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And That Happened: Wednesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Braves 5, Nationals 4: Both of these teams got a lot of bullpen help at the trade deadline yesterday. This game shows you why, at least for the Braves. Without their new reinforcements the Braves coughed up three runs in the final two innings of regulation and blew a 4-1 lead which cost Mike Soroka (7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER) a win. Josh Donaldson saved their bacon in extras, though, hitting a go-ahead solo shot off of Sean Doolittle in the top of the tenth that sealed it. Presumably Doolittle is pitching in that situation regardless of whoever the Nats added yesterday, but maybe he’s a bit fresher if this game happens next week due to the additions. Anyway, Atlanta took two of three from Washington and their lead in the East is now up to six and a half.

Mets 4, White Sox 2: Jacob deGrom and Lucas Giolito both went seven strong innings and left the game tied 1-1 after seven. Relievers for both clubs held the other side scoreless in the eighth, but the Mets broke through in the ninth against Alex Colome, plating three runs via RBI singles from Todd Frazier and Michael Conforto. Leury García smacked a homer off of Edwin Díaz in the White Sox ninth but it was too little, too late. That’s six straight wins for the Mets. The Mets who also, in my view, had a good trade deadline. What is this world coming to when the Mets have had a better week than almost anyone?

Reds 4, Pirates 1: A day after their donnybrook everyone behaved themselves here. No plunkings, jawing or fighting. Also nothing doing against Luis Castillo, who allowed only one run in seven innings of work and was backed by homers from Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suárez. After the game, Amir Garrett of the Reds was asked about the lack of fireworks on Wednesday. “I think it’s squashed. There’s no hard feelings,” he said.

Am I crazy for thinking that the guy who Leeroy Jenkins’d his way into the opposing dugout is the last guy who gets to decide if there are hard feelings or not? Feel like the Pirates may feel a tad differently about things, at least as far as Garrett goes.

Yankees 7, Diamondbacks 5: Zack Greinke‘s final start for the Dbacks: five innings, two runs and seven strikeouts for a no-decision. Mike Tauchman hit a two-run homer to give the Yankees the lead, they lost the lead thanks to some sloppy defense, it rained, and then Austin Romine hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in the seventh to give it back to ’em. Gleyber Torres added an RBI double and Cameron Maybin hit a run-scoring single.

Blue Jays 4, Royals 1:  Bo Bichette hit his first career homer and Freddy Galvis‘ earlier homer. Rookie starter Jacob Waguespack, meanwhile, went six innings, holding the Royals to three hits and one run. The win gave the Jays the series sweep. They can hoist a banner for the sweep and put it right next to their “42 years of control” banner, maybe? And did you Jays fans get your t-shirts yet?

Dodgers 5, Rockies 1: Germán Márquez tossed six innings of shutout ball and the Colorado pen added two more. Those eight innings were matched by all zeroes from Dodgers starter Huyn-Jin Ryu and two Dodgers relievers. In this it was just the third time in the history of Coors Field that a game remained scoreless after eight innings and the first time it had happened in 11 years. All hell broke loose in the ninth, though, when Wade Davis came into the game, put two men on, gave up a three-run homer to Will Smith, put another guy on and then surrendered a two-run shot to Kristopher Negrón to make it 5-0. The Rockies got one in their half but that was all they got. Alex Verdugo had four hits on the day.

Tigers 9, Angels 1: Daniel Noris and four Tigers relievers stymied the Angels, allowing only one run on five hits on the afternoon. Brandon Dixon knocked in four via a two-run single and a two-run homer. Gordon Beckham added a three-run blast after the game was out of reach. The Angels last seven games came against the two worst teams in baseball, the Orioles and the Tigers. They were all home games. They went 2-5. Pretty damn inexcusable.

Giants 5, Phillies 1: San Francisco scored all five of their runs in the six and all five of those runs came on homers, with Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval and Kevin Pillar doing the honors. That gave Jeff Samardzija the win. Well, that and his six innings of shutout ball. Note: every few weeks I am reminded anew that Jeff Samardzija is still playing. I don’t know why he totally leaves my consciousness as an active player in between his appearances in my recaps, but he just kind of does. He’s only 34 but he feels like a player from 15 years ago or something.

