And That Happened: Wednesday's Scores and Highlights

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Sergio Romo.jpgGiants
3, Marlins 2
: Barry Zito is now 5-0 after throwing another gem (7
IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 4K). But give mucho credit to Sergio Romo, who atoned for
blowing Tim Lincecum’s game on Tuesday by coming into a bases-loaded,
no-out jam in the eighth to (a) fan Hanley Ramirez on three pitches; and
(b) induce Jorge Cantu to hit into an inning-ending double play.  I
hope Zito bought that man a steak after the game.

Reds 5, Mets 4: I think Jerry Manuel read Ozzie Guillen’s “When I want to quit, I’ll do a lot of stupid things
and make sure they fire me and get paid”
quotes from yesterday morning, because what else could explain (a) taking David Wright out of the game in order to keep Fernando Tatis in it; and (b) using Pedro Feliciano for four straight games, which is only increasing the pressure on an already overtaxed Mets’ pen.

Blue Jays 5, Indians 4: The Tribe are losers of four straight and eight
of their last 10, but this one was particularly painful. Cleveland led
4-2 with two outs in the ninth when Chris Perez gave up a double to Fred
Lewis, Luis Valbuena booted what would have been a game-ending grounder
which allowed Lewis to score and then Perez gave up a two-run shot to
Adam Lind. Perez had been in since there was one out in the eighth.
Asked after the game about using Perez for a five-out save, Manny
Acta made references to Rollie Fingers and Mike Marshall
. Unless
his point was to explain the quality of pitcher that Chris Perez most
certainly is not, I’m not quite sure where he was going with that
comparison.

Pirates 4, Cubs 2: Look kid, we know you’re not Charlie Morton — he can’t pitch and you just did — so just cut the crap. Now tell us: what did you do with Morton? Is he safe? Because if any harm comes to him, well um, aw, forget it.  You gonna be ready to start in five days, “Charlie?”

Phillies 4, Cardinals 0: No one ran onto the field last night. Not even the Cardinals’ hitters, apparently.

Red Sox 3, Angels 1: That’s six straight losses for the Angels. There was a bomb threat before the game. In the game: Big Papi hit a bomb. Coincidence? Why, yes, it most certainly was.

Athletics 4, Rangers 1: This is gonna be one of those years where the AL West champ wins, like, 80 games, isn’t it?

Twins 5, Tigers 4: The sweep. Rick Porcello walked four guys, gave up five hits and allowed five runs in 5.1 innings. After the game he said “it was better.”  Sad thing? He’s not wrong. Miguel Cabrera hit two more runs in a losing cause, and currently has one of the quieter .372/.450/.655 seasons I’ve seen in a long time.

Yankees 7, Orioles 5: Homers from the Nicks and a two-run double from Teixeira give the Yanks a comfortable lead and then the bullpen — after Andy Pettitte’s early exit — takes it home despite the unavailability of both Mo (injury) and Joba (resting).

Braves 7, Nationals 6: A see-saw battle decided with Matt Diaz’s RBI single in the 10th. There had better be a lot more of those in his bat, because Jason Heyward left the game with a groin strain and is probably going to miss a few days, and he has basically been 100% of the offense lately babies.

Astros 4, Diamondbacks 2: The ‘Stros stop the skid on a walkoff jack by Carlos Lee. His first since God knows when, but not this year.

White Sox 9, Royals 2: The Chisox are the Bureau of Reclamation: Freddy Garcia wins, Andruw Jones and Alexis Rios homer.

Rays 8, Mariners 3: Matt Garza pitched eight strong innings to
improve to 5-1 on the season, and helping the Rays win their 20th.
Cliff Lee came out of the gate looking electric, but it didn’t last. He ended up allowing five runs on 10 hits in eight innings. Milton Bradley is getting the help he needs, it seems. The rest of the Mariners need some help too.

Brewers 11, Dodgers 3: The Brewers scored a bunch in the first inning, took a long break and then blew up again in the eighth. I’m not going to say that giving up 11 runs on consecutive nights was unnerving for Dodgers fans, but True Blue L.A. wrote the entire recap of last night’s game in pig Latin.

Rockies 6, Padres 5: Ian Stewart hit a go-ahead homer in the top of the 12th, breaking out of his slump and giving the game to the Rockies. And yes, I did forget this game when I first published the post this morning. I can’t tell you why. Maybe it’s because my brother — who is from San Diego — has been visiting me for a week, I’m getting a little tired of it and I’m just being passive aggressive about all things San Diego.

