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.

Pablo Sandoval had successful shoulder surgery

Boston Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval (48) prepares to hit during baseball spring training in Fort Myers, Fla. Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016.  (Corey Perrine/Naples Daily News via AP)  FORT MYERS OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT
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Pablo Sandoval underwent successful surgery today to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. The Red Sox said afterward that he will be out the remainder of 2016 and that they anticipate him being ready for 2017. That’s the official word, of course, on what many reported last night. But it’s nice that it’s official.

It’s also nice that the surgery was “successful.” Of course it’s always “successful” the day of the surgery. No one has ever released a statement saying “Shlabotnik had knee surgery today. It was an unmitigated disaster. Like, oh my god, you don’t want to know and I can’t even with this.” If there are problems, they’re always revealed later.

Here’s hoping there are no problems for Sandoval.

What’s on Tap: Previewing Tuesday’s action

New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey (33) delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds, Wednesday, April 27, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
AP Photo/Kathy Willens
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We’re back to a full slate of games on Tuesday night. The game to watch tonight, especially if you’re a fan of mismatches, is Braves-Mets. The Mets easily handled the Braves on Monday night, winning 4-1. The club blasted three home runs in the first inning off of Mike Foltynewicz, which is nearly as many homers as the Braves have hit all season (five). The Mets went on cruise control from there. Bartolo Colon finished with seven strikeouts over eight shutout innings. Jeurys Familia gave up a run but was able to reach the finish line.

The Braves are now 6-19, a game ahead of the Astros and Twins for the worst record in baseball. It’s not particularly shocking since the Braves have embraced tanking in their final year at Turner Field. How low can they go? The Atlanta record for losses in a season is 106 by the 1988 club. The 1935 Boston Braves went 38-115. The Braves’ current .240 winning percentage would rank as the worst in franchise history — including Atlanta, Boston, and Milwaukee — if the season were to end today.

Tuesday’s pitching match-up features Matt Wisler for the Braves and Matt Harvey for the Mets. The two will square off at 7:10 PM EDT at Citi Field tonight.

The rest of Tuesday’s action…

Detroit Tigers (Justin Verlander) @ Cleveland Indians (Josh Tomlin), 6:10 PM EDT

Chicago Cubs (Jake Arrieta) @ Pittsburgh Pirates (Jon Niese), 7:05 PM EDT

New York Yankees (Luis Severino) @ Baltimore Orioles (Chris Tillman), 7:05 PM EDT

Texas Rangers (Martin Perez) @ Toronto Blue Jays (Marco Estrada), 7:07 PM EDT

Arizona Diamondbacks (Patrick Corbin) @ Miami Marlins (Justin Nicolino), 7:10 PM EDT

Los Angeles Dodgers (Scott Kazmir) @ Tampa Bay Rays (Matt Moore), 7:10 PM EDT

San Francisco Giants (Jeff Samardzija) @ Cincinnati Reds (Jon Moscot), 7:10 PM EDT

Boston Red Sox (Steven Wright) @ Chicago White Sox (Jose Quintana), 8:10 PM EDT

Los Angeles Angels (Nick Tropeano) @ Milwaukee Brewers (Junior Guerra), 8:10 PM EDT

Minnesota Twins (Alex Meyer) @ Houston Astros (Collin McHugh), 8:10 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies (Aaron Nola) @ St. Louis Cardinals (Michael Wacha), 8:15 PM EDT

Washington Nationals (Tanner Roark) @ Kansas City Royals (Chris Young), 8:15 PM EDT

Seattle Mariners (Hisashi Iwakuma) @ Oakland Athletics (Sonny Gray), 10:05 PM EDT

Colorado Rockies (Eddie Butler) @ San Diego Padres (Andrew Cashner), 10:10 PM EDT

Bryce Harper signs the largest endorsement deal in MLB history

Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper pumps his fist as he takes a curtain call after he hit a grand slam during the third  inning of an baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Thursday, April 14, 2016, in Washington. This was Harper's 100th home run of his career. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)
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I figure it’s not that hard to sign the largest endorsement deal in baseball history. In the NBA? Sure. Those deals are insane. But in baseball? Man, we still have major leaguers doing quickie, video taped ads for local car dealerships and sandwich shops and stuff. It would mildly surprise me if I saw a third starter for a .500 team spinning and flipping one of those signs on a street corner near a new apartment complex some day, but I wouldn’t be utterly shocked. It’s just a different set of economics. You can’t really wear baseball shoes out around town. Cleats tend to scuff up the woodwork.

But Bryce Harper is different. He was barely in the league a year before I saw his giant underwear-clad butt in a big glossy ad while walking through the unmentionables department at Macy’s and his Under Armour ads are all over the place. Probably the closest thing we’ve seen to NBA-style shoe exposure in MLB, though it doesn’t quite compare.

It may one day, though: he has reportedly signed a 10-year extension with Under Armour that is believed to be the largest endorsement deal in history for a baseball player. Terms aren’t being disclosed, but they’re claiming that so it’s probably at least plausible.

Baseball players will still never be the kind of product-pushers other athletes are, but Harper is probably the closest thing it’ll get for a while. At the very least he can be the second or third banana in one of those commercials in which stars from various sports do things like shave, drink sports drinks and, I dunno, flex their quads while wearing compression gear. He can be Garfunkel to Steph Curry’s Simon. Or something.

Major League Baseball may cancel the upcoming Puerto Rico series due to Zika concerns

FILE - In this Jan. 27, 2016, file photo, Aedes aegypti mosquito larvae sit in a petri dish at the Fiocruz institute in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Even before the Zika virus reached crisis levels early this year, Brazil had trouble maintaining routine eradication efforts. An Associated Press investigation found that cities and states in Brazil’s northeast ran out of larvicide for several months last year. The Aedes aegypti mosquito are a vector for the spread of Zika virus. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
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Last month we wrote about how the Pirates and the Marlins are scheduled to play a series in Puerto Rico at the end of May. And how, due to an outbreak of Zika on the island, Pirates and Marlins players have voiced serious concerns. For, among other reasons, Zika precautions are such that those exposed should not engage in procreative sex for several months due to birth defects concerns and baseball players are at an age when doing stuff like having kids is a pretty important thing.

This afternoon Yahoo’s Jeff Passan reports that, while the official line is that the series will still be played, multiple sources with knowledge of the situation are telling him that it’s on “the brink of cancellation.”

It’s understandable though, as Passan notes, it makes politics — both baseball politics and regular politics — with Puerto Rico kind of uncomfortable. And then there’s the concern that Zika could spread to Florida and is already in other countries, which means that the Pirates-Marlins thing is something of a case of first impression which could set precedents beyond just baseball.

That’s understandable, but it’s also a set of concerns that are above the pay grade of baseball players. Personally, it’s hard to blame them for being wary. And this seems like some reasonable wariness, not hysteria.