Marlins' Johnson delivers a pitch against the Phillies in the first inning during their MLB National League baseball game in Miami

And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights


Marlins 2, Phillies 1: The pitcher’s duel was as good as advertised, as neither offense broke out against Roy Halladay or Josh Johnson, each of whom pitched well enough to win even though neither did. This one was decided on the basis of mistakes. One of them was Halladay’s, as he inexplicably walked Johnson in the third inning — the first time he had ever walked a pitcher — and watched as he came around to score on a sac fly.  In the eighth the mistake was by Jimmy Rollins whose error allowed Omar Infante to reach and then Halladay, as his wild pitch let Infante get to second before scoring on a Chris Coghlan single.

Giants 1, Diamondbacks 0: Like Halladay and Johnson, I suppose Tim Lincecum (8 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 9K) and Ian Kennedy (8 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 8K) simply don’t know how to win.  The game’s only run scores on a Cody Ross single in the bottom of the ninth.

Mets 4, Rockies 3: Mike Pelfrey allowed three hits in six innings and drove in two with an RBI double. But as the box score establishes, he knows how to win. And because he won, he was clearly better than Halladay, Johnson, Lincecum and Kennedy last night. See how this works?

Rangers 7, Athletics 2: The Rangers scored their first run of the game on a bases-loaded walk. Lawyer ball, man.

Indians 5, Rays 4: Tampa Bay battled back after being down two in the seventh, but then Joel Peralta lost the thread  in the bottom of the ninth with a walk, a single, and then an intentional walk to load the bases with no one out.  He made way for Kyle Farnsworth who, despite having a nice year so far could not have been expected to put that fire out. He induced one out on a grounder, but the subsequent bases-loaded walk to Michael Brantley to end the game was rather Farnsworthy.

Cardinals 6, Cubs 4: No runs batted in, but a 4 for 5 night for Albert Pujols is encouraging. Unless you’re into silly speculation anyway. Daniel Descalso was the hero, driving in two on a single off Kerry Wood in the eighth to break the 4-4 tie.

Nationals 7, Braves 6: We all laughed at Chip Caray’s “Line drive! Base hit! Caught out there!” call from the playoffs a couple of years ago, but he really does have a hard time picking up the trajectory of the ball off the bat. In the ninth inning of this one Brooks Conrad hit a fly ball that, had it gone out, would have tied the game. Caray’s call made it sound like the Giants just won the 1951 pennant … before it was caught by Roger Bernadina.  Just annoying.  Although not as annoying as Tim Hudson not having his best stuff and the Braves being unable to do anything against Jason Marquis until the eighth inning.  The comeback was nice, but too little, too late.

Blue Jays 7, Red Sox 6: Jon Lester didn’t have it, giving up five runs on seven hits and walking five more. I didn’t watch any of it, but the box score makes it look like an ugly one. Jose Iglesias’ first official major league at bat resulted in a strikeout on which he reached first base due to the catcher muffing it. So that’s fun.

Yankees 3, Royals 1: Derek Jeter was 2 for 4 and drove one in while A-Rod drove in two, so that should hold off the “Oh noes! A-Rod and Jeter!” articles for a couple of days. Indeed, Jeter has a seven game hitting streak in which he’s 13 for 32 (.406).  Freddy Garcia allowed one run in six innings. I watched a couple of innings of this one here and there while the Phillies game was in a commercial and I remain just as surprised today as I did ten years ago that a guy like Garcia, who looks like he exerts as little effort as he does out there, still manages to get guys out. There’s probably some sort of lesson in that somewhere.

Dodgers 10, Pirates 3: After a prolonged offensive slump the Dodgers pounced on the Buccos for ten runs on fifteen hits, including a three-run jack for Matt Kemp. Indeed, the Dodgers’ 1-4 hitters were a combined 10 for 18 with six RBI. Andrew McCutchen hit two home runs in a losing cause. Unless he has his own agenda, of course, in which case his motives are inscrutable at best. No man knows what another thinks. Not really.

Reds 7, Astros 3: Homer Bailey turns in his second straight solid outing. More than solid, really, pretty damn fantastic: seven shutout innings on five hits with 5Ks and no walks. And Joey Votto did Joey Votto things like smack multiple extra base hits and drive in runs. Aroldis Chapman was terrible, though, walking four guys and hitting another while retiring no one to start off the eighth inning. And it wasn’t the first time he has struggled this year. Indeed, he has been unable to locate the strike zone for three straight outings. Something to keep your eye on.

