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: