And That Happened: Tuesday's scores and recaps

Leave a comment

Royals 2, Astros 1:
The legend goes that Zack Greinke fell in love with an Earth woman.
Deciding that he wanted to be with her, he chose to undergo the
irreversible process of immersing himself in the red Kyptonian
sunlight, stripping him of his super powers. After three or four weeks
of being mortal, however, he realized that he needed to trek back to
the Fortress of Solitude to see if he couldn’t get his powers back. It
all worked out in the end, as Greinke returned to Planet Houston and
defeated his enemies in impressive style (8 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 5K). Only
hitch: Brian Bannister still knew his secret identity when it was all
over, so they had to engage in a very awkward kiss to set everything
back the way it was.

Braves 4, Yankees 0:
The book on the Yankees is that they are nearly powerless when facing
rookie or, at the very least, unfamiliar starters. I don’t know if
that’s actually true, but it certainly seems it, and getting shutout by
rookie Tommy Hanson and a gaggle of relievers doesn’t help the
perception any. Sad thing is that Wang actually pitched better than
Hanson in some respects, so at least that’s something for the Yankees
to build on. In other news, Braves’ catcher Brian McCann continues to
be astounding (3-4, 2B, HR 2 RBI) and has no business trailing Yadier
Molina in the All-Star voting right now.

Phillies 10, Rays 1:
Unlike the Yankees, the Phillies seem to have no such trouble against
rookie pitchers, and they roughed David Price the hell up (4.1 IP, 7 H,
10 R). Only five of those runs were earned due to three Rays’ errors,
but it’s not like Price wasn’t smacked around, because he clearly was.

Dodgers 5, White Sox 4:
Early Wynn was knocked out of the box, well, early, giving up four runs
on eight hits in two and two thirds. Roger Craig wasn’t any great
shakes himself (7 IP, 10 H, 4 R) but between that and a homer and an
RBI single from Hodges, it was enough. Next it’ll be the youngster
Koufax facing off against Bob Shaw two nights from now back in Chicago.
If he can pull it off, the Dodgers will have won their first title
since moving to Los Angeles. Turning to business news, General Motors
announced today that it foresees profits for the next century at the
very least, and anticipates that Flint, Michigan will soon rival New
York, London and Paris in wealth, prosperity and opulence.

Red Sox 11, Nationals 3:
Over 41,000 in attendance in Nationals Park on a Tuesday night? Yep,
Boston must be in town. Jason Bay (4-6, HR 3 RBI) made the interlopers
happy, and Brad Penny continued to show would be trade partners that
he’s basically a five inning pitcher, even if he’s becoming an
increasingly effective one. Give up value at your own risk.

Tigers 5, Cubs 4:
Magglio Ordonez got the start after riding the pine for four games,
goes 0-2 and is lifted for a pinch runner, and then later the guy who
has been starting in his place hits a two-run, come-from-behind walkoff
homer. I suspect that it’s back to the pine for Magglio.

Indians 5, Pirates 4: There was an article yesterday about how one could conceivably get pumped up
for what looks to be such a blah series between two blah teams. I don’t
know if I buy a lot of them, but I can definitely buy the
Cleveland-Pittsburgh rivalry thing. It’s slanted way east in football,
but baseball could maybe spice it up a bit, no? After all, Cleveland is
way closer to Pittsburgh than it is to its putative interleague rival,
the Reds, and Cleveland and Pittsburgh have more in common with one
another from a cultural and demographic standpoint than Cleveland and
Cincinnati do.

Marlins 7, Orioles 6:
Two counts of bullpen malpractice. Count I: against Danys Baez for
allowing five runs on four hits in the seventh. Count II: against a
quartet of Fish relievers that immediately turned around and blew that
lead in the eighth and ninth. Jorge Cantu singled in the winning run in
the twelfth, but that can be blamed on the pen too, as Brian Bass
walked Emilio Bonafacio for some strange reason, then uncorked a wild
pitch to allow him to get to second before Cantu did his thing. Pfun
Pfact: by the year 2017, use of the term “uncorked” in the wild pitch
context will exceed its use in the wine context for the first time in
recorded history. If you don’t believe me, you can look it up.

Cardinals 3, Mets 0:
Joel Pinero shuts the Mets down with a two hit shutout. He had two hits
on his own too, which really rubbed the Mets noses in it, no? And the
Mets didn’t even make him work a little it: he threw 100 pitches even
and this one was over in two hours and thirteen minutes.

