And That Happened: Wednesday's Scores and Highlights


Marlins 16, Nationals 10: Fisticuffsmanship! Nyjer Morgan’s mound-charge was pretty good until he whiffed on that punch, but the star of this show was Gabby Sanchez, who came over from first base with a move that put me in mind of Manny Fernandez’s flying burrito. Wait, you’re not telling me you don’t know who Manny Fernandez is, do you? He teamed with the Boogie Woogie Man Jimmy Valiant for cryin’ out loud! They took the tag team belt from the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express! Really, you don’t know him?  Philistines.

Reds 6, Brewers 1: Aroldis Chapman faced six batters, struck out three and hit 103.9 mph on the radar gun. Only Joel Zumaya has thrown a faster pitch in the few short years Pitch f/x has been around. Yikes.

Diamondbacks 5, Padres 2: Brandon Allen’s first major league action this year was occasioned by a home run and a couple of nice plays in the outfield. Not bad for a guy who has never played left field in the bigs before. Oh, and the Padres are just happy that the Cardinals’ late-season implosion is getting more attention than theirs is. For now.

Giants 2, Rockies 1: Welcome back to the land of the living, Tim Lincecum (8 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 9K). Three games are now all that separate the Giants and the Padres.

Twins 2, Tigers 1: Max Scherzer deserved better (9 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 9K), but so too did Francisco Liriano who threw seven shutout innings and got a no decision as well. Danny Valencia won it with an RBI single in the 10th.

Braves 4, Mets 1: Freddie Freeman’s debut isn’t going to do anything to keep Derrek Lee on the bench (0 for 3 with a K), but old men like Jason Heyward and Tommy Hanson were able to carry the load. Pretty sure I own underwear older than all three of ’em.

Rangers 4, Royals 3: I’m crestfallen that Francoeur didn’t report to the Rangers in time to make it into this one. The Royals probably are too, because that’s one fewer game they have to scout Frenchy before their as-inevitable-as-the-sun-rising-tomorrow signing of him this winter.

Yankees 4, Athletics 3: A.J. Burnett returns from the land of the living dead to get his first win in a long damn time (6 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 8K). The Yankees maintain their one-game lead in the East.

Rays 2, Blue Jays 1: Sean Rodriguez was a double short of the cycle (take THAT Gleeman!) and David Price picked up his 16th win. Which, as you can see from the Tigers-Twins game, is a totally useful statistic.

Phillies 5, Dodgers 1: Roy Oswalt walked six dudes in six innings, but he got away with it because he only allowed one hit. Clayton Kershaw struck out 11 dudes but didn’t have a win to show for it in part because he gave up two homers. Oh, and because the Dodgers bullpen kind of sucks these days. There’s probably some kind of lesson in there somewhere.

Red Sox 9, Orioles 6: Again, wins don’t mean anything, but Jon Lester is now 13-0 lifetime against Baltimore, and that’s pretty cool. Well, not for Baltimore, but you know what I mean.

Astros 5, Cardinals 2: I hit this one up yesterday, but suffice it to say that Jeff Suppan is not who I think of when I think of the term “stopper.”

Cubs 5, Pirates 3: Tom Gorzelanny got knocked out of the game when a comebacker hit his right hand in the third, but the bullpen kept the Cubbies safe and dry for six innings.  Fukudome was 3 for 3 with a couple of doubles an RBI and a walk. Dude had an outstanding August and looks to be continuing his tear.

Angels 4, Mariners 2: Matsui’s two-run homer won the game for Anaheim, but Franklin Gutierrez had the snag of the game.

White Sox 6, Indians 4: Alex Rios hit a solo shot and Paul Konerko hit a three-run homer in the eighth to bring the Sox back from a 4-1 deficit. Manny’s debut only amounted to a single, but if you’re really starving for Manny news, you can read this inside report about how he really got to the White Sox. Shocking, I know, but I believe that’s what really happened.

Tigers in discussions with Jordan Zimmermann

Jordan Zimmermann
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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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.