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And That Happened: Sunday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

White Sox 2, Indians 0: Lucas Giolito tossed five-hit ball into the eighth inning, striking out nine to move to 8-1 on the season. He’s on pace for 22 wins. The White Sox, meanwhile, are on pace for 79 wins. That’s not quite 1972 Steve Carlton winning 27 for a 59-win Phillies team territory, but when you figure what the win totals are for pitchers these days it’s probably as close as we’re going to get.

Twins 9, Rays 7: Jake Odorizzi pitched six scoreless innings against the team that cast him off before last season. I suppose the Rays are doing fine without him but it probably makes him feel pretty good to shut ’em down and beat ’em. The Rays made a nice run after Odorizzi left but fell short and thus Minnesota took three of four from Tampa Bay. The Twins have an eleven and a half game lead over the Indians, who they now play in a three-game set. the AL Central race might be over before Flag Day.

Nationals 4, Reds 1: The wife and I were sitting here at about 10AM yesterday trying to figure out what to do with our Sunday and had half a notion to drive down to Cincinnati to catch this game. We ultimately didn’t — it’s 120 miles to Cincinnati and brunch sounded better — but after Max Scherzer struck out 15 Reds batters and allowed only three hits in eight innings of work I’m sorta thinking we should’ve. Oh well, we had a nice day anyway. Maybe not as nice as Scherzer, but pretty good all the same.

Marlins 9, Padres 3: The real highlight of this game was the bee delay, which lasted 28 minutes. Which led to the Padres’ Twitter account quoting a movie which, for some reason, my kids consider to bee some sort of classic, and I can’t tell if it’s irony or not:

After that all got sorted the Fish won the game to take their second straight series. They did it after going up 9-0 before the Padres ever got on the board. Jorge Alfaro led the way on offense, socking a two-run homer in the second and doubling in two in the fourth. Starter Trevor Richards allowed only one hit in five shutout innings. He had to leave then as he was already at 98 pitches but I suppose it’s better to bee inefficiently good than to bee efficiently bad.

Giants 8, Orioles 1:  Brandon Crawford hit two homers, Evan Longoria homered and drove in three and Jeff Samardzija was solid. I suppose these are the sorts of wins the Giants front office projected this assemblage of players to have this year, just more frequently than they have been. San Francisco takes two of three from the Orioles.

Braves 7, Tigers 4: Atlanta had a 3-0 lead heading into the eighth thanks to Julio Teherán’s excellent work but the Tigers pulled even thanks to homers from Grayson Greiner and JaCoby Jones. Freddie Freeman doubled home Dansby Swanson in the Braves’ half of the eighth, however, and Atlanta scored three more after that to win it going away. Swanson homered and drove in three on the day. He has an .815 OPS on the year and is on pace for 33 homers. It’s the breakout year the Braves have long hoped for.

Brewers 4, Pirates 2: Zach Davies pitched into the ninth before running out of gas having given up only two runs on the day. Eric Thames homered and drove in three on the day. Milwaukee takes three of four from the Buccos.

Cardinals 2, Cubs 1: Most of Adam Wainwright‘s line looked great: eight innings, two hits no runs and eight strikeouts. One part of it — seven walks allowed — was less than great, but if you don’t let ’em hit the ball you can work with that. Didn’t see this one but I’m guessing this was one of those deals where his stuff was great even if he didn’t know where it was going all the time. You can work with that too as long as opposing hitters don’t have any idea either. The Cards got only four hits on the day but they didn’t need any more. The Cardinals sweep the Cubs. The Cubs, hot for so much of May, have lost seven of nine. They’ve lost eight of ten too, but it’s more fun to say that they’ve lost seven of nine.

Rangers 5, Royals 1: Rangers starter Adrian Sampson dominated the Royals, striking out 11 over seven innings of work. He scattered eight hits and allowed only one run. Texas takes three of four from Kansas City.

Rockies 5, Blue Jays 1: The Rockies are the hottest thing going. Here they took their eighth straight and finished their ten-game home stand at 9-1.  Antonio Senzatela allowed one run over six. Chris Iannetta and Nolan Arenado each homered. Colorado is still nine games back of the Dodgers thanks to the Rockies’ slow start, but they’ve been playing some great ball of late. It’s kinda early to talk about the Wild Card race, but the Rockies should be in it all year if they keep this stuff up. Or even something close to it.

