And That Happened: Tuesday's scores and highlights

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Red Sox 4, Angels 1: Say what you want about the guy, but Dice-K
has always done well on 89 days rest (6 IP 3 H, 0 ER). I’m not sold
yet. Even Dontrelle Willis had a good game his first time back this
year.

Blue Jays 10, Yankees 4: Fisticuffsmanship! Jorge Posada and
Jesse Carlson threw down in front of the Yankee dugout in the eighth.
Unlike most baseball fights, however, someone connected.
Girardi got popped once too. Even an umpire was taken out, with crew
chief Derryl Cousins leaving the game after the fight. Either Cousins
got a case of the vapors or else someone is going to be suspended for
about a decade for roughing up an ump. UPDATE: according to the game
story he was hit in the knee with a bottle of soda thrown from the
stands. So basically everyone was misbehaving.

Giants 10, Rockies 2: Barry Zito struck out nine and the Giants pull to two and a half back. Nervous Jim Tracy?

“Here’s the deal. Here’s our situation. It’s very simple.
It’s black and white. There’s no gray. There’s no middle area. We’ve
got an opportunity to win a game in this series, which is something
that we’re obviously striving for, and you move on and you’re 3½ ahead.
Or you lose and you’re 1½ ahead and then everything’s up for grabs. I’m
not sitting here saying to anybody that we’re trailing. We’re not going
to trail. We’ve still got a lead. But the opportunity of having a
cushion versus giving it back — that’s what tomorrow is all about.”

With quotes like that, I give it greater than even odds that that man is sitting in a broadcast studio someday.

Dodgers 5, Pirates 4: Andre Eithier gets his fourth walkoff home run of the year. He’s the first Dodger to hit 30 home runs since 2004.

Braves 6, Mets 0: The Mets had absolutely no answers for Tommy
Hanson. Couldn’t even get a man past second base on him during his
seven innings of shutout ball (his second straight start without
allowing a run). Adam LaRoche homered twice and drove in three, doing
nothing to harm his second-half-stud reputation. Too little too late
for Atlanta, but it’s nice to see them play out the schedule on a high
note.

Phillies 5, Nationals 0: After three lackluster starts, Cliff
Lee returns to being Superman (CG SHO 6 H, 9 K). Lee is an Adam LaRoche
All-Star himself, improving to 20-3 after the break over the past two
seasons.

Royals 11, Tigers 1: Good thing Detroit doesn’t have to play
Kansas City in the playoffs, because KC has their number, taking their
fifth straight from the Tigers. Magglio hit an $18 million groundout in
the fifth. Play was delayed briefly in the top of the seventh when a
shirtless fan ran onto the field. I have some nogoodnik kin up in
Detroit who don’t do much all summer besides drink beer with their
shirts off, so I’m expecting the call for help with bail any moment
now.

Orioles 10, Rays 5: After lulling the American League into a
false sense of security, Matt Weiters finally decides to strike: 3-5, 5
RBI. It begins.

Marlins 2, Cardinals 1: Wainwright pitched well, but got the
loss because Sean West and the Marlins’ bullpen pitched better.
Wainwright stays at 18 wins. Unless La Russa decides to give him extra
rest heading into the playoffs, he probably has three starts to go. I’m
going to assume at this point that if he wins 20, he’s a lock for the
Cy Young.

Reds 5, Astros 4: I’m not going to say that it’s hard to find
something interesting to talk about in a late-season, no-hope
Astros-Reds series, but here are two of the “game notes” from the game
story: “Janish became the first Reds batter with three doubles in one
game since Jorge Cantu on Sept. 21, 2007, at San Francisco” and “ESPN
college basketball announcer Dick Vitale watched the game with Reds
owner Bob Castellini.” Feel the magic.

Cubs 13, Brewers 7: The Brewers walked 12 guys and hit three
more, so this wasn’t exactly a crisp one. Carlos Zambrano kind of
melted down after four good innings. I’m sure this has absolutely nothing
to do with him being rattled at the “we’re gonna trade you” talk from
earlier in the day, because Carlos is totally composed and cool when
he’s out there and let’s no emotions intrude on the task at hand. Total
iceman.

Athletics 6, Rangers 1: That sound you hear is the Rangers’
playoff hopes being stuffed into a burlap sack and thrown into a river.
The sack’s technically still floating, but it’s about to go under any
minute now. Michael Young came back as a DH after missing two weeks,
but he pulled himself from the lineup because he tweaked the hamstring
again. It’s been a nice season for the Rangers and the future is
bright, but it’s just not happening.

Twins 5, Indians 4: The game stories still talk about the Twins
having a chance to make a run at Detroit, but then you read something
like this: “Along with Morneau, third-baseman Joe Crede is likely out
for the season with back problems, and recent call-up Justin Huber is
day to day with a strained oblique. But Gardenhire said his desire to
call up reinforcements was “squelched” by the front office.” Has the
front office thrown in the towel, or is Gardenhire asking for
unrealistic things? And why is he telling reporters about that kind of
family business? Stange.

Diamondbacks 4, Padres 2: Mark Reynolds hit what proved to be
the game winning homer in the 9th. Nick Hundley made a pretty spiffy
defensive play, acrobatically pursuing an overthrown ball into the
dugout (he went in, not the ball) and throwing out Eric Byrnes at the
plate, who was tagged out by Ardian Gonzalez, who was sliding/diving
for the throw. I’m guessing video does that play better justice than
that description did.

White Sox 6, Mariners 3: The White Sox have gone back and fourth between wins and losses for nine games. One more and they have a Dutch 200, right?

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.