And That Happened: Thursday scores and recaps

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Braves 7, Reds 0: Tommy Hanson shuts out the Reds over six
innings. Not that he was brilliant or anything. He threw a lot of
pitches, got into jams and all of the kind of stuff you see young kids
do. But it’s all good, because even when he’s been getting lit up like
a pinball machine, he has continued to play this game with fear and
ignorance. No wait, arrogance.

Padres 4, Mariners 3: The Padres jump on Adrian Gonzalez’s back
(4-4, 2B, HR, 2 RBI) and finally win an interleague game. Don Wakamatsu
on pitching to Gonzalez: “He ends up hitting a home run and a double
when we are trying to pitch around him. That is the most frustrating
part.” Chris Jakubauskas on pitching to Gonzalez: “I wasn’t trying to
pitch around him.” OK, someone’s lying and no one is leaving this room
until we find out who it is.

Rockies 4, Rays 3: Jim Tracy on Ubaldo Jiminez: “Ubaldo is a guy
who is beginning to find his niche. I still believe there’s still
another step on the ladder that he aspires to take and that is to
become a bona fide ace-stopper type starting pitcher in the Rockies
rotation.” That was his real postgame quote? It sounds like a book
blurb or a marketing statement or something. I think the “in the
Rockies’ rotation” is what sealed it. It just sounds weird. Does Tracy
really talk like that?

Astros 5, Rangers 3: I was trying to make a funny yesterday when
I said that the loser of this series wins the State of Texas. I guess
it wasn’t too funny, though, because someone emailed me to tell me that
I was being both ignorant and disrespectful. That’s nothing new, but at
least the emailer educated me a bit. The winner of this series wins “The Silver Boot.”
It’s a a 30-inch tall, size-15 cowboy boot cast in silver, complete
with a custom, hand-made spur. How very college football of them. I
wonder if the Rangers, who once again won the Silver Boot, came running
out of the dugout after the game, grabbed the boot and started whooping
it up like Wisconsin does with that axe after they beat Minnesota and vice-versa.

Tigers 6, Cardinals 3: Magglio rode the pine, and will continue to do so “indefinitely” according to Jim Leyland.
His replacement, Ryan Rayburn, was 0-3 and struck out twice. Game
story: “Albert Pujols grounded out as a pinch hitter for hot-hitting
rookie Colby Rasmus in the seventh and played first base the rest of
the game and flied out in the ninth. La Russa wanted to get him a day
off, plus he has a sore ankle.” Two at bats and a couple of innings in
the field doesn’t sound like much of a day off to me, but then again,
I’m not a genius like Tony La Russa.

Twins 5, Pirates 1: Nick Blackburn (CG, 6 H, 1 ER) was the man,
as he basically has been in the Twins rotation all year. After the
game, pitching coach Rick Anderson said “He’s basically been the
stabilizer.” So, is Blackburn’s new nickname “gelatin” or
“carrageenan?” That’s a little food additive humor for ya. Additives —
NOT preservatives.

Nationals 3, Yankees 0: A five and a half hour rain delay?
Really? Waiting around for this game to start lasted longer than the
travel and suit-up time a makeup game would have taken. This is fun too
“about 10,000 people were sprinkled around the ballpark for the first
pitch. When the Yankees announced fans could move down, there was a
stampede toward the $2,625 seats in the front row. By the end, the
upper deck and bleachers were virtually empty.” Part of me hopes that
the peasants ransacked the manor houses while their owners were away.

Blue Jays 8, Phillies 7: Rod Barajas hits the game winning home
run in the ninth. Apparently Barajas is hated in Philly despite having
played there for only one season and despite being Rod Barajas. Anyone
care to educate me as to the reason for the ire? Because from where I’m
sitting, this is the equivalent of Braves fans hating Paul Bako or
Charlie O’Brien or someone. How can the response to a guy like Barajas
— who played all of 48 games for the Phillies — be anything other
than slightly peeved indifference?

Orioles 5, Mets 4: Francisco Rodriguez and his tired act came
into the game to lock things down in the ninth, except they didn’t get
locked down. Matt Wieters doubled to kick things off. Dave Trembley
then sent in a pinch runner for him, and was amazingly allowed to live.
The pinch runner scored, so maybe it was all willed by Wieters that way
to begin with. In any event, an Adam Jones bases-loaded walk followed
by an Aubrey Huff liner ended the proceedings.

