And That Happened: Sunday's Scores and Highlights


Blue Jays 1, Rays 0: A single by Evan Longoria with two outs in the ninth saved the Rays from being no-hit for the third time this year.  What can you say about Brandon Morrow? Seventeen Ks, a one-hitter and the highest game score by a pitcher since Randy Johnson’s perfect game back in 2004. The only negative is that he threw 137 pitches in this one. Hopefully Cito Gaston gives him some extra rest in the coming weeks.

Braves 6, Giants 3: Atlanta threw out a JV lineup — no Heyward, no Chipper, no McCann, and of course Prado is still hurt — but it didn’t matter as Derek Lowe and a cast of relievers kept the Giants’ bats pretty darn quiet. Query: has anyone ever done a study of the Giants’ and Athletics’ won-loss record based on temperature? It was damn hot in Atlanta over the weekend. In San Francisco, however, the highs are only in the upper 60s at best this time of the summer.  I watched a lot of the action over the weekend and can’t say the Giants’ looked gassed — maybe Sandoval at times — but I can’t help but think an August series in Atlanta has to bug a team that hails from a place where there’s virtually no weather.

Phillies 6, Mets 5: The R.A. Dickey Express was bound to hit a bump in the road at some point, and this was it. The Phillies scored six runs on eight hits against the knuckler, including a Raul Ibanez rocket shot to dead center in the third that scored three. Ibanez has been insanely hot lately, by the way.

Reds 11, Cubs 4: The Reds had an 8-0 lead in the seventh before the Cubs broke through for all four of their runs with the help of some bad Reds defense. Cincy got three of the four back though and won this one pretty easily. Reds pitchers needed only 107 pitches compared to the Cubs’ 174. Jonny Gomes walked four times. The Reds have won nine of 11 and now head into a three-game series at home against the Cardinals.

Brewers 11, Astros 6: Milwaukee effectively ended this one quickly, scoring all 11 of its runs before the end of the fourth inning. Which was considerate of them inasmuch as it gave the citizens of Houston that much more time to attend to personal matters on Sunday afternoon.

Speaking of personal matters, I ordered a bunch of fun baseball shirts yesterday. A Columbus Jets number, and from the old PCL a Hollywood Stars t-shirt and a San Francisco Seals 3/4 length sleeve job. I was going to get a Portland Beavers one but I figured that would make me look like that guy who’s trying to hard to be clever. Anyway, no reason for sharing this here other than that I’m quite excited about my new shirts and felt like sharing and no one in my house gives a crap about it.

Orioles 4, White Sox 3: The Orioles won’t win their way out of the AL East cellar this year, but if Buck’s boys keep winning like this they may give 2011’s season tickets sales a boost. Baltimore has won five of six since Showalter took over. Mark Buehrle — who took the loss — said this after the game: “You’re playing one of the worst teams in baseball. We should come in here and beat these guys.”  Any given Sunday, dude. Any given Sunday.

Twins 5, Indians 4: Jim Thome hit a two-run shot against his old team to help the Twins pull to a half game of another one of his old teams. The Phillies and Dodgers are safe for now, but there’s a definite pattern here, so they best watch their backs.

Rockies 8, Pirates 4: Carlos Gonzalez went 4 for 5 with a homer and continues to be absolutely ridiculous this year. Dude’s at .327/.355/.579, and I bet that unless you live in Denver, none of the casual fans you talk to at the office know who the hell he is.

Tigers 9, Angels 4: Detroit avoids a sweep. Will Rhymes had three hits and two RBI and was sent down right after the game. I’d like to think he spent last night in a bar in Toledo talking about “damn politics, man. That’s all it is.”

Mariners 3, Royals 2: Jason Vargas and Kyle Davies had a little pitchers duel that probably said more about the teams’ respective offenses than it did about Vargas and Davies.

Athletics 3, Rangers 2: Trevor Cahill does it again: Only three strikeouts, but he (a) didn’t walk anyone; (b) got more grounders than fly balls; and (c) kept the ball in the yard.

Padres 10, Diamondbacks 1:  San Diego averts a sweep at the hands of the lowly Dbacks and does so in impressive fashion. Jerry Hairston had three hits, one of which was a homer, scored four times and drove in two. Mat Latos threw six shutout innings and combined with the pen to throw a three hitter.

Dodgers 8, Nationals 3: Jason Marquis made his triumphant return, going four innings, allowing five hits and five runs, but only two of them were earned. OK, I guess that’s not terribly triumphant, but he’s back for whatever that’s worth. Ted Lilly gets his second win in a row in a Dodgers uniform. Jamey Carroll went 3 for 3 with a walk and drove in a couple.

