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And That Happened: Tuesday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Nationals 11, Mets 10: Hoo boy. It was a run-of-the-mill 4-2 Mets lead after seven innings. Then 5-2 in the eighth and then a close 5-4 thanks to a Juan Soto homer in the bottom half. In the ninth, however, all Hell broke loose, with New York victimizing the Nats bullpen for five runs to give them a comfortable 10-4 lead that, clearly, would be safe.

Nah.

The Nats blitzed Mets relievers for seven runs in the bottom of the ninth, capped with a walkoff three-run homer from Kurt Suzuki for a huge, huge comeback win. Bill wrote up the goriest of the details here. You can watch the walkoff blast and celebration here:

The world is a crazy place and it’s been really hard to find one’s gravity these past few years. So thank goodness we still have the Mets out there, serving as the baseball version of that little spinny thing Leo DiCaprio has in “Inception” to let us all know that we’re still tethered to reality. As long as they keep providing us with ignominious accomplishments like this one, I think things are gonna be OK.

Orioles 4, Rays 2; Rays 2, Orioles 0: A split doubleheader in which both teams scored four total runs really screws up my split double header/aggregate run tiebreaker rule. Maybe they should’ve just stayed home and caught up on TV? I’ve been watching “The Rockford Files” a lot lately. I’d totally recommend that to the Rays and Orioles.

Anyway,Rio Ruiz and Anthony Santander homered and Mark Trumbo had a pinch-hit RBI double in the first one. In the second one seven Rays relievers combined to toss a five-hit shutout while Austin Meadows went deep. Total velocity of this doubleheader: zero. That’s just math. Or physics I guess. I dunno. I was a liberal arts major.

Yankees 10, Rangers 1: I guess the Yankees were none too pleased about being shutout on Monday so they took Rangers pitchers to the woodshed last night. A Yankees pitcher did too, as James Paxton pitched one-hit ball for seven shutout innings, striking out 12 while five Yankees homers were hit. Gary Sánchez hit two of them while Edwin Encarnación, Didi Gregorius and Brett Gardner also went deep in this laugher.

Phillies 6, Reds 2: Bryce Harper singled in a run, giving him 100 RBI on the year. He also has 30 homers on the season making him the first Philly since Ryan Howard in 2011 to accomplish those feats in the same season. J.T. Realmuto doubled, singled, and knocked in a run with sacrifice fly. Scott Kingery homered. Philly remains two and a half behind the Cubs for the second Wild Card.

Marlins 5, Pirates 4: Miami was down 4-3 heading into the ninth inning but Miguel Rojas hit a tying solo homer to force extras and Garrett Cooper hit one in the 10th to end Miami’s 15-game road losing streak. José Ureña pitched the bottom of the tenth for the save. I wonder how many pitchers have recorded saves in the same season that they started the Opening Day game. Probably more than I’d guess but probably not a huge number either. Like, Tom Seaver wasn’t doing it, ya know?

White Sox 6, Indians 5: Big night for blown leads. This was no Mets-Nats game, but the Indians did have a 5-2 lead heading into the eighth when the Chisox put up a four-spot via a three-run homer from James McCann and a solo shot from Eloy Jiménez. Unfortunately those homers came off of Carlos Carrasco, which kind of messes with the whole inspirational comeback story a tad, but life ain’t a Hallmark Movie I suppose.

Braves 7, Blue Jays 2: Mike Foltynewicz gave Atlanta five shutout innings. If he can be effective like that down the stretch and in the postseason the Braves will be getting a bonus. Josh Donaldson doubled and drove in three, as the Braves scored their seven runs without the benefit of a homer. I wasn’t sure that was allowed, actually, but it checks out.

Cardinals 1, Giants 0: An outstanding start from Jack Flaherty: eight innings, one hit, one walk and eight Ks for the win. And he needed to do that too, as Dereck Rodríguez nearly matched him, allowing one over seven. I didn’t know pitchers duels like this were still allowed in Major League Baseball either, but last night was an odd one all around.

