And That Happened: Monday's Scores and Highlights

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Braves 9, Diamondbacks 4: Max Scherzer’s arm is probably going to fall off after starting two games in this series. Oh wait, the first game was back in May and this was a makeup? Forget I said anything. Also forget the fact that only three of Scherzer’s nine runs allowed in this one were “earned.” Six unearned runs in the third inning resulted from his own throwing error. For Atlanta, Tommy Hanson pitched six innings, struck out seven, walked no one, and otherwise kept out of trouble.

Giants 10, Mets 1: Giving up ten runs on eighteen hits to the Giants is a very special feat indeed, but with Livan, all things are possible.

Angels 8, Orioles 5: Vlad Guerrero hit two homers and drove in five. And because I know you were all wondering, Cesar edged Maicer in the battle of the Izturises, three hits to two, though one of Maicer’s was a home run so we probably have to call it a draw.

Pirates 9, Brewers 5: An offensive outburst for a team that has been playing pretty offensively as of late. And it was a fairly democratic outburst at that, with nine different Pirates getting hits, seven scoring runs and seven driving in at least one. The game story notes that the Brewers have fallen seven games back of the Rockies in the wild card race. Given that there are five teams ahead of the Brewers in that particular race, however, the implication that they’re a contender is charitable at best. I mean, no one noted that, with this win, the Pirates have climbed to within 17.5 of the wild card. And by my reckoning, the Brewers are just as out of it as the Pirates are.

Cardinals 3, Dodgers 2: The important thing here is that even though he lost, knuckleballer Charlie Haeger (7 IP, 5 H, 3 ER) earned another start out of this. Not his fault that Chris Carpenter is a stud (8 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 8K). Sure, the HBP followed by the Rick Ankiel homer was regrettable, but there’s no shame in the fact that Pujols hit a home run off of him. Game story: “Pujols led off the fourth with a high shot to left field.” A couple of Dodgers fans in the stands were arguing about that one. “Too high . . . too high” said the first guy. “‘Too high?’ What does that even mean, ‘too high?'”

Padres 4, Cubs 1: 1-0 entering the bottom of the ninth and in comes Kevin Gregg, who quickly allows four runs on a walk, a double, an intentional walk and a walkoff dinger to Kyle Blanks. Lou Piniella: “I think we are going to make some changes as far as what we’re going to do late innings.” On the bright side, Kevin Gregg, Iowa can be very beautiful in late summer. The Padres signed first round draft pick Donovan Tate. I hadn’t realized that he’s former Bucs running back Lars Tate’s son. I suddenly feel very, very old.

Athletics 3, Yankees 0: Brett Tomko was released by the Yankees a month ago, turned around and threw five shutout innings against them last night. Joe Girardi, speaking in oddly declarative sentences: “We’re surprised we got shut out. We have a good offensive team.”

White Sox 8, Royals 7: Mark Buehrle continues to be profoundly unimpressive in the wake of his perfect game, getting knocked around by a particularly feeble Royals’ lineup, but Brian Bannister was roughed up even more, and ultimately Buehrle’s teammates bailed him out.

Rangers 8, Twins 5: Tommy Hunter is now 6-2 with a 2.64 ERA in ten starts, and the Rangers have won five of six. Francisco Liriano should investigate a malpractice suit against the guy who did his surgery (2 IP, 7 H, 7 ER).

Angels’ Pujols has foot surgery, could be sidelined 4 months

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Los Angeles Angels slugger Albert Pujols had surgery on his right foot Friday, possibly sidelining him past opening day.

Angels general manager Billy Eppler said Pujols had the procedure Friday in North Carolina to release his plantar fascia, the ligament connecting the heel to the toes. The three-time NL MVP was bothered by plantar fasciitis repeatedly during the season, but played through the pain in arguably the strongest year of his half-decade with the Angels.

Eppler said the surgery typically prevents players from participating in baseball activities for three months, along with another month before they’re ready to resume playing in games. Opening day for Los Angeles is April 3, and the Angels hope Pujols can be ready.

“He’s at that point in his career where he’s keenly aware of what’s happening with his body,” Eppler said in a phone interview. “I don’t put the timetable on Albert like you would with your younger players. We’ll just see in Albert’s case, as he progresses, what his timetable is.”

Pujols, who turns 37 next month, batted .268 last year with 31 homers and 119 RBIs, the fourth-most in the majors – although his .780 OPS was among the worst of his career. He largely served as a designated hitter instead of playing first base due to problems with his hamstrings and feet.

Pujols heads into 2017 with 591 career homers, ranking him ninth in major league history. He is 18 homers behind Sammy Sosa for eighth place.

After playing in pain until the final week of the Angels’ disappointing season, Pujols began shock wave therapy on his foot early in the offseason, believing he wouldn’t need surgery.

But Pujols’ foot became more painful in recent weeks despite the therapy, and he huddled with the Angels’ top brass to decide on surgery after his most recent trip to see Dr. Robert Anderson in North Carolina. Continuing with conservative care would have required 10 more weeks, forcing Pujols to miss the first half of the 2017 season if he still required surgery.

“He just felt that the pain had gotten to a point where he was comfortable” having surgery, Eppler said. “If we did delay it, you’re just looking at 2 1/2 more months into the season.”

Pujols had a different type of surgery on his right foot last winter, but recovered in time for opening day. He also had plantar fasciitis in his left foot during the 2013 season, eventually forcing him out for the year when his fascia snapped.

Pujols has five years and $140 million remaining on the 10-year, $240 million free-agent contract that pried him out of St. Louis, where he won two World Series and became a nine-time NL All-Star.

The Angels haven’t won a playoff game since Pujols’ arrival and Mike Trout‘s concurrent emergence as one of baseball’s best players. They went 74-88 last season, the injury-plagued club’s worst record since 1999.

Diamondbacks hire Mike Fitzgerald to head Research and Development department

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 24:  Mike Hazen, new Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Red Sox, addresses the media during a press conference to announce his promotion before the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park on September 24, 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
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According to an official announcement, the Diamondbacks have acquired former Pirates quantitative analyst Mike Fitzgerald as their new Director of Research and Development.

Fitzgerald joined the Pirates’ front office in 2012, where he frequently accompanied the team on the road to help breach the divide between analytics and the clubhouse. According to a profile written by Grantland’s Ben Lindbergh in 2014, Fitzgerald’s multifaceted approach brought balance and perspective to the organization, whether he was assisting coaches in making statistically sound decisions, optimizing the batting order, weighing in on scouting and personnel decisions, developing more effective defensive positioning, or keeping players and personnel appraised of the latest developments in sabermetrics.

In the wake of Fitzgerald’s departure, Pirates’ GM Neal Huntington praised the Diamondbacks for a smart acquisition and said that the club has every intention of finding a replacement analyst, albeit one who will have some big shoes to fill.