And That Happened: Tuesday's scores and recaps

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Tigers 7, White Sox 6:
A bullpen collapse in the ninth inning for the Tigers transformed a
relatively easy win into an extra innings salvage job, but Detroit will
take it. OK, maybe “easy” isn’t the right word, because this game
featured yet another lackluster Dontrelle Willis start. Disastrous? No,
but I don’t know that giving up three run on five hits with five walks
in five innings is good enough to keep giving Dontrelle Willis turns in
the rotation. The last few times out he did OK the first time through
the lineup, so maybe they should give him a go in the pen. I mean,
given what happened in this game, it’s not like anyone else out there
is so deserving of their job.

Marlins 4, Cardinals 3:
That’s five straight losses for St. Louis, which isn’t a common
occurrence. That they lost with Chris Carpenter on the hill is even
more uncommon. That Albert Pujols is 0 for his last 15 goes beyond
uncommon and into the realm of the eschatology.

Angels 4, Rays 3:
Another close loss for the Rays. They’re 29-31, yet they’ve outscored
their opponents 330-284, which should translate to a record roughly
five games better than they’ve got. Not that life is fair or anything.
I went bald at 25 and Leonardo DiCaprio has castoffs that look like this, so I’m not going to sit and cry for the Rays’ bad luck.

Orioles 3, Mariners 1:
Is it just me, or have these two teams been playing each other
constantly for, like, three weeks? Brad Bergesen certainly acted as if
he was sick of the Mariners, dispatching them with nary a run scoring
over eight innings. When the Orioles scored in the first, it was their
first lead in 35 innings.

Mets 6, Phillies 5:
That stupid New York bandbox allowed seven home runs. Man, they really
need to do something about — er, what’s that? This was in Citi Field?
I thought that was Yellowstone East? Well, then, it must have been some
meat pitcher hurling fat pitches — er, what’s that? Johan Santana was
on the mound for the Mets? When you combine this with the Pujols thing,
I’m pretty sure we experienced two of the seven signs last night.

Braves 4, Pirates 3:
Braves win, blah, blah, blah. The best news was that Jeff Francoeur was
benched, showing up only to play defense in the ninth. That’s the kind
of player deployment I can get behind.

Red Sox 7, Yankees 0:
Beckett allows nothin’ but a piddling infield hit and David Ortiz of
all people hit a shot over the centerfield wall. The Yankees are now
0-6 against Boston this season.

Indians 8, Royals 4: And with that, the Royals are back in last place. Maybe the tide is turning on that whole apocalypse thing.

Blue Jays 9, Rangers 0:
A two-hit shutout over seven innings for Brian Tallet shut the Rangers
down. Ian Kinsler (0-4) has seen his OPS drop over 100 points since the
middle of May.

Rockies 3, Brewers 2: The Rockies have won six in a row. Milwaukee had no baserunners after the fourth inning.

Cubs 7, Astros 1: A ninth inning Lance Berkman home run was all the Astros could muster. Maybe they were just tired. I mean, I assume that Drayton McClane doesn’t allow the players to bring in their own energy bars and Gatorade into the game, so it’s a given that they’re going to flag as the season wears on.

Reds 3, Nationals 2: Johnny Cueto (7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER) is putting together one hell of a season that no one is really talking about.

Dodgers 6, Padres 4:
Andre Either smacks two dingers, thus imperiling that whole “drive in a
zillion runs while only hitting a handful of homers” thing. Not that I
suppose he cares.

Giants 9, Diamondbacks 4:
Pablo Sandoval had four hits and drove in three runs and Matt Cain
sucked it up on a night when he didn’t have his best stuff working.

Twins 10, A’s 5:
A laugher until the ninth, when Gardenhire, letting Scott Baker try to
finish off a shutout, had to use three different bullpen arms to
staunch the bleeding. The heart of the A’s order — the third through
seventh batters — went 0-for-16 with seven strikeouts.

Tigers in discussions with Jordan Zimmermann

Jordan Zimmermann
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Tigers are in discussions with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. His sources have told him that the talks have become “serious”.

Zimmermann, 29, has a career 3.32 ERA across parts of seven seasons in the majors. He finished fifth in National League Cy Young Award balloting in 2014, finishing with a 2.66 ERA and a 182/29 K/BB ratio over 199 2/3 innings.

Among starters who have amassed at least 1,000 innings since 2009, only Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Madison Bumgarner, and Zack Greinke have compiled a better strikeout-to-walk ratio than Zimmermann’s 4.09. While he doesn’t have the star power of other free agents such as Greinke or David Price, the Tigers would certainly improve their rotation by bringing him on board.

Blue Jays still focused on upgrading their pitching

Marco Estrada
AP Photo/LM Otero

Having already added Jesse Chavez and J.A. Happ to the mix and re-signing Marco Estrada early in the offseason, Blue Jays interim GM Tony LaCava said the team will continue to pursue pitching upgrades, as Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports. Nicholson-Smith added that LaCava declined to comment on free agent ace David Price. It is believed that the Jays will not pursue Price and other big-name free agent starting pitchers given their November activity.

The Jays re-signed Estrada to a two-year, $26 million deal on November 13, acquired Chavez from the Athletics in exchange for reliever Liam Hendriks on November 20 and signed Happ to a three-year, $36 million deal on Friday.

Nicholson-Smith notes in a column on Sportsnet that the Jays need to address the bullpen in particular. That is especially true after swapping Hendriks, who had a career-best 2.92 ERA out of the Jays’ bullpen in 2015, for a back-end starting pitcher.

Report: Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”

Jonathan Papelbon
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports spoke to an anonymous baseball executive, who said that Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”. The Nationals are hoping to trade both Papelbon and the man he displaced, Drew Storen.

Papelbon has a poor reputation in baseball, particularly after a dugout altercation with superstar outfielder Bryce Harper. Focusing strictly on what he does on the field, Papelbon still gets the job done. The 35-year-old finished the last season with a combined 2.13 ERA, 24 saves, and a 56/12 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings between the Phillies and Nationals.

The Nationals owe Papelbon $11 million for the 2016 season.

Minor league home run king Mike Hessman retires

NEW YORK - JULY 29:  Mike Hessman #19 of the New York Mets bats against the St. Louis Cardinals on July 29, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Cardinals 4-0.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper reports that corner infielder Mike Hessman has retired from professional baseball after 20 seasons. Hessman hit 433 home runs in the minor leagues, an all-time record. He broke Buzz Arlett’s record this past August and with style as #433 was a grand slam.

Hessman, 37, was selected in the 16th round of the 1996 draft by the Braves and remained with the organization through the 2004 season. He then went to the Tigers from 2005-09, the Mets in 2010, then drifted into the Astros and Reds’ farm systems before returning to the Tigers for the last two years.

Hessman took 250 plate appearances at the major league level, batting .188/.272/.422 with 14 home runs and 33 RBI.