And That Happened: Monday's scores and recaps

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Tigers 5, White Sox 4:
After the game, Ozzie Guillen was mad at his poor-performing team and
said this: “If this was the 1980s, [none] of these guys would be in the
big leagues right now, because if you hit .210-.230 and you can’t
execute, I don’t think you should be out here.” I was gonna be all
clever and make fun of Ozzie Guillen the player, but he never hit below
.245 in a full season as a starter. Not that he was good or anything —
in fact, he was quite awful with the bat — but he framed the argument
in terms of batting average, so I’ll let it slide. Other things that
wouldn’t be here if it was the 80s: U.S. Cellular Field; Ozzie
Guillen’s belly, and the grown up version of every player on the roster
short of Jose Contreras, who I think was born during the Ramón Grau
San Martin administration. The first term. Zing!

White Sox 6, Tigers 1:
On second thought, maybe I shouldn’t have made fun of Old Man Contreras
(8 IP, 1 H, 0 ER). Young Gordon Beckham, on the other hand, is now 0-13
to start off his career.

Rockies 5, Cardinals 2:
Jason Marquis wins his eighth, which leads the National League. This
has to be either evidence that wins don’t mean a thing, or evidence
that the talent gulf between the American and National Leagues is
larger than ever, because I sure as hell ain’t gonna admit that Jason
Marquis is any good. My out: maybe the Cardinals are just really bad.
They certainly are lately, as they were swept 4-0 buy Colorado, and
were outscored 33-9 in the process.

Marlins 4, Giants 0:
Sean West dominates the Giants (8 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 6K). In contrast,
Randy Johnson is now 0-1 for his career on short rest following the
achievement of significant milestone games during which he fell on his
ass while awkwardly fielding a dribbler to the mound. Seriously, you
can look it up.

Yankees 5, Rays 3:
Another hogshead of home runs in Yankee Stadium will no doubt have
people again wondering about the place again. The Yankees will no doubt
claim that the fences are the same distance from home plate as they
were in the old Stadium. And if you don’t believe them, they’ll let you
inspect the survey records, which have been on display down at Yankee
headquarters for the past nine months. They can be found down in the
cellar with the use of a flashlight, since the lights have gone. Be
careful, though, because so have the stairs. Anyway, they’re in the
bottom of a locked filing cabinet in a disused lavatory with a sign on
the door saying “Beware of the Leopard.” See for yourself.

Braves 7, Pirates 6:
Yet another marathon ends with Bobby Cox’s 2000th win with the Braves.
Listen to him boast about it after the game: “All it means is that
you’re getting old and you’ve been around too long.” Stay sassy, Bobby!
Nate McLouth had a nice game against his old mates. Whenever I see
something like this so quickly after a trade I wonder if the player’s
old team just hadn’t gotten around to changing the signs yet. Worth
noting that Andrew McCutchen had a better game. Not that this will stop
all of the Pirates fans from complaining about their team’s annual
selloff.

Blue Jays 6, Rangers 3:
Adam Lind jacks two dingers and has now matched his previous best for
homers in a season with 11, set in 2007. He’s also about 100 points of
OBP and 150 points of slugging ahead of where he was that year too.

Athletics 4, Twins 3:
The A’s extend their winning streak to seven, which is their longest in
three years. Scary moment for Aaron Cunningham, who was hit in the head
in the fourth inning. He stayed in the game for a while, but was
eventually taken to the hospital where he was diagnosed with a
concussion.

Padres 6, Diamondbacks 3:
Adrian Gonzalez is leading the majors in walks, and was given three
more free passes last night. This time Kevin Kouzmanoff — who hits
behind Gonzalez — made someone pay for it, driving in four runs.

A Mexican team wins the Caribbean Series for the third time in four years

Mexican players celebrate their victory in the Caribbean Series baseball final against Aragua Tigres of Venezuela, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. Designated hitter Jorge Vazquez hit a game-winning home run leading off the bottom of the ninth inning Sunday, lifting Mexico's Venados de Mazatlan to a 5-4 come-from-behind victory and the championship of the Caribbean Series. (AP Photo/Roberto Guzman)
Associated Press
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For those who aren’t familiar, Serie del Caribe, or the Caribbean Series, is the highest club level baseball tournament in Latin America, pitting the champions of the winter leagues in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela against one another in a bacchanalia of baseball that, if there was justice in the world, we’d all be watching instead of football.

