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And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Mets 6, Marlins 2; Mets 5, Marlins 4: New York takes both ends of the doubleheader, with Jacob deGrom allowing two runs in seven in the first game to get the win and a three-homer, three-run seventh inning — bombs by J.D. Davis, Michael Conforto and Pete Alonso — to give them a come-from-behind win in the nightcap. That makes for their third and fourth straight victories and their 11th win in their last 12 games. It also puts them only two and a half out of the Wild Card with the Cardinals, Brewers and Phillies in between them and playoff position. Not saying it’s likely, but it’s certainly doable.

The Marlins lost both of ’em, but they had one of the better highlights of the day when rookie Isan Díaz made his big league debut and, as the TV crew was in the stands interviewing his dad he socked his first big league homer, making his dad go absolutely and wonderfully apes**t crazy:

Brewers 9, Pirates 7: Christian Yelich had four hits, two of which were solo bombs, pushing his big league-leading total to 39 on the season. He hits homers. It’s what he does. A little less expected was Jordan Lyles holding his recently former team to three runs — only one earned — on two hits in five innings after being traded a little over a week ago. If he had been starting for the Pirates, Bucco fans would’ve been reasonable to assume he’d give up six in four innings. Changes of scenery are nice.

Yankees 9, Orioles 6: Jonathan Villar hit for the cycle in a losing cause, but Mike Tauchman hit two of the Yankees’ five homers on the night, going 3-for-4. The other dingers came from Brett Gardner, Austin Romine, and Mike Ford. The Yankees really don’t need superstars to beat ya. They just plug in basically anyone, anywhere and boom goes the dynamite.

White Sox 7, Tigers 4: Lucas Giolito picked up his first win since the end of June after allowing three runs on eight hits and two walks in six innings. Streaky kid. He made the All-Star team after rattling off wins in eight straight stats in May and June. Detroit has lost 10 of 12 and are 10-34 since June 1. They’re currently on a pace to lose 113 games. That would tie them for the sixth-most losses in a season in the modern era. They have a chance to do even worse than that, though, if they keep the current rate of futility. The 2003 Tigers (119 losses) and the 1962 Mets (120) are certainly within striking distance.

Red Sox 7, Royals 5: Boston breaks the eight-game losing streak thanks to a strong start from Rick Porcello (6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 5K) a two-run homer from Sam Travis and a solo shot from Rafael Devers. From the AP gamer:

The music was blaring in the clubhouse and Boston utility player Brock Holt was holding a microphone, acting like a DJ.

Radio DJ’s don’t hold mics, they have mics suspended from a boom or something. Club DJs rarely if ever pic up a mic. They’re using one or both hands to cue up beats and/or hold the headphones to one ear. I think the writer means he was holding the mic like an MC. No one asks me these things, of course.

Rangers 1, Indians 0: Mike Minor with seven innings of bupkis with two relievers completing the eight-hit shutout. Texas’ only run came on a sac fly in the fourth. Everyone went home after less than three hours of play. What year is this?

Blue Jays 2, Rays 0: Jacob Waguespack with six innings of bupkis with three relievers completing the five-hit shutout. Toronto’s only runs came on Cavan Biggio RBI single and a Bo Bichette solo homer. Everyone went home after less than three hours of play. What year is this? And I ask that not for the nature of the game but because a Biggio and a Bichette were the stars of the game. If it’s the 90s again I have to go tell young Craig a great many things. And maybe commit a time heist, “Avengers: Endgame”-style. Or maybe I’d just set something right that was wrong, Sam from “Quantam Leap”-style. Probably more doable.

Reds 7, Angels 4: Luis Castillo was staked to a 5-0 lead in the first inning and went on to strike out 13 dudes in seven innings of two-run work. The Angels have lost five in a row and have scored a combined 12 runs in those five games. Mike Trout homered in a losing cause. He has done more in a losing cause than any player since Ernie Banks, I guess.

Cubs 6, Athletics 5: Javier Báez of the Cubs and Marcus Semien of the A’s each hit two homers in a wild one. Ian Happ and Nicholas Castellanos also homered for the Cubs who took an early lead, found themselves in a hole later, came back to take a comfy lead and then held on for dear life as their bullpen faltered and the A’s mounted a rally that fell short when Semien hit a fly ball that came just a few feet away from being his third homer on the night. Phew.

Twins 5, Braves 3: Miguel Sanó came up as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning with the game tied at three and blasted the first pitch he saw over the fence for a two-run homer and a walkoff win. The homer came off of Chris Martin, who the Braves acquired at the deadline. Between him and Shane Greene their bullpen improvements have been Bustville, U.S.A. so far. The Twins have won four in a row and nine of 11 to stretch their lead over Cleveland in the AL Central to four games. Atlanta has lost three of four.

Phillies 7, Diamondbacks 3: Vince Velasquez — pitching, rather than playing left field — allowed two runs in seven innings of work, Scott Kingery homered and Jean Segura drove in two. Philly scored their final two runs on two throwing errors, a walk, stolen base and wild pitch.

Nationals 4, Giants 0: Erick Fedde tossed six shutout innings and three Nats relievers completed the seven-hit shutout. Anthony Rendon knocked in a run and later stole home, though it was one of those double steal jobs that says way worse things about the opposing defense than it says about the guy stealing home:

Not that the Giants didn’t have at least one defensive highlight. Get this Kevin Pillar grab:

Dodgers 8, Cardinals 0: Rookie Tony Gonsolin tossed six shutout innings as well, allowing only two hits, one walk and striking out seven. It seems like it doesn’t matter who the Dodgers trot out there and in what role, they just rake or throw bullets or do whatever it takes to push them to victory. This was their 75th victory, which was a win total they’ve reached nearly a month earlier than last year. They lead the division by 18 games. They have almost two months to, basically, set themselves up for the playoffs. History has shown that that makes little difference when the playoffs actually come around — the postseason graveyard is littered with the teams who had the best regular seasons and many a hot-in-October-only teams have won it all — but if you had to pick whether you cruised through the regular season or backed into the playoffs, I think most people would choose to be in the Dodgers’ shoes.

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.