Twins 7, Brewers 3:
It was a victory just getting this game played at home given the damage
last week’s flooding caused at Miller Park, so let’s call this a split
for the Brewers. Joe Mauer goes 0-5, knocking him down below .400 for
the first time this season. Apropos of nothing, I’ll note that
knuckleballer R.A. Dickey is sporting a 2.43 ERA on the season.

Blue Jays 7, Reds 5: Joey Votto returns. He only goes 1-4, but as Bob wrote earlier this morning,
he could have taken a golden sombrero and it wouldn’t have made a
difference, because the mere fact that he’s playing ball after what
he’s gone through is a triumph.

Padres 9, Mariners 7:
With the exception of one inning, Chad Gaudin pitched excellently (7
IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 11K) then had to bite his nails as reliever Greg Burke
did his best to throw it all away.

Diamondbacks 8, Rangers 2:
The season may already be lost for Arizona, but Max Scherzer (6 IP, 7
H, 2 ER) and Justin Upton (2-4, 2B, HR, 3 RBI) at least provide a
bright future.

Angels 4, Rockies 3:
This win, combined with the Rangers loss, puts the Angels into a first
place tie. There was a point in April where that seemed impossible, but
it seems that anything is possible in the AL West.

Giants 4, A’s 1: Lincecawesome! (CG, 7 H, 1 ER, 12K). OK, that was probably uncalled for.

James Shields lasts only 2 2/3 innings, gives up 10 runs to the Mariners

SEATTLE, WA - MAY 31:  Starting pitcher James Shields #33 of the San Diego Padres pitches against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning at Safeco Field on May 31, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
2 Comments

James Shields has had better afternoons. The Padres’ starter couldn’t make it out of the third inning on Tuesday, ultimately serving up 10 runs on eight hits and four walks with one strikeout in 2 2/3 innings. The Mariners plated one run in the first inning, six in the second, and three in the third against Shields.

The runs came via, in order: a Kyle Seager RBI single, a bases loaded walk to Robinson Cano, a Nelson Cruz two-run single, a three-run Seager home run, and a three-run Seth Smith home run. Things continued to get worse once Shields left, as reliever Luis Perdomo gave up a two-run home run to Franklin Gutierrez in the fourth to make it 12-0. In the fifth, Smith homered again with the bases empty, and Adam Lind later drilled a three-run shot, pushing the score to 16-0.

The White Sox were reportedly discussing a trade involving Shields with the Padres as recently as Sunday. Shields entered Tuesday’s start with a 3.06 ERA and a 56/23 K/BB ratio in 64 2/3 innings. Presumably, a team wouldn’t let one start affect its interest in a player, but Shields’ outing certainly doesn’t help.

Atlanta Braves trade reliever Jason Grilli to the Toronto Blue Jays

ATLANTA, GA - MAY 28: Jason Grilli #39 of the Atlanta Braves throws an eighth inning pitch against the Miami Marlins at Turner Field on May 28, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
5 Comments

Multiple reporters including Robert Murray of Baseball Essential, Mark Bowman of MLB.com and David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution report that the Atlanta Braves are trading reliever Jason Grilli to the Toronto Blue Jays for a prospect. Murray says the prospect is minor league reliever Sean Ratcliffe

Grilli is having a subpar year but was a more or less effective closer last season. For 2016 he’s got a 5.29 ERA in 21 appearances and has a K/BB ratio of 23/13 in 17 innings. Nice strikeout total, but oof those walks. Last year he saved 24 games for a bad Braves team and posted a 2.94 ERA, struck out batters at the same rate and walked many fewer. Maybe a change of scenery and an adjustment would do him good.

Ratcliffe was an 18th round pick in 2013 for Toronto. He has only played in rookie ball and low A. He hasn’t pitched yet in 2016. Nothing in his previous three seasons shouts “great prospect” but you never know.

Jose Bautista: Rougned Odor “tried a hundred percent to hit me in the face.”

ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 15:  Adrian Beltre #29 of the Texas Rangers holds Jose Bautista #19 of the Toronto Blue Jays after being punched by Rougned Odor #12 in the eighth inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on May 15, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
7 Comments

Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista is still convinced that Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor was “looking for a fight” on May 15, when the two teams butted heads at Globe Life Park. Bautista also believes he deserves credit for not hurting Odor.

