And That Happened: Wednesday's scores and recaps

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Cubs 3, Braves 2: It’s understandable that the Braves lost given
all of yesterday’s activity. Half the team was probably pissed that
Glavine was released and the other half was wondering if they were
going to be traded. As it was, Jeff Francouer struck out with the bases
loaded in the sixth, killing the Braves’ chances to break things open.
Francoeur, however, was not released. Later, in the eleventh inning,
Derek Lee tagged up at first and made it to second on a routine fly to
left field to set up the winning run. Left fielder Matt Diaz, however,
was not released. Finally, despite the loss, Bobby Cox was not fired.

Brewers 9, Marlins 6: Marlins’ reliever Hayden Penn issued three
straight bases loaded walks in the fifth inning, which is something you
don’t see every day. Walked a guy when he came in too. It’s the kind of
thing that makes me wish there was a 12 hour cooling off period before
post game interviews, because I’ve always wanted to ask pitchers who
have those kinds of outings whether they simply refused to groove a few
pitches just to get one over or if they tried but simply couldn’t. You
know Penn won’t talk about it in the locker room a half hour later, but
he might the next morning. Except by the next morning, no one really
cares that much.

Rays 9, Royals 0: Jeff Niemann shut the Royals down with
authority (CG, SHO, 2 H, 9K). Brian Bannister was shelled (3.2 IP, 9 H,
8 ER). Such balance appeals to me for some strange reason.

Rangers 4, Yankees 2: Mark Teixeira missed the game with a
bruised right ankle following that hard slide into Andrus I mentioned
yesterday. Minor correction: “grit” and “fire” is completely canceled
out by “ice pack” and “disabled list.” Don’t get yourself injured. It
can only hurt the ballclub.

Red Sox 10, Tigers 5: Not as close as the score indicates, as
the Beckett no-hit the Tigers into the seventh and all five of the
Tigers runs (a) came after they were trailing 10-0; and (b) were
unearned due to three errors. Curtis Granderson hit a bases-loaded
triple, which some people think is the most exciting play in baseball.
Great moments in enforcing unwritten rules: Gerald Laird tried to break
up the then-in-progress no-hitter by laying down a bunt in the sixth.
The next time he was up, Beckett hit him. The Sox were up 4-0 then so I
suppose it’s not inconceivable that Laird could hide behind the
“I was just trying to get something going” argument, but it was
probably a close enough call to where Laird had to expect he’d get
plunked.

Indians 10, Twins 1: Cliff Lee in 2008 form, goes eight innings,
giving up a single run and jawing hard at Carlos Gomez after Gomez
flied out in the fifth which almost started a fight. Lee has a 2.96 ERA
on the season but his record stands at 3-6. Jhonny Peralta, back at
short following Asdrubal Cabrera’s injury, hit a three-run homer.

Athletics 5, White Sox 3: Bobby Crosby and Landon Powell hit
back-to-back homers in the fourth and Josh Outman scattered seven hits
over six and two thirds on a cold night in Chicago.

Angels 8, Blue Jays 1: Jered Weaver (7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 10K) is hot of late, having given up a single earned run each of five of his last six starts.

Reds 9, Cardinals 3: Johnny Cueto was strong over six innings
and Laynce Nix homered twice with four RBIs. Bad news for the
Cardinals, as Kyle Lohse left after pitching only two innings due to
tightness in his forearm. Alabama here we come?

Astros 6, Rockies 4
: Hunter Pence had a solo homer and two RBI singles, and the Astros have won five of six.

Dodgers 1, Diamondbacks 0: Four Dodgers pitchers, led by Chad
Billingsley, shut out the Dbacks. Their lead in the West is now a
season-high nine and a half games.

Mariners 3, Orioles 2: Ichiro’s hitting streak is now at 27
games. Luke Scott hit another homer for Baltimore, and is currently
putting up the quietest .323/.399/.661 season we’ve seen in a long
time.

Phillies 5, Padres 1: J.A. Happ shut the Padres down over seven
and then handed it off to J.C. Romero. They should probably trade for
R.A Dickey or CC Sabathia so they can go all initials on the
opposition. Romero was making his first appearance since his Hall of
Fame-destroying PED suspension.

