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And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights


Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Yankees 5, Padres 2: The Padres took an early 2-0 lead but that’s all they’d get against a sextet of Yankees relievers on what was a bullpen day for the Yankees. Clint Frazier and Brett Gardner homered in the second to give the Yankees the lead and Gary Sánchez went deep in the eighth to give them some breathing room. Oh, and Yankees fans booed Manny Machado and chanted “overrated” at him. How friggin’ brainwashed are these people for blaming their own team’s tightfisted ways and refusal to acquire the best players available on the guy who never got a competitive offer from them?

Astros 6, Cubs 5: Gerrit Cole struck out 12 in six innings of work and Cole Hamels gave up six runs in four innings of work. So, fine, you know how this game went. The biggest takeaway here is that for the second straight start, Cole Hamels took on someone with Cole in his name. The last time being Cole Irvin of the Phillies. A.J. Cole is a reliever so I guess he won’t face off against him, but at this point I suppose anything can happen.

Athletics 8, Angels 5: That’s ten wins in a row for Oakland. Here Matt Chapman homered for the third straight game and  Jurickson Profar and Josh Phegley hit bombs as well. Here’s what Bob Melvin said about the A’s current run: “We’re just a little bit relentless right now with how we’re going about out our business.” I’ve never seen the term “relentless” modified with both a diminishing factor like “a little bit” and a cliche that is aimed at making things seem mundane like “going about our business.” If I was the concept of relentlessness I’d sue Melvin for slander.

Marlins 3 Nationals 2: Max Scherzer allowed one run in six and even drove one in. He can’t do alone, though, and this year his Nats teammates have not been much help to him. He left the game with a 2-1 lead but Tanner Rainey allowed the tying run in the seventh and Kyle Barraclough allowed the go-ahead run an inning later. The defense let him down too. As a result of this loss the Nationals fell to 2-10 in games started by Scherzer. He could do almost anything to his teammates right now and I’m guessing no jury would convict him.

Orioles 5, Tigers 3: I guess someone had to win a matchup between two of the worst teams in baseball. Here Baltimore benefitted from some dumb and sloppy play by the Tigers and from homers off the bats of Renato Núñez and Jonathan Villar to take the first of a three-game set. Detroit has dropped 12 of 13.

Rays 8, Blue Jays 3: Yonny Chirinos tossed five no-hit innings but he was on a pitch count so they pulled him. The first reliever in gave up a hit so the combined no-no was gone but they still only allowed the Jays four hits on the day. A couple of those were homers which made things close in the seventh, but the Rays pulled away. Austin Meadows homered and drove in three for Tampa Bay. And Kevin Kiermaier did this:

Pirates 8, Reds 5; Reds 8, Pirates 1: Rookie Bryan Reynolds hit a tie-breaking two-run triple and then Starling Marte homered as Pittsburgh’s put up a four-spot in the eighth inning of Game 1. Josh Bell went deep too as the Pirates snapped a three-game losing streak. They began a new losing streak — one is a streak, right? — when the nightcap began with starter Mitch Keller surrendering six runs in the first, including a grand slam to José Iglesias. It never got better as Reds starter Sonny Gray looked good through six while Derek Dietrich and Yasiel Puig homered late to make it a laugher.

Rockies 4, Diamondbacks 3: Raimel Tapia singled in the winning run in the 11th inning to give the Colorado their third walkoff win in four games. It could’ve easily been the Snakes’ game as Jarrod Dyson led off the top of the tenth with a triple but was stranded. When you don’t score after a leadoff triple things just really aren’t going your way.

Red Sox 12, Indians 5: It was 5-3 Boston in the fifth when Terry Francona called Óliver Pérez from the bullpen. Before he could begin work he stopped the game because a spike broke on one of his cleats. He waited on the mound in socks while someone fetched him a new pair. Then he changed his shoes. Watch: this is the most riveting highlight you’ll see this year:

Newly-shod, Pérez promptly gave up an RBI double to Jackie Bradley Jr. and then served up a three-run homer to Sandy León to break things wide open. Boston keeps cruising. Cleveland has lost seven of eight.

Brewers 5, Twins 4: The only good news for the Indians on the day was that the Twins’ win streak was snapped at seven. Here Orlando Arcia hit a go-ahead homer in the eighth and drove in three on the evening. The Brewers bullpen gave Craig Counsell four and a third innings of scoreless relief with Jeremy JeffressJunior Guerra, Corbin Burnes and Josh Hader throwing bullets. For his part, Jeffress dodged a bullet, Neo from “The Matrix”-style:

As you can see, Jeffress took a bit more damage than Neo ever did. He left the game after that but he seems to be OK.

Dodgers 9, Mets 5: Cody Bellinger can’t be stopped. He homered again here, bringing his batting line on the year to .383/.469/.761, and he flashed some fantastic defense. Check out this putout at third as Carlos Gomez tries to tag:

Earlier he cut down Michael Conforto at home plate to save a run. The guy has MVP written all over him right now. The Dodgers have won 10 of 12 and lead the West by eight games.

