And That Happened: Wednesday's Scores and Highlights


Carlos Lee swing.jpgAstros 6, Rockies 2: Wow. Walkoff (why did I think the Astros were at home?) game-winning grand slam by Carlos Lee in the tenth inning. Someone isn’t happy about being called “untradeable” for the past two months.  Dude has been on fire in June.

Indians 11, Red Sox 0: Yesterday I observed that Tuesday night was a pretty epic night for pitchers (turns out it was only mildly epic).  Last night was a pretty big blowout night.  This one led the way, with Tribe unloading on Boof Bonser and Joe Nelson for eight runs in the eighth. Not that they needed all those runs with Justin Masterson shutting down the Boston bats with a two-hit shutout.

Rays 10, Blue Jays 1: I’m suddenly hearing nothing from that dude who keeps showing up in my Power Rankings threads beefing about me not showing any respect to the Blue Jays.  I know he’s out there — he has accurately monitored my torrid east coast bias for weeks now — but I have yet to hear him explain to me how this series with the Rays in which the Jays have so far been outscored 19-1 fits into the Toronto Master Plan.

White Sox 15, Tigers 3: The Chicago Blackhawks won the Stanley Cup last night. Ozzie Guillen was rooting for them, but after the game he was a bit sad too: “It took us three months to score 15 runs and now
nobody is going to know.”
Remember when Rick Porcello was the hot young pitching prospect we were
all talking about? Yeah, well, that seems like a long damn time ago,
kiddo (3.1 IP, 8 H, 8 ER, 6.09 ERA on the season).

Rangers 12, Mariners 2:  The blowouts just keep on coming. Remind me next winter when some team is signing and trading all kinds of dudes to not get too excited about all the “noise” they’re making in the offseason, OK?

Cubs 9, Brewers 2: Randy Wolf gives up five homers and, by his own admission, is living a “nightmare” season.  I think that goes for everyone in BrewersLand.

Twins 6, Royals 2: Carl Pavano gives up two over eight innings to shut down Kansas City. The Royals have a secret weapon though: they drafted the great-great nephew of Shoeless Joe Jackson with their last pick yesterday. He’s a catcher. I have no idea if he’s any good, but maybe he’ll teach them how to put the fix in or something.

Reds 6, Giants 3: Buster Posey’s first major league homer was really the only highlight for the Giants. Orlando Cabrera messed around and got three doubles for Cincinnati.

Nationals 7, Pirates 5: After a sellout night for Strasburg, only 18,876 pay to see John Lannan pitch.  I guess I understand that, but Lannan had a pretty memorable debut himself a couple of years ago: he broke Chase Utley’s hand, plunked Ryan Howard and then got tossed.

Yankees 4, Orioles 2: The Yankees lead the season series 10-1. Mercy.

Diamondbacks 2, Braves 1: Ugh. The Dbacks win on an inside the park home run occasioned by Nate McLouth and Jason Heyward slamming into each other in the outfield. McLouth had to leave the game, but he seems OK. The video was scary. Losing a game on that kind of hit is frustrating.

Dodgers 4, Cardinals 3: Manny Ramirez hit a two-run homer and Clayton Kershaw struck out 10 as the Dodgers sweep the Cardinals. The Cards could have scored the tying run in the 9th, but Yadier Molina’s long drive ended up bouncing over the wall for a ground-rule double, causing Pujols to have to stop at third.

Angels 7, Athletics 1: Joe Saunders goes the distance, scattering seven hits and allowing a lone run.  Dallas Braden, who surrendered five runs on 11 hits, hasn’t done much to write home about since the perfecto.

Padres vs. Mets: Postponed: I can show you that when it starts to rain, everything’s the same.

Marlins vs. Phillies: Postponed: This is the mystery of the quotient – Upon us all a little rain must
fall . . . It’s just a little rain…

Erik Johnson likely to open 2016 in the White Sox rotation

DENVER, CO - APRIL 09:  Starting pitcher Erik Johnson #45 of the Chicago White Sox delivers against the Colorado Rockies during Interleague play at Coors Field on April 9, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies defeated the White Sox 10-4.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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With the White Sox losing Jeff Samardzija to free agency, Erik Johnson will likely get a shot to contribute out of the rotation to open up the 2016 season, GM Rick Hahn said in a conference call on Wednesday, per a report from’s Scott Merkin.

