And That Happened: Sunday's scores and recaps

Leave a comment

Red Sox 8, Blue Jays 2:
The game story headlines give credit for the win to the Sox shaking up
their lineup — Pedroia hit leadoff and Ellsbury dropped to eighth —
but Ellsbury actually got on base more than Pedroia did in this game
and wasn’t on base for either of Kevin Youkilis’ home runs. Hey, why
don’t we give Kevin Youkilis the credit for the win? Or maybe Jon
Lester (6 IP 3 H, 1 ER, 12K)? The lineup shakeup seems fairly
insignificant to me here.

Mets 3, Marlins 2:
John Maine pitches six shutout innings and then left the game because
he was barfing. Pansy. He shoulda just rubbed some dirt on it and
toughed it out. No I don’t know where she should have rubbed
the dirt. My mom once taught me that there is a pressure point related
to nausea is on the back of your hand, right at the webbing between
your thumb and your index finger, so maybe that would have helped. I
tried that once, but that treatment must not be rated for
hangover-related nausea.

Phillies 4, Nationals 2:
Jamie Moyer wins his 250th. Guys who don’t have as many career wins as
Jamie Moyer: Juan Marichal, Three-Finger Brown, Whitey Ford, Luis
Tiant, Jim Bunning, Catfish Hunter, Curt Schilling, Pedro Martinez,
John Smoltz and Sandy Koufax. If you look at it from one direction,
it’s proof positive that win-totals aren’t all that important when it
comes to rating a pitcher, because Moyer isn’t as good as any of those
guys were. But it’s not meaningless, and Moyer has certainly been a lot
more useful in his career than anyone ever would have thought he’d be.
Hall of Fame discussions are always something of a chore. Moyer is a
lock for the Hall of Very Good, though, and in many ways I like HoVG
players more than Hall of Famers.

Twins 3, Rays 2:
Matt Garza says hello to his old team for the first time since the
trade. And he pitched well (7 IP, 7 H, 3 ER), but Nick Blackburn
pitched a little better (6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER). Twins’ reliever Jose Mijares
caught a ball that smacked off of one of those catwalks up near the
roof in Tropicana. Fun and all, but I have no idea how we ever allowed
that stadium into Major League Baseball. Given that no one in St. Pete
seems to want the Rays to build a new one anyplace, can we commission a
study to see whether that can’t simply take a can opener to that joint
and retrofit it with some sort of retractable roof? A new park would
cost hundreds of millions. Could some unique fix to the old one really
be that expensive?

Astros 2, Pirates 1:
Mike Hampton wins. The AP game story says this: “[Hampton] became only
the second pitcher to win eight in a row against the Pirates since
1954, improving to 12-3 lifetime against Pittsburgh.” Which is pretty
meaningless considering that before the two starts he’s had against
Pittsburgh this season, he hadn’t faced them since 2003. And to get to
that eight-win total, you have to count two wins in 2000, when the
Pirates were giving nearly 200 at bats to Luis Sojo, and Mike Hampton
still had some of his original ligaments. It’s kind of like saying that
I haven’t lost at four square since 1985 after teaching my daughter how
to play it over the weekend. Technically true, but utterly meaningless.

Tigers 3, Orioles 0:
I promised some Baltimore fans that I’d start saying more nice things
about the Orioles. Maybe I’ll start tomorrow, because Edwin Jackson (8
IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 7K) didn’t do much to showcase their charms yesterday.
The Matt Wieters debut weekend ends thusly: 2-11, 2B, 3B and three
strikeouts. The extra base hits are nice, but he’s not exactly bringing
his “Z Game” yet.

White Sox 7, Royals 4:
Greinke’s outing wasn’t bad for mere mortals (7 IP, 8 H, 4R, 3 ER, 7K,
0 BB), but compared to the way he’s been pitching it was a shellacking.
He still shoulda gotten the win, however, some suspect defense,
hibernating bats and three runs from the bullpen killed it for him. The
Royals have dropped 16 of 21 games, which means it’s pretty safe to say
that the little Cinderella story they were trying to put together is,
for all intents and purposes, over.

Brewers 5, Reds 2:
What a letdown: Yovani Gallardo vs. Micah Owings, and neither of them
go deep. Look guys: you two represent the best chance at us getting rid
of the DH. You have to hit, and hit with authority if we’re going to
convince anyone that pitchers batting is fun to watch. Trevor Hoffman
is 13 for 13 in save opportunities. And while this one was a three-run
affair, six of those saves came in one-run games and another three in
two run games, there haven’t been a ton of cheapies here.

A’s 5, Rangers 4:
Adam Kennedy hit two homers, including what ended up being the game
winner in the ninth. After not making the Rays out of spring training
and then starting the year in Sacramento, Kennedy is at .390/.462/.622
in 93 plate appearances. I’d say he’s in the running along with Juan
Pierre and Andruw Jones for comeback player of the year award, but
whereas those other two at least once arguably rocked their peers and
put suckas in fear, Kennedy was never any good in the first place. So
no, I won’t call it a comeback.

Padres 5, Rockies 2:
20 homers for Adrian Gonzales. Fifteen of them have come on the road.
There’s been talk about the Padres needing to trade Gonzales. And I can
totally see that. The biggest problem is that most of the contenders
this year have no need for a first baseman. Sure, maybe the Sox could
use him to replace David Ortiz, but beyond that the contender who could
use him the most is the Rangers. My guess is that San Diego keeps
Gonzales, but man, could you imagine him hitting in Texas?

Giants 5, Cardinals 3:
Rich Aurilia hit a homer in the 7th to put the Giants ahead to stay. In
other news, Rich Aurilia is still alive. From the game story: “La Russa
batted his pitcher eighth in all three games of the series and has done
so every game since May 18. The team is 8-5 during that stretch.” On a
related note, I haven’t had oatmeal for breakfast since early February,
and I have not been hit by a bus during that stretch.

