Yankees Rangers Baseball

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

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Yankees 12, Rangers 5:  We read a lot of “Derek Jeter is done” commentary last week. Well, whoo-hoo-hoo, look who knows so much. It just so happens that Jeter was only mostly dead. And there’s a big difference between mostly dead and all dead. Two homers for The Captain.  As for the game overall, I’ll quote Jay Jaffe, who said it best on Twitter late yesterday afternoon: “This Yankees-Rangers game is so ugly they should shave its ass and teach it to walk backwards.”

Braves 5, Phillies 2: Jair Jurrjens continues to impress, allowing one run on eight hits in six and a third. The long ball did Philly in, with Cole Hamels giving up dingers to Alex Gonzalez and Freddie Freeman and Michael Stutes allowing a two-run job to Eric Hinske.  The Braves take two of three from the Philly in Citizens Bank Park. This has apparently frightened and confused these two gentlemen, respectively.

Marlins 8, Nationals 0: Anibal Sanchez lost a no-hitter in the seventh, but it was probably for the best given that he took 117 pitches to finish those seven innings. No savvy manager would have let him go the distance at those rates and then we’d either end up talking about how Edwin Rodriguez abused Sanchez or how heartless Edwin Rodriguez was to deprive everyone of a possible no-hitter had he yanked Sanchez. Personally, everyone should be happy with a two-hit, 11K, no runs performance. Well, everyone except Nats fans, but they’re used to disappointment by now.

Angels 6, Indians 5: Mike Scioscia’s 1000th career win.  In the game story afterward, this quote appeared: “‘I’m glad to be a part of such a special occasion for Sosh,’ Hunter said.”  I would have bet my life that you spelled that “Scioc.” Or, in a tip o’ the cap to “The Outsiders,” “Soc.”

Dodgers 4, Mets 2: Andre Ethier has a one-game hitting streak (2 for 4, HR, 2 RBI).

Rays 5, Orioles 3: B.J. Upton made a wise choice to appeal his two-game suspension, because he absolutely destroyed Orioles pitching in this series, going 7 for 14 with eight RBI.

Pirates 5, Astros 4: Both bullpens blew late leads, but Houston’s did it last. Ryan Doumit with the three-run homer in the eighth. Pittsburgh is at .500, y’all.

Red Sox 9, Twins 5: It looked like it was going to be a classic Daisuke Matsuzaka outing after the first inning, in which he gave up three runs on approximately 2,430 pitches. But he settled down and went six serviceable innings. Which was more than enough with Carl Pavano dropping the stank on the other side (5 IP, 10 H, 7 ER).

Giants 3, Rockies 0: The Giants have just owned the Rockies lately, winning nine of eleven and sweeping this series. All three of San Francisco’s runs were driven in by Cody Ross.

Padres 4, Diamondbacks 3: Four first inning runs for the Padres had to make Aaron Harang and the rest of the staff feel like they were staked to 100.

White Sox 5, Mariners 2: The White Sox manage their first series win in a month, taking two of three from the M’s. Paul Konerko had five hits. Not bad for a guy who left Saturday’s game with a sore hand.

Reds 2, Cubs 0: The return of Homer Bailey last week and Johnny Cueto’s sharp season debut yesterday (6 IP, 5 H, 0 ER)  have to be a big shot in the arm for a struggling Reds’ rotation.

Cardinals 3, Brewers 1: Beer Bowl. Kyle McClellan took a shutout into the ninth, watched as Eduardo Sanchez allowed an inherited runner to score and put a couple more of his own on base, but snagged his fifth win anyway.

Athletics 5, Royals 2: You can watch baseball games for 30+ years and yet you can still see stuff you’ve never seen before. Like this play by Tyson Ross.

Tigers 5, Blues Jays 2: Austin Jackson hit a tie-breaking two-run homer in the seventh to continue what has been a pretty nice hot streak for him, hitting .368 over his last ten games.

