And That Happened: Sunday's Scores and Highlights

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Dave Bush has a sad.jpgCubs
12, Brewers 2
: The Cubs sweep the Brewers in convincing fashion,
outscoring them 25-4. It’s like they’re the Pirates’ older brother or
something, kicking the bully’s butt after that 20-0 beatdown.

Astros
10, Pirates 3
: Of course at some point the best way to defend your
little brother is to let him get his butt kicked a bit so as to toughen
him up. The sixth straight loss for Pittsburgh, most of which have been
ugly. Brett Myers allowed 12 base runners in six innings, yet the Buccos
could still only score two runs off him.  And this has to be the last
start for Charlie Morton, doesn’t it? His earned runs allowed in each
game: 8,6,5 and 5.

Angels
8, Yankees 4
: I’ll concede this much: we’re several days closer to
the day when it is acceptable to boo Javy Vazquez than we were when I
started complaining about it a couple of weeks ago. Vazquez was hit up
for five runs on five hits in three and two-thirds.

Mets 1, Braves 0: I suppose you could say that the fact the game was rain-shortened foreclosed the possibility of a comeback or something, but the Braves had ample opportunity to score before this one was called and couldn’t deliver so they don’t deserve any benefit of the doubt. Mike Pelfrey extends his scoreless innings streak to 24 and the Mets sweep the free-falling Braves.

Royals
4, Twins 3
: Jose Guillen homered and drove in two, continuing his
hot start (.352/.371/.716). This would be encouraging for Royals fans if
they they had any faith that Dayton Moore would do the right thing
(i.e. shop Guillen while he’s hot) instead of the Dayton Moore thing
(i.e. announce a new organizational strategy built around the slugging
prowess of Jose Guillen).  Brian Bannister had a Brett Myersy kind of
day: oodles of base runners in his 6+ innings, but only two runs
allowed.

Rangers
8, Tigers 4
: Pre-season optimism for the Tigers had a lot to do
with the emergence of Rick Porcello last year. His last two starts: six
earned runs in each of them, going four and a third innings against the
Angels last Tuesday and four innings against Texas yesterday. Ten hits
allowed as well, and his ERA is up to 7.91 on the season. Five RBI for
Michael Young, on a three-run double and a two-run single.

Nationals 1, Dodgers 0: An exciting one for pitching perverts like me,
but boring for everyone else. Scott Olsen, Tyler Clippard and Matt Capps
combine to shut out the Dodgers. Chad Billingsely was great too, giving
up only the one run on four hits in six innings and allowing the game’s
only run scored on an Adam Dunn ground out. It was Olsen’s first
victory since July 5th of last year.

Rays 6, Blue Jays 0: When the story of the Tampa Bay Rays season is told, the emergence of David Price is going to be a big part of it. Price dominated the Jays, pitching a four-hit shutout and striking out 9. The highlight of the day for the Blue Jays was Jose Molina throwing out would-be base stealers in four consecutive innings. Alex Anthopoulos, you have a Mr. Epstein holding on line two . . .

Cardinals 2, Giants 0: Combine Dave Duncan’s genius with Brad Penny’s stuff and the San Francisco Giants’ offense and this sort of thing is gonna happen once in a while. Penny is now 3-0 with a 0.94 ERA on the season.  Nine total runs were scored in this series.

Orioles 7, Red Sox 6: The O’s were down 4-1 entering the seventh, having not been able to figure out Tim Wakefield, but then the Bosox’ bullpen collapsed, with Okajima and Atchinson throwing gas on the fire. Rhyne Hughes and Matt Weiters were the 10th-inning heroes for Baltimore, each with RBI singles. The Sox made a valiant effort to come back in the 10th with RBIs from J.D. Drew and Bill Hall, but it was too little, too late. It was a 4-6 homestand for Boston.

Reds 5, Padres 4: The Reds come from behind to end the Padres’ 8-game winning streak. Scott Rolen was 2 for 3 and scored three times. Jay Bruce was 3 for 4 with two doubles and an RBI.

White Sox 3, Mariners 2: A crisp one after a 42-minute rain delay, with John Danks throwing a strong eight innings and a Paul Konerko homer breaking a 2-2 tie in the eighth. Konerko leads all of baseball with eight homers. The won all three of their games against Seattle on late homers, with Andruw Jones and Alexis Rios providing walkoff jobs on Friday and Saturday.

Athletics 11, Indians 0: Gio Gonzalez didn’t have to shut out the Indians over seven innings, but he did it anyway. Three RBI a piece for Eric Chavez, Kevin Kouzmanoff and Eric Patterson. Cleveland lost 10-0 to the A’s on Friday, so this loss bookended their 6-1 victory on Saturday quite nicely.

Diamondbacks 8, Phillies 6: Mark Reynolds had four RBI including a three-run homer and an RBI double.  Justin Upton left the game after fouling a ball off his shin.

