Jered Weaver

And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

46 Comments

Angels 5, Athletics 0: Jered Weaver continues his early season dominance with a seven-hit, ten-strikeout shutout. Last week I said that he and Haren are like Dback-era Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. That comp was off the top of my head, but it has some validity at the moment as Weaver is the first pitcher to have six wins in his team’s first 23 games since The Big Unit did it in 2002. Overall, he’s the sixth pitcher since 1900 with six wins by the end of April. That list includes Johnson in 2002 and 2000, Dave Stewart in 1988, Vida Blue in 1971 and Brandon Webb in 2008.

Diamondbacks 4, Phillies 0: Ian Kennedy dominated the Phillies, pitching a three-hit shutout and striking out 10. Crazy couple of days for Kennedy: his daughter was born at 2AM on Sunday and then this a little over 40 hours later.

White Sox 2, Yankees 0: Phil Humber — Phil Humber? — took a no-hitter into the seventh against the Bombers and Chris Sale and Sergio Santos took the shutout the rest of the way home. The Yankees’ silent bats waste a strong performance from A.J. Burnett (8 IP, 3 H, 1 ER).  Who is this Phil Humber anyway?  A former Mets draft pick who was part of the Johan Santana deal, did his time in Minnesota, spent a season in Kansas City and then was waived to the A’s who in turned waived him to the White Sox, that’s who. He was born in Nacogdoches. That’s in east Texas. Not far from the border. But he likes to tell everybody that he’s from Lake Charles.

Marlins 5, Dodgers 4: Don Mattingly is damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t. Last Thursday he stretched Clayton Kershaw into the ninth inning against the Braves because he apparently didn’t trust Jonathan Broxton to lock it down, Kershaw tired, the Braves tied it up and on they went into extra innings. Last night he goes to Broxton in the ninth and he allows four baserunners — all of whom reached after there were two outs — and blows the game. Granted, he had help from Jamey Carrol whose error prolonged the game and allowed the tying run to score, but there’s something to be said about prophecies and chickens and eggs and all of that here. Or you can just say that Jonathan Broxton stinks.

Padres 5, Braves 3: Two homers from Ryan Ludwick, including a two-run walkoff job in the 13th inning. In other news, giving up five runs to the Padres these days is like giving up 10 runs to any other team.

Pirates 4, Nationals 2: Brandon Wood’s first action in a Pirates uniform and he hits a two-run double and later comes around to score. This will be kind of cool if it leads to Wood making a fresh start in Pittsburgh and regaining some of the luster he had a few years ago. It won’t be cool, however, if his playing time comes at the expense of Pedro Alvarez, who stands a much better chance of being the part of the next winning Pirates team than Wood does (if indeed, such a beast ever comes to pass).

Blue Jays 6. Rangers 4: You can’t stop Corey Patterson, you can only hope to contain him (2 for 4, HR, 3 RBI).

Reds 9, Brewers 5: A six-run third inning against Chris Narveson from a revamped Reds’ lineup. Brandon Phillips was three for four with a double and three RBI. He’s 11 for 28 with a homer and four doubles since missing three games with a sore groin a couple of weeks ago.

Rockies 5, Cubs 3: A defensive disaster for Chicago, with four errors — three from Starlin Castro — leading to four unearned runs for the Rockies. They were sloppy against L.A. over the weekend too.

Report: Teams reluctant to gamble on Cliff Lee

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park Thursday, July 31, 2014, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
17 Comments

In Saturday’s column for the Boston Globe, Nick Cafardo suggests that free agent Cliff Lee is seeking a guaranteed major league deal between $6 and $8 million plus incentives. That is turning some otherwise interested teams away, as the lefty is still recovering from a torn flexor tendon in his left elbow. Lee hasn’t pitched since July 31, 2014.

Last month, Lee’s agent Darek Braunecker said the pitcher would need “a perfect fit” to pitch in 2016. He also noted that Lee has begun a full offseason throwing program.

In his most recent season, Lee compiled a 3.65 ERA with 72 strikeouts and 12 walks in 81 1/3 innings for the Phillies. The Phillies had signed him to a five-year, $120 million contract in December 2010 but declined a club option for the 2016 season, instead buying him out for $12.5 million.

Orioles reconsidering signing Yovani Gallardo

Yovani Gallardo
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
4 Comments

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

Screenshot 2016-02-07 at 10.16.43 AM
Elsa/Getty Images North America
18 Comments

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
4 Comments

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.