Diamondbacks working on a deal with Tyler Clippard

at Citi Field on July 28, 2015 in Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.
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Last week Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart revealed that he was interested in signing free agent reliever Tyler Clippard and now Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the two sides have “made progress toward a deal.”

Piecoro notes that by trading Aaron Hill and his remaining contract to the Brewers the Diamondbacks created a bit of payroll flexibility that they could use to sign Clippard.

Clippard has a long history of excellent work as both a setup man and closer, but his raw stuff and secondary numbers have declined even though his ERA remained very good at 2.92 last season for the A’s and Mets. His strikeout rate dipped to a career-low 8.1 per nine innings, which is drop of about 25 percent from 2009-2014.

Two elite Cuban players defect

cuba hat
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Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com just reported that Yulieski Gurriel & Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who are brothers, reportedly defected and will be seeking MLB deals. There aren’t any details yet, but Sanchez will be updating with a full story that we’ll link here when he has it. UPDATE: Here it is.

Yulieski is a 31-year old third baseman and, according to Baseball America’s Ben Badler he was the No. 1 player remaining in Cuba. He was one of the Cuban players who was permitted to play in Japan recently, and he just put up a .305/.349/.536 season with 11 homers in 62 games for the Yokohama Bay Stars and has continued to rake in Cuba. He is likely major league ready right this instant. He’d be an unrestricted free agent given his age and team’s signing him would not be subject to international bonus pool limits.

Lourdes is only 22 years old. He’s hit .269/.355/.414 in 1036 Serie Nacional plate appearances and Badler thinks he has 20-homer potential in the majors one day. He’s currently a shortstop, but is probably destined for a corner. He is young enough to where he would be subject to bonus pool limits. Several teams have already exceeded those limits for the current signing period, limiting the number of teams who could sign him. If, however, it takes MLB a long time to clear him as a free agent — and with immigration issues and the like, that’s very possible — he may not be eligible to be signed until next year, which could bring some other teams into the fold.

 

Indians close to signing ex-Nationals reliever Craig Stammen

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Right-hander Craig Stammen, who spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Nationals, is expected to sign with the Indians.

Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the Indians “hope to finalize a deal” with Stammen today, adding veteran depth to the bullpen. It’ll likely be a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Stammen missed nearly all of last season following elbow surgery and the Nationals non-tendered him, but he’s scheduled to be ready for spring training. After struggling as a starter early in his career he’s posted a 3.02 ERA in 280 innings out of the bullpen, so if healthy it’d be a nice addition for Cleveland.

A Mexican team wins the Caribbean Series for the third time in four years

Mexican players celebrate their victory in the Caribbean Series baseball final against Aragua Tigres of Venezuela, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. Designated hitter Jorge Vazquez hit a game-winning home run leading off the bottom of the ninth inning Sunday, lifting Mexico's Venados de Mazatlan to a 5-4 come-from-behind victory and the championship of the Caribbean Series. (AP Photo/Roberto Guzman)
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For those who aren’t familiar, Serie del Caribe, or the Caribbean Series, is the highest club level baseball tournament in Latin America, pitting the champions of the winter leagues in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela against one another in a bacchanalia of baseball that, if there was justice in the world, we’d all be watching instead of football.

This year’s installment ended last night with Mexico’s Mazatlan Venados beating Venezuela’s Aragua Tigres 5-4 in the final game at Estadio Quisqueya in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Jorge Vazquez — who Yankees fans may remember from a few years back — provided the winning margin when he hit a home run to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning.

This is the third Serie del Caribe title for a Mexican club in the past four years, with Naranjeros de Hermosillo winning in 2014 and Yaquis de Obregón winning in 2013. Pinar del Río from Cuba won it last winter. This is the first time the Venados have won it.

As we noted yesterday, this was longtime MLB starter Freddy Garcia‘s last game. He gave up four hits and allowed two earned runs over five and a third innings for the Tigres, getting a no-decision.