And That Happened: Sunday's Scores and Highlights


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.

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.

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.

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

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.

Erik Johnson likely to open 2016 in the White Sox rotation

DENVER, CO - APRIL 09:  Starting pitcher Erik Johnson #45 of the Chicago White Sox delivers against the Colorado Rockies during Interleague play at Coors Field on April 9, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies defeated the White Sox 10-4.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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With the White Sox losing Jeff Samardzija to free agency, Erik Johnson will likely get a shot to contribute out of the rotation to open up the 2016 season, GM Rick Hahn said in a conference call on Wednesday, per a report from’s Scott Merkin.

“As we sit here today, I think it will be an opportunity for Erik Johnson to convert on sort of the return to form he showed back in 2015 when he was International League pitcher of the year for [Triple-A] Charlotte,” Hahn said. “Obviously, he got some starts in September and continued to show the progress in Chicago he had shown in the Minor Leagues over the course of the last season.

“So if Opening Day were today, then I think Johnson is penciled in to that spot in the rotation right now. In all probability, once we get closer to spring, there will be some competition for him to earn that spot. But if we were strictly looking at today, then I would think Johnson has the inside track on filling Samardzija’s innings.”

Johnson was called up from Triple-A Charlotte in September and made six starts, allowing 14 runs (13 earned) on 32 hits and 17 walks with 30 strikeouts in 35 innings. That followed up an impressive five months in the minors where he compiled a 2.37 ERA and a 136/41 K/BB ratio across 132 2/3 innings.

Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, and each included Johnson on their top-100 prospect lists, ranking him 63rd, 67th, and 70th, respectively. The right-hander was selected by the White Sox in the second round of the 2011 draft.

Major League Baseball will investigate Yasiel Puig for his role in Miami nightclub brawl

Yasiel Puig
AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi

It was reported on Friday afternoon that Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig was involved in a brawl at a Miami nightclub. Details were scant at the time, but he reportedly left with a bruise on his face.

Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that Major League Baseball plans to investigate Puig under the league’s new domestic violence policy for his role in the brawl. Citing a report from TMZ, Hernandez notes that Puig shoved his sister, “brutally sucker-punched” the manager of the bar, and instigated the brawl.

The Dodgers and Puig’s agent have thus far refused to comment on the situation.

Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes was the first player to be investigated under the league’s new domestic violence policy earlier this month, as he allegedly assaulted his wife. Reyes has pleaded not guilty after he was charged with domestic abuse in Hawaii.

As our own Craig Calcaterra pointed out, commissioner Rob Manfred does not need to wait for Puig to plead guilty or to be found guilty to levy a punishment.

Dayan Viciedo close to signing with Japan’s Chunichi Dragons

Dayan Viciedo
AP Photo/Carlos Osorio
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Patrick Newman is reporting that the Chunichi Dragons of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball and outfielder Dayan Viciedo are close to an agreement on a contract. Newman notes that the Dragons are close to signing pitcher Jordan Norberto as well.

Viciedo, 26, has struggled since making his major league debut in 2010 with the White Sox, batting an aggregate .254/.298/.424 with 66 home runs and 211 RBI in 1,798 plate appearances. He spent the 2015 season with Triple-A Charlotte (White Sox) and Nashville (Athletics), hitting a composite .287/.348/.450. While Viciedo can hit the occasional home run, he hasn’t shown the ability to do much else at the big league level. Given his age, he could prove himself in Japan and parlay that into a renewed shot in the majors in the future.

The White Sox signed Viciedo out of Cuba in December 2008, agreeing to a four-year, $10 million deal. The club re-signed him to one-year deals in 2013 and ’14 for $2.8 million each and $4.4 million ahead of the 2015 season.

Blue Jays sign J.A. Happ to a three-year, $36 million contract

J.A. Happ
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Update (8:45 PM EST): Per Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi, Happ will get $10 million in 2016 and $13 million each in 2017 and ’18.

*’s Gregor Chisholm reports that the Blue Jays have signed lefty J.A. Happ to a three-year deal worth $36 million.

Happ, 33, had a rebirth as a member of the Pirates last season after starting the season with 20 subpar starts with the Mariners. He made 11 starts for the Buccos, boasting a 1.85 ERA with a 69/13 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings.

Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported this past August that Happ’s newfound success had to do with a delivery tweak suggested by Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage. The Blue Jays are certainly hoping that adjustment is the full explanation for his success.

The Jays’ signing of Happ most likely signifies they won’t be pursuing free agent lefty David Price.

This will be Happ’s second stint with the Blue Jays. The Astros dealt him to Toronto in a July 2012 trade. He posted a 4.39 ERA with a 256/113 K/BB ratio in 291 innings with the Jays, then went to the Mariners in a trade this past December that brought outfielder Michael Saunders to the Jays.