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And That Happened: Tuesday’s Scores and Highlights


Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Nationals 10, Phillies 6: Philly had a 6-1 lead in the sixth inning and from that point on the Nats scored nine unanswered runs. They spread those runs out for the drama, of course. They chipped away and tied it in the ninth on a Victor Robles homer. The biggest drama came in extras, when Juan Soto socked a three-run homer and then to add insult to injury, got another RBI from Robles. Still, nine unanswered runs. Five of those runs were charged to the Philly bullpen. I’d say that one of ’em — Howie Kendrick‘s seventh inning homer during the chipping away process — should’ve been charged to Gabe Kapler for leaving starter Aaron Nola in too long, but he would’ve had to go to the bullpen if he took Nola out and in hindsight we see just how bad an idea that would’ve been. In other news, Craig Kimbrel is doing absolutely nothing with his time right now and could help any team that signs him.

Indians 8, Tigers 2: Corey Kluber allowed two — one earned — over six and helped the Indians to their fifth win in a row. He also ended the Tigers win streak at five. Leonys MartinBrad MillerRoberto Perez and Jake Bauers all homered. The fact that this game was not close had to be scary, though, given that the Fox Sports Detroit broadcast was going with that “Players Only” thing we talked about the other day. Four ex-ballplayers telling war stories was already going to make it super unlikely that they were going to pay attention to the game but imagine that format going on in a blowout. Thank God I’m blacked out from Indians games or else I might’ve considered watching it in much the same way someone gawks at a car wreck or watches that Dr. Pimple Popper show or whatever.

Blue Jays 7, Red Sox 5: Before the game Alex Cora said that Chris Sale got roughed up last time out because he had been sick and missed a side session. Well, he had his side session this time out and got roughed up again (4 IP, 5 ER, 7 H) so I suppose it’s time for a new excuse. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. had a straight dang steal of home:

Sale was so preoccupied with what he was doing that he didn’t even give Gurriel a look. He was probably so preoccupied with what he was doing because, at the moment anyway, he has no idea what he is doing.

Rays 10, White Sox 5: Austin Meadows had four hits including a homer, former White Sox Avisail García homered against his old team too too and the Rays have clinched their fourth straight series win to start the year. Between the Red Sox’ struggles, the Yankees injuries and Tampa Bay’s hot start, I’m starting to think my pick of the Rays as a Wild Card team was too pessimistic.

Reds 14, Marlins 0: The Reds had lost eight in a row and got shut out for three straight games last week and here they score two touchdowns and shut out the opposition. All on a day their manager was suspended. Baseball, man. Matt Kemp, Kyle Farmer and Jesse Winker each drove in three, with Kemp and Farmer’s coming on three-run homers. Winker homered too, as did Eugenio Suárez. Reds starter Luis Castillo, meanwhile, tossed seven shutout frames. Marlins starter Jose Urena, meanwhile, has given up 14 runs in only 13.2 innings this season so far. Woof.

Athletics 13, Orioles 2: Another blowout. Marcus Semien hit a three-run homer and drove in four. Jurickson Profar, meanwhile, homered and drove in five. How was the night, Jurickson?

“I just tried to get the bat on the ball. I wasn’t thinking about getting RBI, just about getting on base. Every at-bat you have to try to do something to help the team.”

He’s still just 26, but he cliches like a 15-year veteran.

Twins 14, Mets 8: Jacob deGrom is human after all. He was touched for six runs on eight hits in four innings by the Twins, ending his quality start streak of 26 games. That was tied with Bob Gibson for the major league record. The six runs allowed are the most he has given up since September 5, 2017. He also gave up three homers, which he has not done since he allowed four back on July 7, 2017. So, yeah, not his night. It was Mitch Garver‘s night, as he hit two of those bombs for the Twins. And Jonathan Schoop‘s, as he drove in four. Oh, one more streak ended too: Willians Astudillo struck out. It was the first time he had struck out in like 80 at bats, going back to the end of last season. He didn’t even strike out in spring training. That’s some 1940s stuff right there.

Cardinals 4, Dodgers 0: When you really have no idea what you’re doing but your boss is walking by your desk so you try to look like you’re gettin’ after it:

A bullpen day for the Cardinals turns into a Rays-style, six-man shutout. Yadier Molina doubled twice, driving in three. Paul Goldschmidt homered again, giving him six on the year already.

Astros 6, Yankees 3: It was tied at three in the bottom of the eighth when George Springer hit a two-run double and José Altuve hit a sac fly to give the Astros a nice cushion. Altuve hit a homer earlier in the game as well. It was the 100th jack of his career. Houston has won five in a row.

Mariners 6, Royals 3: Seattle wins again and the Royals suffer their eighth straight loss. Dee Gordon had three hits and drove in two and Jay Bruce hit his league-leading seventh homer. Homers have really been Seattle’s thing. This was their 13th game of the season so far and they’ve had a homer in every single one of them. The record for homers in games to start a season is 14, held by the 2002 Cleveland Indians. Seattle also tied the 2000 St. Louis Cardinals for the most home runs through their first 13 games, with 33. I don’t feel like there are many guys on this roster who can sustain the power they’ve showed in the early going — it feels so flukey — so I imagine the M’s will not sustain this hot start either. Sure is fun while it’s lasting, though.

Braves 7, Rockies 1: The Braves win again, giving them seven Ws in their last eight. Ronald Acuña homered again and Dansby Swanson continued that coming out party we talked about the other day, hitting a three-run homer of his own. Starter Max Fried, who took a no-no into the sixth in his last outing, was effective again, allowing only an unearned run in six innings of work.

Diamondbacks 5, Rangers 4: Texas jumped out to an early 4-0 lead but stopped jumping after two. They still led 4-2 heading into the bottom of the ninth, but José Leclerc gave up an RBI double to Eduardo Escobar and then gave up a pinch-hit, walkoff two-run homer to Jarrod Dyson. Not a night for the bullpens, eh?

Giants 7, Padres 2: The trade for Kevin Pillar last week sure is paying off for San Francisco. Pillar hit a grand slam on Monday night. Last night he drove in four again with a three-run double and a sac fly. Derek Holland struck out nine in seven innings of work which is the kind of line you see from a lot of starters these days but not one which you normally see from Derek Holland. Seven is the most runs the Giants have scored in a game all season.

Angels 11, Brewers 8: A win for the Angels but a costly one as Mike Trout tweaked his groin. he says it’s not serious and that he should be good to go after taking a game off and having an already scheduled off-day on Thursday, but we’ll see. It’s a pretty important groin we’re talking about here. Trout’s groin aside, Tommy LaStella homered twice and drove in four for the Halos. Andrelton Simmons had three hits. Jonathan Lucroy added two hits and three RBI. It was the Angels’ fifth win in a row.

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

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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.