And That Happened: Tuesday's Scores and Highlights


Maddon Hernandez Pena arguing.jpgRays 7, Blue Jays 6:  Holy schnikes, that was a wild ending. Kevin Gregg had a meltdown, walking five guys, Joe Maddon got tossed after Carlos Pena wasn’t granted time out at the plate and Sean Rodriguez hit a go-ahead, three-run double to seal a come-from-behind victory.  The wildest thing though? Pena later said that Angel Hernandez was “a good umpire.”  Insanity! More on this game later today, obviously.

Braves 7, Phillies 3: Tim Hudson came back after a one-hour rain delay to pitch six strong innings. Cole Hamels didn’t come back, but gave up a big homer to Troy Glaus in the downpour that preceded the stoppage to put the Phillies in a hole they couldn’t dig out of. The good news? The Phillies made a little noise late, with Ryan Howard breaking the Phillies’ 68-inning homerless streak in the sixth. Perhaps that’s a sign the bats are finally waking up.

Dodgers 1, Diamondbacks 0: A walkoff home run > walkoff balk.  Matt Kemp hit a solo jack in the bottom of the tenth to win it for the Dodgers. Both Dan Haren and John Ely deserved better fates, with the former throwing eight walk-free shutout innings and the latter throwing shutout, two-hit ball over seven.

Red Sox 9, Athletics 4: Victor Martinez is en fuego: 5-for-5 with four doubles and a couple of RBI last night to pick up John Lackey, who put 14 baserunners on in six innings. Adrian Beltre’s three-run homer in the fifth jump-started the comeback after the Sox found themselves down 4-0.

Pirates 3, Cubs 2: Neil Walker hit his first big league homer to help the Pirates beat the Cubs yet again. After the game he said “getting drafted by the Pirates, this is just a Cinderella story. It’s
incredible.” OK, Walker is from Pittsburgh and grew up going to games at Three Rivers Stadium, so I guess it could be considered a Cinderella story for him, but I’m also guessing his is not the majority opinion among those who get drafted by the Pirates.  In other news, Lou Piniella sounds like he’s at the end of his rope.

Reds 9, Cardinals 8: Scott Rolen hit two dingers to put the Reds back up by a game in the Central. Johnny Cueto had a terrible outing, giving up eight runs on ten hits and squandering a nice lead. Luckily Dennys Reyes (.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER), Johnny Gomes and Drew Stubbs — each with seventh inning RBIs — bailed him out.

Yankees 3, Orioles 1: Javy Vazquez went seven innings giving up one run on four hits and basking in the Yankee Stadium love. At least until his next start. Mark Teixeira left the game early after fouling one off his foot, but he’s expected to be back today.

Rockies 2, Giants 1: Clint Barmes did all the damage for Colorado — if two runs can be considered “damage” — topping the night off with an RBI double in the 11th. Kind of like the Dodgers game, a couple of good starts from Barry Zito and Jason Hammel went for naught.

Mariners 7, Twins 1: The M’s beat up Nick Blackburn and Jason Vargas saved himself from being decapitated by a Joe Mauer liner. Nice night all around!

Mets 4, Padres 2: Mike Pelfrey is having one of the quieter awesome seasons you’ll ever see this year. Yet another strong start last night, going eight innings, giving up one run on four hits and striking out eight. David Wright went 3 for 4 with a homer in that big gigantic ballpark that — amazingly, if you believe those whose armchair psychiatry practice focuses on David Wright’s mindset — doesn’t seem to freak him out at all.

Royals 6, Angels 3: Joel Piniero gave up six runs on ten hits in eight innings and the Royals bullpen shut down the Angels from the sixth inning on. Organizational soldier Robb Quinlan got the start at first base for Anaheim last night. He has 25 homers in over a thousand career major league at bats, so my guess is that the Angels are still thinking about how to replace Kendry Morales.

Rangers 9, White Sox 6: The Sox jump out to a 4-0 lead but then Mark Buehrle gets shelled and the Sox own mini-comeback falls short.

Astros 8, Nationals 7: Yet another game in which a team blew a big early lead. Must have been something in the water. Unlike some of the others, however, the Astros managed to salvage the game after squandering their. Lance Berkman went 3-5 with 5 RBI.

Marlins 6, Brewers 4: Trevor Hoffman came into a tie game in the seventh and promptly gave up three runs on three hits and walked two.  The end is nigh.

Indians 3, Tigers 2: Not a bad night for the Indians’ organizational objectives: Jake Westbrook pitches seven strong innings, Russell Branyan hit a home run and Kerry Wood got the save. Good news considering that Cleveland wants to trade all three of them.

Tigers in discussions with Jordan Zimmermann

Jordan Zimmermann
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Tigers are in discussions with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. His sources have told him that the talks have become “serious”.

Zimmermann, 29, has a career 3.32 ERA across parts of seven seasons in the majors. He finished fifth in National League Cy Young Award balloting in 2014, finishing with a 2.66 ERA and a 182/29 K/BB ratio over 199 2/3 innings.

Among starters who have amassed at least 1,000 innings since 2009, only Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Madison Bumgarner, and Zack Greinke have compiled a better strikeout-to-walk ratio than Zimmermann’s 4.09. While he doesn’t have the star power of other free agents such as Greinke or David Price, the Tigers would certainly improve their rotation by bringing him on board.

Blue Jays still focused on upgrading their pitching

Marco Estrada
AP Photo/LM Otero

Having already added Jesse Chavez and J.A. Happ to the mix and re-signing Marco Estrada early in the offseason, Blue Jays interim GM Tony LaCava said the team will continue to pursue pitching upgrades, as Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports. Nicholson-Smith added that LaCava declined to comment on free agent ace David Price. It is believed that the Jays will not pursue Price and other big-name free agent starting pitchers given their November activity.

The Jays re-signed Estrada to a two-year, $26 million deal on November 13, acquired Chavez from the Athletics in exchange for reliever Liam Hendriks on November 20 and signed Happ to a three-year, $36 million deal on Friday.

Nicholson-Smith notes in a column on Sportsnet that the Jays need to address the bullpen in particular. That is especially true after swapping Hendriks, who had a career-best 2.92 ERA out of the Jays’ bullpen in 2015, for a back-end starting pitcher.

Report: Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”

Jonathan Papelbon
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports spoke to an anonymous baseball executive, who said that Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”. The Nationals are hoping to trade both Papelbon and the man he displaced, Drew Storen.

Papelbon has a poor reputation in baseball, particularly after a dugout altercation with superstar outfielder Bryce Harper. Focusing strictly on what he does on the field, Papelbon still gets the job done. The 35-year-old finished the last season with a combined 2.13 ERA, 24 saves, and a 56/12 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings between the Phillies and Nationals.

The Nationals owe Papelbon $11 million for the 2016 season.

Minor league home run king Mike Hessman retires

NEW YORK - JULY 29:  Mike Hessman #19 of the New York Mets bats against the St. Louis Cardinals on July 29, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Cardinals 4-0.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper reports that corner infielder Mike Hessman has retired from professional baseball after 20 seasons. Hessman hit 433 home runs in the minor leagues, an all-time record. He broke Buzz Arlett’s record this past August and with style as #433 was a grand slam.

Hessman, 37, was selected in the 16th round of the 1996 draft by the Braves and remained with the organization through the 2004 season. He then went to the Tigers from 2005-09, the Mets in 2010, then drifted into the Astros and Reds’ farm systems before returning to the Tigers for the last two years.

Hessman took 250 plate appearances at the major league level, batting .188/.272/.422 with 14 home runs and 33 RBI.