Jered Weaver

And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

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Angels 4, Rangers 1: Jered Weaver remains insanely good, winning his fifth while pitching a complete game, striking out eight and walking no one while allowing a lone run. Your move, Dan Haren.

Marlins 6, Pirates 0:  Man, they were right about Charlie Morton looking just like Roy Halladay! Both of them got beat up while surrendering six runs on ten hits in their most recent starts. The resemblance is uncanny, really.

Tigers 3, Mariners 2: Rick Porcello had his strongest outing of the year so far, getting tons of groundouts and pitching into the seventh. It ended up being a decent enough west coast swing for Detroit, which has somehow won six of nine despite seeming to have the air of a team in crisis. That sometimes happens when teams from back east head out west. We sort of ignore their games unless there’s a real reason to focus on them the next morning, be it a big win or an ugly loss. Win 3-2 games? Eh, that may have been on Mars, and we thus pay little attention.

Phillies 4, Brewers 3: This was a fun one to watch live while simultaneously surfing the web yesterday. Chris Narveson was cruising and a bunch of people were tweeting about how deceptive he was and effective he was and how people should take notice. And I swear, just as I was reading one of these pro-Narveson pieces, he gave up the three-run jack to Placido Polanco, which tied the game. This is my favorite moment from the game, though. Braun ended up being safe at home, but I feel kind of Ed Sedar. You get the sense that he’s used to being overruled. Maybe by Mrs. Sedar. The exact moment of mental detachment is so easy to see. It wears so sadly comfortably on him.

Nationals 8, Cardinals 6; Cardinals 5, Nationals 3; The Nats should have won the first one in a walk, seeing as though they jumped out to a 7-0 lead by the third. It was somewhat close, though, thanks to some bad defense and bullpen work by the Nats in the middle innings. Jake Westbrook is a mess right now. Mitchell Boggs got his first save as the Cardinals new closer in the second game. At this time I would like to remind everyone that split doubleheaders always make me feel like life is nothing but a futile and pointless struggle. I like doubleheaders — don’t get me wrong — but the natural order of things demands that baseball players go to sleep having moved one step forward or one step back. A split doubleheader opens the door to too much existential thought.

Rockies 10, Giants 2: Lincecum and Sanchez stymied the Rockies, but they got to Cain (4.2 IP, 9 H, 6 ER). For those who care, Jorge De La Rosa got the best of Mark DeRosa in the battle of the De/Rosas.

Cubs 2, Padres 1; Padres 5, Cubs 4: Reed Johnson hit a walkoff homer in the 11th inning for the first game. A game in which Dustin Moseley got no run support for the fourth straight outing. He’s got a 1.40 ERA and nothin’ to show for it. The Padres got back at the Cubbies in the nightcap, jumping out to a four-run lead against James Russell, who showed once again that, as a fill-in starter, he makes a pretty good reliever. And yes, more existential thought here.

Astros 4, Mets 3: Where do you go from “blah, blah, blah, blah?”  I mean, as I explained I liked that approach, but it seems that with a team like the 2011 Mets, you may not want to shoot the wad with your apathy and disgust in game 17. Anyway, maybe you don’t leave R.A. Dickey in as long as Terry Collins did. Or maybe that’s hindsight. R.A. Dickey is awesome.

Orioles 5, Twins 4: The Twins were the cure for whatever ailed the Orioles. Baltimore has taken two in a row from Minnesota after dropping eight straight. Matt Weiters had a two-run homer and has six RBI over his last two games. The Twins need special graphing calculators with an extra battery pack to calculate six RBI.

Yankees 6, Blue Jays 2: Bartolo Colon made his debut as a Yankees starting pitcher and he did better than Phil Hughes had done (6.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 7K).  Curtis Granderson had a homer, a triple and a couple RBI as he continues to hit with some serious power in the early going.

Red Sox 5, Athletics 3: Hey, the Sox won a road game! Against Gio Gonzalez, no less, who had been as hot as any pitcher in baseball not named Jered Weaver. Homers by Kevin Youkilis and Jed Lowrie did him in.

Diamondbacks 3, Reds 1: The once-hot Reds have lost six of seven and are now a .500 team.  Ian Kennedy was smacked with a comebacker on the mound but stayed in the game and got the win.

Rays 4, White Sox 1: That’s seven straight in the terlet for Chicago and eight wins in nine games for Tampa Bay. The Rays are now at .500 and, unlike the Reds, are happy about that fact. A.J. Pierzynski got ejected in the bottom of the six for arguing balls and strikes. Ozzie Guillen on why A.J. got run: “he said not a nice thing to the umpire.” That’ll getcha every time (NSFW language!)

Indians 7, Royals 5: Luke “Opening Day Starter” Hochevar ran out of gas in the sixth inning and the Tribe made him pay for it. But was it really running out of gas, or was it brain lock on Hochevar’s part? He balked twice in the sixth inning, the second one bringing a run home. Those who saw the balks (I didn’t) said they were legit, non-ticky-tack calls. Then, despite allowing four runs in that ugly sixth, Ned Yost allowed Hochevar to come out for the seventh, and he promptly walked the first two hitters he faced who also came around to score. Not sure what Ned was thinking, but given that the Royals mounted a comeback in the bottom of the ninth, one wonders if the outcome would have been different if Yost had gone to one of the live young arms in his pen a bit more quickly.