Indians 5, Yankees 4:
Pavano deserved the win, but didn’t get it thanks to the
always-reliable Cleveland bullpen. The Tribe will take the win, though.
They’re probably less satisfied with having to put Grady Sizemore on
the DL before the game and the fact that Victor Martinez whacked the
hell out of his knee on Saturday night keeping him out of the lineup.

Braves 9, Diamondbacks 3:
The Braves lineup, which has been on a saltpeter diet recently, sprung
to life against Max Scherzer, rattling out fifteen hits. Chipper Jones
was 3-4 with 4 RBI and he and Johnson and Escobar combined to go 9-15,
scoring seven of the Braves’ nine runs. Also, Kris Medlen offered his
first effective start of the season, giving up one run and striking out
nine over six innings.

Angels 9, Mariners 8:
Seattle had leads of 6-0 and 8-1 before woofing this one away. Which
was only fair, seeing as the Angels did the same favor for them on
Saturday night. Ichiro has now hit in 24 straight and has his average
up to .354.

Dodgers 8, Cubs 2:
Sean Marshall was as hittable last night as Eric Milton was a couple of
years ago (4.1 IP, 8 H. 8 R), and Eric Milton was pretty decent once
again (5.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER). I watched this one on TV, and though I know
how much some people hate night games in Wrigley, the park looks
absolutely gorgeous as the sun is going down and the day fades into

The Cubs acquire Rex Brothers from the Rockies

Rex Brothers Rockies

The number of people who, if you held a gun to their head, would say that “Rex Brothers” was a game show host and/or local TV news personality from the late 1970s or early 80s is not insignificant. But if you’re a Rockies fan or if spend all day thinking about baseball you know that he’s a reliever who has played in Colorado for the past five years. Now you know him as a reliever for the Cubs:

Brothers — a former Best Shape of His Life All-Star — was pretty good until he hit a brick wall in 2014 and spent most of 2015 in Triple-A. He had something of a bounceback after being called up when rosters expanded in September, but that’s not the sort of thing to excite anyone. He could be useful for the Cubs or just spring training cannon fodder and organizational depth.

Cabrera just turned 18 a couple of weeks ago and pitched a grand total of 14 games in the Dominican Summer League. He’s young and was a $250,000 signee from the Dominican as a 16-year-old so, by definition, he’s a project. Worth giving up Rex Brothers for him if you’re the Rockies, worth risking for some depth in the pen if you’re the Cubs.

Diamondbacks hire Dave Magadan as hitting coach

Dave Magadan Rangers
Leave a comment

Steve Gilbert of reports that the Diamondbacks’ new hitting coach is Dave Magadan, who “parted ways” with the Rangers last month after three years filling the same role in Texas.

Magadan also previously was the Red Sox’s hitting coach and his teams have generally done pretty well, including the Rangers scoring the third-most runs in the league this year.

He’ll have plenty of talent to work with in Arizona, as the Diamondbacks scored the second-most runs in the league led by Paul Goldschmidt, A.J. Pollock, and David Peralta. Turner Ward, who had been Arizona’s hitting coach, chose to leave the team two weeks ago.

A’s reacquire Jed Lowrie in trade with Astros

Jed Lowrie

Jed Lowrie, who was traded from the Astros to the A’s in 2013 and then re-signed with the Astros as a free agent last offseason, has now been traded back to the A’s.

Lowrie got a three-year, $23 million deal from the Astros with the idea that he’d play shortstop in the first season and then move to another position whenever stud prospect Carlos Correa arrived. Instead he got hurt right away, Correa became an immediate star, and the Astros weren’t so keen on paying him $15 million over the next two seasons.

He could resume playing shortstop for the A’s, who watched rookie Marcus Semien make an absurd number of errors there this year. Lowrie hit .271 with a .738 OPS in two seasons in Oakland, which is similar to his career totals and makes him a solidly above-average offensive shortstop. There’s a decent chance the A’s will have a Lowrie-Lawrie double-play duo in 2016.

In return the Astros get minor leaguer Brendan McCurry, a 24-year-old right-hander who split 2015 between high Single-A and Double-A with a 1.86 ERA and 82/17 K/BB ratio in 63 relief innings. He was a 22nd-round draft pick in 2014 and doesn’t have exceptional raw stuff, but McCurry’s numbers are incredible so far.

White Sox sign catcher Alex Avila to a one-year deal

Detroit Tigers' Alex Avila, right, is congratulated by third base coach Dave Clark after his solo home run in the third inning in the second game of a baseball doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox, Monday, Sept. 21, 2015, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

There have been a lot of articles published in the past few days about how to navigate awkward Thanksgiving conversations with your relatives. Heck, we even wrote one.

But there’s always room for more! Such as “How to talk to your father at Thanksgiving dinner about the fact that he let you walk away from the only team you’ve ever known to sign with a division rival.” Which is what Alex Avila will likely be talking about with his father, Tigers GM Al Avila:

The older Avila can’t even say he did it because he’s opposed to nepotism. After all, he just hired his other son — who has had his law degree for just over a year — as the Tigers assistant legal counsel for baseball operations. Though I’m sure that wasn’t nepotism. He probably just aced the interview and impressed everyone more than the other candidates did.

OK, those are jokes. In all seriousness, this is a good move for Alex and Al and, probably, the White Sox. With the emergence of James McCann, there really is not space for Alex Avila in Detroit in anything other than a backup capacity. In Chicago, he’ll get more playing time. At least if he can (a) stay healthy; and (b) not hit .191/.339/.287 again like he did in 2015.