And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Giants 1, Diamondbacks 0: San Francisco shuts out Arizona for the second straight night, winning on a walkoff pinch-hit RBI single from Gorkys Hernandez. That, plus victories from the Rockies and Dodgers, drags the Dbacks into a first place tie with Colorado and puts L.A. just a game behind. Better yet: the Dodgers and Diamondbacks begin a four-game series tomorrow. Buckle up.

Athletics 4, Astros 3: The A’s strike back. Matt Olson‘s three-run homer in the third wasn’t decisive — the Astros would tie it up at three in the fifth thanks to a two-run double from Alex Bregman — but Nick Martini‘s run-scoring ground rule double in the ninth both (a) helped him atone for his awful defense late in Monday’s game; and (b) put the A’s ahead to stay. The Astros’ six-game winning streak ends and Oakland moves back to one and a half games out of first place.

Red Sox 8, Marlins 7: It certainly wasn’t pretty or dominating — winning on a walkoff throwing error isn’t how you draw up great victories — but the recently-struggling Red Sox will take the win. This one was wild late, with Miami scoring five runs in the eighth to take a two-run lead, Boston scoring three in the bottom of the inning to take a one-run lead, then Miami tying the game in the ninth thanks to two walks and an RBI single off of Craig Kimbrel. In the bottom of the ninth J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts both singled and then this happened:

Counts just as much as a solid double off the Monster, right?

Yankees 5, White Sox 4: The third walkoff of the night belonged to New York. This one was a lot more traditional than Boston’s, though. It was a walkoff jack from Neil Walker:

Or, as John Sterling refers to him anyway, “Neil Walker, the home run corker.” Reminds me of that part of “Zero Effect” when Ben Stiller is trying to figure out Ryan O’Neil’s awful, murder-implicating poetry: “How do you rhyme ‘towards’ and ‘birds’? ‘Dropping, falling …diving towards…Two lovers lost, plummeting …birds”?

You all really need to see “Zero Effect,” folks. If you all promise to, I’ll just turn this feature into a daily “Zero Effect” post. It’d make the world a better place.

Orioles 12, Blue Jays 5: Look at the Orioles, putting together an offense-heavy winning streak. Two games, but a streak is a streak, right? Three RBI a piece for Craig Gentry, Chris Davis and Tim Beckham. All names which fans of the next winning Orioles team will recall with head shaking, but no longer depressed nostalgia. “Remember when Craig Gentry was our number two hitter? Man!” Sort of like how I talk about Gary Roenicke and Terry Blocker on the Braves.

Nationals 5, Phillies 4: This one was brutal if you were a Phillies fan, hilarious if you root for the Nats. Bill, a Phillies fan, wrote it up the details of it all last night. The result of that brutality: the Nats — who last week threw in the towel by trading Daniel Murphy and Matt Adams — have now taken four of five games from the Phillies in that last week which, along with the Braves playing good baseball, is why the Phillies are now 4.5 games behind Atlanta.

Indians 8, Twins 1: Carlos Carrasco struck out eleven while scattering four hits and pitching into the eighth, shutting out the Twins the whole time. MVP candidates Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez, meanshile, had four hits and three RBI, respectively. Edwin Encarnacion drove in a couple as well. The two teams most “closely” pursuing the Indians in the Central — the Twins and Tigers — have each lost four in a row and the Indians now lead the division by 14 games.

Reds 9, Brewers 7: Remember when the Brewers looked like they’d challenge the Cubs all season long. That was fun. It’s also probably over as they fall 5.5 back of Chicago — and cling to a half game lead for the second Wild Card — with another loss in a game a contender shouldn’t lose. Cincinnati jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first two innings. A comeback capped by a three-run homer from Christian Yelich had the Brewers down only by one run in the seventh, but a two-run Scooter Gennett triple in the bottom half of the frame put things out of reach. The Reds ended their five-game losing streak.

Braves 9, Rays 5: Atlanta keeps rolling, winning their sixth game in their past eight, ending the Rays’ eight-game winning streak and extending their lead in the NL East. The Braves were down 2-0 early but a five-run fifth inning capped by a two-run double from Nick Markakis fixed that, at least for a while. Willy Adames tied things back up in the eighth with an RBI single, but both Tyler Flowers — pinch-hitting on a day he signed a contract extension — and Ender Inciarte homered in the bottom half and that, as they say, was that. Good day for Flowers, eh? Go-ahead two-run bomb and a guarantee of at least $6 million over the next couple of years. Bet he slept the sleep of the Angels last night.

Dodgers 8, Rangers 4: Viva the trade deadline additions for the Dodgers. Manny Machado had two RBI singles, a sac fly and drove in four on the night while Brian Dozier homered. Starter Walter Buehler was not efficient so it was up to the Dodgers pen to put in a lot of work. Most of that work was excellent, but Kenley Jansen came on with an 8-2 lead in the ninth, no doubt just to get some low-pressure work, but nevertheless allowed two runs on three hits and a walk. He’s allowed runs in every one of his appearances since coming back from the disabled list. The Dodgers are now only one game back of the Dbacks and Rockies, but it’s not like they don’t have a bunch of question marks.

Royals 6, Tigers 2: Jakob Junis tossed a complete game, allowing two runs on six hits and striking out seven. Don’t see many of those these days. Adalberto Mondesi homered, Jorge Bonifacio hit a sacrifice fly, Hunter Dozier added a two-run double and Alcides Escobar had a  two-out RBI single in the Royals’ five-run third inning.

Cardinals 5, Pirates 2: Jack Flaherty allowed one run in seven innings of work, Jose Martinez and Tyler O'Neill homered and the Cardinals won in no-longer-interim manager Mike Shildt’s first game since becoming the no-longer-interim manager. The Cards remain a game and a half up in the Wild Card standings and four games back of the Cubs.

Rockies 3, Angels 2: Carlos Gonzalez hit a two-run homer in the first, Kyle Freeland allowed one run over six and the Rockies never trailed. They’re also now tied for first place in the NL West.

Padres 2, Mariners 1: Felix Hernandez is back in the rotation thanks to injuries but he looked like he belonged there after seven innings of two-run ball. The problem for the Mariners, though, was that Padres starter Jacob Nix pitched eight and a third innings of one-run ball, with that one-run not coming until he surrendered a Nelson Cruz homer in the ninth. Kirby Yates got San Diego out of that potential jam, however and the Padres won it. Nix made it to the ninth with all of those zeros, by the way, without striking out a single batter. How on Earth does that happen in 2018?

Mets 1, Cubs 1 — SUSPENDED: Jacob deGrom was amazing — eight innings, one run, ten strikeouts AND he drove in the Mets only run with an infield single — but Cole Hamels and five relievers basically matched him, holding the Mets to one run in regulation as well. The game was suspended in the 10th inning due to rain and will be resumed this afternoon before their scheduled tilt. No matter what happens, the story of deGrom’s 2018 season will continue: amazing pitching, no help.

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.