And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Indians 5, Twins 2: Cleveland had a 2-1 lead for several innings when the Twins tied it in the top of the ninth thanks to a Migel Sano homer (remember Miguel Sano?). Trevor Hildenberger was then called in by Paul Molitor because he knows the old baseball maxim of “make sure you use the reliever with the highest ERA in your bullpen in a tight game against a good team.” He also knows that, after he allows two base runners on, you leave that guy in to face one of the most dangerous batters in the game in Francisco Lindor. This is why, when Lindor hit a walkoff three-run homer to send the Twins to defeat, Molitor could sleep easy, knowing that he played this one by the book.

Red Sox 10, Blue Jays 5: Boston wins their 10th of 11 games and, as I said, oh, a dozen Red Sox wins ago, it’s almost getting boring. They’re even getting manna from heaven now, with Rafael Devers coming off the DL to hit a two-run homer. Tomorrow the Ghost of Ted Williams will probably fly in with his dog on a chrono-synclastic infundibulum and go 4-for-5 with three dingers. It’s just rolling that for the Red Sox these days. J.D. Martinez had three hits and Xander Bogaerts had three RBI, because Boston’s offense is powered by the Universal Will to Become.

Diamondbacks 6, Phillies 0: Patrick Corbin pitched shutout ball into the eighth, Eduardo Escobar knocked in three and David Peralta had four hits and plated a couple. The Dbacks own a half-game lead in the NL West right now and head out on a nine-game road trip in which they face three weak teams in the Reds, Rangers and Padres. Things are looking pretty decent. The Phillies, meanwhile, lost a game of ground to Atlanta, which . . .

Braves 8, Nationals 3: . . . beat the Nats pretty soundly, thanks to Charlie Culberson‘s three-run homer and two-run blasts from Ronald Acuña and Tyler Flowers. Acuña also did this:

Atlanta has won eight of 10 to move within a half-game of the Phillies. Washington is now six games back.

Yankees 7, White Sox 3: It was tied early but Giancarlo Stanton‘s second inning grand slam ended that nonsense and, effectively, ended the game. Aaron Hicks would also go deep as Luis Severino allowed three runs in seven to pick up his 15th win on the year. It was Severino’s first win in a month. It was, somehow, Stanton’s first grand slam in four years. I guess it’s maybe not that surprising given that three of those years were spent in Miami and it wasn’t like he had a conga line of base runners in front of him down there, but still.

Mets 8, Reds 0: I wrote about this one yesterday afternoon. Short version: Jacob deGrom can’t do it by himself and, yesterday, for the first time in ages, he didn’t have to.

Orioles 5, Rays 4: Trey Mancini hit a go-ahead two-run double in the ninth to give Baltimore the win. The Orioles committed five errors. It was the first time they’ve done that since 1983. Of course, they also won the World Series in 1983, so maybe this is important. This means somethings. *sculpts potatoes.*

Rangers 11, Mariners 7: Joey Gallo homered twice and knocked in four. Our dude even raised his average to a cool .200. Way to go, Joey! Yovani Gallardo allowed two runs on three hits, in six innings of work, winning his seventh game in nine starts this season. deGrom would love to talk to him about how to get run support, I imagine. Mike Zunino hit two homers for the Mariners in a losing cause.

Pirates 4, Rockies 3: Chris Archer‘s second start as a Pirate went better than his first, allowing two runs over five innings. He did give up a homer. After the game he said, “The homer I gave up was one of the only times I shook Cervelli off. That was my bad. I should have listened to him.” I’d like to think that Cervelli told the batter what was coming. The Pirates took two of three from Colorado, which scored only six runs in the series.

Angels 6, Tigers 0Kole Calhoun hit a leadoff homer and Justin Upton and Albert Pujols hit back-to-back homers in the fifth inning as the Angels cruised. Detroit has lost six in a row, three of which have been shutouts. We all knew there would come a time when the Tigers, which overachieved a decent bit early in the season would crater, and here we are.

Cardinals 7, Marlins 1: Water wet, sky blue, dog bites man, Matt Carpenter homers again. It was a tiebreaking number for the second straight game, this one coming to lead off the sixth inning. John Gant allowed only one run in six innings and, at one point, he and his relief combined to retire 21 Marlins batters in a row so, no, this one was not particularly competitive after a certain point.

Brewers 8, Padres 4: Jesus AguilarTravis Shaw and Eric Thames hit back-to-back-to-back first-inning homers against Padres starter Brett Kennedy, who was making his major league debut. In addition to the homers, he allowed seven straight batters to reach in the first inning. At least he’ll always remember it. Orlando Arcia and Christian Yelich also homered for the Brewers. Someone check the bus stations for Kennedy. He may be back there trying to buy himself a ticket to El Paso.

Royals 9, Cubs 0: Heath Fillmyer — a real pitcher, I just checked — got hit hard early too, though it was only in the literal sense. He was hit by an Anthony Rizzo comebacker early in the game but he shook that off and shut the Cubs out for seven innings and got the win. Adalberto Mondesi and Drew Butera each drove in three runs, Mondesi via a three-run blast.

