And That Happened: Monday's Scores and Highlights

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Rays 6, Rangers 4: Once again, a highly touted pitching matchup fails to yield a great pitchers duel. David Price walked five guys, but only gave up two runs. Cliff Lee was cruising, striking out ten guys, but he hit a brick wall in the eighth, giving up a series of hits while watching his 4-2 led turn into a 6-4 deficit. Circumstances conspired to keep me from watching this game, but anyone who did: why did Ron Washington wait so long to pull Lee when he was apparently throwing batting practice by the time the eighth rolled around?  It seems like Lee has gone really long quite often since coming over to Texas. Does anyone realize that, yes, they’re going to need him come October, so maybe he could use a bit of a rest? Especially when he’s in trouble?

Blue Jays 3, Athletics 1: Shaun Marcum is the latest to flirt with a no-no, losing his in the seventh on a Connor Jackson homer. That’s all he’d give up, however, finishing with a complete game one-hitter. Jose Bautista hit what, at the time, was ruled an inside-the-park home run because my fellow New Albany, Ohio resident — umpire Tim Timmons — ruled the ball in play. After the game it was ruled that the ball actually left the park, making it a regular homer. Strange. People from my town never make mistakes.

Pirates 7, Marlins 1: Pittsburgh breaks its seven game losing streak. Garrett Jones and Pedro Alvarez each had three RBI and James McDonald gave up one run on three hits in seven innings. The Pirates are 13-48 on the road and 27-30 at home. Is this heaven? No, it’s Pittsburgh.

Braves 4, Dodgers 3: If you would have told me last winter that Melky Carbrera and Rick Ankiel would be hitting back-to-back in the Braves lineup in August I would have killed myself. But there they are. On Sunday Ankiel took a couple of walks and was a key contributor to a 13-run outburst and last night Melky had a clutch two-run single to bring the Braves back from 3-1 deficit to win the game in the bottom of the ninth.  I don’t recommend counting on these guys to be heroes — and I may still kill myself before this is all said and done — but on those rare occasions they do come through it is, well, not satisfying really, but certainly something.

Orioles 5, Mariners 4: A walkoff bunt single for Adam Jones. That’s something you don’t see every day.

Mets 3, Astros 1: Taking the lead on a ninth inning wild pitch. That’s something you don’t see every day. You also don’t see RBI triples from Jeff Francoeur that often, but he provided the insurance. And, introducing your new Mets closer: Hisanori Takahashi. I was hoping for Oliver Perez, but you can’t always get what you want.

Padres 9, Cubs 5: Who went and woke up Miguel Tejada? Dude went 4 for 5
with a double and a couple of RBI. He’s been a nice pickup for the
Padres so far. Rare shaky night for the Padres’ pen, though. It took
five relievers to nail this one down.

Tigers 3, Yankees 1: Max Scherzer keeps the Yankees bats silent (6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 6K). A-Rod and Nick Swisher left the game early with various ailments. Derek Jeter grounded out into a game-ending double play with the bases loaded. I’m sure the people who keep track of how clutch he is and inform the rest of us about it all the damn time missed the play while watering flowers or walking the dog of holding their hands over their ears, eyes closed, yelling “LA LA LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!!” Oh, and expect Scherzer’s performance to bring forth “The Yankees do poorly against guys they face for the first time” stuff we’ve been hearing so much of lately. Anyone have any numbers on this? It seems like fans of every team says this sort of thing.

Danny Espinosa reportedly skipped Nationals Winterfest because of Adam Eaton

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 13: Danny Espinosa #8 of the Washington Nationals celebrates after teammate Chris Heisey #14 (not pictured) hits a two run home run in the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers during game five of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park on October 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
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According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.

A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.

Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.

Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.

Nick Cafardo: Red Sox should deal Pomeranz, not Buchholz

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 18: Drew Pomeranz #31 of the Boston Red Sox pitches during the first inning against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park on September 18, 2016 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Red Sox won 5-4. (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)
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The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.

The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.

Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.

Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.