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And That Happened: Tuesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Yankees 6, Rays 3: If you had told a Yankees fan back in March that the Yankees would win a game in June thanks to homers from Cameron Maybin and and Edwin Encarnación, I imagine they would’ve assumed that the season had gone horribly wrong and that the Bombers were looking at a fight for third place or something. Which just goes to show you that you can’t predict anything in baseball. Anyway, this one was a close game for most of the way but said homers — Maybin’s in the seventh and Encarnación’s in the eighth — helped the Yankees pull away. Giancarlo Stanton came back and went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. Lucky for everyone the Yankees won because if they hadn’t there’d be “see, we TOLD YOU that Stanton coming back would ruin team chemistry” takes.

Twins 4, Red Sox 3: Seventeen dang innings in this one, with Max Kepler the star. His eighth inning RBI single tied it up to force extras, his 13th inning homer tied it up again to keep Rafael Devers‘ own 13th inning homer from winning it for Boston, and then Kepler hit the walkoff RBI single in the bottom of the 17th for the game. On top of all of that it was a Dante game for Kepler — he wasn’t even supposed to be here today — entering as a pinch hitter in the 5th on what was intended as a day off. The game took 5 hours, 45 minutes. Which, frankly, isn’t the worst pace for 17 innings you’ll ever see. I’m pretty sure the Red Sox have played nine innings in something close to that time at some point in the last 20 years.

In other news:

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That’s Rod Carew, watching from the dugout in the sixteenth inning. Guys, he had a heart transplant not all that long ago. Maybe don’t make games so stressful for franchise icons who need to be mindful of their health, OK?

Tigers 5, Pirates 4: The Tigers ended their four-game losing streak. They scored the winning run on a grounder to second with the bases loaded and one out that should’ve been a 4-6-3 double play but the Pirates’ second baseman, Adam Frazier, decided to try to tag the runner between first and second base rather than throw it to the shortstop at second. The runner, Christin Stewart, just stopped for a second and killed enough time before being tagged that the runner on third scored and no double play could happen. I’m guessing Frazier would do that differently if he had it do over again. In other news, Miguel Cabrera had a couple of hits and played first base for the first time in nearly a month.

Marlins 6, Cardinals 0: Last week, when Jordan Yamamoto shut out the Cardinals for seven innings in his Major League debut, I said something like “don’t get used to this, it gets harder.” Maybe not, because in his second big league start, again, against the Cardinals, he shut them out for seven innings once again. I mean, last week he gave up two hits and here he gave up three, so I suppose it was slightly harder this time around, but damn, kid. Starlin Castro and Brian Anderson homered for the Fish.

Angels 3, Blue Jays 1: Tyler Skaggs pitched one-run ball into the eighth, outdueling Marcus Stroman. He was backed by homers from Kole Calhoun and Brian Goodman. The Angels won even though the first four batters in their lineup — Tommy La Stella, Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, and Albert Pujols — combined to go 1-for-14.

Reds 4, Astros 3: Jesse Winker and Derek Dietrich each homered off of Justin Verlander in the first inning — Dietrich’s was a two-run shot — and Kyle Farmer homered off of him in the seventh to help Cincinnati edge Houston. Verlander generally doesn’t get got like that, but this is the second straight start in which he’s allowed three dingers.

Mets 10, Braves 2: Yesterday I saw a column praising the steady reliability of Julio Teherán, so I suspected he’d get rung up pretty good last night. It happens I suppose. New York scored six runs on eight hits in four innings off of him while Jacob deGrom was stingy, shutting the Braves out until he ran out of gas and gave up a couple of solo homers in the ninth. Pete Alonso homered and had four hits in all, Michael Conforto and Jeff McNeil also homered, and every Mets starter had at least one hit.

White Sox 3, Cubs 1: The south siders take the first game of their series against the north siders thanks to a two-run blast from former Cubs prospect Eloy Jimenéz in the top of the ninth. Thanks also to Ivan Nova and four relievers who held the Cubs to only one run — a first inning Kyle Schwarber homer — on six hits. The Cubs have gotten a lot of value out of José Quintana, the guy they traded for Jimenéz, but when you give up good talent sometimes that talent is gonna come back and bite ya.

Indians 10, Rangers 3: In the third inning José Ramirez hit his first homer in 29 games and, later, Jake Bauers, Roberto Pérez and Tyler Naquin hit back-to-back-to-back blasts. Meanwhile Zach Plesac — one of the rare Zac[h/k]s who spells his name with an h in baseball, allowed only one run on two hits while working seven innings.

Rockies 8, Diamondbacks 1: Nolan Arenado homered and drove in three, Charlie Blackmon had three hits and Antonio Senzatela pitched one-run ball into the seventh. The Rockies have beaten the Dbacks six times in a row and, by virtue of this one, took over second place in the NL West. Neither of them are likely to catch L.A. but they’re now just one game out of the second Wild Card slot, with a couple of shaky teams in the Phillies and Cubs ahead of them.

