And That Happened: Tuesday's scores and highlights

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Padres 3, Reds 2: If the recaps suffer a bit today it’s because I was at a bar saying goodbye to a good friend last night (a friend longtime ShysterBall readers will remember,
actually). Mark and I used to work at the same law firm together, and
once I left at the end of last year he apparently couldn’t go on
anymore either, so he issued his resignation and is now moving down to
Florida to, hell, I dunno, eat seafood and play shuffleboard and stuff.
We had beers last night to celebrate. On the TV over the bar was Mark’s
first love — the Redlegs, as he calls them. The sound was down, but
that didn’t matter, as Mark did his spot-on Jeff Brantley impersonation
all night, going on about Ted DiBiase, UDF ice cream, the Civil War,
and whatever else sounded funny in Brantley’s drawl. Only time he broke
character was to yell at Dusty Baker for leaving Arroyo in to start the
seventh (“quit while you’re ahead, man! He’s gonna explode!”). As soon
as he got done yelling Tony Gwynn hit that triple, and Mark yelled some
more as Dusty made Arroyo issue an intentional walk and then leave the
game. I’m going to miss that guy when he’s gone, and I don’t mean
Arroyo.

Rays 6, Yankees 2: The rumor yesterday was that if the Rays
dropped all three to the Yankees, Scott Kazmir could be shipped out.
That’s kind of a dumb rumor inasmuch as the Rays’ management is a lot
smarter than to make decisions based on the outcome of three piddling
games. And besides, season stats notwithstanding, Kazmir is still good,
as he showed last night, giving up a single run in seven innings. In
contrast, CC Sabathia continued his “meh” season with another “meh”
performance (5.2 IP, 9 H, 6 R). More bad news: the Yankees learned that
Chien-Ming Wang will undergo season-ending arthroscopic surgery.
Girardi: “Hopefully this is will be the end of the surgeries for him
and he’ll have the rest of his career be real healthy.” Yeah, because
that’s how it always works.

Nationals 8, Brewers 3: Memo to Milwaukee: a visit from the
Nationals is supposed to be a cure-all, not a nightmare. The Brewers
were bombed for the second straight night, this time from Nyjer Morgan,
Adam Dunn and Cristian Guzman. Dunn’s was a moon-shot, bouncing over
the Toyota Tundra and clear the hell out of Miller Park.

Twins 5, White Sox 3: Mark Buehrle followed up his perfecto with
perfection through five innings, but then ran into a buzz saw, giving
up five runs on five hits in six and a third. With the win, the Twins
— who never, ever seem to go away — pull into a tie for second in the
Central.

Mets 4, Rockies 0: Drama shmama, the Mets don’t care what’s
happening in the front office or in the tabloids, they’ve won four in a
row. Mike Pelfrey, who was given up for dead a week ago, pitched
shutout baseball into the seventh and the hitters singled and
sacrificed their way past Jason Marquis, denying him his 13th win of
the year.

Marlins 4, Braves 3: The Braves’ two-headed closer system has
worked pretty well all year, but you’re going to have nights when your
guy — in this case Rafael Soriano — is going to have wonky control
and not get the calls. When that happens, guys wait to tee off on the
get-me-over pitches, and that’s what Ross Gload did to end the game.

Rangers 7, Tigers 3: A two-run triple and a sacrifice from Ian
Kinsler chased Luke French (really? “Luke French?” I think that name
was on my fake I.D. senior year of high school) and led the Rangers to
their eighth win in nine games. Kinsler had to leave with a hamstring
problem after six innings, but by then the damage was done. Both to the
Tigers and his hamstring.

Royals 4, Orioles 3: It’s funny to think that, for about a
decade there, this was a the natural preseason prediction for the ALCS
matchup. This one ended in the 11th when the Royals manufactured a run
on a dribbler single, a stolen base and an RBI single. The dribbler
came from Mark Teahen, who topped the ball down the first-base line,
which Matt Wieters watched and hoped would roll foul. I can only assume
that Lex Luthor had the bottled city of Kandor held hostage at the
time, and Wieters was thus coerced into not using his telekinetic
powers to will the ball foul or something.

Man, weren’t those Wieters jokes a lot funnier back in April?

Athletics 9, Red Sox 8: Things that don’t happen every day: (1)
Jonathan Papelbon blows a save, let alone one of the three-run lead
variety; (2) The A’s score nine runs; (3) The A’s get 21 hits; (4) The
A’s win. Twenty-one hits! From the A’s! In other news, walking trade
chit Clay Buchholz was again largely inefficient, throwing 107 pitches
in less than six innings. One wonders if the Sox couldn’t have left him
in the minors where he still looked alluring to would-be trade partners
rather than expose him so blatantly in the Majors. Not that it’s
important, but I recall thinking the same thing when the Madonna
Penthouse issue came out back in 1985.

