And That Happened: Wednesday's Scores and Highlights


6, Reds 2
: Clayton Kershaw gave up one run on seven hits with seven
strikeouts. At least one of those strikeouts was baloney, though.  Check out the call here by Hunter Wendelstedt.
Rolen and Dusty Baker got run, sure, but it’s not like they didn’t have
a beef. Bonus: lip readers among you can easily figure out exactly what
Dusty thought of that call!

Braves 6, Rays 2:  Things I haven’t had to say in several years: the Braves win, staying just ahead of the Mets in the race for the N.L. East lead. Seven scoreless innings for Tommy Hanson, who looked pretty damn dominant.

Mets 8, Indians 4: I totally should have gone up to Progressive Field to watch this one from the Tribe Social Deck. Why? Because for the first time this year a home run was hit into the assembled bloggeratti. What’s more, it was hit by Shelley Duncan!  If I had been there, my daughter Anna would have gotten a souvenir from her favorite player. That is, if I could have fought off the vicious, vicious bloggers.

Rangers 6, Marlins 3: Michael Young broke the Rangers’ all-time hit record, passing Ivan Rodriguez.  I’m going to go out on a limb and guess 3-5:  Pete O’Brien, Bump Wills and Cesar Tovar. Am I right? Nah, don’t bother looking. I’m pretty sure I’m right.

Red Sox 6, Diamondbacks 2: The young starter goes seven strong, many contribute on offense and the home team wins 6-2. So this was pretty much a carbon copy of the Braves-Rays game. Well, except for Dustin Pedroia hitting a home run and then, after the game saying I’m strong – I drink milk.”

Angels 5, Brewers 1: Pfun stupf: Brandon Wood played shortstop. I did not know he did that. Were it the late 1960s or early 19-teens, his bat might even play there.

Blue Jays 7, Padres 1: John Buck hit his third home run of the series. Yesterday’s smacked off the balcony on the fourth floor of the Western Metal Supply Co.
Building in the left-field corner. You can hit the ball farther than that to other parts of the park and not get a homer, but it’s more impressive to measure home runs in building-based units such as supply companies, railroad warehouses and the like.

Phillies 6, Yankees 3: Jamie Moyer goes eight innings, allowing only three hits and Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth hit back-to-back homers for the first time in forever. By the way, the thing in all the game stories — Jamie Moyer is the oldest pitcher to ever beat the Yankees! — is another of those silly, “we’re only talking about it because it’s a New York team” things. Moyer is the oldest pitcher to beat a whole bunch of teams, I’d imagine, and we generally don’t care. But because he’s facing New York, which means that there are a bunch more writers covering it, all of whom are looking for an angle, we get factoids disguised as records like this one.

Giants 6, Orioles 3: Lincecum allowed eight hits, walked four and got smacked in the shoulder with a batted ball, but he also struck out ten Orioles and got the win.  His shoulder will be OK — Bruce Bochy says ’tis but a scratch; a mere flesh wound — but he certainly ain’t making anything easy for himself this year.

Tigers 8, Nationals 3: I’ve been waiting, not eagerly or anything, but waiting all the same, for the real Livan Hernandez to show himself this year. And that he did, giving up eight runs on seven hits in six and two-thirds, while issuing six free passes. Verlander had 11K. Brennan Boesch continues being a beast, going 3-4 with a homer and 4 RBI.

White Sox 7, Pirates 2: Pedro Alvarez was 0-2 with a strikeout, a walk and scored a run in his debut, but that and $5.79 will get you a knockwurst & cheese at Primanti Bros., because the Pirates lost again. Alvarez had an error too, but he wasn’t alone as Pittsburgh committed six of them. John Danks handcuffed the Pirates all night, but these days so too would the pitching machine from a fun-park batting cage. Yellow balls and everything.

Cubs 6, Athletics 2: Derek Lee was 2-4 with a homer, breaking up his current slump. Or maybe just interrupting it. When does anything really begin, anyway? And let us not forget, today is the first day of the rest of your life.

Twins 2, Rockies 1: Scott Baker was positively Strasburgian: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 12K.  And he needed to be as the Twins couldn’t do much more off the Rockies.

Mariners 2, Cardinals 1: Matt Holliday struck out with the tying run at third in the eighth inning and went 0 for 4 on the night. You have to assume he’ll hit soon enough, but its understandable why Cardinals fans are starting to get restless about him.

Astros 4, Royals 2: Oswalt holds the Royals — who unleashed a 15-run attack the night before — to two runs on six hits. If he can get two more wins before he gets traded, he’ll be the Astros’ all-time win leader. Joe Niekro holds the mark right now at 144.

Blue Jays still focused on upgrading their pitching

Marco Estrada
AP Photo/LM Otero
1 Comment

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.

Marlins announcer Tommy Hutton was let go because he was “too negative”

marlins logo wide

We heard earlier this week that Marlins television analyst Tommy Hutton was let go after 19 seasons on the job. By all accounts, he’s well-liked and respected, so it smelled a little fishy with a team that has owner Jeffrey Loria calling the shots. Well, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald was told by a source close to the Marlins that Hutton was let go because he was “too negative.”

Jackson was also able to get in touch with Hutton, who provided some details about how things went down.

“I know there were times I was negative, but I thought those times were called for,” he said. “Ninety percent of what I said was positive. I tried not to be a homer, but you could tell I wanted the Marlins to do well.”

After being told that his salary wasn’t a factor in the decision, Hutton suspected that his candid, blunt analysis might be the impetus for his ouster.

So after learning his fate on Monday, he asked that question – whether they thought he was too negative — to both a Fox producer (at a meeting at Starbucks) and the Marlins’ vice president/communications (by phone).

He said the question was met with silence by both executives.

“I couldn’t get a yes or a no,” he said.

Hutton said there were three incident in recent years where he was told the Marlins were uncomfortable with something he said. He disclosed one example where he was exasperated at the ballpark’s dimensions after former catcher John Buck flew out to the warning track for the final out of a game. He was told by a Marlins vice president after the game that Loria prefer he not talk about the ballpark’s dimensions. Of course, the team is moving in the fences this winter.

To be clear, Hutton said he was told it was a “mutual decision” between the Marlins and FOX to let him go, but Jackson’s source hears that the concern about his “negativity” came from the team.

Hey, do you know the best way to prevent “negative” talk about your team? Fielding a winning baseball team without a dysfunctional ownership and front office. Crazy idea, I know, but it could be cool?