And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Cubs 2, Mets 1; Mets 10, Cubs 3: The Cubs won the resumption of the game that was suspended on Tuesday night via an 11th inning walkoff single from Ben Zobrist, giving Jacob deGrom, appropriately, the most drawn out no-decision in history. New York fared much better in the, um, daycap, jumping out for four early runs against Alex Mills and the Cubs thanks to a first inning Todd Frazier grand slam and later putting together a four-run seventh inning capped by a two-run triple from Jose Reyes. deGrom should sue Mets starter Jason Vargas in equity to take possession of some of that run support.

Astros 5, Athletics 4: Tyler White with the walkoff homer helps Houston take two of three from Oakland to end their season series and put the Astros up two and a half games in the AL West. If they meet again this year it’ll be in October. White’s homer was the 81st walkoff in the majors this season, which breaks the record set in 2004. Back before we called them walkoffs.

Royals 9, Tigers 2:  Adalberto Mondesi hit a two-run homer and drove in four as the Royals pounded the Tigers. Alex Gordon, who I was surprised to learn was still alive, also hit a two-run homer. Honestly can’t remember the last time his name came up in these recaps. Given what’s happened to the Royals over the past year or two his name feels like it’s from a completely different era.

Padres 8, Mariners 3Joey Lucchesi struck out nine in six and two-thirds, got his first career RBI AND survived gettin’ hit square in the beans with a comebacker. Quite the day.  Hunter Renfroe homered and drove in four runs, Manuel Margot had three hits, including a homer and rookie Luis Urias had his first three career hits. And watch that linked video of Lucchesi gettin’ hit in the beans, too. I love how the announcer says “not sure where it hit him.” They always say that. They always know.

Red Sox 14, Marlins 6: The Marlins took a 5-3 lead in the top of the seventh. The Sox then changed the tone a wee bit with an 11-run, 12-hit bottom of the seventh that went like this:

  • Eduardo Nunez single to center;
  • Ian Kinsler double to left;
  • Blake Swihart single to left, Nunez scored;
  • Jackie Bradley Jr. double to center, Kinsler scored;
  • Mookie Betts double to right, Swihart and Bradley Jr. scored;
  • Andrew Benintendi sacrificed — what? why?!
  • Brock Holt triple to right, Betts scored;
  • J.D. Martinez was intentionally walked — OK, now it’s strategy time!
  • Xander Bogaerts single to center, Holt scored;
  • Nunez is back up again as the Sox bat around. He singled to center again, Martinez scored;
  • Kinsler single to right, Bogaerts scored;
  • Swihart double to right, Nunez and Kinsler scored (the latter on an error);
  • Bradley Jr. singled to left, Swihart scored;
  • Betts singled to right;
  • Benintendi grounded into a double play to end the inning.

Imagine being Andrew Benintendi and making all three outs in that inning? I bet he’s still catching hell.

Orioles 10, Blue Jays 5: Adam Jones hit a grand slam and drove in five in all, Trey Mancini hit a solo shot and petitions were filed to break up the dang Orioles who swept the dang series. It was their first sweep of a three-game series all season long. Earlier in the day the Blue Jays caught hell when it was reported that they were going to put Josh Donaldson on waivers, later in the day it was discovered that they couldn’t even do that because he’s still hurt, and then they come out and get swept by Baltimore while committing four errors. There have been better days in Blue Jays history.

White Sox 4, Yankees 1: White Sox left fielder Ryan LaMarre went 3-for-4 with two RBI doubles and a homer en route to a four-RBI night and starter Reynaldo Lopez tamed the Bombers with seven innings of one-run ball. Chicago has won five of six, 11 of 15 and took two of three from the Yankees in Yankee Stadium for their first series win in the Bronx in 13 years.

Phillies 8, Nationals 6: Carlos Santana hit a grand slam, Roman Quinn tripled and had three hits and newcomer Jose Bautista drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh to lead Philly past Washington. Gabe Kapler used eight pitchers in nine innings so, no, I’m not gonna guess this was a riveting watch, aesthetically speaking, but it worked out for him. Trea TurnerAnthony Rendon and Juan Soto all hit homers for Washington in a losing cause.

