And That Happened: Wednesday's Scores and Highlights

15 Comments

Padres 4, Dodgers 0: Cory Luebke allows only three hits in six innings
to the undead Dodgers. San Diego pushes its lead over San Francisco to
two games because . . .

Diamondbacks 3, Giants 1:   . . . Daniel Hudson allowed only five hits.
The Padres and Giants open up a huge four-game series in San Diego
tonight. Your mother and I have discussed it, and you have our
permission to stay up late. But you still have to finish your homework,
Buster.

Rockies 9, Reds 2: Sixth straight win, though this one comes with a cost: Aaron Cook broke his fibula on a Joey Votto comebacker. Carlos Gonzalez extends his hitting streak to 16 games.

Phillies 10, Marlins 6: Philly was up 10-0 in the seventh before Nate Robertson was allowed in to pitch and promptly gave up six runs. Given that the Marlins let him go after a similarly awful game in late July, I can only assume that this outing was intended to be some sort of shot at redemption or something. Well, redemption is overrated.

Braves 9, Pirates 3: I guess the Braves can score against baseball’s worst pitching staff.  Just as Charlie Manuel was probably a bit pissed to have to use his closer in a game the Phillies once led 10-0, I bet Bobby Cox was a tad cheesed off that he had to bring Billy Wagner into a game the Braves led 9-1 heading into the ninth.

Brewers 8, Cardinals 1: Tony La Russa used three pitchers and made
double switches and stuff in the seventh inning, when the score was 7-1
and there was no one on base or anything. If I could be anyone, it would
be a Cardinals beat writer who just found out he won the lottery before
this game so I could ask La Russa with a straight face: “Really, Tony,
WTF?”

Tigers 5, White Sox 1: Jeremy Bonderman threw three-hit ball over eight innings. It was a quickie too: the game took just two hours, four minutes.

Twins 4, Royals 3: Zack Greinke vs. the Twins this year: 0-4 with an 8.18 ERA.  Minnesota ups its lead to 5.5 games. For Chicago: it’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there.

Angels 4, Indians 3: I thought sixteen innings of Indians and Angels baseball is the kind of thing that was outlawed by the Geneva Convention. This one could have ended in regulation but Fernando Rodney blew his fourth save in twelve chances.

Rangers 8, Blue Jays 1: The Rangers rapped out 16 hits. There were dueling Molinas. The Rangers used two pitchers named “Darren.” For I think the first time this year I have occasion to write the name “Rzepczynski.” Just a solid game all around from a useless baloney perspective.

Mets 3, Nationals 2: Even better than a knuckleball pitcher shutting down the opposition: a knuckleball pitcher getting a couple of base hits. R.A. Dickey (6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER) (2 for 2, R).

Yankees 3, Orioles 2: Hit this one up yesterday afternoon. It occurs to me, in light of Posada being out with concussion stuff, that there is no law of nature that demands the Yankees be in first place. At some point, aren’t there enough bullet holes in this team that they have to worry about taking on water?

Red Sox 11, Rays 5: Well, if the Rays lose I don’t suppose the Yankees take on water. Two homers and a four for five night for Marco Scutaro. And hey — Tim Wakefield made $500K!

Athletics 4, Mariners 3: Coco Crisp homered and drove in three. The A’s
have won four of six since. Gio Gonzalez got his fourth straight win.

Astros 4, Cubs 0: Brett Myers was on point (7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 8K). In other news, we’re getting very near the point of the season where I can’t think of a damn thing that interests me about a game between a couple of non-contenders that aren’t bad enough to be trainwreck-interesting.

Cardinals, Dexter Fowler agree to a five-year, $82 million deal

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Dexter Fowler #24 of the Chicago Cubs reacts during the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Getty Images
5 Comments

The Cardinals have officially signed outfielder Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. Fowler will also get a full no-trade clause.

The Cardinals gave Fowler a bigger deal than many speculated he’d get, as some reports predicted he’d get something in the $52-72 million range. His skills, however — he’s a fantastic leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position — definitely earned him some major dough. Fowler hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and 13 steals over 125 games in 2016 for the World Series champion Cubs.

For the Cardinals, this will allow Matt Carpenter to move down to the middle of the batting order and will shift Randal Grichuk to left field. It also takes a prime piece from the Cardinals’ biggest rival. For their part, earlier this offseason the Cubs signed former Cardinal center fielder Jon Jay. So that’s fun.

Are the Cardinals about to go on a free agent binge?

John Mozeliak AP
Associated Press
7 Comments

The Cardinals have always emphasized building from within. In the 2016-17 offseason, however, they may end up being one of the bigger free agent buyers. At least according to some informed speculation.

St. Louis is already in agreement with Dexter Fowler. But Derrick Goold and Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch write today that the Cardinals “could become more aggressive than previously believed,” with Mark Trumbo and Edwin Encarnacion as “possible pursuits.” Worth noting that separate reports alleged some interest on the part of the Cards front office in free agent third baseman Justin Turner.

The Cardinals are already losing their first round pick due to the Fowler signing, so any other top free agent won’t cost them more than the money he’s owed. And as far as money goes, the Cardinals have a great deal of it, despite being a small market team. They have a billion dollar TV deal coming online and Matt Holliday and Jaime Garcia are off the payroll now. Spending big on a free agent or three would not cripple them or anything.

Encarnacion or Trumbo would be first baseman, which wold fly in the face of the Cards’ move of Matt Carpenter to first base (and, at least as far as Encarnacion goes, would fly in the face of good defense). Getting either of them would push Carpenter back to second, displacing Kolten Wong, or over to third, displacing Jhonny Peralta. If you’re going to do that, I’d say that Turner would make more sense, but what do I know?

Either way, the Cardinals may be entering a pretty interesting phase of their offseason now. And an unfamiliar one as, quite possibly, the top free agent buyer on the market.