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.

Biden praises Braves’ ‘unstoppable, joyful run’ to 2021 win

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said the Atlanta Braves will be “forever known as the upset kings of October” for their improbable 2021 World Series win, as he welcomed the team to the White House for a victory celebration.

Biden called the Braves’ drive an “unstoppable, joyful run.” The team got its White House visit in with just over a week left before the 2022 regular season wraps up and the Major League Baseball playoffs begin again. The Braves trail the New York Mets by 1.5 games in the National League East but have clinched a wildcard spot for the MLB playoffs that begin Oct. 7. Chief Executive Officer Terry McGuirk said he hoped they’d be back to the White House again soon.

In August 2021, the Braves were a mess, playing barely at .500. But then they started winning. And they kept it up, taking the World Series in six games over the Houston Astros.

Biden called their performance of “history’s greatest turnarounds.”

“This team has literally been part of American history for over 150 years,” said Biden. “But none of it came easy … people counting you out. Heck, I know something about being counted out.”

Players lined up on risers behind Biden, grinning and waving to the crowd, but the player most discussed was one who hasn’t been on the team in nearly 50 years and who died last year: Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.

Hammerin’ Hank was the home run king for 33 years, dethroning Babe Ruth with a shot to left field on April 8, 1974. He was one of the most famous players for Atlanta and in baseball history, a clear-eyed chronicler of the hardships thrown his way – from the poverty and segregation of his Alabama youth to the racist threats he faced during his pursuit of one of America’s most hallowed records. He died in January at 86.

“This is team is defined by the courage of Hank Aaron,” Biden said.

McGuirk said Aaron, who held front office positions with the team and was one of Major League Baseball’s few Black executives, was watching over them.

“He’d have been there every step of the way with us if he was here,” McGuirk added.

The president often honors major league and some college sports champions with a White House ceremony, typically a nonpartisan affair in which the commander in chief pays tribute to the champs’ prowess, poses for photos and comes away with a team jersey.

Those visits were highly charged in the previous administration. Many athletes took issue with President Donald Trump’s policies and rhetoric on policing, immigration and more. Trump, for his part, didn’t take kindly to criticism from athletes or their on-field expressions of political opinions.

Under Biden, the tradition appears to be back. He’s hosted the NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks and Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the White House. On Monday he joked about first lady Jill Biden’s Philadelphia allegiances.

“Like every Philly fan, she’s convinced she knows more about everything in sports than anybody else,” he said. He added that he couldn’t be too nice to the Atlanta team because it had just beaten the Phillies the previous night in extra innings.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was later questioned about the team’s name, particularly as other professional sports teams have moved away from names – like the Cleveland Indians, now the Guardians, and the Washington Redskins, now the Commanders – following years of complaints from Native American groups over the images and symbols.

She said it was important for the country to have the conversation. “And Native American and Indigenous voices – they should be at the center of this conversation,” she said.

Biden supported MLB’s decision to pull the 2021 All-Star Game from Atlanta to protest Georgia’s sweeping new voting law, which critics contend is too restrictive.