And That Happened: Sunday's Scores and Highlights


Braden perfect.jpgAthletics 4, Rays 0:  I wrote my real-time reaction last night when it happened, and touched on the A-Rod implications a bit later. With a night’s sleep on it, I’m thinking more cosmically about it.

HardballTalk’s Senior Commenter, Old Gator, sent me a book last week called The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop. I’m not far enough into it to give you an overview, but there is a point early on when the main character describes a perfect game that just happened:

. . . think what a wonderful rare thing it is to do something, no matter how small a thing, with absolute unqualified utterly unsurpassable perfection! To do a thing so perfectly that, even if the damn world lasted forever, nobody could ever do it better, because you had done it as well as it could possibly be done . . . In a way, you know, it’s even sad somehow, because, well, it’s done, and all you can hope for after is to do it a second time.”

I read that mere hours before I caught the last few innings of Braden’s perfecto, and it really hit the spot right now.

Phillies 5, Braves 3: I’m not giving up on the Braves because in 25 years I have never given up on them and never will. But I will bail on individual games. I bailed on this one in the bottom of the first when Raul Ibanez flew out to shallow, shallow right with the bases loaded scoring Chase Utley from third and Melky Cabrera didn’t even make a throw. Which means either (a) Melky is a freaking moron who had no idea that there was someone on third; or (b) he doesn’t have enough confidence in his arm to throw someone out from what was basically deep second base.  Either way it’s pathetic, and it was too sunny a damn day in Ohio for me to get an ulcer watching that garbage. My son and I skipped stones at the pond near our house instead. He’s four and he has a better arm — and more confidence in it — than Melky Cabrera.

Cardinals 11, Pirates 4: Eleven runs and neither Albert Pujols nor Matt Holliday (who took the day off) drove one in. The difference between the 2009 and the 2010 Cardinals? Balance, baby.

Brewers 6, Diamondbacks 1: The Diamondbacks gave up three homers yesterday and have now given up 50 homers on the season, and that’s by far the most in baseball.

Mariners 8, Angels 1: Fire the hitting coach on Sunday morning, put up eight on the defending division champs on Sunday afternoon.  That worked so well that teams should fire their hitting coach every day!

Rangers 6, Royals 4: Royals manager Trey Hillman after the game: “If you had
told me we would be 10 games under .500 at this time, I never would have
believed it.” Me neither. I would have guessed they’d be 15 under, easy.

Twins 6, Orioles 0: Nick Blackburn pitched seven shutout innings but didn’t strike anyone out. And that’s the second time he did this year. Mauer was back for the first time in nine games and went 1 for 3 as the DH. Justin Morneau had the golden sombrero, which I imagine is much more fun when you win a game than when you lose.

Nationals 3, Marlins 2: Matt Capps got his 13th save. The night before the game he met my friend Megan at a charity ball. I was going to say that Megan was a wonderful inspiration for him, but she met Pudge Rodriguez at the same ball and he went 0 for 4.

Red Sox 9, Yankees 3: A.J. Burnett had faced the Orioles the last two times out, so maybe he just forgot how to pitch to people who know how to play this game. Nice way to salvage the series, but Boston still has a long road ahead of them if they want to make things interesting.

Blue Jays 9, White Sox 7: Ugly 9th for Bobby Jenks, with the big blast being Fred Lewis’ three-run blast which proved to be the game winner. After the game, Ozzie Guillen said he may look for alternatives at closer. In response, Jenks said that “doesn’t even make sense.” Bobby, have you met your manager? Half of what that dude says doesn’t make sense. This is news to you?

Giants 6, Mets 5: If you walk seven guys in less than four innings you need to look in the mirror. If you walk seven San Francisco Giants in less than four innings you need to look for a new job. Oliver Perez, ladies and gentlemen.

Reds 5, Cubs 3: From the game story: “Votto connected on Ryan Dempster’s first pitch after he was visited by manager Lou Piniella.” Unless Lou is laying heavy money on the opposition, I’m going to guess that Dempster didn’t do what Lou told him to.

Astros 4, Padres 3: Hunter Pence with a walkoff double in the 11th to
avoid the sweep at the hands of the Padres. With ten games
against the Giants and the Dodgers starting on Tuesday, San Diego’s travel schedule sounds like the lyrics from “California Love.” Pasadena, where you at?

