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And That Happened: Thursday’s Scores and Highlights

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There were ten games last night. Four were shutouts. Three ended 7-6. This is important. This means something.

Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 6: The Jays jumped out to a 5-0 lead and Boston tied it by the seventh thanks to a Mitch Moreland homer. The Jays went back up, 6-5, when Freddy Galvis homered in the eighth, but Moreland struck again in the ninth with an RBI double to tie it. Then Rafael Devers hit a walkoff RBI single to give the Red Sox a rare, so far win and their first unscripted celebration of the year.

Of further interest: Jays first baseman Rowdy Tellez hit a homer in the third inning which went an estimated at 505 feet by Statcast:

If it went 505 feet, that’s the longest homer in Fenway history, passing Ted Williams’ famous 502-foot homer, which is memorialized by a red-painted seat in the right field stands. The ball appeared to land a bit short of the famous red seat, though, but some have said it may have ricocheted there or hit a facade or something first. At the moment whether this is an actual record is unclear. My guess is that this will all result in a test of wills: between Sox fans and, possibly, Sox officials who would really prefer that Williams, and not Tellez, holds the record for longest homer and MLB officials who will do anything they can to portray StatCast as infallible. What say you as of now, MLB?

A message left with Major League Baseball seeking clarification was not immediately returned.

I eagerly await clarification on that.

UPDATE: Just got this tweet from Mike Petriello, who is The Man when it comes to Statcast:

The Splendid Splinter’s record remains intact.

Reds 5, Marlins 0: Sonny Gray tossed four shutout innings and five relievers handled the final five frames after Gray had to leave the game when he was hit in the leg by a comebacker and it stiffened up on him. The injury aside, it was the second strong outing from Gray in a row, after allowing only one run and pitching into the seventh five days prior. He seemed OK but we’ll hear today or tomorrow, I imagine, if he’ll have to skip a start. On offense Eugenio Suárez had three hits, including a solo homer and Yasiel Puig doubled in two runs in his first game back following his suspension for fighting.

Athletics 8, Orioles 5: Khris Davis hit a pair of home runs for the second straight game. I’ll check this later, but for now I’ll note that I’ve been doing these recaps for Davis’ entire career and he seems to have more multi-homer games over that span than anyone else I’ve covered by a factor of, like, ten. I bet he has more multi-homer games since 2013 than anyone and that it’s not anywhere near close. The other Davis — Chris — was 0-for-3 with a walk — yay, a walk! — and extended his record hitless streak to 53 at-bats. Josh PhegleyKendrys Morales and Marcus Semien also homered for the A’s, who hit 16 homers while taking three of four from Baltimore.

UPDATE: Bill Baer, who is apparently suffering from insomnia, just emailed me with the multi-homer game data. It seems that, since 2013, Giancarlo Stanton leads all of baseball with 26 multi-homer games. Davis is third with 23, but he leads all of baseball since 2015, with 22 multi-homer games (Stanton has 19 since then).

Indians 4, Tigers 0: Shane Bieber tossed seven shutout innings and former Tiger Leonys Martin had three hits, homered and drove in three in all. Cleveland has won six of seven.

Cardinals 11, Dodgers 7: The sweep. Matt Wieters hit a two-run double, drove in a three runs and stole a base which is, frankly, inexcusable. I know Yasmani Grandal had a bunch of defensive miscues in the postseason for L.A., but I feel like if he had stuck around he wouldn’t let Wieters steal a base. Maybe I’m crazy. Also weird: Harrison Bader was hit by pitches with the bases loaded . . . twice. That’s gotta be the hardest way to get two RBIs there is. In other news, Dodgers starters allowed 16 runs in 16 innings of work in this series. They need Clayton Kershaw back, it seems.

Mets 6, Braves 3: Pete Alonso hit a two-run homer and Amed Rosario homered and drove in four. Ronald Acuña Jr. tripled and homered — a long, long homer — in a losing cause.

Mariners 7, Royals 6: The M’s were down 4-0 after five and 6-3 after seven, but they’re just charmed this year so that didn’t hold. Mitch Haniger tied the game with a two-run triple in the 9th and then Daniel Vogelbach hit a go-ahead homer in the 10th for a dramatic come-from-behind win. Seattle is now 13-2. They have homered in 15 consecutive games to start the season, and that’s a new major league record. Unbelievable beginning of the year for these guys.

Padres 7, Diamondbacks 6: San Diego led 6-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh and starter Pedro Avila stood to get the win in his major league debut, but relievers Robert Stock and Brad Wieck combined to blow it, with Eduardo Escobar‘s three-run homer capping off a five-run rally. Archie Bradley returned the favor in the eighth, however, but surrendering a solo shot to Manuel Margot, giving the Padres the victory. Franmil Reyes and Austin Hedges also went deep for San Diego. Dbacks announcer Bob Brenly had himself a night too, calling Fernando Tatis Jr.’s necklace a “bicycle chain,” as if it’s any concern of Brenly’s what Tatis is wearing:

I guess Tatis Jr. just doesn’t play the game the white– er, I mean the right way.