Ostensibly, the Rangers were still salty about Bautista’s bat flip during the ALDS last year. In the last game of the series — and the clubs’ last regular season meeting — on May 15, pitcher Matt Bush hit Bautista in the ribs with a fastball. When Justin Smoak hit a ground ball prime for a double play attempt, Bautista slid hard into Odor receiving the feed at second base. Odor then punched Bautista cleanly in the face, and the benches emptied.

Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated has the quotes:

“Was [Odor] out to play baseball that day? Maybe partly,” Bautista told Verducci. “Part of me also thinks that he was looking for a fight.”

[…]

“I could have hit him,” Bautista said. “I could have hurt him. I chose not to. My cleats were down. I slid through the bag. Was it late? Yes, a hundred percent. But what can I do after they hit me? Should I ask my manager to let me pitch, which he is never going to let me do? Like, what am I supposed to do? Just sit there and take it?”

[…]

“I’ve been playing baseball for a long time,” Bautista said. “I know exactly what he was trying to do when he threw the ball. He tried a hundred percent to hit me in the face. And it’s not the first time he’s done it against me or some of my teammates. And there’s video to prove that.”

Bautista received a one-game suspension which was upheld upon review. Odor’s eight-game suspension was reduced to seven games which Bautista believes was “unfounded” and “unfair.”

What’s on Tap: Previewing Tuesday’s action

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 25: Starting pitcher Steven Matz #32 of the New York Mets works the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on May 25, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Welcome back to normalcy. Most of us were treated to a three-day holiday weekend for Memorial Day. Hopefully you spent it doing what makes you happy.

We have two afternoon starts today between the Astros and Diamondbacks, and the Padres and Mariners. The focus tonight will be on the fading White Sox, losers of seven consecutive games. They lost three out of four to the Indians, were swept by the Royals in heartbreaking fashion, and lost Monday’s series opener to the Mets behind seven shutout frames from the struggling Matt Harvey.

In tonight’s 7:05 game at Citi Field, the White Sox have to contend with Steven Matz, who has been nothing short of brilliant in eight starts this season. The lefty owns a 2.36 ERA with a 50/9 K/BB ratio in 49 2/3 innings. In a rotation that has heavy star power in Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, and Jacob deGrom, it’s easy to overlook Matz. Meanwhile, the White Sox will counter with Mat Latos. Latos got off to a great start, putting up a 0.74 ERA over his first four starts. In the five starts since, however, has a 7.09 ERA. The advanced stats made Latos’ fall to earth easy to predict — overall, he has a rather unimpressive 26/18 K/BB ratio — but he was giving the White Sox rotation longevity after Chris Sale and Jose Quintana.

The rest of Tuesday’s action…

Texas Rangers (Colby Lewis) @ Cleveland Indians (Corey Kluber), 6:10 PM EDT

Boston Red Sox (Eduardo Rodriguez) @ Baltimore Orioles (Kevin Gausman), 7:05 PM EDT

Washington Nationals (Joe Ross) @ Philadelphia Phillies (Aaron Nola), 7:05 PM EDT

New York Yankees (CC Sabathia) @ Toronto Blue Jays (J.A. Happ), 7:07 PM EDT

Pittsburgh Pirates (Gerrit Cole) @ Miami Marlins (Jose Fernandez), 7:10 PM EDT

San Francisco Giants (Jake Peavy) @ Atlanta Braves (Matt Wisler), 7:10 PM EDT

Los Angeles Dodgers (Scott Kazmir) @ Chicago Cubs (Jake Arrieta), 8:05 PM EDT

St. Louis Cardinals (Mike Leake) @ Milwaukee Brewers (Wily Peralta), 8:10 PM EDT

Tampa Bay Rays (Drew Smyly) @ Kansas City Royals (Dillon Gee), 8:15 PM EDT

Cincinnati Reds (Jon Moscot) @ Colorado Rockies (Jon Gray), 8:40 PM EDT

Detroit Tigers (Anibal Sanchez) @ Los Angeles Angels (Hector Santiago), 10:05 PM EDT

Minnesota Twins (Tyler Duffey) @ Oakland Athletics (Eric Surkamp), 10:05 PM EDT