And we’re back with the MLB scores and highlights.
- The Cardinals were clinching the NL Central by beating the Cubs;
- Jacob Faria of the Brewers threw a wild pitch in the bottom of the 13th inning of a game that, because of that Cards win, became meaningless, making me wonder if Milwaukee actually threw the game;
- The Red Sox’ pen blew Eduardo Rodrírguez’s potential 20th win of the season;
- Bruce Bochy managed his last game for the Giants which inspired me to trace his baseball Kevin Bacon factor all the way back to Lip Pike of the 1871 St. Louis Brown Stockings of the National Association;
- The Washington Nationals, meanwhile, won their eighth straight heading into the postseason, at which point I said it didn’t matter because “momentum is crap,” which shows you what I know; and, finally;
- I, for the 236th time, give or take, made the *chews meat* “one chance in three” “Hunt for Red October” joke in reference to a meaningless Reds-Pirates game.
Which is to say, things were pretty dang normal on September 30, 2019, when last a proper And That Happened graced your screen. Needless to say nothing is normal now.
Since baseball went away — real, regular season baseball, not that interesting tournament that is the ever-expanding postseason — the world went and got itself in quite a fix. Some of it born of tragedy, but resulting in the good that is America being forced to finally wake up from its horrible history and, hopefully, meaningfully and lastingly embrace the idea that racial justice is an absolute good and that Black Lives Matter.
Some of it has been a seemingly never-ending hellscape of a pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands of people, most of them needlessly. I hope you and yours has been safe and healthy during all of this. So far, for me, things have been OK too, even if all of this caused me to spew about 122,000 words of angst and anger during the offseason. Which is understandable, right? You gotta keep busy in the offseason. As the great Rogers Hornsby once said:
People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and watch the entire goddamn world go up in flames and do whatever I can to keep what’s left of my sanity as it happens while praying something approaching normality returns.
Or words to that effect.
As of last night, however, something approaching normality has returned. Major League Baseball. Games that count. Yes, we made it to the 2020 season somehow. It wasn’t pretty, but we made it.
They played two games last night. They’ll play 14 more games today. It’s a baseball season, dang it, and even if it’s messed up in about eleventeen different ways, it’s something that we can enjoy, even if we have to put some existential blinders on for three hours a night in order to enjoy it.
That’s what we’re going to attempt to do here, in this space, for the 60 games that they’ve decided to call the 2020 regular season. You have angst. You damn well know that I do too. But in this space, to the extent possible and practicable, we’re going to try to focus on the two to fifteen baseball games which take place each night and we’re going to try to talk about them as if they’re happening in a world that is not as thoroughly broken as our world seems to be at the moment.
And, of course, we’re gonna make dumb, nerd dad-level pop culture references and generally fart around.
Do you think we can do that? I don’t know. I’m not sure even I can do that. But dammit, I’m gonna try. And I’m gonna start right now.
Here are the MLB Scores and Highlights:
Yankees 4, Nationals 1: 2020 can’t even get Opening Night right. Not that the thunderstorms that passed through Washington are anyone’s fault but God’s or the universe’s or whatever it is you believe controls such things. Whatever the case, the game went on long enough to be official, and the Yankees have to be pretty happy with how it went. Their new ace, Gerrit Cole, only gave up the Adam Eaton dinger and otherwise looked like the man they’re giving all their money to. The two guys they really, really need to stay healthy for that deep playoff run they’re counting on — Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge — looked good too, with Stanton hitting that first inning moon shot of a dinger off of Max Scherzer and Judge going 2-for-3. I picked Scherzer to win the Cy Young in yesterday’s season predictions so I was a bit cranky to see him get lit up like this, but after the game he said he didn’t seem to mind:
“I’d rather be playing baseball than not. That’s the way I look at it. All the things we can get negative about and cry about, I’m just not going to do it.”
If 2020 gives us anything, it’ll give us guys keeping things in perspective, I imagine.
Dodgers 8, Giants 1: A day after signing the contract that’ll keep him in Los Angeles until I’m like 60 years old — and, because of deferrals, will pay him until I’m 72 — Mookie Betts went 1-for-5 with two strikeouts, the second of which came with the bases loaded during the Dodgers’ big seventh inning. Not the best day in the box score, but the journey of $365 million begins with a single step. A guy who, depending on the progress of top prospect Gavin Lux, may not be in Los Angeles even this time next year, Enrique Hernandez, went 4-for-5, hitting two RBI singles when the game was close and a two-run homer to put it well out of reach in the seventh. Five RBI in all for Kiké.
Everyone else plays today. Enjoy the good moments while you can, folks.