And That Happened: Monday's Scores and Highlights

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Marlins 8, Astros 6: Houston put a late scare into the fish, but
it was all for naught. Florida wins its fourth in a row, and now sit
3.5 behind Philly. As Pinto notes, having guys getting on base in front of Hanley Ramirez is a good, good thing for the Marlins.

Blue Jays 5, Yankees 4: You have to think that this is the end
of the line for Sergio Mitre (5 IP, 6 H, 5 R). And don’t tell me that
only three of those runs were earned. Cano was charged with an error on
that throw to second, but it looked like Mitre really was the one to
blame. And even if he wasn’t, Cano didn’t give up that triple to Joe
Inglett. So, sure, I’ve accepted the fact that no one wants to make
Phil Hughes a starter this year. How about a good old fashioned four
man rotation? Joba rules, schmoba rules; all four of the Yankees good
starters are the kinds of guys that could pull it off. Sabathia would
probably thrive on it. Maybe Joba would even revert back to that
quick-pitch, hyper-efficiency thing he broke out a couple of starts
ago. OK, I’ll shut up now. I realize that by obsessing on the best team
in baseball’s fifth starter that I’m starting to sound like some
deranged Yankees fan.

Athletics 9, Orioles 1: Mark Ellis (5-5, 4 RBI) and Gio Gonzales
(6 IP, 7 H, 0 ER) lead the charge against Baltimore, and now the As
have taken nine straight from the Os. I haven’t mentioned it much for a
long time, but now is as good a time as any to note that the Matt
Wieters Takes Over the World Campaign is currently floundering
(.263/.309/.374).

Red Sox 6, Tigers 5: After being stymied by the Yankees, the
Sox, surprisingly, get to Edwin Jackson (4 IP, 9 H, 4 ER). I guess
that’s home cookin’ for ya.

Cardinals 4, Reds 1: Kyle Lohse gets his first win in months.
Johnny Cueto had to leave the game early with a hip injury. Pujols flew
out with the bases loaded in the fifth. Man, that guy just ain’t clutch.

Rockies 11, Cubs 5: Troy Tulowitzki was a one-man gang, hitting
for the cycle and going 5 for 5 with seven RBI. Tulo said after the
game that, under most circumstances, he would have stopped at second on
the hit that ended up being the triple, but that Brad Hawpe had egged
him on earlier in the game to stretch anything even close in order to
get the cycle. I guess I don’t have any problem with that, even though
Colorado had an seven run lead at the time. Anyone know if anyone ever
willingly stopped at first base to get a single to complete the cycle
on a hit that should have been extra bases? That’s the kind of guy I’d
go after. Tom Gorzelanny won’t be inspiring any more of those “the Cubs
steal Gorzelanny” articles like we saw last week after this start (1.1
IP, 6 H, 6 ER), and then he had to leave the game after taking one off
the foot.

Diamondbacks 7, Mets 4: Diamondback Trent Oeltjen made his Major
League debut on the 6th, has played in four games, and now has three
homers. He’s Australian, and says that people back home are watching. I
know baseball is increasingly popular down there with leagues and
everything, but I get a giggle thinking of people gathered around a TV,
taking it in with a certain WTF-ness, much the way people of a certain
age here used to watch Aussie football on ESPN in the early 80s. Miguel
Montero had three doubles, Doug Davis gave up two runs and four hits in
seven innings and the Dbacks have won eight of ten.

Angels 8, Rays 7: Vlad hit his 399th and 400th career homers,
the latter of which proved to be the game winner. According to the game
story, the milestone home run was discussed at the Guerrero home over
the weekend: “My mom kept telling me there’s two more. My brother
Wilton had bad math and said it was one more,” said Vlad. I get this
image of 35 year-old Wilton and 34 year-old Vlad sitting at the dinner
table with their mom, arguing like my brother and I did when we were
kids. They’re eating pasta with marinara, and their mom made them take
their shirts off because they’re messy. Then mom smacks Wilton and
chides him for (a) being bad at math; and (b) slurping his spaghetti.
Wilton cries and Vlad retreats to a peaceful place deep in his head
where no one argues. Then my dad gets up from the table, pours himself
a tall glass of liquor, walks into his den and grumbles about how his
life didn’t turn out the way he imagined it would. Um, I mean Vlad and
Wilton’s dad. Not my dad. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an
appointment with my therapist I have to keep.

