And That Happened: Thursday's Scores and Highlights


Trey Hillman OK.jpgRoyals 6, Indians 4: Look on the bright side, Trey: not many managers can say they went out a winner.

Marlins 2, Mets 1: Johan Santana and Josh Johnson each went seven innings allowing a single run. I’m going to assume that Fernando Nieve’s pitch in the dirt that allowed the winning run to score was a function of overuse making it impossible for him to simply throw a ball sixty feet any longer.

Padres 1, Giants 0: Work fast? Check. Change speeds? Check. Throw strikes? Check.  Mat Latos follows Ray Miller’s rules to the letter, one-hitting the Giants in a cool two hours and five minutes. He singled in the game’s only run too. Oh, and that one hit he gave up? Infield single that bounced off his glove, and they almost got the runner anyway.

Rangers 2, Athletics 1: Two balks were called on the Rangers by home plate umpire Bob Davidson. The second one was ticky tack according to Ron Washington: “That was Balkin’ Bob back there. That’s all I can tell you.”  Maybe its his rehab or something, but I like the new, 100% honest Ron Washington.  If he and Charlie Manuel got a film crew and went on a cross country tour together during which they basically just talk about stuff I’d watch that every week.

Astros 4, Cardinals 1:  Getting swept by Houston isn’t going to go on the postseason highlight reel, that’s for sure. Chris Carpenter and Carlos Lee jawed at each other after Lee popped out in the third inning. It was ostensibly about yelling or emotions or something, but I’ll be damned if I can figure it out.  All I can figure is that there was some unwritten rules violation or another involved. Really, baseball is becoming as complicated as Byzantine tax law or Bolero dancing or something these days.

Tigers 6, Yankees 0: Just about every game yesterday had “getaway day” written all over it, this one included. Sure, most of these teams did actually have flights waiting for them, but they were charters. It’s not like anyone had to play as though they were in such a hurry.

Nationals 14, Rockies 6: The Rockies bullpen is lucky they called this one after eight innings, because there is a limit to how much embarrassment anyone can take. Ryan Zimmerman hit two homers and drove in six.  That was nice and all, but they probably shouldn’t have been playing this one in the first place. The rain was just too hard, the basepaths became filled with puddles and someone could have gotten hurt.

Orioles 6, Mariners 5: King Felix handed Brandon League a 5-1 lead in the eighth inning, but
League frittered it away via a leadoff homer to Corey Patterson — Corey
Patterson?! — yes, Corey Patterson, a bunch of base runners and then a
grand slam to Luke Scott. Mike Sweeney homered, and then he threatened all of his teammates into giving him high fives in the dugout.

Oh, and in case you’re curious, I’ve lifted the ban on using the Mariners’ name because, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Larry LaRue was allowed to stand in the reporters’ scrum in the locker room after this game. Maybe Mike Sweeney is still shunning him — no quotes from him about his homer in LaRue’s story — but apparently some players have decided to get on with their lives. No reason for me not to do the same.

Indians could benefit from long rest before the World Series

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 09: Danny Salazar #31 of the Cleveland Indians delivers a pitch against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of the game on September 9, 2016 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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If any team can turn a six-day rest period into an advantage, it’s the Indians. The club polished off their pennant race with another injured starter and an overtaxed bullpen, as Trevor Bauer exited in Game 3 of the ALCS with a laceration on his right pinky finger, leaving the bullpen to shoulder 16 innings through the last three games of the series. On Friday,’s Jordan Bastian reported that injured starter Danny Salazar could rejoin the rotation in the World Series, though he’ll need at least one more simulated game before Terry Francona determines whether or not he’s fit to return for the team’s last postseason push.

Bauer, who has been under the close watch of hand specialist Dr. Thomas Graham, told the press that he feels confident that he’ll be ready for a World Series start when the final showdown commences on Tuesday. Keeping the wound bandaged is not an option during games, and Bauer said that Dr. Graham decided against additional stitches to keep the laceration from re-opening. Instead, they’re banking on extra days of rest to heal the cut naturally. Should Francona pencil the right-hander into the lineup for Game 3 or 4, he’ll have had 10-11 days to rest his finger between starts — just a hair under the seven games Bauer said he was prepared to pitch.

Salazar, too, has been preparing for a World Series showdown. He’s scheduled to pitch three innings of a simulated game this weekend, and if it goes well, it could land him a spot in the starting rotation alongside Bauer, Corey Kluber, Josh Tomlin, and newcomer Ryan Merritt. Salazar has been sidelined since September 9 with a right forearm strain, and even after undergoing a rigorous throwing program over the last several weeks, any kind of comeback is expected to be curbed by a strict innings limit. Francona has been understandably tight-lipped about his World Series roster, but he hasn’t yet nixed the idea of utilizing Salazar out of the rotation, provided the right-hander remains healthy for another week or so.

The Indians have had to remain flexible throughout their seven-game playoff run after weathering injuries to Corey Kluber and Trevor Bauer, pushing their rotation through several games on short rest and relying heavily on Andrew Miller and Cody Allen‘s one-two punch in the ‘pen to clinch more than a few postseason victories. While history doesn’t always favor the first team to secure their league’s pennant race, an extra week of rest should only benefit Cleveland’s beleaguered pitching staff.

Lloyd McClendon will return as Tigers’ hitting coach in 2017

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 05:  Manager Lloyd McClendon #21 of the Seattle Mariners looks on from the dugout against the Oakland Athletics in the top of the six inning at Coliseum on July 5, 2015 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
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The Tigers will promoted Triple-A manager Lloyd McClendon to hitting coach for the 2017 season, according to a statement released by the team on Friday afternoon.

McClendon’s history with the Tigers is long and storied. After serving five seasons as the Pittsburgh Pirates’ hitting coach and manager, he got his start with Detroit in 2006 as a bullpen coach, then transitioned to hitting coach from 2007 through 2013. When the Tigers hired Brad Ausmus to replace former manager Jim Leyland, McClendon took the opportunity to break from the team and pursue another managerial position of his own with the Seattle Mariners, whom he guided to a 163-161 record between the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

Following his departure from Seattle during the 2015 offseason, McClendon took a spot as skipper of the Tigers’ Triple-A club, managing the Toledo Mud Hens to a 68-76 finish in 2016. His return to the big league stage is accompanied by the hiring of assistant hitting coach Leon Durham, who previously served as the long-tenured hitting coach for Triple-A Toledo.