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And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Brewers 3, Cubs 2: Lorenzo Cain had four hits, Mike Moustakas scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch, and just like that the Cubs’ lead in the NL Central is down to a single game. Milwaukee has won seven of eight overall. The Cubs have dropped five of seven.

Rays 6, Indians 5: Early in the game Ji-Man Choi was hit by a Corey Kluber pitch with the bases loaded to push in a run. That’s the hard way to knock one in. He did it the much more fun way in the bottom of the ninth when he hit a two-out, two-run homer off of Brad Hand to give the Rays the walkoff win. The loss was doubly demoralizing for Cleveland, you have to imagine, as they fell behind 4-1 in the second inning behind an ineffective Kluber, yet still came back to claim a 5-4 lead. Then, bammo, like that they lost.

Astros 3, Tigers 2: Justin Verlander made his return to Detroit and it wasn’t a bad return: seven innings, two runs ten strikeouts. His counterpart Francisco Liriano was also facing a team he pitched for in 2017 and actually allowed fewer earned runs — all three of Houston’s were unearned — but one was on a wild pitch, with a guy he walked scoring, and the other two coming courtesy of three straight singles he allowed right after the wild pitch so, at least under the rules I would impose were I the Baseball Dictator, they’d be earned.

Reds 10, Dodgers 6: If the Dodgers miss the playoffs they can attribute it to a lot of reasons but losing all five games they’ve played against the lowly Reds this season is one that should stand out for them. Here Scooter Gennett had four hits and three RBI, Joey Votto hit a two-run double and Cincinnati jumped on Alex Wood for seven runs, six earned, in less than four innings. Los Angeles falls to one and a half games behind Colorado because . . .

Rockies 13, Diamondbacks 2: . . . the Rockies are taking care of their business. German Marquez struck out 11 over seven innings, Trevor Story hit a three-run homer during a six-run fifth inning and David Dahl hit a grand slam in their seven-run seventh. Charlie BlackmonTony Wolters and DJ LeMahieu each had three hits. Arizona is now three and a half back in the division and four in the Wild Card race.

Yankees 7, Twins 2: J.A. Happ tossed six shutout innings and Gary Sanchez had three hits including a long homer to kick off the game’s scoring in the six inning. The Yankees any pretense of this being a close game the following inning, however, when they put up a six-spot thanks to RBI doubles from Miguel Andujar, Giancarlo Stanton, and Didi Gregorius and an RBI single from Gleybar Torres. Andrew McCutchen‘s sac fly put a lid on things. New York has beaten Minnesota nine straight times if you include last year’s Wild Card game. Their ownership of that franchise is, like, decades long now.

Royals 4, White Sox 3: Walkoff homers are fun. Walkoff sac bunts which are thrown away by the pitcher trying to field it, allowing the runner he was trying to nail at third to score are just as effective, however. The bunter, Alcides Escobar. The pitcher throwing it away, Jeanmar Gomez. Probably an appropriate ending for a game between two of the, ahem, less-than-dominant teams in Major League Baseball this year.

Cardinals 8. Pirates 7: The Pirates took an early 4-0 lead but the Cards came back and Matt Adams‘ three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth turned a 6-4 deficit into a 7-6 lead which the Cards would not surrender. The win moved St. Louis two games ahead of the Dodgers for the second Wild Card.

Rangers 5, Angels 2: Mike Minor allowed on run on eight hits in six innings, Ronald Guzman homered and Joey Gallow drove in three to end the Rangers’ four-game losing streak. Shohei Ohtani had two hits and an RBI and both Mike Trout and Andrelton Simmons flashed serious leather in a losing cause and the Angels. That sort of feels like what will be the legacy for this era of Angels baseball, doesn’t it? Some big stars doing fun things but having it amount to nothing because the organization does not seem to know how to build a baseball team.

Braves 4, Giants 1: Atlanta keeps on rolling and the Giants keep on falling. It was close most of the game, but the Braves broke a 1-1 tie in the seventh thanks to Dansby Swanson hitting a sac fly and then put it away in the ninth when Ozzie Albies hit an RBI triple and Swanson squeezed him home with a bunt. I know I put up a lot of videos of big homers and spectacular defensive plays. Here’s a highlight for those of you who get off on fundamentally sound but boring plays:

The Braves now lead the NL East by five games, having taken four of five.

Nationals vs. Phillies — POSTPONED: This one doesn’t get covered by my rain song today because the circumstances of the postponement were not directly rain-related. Yes, it rained, but that happened over the weekend when the Phillies were in New York and they didn’t cover the field for whatever reason, so the infield dirt was soaked. They used friggin’ blowtorches to try to dry it out but it didn’t work. Anyway, they get a different song:

The times are tough now, just getting tougher
This whole world is rough, it’s just getting rougher
Cover me, come on baby, cover me
Well I’m looking for a lover who will come on in and cover me

Now promise me baby you won’t let them find us
Hold me in your arms, let’s let our love blind us
Cover me, shut the door and cover me
I’m looking for a lover who will come on in and cover me

Outside’s the rain, the driving snow
I can hear the wild wind blowing
Turn out the light, bolt the door
I ain’t going out there no more

