And That Happened: Sunday's scores and recaps

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Reds 8, Indians 1:
It was Brandon Phillips’ birthday and he beat up his old team to
celebrate (3-5, 3 RBI). But he overplayed it: “It’s good to have a game
like I did today, especially on my birthday and against the guys you
used to play for. Today, I was like, ‘I’m going to show the Indians
what they missed out on.'” Please, Brandon. They gave you 462 major
league plate appearances and you gave them .206/.246/.310. They also
gave you parts of four seasons in Buffalo, and you gave them
269/.329/.411. It’s nice of you to show them what they missed out on,
but maybe if you had showed some of it, oh, 5, 6, 7 years ago, you’d be
the starting second baseman for the Indians today. But happy birthday

Braves 2, Red Sox 1:
Look, you can spin it any way you want to, Boston fans, but you got
beat by a kid with a mullet yesterday. But he’s a good kid. Hanson’s
last three starts: 17.1 IP, 9 hits, 0 ER. And that ain’t against no
tomato cans, neither: that’s against the Red Sox, the Yankees, and the
Reds in that playpen they call a ballpark.

Yankees 4, Mets 2:
Mariano Rivera got his 500th save. More impressive: he drew a
bases-loaded walk, giving him his first career RBI in 15 seasons.
Francisco Rodriguez gave it up, which in some cosmic way illustrates
the vast gulf between those two pitchers in my mind. How do you walk
Mariano Rivera? Nerves is all I can think, and you can bet your ass
that if the situation was reversed, Rivera would never have walked
Rodriguez, because Rivera’s body temperature runs at a constant 57

White Sox 6, Cubs 0:
Jon Danks shut out the Cubbies over seven innings, and the bullpen
handled the last two. One of the few reasons I’m sad that the
interleague season is over is that it will provide fewer opportunities
for Ozzie Guillen to talk smack to Cubs’ fans. Here he was over the weekend:
“White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was asked why attendance was so low at
the Sox-Dodgers series, and said: “Because our fans are not stupid like
Cubs fans. They know we’re (expletive).” Guillen said Cubs fans will go
watch any game at Wrigley Field because “Wrigley Field is just a bar.”

Phillies 5, Blue Jays 4:
You hate to throw this out there on a day he won, but to me it’s the
most interesting thing that came out of this game: Jamie Moyer, who
allowed three home runs, has now allowed 483 in his career, passing
Phil Niekro for third all-time. He’s a lock to pass Fergie Jenkins, who
is in second place at 484, but he’s almost certainly going to need to
go into next season to beat out Robin Roberts for that all time lead at
505. He’s under contract for 2010, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t
want to see him hold on and take the record.

Royals 3, Pirates 2:
Greinke wins his 10th and, thanks to a rain delay, gets a bit of a rest
too, coming out in the seventh after throwing only 80 pitches. The
Pirates’ highlight of the day didn’t come in Pittsburgh: “Ian Snell,
the former Pirates’ No. 2 starter who was demoted Thursday after
deciding he needed a change of scenery, struck out 13 in a row after
walking the leadoff batter Sunday for Triple-A Indianapolis against
Toledo. He finished with 17 Ks and two hits allowed in seven innings,
throwing 70 of 108 pitches for strikes. Indianapolis won 2-1 in 10
innings.” I think that (a) he probably needs to come back to
Pittsburgh; and (b) if I struck out 17 guys in a game and got a
no-decision I’d be pretty damn pissed.

Nationals 5, Orioles 3:
Adam Dunn hit a home run that reached the B&O warehouse on the
bounce, traveling an estimated 442 feet. The Nats got another run when
Josh Willingham scored on a single. He was dead to rights at home
plate, but Matt Wieters dropped the ball, missing the tag. Which leads
to a theological question: Can Matt Weiters allow himself to make an
error? If so, then it seems that he could cease to be omnipotent. But
if not — if he is somehow precluded from allowing himself error —
perhaps he is not omnipotent to begin with. Think about that one for a
minute and get back to me. Either way, though, the answer to this
question is less important than the act of asking it. You see, Matt
Weiters is sitting at .234/.289/.390, which means that I have to use up
all of these Wieters = God jokes quickly, because they’re rapidly
approaching their expiration date.

