And That Happened: Tuesday's Scores and Highlights

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Johnny Cueto.jpgReds 9, Pirates 0: Johnny Cueto tosses a one-hitter. He was one single and one HBP away from a perfect game, but the fact that he hit the same guy who got the single — Ronny Cedeno — probably made him feel better.

Red Sox 6, Blue Jays 1: Who are you, Mr. hard-throwing, efficient pitcher, and what have you done with Daisuke Matsuzaka?! (7 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9K, 106 pitches).

Mariners 5, Orioles 1: More controversy: Larry LaRue reports that Don Wakumatsu wanted to use Mike Sweeney to pinch hit in the seventh inning, but he was found raging in the clubhouse.

Marlins 3, Cubs 2: The Cubs have now lost four in a row and seven of eight. Another error for Starlin Castro.

Mets 8, Nationals 6: The Nats had a 6-2 lead entering the eighth when the wheels fell off thanks to the bullpen. Newly called-up Chris Carter hit a clutch two-run double for the Mets and David Wright and Jason Bay each had three hits. Ike Davis had another one of those pretty swell catches in which he leans over the dugout railing. Frankly, I’m beginning to think that he’s just showing off. Kind of like Ric Flair doing that little flip up and over the turnbuckle thing. Except Davis sells his move better.

White Sox 5, Twins 2: The Sox did all of their damage in the fifth inning. And hey, look who got the save! Why, it’s Bobby Jenks, who was supposed to have been demoted or forgotten about or whatever. Just the latest example of one of baseball’s most important maxims: don’t ever listen to what Ozzie Guillen says unless he’s just sort of pontificating about stuff that doesn’t relate directly to him in which case you really should listen because that dude is totally raw and totally hilarious, brother.

Indians 8, Royals 2: Two homers for Russell Branyan. Trey Hillman was ejected in the seventh inning for arguing a play at third, thereby requiring him to retire to the clubhouse and watch the remainder of the game on a video monitor. Hey Trey: get used to watching Royals games on TV.

Astros 6, Cardinals 3: Jason Motte is like an offensive lineman in that you only notice him when he screws up. We all remember that blowski against the Reds back on April 8th because it was, like, the only day game everyone was paying attention to that afternoon. We recognize this performance — homers given up to both Berkman and Pence — because it was also notably awful. We missed the mostly admirable work he did in between, however. Motte had gotten his ERA down to 1.69 as recently as a week ago. He got lit up last night. It happens.

Braves 11, Brewers 3: Troy Glaus and Eric Hinske each had three RBI and the Braves had their first laugher of a win all season. Dave Bush wasn’t horrible for the Brewers, but the pen was.

Athletics 7, Rangers 6: Daric Barton homered in the 11th and hit the winning RBI single in the 13th, as the A’s win a wild one. Andrew Bailey and Neftali Feliz blew saves. Pinch runners were thrown out at the plate, Eric Chavez hit a homer. Really, nothing in this game was particularly ordinary.

Rays 7, Angels 2: Scott Kazmir is Tampa Bay’s career leader in wins, starts, innings, and
strikeouts. He faced the Rays for the first time last night and they made it clear to him that he is of a different era in team history (5 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2K.)

Dodgers 13, Diamondbacks 3: Lots of runs and stuff for L.A., but the thing that jumps out at me the most is the fact that Dan Haren had ten strikeouts in six and a third innings, but also gave up ten hits. there’s a combination you don’t see every day.

Padres 3, Giants 2: Barry Zito was lost, walking seven guys and giving up six hits. It’s a wonder the Padres didn’t score more off him.

Phillies vs. Rockies: Half a mile from the county fair and the rain keep pourin down.

Yankees vs. Tigers: Oh, the water. Hope it don’t rain all day.

Pirates sign reliever Eric O’Flaherty

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Left-hander Eric O'Flaherty has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Pirates that includes an invitation to spring training.

O’Flaherty was one of the best relievers in the league for the Braves from 2009-2013, posting a combined 1.99 ERA in 249 innings, but Tommy John elbow surgery derailed his career and he struggled for the A’s and Mets in 2015 while dealing with shoulder problems.

It’s tough to know if O’Flaherty is healthy at this point, but the 31-year-old southpaw certainly has a chance to be a nice reclamation project for the Pirates on a no-risk contract.

Mariano Rivera to get his plaque in Monument Park on August 14

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The greatest closer in history is going to get the ultimate honor the New York Yankees bestow on August 14. That’s when Mariano Rivera will get his plaque in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium before a game against the Rays.

There was some chatter in the last year or two about whether the Yankees were somehow lowering their standards out there, what with guys like Tino Martinez getting honored. But if that’s something you care about it won’t matter in this instance. Rivera would’ve been worthy even if the old snobby ways had held and only inner-circle types got a plaque, what with him being a key member of five World Series-winning teams and his status as the all-time saves leader in the regular season and the postseason.

The Yankees retired Rivera’s No. 42 in 2013. He’ll get his plaque in August. Then, on the first ballot for which he is eligible, he’ll be voted into the Hall of Fame, likely with a percentage in the mid-to-high 90s.

Dodgers “trying to trade” Alex Guerrero

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Alex Guerrero is a potentially good right-handed bat without a position to play in Los Angeles, so Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reporting that the Dodgers are “trying to trade” him makes sense.

Guerrero, who signed with the Dodgers out of Cuba for $28 million in October of 2013, spent last season in the majors hitting .233 with 11 homers and a .695 OPS in a part-time role that generated 230 plate appearances. He logged a total of just 355 innings defensively, mostly as a left fielder and third baseman.

Guerrero could be intriguing–particularly to an American League team for whom his defense isn’t much of an issue–because he hit .329 with 15 homers and a 1.113 OPS in 65 games at Triple-A in 2014 and was consistently a .300 hitter with an OPS around 1.000 in Cuba. He’s also 29 years old, so Guerrero is no doubt looking to play regularly.

The New Zealand World Baseball Classic team performs the Haka

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It’s World Baseball Classic time again. Just the qualifying rounds. The actual tournament happens in 2017. Qualifiers will happen in Sydney, Australia, Mexicali, Mexico, Panama City, Panama and Brooklyn, N.Y., periodically, between now and September.

The Sydney round just got underway yesterday, so yes, some actual baseball is going on. As I’ve written and ranted before, the WBC is not my favorite thing that happens in baseball and certainly not the most important thing, but it’s pretty fun. Especially when there are displays of enthusiasm and pageantry and the like.

Such as the Haka, which basically every New Zealand sports team does and which never gets old:

 

Down in Sydney, the Australia, New Zealand, Philippines and South Africa teams are competing in a six-game, modified double-elimination format. In the other three qualifying rounds, Mexico, Czech Republic, Germany, Nicaragua, Colombia, France, Panama, Spain, Brazil, Great Britain, Israel and Pakistan will compete. Each qualifying round puts one representative in the WBC.

Those four qualifiers will compete in the WBC itself against countries that performed well enough in the past that they need not submit to qualifying: Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kingdom of the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, United States and Venezuela.

Someone make sure Jon Morosi is well-hyrdrated. It’s gonna be a long year.