And That Happened: Tuesday's Scores and Highlights


Mariners 7, Yankees 4: Cliff Lee throws his third straight complete game. How Nick Swisher managed to hit two homers off him I have no idea, but West Virginia boys who go on to Ohio State are cunning and resourceful by nature. Phil Hughes got beat up. I’m sure all sorts of people will be wringing their hands over the new “Phil Rules” in which his starts are getting pushed back to give him extra rest. Hopefully they can (a) accept the fact that sometimes pitchers just have bad games; and (b) realize how sick to death most of us get at every Yankees loss bringing forth some big Situation of the Day that must be discussed and analyzed to the nth degree until the next Yankees win.  One or two more of these and I’m sure they’ll be campaigning for Hughes to go back to being a setup guy or something.

9, Reds 6
: First Brad Lidge got smacked around, blowing a three-run
lead in the ninth and then Arthur Rhodes got smacked around, giving up
three runs of his own in the tenth, snapping his 30-game scoreless
streak and losing the ballgame. Wilson Valdez started at second base for
the Phillies in place of the injured Chase Utley and all he did was hit
a three-run homer and drive in four overall. So Phillies fans can stop
freaking out for at least one day.

Marlins 7, Mets 6: The Mets blow a 3-0 lead and lose a chance to make up a game on the Braves. That’s two straight troubling starts for Hisanori Takahashi. Who — and I’m just sayin’ here — is currently on the same schedule as Cliff Lee.

Nationals 7, Braves 2: The Braves’ 3-7 hitters combine to go a cool 0 for 19. This used to happen a lot when the Braves’ 3-7 hitters included guys like Gerald Perry, Andres Thomas and Ozzie Virgil. I just have to remember how I used to cope with that.

Cubs 3, Pirates 1: Alfonso Soriano had a couple of homers and Ted Lilly pitched seven strong innings. The Pirates have scored a mere five runs in their last four games.

Red Sox 8, Rays 5: Boston is now only one game behind the Yankees. They also happen to lead the AL in runs per game. Still plenty of room on the “well, maybe I was too quick to make those ‘run prevention is no substitute for run scoring’ jokes I spent all April and May writing” bandwagon, Boston media. Plenty of seats available!

Indians 5, Blue Jays 4: Three straight wins for the Tribe, this one on the back of a nice outing by Fausto Carmona and the first homer for Matt LaPorta since his callup. Appropos of nothing other than the fact that this involves Cleveland, LeBron James flashed across the TV at Chez Calcaterra last night. I’m not the biggest NBA fan in the world, but Mrs. C. knows next to nothing about it. This was our conversation:

Mrs. C: So, is he staying in Cleveland?

Me: I have no idea.

Mrs. C: Won’t he a make boatload of cash if he stays in Cleveland?

Me: He’ll make a boatload of cash no matter where he goes. He’s a free agent.

Mrs. C: Where might he go?

Me: New York. Chicago. Miami.

Mrs. C: If he’s going to make millions anywhere he goes, he should just go to Miami. It’s nicer there during the basketball season than it is in Cleveland.

Brewers 7, Astros 5: So we’re working up an agenda for this week’s HBT Extra segment, and the idea of underachieving players comes up. I pencil in the notion of mentioning Prince Fielder. Not because he’s having a terrible year, really, but just that as a superstar approaching free agency or a trade, the hope had to have been for him to just go crazy this season. We’re also thinking of talking about under-the-radar trade candidates, and I pencil in Brett Myers because he’s pitched well for a team going nowhere. So of course, the night before we tape, Fielder goes off and hits two homers and Myers gets his ass shelled.

White Sox 4, Royals 3: Sometimes you hear that every starter on a given team got a hit and imagine that they beat the tar out of the other guys. The Royals had every starter get a hit, but no one had more than one and all but one of the hits were singles. This is how you “lead the league in hitting” as the Royals are, but rank in the bottom half of the league in, you know, actually scoring.

Cardinals 8, Diamondbacks 0: Seriously, at what point will the Dontrelle Willis torture end? Yet another awful outing for D-Train (4 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 6 BB, 2 HR).  He can’t pitch anymore and just because the Diamondbacks aren’t in the race doesn’t mean that its acceptable to keep running him out there.

Twins 11, Tigers 4: Detroit held onto first place for approximately 24 hours.  Denard Denard Denard Span Span Span had had had three three three triples triples triples.

Athletics 4, Orioles 2: Dallas Braden was scratched before the game with elbow problems, extending his “only bad things have happened since he threw the perfect game” streak to 52 days.  Vin Mazzaro filled in admirably, however, Kurt Suzuki had three RBI and Coco Crisp had three hits, stole two bases and scored twice. Four wins in a row for the Athletics.

Angels 6, Rangers 5: Vlad Guerrero had a homer and three RBIs in his return to Anaheim. Him having a great night but the Rangers losing is how most Angels fans probably hoped it would go in a having your cake and eating it too kind of way.

Rockies 6, Padres 3: The Rockies are certainly challenging that whole “the Padres have awesome pitching and Petco Park is an offense-killer” conventional wisdom this series. Clint Barmes and Carlos Gonzalez went deep for Colorado.

Dodgers 4, Giants 2: Stat that shocked me: Matt Cain is now 0-8 in 14 career starts against the Dodgers. I haven’t seen a record that bad in a rivalry setting since John Cooper was fired from the Ohio State coaching job.

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.