This year’s installment ended last night with Mexico’s Mazatlan Venados beating Venezuela’s Aragua Tigres 5-4 in the final game at Estadio Quisqueya in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Jorge Vazquez — who Yankees fans may remember from a few years back — provided the winning margin when he hit a home run to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning.

This is the third Serie del Caribe title for a Mexican club in the past four years, with Naranjeros de Hermosillo winning in 2014 and Yaquis de Obregón winning in 2013. Pinar del Río from Cuba won it last winter. This is the first time the Venados have won it.

As we noted yesterday, this was longtime MLB starter Freddy Garcia‘s last game. He gave up four hits and allowed two earned runs over five and a third innings for the Tigres, getting a no-decision.

Report: Teams reluctant to gamble on Cliff Lee

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park Thursday, July 31, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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In Saturday’s column for the Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo suggests that free agent Cliff Lee is seeking a guaranteed major league deal between $6 and $8 million plus incentives. That is turning some otherwise interested teams away, as the lefty is still recovering from a torn flexor tendon in his left elbow. Lee hasn’t pitched since July 31, 2014.

Last month, Lee’s agent Darek Braunecker said the pitcher would need “a perfect fit” to pitch in 2016. He also noted that Lee has begun a full offseason throwing program.

In his most recent season, Lee compiled a 3.65 ERA with 72 strikeouts and 12 walks in 81 1/3 innings for the Phillies. The Phillies had signed him to a five-year, $120 million contract in December 2010 but declined a club option for the 2016 season, instead buying him out for $12.5 million.

Orioles reconsidering signing Yovani Gallardo

Yovani Gallardo
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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In an article for MASN on Friday, Steve Melewski noted that the Orioles were reluctant to forfeit their first round draft pick (14th overall) in order to sign free agent starter Yovani Gallardo. The club is now reconsidering its stance and rechecking the right-handers medicals, MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports.

Gallardo, who turns 30 on February 27, posted a 3.42 ERA with 121 strikeouts and 68 walks over 184 1/3 innings for the Rangers last season. The Rangers had acquired him in a trade with the Brewers, sending Luis Sardinas, Corey Knebel, and minor leaguer Marcos Diplan to Milwaukee.

Gallardo has posted an ERA below 4.00 in six of his last seven seasons. He remains unsigned into February, however, because his strikeout rate has rapidly decreased with each year since 2012. Per FanGraphs, that rate was 23.7 percent in 2012, then went to 18.6 percent, 17.9 percent, and 15.3 percent progressively. Some of that may have to do with diminishing fastball velocity, as Gallardo’s 90.4 MPH average marked a career low among his eight full seasons with at least 100 innings pitched.

The Orioles lost starter Wei-Yin Chen, who signed with the Marlins, and the back end of their rotation is highly speculative with Kevin Gausman, Mike Wright, Odrisamer Despaigne, and Tyler Wilson. Adding a veteran like Gallardo, even if he is apparently declining, may be stabilizing.

Freddy Garcia is calling it a career

Screenshot 2016-02-07 at 10.16.43 AM
Elsa/Getty Images North America
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MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez passes along word from the Dominican Republic that right-hander Freddy Garcia will hang up his cleats for good after Sunday’s Caribbean Series championship game.

Garcia will start that game for the Tigres de Aragua out of Venezuela. He’s taking on Mexico’s Venados de Mazatlan.

“Venezuelan fans are expecting something good from Freddy and so is everybody,” said Tigres de Aragua manager Eddie Perez, who also serves as the bullpen coach for the Atlanta Braves. “Knowing that it’s his last game is going to make it very special. We all hope he pitches a really good game so he can retire in a good way and bring the title for Venezuela. Everybody who is rooting for Venezuela expects him to do well.”

Garcia’s last major league game was in the 2013 postseason. The 39-year-0ld will finish with a 4.15 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 6.4 K/9 in 2,264 career regular-season innings. He had a 3.26 ERA in 11 playoff starts, winning a World Series title with the White Sox in 2005.