And That Happened: Sunday's scores and highlights

Leave a comment

Phillies 5, Mets 4; Phillies 1, Mets 0: The Phillies win the
second one behind eight shutout innings from Pedro Martinez. Next up:
Tom Glavine comes out of retirement on Tuesday and throws a three
hitter at the Mets, getting run support from Mo Vaughn, who hits for
the cycle, while Vince Coleman coaches third base and Bobby Bonilla
coaches first.

Red Sox 3, Rays 1; Red Sox 4, Rays 0: The Rays drop their 10th
and 11th straight. This is the most unexpected losing streak since
Eddie Murphy went on his 19-movie skid following “Coming to America.”
If we try to match these up, the first game of the doubleheader was the
equivalent of “Holy Man” and the second was “Life.” In the former,
we’ll credit Matt Garza as Robert Loggia, for putting in a quality
performance in what was otherwise a lost cause. In the latter, we’ll
credit Willy Aybar as Martin Lawrence for his 0-4, 3K showing, which
made a stink bomb even more unbearable. And for those of you playing at
home, (a) I’m not counting Murphy’s voice roles or that weird Michael
Jackson music video compilation; and (b) I’m counting his supporting
role in “Dreamgirls” as the streak breaker. I think he was a bit
overrated for that, but if I didn’t count it, we’d be up in the 30s.

Giants 7, Dodgers 2: It’s odd to say it, but this week’s series
with Colorado is bigger than this past weekend’s series against the
Dodgers. The Giants salvage one to pull within four and a half of the
Rockies for the Wild Card.

Padres 7, Rockies 3: After all three of them dropped two of
three to San Diego in consecutive series, as far as the Dodgers,
Rockies and Giants are concerned, the Padres are just a fly in the
ointment. The monkey in the wrench. The pain in the ass, Hans.
Yippee-ki-yay.

Angels 3, White Sox 2: Torii Hunter hit a tie breaking homer off
of Buehrle in the seventh. Hunter said that as the pitch came in, he
was looking changeup because that’s what Buehrle threw him in the same
situation earlier in the game, but that for some reason his hands
reacted to the cutter that he actually received. “My mind said
something else, but my hands said, ‘No,'” Hunter said. Hunter’s alien hand syndrome bears watching going forward. Will it turn horrific like it did for Michael Caine in “The Hand,”
or it will it merely be funny like it was for Peter Sellers in “Dr.
Strangelove?” In other news, my Dad told me that spending every single
weekend between 1988 and 1991 renting awful, awful horror movies like
“The Hand” was a colossal waste of time. It may have taken 20 years,
but it’s starting to pay off, baby. Next up: I try to find some way to
slip in a reference to “April Fool’s Day.”

Twins 8, Athletics 0: Brian Duensing wins the battle of rookie
lefthanders over Gio Gonzalez. “Gio just didn’t have command of his
pitches today,” A’s manager Bob Geren said. “It seems when he missed he
walked guys, and then he’d come in and it would hit the fat part of the
plate.” With the exception of a brief stretch in early August this
could describe any Gio Gonzalez start this year.

Braves 9, Cardinals 2: Please explain to me how you get your
lunch handed to you by the Reds a week ago and then turn around and
sweep the Cardinals in their own ballpark? The Braves hung seven on
Chris Carpenter. I’d like to think that this was a gift on their part
to former Braves’ farmhand Adam Wainwright in his effort to win the Cy
Young Award.

Yankees 13, Orioles 3: CC Sabathia didn’t have his best stuff,
but with his teammates scoring 13 runs on 20 hits, he could have had
Gio Gonzalez’s stuff and still notched the win. The Yankees’ favorite
umpire — Marty “he didn’t have to tag you since the ball beat you”
Foster — ran A-Rod with seemingly no warning and then ran Girardi
after he bolted out of the dugout to argue the A-Rod ejection. Johnny
Damon almost threw a ball into the stands with two outs because he
thought there were three, and his brain lock allowed a run to score.
But again, you score 13 on 20, and none of that garbage really matters.



Pirates 2, Astros 1: Matt Capps got mad because he thought Miguel Tejada and Astros’ first base coach Jose Cruz were stealing signs. Apparently Capps hasn’t read Tejada’s press clippings.
He gives signs, he doesn’t steal them. Tejada, who popped out to end
the at bat, said “I just made an out. That is the first time I have
ever seen a guy mad, yelling at a guy for getting out.” I guess Tejada
didn’t see Game 2 of the 2000 World Series.

Royals 7, Indians 0: The Indians have lost 10 of their last 13,
and have looked really, really bad in most of those games. Carlos
Carrasco gave up five runs on eight hits in six innings, but to read the quotes from Eric Wedge in this game story,
you’d think he pitched a three hit shutout. I can only assume that
Wedge is visiting some self-help/life affirmation guru who has
counseled him to say five nice things a day in order to maintain a
“penumbra of positivity” or to keep his Lifeline oriented more towards
“love” instead of “fear” or some such nonsense.

Tigers 7, Blue Jays 2: Rick Porcello: twenty year-old stopper.
Deep thought: when the Tigers clinch the division, will Porcello be
cited for underage drinking if he partakes in the champagne shower?
Will anyone in Tigers’ management be arrested for contributing to the
delinquency of a minor?

