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And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Braves 4, Giants 1: Mike Foltynewicz took a shutout into the ninth inning and still managed the complete game, allowing one run on six hits and needing only 108 pitches against a Giants team that is mailing it in like Adam Sandler’s character mailing in the Healthy Choice pudding proofs of purchase in “Punch Drunk Love.” San Francisco has not gone to Provo to beat up a phone sex line operator and has not fallen in love with Emily Watson, but they have lost 10 in a row.

Nationals 3, Phillies 1; Nationals 7, Phillies 6: Despite the Nats’ deadline selloff they still have a lot of stars. They didn’t really need them in Game 1 of this twin bill, however, as Erick Fredde (5.2 IP, 2 H, 0 ER) and four relievers tamed Philly’s bats in the day game, with a homer from Spencer Kieboom helping things along. In the nightcap it was the Juan Soto show, with the Nats’ spectacular rookie homering in the top of the 10th to put Washington up to stay. He had homered way back fourth inning too and had a 3-for-4, four RBI game in all. Atlanta’s win combined with this double header sweep puts the Phillies back six and a half games in the NL East. They’re back six and a half in the Wild Card too.

Royals 6, White Sox 3: Brad Keller allowed one run on four hits and two walks while striking out six in seven innings, winning for the fourth time in his last six starts. Two of those starts have been against the Chisox, one against Baltimore and one against Toronto so it’s not like he’s been facing a Murderer’s Row or anything, but we can only play the cards fate deals us. If life gives you marshmallows, make Rice Krispie treats.

Cardinals 11, Pirates 5: Miles Mikolas allowed one run and punched out seven in seven innings of work. The punch-outs were actually strikeouts. If he had really punched out seven members of the Pirates he’d go to jail. Sort of like the woman who is now in jail for killing her husband after writing an story called “How to Murder Your Husband.” Some things in life — like Mikolas having an All-Star season in which he’s gone 15-4 with a 2.99 ERA are hard to see comin’. Other things aren’t.

Reds 3, Dodgers 1: Cincinnati goes to 6-0 on the year against the Dodgers — something I doubt even the Big Red Machine did back in the day when these two teams shared a division — thanks to Luis Castillo allowing only one run while working into the seventh and the bullpen locking it down. Brandon Dixon and Scott Schebler went deep for the Reds. Cincinnati will try to complete the season series sweep of Los Angeles this afternoon.

Cubs 3, Brewers 0: The Cubbies regain a two-game lead in the NL Central thanks to Jose Quintana tossing three-hit shutout ball into the seventh inning and Victor Caratini singling in a run in the second and doubling in one in the seventh. Quintana is 6-2 with a 1.60 ERA in 10 career starts against the Brewers. That creep can roll.

Astros 5, Tigers 4: Houston took a 5-0 lead by the fourth inning thanks to homers from Jose Altuve, Tony Kemp and Tyler White, then hung on after Detroit scored four in the fourth thanks largely to a JaCoby Jones three-run bomb. Houston’s bullpen gave the Astros five innings of shutout ball after that.

Athletics 3, Orioles 2: A three-run third inning held up for Oakland as Mike Fiers allowed one run over six innings. Fiers is 5-0 in seven starts since the A’s acquired him from Detroit. Not a bad deadline pickup, eh?

Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 2Brock Holt hit three-run home run to turn a 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead and the Sox piled on after that, winning the game and becoming the first team in 2018 to clinch a playoff berth in the process. Chris Sale came off the disabled list and pitched for the first time in a month, tossing one scoreless inning with two strikeouts as the “opener.” The bullpen took over after that. A win today will give Boston an even 100 on the season. They’re on pace to win 111. The team record is 105.

Marlins 5, Mets 3: Jacob deGrom‘s season continues apace. he allowed two runs over seven innings and struck out nine but got little support and took the loss. His counterpart, Jose Urena, allowed one over six. JT Riddle homered for Miami and Lewis Brinson drove in a couple. deGrom is 0-2 in four starts against Miami this year. The Marlins have won three of those four games.