“As we sit here today, I think it will be an opportunity for Erik Johnson to convert on sort of the return to form he showed back in 2015 when he was International League pitcher of the year for [Triple-A] Charlotte,” Hahn said. “Obviously, he got some starts in September and continued to show the progress in Chicago he had shown in the Minor Leagues over the course of the last season.

“So if Opening Day were today, then I think Johnson is penciled in to that spot in the rotation right now. In all probability, once we get closer to spring, there will be some competition for him to earn that spot. But if we were strictly looking at today, then I would think Johnson has the inside track on filling Samardzija’s innings.”

Johnson was called up from Triple-A Charlotte in September and made six starts, allowing 14 runs (13 earned) on 32 hits and 17 walks with 30 strikeouts in 35 innings. That followed up an impressive five months in the minors where he compiled a 2.37 ERA and a 136/41 K/BB ratio across 132 2/3 innings.

Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, and each included Johnson on their top-100 prospect lists, ranking him 63rd, 67th, and 70th, respectively. The right-hander was selected by the White Sox in the second round of the 2011 draft.

Major League Baseball will investigate Yasiel Puig for his role in Miami nightclub brawl

Yasiel Puig
AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi

It was reported on Friday afternoon that Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig was involved in a brawl at a Miami nightclub. Details were scant at the time, but he reportedly left with a bruise on his face.

Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that Major League Baseball plans to investigate Puig under the league’s new domestic violence policy for his role in the brawl. Citing a report from TMZ, Hernandez notes that Puig shoved his sister, “brutally sucker-punched” the manager of the bar, and instigated the brawl.

The Dodgers and Puig’s agent have thus far refused to comment on the situation.

Rockies shortstop Jose Reyes was the first player to be investigated under the league’s new domestic violence policy earlier this month, as he allegedly assaulted his wife. Reyes has pleaded not guilty after he was charged with domestic abuse in Hawaii.

As our own Craig Calcaterra pointed out, commissioner Rob Manfred does not need to wait for Puig to plead guilty or to be found guilty to levy a punishment.

Dayan Viciedo close to signing with Japan’s Chunichi Dragons

Dayan Viciedo
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Patrick Newman is reporting that the Chunichi Dragons of Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball and outfielder Dayan Viciedo are close to an agreement on a contract. Newman notes that the Dragons are close to signing pitcher Jordan Norberto as well.

Viciedo, 26, has struggled since making his major league debut in 2010 with the White Sox, batting an aggregate .254/.298/.424 with 66 home runs and 211 RBI in 1,798 plate appearances. He spent the 2015 season with Triple-A Charlotte (White Sox) and Nashville (Athletics), hitting a composite .287/.348/.450. While Viciedo can hit the occasional home run, he hasn’t shown the ability to do much else at the big league level. Given his age, he could prove himself in Japan and parlay that into a renewed shot in the majors in the future.

The White Sox signed Viciedo out of Cuba in December 2008, agreeing to a four-year, $10 million deal. The club re-signed him to one-year deals in 2013 and ’14 for $2.8 million each and $4.4 million ahead of the 2015 season.

Blue Jays sign J.A. Happ to a three-year, $36 million contract

J.A. Happ
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

Update (8:45 PM EST): Per Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi, Happ will get $10 million in 2016 and $13 million each in 2017 and ’18.

*’s Gregor Chisholm reports that the Blue Jays have signed lefty J.A. Happ to a three-year deal worth $36 million.

Happ, 33, had a rebirth as a member of the Pirates last season after starting the season with 20 subpar starts with the Mariners. He made 11 starts for the Buccos, boasting a 1.85 ERA with a 69/13 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings.

Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported this past August that Happ’s newfound success had to do with a delivery tweak suggested by Pirates pitching coach Ray Searage. The Blue Jays are certainly hoping that adjustment is the full explanation for his success.

The Jays’ signing of Happ most likely signifies they won’t be pursuing free agent lefty David Price.

This will be Happ’s second stint with the Blue Jays. The Astros dealt him to Toronto in a July 2012 trade. He posted a 4.39 ERA with a 256/113 K/BB ratio in 291 innings with the Jays, then went to the Mariners in a trade this past December that brought outfielder Michael Saunders to the Jays.