Athletics 16, Orioles 2: Six homers for the A’s with Khris DavisRobbie Grossman, Stephen Piscotty, Ramón Laureano, Chad Pinder and Beau Taylor doing the damage. Brett Anderson didn’t need that much support, as he allowed only one earned run over seven innings, but as a different Brett Anderson once sang, sometimes you just can’t get enough. Though I’m pretty sure that Brett Anderson was singing about hard drugs, not run support. Still.

Padres 4, Brewers 1: Logan Allen made his big league debut, he did it against one of the most powerful lineups around, and all he did was shut ’em out on three hits for seven innings. I know I was wrong on the last guy I said this about but, really, it gets harder, kid. Francisco Mejía hit a homer and Manny Machado doubled in a run.

Dodgers 9, Giants 0: On the fifth anniversary of his no-hitter, Clayton Kershaw was dominant again. Seven shutout innings, three hits and six strikeouts, giving him his seventh win of the year. Kiké Hernandez didn’t need to hit a grand slam in the seventh for the Dodgers to win — they were already up 5-0 at that point — but he went and did it anyway.

Royals 9, Mariners 0: I feel like there is no pitcher I’ve understood less in the past decade or so than Homer Bailey. He is capable of getting shelled like nobody’s business — and brother, he has been shelled before — but he also has multiple no-hitters and every once in a while pulls one of these shutout-ball-into-the-eighth numbers. God love an unpredictable lefty,. Lol, shows you how much I pay attention to Bailey, as I had it in my head he was a lefty. Whatever. Anyway, Whit Merrifield hit two homers — a two-run and a three-run blast — and Jorge Soler went deep as well.

Phillies vs. Nationals — POSTPONED:

Come out tonight in the puddles
Splash some love across the sky
Just you and I bursting bubbles
As the sky is about to cry

When the rain falls
There’s magic in our lives
When the rain falls
We’re happy deep inside
When the rain falls
It cleans away the corners of our minds

Justin Verlander laughed at after saying Astros were “technologically and analytically advanced”

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Justin Verlander was at the annual Baseball Writers Association of America banquet last night, on hand to accept the 2019 Cy Young Award. Normally such things are pretty routine events, but nothing is routine with the Houston Astros these days.

During his acceptance speech, Verlander made some comments about the Astros’ “technological and analytical advancements.” The comments were greeted by some laughter in the room as well as some groans. At least one person on hand claimed that other players present were visibly angry.

It’s hard to tell the context of it all without a full video — maybe Verlander meant it as a joke, maybe the reactions were more varied than is being described — but here’s how reporters on hand for it last night are describing it:

If it was a joke it was ill-timed, as not many around the game think the sign-stealing stuff is funny at the moment. Especially in light of the fact that, despite having several opportunities to do so, Astros players have failed to show any accountability for their cheating.

And yes, that includes former Astros Dallas Keuchel, who was praised for “apologizing” at a White Sox fan event on Friday, but whose “apology” was couched in a lot of deflection and excuse-making about how it was just something that was done at the time and about how technology was to blame. Keuchel also tried to minimize it, saying that the Astros didn’t do it all the time. Which is rich given that the most prominent video evidence of their trash can-banging scheme came from a blowout Astros win in a meaningless August game against a losing team. If they were doing it in that situation, please, do not tell me they weren’t doing it when games really mattered.

Anyway, I’d like to think Verlander was just trying to take a stab at a joke here, because Verlander is the wrong guy to be sending to be sending any kind of messages diminishing the cheating given that he has a pretty solid track record of holding other players’ feet to the fire when they get busted.

For example, here he was in 2018 after Robinson Canó got busted for PEDs:

Of course, consistency can be a problem for Verlander when his teammates are on the ones who are on the hook. Here was his response to Tigers infielder Jhonny Peralta being suspended in the wake of the Biogenesis scandal:

“Everybody makes mistakes. He’s my brother. We fight and bleed and sweat together on the baseball field. If my brother makes a mistake, especially if he owns up to it and serves his time, I don’t see how you can hold a grudge or anything like that. “It’s one thing to step up and be a man and own up to his mistake.”

Verlander, it should also be noted, was very outspoken about teams engaging in advanced sign-stealing schemes once upon a time. here he was in 2017, while still with the Tigers, talking about such things in a June 2017 interview with MLive.com.

“We don’t have somebody, but I’m sure teams have a person that can break down signals and codes and they’ll have the signs before you even get out there on the mound.  It’s not about gamesmanship anymore. It used to be, ‘Hey, if you can get my signs, good for you.’ In the past, if a guy on second (base) was able to decipher it on a few pitches, I guess that was kind of part of the game. I think it’s a different level now. It’s not good.”

Which makes me wonder how he felt when he landed on the Astros two months later and realized they had a sophisticated cheating operation underway. If the feelings were mixed, he was able to bury the part of them which had a problem with it, because he’s said jack about it since this all blew up in November. And, of course, has happily accepted the accolades and the hardware he he has received since joining Houston, some of which was no doubt acquired by virtue of a little extra, ill-gotten run support.

Anyway, wake me up when someone — anyone — associated with the Astros shows some genuine accountability about this.