Dodgers 8, Phillies 0: But yeah, the Rockies ain’t catching the Dodgers because the Dodgers have taken it to a new level this year. Like the Rockies, they have won nine of ten, completing the sweep of the Phillies here thanks to a seven-run eighth inning and Rich Hill‘s seven shutout innings. Philly has lost four in a row.

Diamondbacks 7, Mets 1: A lot of nice pitching performances yesterday, including this one from Merrill Kelly, who punched out 10 Mets batters while pitching one-run ball into the eighth. Ketel Marte homered and drove in three. The homer was a doozie, too, going 482 feet:

Eduardo Escobar also hit a two-run shot.

Angels 13, Mariners 3: Angels pitcher José Suarez made his major league debut in this one. He should probably not get used to this kind of run support. He was fine — he allowed three runs in five and two-thirds innings — but the Angels’ offense was the star of the show. Albert Pujols hit a three run homer and knocked in two more on a double. Mike Trout and David Fletcher each had three hits and Luis Rengifo hit his first big league homer. The Angels take three of four from the M’s and have won seven of nine overall.

Astros 6, Athletics 4: Myles Straw really stirred the Astros’ drink yesterday, scoring the go-ahead run on a Michael Brantley single in the 12th inning while getting three hits and stealing three bases on the afternoon. Oakland got four homers but they were all solo shots and nothing else was doing. Houston sweeps the A’s.

Red Sox 8 Yankees 5:  J.D. Martinez and Xander Bogaerts homered off of CC Sabathia and later the Red Sox rang up Yankees reliever Luis Cessa for five. and David Price was unusually good for a Yankee Stadium start, allowing only two runs in six and a third and picking up his first win in the Bronx since joining Boston. New York nonetheless took two of three in the rain-shortened series.

Rob Manfred calls Astros sign-stealing investigation “most thorough” MLB investigation ever

Associated Press
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SAN DIEGO — Commissioner Rob Manfred was asked today about the status of the investigation into the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal. Manfred said “I think that this is probably the most thorough investigation that the Commissioner’s office has ever undertaken.”

I would assume that construction excludes the Mitchell Report, which was undertaken by an outside party, but I guess it’s still quite a claim.

Manfred said that Major League Baseball has interviewed “nearly 60 witnesses” and has reviewed 76,000 e-mails plus a “trove of instant messages.” He said that they are not done, however, and that the review so far has, “caused us to conclude that we have to do some follow-up interviewing.” He said he cannot predict how long the investigation will take, but “it is my hope to conclude the investigation just as promptly as possible.”

Manfred was asked about the sort of discipline he and his office were contemplating but said, “at this point in the investigation it would be wholly inappropriate for me to speculate” about what discipline was in play.

The investigation comes in the wake of the November 12 report in The Athletic about the Astros’ sign-stealing operation, which allegedly involved use of center field video cameras and the relaying of pitch selection to batters. Former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers confirmed the scheme to The Athletic and at least three other Astros employees confirmed it as well.

In the wake of that initial report, video and audio emerged which appeared to confirm the sign-stealing and emails from an Astros executive to scouts, asking them to use cameras and/or binoculars in an effort to steal signs have been uncovered. Major League Baseball has vowed serious punishment for Astros executives, coaches and employees who were involved in orchestrating the scheme and to any players or officials who are found to be untruthful with MLB officials in the course of the investigation.

Initially, Major League Baseball said its investigation would be a wide-ranging one, including multiple teams. Soon after that, however, Manfred controversially backtracked on that, saying instead that the probe would focus only on the Astros. Which, to be sure, is the club against whom current allegations have been lodged and whom many around the game suspect to be the worst offenders. As we have noted, however, it’s highly unreasonable to assume that the Astros are alone in perpetrating a sophisticated sign-stealing operation, as their scheme was allegedly imported by a player who learned it while playing elsewhere.

Either way, it sounds like MLB has a lot on its plate with this. When we know something, you’ll know something.