And That Happened: Tuesday's scores and highlights

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Phillies 1, Giants 0: Philadelphia was cruising before Cole Hamels woke up. Now they’re positively terrifying. Two hitter. Nine Ks. Dear God.

Braves 4 Marlins 3: Tim Hudson is back, pitched well, etc. etc.
OK, with that out of the way, let’s get down to brass tax. This from
reader Matt H.:

The SportSouth broadcast of the Braves-Marlins tonight
showed the jumbotron at Landshark Stadium while Omar Infante was at
bat. In the foreground was the obligatory head shot, with his name and
number. In the background was–I kid you not–a picture of the General
Lee in mid-jump. Yes, that General Lee. I am as big a Braves fan as
there is, and I have no idea why the Marlins put that graphic up. Is
slick and sophisticated Miami poking fun at backwoods Georgia? That
doesn’t make sense, since any linkage of the General Lee with the
Braves is a net win for the Braves.

Seriously. Was that supposed to be a slam? Why don’t you just call the
Braves handsome and give them some free pie while you’re at it, because
there is nothing cooler than being associated with The General Lee.
Maybe the Bandit’s Trans-Am. Maybe.

Tigers 8, Indians 5: Aubrey Huff was 2-2 with 3 RBI. Sadly,
David Huff did not pitch for the Tribe or else I’d be forced to go
Groucho for the second time this year. Cleveland gave up 13 hits and
walked six guys and that lead to the loss. A child of five would
understand this. Quick, send someone to fetch a child of five. Carlos
Carrasco was called up from my hometown of Columbus to pitch in this
disaster. You’re a brave man, Carlos. And remember, while you were out
there risking your life and limb through shot and shell, we were all in
here thinking what a sucker you are. Oh crap, I did it again.

Twins 4, White Sox 3: The White Sox lose. They were probably
discombobulated from having the team’s average age plummet by eight
years since Monday night’s trades. Jeff Manship gave up one run over
five innings. He didn’t figure in the decision, but boy howdy do I like
to say “Manship.”

Cardinals 7, Brewers 6: Joel Pineiro is the only dude in
baseball who can get away with striking out no one. St. Louis is 30-4
since July 1st in starts by Wainwright, Carpenter and Pineiro. I
predict one awesome NLCS, assuming we can dispose of L.A. and whoever wins the wild card quickly enough.

Rangers 5, Blue Jays 2; Rangers 5, Blue Jays 2: Fill my eyes with that double vision. No disguise for that double vision.

Cubs 4, Astros 1: In the fifth, Jeff Baker hit what appeared to
be an inning-ending double play, but Miguel Tejada made an errant throw
to second, allowing Soriano to advance to third. I had no idea that
Baker was from the Dominican Republic.

Red Sox 8, Rays 4: The return of Andy Sonnanstine was less than
fabulous (4 IP, 8 H, 5 R), and I think it’s gettin’ time to bid adieu
to the Rays in 2009. Papelbon pulled a Gossage and pitched a two-inning
save. Then he grew a ridiculous mustache and went on a rant about
pitchers today are wusses.


Reds 11, Pirates 5: Game story: “Pittsburgh is four defeats shy
of becoming the first major American professional team to string
together 17 straight losing seasons.” What happens first: the Pirates
break .500, or Sid Bream dies of old age?

Rockies 8, Mets 3: Lance Broadway pitches two scoreless innings
in relief for the Mets. In other news, “Lance Broadway” was the name I
used on vacations to Las Vegas between the years 1996 and 2002.

Yankees 9, Orioles 6: Two homers for Posada and another shaky performance from Burnett that is likely to fly under the radar.
According to the game story, Posada lost track of the count twice. The
second time he hit a homer after mistakenly thinking he struck out.
You’d think that a catcher of all people wouldn’t lose track of the
count.

Dodgers 4, Diamondbacks 3: Matt Kemp homered for the fourth
straight game. The last Dodger to do that was Hee Seop Choi so, you
know, heady company. A spectacular catch by Andre Ethier in the eighth
inning followed his bases-loaded walk in the seventh which brought in
the winning run.

Royals 4, Athletics 3: The A’s had their chances, but they stranded 11, going 1 for 10 with men in scoring position.

Padres 4, Nationals 1: I’m guessing no one outside of Padre or
National Nation knew this, but apparently the Padres have owned the
Nationals over the years, having gone 30-9 against them since they
ceased to be the Expos.

Mariners 2, Angels 1: A week or so ago Ken Griffey, being
interviewed by a Cincinnati magazine, said that he was going to make it
so that music from “The Nutcracker” played when Adrian Beltre returned
from his injured testicle stint on the DL. I thought that was harsh and
I didn’t think he’d actually do it, but I’ll be damned if he didn’t in
this game. I think something about that should make up the final line
on his Hall of Fame plaque.


Seattle Mariners to make a “full-court press” for Shohei Ohtani

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Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said in a team-sponsored podcast the other day that the M’s will make a “full-court press” for Shohei Ohtani. To that end, Dipoto said that the M’s would be willing to let the two-way star to pitch and to hit, which is something Ohtani is interested in doing in the United States. Not all clubs are likely to let him do this, with most likely seeing him as a starting pitcher only.

Ohtani, who is expected to be posted by his Japanese team, the Nippon Ham Fighters, possibly as early as today, can sign with anyone he wants. He is, however, subject to the international bonus pool caps, so the bids on him will be somewhat limited. The Texas Rangers and New York Yankees have the most money available: $3.535 million for the Rangers and $3.5 million for the Yankees. The Twins ($3.245 million), Pirates ($2.266 million), Marlins ($1.74 million) and Mariners ($1.57 million) are the only other teams with more than $1 million left. Twelve teams — including the Dodgers, Cubs, Cardinals and Astros — are limited to a maximum of $300,000, having met or exceeded their caps for this signing period already.

Ohtani, however, is said to be less motivated by money than he is by finding the right situation. While a lot of guys say that, the fact that Ohtani is coming over to the U.S. now, when his financial prospects are limited, as opposed to waiting for two years when he is not subject to the bonus caps and could sign for nine figures, suggests that he is telling the truth. As such, a team like the Mariners that is willing to allow him to hit and pitch could make up for the couple of million less they have in bonus money to spend.

As for how that might work logistically, Dipoto said that the team would be willing to play DH Nelson Cruz a few days in the outfield to accommodate Ohtani, allowing him to DH on the days he’s not pitching. That might be . . . interesting to see, but given how badly the Mariners could use a good starting pitcher, they have an incentive to be creative.

Ohtani, 23, suffered some injuries in 2017, limiting him to just five starts and 65 games as a hitter. In 2016, however, he hit .289/.356/.547 with 22 homers in 342 at-bats and went 11-3 with a 3.24 ERA, and a K/BB ratio of 146/51 in 133.1 innings as a starter.

Five clubs have more money to spend on Ohtani than the Mariners do. None of those teams are on the west coast, which some Asian players have said in the past they preferred due to faster travel back home. The Mariners, owned for a long time by a Japanese company which still retains a minority interest in the club, and long the home for high-profile Japanese players such as Ichiro and Hisashi Iwakuma, likely have a better media and marketing reach in Japan than most other teams as well, which might be a factor in his decision making process. Is all that enough to sway Ohtani?

We’ll find out over the next couple of weeks.