Mariners 6, Rangers 2: The M’s snap a six-game losing streak. It was power and speed here. The speed: Mallex Smith, who stole four bases on the night. Three of them came in one inning after a walk. The steal of home came on a pickoff throw to first, but he still showed off his wheels with it:

The power came via Dan Vogelbach‘s big time dinger to the third deck in right field that, yes, stayed fair:

You know you hit a moon shot when the camera tracking the ball gets the retractable roof in the frame.

Royals vs. White Sox — SUSPENDED:

Talkin’ to myself and feelin’ old
Sometimes I’d like to quit
Nothin’ ever seems to fit
Hangin’ around
Nothin’ to do but frown
Rainy days and Mondays always get me down
What I’ve got they used to call the blues
Nothin’ is really wrong
Feelin’ like I don’t belong
Walkin’ around
Some kind of lonely clown
Rainy days and Mondays always get me down

This Day in Transaction History: Phillies acquire John Kruk from Padres

John Kruk
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John Kruk is one of the more underrated hitters in baseball history. Kruk, who is currently a broadcaster for the Phillies, had a 10-year career during which he hit exactly 100 homers, batted exactly .300, and posted an excellent .397 on-base percentage. In baseball history, there are only 32 members of the admittedly arbitrary 100/.300/.395+ club. Kruk is one of only 10 members of the club that played after 1963. The others: Mike Trout, Joey Votto, Todd Helton, Chipper Jones, Manny Ramírez, Frank Thomas, Larry Walker, Edgar Martinez, and Wade Boggs. Of them, five are Hall of Famers. Trout and Votto will be, and Helton and Ramírez should be.

On this day in 1989, the Phillies made a franchise-altering trade, acquiring Kruk along with infielder Randy Ready from the Padres in exchange for outfielder Chris James. The Padres had just swept the Phillies at home and were hoping to jump into the playoff race. They immediately went into a losing skid, but caught fire at the end of the season, finishing 89-73. However, that wasn’t good enough as the Giants won the NL West with a 92-70 record. James was solid for the Padres, posting a .743 OPS with 11 homers and 46 RBI in 87 games.

Kruk had an interesting but brief major league career with the Padres. His roommate, Roy Plummer, was an armed robber. Kruk was completely unaware of this. In spring training of 1988, the FBI informed Kruk of his roommates’ activities. Kruk feared retribution from Plummer and said that the anxiety affected his baseball performance. In 1988, Kruk batted what was for him a poor .241/.369/.362 with nine homers and 44 RBI over 466 plate appearances.

The Phillies didn’t enjoy immediate success upon Kruk’s arrival in 1989. The club finished the season with a losing record and would do the same in the ensuing three seasons. None of it was Kruk’s fault, though: in aggregate, from 1990-92, he hit .303/.393/.459, earning two All-Star nominations. In this span of time, the only other first basemen to hit above .300 were Frank Thomas, Paul Molitor, Hal Morris, and Rafael Palmeiro. The Padres had used Kruk both in the corner outfield and at first base, but the Phillies made him a full-time first baseman, which turned out to be a good move.

In 1993, everything came together for the Phillies and Kruk had what was arguably the greatest season of his career. He hit .316, which was actually seven points below his average the previous year, but he drew 111 walks to push his on-base percentage up to .430. Kruk hit third in the lineup, creating plenty of RBI opportunities for Dave Hollins in the clean-up spot, Darren Daulton at No. 5, and the trio of Jim Eisenreich, Pete Incaviglia, and Wes Chamberlain in the No. 6 spot. The Phillies shocked the world in ’93, winning the NL East by three games over the Expos with a 97-65 record. They then dispatched the Braves in six games in the NLCS to advance to the World Series against the Blue Jays.

Kruk was productive in the NLCS, contributing six hits including a pair of doubles, a triple, a home run, four walks, five RBI, and four runs scored. But he turned things up a notch in the World Series, registering multi-hit performances in the first three games. He would finish the World Series with eight hits in 23 at-bats along with seven walks, four RBI, and four runs scored. The World Series was winnable for the Phillies as they lost a barnburner Game 4 15-14, and of course, dropped the deciding Game 6 on a World Series-clinching walk-off three-run home run by Joe Carter off of Mitch Williams.

1994 was tough on Kruk in many ways. He was diagnosed with testicular cancer in spring training. Knee issues continued to bother him, and then Major League Baseball had a work stoppage. In an abbreviated season, Kruk hit a still-productive .823 OPS. He became a free agent and, when baseball came back, he signed with the White Sox. In the first inning of a July 30 game against the Orioles in ’95, Kruk singled to left field off of Scott Erickson. He reached first base, bowed to the fans, and walked off the field into retirement. Kruk told the media, “The desire to compete at this level is gone. When that happens, it’s time to go.”

Kruk has spent his post-playing days working in sports media as both a broadcaster (Phillies, ESPN nationally) and as a commentator (The Best Damn Sports Show Period, Baseball Tonight). The Phillies inducted him into their Wall of Fame in August 2011. One wonders if Kruk hadn’t been bit by the injury bug, and if there hadn’t been a work stoppage, if he might have been able to accrue some more numbers to have a borderline Hall of Fame case. Regardless, he’ll go down as one of the games’ quietly great hitters.