Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:
Phillies 9, Dodgers 8: Bryce Harper had a Big Hero game, knocking in five runs including a walkoff two-run double to bring the Phillies back from an 8-6 deficit in the bottom of the ninth. That 8-6 was the result of them blowing a one-run lead in the top of the ninth thanks to Matt Beaty hitting a pinch-hit three-run homer. That Beaty homer was the kind of thing that usually demoralizes a a team — and fans of a team — that is scuffling like the Phillies are. And it seemed to demoralize at least Philly pitcher Hector Neris who, right after giving up that homer, hit David Freese high in the back with a 95 m.p.h. fastball, causing him and his manager to be ejected and causing Phillies Twitter to tear its hair out.
Seeing this, I tweeted “Imagine being a Phillies fan,” less as mocking than as commiseration in the misery a rooting interest can put a fan through sometimes. At first there was a lot of nodding along with that. Then, a few minutes later, when Scott Kingery drove in one run and then Harper hit his walkoff double, I was met with a bunch of mocking from Phillies fans. This made me realize that I had forgotten the number one rule of Phillies fandom: “we can hate our team and our plight for months on-end, but don’t ANYONE ELSE dare do so.” Which, hey, my bad. My bad for both being wrong about that homer effectively ending the game and my bad for 2008 being a long time ago and having, over that time, forgotten how happy Phillies fans roll.
Anyway, here’s Harper playing the hero:
Angels 7, Astros 2: Last week Jake Marisnick of the Astros barreled over Jonathan Lucroy of the Angels, injuring him pretty badly and earning a suspension to boot. Last night Angels pitcher Noe Ramirez retaliated by hitting Marisnick with a pitch in the sixth inning:
The pitch was higher up the ladder than you ever wanna see such things — and I am long on recored not liking any instance of pitchers intentionally throwing at hitters no matter the putative justification — but Marisnick didn’t seem to take issue with it, likely knowing it was coming. His teammates and manager, however, were livid about it after the game. Here’s A.J. Hinch:
“Wasn’t everybody expecting something to happen to Jake tonight?’ I mean, the entire industry was probably expecting it. Our guy got suspended for an unintentional act, and they got a free shot. I feel bad for players nowadays. There’s a lot of gray area in what to do . . . Sometimes you can retaliate, like tonight. They’re going to get away with it, unless he gets suspended. Sometimes you can’t, and you get thrown out of the game for backup sliders that hit guys. It’s a confusing time. Either the players govern the players on the field like it’s always been or we legislate it to where none of this crap happens. They got a free shot at him with no warning, with no ejection . . . We’ll see if there’s discipline; and without discipline, there’s not going to be any issue doing it the next time. So if retaliations are in, cool. We’re well aware.”
I’m not sure I understand Hinch (a) knowing full well well that retaliation was coming; but (b) being mad at said retaliation; while (c) strongly implying that, if Ramirez is not punished, the Astros will, in turn, retaliate.
Baseball is a friggin’ Ouroboros of non-logic when it comes to this stuff and the only way you can parse it is to understand that everyone thinks it’s fine when they do crap but that it’s an affront when the guys in an other color shirt do crap, even if they all couch it in terms of justice and fairness and the false premise that there are rules to this stuff beyond those governed by anger and grievance. Whatever. Hinch can blow off steam I suppose and when smart guys blow off steam they often pretend they’re dropping logic instead of simply beefing. We’ve all been there.
As for the game, Albert Pujols hit a bases-loaded and bases-clearing double as the Angels plated six runs in the first inning and it was never really a game after that. Los Angeles remains unbeaten in five games since the All-Star break.
Yankees 8, Rays 3: The Rays carried a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the eighth and that’s when the wheels fell off, with Aaron Judge hitting a two-run homer to give the Yankees the lead and then Didi Gregorius hitting a friggin’ grand slam to put the game out of reach. Edwin Encarnación and DJ LeMahieu each went deep for the Bombers as well. Earlier benches cleared when CC Sabathia and Avisail García jawed at one another following a strikeout. The entire thing seemed to based on each guy not liking that the other one was looking at them which, my God, ballplayers can be exhausting about this crap sometimes.
Nationals 8, Orioles 1: Juan Soto and Matt Adams homered and rookie starter Austin Voth, just recalled from the minors before the game, allowed one run and four hits over six innings. He had been at Double-A Harrisburg so he was probably used to the general quality of the Orioles lineup.
