And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Nationals 8, Phillies 7: Philly jumped out to a 3-0 lead, blew it, took a 5-4 lead, blew it, took a 6-5 and then a 7-5 lead and blew that too. The final blow was Ryan Zimmerman‘s two-out, two-run walkoff homer to give the Washington Dead Cats another win over Philly. The Phillies have lost four in a row and nine of 13 and are now three games behind NL East-leading Atlanta. Because . . .

Braves 2, Pirates 1: . . . Ronald Acuña got back into the leadoff homer business, Freddie Freeman knocked in a run on a sac fly and Julio Teheran had no trouble handling the punchless Pirates, tossing seven innings of one-run ball. Pittsburgh has scored seven runs in their last eight games, which is rather mind-boggling. It was bad enough here to allow the Braves to win despite getting only three hits on the afternoon.

Marlins 9, Yankees 3: The Yankees took a 2-0 lead into the bottom of the sixth behind Lance Lynn‘s five shutout innings but Lynn would blow up in his final frame of duty, surrendering five runs to the Marlins, with Miguel Rojas‘ three-run homer putting the Marlins ahead for good. Speaking of surrender, Lynn’s photo on the scoreboard makes him look like a Confederate private at the Battle of Shiloh:

He’s a Confederate soldier, not a Union soldier, by the way, because as everyone knows, Yankees have to shave. Anyway, when I see that photo I half expect to hear some voiceover artist saying “My dearest Martha . . . I tire of war and its blood red toll . . .” or some such thing while a lonesome fiddle solo plays softly in the background and David McCullough offers up some fact about how, like, soldiers’ rations consisted of literal mud and one piece of cornbread a month. Then Shelby Foote comes on the screen and talks about how, really, Robert E. Lee was the greatest abolitionist the country had ever seen, but that he simply had an Arthurian Duty to his beloved Virginia.

Um, sorry. Got carried away there. The upshot is that the Yankees split the brief series in Miami and now get a day off before a series against Baltimore. Lynn can think of it like a furlough from the front lines.

Diamondbacks 5, Angels 1: Nick Ahmed and David Peralta homered and Clay Buchholz — who himself looked like some scraggly-ass Civil War solider until a recent shave — pitches seven shutout innings. This coming off his last outing in which he allowed only one run in a complete game. Shelby Foote: “Many left home as boys . . . but came back as men, having grown by fighting for a cause that, while lost, was noble.” *crew winces, but realizes they can’t do anything about it this insane old man*

Rockies 6, Padres 2: Ian Desmond and Tony Wolters each drove in a pair and Jon Gray pitched effectively into the seventh to win his tenth game of the year. He’s been particularly effective in the seven starts he’s made since being recalled from Triple-A. Which is to say, he must have taken a right turn at Albuquerque.

Rangers 4, Athletics 2: Mike Minor gave up only one hit in six shutout innings and Shin-Soo Choo and Joey Gallo hit dingers as the Rangers avoid the sweep and put Oakland back a game in the AL West. Texas had been shut out by Oakland in the previous two games. After this one, Rangers manager Jeff Banister said this:

“Choo getting off early, getting a run on the board, allowed our offense to kind of settle in. It gave our guys some confidence to go out and swing the bat and attack.”

I don’t know why one would not swing the bats and attack before the Choo homer — especially in those two games when they were shut out — but I suppose casting it all as a matter of confidence and feel as opposed to saying “they were better than us the previous two games and we were better today” is not what people expect managers to say. There is a GREAT deal of what managers say after the fact that falls into this category, by the way.

Astros 10, Mariners 7: Houston led this one 8-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth and 9-1 heading into the bottom of the fifth, but Seattle didn’t roll over. I mean, they never caught up or anything, but they didn’t roll over and it was a two-run game between the sixth and the ninth. Martin Maldonado and Tyler White each homered and had three hits for Houston. After the game, speaking of his club almost blowing a big lead, A.J. Hinch said “You can’t hate how you win if you win.” Weird. I thought that mindset only applied to politics.

Blue Jays 6, Orioles 0: The Jays’ Thomas Pannone took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and the O’s David Hess took one into the fifth, but things unraveled late for Baltimore. Kendrys Morales‘ seventh inning homer — his fourth dinger in as many games — was all the scoring Toronto would need but they’d pile five more runs on anyway. The Jays sweep the three-game series, outscoring the O’s 19-5. Baltimore is entering 1899 Cleveland Spiders’ levels of anti-competitiveness as the season makes the turn towards home.

White Sox 7, Twins 3: Adam Engel, Nicky Delmonico and Tim Anderson all homered — Engel’s was a tie-breaker — and Carlos Rodon allowed two runs over six innings as the Chisox win their sixth game in their last eight. Rodon is 5-1 with a 2.31 ERA over his last 10 starts.

Brewers 4, Reds 0: Freddy Peralta tossed seven shutout innings and [all together now] helped his own cause by knocking in a run. Christian Yelich homered, drove in a couple and reached base five times as Milwaukee takes two of three from the Reds.

