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And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Pirates 5, Athletics 3: Starling Marte hit a three-run walkoff homer — which came with his team down by a run — in the bottom of the 13th! That’s as dramatic as it gets I’d say . . .

Padres 8, Dodgers 5. . . Hunter Renfroe says “hold my beer.” All he did was hit a two-out, pinch-hit walk off grand slam, turning a 5-4 deficit into an 8-5 win. It may not have come in extra innings like Marte’s, but it did come against Kenley Jansen, which is no easy trick. Well, perhaps a bit easier yesterday as Jansen didn’t seem to have his best stuff, but that’s a big dang hit right there. It also got his teammates off the hook, as they blew a 4-0 lead earlier in the game.

Tigers 5, Royals 2: Over the weekend Miguel Cabrera blamed his lack of power this year on not having any good hitters behind him. That’s a pretty spurious claim as it is, but even if lineup protection was a thing it doesn’t explain Brandon Dixon hitting a walkoff three-run homer in the bottom of the tenth. He didn’t have Prince Fielder or Victor Martinez hitting behind him either and he managed to get a hold of one. Weird.

Mariners 10, Indians 0: Jay Bruce hit a first inning grand slam to start the rout and end the Mariners’ six-game losing streak. Rookie starter Eric Swanson was fantastic for Seattle as well, getting his first career win while taking a no-hitter into the sixth. This, from the AP report of the game, is how the M’s celebrated his win:

Seattle’s rookie right-hander was grabbed by teammates, thrown into a laundry cart and pushed into the showers . . . they targeted Swanson, who was doused with numerous substances. “A little greasy, but it was cool,” Swanson said of the postgame party. “I had to pick ketchup out of my ears.”?

That sort of makes winning your first big league game sound like something you don’t want to do, does’t it? I dunno. Maybe it’s just me.

Anyway, the Indians managed just two hits all day. Their team batting average fell to an AL-low .215. That whole “let’s defend the division by not having an offense” plan that, based on their offseason moves, they apparently had seems not to be working out as they had hoped.

Braves 3, Marlins 1: Starters Julio Teherán and Pablo López were aces, each tossing six innings of shutout ball and the sides managed just a run each in regulation. In the tenth the Braves scored twice, one on an Ender Inciarte double and another on a Charlie Culberson foul out on which Inciarte tagged up an scored. The double scored Max Fried, who is a pitcher who was pinch running, all the way from first base. Check out his mad dash:

He said afterward that that was less of a head-first slide than it was him stumbling forward and falling. Hey, whatever works, man. Just don’t pull your hammies. The win was nice but the Braves need your arm more than your legs. Atlanta sweeps the Fish.

Phillies 7, Nationals 1: Zach Eflin has been pitching really well lately and he kept it up yesterday, allowing only one run on four hits with five strikeouts in seven innings to help Philly take two of three from the Nats. Washington, who was short-handed due to a rash of position player injuries, has lost eight of 11.

Red Sox 9, White Sox 2: Sox win! Boston takes three of four from the Chisox thanks to a seven-run eighth inning. Xander Bogaerts‘ grand slam was the big blow. The Red Sox scored nine runs in an inning the night before, so I’d say either that offense is starting to click or else the White Sox need to get better pitchers. Wait, those are not mutually-exclusive, so forget the “either/or” construction. Boston has won six of seven. And seven of ten. Pick whatever endpoints you’d like. They’re playing well.

Brewers 3, Mets 2: Christian Yelich had missed five games with a sore back and then only pinch hit in Saturday’s marathon before smacking a 440-foot two-run homer in this game to help Milwaukee sweep the three game set. That’s nice, but even nicer was the pick-me-up they got from starter Zach Davies. When you’re coming off an 18-inning game that turned your bullpen into a smoking crater, you need a big game from your starter, and Davies gave them that: he went seven and two-thirds, allowing only two runs on six hits. Can’t ask for anything more.

Rangers 10, Blue Jays 2:  Rougned Odor and Asdrúbal Cabrera each homered and combined to drive in seven runs as Texas wins in a laugher. Odor was 0-for-his-previous-21 when he went yard in the second. Texas takes two of three and are sitting at .500, which is not too bad given this team’s expectations. The Jays dropped five of six on their road trip.