Brewers 4, Astros 2: Zack Greinke lost his first game since joining Houston, giving up an RBI single to Ryan Braun and a three-run homer to Eric Thames. Meanwhile Jordan Lyles continues his post-trade transformation, giving Milwaukee yet another solid start, allowing only two while pitching into the seventh. The big takeaway from this game, though, was George Springer being carted off the field following an amazing catch and, unfortunately, a hard hit into the wall:

Springer will be evaluated further today, but this just screams concussion. We’ll see and we’ll update when more is known.

Cubs 6, Mariners 1: Nicholas Castellanos homered and drove in four and now has 12 homers and 24 RBI in 31 games since being traded to Chicago. Willson Contreras and Kyle Schwarber went deep as well. Jon Lester worked out of a good deal of trouble here and there but tossed six shutout innings.

Twins 6, Red Sox 5: Nelson Cruz and Miguel Sanó homered to help Minnesota build a 6-0 lead after five and they’d hold on. Just atrocious starting pitching from the Red Sox once again, this time from Rick Porcello (4 IP, 8 H, 6 ER). Once again.

Royals 6, Tigers 5: Jorge Soler hit his 39th homer which, in 2019 is only good for second in the American League at the moment. It does put him at the top of the Royals record books, however, breaking Mike Moustakas‘ single-season home run record. Ryan O'Hearn homered too, and his was more dramatic: a walkoff bomb to send Royals fans home happy:

For your sake I hope you didn’t watch enough of that clip to hear the Royals broadcaster say “he went oppo with some poppo,” but if you did, my condolences.

Diamondbacks 2, Padres 1: Another fine pitching performance, this one from Merrill Kelly of the Snakes, who tossed seven shutout frames. Both of Arizona’s runs scored in the first inning. San Diego’s only run came in the ninth. Here’s a visual representation of that scoring pattern.

Athletics 7, Angels 5: A’s rookie Seth Brown hit two triples, knocking in a run with each one. His second one put Oakland ahead after they had preciously blown a three-run lead. He’s now hitting .448 with nine RBI in eight games since being called up by the A’s. Not too shabby. Matt Chapman hit a three-run shot. Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Justin Upton homered for the Angels in a losing cause.

Dodgers 5, Rockies 3: Colorado led 2-0 into the seventh inning but Russell Martin hit a three-run blast to end that while David Freese and Justin Turner added solo shots for insurance. The play of the game came from a fan, though, who ranged over to the batter’s eye to make a leaping grab of Nolan Arenado‘s homer:

Wild night, man. Wild night.

Myles Garrett and Mason Rudloph: meet Juan Marichal and John Roseboro

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Last night the Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the Cleveland Browns. No one is gonna be talking nearly as much about the outcome today, however, as they are the carnage.

Specifically, the carnage that led to Browns defensive end Myles Garrett getting ejected from the game after ripping Steelers’ quarterback Mason Rudolph’s helmet off, swinging it at him and connecting with Rudolph’s skull as the game came to a close. Things were already chippy as all get-out, but that obviously led to a brawl which will lead to a ton of suspensions, including a possibly record-breaking one for Garrett. For all your analysis on that, check out PFT, obviously.

The incident will dominate the sports shows today because malicious attempts to injure another player with a piece of equipment are pretty rare in professional sports. There was at least one incident in baseball history, however, that was analogous to what went down in Cleveland last night.

It took place on August 22, 1965 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco during a Dodgers-Giants game. That’s when Giants ace Juan Marichal, playing the role of Garrett, took a baseball bat to the head of Dodgers catcher John Roseboro, standing in for Rudolph.

The Dodgers and Giants are rivals, of course, and in 1965 the two teams were in a pitched battle for the N.L. pennant, with the Dodgers leading San Francisco by a game and a half as the day began.

Pitchers in 1965 were a bit more aggressive about claiming the inside part of the plate than they are today, and on that day, everyone seemed cranky. Marichal knocked Dodgers shortstop Maury Wills down with some chin music in the top of the second for, it appears, committing the terrible transgression of bunting for a single in his first at bat of the game. In response Koufax fired a fastball over Willie Mays’ head, sending the ball to the backstop. So everyone was even, yeah?