Red Sox 10, Indians 4: Boston avoids its first four-game losing streak of the year thanks to two Xander Bogaerts homers, a Mitch Moreland shot and a three-run double from Andrew Benintendi, among other delights. Edwin Encarnacion hit a pair of two-run homers in his first game back since coming off the disabled list, providing Cleveland’s only offense.

Cubs 8, Tigers 2: Congratulations to the Chicago Cubs for not scoring a mere one run for the first time in almost a week. David Bote‘s three-run homer in the fifth assured that. Javier Baez‘s three-run homer and Anthony Rizzo‘s solo shot, both in the ninth, helped matters. Daniel Murphy was 2-for-5 and drove in a run in his Chicago debut. Jon Lester allowed just one run while pitching into the sixth.

Mets 5, Giants 3: The Mets’ run of respectable baseball continues. They took an early 3-0 lead thanks to a Dom Smith homer and RBIs from Todd Fraizer and Jeff McNeil. Jose Bautista and Frazier would each homer later in the game while Noah Syndergaard pitched six solid innings. New York is 12-7 in its last 19 games.

Rays 6, Royals 3: Tampa Bay wins its fourth in a row, but since three of them came against the Royals we only count them as two. Got that? Brandon Lowe and Mallex Smith drove in two runs each. The Rays moved five games over .500 for the first time in over a year.

Cardinals 3, Dodgers 1: A Joc Pederson homer in the sixth held up until Tyler O’Neill tied it up with a dinger of his own in the eighth. Kenley Jansen — whose wife gave birth late Tuesday night, but who stayed with the team anyway because it was his second kid and, God knows, second kids get the shaft ALL THE TIME — came into the tied game in the ninth and surrendered a two-run homer to Paul DeJong as the Cardinals win once again. Maybe Jansen should’ve gone on paternity leave? It was the Cardinals’ eighth straight road win and their first sweep in Dodger Stadium in 12 years.

And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Mets 6, Nationals 1: Max Scherzer tossed six shutout innings and the pen blanked the Nats in the seventh, but Washington clung to only a 1-0 lead thanks to an almost-as-good start from Jacob deGrom. In the eighth, Dave Martinez called on Kyle Barraclough to hold things down. He got two out but also put two runners on, so Martinez called on Sean Doolittle to get a four-out save in a tight game. Tough order, but Doolittle’s good. Usually.

Doolittle hit the first batter he faced to load the bases, gave up a bases-clearing double to Juan Lagares, intentionally walked a guy and then gave up a three-run jack to Rajai Davis. The best part: Davis was just called up the Mets mere hours before. Hell, he had already taken batting practice for Syracuse, who was playing at Lehigh Valley. He took an Uber to New York, got there by the third inning, got lost and was finally suited up not long before entering the game as a pinch hitter.

As I wrote once upon a time, an essential part of living life is dealing with stuff when you’re basically unprepared. When you’re just thrown into a situation for which you didn’t have time or opportunity to gear up. Here’s a salute to Rajai Davis, who may not have been prepared to face a big league pitcher in a big league stadium when he woke up yesterday morning but who rose to the occasion because, really, what else can you do?

Cubs 8, Phillies 4: Cole Hamels took on the Phillies for the first time but, more importantly, he took on Cole Irvin in what I’m going to assume was a “Highlander” situation. Hamels didn’t pitch that well or get the win but he did a lot better than Irvin, so I assume Irvin’s head was cut off. There can only be one. Albert Almora Jr. hit a grand slam. Anthony Rizzo hit a three-run bomb to help the Cubs get out of an early hole. Let’s call it a Cole hole.

[Ed. — Let’s not]

White Sox 9, Astros 4: Not a great night for Coles. The White Sox beat up on Cole, Gerrit for six runs on seven hits. Eloy Jiménez hit two homers in this one and the Chisox even turned a triple play. A good one, too! Around-the-horn, bang-bang-bang, not one of those janky “baserunner screwed up and stood in the baseline as a guy caught a pop fly, stepped on the bag, and tagged out the confused runner” things. Watch:

Brewers 11, Reds 9: Zach Davies, with a 1.54 ERA, faced off against Luis Castillo, owner of a 1.90 ERA. So naturally 20 runs were scored. The Reds led 6-1 and blew it, then led 8-6 and blew it before the Brewers pulled away. The 8-6 lead went away when Yasmani Grandal hit a two-run homer to tie it. He also started a double play when, with the bases loaded, a strikeout pitch got past him but ricocheted right back to him. The guy on first took off but no one else did because they saw the ricochet. Grandal threw down to first to retire the struck out batter then the Brewers got the baserunner out in a rundown. Just how they drew it up.