Brewers 5, Diamondbacks 3: Prince Fielder ties Cecil Cooper’s
single season team RBI record at 126 and the Brewers sweep the series.
Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is one of my favorite
beat writers, and one of the reasons is that he live blogs every game.
There’s always something interesting in there too. Little stuff that
never makes the game story and which doesn’t matter in the grand
scheme, but that you’d like to know anyway. Yesterday he had this from the Brewers’ half of the seventh inning: “Braun fouls out to left. The ball was only a foot or so foul and Braun didn’t run. Interesting.”

Cubs 5, Reds 2: With this loss the Reds were officially
eliminated from the NL Central race so, you know, I suppose they can
stop trying now. Nice gesture: the Dayton Daily News’ Hal McCoy —
another excellent beat guy — is being forced into retirement after the
season after 27 years covering the Reds. In his honor, the Cubs gave
him a scoreboard panel with a “37” on it after the game. They would
have given it to him on Friday, but since the Reds and their pitching
staff were in town, they wanted to hold back the 37 just in case they
needed it.

Rangers 7, Mariners 2; Mariners 5, Rangers 0: Not going anywhere
for a while? These guys were already playing a doubleheader because of
Friday’s rain out, and then the first one was delayed four and a half
damn hours. Tommy Hunter threw a six hit complete game in the first
which is totally what you want to see in a twin bill. Didn’t carry
over, though, as Texas had no answers to Felix Hernandez (7 IP, 4 H, 0
ER). Ichiro’s hit in the nightcap was his 200th. He does that an awful lot.

Nationals 7, Marlins 2: Another rainy game, this one was called
in the bottom of the ninth following a second lengthy delay. Of course,
if this game was worth a pair of fetid dingo’s kidneys to the playoff
races they probably would have waited it out. Cody Ross: “Tough series
for us. Definitely not what we wanted. When you’re losing the whole
time it just makes it miserable. The steady rain just compounds that
terrible feeling you have inside.” Cody, it’s OK. Have a good cry and
then give Eric Wedge a call. You’ll be smiling in no time.

Kolten Wong lashes out after losing his starting role with the Cardinals

Getty Images
1 Comment

Kolten Wong is no longer the only second baseman being considered for a starting role on the Cardinals’ roster, and he’s not happy about it. On Saturday, GM John Mozeliak and manager Mike Matheny hinted that Wong could lose playing time to Jedd Gyorko or Greg Garcia in 2017 — in other words, an infielder who brings a little more pop at the plate. Prior to the Cardinals’ game against the Marlins on Sunday, Wong gave his heated response to the media. Via Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

I don’t think you give somebody a contract for no reason,” Wong said. “When you are given a contract, you are expected to get a chance to work through some things and figure yourself out. Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista, all these guys never figured their stuff out until later on down the road. It’s the big leagues. It’s tough, man. For me, the biggest thing is I just need people to have my back. When that comes, it will be good. But, I think right now, it’s just staying with my play, understanding I’m working toward getting myself more consistent, understanding what kind of player I can be. If that’s going to be with another team, so be it.

When pressed, Wong said that he would rather be traded away from St. Louis than step into a limited role with the team. “I don’t want to be here wasting my time,” he told the press. “I know what kind of player I am. If I don’t have the belief here, then I’ll go somewhere else.” The 26-year-old was inked to a five-year, $25.5 million extension prior to the 2016 season, complete with a $12.5 million option and $1 million buyout.

Part of Wong’s frustration stems from the Cardinals’ backtracking on their stated commitment to him as their starting second baseman last winter. Mozeliak admitted that while Wong had the defensive tools necessary to hold down the position, he failed to impress at the plate. It’s an argument that Wong hasn’t been able to rebut this spring, going 8-for-44 with two extra bases and 10 strikeouts in camp. He hasn’t looked much better in the regular season, sustaining a career .248/.309/.370 batting line with a .678 OPS and 5.1 fWAR over four years with the organization.

Still, the second baseman feels that he should have been given some heads up that he was playing to keep his starting role this spring, admitting that he entered camp with the mentality of someone who had a guaranteed spot on the Cardinals’ roster and not someone whose job security was dependent on his day-to-day results. “I need the time to consistently figure out how to be me and succeed at this level,” said Wong. “Everybody goes through it. Not everybody is Mike Trout.”

The Tigers are trying to convert Anthony Gose into a pitcher

Getty Images
1 Comment

Tigers’ center fielder Anthony Gose wants to try his hand at pitching, according to comments made by manager Brad Ausmus on Sunday. Gose is poised to start the year in Triple-A Toledo after receiving a midseason demotion to Double-A last summer following an altercation with Triple-A manager Lloyd McClendon.

While the experiment won’t detract from Gose’s outfield work in Triple-A, the 26-year-old is expected to take on additional bullpen sessions throughout the year. According to MLB.com’s Jason Beck, the left-handed hitter last took the mound in high school, where his fastball was clocked as fast as 97 m.p.h. Gose ultimately rejected the idea of starting his professional career as a pitcher, despite receiving favorable assessments from scouts.

Ausmus said the idea first surfaced at the end of the 2016 season. It appears to be a fallback option for the outfielder, who has struggled at the plate over his five-year career in the majors. Via Chris McCosky of the Detroit News:

Doolittle in Oakland did it and he was in the big leagues a couple of years later,” Ausmus said. “It’s going to take some time. He’s going to have to be a sponge and catch up on experience fast. But we feel it’s worth investigating.