And That Happened: Wednesday's scores and highlights

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Joba.jpgYankees 6, Rays 2: Via Facebook, I leaned that Jason from IIATMS and I made the almost simultaneous observation about Joba last night: that he clearly watched Mark Buehrle pitch last week and decided that he was going to be a fast worker too. He was pretty clunky looking at such a pace, but you can’t argue with the results: (8 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, and most importantly, only 101 pitches). And you’ll be shocked to hear that Rick Sutcliffe was being stupid again. He spent, like, an hour talking about the glorious code of honor surrounding beanings and retaliation, and then said “but you kids at home, don’t do that; only professionals do; you should never throw at anyone.” Oy. Oh, and apparently in Sutcliffe’s world, batters only go out and try hard once they see their pitcher is “gonna protect them” by throwing at the other team. Otherwise they just mail it in. Oh, and Joe Maddon is a “competitor.” Sometimes I wish Sutcliffe would simply identify for me the guys who aren’t “competitors.” It would save some time.

Mariners 3, Blue Jays 2: Ryan Rowland-Smith was dealing. J.P. Ricciardi wasn’t, which is why Halladay pitched. I know the popular sentiment right now is that they should trade him and that every day that passes, his value goes lower, but can anyone point me to an actual deal that everyone has confirmed was on the table for him? You wouldn’t have given him up for what Lee brought, right, and by all accounts Philly was saying no to the better prospects. Isn’t it possible that no one is truly offering sufficient value for Halladay? And does he not provide value in a Blue Jays uniform for a season and a half? I think people get deal-happy this time of the season.

Giants 1, Pirates 0: Cain (9 IP, 3 H, 0 ER) and Duke (7 IP, 6 H, 0 ER) were both on freakin’ point, but no one could give them a run, and each ended up with a no-decision. Etiquette question: Freddy Sanchez was traded to San Francisco right after this game. Presumably, then, he could walk right over to the home clubhouse to drop off his personal stuff, right? There were probably still some Giants hanging around after the game. Does Sanchez high five them on the win? How long must his post-game moroseness last? Wait, bad example — he’s being set free from Pittsburgh, so the moroseness ended the moment the “d” came out in “you’ve been traded.” But I’m still interested in the question on a hypothetical basis.

Angels 9, Indians 3: Who pays for the airfare when someone is traded, the team shipping the guy out, or the team bringing the guy in? I ask because the Phillies are in Phoenix, which is a short hop from Orange County. The other day the Indians sent Garko to the Giants, who were just a short flight up the coast. Part of me — the absurd part — wants to believe that these deals were in place for days, but that Cleveland waited until they were closer to their players’ ultimate destinations. And that they asked Lee and Garko if they’d drive before reluctantly coughing up the airfare.

Cubs 12, Astros 0: Evidence that time travel is impossible: if it existed, some Astros fan from the future would have zapped into Wrigley Field and told the team just to forfeit the game after Derek Lee’s sac fly in the first, so as to save everyone a lot of hassle on a miserable afternoon. Wait, that’s not right; if Astros fans could travel in time there’s way better things they could do, such as sterilize Ed Wade’s parents and such.

Padres 7, Reds 1: Aaron Harang’s outing — coming as it does at time when the Reds are talking about trying to move him — was the equivalent of your Camaro dropping a transmission in the driveway of the guy you to whom you were about to sell it.

Marlins 6, Braves 3: I can’t recall a season, going all the way back to 1993, when the Braves didn’t have a nice chunk of their season torn asunder during a trip to Miami. They could be on a 10-0 streak during which they’ve outscored the opposition 150-0, and they’d drop an ugly three-game series to the Marlins. Friggin’ clockwork, as was Bobby Cox’s ejection for arguing balls and strikes.

Athletics 8, Red Sox 3: Remember when the Sox were gonna deal Brad Penny? Yeah, not so much (5 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 4 BB). Boston is now 3.5 games out and are only one up on Texas for the wild card, at least in the loss column.


Twins 3, White Sox 2: Alexi Casilla was 2-3 with two big hits. Alexei Ramirez hurt his ankle and had to leave the game in the seventh. Alexi Laiho is a Finnish singer, composer and guitarist. Alexei Nikolaevich was the heir the Czar, and was murdered along with him at Ekaterinburg in 1918. Alexei Nemov is a gymnast who competed at the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Olympics, and who, according to this Geocities fan page, lists his hobbies as “cars, girls, going to the disco, and girls.” I hope you were writing all of that down, because I don’t want to have to go over it again.