Chapman has trouble remembering convo with Cubs management about off-field behavior

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CHICAGO — Star closer Aroldis Chapman joined the Cubs on Tuesday, arriving to a mixed reaction in Chicago and saying he couldn’t remember what management told him about off-field expectations and behavior.

After Chapman’s awkward introductory news conference, Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein insisted Chapman understands what the Cubs expect of him after an offseason domestic violence incident.

When the Cubs announced the trade with the New York Yankees on Monday, the team released a statement from Chairman Tom Ricketts saying they were aware of his 29-game suspension to begin the season under Major League Baseball’s new domestic violence policy.

Ricketts said he and Epstein talked by phone with Chapman before the deal was completed and “shared with him the high expectations we set for our players,” adding that Chapman was “comfortable” with them.

But when asked repeatedly about that phone conversation before Tuesday’s game against the crosstown White Sox, Chapman said through an interpreter that he couldn’t recall details because he was taking a nap at the time the call came in.

The question was asked several more times. A Cubs spokesman once asked the question himself to the interpreter, coach Henry Blanco.

“It’s been a long day,” Chapman said. “Trying to remember.”

Asked again several minutes later during the group interview if he could now remember what Ricketts said, Chapman shook his head.

“I still don’t remember,” he said in Spanish.

Epstein called it a misunderstanding and that Chapman was “pretty nervous” as he faced seven cameras and more than two dozen reporters.

“I was on the call, Tom was on the call, Aroldis was on the call and Barry Praver, his agent, was on the call. It happened and it was real,” Epstein said before the Cubs’ 3-0 loss to the White Sox.

Chapman was accused of choking his girlfriend and firing eight gunshots in the garage of a Florida home in October. The woman later changed her story and no charges were filed.

“You learn from the mistakes that you make,” Chapman said.

The case caused the Los Angeles Dodgers to back out of an offseason trade for Chapman. Cincinnati eventually traded him to the Yankees, and after his suspension, the 28-year-old Cuban converted 20 of 21 save chances for New York.

The Cubs have long boasted of stocking their roster with high-character players, helping earn the “lovable losers” label they’ve carried for decades since their last World Series title in 1908.

But the Cubs (59-40) have retooled their roster under Epstein and have the best record in the major leagues despite Tuesday’s loss in which Chapman didn’t pitch. Chapman, who threw a 105 mph fastball last week, fills perhaps the team’s largest hole as he replaces Hector Rondon as closer.

The Cubs sent four players to the Yankees, including shortstop prospect Gleyber Torres, to get one of the game’s top relievers. Epstein said they wouldn’t have made the deal if not for the phone call he and Ricketts had with Chapman.

“Tom laid out the exact same standards that he lays out to everyone in spring training,” Epstein said. “He said, extremely clearly, `Look, Aroldis, I tell all the players this in spring training and it’s important you hear it and I need to hear from you on this. We expect our players to behave. We hold our players to a very high standard for their behavior off the field. And we need to know you can meet that standard.’

“Aroldis said `I understand. Absolutely, I can.'”

The Cubs activated Chapman before Tuesday’s game and designated left-hander Clayton Richard for assignment.

Reaction to Chapman’s acquisition in Chicago has been tepid. While there were supportive fans on talk radio, the Chicago Tribune carried a front-page column Tuesday criticizing the move. The back of the Chicago Sun-Times tabloid read “Spin City” over a picture of Epstein.

Chapman said he expected a “good reaction” from Cubs fans. He was also asked during the 20-minute meeting with reporters in the visiting dugout at U.S. Cellular Field if we would consider working with organizations looking to prevent domestic violence. Chapman said no.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon defended Chapman.

“He did do a suspension, he has talked about it, he’s shown remorse,” Maddon said. “Everybody else has the right to judge him as a good or bad person. That’s your right.

I want to get to know Aroldis. I think he could be a very significant member and he’s got the potential, yes, to throw the last out of the World Series. And if he does, I promise you I will embrace him.”

Report: Padres working on trading Andrew Cashner

ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 21: Starter Derek Norris #3 of the San Diego Padres pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the first inning at Busch Stadium on July 21, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
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Jon Morosi of FOX Sports and MLB Network reports that the Padres are working to trade starter Andrew Cashner. He notes that a deal may be consummated before he takes the hill for Tuesday’s start in Toronto against the Blue Jays. The Marlins, Orioles, and Rangers have had reported interest in Cashner.

Cashner is 4-7 with a 4.79 ERA and a 61/27 K/BB ratio in 73 1/3 innings. He missed over three weeks between June 11 and July 2 due to a strained neck.

The right-hander is earning $9.625 million this season and will be eligible for free agency after the season.