Astros 11, Cubs 6: The ‘Stros lost Roy Oswalt to a back injury,
but beat up Ryan Dempster and the back end of the Cubbies’ bullpen to
win it. In the fifth inning, Fukudome hit a ball to Astros’ pitcher
Jeff Fulchino. The ball bounced inside Fulchino’s jersey and he wasn’t
able to find it in time, allowing Fukudome to reach. Then the gang put
on a show, with Mike Fontenot performing an off-key rendition of “The
Barber of Seville” while Derek Lee and Aramis Ramirez fed red hots to a
mule, which rampaged through Miss Crabtree’s classroom. Or maybe I
daydreamed that.

Angels 7, Indians 6: What? The Angels came from behind to win
another game? That’s unpossible! Of course they almost didn’t hold on
in this one because their closer, Brian Fuentes, can’t seem to get
anyone out these days (0 IP, 2H, 2 R, 2 BB). Before Monday, he hadn’t
given up a run since the end of May. Now it two days he’s given up six
runs and hasn’t retired a batter.

Cardinals 10, Dodgers 0: They scored ten, but only needed one,
because Adam Wainwright was on (8 IP, 8 H, 0 ER). Three losses in a row
for L.A.. The game was delayed an hour and a half at the outset due to
a threat of rain which never materialized. I can’t recall that
happening any time recently. Unless it’s raining you go out and play,
don’t you? It’s a rain delay, not a threat of rain delay, right?

Mariners 4, Blue Jays 3: Ichiro with the game-winning hit in the
ninth. Talk in the game story of him intentionally flailing at a curve
ball right before his hit so as to trick Scott Downs into throwing him
another curveball. Um, OK, but if he had that all planned it meant he
knew what was coming before the first curveball, and why didn’t he just
hit that one? Guess that’s not as good a story. In other news, if
Jarrod Washburn is getting traded, he’s leaving Seattle on a high note
(7 IP, 5 H, 1 ER). Finally, the game story says it’s supposed to be 100
degrees in Seattle today and they have a day game. That’s interesting
in a schadenfreude-tastic kind of way (Midwest summers make one jealous
of those in the Pacific northwest), but why does that matter for the
game? They still got a roof on that ballpark, don’t they?

Phillies 4, Diamondbacks 3: Cole Hamels was dominant, giving up
an early home run and then nothin’ else for the rest of the game (8 IP,
4 H, 0 ER, 9K). “Hamels is getting there,” Philadelphia manager Charlie
Manuel said. “He’s real close.” Close? Jesus, I’d hate to see him once
he actually arrives.

Giants 3, Pirates 2: Barry Zito is like a box of chocolates. A
lucky box of chocolates at any rate, giving up only one run despite
allowing nine hits in less than six innings. The Ryan Garko Era
officially begins in San Francisco with an 0-4. Oh, and the Big Unit has learned that he has a torn rotator cuff.
He’s on the 60 day DL retroactive to July 5th, and there’s a distinct
possibility that he won’t be back at all this year. Which, one doesn’t
have to be a genius to surmise, could mean that we’ve seen the last of
perhaps the greatest lefthander in the history of baseball.

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 29: Yoenis Cespedes #52 of the New York Mets flips his bat after hitting a walk off home run in the tenth inning to defeat the Miami Marlins 2-1 in a game at Citi Field on August 29, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Indians 1, Twins 0: Tied at zero for nine innings and then, in the tenth, the Indians use a bunt single, a single, a fielder’s choice and then a final, walkoff single by Jason Kipnis to send the Twins to their 11th straight loss. The win was fun and stuff, but Cleveland has scored one run or less in seven of its last eight games and that’s kinda concerning.

Blue Jays 5, Orioles 1: Stop me if you’ve heard this one, but Josh Donaldson homered. So did Jose Bautista. Toronto keeps a two-game lead over the Red Sox, who also won, for the division lead, while Baltimore falls four games back. It’s getting a bit scary for the Orioles, who have lost four of five and are now only one game ahead of the Tigers and two games ahead of the Royals and Astros for the second wild card.

Nationals 4, Phillies 0: Seven shutout innings for Tanner Roark in which he allowed only four singles. If you’re a fan of the rebuilding Phillies take some solace that Jake Thompson pitched pretty well. Also ignore the fact that Jayson Werth, who was a member of your last World Series winning team, hit a homer against your guys.

Red Sox 9, Rays 4: Rick Porcello wins his 18th game. Brock Holt had three hits and drove in two, Chris Young hit a tie-breaking two-run double and Mookie Betts hit his 30th homer. If you’re handicapping the Cy Young race, know that while Porcello leads all of baseball in wins and tops the ERA in K/BB ratio, he is tenth in ERA in the AL, ninth in strikeouts and is first in run support. Really nice season and kudos to him to not giving up free passes, but I don’t think it’s safe to say he’s the best in the Junior Circuit.

