And That Happened: Wednesday's Scores and Highlights

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Pagan slides.jpgNationals 5, Mets 3: Triple plays and inside the park homers are pretty cool. Sadly, they only count for three outs and one run, respectively. Hats off to Angel Pagan all the same.

Royals 8, Indians 4: Kerry Wood came into a save situation in the ninth
and gave up a triple, a single, a double, two straight walks, and
another double before Manny Acta took him out of the game. By that time
the Tribe’s one-run lead had turned into a four-run deficit, whatever was
left of Kerry Wood’s trade value evaporated and the fates reserved Wood
a one-bedroom apartment next door to Trevor Hoffman’s new place in
Sunny Acres: An Active Community for Active Former Closers.

Pirates 6, Brewers 4: Nine straight losses for the Brew Crew. Ask not
for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for Ken Macha.

Cubs 4, Phillies 1: 20 year-old Starlin Castro hit a single off 47
year-old Jamie Moyer which I think means that Castro is now only one
degree removed from Cap Anson.

Angels 3, White Sox 2: Joe Saunders out-duels John Danks. Literally: they
chose main-gauche daggers and thrusted and parried until Danks lay
bloody and dead on the U.S. Cellular Field pitcher’s mound. It was a
harsh sight, but Danks died with his dignity and honor intact. Saunders
indicated after the game that, in light of his noble opponent’s display
of pluck and courage, he would wait the customary fortnight before
courting the Widow Danks.

Braves 5, Reds 4: The Reds have been the league’s biggest comeback artists all year and almost pulled it off again last night, but Jason Heyward wasn’t having it.  After blowing a four-run lead, Heyward doubled in Martin Prado with the winning run for Atlanta’s second walkoff win in a row.  Heyward was a beast — two doubles and a triple, two runs scored and an RBI — and the mind reels at where this team would be without him this year.

Red Sox 3, Twins 2: Clay Buchholz played stopper, giving the Sox their first decent starting pitching performance since the last time Clay Buchholz pitched (8 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 7K).  A two-run homer for Big Papi, who’s now up to .367/.407/.755 for the month of May.

Astros 7, Rockies 3: Clint Barmes threw away what should have been out number three in a tie ballagme in the eighth, opening the floodgates for four unearned runs. Jeff Keppinger had four RBI for the Astros, who plated the most runs they’ve had in a single game in a week.

Rays 10, Yankees 6: Not as close as the score suggests, as the Rays had a 10-2 lead entering the ninth after batting around in the fourth and eighth
innings.
While, sure, the Yankees made it kinda interesting with four runs in the final frame, it was just too big a deficit to cause anyone to get too worked up about it.  In other news, I could have sworn that putting Berman and Sutcliffe in the same booth was outlawed at the Third Geneva Convention, so how no one is on trial for it this morning is a mystery to me.

Marlins 5, Cardinals 1: Hanley Ramirez apologized, gets three hits and life goes on.

Rangers 4, Orioles 3: I guess you can still call it a “walkoff” if it’s a sacrifice fly, so hey: walkoff sac fly for Nelson Cruz. Dave Trembley used seven pitchers, six of which pitched in the final three innings. Maybe he has a personal quota of some kind and suspects that he won’t be around in July, August and September in order to fulfill it.

Padres 10, Dodgers 5: San Diego (a) snaps the Dodgers’ win streak; and (b) busts out some unheard of for them levels of offense.  Six RBI for Adrian Gonzalez on a homer and a couple of singles. And if this isn’t Ramon Ortiz’s last start in a Dodgers uniform, something is seriously wrong (3.1 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 3 BB).

Diamondbacks 13, Giants 1: I was totally unaware of who started this game for the Giants, but when I
saw the score I said “Wellemeyer.” Although to be fair, six of the Dbacks’ runs came in a nightmare eighth inning, and were the responsibility of Brian Medders.  That’s what you call takin’ one for the team. Adam LaRoche hit two of the Dbacks’ six homers.

Blue Jays 3, Mariners 2: Milton Bradley came back and had a couple of hits, but nothin’ else good happened here for Seattle, which lost its fifth in a row and seventh of ten.

Tigers 5, Athletics 1: Justin Verlander out-duels Dallas Braden. No knifes this time, just pitches. Complete game four-hitter for Verlander. Braden gave up two runs over six, but then left because he wasn’t feeling well and had to have an IV after the game. Except in the 209 they don’t use a syringe and a saline drip. They use a rusty nail and motor oil.

Jose Bautista had a courtside view of Saturday night’s epic NBA Slam Dunk Contest

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Zach LaVine of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic put on a tremendous show in Saturday night’s NBA Slam Dunk Contest up in Toronto, Canada. The stars were out to see it at the Air Canada Centre, and Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista had one of the very best views in the house. Check out this video he posted to Instagram of LaVine’s final dunk, a between-the-legs jam from just inside the free throw line …

Its a wrap!!! #BackToBack #SlamDunk #Champion @zachlavine8 🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽

A video posted by Jose Bautista (@joeybats19) on

That is Toronto’s very own Drake going wild in the pink jacket. Gordon probably had the best individual dunk of the night, though, if we’re being really real …

Back to your regularly scheduled baseball programming. Pitchers and catchers report Friday.