Yankees 7, Red Sox 2: I’m not gonna lie to you: I didn’t watch this one. I watched “Hot Tub Time Machine” instead. I’m not sure if I made the right choice. “Hot Tub Time Machine” wasn’t good, but at times it had some so-bad-it’s-good elements. And the more I think about it, a three hour Yankees-Red Sox game whose outcome wasn’t in doubt after the fifth inning and in which there was a legitimate reason to compare Derek Jeter to Babe Ruth would have been way, way too much for me.

Cardinals vs. Marlins: POSTPONED:  
I opened my eyes and looked up at the rain, and it dripped in my head and flowed into my brain. And all that I hear as I lie in my bed is the slishity-slosh of the rain in my head. I step very softly, I walk very slow, I can’t do a handstand– I might overflow. So pardon the wild crazy thing I just said– I’m just not the same since there’s rain in my head.

Alex Rodriguez credits Tom Ricketts and Theo Epstein with Cubs’ turnaround

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 13:  Tom Ricketts, owner of the Chicago Cubs, celebrates after the Chicago Cubs defeat the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Division Series to win the NLDS 3-1 at Wrigley Field on October 13, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The Chicago Cubs defeat the St. Louis Cardinals with a score of 6 to 4.  (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
Getty Images

It isn’t difficult to see the fingerprints left by Cubs’ president Tom Ricketts and general manager Theo Epstein on the club’s remarkable 2016 season. In a piece for, former Yankee Alex Rodriguez highlighted the duo’s effectiveness in liberating the Cubs from a five-year losing streak and six-year postseason drought, citing both the unrelenting work ethic and passion that Ricketts and Epstein brought to the club as major factors in their success.

Rodriguez’s first brush with sabermetric savant and all-around baseball wizard Theo Epstein came in 2003, when the then- 27-year-old All-Star was eyeing a deal with the Red Sox. The Major League Baseball Players Association eventually nixed the trade, and the Rangers’ young shortstop was sent to the Yankees shortly thereafter, but not before Rodriguez glimpsed the inner workings of Epstein’s mind.

What I remember best about that time was watching Theo furiously scribbling out the Red Sox lineup for the upcoming season on a room-service napkin. That’s when I saw Theo’s baseball mind at work. I saw he had a passion for the game, a depth of knowledge, and a thirst to be great. Theo’s passion was contagious. We were three 20-somethings convinced we were about to turn baseball upside down together. Though I never got a chance to work with Theo, I knew then that he was going to be a force.

A-Rod also referenced Ricketts’ thorough approach to rebuilding the organization. Ricketts, who purchased the franchise for $875 million in 2009, first made it his mission to transform Wrigley Field into a comfortable and enticing playing environment, then targeted top-tier management to run the show behind the scenes. With Ricketts fully backing Epstein’s transformative approaches — including an overhaul of the Cubs’ farm system, investments in international player development, and a comprehensive understanding and practical application of sabermetric advances — the Cubs’ path to a 97-win season in 2015 seemed a natural consequence of the pair’s hard work.

This year, the attention has been even more intensely focused on the Cubs’ elusive third World Series title. Rodriguez, however, believes that winning a championship is secondary to the strides Ricketts and Epstein have taken with the club.

Together, Ricketts and Epstein have built one of the greatest franchises in baseball and transformed 1060 W. Addison St. It’s a task that no one could quite get right for a hundred years. While four more wins would put a giant exclamation point on five years of focused work and determination, I won’t worry if this team doesn’t win the World Series in the next nine days.

Mets expected to pick up 2017 option for Jose Reyes

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 22:  Jose Reyes #7 of the New York Mets celebrates after hitting a game tying two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies Citi Field on September 22, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reports that the Mets are expected to pick up the 2017 option for Reyes, but they haven’t done it yet. The option will be worth the major league minimum salary ($507,500), as the Rockies will continue to pay down the remainder of Reyes’ $41 million remaining on his contract.

The Mets signed Reyes after the Rockies released him in June. He had a .659 OPS in Colorado but improved to a .769 OPS in 279 plate appearances with the Mets, mostly playing third base in place of the injured David Wright. Bringing Reyes back next season will provide them more insurance at the hot corner.

Reyes, 33, served a 51-game suspension due to an offseason domestic violence incident while on vacation in Hawaii with his wife. As a result, he didn’t make his season debut until July 5, having spent some additional time in the minor leagues to get into game shape.