Tigers 4, White Sox 3: Jarrod Saltalamacchia homered with a runner while the Tigers were down one in the eighth inning to put them ahead for good. Big day for Salty yesterday as he also got on record saying “it’s pretty disgusting” for someone to exercise their First Amendment rights.

Mets 2, Marlins 1: Yoenis Cespedes hit a walkoff homer in the tenth to bring the Mets into a tie with the Marlins, two and a half back of St. Louis for the second wild card. New York got five shutout innings from Rafael Montero to help balance out Jose Fernandez’s six scoreless frames for Miami. Jose Reyes scored on a wild pitch to tie things up at one in the eighth. It looked pretty ugly too, as Reyes slid in head first as the Marlins pitcher covering came in sliding on his knees, slamming into him:

Cardinals 6, Brewers 5: Down by two, the Cardinals scored two in the eighth and then one in the ninth when Jonathan Villar‘s throw to first to nail a bunting Yadier Molina was wild, allowing Stephen Piscotty to score from second. Mike Matheny after the game, commenting on that play:

“Put pressure on them. That’s it. Make them make plays.”

Because he knew that would happen and not result in a double play, which it almost did?

Rangers 6, Mariners 3: Yu Darvish allowed three runs – two of them were on base when he left and were allowed to come around by the reliever who inherited them —  but struck out nine in six and two thirds innings while Carlos Beltran had three hits including a homer.

Cubs 8, Pirates 7: Chicago rallied for two in the eighth and one in the ninth to force extras and then, down by one in the bottom of the 13th, rode four singles to score two and win the game in walkoff fashion. Miguel Montero‘s bases loaded pinch hit to left field off of Jeff Locke plated the game-winner in the form of Kris Bryant. This was a five hour game that went after midnight on the heels of the Cubs not getting back to Chicago until the wee hours Monday morning due to a delayed flight from Los Angeles.

Astros 6, Athletics 0: Joe Musgrove and four relievers combined for a four-hit shutout. “Joe Musgrove” would also be an excellent name for a backup quarterback. You know, that senior who, outside of garbage time in blowouts, has held the clipboard for all four years but who, when that golden boy recruit who was supposed to be so special stumbles in week three vs. Tulsa or whoever, you are convinced would be a better choice. Face it, dude: he’s not that good and will likely be a graduate coaching assistant next year. Maybe some CFL time at most on the power of him coming from this program and working in this system, but you’re spending too much of your time laying your wishes on his blank canvas of a college career. It’s a nice fall day for crying out loud, enjoy the game if you want to, but maybe spend some time outside before and after and gain some perspective.

Royals 8, Yankees 5: Close until the seventh inning when the home team struck for five. Alicides Escobar of all people hit a three-run homer that inning and Kansas City added two more to make it 8-1. They then held on as the Yankees rallied for four in the eighth. The Royals won for the 18th time in 22 games, closing to within two games of the second AL wild card.

Rockies 8, Dodgers 1: I repeat, close until the seventh inning when the home team struck for five. This time Alicides Escobar did not hit a three-run homer because he wasn’t there. DJ LeMahieu hit a two-run double, though. Earlier Nick Hundley hit for a two-run homer.

Angels 9, Reds 2: Mike Trout, Albert PujolsKole CalhounC.J. Cron and Jefry Marte all hit homers. Trout, Calhoun, Pujols and Marte all were a triple shy of the cycle. Which, as I noted the other day is not really a thing, but it’s a thing when four different dudes do it, I think.

Hisashi Iwakuma’s 2017 option vests, but salary still undetermined

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 13: Hisashi Iwakuma #18 of the Seattle Mariners pitches against the Oakland Athletics in the bottom of the third inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 13, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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With last Wednesday’s start against the Yankees, Mariners hurler Hisashi Iwakuma pushed his 2016 innings total up to 2016. That clears the 162-inning hurdle for his 2017 option to vest at $14 million. However, as Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors reports, the language in Iwakuma’s contract also stipulates that the right-hander finish the season without suffering a specific injury.

Iwakuma, 35, was in agreement with the Dodgers on a three-year contract back in December but failed the physical, which nullified the deal. He ended up signing with the Mariners on a one-year, $12 million deal with a full no-trade clause and club options for 2017 and ’18 that vest at specific inning thresholds (162 each or 324 for both seasons).

This season, Iwakuma has stayed healthy, making 26 starts to the tune of a 14-9 record, a 3.81 ERA and a 118/36 K/BB ratio in 163 innings.