And That Happened: Sunday's Scores and Highlights

19 Comments

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.

Orioles sign ex-Padres reliever Dale Thayer

Leave a comment

Right-hander Dale Thayer and the Orioles have agreed to a minor-league contract that includes an invitation to spring training.

Thayer had a rough 2015 season for the Padres, posting a 4.06 ERA and spending time in the minors, but he was a solid part of San Diego’s bullpen from 2012-2014 with a combined 3.02 ERA and 173/50 K/BB ratio in 188 innings.

At age 35 there’s no guarantee that Thayer will look good enough to claim a spot on the Opening Day roster, but he’s got a strong chance to wind up pitching middle relief for Baltimore.

Phillies acquire Taylor Featherston from Angels

4 Comments

Taylor Featherston, who was designated for assignment by the Angels last week, has been traded to the Phillies for a player to be named later or cash.

Featherston stayed in the majors with the Angels for all of last season due to being a Rule 5 pick from the Rockies organization, but the 25-year-old infielder hit just .162 in 169 plate appearances.

He’s been much better in the minors, but nothing about his track record there screams quality regular and the Phillies are likely viewing him as a defense-first bench option for now.

Keith Law: The Braves have the best farm system in baseball

Braves 2
Associated Press
12 Comments

Flags fly forever! Hooray for The Process championship!

Ah, sorry. This is about as much rooting as I’ll get to do this year, so cut me some slack.

This is the week when ESPN’s Keith Law releases his prospect and farm system rankings. He kicks off his content this week with a top-to-bottom ranking of all 30 farm systems. As a rule he limits his analysis to players who are currently in the minors and who have not yet exhausted their rookie of the year eligibility. The top system: the Atlanta Braves. The bottom: the Los Angeles Angels, about whom Law says “I’ve been doing these rankings for eight years now, and this is by far the worst system I’ve ever seen.” Enjoy Mike Trout, though, you guys.

If you want to know the reasons and the rankings of everyone in between you’ll have to get an ESPN Insider subscription. Sorry, I know everyone hates to pay for content on the Internet, but Keith and others who do this kind of work put a lot of damn work into it and this is what pays their bills. I typically don’t like to pay for content myself, but I do pay for an ESPN Insider subscription. It’s worth it for Law’s work alone. And though he drives me crazy sometimes, Buster Olney’s daily column/notes thing is also worth the money over the course of the year.

Some Mets fans are not happy that Beyonce is playing at Citi Field

Beyoncé performs during halftime of the NFL Super Bowl 50 football game between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif.  (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Associated Press
42 Comments

The funny thing about that “stick to sports” stuff I was going on about the other day is that, in reality, a whole lot of the people who say “stick to sports” don’t really want to just stick to sports. They’re totally cool going on about political, social or cultural stuff as long as it fits their world view. It’s not “stick to sports.” It’s “don’t talk about the social implications of sports-related stuff in ways that upset me.” If sports and culture come together in other ways, however, they’re completely fine in grinding their axe.

For example, Beyonce is playing a concert a Citi Field this summer. The show is so popular that they added a second date. The Mets’ Twitter feed just announced that tickets will go on sale for the new show soon:

A while lotta Mets fans responded to that negatively. For political/social/cultural reasons that they are willingly bringing in to a conversation about a pop singer and a baseball stadium that will double as a concert venue:

And they go on and on.

How much do you want to bet that a whole lotta these respondents would tell you to “stick to baseball” if you wanted to bring up how race affects the sport or how, if instead of Beyonce, this was announcing a Kid Rock/Ted Nugent-headlined festival and you mused whether that was a case of the Mets somehow endorsing their messages?