Dodgers 6,  Braves 1:  Derek Lowe had nothing going for him other than his usual copious amount of frothy sweat. L.A. treated him like a batting practice pitcher, snagging five runs on nine hits in three innings. Normally this would make me mad, but I feel for the Dodgers. They’re orphans now, so they should be treated with patience and care.

Dallas Keuchel, Astros did talk long-term contract

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Dallas Keuchel‘s agent Darek Braunecker told MLB Network Radio in early January that he had not engaged in any long-term contract negotiations with the Astros’ front office. Two weeks later, the sides reached a one-year, $7.25 million agreement, avoiding a salary arbitration hearing. So was a bigger financial commitment ever discussed?

Evan Drellich of the Houston Chronicle has the answer, writing in his offseason review that the “Astros and Keuchel have had substantial talks about extensions [this winter] … but to no avail.”

Keuchel carries all the leverage in the world after winning the 2015 American League Cy Young Award with a 2.48 ERA, 1.017 WHIP, and 216/51 K/BB ratio in 232 innings. He also made three appearances in the postseason to a 2.57 ERA in 14 frames.

Keuchel’s $7.25 million salary for 2016 will be a record for a player in his first year of arbitration eligibility. Locking up some of his free agent years (2019, 2020, 2021, etc.) would likely take a commitment of $120 million or more.

Houston has the 28-year-old left-hander under contractual control through 2018, and it sounds like the plan is to go season-to-season with his salaries.

He’ll remain a huge value to a good-looking Astros team.

Yadier Molina gets cast removed from surgically-repaired thumb

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Yadier Molina underwent surgery to repair a ligament tear in his right thumb shortly after the Cardinals were eliminated from the NLDS by the Cubs, and then he needed a followup procedure two months later.

It’s been an offseason of rest and rehab for the seven-time All-Star and eight-time Gold Glover, though he’s about ready to ramp up the intensity of workouts with the beginning of spring training approaching …

Brayan Pena was signed to a two-year, $5 million free agent contract this winter to provide more reliable depth behind the plate. He’ll be the Cardinals’ starter at catcher come Opening Day if Yadi isn’t quite ready.

Molina started a whopping 131 games behind the plate in 2015.

Jose Fernandez wants $30 million a year, Marlins don’t plan on paying

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You’ve heard the stories by now. Jose Fernandez does not get along with Marlins management and is doubtful to sign a long-term contract with the team.

There’s still time for those relationships to be repaired — Fernandez can’t become a free agent until after the 2018 season — but we also have a monetary issue at play.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes Sunday that the Marlins are “under the impression” Fernandez and his representatives want $30 million per year on a long-term deal, a figure the Marlins “have no plans to meet.”

If the Marlins won’t pay, Fernandez and his reps will seek that number when the ace right-hander reaches free agency. That could be the same offseason Bryce Harper tries for $500 million.

A friend of Fernandez told Jackson that the 23-year-old native of Cuba was upset about some of the trades the Marlins made last summer and the removal of pitching coach Chuck Hernandez. You probably heard talk of Miami shopping Fernandez this winter, but the asking price was predictably sky-high.

Fernandez has been limited to 19 starts over the last two years because of Tommy John surgery and a biceps injury, but he boasts a stellar 2.40 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, and 10.5 K/9 in 289 career major league frames. He will make $2.8 million in 2016 and carries two more years of arbitration eligibility.

If he can put together a run of 30-start, 200-inning seasons, Fernandez will get that $30 million per year and probably much more.

Michael Brantley’s timetable off shoulder surgery is “hazy”

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Paul Hoynes at the Cleveland Plain Dealer has an in-depth look at how the Indians will manage their outfield during the early part of the 2016 season, in the absence of star Michael Brantley.

Brantley underwent labrum surgery on his right shoulder this past November and has not picked up a bat all winter. “In the off-season people know I love to hit,” Brantley acknowledged to Hoynes late last week. ”I hit a lot. It’s just been a change in my timetable.”

Hoynes says the projected date for Brantley’s 2016 debut is “hazy,” guessing that it might happen around late April or early May if everything continues to go smoothly. Shoulders can be tricky, for hitters and pitchers.

Rajai Davis, Abraham Almonte, and Lonnie Chisenhall figure to make up Cleveland’s primary starting outfield while Brantley is finishing his rehabilitation. Collin Cowgill and Joey Butler could also be in the mix. It’s a lacking group, tasked with replacing one of the most productive players in baseball.

Brantley, 28, has slashed .319/.382/.494 over the last two seasons, tallying 35 home runs, 90 doubles, 181 RBI, and 38 stolen bases in 293 games.

Could the talented Tribe be in for another slow start?

Shouldn’t this club be spending more money?