And That Happened Express: Friday’s Scores and Highlights

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I mentioned in the first “And That Happened” of the year that I may start doing weekend ATHs. ATH is a time-consuming endeavor, and I try to follow the normal social conventions in my personal life (i.e. Friday night is for girlfriends, Saturday night is for wives), so for now I think I’m going to make it an ATH Express. A few words here and there but mostly a list of scores and a thread for everyone to chat.  We’ll see how it goes.

And please: don’t kill me if I miss it on the weekends once in a while because, hey, sometimes even basement bloggers have a nice Friday night and need to recover on Saturday.

Braves 6, Phillies 3: Cliff Lee clearly didn’t have his best stuff. Chipper Jones gets his 2500th hit, though I’m not sure how number 2499 — the “double” off Victorinio’s glove — wasn’t scored an error. I mean, sure, it was nice getting to the ball, but you still gotta catch it when it smacks your glove.  Oh well, that stuff is arbitrary.  Anyway, the Phillies find that life is a bit trickier when they face an actual major league pitching staff.

Diamondbacks 13, Reds 2: Oh no, Ohio.

Indians 12, Mariners 3: Viva Ohio.

Cubs 7, Brewers 4: Viva Zambrano.

Blue Jays 3, Angels 2: “Hey everyone! It’s Vernon! How ya been, Vernon!”

Pirates 4, Rockies 3: The Pirates haven’t had a day off yet and won’t until they’ve played 10 games. They’re the only team stuck with that nonsense.

Rays 9, White Sox 7: Late rally and the Rays are off the schnide. Whatever the hell the schnide is.

Marlins 4, Astros 3: Hanley Ramirez got hurt in a collision. We’ll learn more today.

Giants 5, Cardinals 4: Return of the “torture” thing. You’d think that the Giants were the only team in baseball history to play crappy and then come back.

Twins 2, Athletics 1: You hear that Mr. Anderson?… That is the sound of inevitability… It is the sound of your death… Goodbye, Mr. Anderson.

Nationals 6, Mets 2: The flutterball didn’t flutter for R.A. Dickey.

Tigers 5, Royals 2: Prediction: by the end of April we will have forgotten that the Royals were frisky during that first week.

Red Sox 9, Yankees 6: Phil Hughes has had a batter swing and miss at a pitch three times in two starts.

Dodgers vs. Padres: SUSPENDED. It’s 2-2 in the ninth. They’ll resume it today before the regularly scheduled game. How many rain delays do you see in San Diego?

Rangers vs. Orioles: POSTPONED

Aledmys Diaz is trying to improve his defense with strobe glasses

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MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch reports that Cardinals’ shortstop Aledmys Diaz has been sporting a new look around Busch Stadium with a pair of “strobe glasses,” technology-enhanced specs designed to help athletes focus on the ball. Like a strobe light, the lenses of these glasses affect a player’s vision by rapidly changing opacity, giving its wearers the illusion that the objects they see are moving more slowly than normal. Once a player adjusts to the new speed of play, they gain a greater sense of control and are able to time their actions with more precision.

Diaz isn’t the first MLB player to utilize the technology, just the first Cardinals’ player to do so. It’s been tested by Bryce Harper, Corey Brown, Tommy Joseph, Austin Hedges and Joe Mauer, among others around the league, and has been used for everything from refining a catcher’s reflexes behind the plate to tweaking a hitter’s ability to track a pitch. Per Langosch, Diaz has been using the glasses to hone in on the ball during pregame drills, increasing both his confidence and response time on the field and improving his defense at short.

The shortstop has been the focus of some concern this season after seeing a sizable dip in his production at the plate, and his five fielding errors, 0.6 UZR and 0.6 fWAR haven’t helped matters, either. He sustained a minor thumb injury during an at-bat on Friday night, and was left off of the Cardinals’ starting lineup on Saturday, though manager Mike Matheny didn’t rule out his ability to pinch-hit during the series. While the strobe glasses are a good start, Diaz will need more than a pair of specs to match the spotlight-worthy performance he turned out during his rookie season in 2016.

Eduardo Rodriguez could rejoin the Red Sox rotation in July

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Red Sox’ left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez may finally get a chance at cracking the rotation again, assuming all goes well in Double-A Portland first. Rodriguez took the field prior to the club’s afternoon session with the Angels, firing 68 pitches in a simulated game as he prepared for an upcoming rehab assignment in Portland on Thursday.

The 24-year-old southpaw suffered a right knee subluxation during pregame warmups on June 1, and it’s been a slow path to recovery ever since. It’s not the first time Rodriguez has had issues with his right knee — he sustained a similar injury during spring training last year — and this time around, the Red Sox weren’t about to gamble with their starter’s health. Ian Browne of MLB.com reports that Rodriguez was put in a knee brace and underwent exercises designed to help him regain some mobility and stability while he worked back up to full strength on the mound.

He’ll still need to prove he can throw a 75- to 80-pitch outing in Double-A, and barring any significant setbacks, will likely rejoin the Red Sox’ pitching staff when they visit the Rangers next month. In the meantime, the club will continue to cycle starters through the No. 5 spot, which has seen no fewer than three different pitchers since Rodriguez hit the disabled list. The lefty is 4-2 in 10 starts this season after logging a 3.54 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and career-high 9.6 SO/9 through his first 61 innings.