And That Happened: Monday's scores and highlights


Rockies 6, Giants 4: Walkoff grand slam in the 14th for Ryan
Spilborghs after the Rockies started their half of the inning down 4-1.
Colorado is starting to smell like a team of destiny. At any rate,
they’ve won seven of eight and are now four games ahead of the Giants for the NL wild card.

Phillies 6, Mets 2: If I can’t give John Smoltz full credit for
pitching against the Padres on Sunday, I sure as heck can’t give Cliff
Lee full credit for pitching against, well, whatever it was the team in
the orange, blue and white was forced to throw out there yesterday. I
never thought I’d say this, but not having Jeff Francoeur in the lineup
really hurt. Of course, Cliff Lee continues to be basically ridiculous
(7 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 5K), so the Mets probably could have thrown out the
1986 lineup and they wouldn’t have done much. Ryan Howard drove in
five, which led to this game story note: “The home run also pushed
Howard past 100 RBIs, giving him four straight seasons with at least 30
homers and 100 RBIs. The only other Phillies player to accomplish that
was Hall of Famer Chuck Klein from 1929-32.” I would have bet my
children that Schmidt had done it, but between his relatively
pedestrian 1978 season, the strike in 1981, and some low OBP guys
hitting in front of him, and the opportunities just never presented

Red Sox 12, White Sox 8: We may have a winner for the most
misleading line score of the year in the form of Jose Contreras’ one
earned run in 2.2 innings pitched. Here’s Contreras’ third inning:
Single, out, out (ok so far), walk, HBP, error by Contreras himself,
walk, wild pitch, home run. None of the six runs that scored that
inning were “earned” because of the error. Except it was Jose
Contreras’ error, and it was surrounded with about the worst possible
pitching imaginable. He more than earned those runs. He went out,
tracked them down with dogs, hunted them to the ends of the Earth,
killed them, and drove home with them strapped to the fender of his car
with little tags on their ears. As for the Red Sox, a win is a win, but
Clay Buchholz is as inefficient as a Caloric dishwasher. He averages
something like 97 pitches but only a shade more than five innings a
start. This one was a Buchholz special (4.2 IP, 6 H, 7 ER, 3 BB, 3K, 92
pitches). All in all it was a 3:42 game, and thanks to Contreras and
Buchholz, it may very well have been the ugliest game of the season.

Brewers 7, Nationals 1: A weird 4:30 start time. What’s the
story, here? It’s a getaway day so I see why you don’t go with the
night game, but why not then make it an old-timey businessman’s special
and start the thing a 1PM? I guess they figure they can get people
leaving work a bit early, but I’ve always found it easier to just never
come back after lunch than it is to slip out the door at 4PM. Then
again, I’ve worked at many, many places in my life so perhaps my
example isn’t the best one to emulate.

Rays 12, Blue Jays 7: Roy Halladay’s worst start of the year (6
IP, 12 H, 8 R) shoots his ERA over 3.00 for the first time since early
May. As for the Rays, they keep a close watch on this heart of mine.
They keep their eyes wide open all the time. They keep the ends out for
the tie that bind. Because they’re mine, they’ve won seven of nine.

OK, I’m really sorry about that one. That was bad even for me.

Twins 2, Orioles 1: Scott Baker allows one run on four hits in
seven and beats Chris Tillman. The two Minnesota runs came off of a
wild pitch (following a triple) and a sacrifice fly. Kind of a passive
aggressive game.

Indians 10, Royals 6: Luis Valbuena hit a three-run shot off of
Joakim Soria — who was apparently called in to get the nearly unheard
of two-inning save — in the eighth. Big game for Travis Hafner (3-4,
2B, HR, 4 RBI).

Tigers 10, Angels 7: Miguel Cabrera homered and drove in five.
Justin Verlander had a 10-run lead in the sixth inning when he started
to get hit. Leyland: “He lost his tunnel vision. You got a 10-run lead,
you got to go out there and pitch like it’s a 1-0 lead . . . You can’t
worry about what the score was.” So much for “pitching to the score.”
Umpire Tim Welke left the game in the bottom of the fourth after
getting hit in the chest by a foul tip from Vladimir Guerrero. I didn’t
see it, but given that it’s Vlad we’re talking about, the ball was
probably on Welke’s chest protector already when he swung.