Cubs 2, Pirates 0: José Quintana with seven shutout innings and 11 Ks. That creep can roll, man. Pirates starter Joe Musgrove matched him most of the way, but got touched for two unearned runs in the seventh, delivered by post-error RBIs from Daniel Descalso and Victor Caratini. The game was delayed 69 minutes by rain before the eighth inning which was not nice.

Giants 1, Rockies 0: Kevin Pillar did it again, hitting a solo homer in the seventh for the only offense in the game. Pillar has now homered in three of the last four games and has driven in ten runs in those four contests. Jeff Samardzija tossed seven, three-hit shutout innings, outdueling Jon Gray of the Rockies. Colorado, by the way, has one of the worst offenses in all of baseball so far in the early going. Not the kind of thing on which one builds success in Denver or, well, anyplace else for that matter.

Report: Astros’ assistant GM yelled ‘Thank God we got Osuna!’ at female reporters

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Last year, then-closer for the Blue Jays Roberto Osuna was arrested in Toronto on an assault charge. He allegedly assaulted the mother of his then three-year-old son. The charge was eventually withdrawn in exchange for a peace bond, but Major League Baseball still suspended Osuna for 75 games without pay.

Due to the off-the-field ugliness, the Astros were able to acquire Osuna on the relative cheap, sending Ken Giles, David Paulino, and Hector Perez to the Blue Jays. Osuna has been mostly great for the Astros since the trade, finishing the 2018 season with 12 saves, a 1.99 ERA, and a 19/3 K/BB ratio in 22 2/3 innings in his new uniform. This year, Osuna racked up an American League-high 38 saves with a 2.63 ERA and a 73/12 K/BB ratio in 65 innings.

With the Astros holding a 4-2 lead in the top of the ninth in ALCS Game 6 against the Yankees, manager A.J. Hinch called on Osuna to get the final three outs to send his team to the World Series. He ended up allowing a leadoff single to Gio Urshela, then a game-tying two-run home run to DJ LeMahieu. Nevertheless, the Astros won it in the bottom of the ninth thanks to José Altuve’s walk-off two-run homer off of Aroldis Chapman.

In the postgame celebration, Stephanie Apstein of Sports Illustrated reports that Astros assistant general manager Brandon Taubman yelled towards a group of three female reporters, “Thank god we got Osuna! I’m so … glad we got Osuna!” Taubman repeated the phrase half a dozen times. One of the reporters was wearing a purple domestic violence awareness bracelet.

The Astros declined to comment on the issue and did not make Taubman available for an interview. That shouldn’t come as a shock because the Astros have organizationally failed repeatedly to meaningfully address Osuna’s behavior. GM Jeff Luhnow released a poorly thought out statement last July about Osuna, claiming that the Astros’ due diligence was “unprecedented,” and citing that Osuna is “remorseful” and “willingly complied with all consequences,” despite pleading not guilty and not having had his day in court yet, thus no consequences. The Astros released another statement in August defending their belief that “Roberto deserved a second chance.”

Later that month, Osuna went after his critics, saying, “Everybody is judging me for things they don’t know. I don’t like that.” In the postseason, teammate Ryan Pressly defended Osuna from a heckler, telling the fan, “You can talk all the sh– you want. Just don’t bring that stuff up.”

The Astros also kicked out a fan who protested Osuna’s presence by holding up a sign displaying a domestic violence hotline number. After receiving plenty of criticism for that, the Astros decided to display flyers, featuring the National Domestic Violence Hotline number, in women’s restrooms at Minute Maid Park.

Taubman’s behavior is not the first strike for the Astros on this issue. Acquiring Osuna was strike one. Luhnow’s statement and the club’s subsequent statement were strikes two and three. Osuna’s backlash was strike four, Pressly’s defense of him was strike five, and the whole issue over the DV hotline sign was strike six. The Astros are in danger of having the side strike out on this issue.

It’s also worth mentioning that Luhnow worked for McKinsey and Company, a management consulting firm, before getting into baseball. McKinsey has been consulting for the Astros since 2017, The Athletic’s Evan Drellich reported in July. McKinsey has, ahem, a checkered past.

The Astros have clearly and intentionally thrown ethics to the side in order to run a baseball-related business. That they have repeatedly mishandled a very serious domestic violence issue within the sport shouldn’t come as a surprise, and it shouldn’t be surprising that the Astros are hoping the issue goes away with the World Series set to begin on Tuesday.

Update: The Astros released a statement. Via Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle:

The story posted by Sports Illustrated is misleading and completely irresponsible. An Astros player was being asked questions about a difficult outing. Our executive was supporting the player during a difficult time. His comments had everything to do about the game situation that just occurred and nothing else — they were also not directed towards any specific reporters. We are extremely disappointed in Sports Illustrated’s attempt to fabricate a story where one does not exist.

The Astros had an initial chance to respond to the story before publication and didn’t take Sports Illustrated up on it. They also didn’t deny that Taubman said what was reported. They’re disputing the context and the intended audience, but that doesn’t really make them look that much better. Perhaps an organization with a less spotty history would get the benefit of the doubt, the Astros certainly haven’t earned it.

Furthemore, Hunter Atkins of the Houston Chronicle and Hannah Keyser of Yahoo Sports both confirmed Apstein’s report. Atkins tweeted, “The Astros called this @stephapstein report misleading. It is not. I was there. Saw it. And I should’ve said something sooner.”