Cubs 6, White Sox 5: A wild come from behind win by the Cubbies.
Down 5-1 in the eighth, Derek Lee hit a three-run homer followed by a
solo shot from Geovany Soto to tie things up. In the ninth it was
Alfonso Soriano with an RBI single. If he didn’t get that, I wouldn’t
have been surprised to see Piniella give him the Magglio Ordonez
treatment.

Marlins 2, Red Sox 1: They called this one early due to rain.
Because it was the Red Sox, however, the game still took three hours
and twenty-six minutes.

Diamondbacks 12, Royals 5: After two great starts following his
second callup, Luke Hochevar reverted to May form, giving up seven runs
on nine hits in four innings. Danny Haren, meanwhile, held the Royals
to two runs on seven hits, struck out six and didn’t issue a walk in
seven innings.

Dodgers 3, A’s 2: Randy Wolf pitched well but got another
no-decision. Pfun Pfact: Vin Mazzaro is the first A’s pitcher with two
sacrifices in one game since Ken Holtzman on Aug. 27, 1972. I hate the
DH.

Padres sign Trevor Cahill

Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Trevor Cahill (53) during the seventh inning of Game 3 in baseball's National League Division Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, Monday, Oct. 12, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
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The Padres have signed Trevor Cahill to a one-year, $1.75 million contract.

As recently as the middle of the 2015 season it looked like Cahill’s career would meet a premature end, but after being released by the Braves and signing with the Cubs in August of that season he has been a remarkably effective reliever. He has posted a 2.61 ERA in 61 games in Chicago and has posted a strikeout rate far above his career norms.

He’s not someone you necessarily want taking the hill when the leverage is high, but in San Diego the leverage won’t be all that high all that often.

Justin Verlander: “I’m too old to be part of a rebuilding process”

DETROIT, MI - JULY 20: Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers pitches in the eighth inning of the game against the Minnesota Twins on July 20, 2016 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
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The Tigers have sent some mixed signals this winter. The offseason began with widespread reports that GM Al Avila was going to break up the team. Indeed, it was reported that he was willing to field offers for any and all players, on up to Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera.

As the offseason has unfolded, however, a rebuild has not materialized.

Avila traded away outfielder Cameron Maybin. He signed old friends Omar Infante and Alex Avila. He made the usual sorts of minor league signings every team makes to fill out the roster. Detroit still needs a center fielder and there continue to be rumors that outfielder J.D. Martinez and second baseman Ian Kinsler could be had for the right price, but it’s been pretty quiet at 2100 Woodward Avenue.

If that changes, however, and the Tigers do start to rebuild, there’s one key member of the team who doesn’t really want a part of it. From the Detroit Free Press:

Justin Verlander is 33 years and 330 days old.

He’s not that old.

But the Detroit Tigers ace right-hander – a 12-year major league veteran – is old enough in baseball years to know that he doesn’t really want to be part of a rebuilding process.

“Would it have been upsetting for me if we started trading away everybody?” he told MLB Network Radio on Friday morning. “I’m too old to be part of a rebuilding process.”

Verlander will make $28 million a year for each of the next three seasons and has a vesting option for 2020 if he finishes in the top 5 of the 2019 Cy Young vote. He had an excellent return-to-form in 2016, but his contract is still pretty big for a pitcher with his mileage, making it seem unlikely that he would be moved absent the team eating a huge portion of his salary. The same could be said for Miguel Cabrera who, despite still being one of the best hitters in baseball, is making between $28-32 million between now and 2023. A wonderful player, but an extraordinarily difficult contract to move. Both superstars have full no-trade protection as 10-5 men as well.

At the moment the rebuild does not seem to be materializing and the Tigers — as I think they should, probably — will enter 2017 aiming for the AL Central crown, not aiming at restocking their farm system.

But what will Verlander think, however, if the Tigers find themselves out of contention come May? What will he think if Ian Kinsler — a valuable player on a tradable contract — is sold off? Or Justin Upton? Or J.D. Martinez?

It’s worth watching.