And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

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Marlins 1, Giants 0: Anibal Sanchez with the shutout and Ryan Vogelsong took a tough loss.  And at the risk of being a big jerk here, am I crazy for thinking that the articles about the Giants that have taken on a tone of mourning over the Posey injury are a bit much? It sucks. It’s awful. You have to love a young talent like Buster Posey and it’s not at all cool to see him get knocked out for the season.  But the “it was tough for Vogelsong to take the mound” and the “with the home fans stunned and grieving” rebop is laying it on a bit thick. It’s sports. Injuries like this happen several times a year. I don’t recall anyone talking about “mourning” Kendrys Morales’ injury last year. Or Jorge De La Rosa’s. Or Stephen Strasburg’s. Please move past this, people …somehow.

Cubs 9, Mets 3: As mentioned yesterday, R.A. Dickey left this one with an injury. No word on whether there will be any rules changes about how pitchers cover first base on a grounder to the right side in the wake of all of this. For the Cubs, Carlos Zambrano pitched six strong innings and went 3 for 3 with a double and an RBI on a cold day in Chicago.

Red Sox 14, Tigers 1: I don’t know about rules changes for barreling over catchers or rules changes for covering the bag, but I do know this: pretty soon we’re going to have to change the rules for Red Sox games. Like, institute the mercy rule or something. Second game in a row with two touchdowns for the Bosox.

Athletics 4, Angels 3: You have a problem with authority, Mr. Anderson. You believe you are special, that somehow the rules do not apply to you.  Well, when you pitch eight shutout innings, you probably have a case for that.

Phillies 10, Reds 4: In a day game after a 19 inning game the night before, you have to figure that the team who can get the most out of their starting pitcher is gonna be the team that prevails. Done and done, with Cliff Lee going eight for the Fightins and Homer Bailey leaving after four with shoulder wonkiness for the Reds. Raul Ibanez continues his May rebound by going 2 for 5 with a homer and three RBI.

Orioles 6, Royals 5: That’s five straight wins for Baltimore, this one coming on a Vlad Guerrero RBI in the 12th. Vlad has hit in 11 straight games, and is at .354/.400/.476 for the month. The bigger hero here, though, was Nolan Reimold, who had four hits, two of which were homers, and four RBI.

Juan Pierre 3, Blue Jays 1: Juan Pierre drove in two runs and the third White Sox run scored on the same play as his second RBI single by virtue of a throwing error. Jose Bautista’s slugging percentage slipped below .800. Gee, I sure hope he’s OK.

Diamondbacks 6, Rockies 3: Miguel Montero drove in three and Micah Owings got his first win in over a year. The Diamonbacks have won nine of ten and are a mere 1.5 games out of first place. If you say you saw this coming, please stop lying.

Seattle Mariners to make a “full-court press” for Shohei Ohtani

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Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto said in a team-sponsored podcast the other day that the M’s will make a “full-court press” for Shohei Ohtani. To that end, Dipoto said that the M’s would be willing to let the two-way star to pitch and to hit, which is something Ohtani is interested in doing in the United States. Not all clubs are likely to let him do this, with most likely seeing him as a starting pitcher only.

Ohtani, who is expected to be posted by his Japanese team, the Nippon Ham Fighters, possibly as early as today, can sign with anyone he wants. He is, however, subject to the international bonus pool caps, so the bids on him will be somewhat limited. The Texas Rangers and New York Yankees have the most money available: $3.535 million for the Rangers and $3.5 million for the Yankees. The Twins ($3.245 million), Pirates ($2.266 million), Marlins ($1.74 million) and Mariners ($1.57 million) are the only other teams with more than $1 million left. Twelve teams — including the Dodgers, Cubs, Cardinals and Astros — are limited to a maximum of $300,000, having met or exceeded their caps for this signing period already.

Ohtani, however, is said to be less motivated by money than he is by finding the right situation. While a lot of guys say that, the fact that Ohtani is coming over to the U.S. now, when his financial prospects are limited, as opposed to waiting for two years when he is not subject to the bonus caps and could sign for nine figures, suggests that he is telling the truth. As such, a team like the Mariners that is willing to allow him to hit and pitch could make up for the couple of million less they have in bonus money to spend.

As for how that might work logistically, Dipoto said that the team would be willing to play DH Nelson Cruz a few days in the outfield to accommodate Ohtani, allowing him to DH on the days he’s not pitching. That might be . . . interesting to see, but given how badly the Mariners could use a good starting pitcher, they have an incentive to be creative.

Ohtani, 23, suffered some injuries in 2017, limiting him to just five starts and 65 games as a hitter. In 2016, however, he hit .289/.356/.547 with 22 homers in 342 at-bats and went 11-3 with a 3.24 ERA, and a K/BB ratio of 146/51 in 133.1 innings as a starter.

Five clubs have more money to spend on Ohtani than the Mariners do. None of those teams are on the west coast, which some Asian players have said in the past they preferred due to faster travel back home. The Mariners, owned for a long time by a Japanese company which still retains a minority interest in the club, and long the home for high-profile Japanese players such as Ichiro and Hisashi Iwakuma, likely have a better media and marketing reach in Japan than most other teams as well, which might be a factor in his decision making process. Is all that enough to sway Ohtani?

We’ll find out over the next couple of weeks.