Indians 8, Tigers 0: Four Indians relievers combined to toss a one-hit shutout, facing only one batter above the minimum. All Detroit got was a leadoff walk and a fifth inning ground ball single. Otherwise they could’ve sent dogs wearing pants or one kid sitting on another kid’s shoulders wearing a trenchcoat up to the plate and got the same results. Oscar Mercado homered for the third time in two nights and Tyler Naquin went deep again for Cleveland. Oh, there was a rain delay too. Check this out:
Blue Jays 10, Red Sox 4: Andrew Cashner‘s Boston debut went less-than-swimmingly as he gave up six runs — five earned — on eight hits in five frames. Gave up a couple of homers, hit a batter and threw a wild pitch on a third strike that allowed a batter to reach too. Teoscar Hernández hit a three-run shot, Justin Smoak went deep as well and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. had a single, double and a triple for Toronto. Boston falls 10 games behind the first-place Yankees in the AL East.
Marlins 12, Padres 7: Brian Anderson hit a three-run homer in the first inning, Garrett Cooper went deep as well, Harold Ramirez had two doubles and drove two in, and Starlin Castro hit a bases-loaded triple. Miami had a 7-3 lead early and an 11-3 lead after six. The Padres mounted a comeback but it fell short. It was San Diego’s fourth straight loss.
Diamondbacks 9, Rangers 2: Rookie Alex Young allowed one run while pitching into the sixth to go to 3-0 on the year. In doing so his ERA actually went up from 0.68 to 0.96. That’s what happens when you only have four games under your belt I guess. Ketel Marte, Eduardo Escobar and Ildemaro Vargas each drove in a pair of runs for the Dbacks, who knocked the heretofore rolling Lance Lynn around a bit. The Snakes have won five of seven.
Cubs 4, Reds 3: Kris Bryant‘s sixth inning homer tied it at three and sent it to extras and Kyle Schwarber‘s walkoff blast in the bottom of the tenth ended it. Although I suppose the word “blast” here is subjective. It was a popup that carried and just barely made it into the basket above the ivy in left center:
Not to take anything away from Schwardber — they all count, of course — but one wonders if that one goes out with a ball from 2015 instead of 2019.
Brewers 13, Braves 1: Christian Yelich hit a grand slam and Keston Hiura and Lorenzo Cain each hit solo home runs as the Brewers just piled on the runs against the Braves. They didn’t need to, as Brandon Woodruff allowed only one run while working into the seventh, but better safe than sorry. The 12-run loss was the Braves’ worst of the season.
Mets 3, Twins 2: Michael Conforto went 4-for-4 and drove in the go-ahead run in the fifth. Steven Matz was on a pitch count and left after four innings but six Mets relievers combined to allow only three hits in five shutout innings to end the game. It got tense in the ninth when Edwin Díaz faced a bases-loaded jam and Nelson Cruz at the plate but Díaz retired Cruz. Three wins in a row for the Mets. When’s the parade?
Royals 11, White Sox 0: Glenn Sparkman — Glenn Sparkman? — sure, Glenn Sparkman tossed a five-hit complete game shutout for the Royals. It was the first complete game shutout by a Royals pitcher in over two years. Whit Merrifield and Hunter Dozier each had three hits and a homer. The Royals have won four of five. The White Sox are 0-5 since the All-Star break.
Pirates 3, Cardinals 1: A pitchers duel between Darío Agrazal and Jack Flaherty made it a 1-1 game entering the ninth — Flaherty actually drove in the Cards’ lone run himself — but the Buccos rallied. It wasn’t an explosive rally, as it was fueled by a plunking, a couple of singles, a walk and a fielder’s choice, but Pittsburgh only needed one run and got two so it was just as useful a rally as one fueled by doubles off the wall.
Giants 8, Rockies 4: The Giants blew a three-run lead in the ninth thanks to Will Smith giving up bombs to Trevor Story and Ian Desmond, but they got four runs in the top of the tenth to take the game. Alex Dickerson had four hits, including the go-ahead RBI single in that 10th inning. Mike Yastrzemski homered, doubled and singled and drove in three on the night. The Giants are on a roll, having won four in a row and seven of eight. The Rockies have dropped ten of 12. Both teams now have 46-49 records and are tied for third in the NL West. And, because the NL is generally a s**t show beyond the top couple of decent teams, they’re somehow each only three out in the Wild Card race. Or, I should say, “race.”
Athletics 9, Mariners 2: Daniel Mengden allowed only one run over seven inning of work while Matt Chapman homered and drove in five. Matt Olson homered as well. Quite an assortment of Matts they got in Oakland.