And That Happened: Tuesday's scores and highlights

Leave a comment

Rockies 5, Dodgers 4: If you encounter a team in the Dodgers’
position, lean them forward slightly and stand behind him or her. Make
a fist with one hand. Put your arms around the person and grasp your
fist with your other hand in the midline just below the ribs. Make a
quick, hard movement inward and upward in an attempt to assist the
person in dislodging the object that is obstructing the airway. This
maneuver should be repeated until the person is able to breathe or
loses consciousness.

Marlins 2, Mets 1: Yesterday, in the wake of the Johan Santana news, I wrote
“Rest now, Mets fans. There really is nothing else that can hurt you
this year.” Almost immediately thereafter readers wrote in with ways
this nightmare of a season could get worse. Things like a
Phillies-Yankees World Series or Jeff Francoeur getting a five year
deal. With each passing day the latter seems like a possibility. As one
of the only real major leaguers left on the roster (I use that term to
describe tenure more than merit), Frenchy will stick out. Especially if
he does things like hit a couple of doubles a night like he did here.
And no, it doesn’t matter that one of the doubles was a total misplay
on the part of the defense. It still counts!

Pirates 6, Phillies 4: At this rate does Brad Lidge even make
the postseason roster? Brought in to protect a one-run lead in the
ninth, Lidge blows his ninth save of the year and sees his ERA go up to
7.33. He had some help from Jayson Werth, who came in late in the game,
supposedly to provide defense, but who let a run score on an error.

Royals 6, Indians 2: Zack Greinke mows down the Indians with 15
strikeouts. With this outing, with Halladay’s recent swoon, and with
the guys with the high win totals posting considerably higher ERAs,
Greinke probably just catapulted himself back into “favorite” status
for the Cy Young award, didn’t he?

Reds 8, Brewers 6: The Reds blow a five run lead in the ninth,
but Joey Votto and Laynce Nix homer in the 13th to make it all better.
The dingers came off of former Red Todd Coffey. The Reds hitters had
the psychological advantage in that situation: they knew that Coffey
sucks, whereas Coffey probably still labors under delusions that he
does not. It’s called clarity of thought, people. Therein lies the
advantage.

Rangers 10, Yankees 9: Let’s hear it for all of that extra rest
Joba Chamberlain got (4 IP, 9 H, 7 ER). Let’s also hear it for a
valiant, yet utterly unsuccessful ninth inning rally by the Yankees.

Red Sox 6, White Sox 3: Chicago loses its third straight and
falls to .500. Jacoby Ellsbury steals his 55th base, breaking the tie
with Tommy Harper for the most steals in a single season in Red Sox
history.

Tigers 5, Angels 3: Detroit takes advantage of the Chicago loss,
extending their lead to four and a half games. John Lackey was beat up
for the second straight outing. Miguel Cabrera (3-5, 2B, HR, 2 RBI) is
on pace for having one of the quietest .340 35 HR 100 RBI seasons in
recent memory.

Cardinals 1, Astros 0: Wandy Rodriguez and Adam Wainwright throw
bullets all night — each only gave up three hits — but a quick single
from Brendan Ryan followed by a Pujols double in the first inning put
Rodriguez in a “hole” he could never get out of. This game took 2:10,
which is roughly the length of your average AL East inning.



Rays 7, Blue Jays 3: Carlos Pena continues his Dave Kingmanesque
season, hitting his 36th and 7th home run, while still maintaining that
.223 average. Wait, that’s not fair. Pena leads the league in walks and
he can play some defense, so Kingman’s not a good comp. How about his
Russell Branyan season?

Padres 2, Braves 1: Adam LaRoche knocked in pinch runner Reid
Gorecki with two outs in the ninth (after Gorecki stole second) to
stave off defeat, but then David Eckstein won it for the Pads with an
RBI double in the 12th. The Braves’ 1-2-3 hitters combined to go 0-16.

Nationals 15, Cubs 6: Huge nights for Josh Willingham (4-4, 2
HR, 6 RBI) and Elijah Dukes (2-3, 2B, HR 5 RBI) provide a
not-so-friendly welcome back for Carlos Zambrano, who was making his
first start since August 1st. Zambrano did hit a homer, though.

Twins 7, Orioles 6: Delmon Young goes 4-5 and hits a walkoff single in the ninth.

Mariners 4, Athletics 2: Ryan Langerhans, in as a defense
replacement (AHEM, Jayson Werth) wins the game with a 10th inning
homer. Even in the loss, Oakland Rookie Brett Anderson was sharp,
giving up one run on six hits with eight strikeouts in seven innings.

Giants 5, Diamondbacks 4: Travis Ishikawa’s three-run shot in a
tie game in the eighth inning proves to be the winner after the Giants
had their hearts ripped out by the Rockies the night before. At this
point, seeing someone come back from a killer loss to the Rockies like
this might be the only ray of sunshine in Dodgerland.

Reid Brignac is trying to become a designated hitter

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Reid Brignac #4 of the Atlanta Braves poses on photo day at Champion Stadium on February 26, 2016 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.

I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.

I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.

As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.

There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.

Video: Andrelton Simmons makes a heads-up play to catch Carlos Asuaje off first base

ANAHEIM, CA - AUGUST 03:  Andrelton Simmons #2 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim returns to the dugout after scoring in the second inning against the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on August 3, 2016 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images
2 Comments

Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons fell off the map a bit last year due to a combination of the Angels’ mediocrity, Simmons’ lack of offense, and a month-plus of missed action due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.

Simmons is still as good and as smart as ever on defense. That was on full display Monday when the Angels hosted the Padres for an afternoon spring exhibition.

With a runner on first base and nobody out in the top of the second inning, Carlos Asuaje grounded a 2-0 J.C. Ramirez fastball to right field. The runner, Hunter Renfroe, advanced to third base. Meanwhile, Asuaje wandered a little too far off the first base bag. Simmons cut off the throw to first base, spun around and fired to Luis Valbuena at first base. Valbuena swiped the tag on Asuaje for the first out of the inning.