Indians 2, Rays 0: Shane Bieber struck out 11 Rays batters in six and two-thirds shutout innings with Brad Hand and Cody Allen finishing off the four-hit shutout. Yan Gomes and Edwin Encarnacion‘s homers were all the scoring in the game. The Rays used a standard starter-relief approach in this game as opposed to bullpenning it up, with Tyler Glasnow giving them seven innings of work in which those solo shots were all he allowed. Pretty darn good — usually good enough to win — but when your offense doesn’t do anything, welp.

Twins 10, Yankees 5: Sonny Gray got the start and made a strong case for going back to the bullpen, lasting only three innings. The wheels really fell off though when Jonathan Loaisiga came in and barfed up six runs in an inning and a third. Four of those runs came on a Joe Mauer grand slam in the Twins’ six-run fifth inning. Didi Gregorius hit a grand slam of his own in the sixth inning but by then New York was down 10-1 so welp again. It’s gonna be delicious when the Yankees win 100 games and still have to travel to Oakland as the bottom seed in a one-and-done Wild Card game.

Diamondbacks 6, Rockies 3: Ketel Marte hit a two-out, two-run triple to break a sixth-inning tie and drove in four runs in all on the evening. Colorado had chances to make it game again in both the seventh and the ninth but couldn’t make it happen. The Dodgers laying an egg in Cincinnati is somewhat mitigated by the Dbacks beating the Rockies here. Colorado’s lead in the NL West remains at one and a half games. Arizona is two and a half back.

Angels 1, Rangers 0: A two-hit shutout for the Angels. Sure, it took eight pitchers, none of whom threw even two innings, to make it happen, but it’s 2018 and that’s just how things are these days. Los Angeles’ only run came on a second inning Jose Fernandez solo shot.

Padres 2, Mariners 1: Edwin Diaz has 54 saves on the year but he took the L here thanks to Wil Myers knocking an RBI double in the ninth to break a 1-1 tie and send the M’s to yet another defeat. They’re now eight and a half out of the Wild Card with 18 games to play, so yeah, it’s over.

Rays lose, clinching postseason berth for Athletics

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The Rays lost 4-1 to the Yankees on Monday night, which clinched a postseason berth for the Athletics just as they began their own game against the Mariners. For the 94-62 A’s, it’s their first postseason appearance since 2014 when they lost the AL Wild Card game to the Royals.

Major League Baseball celebrated the Athletics’ achievement by tweeting this fact: The A’s are the first team since 1988 to make the postseason with baseball’s lowest Opening Day payroll ($66 million).

Yay?

John J. Fisher, who has owned the A’s since 2005, has a net worth approaching $3 billion. The Athletics franchise is valued at over $1 billion. Yet the A’s have never had an Opening Day payroll at $90 million or above and have consistently been among the teams with the lowest payrolls. The cultural shift towards embracing analytics has allowed the A’s to get away with investing as little money as possible into the team. Moneyball helped change baseball’s zeitgeist such that many began to fetishize doing things on the cheap and now the league itself is embracing it.

What the fact MLB tweeted says is actually this: John J. Fisher was able to save a few bucks this year and the A’s still somehow made it to the postseason.

The Athletics’ success is due to a whole host of players, but particularly youngsters Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea, Daniel Mengden, Lou Trivino, among others. All are pre-arbitration aside from Manaea. When it comes time to pay them something approaching what they’re actually worth, will the A’s reward them for their contributions or will they do what they’ve always done and cut bait? After reaching the postseason in 2014, the A’s traded away Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Jeff Samardzija, and John Jaso. Each was a big influence on the club’s success. Athletics fans should be happy their favorite team has reached the postseason, but if the team’s history is any precedent, they shouldn’t get attached to any of the players. Is that really something Major League Baseball should be advocating?