Mets-Pirates: Postponed. I never meant 2 cause u any sorrow. I never meant 2 cause u any pain.

Giants-Nats: Postponed. I only wanted 2 one time see u laughing. I only wanted 2 see u laughing in the purple rain.

Mariano Rivera to get his plaque in Monument Park on August 14

Mariano Rivera
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The greatest closer in history is going to get the ultimate honor the New York Yankees bestow on August 14. That’s when Mariano Rivera will get his plaque in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium before a game against the Rays.

There was some chatter in the last year or two about whether the Yankees were somehow lowering their standards out there, what with guys like Tino Martinez getting honored. But if that’s something you care about it won’t matter in this instance. Rivera would’ve been worthy even if the old snobby ways had held and only inner-circle types got a plaque, what with him being a key member of five World Series-winning teams and his status as the all-time saves leader in the regular season and the postseason.

The Yankees retired Rivera’s No. 42 in 2013. He’ll get his plaque in August. Then, on the first ballot for which he is eligible, he’ll be voted into the Hall of Fame, likely with a percentage in the mid-to-high 90s.

Dodgers “trying to trade” Alex Guerrero

Alex Guerrero
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Alex Guerrero is a potentially good right-handed bat without a position to play in Los Angeles, so Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reporting that the Dodgers are “trying to trade” him makes sense.

Guerrero, who signed with the Dodgers out of Cuba for $28 million in October of 2013, spent last season in the majors hitting .233 with 11 homers and a .695 OPS in a part-time role that generated 230 plate appearances. He logged a total of just 355 innings defensively, mostly as a left fielder and third baseman.

Guerrero could be intriguing–particularly to an American League team for whom his defense isn’t much of an issue–because he hit .329 with 15 homers and a 1.113 OPS in 65 games at Triple-A in 2014 and was consistently a .300 hitter with an OPS around 1.000 in Cuba. He’s also 29 years old, so Guerrero is no doubt looking to play regularly.

The New Zealand World Baseball Classic team performs the Haka

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It’s World Baseball Classic time again. Just the qualifying rounds. The actual tournament happens in 2017. Qualifiers will happen in Sydney, Australia, Mexicali, Mexico, Panama City, Panama and Brooklyn, N.Y., periodically, between now and September.

The Sydney round just got underway yesterday, so yes, some actual baseball is going on. As I’ve written and ranted before, the WBC is not my favorite thing that happens in baseball and certainly not the most important thing, but it’s pretty fun. Especially when there are displays of enthusiasm and pageantry and the like.

Such as the Haka, which basically every New Zealand sports team does and which never gets old:

 

Down in Sydney, the Australia, New Zealand, Philippines and South Africa teams are competing in a six-game, modified double-elimination format. In the other three qualifying rounds, Mexico, Czech Republic, Germany, Nicaragua, Colombia, France, Panama, Spain, Brazil, Great Britain, Israel and Pakistan will compete. Each qualifying round puts one representative in the WBC.

Those four qualifiers will compete in the WBC itself against countries that performed well enough in the past that they need not submit to qualifying: Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, United States and Venezuela.

Someone make sure Jon Morosi is well-hyrdrated. It’s gonna be a long year.

Yovani Gallardo and the Orioles are both “optimistic” about a deal

Yovani Gallardo
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Multiple reports Wednesday had the Orioles and free agent right-hander Yovani Gallardo deep in negotiations on a multi-year deal. Nothing has been finalized yet, but Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com says “both sides appear to be pretty optimistic still.”

Ghiroli adds that the “ball is in the Orioles’ court,” although that may simply reveal her likely source to be Gallardo’s agent. Whatever the case, Baltimore is apparently now willing to forfeit their first-round draft pick to sign Galllardo and he may lead to a domino effect in which they also forfeit a second-round draft pick to sign outfielder Dexter Fowler.

The idea being that if you’re going to cough up the 14th overall pick to sign a mid-level free agent with spring training right around the corner you might as well cough up a lower draft pick to sign a second one. Gallardo has shown signs of decline, including a big dip in strikeout rate, but he logged 184 innings with a 3.42 ERA for the Rangers last season.