Rockies 8, Diamondbacks 7: Colorado was down 7-3 entering the bottom of the eighth when they put up a five-spot via a bases-loaded walk, a bases-clearing triple and an RBI single. The triple came from Raimel Tapia, tying the game. The damage was all charged to Archie Bradley who had been cruising of late. Guess we all have bad days sometime.

Astros 10, Angels 4: There were a bunch of grand slams and three run shots yesterday. Alex Bregman hit a salami himself in this one, a day after hitting two homers on Saturday night. Guess it’s fair to say that he likes hitting down at at Estadio de Beisbol de Monterrey, where this two-game set was played. Or maybe he just likes hitting against the Angels. All the Astros seemed to here. In addition to Bregman’s damage, Carlos Correa hit a two-run homer in the second inning and Michael Brantley hit a two-run shot in the ninth. Houston outscored the Halos 24-6 in the two-game set.

Yankees 4, Twins 1: An eight-inning game due to rain but I imagine everyone had seen enough by then. Domingo Germán picked up his sixth win on the season. Mike Tauchman hit a two-run homer. The Twins came into this series with the best record in baseball and ended up dropping two of three. Death, taxes, and the Yankees owning Minnesota.

Giants 6, Reds 5: The Reds hit back-to-back-to-back homers on three consecutive pitches from Jeff Samardzija in the first inning and when a game starts like that you probably assume the homer-hitting team is gonna beat the homer-surrendering team. Nah. Not here. Not with a Reds team that, in addition to simply not playing well at times this year, has had horrendous luck too and look like they can’t even buy a win sometimes. The homers here actually led to four runs — the first one, from Eugenio Suárez was a two-run homer, while Jesse Winker and Derek Dietrich hit solo shots — but the Reds bats went quiet afte that Giants came back. They scored one in the fifth and then Buster Posey hit a three-run shot in the sixth to tie things up. Brandon Crawford‘s two-run homer in the ninth put the Giants up for the first time and for good.

Cubs 13, Cardinals 5: Another game another grand slam, this one from Kris Bryant in the course of the Cubs’ six-run eighth inning. Not that it was close at the time, as Chicago entered the frame with a 7-2 lead. Willson Contreras, Anthony Rizzo and David Bote each drove in two runs. With that the Cubs have win their seventh in a row, they sweep the Cards in the three-game set and hand St. Louis their fourth straight loss. Meanwhile, after a 3-8 start to the season the Cubs have won 16 of 20 and have now passed the Cards and sit atop the N.L. Central all by themselves.

Rays vs. Orioles — POSTPONED:

This circus is falling down on its knees
The big top is crumbling down
It’s raining in Baltimore, fifteen miles east
Where you should be, no one’s around

I need a phone call, I need a raincoat
I need a big love, I need a phone call

These train conversations are passing me by
And I don’t have nothing to say
You get what you pay for
But I just had no intention of living this way

I need a phone call, I need a plane ride
I need a sunburn, I need a raincoat

Myles Garrett and Mason Rudolph: meet Juan Marichal and John Roseboro

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Last night the Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the Cleveland Browns. No one is gonna be talking nearly as much about the outcome today, however, as they are the carnage.

Specifically, the carnage that led to Browns defensive end Myles Garrett getting ejected from the game after ripping Steelers’ quarterback Mason Rudolph’s helmet off, swinging it at him and connecting with Rudolph’s skull as the game came to a close. Things were already chippy as all get-out, but that obviously led to a brawl which will lead to a ton of suspensions, including a possibly record-breaking one for Garrett. For all your analysis on that, check out PFT, obviously.

The incident will dominate the sports shows today because malicious attempts to injure another player with a piece of equipment are pretty rare in professional sports. There was at least one incident in baseball history, however, that was analogous to what went down in Cleveland last night.

It took place on August 22, 1965 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco during a Dodgers-Giants game. That’s when Giants ace Juan Marichal, playing the role of Garrett, took a baseball bat to the head of Dodgers catcher John Roseboro, standing in for Rudolph.

The Dodgers and Giants are rivals, of course, and in 1965 the two teams were in a pitched battle for the N.L. pennant, with the Dodgers leading San Francisco by a game and a half as the day began.

