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
.

Danny Espinosa reportedly skipped Nationals Winterfest because of Adam Eaton

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: Danny Espinosa #8 of the Washington Nationals celebrates after teammate Chris Heisey #14 (not pictured) hits a two run home run in the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers 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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According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.

A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.

Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.

Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.

Nick Cafardo: Red Sox should deal Pomeranz, not Buchholz

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 18: Drew Pomeranz #31 of the Boston Red Sox pitches during the first inning against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park on September 18, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Red Sox won 5-4. (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)
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The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.

The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.

Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.

Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.