Tigers 4, Astros 3:
I made fun of Russ Ortiz quite a bit early in the season, but he just
finished with a 1.90 ERA for June. I even added the dude to my
Scoresheet team, though that probably tells you more about the quality
of my Scoresheet team than it does Russ Ortiz. He got a no-decision
here, but for that he can blame Edwin Jackson and the Astros’ bats.
Brandon Inge hit a two-run homer off Jose Valverde with two outs in the
ninth inning to win it.

Rays 5, Marlins 2:
David Price bounces back after a hellish outing against the Phillies,
this time holding the Marlins to one run on two hits in six and a
third. That makes five straight wins for the Rays, who after seventy
some-odd games of fooling around now look ready to make a serious run
in the second half.

Twins 6, Cardinals 2:
The extent to which the Cardinals have been a one man gang this year
was illustrated by the fact that their new edition — super ute Mark
DeRosa — hit cleanup in his first game with the team. Mark DeRosa has
been a lot of things in his career, but a cleanup hitter has never
really been one of them. In fact, before yesterday, he had only started
four games as a cleanup hitter in his entire career. Of course, three
of those came this year with the Indians, which tells you the dire
offensive straits they’ve been in as well.

Mariners 4, Dodgers 2:
L.A. has lost four of five, but they can get away with it with their
lead. More interesting “the Dodgers hadn’t decided whether they’ll
discipline reliever Ronald Belisario after the 26-year-old rookie was
arrested early Saturday morning on suspicion of DUI in Pasadena.” I
anxiously await the Bill Plaschke column in which he decries the
horrible example set by Belisario and declares that whatever punishment
the Dodgers mete out to him is insufficient. Because clearly Plaschke
thinks that drunk driving is worse than steroid use, doesn’t he?

Rockies 3, Athletics 1:
The A’s have dropped five in a row. As for the Rockies, Aaron Cook has
been somethin’ special recently, giving up a single run in four of his
last five starts.

Angels 12, Diamondbacks 8:
A straight steal of home by Gary Matthews, Jr. was pretty spiffy. Four
Arizona errors were not. The Angels finish interleague play 14-4,
including an 8-1 mark in NL parks.

Padres 2, Rangers 0:
Chad Gaudin allowed one hit over eight innings for the Padres. The box
score says it was 99 degrees at game time. Seems like it’s always hot
down there, no matter when you come. It’s the kind of heat that holds
you like a mama holds her son. Tight when he tries to walk, even
tighter if he runs.

Giants 7, Brewers 0:
Ryan Sadowski (who?) stymies the Brewers in his major league debut (6
IP, 4 H, 0 ER). He’s bumped Jonathan Sanchez to the pen. Sanchez must
have been mad: he plunked Prince Fielder and then struck out the side
in his one inning of work.

Marlins announcer Tommy Hutton was let go because he was “too negative”

marlins logo wide

We heard earlier this week that Marlins television analyst Tommy Hutton was let go after 19 seasons on the job. By all accounts, he’s well-liked and respected, so it smelled a little fishy with a team that has owner Jeffrey Loria calling the shots. Well, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald was told by a source close to the Marlins that Hutton was let go because he was “too negative.”

Jackson was also able to get in touch with Hutton, who provided some details about how things went down.

“I know there were times I was negative, but I thought those times were called for,” he said. “Ninety percent of what I said was positive. I tried not to be a homer, but you could tell I wanted the Marlins to do well.”

After being told that his salary wasn’t a factor in the decision, Hutton suspected that his candid, blunt analysis might be the impetus for his ouster.

So after learning his fate on Monday, he asked that question – whether they thought he was too negative — to both a Fox producer (at a meeting at Starbucks) and the Marlins’ vice president/communications (by phone).

He said the question was met with silence by both executives.

