And That Happened: Wednesday's Scores and Highlights

Leave a comment

Braves 15, Mets 2: Brian McCann hit a three-run homer in the second inning after five runs had already scored. And guess what: THE BRAVES DIDN’T SCORE ANOTHER RUN IN THAT INNING AFTER THE HOMER. They’re rally-killers, dude. Avoid the home run at all costs. Bright side for Mets fans: Bobby Parnell didn’t get near that 85 pitch count they’re saying he’s on: he was in the showers after 71 thrown in three innings.

White Sox 4, Royals 2: Jose Contreras allowed one run and three hits in seven innings, struck out eight and walked only one. Zack Greinke only allowed six hits himself — and three of them were rally-killing home runs — but Greinke lost anyway.

Phillies 8, Diamondbacks 1: Cliff Lee (CG 2 H, 0 ER, 11K) is like a one-man army, like Charlton Heston in “Omega Man.” You ever see it? Beauty.

Pirates 3, Brewers 1: Paul Maholm is basically indestructible. In the fourth inning. Mike Cameron hit a liner off Maholm’s pitching arm and it bounced off right to the second baseman, who threw Cameron out. In the eighth inning, Alcides Escobar hit one off of Maholm’s shin, and he too was thrown out on the play. Maholm stayed in the game for another batter after that and was lifted, but it was for cause (he was tired; he gave up a single late) not injury. Final line: 7.2 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, a couple of giant bruises when he wakes up this morning.

Rays 3, Orioles 1: Three solo homers and a solid start by Jeff Niemann. You know, I don’t want to give any false hope here, but the Orioles are not out of the Bryce Harper race yet, sitting back of Washington a scant 4 games in the loss column as the bulldog goes to press.

Mariners 3, Tigers 1: Justin Verlander struck out ten and deserved a better fate, but Ian Snell + the Seattle bullpen pitched a little better. I’ve mentioned this before, but absolutely hate this kind of comment in a game story: “Verlander now has 204 strikeouts, making him the first Tigers pitcher to reach 200 since Jeremy Bonderman in 2006.” Really? All the way back to 2006? Here’s a suggestion: let’s make all such callbacks be required to stretch back at least five years. Like “Verlander is the first Tigers pitcher whose last name starts with a V since Andy Van Hekken’s September callup back in 2002.

Angels 3, Indians 0: Jered Wever shuts down the Indians (CG SHO, 7 H). The Angels are 24-8 since the All-Star break and have won five in a row. Game story: “A light rain sent fans scurrying for cover in the seventh inning as the teams kept playing. It stopped about 15 minutes later.” If I didn’t know better, pardner, I’d say that you was callin’ Clevelanders yella!

Red Sox 6, Blue Jays 1: If, a month ago, I would have told you that would Buchholz beat Halladay in this game, you would have assumed that the Jays won, wouldn’t you have?

Giants 1, Reds 0: Barry Zito and three relievers combine to shut
out the Reds. The Giants’ only run came when Wladimir Balentien tried
to lay out for a diving catch on Nate Schierholtz’s hit to the outfield
— missed it — which allowed Edgar Renteria to score.

Rockies 5, Nationals 4: Carlos Gonzalez won’t stop hitting home runs.

Cardinals 3, Dodgers 2: Adam Wainwright was throwing a no-hitter
into the sixth inning but ended up getting a no decision. The Dodgers
lead in the west is now only 3.5 games over Colorado. Yikes.

Cubs 7, Padres 1: The Cubs, behind Rich Harden’s seven innings of one-hit shutout ball, wake up to salvage one game of the series.

Yankees 3, Athletics 2: Teixeira hit a two-run homer and Derek
Jeter stays hot. After a day off today, they’re in Fenway for the
weekend with a chance to bury the Red Sox for good, one would think.

Astros 6, Marlins 3: Facts that are neat but kinda mean nothin’
department: The Marlins have had ten hits for fifteen straight games,
which is the longest such streak in baseball since the St. Louis Browns
did it in 1937. Ten hits combined with sixteen stranded runners and
three errors gets you a loss, however.

Twins 5, Rangers 4: Pudge got a big ovation, then went 3 for 4
with an RBI and run scored in his first game with the Rangers. He
couldn’t handle a throw in a play at the plate in the sixth, however,
which allowed the winning run to score.

David Ortiz and Kris Bryant win 2016 Hank Aaron Awards

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 26:  (L-R) Kris Bryant #17 of the Chicago Cubs, Major League Baseball Hall of Famer 2016 Hank Aaron, Commissioner of Baseball Rob Manfred and David Ortiz #34 of the Boston Red Sox pose during the Hank Aaron Award ceremony prior to Game Two of the 2016 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on October 26, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Jason Miller/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday that former Red Sox DH David Ortiz and Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant won the 2016 Hank Aaron Award in their respective leagues.

Ortiz, 40, flourished in his final season, batting .315/.401/.620 with 38 home runs and 127 RBI in 626 plate appearances during the regular season. His .620 slugging percentage, 1.021 OPS, and 48 doubles led the majors while his 127 RBI led the American League. Ortiz also won the Hank Aaron Award back in 2005.

Bryant, 24, is the likely winner of the National League Most Valuable Player Award as well. He hit .292/.385/.554 with 39 home runs and 102 RBI over 699 plate appearances. He also led the league by scoring 121 runs. Bryant is the first Cub to win the Hank Aaron Award since Aramis Ramirez in 2008.

Last year’s winners in the AL and NL, respectively, were Josh Donaldson and Bryce Harper.

Alex Rodriguez is taking his analyst role quite seriously

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 12: Alex Rodriguez #13 of the New York Yankees answers question in a press conference after the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium on August 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

If you’ve happened to catch any of the coverage of the 2016 postseason on Fox and FS1, you’ve heard former Yankees DH Alex Rodriguez as part of an analyst panel with host Kevin Burkhardt and former major leaguers Pete Rose and Frank Thomas. Rodriguez has drawn rave reviews not just for passing a rather low bar we set for former athletes-turned-commentators, but because he’s adding real insight drawn both from his playing days and from doing research.

Indeed, Rodriguez is taking his new job as an analyst quite seriously, Newsday’s Neil Best reports. Bardia Shah-Rais, the VP of production for Fox, said of Rodriguez, “This is not a hobby for him. It’s not a parachute in. He’s invested. If we have a noon meeting, he’s there at 11:30 a.m. He’s emailing story ideas in the morning. He wants research. He’s almost all-in to the point where it’s annoying.”

Rose also praised Rodriguez, saying, “You’ve never been around a guy who prepares more than Alex does. Alex does his homework. He knows the game. He understands players. He’s into the deal . . . Frank does a great job in preparation, too. I’m the only one that don’t prepare as much as these two guys. I don’t know if that’s because I can’t write or what it is. But these guys do their homework and they ask questions and they ask the right questions and then you put that in with our experience, all the things we’ve been through and how good we get along with each other, that’s why it shows up on the TV.”

Rodriguez, who hasn’t officially retired despite not having played since the Yankees released him in mid-August, wouldn’t commit to more TV work beyond this year’s postseason.