Cubs expected to host an All-Star Game in the near future

A general view of Wrigley Field and the newly renovated bleachers during the second inning of a baseball game between the the Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds Thursday, June 11, 2015,  in Chicago. Chicago won 6-3. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
AP Photo/Paul Beaty
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The 2016-18 All-Star Games are spoken for, but the Cubs could play host not long thereafter according to commissioner Rob Manfred, Bruce Levine of CBS Chicago reports.

The Padres are hosting at Petco Park this year, the Marlins will host at Marlins Park next season, and the Nationals will host in 2018 at Nationals Park. That will make four consecutive National League hosts and five if the Cubs get it in 2019. In the past, the National and American Leagues have alternated hosting privileges. That is sort of important now since the league that wins the All-Star Game gets home field advantage in the World Series.

The Cubs last hosted the All-Star Game in 1990 and have hosted a total of three times (1962 and 1947 being the other years) since its inception in 1933.

Wrigley Field has been undergoing renovations which are expected to be completed by the 2019 season. Manfred said that the Cubs hosting the All-Star Game “will provide the Cubs and Ricketts family a chance to showcase the unbelievable renovation they are in the midst of doing for Wrigley field.”

Update: Here’s a table showing the last time each team hosted the All-Star Game.

Team Park Last Hosted Yrs Since Notes
Dodgers Dodger Stadum 1980 35
Nationals Olympic Stadium (Expos) 1982 33 2018 host
Athletics Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum 1987 28
Cubs Wrigley Field 1990 25
Blue Jays SkyDome 1991 24
Padres Jack Murphy Stadium 1992 23 2016 host
Orioles Oriole Park at Camden Yards 1993 22
Rangers The Ballpark in Arlington 1995 20
Phillies Veterans Stadium 1996 19
Indians Jacobs Field 1997 18
Rockies Coors Field 1998 17
Red Sox Fenway Park 1999 16
Braves Turner Field 2000 15
Mariners Safeco Field 2001 14
Brewers Miller Park 2002 13
White Sox U.S. Cellular Field 2003 12
Astros Minute Maid Park 2004 11
Tigers Comerica Park 2005 10
Pirates PNC Park 2006 9
Giants AT&T Park 2007 8
Yankees Yankee Stadium 2008 7
Cardinals Busch Stadium 2009 6
Angels Angels Stadium of Anaheim 2010 5
D’Backs Chase Field 2011 4
Royals Kauffman Stadium 2012 3
Mets Citi Field 2013 2
Twins Target Field 2014 1
Reds Great American Ball Park 2015 0
Marlins Never Hosted 2017 host
Rays Never Hosted

Kyle Hendricks and Adam Warren will compete for No. 5 spot in Cubs’ rotation

Chicago Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks throws during the first inning of Game 3 of the National League baseball championship series against the New York Mets Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015, in Chicago. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
AP Photo/David J. Phillip
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Expect Kyle Hendricks and Adam Warren to battle it out for the fifth spot in the Cubs’ starting rotation this spring, writes Gordon Wittenmyer for the Chicago Sun-Times. Clayton Richard could serve as a fallback option as well.

Hendricks, 26, pitched well in his first full season in 2015. He finished with a 3.95 ERA and a 167/43 K/BB ratio over 180 innings. That was a solid follow-up to his rookie campaign in 2014, when he posted a 2.46 ERA over 13 starts.

The Cubs acquired Warren, 28, from the Yankees in the Starlin Castro trade. He contributed both out of the rotation and the bullpen in the Bronx this past season, pitching 131 1/3 innings with a 3.29 ERA and a 104/39 K/BB ratio.

One through four, the Cubs’ rotation is solid with defending National League Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester, John Lackey, and Jason Hammel.

Mets GM Sandy Alderson plans to limit David Wright to 130 or fewer games

David Wright
AP Photo/Kathy Willens
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Mets third baseman David Wright missed four months of the 2015 season due to spinal stenosis. In other words, Wright dealt with a narrowing of his spinal column. Going forward, the Mets plan to be cautious with Wright so as not to overuse him.

As ESPN’s Adam Rubin reports, Mets GM Sandy Alderson plans to have the 33-year-old Wright play in no more than 130 games. Alderson said, “We’re gonna make sure that he’s not overworked. So it’s important for us to find somebody who can play 30 games or so at third base when he’s not in there. But I think we have to be realistic, and not expect that he’s gonna be an absolute everyday [player] out there playing 150 or 155 games. That’s not gonna happen.”

Wilmer Flores played 26 games at third base in his rookie season in 2013, so he could back up Wright as needed. But Alderson mentioned that because Wright would mostly sit against right-handed pitchers, the switch-hitting Neil Walker or Asdrubal Cabrera could get the call at the hot corner.

When he was on the field last season, Wright hit a productive .289/.379/.434 with five home runs and 17 RBI in 174 plate appearances.