Dodgers 2, Rockies 0: Ubaldo Jimenez has his ERA skyrocket from 0.87 to
0.93 on account of the sheer number of run he gave up yesterday. No,
that’s not a typo. He really just gave up one run. Thing is, Clayton
Kershaw gave up none in eight innings, allowing only two hits and
rendering last Tuesday’s massacre at the hands of the Brewers a distant

Indians 7, Tigers 4: Oh sure, wait until I’m way back down here in
Columbus to have nice weather. Youse fancypants, all a youse.

Blue Jays showing interest in Ryan Madson

Ryan Madson
AP Photo/Orlin Wagner
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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Blue Jays are on the prowl for relievers with closing experience. Ryan Madson is one of the names on their list.

Madson, 35, had a career rebirth with the Royals in 2015. He signed a minor league deal with the club that paid him a salary of $850,000 if he made it back to the majors. Due to a plethora of arm injuries, Madson hadn’t pitched in the majors since Game 5 of the 2011 NLDS against the Cardinals as a member of the Phillies. For the Royals, he wound up becoming a crucial member of the bullpen, finishing with a 2.13 ERA and a 58/14 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings.

While Madson allowed five runs in 8 1/3 post-season innings, he pitched well when it mattered most, as he hurled three scoreless frames in three appearances in the World Series against the Mets.

Madson has closing experience, with 55 career saves. 32 of them came in 2011 when he took over the closer’s role from Brad Lidge.

After signing Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ, and trading for Jesse Chavez, the Jays have bolstered their rotation but it was reported on Saturday that interim GM Tony LaCava is still focused on upgrading the pitching staff.

Trevor Cahill considering the Pirates as a potential destination

Trevor Cahill
AP Photo/Paul Beaty
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ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent pitcher Trevor Cahill is looking for a one-year, bounce-back deal. The Pirates are one of the potential teams he is considering.

It’s no surprise that the Pirates are on Cahill’s list. Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage has garnered a reputation as a miracle worker after turning around the careers of a handful of pitchers, including Edinson Volquez, Francisco Liriano, and J.A. Happ. Volquez parlayed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Pirates into a two-year, $20 million deal with the Royals last December. Liriano signed with the Pirates on a one-year, $1 million contract and turned that into a three-year, $39 million deal. Happ, dealt to the Pirates from the Mariners at the most recent trade deadline, just signed a three-year, $39 million contract with the Blue Jays.

Cahill, once a highly-regarded pitching prospect, has scuffled over parts of seven seasons in the majors. The 27-year-old owns a career 4.13 ERA with a 754/427 K/BB ratio in 1,083 2/3 innings. Cahill had some brief success after signing with the Cubs as a free agent in mid-August, compiling a 2.12 ERA in 11 appearances out of the bullpen.

Blue Jays narrow GM search to two candidates: Tony LaCava and Ross Atkins

Tony LaCava
AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Blue Jays have narrowed their search for a new general manager down to two candidates: current interim GM Tony LaCava, and Indians vice president of player personnel Ross Atkins. Former Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos resigned last month.

LaCava was promoted to interim GM on November 2 and has already made a handful of moves along with new president Mark Shapiro. The club acquired Jesse Chavez in a trade and signed pitchers Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ to multi-year deals.

Atkins worked under Shapiro in the Indians organization for 15 seasons, so it is no surprise that he is a finalist for the open GM position.

The Diamondbacks met with Johnny Cueto’s agent

AP Photo/David Goldman

Update (7:58 PM EST): Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that Diamondbacks GM Dave Stewart met with Cueto earlier this month in the Dominican Republic and made a contract offer that the right-hander turned down. The Diamondbacks maintain interest in the free agent.


Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Diamondbacks spoke with Bryce Dixon, the agent of free agent starter Johnny Cueto. However, Rosenthal notes that Cueto’s price tag is expected to exceed the Diamondbacks’ comfort level.

Cueto, 29, is one of a handful of highly touted starting pitchers in this offseason’s free agent class. He is joined by David Price and Zack Greinke, among others. Jordan Zimmermann inked a deal in the neighborhood of $110 million over five years with the Tigers on Sunday morning, which will serve as a barometer for Cueto.

Cueto finished the 2015 regular season, between the Reds and the Royals, with a 3.44 ERA and a 176/46 K/BB ratio over 212 innings. He made 13 shaky starts with the Royals, but outside of a shellacking in Game 3 of the ALCS against the Blue Jays, pitched well in the post-season. Cueto pitched a complete game in Game 2 of the World Series against the Mets, helping put the Royals up two games to none at the time.

As a result of switching teams during the season, Cueto was not eligible to receive a $15.8 million qualifying offer. This means that Cueto, unlike Zimmermann for example, does not come attached with draft pick compensation.