Yankees 7, Orioles 5: The Bombers hit five more homers against an Orioles pitching staff that is going to do some ghastly things to the record books before this season is out. Thairo Estrada, D.J. LeMahieu and Gleyber Torres went deep in the first three innings go give New York a 5-0 lead. Gary Sánchez homered in the fourth to make it 6-1 and Torres homered again in the fifth to make it 7-2. Sánchez has homered in three straight games. Torres has 12 homers on the year. Ten of them have come against the Orioles.

Red Sox 6, Blue Jays 5: This thirteen-inning game ended twenty minutes before midnight. Today they get started at 12:37PM. Look for some super crisp play from the Sox and Jays today! Here Michael Chavis hit a tiebreaking homer in the 13th inning to give Boston the win. Rafael Devers homered earlier for his third blast in as many games. That gave Boston a lead that Marcus Walden could not hold thanks to a ninth inning rally from Toronto that made everyone stay up late. Meanwhile, Craig Kimbrel was, I imagine, tucked into bed back wherever he calls home and will be a fresh as a daisy this morning.

Athletics 7, Indians 2: Jefry Rodríguez didn’t fool A’s batters, who touched him for five runs in four innings while Frankie Montas blanked the tribe for six while striking out nine. Mark Canha homered and drove in three and Nick Hundley on a three-hit day as the A’s won their sixth game in a row and took their 10th of 14 overall.

Royals 8, Cardinals 2; Cardinals 10, Royals 3: New rule idea: when teams split a doubleheader the team which outscores the other in the aggregate gets some sort of bonus in the standings. So, here, since the Cards “beat” the Royals 12-11, each team gets one win and the Cards get, um, a point on top. Wait, that would require some sort of hockey-style points system too. OK, we can work with that. It might require some more changes. Like, when you lose a getaway day game in under two and a half hours, you lose a point as a “phoning it in tax.” There are all kinds of variations we can come up with here. Let’s blow this dang game up!

Oh, here: Brad Keller tossed two-hit, two-run baseball and the Royals — boosted by a Jorge Soler three-run homer — beat up on Michael Wacha in the first game. In the second game Homer Bailey got shelled, failing to make it out of the second inning, while Marcell Ozuna, Matt Carpenter, Dexter Fowler and Kolton Wong all went deep. Adam Wainwright was shaky but John GantAndrew MillerCarlos Martinez and John Brebbia combined for four innings of scoreless relief to disabuse Kansas City of any notions of a comeback.

Rockies 9, Pirates 3: For the second time in a couple of weeks Josh Bell hit a homer into the Allegheny River on the fly. That was nice but, at least until my points-system rules changes come into effect which would provide Bell a “cool factor” bonus, it was just a solo shot. Meanwhile, Rockies batters Daniel Murphy and Tony Wolters each hit three-run homers in the early going. Rockies starter Jon Gray allowed three runs and seven hits with seven strikeouts in seven innings. One of those strikeouts was of Bell, on three pitches no less, in his next plate appearance after the splash homer. That would take a half point away, by the way.

Rangers 2, Mariners 1: The sweep. And the seventh win in eight games for Texas. Hunter Pence homered. Seattle is now in last place where most people expected them to be. That opening series in Japan seems like a thousand years ago.

Padres 5, Diamondbacks 2: Eric Lauer allowed one run on four hits over seven frames Eric Hosmer drove in a couple. Kirby Yates got his 20th save of the year. That’s a 65-save pace for a team that’s just above .500.

Rays 8, Dodgers 1: A couple of solo homers had this one tied at one entering the bottom of the seventh, with Dylan Floro taking over for the Dodgers to start the inning. He hit a guy, gave up two straight singles, then a homer and just like that L.A. was down 5-1. The homer — a three-run shot — came from Avisail García and chased Floro. Caleb Ferguson then came in, walked a guy, struck out two, then hit a guy and surrendered a three-run bomb to Kevin Kiermaier. Not what you want out of your bullpen.

Marlins 6, Tigers 3: The Marlins were down 3-0 entering the sixth before coming back. Brian Anderson hit a two-run shot for Miami, Neil Walker doubled in a couple and Garrett Cooper hit his first career homer to power the comeback. That’s five straight wins for the Fish. Eight straight losses for the Tigers, whose early season friskiness has long since passed.

Braves 9, Giants 2: Jeff Samardzija allowed six unearned runs but, as we said the other day, not all unearned runs are created equally. He put a couple of guys on and the would-be out number three of the inning was postponed due to an error, but before it was finally recorded he gave up a run on a wild pitch and coughed up homers to Dansby Swanson and Freddie Freeman. So, yeah, take that “unearned” stuff with a grain of salt. The Giants couldn’t do much against Max Fried, who allowed two over six, and nothing against the Atlanta pen which tossed two shutout innings.

Twins vs. Angels — POSTPONED:

Got on board a westbound seven forty-seven
Didn’t think before deciding what to do
Oh, that talk of opportunities, TV breaks and movies
Rang true, sure rang true
Seems it never rains in southern California
Seems I’ve often heard that kind of talk before
It never rains in California, but girl, don’t they warn ya?
It pours, man, it pours