Tigers 13, Rangers 5: Scott Feldman gave up six runs on ten hits in two and a third and basically kept the Rangers out of this one. Marty Feldman was a British comedian who made a career out of having Graves’ disease. Corey Feldman . . .

Orioles 7, Royals 3: Zack Greinke has had better nights, but unfortunately, his bullpen was just as terrible as it usually is. Adam Jones and Nick Markakis each drove in three for the superior last place team in this wretched series. SABR people were probably at this game. Hello SABR people!

Brewers 7, Nationals 5: Casey McGehee hit a two-run pinch-hit home run in the sixth, allowing the Brewers to finally take one from the Nats.

Cardinals 3, Dodgers 2: Clayton Kershaw holds the Cards scoreless through eight, and it’s a tight 1-0 game into the bottom of the ninth. Broxton retires Pujols and then Holliday — you know, the hard parts — but let’s St. Louis tie it up on a Ryan Ludwick single, a wild pitch, and a Colby Rasmus single. How aggravating! Six innings later Albert Pujols isn’t retired and he singles in Julio Lugo to end it. This one lasted nearly five hours.

Diamondbacks 4, Phillies 0: Yusmeiro Petit baffled the Phillies for some reason, allowing four hits in six innings, walking one and striking out eight. Maybe they were still shell-shocked over the Lee deal.

Mets vs. Rockies: Postponed: If there was a terrible storm outside, but somehow this dog lived through the storm, and he showed up at your door when the storm was finally over, I think a good name for him would be Carl.

Mitt Romney’s sons are trying to buy a stake in the Yankees

TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 30:  Tagg Romney son of Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gives an interview during the final day of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 30, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate during the RNC which will conclude today.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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Mitt Romney built his professional life in Massachusetts and was once the governor of the state. As such, it is not surprising that he has long identified as a Red Sox fan. So this has to be troubling to him from a fan’s perspective. From Jon Heyman:

The Romney family is bidding to buy a small stake in the Yankees months after their try for the Marlins stalled. If the deal goes through, it is expected to be $25 million to $30 million per percentage point and thought to be interested in one or two percentage points. The Yankees are valued around $3 billion or more.

The effort is being led by Mitt’s son Tagg, one of his brothers and their business partners. Mitt’s spokesman tells Jon Heyman that he has nothing to do with it personally. Tagg Romney is reported to have been planning a bid for controlling interest in the Marlins, but that has fallen through.

I find this interesting insofar as the M.O. for the Steinbrenners has, for years, been to buy out minority shareholders in the Yankees, not seek more. Indeed, when George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees back in 1973 he held just a bare controlling interest and there were a ton of silent partners, most of which were back in Ohio and knew Steinbrenner from his shipping business. I’ve personally gotten to know some of them over the years as there are a handful of them in Columbus and I crossed paths with them in my legal career. They have almost all been bought out in the past couple of decades. They still get season tickets and World Series rings and stuff. You can tell them by their personalized Yankees plates and the fact that, within the first ten minutes of meeting them, they will tell you that they once owned a piece of the Yankees but got pushed out.

In light of all of that it’s interesting that the Steinbrenners are once again accepting bids for small stakes in the team. Especially from someone whose interest in controlling the Marlins suggests that they do not consider it to be a mere vanity investment. Makes me wonder what the Steinbrenners’ long term plans are.

Max Scherzer still can’t throw fastballs

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals works against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fifth inning during game five of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on October 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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The Nationals will be many people’s favorites in the NL East this season. Not everything is looking great, however. For example, their ace — defending NL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer — can’t even throw fastballs right now.

The reason: the stress fracture he suffered last August is still causing him problems and Scherzer is unable to use his fastball grip without feeling pain in his right ring finger. He will throw a bullpen session tomorrow, but will only use his secondary stuff.

Scherzer has not been ruled out for Opening Day — the fact that he is throwing some means that his timetable isn’t totally on hold — but you have to figure, at some point, not being able to air things out and use his heater will lead to some problems in his spring training routine.