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.

Cubs, Jake Arrieta avoid arbitration at $10.7 million

Jake Arrieta
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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The Associated Press is reporting that the Cubs and starter Jake Arrieta have avoided arbitration, agreeing to a $10.7 million salary for the 2016 season. That marks the highest salary on a one-year deal for a pitcher with four years of service, the AP notes. Arrieta and the Cubs were set to go before an independent arbitrator but now can simply focus on the season ahead.

Arrieta, 29, is in his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. He had filed for $13 million while the Cubs countered at $7.5 million. The $5.5 million gap was the largest among players who did not come to terms with their respective teams by the January deadline. The $10.7 million salary is $450,000 above the midpoint between the two submitted figures.

Arrieta won the National League Cy Young Award for his performance this past season, narrowly edging out Zack Greinke, then with the Dodgers. Arrieta led the majors with 22 wins, four complete games, and three shutouts. With that, he compiled a 1.77 ERA and a 236/48 K/BB ratio across 229 innings.

Once a top prospect in the Orioles’ minor league system, Arrieta struggled in the majors but found immediate success with the Cubs in 2013 after the O’s traded him along with Pedro Strop in exchange for Steve Clevenger and Scott Feldman.

Giants sign Conor Gillaspie to a minor league deal

Los Angeles Angels third baseman Conor Gillaspie is unable to hold on to the ball after catching a grounder hit by Kansas City Royals' Lorenzo Cain in the fourth inning of a baseball game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Friday, Aug. 14, 2015. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)
AP Photo/Colin E. Braley
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Per Baseball America’s Matt Eddy, the Giants have signed infielder Conor Gillaspie to a minor league deal. Gillaspie was selected by the Giants in the supplemental round of the 2008 draft, then was traded to the White Sox in February 2013.

Gillaspie, 28, hit a meager .228/.269/.359 with four home runs and 24 RBI in 253 plate appearances between the White Sox and Angels during the 2015 season. Almost all of his playing time has come at third base but he can also play first base if needed.

The Giants, thin on depth, will allow Gillaspie to audition in spring training for a spot on the 25-man roster.

Joe Nathan plans to pitch in 2016

Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Joe Nathan throws against the Chicago White Sox in the ninth inning of a baseball game in Detroit Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
AP Photo/Paul Sancya
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Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that free agent reliever Joe Nathan, recovering from Tommy John surgery, plans to pitch in 2016 according to his agent Dave Pepe. According to Pepe, Nathan’s workouts are “going well” and the right-hander is “definitely planning on playing this year.”

Nathan, 41, got the final out on Opening Day (April 6) against the Twins before going on the disabled list with a flexor strain in his right elbow, causing him to miss the next 161 games. He will likely be able to contribute out of the bullpen in late May or early June if he has no setbacks. On a minor league deal or incentive-laden major league deal, Nathan could make for a low-risk gamble.

Over a 15-season career that dates back to 1999 (he did not pitch in the majors in 2001 or 2010), Nathan has 377 saves with a 2.89 ERA and a 967/340 K/BB ratio over 917 innings.

The Rays are considering reliever Tyler Clippard

New York Mets pitcher Tyler Clippard throws during the eighth inning of Game 4 of the National League baseball championship series against the Chicago Cubs Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)
AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh
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On Thursday, we learned that the Diamondbacks were still considering free agent reliever Tyler Clippard. You can add the Rays to the list as well, per Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

The Rays traded lefty reliever Jake McGee to the Rockies in exchange for outfielder Corey Dickerson in late January, so Clippard would be able to slot right in behind closer Brad Boxberger. Clippard, 30, compiled a 2.92 ERA with 64 strikeouts and 31 walks over 71 innings in a season split between the Athletics and Mets. The strikeout rate was at its lowest since the right-hander become a full-time reliever in 2009, and his walk rate was at its highest since 2010, which may be a factor in his still being a free agent in February.