Nah. Marichal responded in the top of third with an inside fastball that sent Dodgers first baseman Ron Fairly sprawling to the dirt. At that point home plate umpire Shag Crawford issued a warning, indicating that that the next close pitch from either team would result in an ejection. Walter Alston’s Dodgers, though, were a clever bunch. Sure, maybe a close pitch was going to get an ace ejected in a pennant race, but there are other ways to buzz someone’s tower, right?

Pitchers batted in every game back then, of course, and Marichal came to bat in the bottom of the third. Koufax didn’t throw at him, though. Instead, Roseboro, catching for L.A., threw the ball back to Koufax in such a way as to have it sail close to Marichal’s head as he stood in the batter’s box. He later admitted in his autobiography that it was no accident, he was trying to intimidate Marichal.

Marichal flipped out, clubbing Roseboro with his bat, after which all hell broke loose (all photos, and the original caption from 1965, are from Getty Images):

 

Juan Marichal holding bat, John Roseboro attacked, and Sandy Koufax closes in.

 

Roseboro throws a punch at Marichal while latter swings bat and Koufax comes in to try and break it up.

 

On deck batter Giant Tito Fuentes pulls Roseboro away while Marichal wields bat at Koufax while umpire Shag Crawford and Giant coach Charlie Fox try to break it up.

 

Umpire Shag Crawford wrestles with Marichal while Dodgers Jim Gilliam (19) and Kaufax come in. Rear is Giants coach Charlie Fox. Marichal falls to the ground on top of Shag Crawford while Giants Orlando Cepeda joins the melee.

 

Umpire Shag Crawford is shown here wrestling with Marichal as Dodgers Jim Gilliam (#19) and Sandy Koufax join in. In the rear is Giants’ coach Charlie Fox.

 

Identifiable L-R: Dodger Jim Gilliam (19); John Roseboro (with chest protector); Giants Orlando Cepeda (30); Cap Peterson (17); Warren Spahn; and Mgr. Herman Franks (3).

Willie Mays was credited with keeping the brawl from getting worse. Roseboro had military and martial arts training and, as you can see in the second photo, he was not slowed by his head injury — an injury that would require 14 stitches — from trying to take Marichal apart. Mays was the one who ultimately pulled Roseboro away and out of the fracas. He even held a towel to Roseboro’s head which by then had begun to bleed profusely. The fight eventually ended, with several players sustaining injuries due to kicks and accidental spikings of hands and legs and stuff.

The incident delayed the game for 14 minutes but the fallout beyond that was pretty tame compared to today’s standards. Marichal got an eight day suspension which, because of scheduled doubleheaders, caused him to miss ten games. He was also fined $1,750, which is around $15,000 today. Roseboro only missed two games due to his injury. The Dodgers would lose this game thanks to a big homer from Mays off of Koufax, but the Dodgers would go on to win the pennant and defeat the Minnesota Twins in the World Series.

There was additional fallout: Roseboro sued Marichal for $110,000 in damages. They’d eventually settle, with Roseboro receiving $7,500 from Marichal.

But there was no lingering bad blood. In interviews after the incident both players admitted that there was much more on their minds in 1965 that might’ve contributed to their aggression on that day. There was the rivalry, of course, and the pennant race. But Marichal had been much more personally distracted by a civil war in his native Dominican Republic that raged in 1965 and would not end until September. Roseboro had been, understandably, affected by the Watts Riots in Los Angeles which had taken place just over a week before this game. When you feel helpless about situation A, you often channel your feelings into situation B and both men said that something like that was probably simmering.

Marichal would play for the Dodgers for two games in 1975, the final year of his career. Roseboro had already retired, but Marichal’s cup of coffee with L.A. allowed them to meet up at a Dodgers old-timers game in 1982. There they posed for this photo: 

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“There were no hard feelings on my part,” Roseboro told the L.A. Times in 1990. Roseboro died in 2002. Marichal was an honorary pallbearer at his funeral.

Let’s check in with Garrett and Ruldolph in 37 years to see how they’re doing.