And That Happened: Wednesday's scores and recaps

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Marlins 5, Orioles 2: Ricky Nolasco has been a completely
different pitcher since his little jaunt to New Orleans to get his
pyloric valve opened or whatever the hell is was. In his four starts
since his return, he’s given up two earned runs, two earned runs, one
earned run and last night zero earned runs. Good thing too, for if he
did not find a job, he no doubt would have been arrested for vagrancy.

White Sox 10, Dodgers 7: Randy Wolf had nada and Cory Wade’s
“relief” pitching was anything but. By the time they were done it was a
9-3 game that was for all practical purpose over. But this loss is
morally justified. I mean, how dare the Dodgers be allowed to
play when Manny Ramirez should be suspended? It’s a slap in the face,
that’s what it is. If a kid gets suspended from school, do they not
burn the building down as a lesson to others? If a soldier is caught
hording rations, do the generals not summarily execute the whole
platoon? I know it’s in the rules that the Dodgers still get to play
ballgames, but it shouldn’t be. They should all have their contracts
voided and be forced to sell linoleum at Color Tile or something. Won’t
someone think of the children?

Mets 11, Cardinals 0: Let me get this straight: David Wright —
the guy who went 4 for 4 last night and is sitting at .356/.444/.510 is
a guy Mets’ fans have been complaining about for a good portion of the
season? I’ll never understand New York baseball. Cardinals pitchers, by
the way, combined to strike out exactly zero Mets.

Rays 7, Phillies 1: Pat Burrell’s two-run homer in the second
proved to be all of the offense the Rays needed, but he picked up an
another RBI anyway. I’m not sure what Phillies’ fans think of that, but
I’d kind of like to think that they’re happy that Matt Stairs is
getting some playing time now, which he wouldn’t be if Burrell had hung
around. Who doesn’t root for Matt Stairs?

Pirates 10, Indians 6: Workers on the “Carl Pavano for Comeback
Player of the Year” campaign feel today how the folks at the McCain
campaign felt the day after the Katie Couric-Sarah Palin interviews
aired.

Blue Jays 8, Reds 2: Aaron Hill, Adam Lind and Vernon Wells all
homered off of Bronson Arroyo in the first and Scott Richmond pitched
seven strong innings in what was never really a contest.

Red Sox 6, Nationals 4: Papi went 2-3 with a homer and 3 RBI —
including the 1000th of his career — as the Red Sox take the second
game in this home-away-from-home series (41,000+ once again, and most
of ’em weren’t Nats’ fans). Red Sox’ hitting coach Dave Magadan was
ejected for arguing balls and strikes. How does that even happen? If
you’re Francona, don’t you tell Magadan to sit down and shut up? Or was
it one of those deals where Magadan just called the ump that name
you’re not allowed to call umps from the dugout?

Brewers 4, Twins 3: Great moments in defensive decision-making:
The Twins are ahead 3-2 in the eighth when J.J. Hardy singles and Jason
Kendall hits a double scoring Hardy. Except the relay throw skipped by
Joe Mauer, so Kendall went to third. Nick Blackburn was backing up
Mauer, and rather than just eat the ball and face the pitcher’s slot in
the order, whips the ball back towards third to try and get the
advancing Kendall. Ball goes wide, Kendall goes home, and that’s
basically the ballgame.

Tigers 5, Cubs 3: That’s six straight for Detroit, as they
extend their lead to five games over the Twins. Contrary to what I said
yesterday, Magglio Ordonez did get the start, and before the game he pulled a Vlad, cutting off his hair. Result: 2-4. Screw science, I say causation, not mere correlation.

Yankees 8, Braves 4: Things were going smoothly for Atlanta
until Kawakami was nailed on a comebacker off the bat of Joba
Chamberlain. I missed it — I was reading “Tip-Tip, Dig-Dig” to
ShysterBoy at the time — and I’m kind of glad I did. He was hit on the
base of the neck, which as recent history has shown, is a pretty
dangerous place to be hit. Jeff Francoeur hit a homer for the Braves,
but don’t worry, he still sucks.

Royals 4, Astros 3: Miguel Olivo may be on pace for 168
strikeouts against six walks, but he hits a homer once in a while too,
and the one he hit in the 11th inning last night won the game.

Rangers 2, Diamondbacks 1: Danny Haren can’t buy a break, as he
once again pitches well with little run support. The Rangers snap their
losing streak at five and remain in first place by the skin of their
teeth.

Mariners 4, Padres 3: Brandon Morrow the starter had his longest
and best go of it yet (5 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 4K). Yuniesky Betancourt
injured his hamstring and will be out for a while. The game story casts
this a negative. I have this feeling some Mariners fans may not feel
quite the same way.

Giants 6, A’s 3: The Unit, who gave up one run on six hits,
struck out six and walked one in seven innings, looks pretty good
sandwiched in between Lincecum and Cain these days. I don’t know that
the Giants have enough offense to get there, but they could be a
dangerous team to face in a short series should they sng the Wild Card.

Angels 11, Rockies 3: Just yesterday, Rob Neyer said that Jason
Marquis was about to turn into a pumpkin due to his poor strikeout
rate. Looks like it’s midnight (3.1 IP, 9 H, 8 R). Yeah, he struck out
four in those 3.1 innings, but it’s probably because the Angels were
coming out of the shows to swing at that hittable stuff. Vald-the-bald,
by the way: 2-5, 2B, HR, 3 RBI. Let’s hear it for short hair!

Josh Hamilton has knee surgery, out 2-3 months

ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 24:  Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers in the dugout before a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on July 24, 2015 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Jonathan Moore/Getty Images)
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Josh Hamilton is not and never was a key part of the 2017 Texas Rangers plans. He was in camp and under contract and had at least a chance to make the team, but the Rangers fate as a ballclub did not depend on him. It would merely be nice for them if he revealed that he had a bit left in the tank and if he could, like a lot of other superstars in baseball history, give them one last season of decent production in part time play as a matter of depth and flexibility.

As such, this development is more unfortunate for Josh Hamilton and those who root for him than it is for the Rangers as a club, but it is unfortunate all the same:

That’s the fourth surgery he’s had on that knee in less than two years and the 11th knee surgery he’s had overall in his baseball career. It’s sad to say but safe to say that Hamilton’s days in baseball are numbered if not over completely. At some point an athlete’s body can only take so much.

Reid Brignac is trying to become a switch hitter

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Reid Brignac #4 of the Atlanta Braves poses on photo day at Champion Stadium on February 26, 2016 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.

I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.

I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.

As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.

There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.