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.

Max Scherzer will not be ready for Opening Day

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Ten days ago Nationals ace Max Scherzer said he’d be ready for the start of the regular season. “I’m gonna do it,” Scherzer said.

[Ron Howard from “Arrested Development” voice] — No, he’s not:

Nationals manager Dusty Baker said that Max Scherzer is not on track to be the team’s opening day starter, and will most likely open the season as the third pitcher in the rotation.

He’s still projected to make it to the opening rotation, taking the hill, most likely, on Thursday April 6 against the Marlins. At least if the schedule doesn’t slip any more.

Scherzer, as you probably know, has a stress fracture in the knuckle of his right ring finger, which has messed with his preparation and has caused him to alter his grip a bit. As of now Stephen Strasburg will get the Opening Day nod.

Theo Epstein named The World’s Greatest Leader

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Fortune Magazine has put out a list of The World’s Greatest Leaders. Not the greatest business leaders, not the greatest leaders in a given industry, but the Greatest Leaders, full stop. The greatest according to Fortune: The Cubs’ Theo Epstein.

For some context, Pope Francis was third. Angela Merkel was 10th. Lebron James was the next greatest sports leader, ranked 11th. Take Fortune’s methodology with a grain of salt, however, given that it has John McCain above Merkel — what, exactly, does he lead now? — and Samantha Bee in the top 20.

So what makes Theo the world’s best leader according to Fortune?

The Cubs owe their success to a five-year rebuilding program that featured a concatenation of different leadership styles. The team thrived under the affable patience of owner Tom Ricketts, and, later, under the innovative eccentricity of manager Joe Maddon. But most important of all was the evolution of the club’s president for baseball operations, Theo Epstein, the wunderkind executive who realized he would need to grow as a leader in order to replicate in Chicago the success he’d had with the Boston Red Sox.

I don’t want to take anything away from what Theo has done — he’s a Hall of Fame executive already in my view — but I feel like maybe one needs to adjust for the fact that this is a baseball team we’re talking about. They’re the whole world to us and their brands are nationally and even world famous, but as an organization, sports teams are rather small. There are guys who run reasonably-sized HVAC companies with more employees than a baseball team and they don’t get the benefit of an antitrust exemption and a rule which allows them to get their pick of the best new employees if they had a bad year the year before.

Really, not trying to throw shade here, just thinking that being the spiritual father for 1.2 billion Catholics or running a foundation that serves 55 million needy children — like the woman who comes in at number 14 — is a bit of a tougher trick.

But this will make a great framed magazine article on Theo’s wall in Wrigley Field.