Dodgers 4, Giants 2: Matt Kemp (3-run double) and Hiroki Kuroda
(6.1 IP, 6 H, 1 ER) weren’t having any of that “watch out for the
Giants” talk. As expected, “Ramirez was loudly booed by a sellout crowd
in his first game in San Francisco since coming back from a 50-game
suspension for violating baseball’s drug rules — payback for the
treatment former Giants slugger Barry Bonds used to get in Los
Angeles.” I knew it was too much to ask Giants fans to show a little
grace and understanding and take the high road on that point, but I had
kind of hoped they would have anyway. I mean, sure, it’s satisfying to
boo Manny, but wouldn’t not booing him and, instead, just
greeting him with silence send a big F-U to Dodgers’ fans? Or is that
too much nuance to expect 40,000 people to grok?

Mariners 6, White Sox 4: Not only did the Sox lose this one, but
after the game they claimed my mortgage and credit card debt after I
put it on waivers. Seriously, you guys should try this. Kenny Williams
will take anything
.

Billy Butler on altercation with Danny Valencia: “We had equal faults in this.”

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 24: Billy Butler #16 of the Oakland Athletics celebrates a solo homerun in the bottom of the eighth inning to regain the lead against the Tampa Bay Rays at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum on July 24, 2016 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Don Feria/Getty Images)
Don Feria/Getty Images
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On Friday, Athletics teammates Billy Butler and Danny Valencia were involved in a clubhouse altercation that started when Butler told an equipment representative that Valencia was wearing off-brand spikes during games. Valencia didn’t like Butler’s interference, potentially costing him an endorsement deal, so he punched Butler in the temple, causing a concussion.

Neither player had said much to the media about the incident, but Butler finally addressed the issue on Wednesday. MLB.com’s Mark Chiarelli reported Butler’s comments:

“This was something that could’ve been prevented on both sides,” Butler said. “We had equal faults in this. I definitely said some things that you shouldn’t have. I definitely stepped in an area where it wasn’t my business.”

[…]

“By no means do I think his intentions were to give me a concussion,” Butler said. “This is me addressing my faults and what I took away from the team.”

[…]

“To say that we’re enemies is not right,” Butler said. “To blame this all on one side is not right either.”

Butler also apologized to his teammates. “I would like to apologize for putting [my teammates] through this because they didn’t deserve this. This was an issue between me and Danny. To be fair for them, they didn’t deserve this. The coaching staff didn’t deserve this. The organization didn’t deserve this,” he said.

Butler is making progress in his recovery from his concussion. He’ll travel with the team to St. Louis to open up a three-game series against the Cardinals starting on Friday. If he passes his concussion protocol test, the Athletics will put him back on the active roster from the seven-day concussion disabled list.

Report: Pablo Sandoval has lost 22 pounds during his rehab

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 11:  Pablo Sandoval #48 of the Boston Red Sox looks on from the dugout before the Red Sox home opener against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park on April 11, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Orioles defeat the Red Sox 9-7.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
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WEEI’s Rob Bradford reports that Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval has lost 22 pounds during his rehabilitation after undergoing shoulder surgery in early May. Weight has been the top subject of conversation regarding Sandoval ever since he showed up to spring training and an unflattering photograph was published by the Boston Globe.

Sandoval had a miserable spring training, batting .204 in 49 at-bats and lost out on the starting third base job to Travis Shaw. He went hitless in seven regular season plate appearances before landing on the disabled list with a sprained left shoulder, which ultimately required reconstructive surgery.

Sandoval is still under contract through at least 2019, earning $17 million next season, and $18 million in ’18 and ’19. His controlling club has a $17 million option with a $5 million buyout for 2020 as well. It’s hard to see Sandoval fitting into his current club’s future plans, but it will be tough for the Red Sox to get rid of him without eating a significant portion of his remaining contract.