And That Happened: Monday's Scores and Highlights

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Damon homers.jpgTigers 5, Yankees 4: Johnny Damon hit a homer and Austin Jackson drove in a run on a groundout. That’s cool and all, but otherwise they combined to go 1 for 7 with three strikeouts. Despite that, how much you wanna bet that the New York papers make a huge “oh, if we only had those guys!” fuss this morning?

Reds 2, Pirates 1: How to tell if a team is for real? It wins the games it’s supposed to win. A lot of teams have had a problem doing that when the Pirates are involved this year, but Cincy took care of it last night.

Dodgers 7, Diamondbacks 3: Andre Ethier went 3 for 5 with two doubles and two RBI. He’s probably happy that Ronnie Belliard had that contact clause requiring him to lose weight seeing as though he’s carrying this team on his back and everything.

Phillies 9, Rockies 5: Carlos Ruiz and Ross Gload (?!) did most of the damage here, as the Phillies came from behind twice and capped the night off with a four-run ninth inning. In other news, Huston Street threw a bullpen session yesterday. He has been missed.

Braves 8, Brewers 2: Tommy Hanson threw eight scoreless with 8Ks and Martin Prado hit a grand slam. I love the quotes from the Braves in the game story about how it feels like they’re turning it around and everything. One-game winning streak, dudes. For Milwaukee, Ryan Braun left the game in the seventh after getting plunked.

Marlins 4, Cubs 2: Ted Lilly took a no-hitter into the sixth but, in clear violation of baseball’s unwritten rules, the Marlins broke it up and won the game. Wait, correction: it was only a violation of Ted Lilly’s unwritten rules. Still, gotta have respect for (Ted Lilly’s) game, Marlins. Totally bush league if you ask me.  In other news, Cody Ross stole home on a double steal, and that’s always fun (video here).

Angels 5, Rays 4: The Rays’ bats were suffering a perfect game hangover for a long time in this one, but finally woke up late to come from behind and tie it at 4 in the ninth. The winning run came in the 11th, with the sequence going like this: a single, a sacrifice bunt, a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly. Note: no animals or baseballs were harmed in the manufacturing of this run.

Nationals 3, Mets 2: Adam Kennedy and Ryan Zimmerman hit back-to-back jacks and Luis Atilano and five relievers, who did not include closer Matt Capps or winning machine Tyler Clippard, kept the Mets’ bats quiet. A couple of baserunning mistakes hurt the Mets. First, David Wright got doubled off first base on a popup. It had been so long since he had been standing on first perhaps he forgot what to do over there. Second, Jeff Francoeur got caught in a rundown between third and home after breaking for it on a chopper back to the mound.  He’s Jeffy, though, and for him those things just happen sometimes.

Red Sox 7, Blue Jays 6: Brandon Morrow walked five dudes in the second inning. In fact, the Red Sox’ four runs that inning came by virtue of a single hit. The Jays’ 2-5 hitters combined to go 0 for 16.

Jason Kipnis could join Team Israel for 2017 World Baseball Classic

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians throws during batting practice prior to Game Seven of the 2016 World Series against the Chicago Cubs at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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With the 2017 World Baseball Classic around the corner, Team Israel has reportedly reached out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis, per MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. Tournament rules stipulate that a player’s roster eligibility can be achieved in one of several ways: they were born in the country in question or hold citizenship/permanent legal residence there (or are simply capable of qualifying for citizenship), or one of their parents was born in the country or holds citizenship/permanent legal residence there.

For Kipnis, it’s the latter. Kipnis’ father, Mark Kipnis, is Jewish. That gives Kipnis the status he needs to suit up for Team Israel, despite the fact that he is a practicing Roman Catholic. He has yet to confirm or deny his participation in the competition.

Fifteen players have confirmed for Team Israel so far, including Mets’ infielder/outfielder Ty Kelly and free agents Sam Fuld, Nate Freiman, Jason Marquis and Jeremy Bleich. Per MLB.com’s Chad Thornburg, eight minor leaguers will also appear for the team. Like Kipnis, at least three other major leaguers are eligible for Team Israel’s roster but have yet to accept or decline involvement in the WBC: Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson, Mariners infielder/outfielder Danny Valencia and free agent left-hander Craig Breslow.

Rangers to sign James Loney to minor league deal

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 21: James Loney #28 of the New York Mets tosses to first base against the San Francisco Giants during the second inning at AT&T Park on August 21, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  The New York Mets defeated the San Francisco Giants 2-0. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Free agent first baseman James Loney has reportedly signed a minor league deal with the Rangers, per FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. The deal includes an invite to spring training and a $1 million salary if he makes the major league roster in 2017.

Loney picked up a one-year stint and starting role with the Mets in 2016, slashing .265/.307/.397 with nine home runs in 336 PA. While his numbers were down a hair from the .280/.322/.357 batting line he produced with the Rays in 2015, he provided the Mets with a necessary, if underwhelming upgrade over an injured Lucas Duda through most of the season.

The 32-year-old infielder is expected to have some competition at first base, with at least five other candidates in the mix: Jurickson Profar, Ronald Guzman, Ryan Rua, Joey Gallo and Josh Hamilton. Rumor has it that the team is planning on platooning Rua and Profar in 2017, barring any impressive breakouts or injuries during spring training, though Loney could still provide the club with some veteran depth and a decent left-handed bat off the bench.