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And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Nationals 9, Phillies 8: A bullpen! A bullpen! My KINGDOM for a bullpen! Both the Nats and the Phillies experienced some pretty heinous late inning meltdowns in this one, but since the Phillies’ meltdown was last — and since starter Aaron Nola had dug his team a hole earlier in the game to begin with –Washington came out on top. First it was a combination of Nats Tony Sipp, Trevor Rosenthal and Kyle Barraclough coughing up four runs and the lead in the top of the eighth. Washington got two of those back and tied it at eight in the bottom half off of Seranthony Domínguez. The top of the ninth was scoreless for Philly but in the bottom half new Phillie Dave Robertson gave up a leadoff single to Anthony Rendon, then three straight bases on balls, giving the Nationals a walkoff walk. Craig Kimbrel was probably watching this game in his den, shaking his head the entire time.

In all, this long and sloppy game featured 22 hits, 14 walks, 16 strikeouts, 344 pitches, four errors and lasted three hours and fifty-three minutes. The only ones who came out of it looking good were Bryce Harper, who was intentionally walked twice, unintentionally walked once and had two hits to reach base five times, and Juan Soto, who hit his first homer of the season.

Braves 6, Cubs 4: In other Contender Which Should Have a Better Bullpen news, in Atlanta we had yet another bullpen meltdown for the Cubs. Here Jon Lester gave them six innings of two-run ball — the two runs coming on Ozzie Albies and Dansby Swanson dingers — and Brandon Kintzler handled the seventh. Neither Steve Cishek nor Randy Rosario could record an out in the eighth, though, coughing up four runs, the lead, and ultimately, the game. Cishek walked the bases loaded to start things off, Rosario came to face Johan Camargo, who hit a bases-clearing double. Brad Brach came in and gave up a single that pushed Camargo to third and he was sacrificed home via a Dansby Swanson fly ball. Cubs relievers issued five walks. It was the team’s third blown save of the season and third loss by a relief pitcher in five games. Chicago has lost four straight overall.

Brewers 1, Reds 0: Brewers starter Freddy Peralta was dominant, striking out 11 in eight innings, allowing only two hits and not walking a soul. The only offense he’d get would be a Manny Piña RBI single in the second and it’s the only offense he’d need. Peralta would throw 100 pitches. 84 of them were fastballs. The Reds basically knew what was coming and couldn’t do a damn thing about it.

Rockies 1, Rays 0: Ten innings of pitchers trading zeros — Charlie Morton tosses six shutout innings for the Rays, Gabe Márquez tossed seven for he Rockies — and then a Chris Iannetta homer in the top of the 11th to seal it for Colorado. But I don’t want to talk about that. I want to talk about Rays reliever José Alvarado, who tossed one inning and struck out three guys. I’ve not seen him pitch much — maybe a game or three last year — and I didn’t pay too much attention, but he was brought to everyone’s attention on Twitter yesterday thanks to Rob Friedman, the Pitching Ninja, who likes to share the wonders of the pitching universe:

There are hitters looking at film of that kind of filth who immediately fall into the Sheriff’s speech from “No Country for Old Men.” They’re saying stuff like “The crime you see now, it’s hard to even take its measure. It’s not that I’m afraid of it. I always knew you had to be willin’ to die to even do this job. But, I don’t want to push my chips forward and go out and meet somethin’ I don’t understand. A man would have to put his soul at hazard.”

White Sox 8, Indians 3: Corey Kluber was roughed up for six runs — four earned — on eight hits and walked three in less than four innings of work. His counterpart, Carlos Rodon, allowed one run — unearned — on only two hits in six innings and struck out nine. Jose Abreu hit a two run double and drove in three in all, Leury Garcia had four hits and Yoan Mocada hit a two-run homer. It was Kluber’s first loss to the Chisox in nearly four years. Hanley Ramírez hit a two-run homer in a losing cause. The Indians have two homers all year and Ramírez has both of ’em.

Twins 7, Royals 6: Earlier this week I was watching a game — I can’t remember which game — in which the announcer was talking about how the manager in question doesn’t pinch run for catchers because “95% of the time when you pinch run for someone it ends up not mattering anyway.” Welcome to the 5%. Here Kansas City had a lead but the Twins chipped away and tied it in the eighth on a two-run single from Max Kepler. In the ninth, Nelson Cruz drew a leadoff walk and Rocco Baldelli pinch-ran Byron Buxton for him. It was a Dante day for Buxton — he wasn’t even supposed to be here thanks to hurting his ribs on Tuesday — but his legs still worked. Buxton stole second and then was driven home by an Eddie Rosario single to give Minnesota the go-ahead and, ultimately, winning run. Willians Astudillo and Mitch Garver each had three hits and scored twice for Minnesota.