Rockies 8, Marlins 4: The third 8-4 game of the day yesterday which means . . . well, nothing, but you just sort of notice that sort of thing when you look at box scores all evening like I do. Seth Smith hit two homers and had 4 RBI. With Brad Hawpe on the DL now, viva outfield depth.

Drew Smyly brings youth and experience to Mariners rotation

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PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) Trades don’t surprise Drew Smyly anymore.

At age 27, the Seattle Mariners left-hander has been dealt twice. The first swap sent him from the team that drafted and developed Smyly, the Detroit Tigers, to the Tampa Bay Rays in midseason 2014. That trade landed star pitcher David Price in Detroit.

“I was surprised by that one,” Smyly said.

The most recent trade involving him came in January, when the Rays shipped Smyly to Seattle for three prospects in one of many moves by Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto. Smyly immediately joined the Mariners’ projected starting rotation, and is having fun getting to know his new teammates at spring training by way of manager Scott Servais’ clubhouse icebreakers.

Servais thinks Smyly is a solid fit as a still young yet experienced pitcher.

“One, being where he’s at in his career age-wise and service time, he’s kind of at the point where, put him in the right environment … very good defensive outfield, he’s a fly ball guy, maybe he does step up and take the next step,” Servais said. “Getting out of the American League East certainly should help him, but there’s no guarantees. Our division’s pretty tough.”

Servais suggested that another Arkansas native, ex-big leaguer Cliff Lee, might have helped sell Seattle on Smyly. Lee is a former Mariner and the two share an agent.

Smyly went 7-12 in a career-high 30 starts last season in Tampa, but won five games from July 30 to the end of the season after starting out 2-11. From May 21 to July 18, he lost seven straight starts.

“Pitching’s tough, you know,” Smyly said. “To manipulate the ball, to make it do different things, to put it in the strike zone with hitters that know what they’re doing. … I just had a rough stretch but I show up at the field every day, play catch and work on my craft and you know, that’s going to turn around one day.”

The 32 home runs Smyly surrendered in 2016 figure to be reduced in Seattle’s pitcher-friendly Safeco Field.

“It can only help,” he said. “But it’s still going to be up to me to execute pitches and pitch well.”

Smyly is set to join the U.S. World Baseball Classic team shortly. Before that, he’ll make his first spring training start in the middle of next week.

“It’s an honor to be able to put your country on your chest and play with some of the guys on that team,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it big time.”

NOTES: Servais plans to roll out what figures to be Seattle’s opening day lineup in the spring training opener Saturday against San Diego. It’s OF Jarrod Dyson, SS Jean Segura, 2B Robinson Cano, DH Nelson Cruz, 3B Kyle Seager, OF Mitch Haniger, 1B Dan Vogelbach, C Mike Zunino and OF Leonys Martin. … Servais said Cano and Cruz will play a little more than is typical for early spring games, as the two will depart for the World Baseball Classic in early March. … LHP Ariel Miranda will start Saturday, then RHP Chris Heston Sunday, RHP Yovani Gallardo on Monday and ace Felix Hernandez on Tuesday.

Mitt Romney’s sons are trying to buy a stake in the Yankees

TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 30:  Tagg Romney son of Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gives an interview during the final day of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 30, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate during the RNC which will conclude today.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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Mitt Romney built his professional life in Massachusetts and was once the governor of the state. As such, it is not surprising that he has long identified as a Red Sox fan. So this has to be troubling to him from a fan’s perspective. From Jon Heyman:

The Romney family is bidding to buy a small stake in the Yankees months after their try for the Marlins stalled. If the deal goes through, it is expected to be $25 million to $30 million per percentage point and thought to be interested in one or two percentage points. The Yankees are valued around $3 billion or more.

The effort is being led by Mitt’s son Tagg, one of his brothers and their business partners. Mitt’s spokesman tells Jon Heyman that he has nothing to do with it personally. Tagg Romney is reported to have been planning a bid for controlling interest in the Marlins, but that has fallen through.

I find this interesting insofar as the M.O. for the Steinbrenners has, for years, been to buy out minority shareholders in the Yankees, not seek more. Indeed, when George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees back in 1973 he held just a bare controlling interest and there were a ton of silent partners, most of which were back in Ohio and knew Steinbrenner from his shipping business. I’ve personally gotten to know some of them over the years as there are a handful of them in Columbus and I crossed paths with them in my legal career. They have almost all been bought out in the past couple of decades. They still get season tickets and World Series rings and stuff. You can tell them by their personalized Yankees plates and the fact that, within the first ten minutes of meeting them, they will tell you that they once owned a piece of the Yankees but got pushed out.

In light of all of that it’s interesting that the Steinbrenners are once again accepting bids for small stakes in the team. Especially from someone whose interest in controlling the Marlins suggests that they do not consider it to be a mere vanity investment. Makes me wonder what the Steinbrenners’ long term plans are.