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.

Yadier Molina will not enter contract negotiations during the 2017 season

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Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Cardinals’ catcher Yadier Molina is still open to extension talks during the last week of spring training. Once Opening Day rolls around, however, Molina has preemptively nixed any contract negotiations until the end of the 2017 season, when he’s scheduled to hit free agency.

Molina wants to stay with the Cardinals, or so he’s telling reporters, but he’s also “not afraid” to test the free agent market this fall should a deal fail to materialize. Via Goold:

I would love to stay, but at the same time I’m not afraid to go to free agency. I’ve still got many years in the tank. Believe me. I feel great. I feel like a 20-year-old kid. I’m not afraid to go to free agency.

The 34-year-old backstop is entering his final year under contract, though Goold points out that he has a $15 million option for 2018 that he can choose to decline in the event that it’s exercised by the team. He’s reportedly searching for a figure closer to those made by other top catchers like Buster Posey and Russell Martin.

The 2017 season will mark Molina’s 14th year in the Cardinals’ organization, building on a career that has spanned seven All-Star campaigns, nine postseason runs and two World Series championships in St. Louis. He batted .307/.360/.427 with eight home runs and a .787 OPS for the club in 2016.

Colby Rasmus could start 2017 on the disabled list

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Colby Rasmus isn’t ready to take outfield reps just yet. According to Rays’ manager Kevin Cash, that’s a red flag, one that could potentially postpone Rasmus’ debut as the club’s designated hitter and outfielder in 2017. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Rasmus will need to prove he can play a defensive position before getting cleared for the active roster, something which the veteran outfielder has yet to do this spring.

Rasmus, 30, signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Rays following his two-year run with the Astros. He batted a meager .206/.286/.355 with 15 home runs and a .641 OPS in 2016 and was shut down in late September with an unspecified hip/groin issue. Entering the 2017 season, he’s expected to work his way back to a full-time role after undergoing surgery to repair his core muscle and left hip labrum last October.

The Rays also finalized their one-year, $1.2 million deal with catcher Derek Norris on Saturday and will need to clear room for him on the 40-man roster. Topkin speculates that the move could send Rasmus to the 60-day disabled list, though the outfielder is not projected to miss more than a couple weeks of the regular season.