Indians 10, Astros 4: Gonna assume this result was a function of the Astros having popped champagne corks at the trade deadline after picking up Greinke. I guess they’re entitled. And, given how they improved themselves, I think they have enough room to spare in the AL West to drop a game like this one. Robertó Perez homered twice and Carlos Santana and Jason Kipnis each hit a three-run shot. Jose Urquidy was the Astros’ starter and he got shelled. Assuming everyone stays healthy, however, it’s also likely the last start he takes in a meaningful game this year thanks to the Greinke pickup.

Rays 8, Red Sox 5: Kevin Kiermaier returned, homering and tripling, Austin Meadows hit a three-run homer and Willy Adames also went deep to help the Rays win for the fifth time in six games. They had an early 5-0 lead and eventually scored six off of Boston starter Rick Porcello who, in response, murdered a couple of TV monitors:

When asked about it after the game he at first was confused and then was like, “oh yeah, I did that, huh?”

“I’m sorry?” he first said. When asked again what happened with the monitors, Porcello responded, “What about them?”

Porcello was then reminded that he smashed them, which prompted an apology. “Yeah, I hit them,” Porcello said. “Yeah, sorry, I forgot that I did that. It was a reaction of frustration, it’s not the behavior that I condone, obviously everybody gets frustrated. I kind of wish I did that without cameras being on me. I apologized to everyone that had to see that, yeah it’s just not behavior that I feel like is representative of me and my personality. The frustration got the best of me, so I apologize for that and to anybody that had to watch that.”

I’m not sure what’s more amusing: that he forgot he did that or that what he’s really sorry for is that he got caught doing it rather than being able to do it in private. I suppose his rage issue ain’t my problem but, really dude, you might wanna do some yoga or something.

Twins 7, Marlins 4: José Berríros was dominant, shutting out the Fish for seven and striking out 11. The Twins season-long homer parade likewise continued with Mitch Garver, Max Kepler, and Eddie Rosario putting the ball over the fence. GArver’s was a three-run shot, Rosario’s plated two. All of the Marlins runs came on a ninth inning grand slam from Brian Anderson which ultimately only mattered to his and Twins reliever Sean Poppen’s stat lines.

Cubs 2, Cardinals 0: Kyle Hendricks, who just kills the Cardinals every time, it seems,  scattered seven hits in seven innings and struck out seven to get his . . . eighth win. Dammit. So close. His ERA did drop to three point zero SEVEN, though, so it’s still a pretty strong line in numerology terms. The Cubbies’ runs scored on an Ian Happ single and a Cards throwing error. The win put the Cubs back in a tie with the Cardinals for first place.

Rangers 9, Mariners 7: The Rangers trailed 5-3 after the top of the fifth but Willie Calhoun hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the inning put them in front. They’d not trail again, extending the lead to 9-5 before the M’s scored again. Mike Minor picked up the win. Frankly, I was surprised he didn’t get dealt yesterday.

Brewers 4, Athletics 2: Lorenzo Cain hit a leadoff homer and Christian Yelich doubled in a run in the third to give the Brewers a lead they’d not relinquish. Jordan Lyles allowed one over five and the Milwaukee pen allowed one over four.

Report: Giants hire Gabe Kapler as new manager

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The Giants announced on Tuesday the hiring of Gabe Kapler as manager. Kapler, filling the extremely large shoes of future Hall of Famer Bruce Bochy, inked a three-year deal, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Kapler was one of three finalists for the job, beating out Astros bench coach Joe Espada and Rays bench coach Matt Quataro.

Following his 12-year playing career, Kapler was a coach for Israel’s team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifier. He then became an analyst for FS1 before joining the Dodgers’ front office as the director of player development in November 2014. He was involved in three scandals there: one in which he tried to handle a sexual assault incident involving two Dodgers minor league players without telling police, one in which he allegedly discriminated against Nick Francona, a veteran and former baseball operations employee, and an incident that implicated most of the Dodgers’ front office concerning the recruiting of international free agents. The Dodgers reportedly kept a spreadsheet of employees and their level of criminality.

Despite Kapler’s background, the Phillies hired him as their manager ahead of the 2018 season. He would lead the Phillies to an 80-82 record that year and then helped them improve by one game in 2019, finishing at exactly .500 before being fired. Kapler’s tenure in Philly was tumultuous, often drawing ire from the local media and subsequently the fan base for not being tough enough on his players. The Phillies also reportedly had a clubhouse issue in 2018 in which players were playing video games in the clubhouse during games, prompting Carlos Santana to smash a TV with a bat.

Kapler has a history with Farhan Zaidi, the Giants’ president of baseball operations. They worked together in the Dodgers’ front office as Zaidi served as GM from November 2014-18.