And That Happened: Tuesday's scores and recaps

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Reader YankeefanLen wrote me yesterday afternoon with the following
observation: “It strikes me that this 3 game series- Yankees v.
Rangers, Tigers v. Sox, could be a portent to the first round playoffs.
Tigers have division lead and would have to play BoSox, who would be,
of course,wild card, and from all I see, Rangers and Tigers should hold
on to West and Central.” Lots of baseball to go, but yeah, I could see
that happening. So Let’s see how the division series are playing out:

Yankees 12, Rangers 3:
Jorge Posada’s throwing error broke the team errorless streak, but
given what he did at the plate (3-4, HR, 4 RBI), I don’t think his
teammates mind all that much.

Red Sox 5, Tigers 1:
Crap, this means that we’re going to have a Boston-New York ALCS,
doesn’t it? If so, I give the Yankees the edge, because the Red Sox’
closer is shaky. Papelbon came into the game and gave up three straight
singles to load the bases, then struck out the side to preserve the
win. John Rocker used to do that kind of thing, and it’s the reason why
I’m bald and jumpy and everything. The Sox beat up Porcello a bit over
4.1 innings, and since he’s, like, 13 years-old and on a no-doubt
strictly-enforced pitch count, making him work is the key to beating

Pirates 3, Mets 1:
Zach Duke beats Johan Santana, with the former failing to strike out a
single Met and the latter striking out only three Pirates. Guess that
means that everyone was just suffering from a case of the feebles.

Blue Jays 6, Angels 4: Ah, there’s where all of the strikeouts went. Halladay (CG, 7 H, 4 R, 14K) was hording them all.

Braves 6, Cubs 5: Atlanta sent Jordan Schafer down
to Gwinnett before the game. Jeff Francoeur, obviously thinking “there
but for the grace of God go I,” responded with a two-run homer in the
bottom of the ninth to tie up a game the Braves trailed 5-0 in the
eighth. He walked once, too! That kind of killed it for Randy Wells,
who took a no-hitter into the seventh. Chipper Jones’ RBI single in the
12th definitely killed it for the Cubs.

Rays 6, Royals 2:
Andy Sonnanstine lowers his ERA to 7.16 and Matt Joyce goes 3-4 with a
double, a homer and four RBI. Kyle Davies walked six guys and threw 114
pitches in 5.2 IP for the Royals. Guess he’s not into that whole, you
know, brevity thing.

Nationals 10, Giants 6:
Tim Lincecum strikes out the 500th batter in his brief career, but then
sits down and watches his bullpen give up six runs in the eighth. Ron
Villone gets the win, which inspired me to look at his career stats for
a moment. I knew he was a journeyman, but I didn’t know that Washington
was his 12th team. Mike Morgan, much celebrated for his nomadic ways,
“only” pitched for 12 teams himself. Have left arm, will travel, eh

Athletics 5, White Sox 0:
Mazzaro, Breslow & Ziegler — which sounds like a personal injury
law firm — combine to shut out Chicago. Colon, Gobble, Carrasco &
Whisler — which kind of sounds like onomatopoeia from a French
children’s book about farms or something — were not as impressive.

Astros 3, Rockies 2:
Miguel Tejada goes 4-6 with three RBI including the game-winning home
run in extra innings. Apparently he did not hear me when I said earlier
in the day that he was playing over his head and that his current level
of production was not sustainable. It’s as if he’s doing this just to
make me look ridiculous. And a man in my position can’t afford to be
made to look ridiculous. Now you get the hell out of here. And just
know it if you want to try any rough stuff that I ain’t no band leader.
Yeah, I heard that story.

Mariners 8, Orioles 2:
Erik Bedard (6.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 7K) was very considerate to put
together a nice performance at home against the Orioles so as to make
everyone forget, even if for only a couple of hours, about just how
badly the Mariners were fleeced in the Adam Jones deal.

Phillies 10, Padres 5:
Raul Ibanez (3-5, 2 HR, 5 RBI) may be reaping the rewards now, but
there will be hell to pay when it is found out that his 2009 production
is the result of his clandestinely stealing the life force of some
younger, unknown ballplayer in the course of his dark, twisted effort
to attain immortality. Yeah, I dropped a Fistandantilus reference. I
don’t care. I’m old now, and my kids will soon think I’m a dork anyway,
so why should I pretend not to be?

Marlins 10, Brewers 3:
Manny Parra was lifted after throwing exactly 100 pitches. Given that
the dude gave up ten runs on eleven hits in that time, I’m going to
assume that it wasn’t a forced pitch-count thing. For a guy with a bum groin, Hanley Ramirez is hitting damn well. Three for five both Monday night and last night.

Twins 4, Indians 3:
Joe Mauer (3-3, HR, BB 3 RBI) is not bad. And as if Cleveland’s season
needs to get any worse, Asdrubal Cabrera left the game with shoulder

Cardinals 5, Reds 2:
Nick Stavinoha comes through again, hitting a two-run double to put the
Redbirds ahead for good in the sixth. He’s been driving in a lot of
runs since his callup in mid-May. After the game he had this to say:
“Memphis is a nice place and all. but I like it a little better here.”