Blue Jays 5, Orioles 3: Birds win! Randal Grichuk got a somewhat surprising $52 million contract extension on Tuesday and on Wednesday he celebrated with two homers. He also doubled and came around to score. Matt Shoemaker pitched seven shutout innings, just as he did last Friday against Detroit. He didn’t get $52 million to do it, though. He did it for the love of the game or something. Trey Mancini hit a three-run homer in the ninth. It was his third dinger of the year already. Too little, too late, of course.

Tigers 2, Yankees 1: Matt Boyd struck out 13 while pitching into the seventh and allowing only one run. The Yankees struck out 18 times overall, which is a team record for a nine-inning game. While Detroit didn’t do too much more damage than the Bombers did, Gordon Beckham‘s tiebreaking solo homer in the eighth made the difference. In other news, Troy Tulowitzki because the latest Yankee to go down to injury, leaving the game in the fourth inning with what was described as a low-grade calf strain. It’ll almost certainly land him on the injured list. Here’s a live look at the Yankees clubhouse:

Padres 4, Diamondbacks 1: Manny Machado hit a two-run homer in the seventh to give the Padres a 4-0 lead. It was his first homer with his new club. I didn’t watch the game, but can someone tell me how the homer was dirty and bush league and just absolutely rotten and how it’s gonna get Machado a butt-kicking one day? I presume the Diamondbacks’ announcers had some theories about all of that.

Mets 6, Marlins 4: Jacob deGrom continued his dominance, tossing seven shutout innings and striking out 14 in the process. It set his career high for punchouts. He also hit a homer, which was his second ding-dong of his career. Things got a bit dicey in the ninth as Luis Avilán, starting his second inning of work, allowed the first three hitters he faced to reach and ended up being charged with three runs. Robert Gsellman relieved him and had a rough go of it, allowing an additional run. Ediwn Díaz ended up having to come on for the save, even though the Mets began the inning with a 6-0 lead.

Rangers 4, Astros 0: We had an ump show on our hands. Arguing balls and strikes is one thing and, fine, if you complain about that to a certain degree, you’re gonna get tossed, but when an ump is being confrontational and yelling “I can do whatever I want!” like Ron Kulpa was, it’s a problem. Be the bigger man, blue. Anyway, none of that seemed to bother Rangers stater Mike Minor all that much as he tossed seven shutout innings. Nomar Mazara homered and had an RBI single. Hunter Pence had an RBI single of his own and Ronald Guzmán doubled him in. The Rangers have won each of their first two series of the season.

Cardinals 5, Pirates 4: For the second game in the row the Pirates blew a lead to the Cards, this one a 3-0 margin they held after six. In the seventh Paul DeJong and Harrison Bader homered for the redbirds to tie things at three. In extras, Tyler O'Neill singled in Kolten Wong, who had led off the frame with a triple, and then Bader scored on a wild pitch to make it 5-3. A bases-loaded walk pulled the Buccos to within one in the bottom half, but thats all they’d get. Ballgame.

Red Sox 6, Athletics 3: The Red Sox ended their four-game skid thanks to a tiebreaking, two-run double in the ninth inning by Mookie Betts that had a little luck backing it. Luck that had the ball hitting and ricocheting off the third base bag and out of reach of the vacuum cleaner Matt Chapman has for a glove:

Andrew Benintendi would knock Betts in. Blake Swihart three hits, including a homer. Mitch Moreland hit a two-run double and J.D. Martinez singled to extend his hitting streak to seven games. The Sox avoid their first five-game losing streak in four years.

Dodgers 5, Giants 3: Steven Duggar and Brandon Belt hit homers that gave the Giants a 3-2 lead which held up until the seventh, but the Dodgers rallied with a two-run David Freese double putting L.A. back on top. Chris Taylor doubled in a run in the eighth to give them a lead Kenley Jansen had no trouble holding. Dodgers pitchers retired the final 14 Giants batters, in fact, as L.A. won for the fifth time in seven games.

Mets are interested in Rick Porcello

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Jon Heyman reports that the Mets are interested in free agent pitcher Rick Porcello and have been speaking to his agent.

Porcello is coming off a pretty dreadful 2019 season in which he went 14-12 with a 5.52 ERA in 32 starts. That ERA was the worst in the majors among qualified starters. He’s also pretty homer happy. But (a) he’s durable; and (b) a change of scenery and a move to a more pitcher-friendly division and park might do him some good, so it’s not like he’s a bad guy for the Mets to be looking at. He’s only going to be 31 next season and he’s just a year removed from a decent season.

There are far worse bounceback candidates.