“I couldn’t get a yes or a no,” he said.

Hutton said there were three incident in recent years where he was told the Marlins were uncomfortable with something he said. He disclosed one example where he was exasperated at the ballpark’s dimensions after former catcher John Buck flew out to the warning track for the final out of a game. He was told by a Marlins vice president after the game that Loria prefer he not talk about the ballpark’s dimensions. Of course, the team is moving in the fences this winter.

To be clear, Hutton said he was told it was a “mutual decision” between the Marlins and FOX to let him go, but Jackson’s source hears that the concern about his “negativity” came from the team.

Hey, do you know the best way to prevent “negative” talk about your team? Fielding a winning baseball team without a dysfunctional ownership and front office. Crazy idea, I know, but it could be cool?

Report: Indians have been in touch with Shane Victorino

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 01:  Shane Victorino #18 of the Los Angeles Angels makes a catch for an out against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on August 1, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Photo by Harry How/Getty Images
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Outfield is a glaring need for the Indians, but they aren’t expected to shop for any of the big names on the free agent market. Instead, they are looking at potential bargains on short-term deals. Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes that Shane Victorino falls under this classification and that the veteran outfielder is among many names the Indians have contacted.

Victorino, who turns 35 on Monday, has been limited to just 101 games over the past two seasons due to injury. Coming off back surgery, he batted just .230/.308/.292 with one home run and seven RBI over 204 plate appearances this past season between the Red Sox and Angels while battling calf and hamstring injuries. It’s hard to see the upside at this point, but the Indians could promise him regular at-bats, especially with Michael Brantley likely to miss the start of the 2016 season following shoulder surgery.

The Indians have also reportedly discussed trading either Danny Salazar or Carlos Carrasco for a bat, which represents their best chance of adding a big name to their outfield this winter.

Korean slugger Byung-ho Park is reportedly traveling to Minnesota

Byung-ho Park

Could the Twins and Korean slugger Byung-ho Park be close to finalizing a contract?

According to Naver Sports (via a translated report from Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press), Park is scheduled to travel to the United States on Sunday. The 29-year-old is expected to make a quick stop in Chicago to meet with his agent, Alan Nero, before coming to Minnesota to see Twins officials and take a physical exam. If all goes well, a contract could be finalized as soon as next week.

The Twins bid $12.85 million last month to secure exclusive negotiating rights with Park. The deadline to complete a deal is December 8. If a deal is not worked out, Park would remain with the Nexen Heroes in the KBO (Korea Baseball Organization) and the Twins would not have to pay the posting fee.

Right now, it’s unclear how far along the two sides are in negotiations. However, Berardino hears that a guarantee in the range of $20-30 million is reasonable to expect.

Park, a two-time MVP in the KBO, has amassed 105 home runs in 268 games over the past two seasons. It’s hard to tell how those numbers will translate, even after the success of Jung Ho Kang this season, but the Twins are hoping he can be a middle-of-the-order force.

Miami Police Department considers Yasiel Puig case closed

Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig waits to bat during batting practice prior to a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics, Wednesday, July 29, 2015, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

We have more details about Yasiel Puig‘s reported “brawl” at a bar in Miami. And while it’s a regrettable situation, it appears to be less serious than previously believed.

According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, Major Delrish Moss of the Miami Police Department confirmed that Puig was involved in a fight with a bouncer. However, Moss described it more as a “scuffle” than a “brawl.” The Dodgers outfielder suffered injuries to his face, including a swollen left eye, while the bouncer was left with a “busted lip” among other minor facial injuries.

While the bouncer alleged that he was sucker-punched by Puig, Moss said that neither were interested in pressing charges. As a result, the Miami Police Department considers the case closed.

TMZ reported that the fight with the bouncer took place after Puig got into a physical altercation with his sister. However, Moss said that “no shoving was alleged” and that “to the best of our knowledge, the only physical altercation was between the bouncer and Puig.”

Major League Baseball is still expected to investigate the incident under their new domestic violence policy.