Dodgers 6, Diamondbacks 5:
Danny Haren (7 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 7K — and 3-3 at the plate!) deserved
much better than the no-decision he got thanks to the Tony Pena and Dan
Schlereth-led bullpen implosion. As for the Dodgers, they are now
halfway through Manny’ suspension and, really, haven’t missed him a
bit. When he comes back it will be as if they went out and acquired a
big bat at the trade deadline without having to give up anything in

Erik Johnson likely to open 2016 in the White Sox rotation

DENVER, CO - APRIL 09:  Starting pitcher Erik Johnson #45 of the Chicago White Sox delivers against the Colorado Rockies during Interleague play at Coors Field on April 9, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies defeated the White Sox 10-4.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
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With the White Sox losing Jeff Samardzija to free agency, Erik Johnson will likely get a shot to contribute out of the rotation to open up the 2016 season, GM Rick Hahn said in a conference call on Wednesday, per a report from’s Scott Merkin.

“As we sit here today, I think it will be an opportunity for Erik Johnson to convert on sort of the return to form he showed back in 2015 when he was International League pitcher of the year for [Triple-A] Charlotte,” Hahn said. “Obviously, he got some starts in September and continued to show the progress in Chicago he had shown in the Minor Leagues over the course of the last season.

“So if Opening Day were today, then I think Johnson is penciled in to that spot in the rotation right now. In all probability, once we get closer to spring, there will be some competition for him to earn that spot. But if we were strictly looking at today, then I would think Johnson has the inside track on filling Samardzija’s innings.”

Johnson was called up from Triple-A Charlotte in September and made six starts, allowing 14 runs (13 earned) on 32 hits and 17 walks with 30 strikeouts in 35 innings. That followed up an impressive five months in the minors where he compiled a 2.37 ERA and a 136/41 K/BB ratio across 132 2/3 innings.

Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, and each included Johnson on their top-100 prospect lists, ranking him 63rd, 67th, and 70th, respectively. The right-hander was selected by the White Sox in the second round of the 2011 draft.

Major League Baseball will investigate Yasiel Puig for his role in Miami nightclub brawl

Yasiel Puig
AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi

It was reported on Friday afternoon that Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig was involved in a brawl at a Miami nightclub. Details were scant at the time, but he reportedly left with a bruise on his face.

Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that Major League Baseball plans to investigate Puig under the league’s new domestic violence policy for his role in the brawl. Citing a report from TMZ, Hernandez notes that Puig shoved his sister, “brutally sucker-punched” the manager of the bar, and instigated the brawl.

The Dodgers and Puig’s agent have thus far refused to comment on the situation.

Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes was the first player to be investigated under the league’s new domestic violence policy earlier this month, as he allegedly assaulted his wife. Reyes has pleaded not guilty after he was charged with domestic abuse in Hawaii.

As our own Craig Calcaterra pointed out, commissioner Rob Manfred does not need to wait for Puig to plead guilty or to be found guilty to levy a punishment.

Dayan Viciedo close to signing with Japan’s Chunichi Dragons

Dayan Viciedo
AP Photo/Carlos Osorio
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Patrick Newman is reporting that the Chunichi Dragons of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball and outfielder Dayan Viciedo are close to an agreement on a contract. Newman notes that the Dragons are close to signing pitcher Jordan Norberto as well.

Viciedo, 26, has struggled since making his major league debut in 2010 with the White Sox, batting an aggregate .254/.298/.424 with 66 home runs and 211 RBI in 1,798 plate appearances. He spent the 2015 season with Triple-A Charlotte (White Sox) and Nashville (Athletics), hitting a composite .287/.348/.450. While Viciedo can hit the occasional home run, he hasn’t shown the ability to do much else at the big league level. Given his age, he could prove himself in Japan and parlay that into a renewed shot in the majors in the future.

The White Sox signed Viciedo out of Cuba in December 2008, agreeing to a four-year, $10 million deal. The club re-signed him to one-year deals in 2013 and ’14 for $2.8 million each and $4.4 million ahead of the 2015 season.

Blue Jays sign J.A. Happ to a three-year, $36 million contract

J.A. Happ
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Update (8:45 PM EST): Per Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi, Happ will get $10 million in 2016 and $13 million each in 2017 and ’18.

*’s Gregor Chisholm reports that the Blue Jays have signed lefty J.A. Happ to a three-year deal worth $36 million.

Happ, 33, had a rebirth as a member of the Pirates last season after starting the season with 20 subpar starts with the Mariners. He made 11 starts for the Buccos, boasting a 1.85 ERA with a 69/13 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings.

Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported this past August that Happ’s newfound success had to do with a delivery tweak suggested by Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage. The Blue Jays are certainly hoping that adjustment is the full explanation for his success.

The Jays’ signing of Happ most likely signifies they won’t be pursuing free agent lefty David Price.

This will be Happ’s second stint with the Blue Jays. The Astros dealt him to Toronto in a July 2012 trade. He posted a 4.39 ERA with a 256/113 K/BB ratio in 291 innings with the Jays, then went to the Mariners in a trade this past December that brought outfielder Michael Saunders to the Jays.