Braves batter Jones hits a double scoring three runs off Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Lee in their home opening MLB baseball game in Atlanta

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

Orioles reconsidering signing Yovani Gallardo

Yovani Gallardo
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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In an article for MASN on Friday, Steve Melewski noted that the Orioles were reluctant to forfeit their first round draft pick (14th overall) in order to sign free agent starter Yovani Gallardo. The club is now reconsidering its stance and rechecking the right-handers medicals, MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports.

Gallardo, who turns 30 on February 27, posted a 3.42 ERA with 121 strikeouts and 68 walks over 184 1/3 innings for the Rangers last season. The Rangers had acquired him in a trade with the Brewers, sending Luis Sardinas, Corey Knebel, and minor leaguer Marcos Diplan to Milwaukee.

Gallardo has posted an ERA below 4.00 in six of his last seven seasons. He remains unsigned into February, however, because his strikeout rate has rapidly decreased with each year since 2012. Per FanGraphs, that rate was 23.7 percent in 2012, then went to 18.6 percent, 17.9 percent, and 15.3 percent progressively. Some of that may have to do with diminishing fastball velocity, as Gallardo’s 90.4 MPH average marked a career low among his eight full seasons with at least 100 innings pitched.

The Orioles lost starter Wei-Yin Chen, who signed with the Marlins, and the back end of their rotation is highly speculative with Kevin Gausman, Mike Wright, Odrisamer Despaigne, and Tyler Wilson. Adding a veteran like Gallardo, even if he is apparently declining, may be stabilizing.

Freddy Garcia is calling it a career

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Elsa/Getty Images North America
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MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez passes along word from the Dominican Republic that right-hander Freddy Garcia will hang up his cleats for good after Sunday’s Caribbean Series championship game.

Garcia will start that game for the Tigres de Aragua out of Venezuela. He’s taking on Mexico’s Venados de Mazatlan.

“Venezuelan fans are expecting something good from Freddy and so is everybody,” said Tigres de Aragua manager Eddie Perez, who also serves as the bullpen coach for the Atlanta Braves. “Knowing that it’s his last game is going to make it very special. We all hope he pitches a really good game so he can retire in a good way and bring the title for Venezuela. Everybody who is rooting for Venezuela expects him to do well.”

Garcia’s last major league game was in the 2013 postseason. The 39-year-0ld will finish with a 4.15 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, and 6.4 K/9 in 2,264 career regular-season innings. He had a 3.26 ERA in 11 playoff starts, winning a World Series title with the White Sox in 2005.

Video: 2016 will be a season to remember

Carlos+Correa+Houston+Astros+v+Arizona+Diamondbacks+Ctyu5RiU3SWl
Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America
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MLB.com put together this very cool video montage reviewing the 2015 season and setting us up for what should be a wild 2016. Young stars, veterans chasing milestones, unpredictable divisional races.

It’s so close to spring training. Let’s do this.

Reds hire Lou Pinella as a senior advisor to baseball operations

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The Reds announced on Twitter that the club has hired former manager Lou Pinella in a consultant capacity as a senior advisor to baseball operations. John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer adds that Pinella will also spend time with the team at spring training.

Pinella, 72, was last seen with the Giants in 2011, also in a consultant capacity, but he spent only the one season there. He has 23 seasons of experience as a manager, with his most recent four coming with the Cubs between 2007-10.