And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

29 Comments

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.

The Astros continue to refuse to take responsibility for the Taubman Affair

Getty Images
9 Comments

I’m calling it the “Taubman Affair” because writing “the incident in which a top front office executive — Astros Assistant General Manager Brandon Taubman — taunted a reporter for her past opposition to the team acquiring a domestic abuser, after which the team lied, aggressively about it, accusing another reporter of fabricating a story, then admitted that they lied but made no apology for smearing the reporter” is too unwieldy for a headline.

If you need catching up on it, though, you can read this, this or this.

The latest on it all: yesterday, after walking back their angry denial that the incident ever occurred and admitting that, yes, Taubman did in fact gleefully and profanely target a reporter for taunting, the team basically went silent and let Game 1 unfold.

Today General Manager Jeff Luhnow went on a team-friendly radio station (i.e. the station that broadcasts Astros games). In the entire segment he was asked only one question about it: “Your thoughts on the SI article, Jeff.” Luhnow said that he would withhold comment, but apologized to “everybody involved,” including the fans and the players, saying “this situation should have never happened.” You can listen to the entire segment here.

He did not, however, make any specific mention of what “this situation” was. Nor did he acknowledge that, actually, it’s at least two “situations:” (1) the initial behavior of Taubman; and (2) Monday night’s team-sanctioned attack of Sports Illustrated’s Stephanie Apstein, who reported it. Indeed, at no time in the team’s now multiple comments has anyone acknowledged that, as an organization, the Houston Astros’s first impulse in all of this was to attempt to bully and discredit a reporter for what has now been established as a truthful report to which the Astros have admitted. And they certainly have not voiced any specific regret or offered any form of accountability for it.

Major League Baseball is apparently investigating Taubman’s conduct. But it is not, presumably, investigating the Astros’ disingenuous smear of Apstein. A smear that the Astros likely undertook because they figured they could intimidate Apstein and, what may even be worse, because they assumed that the rest of the press — many of whom were witnesses to Taubman’s act — would go along or remain silent. If they did not think that, of course, releasing the statement they did would’ve been nonsensical. It speaks of an organization that believes it can either bully or manipulate the media into doing its bidding or covering for the teams’ transgressions. That part of this has gone wholly uncommented on by the Astros and apparently will for the foreseeable future. No matter how this shakes out for Taubman, if the Astros do not talk about how and why they decided to baselessly attack Apstein on Monday night, nothing they ever say should be trusted again.

More broadly, everything the Astros are doing now is the same as when they traded for Roberto Osuna in the first place.

In 2018 they wanted to do an unpopular thing — arbitrage a player’s domestic violence suspension into the acquisition of cheap relief help — while wanting to appear as though they were good actors who had a “zero tolerance for domestic violence” policy. To solve that problem they shoveled a lot of malarkey about how “zero tolerance” actually includes a fair amount of tolerance and hoped that everyone would go along. When not everyone did — when fans brought signs of protest to the ballpark or expressed their displeasure with Osuna’s presence on the roster — they confiscated them then hoped it’d all blow over and, eventually, via Taubman’s rant on Saturday night, lashed out at their critics.

Here, again, they want to do something unpopular: retain a boorish and insensitive executive in Taubman without him or the team suffering any consequences for it, be they actual consequences or mere P.R. fallout. Again, it’s kind of hard to pull that off, so to do so they falsely accused a reporter of lying and then circled the wagons when they caught heat for it.

I have no idea how long they plan to keep this up. Maybe they are calculating that people will forget and that forgetting is the same as forgiveness. Maybe they simply don’t care. All I do know is that folks will be teaching the Astros’ response to all of this as a counterexample in crisis management courses for years.