There were ten games yesterday. The winning team scored in double digits in six of them. This is what baseball would be like if aliens tried to replicate baseball on their own planet but all they had to go by was old video of every Rangers game from the mid-late 1990s or something. I guess it’s OK if you’re into that sort of thing.
Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:
Braves 10, Cardinals 2: Adam Wainwright was a Braves product before being shipped to St. Louis for J.D. Drew. That was so long ago that no one in Atlanta is still around who was there at the time save a couple of elderly advisors and maybe some assorted office workers. I guess the old trainer Jeff Porter is probably still knocking around too, though if I remember correctly he got promoted to advisor status too. The team is even owned by different folks. Maybe that contributed to the rude welcome Wainwright was given by his original organization, which tattooed him for five runs on five hits in the first four innings. Rookie Austin Riley — who was six years-old when Wainwright was traded to St. Louis — went 3-for-4 with a double, drove in a run and scored twice. Julio Teherán tossed five scoreless and drove in two himself. Wainwright:
“It’s the worst fastball command I’ve had all year,” Wainwright said. “I actually had a good fastball, but I just didn’t locate it worth a darn, and worst breaking ball I’ve had all year. Bad combo.”
Athletics 17, Tigers 3: Well that was something. It’s been a whole lot of something for the Tigers of late. They have lost four straight games and have been outscored in those games 41-9. A week prior they lost 13-0. A Twitter correspondent told me yesterday that, had the Tigers not scored three runs with that two-out, bottom of the ninth homer from Dawel Lugo it would’ve been the first time in baseball history that a team lost two 13+ run shutouts at home in the span of a week. Way to deprive us of history, Lugo. Gosh.
In other news, I’ve long been of the view that, if everyone has the right attitude about it, following a really bad team can be kind of fun. It’s not fantastic or anything, but if people are realistic with their expectations, don’t take the losing too personally and try to maintain a sense of humor, the shared misery of it all can bring forth some unexpected joy. Stuff like this, tweeted out by the team right after the game ended:
As for the A’s, Jurickson Profar hit a grand slam, Josh Phegley had four hits including a homer and Matt Olson and Marcus Semien and Mark Canha all went deep for Oakland as well. Canha should get an asterisk as he hit his off of outfielder Brandon Dixon, but since baseball doesn’t do asterisks we won’t either.
Rangers 16, Royals 1: Another blowout as Texas socks five homers in this laugher. Rougned Odor hit two of them on a four-RBI day, and Hunter Pence, Joey Gallo and Willie Calhoun all went yard as well. Calhoun was 4-for-7 with three driven in. It’s only been two games since he’s been called up but he already has six hits and five RBI on the year. Like the Tigers, the Royals used a position player to pitch: Chris Owings. He got not just one but two innings on the mound, surrendering Pence’s bomb and Odor’s second one.
Nationals 7, Mets 6: The Nats win their first series in a month. It wasn’t easy as they blew an early 4-0 lead, but Gerardo Parra hit a two-run homer in the fifth to put Washington back on top and they didn’t trail after that. Parra went 3-for-3 with that homer and three RBI in total. He’s been a nice pickup for Washington so far. Bad news for the Mets: they lost both Jeff McNeil and Michael Conforto to injuries in this one. The former with abdominal tightness, the later left the game after colliding with teammate Robinson Canó and was later diagnosed with a concussion. Those two have, by far, been the Mets best offensive players this year — Conforto hit a three-run homer in this one to tie the game at four — and losing even one of them is a tremendous blow. Both in one game? Oof.
Brewers 11, Phillies 3: Christian Yelich hit two homers — his major league-leading 17th and 18th on the year — and Yasmani Grandal and Mike Moustakas each went deep as Milwaukee takes three of four from Philly. Yelich had three hits and scored three times. He’s batting .342 and at the moment is in great shape to challenge for a second straight MVP Award.
Indians 14, Orioles 7: “Jason Kipnis?” the old man said, taking a long drag off his cigarette while staring into the middle distance. “I haven’t written that name in a recap for years.” Here he homered twice — one was a three-run shot — and drove in six. The Indians were down 5-1 in this one and didn’t take the lead until the sixth inning, but then they put up a five run seventh to render this one less-than-competitive. Thanks to Wednesday’s double header the Orioles lost three games in around 24 hours which is “fun.” Overall they have lost seven of eight.
Reds 4, Cubs 2: Chicago got two off the Reds ace Luis Castillo early but would get nothin’ the rest of the way. Jose Perazá homered for Cincy and Eugenio Suárez knocked in a couple. The rain got an assist too, as very wet and very sloppy conditions just before a rain delay contributed to José Quintana throwing back-to-back wild pitches which allowed a run to score. The Cubs came into this three-game set with the Reds having won or split 10 straight series but they dropped two of three.
White Sox 4, Blue Jays 2: It was tied at two in the eighth with a runner on third and Ryan Cordell at the plate for the Chisox when Rick Renteria called for the suicide squeeze:
I guess the aliens had some old small ball videos lying around too.
Twins 11, Mariners 6: The Twins sent 13 men to the plate and scored seven runs in the fourth inning and they made everyone continue to play the rest of the game after that for some reason. Four Minnesota batters homered: C.J. Cron, Jason Castro, Max Kepler and Byron Buxton. Cron went 4-for-5. Buxton drove in three.
Padres 4, Pirates 3: San Diego was down 2-1 in the sixth when Ian Kinsler smacked a three-run homer. Kinsler, who has gotten heat from Padres fans this year, flipped his bat after his homer and offered what the AP game story called a “profane outburst” as he crossed home plate which many in attendance took to be aimed at the hometown fans. Which, um, seems pretty accurate:
After the game he said that was directed at his teammates as a means of celebration, but that doesn’t seem really plausible. It’s worth noting that his manager didn’t buy it either. Andy Green said he’d talk with Kinsler about it and added:
“We as professionals should handle that displeasure in a more positive way than it was handled today. With [Kinsler], he knows that. He’s played the game a long time . . . Clearly not expressed well today. Ultimately, though, he’s a passionate baseball player.”
So, yeah, not the best look from Kinsler. One wonders if all of the people who get up in arms about player decorum will do so here.