And That Happened: Thursday's scores and highlights

Leave a comment

Fourteen teams get a day off after they just had three days off. That’s like calling in sick the day after Memorial Day.

Phillies 4, Marlins 0: Man, old people love Florida. Moyer: 7
IP, 1 H 0 ER; Ibanez: 2-4, 2 HR 3 RBI. Manuel: hit the early bird
special before the game, found a nice close spot to park the Buick.

Indians 4, Mariners 1: Cliff Lee spun a gem (CG, 9 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, K) and, while it’s still nothing to write home about, he got at least a little
run support. While randomly surfing I found this Indians’ notes column
that went live just as the game was ending. In it, Eric Wedge gets the
quote of the day: “Regarding when the Indians might recall
recently-demoted relievers Rafael Perez and Jensen Lewis, Wedge said,
‘We need to let them pitch down there.'” I presume that the reporter
merely cut off the part where Wedge added “mostly because it’s not up

Cubs 6, Nationals 2: The Jim Riggleman Era begins much like the
Manny Acta era ended. I could probably say a few words about Rich
Harden pitching well, or Derek Lee going 3-4, but I’ve decided that
this is the point in the post where I complain about the fact that my
wife wouldn’t let me watch “Ghostbusters” on the big TV downstairs last
night because she had recorded something else and wanted to watch it
just then. And because I’ve seen it 150 times and, after each time I
see it, I quote the Rick Moranis lines for three straight days which
annoys her to no end, I can tell you. Still, very weak on her part.

Brewers 9, Reds 6: Reports of Homer Bailey’s resurrection have
been greatly exaggerated (5.1 IP, 6 H, 7 ER, 4 BB). Oh, and Prince
Fielder would like you to know that there is nothing to that post-HR
Derby falloff theory (1-3, HR 3 RBI).

Braves 5, Mets 3: Welcome back, Jeff Francoeur! What with the
hitting into a double play, striking out, and grounding weakly to
shortstop — not to mention your seeing 14 total pitches in four at
bats — it’s as if you never left!

Angels 6, A’s 2: Given how he’s been rollin’ lately, we couldn’t
have necessarily expected Ervin Santana to pitch eight innings of
one-run ball. But he did, and if he’s better post-break than he was
pre-break, the Angels have a big leg up on Texas in this thing. As for
the A’s, this might be the most depressing paragraph I’ve seen in quite
a while:

Oakland looked sluggish as it kicked off a grueling stretch of 28
games in as many days and 34 in 35. Nomar Garciaparra is scheduled to
get the start at first base on Friday night for the A’s, and manager
Bob Geren plans to use him once a series in place of the struggling
Jason Giambi to keep Giambi fresh.

Rockies 10, Padres 1: Aaron Cook is just livin’ right, I guess.
You must be if you give up eight hits and walk four guys and come away
with it only giving up one run. Oh, and when you’re a pitcher and you
walk with the bases loaded, which as Pinto notes, is happening an awful lot lately.

Astros 3, Dodgers 0: Forget Manny, it was Wandywood in L.A. last
night (6 IP, 5 H, 0 ER). Um, OK, that’s stupid, but say “Wandywood” a
few times. It’s fun!

Tigers in discussions with Jordan Zimmermann

Jordan Zimmermann
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
Leave a comment

Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Tigers are in discussions with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. His sources have told him that the talks have become “serious”.

Zimmermann, 29, has a career 3.32 ERA across parts of seven seasons in the majors. He finished fifth in National League Cy Young Award balloting in 2014, finishing with a 2.66 ERA and a 182/29 K/BB ratio over 199 2/3 innings.

Among starters who have amassed at least 1,000 innings since 2009, only Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Madison Bumgarner, and Zack Greinke have compiled a better strikeout-to-walk ratio than Zimmermann’s 4.09. While he doesn’t have the star power of other free agents such as Greinke or David Price, the Tigers would certainly improve their rotation by bringing him on board.

Blue Jays still focused on upgrading their pitching

Marco Estrada
AP Photo/LM Otero

Having already added Jesse Chavez and J.A. Happ to the mix and re-signing Marco Estrada early in the offseason, Blue Jays interim GM Tony LaCava said the team will continue to pursue pitching upgrades, as Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports. Nicholson-Smith added that LaCava declined to comment on free agent ace David Price. It is believed that the Jays will not pursue Price and other big-name free agent starting pitchers given their November activity.

The Jays re-signed Estrada to a two-year, $26 million deal on November 13, acquired Chavez from the Athletics in exchange for reliever Liam Hendriks on November 20 and signed Happ to a three-year, $36 million deal on Friday.

Nicholson-Smith notes in a column on Sportsnet that the Jays need to address the bullpen in particular. That is especially true after swapping Hendriks, who had a career-best 2.92 ERA out of the Jays’ bullpen in 2015, for a back-end starting pitcher.

Report: Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”

Jonathan Papelbon
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports spoke to an anonymous baseball executive, who said that Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”. The Nationals are hoping to trade both Papelbon and the man he displaced, Drew Storen.

Papelbon has a poor reputation in baseball, particularly after a dugout altercation with superstar outfielder Bryce Harper. Focusing strictly on what he does on the field, Papelbon still gets the job done. The 35-year-old finished the last season with a combined 2.13 ERA, 24 saves, and a 56/12 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings between the Phillies and Nationals.

The Nationals owe Papelbon $11 million for the 2016 season.

Minor league home run king Mike Hessman retires

NEW YORK - JULY 29:  Mike Hessman #19 of the New York Mets bats against the St. Louis Cardinals on July 29, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Cardinals 4-0.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper reports that corner infielder Mike Hessman has retired from professional baseball after 20 seasons. Hessman hit 433 home runs in the minor leagues, an all-time record. He broke Buzz Arlett’s record this past August and with style as #433 was a grand slam.

Hessman, 37, was selected in the 16th round of the 1996 draft by the Braves and remained with the organization through the 2004 season. He then went to the Tigers from 2005-09, the Mets in 2010, then drifted into the Astros and Reds’ farm systems before returning to the Tigers for the last two years.

Hessman took 250 plate appearances at the major league level, batting .188/.272/.422 with 14 home runs and 33 RBI.