time. Smart managing.

Mets 6, Reds 4: Noah Syndergaard was fine until the seventh inning but Homer Bailey wasn’t fine at all so it worked out for the Mets. Rookie second baseman Jeff McNeil hit a homer. And get a load of the bat he did it with. No knob:

(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

You’d think a major leaguer wouldn’t have to use factor seconds, but I guess saving a buck is saving a buck. Kevin Plawecki homered too. His bat has a knob.

Indians 10, Twins 0: An acelike outing and four homers will do it every time. Trevor Bauer struck out 11 while blanking the Twins for six innings and Yonder Alonso, Brandon Guyer, Jason Kipnis and Edwin Encarnacion went deep for Cleveland. Encarnacion’s was a three-run shot and he drove in four in all.

Marlins 2, Cardinals 1: Wei-Yen Chen allowed only one hit while pitching into the sixth and the Cards couldn’t do much against his relief either. Luke Weaver was almost as good for St. Louis (6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER) but a first inning run and a Starlin Castro homer in the fourth gave Miami enough of a margin. The Cards scored one and threatened to score more in the ninth when Miami closer closer Kyle Barraclough — who has been struggling — loaded the bases and then walked in a run, but Javy Guerra came in to get the final out and put out the fire.

Cubs 3, Royals 1: Cole Hamels has really enjoyed his return to the National League thus far, even if his opponent was an American League team last night. The Cubs’ newest starter allowed only one run over six. In his first outing as a Cub he didn’t allow any earned runs against the Pirates. Javier Baez homered and doubled in a run.

Rockies 2, Pirates 0: Kyle Freeland didn’t allow any runs against the Pirates either. Over seven innings in his case. That outdid Joe Musgrove, who also pitched well, allowing one earned and one unearned run in Colorado’s two-run fifth inning. Not a deficit as deep as a well nor wide as a church door but t’was enough. T’will serve.

Diamondbacks 3, Phillies 2David Peralta was hitless until the ninth inning. Then, in the bottom of the ninth, he homered to help force extra innings. He singled in the 10th and doubled in the 12th in would-be rallies that fizzled, but when he came up again in the fourteenth inning he took things into his own hands, hitting a walkoff homer. Lost in all of this was Phillies starter Jake Arrieta allowing only three hits in eight scoreless innings, leaving with a 2-0 lead. But that’s why they play nine. Or, in this case, fourteen.

Angels 6, Tigers 2: No Mike Trout, no problem, at least on this night. Andrelton Simmons and Eric Young Jr. each homered and drove in a couple. Young also made a spectacular catch to possibly save a run:

Simmons is Simmons, so he made some stellar defensive plays, I have read, but MLB doesn’t have any highlights of them up. I suppose Simmons doing spectacular things on defense isn’t exactly news anymore.

Astros 3, Giants 1: The Giants clung to a 1-0 lead heading into the ninth inning but I guess they didn’t cling hard enough. With Will Smith on the mound, Lance Alex Bregman [it was early and my old brain autopilots before it wakes up] and Yuli Gurriel walked and then, with two outs, Marwin Gonzalez powered one over the wall in left center for a three-run homer and, after three Giant outs in the bottom half, the win. Roberto Osuna was the Houston pitcher of record when Gonzalez hit that homer so he picked up the win. How nice for him.

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.