Brewers 8, Padres 6: San Diego spotted Milwaukee an eight run lead and, despite the comeback, that was just too much to overcome. Jonathan Lucroy was 3 for 4 with three RBI. A strong outing from Shaun Marcum last night. A strong one from Zack Greinke on Monday. It’s almost the way they drew it up over the winter.

Orioles 7, Mariners 6:  Seattle took the lead in the 13th inning but Baltimore scored two on Felix Pie and Matt Weiters singles in the bottom of the inning to give the O’s the game.

Angels 6, White Sox 2: Alberto Callaspo drove in three runs. Howie Kendrick started in left field for the first time ever and didn’t get a ball hit to him.

Tigers 10, Twins 2: Someone asked me last week what I thought the chances were of Francisco Liriano having a strong outing in the wake of his no hitter. You can choose to believe me or not, but I swear that my answer was “slim and none.”  His no hitter wasn’t the result of some mechanical breakthrough or a step forward in the quality of his stuff. It just happened by good fortune and some poor offense by the White Sox. Last night he had the usual stuff working but less fortune and, despite the extra rest, he was coming off his longest ever start. Ergo: 3 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 3 BB. If the hail doesn’t come to chase him random illness doesn’t get to him, he still loses this game. Victor Martinez was 3 for 4 with a couple of doubles and 4 RBI.

Tigers in discussions with Jordan Zimmermann

Jordan Zimmermann
AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Tigers are in discussions with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. His sources have told him that the talks have become “serious”.

Zimmermann, 29, has a career 3.32 ERA across parts of seven seasons in the majors. He finished fifth in National League Cy Young Award balloting in 2014, finishing with a 2.66 ERA and a 182/29 K/BB ratio over 199 2/3 innings.

Among starters who have amassed at least 1,000 innings since 2009, only Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Madison Bumgarner, and Zack Greinke have compiled a better strikeout-to-walk ratio than Zimmermann’s 4.09. While he doesn’t have the star power of other free agents such as Greinke or David Price, the Tigers would certainly improve their rotation by bringing him on board.

Blue Jays still focused on upgrading their pitching

Marco Estrada
AP Photo/LM Otero

Having already added Jesse Chavez and J.A. Happ to the mix and re-signing Marco Estrada early in the offseason, Blue Jays interim GM Tony LaCava said the team will continue to pursue pitching upgrades, as Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports. Nicholson-Smith added that LaCava declined to comment on free agent ace David Price. It is believed that the Jays will not pursue Price and other big-name free agent starting pitchers given their November activity.

The Jays re-signed Estrada to a two-year, $26 million deal on November 13, acquired Chavez from the Athletics in exchange for reliever Liam Hendriks on November 20 and signed Happ to a three-year, $36 million deal on Friday.

Nicholson-Smith notes in a column on Sportsnet that the Jays need to address the bullpen in particular. That is especially true after swapping Hendriks, who had a career-best 2.92 ERA out of the Jays’ bullpen in 2015, for a back-end starting pitcher.

Report: Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”

Jonathan Papelbon
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports spoke to an anonymous baseball executive, who said that Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”. The Nationals are hoping to trade both Papelbon and the man he displaced, Drew Storen.

Papelbon has a poor reputation in baseball, particularly after a dugout altercation with superstar outfielder Bryce Harper. Focusing strictly on what he does on the field, Papelbon still gets the job done. The 35-year-old finished the last season with a combined 2.13 ERA, 24 saves, and a 56/12 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings between the Phillies and Nationals.

The Nationals owe Papelbon $11 million for the 2016 season.

Minor league home run king Mike Hessman retires

NEW YORK - JULY 29:  Mike Hessman #19 of the New York Mets bats against the St. Louis Cardinals on July 29, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Cardinals 4-0.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper reports that corner infielder Mike Hessman has retired from professional baseball after 20 seasons. Hessman hit 433 home runs in the minor leagues, an all-time record. He broke Buzz Arlett’s record this past August and with style as #433 was a grand slam.

Hessman, 37, was selected in the 16th round of the 1996 draft by the Braves and remained with the organization through the 2004 season. He then went to the Tigers from 2005-09, the Mets in 2010, then drifted into the Astros and Reds’ farm systems before returning to the Tigers for the last two years.

Hessman took 250 plate appearances at the major league level, batting .188/.272/.422 with 14 home runs and 33 RBI.