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.

Drew Smyly brings youth and experience to Mariners rotation

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PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) Trades don’t surprise Drew Smyly anymore.

At age 27, the Seattle Mariners left-hander has been dealt twice. The first swap sent him from the team that drafted and developed Smyly, the Detroit Tigers, to the Tampa Bay Rays in midseason 2014. That trade landed star pitcher David Price in Detroit.

“I was surprised by that one,” Smyly said.

The most recent trade involving him came in January, when the Rays shipped Smyly to Seattle for three prospects in one of many moves by Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto. Smyly immediately joined the Mariners’ projected starting rotation, and is having fun getting to know his new teammates at spring training by way of manager Scott Servais’ clubhouse icebreakers.

Servais thinks Smyly is a solid fit as a still young yet experienced pitcher.

“One, being where he’s at in his career age-wise and service time, he’s kind of at the point where, put him in the right environment … very good defensive outfield, he’s a fly ball guy, maybe he does step up and take the next step,” Servais said. “Getting out of the American League East certainly should help him, but there’s no guarantees. Our division’s pretty tough.”

Servais suggested that another Arkansas native, ex-big leaguer Cliff Lee, might have helped sell Seattle on Smyly. Lee is a former Mariner and the two share an agent.

Smyly went 7-12 in a career-high 30 starts last season in Tampa, but won five games from July 30 to the end of the season after starting out 2-11. From May 21 to July 18, he lost seven straight starts.

“Pitching’s tough, you know,” Smyly said. “To manipulate the ball, to make it do different things, to put it in the strike zone with hitters that know what they’re doing. … I just had a rough stretch but I show up at the field every day, play catch and work on my craft and you know, that’s going to turn around one day.”

The 32 home runs Smyly surrendered in 2016 figure to be reduced in Seattle’s pitcher-friendly Safeco Field.

“It can only help,” he said. “But it’s still going to be up to me to execute pitches and pitch well.”

Smyly is set to join the U.S. World Baseball Classic team shortly. Before that, he’ll make his first spring training start in the middle of next week.

“It’s an honor to be able to put your country on your chest and play with some of the guys on that team,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it big time.”

NOTES: Servais plans to roll out what figures to be Seattle’s opening day lineup in the spring training opener Saturday against San Diego. It’s OF Jarrod Dyson, SS Jean Segura, 2B Robinson Cano, DH Nelson Cruz, 3B Kyle Seager, OF Mitch Haniger, 1B Dan Vogelbach, C Mike Zunino and OF Leonys Martin. … Servais said Cano and Cruz will play a little more than is typical for early spring games, as the two will depart for the World Baseball Classic in early March. … LHP Ariel Miranda will start Saturday, then RHP Chris Heston Sunday, RHP Yovani Gallardo on Monday and ace Felix Hernandez on Tuesday.

Mitt Romney’s sons are trying to buy a stake in the Yankees

TAMPA, FL - AUGUST 30:  Tagg Romney son of Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney gives an interview during the final day of the Republican National Convention at the Tampa Bay Times Forum on August 30, 2012 in Tampa, Florida. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was nominated as the Republican presidential candidate during the RNC which will conclude today.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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Mitt Romney built his professional life in Massachusetts and was once the governor of the state. As such, it is not surprising that he has long identified as a Red Sox fan. So this has to be troubling to him from a fan’s perspective. From Jon Heyman:

The Romney family is bidding to buy a small stake in the Yankees months after their try for the Marlins stalled. If the deal goes through, it is expected to be $25 million to $30 million per percentage point and thought to be interested in one or two percentage points. The Yankees are valued around $3 billion or more.

The effort is being led by Mitt’s son Tagg, one of his brothers and their business partners. Mitt’s spokesman tells Jon Heyman that he has nothing to do with it personally. Tagg Romney is reported to have been planning a bid for controlling interest in the Marlins, but that has fallen through.

I find this interesting insofar as the M.O. for the Steinbrenners has, for years, been to buy out minority shareholders in the Yankees, not seek more. Indeed, when George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees back in 1973 he held just a bare controlling interest and there were a ton of silent partners, most of which were back in Ohio and knew Steinbrenner from his shipping business. I’ve personally gotten to know some of them over the years as there are a handful of them in Columbus and I crossed paths with them in my legal career. They have almost all been bought out in the past couple of decades. They still get season tickets and World Series rings and stuff. You can tell them by their personalized Yankees plates and the fact that, within the first ten minutes of meeting them, they will tell you that they once owned a piece of the Yankees but got pushed out.

In light of all of that it’s interesting that the Steinbrenners are once again accepting bids for small stakes in the team. Especially from someone whose interest in controlling the Marlins suggests that they do not consider it to be a mere vanity investment. Makes me wonder what the Steinbrenners’ long term plans are.