Athletics 3, Dodgers 2: Newest Athletic Mike Fiers didn’t win this one — he was facing Clayton Kershaw and they both dealt pretty well — but he allowed only one run on four hits while pitching into the sixth and at least stood to be the winner when he left. Chris Taylor tied the game up with an RBI single in the seventh but Khris Davis hit into a run-scoring fielder’s choice in the eighth to put Oakland up to stay. Oakland won for the seventh time in eight games and pulled to within five of the idle Astros. The Dodgers fell a half game back of the Dbacks.

Bonds, Clemens left out of Hall again; McGriff elected

John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO – Moments after Fred McGriff was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, almost two decades after his final game, he got the question.

Asked if Barry Bonds belonged in Cooperstown, a smiling McGriff responded: “Honestly, right now, I’m going to just enjoy this evening.”

A Hall of Fame committee delivered its answer Sunday, passing over Bonds, Roger Clemens and Curt Schilling while handing McGriff the biggest honor of his impressive big league career.

The lanky first baseman, nicknamed the “Crime Dog,” hit .284 with 493 homers and 1,550 RBIs over 19 seasons with six major league teams. The five-time All-Star helped Atlanta win the 1995 World Series.

McGriff got 169 votes (39.8%) in his final year on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot in 2019. Now, he will be inducted into Cooperstown on July 23, along with anyone chosen in the writers’ vote, announced Jan. 24.

“It’s all good. It’s been well worth the wait,” said McGriff, who played his last big league game in 2004.

It was the first time that Bonds, Clemens and Schilling had faced a Hall committee since their 10th and final appearances on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot. Bonds and Clemens have been accused of using performance-enhancing drugs, and support for Schilling dropped after he made hateful remarks toward Muslims, transgender people, reporters and others.

While the 59-year-old McGriff received unanimous support from the 16 members of the contemporary baseball era committee – comprised of Hall members, executives and writers – Schilling got seven votes, and Bonds and Clemens each received fewer than four.

The makeup of the committee likely will change over the years, but the vote was another indication that Bonds and Clemens might never make it to the Hall.

This year’s contemporary era panel included Greg Maddux, who played with McGriff on the Braves, along with Paul Beeston, who was an executive with Toronto when McGriff made his big league debut with the Blue Jays in 1986.

Another ex-Brave, Chipper Jones, was expected to be part of the committee, but he tested positive for COVID-19 and was replaced by Arizona Diamondbacks President Derrick Hall.

The contemporary era committee considers candidates whose careers were primarily from 1980 on. A player needs 75% to be elected.

“It’s tough deciding on who to vote for and who not to vote for and so forth,” McGriff said. “So it’s a great honor to be unanimously voted in.”

In addition to all his big hits and memorable plays, one of McGriff’s enduring legacies is his connection to a baseball skills video from youth coach Tom Emanski. The slugger appeared in a commercial for the product that aired regularly during the late 1990s and early 2000s – wearing a blue Baseball World shirt and hat.

McGriff said he has never seen the video.

“Come Cooperstown, I’ve got to wear my blue hat,” a grinning McGriff said. “My Tom Emanski hat in Cooperstown. See that video is going to make a revival now, it’s going to come back.”

Hall of Famers Jack Morris, Ryne Sandberg, Lee Smith, Frank Thomas and Alan Trammell also served on this year’s committee, which met in San Diego at baseball’s winter meetings.

Rafael Palmeiro, Albert Belle, Don Mattingly and Dale Murphy rounded out the eight-man ballot. Mattingly was next closest to election, with eight votes of 12 required. Murphy had six.

Bonds, Clemens and Schilling fell short in January in their final chances with the BBWAA. Bonds received 260 of 394 votes (66%), Clemens 257 (65.2%) and Schilling 231 (58.6%).

Palmeiro was dropped from the BBWAA ballot after receiving 25 votes (4.4%) in his fourth appearance in 2014, falling below the 5% minimum needed to stay on. His high was 72 votes (12.6%) in 2012.

Bonds has denied knowingly using performance-enhancing drugs, and Clemens maintains he never used PEDs. Palmeiro was suspended for 10 days in August 2005 following a positive test under the major league drug program.

A seven-time NL MVP, Bonds set the career home run record with 762 and the season record with 73 in 2001. A seven-time Cy Young Award winner, Clemens went 354-184 with a 3.12 ERA and 4,672 strikeouts, third behind Nolan Ryan (5,714) and Randy Johnson (4,875). Palmeiro had 3,020 hits and 568 homers.

Schilling fell 16 votes shy with 285 (71.1%) on the 2021 BBWAA ballot. The right-hander went 216-146 with a 3.46 ERA in 20 seasons, winning the World Series with Arizona in 2001 and Boston in 2004 and 2007.

Theo Epstein, who also served on the contemporary era committee, was the GM in Boston when the Red Sox acquired Schilling in a trade with the Diamondbacks in November 2003.

Players on Major League Baseball’s ineligible list cannot be considered, a rule that excludes Pete Rose.