Pitchers in 1965 were a bit more aggressive about claiming the inside part of the plate than they are today, and on that day, everyone seemed cranky. Marichal knocked Dodgers shortstop Maury Wills down with some chin music in the top of the second for, it appears, committing the terrible transgression of bunting for a single in his first at bat of the game. In response Koufax fired a fastball over Willie Mays’ head, sending the ball to the backstop. So everyone was even, yeah?

Nah. Marichal responded in the top of third with an inside fastball that sent Dodgers first baseman Ron Fairly sprawling to the dirt. At that point home plate umpire Shag Crawford issued a warning, indicating that that the next close pitch from either team would result in an ejection. Walter Alston’s Dodgers, though, were a clever bunch. Sure, maybe a close pitch was going to get an ace ejected in a pennant race, but there are other ways to buzz someone’s tower, right?

Pitchers batted in every game back then, of course, and Marichal came to bat in the bottom of the third. Koufax didn’t throw at him, though. Instead, Roseboro, catching for L.A., threw the ball back to Koufax in such a way as to have it sail close to Marichal’s head as he stood in the batter’s box. He later admitted in his autobiography that it was no accident, he was trying to intimidate Marichal.

Marichal flipped out, clubbing Roseboro with his bat, after which all hell broke loose (all photos, and the original caption from 1965, are from Getty Images):

 

Juan Marichal holding bat, John Roseboro attacked, and Sandy Koufax closes in.

 

Roseboro throws a punch at Marichal while latter swings bat and Koufax comes in to try and break it up.

 

On deck batter Giant Tito Fuentes pulls Roseboro away while Marichal wields bat at Koufax while umpire Shag Crawford and Giant coach Charlie Fox try to break it up.

 

Umpire Shag Crawford wrestles with Marichal while Dodgers Jim Gilliam (19) and Koufax come in. Rear is Giants coach Charlie Fox. Marichal falls to the ground on top of Shag Crawford while Giants Orlando Cepeda joins the melee.

 

Umpire Shag Crawford is shown here wrestling with Marichal as Dodgers Jim Gilliam (#19) and Sandy Koufax join in. In the rear is Giants’ coach Charlie Fox.

 

Identifiable L-R: Dodger Jim Gilliam (19); John Roseboro (with chest protector); Giants Orlando Cepeda (30); Cap Peterson (17); Warren Spahn; and Mgr. Herman Franks (3).

Willie Mays was credited with keeping the brawl from getting worse. Roseboro had military and martial arts training and, as you can see in the second photo, he was not slowed by his head injury — an injury that would require 14 stitches — from trying to take Marichal apart. Mays was the one who ultimately pulled Roseboro away and out of the fracas. He even held a towel to Roseboro’s head which by then had begun to bleed profusely. The fight eventually ended, with several players sustaining injuries due to kicks and accidental spikings of hands and legs and stuff.

The incident delayed the game for 14 minutes but the fallout beyond that was pretty tame compared to today’s standards. Marichal got an eight day suspension which, because of scheduled doubleheaders, caused him to miss ten games. He was also fined $1,750, which is around $15,000 today. Roseboro only missed two games due to his injury. The Dodgers would lose this game thanks to a big homer from Mays off of Koufax, but the Dodgers would go on to win the pennant and defeat the Minnesota Twins in the World Series.

There was additional fallout: Roseboro sued Marichal for $110,000 in damages. They’d eventually settle, with Roseboro receiving $7,500 from Marichal.

But there was no lingering bad blood. In interviews after the incident both players admitted that there was much more on their minds in 1965 that might’ve contributed to their aggression on that day. There was the rivalry, of course, and the pennant race. But Marichal had been much more personally distracted by a civil war in his native Dominican Republic that raged in 1965 and would not end until September. Roseboro had been, understandably, affected by the Watts Riots in Los Angeles which had taken place just over a week before this game. When you feel helpless about situation A, you often channel your feelings into situation B and both men said that something like that was probably simmering.

Marichal would play for the Dodgers for two games in 1975, the final year of his career. Roseboro had already retired, but Marichal’s cup of coffee with L.A. allowed them to meet up at a Dodgers old-timers game in 1982. There they posed for this photo: 

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“There were no hard feelings on my part,” Roseboro told the L.A. Times in 1990. Roseboro died in 2002. Marichal was an honorary pallbearer at his funeral.

Let’s check in with Garrett and Ruldolph in 37 years to see how they’re doing.