Twins 4, Indians 3: On the day Andrew Miller went back on the disabled list, Cody Allen gave up a two-out, two-run single to Robbie Grossman in the seventh inning that put the Twins up to stay. Guess the Indians’ bullpen problems are back in full force. Twins rookie Willians Astudillo hit a homer and Eddie Rosario doubled in Joe Mauer. It was Mauer’s 1,000th career run. Only Kirby Puckett and Harmon Killebrew have scored a thousand times in a Twins uniform.

Brewers 13, Reds 12: Jesus Aquilar’s tenth inning homer put Milwaukee up 12-11 and Erik Kratz‘s RBI single added a key insurance run as the Brewers held on to win a wild one in Cincinnati. The story of the game, though, was Christian Yelich, who went 6-for-6 and hit for the cycle, pushing his season line to .317/.379/.562 batting line along with 26 home runs, 75 RBI, 93 runs, and 14 stolen bases. He’ll get MVP votes and will deserve them. If he hadn’t done all that the story of the game might have been Reds reliever Michael Lorenzen hitting a three-run homer. This after he sorta kinda fouled off a pitch with two strikes which would’ve punched him out but the ump said he was trying to avoid the pitch rather than bunt it. OK, whatever, but he certainly made the most out of his extra chance.

Rays 8, Braves 5: C.J. Cron hit a tiebreaking homer and Tommy Pham added a two-run shot as the Rays win for the ninth time in ten games. Braves starter Sean Newcomb didn’t really impress Tampa Bay’s bats. He hasn’t really impressed anyone since his near no-hitter at the end of July.

Dodgers 3, Rangers 1: Alex Wood tossed seven shutout innings and Cody Bellinger, Manny Machado and Yasmani Grandal each went deep as the Dodgers take their fifth straight to stay a game behind the Dbacks as they begin a big weekend series tonight in Los Angeles.

Pirates 2, Cardinals 0: Trevor Williams and three relievers combined to shut out the hot St. Louis Cardinals. Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco each had RBI singles. Matt Carpenter left the game early due to stomach problems. That’s about all I have to say about this game.

Diamondbacks 3, Giants 1: Zack Godley gave up only one run on only two his while pitching into the eighth while Steven Souza homered and doubled in another run. Giants Rookie of the Year candidate Dereck Rodriguez lost for the first time in 13 appearances dating back to June 9.

Astros fan logs trash can bangs from 2017

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A fascinating and no doubt time consuming research project was released this morning. An Astros fan by the name of Tony Adams went through every Astros home game in the 2017 season and logged trash can bangs. Which, as you know, was the mechanism via which Astros players in the clubhouse signaled to hitters which pitch was coming.

Adams listened to every pitch from the Astros’ 2017 home games and made a note of any banging noise he could detect. There were 20 home games for which he did not have access to video. There were three “home” games which took place at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida due to the team being displaced by hurricane Harvey and for which, obviously, the Astros’ camera setup from Minute Maid Park would not have been applicable.

Adams logged over 8,200 pitches and found banging before over 1,100 of those pitches. He graphed which players got the most bangs during their at batsMarwin Gonzalez got the most, with bangs coming before 147 of 776 pitches seen, followed by George Springer, who got bangs on 139 of 933. José Altuve had the least among regulars, with only 24 bangs in 866 pitches. One gets the sense that, perhaps, he felt that the banging would interfere with his normal pitch recognition process or something. Either way it’s worth noting that a lack of banging was also signal. Specifically, for a fastball. As such, Astros hitters were helped on a much higher percentage of pitches than what is depicted in the graphs themselves.

Adams reminds us that Commissioner Manfred’s report stated that the Astros also used hand-clapping, whistling, and yelling early in the season before settling on trash can banging. Those things were impossible to detect simply by watching video. As it is, Adams’ graphs of bangs-per-game shows that the can-banging plan dramatically ramped-up on May 28.

It’s hard to say anything definitive about the scope and effectiveness of the Astros’ sign-stealing scheme based on this study alone. Adams may or may not have been hearing everything and, as he notes, there may have been a lot more pitches relayed thought means other than trash can banging than we know. Alternatively it’s possible that Adams was marking some sounds as bangs that were not, in fact, Astros players sending signals to the batter. It’s probably an inexact science.

Still, this is an impressive undertaking that no doubt took a ton of time. And it at least begins to provide a glimpse into the Astros’ sign-stealing operation.