This whole world is out there just trying to score
I’ve seen enough I don’t wanna see any more,
Cover me, come on in and cover me
I’m looking for a lover who will come on in and cover me

Marlins vs. Mets — POSTPONED: This was a straight rain postponement, so:

The leaves of brown came tumbling down
Remember in September in the rain
The sun went out just like a dying amber
That September in the rain
To every word of love i heard you whisper
The raindrops seemed to play our sweet refrain
Though spring is here to me it’s still September
That September in the rain

Derek Jeter, Larry Walker elected to the Hall of Fame

Derek Jeter
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Longtime Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and outfielder Larry Walker were elected into the Hall of Fame. Voting results from the Baseball Writers Association of America were unveiled just moments ago on MLB Network. Jeter (99.7%) and Walker (76.6%) were the only players on the 2020 ballot to earn at least the 75 percent support necessary for induction into Cooperstown. Jeter was in his first year on the ballot and Walker was in his 10th and final year.

Jeter, 45, was selected by the Yankees in the first round, sixth overall, in the 1992 draft and would spend the remainder of his professional career with the organization. Over parts of 20 big league seasons, Jeter hit .310/.377/.440 with 260 home runs, 1,311 RBI, 1,923 runs scored, and 358 stolen bases.

Jeter was a terrific player during the regular season, winning the 1996 American League Rookie of the Year Award, five Silver Slugger Awards, and earning 14 All-Star nominations. However, he did his best work in the postseason, helping the Yankees win five championships during his tenure. He even earned the 2000 World Series MVP Award. Overall, across 734 postseason at-bats, Jeter hit .308/.374/.465 with 20 homers, 61 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 18 stolen bases. While his postseason line is similar to his regular season line, it is worth considering that he faced tougher pitchers on average under more pressure in the postseason.

While defensive metrics weren’t kind to Jeter, he made some very memorable plays in the field. There was, of course, his flip to catcher Jorge Posada to tag out Jeremy Giambi at home plate in the 2001 ALDS, salvaging a throw that missed the cutoff man in the seventh inning of a game the Yankees only led 1-0.

There was also Jeter’s famous dive into the stands in the 12th inning of a July 1, 2004 game at home against the Red Sox. With the two clubs tied at three apiece, the Red Sox threatened with a runner on second base. Pinch-hitter Trot Nixon hit a weak fly ball down the left field line. Jeter ran full speed into the outfield, catching the ball that would have otherwise landed fair, his momentum taking him full-bore into the stands. After a few tense moments, Jeter famously popped his head up, face bloodied from making contact with a seat.

Jeter retired as the Yankees’ all-time leader in games played (2,747), hits (3,465), doubles (544), and stolen bases (358). He’s second in runs scored (1,923), third in total bases (4,921), fourth in walks (1,082), fifth in career WAR (72.4), eighth in batting average (.310), and fifth in RBI (1,311). Jeter is sixth on the all-time hits list behind Pete Rose, Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron, Stan Musial, and Tris Speaker.

Jeter, who was one vote shy of unanimous election, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame along with Ted Simmons and Marvin Miller on July 26. Simmons and Miller (posthumously, in Miller’s case) were elected by the Modern Baseball Era Committee last month.

Walker, 53, was not drafted. Rather, the Expos signed him to a minor league contract in 1985. He would go on to spend 17 seasons in the majors, the first six with the Expos, the next nine and a half with the Rockies, and the final season and a half with the Cardinals. He hit .313/.400/.565 with 383 home runs, 1,311 RBI, 1,355 runs scored, and 230 stolen bases.

That Walker spent a majority of his career with the Rockies was used by some against him, as Coors Field has famously inflated hitters’ numbers. Unsurprisingly, Walker had a 1.172 OPS at Coors Field. However, even his aggregate away split — an .865 OPS — was significantly above-average, even considering the offense-friendly era in which he played. Walker was also a tremendous defensive corner outfield, racking up 94 defensive runs saved above average according to Baseball Reference.

Other players receiving a majority of support from the BBWAA, but under the necessary 75 percent include Curt Schilling (70%), Roger Clemens (61%), Barry Bonds (60.7%), and Omar Vizquel (52.6%).

Players who received less than a majority of support but more than the five percent minimum to remain on the ballot are: Scott Rolen (35.3%), Billy Wagner (31.7%), Gary Sheffield (30.5%), Todd Helton (29.2%), Manny Ramírez (28.2%), Jeff Kent (27.5%), Andruw Jones (19.4%), Sammy Sosa (13.9%), Andy Pettitte (11.3%), and Bobby Abreu (5.5%).

Players who received less than five percent of the vote and thus will fall off the ballot are: Paul Konerko (2.5%), Jason Giambi (1.5%), Alfonso Soriano (1.5%), Eric Chávez (0.5%), Cliff Lee (0.5%), Adam Dunn (0.3%), Brad Penny (0.3%), Raúl Ibañez (0.3%), J.J. Putz (0.3%), Josh Beckett (0%), Heath Bell (0%), Chone Figgins (0%), Rafael Furcal (0%), Carlos Peña (0%), Brian Roberts (0%), and José Valverde (0%).