Mariners 3, Athletics 1: Griffey hit a homer with his mom in the
stands. “She doesn’t get to see too many games live. She’s going to
take credit for that one.” Actually, she could technically take credit
for all 625 of your home runs, young man. Not that she’ll ever get any
thanks. And to think she carried you around in her body for nine months
. . . but don’t mind me, I’m just your mother . . . a call would be
nice sometime too, and let me tell you what I think about those boys
you’ve been gallivanting around town with . . .

Orioles interested in Denard Span

Denard Span
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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MASN’s Roch Kubatko is reporting that the Orioles have “some level” of interest in free agent outfielder Denard Span. The Nationals did not make a $15.8 million qualifying offer to Span, which means he doesn’t come attached with draft pick compensation unlike other free agents such as Alex Gordon and Dexter Fowler.

Span, who turns 32 in February, hit a solid .301/.365/.431 with five home runs, 22 RBI, 38 runs scored, and 11 stolen bases, but took only 275 plate appearances due to back and hip injuries. He underwent season-ending hip surgery in September but is expected to be ready to participate in spring training.

The Mets and Royals have also reportedly shown interest in Span’s services.

Blue Jays showing interest in Ryan Madson

Ryan Madson
AP Photo/Orlin Wagner
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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Blue Jays are on the prowl for relievers with closing experience. Ryan Madson is one of the names on their list.

Madson, 35, had a career rebirth with the Royals in 2015. He signed a minor league deal with the club that paid him a salary of $850,000 if he made it back to the majors. Due to a plethora of arm injuries, Madson hadn’t pitched in the majors since Game 5 of the 2011 NLDS against the Cardinals as a member of the Phillies. For the Royals, he wound up becoming a crucial member of the bullpen, finishing with a 2.13 ERA and a 58/14 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings.

While Madson allowed five runs in 8 1/3 post-season innings, he pitched well when it mattered most, as he hurled three scoreless frames in three appearances in the World Series against the Mets.

Madson has closing experience, with 55 career saves. 32 of them came in 2011 when he took over the closer’s role from Brad Lidge.

After signing Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ, and trading for Jesse Chavez, the Jays have bolstered their rotation but it was reported on Saturday that interim GM Tony LaCava is still focused on upgrading the pitching staff.

Trevor Cahill considering the Pirates as a potential destination

Trevor Cahill
AP Photo/Paul Beaty

ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent pitcher Trevor Cahill is looking for a one-year, bounce-back deal. The Pirates are one of the potential teams he is considering.

It’s no surprise that the Pirates are on Cahill’s list. Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage has garnered a reputation as a miracle worker after turning around the careers of a handful of pitchers, including Edinson Volquez, Francisco Liriano, and J.A. Happ. Volquez parlayed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Pirates into a two-year, $20 million deal with the Royals last December. Liriano signed with the Pirates on a one-year, $1 million contract and turned that into a three-year, $39 million deal. Happ, dealt to the Pirates from the Mariners at the most recent trade deadline, just signed a three-year, $39 million contract with the Blue Jays.

Cahill, once a highly-regarded pitching prospect, has scuffled over parts of seven seasons in the majors. The 27-year-old owns a career 4.13 ERA with a 754/427 K/BB ratio in 1,083 2/3 innings. Cahill had some brief success after signing with the Cubs as a free agent in mid-August, compiling a 2.12 ERA in 11 appearances out of the bullpen.

Blue Jays narrow GM search to two candidates: Tony LaCava and Ross Atkins

Tony LaCava
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Blue Jays have narrowed their search for a new general manager down to two candidates: current interim GM Tony LaCava, and Indians vice president of player personnel Ross Atkins. Former Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos resigned last month.

LaCava was promoted to interim GM on November 2 and has already made a handful of moves along with new president Mark Shapiro. The club acquired Jesse Chavez in a trade and signed pitchers Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ to multi-year deals.

Atkins worked under Shapiro in the Indians organization for 15 seasons, so it is no surprise that he is a finalist for the open GM position.