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
anyway.

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
degrees.

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.

Gerrit Cole set to begin throwing program

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 24:  Gerrit Cole #45 of the Pittsburgh Pirates sits in the dugout in the second inning during the game against the Houston Astros at PNC Park on August 24, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
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During the Pirates’ FanFest on Saturday, right-hander Gerrit Cole announced that he is back up to full health after being shut down with elbow inflammation in September. Per Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Cole said he’ll start a throwing program on Monday as he works on regaining his form for the 2017 season.

The 26-year-old pitched through 116 innings for the Pirates in 2016, delivering a 3.88 ERA and 2.5 WARP before landing on the disabled list in June with a triceps strain and again in August with elbow inflammation. It was a steep drop for the right-hander, who saw a considerable spike in his ERA and BB/9 rate and struggled to strike out batters at the 8.7 mark he managed in 2015.

The upside? Inflammation was the worst of Cole’s issues in 2016, and while the newfound health issues didn’t help his case for an extension, a more serious injury doesn’t appear to be on the horizon.

The White Sox wanted Astros’ top prospects for Jose Quintana

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 27:  Jose Quintana #62 of the Chicago White Sox pitches against the Seattle Mariners during the first inning at U.S. Cellular Field on August 27, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
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The Astros, Braves and Nationals came sniffing around White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana during the Winter Meetings, but each appeared to find the Sox’ asking price well beyond what they were willing to give up for the starter. On Saturday, Peter Gammons revealed that the White Sox had floated Francis Martes, Kyle Tucker and Joe Musgrove as a possible return for Quintana.

It’s a strategy that worked well for Chicago in the past, most recently when they dealt Chris Sale to the Red Sox for Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech, among others, and flipped Adam Eaton to the Nationals for a trio of pitching prospects. Astros’ GM Jeff Luhnow didn’t appear eager to sacrifice some of his core talent to net a high-end starter, however, and told the Houston Chronicle’s Jake Kaplan as much on Wednesday:

We’re prepared to trade players to improve our club right now. […] We’re just not prepared to trade away players that are core to our production in 2017, and those are sometimes the players that are required to get these deals done.

While Lunhow was speaking specifically to the inclusion of third baseman Alex Bregman in future deals, it’s not unrealistic to think that top prospects Francis Martes and Kyle Tucker would also be considered instrumental to the Astros’ plans for the next few seasons.

Martes, 21, currently sits atop the team’s top prospect list on MLB.com. The right-hander blazed through his first full season in Double-A Corpus Christi, posting a 3.30 ERA and career-best 9.4 K/9 over 125 1/3 innings in 2016. Tucker, meanwhile, profiles as the Astros’ second-best prospect and made a successful jump to High-A Lancaster last season, slashing .339/.435/.661 in 69 PA. Rookie right-hander Joe Musgrove is the only player left off the top prospect list, but he got off to a decent start with the club in 2016 as well, going 4-4 with a 4.06 ERA and 3.44 K/BB rate in 62 innings during his first major league season.